‘Labour has been outsmarted and outmanoeuvred’

Discussion on the Labour versus NZ First power struggle in Government continues.

John Armstrong: ‘Labour has been outsmarted and outmanoeuvred’ by Winston Peters

Don’t listen to those who dismiss the current muscle-flexing by Winston Peters as nothing more than the standard fare of MMP politics.

It is anything but.

Were there a handbook covering the mechanics of forming and running a coalition government, the New Zealand First leader would currently be writing a new chapter—one which would be without a happy ending for Jacinda Ardern, her coalition managers and the rest of the Labour Party.

The latter should be worried — very worried.

What began as an isolated case of New Zealand First thwarting Labour’s desire to eradicate a hardline law and order statute — namely the three-strikes law — has become what looks suspiciously like a carefully orchestrated campaign which has the junior partner in the coalition making ever more frequent raids deep into territory where Labour would insist it has the right to call the shots.

Labour can tolerate having to keep living with the three-strikes law. It can tolerate not being able to raise the annual refugee quota.

After all, prior to a National government-instigated rise in the quota which took effect this year, the quota had been held at 750 for the previous 30 years, believe it or not.

What Labour cannot accept is its coalition partner blocking its long-promised legislation rolling back some of National’s so-called “reforms” in the industrial relations arena.

If Labour is not seething over that, it should be. The dominant partner has to bite its tongue, however.

Laura O’Connell Rapira (from ActionStation) has concerns about the lack of action.

https://twitter.com/laura_oc_rapira/status/1039991246435934208

Leave a comment

94 Comments

  1. david in aus

     /  September 14, 2018

    Full credit to Winston: If he is not visible and allows Labour to be the face of this government, he risks annihilation at the next election.
    He has learned that the pet-poodle coalition partner always gets the raw end of the deal.

    He is acting as the Queen: he giveth power but can also removeth. Winston wears the trouser-suit in this relationship, obviously.

    Reply
  2. Corky

     /  September 14, 2018

    Like I said yesterday….National will never have it so good again. Pity they aren’t capitalising fully on the present situation. A situation that can only become worse.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 14, 2018

      Bridges is their biggest problem. He’ll have to go & they know this. Who do you see as able to pull the swing votes next time?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  September 14, 2018

        Exactly. Not encouraging, is it?

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  September 14, 2018

          No one really. However, that will depend on the mood of voters near election time.
          A steady hand; a plastic smile and some semblance of intelligence may pass muster for pissed off voters tired of Labour’s incompetence.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  September 14, 2018

            It’s PDB & maybe trav I feel for, tbh. They can’t seem to recognise & accept that Simon’s simply got to be scheduled for … reassignment to a back office desk job.

            Reply
            • PDB

               /  September 14, 2018

              Not sure why you mention me considering I don’t rate Bridges either?

              However the way this govt is going National may get in regardless of Bridges and more on the back of overall being a much better package. After all National’s party vote remains strong and it would take only a minor switch in voter preference for them to get over the line.

            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              Oh, it’s because of what you just said, & because you’ve annoyed me a couple of times lately so I thought I’d just get a little jab into your ribs when you next appeared. (Metaphorically speaking only, of course.)

              The problem with your theory is in my opinion nobody but Rump National voters will countenance another English-mangling PM. And especially one with the personality of a fence post.

            • PDB

               /  September 14, 2018

              Many voters suddenly voted for a bunch of no-hopers because they had a fresh new leader – about the only time Gareth has been right in describing the situation as ‘lipstick on a pig’. Bridges may get lucky in the fact that Ardern may have killed (for now at least) elections being solely focused on the party leaders rather than the overall package.

              Also the govt is likely to go into the election campaign with very little achieved, many promises unfulfilled and/or broken, a limping economy, ongoing coalition/minister issues, a weak leader under Winston’s thumb and a need to raise taxes. Hardly a vote winning strategy I’d imagine.

          • Gezza

             /  September 14, 2018

            He might have actually made a reasonably safe & steady, plod along not scaring the horses & getting instructions when temporarily in charge, Deputy Leader, but I dunno if he could handle that humiliation when the change comes.

            Reply
  3. Blazer

     /  September 14, 2018

    plenty of experienced advisors around for Labour to get through differences.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 14, 2018

      Helen’s not one of them. Winston helped wreck her coalition.

