A Gut Feeling

By   /   March 8, 2017  /   77 Comments

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AM I GUILTY of wishful thinking, or are the times really a-changing? If I still took any notice of opinion polls, the answers, respectively, would be “Yes” and “No”. There is, as yet no empirical evidence of a major shift in electoral allegiances. Unfortunately, in these times, that sort of data only seems to become available after the electoral picture has been radically defaced.

AM I GUILTY of wishful thinking, or are the times really a-changing? If I still took any notice of opinion polls, the answers, respectively, would be “Yes” and “No”. There is, as yet no empirical evidence of a major shift in electoral allegiances. Unfortunately, in these times, that sort of data only seems to become available after the electoral picture has been radically defaced.

More and more people, according to the psephological post-mortems of both Brexit and Trump, are either refusing point-blank to speak to pollsters, or flat-out lying to them. The burden of representing the popular mood is, increasingly, falling to the well-meaning and the well-heeled; the believers in conventional wisdom; or, more worryingly, to the purveyors of unconventional ignorance.

Which only leaves me my gut – and my gut is answering, respectively, “No” and “Yes”. This is not wishful thinking. A big political shift is underway.

And because this is New Zealand, the shift is being registered in the electorate’s responses to – and the reactions of – its political leaders. Like iron filings scattered on a white sheet of paper and then positioned over a magnet, New Zealand’s politicians are arranging themselves along unseen but irresistible lines of force.

Those who have been following Andrew Little around the country have noticed the change. Where once the Labour leader would turn up to meet and greet embarrassingly small audiences, Little’s entourage are now reporting audiences in the hundreds.

Winston Peters knows all about this particular barometer of the public’s appetite for change. His scorn for polls is based upon their inability to capture the peculiar temper of a political crowd. The way it lets the man or woman standing behind the microphone at the front of the hall know whether or not their messages are getting through. The shiver of recognition with which it greets the telling example; the shocking statistic.

Maybe Crosby-Textor’s polling techniques and focus-group analyses can replicate this. Maybe not. What they cannot replicate is the almost erotic intimacy between speaker and audience, audience and speaker. When that connection is made, the impact on both parties is formidable. The audience’s faith in the politician soars: as does the politician’s faith in himself.

Then there’s the evidence of the ballot-box itself. The Mt Albert By-Election, for example, could have produced a very different result. After all, the electors were presented with two, strong, centre-left candidates, and no candidate at all from the governing party. At least one journalist, who had followed the campaign closely, suggested that the Greens’ Julie Anne Genter was good for 30 percent of the votes cast. In what was essentially a two-horse race, it was a perfectly reasonable expectation.

But it was not the result. Labour’s Jacinda Ardern walked away with nearly 80 percent of the votes cast, leaving Genter with a measly 11 percent. Reasonableness had nothing to do with it.

For Little, himself, it’s as if the impenetrable fog blanketing Labour’s leadership since 2008 has suddenly lifted, revealing a clear pathway to victory. From being ham-fisted and flailing, Little’s gestures have become purposeful and precise. For the first time in nearly nine years, Labour appears to have a leader who sees where he’s going, and knows what he’s doing.

Just as suddenly, the same fog of misfortune which had formerly enveloped Labour has wrapped itself around Bill English and the National Party. The self-assured political touch of John Key has been replaced by ill-considered improvisation and counter-productive communication. English cannot seem to avoid either insulting or upsetting the electorate. If he’s not dismissing young New Zealanders as drug-addled layabouts, he’s informing them that they’ll have to wait an additional two years before becoming eligible for NZ Superannuation.

From having a National prime minister who worked tirelessly at being “Everyman”, New Zealand finds itself saddled with a prime minister who appears to have it in for every man, woman and child unfortunate enough to have been born outside the top 10 percent of income-earners.

Have they told the pollsters this? Not yet. But that’s probably because they have yet to admit to themselves that their love affair with National is over. How many of us, after all, are all that keen to admit to a relationship gone bad? In our heart, though, and in our gut, we know that something has shifted irrevocably: that the love has gone.

Inevitably, the day comes when we are no longer afraid to say: “It’s over.” Call it wishful thinking if you like, but my gut is telling me that, for the New Zealand electorate, that day will be Saturday, 23 September 2017.

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  1. Sam says:

    I don’t think anybody’s “love affair” with National is over. The only thing most Nat votere disagree with National on is immigration, many want the numbers cut. So for some a Nat/NZ First govt is acceptable. I predict that inless NZ First can get 12-13%, National will actually win a majority this time. Labour will be lucky to get 25%.

