Standard abuse, same old

Only at The Standard – yesterday I engaged in a bit of discussion (with a Standard moderator) there about the Roy Morgan poll, and OAB jumped in with a typical and deliberately disruptive attack, a game they play often.

One Anonymous Bloke 

🙄

Not fucking your pet goat would be a start.

I quoted site rules “What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others. We are intolerant of people starting or continuing flamewars where there is little discussion or debate.”

That intolerance is very selective.

One Anonymous Bloke

Step away from the goat and pull your pants up.

It’s a metaphor for your relentless weasel negativity and rank nauseating hypocrisy.

Typical irony, given OAB’s record of weasel negativity and hypocrisy.

Then Weka stepped in as moderator and gave OAB some advice on being attacking better.

[I know you see yourself as the frontline rapid attack dog against the RW trolls, but when you start scaring away the cats who are here for the debate (or to play with the mouse), or when you are leaving your dogshit lying around, then there is a problem. You are quite capable of ripping apart RW arguments, so how about you put some effort in.]

And I was told off for responding…

[did you see the moderator warning to you yesterday? By all means engage in escalating a fight with OAB (or anyone) and see how I feel about wasting moderator time – weka]

..and got blamed for ‘escalating a fight’. So I replied:

Weka – I saw your ‘moderator warning’ and responded. So you are blaming me for “escalating a fight” because I pointed out the site rules you asked me to check out yesterday?

Are you suggesting that if attacked here people should do nothing about it?

“in escalating a fight with OAB”, warned about wasting moderator time “don’t escalate esp in ways that require moderators to spend their time sorting it out” and banned for a day. OAB was also banned for a day but had achieved their objective with weka’s support they have both openly discussed baiting and banning people they don’t like.

Te Reo Putake also tacitly endorsed OAB’s attacks and put the blame on me:

[Give it a rest, Pete. You’ve been around long enough to know you’re heading rapidly toward self martyrdom. No more, please. TRP]

And weka went further, banning me.

[no Pete, I’m saying don’t escalate esp in ways that require moderators to spend their time sorting it out. If you don’t know what that means then err on the side of caution. You can now take the rest of the day off – weka]

I thought The Standard may have improved a bit but this shows their selective moderation is as bad as ever – some of their moderators are a part of the game. They’re enforcing a ‘don’t complain about being harassed or we’ll ban you’ rule.

TRP is a Labour supporter, weka is a Green supporter. They seem to have a Memorandum of Understanding with OAB that personal attacks are moderator supported behaviour at The Standard, and if you react you will be blamed and may be banned.

This had followed me commenting the previous day on Labour’s conference and their use of social media. Again I had engaged in a discussion with a Standard moderator when weka stepped in.

[There seems to be an implication there that The Standard is connected to the Labour Party organisation. As you well know it’s not, and I don’t care what you now assert about your comment, the implication is still there. Given your substantial history of asserting that there is a connection, and your history of walking the edge of the commenting rules here, I’m going to err on the side of caution and make this a warning. Have a think about the site rules, including the bit about wasting moderator time. – weka]

I responded:

Weka – you are reading something into my comments that wasn’t there. There are usually posts here about Labour conferences so I thought there might be something here about it – as there later was.

There are often posts here about specific Labour Party matters, like conferences. Some of the authors and some of the regular commenters have obvious and open links to Labour. That doesn’t make this a Labour Party website, it’s not, but it’s well known as one with some Labour content. And Green content, and Mana content, and other content.

If a moderator chooses to waste their time they can pretty much pick on anything they like to warn or ban. That’s your call of course. To clarify, are you warning me to not mention Labour here in case someone interprets it as something more than it is?

After yesterday’s exchange weka came back to this:

[no, I’m suggesting you grow some social intelligence and understand that your long history here affects how people interpret your comments, including your history of implying and/or telling lies about the connections between the authors, the site and political parties. IME, you are an expert in riding the edge of the rules to avoid bans but still manage to substantially disrupt the community. But thanks for pointing me back to this from the other thread, more than happy to moderate on the basis of self-martydom so I don’t have to deal with this shit for another week (and a day on top of the other ban) – weka].

Social intelligence – funny.

She accuses me of telling lies but makes things up. I don’t intend to ‘disrupt the community’. There is a history of ‘the community’ – of which weka has been a prominent player – creating disruptions as an excuse to give moderators an excuse to ‘waste their time’ so they can justify a ban. She’s a bit vague but that looks like an extended ban.

Petty and pathetic but that’s how some of them keep playing  it. And the credibility of The Standard as a serious political forum suffers, as does the credibility of the parties associated with those nasty and exclusionary practices.

Standard practice at The Standard.

I think that the bans are, in part at least, preventing any defence of their attacks. Weka is  making things up, and doesn’t have to courage to allow any challenges.

Spinning a poll

The latest Roy Morgan poll is out – summary here.

Te Reo Putake shows how to spin a poll at The Standard in Roy Morgan August; Nat’s Down 7%

The National Party have a dropped a massive 7%, though to be fair that probably just reflects the folks at RM tweaking their methodology so they don’t get laughed at again.

