Why did Tolley talk about contraception?

The Q & A interview with Anne Tolley yesterday set off a lot of discussion about contraception and sterilisation in relation to at risk children.

Tolley and National have been accused of many things including deliberate diversion (from the TPPA or whatever) and promoting ‘eugenics, again.

Anthony Robins at The Standard:

Are we still “not quite” at the stage of compulsion, or are the Nats going to cross that line? It’s obvious from their record that they have a thoroughly unhealthy obsession with the idea. John Key “thinks” (despite all the evidence to the contrary) that parents on the DPB are “breeding for a business”. That kind of sick and stupid attitude can never be allowed to control reproductive rights.

Paul at The Standard:

The National Party have set up a predictable diversion to knock the TPP off the headlines just as Groser is being taken to court to release the text.

Danyl McLauchlan at Dim-Post:

Clickbait government

This government would never actually carry out the daunting legal and policy work required to implement mandatory contraception for beneficiaries, but they sure do like floating the idea whenever there’s a dip in the polls, to outraged cries from liberal pundits and roars of approval from the talkback radio moronocracy. This is the third or fourth time the Nats have said we ‘have to have this conversation’ about beneficiaries and eugenics.

Threatening to force women to be sterilised is far better for the Minister’s media monitoring statistics than the actual pedestrian work of delivering the option of contraception to women who might desperately need it. As always with these buffoons, generating headlines is the core role of government.

So why did Tolley “float the idea”? Actually she didn’t. She was asked about it seven minutes forty seconds into a ten minute interview. She responded to it, she didn’t float it.

Michael Parkins at 7:40 : You talk about early intervention a lot here, isn’t obviously the most early form of intervention stopping some people from having children, or having more children?

Anne Tolley: Well that’s very difficult for the State to do. I  certainly think we should be providing more family planning, more contraceptive advice to some of the families that we know are, I mean I know of cases that CYF have taken a sixth and seventh baby from.

The question I’ve asked is so what advice is now going in to that parent?

Parkins: So how could you stop them from baby three and four, because you know they’re going to fail at it?

Tolley: Yes, yes that’s exactly right.

Parkins: If you were really tough about these things that’s what you’d do though isn’t it?

Tolley: Well we’ll wait and see what the recommendations are. That’s a conversation that New Zealanders perhaps need to have.

Parkin: Could that be the result of this?

Tolley: Well that’s a big step when the State starts telling people, you know, deciding if you can have another child and you can’t. I mean that’s a huge step for the State to take.

Parkin: But you’re not ruling that out being part of this next report that comes.

Tolley: Well I’ll wait and see what the panel report. I expect that they will be saying that we should get much faster contraceptive advice in, we should be offering you know tubal ligations, all sorts of things. Um and counselling those families.

Full interview: Overhauling our child care services (10:03)

That was brought up and pushed by Parking with I think very moderate responses from Tolley.

A Green Dunedin City councillor tweeted:

Hey , I thought over the weekend we went forward an hour, not back in time?

That was favourited by Green co-leader Metiria Turei. She’s over in the US at the moment so can be partly excused for perhaps not knowing the full context, but Hawkins doesn’t have that excuse.

This is either ignorance of how the topic came up and how it ran through the interview, a cheap shot, or deliberate dirty politics.

“Labour is the party of economic competence”

Anthony Robins makes a case at The Standard that Labour is the party of economic competence.

The old myth that National are good managers of the economy should now be well dead and buried. By any realistic assessment of the records of the last two governments, Labour is the party of economic competence.

Labour: 9 surplus budgets, paid down net government debt to zero, established the Cullen fund, KiwiSaver, KiwiBank and emissions trading scheme, low unemployment, negotiated a successful free trade agreement with China, and so on.

National: 7 deficit budgets (so far), ran up record government debt, sold productive assets, made significant losses by cutting Cullen fund contributions, gutted the emissions scheme, got taken for a ride by Hollywood, Sky City and Rio Tinto, higher unemployment, is negotiating a disastrous TPP, and more.

There’s some valid points there, but also some questionable ones. And some significant omissions, for example Kiwirail, and the fact that the New Zealand economy was heading into difficult times while Labour was still in Government, having committed the country and the incoming National Government to significant increased spending.

There’s certainly things National can be criticised for, but “made significant losses by cutting Cullen fund contributions” is nonsense, and the Hollywood deal can be credited in part for improving tourism which is one of the countriy’s biggest earners now.

