Labour branch recess “nothing to lose any sleep over at all”

Labour are that brimming with support that the putting of a branch into recess has been descrobed by the Labour Party president as “certainly nothing to lose any sleep over at all”.

Richard Harman at Politik reports: LABOUR LEFT WINGERS CLOSE BRANCH IN PROTEST

The Labour party leadership is shrugging off a move by a Dunedin branch of the party to go into recess because it says it is not left wing enough.

The Anderson’s bay branch of the party has said it is going into recess.

Its organiser, Tat Loo, who writes under the pseudonym “Colonel Viper’ on the left wing blog site, “The Standard”. Said “Labour as an organization is failing ordinary Kiwis both locally in Dunedin and centrally in Wellington on many different levels and it shows every sign of continuing on that track.

“We want no part of propping up the Thorndon Bubble careerist ‘pretend and extend’ set any further and will be moving on to new political projects.”

But party president, Nigel Haworth, said the move was “really quite inconsequential”.

He said it was a minor perturbation.

“It’s certainly nothing to lose any sleep over at all.”

In fact Mr Haworth and leader, Andrew Little, night well regard the move as a minor victory in their quest to make the party more relevant to mainstream New Zealand.

Yeah, right, sheeding support is just what Labour need right now.

Ok, Tat Loo has been a vocal critic of the direction Labolur is heading (right and down) at The Standard for a while. A few years ago he got offside with Clare Curran and she is alleged to have tried to have him suspended from the party.

But Labour can’t really afford to shed factions.

I met Tat Loo during the 2011 campaign (he stood for Labour in the Clutha/Southlan electorate), seemed a nice enough guy but having seen what he writes at The Standard our ideas on politics are obviously quite different.

As Colonial Viper Loo wrote about the branch recess decision at The Standard:

ABP Branch of Labour goes into recess; all Branch Officers to resign

Dunedin’s most active and most innovative Labour Party branch is going into recess.

Going by the comment count (361 to date) there’s been a lot of interest.

Quite funny to see me pop up in the commentary:

Colonial Viper 17.2

thanks RL. To our team forging unity throughout the Left is not going to be the goal, it is going to be shifting and driving authentic political debate, something that many are clearly uncomfortable with.

  • One Anonymous Bloke

    :roll:

    Like Pete George only with conspiracy theories 😆

    • Colonial Viper

      yeah, because everyone on the Std reckons that my politics and that of Pete Georges are directly comparable.

      • One Anonymous Bloke

        I’m referring to the fact that, like yours, his rapier-like debating abilities make people uncomfortable 😆

        • McFlock

          Different sides of the same coin.

          PG often seemed to me to be so keen on the idea that truth was a matter of perspective that he would disappear up his own cartesian doubt.

          CV seems to be so convinced he can read the matrix code as it swirls by that anybody who disagrees with him must be either a fool or a neoliberal stooge.

Quite funny to be included in discussions like that.

Less funny – both Tat Loo and I are potential Labour voters, albeit from opposite sides of their spectrum. That both of us a rejected by Labour and Labour supporters suggests that 30% might be not be left behind any time soon.

But apparently the Labour leader and the Labour president see this as really quite inconsequential, a minor perturbation and  certainly nothing to lose any sleep over at all.

 

“Constructive Criticism NOT Welcome within Labour”

An on and off Labour supporter/member is unhappy he has been told he can’t rejoin the party because he operates a Facebook page “which has from time to time contained unhelpful comments which could well be regarded as risking disrepute”.

The Facebook page is Labour Members & Supporters Coalition.

  • Affiliation
    New Zealand Labour Party
  • Short Description
    NZ Labour Party Members & Supporters Coalition
  • Bio
    A coalition of Party members and supporters formed to achieve unity, stability and modernization within the NZ Labour Party.
  • About Me
    Member of the Labour Party since 2006.
    Young Business and Community Leader.
    Member NZIOD.

Posted yesterday:

Constructive Criticism NOT Welcome within Labour.

Coalition Page Founder has had his application to re-join Labour DECLINED by the Labour Party Council. See email below from Tim Barnett (Party General Secretary):

Should this be challenged? Your thoughts?

***************************************************************************
Dear Nigel,

I am writing to you on behalf of NZ Council.

Many thanks for your patience following the Council meeting at the weekend.

As you know, you resigned your membership of the NZ Labour Party on May 14th 2015 and sought to rejoin on August 28th 2015. Council retains the right to decide on membership applications, and in your case has decided to decline the application. Under Rule 6 of the Constitution we will be informing the Taranaki King Country LEC of the decision which we have made.