      Reply
    • david in aus

       /  September 14, 2018

      Your admission that Labour doesn’t have the political nouse to work through their relationship with NZF must be tough. Politics should be the domain of politicians and not advisors.
      But it’s better to admit one’s limitations. Perhaps by the next election, the training wheels can come off.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  September 14, 2018

        too funny ..working groups and ADVISORY BOARDS…GIVE ADVICE.nONE OF US IS AS SMART AS ALL OF ..US’

        Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  September 14, 2018

        @david in aus – “Politics should be the domain of politicians and not advisers.”

        What an extraordinary thing to say in 2018 … A denial of evident reality and the evidence all around us.

        Since when have politicians not listened to advisers? Since the days when they were advised by Cardinals and Archbishops? [And all were puppets of the Monarchy anyhow] Or perhaps since the days of Shaman, Soothsayers and Medicine Men …?

        Correctly: Politics should be the domain of citizens. Citizens can be represented by politicians in a government the citizens elect. But neither citizens nor politicians (who are actually citizen-politicians) ever exist in a vacuum. We all take advice from various sources …

        This is how we’ve ended up with a rudimentary form of ‘deliberative democracy’.

        ‘Problems’ or issues with advisers arise due to some sources of advice – the raw material of deliberation – having undue power … both ideological and financial … ideas and money … and oftentimes both …

        The present-day expression of this is corporate-political elitist government … also called “managed democracy” or “inverted totalitarianism”. This is where corporations own, ‘advise’ and control governments but, bizarrely, the public bogeymen are issues like neo-colonial indigenous peoples’ “privilege” and resulting ‘race-based politics’, feminism, minority rights and the like … (anything BUT the central issue) …

        … These people shouldn’t even be allowed to TRY to advise government …

        The logic of money (ownership, possession, power etc) is not the same as the logic of living life … although money itself as a simple means of exchange is not necessarily the culprit.

        However, it’s present-day logic is frequently contrary to life … a starving world of abundance … the zenith of its logic being war …

        The partially obscured placard on Newsroom’s 1080 article today is absolutely correct: When Injustice becomes Law: Resistance becomes our Duty.

        If present-day politics was a motor vehicle we’d be broken down by the side of the road saying “We’ve really, really gotta improve this means of transportation”.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 14, 2018

          It is quite depressing watching Question Time now and seeing just how farcical it is.
          I’ve started mentally switching off and doing other stuff while it plays on in the background because, apart from the odd bit of blood sport or straight-out, literal comedy where everyone there has a genuine good-humoured chuckle, that breaks out it’s mostly silliness, braying, posturing, obfuscating, pointless points of order, Trevor shutting down problems for the government and … zzzzz.

          The debates themselves aren’t any better and involve huge wastes of time and playground jibes & behaviour. Utterly inefficient and a travesty of the real intent. I find myself wondering how many other Parliaments elsewhere are quite this stupid.

          Reply
        • david in aus

           /  September 14, 2018

          Perhaps a Regent is suitable for this government. Political Adulthood is just around the corner.

          Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 14, 2018

      Helen Clark was the first Labour insider to openly criticise Ardern’s leadership over the sex camp which was just as big a blow for Ardern as Winston using her as a door mat.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  September 14, 2018

        Even Helen wants to bully her into line with her views on what Labour should be doing.

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 14, 2018

      You are joking of course. The only way to haul Winston into line is to overwhelmingly win an early election. Chances of that happening = zero.

      Reply
  4. robertguyton

     /  September 14, 2018

    Pffffffffft!!!
    “Oh dear. The Winston Peters led governing coalition has completely collapsed and thank God Simon Bridges is there to pick up the pieces. I warned you this would happen! And look! Over there … the sky is falling. Falling, I tells ya!”
    (That’s what it sounds like over here)

    “The National Party and their paid stooges have been promoting the narrative that NZ First is the party that’s really in control of the new government. That’s bollocks.”
    (Stooges! Luverly!)

    “No, this is the modern way. No wonder the right can’t understand why they lost the last election.

    They’re dinosaurs, watching the comets fall.”

    (Stegasaurs, Brachiosaurs, Stuckinthemudasaurs abound here on yournz!)

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 14, 2018

      Silly boy. Steady on lad. Nobody thinks Bridges is up to the job.

      Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 14, 2018

      The govt is a joke, as are your comments – a match made in heaven.

      Reply
    • Zedd

       /  September 14, 2018

      well said RG.. I think the obvious conclusion (as Winston said clearly); Natl just dont get MMP !