Labour needs to highlight the issue of economic competence next election (with any luck the media will do their job too and fairly present the facts). It is supposed to be a core National strength, but any clothes that emperor ever had are long gone now. National is vulnerable.

Robins looks back to the Labour Government led by Helen Clark and Michael Cullen. They were voted out in 2008, seven years ago.

National aren’t judged on the Bolger Government, or the Muidoon Government.

Of course National is vulnerable, especially if the economic situation worsens or doesn’t improve much.

But Bill English is widely seen as a very sound Minister of Finance who has managed the economy through very difficult times. If he remains then National may still look economically reliable. If not it National will have to look like they have got a comparable replacement.

Sure “Labour needs to highlight the issue of economic competence” – but Andrew Little and Grant Robertson have to do quite a lot of convincing yet about perceptions of their economic competence. If they are still leader and Finance Spokesperson at the election.

And absent any poll recovery miracle Labour still have to grapple with how economically competent Labour+Greens looks, or Labour+Greens+NZFirst looks.

They’ve got plenty of time. It’s two years until we head into the next election campaign.

But they’ve had plenty of time. It’s nearly seven years and four leader/finance spokesperson combinations since Labour lost power.

Before Labour is seen as ‘the party of economic competence’ they need to be seen as a party that can competently manage itself.

Anthony Robins’ mistruth about Key lying

Grant Robertson’s breach of privilege complaint against John Key has quickly descended into inaccurate counter claims about inaccurate claims.

Anthony Robins descends into farce in his post Key descends into farce. He accuses Key of lying:

So Key has been caught out in another lie to Parliament, how does he respond?

A spokesman for Key said he stood by his statement.

But Robins appears to be caught up in some mistruthing himself.

What the IRD said was:

it would lead to “lower numbers of KiwiSaver members (particularly among the self-employed and children)”.

I haven’t seen any evidence of Inland Revenue saying anything directly on this, and no evidence of them saying anything to Key.

Robins quotes what was stated in a Treasury report (who consulted Inland Revenue). It is not a quote from Inland Revenue.

Unequal posts on inequality

Anthony Robins has posted an unusually detailed economic analysis in Inequality – Treasury reportnot his usual style at all.

Last week Treasury came out with a detailed and interesting report, Inequality in New Zealand 1983/84 to 2013/14. The web page is here, and the full document (pdf)here. From the summary:

The results indicate an increase in the inequality of market and disposable income per adult equivalent person (using the individual as the unit of analysis) from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Subsequently, inequality has – with some variability – remained either constant or has fallen slightly.

It wasn’t widely reported. What coverage there was repeated the message of the The New Zealand institute, that inequality is supposedly not rising.

Dig beneath the surface however.

Someone has certainly done some digging.

One could almost suspect he could have help from his local MP, who happens to be the Opposition spokesperson for economic development and small business. But they say at The Standard that authors only ever post their own personal opinions without any party or Parliamentary input.

As we all know inequality increased sharply with the neoliberal reforms of the late 80’s – early 90’s. From the report:

It appears that the 1980s reforms – involving cuts in the top income tax rate along with benefit cuts and the ending of centralised wage setting [i.e. the ECA] – are associated with increasing inequality.

The measures level out (damage done) during the late 90’s. They begin to fall with Labour’s increase to the top tax rate in 2001, and Working for Families in 2004. The momentum of this fall continues until 2010, when there is another sharp upturn in inequality following National’s reduction of the top rate and increase in GST.

In short, the last Labour government acted to reduce inequality, the current National government has acted to increase it. Because of the slow (but cumulative) nature of such changes, it is almost certain that the full effect of National’s changes have not yet been measured.

In short, Labour good, National bad.

But there’s an unequal post by David Farrar at Kiwiblog – Despite the rhetoric, inequality not increasing in NZ – this looks at the Stuff article that Robins tried to refute.

New Zealand needs to “change its tune” on , think tank The New Zealand institute says.

The group, which is supported by many leading business people, made the call following the publication of a Treasury paper which found inequality in this country has, with some variability, largely remained constant for the past 20 years. …

The new Treasury report acknowledged inequality in this country did rise from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. But it said that since then inequality had – with some variability – remained either constant or had fallen slightly. (Read the report in full here)

In a statement on Friday, NZ Initiative head of research Eric Crampton said “New Zealand simply has no problem of rising inequality”.

