Spitting out pieces of their broken luck

Like a number of party activists on blogs Anthony Robins has been busy at The Standard over the last couple of weeks trying to promote Labour’s chances of getting into government, and trying to trash National.

A recent attempt: Nats – lousy at government – “brilliant” at opposition

National have been a lousy government. They have enriched the rich and impoverished the poor. They have inflated a housing bubble and done nothing for the homeless. They have let the environment degrade and made a mockery of our global warming commitments. They have let social institutions degrade, along with practical services like health and education. They have engaged in dirty politics in blatant lies. And for what?

A common refrain from the left – exaggerated generalities.

What will they be remembered for? Oh they “got us through the financial crisis” – yeah just like every other country on the planet (and it was our slowest ever recovery from a recession).

This diss is very lame. New Zealand is acknowledged to have done very well at weathering and recovering from the GFC, and our economy is now in a relatively healthy state compared to most countries.

They “got us through the Christchurch earthquakes” – yeah ask some people who live in Christchurch about that.

There’s no doubt that many people in Christchurch have had a tough time since the earthquakes, and there is more to sort out yet.

What National are “brilliant” at is opposition. They poll and focus group relentlessly, they have heaps of money, they attack like rabid rats in a sack. They have essentially spent the last nine years running opposition against Labour. They have been very successful at this, witness Labour’s long poll doldrums, and the fact that most of the “reasons” for those doldrums are memes of the Nats making.

Robins is really trying to blame National for Labour’s poor performance and their revolving door leadership over the past nine years.

When I say “brilliant” at opposition, the quote marks are because it’s only brilliant if you accept that tactics like dirty politics and outright lies are acceptable, that the ends of power justify any means. That way lies political madness.

All politicians have difficulty avoiding lying, and National is not the only party that has resorted to dirty politics.

Aside from disgruntled opposition activists I think National is regarded to have governed reasonably well over the last nine years, although of course there have been stuff ups, failures and some sleeping at the wheel, especially over housing and health.

I think National’s 9 years compares fairly favourably to an also successful 9 years of government led by Labour’s Helen Clark. There will always be justified criticisms of any Government, but New Zealand has been led and governed relatively well and successfully so far this century.

Robins is unlikely to have any influence on the current negotiations. He is preaching to a protected niche who are already convinced that National is evil and hopeless.

That’s been happening at The Standard over the last nine years, and it’s an approach to political activism that hasn’t helped Labour’s case (or more recently and increasingly the Green’s case) for improving their credibility or gaining support.

I think it’s noteable that Labour’s recovery and rapid rise under Jacinda Ardern’s leadership is due to her positive approach to politics. She has actually commended Bill English’s stewardship of the Finance portfolio, and she has acknowledged the relative success and strength of the New Zealand economy.

Robins and The Standard seems stuck in old school negative politics. If they stopped sounding so bitter, looked at the positives, and looked at ways of doing better they would get onside with the Ardern approach to politics and would help improve left wing credibility and respect.

Spitting out pieces of their broken luck, oh, The Standard should get over that and like Ardern look at how they can build a better political environment.

Adding value is far more likely to end up in success, if not this term then put them in a strong position next term, than bashing and trashing.

(Line borrowed from Aqualung)

Blog responses to CB poll

It’s interesting to see blog responses to polls. With some it depends very much on the results.

Last night a Colmar Brunton poll showed a significant swing for National and against Labour.

Whale Oil tends to be slow reacting to news, especially news they don’t like. So far they have only one post on the poll, and it’s bizarre – Face of the Day:

Meet Gary Morgan.  The Man At The Top at Roy Morgan Research.  He may be, in the end, the most powerful influencer of how this election turned out.

That on it’s own is an odd claim.

Well, I think he should hide in his office for the day.  Even though I have no doubt there has not been anything shady going on, the end result is that the widely swinging poll, and specifically its timing, is hugely damaging to the Labour party.

That has to be the shoddiest bit of polling yet.   It wouldn’t surprise me if the left will accuse Roy Morgan of deliberately screwing with the election in favour of National.

The shoddiness is in the post.

That’s last night’s Colmar Brunton poll. Roy Morgan has nothing to do with it.

