Little on failing Maori

Labour have often been accused of taking their Maori support and Maori seats for granted. They lost seats when the Maori MPs split and formed the Maori Party, but they have won all but one of them back.

In an interview on The Nation Andrew Little blasted the Maori Party – “the Maori Party has totally failed Maori” but avoided acknowledging he had demoted his Maori MPs.

Lisa Owen: So the Maori King has given Nanaia Mahuta a serve this week and is putting his support behind the potential Maori Party candidate in Hauraki-Waikato. He says she’s got no mana after being moved down the party rankings. Do you take responsibility for that loss of mana because you demoted her?

Andrew Little: No. I think if the Maori King wants to hitch his wagon to a failing National Party and a Maori Party that has just totally failed Maori, failed to deliver anything meaningful to Maori, it’s his prerogative.

Lisa Owen: This is about Nanaia Mahuta being moved down the rankings, Mr Little.

Andrew Little: I backed Nanaia, who is not only in my shadow cabinet but in the front bench, and—

Lisa Owen: No, she’s not on the front bench, Mr Little.

Andrew Little: Yes, she is.

Lisa Owen: No, she’s not. The front bench in Parliament—The physical front bench in Parliament is, what, eight seats? She’s not on that front bench.

Mahuta is currently ranked 11. Here is the seating plan as at 8 March 2017, after Jacinda Ardern’s promotion to deputy this week:

LabourSeatingParliament

Mahuta is clearly not on the front bench. Was Little trying to fib, or did he not remember where Mahuta was placed?

Andrew Little: She is in the group that meets every week to lead the direction of the caucus and the party. She’s in that group.

Lisa Owen: How many spots did she drop down, Mr Little?

Andrew Little: We have two Maori on the front row—

Lisa Owen: Mr Little, for clarity, how many spots has she dropped down?

Andrew Little: She has—We have two Maori on the front bench. We have, I think now, five Maori in our shadow cabinet.

I can see just one Maori MP in the front row, Kelvin Davis.

Mahuta and Whatiri are in the second row.

Henare (who Labour tried to move out of his electorate), Rurawhe and Tirikatene are in the back row,

Lisa Owen: Do you not want to answer that question? How many spots has she dropped down?

Andrew Little: But you’re—If you—

Lisa Owen: How many spots, Mr Little? It’s a simple question.

Andrew Little: If you want to run to me the Maori Party line, by all means, you know, go ahead. I back our Maori caucus. We have an outstanding Maori caucus.

Lisa Owen: You demoted Nanaia Mahuta.

Mahuta was 6 on Labour’s list in 2014 (Davis was 18). David Cunliffe promoted Mahuta to 4, but Little dropped her to 11.

Andrew Little: We have in Nanaia an outstanding advocate for Maori. She’s doing terrific things for Maniapoto right now, and we’re going to have a fantastic Maori caucus after the election and they’re not going to be the lap dogs of anybody. They’re not going to be called in on a grace and favour basis, as Maori MPs are with the National Party right now.

Lisa Owen: Mr Little, how many spots did you demote her?

Andrew Little: They are part of the Labour DNA. They’ll be sitting around that Cabinet table. They’ll be sitting around the caucus, and Labour will be capable of doing way more for Maori than the Maori Party, shackled to the National Party, could ever do.

Current ranking of all of Labour’s Maori MPs:

  • Kelvin Davis 7
    Spokesperson for Māori Development
    Spokesperson for Corrections
    Spokesperson for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
  • Nanaia Mahuta 11
    Spokesperson for Conservation
    Spokesperson for Whānau Ora
  • Meka Whaitiri 13
    Spokesperson for Local Government
    Associate Primary Industries Spokesperson. Associate Food Safety Spokesperson, Economic Development (incl Regional Development), Trade and Export Growth.
  • Peeni Henare 22
    Spokesperson for Urban Māori, Māori Broadcasting, & State Services.
    Associate Māori Development and Economic Development.
  • Adrian Rurawhe 24
    Spokesperson for Internal Affairs
    Associate Education (Māori) Spokesperson
    Caucus Secretary
  • Rino Tiraketene 28
    Spokesperson for Fisheries
    Spokesperson for Customs

None of those are major portfolios, although Davis has been getting some attention with Corrections.

In his ‘State of the Nation’ speech in January Little made no mention at al of any Maori issues – see Maori 0f Little importance?

Mahuta faces a major challenge from a Maori Party candidate endorsed by the Maori king in her Hauraki-Waikato electorate.

See Maiki Sherman: What the King’s move means in Māori Game of Thrones

King Tuheitia then turned to politics. He spoke of having kept a close eye on Parliament since his surprise address at last year’s coronation celebrations. It was there he severed all ties to Labour. Part of this was due to Labour’s demotion of Nanaia Mahuta.

“Just looking what Labour has done to Nanaia… she’s gone right to the backbench now.”