      It is not about one large party, offering ‘deals’ to a few one/two seat parties.. but maintaining totalitarian control.. its about coalitions with parties that can work together, to get gains for all.. not just a few scraps thrown ‘from the top table’ (as happened for 9 loooong years, under Natl) to the others.. echoes of FPP still on their agenda. This was clear from the fact that they jumped the gun.. effectively claiming they had won, before even talking to NZF or other about coalitions..

      LOL, what a pack of sore losers, they have turned out to be !! 😀

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  September 14, 2018

        It appears the odd few like yourself now understand MMP to be where the main party is dictated to & routinely undermined by the smaller party to the point of looking impotent & leaderless.

        Funny that.

        Reply
        • Zedd

           /  September 14, 2018

          … more nonsense from PDB..

          MMP is about all Govt. parties working TOGETHER.. give & take from all the parties

          Its not a dictatorship.. thats FPP thinking.. 9 looooooong years to reflect on ?!

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  September 14, 2018

            Bit hard to be ‘working together’ when Winston seems more like he’s working against there Zedd. You got what you wanted in this govt and it has thus far been a complete failure. No doubt it hurts bad.

            The irony of course is the only thing propping up this govt at the moment is the strong inherited financial situation from the ‘9 looooooong years’ of National govt. Wont last for ever you know…

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  September 14, 2018

            One looong year has sufficed, Zedd. Two Ministers rolled and PM in hiding. Even Cullen has declined to obey orders while the economy tanks and even Fonterra makes a loss.

            The Left has it sorted though – they’ll teach everyone Maori.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  September 14, 2018

              Fonterra ‘s loss is down to over paid underperforming…incompetence.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 14, 2018

              Good idea by Labour to make it a monopoly then, wasn’t it?

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  September 14, 2018

    As I said before, Bill English must chuckle every day. And it’s not like this was unexpected. Winston held the whip from day one. The Greens are masochists and Labour just natural born suckers. Dominatrix meets captive clients.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  September 14, 2018

      Sir Billy and co ,never chuckle when they do not run the country.
      Sir Billy was used to coming…2nd.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  September 14, 2018

        Winston got third and he’s running the country.

        Reply
        • Zedd

           /  September 14, 2018

          Nonsense… its an MMP coalition.. WAKE UP you ignorant Tories & get into 21st century !

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  September 14, 2018

            Blaming National for this govt’s woes is getting old already Zedd……..was reminded it was Friday when yet another bit of bad governance news was dropped by Labour today. Probably why Ardern is avoiding fronting up on TV this weekend.

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  September 14, 2018

              Wot, really – stop blaming the previous Government…after just a few months? Why, the Jonny Key Government went all the way to the wire, 9 long years of blaming Labour for…everything! PDB, even a JADS sufferer like can see that your call to “stop being mean to my team”, is a crock.

            • Zedd

               /  September 14, 2018

              your stole my thunder RG.. ‘Team-Key/English’ played the ‘blame & shame game’ on the Clark Govt. for at least their whole first.. maybe second term too.. then when they ran out.. it was the’ GFC, ChCh quakes etc. never accepting any responsibility for the ‘woes of the economy’.. EVER !

              you have only been hearing it for about 9 months…. so far 😀

            • PDB

               /  September 14, 2018

              Strawman – you have been trying to blame the govt’s numerous INTERNAL woes on the National party or the right in general which has nothing to do with blaming previous govts for economic mismanagement etc. Considering this govt was given an economy in great shape they can’t really complain on that front either. Money was there to give the whole public service a decent pay rise if they wished but instead billions wasted on first-year students, Shane’s slush fund, more diplomats, fighting the Chinese in the pacific , the racing industry & paying the winter heating bill of the Bob Jones mansion.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 14, 2018

              Again…
              ““The National Party and their paid stooges have been promoting the narrative that NZ First is the party that’s really in control of the new government. That’s bollocks.””

              There are as well, innumerable “repeaters” like PDB, witlessly willing to spread the message further, in some deluded belief that they are more astute, have a clearer vision, can see through the smoke and mirrors, and owe it to all decent folk…to bag the Government. Not Straw but Hollow Men, they.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  September 14, 2018

        Coming second to JK was not a disgrace. Coming second to Winston is and that’s where Labour has put itself.

        Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  September 14, 2018

        At least his wife was happy!