    • andrew says:

      I agree Sam.

      The reason many people are reluctant to voice their likely voting choice is because they’re ‘Shy Tories’. The aggressiveness and craziness of the far left has caused many middle-of-the-road to mute themselves to avoid being sloganized as racist, misogynist or whatever name-calling is the flavour of the month.

      Not only has it driven them to silence it is also driving them into the arms of the Alt Right (who aren’t really right wing – just conservative)

      To get a better picture we need to see the overall trend in the West:

      1. The Conservative Party romps home in the UK election thanks to shy Tories

      2. A Brexit win thanks to shy Tories

      3. Trump wins in the US thanks to shy Tories

      None of the above were predicted by polls.

      Moving to the more recent past and likely future:

      4. Corbyn’s Labour was recently massacred in a supposedly safe labour seat. If this trend continues they won’t even be the main opposition next time around. Shy Tories again.

      5. Marine Len Pen is a realistic contender for the French presidency

      6. Gert Wilders is leading the election race in the Netherlands despite legal attacks from the left.

      So Chris, if you’re looking for a trend, it is *away* from the Labour movement. I suspect this is because it has lost touch with the average voter, doesn’t understand the issues and no longer represents their values.

      • Mike in Auckland says:

        Yep, Andrew, promoting YOUR preferred “values” again:
        More Greed,
        even Hatred.

        National and ACT have done hard work, funded by their vested interest holding lobbyists in big and medium size business, to manipulate, dumb down and buy the souls of too many, using the MSM and political spin masters.

        But this time, we may get a different kind of surprise in NZ.

      • I shudder to think what “values” you’re referring to, Andrew. God knows we’ve read enough of your neo-fascistic gobshite on this forum long enough…

      • fatty says:

        “The reason many people are reluctant to voice their likely voting choice is because they’re ‘Shy Tories’. The aggressiveness and craziness of the far left has caused many middle-of-the-road to mute themselves to avoid being sloganized as racist, misogynist or whatever name-calling is the flavour of the month.”

        Lol. You’re trying to link Trump to English. There’s no logic in this. In fact Labour have been called racist and misogynist more than National in the past month. Your argument, if true, would be ‘Shy Labour voters’.

        “2. A Brexit win thanks to shy Tories…None of the above were predicted by polls.”

        Wrong, go back and look at the polls. It was usually within the margin of error that Brexit could occur.

        “4. Corbyn’s Labour was recently massacred in a supposedly safe labour seat. If this trend continues they won’t even be the main opposition next time around. Shy Tories again.”

        Gillian Troughton was anti-Corbyn and pro-nukes. She is a Blairite and lost Copeland. That loss was a kick in the teeth for Labour centrists…but nice try Andrew.

        “5. Marine Len Pen is a realistic contender for the French presidency”

        You do realise Le Pen (and Trump and Brexit) are happening because people are anti-immigration? How does this support your claim that this is good for National? This is good for Labour who are pushing to reign in immigration. I don’t personally agree with pointing the finger at immigration…but you’re way off target if you think Le Pen, Brexit and Trump helps National.

        Your arguments are absurd.

        • andrew says:

          This is a perfect example: I write a reasoned post about the topic in question and I get accused of being a “Neo Fascist”. Based on nothing.


          As regards National in the NZ scenario, we don’t have an illegal immigrant problem here because our geography gives us a far bigger ‘wall’ than even Trump can build.

          Therefore very little of the anti-immigration rhetoric will stick here. A little maybe, but not much. My best guess is that National will remain in government, probably in coalition with NZF: Just as Sam said.

          • Sam Sam says:

            Yet the only time any one has talked about working with national is inbetween the magic months between byelections and general elections, where majoc fucking unicorns exist

          • fatty says:

            “I write a reasoned post”

            No you didn’t. It was gobshite. Try replying to my points.

            “I get accused of being a “Neo Fascist”. Based on nothing.”

            Neofascist is a contestable term. Based on your usual comments it seems reasonable – more reasonable than your ‘reasoned post’.

            “As regards National in the NZ scenario, we don’t have an illegal immigrant problem here…Therefore very little of the anti-immigration rhetoric will stick here. A little maybe, but not much.”

            Yes, not to the same degree, but there is anti-immigrant sentiment, and it’s building.

