A Whale of a mess compared

This was how Whale Oil looked after the first post this morning.

Whale of a mess

Amongst that the Daily Proverb says “If you fail under pressure your strength is too small.”

It reminds me of a Superstar quote:

“My temple should be a house of prayer but you have made it a den of thieves. Get out! Get Out”

That’s what appears to be six advertisements plus a “donate” promotion. There is more advertising further down the page.

Cameron Slater may claim to have the most popular blog in New Zealand – he certainly built it to an impressive level – but as the advertising and banning increases the popularity seems to be waning, going by the number of comments and the tone of comments both on and off the blog.

Kiwiblog is a contrast:

Kiwiblog home page

I’ve always liked Kiwiblog’s clean simple layout and it’s functionality. It’s one of the easiest blogs to keep up with comments on.

The Standard is clean and informative, allowing you to quickly assess blog content.:

Standard home page

They have some advertising further down the page and sometimes have an advertising banner but this is much cleaner and more informative.

The Daily Blog is more like Whale Oil with a lot of advertising and clutter.

DailyBlog front page

I’ve never much liked the Daily Blog look nor it’s functionality. Like Whale Oil it seems to be designed more to harvest clicks and advertising revenue. Both seem to be trying to emulate (and compete with) the old media model online.

Public Address has some relatively discrete advertising but is overall a much cleaner and informative look.

PublicAddress front pageThe “new kid on the block is On The Left:

OnTheLeft front page

That’s more magazine style with a lot of graphics but no advertising clutter and flash so is easier on the eye.

Back to Whale Oil – it’s not always that messy but the example at the top is common. Here is a screen shot of the Daily Roundup from yesterday.

Whale Daily RoundupThat’s another massive mess making it very hard to know what the post or the blog are about.

To be fair when a post at Whale Oil has more text content it doesn’t look as cluttered. For example:

Whale Oil home page

Like The Daily Blog revenue and click harvesting (which can be used to sell advertising) seem more of a priority at Whale Oil, while Kiwiblog, The Standard, Public Address and On The Left are designed more as functional blogs designed Oto invite readership and participation.

David Parker – Standard Q & A

David Parker’s live Q & A at The Standard.

Introduction:

Thanks for the opportunity to join a Standard Q&A. Really looking forward to hearing from you.

I’m happy to chat about any questions and I’m really keen to hear from you about my belief that the way back for Labour is to focus on economic fairness for working New Zealanders. When working New Zealanders succeed they are proud to look after the vulnerable. It’s about working to ensure everyone’s getting a fair go.

And this is about us agreeing a central purpose to unite us all. My experience is that unity between members, Caucus and the Party is the cornerstone to re-engaging working New Zealand. That’s what’s needed to get confidence, trust and votes back.

Why did Labour do so badly at the last election, and how do we win the next one?

We’ve lost our connection with too many NZ’ers. Elections are win or lost on a combination of people, policy & presentation. We have to be willing to address all aspects of what we do.

We will not restore confidence until we are united in pursuit of a common purpose that we can rally around, and NZ’ers believe in. That purpose has to reflect our values, which have not changed. That purpose has to be relevant to NZ’ers, who have to see us as an extension of themselves. We have to share their hopes & aspirations. Be someone who’s looking out for them. Someone they can rely upon in the good times & when time are tough. We must become someone they’re proud to introduce their friends & neighbours to.

Labour was formed by and for labour.

We must concentrate on giving NZ’ers a fair go. This starts with recognising the aspirations of working NZ’ers to get ahead. Secure work, good pay, a decent stake in society, including home ownership, and a decent education.

To look after vulnerable NZ’ers, we need to be in government. To be in government, we need to be relevant to more than the vulnerable.

A fair go and a fair share!

Sounds like a continuation of election campaign slogans.

Secure work, good pay and a decent education available for all, are all very important.

What would you do for us life time renters?

Why do so many in the Labour Party put so much stress on home ownership, rather than focusing more on enabling affordable private and state owned rentals?

Increase supply, and regulate for a minimum standard of energy efficiency for starters.

could you please detail/specify for us what you would do in your first one hundred days as prime minister..

..to address the open sores of poverty and inequality…

..what will you do for the poorest..?

Issues that I believe we urgently need to address include affordable housing. We’d kick off with building more homes, and enforcing a healthy homes warrant of fitness.

We need to lift incomes. By the time of the next election, I want people when they hear “Labour” to think higher wages. Wages lifted immediately for the lower paid via minimum wage. Wage increases for others via better labour laws and a strongr economy investing in productive jobs rather than speculation.

Incomes for the poorest families need the likes of the Best Start package. Shamefully, the Nats equivalent deliberately excludes kids in beneficiary’s homes.

That doesn’t address the poorest, beneficiaries.

You spoke yesterday about unity. Were you, as the deputy, fully loyal to Cunliffe before and after the election?

(There were two lengthy questions/statements on issues related to support of Cunliffe, Parker just gave a brief response to this one).

Caucus members, including me, were loyal to David Cunliffe.

This brevity wasn’t well received.

[r0b: Part of this deleted - stricter moderation in this thread than usual.] You did not even care to answer my questions honestly with any integrity. I thought you were better than that. I am disappointed.
Why was Cunliffe put in a position to resign?
Why did he need to go?
Why were the whips changed by caucus even before Cunliffe resigned?

And…

Parker didn’t answer the question.

Good on you, what Parker said was [r0b: deleted - I'm applying a stricter level of moderation to this post than usual].

Ok.

What David Parker said was a lie.

And…

He answered standard questions but did not answer the tough straight up questions about personal loyalty, betrayal, caucus crookedness etc with straight up answers. Not impressed about that. A leader should be able to handle difficult uncomfortable questions too, especially as he had plenty of time to think about the answers.

Back to questions.

What would you support to strengthened the role of organised labour in our economy?

Under my leadership, Labour would support the rights of workers. We always will. Collectivism is needed to counter the power of the employer and ensure fair outcomes.

We need to go further than traditional employment relationships and draw in tied contractors, by giving them rights (eg to give them statutory minimum wage, sick pay, holidays and the right to organise currently sometimes banned under the terms of their contracts).

The single biggest policy problem I had was the complusory Kiwisaver VSR. The reasoning behind this is that I felt it unfairly impacted on low to middle income families (and therefore not exempted) who would have a retirement fund but would have lived without nice things, holidays, and so until the age of 67.

People, say, like a solo mother with several kids who earns $50,000 and rents. She’d be able to survive, but maybe wouldn’t be able to take her children on holiday or buy them monthly books because she’s losing 3-4.5% of her income without giving her a choice.

Do you think the policy crossed the line of asking people to be austere in their prime to have a wealthier retirement? In effect, asking them to be worker drones till 67.

The underlying issue remains, but we’ve got to reflect on whether this is the right solution or the right process.

By the end of next year the NZ govt spends more on super than education. Its already more than all benefits combined plus the accommodation supplement and WFF tax credits.

But we’ve been rejected twice on this, and our promise to protect those who can’t work past 65 in their normal job did not cut through.

Maybe we should leave it to the people via a referendum.

My overriding objective is to protect super because I know the people we represent need it.

And…

I think NZers should not be on the breadline. They should be paid enough to save a bit. They key lies in wage increase. At the bottom end, that means increase in the minimum wage (which also flow to other wage rates). In the end, wages are in part related to productivity, and savings help lift the sophistication and value of what we sell, and therefor the wages that can be paid.

The Aussie experience is that the contributions in part pay for themselves bc productivity increases flow to higher wages.

What weaknesses do you think that others perceive in you? And how will you address those weaknesses?

I have cultivated a bookish image in order to restore confidence in our fiscal credibility. Its time to cast that aside and show my passions.

I am driven.

I want Labour to win in 2017.

I am a builder.

I have experienced the joys and sorrows of success and failure in business.

I am a protector of civil liberties and the rule of law.

I am an environmentalist, and have a record of decades of advocacy for clean rivers, and clean energy.

I love the outdoors. I love the arts.

But most of all I stand for an egalitarian society.

The challenge for me is to display this to New Zealand.

If you win the leadership contest, how will you address the disunity in the caucus which, in my opinion, was a major factor in Labour’s poor election result and on-going low polling;; and, how would you go about building a stronger membership base?

We will unify around a clear purpose – see above.

Apparent disunity in caucus is one of Labour’s biggest problems. Not addressed.

And in relation to your plan to raise the age of superannuation entitlement, would you not concede that this impacts most unfairly on our Maori and Pasifika citizens who at this point have a lower life expectancy?

Absolutely acknowledge the need to be fair. And its about more than impacts upon manual labour (covered briefly above)

The most important thing is to continue to reduce that unfairness through the right health and work policies. My fear is that under the current government, with increasing inequality the life expectancy gap will again widen.

How is it possible to justify keeping more people in the work force for longer, when we are already short of roughly a quarter million full time jobs?

You touch on one of the biggest challenges facing social democracy world wide.