In contrast, income inequality had risen in may parts of the world and New Zealand seemed to have imported the narrative that the gap between rich and poor in this country had been widening to the same degree.

“The most striking finding in the latest Treasury work is that inequality in consumption is lower than it was before the reforms of the 1980s. While salary-based measures of income inequality have not declined as dramatically, a lot of work ignore the fact that the tax and transfer system already works to equalise incomes,” Crampton said.

“In the end, it’s consumption-based measures that give us a better picture of real differences in how people live.”

Farrar concludes:

So when you take account of the tax and welfare system, there is less inequality in NZ than the early 1980s when for some bizarre reason socialists hark back to as a golden era.

There’s lies, damn lies, statistics, economic analysis, bloggers and political proxies.


Life in New Zealand is as dire as England in the days as dickens, according to some. Anthony Robins has posted Dickensian which has been the featured post at The Standard today:


Date published:7:23 am, June 25th, 2015 – 59 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, housing, welfare
Tags: , , ,

Step 1: Make welfare assistance almost impossible to obtain.

Step 2: Dismiss the concerns of the poor by telling them they should ask for more help. Done!

And a number of class war warriors actually believe this stuff.


Fuck this government and its supporters.


this is the National Party and its supporters. Nobody else. Just them. Personal to them is this situation. Directly attributable to National Party members personally.

Our community wont even look after its own.

barbaric and uncivilised.

Even Neanderthals had more humanity than National Party members and voters.

I won’t say they’re dicks but they do seem a bit removed from reality. Overstating problems excessively won’t gain much credibility.

Scandal mongering

Anthony Robins has posted A partial list of current scandals at The Standard. While there could be some validity to some claims the usual Labour-style exaggeration and inaccuracy is a feature of the list.

For those of you who are keeping score at home, these are just the current ones (that we know about):

Nick Smith – Auckland housing and cold hearted on state housing deaths.

Are these scandals? Or a Minister streuggling to deal adequately with very complex and difficult issues?

Murray McCully – Saudi sheep bribe.

This is an embarrassment that could reach the scandal  level.

Bill English – Mismanagement of the economy.

Robins, like Labour, is still trying to criticise one of National’s strengths. repating mistakesn is a scandal for those wishing for a Labour Party recovery.

Judith Collins – Defending the illegal export of kauri logs (her husband’s company again).

I believe I’ve seen an apology from Radio NZ for linking Collins with that. There’s no mention on Collins in the linked article.

Steven Joyce – Crazy spending at MBIE.

A fairly minor scandal, Government departments spending extravagantly is a poor look but hardly unusual.

Te Ururoa Flavell – Political interference at Maori TV.

Has this reached minor scandal level yet?

Hekia Parata – Failure to govern Kohanga Reo.

The linked article quotes Labour’s Nanaia Mahuta:

Labour’s Maori development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta said if the minister did not have confidence in the board, they needed to go.

“She should stop stalling and demand their resignations,” Ms Mahuta said.

It looks like a long bow calling that a Parata scandal.

John Key – Lied about Labour’s role in Saudi sheep deal.

John Key – All of the above.

The Standard has been hammering Key over a multitude of lies for about seven years. In that time they have lost three elections, reducing their vote each time. They are on their fourth leader versus Key.

Something isn’t working for Labour. If they picked their battles better rather than using a scatter gun ‘cry scandal’ approach they might do better.

Scandal mongering and lie mongering does nothing to make Labour look like they could do any better.

Bradbury versus The Standard, continued

Martyn Bradbury at The Daily Blog has been feuding with The Standard for several months. It seemed to be as a result of  bitterness after Internet-Mana’s demolition in last year’s election. Bradbury in part blamed the Labour Party for that.

There was a bit of a make up recently but animosity has broken out again.

In Compare how long Slater’s complaint gets investigated to investigations against him Bradbury hit The Standard on something they are very sensitive to.

Compare that to Ben Rachinger who has made a complaint to Police with evidence showing Slater allegedly paying Rachinger over $9000 for black ops information and plotting a cyber crime to hack into a Labour Party blog.

Bradbury didn’t name The Standard, which is childish. But calling his fellow lefties “a Labour Party blog” raised hackles in  comments.