            You’re not making sense Andrew. Firstly you said Le Pen, Geert Wilders, Brexit and Trump are good signals for National. Now you say immigration is not the issue. Do you even know what those politicians and events were about?

            “My best guess is that National will remain in government, probably in coalition with NZF: Just as Sam said.”

            You should copy Sam more often, instead of Whaleoil. A lot of us think Nats + NZFirst could be the next Govt.

            • andrew says:

              You missed my point Fatty

              I’m saying there is a worldwide move away from the Labour movement. There are several memes within this move. They include a rejection of political correctness, multiculturalism and a backlash against open door immigration.

              All these were the progeny of the left. So I don’t see how Chris can claim any sort of movement toward the left based on international evidence.

              Ignoring all other factors and assuming NZ is a trend follower rather than a trend leader, then we can expect NZF to increase their vote at the expense of Labour and the Greens. With National’s vote remaining largely unchanged.

              • Strypey says:

                This discussion is muddied by the simplistic assumption that all political positions can be represented somewhere along a single line with a “left” half and a “right” half. Of the three phenomena you list, “political correctness, multiculturalism and… open door immigration”, none are uniquely “progeny of the left”. They are products of liberalism, which have been supported as enthusiastically by its right wing (neo-liberalism) as its “left” wing (social democracy).

                The rise of the crypto-fascism exemplified by the “alt-right”, UKIP, Trump, and Le Pen, is indeed bad for liberalism. But this is unlikely to be good for National, as their policy in government has been almost as (socially) liberal as Labour’s. In the crypto-fascist eye, National are just as guilty of “political correctness” (how many Treaty settlements have been concluded under National), “multiculturalism” (even National’s “one law for all” arguments have been clothed in rhetoric railing against “racism” and “apartheid”), and “open door immigration” (witness English’s “drug test” defence of importing precarious labour).

                The crypto-fascism movements are not a reaction against the labour movement. Like historical fascism, they sees themselves as the champions of a neglected white working class. In the current context, they see themselves as the opponents of the politics of “globalization” and “austerity” forced on them by neo-liberals using the legacy parties of both “left” (Democrats, Labour) and “right” (Republicans, Conservatives, National). If anyone is going to gain votes in September as a consequence of nationalist and socially conservative rhetoric encouraging people to the polls, it’s not going to be the legacy parties, it’s going to be populists of either the “left” or the “right” or the “centre” who position themselves as “outsiders” who want to come in and “drain the swamp”.

          • Nick says:

            Is that your best guess, Andrew?
            That says more about you than the state of the Nation.

            Immigration issues relate largely to despair over housing, and will not figure much in the election.

            National will lose because they have wasted our time for the past nine years and it is time for the country to get some stuff done if we are to have a country worthy of its aspirations.

      • Nick says:

        They all have in common a rejection of the status quo.
        How does that benefit a tired and ineffective National Government.

        Their success last time was at least in part the result of a worried/frightened electorate.

        Are they still frightened and rattled by Earthquakes and ISIS?

        Not in my experience.

    • Jane Aporo says:

      Definitely over this National govt and the only way they will get a look in is off Winstons tail otherwise they’re bloody history.

    • Jim says:

      I disagree with national wanting to sell off public reserve land!

    • Nick says:

      Anyone who imagines Winston will go with the Nats is kidding themselves, and showing flashes of their blue petticoat. New Zealand First knows better than to nail themselves to Labour or anyone else, but experience counts.

      Peters was originally a member of National, a protege of Rob Muldoon.

      But times have changed.

      Last time he went with the Right he got royally shafted. Remember the Blue-Brown “Tight Five”?

      Alternatively, as a coalition partner for the Left he was, by report, a very effective foreign minister.

      The memes about never going with the Greens?

      There has been a lot of work put in to repair the lines of communication. MY guess, with the smart leaders of today’s Green Party, this is no longer an issue.

      So look for a broad Coalition of the Centre-Left.

      When you drill down into the Candidate/electorate vote dissonance in the last election (many Labour candidates won by a long way, while losing the electorate vote, also by thousands) it seems certain that the razor-thin majority the right achieved, at the absolute low-point in Labour’s fortunes, last time, will be almost impossible to repeat, as many Left voters abandon their flirtation with split-voting.

      I think Chris’ confidence, or at least hopefulness, is well placed.