If the folks at Roy Morgan read TRP’s ‘analysis’ of their poll they would be the ones laughing.

Just about everyone, including folks at The Standard, expected National wouldn’t stay at last months unusually high 53%.

Labour’s support stays at 25.5% (unchanged), Greens 14.5% (up 3%) and NZ First 9.5% (up 2.5%).

TRP ignores Labour being unchanged at 25.5% – that’s an awful result for his party.

If Andrew Little can stitch up a coalition deal with Winston, they’ll have a comfortable majority in the next parliament.

If Labour can stitch up a deal with both NZ First and Greens – which with these results would put them about even (24%) with Labour. Labour would barely have a majority in a coalition and would only have about quarter of the seats in Parliament.

This poll continues the overall trend of the three opposition parties being in touching distance of a win (if they cooperate) and National not having enough oomph to get over the line without help from their pet poodles.

Would Peters enable a Labour led Government when Labour are only on 25%, compared to National in the mid forties?

They’ll be desperate now to make sure that the Maori Party and Peter Dunne make it back.

I read that as ‘Labour will be desperate to make sure that the Maori Party and Peter Dunne don’t make it back in’.

However, with the Labour/Green understanding in place, it’s likely that Labour will win all the maori seats, and Ohariu, leaving National 4-6 seats shy of a win.

The Labour/Green Memorandum of Understanding was aimed at trying to get Labour+Greens big enough to form a government with few or no other seats required. That means Labour need to be much closer to 35% than 25%, something TRP seems to be ignoring.

Andrew Little was very disparaging of the Maori Party on Waatea 5th estate last night – see Waatea 5th Estate – Labour v NZ First. With the Maori King dumping support for them Labour may have a fight on their hands keeping their Maori seats, let alone taking Flavell’s off him.

A dose of reality in comments from billmurray:

te reo uptake, You need to get a grip, Labour down to 25.5% is a disaster and as a supporter you need to start telling the truth about the 25.5%, what it really means is only 26 people out of 100 eligible voters think that Labour should be occupying the government benches, 74 people say they should not.
Or of course it could be a rogue poll!!!!!!!. I could say LOL at this point but this is a serious matter and we must be truthful with ourselves or we face ridicule at the election.

Something is seriously wrong that we are not attracting voters or getting traction over the housing problem, or am I the only one who believes that to be the case?.

Something is seriously wrong with Labour, and pretending it isn’t is not just spin, it’s denial.

TRP responded:

Labour’s vote at 25.5% is unchanged in this poll, billmurray. The significant mover is National.

Unchanged at rock bottom – Labour dropped below polls to a record low 25.1 % last election – can’t be glossed over.

I noted in the post that, really, this poll just re-aligns Roy Morgan with reality.

His emphasis was a ‘massive drop’ for National while ignoring that Labour had already dropped and were stuck at the bottom of their range.

It’s all about the coalition and while Peters is no fan of the Greens, I don’t think that’s an insurmountable obstacle.

Nothing is insurmountable with Winston, especially if NZ First gets 15% (that looks feasible) to Labour’s 20-25% (also feasible).

My gut feeling is that Peters wants to be the guy that brings Key down. Sweet revenge for costing him 3 years in the wilderness in 2008.

Wishful thinking, which is about all TRP can do on these numbers. Does Winston want to prop Andrew Little up?

But, whatever happens, on these numbers, control of forming the next Government is out of Key’s hands.

Much could happen to the numbers over the next year.

But on these numbers Key would be likely to have a major say in the forming of the next Government, possibly without needing Winston still.

If control was out of Key’s hands on 46% how much control would Little have on 25.5%? Even if he could cobble together a coalition his control of Government would be precarious.

Te Reo Putake’s ignoring of poll reality may or may not be intentional, but it’s symptomatic of how out of touch Labour has become.

Chester Borrows charged

National MP for Whanganui Chester Borrows has been charged with had been charged with careless use of a motor vehicle causing injury to two people following an incident in March where Borrows ran over the foot of a TPP protester – see Foot runneth over.

Stuff: MP Chester Borrows charged over protester incident

Former police officer and National MP for Whanganui Chester Borrows is being charged over allegations he drove into a group of protesters.

Under section 38 of the Land Transport Act, the maximum penalty for careless driving causing injury is three months’ jail, or a fine of up to $4500.

An MP must resign from Parliament if convicted of a crime with a maximum penalty of two or more years’ jail time

So whatever the outcome it won’t force a resignation.

Borrows’ first appearance would be on Tuesday, August 2, in the Whanganui District Court. 

“Mr Borrows intends to defend the charge and says he will be making no further comment as the matter is before the court,” a statement from him said.

There’s been some interesting comment on this at The Standard in Borrows charged for injuring protestors.

Some of the comments are typically ridiculous, like the lead comment by ‘One Anonymous Bloke’:

Hard not to be cynical about the fact that the charge makes a by-election unlikely. Or is it more a case of no-one who has a public difference of opinion with Oravida Collins is above the law?

I can play at insinuations too. The post was under the authorship of ‘Natwatch’. One Anonymous Bloke was quick off the mark, first to comment, and had a lot of interest in the discussion, posting 30 of the 103 comments (to date).