And it is dirty and devious to use ‘the left’ to imply a deliberately screwed poll.

Has ‘Whaleoil Staff’ really got confused between Roy Morgan and Colmar Brunton? Or is it deliberate confusion to attack the pollsters and the poll result?

Meanwhile The Standard is usually very quick to have posts on Labour friendly polls, but as is common last night’s poll has not appeared anywhere apart from in last night’s Daily Review 20/09/2017.

Instead Anthony Robins continues his posts attacking National:

Is NZ doomed to lying politics now?

Bill English and the Nats are now running firmly on a platform of lies – Gower calls them on this for a second time this week. Should the political left get down in the gutter too? Is NZ doomed to lying politics now?

Sounds defeatist.

Nats “discovered poverty last week” – and will forget it just as quickly

Ardern’s jab that English “discovered poverty last week” was the line of the debate. After the election National will forget it again just as quickly, if the record of the last nine years is anything to go by. Do you want to vote for that?

Why do Labour supporters put so much effort into attacking National at The Standard when they have a largely left wing audience.

The Standard (resident trolls and moderators) actively try to drive away anyone judged to be a National supporter. Even those in the centre, or non-aligned, or deemed to be not left enough get attacked and banned.

So they are hardly going to swing many votes away from National by attacking them.

And there is a stark contrast between Jacinda Ardern’s ‘relentlessly positive’ and The Standard’s ‘relentlessly negative’.

Note that there are some positive Green posts at The Standard these days but Green supporters are prominent in their negative attacks.

Blogs hard out on attack

Political blogs tend to cater for their own audiences much of the time, but in an election campaign tend to put a lot of effort into attacking the other lot. That’s certainly evident at this stage of the campaign.

Kiwiblog is run by David Farrar, who has close associations with National. He can be critical of National and praise other parties, but is mostly posting praise of national and attacks on others. Posts over the last day:

Farrar should be considering displaying an authorisation statement under the Electoral Act, something The Standard displays as a precaution. Recent posts there:

For some time the Standard posts have been promoting the Greens and attacking National, and have recently rediscovered their Labourness joining the Ardern adoration club.

Whale Oil has been noticeably anti-National and pro-Winston for months, but recently has been spreading attention across the spectrum, attacking Ardern and Labour, the Greens, TOP – pretty much anyone but NZ First.

The Daily Blog is a mess of messages. Authors are out in force trying to promote their favourite issues.

John Minto doesn’t see much hope in Who to vote for?

Voting involves a moral choice.

In a capitalist economy you either vote with capitalism’s winners or with the losers. With those who have used the system to enrich themselves at the expense of others or those forced to struggle at the margins.

After this election the new government will be dominated by either National or Labour – not the dramatic choice it should be because Labour brought only a tentative, watery policy mix to the election and capitulated on tax before the first vote was cast.

Labour by itself won’t make a significant difference. Ardern has addressed the desperate social situations of child poverty and homelessness with the usual hand wringing rather than policies.

Labour talks values but these are useless without policies to give them meaning.

The best hope for a half-way decent, policy-driven, progressive government comes with a strong Green Party in coalition with Labour.

Greens are the only option this election for left wing revolutionaries.

Anyone voting National this election has a personal moral deficit.

Trying to attract voters by shaming them? Negative political attack is the fall back option for political activists, and that is evident across the blogs.

Contrasting comments on Hipkins

Contrasting comments on the involvement of Chris Hipkins in citizenship in relation to Australian politics.

David Farrar at Kiwiblog:  Labour causes rift with Australia

This is a huge blunder by Hipkins, who used his special position in the NZ Parliament to try and help Australian Labor topple the Australian Government.

But what is a big thing is for an MP of one country’s Parliament to use their role to help the parliamentary party of another country’s Parliament. And that is what Chris Hipkins did by asking these two written questions (12)on behalf of Bill Shorten.

It would have been obvious to Hipkins that Australian Labor wanted this information to bring down a Government MP. He may not have known it was the Deputy Prime Minister but he would have known why Australian Labor was asking, and also be aware the Australian Government has a one seat majority in the House of Representatives and so the loss of even one seat could bring down the Government.