Peter Brittenden

Martyn I thought Ben Rachinger was allegedly paid to hack into The Standard. I didn’t realise it was a Labour Party blog site.


It’s not, and MB knows it’s not, he is spreading misinformation by saying that. Obviously the war between TDB and TS is still raging.

Bradbury responded:

Wow. Just Wow. You read that blog, and all you take from it is a war with the standard? That’s almost as petty as their sad post today, the poor wee things. I’m starting a war am I? Forgive me, weren’t the Standard the very same blog who were claiming the pony hair pulling story was bullshit? That Standard?

The Standard was set up by the Labour Party, the original creation of it was as a Labour Party newsletter for christ’s sakes. It’s a Labour Party blog, that’s why Slater was trying to hack it, to attack the Labour Party. You want to twist that into a ‘war’ go ahead champ. It’s not a war, it’s just a deep dislike of people as pompous as them. The Labour Party and the Greens got their lowest votes in the election, perhaps the bloggers on the standard might want to consider how vicious and tribal they come off when they throw tantrums as an explanation as to why no one wants to vote for them.


Actually I was reading blogs on the Daily Blog when you and Lprent were fighting with each other on here. That’s why I thought the war between you two was still raging, even though I know you hate Labour as well.

I do not think the pony hair pulling story was bullshit.

Have always believed that The Standard is not a Labour Party blog, just like The Daily Blog is not a Labour party blog.

Troops from The Standard joined the discussion. Anthony Robins:

Hi Martyn. Why do you keep repeating Slater’s lie that The Standard is “a Labour Party blog”? As you delete this question (for the fourth time) ask yourself why you are so full of hate. It’s sad. Bye now…


Wow Anthony, you are so self involved it comes across as terribly desperate. When people read the spiteful way you throw tantrums, do you think it helps them want to vote for the Labour Party?

As I said above, The Standard was set up by the Labour Party, the original creation of it was as a Labour Party newsletter for christ’s sakes. It’s a Labour Party blog, that’s why Slater was trying to hack it, to attack the Labour Party.

You read all that blog and all you have is some tantrum over not being a Labour Blog? Wow. Grow up champ.

I don’t hate you, I just dislike the manner in which your blog has personalised public attacks against me, end up sounding like a bunch of children in a playground and most recently your blog was the first to attack the pony tail story and then ever so quickly changed your tone when the PM admitted it and apologised.

I at least have the decency not to post on your blog, perhaps you could extend the same courtesy. Now bugger off.

Bradbury tends to be intolerant of criticism – note that Robins had four attempts to comment. It’s impossible to tell how many others may have tried to join the discussion but comment filtering at The Daily Blog is common.

Next up was Te Reo Putake:

The ‘labour party website’ dig at the Standard is really just Bomber’s little in joke. In the same way, I’ve been known to refer to TDB as the Palestinian Popular Front’s digital newsletter. Yeah, I know … it was funny at the time. Sort of.

There’s no real problem between the two sites, but it is a bit churlish to not even acknowledge the name of the blog in the post. It’s the Standard. thestandard.org.nz I’m not sure why the name of the blog that was the proposed victim of Cam’s cyber bullying was left off the post and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the latest Open parachute rankings. Probably.

It was “a bit churlish to not even acknowledge the name of the blog in the post” – but TRP resorts to his normal levels of snide digs. And he denies reality (not unusual for TRP) with “there’s no real problem between the two sites”.

Bradbury’s response:

Hi TRP – You’re the same one who wrote on The Standard that the pony hair tail pulling story was bullshit because it appeared on TDB. How did that work out champ?

Do you think your petty point scoring is what will attract progressive voters or are you too tribal to notice?

Petty point scoring seems to be in overdrive between The Daily Blog and The Standard.

Meanwhile at The Standard  Robins had taken a return swipe at Bradbury in his post Update on dirty politics developments:

Martyn Bradbury, who hates us so much that he cannot even bear to mention our name…

The biggest voices for the left in the New Zealand blogosphere going hammer and tongs is not a good look for political prospects of the left.

The Standard’s ‘not Labour’ problem

Something that came up, again, with Ben Rachinger’s story yesterday was The Standard’s connections with the Labour Party.

Cameron Slater’s alleged attempted hack of The Standard was to find proof that Labour staffers were Standard authors. This was to be used to embarrass Andrew Little on the first day of Parliament this year, as Little had stated their were no Labour staffers blogging.