A debate about the right to protest versus the right of free passage came up, with OAB prominent both in dumping on Borrows but also in abusing people who challenged their messages. Like:

One Anonymous Bloke:

Observation isn’t your strong point: the protesters were on a footpath (yes, they were). I suggest you remove your bullshit-smeared right wing facemask and have a look at the photos.

Even if they’d been on a road, the police response to the TPPA protests – ie: to allow them – shows exactly how grounded in reality your lickspittle opinion is.

Psycho Milt:

Being on a footpath and/or being a protestor doesn’t magically endow you with the right to obstruct a vehicle entrance or other public way. That’s why the cops will come along and tell you to fuck off. Also why they’ll drag you out of the way and arrest you if you don’t. Borrows’ offence was more serious than the protestors and resulted in injury, which is presumably why he’s been charged, but both parties were committing offences.

Seems like a fair comment and seems to sum up the situation well.

One Anonymous Bloke:

@Psycho Milt: I’d like to see the argument in court. They weren’t obstructing a right of way they were expressing their disapproval of government policy.

Borrows and Bennett aren’t Joe Public going about their lawful business. They’re ministers of the Crown ripping the guts out of this country.

They have every right to expect hostility, obstruction and contempt wherever they go. Diddums.

Further on Psycho Milt addresses the law:

they are standing on the footpath- look up rules about cars and footpaths

Yes, do look up the rules, for instance the Summary Offences Act 1981:

“22 Obstructing public way

(1) Every person is liable to a fine not exceeding $1,000 who, without reasonable excuse, obstructs any public way and, having been warned by a constable to desist,—

(a) continues with that obstruction; or

(b) does desist from that obstruction but subsequently obstructs that public way again, or some other public way in the same vicinity, in circumstances in which it is reasonable to deem the warning to have applied to the new obstruction as well as the original one.

(2) In this section—

obstructs, in relation to a public way, means unreasonably impedes normal passage along that way

public way means every road, street, path, mall, arcade, or other way over which the public has the right to pass and repass.”

A further exchange with William:

But the protesters haven’t been charged with an offence under the Summary Offences Act, so that’s all irrelevant.

Possibly the police examined whether that would have been a goer but observed the constable didn’t warn them to desist, he merely ushered them to the side. They were moving there when silly old Chester drove on through before the way was clear.

Psycho Milt:

It’s not irrelevant to the implied claim in 5.1 and 5.1.1 that the protesters had the right to block the footpath – the Summary Offences Act makes it clear that they didn’t.

And just in case that particular logic fail comes up again: no the fact that the protesters were illegally obstructing a public way doesn’t imply Borrows had a right to drive into them.

William:

Read the section of the act you quoted. It doesn’t create an offence of blocking a public way, only of unreasonably blocking it. The corollary of that is that it is possible to block it in a reasonable manner, which is not an offence.

Watch the video, the blockage lasts no more than 15 secs before they’ve moved aside. I don’t envy you arguing in a court that they created an unreasonable blockage.

Psycho Milt:

The concept that you have a right to obstruct a public way if you want to is as bizarre, if not quite so scarily insane, as the Kiwiblog commenters’ view that you have a right to run people over if they’re in your way.

For future reference, no it’s not “reasonable” to deliberately obstruct other people, regardless of how long you do it for or what you personally feel about the people you’re obstructing, and yes you can be arrested for it.

For a different take Te Reo Putake is a tad contrarian (the the standard bashing):

If I can be a tad contrarian , I can see a couple of points worth making about the debate so far.

First up, the protesters were not pedestrians. They weren’t using the footpath for the purposes of travel. Having been on about a zillion protests and pickets (and having organised a good percentage of the same), I can assure readers that blocking driveways isn’t legal. But it is terrific fun.

Secondly, Borrows is actually one of the better Tory MP’s. He’s an old fashioned kind of Nat and tries to behave decently. He’s also publicly anti-racist. That combination possibly explains why he has never been given senior posts by Key and Joyce.

If the Whanganui seat was redrawn to reflect the wishes and needs of the town and district, he wouldn’t be the MP. The excellent Hamish McDouall would be instead. But the electorate is gerrymandered so that the urban majority are disenfranchised in favour of the Taranaki rump. So, a by-election would be likely to return a Nat MP, which is a boost I don’t think they deserve, So lets be careful what we wish for there.

For all of the above, Borrows has broken the law and deserves a conviction. However, I wonder if he’ll be offered diversion, as I imagine this will be his first serious offence (other than a speeding ticket a few years ago)

A good comment despite a bit of political snark, and quite a contrast to the OAB approach.

Labour versus Harawira

It looks like Labour and Hone Harawira may be set to cold shoulder each other after Harawira announced that he would stand in Te Tai Tokerau in next year’s election.

Te Reo Putake posts on this at The Standard in Mana 2.0

It’s more like Mana 4.0 after Mana formed when Harawira split from the Maori Party (1.0), then jumped into Mana+Kim Dotcom prior to the 2014 election (2.0), then virtually disappeared along with Harawira after he lost his electorate (3.0), and now rises from the ashes (4.0).