  2. kappanz says:

    I beg to differ that the prior PM looked like ‘everyman’ — only the dim wannabe wealthy, ie, most of the business community, accepted his facade. The upper income greedy rolled with it because the nefarious banker worked the way they wanted him to, for the 1%. The poor, the unemployed, the beneficiaries, the environmentalists, the lower income multiple-job-working just scraping by, and anyone with a sensitive stomach–hated him and his crew of useless, arrogant thieves. Roll on September, but beware of election fraud by immigrant right-wingers wedded to National.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      ” Roll on September, but beware of election fraud by immigrant right-wingers wedded to National.”

      I suspect many times that this also is a reason for the out of control National party policy on immigration.

      It is virtually a cert that those who see the National party as their saving grace to immigrating here will never bite the hand that feeds them.

      Guaranteed votes , and National party planners know this … however … there remains the one ‘small’ issue of worker exploitation for immigrants …. Mike Treen has a few valuable opinions regarding that .

      So , as Mike Treen advocates … nothing that a good strong fair and balanced workers union resurgence cannot rectify ,… eh … KAPPANZ…

      And perhaps a little less of the vicious and imbalanced employers union ( aka the old ‘ Business Roundtable / now called the NZ Institute ) influencing our politics…

      • CLEANGREEN says:

        Yes bang on Wild Katipo,

        Chris, Andrew Little is now showing some life and courage to confront the press I have witnessed, as he answers the RNZ reporter Suzie Ferguson asked Andrew why just two years was not a problem to raise the age to 67 from 65 and he said that he has been around the country for several years talking to manual workers who said they are wearing out their bodies and struggling to get to 64 yrs.’ and still working, so he said there is a lack of considering that manual workers cant carry on working after 65 now so we need to level the plan to accommodate these issues and keeping the age down to 65 is the best way, and National should instead start their contribution to the retirement fund again after they stopped it in 2009.

      • Mike in Auckland says:

        The main problem with the situation re immigration is the fact, that they come here under immigration criteria that extremely encourages them to “prove” their worth to an employer, to “prove” their worth as a prospective resident and citizen, thus all geared to PLEASE employers and government and elitarian vested interest holders.

        The local workers are themselves already totally divided, have been brainwashed into individualistic lone fighter thinking, where they do not trust their colleagues, whether Kiwis or migrants, so the unions get few if any new members.

        But without union power, without collective thinking, all workers will be stuffed.

        The problem is that the brainwashing has worked, so there is NO action taken by any workers in large enough numbers, to address the completely unsatisfactory situation, where workers actually seem to rather fight each other. It is divide and rule applied here, and nobody seems to be willing or capable to take the necessary step and say, enough is enough, we as workers will unite, and hold you to account.

        As long as society is so conditioned, and so divided, and where every individual only thinks of his or her advantage and benefit, and does not look further than perhaps their immediate peers, we will have NO REAL change, even not under a Labour, Greens and NZ First government.

        It will only be more tinkering around the edges, just as it happened under the Clark government from 1999 to 2008.

        • WILD KATIPO says:

          Im inclined to agree with about 95% of what you say tbh…

          Though , I do hold out far more hope under a Labour, Greens and NZ First government.

          In fact , I refuse to think otherwise… in a way because there are so many , many people who feel and think likewise. I take solace in the fact there are some great Kiwis that I meet – if I take the small amount of time to share a laugh with a complete stranger,… its not long before you get that glimmer of good will that still exists under that now guarded exterior.

          Whether that be the financially hard up pensioner with the disability or the young rough and tumble tradie or the homeless street person who turns out to be a good sort under those layers of guarded social protections. Its simply that they are in extreme survival mode – just like any one of us would be if we were pushed to the wall and in their shoes.

          These are the Kiwis.

          And most of them are good sorts. And they deserve far better.

          In fact , much , much better than the sort of shoddy treatment they’ve had dished up to them after 33 years of neo liberalism.

          OK ,… so I was brought up in the era of Bill Rowling , Big Norm ( Kirk ) Sir Robert Muldoon , Barry Crump and crazy students just being young and crazy students.

          And we were a confident , prosperous , generous and caring people.

          And I want all of that shit back.

          A country where the wealthy can still grow wealthy without excessive avarice , and the workers , the tradies , and the young family’s can prosper as well , – and the elderly , and the disabled can be cared for in inclusiveness and in dignity.

          That was how we used to be in general… and we can be again.

          And the answer to that ? … is found in rejecting neo liberalism and re adopting true Social Democracy with a Keynesian economic model.

          Similar to what we used to have and similar to what the country’s of Scandinavia now practice.