        Reply
    • Corky

       /  September 14, 2018

      ”Natural born suckers.” Great descriptor given they never learn to treat Maori with a barge pole. Maori always stuff Labour up.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  September 14, 2018

        The Left have always been suckers for pipe dreams and pie in the sky. Helen eventually learnt to respect reality and H2 enforced it. This Govt has no such experience to keep its feet on the ground and Winston has seized that space.

        Reply
  6. PDB

     /  September 14, 2018

    The problem for Labour of course is how do they get themselves out of this situation?

    A. Tell Peters to pull his head in? He wouldn’t put up with that and the govt could be put at real risk of total collapse. The other big issue for Labour is that Peters obviously sees the long term survival of his party as far more important then any relatively short term coalition govt therefore he has no reason to be subservient to the larger party.

    B. Carry on ‘as is’ and continue to look weak and take shots from Peters? A strategy that appears to be backfiring on them, especially in the MSM and if Labour can’t deliver key promises made to its core supporters like the unions. Peters has positioned himself in such a position that if the govt does come good he looks the best and if the govt goes downhill he….looks the best.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  September 14, 2018

      That’s a very hard call. I would go with A. With that option Labour can salvage some mana and live to fight another day.

      With option B there is no redemption.

      Reply
  7. David

     /  September 14, 2018

    Pile on continues. The taxpayer have had to pay Derek Handley 3 months wages for a job he never did, thanks Curran and guess what…Friday announcement.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  September 14, 2018

      not impressed ..could be worse…at least he’s not an Arab shiek! 😉

      Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  September 14, 2018

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  September 14, 2018

        $100 000! Coincidence!!! That’s what Key paid out of “his” PM fund to Todd Barclay’s slighted secretary!

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 14, 2018

          These people are all gone from the voting public’s radar robert. Whatever their alleged sins and misdemeanors they’re already forgotten by everyone but their hardcore enemies. Hardly even come up in te news unless there’s a particularly juicy sensationalist angle that makes it worthwhile.

          Yaw average non-extreme green feminist lefty voter lives in the now and watches prices.

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  September 14, 2018

            Enemies? Todd and I had a most convivial chat in Gore’s “Howl at the Moon”, before his fall from grace – I warned him! Actually, I predicted that Winston would win Northland – Todd pooh-poohed the idea 🙂

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              Todd who?

            • robertguyton

               /  September 14, 2018

              ‘Zakly! Said he was the Clutha-Southland National Party MP; looked a little wet behind the ears to me. Didn’t last long…

            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              Who gives a toss? Ancient history. Nothing to do with why morons give Al and Sir Bob The Boofhead the Winter Energy Payment with their multi-millions and I’ve an income of less than 20k now and I don’t qualify because of morons.

          • Blazer

             /  September 14, 2018

            didn’t take long…’misdemeanours’! Bol!

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              I vaguely remember some candidate down south somewhere where the gene pool’s not large got uppity with a harpy who scragged him. It was embarrassing & National forked out a huge amount of dosh from the leader’s budget to make it go away, it was awkward, but it was legal, the fuzz didn’t come out of it looking too clever, nor did Bill, & it hung round like a bad stink getting stoked up by Labour but it actually didn’t really amount to anything than a huge embarrassment. But, like, that was fucking years ago.

              Wasn’t it? A decade? Less? Who cares?

              Get into the bloody now. Now’s when all my bills are going up and Jacs is getting batted around like a tennis ball. Who’s running this bloody country? Is anyone running the bloody country? Is Trevor?

  8. David

     /  September 14, 2018

    Oh and our PM has cancelled 3 interviews and blamed a diary error from her staff. She is a quite dishonest.

    Reply
    • david in aus

       /  September 14, 2018

      But it’s possible to be in politics without lying…….a sucker born every minute.

      Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 14, 2018

      Just
      Another
      Committee,
      Indecision,
      No-show,
      Discussion,
      Act.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  September 14, 2018

        PDB, you got it!
        Jacinda Ardern Derangement Syndrome.
        You’ve pithed yourselves, you JADR sufferers (side effect: WPDS Winston Peters etc…), scrambled your grey matter, over cooked your conks; the coalition Government is working and working well, leaving you scuttled, skittery and snookered! What have you got now? The Opposition seats and Soimon; you’re screwed.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  September 14, 2018

          “the coalition Government is working and working well”

          Proof?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  September 14, 2018

            So far it hasn’t collapsed. And so far National’s not scoring points bashing their stuff ups – the msm is.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              What frackin blinkered, head-up-their-arse Natophile is flaming down-ticking me for just telling it like it bloody is ??