There were sighs from the marae. Not of surprise but of sadness.

“To me she’s got no mana in there now,” he said.

King Tuheitia then expressed his dismay at Labour’s newly elected deputy leader, Jacinda Ardern. “She’s only been in there five minutes…how long’s Nanaia been in there? 21 years.”

He criticised Labour’s treatment of its other Māori MPs, including Peeni Henare. If you’re wondering what he’s referring to, here’s a reminder – Willie Jackson, Tāmaki Makaurau.

Little is being strongly challenged by King Tuheitia on his apparent lack of commitment to Maori MPs.

Making false claims about Mahuta’s Labour ranking won’t help her or Little’s mana in Maoridom.

With just two seats the Maori Party has been limited in what they could do in Government but they can claim achievements.

Little even acknowledges this by having a Spokesperson for Whanau Ora – Nanaia Mahuta.Whanau Ora is regarded as a cornerstone of the Maori Party coalition agreement with National.

Is the Maori Party failing? Or is Little failing on Maori?

 

Andrew Little versus kaupapa Maori

Andrew Little stirred up Maori politics yesterday with comments on RNZ that slammed the Maori Party. There was a significant reaction via media and on Twitter.

RNZ: Māori Party ‘not kaupapa Māori’ – Andrew Little

Labour leader Andrew Little claims the Māori Party is not kaupapa Māori after hitching its wagon to National, as a new deal between the Māori parties is signed.

Speaking to Morning Report today, Mr Little said the Māori Party hitched its wagon to National, but nothing had changed in terms of Māori over-representation in prisons and unemployment – so it had no influence over National.

He said they had conceded on every important issue.

“In the end, what it comes down to is – how do Māori have the strongest voice? Not just in Parliament, but in government. At the moment it comes through the Māori Party, which is two MPs tacked on to a National Party that doesn’t need to listen to them on anything if it doesn’t wish to. It’s all grace and favour stuff.”

He said Mana’s Hone Harawira was all over the show, and in and out of different waka all the time.

That’s a bit ironic. Harawira responded on RNZ:

Mr Harawira said the Labour leader’s comments about his deal with the Māori Party were inappropriate and quite nasty.

He told Morning Report he found it quite astounding how arrogant Labour leaders could be when talking about what Māori needed.

“I think what Māori really need is to not have white guys like Andrew Little telling us what to do, and what our aspirations should be. Mana has always been clearly its own independent organisation.”

A Maori Party founder and ex leader Pita Sharples later also responded – RNZ Labour leader ‘should be ashamed’- Sir Pita:

Sir Pita  said the Māori Party’s focus was solely a Māori one, and said he was “totally insulted” by Mr Little’s comments.

“It’s that kind of using made-up phrases like that to denigrate the authenticity of Māori that really does the damage in race relations. He should be ashamed of himself.”

Sir Pita co-led the Māori Party from 2004 through to 2013, and said he was baffled by Mr Little’s claims.

“We champion and build kura kaupapa Māori schools highschools, wharekura run reo Māori language programmes and work by hui in marae and always have mihimihi, (greetings) so I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

More from Stuff:  Political attacks are in full swing as Labour and the Maori Party go head-to-head for the Maori seats

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox says…

“He is the worst example of someone who understands Maori and relationship agreements and how to work with other parties for that matter.”

She said the party is divided over Little’s decision to bring high-profile broadcaster Willie Jackson into the party and he’s been dishonest about whether Tamaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare was asked to stand aside in his electorate.

“What’s obvious is there’s disquiet amongst the Maori MPs,” says Fox.

Little:

Little went on to say the Maori MPs in Labour were “fearful” of a high spot on the party list because “they don’t want to give the impression they’re being held up by belts and braces”.

He said Labour’s Maori MPs were advocating for low-list places – it’s widely speculated Jackson, who is running on the list, will receive a high placing.

Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis, who will have a fight against Mana leader Hone Harawira for the seat after an agreement between Mana and the Maori Party to give Harawira a clear run, said Little was right and it was about getting more Maori in Parliament.

He said sitting Maori MPs were prepared to sacrifice a high list place in order to get more MPs, such as former TV presenter Tamati Coffey and Northland candidate Willow-Jean Prime, in to Parliament.

“It’s the risk we’re prepared to take,’ he said.

Unless Labour improves it’s support then list placings will be of little use. Winning an electorate is all important for Labour MPs.

It’s not just politicians who have piled into Little for his comments.


Sparrowhawk/KāreareaAndrew Little and the Māori lightbulb moment

It was a great question from Morning Report’s Susie Ferguson to the leader of the Labour Party, Andrew Little.

Ok…the Labour vote is high in those Māori seats, but isn’t there a hunger from the voters in those seats for an electorate MP who is from a kaupapa Māori party?

