Learning to work together is important

Learning to work together is as important as changing the Government according to Weka, a long time prominent commenter at The Standard, who has become an author there and has posted “Our Plan to Change the Government”.

Weka’s comments on her own post give some insight into the perceptions of at least one Green supporter on what the Labour-Green Memorandum of Understanding is about.

  • “We do have to learn how to work together even where we disagree. To my mind that’s as important as the overt purpose of changing the govt.”
  • “…presenting Labour and the Greens as competent enough to manage the country”
  • “It’s not a coalition agreement. “
  • It’s about working together in a new way (this hasn’t happened in NZ for decades) to
    (a) keep the focus on how badly things have gone for NZ with this particular govt, and
    (b) present an alternative
  • “The MOU/co-operation is to change the government.”
  • “The Greens have always been about getting us to do politics differently. This is what the relationship with Labour is about.”

Getting Labour to do things differently may be more ambitious and more difficult than changing the Government.

Greens will be hoping Labour does things differently in coalition negotiations and don’t spurn Greens and turn to NZ First like they did in 2005. In three terms in Government Labour have never included Greens in a coalition agreement.

Weka 1.1.2

“Will for instance Andrew Little announce that the Labour Party will drop their support for deep sea oil drilling and other unconventional extreme fossil fuel technologies like fracking?
Which are a major stumbling block preventing a strategic alliance between the Labour Party and the Green Party.”

This isn’t a coalition deal. It’s an agreement to work together to over the next 18 months to change the govt. Election campaigning, and coalition deals will happen at the election time. I agree the issues you raise are very important, but I would ask you to consider this. How could the Labour party as a whole adopt Green policy across the board? I just can’t see how it could happen, given the party is made up of members, activists, staff, MPs etc, who are overall environmentally more conservative than you and I. Do you suggest that Little impose policy on the party?

I don’t see any single policy as being a stumbling block preventing an alliance. What I expect from the Greens and hope from Labour is that they will develop a new way of working together and then forming a coalition govt, that isn’t centred on ideas around conflict and difference, but is instead focusses on co-operation and diversity.

Think party political intersectionality. We don’t have to agree on everything (or even everything major). We do have to learn how to work together even where we disagree. To my mind that’s as important as the overt purpose of changing the govt.

Weka 1.1.2.2.2

“The problem with that approach Weka is the Nats and the media will focus on those differences. Highlight them and say that is the reason why they will not be a stable government.”

Enough, I reckon National and the media will focus on whatever negative shit they can dream up no matter what L/G do, sot it’s kind of a moot point. Time to stop being afraid of Dirty Politics and media bias and do the right thing because it’s the right thing. L/G can still be canny, and I agree a strong counter is needed.

Truth and being real has its own power. I noticed Shaw made no bones of the fact that they are up against a formidable enemy in the NACT trashing machine.

Weka 5.1

tbh, I don’t think this is about getting votes (that will happen in the election campaign). I think it’s about spending the next 18 months changing the narrative and presenting alternatives to National.

One is presenting Labour and the Greens as competent enough to manage the country. Another is saying so many of us are angry about what has happened to NZ, here are some alternatives, we don’t just have to keep doing the same thing.

Weka 5.2.2.1

I think there is quite a bit of misunderstanding about what the MoU is. It’s not a coalition agreement. They’re saying that voters will decide and any coalition formation will happen after the election.The MoU is pretty clear what they will do between now and then.

I don’t read it as starting from scratch at the election because the whole point is relationship building and that will long outlive the piece of paper.

Weka 5.2.2.1.1.1

Peters might hold the balance of power, but Labour and the Greens still have choices in how they respond to that. Time to stop being beholden to the idea that Peters is in charge. It’s unhealthy.

Weka 6

Watching The Nation with Little and Turei. This is an important point. The MOU/co-operation is to change the government. Lisa Owen wants to know what the govt will look like, but it’s not possible to know that at this stage. What Labour and the GP can do right now, is campaign together to change the govt. That’s a vital act in and of itself. The voters will decide, and then the parties can get together and look at what the govt should be.

Trying to pin down Labour and the Greens to all the coalition detail now is old school, macho politics that doesn’t serve NZ. Yes, ask the questions, but be prepared for answers that don’t fit neatly into the box you have prepared. L/G don’t control NZF, nor each other, but are open to all of them being part of the change the govt strategy.

As a GP voter, I’m actually ok with Labour and the Greens working together now even if that doesn’t mean that the Greens end up in govt. I want the govt changed and I want the Greens to be a core part how that happens. And it would be a huge lost opportunity if the Greens weren’t in govt.

But we have to remember that we need change more than we need power. The Greens have always been about getting us to do politics differently. This is what the relationship with Labour is about.

Weka 8.2

“In my world (which admittedly isn’t a social democratic centred one) I thought opposition was always about changing the government.”