This was interesting in itself, as Slater apparently hadn’t noticed that The Standard had already distanced itself from Parliamentary staffers who had been writing and contributing blog posts.

In it’s obsession with appearing to be non-Labour late last year Lynn Prentice announced he had resigned as a Labour Party member.

Prentice and others go ballistic and sometimes ban people who claim The Standard is a Labour Party blog.

Which seems to be futile. Most people don’t differentiate between ‘a labour left blog of individual authors’ and ‘a Labour Party blog’.

It’s not just righties and people wanting to have a dig or push buttons at The Standard. In a post yesterday left of labour left blogger Martyn Bradbury wrote in a post:

Compare that to Ben Rachinger who has made a complaint to Police with evidence showing Slater allegedly paying Rachinger over $9000 for black ops information and plotting a cyber crime to hack into a Labour Party blog.

Bradbury is wrong – I don’t think The Standard is ‘a Labour Party blog’.

The Standard frequently points this out, and took the opportunity yesterday to do so through a post by Anthony Robins, Welcome to The Standard.

This blog started in August 2007. Our About page really needs updating, but basically The Standard is a bunch of people who write on the same blog. There is no central organisation, there often isn’t agreement. We come from a variety of backgrounds and have many political affiliations, some support Labour, some The Greens, some Mana (and some no party at all).

The administration (and most of the operating costs) of the blog is all the work of lprent (Lynn Prentice). Although it is a lie often told about us this is NOT a Labour Party blog, and there is no control from Labour – the way we have disagreed on, disagreed with, and attacked various Labour leaders should be proof enough of that. Almost every current author is someone who started out commenting on the site, and drifted in to writing.

We are the loosest possible collective, a group of lefties / progressives who care, and write, and respect each other’s opinions even when we disagree. There’s a list of currently active authors at the end of the post.

This is a typical Labour Party denial at The Standard. For some reason they want to be seen as not the Labour Party.

Why do they not want to be seen as associated with Labour? That baffles me. Labour desperately needs a strong identity, including a strong online identity.

Perhaps The Standard thinks that it’s frequently abusive nature (led by example by lprent/Prentice) isn’t a good look for the Party. And that they want to use resident trolls to attack and try to drive away anyone not deemed ‘labour left’ enough, including Labour Party supporters and people that Labour needs to attract without reprimand from the party.

But this attempt at separation from the Labour Party is futile. And highly hypocritical as their authors frequently try to associate everything Cameron Slater at Whale Oil and David Farrar at Kiwiblog post with the National Party.

It’s particularly futile because of the associations of the active authors. Robins posted:

About 70 people have written for The Standard over the years. For the record, here’s a list of those who are currently active (have written at least once this year). Those who write under their own names or are well known are: Mike Smith, lprent (Lynn Prentice), Helen Kelly, Bryan Gould, Mandy Hager, Stephanie Rodgers, mickysavage (Greg Presland), Anthony Robins (r0b), Ben Clark. Those who prefer to write under partial names or pseudonyms are Tracey, Bill, te reo putake, Bunji, BLiP, KJT, RedLogix, Natwatch and stargazer (sincere apologies to anyone I have missed!).

Prentice has only just resigned as a long term Labour Party member. He has often bragged about his association with Helen Clark. He is closer to being a Labour Party blogger (though technically not one) than a labour left blogger.

His fellow Standard trustee Mike Smith is an ex General Secretary of the Labour Party and employed adviser to Labour Party leaders. In the past he has blogged as a Labour staffer.

Neither of these two post very often but Prentice is prominent in site moderation which often involves ignoring the breaking of rules by Labour leaning commenters and making up excuses to berate and ban non-Labour participants.

Robins is a regular author currently. He has also been an active Labour Party member and has been involved in Labour’s Dunedin North election campaigns.

Greg Presland is one of the most regular authors currently (as mickysavage) and is also prominent as a Standard organiser. Every Standard post is promoted on Twitter under his name and under @thestandard:

PreslandStandardTwitterPresland is best known in politics not as being active in the Labour Party, not as as active in David Cunliffe’s New Lynn electorate and in West Auckland for Labour, but as Cunliffe’s donations trust lawyer and organiser.

Why Prentice, Robins and Presland go to such lengths to distance themselves from the Labour Party is baffling.