TRP actually details all these phases:

Hone Harawira has announced he is re-forming the Mana Movement and intends standing in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate at the next election. Harawira has also suggested that prominent pakeha mana leaders Sue Bradford and John Minto will have lower profiles this time around.

Harawira told Mihingarangi Forbes on TV3’s The Hui that he was re-forming the Mana Movement because Māori lacked a strong voice in Parliament. The man he has to beat in Te Tai Tokerau, Kelvin Davis, probably disagrees.

Mr Harawira first won Te Tai Tokerau as as a supporter of the National Government, then split from the Maori party to form the Mana party, winning the seat again in a by-election. Harawira’s decision to ally with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party in 2014 was a disaster, with IP/Mana gaining just 1.5 percent of the party vote and losing Te Tai Tokerau to Labour’s Kelvin Davis.

He then outlines why Harawira and Labour are unlikely to be helpful to each other:

Harawira says a partnership with Labour is unlikely, as he feels its leader, Andrew Little, has led the Labour party away from its working-class roots.

“He seems to be a nice enough guy, but he keeps bouncing around from trying to sound tough to trying to sound centrist, and I just think the leader of the Labour Party should have made up his mind by now. I think he sings from a different song sheet that boy, and it’s not exactly the song sheet that fits the Mana profile.”

So no chance of a Labour/Greens style arrangement then, which presumably means he won’t be winning Te Tai Tokerau back and Mana redux is probably dead in the water already.

And:

Anyway, good on Hone for trying again. It’s just a shame that by distancing himself from Labour at a time when they are open to partnership approaches he has almost certainly doomed Mana 2.0 before it has even got started.

Comments are a mix of support and criticism. This exchange indicates a few tensions on the labour left.

weka 7

Wow, that knife must have already been sharpened and ready, eh trp?

Well done on creating a misleading and partisan post before the announcement even hit the ground, one that can only be designed to be divisive. Hard to see what the point is, given that Labour need as much help as they can get.

  • Meh. Hone made the announcement that he will not work with Labour, not the other way round. If you have a complaint, take it up with him. As I noted in the post, it’s a bit weird for Hone to write off a possible partnership when Labour are open to discussions about exactly that possibility. Not that I’m suggesting Labour would have done a deal in TTT, just that such arrangements are clearly on Labour’s agenda at the moment and it would have been in Mana’s interests to explore it further.

    • You dont understand Mana and all of your pronouncements on what’s good for mana are based actually on what you think is good for labour

BydOnz illustrates another reason why Mana will struggle to get much more than 1% support:

Sorry Hone, a Marxist revolutionary call would be the go, smash this bullshit corporate crapitalism that only benefits the one percent and their underling traitors.

Greg suggests:

Bradford and Minto on board will be like having concrete boots.
Just go independent.

Sue Bradford wouldn’t have anything to do with the Internet-Mana marriage on principle so I don’t know if she would even return.

Alan gives a reminder of a major problem last election:

Hone and Winston propping up Labour and the Greens – yea that is going to work

People like Martyn Bradbury were prematurely predicting with glee how Mana-Internet would hold the balance of power after the 2014 election and the hard left tail would wag the Labour dog.

And Alan also points out:

Hone and Winston are polar opposites and despise each others politics, NZF + Labour + Greens is difficult enough, adding Hone to the equation makes it very difficult.

Labour+Green is a hard enough sell to centre and swing voters as it is, Labour+Greens+Mana makes that a lot harder.

TRP again:

I’d say Hone has his work cut out for him. He won the seat as part of the maori party and had their organisation, and popular support behind him. Then he won it in a by-election under the mana banner. Then lost it, despite having Dotcom’s millions behind him.

Having to win it back against a popular and effective local MP is a big ask. I don’t see that he has the kind of organisation behind him now to make it work, nor has he got the kind of issues that might galvanise the electorate. Or to put the latter in another way, the issues that are important in the electorate can probably be better addressed by Kelvin Davis as part of the Labour/Greens government.

It’s just going to be really tough for him to get cut through.

Especially tough if TRP reflects Labour’s ‘no way Hone’ attitude.

Peter Swift

Labour and the Greens need to come out early doors and say they won’t ever deal and work with mana,. There is nothing in a union with them except lost votes and voter disdain.
To the vast majority of NZ, for whatever reasons, Hone is toxic. Having him in the political mix is an oxygen sucking recurring nightmare for parties wanting to engage the left of centre middle ground. He’s so unlike able in NZ, even his own constituency rejected him last election night, leaving him to boo hoo on the tele.

If the left are serious about winning in 2017 then we have to act on this asap.

When challenged on ‘us on the left’ he added:

Us left of centre and not the sub 1% loony left is more specific.

And then reiterates an earlier comment by Swordfish.

I trust the insight and impartiality of this contributor’s opinion more than I do yours.

http://thestandard.org.nz/mana-2-0/#comment-1191095

“As a bona fide Leftie (rather than Centre-Leftie), I’d suggest that Labour and the Greens are at far greater risk of losing the next Election if voters come to believe that any putative Labour-led Govt would be in any way reliant on Harawira and Mana to govern.