          Economic power as a whole when translated into a national level is generated over time by the community , – and NOT by the immediate exploitative and ‘extractive’ greed of the individual.

          As the old adage states ” Many hands make light work ” .

          The greedy individual has wealth created for them by the collective – and not by his/her own individual efforts.

          They would do well to remember that basic fact.

          Finally , I would like to see a type or part of a constitution … one specifically aimed at curbing the excesses and political manipulations of such as the globalist anti sovereignty neo liberal ideology to protect future generations and our sovereignty / nationhood .

          I consider their incursion into our nation as having been as equally severe – and far more insidious – as any foreign invasion.

          The NAZI party and its ideology is outlawed in many nations today. And there are strong reasons for that. Likewise ANY philosophy that demeans and degrades the New Zealand way of life should be guarded against in like fashion.

          Simply put : we as human beings need laws to govern the inevitable excesses of individuals that would prove destructive / harmful to the greater community. The same applies to a regulated economy. Those laws and regulations are put in place as a safeguard and to prevent our society’s imploding .

          And that is why we need balance between regulatory economic practice and a certain leeway within the ‘free market’,… the very point of friction between the neo liberal and the social democrat.

          They have had their turn at deregulation and failed. Miserably.

          It is time we now take back what was ours and take measures to correct the failed neo liberal experiment and pass regulations governing trade, wages, taxation and the like.

          And the only ones who will feel any pain or object will be the neo liberals themselves.

          And they are the small , destructive minority.

          • CLEANGREEN says:

            120% Wild Katipo,

            So right every word.

          • Mike in Auckland says:

            I agree, we have NO alternative, even if the alternative to this rotten lot in government is a “lesser evil”, we have to bloody well vote for the alternative, as otherwise too much damage and suffering will be added to the immense harm already caused by these self serving lot in power.

    • mosa says:

      Bloody well summed up KAPPANZ.

  3. David Stone says:

    English isn’t as slick and smooth as his predecessor , but he seems more genuine and trustworthy I think. There may be as many attracted to the nats as put off by the change of leadership.
    It would be easy to read too much into Ardern’s crushing defeat of her political ally at this stage. I don’t like to think of you with an upset tummy Chris.

    • fatty says:

      “English isn’t as slick and smooth as his predecessor , but he seems more genuine and trustworthy I think.”

      I don’t think the average Kiwi thinks English is more genuine and trustworthy than Key. Perhaps to you and me he is – I thought Key was one of the sleaziest and dodgiest people around. But a lot of the National voters I talked to really trusted him.

      • mosa says:

        Of course they trusted him Fatty which backs up what i always thought.

        National voters are fucking morons and detached from reality.

        • Mike in Auckland says:

          Or outright greedy opportunists and petty or worse criminals.

        • CLEANGREEN says:

          100% MOSA

          English is as slimy as Key with a more plain face to graze at but another vessel of evil for sure.

      • WILD KATIPO says:

        The problem is that most do not do the relevant back study into the origins and motives of ideas – or where they came from.

        Put bluntly :

        You could have Mother Theresa herself chairing the board for the neo liberals but she would ( if she did that ) be equally as culpable as the most hateful and vehemently anti worker exploiter as Key or English are.


        Matthew 7:16-20New International Version (NIV)

        16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

        And its that simple.

        Familys sleeping in cars while working TWO jobs or beggars sleeping openly on our streets….

        Immigrants and workers being paid less than the costs of living on zero hour contracts … are THESE GOOD FRUITS?

        1) New International Version
        Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

        2) Deuteronomy 24:14-15
        “You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns. “You shall give him his wages on his day before the sun sets, for he is poor and sets his heart on it; so that he will not cry against you to the LORD and it become sin in you.

        3) Leviticus 19:13

        ‘You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning.

        4) For the Scripture saith, “Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his reward.”

        I think its quite plain for ALL to see that something has been allowed to go in this country for 3 decades ( 33 years – at least of a persons working life ) that is certainly evil and it has certainly been DELIBERATE.

        And its called NEO LIBERALISM.

        And Bill English is a Neo Liberal.

        Never mind his garbage profession that he is a Catholic.

        Pay no heed to that.

        Want proof?… go back to the Spanish Inquisition or the Salem Witch Trials and the maneuvering of the Jesuit orders to see just how some self professing ‘ Christians’ operate…

        So don’t bother merely with their ‘ words’ – observe the ‘ FRUITS’ of their actions instead.