Of the other (occasional) authors that Robins lists:

Bryan Gould – has just been prominent as one of the authors of the Labour election review (and has been a British Labour Party MP.

Helen Kelly is seen as sympathetic to and closely associated with the Labour Party. She is often mentioned as a future Labour candidate/MP.

Stephanie Rodgers is a Labour Party member who was active in last year’s election campaign.

Ben Clark is an ex Labour Party candidate.

Te Reo Putake is an active Labour Party member.

These authors cover most of the ‘named’ author posts at The Standard.

The other most prolific ‘authors are:

Natwatch – mostly does anti-National attack posts.

Notices and Features – this is what the routine Open Mike and Daily Review posts are done under, plus reposts from other blogs, but opinions sneak in at times and it’s often used to promote anti-National posts.

So while these authors might be “a bunch of people who write on the same blog” they happen to be a bunch of people with mostly active Labour Party associations or long histories with the Labour Party.

It doesn’t matter much whether there are still Parliamentary staffers in the roster or not.

And The Standard has a perception problem they can’t do much about. The use of pseudonyms, especially like ‘Natwatch’ – leaves them open to speculation about what sort of party association the authors might have.

I think the Standard obsession with trying to disassociate themselves from the Labour Party is a symptom of the Party’s problem.

If New Zealand’s most prominent Labour connected blog keeps trying to distance themselves from the party it doesn’t show much faith or confidence or pride in the Party then it’s a sad outlook for Labour.

One thing is apparent – the Standard is barely promotes the Labour Party. They mostly attack the National party.

They could probably be better described as an anti-National Party blog.

Like many voters they seem to have given up on being proud of the Labour Party.

The Standard is similar to the Labour Party in a way. Like the party they have become a narrow minded bunch of activists who don’t want to listen to any alternative to their outdated political views and aims.

They abuse and actively drive away moderate voters who used to support Labour.

And they wonder why “the missing million” don’t want to vote for them.

The Standard actively entrenches a ‘not ready for Government’ perception – and blames everyone and everything else for their problems.

They have lost any pride or confidence in their own Party.

All they can muster is a ‘trash-National’ bash wagon in the hope that voters will eventually see National as worse than Labour. Those left voting.

The Standard’s ‘not-Labour’ problem inadvertently highlights why New Zealand continues to vote not-Labour.

If there’s ever a blog that rises, that proudly promotes and supports the Labour Party, that welcomes a wide range of opinions, that debates things that really matter, then there could be some hope for a Labour revival. Don’t look to The Standard for it.

Woe is MickySavage

Anthony Robins has posted on the dismal news for Labour in Roy Morgan for May – 25.5% to National’s 54% and points out:

This poll was taken after Key’s ponytail harassment, clearly National have not suffered any damage from that fiasco. It was also before the budget, so the effects of that (positive or negative for National) have yet to be factored in.


Even allowing for the variability of the Roy Morgan I find this a very surprising poll, I don’t think anyone predicted it.

Anthony may not have noticed any predictions or reality, he has been too busy trying to attack John Key and National, but I don’t find this poll surprising at all.

Greg Presland adds:

RM bounces around. General confidence was up. More than anything else this one statistic is vital in determining how people are going to vote. They are willing to forgive all sorts of strange behaviour as long as their job looks secure.

Two major problems:

1. The right’s resources are way more than the left’s. Whether it be sycophantic media mouths placed in positions of power by corporates or Government appointees or campaign dollars progressives are missing out big time. And National’s resources are significant. All this flowing of resources to the top 1% is showing and they are not going to give up without a fight.

2. National is willing to sacrifice good public policy to retain power. Their micro management of issues is at one level inspiring but at another level terrifying.

It feels like progressives have one hand tied behind our back …

Another who has been too busy running negative attacks to notice reality.

Your hands aren’t tied Greg. You have become bogged down in negatives because you aren’t creating positives. You’ve tied yourself up in nots and seem to have forgotten progress is made by looking at whats.

The floggings will continue until moral improves.

When Greg and Anthony are enthusiastically promoting a credible Labour alternative then there could be some hope, but the nasty them, poor us, woe is us laments are why Labour is languishing, in part at least.

And they are still blind to it.

If you have a dead horse and all you can do is try and kill the other horse in the race then your chances of winning aren’t great.