Here’s why Hipkins involvement was important, even though there had been media inquiries also. There is no deadline for DIA to respond to inquiries by foreign journalists. Even if it was a NZ journalist asking, they could take up to four weeks to answer under the OIA.

But by having Hipkins ask a parliamentary question, the Minister is obliged to answer within five working days or one week. So Hipkins was able to get Australian Labor the information as much as three weeks earlier.

Make no mistake this has caused huge anger within the Australian Government. Helping the Opposition to try and bring down the Deputy Prime Minister will mean very frosty relations if Labour forms a Government in New Zealand.

Mickysavage at The Standard:  Strewth Cobbah

You would think that New Zealand Labour was in possession of nuclear tipped medium range missiles and had threatened to let off a few into the sea near Tasmania just to make sure they worked.

Such has been the overwhelming response from Australia’s right about Labour’s Chris Hipkins asking Peter Dunne twosimple questions:

Are children born in Australia to parents who are New Zealand citizens automatically citizens of New Zealand; if not, what process do they need to follow in order to become New Zealand citizens?

Would a child born in Australia to a New Zealand father automatically have New Zealand citizenship?

And these were simple written questions to get bits of information, not significant oral questions where the opposition tries to embarrass the Government.  There have been over 7,000 of them this year.

You do not have to be a media genius to conclude that the tip off to Gartrell may have come from within the ranks of Australia Labor.  But to think that New Zealand Labour and Hipkins were responsible for what happened requires multiple levels of stupidity.

Their basic problem is that the media was already onto the issue well before Hipkins asked his questions…Hipkins had nothing to do with it.

Australian media may have beaten him to it, but Hipkins still got involved in some  questionable digging after talking to a mate working for an ALP senator.

I guess the right in Australia and in New Zealand are fearful of losing power and are lashing out in an attempt to damage their opponents.  But it is clear to me that on both sides of the Tasman the clock is ticking for the right.

So far Ardern seems to have handled things well, but she has made it clear she doesn’t approve of Hipkins getting involved.

The clock could be ticking for Hipkins.

Just now on RNZ – Ardern “refused a request” to be interviewed this morning, and Hipkins isn’t answering calls.

Solidarity and resistance?

This is an odd call for support for the Greens resetting and restarting their campaign after a disastrous couple of weeks.

Odd solidarity with no James Shaw in that photo – I wonder if that is deliberate. He is supposed to now be the sole leader, heading efforts to rebuild a tattered party.

The post is by ‘weka’: The Greens: solidarity and resistance

Solidarity and resistance sounds like it comes from a century ago, when poverty was far more widespread and worse, and social welfare barely existed.

The Greens are an enigma for some, and this is understandable because they don’t fit into the neat political boxes that the establishment deem real. They also are an inherent challenge to the establishment just because of who they are, so we can’t expect those part of the MSM invested in retaining the status quo to tell the story straight.

In my opinion it’s always better initially to listen to what the Greens have to say themselves. Here are the words of Green Party people speaking in the past few days,

Green MP Marama Davidson,

We will not forget the thousands of you who came to us with your stories of hardship.

This is just the start. All of your voices, the voices who came to us in trust and faith – are our priority. Ending poverty is a priority. We have the plan, and the political will, and most of all we have every single one of your stories driving us on.

We are 100% behind our sole co-leader James Shaw who will take us through the rest of this election. We are 100% behind Metiria who will continue what she started in her ongoing campaign for the party vote. We are 100% behind our strive to ensure that everyone can live dignified lives.

Green MP Jan Logie speaking on Back Benches,

I tell you something. We are going to NOT let (Metiria’s) sacrifice go for nothing. We are going to double down and do everything we can to make that worthwhile. To end poverty.

Double down on a disastrous own goal that has severely weakened the Greens?

James Shaw, co-leader of the Green Party (video at 4 mins)

I am committed to ending poverty in this country.

We are the party that aims to end poverty. Frankly everybody else is interested in tinkering around the edges. We’re the only party that’s drawn a line in the sand and said we know what it takes to lift 212,000 children above the poverty line.

