Poll paints a pall on Labour

The latest poll result is bad for Labour – Roy Morgan – National 51, Labour 29

Doom and gloom is being expressed in an aptly named Roy Morgan shocker at The Standard. Most state the obvious, but one of the most astute comments is from longstanding Labour Party stalwart Irish Bill.

Here’s the latest Labour release on the GCSB: PM clueless about GCSB’s snooping for Henry inquiry

In just a handful of paragraphs it manages to move from the claim Key is clueless to the claim he’s not only not clueless but is engaged in a Machiavellian plot to hide the truth. It’s not just not in line with any broader messaging (because there isn’t any), it doesn’t even have internal logical consistency. It’s the kind of thing I would use to illustrate what not to do when teaching basic media writing. And it’s gone out in David Shearer’s name on the most important political issue of the day.

It’s that kind of incompetence day after day after day that has got us to this point and I can’t see it getting any better. It’s not a matter of policy (left or right) that has determined Labour’s decline – it is simply the fact that nobody in there has any idea what they are doing.

I think this nails Labour’s biggest problem – nobody there seems to have any idea what they are doing. Or they keep having bad ideas.

Last week it was announced that Fran Mold was returning to Shearer’s office to replace his Chief of Staff who has been moved on.

Perhaps Mold hasn’t had time to stamp her nous on Shearer’s management but it wasn’t particularly good when she was head of his PR department until a few months ago.

And one of The Standard’s most prolific commenters and an increasingly frustrated Labour supporter Colonial Viper says:

Yep. It’s trying to play “gotcha” instead of expressing the practical application of consistent values and principles.

Yesterday Grant Robertson tried to piggy back on the Green Party’s success at holding National to account over the Vance data debacle, but the Greens have been diligently working away on that issue for weeks.

Russel Norman is being widely viewed as the Leader of the Opposition – but for all that Greens have nudged down in the polls too, down 1.5 to 10%. That may be more to do with Labour-Greens being seen as the opposition and Labour dragging their junior partner down.

What’s the solution? Some at The Standard think that Labour has to move left and be a proper old fashioned LABOUR Labour party and stand by it’s traditional principles.

But the proper old fashioned LABOUR members of parliament have long ago bolted from the Labour stable. And the proper old fashioned LABOUR voters have faded away with last century.

The dissection continues. McFlock:

So what the hell’s happened over the last two months to reverse a solid trend? I mean, that’s four consecutive drops in the RM, which hasn’t happened since goff.

I think at least some of it is garnishers and jonolists editing the truth, but it’s not like labour’s made a sudden change in its performance in that time period. Any ideas?


but it’s not like labour’s made a sudden change in its performance

Correct. They have remained consistently, reliably, steadily self-absorbed, uninspiring, divided, lazy and incompetent.

Remember: the customer is always right.

McFlock then launches into a fairly standard Standard retort to criticism:

Right, this is not going to end up being a derail argument. Fuck off. I will do what you are completely incapable of, you moron. So, go fuck yourself. bye bye.

That, sadly, is an extreme version of Labour Caucus responses to criticism, and worse – their reaction to offers of fresh ideas and input. In my experience they have been far from welcoming to anyone that wants to do more than be a docile MP admiring servant.

I think Labour’s first priority needs to be to look competent. With the current caucus and leadership and advisers that is not going to be easy.

Then they need to be open to an influx of new ideas, supporters – and MPs. But too many of the old guard of incompetents are viciously guarding their pay cheques.


Something that has crossed my mind recently: a negative side of MMP is that it actually reinforces political careerism, since one only has to gain the confidence of one’s colleagues and not necessarily the public.

A good point, but that might apply to Labour last term perhaps. There is an obvious lack of confidence amongst caucus colleagues. And the poll reflects a distinct lack of public confidence in Labour as a whole.


Labour seems to have forgotten how to ‘dance’ with the public.

Yes. All their MPs (and bloggers) seem to be able to do is stamp on each other’s feet.

The poll has painted a pall on Labour – another coat.

What The Standard isn’t saying

It’s been interesting to follow the responses to the NZ Power announcement and compare them to now.

When Labour launched there was a flurry of posts from authors that usually only appear when pushing something for someone in the party. Mike Smith posts rarely yet had three promoters – he works in Shearer’s office.

‘Eddie’ and ‘Zetetic’ also got involved, Anthony Robins was very busy for Labour (and so was ‘James Henderson’ who some claim to be a now well known Green staffer).

For a couple of days most posts and comments were about NZ Power.

Since midday on Wednesday there have been no more posts on power. There has been a little comment on Chris Trotter’s post at The Daily Blog criticisng Robertson – “Hey, Julian! – We Are NOT Pleased!” Grant Robertson Calls Off Labour’s Assault On Neoliberalism

But the excitement over a new direction for Labour (a leftward turn) has fizzled and they are back to their usual mix of mundane moaning.