How do you fairly share work and income in the face of technological and demographic change?

Yes, part of the answer lies in economic development, but that will not be enough.

Unless we in social democracy get this right, we will see increasing gaps.

I just about wrote a book on this very issue about 20 years ago. Sharing available work through encouraging penal rates for overtime, sharing of jobs, care re immigration etc – its a complex picture that I am very interesting.

But spending ever more on super than education is not a solution.

This is a vague answer for “one of the biggest challenges facing social democracy world wide” that Parker has been aware of for twenty years.

Over and over the Labour caucus seems to have minimal patience for providing the support needed to keep Party Leaders around and enable them to hit their best. How would you seek to change this dynamic?

Leadership engenders trust. Success breeds success.

I think the key lies in agreeing our purpose and focus. That is not to deny the relevance of other issues, but you can’t emphasise everything.

Caucus will rally around whoever is selected as leader. The will too.

This will have to be seen to be much improved on how it’s been over the last few years but it’s unlikely to just happen.

Have you ever been a union member and where do you stand on awards or industry bargaining?

Yes, but in recent decades I’ve been self employed.

I want employers to invest in productivity and reward workers rather than competing down wage rates.

I agree with our policy to encourage industry bargaining.

As the UN declaration of human rights records, this is one of the most important human rights.

Do you support NZ parliamentary recognition of a Palestinian state? If so, how will you go about facilitating this?

Yes. I certainly think Palestine has a right to exist and to stop encroachments by Israel.

Do you support party members having greater say and participation with caucus? If no, why not? If yes, what more and what new initiatives would you promote?

In terms of day to day decisions, the platform already binds caucus. The party also controls who is in caucus. Caucus has the mandate and duty to take day to day decisions within these parameters, and I would not change that.

What affect is the democratization of our party having on the parliamentary wing.

It’s a bit messy at times like this, but overall it works.

Where do you stand on the subject of abortion and any potential reforms?

My mother was active in ALRANZ during my youth. I believe in the fundamental right of women to choose. The criminal code is out of date.

ALRANZ – Abortion Law Reform Association.

How urgent do you consider it to be to fix housing?

Would you start with a single parent/s in a boarding house with a young child/ren, (not at school) or with a family purchasing their first home or else where first?

There are two main part to solving this crisis.

Kiwibuild addresses one part.

The other is social housing. Boarding houses are part of it.

The thing that vexes me most is the plight of the mentally unwell, who need forms of secure and afford housing, with allied health services to help them and those around them. We have not got this mix right since de-institutionalisation, and it’s overdue.

HOW, to quote the great Sir Ed, to “knock the bastard off” and reclaim the govt, for not only Labour, but the wider ‘left’?

Hard work, focus, unity.

We have the opportunity to leverage off the 100th anniversary on the founding of the Labour Party.

Lets make it a milestone not a tombstone.

So many great achievements to celebrate and build upon.

If we can’t leverage off this, we should be sacked.

Using this disastrous election as a learning experience, how do you think the relationships between possible progressive coalition parties and Labour should be addressed by the Labour Party in next election period?

We have to give confidence in the left. That’s why DotCom was a disaster because that was an impossible task.

Respect and mature behaviour are important.

But we must never stop competing for votes, especially the party vote.

We cannot succeed (or maybe even survive) as a subset of a subset of a subset..

We must be the main party of the left.

This doesn’t acknowledge the nature of MMP.

Obviously Labour wish to remain strong, (large) however please consider the advantages of cooperation and not solely competition.

Dotcom was never going to be in parliament – that really should have been pointed out ad infinitum to the New Zealand public by members of the left.

New Zealanders are fed so much rubbish, it needs to be countered strongly, again and again – not responded to as though the propaganda has some truth, because it doesn’t

Please Mr Parker, and Labour, please look into stronger counter propaganda.

Fair point.

Maybe we would have fared better if Nicky Hager’s book had been titled “Abuse of Power”, or if it had been released earlier (perhaps impossible).

It is ironic that DotCom donated to John Banks, not Labour and that it was Labour that kept Internet Mana out of Parliament. And that the deals in Epsom and Ohariu Belmont were unprincipled.

The proposed sale of 20,000 state houses is a disaster. What action do you suggest the activists take to stop it?

The biggest action anyone can take is to help change the government. I want us all to rally to the cause. Activism is to be celebrated, and is what causes the media to keep interested. This will reinforce the concerns of many fair minded kiwi voters.

Response:

and that is an question not answered – spoken like a true politician.

we are still fudged.

The economy is a subset of the environment. Discuss.

I love that quote. A barren environment will not support any economy. Its as simple as clean water and the air we breath.

It comes from an economist at the World Bank – Herman Daly. I used it in a speech earlier in the year titled “You can have both – Labour’s Alternative to National Destructive Environmental Policies”

https://www.labour.org.nz/media/you-can-have-both-labours-alternative-nationals-destructive-environmental-policies

Are you aware that there is a conflict with centrist narratives being created by National, (propaganda based on people’s lesser natures and ignorance of wider issues) and left wing principles?

If so, how do you intend to address this problem?

Helen Clark took the centre and moved it. John Key has taken and moved it back.

My job is to reshape New Zealand’s political consensus, by reframing these narratives in a way that is consistent with Labour values, which are at their heart Kiwi values.

This means pushing economic fairness, which is not to deny the importance of other values. I set out my vision in my speech to congress earlier this year.

I am clear and resolute about this. I want us to stand for more than equality of opportunity (a term narrowed by the Nats). I want more equal outcomes.

If you do too, then vote for me to be your leader because I am confident I can carry the party and the country to this end.

Read more here:

https://www.labour.org.nz/media/speech-david-parkers-speech-new-zealand-labour-party-congress-2014

How do you propose to bring into line the tiny handful of caucus leakers who, in my view, have done more to bring Labour into disrepute than anything or anyone else?

I maintain a high standard myself, and expect the same of others.

Integrity and discipline are fundamental. Unless we show unity, NZers will not trust us to unify the country.

I also believe that a high trust model more often succeeds than threats.

Where trust is broken, there should be consequences.

You failed to hold onto an electorate seat. Do you believe young politicians should have to fight in local govt and electorate seats before being given a good place on the List?

I arrived in parliament after the biggest upset win in the 2002 election. I am proud I took the Otago seat from the National. Knocked off their ag spokesperson!

I worked bloody hard to hold it. I increased my personal and party votes at the next election, but still lost in the face of the swing to National.

I think a range of life experience is important. We are weaker if we are all the same. Competence must always be the primary criteria. That includes organisational experience.

What is your stance on the TPPA?

Cautious. Acting in New Zealand’s best interest must be the fundamental duty.

Its the investment protocols that we must take care about.

Well aware of the many hooks. Investor- State dispute resolution, possible curbs on SOEs, improper extensions to scope and term of patents and copyright, rights to regulate.

ie we must protect our sovereignty.

If NZ cannot get good outcomes as per above, then maybe the best outcome would be a deadlock.

One million voters never voted (again) in 2014. What single issue/policy would you believe could get those “unknowns” to the polling booth in 2017 to cast a vote for Labour?

There is no single issue, but trust and confidence that Labour relevant to them are key.

Would you consider working strategically with the Greens in the next election to win electorates? What about Mana?

In my opinion Kiwis do not understand MMP and the primacy of the Party vote. Can we change that?

Which parties would you rule out of joining in a Coalition government?

Absolutely agree the lack of understanding re the Party vote. Fed also by the actions of our competitors.

We must communicate BETWEEN elections. Too many people hear nothing from us.

Our comms must include info about how the Party vote elects the government.

See above for my perspective on building our share of party vote and working with potential coalition parties.

What do you think of the solutions to inequality as proposed by Prof. Thomas Piketty, in his recent publication, “Capital in the 21st Century”?

Unless we tax all income (including capital income) the gaps will grow ever larger. A modern form of fuedalism, where concentrations of assets will substitute for large land estates, and wage earners and beneficiaries will become modern day serfs.

Hi David, do you like beer and rugby? Beaches and BBQs?
I hope the next Labour leader can show that s/he’s “one of us”

Bob Hawke would still scull a jug faster, but I have been King of the Table many a night at the rugby club.

I played rugby for many years, then soccer socially until I was elected. My tennis is OK. I tramp and I ski (downhill and back country).

I love a hot day watching the cricket with friends.

My surfing is pretty appalling, but I still try. I fish a bit, cut the grass and am a decent builder. I hate gib stopping, and don’t like painting much more than that.

I have a heavy traffic licence, and have had a wide variety of jobs.

I love art.

I love life and look forward to voters getting to know me better.

Has anyone ever referred to you as a quick thinker?

I must say I am impressed by the speed of your answers, yet they have some depth.

Duh. (note the proper punctuation)

Some openness about the problems you faced as deputy to DC would be appreciated. People can be pretty understanding if you’re open with them.

Not appropriate for me to reply. Sorry.