That was to be really clear that the Greens are still strong on the kaupapa of ending poverty.

For the people on the look out for the environmental side, there’s a plethora of solid Green Policy already in place and based around NZ becoming world leaders on climate action, cleaning up our rivers, and ending poverty.

Metiria Turei started the Green Party campaign last month with a speech that started the temporary rise and then dramatic fall of the Greens (and precipitated a dramatic turnaround for the better for Labour).

Green MPs and Green supporters were blind to the risks and to the damage being done to their party. They attacked anyone who pointed out their problems or who criticised Turei or the party. They happily criticised and rejected two of their own MPs who were troubled by integrity issues.

If they want to ignore all of the problems the brought upon themselves, or just blame others – in particular the media which is seen as just a part of the establishment to be resisted – then I don’t like their chances of repairing the substantial damage they have caused themselves.

No matter how Shaw tries to repackage the Green campaign today, if the Green supporters who remain active continue the Metiria mission it may take an election disaster to get the message through.

If Greens generally follow the gist of what weka has posted through the campaign then I think there’s a real chance of them dropping through the threshold and crashing out of Parliament altogether.

That would be a real shame, but the Greens seem intent on doubling down – and down, and down.

Calling for solidarity and resistance may turn the Greens around, but it could also make a disaster permanent for the socialist sisterhood.

Message to The Standard

I had a wee dabble at The Standard yesterday, and was on the receiving end (again) of it’s resident dirty attacks. Some of it is so pathetic it is hilarious – at one stage I was called a liar for posting a published poll result but not linking to what eventually turned out to be a completely irrelevant poll – that is with ‘adam’ here.

Other dirty activists had attacked as usual – in particular the regulars ‘One Anonymous Bloke’ and Robert Guyton who happen to be Green supporters (and have been doing it for years), and also the ever bitter ‘marty mars’ who doesn’t seem to have a party extreme enough to support these days.

So I responded, and as ‘weka’ (another Green supporter) is likely to waste her time doing something in response I’ll also repeat it here.


I think it’s worth repeating this (in Open Mike 06/08/2017) here, a response to marty mars: (on another thread where it happened):

“contributes to a toxic environment for the left here with his incessant fault finding and attack posts against the left”

Very funny – or do you actually believe that?

I only occasionally post here. You and a few others frequently post here, creating a toxic environment of the left, attacking many people you judge to not be suitably left, or something.

You (collectively) deter far more people from voting left than i ever will, because they are not the right sort of left for you, not left enough, or just that you make an ill-informed judgement.

I first came to The Standard thinking it would be a good place to join in the rebuilding of Labour after Clark lost in 2008 and then departed Parliament. I was mistaken. This has been a toxic, small minded, dirty unwelcoming place.

There are good people here, and interesting comments at times, but it has been dominated by persistent petty regulars who burn off anyone deemed some sort of enemy.

It has changed, probably because more moderate centre-ish people have been driven away or can’t be bothered with the toxicity.

What is obvious now that, while there may be a few Labour try-hards, the dirty politics here is now dominated by non-Labour supporters like marty mars, OAB, Robert Guyton, who all regularly and persistently attack anyone deemed some sort of enemy.

It’s pathetic, and it’s counter productive. Even if there is some intent to drive off potential Labour voters that is cutting off your nose to spite your face, and certainly won’t encourage people to vote Green or Mana.

This is a toxic environment without me, I just pop in occasionally to see if anything has changed. Obviously not.

I’ve voted both Green and Labour, but I and I think many others who pass by here certainly wouldn’t encouraged to do so again by the bitter and twisted attack dweebs who dominate threads here.

Ardern and Davis have given the first sign in a decade that Labour may be able to climb back into prominence again. But it looks like they will struggle to get any help here with so much toxic self destruction further to the left going on.

If Labour supporters (and anyone genuinely wanting a change of government) want to do something positive to rebuild the party they should stand up more to the crap perpetuated by a few spoilers here.

Robins responds

Over twelve hours after the Colmar Brunton poll result was published and Andrew Little admitted he had offered to stand down but no one else was prepared to step up, Anthony Robins has managed to post on it at The Standard.