It was a great question for two reasons (in my mind)..firstly, the fact that Susie knew what a kaupapa Māori party was, and was comfortable with the nomenclature. Props. Secondly, the answer to that question showed Little lacks a useful understanding of Māori thinking. It was a kind of lightbulb moment in reverse: he showed us he had no idea where the switch is, let alone the bulb, that could illuminate Māori politics for any of us.

[Little] Well, the Māori Party is not kaupapa Māori. We know that, it has conceded on every important issue affecting Māori in the last nine years.

[Ferguson]: They would probably take issue with that!

[Little] Well in the end, what it comes down to is: how do Māori have the strongest voice, not just in Parliament but in government. At the moment it comes through the Māori Party which is two MPs tacked on to the National Party that doesn’t need to listen to them on anything if it doesn’t wish to.

Oh boy. we have the Leader of the Opposition telling us what is and isn’t kaupapa Māori. I don’t really mind any Pākehā person voicing an opinion about things Māori. So the fact that Little is Pākehā doesn’t gall me. What galls me is that he has pronounced grandly upon something he doesn’t understand. As can be seen above he has given us a definition of kaupapa Māori.

Extrapolating from his words above we now know that a political party can only be kaupapa Māori if it wins battles in Parliament on every important issue affecting Māori.

And then he seems to contradict his own statement by saying the Māori Party provides the strongest Māori voice in Parliament (albeit from the beat up Vauxhall being towed behind the big blue bus).

Way to build up your own Māori MPs, Andrew, by conceding they don’t have the strongest voice already.

I’ll leave it to others to defend the Māori Party’s own record. That is not my focus; my focus is instead Little’s apparent ignorance of Māori and Māori modes of thought and action.

So what do we now know of kaupapa Māori in the wake of the Little interview?

  1. No Māori affiliated with the National Party can ever claim to come from a base of Kaupapa Māori
  2. Kaupapa Māori can only ever be measured in terms of policy victories
  3. Kaupapa Māori can only ever be measured in the strength of the loudest voice proclaiming it.
  4. Kaupapa Māori can only be exercised in regards to issues directly affecting Māori.

On this definition, neither the Māori Party nor the Mana Party nor Sir Āpirana Ngata could ever be accused of employing kaupapa Māori.

Little has provided a handy rallying cry for those who would seek to undermine the Labour Māori vote. I am sure his own Māori candidates, MPS and membership will not thank him for disparaging the Māori Party in this way when they find themselves having to defend a leader who has commandeered the Māori language and insulted Māori politicians and voters in such a cavalier way.


Little seems to be struggling with dealing with Maori issues, as well as going on the attack in trying to protect Labour’s Maori seats.

He has indicated he has no interest in talking to the Maori Party about coalition arrangements.

The Alternative Maori Party?

The Green Party used to be known as an alternative party promoting environmental betterment and social goodness.

Under Metiria Turei’s leadership it is putting a lot more emphasis on Maori things.

Yesterday on Facebook:

Top of the billing is the Treaty of Waitangi, something not mentioned by Andrew Little at all in his ‘state of the nation’ speech last week.

In the past Turei and the Greens have only used electorate contests to push hard for the all important party vote, but their are signs of that changing, with Julie Anne Genter having a testing the waters in the Mt Albert by-election, and Chloe Swarbrick challenging to contest Auckland Central saying she wants to win an electorate.

Turei is switching from a quite un-Maori electorate, Dunedin North (where she has been very successful at growing Green support), to the Te Tai Tonga electorate.

I suspect that given her increasing emphasis on Maori she fancies winning a Maori seat.

Are the Greens morphing into an alternative Maori Party?

Labour seems to think it deserves Maori votes due to historical electoral habits, but the Maori vote looks like being hotly contested with five parties with the Maori Party, Mana, Greens and Labour all competing for traditional Maori votes, plus  Winston Peters and Shane Jones looking like going hard out in Northland as well.

Leggett legging it to National?

It is being rumoured that Nick Leggett may stand for National in next year’s election, having left Labour and having had a boot up the bum from Andrew Little.

When he was Porirua mayor Nick Leggett was touted as a future Labour Party leader. But he had to leave Labour to stand for the Wellington mayoralty, and was blasted by Andrew little as ‘right wing’.

In August in Labour MPs forbidden from associating with “right-wing” Wellington mayoral candidate:

And he’s making it clear he considers Nick Leggett, a former Labour Party member, a right-winger.

“His campaign manager is well-known ACT party identity. We know that there’s money from the right-wing that has gone into his campaign. He’s a right-wing candidate.”

Wellington Mayoral candidate Nick Leggett appears to be public enemy number one for the Labour Party as its MPs are forbidden from associating with him.

Labour Leader Andrew Little has pulled rank, preventing MP Stuart Nash from speaking at an event where Mr Leggett was also speaking.