Labour delusions continue

Post budget reaction from loyal Labour demonstrates a continued failure to accept their own deep-seated problems and an obsession with trying to trash National as being the pathway to success.

Anthony Robins has posted Outflanking Labour on the left at The Standard.

I’m seeing right wingers run the line “outflanking Labour on the left” quite a bit (just coincidence I’m sure).

We used to call it “swallowing dead rats”.

We used to call it “losing the argument”.

Please by all means National keep moving left. It’s shifting the political center to the left. Capital gains tax is OK now. Raising benefits is Ok now. The left is winning from opposition. Please keep outflanking us!

Another Labour try-hard Greg Presland added:

Well put.

As the dust settles a few themes are appearing.

National agrees that child poverty is an urgent issue but it has delayed implementation of measures until April next year.

National hates doing anything that lets us provide for our future.

National lied about “no new taxes”.

National is underfunding health and education.

National is doing nothing about our future and has a series of band aids being applied to urgent political issues.

Trying to make a win for Labour and disaster for Nationalout of an embarrassing budget response is kinda sad but loyal Labour activists have had a lot of experience at this over the last few years.

The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell pointed out contractions in the attack lines from Robins.

I thought this was the most evil right wing government in the history of NZ politics. I thought they were governing for their rich mates. I thought they were selling us out to America.

Is this all now untrue? Are they really, as others have been saying since 2008, quite moderate?

Instructions please. I have a dinner party with lefties tonight so need advice urgently.

Robins responded:

I thought this was the most evil right wing government in the history of NZ politics.

I don’t recall saying such a thing,

I thought they were governing for their rich mates.


I thought they were selling us out to America.

Trying to but it’s all going a bit pear shaped.

Is this all now untrue?

As above.

Are they really, as others have been saying since 2008, quite moderate?

As right wing governments go I guess they are relatively moderate, but that still means they don’t give a damn about the poor, the environment, or long term planning, and that irks me. What they’re mainly concerned about is being in power. And they’re prepared to swallow any number of dead rats to stay there. Which is what the post is about.

It’s not National who are in dire delusional trouble, it’s Labour.

It’s easy to see why Tat loo is a bit of a rebel in Labour – he’s had some perception about their problems for some time, clashing within the party.

With its Budget, National has made it plain to all how far Labour has moved to the centre and how much unoccupied room Labour has discarded on the Left in doing so. Nationals strategists have cunningly decided to grab that space for themselves, leaving Labour political-economically marooned in no man’s land.

What will Labour do now? Perhaps Labour will launch proposals for bettering what beneficiaries are being offered in the NAT Budget? Or possibly more likely, Labour will start a discussion on new innovative ways in which NZ Super might be withheld.

NB anyone see any suggestions yet from Labour that they will look after beneficiaries better than National has done in this Budget? That Labour will broaden the scope or magnitude of National’s base benefits lift? Nah didn’t think so.

Philip Ferguson agrees:

I thought Viper’s comments were perfectly reasonable. It’s not that they have believe in National; it’s that they don’t have faith in Labour. And why would they?

Can anyone here who supports Labour explain why three Labour governments didn’t increase benefits?

I don’t think anyone on the left has said this is a “left-wing” budget. It’s a middle-of-the-road social-democratic budget.

It’s simply a comment on how far to the right Labour is on economic policy that Key-English have outflanked them to the left, in the sense of producing a more social-democraic style budget than either the 4th or 5th Labour governments.

For instance, Helen Clark had nine years of surpluses in which to reverse the Richardson benefit cuts and didn’t.

I’m totally opposed to National, but I’m bemused that Labour members/supporters are so hacked off about this budget when it’s an improvement on anything Labour has produced in the *15 years* of the 4th and 5th Labour governments.

It just looks like some folks are engaging in vulgar anti-National Party sniping when what they should be doing is reflecting on why Labour couldn’t even offer the miserable improvements that Key-English are to low-income earners such as beneficiaries.

But don’t expect the Labour loyalists to accept their own problems and address them. They seem destined to keep repeating the same mistakes.

Loo also remarked:

theres still time for Andrew Little to escape the grips of Thorndon Caucus Bubblethink and come back to the real NZ.

Little initially showed promise of something different but he seems to have been sucked in by the mangled message party machine. Unless he rebels and does something different – like as if he can be a leader or something – then Labour looks in big trouble as a party. Still.