Metiria’s gamble pays off in latest poll

To what must be intense annoyance from angry right-wing pundits, Metiria Turei’s gamble seems to have paid off for The Greens, an indication (though mind that margin of error) that there could be a real appetite for a Corbyn-style political revolution this election. Bad news in the short term for Labour because it hasn’t grown the left vote overall, but it will if it mobilises non-voters!

That he starts by trying to portray things as a negative for the right is telling.

And then resorts to that worn out dream, mobilising the non-voters.

Why would people who until now couldn’t be bothered voting suddenly be attracted to a party in which no one can be bothered being leader?

I think Labour and The Greens have it right.

Good grief.

Labour should keep aiming for the center-left, and The Greens go harder. If Metiria’s gamble mobilises non-voters it will grow the left share over all.

Does he really think that Greens on 20% and Labour on 15% would be a good thing for Labour?

It sounds like the only hope for Labour is if the Greens can get enough new votes. It has really become that bad for Labour.

First they gave up competing head to head with National, conceding they needed help from the Greens.

Then they conceded they would need both the Greens and NZ First.

Now Robins appears to be conceding that Labour may be able to hang on if the Greens do what Labour has repeatedly failed to do.

Little conceded any semblance of credible leadership yesterday.

Today Robins seems to be conceding Labour’s role as lead party of the Opposition.

Labour’s predictable predicament

The Labour Party is in a dire situation. Dropping to 24% in the latest Colmar Brunton poll was bad, but Andrew Little admitting he had offered to step down, and no one else being prepared to step up, could be the death knell of their chances this election, and possible the death knell of the party.

This situation was predictable a long time ago. Last December I posted Is Labour a 19% party?

Colmar Brunton’s recent poll had Labour on 28%, and the just released Roy Morgan poll has them on 23%. One is bad, the other is an awful result.

But is it a surprise?

Andrew Little has failed to impress – this interview with RNZ yesterday is unfortunately typical, fumbles and bumbles interspersed with a few tired slogans.

That hasn’t changed.

‘True Labour’ seems to be a rapidly narrowing (but poorly defined) brand. The only thing that seems to be consistent is spraying those who walk away from the party with bitterness.

Shane Jones. Phil Goff. Clayton Cosgrove. David Cunliffe. Gone or going. There are calls for David Shearer to go as well as he is not seem as ‘true Labour’ by some on the left.

Josie Pagani and Phil Quin are often lambasted for not being ‘Labour’ enough, as are many people who get abused on Twitter, Facebook and The Standard.

 Is Labour heading for 20%? Little and the Labourites who remain seem happy burn off support as they turn the party to ashes.

It looks increasingly like New Zealand will remain dominated by a single party, with a few smaller ones yapping from the sidelines.

What will it take for the penny to drop within Labour? 19%?

The penny dropped for Little after last week’s 24% poll, with 19% or less distinctly possible now.

The Standard (where I’m not allowed to comment again) The Standard had largely given up on Labour and has driven away many people who could have supported Labour for years.

In reaction to yesterday’s poll result there was some lame protestation at The Standard, until ‘Sanctuary’ laid  things out things out brutally…

It isn’t just this poll. Labour are drifting to utter catastrophe. It is all well and good to talk about the undecided vote, but given the lack of inspiration and passion so far in this election campaign from Labour they’ll probably just not vote at all. I reckon we are heading towards a 65% turn out max.

What is it about neoliberalism that turns Labour PLPs into technocratic, out-of-touch, smug and entitled collections of careerists? They are too fucking arrogant to see what should be obvious – they are in deep trouble and need to PANIC, completely rethink their whole fundamental approach to politics and just… just fucking grow some balls and show us they believe in something other than muggins turn.

Their policy so far has been too technocratic and timid, full of thickets of ifs and buts and maybes. They’re thinking seems stuck in 1990s, wedded to neoliberal economic orthodoxy and, frankly, their main tactic at the moment appears to be relying on National losing.

The Labour caucus is – yet again – completely missing in action, 54 days out from the election. The current crop of Labour politicians are completely useless at politics.

The Greens have outflanked them on the left, exploiting the Corbyn-Sanders effect and showing they might actually understand ordinary folks problems.

