Labour have a problem when…

…a column on ‘Fairness’ written by an MP rated by some as a rising star in Labour gets trashed by the most Labour orientated blog, The Standard.

Dunedin North MP David Clark had a column published in the ODT on Saturday. I blogged on it – David Clark on fairness.

The Standard also posted an excerpt – Fairness and freedom.

The comments were sparse in praise and harsh in criticism. This is partially an indication of how The Standard has become a left of left blog due to disillusionment of more moderate supporters and also due to the Standard practice of hounding commenters who don’t fit their preferred message profile.

But it’s notable that the biggest Labour supporting blog is so scathing of the best that Labour has to offer the future.


Once you have this sorted, raised and addressed the bias and unfairness of such persons working for WINZ and MSD, and perhaps challenged them to sack such a man, and stop such harassment and prejudice against sick and incapacitated beneficiaries in NZ, then I believe that Labour will stand for fairness.


So, my local MP; a former treasury official and one-time advisor to David Parker, went to the USA on a scholarship administered by Republicans, and named in honour of a Republican president, where he got to hobnob with Republicans such as Tom Friedman and Colin Powell, this is certainly “interesting”. It also explains why he has been so silent on the local issues recently (though even before this trip he was pretty quiet).

A counter from Peter:

That’s a bit harsh. I’ve found the adjustment from Pete to David hard too, and I don’t put the work in for the electorate like I once did, but that was a damned good values-based article from David Clark, and Labour generally hates running value arguments.


It’s just spin until Clark matches his words with deeds.


Harsh, but not inaccurate? That pic in the ODT with General Powell (chairman of the Eisenhower Fellowships) was most angryfying. Especially after reading Clark’s breathless namedropping of Tom (flat earth) Friedman on his blog the other night.

I’d rather you were right about Labour: They just seem like the Lite Right to me.


Things have gone too far David, for Labour to get away with giving commitment to the business class and some form of benign suggestion to the rest. Beleaguered people are very sensitive to the difference.


I find it interesting that Clark buys into the ‘tall poppy’ politics of envy. I say it’s ‘interesting’ because ‘tall poppy’ in my culture was always taken to mean the bringing down to earth of somebody who was ‘up themselves’.

just saying:

I’ve gone away and come back to this since I first read it, because my first reaction would have been offensive, the more so having Joe Baigent bouncing round in my head giving rise to all kinds of class-based anger, all over the place.

A “rising tide lifting all boats” srsly? You quote Tony freaking Blair and George freaking Bush?

And you speak of the need to make NZ more attractive to the “talented” rather than the need to nurture each person regardless of the kinds of gifts nature has bestowed. And in your rhetoric about fairness the issue that springs to your mind is “tall poppy syndrome” I realise you yourself probably feel you’ve suffered terribly from those who envy you your superiority and privilege, and your casual confidence that you and yours will always have bellies filled with nutritious food, will always be well-housed and cosy, will have your medical needs met, will almost always be treated respectfully, often obsequiously.

It must be infuriating, and you must just wish everyone, particularly those less well-endowed wastrels appreciated how much you deserve everything. I feel your pain David, I really do.

Little birds tell me your electorate vote will be down in the next election, David. Pity the working class is so ungrateful and disrespectful. We just don’t know how lucky we are, do we?


He either belongs in a think tank full time, or needs to propose something real so that such vacuous silliness is anchored to the planet – like that Mondayising thing.


There goes a desperate politician who hasn’t yet realised he’s been sprung. (and there goes half the current Labour Party with him)
should read: there goes half the parliamentary wing of the Labour Party (with him)


Sigh! This reads so much like a Stage One (101) Political Science text book from the 1950′s.

The book was titled “The Politics of Equality” author an US academic (Lipskey as I recall).

Clearly not a text known to Douglas, Prebble et al way back in 1984.

Back then Muldoon (National’s economic wizard) had left an imminent train wreck of a society and economy facing a a brand new Labour government.

Douglas and Prebble solved that problem by bombing it.

It took a while but (especially under Shipley and Richardson) but the Nats realised they could loot and burn to their hearts content.

It has not stopped.

Key and Lusk are soul mate scavengers and predators.

Pick on the weak and kow tow to the powerful.

Trouble is that Labour still appears to agree with this. Double sigh!!

That’s mostly criticism from the most Labour orientated large blog in New Zealand. A power and talent vacuum is a cause of major concern for the Labour left.

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