I’m interested in the balance between environmental imperatives (which require a long-term approach) and finance/employment/regional development agendas (which tend to be more short to medium term). What would a Labour Party you led do about things like strengthening our emissions trading scheme or introducing a carbon tax? How about pulling back the ongoing drive into more and more dairying? Giving more support to public transport…?

The ETS can be easily fixed, by making the price real (by excluding or restricting overseas emission rights, leaving the NZ emission rights short),

Both an ETS and a carbon tax can work. Indeed, they are very similar. The ETS is better then the Green’s version of a carbon tax bc of how it works in forestry (and therefor the balance between dairy and forestry).

I live in Dunedin. We feel like our services and high-value jobs are slowly being pulled away (e.g., the funding formula for health services does not work for spread out areas like the Southern District Health Board). I’m sure there are other small cities and regional centres that feel the same. Any comments?

Re services in the provinces, I agree. Efficiencies from IT do not mean that all the centralisation that follows should be to Wellington.

Rating Labour’s contenders

There’s been much comment and naming of preferences of Labour’s leadership contenders at The Standard, as can be expected.

An interesting list of priorities from ‘Ad':

1. Unite the caucus and members and affiliates
2. Appeal to Labour voters and swing voters
3. Could form a credible alternative government with the Greens and NZFirst
4. Can beat Key on the campaign

The above is both sequence and weighting. I’m holding my nose on ideology for now.

I think that’s a fair and realistic call.

Each contender is then measured against this list:

Robertson
1. Hard to unite caucus and members.
2. Will have appeal if media framed well
3. Could form coalition
4. Reasonable chance against Key

Mahuta
1. Limited caucus support.
2. Appeals to base but no more.
3. Could form coalition if she can work hard enough
4. Slow and boring on campaign

Parker
1. Struggle to unite.
2. Broad regional and business appeal
3. Too dry for easy coalition
4. Would struggle against Key

Little
1. Would unite more of caucus, and certainly members
2. Would appeal, if heavily media-trained and well framed. If.
3. Would be strong forming coalition
4. Would currently struggle against Key

In the main that looks like a fair appraisal.

Three years from the next election it’s difficult to estimate how any of them would stand up against John Key during a campaign.

I disagree with needing to be “heavily media-trained”, or at least appearing to be heavily trained. That seemed to stuff up Shearer big time and it didn’t do Cunliffe much good either.

Voters sense an act and a non-genuine politician far more readily than they listen to poliparrot waffle.

Whoever becomes the next leader has to improve substantially on their current profile and performance as well as unite and substantially improve Labour’s performance (caucus and party).

Can a mix of caucus, affiliates and party members pick a leader of the future? It’s not easy at the best of times.

Andrew Little at The Standard

Andrew Little had a Q & A at The Standard yesterday, a fairly demanding political environment. He disappointed some and gave tentative hope to others.

Little’s post statement:

I’d like to say thanks to the Standard for hosting me today. I’ve always enjoyed robust political meetings and I’m a firm believer in fronting up and answering the hard questions.

Labour is a great party. Our movement’s values are values that New Zealanders share – we’re a party and a nation that believes deeply in everyone getting a fair go and working together.

But make no mistake, to beat National in 2017 we need to build a united Labour team: not just within caucus but between caucus, the party, our affiliates, and our supporters.

We need to listen to New Zealanders, to engage with their issues. To campaign alongside New Zealanders as equals and to grow our allies and our support.

That’s something I have a lot of experience in. As the leader of the EPMU for 11 years, I undertook a careful and strategic reshaping of the union to turn it into a campaigning organisation that engaged powerfully with the public on the big issues – better wages, more jobs, and economic and social justice. I also engaged constructively with many New Zealand businesses, big and small and understand the need for a positive environment to generate jobs and pay good wages.

Labour needs a cohesive and inclusive plan to rebuild our movement and restore New Zealanders’ trust in us. We’ve always been the party that puts people first and takes the long view. It’s time to make those principles the core of how we organise ourselves.

I’m going to release a more thorough outline of my plans for rebuilding our movement in the near future but I have made it clear that one part of that will be renewing our policy.

We have great policies, but there are a lot of them, many are complex and we didn’t communicate them well to New Zealanders. We must review and simplify without losing sight of our vision and values. This is the debate we must have as a party and as a movement.

I have real concerns about our policy to raise the age of superannuation. Too many Kiwis already work long hours for not enough pay. It is unfair to ask them to work two more years.

We must also never lose sight of the fact that Parliament is just one part of a much broader Labour movement. Our members, our supporters, and our affiliates are everyday New Zealanders from all walks of life and from communities across the country and have valuable talents and experience. We must work to bring our movement back together and grow it.

Labour’s power has always been in its people. We need to unify and focus that power and together we must use it to make sure every Kiwi gets a fair go. Being a modern and democratic movement is how we win.

Andrew Little

Tight moderation was promised, and those able to comment at The Standard don’t represent a cross-section of Labour membership. Edited questions with Little’s responses:

What is your vision of the Labour party under your leadership if you win?

I want to see a party that is reflective of New Zealand and confident about addressing the real issues facing us as a country: growing inequality, intolerable child poverty, and our environmental reputation at risk.

IMO, making our system more democratic is essential lest parliament and MPs fall further into disrepute. Participatory democracy is critical for our social cohesion and economic well being.

My preferred solution is binding citizen initiated referendums.

Your opinion, please.

We do need to make changes to MMP to ensure a fairer representation in Parliament. I don’t agree with binding referenda. In places like California we’ve seen the results of binding referenda and they’re not pretty.

Which of Labour’s policies would you keep, which would you drop? Any new policies in mind?

As I’ve said in the post, we need to review our policies without losing sight of our vision and values. I do personally have some issues around raising the superannuation age.

It’s not about new policies, it’s about good policies.

You’ve said all our policies need to be reviewed. Do you have a clear vision for what should stay and what should go? And would you be open to more membership input to policy selection?

Voters want to hear policies that will fix today’s problems and set us up for a strong future. Those are the principles we need to review our policies on, because we don’t get to do anything unless we’re in government.

Members having input into policy setting is vital.

How would you describe the difference between a Labour* governed NZ to a National governed NZ to someone who believed they are both much the same?

A Labour government I lead would make sure everyone gets a fair go: people at work, business owners and entrepreneurs, people working for the good of the community, families. People need to know the odds aren’t stacked against them, and that others aren’t getting an unfair advantage.

National governments govern for the few.

That sounds like bland regurgitated left wing talking points.

A question from Redbaiter was allowed through:

If elected Labour leader, would you support any plans to wind back National’s recently introduced regulations that have so severely disincentivised the oil exploration industry?

Permit costs are a fraction of the total cost of oil exploration, but oil companies are lining up for permits. This summer will see another significant exploration programme being rolled out, so I’m not convinced the regulations are the problem.

From ‘mickysavage’ (Greg Presland), who is closely connected to David Cunliffe:

The last election did not go so well for us!

But it seems that at an electorate level results were reasonably good. After all we won 5 extra electorate seats. Results will be out next week but my impression is that Labour would have won 35% of the electorate vote but only 25% of the party vote. In an MMP environment this is not a good result.

Any thoughts on this and what would you do to bring it back?

Once again, we didn’t run a strong enough party vote campaign. This is an area we need to improve.

“Our movement’s values are values that New Zealanders share”

Really? How do you explain the thrashing that Labour received at the polls? You cannot get away with empty rhetoric like this as it does not mean anything, clearly.

I’m a Labour supporter by the way.

The overwhelming sentiment of hundreds of messages I’ve received this week is that people who support Labour values couldn’t bring themselves to vote Labour this time.

New Zealanders do care about each other, and do want a safe and egalitarian society to live in. Only a Labour-led government will truly address inequality and child poverty.

1. Do you personally support decriminalising abortion?

On abortion, I support reviewing our current law, which is nearly 40 years old.

2. As leader of the Labour Party, what will you do to help rectify the fact that Labour has drastically failed to reach 45% women in caucus?

In the last election, we had a great line-up of women candidates like Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Liz Craig and Rachel Jones (to name just a few), but our poor showing in the polls meant they didn’t get elected. The best answer to getting more women into caucus is performing better in the next election.

Part of Labour’s problem was they won more electorate seats which is up to the ability of the candidates to attract votes, and this meant gender balancing their list was less effective. If the stacked their list with women and did better they would risk swinging the imbalance the other way.

How do you see that ‘long view’ you speak of fitting in with the scientific community now informing us that a mean average surface temperature of 4 degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures can reasonably be expected by around 2040 – 2050?

I agree with David Parker on this – undoubtedly we need to move to a low-carbon economy. It’s critical for the environment but also for our economic future. That’s why I stand by Labour’s position on strengthening the ETS and developing our low-carbon-intensive industries.

Do you support deep sea oil drilling and the expansion of the coal industry? While there are job here wouldn’t it be better to put more investment into clean tech industries where there are also job opportunities?