NZ First is killing them in the provinces. There vote is is 3-4% higher than this poll, mark my words.

LABOUR FUCKING NEEDS TO WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!!!!!

And:

Playing musical cheers with the leadership is no good. The next losers up will be Gracinda, and they are lackadasical middle class careerists. All they represent is the inept PLP and their own technocratic ambitions. Little has got a useless caucus that is lazy and politically clueless. Labour has to re-think everything from the ground up, including how and who they select to be MPs, what they stand for and what the party exists to do.

At the moment, they stand for nothing and the PLP is full of under performing chumps like Ruth Dyson (remember her?) Jenny Salesa (who? never heard from her once, unforgivable when there are only 31 MPs) Megan Woods (Ever heard from her either? No? Me neither. Pathetically ineffectual on Canterbury issues and climate change), David Parker (last spotted in 2015 and heading for the exit), Trevor fucking Mallard (a burnt out political joke, it is a disgrace he occupies a valuable seat), Poto Williams (useless at scoring hits on the government, but that is OK because as far as i can tell, she was mainly selected to be spokesperson for political correctness and guardian of identity politics), Clare “vanishing majority” Curren, David Clarke, the invisible man in a caucus of hopeless invisible MPs, etc etc.

Labour has a caucus where six of their MPs are from Maori seats, and apart from Kelvin Davis none of them appear to do anything to justify their existence to the wider electorate. Given that these MPs represent fully 20% of the PLP, this is unacceptable. They need to pull their weight a lot more.

Labour only has 31 MPs. Only a handful seem to do anything, but with 31 MPs they ALL need to be working bloody hard. the rest are taking the piss out of their supporters and one can justly suspect they are lazy mofos in the best paying job they are ever likely to hold.

…and there was little argument to this from the stragglers left at The Standard.

Since Helen Clark and Michael Cullen left parliament and the party in 2009 went through three leaders before Andrew Little took over, each of them failing to inspire. Little has been disappointing to say the least.

But as Sanctuary says, Labour’s problems go much deeper than a string of hapless leaders.

Most Labour MPs have not been performing anywhere near a credible level. Most of them are unheard of most of the time.

The Labour Party has also been hopeless. Their lack of ability to fund raise has been both a symptom and a cause of their problems.

The McCarten intern fiasco showed either a party out of control or a party having no clue – and the media went very easy on them, choosing to obsess over the death of a National backbencher’s career and largely ignoring the death of what was once the main opposition party.

I’ve kept a close watch on The Standard for many years. It is the main representative of the Labour Party in the blogosphere. Actually that’s not correct.

The Standard was the main online voice of Labour, but they have abused and driven away a lot of support over the years. They have become as lame and hapless as the Labour Party, to the extent that they have become dominated by a Weka, a Green Party supporter intent on deterring or shutting down anything deemed to be not left wing enough.

Even the bloody Standard gave up championing Labour years ago. Most of their posts are anti-National and anti-Government, only a small proportion are pro-Labour and there are probably as many pro-Green now.  But this is just a symptom of a bigger, wider problem.

I keep getting banned at The Standard, and I have voted Labour more than any other party, up until 2008.

My local MP David Clark and the other Dunedin MP Clare Curran both block me on Twitter. @NZLabour also blocks me on Twitter.

The Labour Party has been withering away over the last nine years. Actually, since Labour won their second term in 2002 they have lost vote share every election. That’s fifteen years.

Andrew Little just happens to be it’s leader during what could well be it’s death rattle. Unless a miracle occurs Labour looks lost already, not just in this year’s election but as a political force. They have become a political farce.

All the Colmar Brunton poll has done is prompt Little to publicly admit defeat, but he, Labour MPs and the party have been in a slow death spiral for yonks.

The way things are looking Labour may end up doing well if they get 19% in September.

Labour called ‘lying losers’ over Sir John pettiness

There have been a number of attacks on John Key after his knighthood was announced in the Queen’s Birthday honours. These have largely come from Labour associated sources.

One of these attacks was in a Standard post Arise Sir John, which set the tone for many dirty comments there.