Mr Little said the event was for right-wingers who have routinely sought to undermine the Labour Party and it’s not right for a Labour MP to share a platform with people who do that.

In October Little seemed to have softened. From Another contender in fight for Mt Roskill:

Former Porirua mayor Nick Leggett would be welcome back into the Labour fold as someone with a “big future ahead of him”, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

“Nick is a talented guy…whether he just saw an opportunity for those who wanted to back him for mayor against a Labour candidate, who knows,” Little said, after Labour-endorsed Justin Lester was confirmed as mayor last night.

“He is a talented guy and he has got a big future ahead of him. But he has got to work with people who can organise for his success.”

On Tuesday Leggett indicated that those people wouldn’t be from Labour. Newstalk ZB: Nick Leggett: Labour has changed and I’m not going back

Nick Leggett told Tim Fookes he’s still interested in a career in politics, but it wouldn’t be with Labour as the party has changed.

“I want to live in a country that’s open, its borders are open, it’s open to migrants, it’s open to trade.”

“Unfortunately Labour seems to be going in the opposite direction to that, and I think it’s very sad.”

This morning from Newshub: From Labour to National, is Nick Leggett jumping ship?

Rumours are circulating that former Porirua mayor and ex-Labour stalwart Nick Leggett could be standing in the Mana electorate at next year’s election for the National Party.

It’s up for grabs following Hekia Parata’s decision to leave politics however Mr Leggett says nothing is official – yet.

“I would never say never but I say that in the widest possible sense,” he said.

“I won’t rule out standing for any, I think that would be silly to.”

Labour’s Kris Faafoi (19,651) easily beat Hekia Parata (11,698) in Mana in 2014 but National was ahead by over 2,000 votes in the party vote. Parata won’t be standing again next year.

Is anyone terrified by MANA?

Anger. Fury. Fear. Bomber talks up a terror campaign at The Daily Blog:

It’s MANA that the elites fear turning populist anger against them

Bryce Edwards covers off the anger that is simmering in the electorate and the fear by elites of where that anger will erupt, but I think he misses a very important part of the spectrum which is open to radicalism.

And that is MANA.

To date the fear is that angry hordes of the disaffected and under educated will elect some type of Trump-esk figure who will take the nation to hell in a hand basket.

Maybe.

But if you look at who is bleeding here, it is young, poor and brown. The middle classes are getting nervous about the inequality and the pundits are scrambling to understand a poverty that is beyond their suburbs.

The furious response at Hone announcing his re-entry into politics suggests the elites fear those who are being hurt most by the housing crisis and growing inequality will rejoin the debate and demand a welfare state that isn’t as cruel and draconian as the current one has become.

I don’t recall seeing any fury. Bemusement was more apparent.

Radically demanding a reorganisation of the neoliberal state is what makes the elites nervous, not some old warhorse like Winston making ‘two wongs don’t make a right’ styled 1970s retro-racist jokes.

Given their lack of anything close to success to date radicals demanding a revolution will not be threatening many nerves.

If the poor and those on benefits re-engaged under a radical MANA brand demanding dignity, that would scare the bejesus out of the elites.

In the last election MANA attempted to gain representation using Kim Dotcom’s cash. The electorate punished Hone for trying to be too clever and screamed sell out, the grim reality of poverty however now howels at the door and those being hurt most by Key’s elitist economy are scrambling for a radical solution to their ever decreasing living standards. If MANA provides that, the elites will be terrified.

I doubt that many people will be terrified by Bradbury or by MANA.

Combined with the Internet Party and Dotcom’s millions they got 1.42% of the vote last election, they have no MPs, they barely register in polls, and Labour and the Greens have moved on without them. Labour never wanted to be seen with them.

Voters are likely to see another Bradbury promoted campaign not with terror but as terrible.

A divinely crafted political entity

Chris Trotter is back to blasting “Labour’s 1984-1990 betrayals” and wishfully proposing a “divinely crafted political entity” in An Opposition Worthy Of The Name?

The signal achievement of National’s nine years in opposition was the unification of the Right. With ruthless efficiency, Don Brash and John Key rolled up National’s electoral competitors, leaving only the vestiges of parties that had once attracted, between them, more than 10 percent of the popular vote.

.In contrast to this approach, Trotter wants a left wing dream team.

The bitter truth is that if a beneficent angel were to uplift the best politicians from Labour, the Alliance (before it disappeared) the Greens and the Mana Party, and drop them into a divinely crafted political entity that might – or might not – continue to exploit the still potent Labour brand, then the Government of John Key would be in real trouble.

The current Labour Party bleats on (and on, and on) about being a “Broad Church”, but the sad truth remains that its reservoir for recruitment has never been shallower.

That is a real problem for Labour.