Let’s be crystal clear here – both the Mana Party and the Internet Party were absolutely toxic to voters at the last Election. Even the faintest whiff among the New Zealand Electorate that Harawira might play a crucial role in allowing a Labour-led Govt to be formed will scare the bejesus out of a whole swathe of potential swing voters.”

I’m not sure Swordfish is exactly impartial but this may illustrate Labour’s real problem with Harawira and Mana that TRP didn’t express, instead blaming Harawira for ruling out liaising with Labour.

TRP also dissed the Maori Party as National supporters.

I understand how Labour may have concerns about being seen as associated with Harawira and Mana, but Labour have what could be a significant problem here.

A large number of voters obviously don’t see any problem with National associating with and working with ACT, United Future and the Maori Party.

Labour must be super-confident to burn off in advance the Maori MPs, Dunne and Harawira, or bereft of any understanding of how MMP works.

A party struggling to rise above 30% does not have the luxury of being that selective about potential coalition partners.

Empathy in electorate offices

This sort of arrogant ‘Labour good, National bad’ claim continues to repel common sense people from Labour.

Te Reo Putake

It’s important to remember that local MP’s have a job to do in their communities and if you want an empathetic hearing in your local electorate office, that’ll only come from a Labour MP.

Or, if you live in the north, from your NZF MP, who I’m told has revitalised the electorate offices up there.

This not only disses David Seymour, Peter Dunne and Te Ururoa Flavell, it could be seen as a swipe at any Green ambitions of going for electorate seats

This was commenting on his own post Stick a Fork in Him, He’s Dunne in which he said:

The biggest loser is obviously Peter Dunne who is going to be an ex MP if the Green Party don’t stand a candidate in Ohariu.

…long time reliable sycophant Peter Dunne twist in the wind.

Dunne’s history is one of disloyalty and self serving behaviour.

If Labour need to talk to Dunne to get the last seat needed to form a coalition this sort of long standing abuse won’t help their case.

So how rattled is National? I reckon they’re shitting bricks myself. Not just because they are going to lose the ever reliable doormat Dunne, but because there’s every chance the Maori party will cease to be as well.

That’s not because of the Greens/Labour pact, but because interwebs/mana are no longer a credible party. Annette Sykes may well stand again in Wairiki, but she won’t get 5000 votes this time around and Te Ururoa  Flavell’s majority will suffer as a result.

No Flavell, no maori Tories.

Another coalition option burnt off. Do Labour Greens really think they won’t need anyone else?

And what’s to say the Greens won’t get the same treatment if Labour only need them and they are desperate – will Labour through them a few crumbs? It would be more than they’ve done before I suppose.

But back to “if you want an empathetic hearing in your local electorate office, that’ll only come from a Labour MP”.

On Paul Henry this morning  – Greens-Labour deal ‘nothing new’ – King – Nikki Kay said:

…as the MP for Auckland Central through my electorate office I’ve done quite a lot in terms of people being homeless in central Auckland.

I’ve gone down and visited Wynard Quarter people who have been in sort of caravans and things down there and it’s really complex, people have many different situations.

…I’ve literally had people in my office and they’ve said for various reasons that’s where they want to be. And sometimes there might be mental health issues, sometimes there might be a range of other reasons why the temporarily want to be somewhere.

Not good enough for TRP.

On that same Paul Henry segment Annette King also dissed ‘bland Peter Dunne”.

She’s deputy to Andrew Little. In contrast they must be as colourful as cooked cabbage who think they only need some Greens to go with them.

On the same Standard thread Colonial Viper:

Dunne ain’t ever supporting a Labour coalition government again. Not after the vitriol Labour has poured on Dunne for years now.

As if they can afford to be that selective. They seem to have thought dumping on Dunne and getting him out of parliament by any means was a pathway to power.

What does Dunne think about it?

Now has jumped on the bandwagon. She says is “bland”. Time to prove us wrong Peter.

Ha! Hardly worth replying to a wet bus ticket slap from someone of so little substance or consequence

I think it’s time hung up his bow tie..Your now just an angry little man with pretty good hair

 I happen to be one of calmest & relaxed people you could meet – I just have an intolerance of idiocy and stupidity

TRP is not stupid, he knows that you can burn off all sorts of potentially useful people and the voters will still think you deserve to be in power on your own. So much empathy.

Or something.

Premature speculation on Ohariu

The Labour-Green Memorandum of Understanding has sparked speculation about whether the parties will do deals on contesting electorates. There has been particular focus on Ohariu.

Richard Harman at Politik: Labour-Green pact could see the end of Dunne

The Labour/Green pact announced yesterday may pave the way for Greens Co-Leader James Shaw to stand against Peter Dunne in Ohariu.

If Labour didn’t stand a candidate — and Labour sources say that’s a real possibility — then, on paper, based on the last election results, Mr Dunne would lose his seat.

Te Reo Putake also considers this in Stick a Fork in Him, He’s Dunne.

I think this is premature. ‘Labour sources’ speculating does not mean the Greens are on board. In any case Shaw has done very well in Wellington Central so why doesn’t Labour consider standing Grant Robertson aside to give Shaw a clear run there?