While no party seems to want to associate with Martyn Bradbury he also blasted the knighthood in Why I will never call John Key Sir. Ever:

This vacant optimism merchant banker whose laid back persona struck a chord with middle NZs anti-intellectualism made this country far worse for the poorest and most vulnerable amongst us.

That sums up a common level of pettiness and bitterness in New Zealand politics.

David Farrar blasts another example in Lying losers:

What a bunch of lying embittered losers.

Once she was out of politics, John Key gave Helen Clark the highest Honour there is – Order of New Zealand. He supported her campaign for UNDP Administrator and gave her 100% support in her campaign to be UN Secretary-General. He also knighted Michael Cullen and gave him significant board appointments.

Key is retired and out of politics. But the nasty losers at Labour are so choking on their bile they actually authorise an advertisement smearing and attacking him for getting a knighthood. Have you seen anything so petty before? They also repeat their lie about taking $1.7 billion out of the health sector when in fact Vote Health increased $4.8 billion in nominal terms, $3.0 billion in real terms and by over 10% in real per capita terms.

This was in reference to this post on the Young Labour Facebook page:

YoungLabourJohnKey

In the fine print at the bottom…

YoungLabourAuthorised

…is an authorisation notice: Authorised by Andrew Kirton, 160n Willis Street, Wellington

Kirton is Labour’s General Secretary so this attack on Key seems to be authorised by the Labour Party.

I’m not a fan of titles, but using Key’s knighthood announcement as an excuse to attack Key’s record in this manner looks bad for Labour.

Single child tax?

Labour (Andrew Little) has claimed Single Child Tax hidden in Budget

Buried in National’s so-called family Budget is a Single Child Tax that will hit medium to low income families, says Labour Leader Andrew Little.

“National’s Single Child Tax will see a family with one child lose as much as $830 a year in Working For Families payments.

But there is no ‘single child tax’. Labour seem to have found that in some situations (dependant on income and number of children) some people won’t benefit as much from tax changes in the budget as others.

It seems very dumb calling not as much of a reduction on tax as a tax.

David Farrar at Kiwiblog: Labour now calls an increase a cut as someone got a bigger increase

So actually they are around $750 a year better off. Claiming they are worse off is like claiming that if you win $800 in Lotto and someone wins $1,000 in Lotto you are $800 worse off.

Stuff: Govt’s income package leaves 20,000 families with one child worse off: Labour

Leader Andrew Little is calling it the “single child tax”, and says it’s the consequence of a more aggressive abatement rate that the Government also introduced to ensure the package was targeted to those who needed it most.

But it had failed to look after a large chunk of low to middle-income families, he said.

While those families would still see a net positive gain to their weekly pay packet, ones with a single child would get a smaller piece of the pie.

So Labour’s complaints are misleading and stupid. Do they think that everyone should get the exact same net positive gain (less tax taken off them)? Except rich people.

“Whenever you’re putting these packages together, there’s always a complexity about it. But I’d be surprised if they understood there’s 20,000 odd single-child families that will now be worse off – but that’s the reality. “

Joyce said those families still saw an overall gain, and Labour was failing to see the bigger picture.

“The abatement changes mean they don’t get as much from the Working for Families part of the package, but they gain more from other parts of the package, in particular the tax changes. They may also in some cases gain from the Accommodation Supplement Changes.

Farrar claims:

They are $15 a week better off as a minimum and if they get accommodation supplement may be up to $115 a week better off.

The Standard pushes the Labour line in Family package that punishes families but does include :

While those families would still see a net positive gain to their weekly pay packet, ones with a single child would get a smaller piece of the pie.

It’s notable that that post got very few comments – perhaps deflated by ‘JamieB’:

From reading the headline and first couple of paragraphs I was under the impression this was a demographic that would have their incomes reduced from the changes.

But then “While those families would still see a net positive gain to their weekly pay packet, ones with a single child would get a smaller piece of the pie.”

So they’re not actually worse off, and Labour and this opinion post are really grasping at straws to find an actual problem with this budget.

Labour have handled their budget reaction quite poorly.

It will be interesting to see if Little or Grant Robertson try to push this in Question Time today.