              PDB ? It better not be bloody you, mate 😡 !

              The sun’s out. The stream is full of cooperative eels, my beautiful Ella has been chasing cat food chunks around on a stick & opening her jaws up wide to chomp it & take it off the stick for me, the pooks are all content…

              My psychic energy levels are damn near stratospheric. Don’t mess with me, buddy. I’ve got bloody Viking genes.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  September 14, 2018

            Poof, not proof. Achievements to date: handed Winston and Shane huge bags of taxpayers’ money, set up 150 working groups and tanked the economy. Achieved more strikes in 9 months than National had in 9 years. Had a couple of babies and plastered the media with vacuous platitudes.

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  September 14, 2018

              Come on Goosey, Loosey, Ducky Lucky and Chicken Little! I know the way to the King’s house!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 14, 2018

              Reads like your Govt’s press releases, Robert.

            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              Am I imagining it or has robert now regressed that damn far he’s posting in bloody crayon? 😕

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 14, 2018

              Shush, Gezza, pretend that you haven’t noticed anything odd. Don’t draw attention to it.

            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              What’s odd is how one sore afflicted person can downtick me 3 times when they’ve got their head stuck up somewhere where their sun don’t shine, even if Simon’s does. Beggars the imagination, Kitty, frankly.

            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              Christ, Kitty. There’ve been more insertions.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  September 14, 2018

      What is it with this Government and diary snafu’s?

      Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  September 14, 2018

      The diary excuse is wearing a bit thin.

      Reply
  9. robertguyton

     /  September 14, 2018

    Michelle @TS said:
    “what a bunch of cry babies some of the people are on this site what’s a matter you haven’t got your way so you are throwing a tanty bloody bunch of I know best whinging
    self serving hypocrites.”

    Reply
  10. robertguyton

     /  September 14, 2018

    Te Reo Putake @TS said:
    “I think of the first year of any NZ Government as the pre-season warm up games, where you test out your playing combinations. The season proper starts in year two with a settled team and the finals are in year three with your proven performers running out onto the paddock with joy in their hearts and glory on their minds 😉”

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 14, 2018

      I think in this case Suzie the waitress fed them prior to any game being kicked off and the players have been puking over themselves ever since.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  September 14, 2018

        but the National front row Key,English and Joyce were destroyed and limped off into…retirement.
        New Captain has butter fingers and no…and is too slow for this..level.

        Reply
  11. robertguyton

     /  September 14, 2018

    Let us remember…”“…the Key government could not get its changes to the Resource Management Act through Parliament, because it lacked the support of the United Future Party.”
    So not unique to Labour Lead Government?”

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 14, 2018

      … which lead to the disastrous Auckland house shortage and price escalation evetually costing National the election. Blame Peter Dunne.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  September 14, 2018

        Led

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 14, 2018

          Both lead & led can actually be correctly used for the past participle of the verb “to lead”, I believe, Al. Although I always use led, like you, because we were taught a reasonably extensive English vocabulary, unlike today, & it makes the quick “leed or led?” context-meaning-evaluation exercise redundant.

          Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  September 14, 2018

      The difference is Labour are announcing policy and inviting journalists to press briefings before Winston casually pulls the rug out from under them.
      Different when policy discussion is is the open as per the RMA reforms. National were clear they wanted it but couldn’t get it through without Dunne.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  September 14, 2018

        National were clear the wanted it, yes. It’s about the only time I’ve cheered Peter Dunne! See Pete! Fair, I am.

        Reply
  12. David

     /  September 14, 2018

    And 3 million bucks spent on two education conferences, nice work Chippy.
    The media need to wake up to the bad news news dump on Friday afternoon and Ardern cancelling at the last moment her weekend interviews, she is blood clever at manipulating the media I will give her that.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 14, 2018

      Don’t think the media won’t notice. They’ll be back to bite her later. Her honeymoon is over.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  September 14, 2018

        Yeah, I think maybe it is. The smell of blood in the water is too strong for the sharks to resist.
        Now Labour as well as farmers are going to have to keep her away from deTractors.

        Reply
  13. Tipene

     /  September 14, 2018

    When candles melt, the wax hardens, but never returns to its original shape – the only way from that point is down, not up.

    As heat is applied, watch the candle continue to melt.

    Reply

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