Our economy and the world economy is in transition from one dependent on fossil fuels to one much less dependent on them. Until we can secure alternative forms of transport energy, amongst other things, there will continue to be a demand for oil. The critical thing is that all possible safeguards against environmental damage and for worker safety are in place. With deep-sea drilling in particular this means things like new exploration techniques, and I’d want to be satisfied that it can be done safely and that there were plans and resources in place in case of any incident.

As long as we use steel, we will need coal. And I definitely want to see us create an environment which puts more investment into clean tech industries.

As a green, I’d be interested to know whether you would work on a targeted and specific plan with the Greens over the next 3 years to ensure a progressive and compassionate team takes the next election.

I’m keen to work closely with the Greens as a likely future coalition partner. But Labour’s challenge is to grow its vote, which I’m utterly committed to.

Also would you support sending troops to fight IS?

Of course New Zealand has to play its role in international security, but I’m not sure we know what we’re getting into with IS and I wouldn’t commit troops until the public had a real sense of what was being asked of our troops and the environment they’re being asked to go into.

Could you please comment on the possibility of embracing Mana in future elections, in the same way that Labour previously worked with Jim Anderton, and National is successfully working with Act and United Future?

And…

Come 2017, if IP or Mana or IMP hold seats and are the make or break for Labour forming govt, will you choose the opposition benches or choose one of those parties’ support on C and S?

The problem with IMP is it looked and was highly opportunistic and they were rejected by voters. They’re not in Parliament now, and I don’t see them being in coalition with us.

Voters are entitled to get a clear signal from us about who our likely coalition partners would be and as leader of the Labour Party I would ensure that happens.

How familiar are you with the issues about the WINZ abatement process for beneficiaries earning extra income, where income above $100/wk is deducted at a % (before tax)?

The abatement rules were written for a time that had different work culture and patterns in NZ. Now many people are completely reliant on a benefit for part of the time, or all of the time and only able to pick up part time or casual work, so the abatement process works against them because they can’t get a full time, permanent position and get off the benefit. This is more difficult for people on the DPB, sickness benefit, and people in areas where casual or P/T work is more common, because all those people are unlikely to move into permanent full time jobs. Even worse if paying childcare.

The corollary of this is that some workplaces can’t get staff eg homehelp agencies in rural areas where they don’t have enough funded client hours to offer someone a full time job. Often the only people available/willing to do the low paid work are women on the DPB, but they can only work limited hours before they’re penalised financially and so turn down some of the work.

I’m aware there are also fairness issues here for full time low wage workers.

It seems a very complex situation. Has Labour done or intending to do any work on ways to solve these problems?

It is a complex question, requiring a complex answer. I agree with you that the relationship between rules about benefits and employment conditions need to be reviewed so people don’t lose opportunities but also aren’t left impoverished.

Does it worry you that all five of the candidates standing for leadership are white, middle class, middle aged men?

Yes, and the challenge for the next leader is to develop the amazing talent we have right across the caucus, including our women MPs and our much larger Māori and Pasifika caucus.

Given that the global carbon budget is rapidly diminishing, ie we are heading for a 4 degree world, why do you think oil companies lining up for permits is going to be good for our economy, long-term?

There is no question we need to do more to encourage more productive investment in clean tech industries as part of the transition to a lower-carbon economy.

If you miss out being elected the leader would you be happy being the deputy and taking on the role of uniting the Labour caucus?

Regardless of the outcome of the leadership contest, I’m totally committed to doing whatever I can to improve the way caucus functions, to improve the relationship with the party, and to set us up to win in 2017.

National’s strength is Key. Kiwis for reasons that escape me like him and trust him. How would you as leader expose the PMs weakness and gain the voters trust and respect and what now seems important to be liked by the electorate?

A lot of people have written to me to tell me they don’t like Key or National but they vote for them anyway. Beating Key will take an incredible, united and hard-working opposition.

As leader will you demand a full commission of inquiry into the criminal allegations and abuses of power highlighted in Nicky Hager’s recent book, and others which have come to light since its publication?

Yes.

You have said that there were too many big, abstract policies during the last campaign and that people voted for stability. You’ve also said that Labour needs to meet people’s concerns rather than trying to shift their opinions. these are both reasonable statements, but how would you ensure that a party you led did more than just follow opinion polls, and took a leading role in shaping the political landscape and developing concrete solutions to social, environmental and political issues?

If I were elected leader, I would like to take a few months to get out and talk to New Zealanders. Kiwis are pretty open-minded, you’ve just got to know where to start with them, and I don’t think we did.

Team building skills – what would you do differently?

A really big question, but I’ve brought together a large political campaigning organisation in the past, and I can do it again.

How do you expect to lead the Labour Party when you’ve had such a horror time as Labour candidate for New Plymouth? I want to support you but worry when you talk about running a party vote campaign when you have no experience of winning and holding an electorate.

The leadership I’m offering is to get caucus working well and to work with the party to get it functioning well. I’m confident that with the skills I’ve got I can achieve these things, and the feedback I’ve had over the last week from many people across New Zealand suggests they’re confident I can too.

Do you believe the Caucus is out of synch with the Membership and that a number of MPs need to be moved on?

As I said, Labour’s power has always been its people. We need to unify and focus that power. There’s great people in caucus, and great talent across the whole movement, and we need to pull it all together and point it in the same direction – that’s winning in 2017.

“The overwhelming sentiment of hundreds of messages I’ve received this week is that people who support Labour values couldn’t bring themselves to vote Labour this time.”

Did they mention the three most “overwhelming” reasons why? If so could you please tell us – even two would do. Thank you

– Our policies
– We just didn’t look ready to go.

There were mixed responses to this. Some weren’t happy with Little’s answers but some people will never be satisfied unless they have a leader in their own image, while others thought it as a good enough start.

wekasawshark:

That went reasonably well I thought. To start with the replies seemed too pat and vision blah blah, but once he got into the swing of things it definitely improved.

I like how Little says ‘Labour-led government’ :twisted:

There’s a suspicion they may have been a Mana candidate.

Manuka – Ancient Order of Rawsharks:

Here is someone who, given 3 years could win back however many of the missing million, take on JK and, in coalition with the Greens, lead the next gov.

My only hesitation is about “taking off a few months to talk to the people and find out their concerns”. Haven’t others before him tried that with less than great results? By the time the new leader returns the masses are restless and asking “Why no action?” … and the party in power have begun various sabotage strategies.

The main concerns of the people have been ringing out for a fair while now; they should be more than apparent. It is time to hit the ground running, imo.

Clemgeopin:

On a top score of 10, I would score Little a 6.

Some answers were waffle, some were ambiguous/unclear, some were promising and some quite good. None were outstanding.

5 or 6 out of 10….say, 5.5

Hanswurst:

I didn’t think that was terribly informative, tbh. Most of the answers were fairly noncomittal, and in that respect I see more parallels with Shearer than anything else. When the clearest commitment is that he is going to get out and listen to the views of New Zealanders for a couple of months, that doesn’t really speak for a strong vision; it’s a laudable endeavour in itself, but I would have thought the readership here would have been more interested in finding out what attitudes he already has and exactly what he might be interested in asking “New Zealanders”, who are a diverse bunch who will probably say a lot of different things that can be interpreted in all sorts of different ways.

It sounds very much like he was hedging his bets and not wanting to commit to anything that might frighten horses of any hue before the leadership election. That’s fine and presumably inevitable, but I still got the impression that Cunliffe managed to say a lot more in the same context in similar situations on here in the past.

My worry with the general narrative of, “Our policies are too complex and we need to listen to New Zealanders” sounds suspiciously like code for, “We need to move towards the centre (i. e. the right)”.

Murray Rawshark:

He came across to me as totally unprepared and full of glib phrases. In fact, he seems to be a mix of Key and Shearer. Someone standing for leader of the largest opposition party should have some idea what the problems are before they stand. They should not have to do a bloody Tiki Tour to figure out what’s going on.
4/10

Sabine:

what did Mr. Little actually say in all of his answers? nothing much but corporate speech as he will be different to all the others because?

oh dear.

really
just oh dear….we are so fucked.

Cave Johnson:

What did you expect? A leader who was egotistical enough to think they get to decide policy and can whip everyone into shape would be a disaster. All he can do is suggest some areas for focus and set the tone and general direction and try to engender loyalty and support through competence.

A leader needs to connect with the public and members and show respect for democratic processes and individuals. I don’t know Andrew very well, but those are the kinds of things I will be assessing him on in the next few weeks.

There should be many chances to assess Little and the other contestants over the next few weeks.

It will be important to see how communication with the hoi poloi evolves over the leadership campaign. Little is less experienced at this level than Cunliffe, Shearer and Parker.

People who might be leaders need to demonstrate that they can step up to the level of competence required. Labour’s last three leaders, Phil Goff, David Shearer and David Cunliffe all failed to impress enough.