A genuinely “broad church” party of the Left would balance off  Andrew Little with Hone Harawira, Jacinda Ardern with Laila Harré, Stuart Nash with John Minto, Kelvin Davis with Annette Sykes, Grant Robertson with Julie Anne Genter and Annette King with Metira Turei. The whole spectrum of alternative power: from Soft Centrists to Hard Leftists; would be covered.

He must presume that Jim Anderton is in permanent retirement and perhaps that Matt McCarten is going to remain in the background coordinating it all.

Here is a better look at Trotter’s divinely crafted political entity:

  • Andrew Little
  • Hone Harawira
  • Jacinda Ardern
  • Laila Harré
  • Stuart Nash
  • John Minto
  • Kelvin Davis
  • Annette Sykes
  • Grant Robertson
  • Julie Anne Genter
  • Annette King
  • Metira Turei

That’s just twelve, more would be needed for a Cabinet.

That’s just 50% Labour. Even with last election results and current poll numbers that must be based on Trotter’s perception of competence and electability rather as it is nowhere near proportional representation.

It is disproportionately weighted to the far left with three from the MANA Movement plus Laila Harré, all from the Mana/Internet disaster rejected by voters.

The most notable omission is James Shaw. As Green co-leader that’s odd.

And leaving out Labour’s best performer, Phil Twyford, is curious.

That line up would attract the vote of the 1% who supported Internet/Mana and possibly most of the Green supporters, say 10%.

And if they are lucky about half of the current Labour supporters, the left and the unions, might be happy with that, but few of those with some leaning towards the centre and the 10-20% of centrist voters who have deserted Labour are unlikely to be impressed.

Trotter’s list may be divinely crafted by unions and far left activists, but it would destroy Labour. Andrew Little would be unlikely to get back in on the Labour list.

Perhaps that’s what he wants.

 

Trottermania and revolution

Chris Trotter reveals some of the thinking of the revolutionary left in his latest post Making It Stop: Taking Stock Of 4 February 2016, With Some Thoughts About The Way Forward.

First he thanks the organisers of Thursday’s TPPA protest in Auckland.

To Jane Kelsey and Barry Coates I can only say thank you. Demonstrations like the one I marched in on Thursday don’t just happen. They are the product of hours and days and years of hard work, during which people fight not only against loneliness and fatigue, but against the insidious thought that their unceasing efforts might all be in vain.

Observing the glowing faces of Jane and Barry, as they rode down Queen Street on the afternoon of 4 February 2016, it was their selfless commitment to battling on, heedless of setbacks and against all odds, that brought tears to my eyes. Once again, thank you.

One of the features of the protest was the re-emergence of Hone Harawira and the Mana Movement, fighting for Maori sovereignty despite Harawira and others making ignorant or deliberately false claims about it – see Harawira versus TPPA.

Jane Kelsey has been a long time anti-trade political activist who has been working with the Labour Party with their move to a more anti-TPPA stance – see Kelsey briefing Labour on TPPA.

Involved in uniting Kelsey with Labour was Andrew Little’s chief of staff Matt McCarten, who happens to have had close connections with the Mana Party.

Barry Coates was number 17 on the Green Party list for the 2014 election. Recently number 16 Marama Davidson replaced Russel Norman in Parliament so Coates is next in line to be an MP. Here’s his Green candidate profile.

Back to Trotter:

BUT, NOW WHAT? In which direction should the energy generated by the 4 February protest actions be turned?

He suggests a few ongoing protest actions. Then:

The extent to which these core messages have already entered the public’s consciousness has unpleasantly surprised the TPPA’s supporters.

I think he may be overestimating how much the public knows or cares about the TPPA, and there are ample indications the media can see through their spin and have started to call them on it.

Radio NZ, One News and Newshub all showed how little the core messages had entered the protesters’s consciousness let alone the wider public.

They were taken aback at the size and vehemence of the Auckland protests and will already be working on ways to unpick the picture Jane Kelsey and her comrades have embroidered so vividly on the public mind. The Government’s and big businesses’ counter-offensive will have to be met, held, and rolled back.

The comrades versus big business – that’s the core message about what’s driving the TPPA opposition.

I know someone who went to a meeting last week featuring Comrade Kelsey. They genuinely hoped to be informed about the TPPA. They were gobsmacked about how sour and substance-less the messages were.

Strategically, the struggle is between the progressive/patriotic forces operating within the twelve signatory states, and the defenders of the transnational corporations. Obviously, this puts the “Pro” forces at a serious disadvantage. Far from being able to pass themselves off as promoters of the public good, they will emerge from the contest as the big corporations’ fifth columnists, committed to defeating the patriots fighting to prevent the agreement’s ratification.

The people versus the corporations again.

John Key and his Government thus risk entering election year as a collection of figurative “Quislings”, guilty of conspiring against the national interest on behalf of entities without countries, morals or scruples.

If this perception can be driven deep into the electorate’s mind, then National’s chances of re-election will be nil.

