Labour denial and delusion continues

NZ Herald asks What’s wrong with Labour? Len Richards, Service and Food Workers Union organiser, provides some explanations, but not in the way he intended.

What went wrong?

More than a decade of dirty politics aimed at demonising and destabilising the Labour Party by well-organised and well-funded opponents have taken their toll.

The ‘dirty politics’ excuse is wearing thin. Attempts at “demonising and destabilising” opposing parties have been a part of politics forever. Nicky Hager overplayed the ‘dirty politics’ hand to swing the election and failed – it helped National more than the left.

I don’t like dirty politics but that’s a criticism aimed as much at Labour and the left as National and the right.

The opinion polls reflect the public mood deliberately created by the spin doctors of the right, and the very poor election results for Labour over the last three elections reflect the polls.

“The polls are rigged” is another tired old excuse. Like David Cunliffe Richards is avoiding responsibility, but poll conspiracies tend towards nut-job territory.

In response, our last two campaigns were run by many electorates as if MMP did not exist. Labour tried to win electorate seats rather than the party vote.

Blaming some electorate MPs is indicative of the factional rift that is tearing Labour apart. It’s up to the party leader and organisation to lead the campaign for party votes.

This time Labour received 200,000 more candidate votes (34 per cent) than party votes (25 per cent).

Perhaps that’s an indication that while some candidates are well supported by voters the party as a whole was not seen as a viable lead party in Government. Failure from the top again.

With 34 per cent of party votes we would be in government.

A forlorn “what if”. If Labour had got 34% instead of 25% (a huge reality gap) with Green’s 1-11% they would still have relied on Winston Peters to choose Labour over National.

How can Labour fix it?

A leadership change now will do more harm to Labour than good. David Cunliffe is more than a match for John Key. Our problems lie elsewhere.

The current lack of leadership – Cunliffe barricaded himself at home after the election, emerged to take a battering from his caucus on Tuesday and then disappeared back home for the rest of the week.

Cunliffe was far from a match for John Key, talking over him in a few debates didn’t win anything.

(NZ Herald)

Heads in the sand won’t revive Cunliffe’s leadership. Who wants a Prime Minister who goes into hiding “to contemplate his future” when the going gets tough? Cunliffe was unpopular with voters last Saturday. That has likely deteriorated significantly since then.

Labour’s policies are not “too left wing”. We lost votes to NZ First because Winston Peters outflanked us on the left. Labour pulled its punches.

Peters outflanked Labour on the left and right.

Labour needs to build its base among the people it represents. We need to turn outwards, to recruit, and to organise.

Yep. Should have been working on that after their 2008 defeat. Now it’s hard to know what people Labour represents apart from some out of touch unionists.

We need to go on the offensive and put up a credible alternative to the domination of society by the pursuit of profit at any cost. And campaign for the party vote.

“The domination of society by the pursuit of profit at any cost.” Out of touch with reality unionist. There’s a few on the left who believe this bull but most voters don’t see it as anything other than ideological nonsense.

If a business pursues profit ‘at any cost’ it will probably cost them their business.

Is the party prepared to do it?

The party showed over the last period that it is prepared to take a strong stance. The change in rules to democratise the election of the leader and the election of David Cunliffe is evidence of this.

This resulted in the election of a leader that didn’t have the support or confidence of his caucus. That’s proven disastrous for Labour in the election and this week.

The party needs to continue to stand firm and deal with its internal discipline problems.

Deal with it’s internal discipline how? Sack the majority of caucus? That’s not even possible, they are elected for another three years.

Whippings and unityI posted this when things were much better in Labour.

The Labour Party has a rock-solid social base. We can take heart from these supporters who gave us more than 60 per cent of the party votes in some electorates.

Rock solid?

  • 2002 – 41%
  • 2005 – 41%
  • 2008 – 34%
  • 2011 – 27%
  • 2014 – 25%

Very few electorates gave Labour more votes than National last Saturday.

As the problems of a system in crisis worsen and proliferate, Labour solutions will gain support if we organise and mobilise around them.

This is tragically ironic as the problems of a Labour in crisis worsen and proliferate.

The people see through old Labour and old unions with their forlornly fading fulminations.

Sorry to Len Richards for picking on him but he’s symptomatic of the entrenched old guard at The Standard and elsewhere in social media and the Cunliffe residence.

Labour needs something different, new and forward looking. That won’t happen if they continue to be dragged down by denial and delusion.

