Greens in an awkward position

Meetings are going going at full steam between NZ First and National, and between NZ First and Labour.  And Labour are also having meetings with the Greens, who appear to have been largely sidelined.

Yesterday Bill English highlighted this – Newshub: Greens don’t understand their position – Bill English

Bill English has praised Winston Peters’ “tough” approach to negotiations, saying the Greens could learn a thing or two from the veteran MP.

“Mr Peters, as you would expect, is using the weight of the position he has to make gains,” the National Party leader told The AM Show on Monday.

“The Green Party don’t appear to understand the position they’re in or could have been in,” said Mr English.

“[Mr Peters is] playing his hand with a great deal more assertion than the Greens… He’s a tough negotiator and he understands the position he’s in.”

Peters is an experienced negotiator, but he seems to have been allowed to call most of the shots by both National and Labour.

And he seems to have no inclination to deal with the Greens. Instead Labour has allowed itself to be a go-between, switching from meetings with NZ first and the Greens.

James Shaw has said he is confident of there being a Labour-NZ First-Green ‘progressive government’, and has talked up their key policies of climate change and poverty, but he doesn’t look confident. He looks like he and the greens have been largely left out in the cold.

Jacinda Ardern has just been interviewed on RNZ: VIDEO: Jacinda Ardern on coalition talks

In that she waffled around the question of why Greens seem to be shunned by Winston Peters, saying that ‘absolutely’ Greens shoukd be a part of the decision making but it was just the way the meetings were arranged.

In other words Peters has arranged to deal with Labour with Labour being left to try to keep the Greens informed and involved from the sidelines.

This is an odd way to negotiate, and raises questions about how a Labour-NZ First-Green could operate.

Shaw and the Greens look largely impotent. They are no match for Winston’s experience and forcefulness.

29 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  October 10, 2017

    the Greens have always been in an awkward position.Sticking to principles has required this.National and to a lesser degree Labour are like chameleons,that are guided by..pragmatism.

    • PDB

       /  October 10, 2017

      You mean principles like publically calling another political party ‘racist’ but being more than happy to go into a coalition government with that same party?

      • Blazer

         /  October 10, 2017

        calling a party racist ,without compelling evidence is merely…opinion.Calling National liars however,is easily…proven.

    • sorethumb

       /  October 10, 2017

      Being Far left is awkward.
      https://twitter.com/juliezhuu?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fyournz.org%2F2017%2F10%2F10%2Fsilent-on-things-that-matter%2F
      James Shaw is a janus face. Ma Delahunty and the chilli – peppars still run the show.

    • Gezza

       /  October 10, 2017

      You make it sound like pragmatism is a bad thing?
      Why do you think it’s a bad thing?

      Surely – if it’s a positive & generally publicly beneficial response to public sentiment (& not simply, say, a cyncical response to dog-whistling by another Party Leader or a special interest group motivated only by self-interest which would actually be detrimental to a particular demographic or the general public) – it’s good thing?

      • Patzcuaro

         /  October 10, 2017

        When it comes to divvying up the power pragmatism usually gets your more than principles.

      • Blazer

         /  October 10, 2017

        It can be a negative when it is policy driven by popular politics. That ignores future ramifications.

    • alloytoo

       /  October 10, 2017

      Green’s Principles……like lying and steal from honest tax payers so that your child can eat cake.

      • Blazer

         /  October 10, 2017

        National promote inter generational and class ‘theft. Their motto is ‘for the few…at the expense of the. ..many ‘.

        • alloytoo

           /  October 10, 2017

          That’s right, National raised the benefit for the few indigent who refused to find work in a full employment economy at the expense of the many taxpayers.

        • Gezza

           /  October 10, 2017

          How do they promote “Intergenerational Theft”?
          And what exactly IS Intergenerational Theft?

          • Blazer

             /  October 10, 2017

            Easy. .spend now. .and leave huge debt .for future generations. .to..repay.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  October 10, 2017

              Depends whether the money was wasted on welfare or invested into infrastructure and assets. We know which you prefer.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  October 10, 2017

              Money spent on welfare can be an investment if the recipient is able to transition from welfare yo work.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  October 10, 2017

              Absolutely, Patz. Would that it were so more often up here.

          • Fight4NZ

             /  October 10, 2017

            The far greater theft was the $10’s of billions of assets built up by generations fire saled since the mid 80’s. These sales needed to pay debt and offer opportunities to “Mum and Dad NZs but actually simply funneled wealth to the wealthy and we are still in debt.

  2. Corky

     /  October 10, 2017

    Good to see Bill working the Greens. A Greens split could see National working with the ‘New Greens.”

  3. robertguyton

     /  October 10, 2017

    Bill English “I reckon the Greens…”
    Stopped reading right there.

    • alloytoo

       /  October 10, 2017

      Bill is applying pressure to the Greens, it’s the long game. MT already made them look like unethical numpties, time to drive the stake home.

      • Blazer

         /  October 10, 2017

        List M. P….English. ..may have to drive himself. .home.

    • artcroft

       /  October 10, 2017

      Yes, wisdom is found in hearing only what you want to hear, seeing only what you want to see and speaking only to those you agree with.

      • Corky

         /  October 10, 2017

        Bang Bang…thud..slinger face down in the dust.. It was that owl-hoot sheriff or me, boys!!

        Arty, when it comes to sage observations, you are the true grit.

        • Gezza

           /  October 10, 2017

          For God’s sake man!
          How fkn embarrassing to read your posts to poor bloody arty.
          Go on to Tinder or somewhere, lie about your appearance & personality, & get a bloody girlfriend!

  4. Gerrit

     /  October 10, 2017

    Greens are being pushed into irrelevance (Winston wont even talk to them at present) and unless they decide to step outside the Labour/NZ First partnership for the interim they will be the lost sheep of the this parliamentary term.. They hold the balance of power and don’t need to join National or the Labour/NZ First alliance and simply sit on the cross benches.

    Once a few votes go against the minority National led government, the Greens would be in a far stronger position to negotiate with Labour/ NZ First to form, a new government.

    Constitutionally I dont know if National can force a new general election before Labour/NZ First with a now far more strategically stonger placed Greens, can go to the GG and look at forming a new government.

    But I have my doubts if James and his Green ladies can think or work that strategy through. It has inherent dangers of a new general election if Labour/NZ First say thanks but no thanks.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 10, 2017

    The Greens are as stupid at strategy as they are at policy. That’s fortunate.

  6. J Bloggs

     /  October 10, 2017

    The Green Party’s irrelevance to the ongoing negotiations is entirely on their own heads. Because they refused to countenance even talking with National, they have undermined their own negotiating power. They potentially have as much leverage in forming a government as Winston does, but they keep refusing to use it.

    Even if they had no intention of ever going into a deal with National, just keeping that option open would have increased their leverage in the coalition discussions immensely. As it is, their firm adherence to being Labour’s lapdog means they can be comfortably shunted to the side while the adults are talking.

    • Fight4NZ

       /  October 10, 2017

      Gerrit only just explained one of the scenarios which demonstrate Greens have exactly the same power as all the other parties in this negotiation. Something Winston would do well to note.
      What those with a predisposition to short termism fail to grasp is the Greens have the wisdom to realise that the quickest way to lose that power is to cut a deal with Bill and his band of copy-watch sellers.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  October 10, 2017

        You mean the Greens are too afraid to do anything.