They were competing against a leader and a party in the political box seat but none of them came rose enough to the position.

Hence the continued search for the potential leader who can breath life into a languishing Labour first and then compete as the possible face of the next government..

Mana candidate reveals online identity?

There’s an open implication at The Standard that a Mana candidate has been operating under a pseudonym there during the election campaign.

It appears that ‘Weka’ is Pat O’Dea, “electrician and union activist, Auckland” who stood in the Epsom electorate for Mana and was thirteen on the Internet-Mana list.

In this year’s campaign Weka was actively promoting the Mana Party and Internet Mana at The Standard without disclosing any  party affiliation or candidacy – but he posted (as Guest) under his own name at The Daily Blog.

In 2011 Weka seems to have taken a break from commenting during the campaign period at The Standard.

Lyn Prentice, who often tries to deny the degree of political subterfuge at The Standard, appears to know Weka/O’Dea personally so will have been actively allowing the anonymous campaigning. That’s his call of course but it makes some of his claims over the years about a distance between parties and The Standard look more dubious.

It seems to have been a quiet self outing of identity.

A week after the election there was a ‘Guest’ post at The Standard – Pick up the ball – that was openly authored:

Pat O’Dea

Mana Movement climate change spokesperson

The first comment:

Rosie 1

Kia Ora Pat. Nice post :-)

Followed by:

weka 1.1

thanks Rosie.

If that was accidental I would expect O’Dea/Weka would have asked lprent to remove the comments, so it is an unnoticed mistake or was knowingly revealed.

That is the only comment by ‘Weka’ on the thread and appears to be the last comment by ‘Weka’ (until a rush of comments today by “wekarawshark’ which may have an explanation).

Pat O’Dea starts to comment further on in the thread associated with his post, and has continued since, also commenting today. It wouldn’t be the first time someone has commented under multiple identities at The Standard, I’ve seen “whoopsies”.

Pat, Weka or Lynn will no doubt clarify on this if they see fit.

The Standard can operate however it likes, there is already not much credibility about claims of party independence there.

But a party candidate operating under a pseudonym in social media during an election campaign is not being open and honest with the public. I can only presume that the party would know this was happening.

Weka has a history of some reasonable comment but has also resorted to nastiness and abusiveness at times including a few shots at me. He has also been actively involved in trying to shut people and opinions he didn’t agree with out of The Standard and seems to pop up before and after an lprent ban at times.

Perhaps it was felt that dirty blog politics should not be risked being linked to Mana during the campaign.

Pat O’Dea profile at Key Wiki.

I’m not the only one who sees a link - see it pointed out here.

If what appears to be the case is not I’ll update here with a clarification.

Left troll good, right troll bad

In contrast to Kiwiblog’s tentative steps to clamp down on abusive behaviour The Standard continues to hand out bans almost left, right and centre – the left of the left continue to abuse with impunity while unwelcome contributors are excluded with bans, often accompanied by a tone setting abusive lecture from Lyn Prentice.

Here are examples of abuse and bans on a single thread at The Standard yesterday.

Hard left regulars can be abusive and make unsupported assertions while relatively innocuous responses can cop a harsh ban:

infused

cry me a river.

Another regular abuser makes an unproven assertion – “Prime Minsiter’s Office stealing”…

One Anonymous Bloke6.

Prime Minsiter’s Office stealing NZLP membership data and credit card details. Perpetrators admitted emails boasting of the crime are genuine. Prime Minister’s Office confessing crime to NZLP.

Open and shut case: a theft from the opposition by the government.

Your position: to cheer and wave a little Quisling flag.

  • Del Griffith

    I’m not sure why you saw fit to say I was waving a Quisling flag when I asked a genuine question. I don’t think people should be able to hack into other peoples computers and write books based on the stuff they find in there and profit from it.

    [lprent: That is an assertion that is defamatory, not supported by any facts, and recklessly puts this site into danger. Plus you look like a simple troll with your brains in a tiny deformed dick that you obsessively pump as you comment. Banned permanently. Don't come back ]

..and a relatively reasonable response cops a permanent ban, plus some typical abuse from the ‘moderator’. Yeah, his blog etc etc but he sets the tone and gives favoured lefties a free shot at anyone and typically if the target reacts he bans them.

It can’t be defamatory when it is a general comment and not directed at anyone in particular.

framu 

“He published stolen emails.”

ok – real slowly now – everyone clap along so infused can keep track

He published stolen emails. – AS…. A…. JOURNALIST. – not as an MP sneaking about someones computer system or as a hate blogger

Granted 

Oh, so are journalists entitled to steal emails?

[lprent: Asserting a crime that never happened - which is defamatory. Banned for simple trolling and simply being too stupid to be bothered with as well. ]

Being “too stupid” is Lynspeak for making the wrong arguments so the excising of unwelcome opinions continues although in this case it’s unclear how long the ban is.

Naki man

“they raid journalists over the tea cup tapes…

what is your definition of a journalist?’

This so called journalists hid a microphone at the table,
the smart arse little prick should have lost his job.

[lprent: You mean hidden like this?

See that wee bag in the foreground - that is it being "hidden"

Take 2 weeks off for bullshitting just a tad too much. If you want to make myths up, then do them on your own time. Stop wasting mine looking up an image for you. ]

A response to the ‘Infused’ ban:

greywarbler

Infused is hardly a worthy RW commenter is he. Just a twisted, sneering little twerp. If we want anyone to argue with, we actually can do that amongst ourselves without providing him with his perverse pleasure.

[lprent: I came to that conclusion after reading a series of his comments today. He needed time to refresh himself away from this site. So I gave him that time. ]

One Anonymous Bloke and Weka both abuse with impunity and both have been involved in actions aimed at driving away or prompting bans of commenters they don’t like.

On just the one thread One Anonymous Bloke continues a string of abusive comments and highly questionable claims with no moderator demands to provide evidence.

  • PS: Oh look everyone: a National Party representative advocating that the Police use powers of search and seizure to punish witnesses.
    No wonder the National Party are trash with that attitude.
  • Didn’t take you long to expose your true character, did it, Wormtongue.
  • Keep denying reality, you already look like a complete idiot.
  • They’ll be raiding Slater and the Prime Minister’s Office to ascertain exactly who in that office hacked the New Zealand Labour Party’s computers, stealing membership and credit card details, any day now.
    Unless they’re enemies of society, operating under double standards, that is.
  • So Slater is either a thief or a perjurer, just to bring you up to speed.
  • Are you witless as well as ignorant? You’ve already been informed of the Police complaint.
    We need better wingnuts.
  • Please try and get up to speed Mike: Slater gave evidence in the High Court that the emails are genuine. In the emails he boasts about stealing credit card and membership details from the NZLP with as-yet un-named accomplices from the Prime Minister’s Office.
  • Please stop exposing your cretinous ignorance in public. You’re a joke.
  • It seems to you, and no-one else. Evidence that the Prime Minsiter’s Office has admitted to be true: they stole from the NZLP, doesn’t seem to concern you.
    That’s because you’re either mendacious or ignorant or twisted by bias. Which is it?
  • No murder has taken place. The theft, on the other hand, has already been acknowledged by the perpetrators, although the Prime Minister’s Office (which has also acknowledged its part in the crime) is harbouring one of the accused.

That’s a common tone day after day. One Anonymous Bloke has an undisclosed connection with Labour (lprent discloses a long time connection) and this image is quite damaging to the Labour Party.

It’s also quite ironic on a blog with frequent claims that ‘dirty politics’ only comes from National.

It’s not about reasonable or balanced discussion, it’s about ‘fun':

Once Was Tim 

Back to Hobbitville – the trolls there are just funny rather than frustrating me with their UTTER stupidity despite lprent’s valiant efforts.

[lprent: I don't try to eliminate them. I just try to keep the rabbits down to an acceptable level. Why would I spoil the fun. ]

Another regular from the left gets far more lenient treatment for making a far more blatant assertion, this accusation against a Labour MP and leadership contender:

Colonial Viper

Grant has solid left wing values, and stood up for the membership’s right to be heard and involved in that process, while still being a respectful chair and a loyal deputy leader.

I’m sure that is the case. However, a large number of notable MPs voted against the inclusive, democratic leadership selection process that the NZLP now uses. Grant Robertson was one of them.

[lprent: Offhand I can't think of anyway to prove this one way or another unless you were watching him in the 2012 conference. There are no records of the hand or card votes there down to branches or people. If you want to assert that, then you should also say how you know otherwise I will satrt getting finicky. KL below is completely correct in their objection. ]

If someone deemed from the right (which means moderate left to right) made an assertion like that (or probably if it was a similar claim against Cunliffe) proof would be demanded to avoid a ban. This accusation was strongly refuted…

  • Keir Leslie

    That is a bare faced lie. Robertson voted for, organised for, fought for, helped win us the inclusive, democratic process we use now.