It is also unlikely to be known until the end of this year or early next year whether Peter Dunne will even stand again in Ohariu. He is the longest standing MP in Parliament, being first elected in 1984 as a Labour MP, 32 years ago.

Even ‘on paper’ is debatable. Results from 2014 in Ohariu:

  • Dunne 13,569
  • Anderson (Labour) 12,859
  • Hudson (National) 6,120
  • Woodley (Greens) 2,764
  • Conservative (Brunner) 1,038
  • Others 466

Sure Labour+Green > Dunne but it’s not that simple.

Dunne+National+Conservative > Labour+Green by a wide margin.

It is unknown how many Green voters would switch to vote for a Labour candidate, or how many Labour voters would vote for a Green candidate.

And if Labour and Greens do a deal and only stand one candidate between them it could substantially change the view of voters.

Dunne and National get heavily criticised for ‘a jack-up’ by opponents and by some media, even though National still stand a candidate.

There was plenty of nudge-nudge, wink-wink by Labour and Greens last election.

If they went further and only stood one candidate between them it would at least even up the jack-up criticism and may swing it against them.

It would also mean that National could choose to not stand a candidate at all without fear of being ostracised if Labour and Greens have done the same.

Also it is impossible to judge the mood of the electorate in about 16 months time.

If voters warm up to a Labour-Green alliance then the parties may benefit. But current indications are that it is more likely that Labour looks lost.

And there is also a strong voter resistance to Greens getting into power. If given a virtual choice of LabourGreen voters may turn away from both parties.

Winston Peters is already milking Labour’s current weakness for all it’s worth, and it’s pretty much certain he will go for cream in response to the current Labour-Green arrangement. If the red and green machine cranks up more Peters will be like a cat given a term’s supply of cream.

Greens may decide they have to put all their efforts into at least maintaining their party vote, a further slip next would be quite demoralising for them.

Or they may decide to attack Labour’s weakness, refuse any jack-ups  and go for electorate seats.

A Labour collapse is currently looking more likely than a Labour revival. Greens won’t want NZ First to pick up all the spoils if they think the former will happen.

Amongst all this speculation on Ohariu is based on too many unknowns and looks premature. Especially if Dunne shakes his head and walks away from the current mess of New Zealand politics.

One thing I haven’t seen speculated on is the shell of the United Future party. That is an opportunity for disaffected and demoralised Labourites or a new force in politics (a Trump or Sanders?). It would be far easier to pick up an existing party than start from scratch.

If ever there was a gap in the political market for a new (or reborn) party it is now.

Ohariu is relatively minor in the scheme of things.

As the centre vote grows tired of National, gives up on Labour, continues to want to keep Greens out of Government and wants an alternative to Winston First there is a ready made opportunity.

Ohariu could be the cornerstone of an opportunity. If anyone can be bothered, politics in New Zealand is not a particularly attractive pastime at the moment.

Can the left trust Peters?

Regardless of movements and trends discussion on the left about each poll result seems to keep hovering around the Opposition versus National, which means Labour+Greens+NZ First versus National and one or two others.

Labour supporters long ago gave up even dreaming of Labour matching National on their own, which reflects Labour’s difficulties in making much headway in the polls.

Now they seem to have unrealistic expectations of disillusioned (or never illusioned) voters, and arrogance about how they think they can hand out crumbs to coalition partners.

Curia’s current Public Poll Average:

  • National 47.6%
  • Labour 30%
  • Greens 10.5%
  • NZ First 8.4%

At that level National still needs a few more seats to make a majority, they currently need ACT (1), Dunne (1) and sometimes the Maori Party (2).

Labour is precarious on 30%, last election they had a late slide into the twenties to a long time low.

Greens have tended to poll better than they get in elections and are failing to fire so may struggle to hold on to 10%.

NZ First usually get a much better vote than they poll, with floating voters swinging behind them late in the last two elections.

National’s best ally is an anti-Labour+Green+NZ First vote, and it’s possible that could switch to a Labour+NZ First+Green vote. With the rise (again) of Winston Labour supporters are wise to ask if they can trust him. He ran all over them in the Northland by-election (and then ran over National).

One thing that Peters can be trusted to do, and that’s not to reveal which major party he would consider a coalition arrangement with prior to the election.

So Labourite Te Reo Putake asks at The Standard Can We Trust Winston Peters?

As National suffer the predictable result of John Key’s mad scheme to change the NZ flag, the next election will present the opportunity for NZ First to decide who will lead the Government. So can we on the left trust Winston Peters?

First up, I don’t like the term kingmaker.

Apart from doubt that the flag referendums will have much if any influence on the outcome of next year’s election, it’s far from guaranteed that NZ First will be ‘presented with’ the opportunity to decide who will lead the next Government. That has been his aim since NZ First but he was last in that position in 2005.

We have a modern democracy, where MMP requires positivity and negotiated coalition building, not the ceding of power to an unchallengeable leader. If NZ First are in Government, it will be as a junior partner to either Labour or National.

In theory, yes. But Peters seems to despise 21st century leaders like Key, and Little, and Seymour, and Turei, and Shaw, for potentially having more political influence than him. And he seems to just despise fellow long time campaigner Peter Dunne, perhaps for having far more success at having influence in Government.