The day NZ power was launched IrishBill posted NZ Power and ther next step where he said:

The NZ Power policy is the most significant break from the neoliberal political consensus we’ve seen for a long time.

Which is why it’s likely to draw a lot of fire from the elite. Let make sure there’s a lot of push back.

The Power seeems to have ben pushed back to off.

What blogs don’t comment on can be as interesting as what they say.

NZ Power politics

The Labour Green proposals for NZ Power are as much about political power as electrical power, as illustrated by some left wing comments:

IrishBill at The Standard in NZ Power and the next step combines political ideology with political power…

First let me say that the NZ Power policy is some of the best progressive policy I’ve seen for a long time – it’s so good to see a real move to break with the Chicago School consensus. And it’s good to see the right caught off guard and resorting to showing the ugly abusive face they usually keep in check. Remember, in politics losing your cool is losing.

But let’s also be clear that this is a policy that threatens to transfer wealth from the elite to the people and, once they gather themselves, the elite will come after this policy hard. Not only to stop NZ Power, but because they know that if it gains traction then it might embolden the electorate to embrace other social democratic policies.

Danyl at Dim-Post in Kicking the tires out from under them…

But you can’t fault the politics. The government needs the partial sale of Mighty River Power to succeed. It’s their signature achievement. English needs the cash, and Key has bled so much political capital and invested so much time on this policy that it has to work. And now the shares are finally on sale to New Zealand buyers. It lists on the NZX early next month. They must have felt like they’d finally made it.

But now Labour and the Greens have announced that if they’re elected dividends from these companies will be minimal. How do you quantify that if you’re a risk analyst for an investment fund? No wonder National are furious, and Simon Bridges was close to tears in Parliament yesterday spluttering about the decline in Contact Energy’s share price.

Maybe the market won’t care, and the float will be a success. But if it isn’t, I don’t think the public will be sympathetic when the government blames the opposition. This is an unpopular policy, and government Ministers blame Labour every time they spill their coffee. It’ll also leave English trying to raise money, either through borrowing, spending cuts or tax increases, all of which would kick in in 2014. Election year.

…doesn’t seem to understand that could actually mean kicking the tires out from under the economy – that will impact on all of us far beyond having a bit of cheap power.

All about winning political power and nothing thought through about the wider implications and impact.

And Green ‘James Henderson’ at The Standard talking up Nats panicking on NZ Power

At the end of the day, National is fucked on this. They stand for the profits of the (often overseas) capitalist elite, which come from sucking the lifeblood from the rest of us. Labour and the Greens have neatly exposed the fact that National stands for the elite while putting themselves on our side. And they’ve done it with a policy that makes a hell of a lot of sense.

This makes it look like a political power game where people are pawns and electricity is being used as spark that could ignite far more than Labour and Greens have thought of.

Something sinister going on within Labour

There’s also something more sinister going on at The Standard. From Just how wrong can you get it?


Step 2: Assume you can really identify who a person is on the internet, especially on sites you have no control over.

I’d dearly love to see the logistical planning involved. Sourcing the naughty comments, doxing the commenters’ handles, comparing to the membership list … but let’s be honest, the whole point of any policy change would clearly be to punish members whose identities are already well-documented (and who have been saying things said senior MP doesn’t like.)


There’s already a bit of that kind of thing going on. It’s why I won’t comment on Red Alert.

Colonial Viper

I have personally witnessed some of the backstory to this post. And it is a damn nasty and personal business behind the scenes. If anything, IB has sugarcoated the facts of the situation with his restraint (that’s not a criticism btw).

And in Open Mic:

Colonial Viper

Yes kind Lefty souls, I’m bugging out too, returning at some future date (hopefully not too far away). IB has highlighted some reasons why, and the stuff he is talking about isn’t kidding around. The miserable and ill-conceived pressure they are putting on Cunliffe and his supporters in caucus, well they are now turning that on to ordinary party members as well. Organisations which find themselves in this state, well what more do I need to say.

(Link to comment and responses)

Colonial Viper has probably been the most regular and prolific commenter at TS.

And maybe not coincidentally:


This will be my last post on the Standard (and probably any other blog) for a while at least – not too sure when Ill be able to post again, but it wont be until well into the New Year at least (perhaps when everthing has settled down).

That’s quite worrying (if you support the concept of free speech and open and transparent politics). The Standard does it’s own message and messenger control, but if it’s how it looks it is many degrees worse.

A poor Standard

Wow, what’s going on at The Standard – A poor investment. There’s some touchy ‘moderators’.

Being banned there yesterday wasn’t a surprise, Eddie has little tolerance for having the Labour messsage of the day disrupted (even though I agreed with part of post ).

But I thought Irish Bill was one of the more fair ones at The Standard. Until today. He posted a premature ‘analysis’ of the merits of investing in Mighty River. Kevin commented:

After reading your thoughts regarding the partial sell down of energy assets it is probably best that you don’t invest because you don’t exhibit a great deal of knowledge on the subject.