Trotter’s comrades dream. It’s a dream they also had last term, with asset sales instead of the TPPA, that became a nightmare when the reality of the election result hit home.

More importantly, the victorious coalition of Labour, the Greens and NZ First will be swept into office with a broad mandate to take on a corporate plutocracy that has ruled without challenge for far too long.

Wonderful. And the world will be rescued from evil at last.

For the first time in over 30 years, there will be a mass political movement dedicated to putting itself “upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus” of the neoliberal machine – and making it stop.

Except this time Labour seem to have decided to fight for the Mana space on the far left, after their worst election result in living memory in part due to a voter reaction against the Internet-Mana.

Comrades were convinced that Internet-Mana would hold the deciding votes after the last election,  and the glorious revolution would be realised.

But instead they crashed, and burned Labour.

Trotter seems to think Labour-Mana is a winning combination along with the Greens and NZ First. I wonder what Winston thinks of all this, he’s politically very astute.

Not long ago Trotter tweeted a link to his post:

Some thoughts on Thursday’s anti-TPPA demo. Has the “Missing Million” woken up?

The ‘missing million’ dream was another failure last election. The ones who vote saw through it.

This seems like just another swing between Trottermanic and Trotterdepressive.

What’s missing is 21st century reality.

Davis assures he’s contesting Te Tai Tokerau

After claims and speculation that Labour were not trying to contest Te Tai Tokerau – see Cunliffe lying about electorate deals? – Kelvin Davis has emphatically assured he is still out to win the electorate off Hone Harawira.

of course I’m going out to win it, as I’ve told you a dozen times already. No one has approached me to do any shonky deal.

Davis will be keen on winning the electorate as his chances via the Labour list look precarious.

Yesterday 3 News reported  Annette Sykes chasing Waiariki deal:

Internet Mana candidate Annette Sykes says Labour’s done a secret Epsom-style electorate deal with Hone Harawira.

She’s also calling on Labour to do a deal for her – in the Maori seat of Waiariki.

Internet Mana is…Parliament-bound on Mr Harawira’s coattails.

His lieutenant, Ms Sykes, says Labour’s done a deal which will help ensure he wins Te Tai Tokerau.

“I think it’s already happening there,” says Ms Sykes.”It’s been informally signalled.”

That contradicts what Davis has said.

Labour is denying the claim however, saying all seat deals are off.

“We are campaigning hard in all seven Maori seats and that includes Waiariki – I can’t be any plainer than that,” says Labour leader David Cunliffe.

That would include Te Tai Tokerau. Cunliffe has backtracked on other things but he looks like remaining staunch on this.

But Tova O’Brien at 3 News is not convinced.

Labour’s taken the higher moral ground over coat-tailing, despite not ruling out working with Internet Mana – the masters of coat-tailing – after the election.

So if it does a deal in either of those Maori seats – and it’s hard to tell if it will or not – they’ll be informal deals, done on the ground and on the quiet.

The proof will be in how the campaigns in the Maori electorates play out. If Labour have done or do any electorate deals on the quiet it should be obvious in how the campaign unfolds.

With Labour looking an unlikely winner in the election shoring up any electorate they can and winning as many as possible makes some sense. It will help put them in a better position to rebuild next term – something they have so far failed to do.

 

Martyn the mastermind

Martyn Bradbury has masterminded a plan so cunning and so effective that polls and policies are irrelevant to this election. Everything is organised so the outcome of the election is inevitable no matter what anyone else tries to do.

Martyn was instrumental in setting up the Mana Party. He was instrumental in setting up the Internet Party. He engineered that planting of Matt McCarten in Cunliffe’s coterie and into the middle of Labour’s campaign team.

He was the brains behind the Mana-Internet Party merge for the election. He was right behind installing Laila Harre as leader of the Internet Party.

And Martyn is the communications guru for the New Auckland Left agenda, with central command being his The Daily Blog. He converted Chris Trotter from left wing columnist to his left hand man.

Ok, some of this could be a tad exaggerated, but Martyn is not shy of blowing his own trumpet and he has been unable to resist bragging along these lines.

And in a blog post this week he couldn’t resist broadcasting the culmination of his masterminded plan. This is quoted verbatim, no embellishment is required.

Why the polls, policy & smears now don’t matter until after 7pm September 15th 2014

There are so many twists and turns to come until the 15th, that I can not imagine that the entire Nation’s attention won’t be on the Town Hall at 7pm.

Martyn really was closely involved in the anti-GCSB protest meeting at the Auckland Town Hall last year. To remind everyone of his triumph he includes a picture of it.

That’s Martyn in a commanding position dead centre, with Dotcom under his watch.

Couple of polls out today, Roy Morgan and the stuff.co.nz/Ipsos Polls – and they don’t matter.

John Key could announce tax cuts from a live press conference in Hawaii, and it wouldn’t matter.