They will have an influence, for sure, and no doubt Winston Peters will want his pick of the posts below Prime Minister. He’ll also be able to negotiate a couple of minor ministerial posts for his lieutenants. But that’s about as far as it goes for the NZ First caucus.

In the discussions Matthew Hooton claims that Peters’ main ambition is to be Prime Minister.

But if say NZ First (and Greens) get about 12% and Labour gets 24% (a feasible outcome) Labour are in a very weak position to demand dominance of a coalition Cabinet. Even at 30% or even 35% Labour are far from a dominant position.

Cabinet is not picked on a ratio that exactly mirrors election results; the largest party will always have the lion’s share.

Historically that’s false. The Maori Party, ACT Party and Peter Dunne have all had more share than their party vote in the last three coalitions with National.

It’s more a case of a small number of Ministerial posts that have strategic value to the junior partners.

Is this arrogance or wishful thinking? If it’s either, given TRP’s connections with the Labour leadership, then they may not be prepared for coalition negotiation reality next year.

Labour has been consistent with two things – looking down on potential partners as necessary nuisances, and looking at voters who have deserted them as misguided or stupid.

They haven’t been in such a weak negotiating position as they could be after the next election, unless they have a miracle turnaround in support (current signs point to a further slide as more likely).

Andrew Little, as an experienced negotiator, is in a good place to bring the parties together. If there are differences between Metiria Turei and James Shaw, on one hand, and Winston on the other, Little is the guy to find the point of agreement.

High optimism. Untested. Little couldn’t even get anywhere near a majority of the Labour caucus to support his leadership bid. Neither has he been able to persuade the New Plymouth electorate to support him in two elections.

Bringing Peters and the Greens together on common policy ground will be hard enough, but dishing out the baubles of Cabinet positions, like a plum position for Peters and an appropriate position for the two Green leaders may not be as easy as TRP seems to think.

For a start, it’s hard to see Greens not insisting on suitably high and comparable Cabinet positions for both their co-leaders. Peters wouldn’t be happy without that unless he and Ron Mark got at least equal baubles.

In just one post TRP seems to be dreaming of a National vote collapse, I guess he hopes for a bit of a lift in Labour’s vote, and he thinks that Winston can be appeased with a fancy symbolic role with little more for the rest of NZ First and the Greens can be doled out a few crumbs.

If that reflects Labour’s leadership views at all then they are as out of touch with reality as they have ever been since being dumped by voters in 2008. Labour have dumped three leaders since then, and have dumped on many ex-Labour voters, instead turning to all the non-voters who supposedly will one day wake up and think Labour are wonderful.

Peters can be trusted to keep his cards very close to his chest prior to the election, and if given a chance he can be trusted to drive a hard bargain playing off National and Labour in a coalition scramble for power and baubles.

What can Labour be trusted to do apart from overestimate their chances and their bargaining positiion, and arrogantly misjudge voters and possible coalition partners?

What is there to fear?

Te Reo Putake tries pushing a fear factor at The Standard in relation to Andrew Little’s recent performance.

What is there to fear?

Fear is a Man’s Best Friend

An odd heading considering the content, which begins by praising Little, then:

So why are the haters, even the ones who claim to want National gone, climbing into him?

Fear.

Andrew Little has turned the Labour Party around. The caucus are working collectively within and without. Labour are quietly building good relationships with the two prospective coalition partners. The third potential partner, the Maori party, are also leaning toward a change of direction, or so I’m told.

Fear.

The thought that the Key Government is going to collapse under the weight of its own bullshit is driving Key and his acolytes to personal attacks on a man on whom they can find no dirt. It’s driving them nuts that he is succeeding where Goff, Shearer and Cunliffe could not.

Fear.

The thought of a left wing lead Labour Party achieving power is anathema to some who claim to be lefties, too. The most obvious characteristic of these folk is their inability to work collectively. That’s often reflected in their insignificant influence in actual politics; nobody much wants to work with them either. Any fool can shout the odds in the pub. But its hard graft in the real world that gets things done.

Fear.

The Tories are on the slide. The loss in Northland is an indicator of the trashing to come. Bugger the polls we get to see, their internal polling is telling them the true story. John Key has burnt off sector after sector. His attack on the flag has made rural and provincial NZ question whether National really are their kind of party any more. That may not translate directly to votes for Labour, but any softening of the right’s vote will bring this Government down.

Fear.

What I fear the most (although fear isn’t really the right word, it’s more a concern) is that under Little’s leadership Labour will continue to flounder as they have done since Helen Clark left them over seven years ago.

I am concerned that we will continue to have a weak opposition that fails to adequately hold the Government to account.

I am concerned that we won’t have two strong coalition options to chose from in next year’s election.

I’m concerned that Labour will continue to languish and may even fade away, leaving one dominant party. I don’t think that is good for our democracy.

We, on the left, need to hold our nerve. For the first time since the Clark years, all of the principal opposition parties have solid, sensible leadership. We may have a fear of a fourth term for Key, but it’s nowhere near his fear of us. If we can organise, organise and organise, we can win.

I have concerns that many people don’t see solid, sensible leadership in Little. Nor in James Shaw.  Nor in Metiria Turei.