For instance in capital markets shares in energy utilities are amongest the most highly prized of investments because they produce a consistent and regular income stream, an excellent return on investment.

In a New Zealand context the energy utilities are still partially owned by the government which affords good protection from competitive activity, because governments are in a good position to regulate the market and reduce the extreme swings that occur in other markets such as rental housing or finance companies.
Share values in utilities don’t experience the highs and lows of other markets, therefore it is a misnomer that trading in the shares alone is the quick route to wealth, it is not.

Investors in this market are in for the long haul and the dividends and relative security of the investment.

IrishBill: It is probably best you don’t comment on blogs as you seem to lack basic comprehension. Take a week off for starting a comment by insulting an author.

An accurate first statement  that could hardly be called an insult – more of a defensive over reaction in ignorance.

Actually a very sound comment on the nature of investiment in power companies.

And then JR:

As a regular reader of the standard but not a commenter, I am a bit shocked that you would ban someone for that? For those of us without strong leanings one way or another in the political spectrum it is interesting to see and hear both sides of an argument. Given some of the hysterical comments and insults that get thrown around Kevin’s barely registered.

What prompted me to reply was the fact that instead of countering his argument you have a bit of a sulk and ban him for a week?! If his logic and conclusions are cobblers then have the courage in your argument, develop a bit of a thicker skin and demonstrate the flaws in his – not throw a wee tanty and silence his perspective. If all you want are fan boy like responses – ok, but tell people up front….Open dialogue whether you like the comment or not is healthy even if it is just to prove the soundness of your own position.

Many of the bannings I have seen were fully deserved – but this just came across as shutting down a view you didn’t like because you thought it made yours look incorrect. Poor form

IrishBill: For all your regular reading you’ve obviously not paid attention to my moderation style. If you come into my house and start by insulting me you’ll get slung out. I also dislike people attributing motives to me so you can take a week off for that and for your “tanty” remark.

If that’s the sort of ‘insult’ you can expect to get ‘slung out’ for it makes the forum there farcical.

I often comment there knowing the knife is hovering if I push the boundary a little, and sometimes they lose control and ban, despite much worse crap frequentlybeing ignored.

But this is like nothing I’ve seen there – an extreme reaction from Irish Bill because, well, either his comments were financialy ignorant, or they were deliberate crap to try and muddy the investment waters.

Edit: JR has posted again at The Standard, it may not last long so copied here:

JR 10.2.1

@irishbill, not a problem….I will happily go back to just being a reader, I don’t think I can be banned from that can I LOL – you kind of made my point for me, I wanted to see your response to his point but to the average reader with an interest in the topic your choice came across as that banning was simpler than counter argument.

Open abuse of RWNJ’s is ok and never banned, but any considered opposing thought that contains the slightest of negative comment attached gets banned. Is that really the message?

Would you not rather have 500 replies covering all aspects of the topic at hand that show why it is valid versus the RW position.

By all means ban the dross that passes for comment but being a bit precious and banning people for having the temerity to stand up for their thoughts….really? Why even write a blog or opinion piece then?

BTW No nead to publish this – you have made your position clear. Just giving mine. Have a good week





Good to see this place is still as retarded as ever.

And more comments:


This is typical of the ‘Nanny State’ left!
Reason #236 why they currently aren’t in power (the financial literacy that is shown by IrishBill in the article above is reason #1).

Kevin is 100% correct JR, that was his biggest mistake, with no retort all IrishBill could do was ban him for a week to stop him from further embarrassing him on his own topic.

Tom, before I take my imminent (probably permanent) vacation from The Standard, according to the latest figures from treasury (take these with a pinch of salt), the sell down of 49% of these powerco’s is going to reduce income by approx. $100M per annum. The float is expected to raise $4-$7 billion. This means (in very simplistic, inflation not taken into account terms) it would take 40-70 years to raise these funds through dividends. Who knows what new power producing technologies will be available by then……the French are currently working on fission reactors as one example.

If power prices go up as everyone here keeps saying they will, the government dividend goes up and that 100M gap is reduced, so everyone saves money (using the logic of ‘we already own the power stations’). Power prices go down, the government has already cashed out while they were profitable.

Murray Olsen

So sell and hope something better comes up makes economic sense? The sales make perfect sense from a trader’s point of view, but not so much as investments. Key is by nature a trader and a speculator and seems completely unable to take any other viewpoint. Now please go back to your dominatrix state on steroids. While you’re at it, feel free to google “fission reactor” and think about how it can be a new technology.



I’m currently on a ban at The Standard given without warning for  a minor ‘misdemeanour’ that is no different to what is commonly done there – except that Eddie (Labour psuedonym) didn’t like what I linked to because it challenged his crude cartoon lampoon.

I’m also currently on an apparent ban at Red Alert, by comments disappear without trace. I’ve asked both David Clark (my electorate MP) and Clare Curran (the other Dunedin MP) about it and they have ignored me.

Blogs are supposed to be social media, not social engineering. What are Labour afraid of. Having their talking points challenged?