    I don’t know how or if he voted on Cunliffe’s divisive and self-interested attempt to make it easier to roll a leader chosen by that inclusive and democratic process by giving a minority in caucus the ability to depose them. That was a different fight, and one the membership at conference was pretty closely divided on.

    But Robertson was a staunch driver of the party democratisation process, while making sure that the leader of the party wasn’t undermined.

  • Roztoz

    I was next to GR at that vote. He voted for democratisation.

    And that was only after a year of pushing the changes through caucus and keeping NZ Council and caucus talking on it.

…but no action was taken despite two witness accounts.

And on another recent thread an ominous response that hints that moderator mood could play a part in behaviour.

  • Don’t the Nat$i party supporters wish fisi !, why are they so afraid of DC?(why are you going so RED prime mincer?)

    [lprent: sigh, still auto-spamming. I will be back later so will look then if I am sober enough.. ]

Political blogs like The Standard and Whale Oil (which also bans prolifically) continue to do a disservice to political discussion. They seem to be vehicles for the egos of bloggers and little consideration is given to bettering democratic debate. That’s their choice.

Kiwiblog has it’s problems but at least the discussions are not politically biased by bans of unwanted opinions.

At The Standard it’s very much left troll good, right troll bad.

The term “troll” refers to someone who deliberately incites or disrupts a social media discussion but it is more often used as a pejorative meaning little more than “I don’t want you or your opinion here”.

On blogs irony is very common, rationality far less so. Noting that Kiwiblog and Whale Oil seem to carry significantly larger audiences than The Standard and acknowledging that Prentice likes to have the last word (often enforced with a ban) I’ll end with this “more rational” comment:

Many blogs won’t carry much of an audience because of what people write. The arseholes of the net will choose to hang off the self-destructive like Slater or dive into the older sewer at Kiwiblog. The more rational will come here or to Public Address or Transport Blog where the conversations may be robust but their comments can be heard.

Standard revulsion, repulsion and expulsion

Blog mirroring party – Labour leadership and party in turmoil, and the two trustees at The Standard spatting openly as well, with  Standard revulsion, repulsion and expulsion following.

A guest post by Fleur – A paean about Grant Robertson – was given some unwelcoming treatment by boss bully boy Lyn Prentice (lprent) – he abuses and/or bans anyone attacking authors, usually, unless it’s him doing the attacking.

I’d point out that Fleur wasn’t responsible for the Title, front page Excerpt, front page Featured image, or the cartoon of Grant Robertson in the post. So don’t give her a hard time about them. She just wrote the post body.

The others came from my cynicism when reading the body. Call it an aged Labour member having looked at something like 12 Labour leaders and their youthful supporters. Besides it is a good reminder to people posting that if they don’t put provide these things in then I might add them as I put them up :twisted:

The Webb cartoon is just there because it is a great image. It sets the standard for subsequent posts to have ones as well.

If you don’t know what a Paean is, then I’d suggest that you need to rectify your knowledge of ancient Greek culture.

Co-trustee Mike Smith, a different far more reasonable character altogether, pointed out the obvious:

As an even more aged Labour member I think we should treat our guests better than this – let them have their own say. And I know what a paean is

I’m on Mike’s (and others) side on that one, the disarray in Labour has gone to lprent’s head.

The usual ‘double Standard’ on display:lprent:

…Cunliffe’s challenge of Shearer…

Sounds like another moron using the Chris Hipkins myth from 2012. I have had people confidentially asserting that there is a lot of evidence supporting that particular assertion Cunliffe was planning a coup. I have yet to see anyone producing any evidence then or later that there was one.

I think that it was some idiots in caucus lying to media after they got upset about members voting in the leadership voting rule changes. Why were they idiots? Because it pissed off damn near everyone who was at that conference trying to get the change through and many of those opposing it.

So this is a friendly warning, If you want to use it, then produce something substantive to back it. Otherwise I’ll start treating you like I would any other troll when I get around to moderating.

boyonlaptop:

That is a tremendous double standard.
If you demand sources for one claim in these comments you should for all claims and quite frankly if you want to moderate comments like mine but ignore “It was Grant’s crew that rolled Shearer” than you’re just openly displaying your bias towards Cunliffe and your complete disregard for any dissenting opinion. Especially when I acknowledged that caucus comments about Cunliffe holiday were stupid.

Especially if you leave disgusting ones like this, “How elitist you are. What you call ‘homophobia’ is actually far more common than you wish, and it’s one of the reasons why Robertson would be a disaster. Homosexuals are intrinsically untrustworthy, as aside from anything else, they have their own brand of nepotism – and the general public tend to not like that” untouched. Quite frankly if that’s the moderating standard you operate on I have no desire to comment further on the Standard.

The “Homosexuals are intrinsically untrustworthy” comment was made by Deb Kean. It wasn’t moderated but two moderators/authors reacted:

Stephanie Rodgers: That’s a really horrible statement, Deb. There’s plenty to criticise each of the leadership candidates for without that kind of bigotry.

Karol: Deb has been expressing homophobic hate forever, as far as I’m aware. No reasoning with her changes that. I’ve tried in the past – she hasn’t been around here much in the past year.

New commenters at The Standard are being dissed just for being new commenters – a standard practice to drive away unwelcome opinion. For example:

Don’t believe everything you read from the National Party’s Research Unit – or are you just a Nat troll.

Not agreeing with the entrenched activists doesn’t help of course.

‘red blooded':

Well, I’m not new. I have been roundly abused many times for questioning what I see as group-think, though. In fact, Lprent told me yesterday that I am an idiot and must have been in nappies in the Clark years. (I have a Masters in Political Science and have been an activist since the Muldoon years.)

What’s my point? It can be very intimidating to raise your head and question the general flow of discussion on TS. It can be simplistic and over-hyped, but it’s not easy to point that out to people who only want to hear from those echoing exactly their viewpoint. I find it refreshing to see a different viewpoint being discussed seriously and think it’s great to hear from some new voices. Labour (& the left more generally) clearly need to do some fresh thinking and hear from a new generation of commentators. renewal doesn’t occur just within a closed group.

lprent:

Read the policy. The place is set up for “robust debate” and that means you will get called names. The standard that is used about abuse that it is not allowed to be “pointless abuse”. So if you don’t like something then say why. If you think someone is being an idiot then say so and why. Just be careful about doing it for the authors of a post.

If you want nice pleasant and superficially congenial debate then go to Public Address.

There are right-wingers who survive easily around here. You just have to stop being so damn precious.

It really really pays to read the about/policy of any site you comment on. That is how you avoid the common pitfalls.

If you really don’t like it, then start your own site and attract your own audience.

red blooded:

Absolutely. That doesn’t make it wrong to look at the pluses and minuses of each candidate, though. We should be respectful if each other and of the candidates, but it’s still refreshing to see some positive discourse about someone other than Cunliffe on this site.

[lprent: Perhaps you should look back over the posts for the last 60 posts (there are about 30 per top page) back to a few days after the election and point to any egregious numbers of posts for Cunliffe? I just did, and essentially it is a list of the announcements and events as the leadership challenge unfolded. Basically the authors are leaning over backwards to try to be reasonably balanced at present.

Commenters are a different story of course. But they aren't the people running the site.

Similarly the moderators are in charge of behaviour on this site. Not a random commenter. We really don't like stuck up dickheads trying to tell us how we should run the site.

Go and read the policy. You'll have time to do so as you're banned for 2 weeks for stupidity and wasting my time checking. ]

That’s a blog that complains about dirty politics.

red blooded had also said:

I see Grant Robertson as likeable and articulate. He’s certainly Labour through and through. While he’s personally ambitious, that’s also true of Cunliffe. Some here are accusing him of not fully backing the elected leader: I would say,
1) He gave his all to the last campaign, and 2) if we’re honest, Cunliffe was less than fully supportive of Shearer.

I didn’t vote for Robertson last time, mostly because of concerns about lack of Ministetial experience (although he has plenty of policy and admin experience). I might this time, mostly because I think Cunliffe has shown himself to be deeply flawed as a leader (especially in his actions and comments since the awful election result). I’d still like a 3rd choice, though…

Prentice left that comment, presumably because it would look too obvious, but waits until what looks like a very reasonable comment and bans. Standard practice.

The Standard leans heavily towards Cunliffe so it’s inevitable that Robertson supporters will get the usual treatment, revulsion repulsion and expulsion.

A party that desperately needs some major repairs and rebuilding is poorly served by a blog that promotes the worst of Labour.

Labour try to moderate members’ and blog behaviour

The Labour Party are trying to improve the behaviour of MPs and party members for the upcoming leadership contest. A letter has been emailed to members, and at least one blog has been requested to remove a post (which The Standard complied with).

Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports that a letter has been sent to Labour Party members in Labour member told to keep behaviour in check:

Labour’s President Moira Coatsworth has sent an email to all Labour Party members telling them to keep their behaviour in check during the upcoming leadership contest.

The party’s rules are require members and leadership candidates to abide by a code of conduct – and Ms Coatsworth was clearly keen to emphasise the importance of that.