And is Winston Peters really seen as a ‘solid sensible leader’ on the left? Would TRP think it sensible if NZ First sided with National to form the next Government?

Trying to organise a 2008 Christmas Party isn’t going to win next year’s election. Labour and the left need to do far more things than organise, organise and organise.

Trying to spread fear isn’t one of them. I don’t smell fear, I smell futile and farce.

Surpise award plus Dirty Politics

I missed this on Monday – Te Reo Putake at reviewing This Year at The Standard.

As the year winds down, I’ve been thinking about The Standard, particularly this blog’s influence in Aotearoa/New Zealand. We’re sometimes called an echo chamber, a far left talk fest or, memorably, a “dreadful 21st century bastardisation of a once proud Labour broadsheet“.

The truth is that The Standard is very, very representative of the broad left and its allies. The authors range from Marxist through anarchist, social democratic, green, centrist, centre right to libertarian. The commenters also cover all strands of political thought, mainly being the voices of Kiwis who are engaged in politics and concerned about their country. We like to argue and we’re not afraid to do so publicly.

TRP is not afraid to come here and argue, and his views are welcome to the mix here.

He dishes out some awards in his post, including:

Politician of the Year: Andrew Little. He has got the LP caucus humming after 7 years of division. And he is starting to look like a potential PM.

Predictable from a Little fan and promoter. Little and his leadership team does seem to have sorted out much of the dissent and division that had been a major Labour handicap. But I think Little has a way to go before he looks like a potential PM.

Citizen of the Year: Helen Kelly. Nuff said.

Fair enough. Kelly’s cancer is very sad. I’ve heard she is now very unwell, although in recent television appearnces she looked more relaxed and at easy than when promoting her political views. She has been a staunch Union and Labour supporter. I hope she can convince Little and Labour to address cannabis law in some way. A referendum to decide if it should be reviewed would be best.

And a surprise award:

Best other blog: Your NZ. Yes, I know; rolly eyes all round. But Pete George has steadily lifted his blog’s profile, readership and reader comments. It’s easily the best of the righty blogs right now, even if it is regularly pompous and disingenuous about issues like Dirty Politics.

I’m happy to take the compliment, but take issue with a couple of points.

I understand that Your NZ may look like a ‘righty blog’ to someone from as far left as TRP, but this isn’t a righty blog, it’s an ‘any view blog’ with input from across the political spectrum welcomed and received.

And I don’t know how I have been “disingenuous about issues like Dirty Politics”.

In general I’ve argued that dirty politics is far more than Slater/Eade/Key/right wing. Some on the left have gone to great lengths to try and limit “Dirty Politics” to a narrow part of the murkier side of politics. I have always spoken up about and against dirty politics wherever I see it.

Regarding the Cameron Slater flavour of dirty politics I’ve spoken up about and opposed that going back much longer than “Dirty Politics” was launched. Hagers book added some detail but there wasn’t much in general that surprised me because the gist of much of what he revealed was already apparent if you had observed as I had.

I have no problem with the dirt of Slater et al being highlighted and criticised. I welcome that in general.

I think John Key’s involvement with Slater was unwise at best.

But, and this may be what TRP thinks is disingenuous, I have also been critical of the illegal hacking of Slater, as hypocritical as Slater may be about that.

And I’ve been very critical of the way Hager held back revelations he had obtained to package it in a book and inject it into a general election campaign. To me this was a clear intention to swing en election.

And Hager failed to follow a basic journalistic practice of seeking counter views from those he attacked and accused in his book.

I think a ‘real journalist’ with the interests of the greater public good would have checked and then revealed the revelations as soon as possible.

As soon as you think of timing of stories to suit one’s own aims then it’s fair to query ulterior motives.

So like most things in media and in politics I have very mixed views on ‘Dirty Politics’ and call things as I see them. I fail to see how that is being disingenuous.

Poll reactions

3 News released their latest Reid Research poll last night.  repeating the results:

  • National 46.7% (-0.6)
  • Labour 32.3% (-0.7)
  • Greens 10.2% (+0.2)
  • NZ First 7.5% (-0.4)
  • Maori Party 1.3% (+0.8)
  • Conservative Party 0.7% (0.2)
  • ACT Party 0.8% (+0.2)
  • UnitedFuture 0% (0)

There is no change of significance there, but that doesn’t stop part hopefuls reading positives and negatives into the result.

Te Reo Putake at The Standard: RWC and rapists: 3 News poll confirms a pretty average week for Key.

The latest Reid Research/3News poll is out. Key gets nothing from the RWC, and the rapist remarks turn out not to have helped his popularity either. There was a time when talkback radio style outbursts used to make him look strong. Nowadays, not so much. Meanwhile, the opposition are just 1 seat behind …

Anthony Robins at The Standard: Key’s rapists attack a dead cat that keeps biting

Was Key’s bizarre rant in Parliament – accusing Labour of supporting rapists and murderers – a deliberate “dead cat” strategy? If so then it has backfired badly. Still in the headlines 2 weeks later, and probably costing him in the polls.

I wonder what they woukld have said if the poll had changed support levels.