David Cunliffe could be mocked on ZB by Mike Hosking for 10 hours straight. And it wouldn’t matter.

All that matters now is 7pm Monday 15th at the Auckland Town Hall.

The beauty of what Kim, Internet MANA and those fighting the mass surveillance state have generated here for the price of just hiring out the Town Hall is the entire nations attention and total dominance of the election campaign.

Journalists like Duncan Garner, Vernon Small and Guyon Espiner have been highly critical that Kim doesn’t reveal the evidence linking Key to a conspiracy to collude with the US to entrap him right now so that they can decide if the evidence stacks up. This point ignores that throughout this case the Government have broken law, acted outside the rules and have been manipulating this process with ‘political pressure’ from the very beginning and Kim has every right to counter that by releasing the information when it’s going to be most damaging to Key.

5 days out from the 2014 election is the time that would be most damaging to Key.

There are so many twists and turns to come until the 15th, that I can not imagine that the entire Nation’s attention won’t be on the Town Hall at 7pm.

Laila Harre’s comments that Kim wouldn’t be allowed in have been seized upon as a giant awkward moment between the two. I think that’s a terrible misreading of why she said that.

The meeting will be live streamed on The Daily Blog.

Five days out from the 2014 election is the time that would be most damaging to Key. Not four and a half days. Not six days. This is how pin point Martyn’s planning has been.

We might as well forget the election campaign and ignore all the other parties. The outcome of the election rests on the Kim and Martyn show on September 15.  Trust Kim. Trust Martyn. We will have to get used to trusting them, they will be the brains and the management behind our next government.

Neither of them are standing for Parliament but don’t worry about small details like that.

What Martyn doesn’t explain is that if everyone ignores polls and policies and smears and parties and campaigning then how will they know who to vote for?

Bradbury doesn’t hint that he knows what Dotocm will reveal, which based on his usual keenness to brag about what he knows probably means he doesn’t know. But he knows that September 15 is the BIG THING and nothing else is relevant to the election. Trust or bluster?

Even if what Dotcom reveals on September 15, something so secret that he hasn’t shared the information with his party leader Harre, even if Dotcom blows Key out of the election, how will voters know who to vote for?

Will September 15 be so decisively dramatic that no one will vote? That’s not going to happen, although Martyn’s farcical circus is likely to disillusion more voters and reduce the turnout.

Or everyone will have a revelation and vote for the brilliance of Kim and Martyn? Ok, for Laila and Hone but we know they are just useful tools in this grand plan.

All eyes will be on Dotcom and The Daily Blog to see hints drip fed.

Or voters will not stand for this personal crusade of Dotcom, nor for the Bradbury bull.

Even if Key and National are seriously compromised it’s likely most of the voters won’t look kindly on the hijacking of our democracy.

A collapse in voter turnout and an election lottery is possible. I wonder if Martyn has bought a ticket. That might be his best hope on September 20.

Martyn seems to think he has masterminded a dead certain election result.

But remember that he masterminded a grand left wing co-operative for the election, and that was quickly dashed when Labour made it clear they would have nothing to do with it, and Greens had already recognised the dangers in a Dotcom led political revolution.

It has been suggested that the September 15 town hall meeting will be a bomb shell. Martyn would like it seen as a Bomber shellacking of John Key  – but we’ve seen Bradbury flops before.

Martyn’s master of his own mind but his left wing revolution may be spinning in his head.

Footnote: the comments on Martyn’s post have been mostly very sceptical and negative.

The ‘new Auckland left’

Who is involved in the ‘new Auckland left’? There are a number of pieces in common in an interesting political jigsaw.

The well signalled deal between the Internet and MANA parties and the surprise appointment of Laile Harre as the acceptable-to-MANA leader of the Internet Party has set the cat amongst the campaign pigeons.

Kim Dotcom has done the rounds of parties looking for a way into Parliament for his new Internet Party. It’s been reported (and admitted) that Dotcom has been visited a number of times by Winston Peters, Russel Norman and Clare Curran. He ended up finding a willing partner in Hone Harawira.

Despite much bluster from some in promoting a cosy electorate deal between MANA and Labour it also seems to have set Labour against Internet/MANA – see Labour staunch in contesting Te Tai Tokerau.

A number of interconnections have become apparent.

Harre has been a member of Labour, New Labour, then an MP for the Alliance Party, eventually becoming leader. She has recently worked for the Green Party and considered putting herself forward as a candidate. There have been conflicting reports, of her pulling out and of Greens rejecting her.

Matt McCarten also began in Labour, and then progressed to New Labour and the Alliance, taking over leadership from Harre. He then switched to the formation of the Maori Party, and then moved on to the Mana Party.

In February McCarten was recruited as David Cunliffe’s chief of staff with claims he would be a significant driver of Labour’s campaign this year.