“Robust exchanges about the merits of any candidate for leadership need to be based on performance and attributes which are relevant to their ability to be the Labour Leader. Members (including candidates for leadership) should not directly or indirectly refer to a candidate for leadership in a way which is denigrating or disrespectful.

“Members should be cautious to ensure that any statements they make are factually accurate and fair. They should ensure that any public comment on the candidates, the Party and the leadership election system uphold the status of the Party and its chances of election to Government, and do not bring it into disrepute.”

Mr Barnett said earlier today that the aim was to run a fair and democratic process and it was not unusual to try to stop damage by over zealous supporters when the candidates themselves were bound by a Code of Conduct.

Labour’s acting leader David Parker said he had given a similar message to the MPs.

The letter was posted by party member Phil Quinn.

Mr Quin took exception to the instructions, labelling them as “a sinister Orwellian gambit designed to restrict speech.” He wrote back to Ms Coatsworth asking who was charged with ruling on breaches of the rules and what the consequences were.

I agree with the principles of behaviour detailed by Coatsworth but you would think that telling people what they should or shouldn’t do in social media would be red rag to a bull.

Not so at The Standard where a post that was highly critical of Clayton Cosgrove has been removed at the request of Labour’s General Secretary Tim Barnett.

lprent: At the request of Tim Barnett, Labour’s returning officer, the Karen Price/Clayton Cosgrove post has been withdrawn during the primary.

lprent elaborates in a comment:

In a most unusual step, I had Tim Barnett, Labours general secretary, request that I remove the Clayton Cosgrove post.
Rather than make this leadership issue more corrosive than it already is and because I am sometimes moderately cooperative to polite requests. I have removed it from public view. It will be restored back to being visible after the election is completed.

This is unusual from someone who usually claims to be strongly independent of Labour MPs or party management (despite being a long time active party member).

How much will the party try to control what can be said in social media? And what will they do to members who don’t comply with their requests?

The Standard post:

Cosgrove, the whining MP

Written By:  - Date published:8:56 am, October 2nd, 2014 - 103 comments
Categories: blogs, Politics - Tags: 

In case anyone had missed it amongst the nasty and vicious level of attacks on David Cunliffe, Karen Price has been on twitter having a go at the people attacking her husband. As Brian Edwards put it in “Shock! Horror! Wife defends husband!!!!”

I suspect that she’d rather not be the wife of a politician. But the wife of a politician she is and he happens to be the newly resigned Leader of the Opposition and his party and much of the country has turned its face against him. And much of what is being said about Karen Price’s husband really isn’t very nice. Tough call!

Well, her method of attacking those who were attacking her husband might not have been well-advised and might have been lacking in Machiavellian subtlety, but you really have to admire it. “Good on you, Karen!” I say. “Well done!” “No apology required.” Those people are assholes anyway.

Amongst the various bits of media debris was this gem from an old fossil Clayton Cosgrove, Labour list MP talking about Karen Price :-

Mr Cosgrove said Mr Cunliffe must have known about his wife’s account.

“Let me put it this way. If my partner set up a Twitter account to attack members of the caucus I would know about it.”

Mr Cunliffe rejected this claim.

But I’d have to say that Clayton Cosgrove is an old fossil quite unsuited for the modern world. All his statement above does is that it makes me wonder what frigging century he is in and why is he so damn certain?

And  I’m not surprised that David Cunliffe wasn’t aware.

If my partner Lyn was twittering or facebooking about me then I am probably the least likely to know. She has her own life, her own career, and her own interests. She wouldn’t appreciate me trying to pry into them too much. I’m not trying to keep her in some weird arse kiwi version of purdah. Mostly I just like it if she keeps me apprised on when she is going to be bugging off to film on remote polynesian islands, on the border between India and China, Shanghai, and other interesting places without good internet connections.

Conversely of course Lyn really isn’t that interested in the minutiae of local politics and my daily grind at The Standard, she usually groans a bit when I start talking about it.

Plus she is more engaged with that side of the social nets than I am and I don’t have time to follow either my own twitter or facebook feed more than sporadically.

This is similar to his comment about blogs.

Mr Cosgrove said Labour MPs had been very loyal to their former leader, yet had repeatedly found themselves attacked on blogs and other places online.

Now I make allowances for our average technophobic MPs who don’t understand the cultures of the net that have grown up over the last 3 decades. But this whining by Cosgrove has several bits of outright bullshit.

Firstly, I’ve been aware of some of his habits of whining and leaking to the press for many years whenever he is unhappy. He really hasn’t changed his pattern. It  is the same old one that I recognize from observing Mike Moore many years ago of “senior Labour MP(s)” and “senior Labour figures” blabbing to the press. Now there are probably other MPs with the same traits, but his statements to someone reading it from the inside are pretty distinctive to lex. He is after all an old fossil stuck in old habits.

Secondly, dissatisfied caucus MPs haven’t been particularly silent in their unhappiness with having the party members imposing David Cunliffe on them. The leaking and whining has been less in the past few months, but it has persisted throughout this year and last. Comments from various people around Wellington suggest to me that he was in the core of the attacks on Cunliffe both before and after his accession to the leadership. It sounds right to me and certainly fits his pattern. That is just my opinion, but I am pretty sure that it is  correct.

Thirdly, the left bloggers don’t have that much interest in being directed by politicians, in fact we tend get irritated when some whining fool suggests it. Sure some of us are loyal to various politicians for reasons of long association, but that particular bias is usually quite evident and well signalled. We’re not interested in doing that daft backdoor creeping of semi-anonymous attribution to gallery journos that Clayton Cosgrove seems to specialise in.

Finally, I suspect that Clayton is feeling a bit stung by some of my comments after the election when he started his destabilisation campaign post election. But I merely said what I thought. Clayton can suck it up and live with it.

Welcome to the modern world of publishing. Having privileged access to the press gallery with its incestuous world of traded favours is less useful than it used to be. The cost of running a major political site is about $300/mo and a lot of skill. The people publishing there are as good as their credibility in their chosen audience.

That I have enough credibility to say such opinions and have them believed is the result of hard work over the past 7 years. It isn’t the result of being a Slater style sockpuppet for people who pay for or request opinions. That isn’t real blogging.

That post went up at 8.56 am and the last comment was made at 3.01 pm. Maybe Clayton did more than just suck it up, and lprent blinked.

The last paragraph in lprent’s post is particularly ironic.

How far are Labour going requesting withdrawal of online posts or comments? How balanced will compliance be?

UPDATE: Labour’s full email:

“The agreed principles of our leadership election process are:

democratic integrity and certainty;
transparency and fairness;
membership participation; and
Party growth.
If the process is to deliver this, it must be conducted in a spirit of respect and with the realisation that many from outside the Party are watching the process. This applies across mainstream and social media, our husting meetings, other Party meetings and the informal networks which we all have. The greater our discipline the stronger our foundation will be to unite behind the leader who is selected.

New Zealand Council last night agreed the following expectations for Party members.

Robust exchanges about the merits of any candidate for leadership need to be based on performance and attributes which are relevant to their ability to be the Labour Leader.

Members (including candidates for leadership) should not directly or indirectly refer to a candidate for leadership in a way which is denigrating or disrespectful.

Members should be cautious to ensure that any statements they make are factually accurate and fair. They should ensure that any public comment on the candidates, the Party and the leadership election system uphold the status of the Party and its chances of election to Government, and do not bring it into disrepute.
I ask all members to comply with these expectations throughout the process.

Standard blog banning spree

The Standard (mainly lprent) weeded out quite a few voices leading up to and during the election campaign. Assumptions that the bans would subside after the election may prove to be false.

Since the election:

sockpuppet

[deleted]

[lprent: 2 week ban as a gentle warning. ]

Richard McGrath

Deserved carnage. Great to see the odious Harawira get his come-uppance after selling his soul to a [deleted].

[lprent: You made an assertion of a probable defamatory fact and certainly the statement as a whole is defamatory as it carries no public interest. It is not worth us trying to defend. Banned for 6 weeks. ]

Beasely petes

15% this site was saying.

[lprent: No it wasn't. Banned for 2 weeks for the stupidity of saying that a computer has an opinion. Read the policy. ]

Ants

To be fair, the Labour Party own this blog, given the $$$ they put into it. It is a mouthpiece.

LP is the administrator.

[lprent: To be fair you are a lazy pig-ignorant dickhead who hasn't read the about. (BTW: Has anyone else noticed that people who use that phrase "To be fair" are usually about to lie by omission and innuendo?)

The Labour party have never put a cent into this site in 7 years (not that I'd want them to do so). If you read the about you will find that I largely paid for it myself where required (with slowly increasing donations from readers and authors) until early 2010. The costs of growing traffic and server costs started to exceed my ability to easily keep paying for it while I was dealing with a leaky home. Since then the adverts have mostly paid for it as the costs kept rising.