It’s not about changing the govt because they’re the opposition and that’s what they do. It’s about working together in a new way (this hasn’t happened in NZ for decades) to (a) keep the focus on how badly things have gone for NZ with this particular govt, and (b) present an alternative, not just any old opposition alternative, but one that will actively turn around all those things that people are so concerned about now.

For a country that has had no effective opposition/govt in waiting for 8 years, that is a significant thing.

Besides, campaigning on ‘we’re doing what we should be doing anyway’ doesn’t really engage the imagination does it 😉

(Note: Authoring is quite different to commenting on blogs, it involves quite different skills and a different approach. Typically authoring is more thoughtful and can be more balanced as a result. Commenters who become authors often also change their commenting style due to more thought and a higher level of exposure).

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24 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  5th June 2016

    “Think party political intersectionality. We don’t have to agree on everything (or even everything major). We do have to learn how to work together even where we disagree. To my mind that’s as important as the overt purpose of changing the govt.”

    See honey, that’s why you and yours will never see power. Intersectionality?? ( the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage).

    No voter wants to hear that crap. Voters want to know what the government will and won’t give them. National will signal that clearly at the next budget without the above crap.

    You have had three terms of Natiional for learning how to work together. That you have just woken up to how potent the National machine is, and that only by working together can you defeat it means I have little confidence in your abilities. Especially as you aren’t working together in reality. Your agreement can be ripped at any time. National is working together with its coalition partners.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  5th June 2016

      ➡ What Corky said !

      They’re just not learning fast enough. Maybe after 2017?

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  5th June 2016

      Their problem is that they think they know everything they need to know already. That is a guaranteed route to failure and prohibits “working together”.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  5th June 2016

        Did you watch Pete’s Bradbury clip Alan? (If not, don’t watch it, just listen.)
        Some very good advice for them in there I thought (not Martyn, he just bounces around bleating here & there – the others on the panel). They probably won’t take the good advice though.

        Reply
    • PDB

       /  5th June 2016

      Agree – this just opens the door for National to begin suggesting who MIGHT be what minister in any possible Labour-Greens govt and scaring the general public with thoughts of Turei being minister of social development etc

      It’s already a hard enough sell for them in having Little & Robertson promised the top two positions.

      Reply
      • I’m not sure they have even promised Little the top position have they?

        Labour would have to get more votes than both the other parties to get that.

        Interesting if NZF+Green > Labour.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  5th June 2016

          Well he told the Greens “in a govt I will lead”…….or words to that effect?

          Even at their lowest point (say low 20’s) Labour will still get more votes than either Greens or NZL first next year.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  5th June 2016

            I can’t see NZF going in to a coalition with these two parties. They’d all be mad to do this. On Winston’s track record they’d have to be planning for a lot or arguments and only one term.

            Reply
          • Winston is running rings around Little, NZF could close up on Labour.

            But even if NZF+Green > Labour shared leadership becomes a significant issue.

            Labour 24, Greens 12, NZF 12 or thereabouts is quite possible based on current poll trends.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  5th June 2016

              With significant numbers like that, and the personalities involved, I can’t see an NZF+Green+Labour coalition holding together. Imagine their economic policy? Chaos – surely?

            • Winston highlighted major differences between NZF and Greens on race policies (Treaty/separate rights).

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  5th June 2016

              Yep, they wouldn’t be able to agree on any law over its Treaty clause.

      • PDB

         /  5th June 2016

        Even if Greens + NZL first got more combined votes than Labour then the distrust between the Greens and NZL first would still ensure Little is made PM (as the more neutral option).

        Reply
  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  5th June 2016

    Andrew Little’s Lefty Memorandum Of Understanding, The Happening.

    Reply
  3. Sorry, I have been away celebrating a friend’s Golden Wedding Anniversary! Reviewing the comments thus far, I have to say, in all of the comments above, there is no mention of the Government in power, and an apparent assumption that National stands alone against all of the other parties. Is that a fact? Or is there an attraction for small parties to be associated with the current and biggest party in Government? Where is the money?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  5th June 2016

      That’s what I want to know beej. Where is the money? It looks like they’re possibly not spending enough of it in the right places, and they might be overspending in other places they shouldn’t be. I’ve seen even at least one commenter here who seems like a Nat supporter complaining about unnecessary corporate welfare, though I’m not entirely sure what he means.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  5th June 2016

        He’d be talking about Joyce’s slush funds I expect. Eg; MBIE Callaghan Fund.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  6th June 2016

          Might be thinking of Sky City Convention Centre & movie makers too I guess.

          Reply
    • Blazer

       /  5th June 2016

      where is the money’?..it is created out of thin air by private central banking interests in the ‘City and Wall St…..it is based on confidence=military might to enforce it,anyone/country who rails against it is a target for assassination or carpet bombing.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  5th June 2016

        Blazer, you’ll know, what’s the corporate welfare someone said National are wasting money on?

        Reply

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