Interestingly Wikipedia says:

McCarten has previously distanced himself from attempts to forge a new Left Wing party in New Zealand.

It would be interesting to know what McCarten thinks of the Internet-MANA deal and of Labour’s apparent commitment to strongly contesting Harawira in Te Tai Tokerau.

A close friend and union associate of McCarten, Gerard Hehir, is secretary of the Mana Party and as such is set to be on the Internet-MANA campaign committee.

Left wing political commentator and columnist Chris Trotter, who also has a union background and has served on the Labour Party’s council, seems to have embraced the Internet/MANA movement and has been highly critical of Labour for not giving up Te Tai Tokerau to Harawira – see Authoritarian Labour: Why Kelvin Davis needs to STFU – and soon! at The Daily Blog. He has also just posted Keeping Our Eyes On The Prize at his Bowalley blog.

What does all this mean?

Some things are becoming clearer but much remains uncertain. Perhaps an inveterate bragger has let slip a hint.

Martyn Bradbury advertises himself as be a leading left wing political activist, organiser, recruiter and party starter.

Last year it was revealed he was a paid adviser to the MANA Party (he didn’t disclose it in his blogging and media activities). He was later linked to the start up of the Internet Party where he had asked for remuneration – also not disclosed.

But Bradbury has a propensity to broadcast his political prowess, activities and ambitions.

On the announcement of Harre as Internet Party leader – The potential for a Labour-Green-Internet-MANA majority.

This will become a game changer if Internet MANA pull the don’t knows to their flag.

What should excite progressives this election is the possibility of a Labour-Green-Internet MANA majority. The Left have never been able to be truly progressive because conservative brake pedals like NZ First and United have always dragged it back, if the majority were Labour-Green-Internet MANA however, there would be no conservative or neoliberal brake pedals.

A Labour-Green-Internet MANA majority is a unique opportunity for genuine progressive change, such opportunities rarely come by and when they do they must be risked.

There could be a bit of a problem here. Both Labour and Greens seem to have recognised the substantial risks of working with Dotcom and they seem to have backed off any involvement. They also presumably recognise that if Internet-MANA succeeds it could deplete their share of the party vote.

If the Internet-MANA gambit fails it could destroy Labour and Green election chances, and if it succeeds it could seriously reduce Labour and Green power if they end up dependent on Harawira and Harre for votes in Parliament.

And Labour probably won’t appreciate being told which electorates to throw by people with obvious interests in other parties and potentially detrimental outcomes.

Today in Q&A: Josie Pagani as a commentator Bradbury at least embellished the chances and possible effects of a minor comment by Josie Pagani:

The constitutional crisis that Josie’s idea would plunge NZ into if Cunliffe had taken her advice, would become a global news story. To change the rules of the election 4 months out from that election would create catastrophe as an immediate legal challenge to that decision would be forced by those political parties currently using that strategy. There would be rioting in the streets as those whose vote suddenly becomes voided by this unprecedented and unconstitutional change go berserk at what would be perceived as an illegal tactic to erase the voice of everyone not voting Labour, National, Green or NZ First.

Now I appreciate I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and that my setting up of political parties to provide parliamentary math game changers annoys some in the established left and has the Wellington Twitternati in constant fits of rage, but I don’t think I’ve ever suggested tactics that would see the country plunged into a fucking civil war.

The likelihood of riots in the streets and civil war are very dubious from a population increasingly bored and turned of by politics. Fits of rage are fanciful effects of Bradbury’s claimed prodigious party setting up .

Bradbury then may have revealed a bit more about what may be behind much of the current left wing arrangements, if he is not exaggerating that too.

What’s going to be interesting this time around for the election, despite the best attempts by some msm pundits, is that the Left may against all predictions and odds win. Unfortunately for the msm however, they don’t have any actual insights into the new Auckland Left that is now influencing so much of these strategic moves.

Election night coverage by both major networks could sound like crickets chirping if their lack of analysis starts to fumble when the results begin rolling in.

Internet MANA means the game has changed, the msm haven’t comprehended this yet.

Internet-MANA may have changed then game, for the time being at least. The media will presumably be looking into various political possibilities, including the influence of the ‘new Auckland left’.

Bradbury’s overstatements are well known. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t provide useful hints – and he might one day strike the political jackpot.

Politics can be fickle and ambitions don’t always work according to plan, especially when requiring the buy-in of multiple factions and multiple parties. Labour seem to be already resisting being organised to play a wider game.

Kelvin Davis tweeted:

@NgatiBird

Sorta ironic that in 1914 Mata Hari was a German agent, and in 2014 there’s Laila. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mata_Hari

Harre is now very openly working for (and is being paid by) the big German – although the Greens may feel a bit betrayed, she presumably has what could be useful inside party information.

It could be prudent for David Cunliffe to check out where Matt McCarten’s loyalties lie.