Right now the site owes my bank account something like $800 (I haven't had time to calc for it fully in the last month). That is due to very late arriving advertising revenue and a couple of UFBs that I brought to maintain the power supply.

However I have also managed to drop its $600-$700 per month running cost to $330 last month. That was despite a a near doubling of traffic and was due to spending a sizeable chunk of my 6 weeks holiday paid time between jobs in dropping the data transfer from about 1TB/month to about 400GB/mo (despite rising traffic) by pruning everything that was increasing the transfer.

This month the traffic has jumped by 50%, but further site improvements mean that the cost for the month will drop to roughly $270. The downside is that that site's main server is now running on my personal home development box because that was what I had available (with 8 fast watercooled cores, 24GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD) when I finally got fibre into my home.

It is a hell of a lot of work, and something that no political party could really afford my time (or interest) to do.

Quite simply the Labour party wouldn't know what in the hell to do with something like this site. Their best attempt was Red Alert which was destroyed by newbies (MPs) not understanding the social trust relationship required for a blog site.

It'd also have cost them an order of magnitude more to run at a technical level than this does. The party is made up (by my standards) of technophobes. So they'd have had to have paid for the expertise. After all I don't charge for my very expensive time.

The reason I do it, and why most if not all of its authors do it, is because it is a tool that the left needs to have. It needs to be pretty independent of all of the political parties, unions, rather strange MPs, their supporters, and their media people. The bad habits of building silo complexes to protect themselves from each other and their mutual interdependencies requires it.

There needs to be an avenue for people of the overall labour and green movements to talk to each other that bypasses all of those in a reasonably non-real-life manner. The Standard trust and I provide that. Many in Labour, Greens, unions, and the media find it disconcerting because authors and commenters aren't exactly nice to anyone and it is a communications device that bypasses everyones control systems.

And you are banned permanently for being a pig-ignorant dickhead who doesn't read the about or policy on a site, and who instead lies about the operator of the site because you are too much of a lazy fuckwit to look it up. ]

Disturbed

AW I voted for Robert Muldoon when he was a true National politician but my standards are way beyond choosing this simple yes-man Currency trader.

Why has Key been at meetings with the controversial Bilderberg group black ops world one order agenda group?

[deleted]

[lprent: Banned for 4 weeks for using stupid conspiracy theories that appear to have no basis in fact in a post that has nothing to do with them. If you want to write comments here then please don't be a dumbarse fuckwit. It just displays that you can't argue or have problems moving the rust in your brain. I really don't like seeing the other commenters (and me) bored shitless for a nincompoop who can't leave nutty conspiracy theories in OpenMike. That is what it is there for. ]

Jimmie

Yeah ok so the evil Jew John Key is actually a neo nazi, one worlder secretly plotting to rule the whole world. (maybe from his secret bunker in Wellington?)

Plenty of tinfoil hat material in that statement – big picture though if leftie folk keep thinking that the evil John Key is the reason why they’ve been left in the dust then 2017 is gona go the same as last night.

[lprent: Banned for 4 weeks for using stupid goodwin and wingnut stereotypes. If you want to write comments here then please don't be a dumbarse fuckwit. It just display that you can't argue or have problems moving the rust in your brain. I really don't like seeing the other commenters (and me) bored shitless for a nincompoop who has to resort to a godwin. ]

Doug Stuart

[deleted]

[lprent: You appear to be astroturfing, and I have already warned you. 4 week ban for being a astroturfing dumbarse. Indeed. Watch this space because you can't write here. ]

chris73

National on track for four terms
And the Labour caucus has more important things to discuss…..

[lprent: and you are astroturfing. I'm tired of it. 4 weeks ban. ]

Ron 9.1.1

Its a bit immaterial now since DC is contesting but you did not answer my question which was wondering If DC was not standing in New Lyn what sort of support would another Labour MP get. Looking at the Party vote for that electorate which from memory had National in lead

[lprent: Ok I am detecting a troll meme here. There were exactly 5 electorates that had Labour party majorities. They were Dunedin North with 24 ahead before the specials and 4 south Auckland electorates. No electorate candidate standing for this leadership did well in the party vote.

What relevance it has this this discussion is miniscule. So you don't get to participate any further in this debate here. 16 weeks should achieve that. And a mandatory 16 week ban for every fool who I find raising this astroturf in this and subsequent moderation sweeps.

Astroturfing is something that I really dislike and a primary tool to use to mark trolls. I suggest that you learn to use your brains and give your own thoughts rather than some lines someone has given you.

Banned 16 weeks. Adjusted to 1 week after an explanation.. ]

left for dead

nothing good about losing the party vote yet again,in Dunedin South.Have another look at those stat’s.By the way MickeySavage,will you not release that list you are compiling on the Labour caucus misfits/cretins.If we have to spill blood,lets have all the facts,for a cleaner fight.

[lprent: So get off your lazy arse and do it yourself. From memory, the specials still have to be counted and should be through at the end of the week. We're all short of time to do anything.

Demanding things of authors is bloody stupid. Read the policy.

Banned 1 week. That should give you time to do your own analysis. ]

JeffRo

Even gives an opinion and you go straight to attacking him personally.

Maybe get a job, it will enhance you with perspective.

[lprent: Her comment was valid, sarcastic, picked a profession where the practice does happen, and well within the robust rule.

Your comment was not. It was a classic troll comment. Play the victim and then abuse the person you are replying to. With overtones about how others should act (which is our purview).

Banned 2 weeks as a warning not to try troll tactics here ]

Ronnie Chow

The Labour party is no longer a party of the working man, but one for beneficiaries and social engineers. The battle for a 40 hour week has been won, and lost again by choice as people chase the consumer society dream. Weekend trading means more hours of work available to more people and from the looks of the crowds at Mitre 10, Pak n Save and the Warehouse on the weekend, the consumers are enthusiastically looking to consume.

[lprent: Off topic and not for the first time now I look at it. Banned 16 weeks because you look like a stupid troll and I find you need a robust warning. Moved to OpenMike. I suggest you read the policy if you want to avoid my personal attention. ]

Fats 30

Picking holes in National’s selections should be the least of your priorities.

How about choosing a leader who actually represents NZ workers? Labour hasn’t had a leader like that in decades (although Helen Clark made a good job of faking it).

How about policies that put ordinary NZers first instead of your union paymasters?

For example, why can’t we experiment more in education? Oh, that’s right – it might upset two of our biggest unions.

Why can’t you have a united caucus?

Why is the Labour party so desperately and tragically out of touch.

I remember when everyone knew our local Labour MP by name. He was part of the community, but too many Labour MPs (thankfully, not all) parachute in for surgery and to drum up votes during elections.

Get your house in order and I might even think about supporting you and even making a donation – but pull your head out of the sand, use this election defeat as an opportunity to make serious reforms.

[lprent: 16 week ban for deliberately going off topic. ]

steve

good lord, you guys are living on another planet, newsflash! Charter schools have worked just fine in USA,Sweden,and other countries.
translation! we dont want to even look at the possibility charter schools might work because that threatens our union, forget the kids its all about our control right??
Why can’t we defend children against people who experiment on them? what a tosser.

[lprent: Talking about tossers. Where are your links to back your assertions? One week ban for being a lying pillock. If you don't provide backing link(s) to asserted facts then you are by definition lying. ]

Gosman

I’m just telling you what’s happening in the right wing circles I participate in. We would all love if Cunliffe got re-elected. It would provide acres of fun for us.

[lprent: You are starting to read like a troll with a nah-nah fetish left over from when you were a child. You aren't adding anything to the debate apart from demonstrating one of your bouts of being a dickhead. Goodbye for 2 weeks. ]

That’s fifteen bans in ten days. It’s possible it is more banning than usual due to people coming off bans after the election but it’s a higher than normal ban rate.

Blogs ban however they like. The Standard is unusual in that they are very open about their bans with accompanying lectures so it simply may be more obvious.

Of the other major blogs:

  • Whale Oil and The Daily Standard seem to ban frequently but far less obviously.
  • Kiwiblog is open but bans rarely (but is currently reviewing moderation policies).
  • Dim-Post bans secretly so it’s not possible to know how much.
  • Public Address and Pundit seem to ban infrequently but don’t seem to have open moderation policies.

Casual blog readers can never be sure how open or controlled the discussion is on any blog. Message control and manipulation is more complex than banning certain political leanings or opinions.

For example Kiwiblog has very light moderation so discussions aren’t controlled by David Farrar but as harassment, bullying, personal attacks and lying have been uncontrolled participating individuals or groups can at least attempt to drive away opinions they don’t want or agree with. However Kiwiblog is more likely to be dominated by the most determined or persistent rather than any particular political agenda.

With the other major blogs it’s difficult to know how much of the discussion is manipulated by moderation and how much is people with similar leanings congregation.

It’s safe to assume that no blog is representative of any particular public opinion as there are many potential limiting factors.

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.

LabourVotingTrends

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.

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