Although there is no obligation to provide reasons for this decision, Council were well aware that you operate a “Labour Members and Supporters” Facebook page which has from time to time contained unhelpful comments which could well be regarded as risking disrepute. The delay in informing you of this decision was entirely related to the timing of Council meetings.

Best wishes,

Tim
Tim Barnett
General Secretary

***************************************************************************

Background:

Nigel (our founder) first joined the Labour Party in 1998 (when it was truly a Party of the People), he left the Party in 2002/2003 (rather the Party left him), re-joined in 2005 following the general elections and has been a financial member since, well up until May 2015 when for personal reasons he chose to resign his membership and sought to re-join in August 2015.

Nigel is a young, active and passionate community and business leader – elected member of a rural District Council Community Board (a community which delivered NZ the blueprint for “Zero Youth Unemployment” strategy), a member of the Institute of Directors and a Masters (Executive MBA) candidate.

In 2014 Nigel was nominated for the Labour Party List and achieved a higher ranking (by vote) than the constituent candidate at a regional list ranking conference, he also met the Party’s key strategic selection criteria, however despite this and his regional ranking, following moderation by the National Committee he did not make it onto the final list.

In 2014 Nigel founded the Labour Members and Supporters Coalition page (initially a support page for DC), he continues to sponsor our page. Nigel has been active in challenging the Labour Party’s “outdated” and “out-of-touch” ideals and policies, pushing to modernize, rejuvenate and make Labour “relevant” again.

Following New Zealand Labour Party‘s historic defeat in 2014, as a party member he publicly called for Moira (Party President), Tim (General Secretary) and Party Council Members to resign from office. During the recent Northland by-elections he launched a campaign to encourage Labour supporters in Northland to vote strategically (getting ahead of Andrew Little), supporting Winston for Northland (this ruffled a few feathers in the Prime for Northland camp and within the Party hierarchy).

Recently Nigel also shared a few key recommendations which would strategically assist with improving the Party’s performance and voter appeal, right wing commentators predicted that Nigel would be excommunicated from Labour for speaking out/sharing these publicly (via the NZLPMSC page).

This begs the question: Is Labour truly capable of change?

Being outspoken appears to rule out membership, in this case at least. It’s not the only time being outspoken oline has been unwelcome in Labour. A little ironically one of those in the comments thread is another Labour supporter who has agitated for change in the party – Tat Loo. He comments under the pseudonym Colonial Viper at The Standard.

In 2012 Clare Curran, then a moderator on Labour’s now failed Red Alert blog, laid a letter of complaint against Loo for his online comments. I posted on this as it unfolded:

In the last of those posts Colonial Viper is quoted:

This Viper certainly sees the irony in your “faceless commentators” remark, Mr Mongoose, since Clare, Trevor, and a substantial portion of both the Labour Caucus and NZ Council know exactly who I am.

And I don’t just “claim” to be a Labour Party member, I’m a Labour Party member, donor, activist, and organiser that the ABCs threatened in person, and then wanted to revoke the membership of via disciplinary proceedings in front of NZ Council.

But in this incarnation of the Labour Party, this is simply situation normal :twisted:

And Curran:

Ms.Curran said the people she complained about were party members, some of whom were using pseudonyms and had contributed to other party members being attacked and the Labour Party being undermined.

”There are questions about the conduct of anonymous bloggers who belong to the party but may be bringing it into disrepute, and it’s an issue the party needs to grapple with in the digital age.”

Ms.Curran said she had sought discussion at the party council level about what was an ”acceptable” standard of behaviour, particularly when a member was expressing views anonymously, in a way in which was intended to damage other party members and the party overall. She also made suggestions about how the party could deal with the issue professionally.

”Not at any point have I sought disciplinary action against any individual.”

That sounds similar to what is happening with Nigel. Online ‘disrepute’ is still frowned on.

Note that in October 2013 Colonial Viper revealed that he was Tat Loo in a Standard Post – see Tat Loo: Viper Pilot. I had met him when we were both candidates (for different parties and electorates) in 2011.

Unfortunately this intolerance of criticism within Labour (and in Labour associated blogs) is quite common.

Labour are also barely tolerant of the Greens unless they think they could be useful to them.

Open and robust debate is an essential part of a healthy democracy. And it is also an essential part of a healthy party.

I offered constructive input into Labour in 2009 when I thought they would welcome offers to assist with recovery and rebuilding. I wasn’t welcomed so I looked for other ways to do something in politics.

Labour continues to ail.

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.

Absolutely.

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.