Leave a comment


  1. Len doesn’t post on The Standard, and as far as I am aware he never comments on TS. He isn’t a great fan of social media.

    But hey, keep being a highly inaccurate delusional old fool more interested in myths than facts.

    With an idiot like as editor around it isn’t hard to see why politicheck was complete fiasco.

    • I didn’t say that Len posts at The Standard. His claims are similar to what some at The Standard claim.

      “With an idiot like as editor” – before throwing dirt perhaps you should consider how your own blog is widely seen. (No, I don’t expect you to get it).

      • “ your own blog is widely seen. (No, I don’t expect you to get it).”

        On the right where you live perhaps. I tend to ignore them because trying to explain the basics to them takes somewhat too long. Just like it does with you.. But hey, I have time tonight due to a crippling foot injury.

        I know Len because we sometimes met up at my local pub when we happen to be there at the same time. We disagree at almost every level of politics and policy. Just as almost everyone on the left will disagree and then work together. We agree in a large part about some parts of the mechanisms of turnout strategies.

        Trying to pretend that there is any kind of consensus amongst left activists in the way that you do is just one of those silly right thinking fallacies that you are so prone to fall into. We agree to disagree on many things, but then work on the bits that we happen to actually have shared purposes in.

        The Standard is almost entirely based around that principle from its authors to its commentators. It clearly demonstrates that to anyone who (unlike you) doesn’t look at it through a crystal spectrum that limits what you can see to a monochrome color. You and others like you just tend to be blind because of your own bigotries.

        Now before you go off into your usual denials, consider that I’m completely from a private business background in a large number of businesses from corporates to startups to dairies, that I’ve built successful companies and then moved on from them, I’ve been a soldier, I’ve been around politics for decades, etc. I can see monochrome thinkers because I know them well.

        • The Standard is almost entirely based around that principle from its authors to its commentators. It clearly demonstrates that to anyone who (unlike you) doesn’t look at it through a crystal spectrum that limits what you can see to a monochrome color. You and others like you just tend to be blind because of your own bigotries.

          Your apply monochrome to The Standard – ” almost entirely based around that principle” while claiming rainbow vision. I see The Standard as far more diverse than you.

          Remember a few hours ago on Twitter?

          Note to MSM, Robertson doesn’t have majority of membership behind him as far as we know. Why do you ignore this?

          Lynn Prentice @lprent
          The parliamentary gallery are too embedded in Wellington to be able to see much outside it.

          Shearer has much more support in the membership than Robertson has. But now it is a full contest, I’d expect it to open up.

          I can’t think of anyone else who has had as much listening to members over last week and months. Can you? Moderating forces it.

          You didn’t respond when i asked “Are you talking about moderating at The Standard? How representative is that of Labour Party members?”

          Again, I see far more diverse opinion on your blog than you seem to.

          How do you know which commenters are Labour members? Are the alternative views all non-members? That’s not what some claim.

  2. On the failure of dirty politics, & their continuous BLEAT of ~corruption~

    All humans are fallible & fallen by nature; all have their human failings, personal idiosyncrasies, foibles & errors of judgement.

    Thus partial corruption is a ~given~ has been for all of time, & will remain a given for as long as humans are humans. Partial corruption is something we have lived with for all of time; like we live with constant bacterial activity in home, workplace & society; WE ARE STILL HERE so it’s hardly going to kill us.

    Absolute corruption is another matter & has to be dealt with before it destroys society, yet NZ’s transparency & Constitutional systems are pretty good at inhibiting it & preventing absolute corruption from setting up house.

    Because all humans are part-fallen goods, if we elect a right leaning government is will be partially corrupt in a particular way. If we choose a left leaning government it will be partially corrupt in a different way, a centrist government partially corrupt in yet a different way again.

    We needs note while all three are differently corrupt, all three are more or less EQUALLY CORRUPT, making partial corruption, lake sharing bacteria on public bus, something we just have to live with.

    Hagar is like the compulsive-obsessive housewife, always running around looking for specks of dust, the daughters kids left hand-marks on the wall paper, my pig of a husband just dropped food on the floor. John Key just used the toilet, call the plumber; break in behind the S bend, you will be amazed at what vile things will be ~revealed~

    Yeah right, partial corruption is a given for all humans, can the sponsors of dirty politics kindly grow up & show a little ADULT MATURITY.

    Ken Maynard….

  1. Labour’s insidious dirty politics | Your NZ

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