Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare

Paul has been kicking off the day lately at The Standard’s Open Mike with a string of posts that suggests he is not a John key fan. They all begin:

Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.

So far today:

Selfish, greedy.
Max Key.

David Slack: ‘Greed, and hair gel, is good’


New Zealand property investors.

‘Housing ‘mess’ has spread from Auckland to Tauranga


New Zealand property investors.

‘Market tough for renters


Greedy, selfish, uncaring.
New Zealand’s private landlords

One of the worst years for housing problems, says union.

But there’s hope:

Yet there are people who still care and who are unselfish.
Marie Retimana represents the best of New Zealand.
A government that does not ensure its citizens are not paid enough to feed themselves represents the worst of New Zealand.

Helping the needy through social media

Paul is helping the needy at The Standard – they desperately want to believe that New Zealand is a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish neo-liberal nightmare under Key’s wretched leadership.

He has added:

Yet there are people who still care and who are unselfish.
Park Up represents the best of New Zealand.
A government that does not house its citizens adequately represents the worst of New Zealand.

‘Park Up For Homes camp out on Beehive backdoor.

Continually promoting over-wrought negatives is not presenting a more positive alternative.



Put to the Swordfish

Swordfish seems to think he is good at numbers but regardless of if being an obvious tongue in cheek dig he is quite misleading in this comment at The Standard:

I was about to say: It’s amazing how many Dunedinites are on this site.

But, come to think of it, Dunedin is still the most Left-leaning City in the Country* (Wellington’s the only other centre where the Left continue to beat the Right Bloc) … so maybe not all that surprising after all.

* Indeed, it’s been argued that Pete George is the only Dunedinite to have Party-Voted National at the last Election. Isn’t that right, Pete ?

It’s true that both Dunedin electorates currently have Labour MPs and have historically mostly had Labour MPs.

For a start, going by numerous comments at The Standard bitterly complaining about neo-liberalism and National-Lite/Labour-Lite having Labour MPs doesn’t mean electorates are left-leaning.

But Swordfish is ignoring the actual numbers in Dunedin. Take the Dunedin North (the electorate I live in) party vote election results from 2014:

  • National 11,147
  • Labour 11,302
  • Greens 8,035
  • NZ First 2,364
  • Conservative 956
  • Internet Mana 603
  • Legalise Cannabis 172 (go Abe!)
  • Maori Party 124
  • ACT Party 111
  • United Future 86
  • Ban 1080 60
  • Civilian 27
  • Independent Coalition 7
  • Focus 1

Over 70% of the votes went to centre-ish parties. Ok, a few National and Labour voters may lean outside the centre a bit, but there were more votes for National than for any other party.

And it’s worth looking at trend for National:

  • 2002: 4,481 (16.19%)
  • 2005: 8,217 (25.14%)
  • 2008: 9,692 (29.35%)
  • 2011: 9,707 (32.89%)
  • 2014: 11,302 (32.26%)

Sure the Labour+Green vote is significantly higher but that is influenced markedly by Metiria Turei standing for Greens. She is arguably still better known than Michael Woodhouse and certainly has had a higher profile than David Clark. If she retired it would be interesting to see how the party voting went.

Swordfish also didn’t mention that this century I have voted for four different parties in Dunedin North, including Greens and Labour.

Te Reo Putake was taking a dig at Colonial Viper but lets look at his comment “Curran is too popular” in relation to the Dunedin South results in 2014.

Curran won the electorate by 3,858 votes from a National candidate with very little public profile.

That’s not a large margin compared to say Phil Goff with over twice as big a margin and David Shearer with three times the margin (but TRP may not think they are very left leaning).

But the critical party vote in Dunedin South in 2014:

  • National 15,003
  • Labour 12,518
  • Greens 4,626
  • NZ First 3,429
  • Conservative 1,104
  • Internet Mana 307
  • Legalise Cannabis 171  (they are based in Dunedin South)
  • ACT Party 125
  • Maori Party 95
  • Ban 1080 77
  • United Future 63
  • Civilian 18
  • Focus 7
  • Independent Coalition 5

That doesn’t look hugely left-leaning to me.

And TRP, before and while Curran has stood for Labour in Dunedin South their party vote:

  • 2005: 20,348 (57.13%
  • 2008: 17,408 (46.73%)
  • 2011: 12,326 (34.97%)
  • 2014: 12,518 (33.13%)

If I was a Labour supporter I’d be alarmed by that.

Dunedin South includes the South Dunedin area, one of the most socially deprived areas in New Zealand.

Despite that Dunedin doesn’t doesn’t look to be a hugely left leaning city, and is trending away from Labour.

And I’m sure a few Standardistas would also argue about how left leaning David Clark and Clare Curran actually are. They are hardly working class heroes.

Both are more typical of the modern Labour Party and their careerist MPs – they both worked for Labour MP offices in Wellington before being awarded their safe Labour electorates, which are getting less Labour vote as the century rolls on.

The Dunedin electorates are leaning less and less Labour’s way.