        Then vote accordingly for the political party that abhors family’s having to live in cars to make ends meet.

        Then and only then… will this country finally find itself on the road towards recovery from a 33 year old chronic disease called neo liberalism.

        • David Stone says:

          I agree entirely Katipo , but no party is offering an alternative to neoliberalism since Russel Norman left. Tina pervades the political spectrum. So the choice is among a collection of neoliberal adherents.
          D J S

          • Michal says:

            What we really need is a shift from capitalism – not just neo liberalism. No party is offering that. far too scary gee we might be promoting communism or real socialism.

            • Jlo73 says:

              Do you think Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea would be the best model for New Zealand?

              • frank says:

                perhaps a different NZ would be the best model for Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea

              • Andrea says:

                Cuba without the interference and embargo of the Americans for decades – we’ll have to wait and see.

                At least they turn out a reasonable number of health providers…

                • Indeed, Andrea. And if Eisenhower hadn’t snubbed Castro (http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/this-day-in-politics-april-15-1959-090037) the Cuban leader might not have been pushed into the Soviet sphere, sparking decades of US embargoes; a missile-crisis that nearly sparked WWIII, and umpteen attempts to (illegally) murder him through CIA plots.

                  For all Castro’s mistakes, he raised Cuban literacy and health levels and got rid of Mafia influence on the island. For that, the American Empire tried to kill him.

                  Unfortunately, they succeeded with Allende, in 1973…

                  • mosa says:

                    Yes Frank Allende and his downfall represents one of the worst excesses of American foreign policy in Latin America and the funding of Pinochet and the Chilean junta to execute the coup and remove a democratically elected government and support that kept a right wing military government in place for seventeen years while many innocent Chileans died for their leftist beliefs.

        • Mike in Auckland says:


      • Michal says:

        He was indeed a sleazy dodgy person but it was all done with such charm and smoothness being the every day man boozing with the boys in the all blacks etc. HE was the every day man. That is what people liked about him. He got away – because journalists continually let him – with shrugging his shoulders endlessly.

    • Michelle says:

      key was neither slick nor smooth David which is why he quit he was more slimy, weak and pathetic

  4. Tamati Tautuhi says:

    Looks like Bill English wants to pass the poisoned chalice over to a Labour Coalition Government as National do not have the answer to the problems they have created.

    They gave the wealthy elite tax cuts but had to fund them with a GST increase and offshore borrowings. Meanwhile cranking NZ real estate through immigration and offshore investors speculating on the Auckland Housing Market?

  5. Shona says:

    I was going to say about bloody time! But really I think my mother’s irritating phrase is more apt. And it goes like this…”too late too late too late she cried as she shook her wooden leg!” The country’s fucked Chris !

  6. At last, Chris Trotter is back onside.

    His last couple of articles have been spot on.
    And very welcome I must say.

    Andrew Little will make a very good PM and Labour are building a great team around him.

    Roll on the general election.

  7. fatty says:

    I’ve no doubt popularity is shifting away from National and towards Labour – whether Labour offer us anything to be exited about is another debate!

    A lot of people really liked John Key. Nothing to do with policy, everything to do with his personality. I have no idea why.

    But what we have now is a National leader who has the same policies as Key, and says the same things as Key, but the media are hitting back (in a way they didn’t with Key). Bill English will do very well to break 45. In fact, he’ll be closer to 40, than he will be to 45. He’s simply doesn’t resonate with that many voters.

    National will need Winnie to form the next government. And that could happen.

    If Labour had turned left under Little, instead of retreating into conservatism, then Labour would be on the march. They’d have an ivigerated base and could then pull voters across. Oh well. Labour is still my pick at the next election – let’s hope the Greens do well and can drag Labour to the left

  8. Grant says:

    Well the shit storm that this reckless National Party have created is just around the corner .
    They are out of the ideas that they never had , but like a battered spouse the media are clinging on desperately with the deluded hope that given time things will be o.k.
    They won’t .
    N.Z is just fortunate they have an Andrew Little waiting in the wings. Solid , sensible , mature , no nonsense, intelligent, focussed, fair minded and smart.
    Forget the childish selfies. People want to know why their children will never be able to own a home and what can be done to help rectify N.Z’s parlous state.
    That is what the people are looking for . That is why he is packing in the audiences. That is why he will be the next Prime Minister .
    When the likes of Duncan Garner go on National T.V and radio and disrespectfully call Andrew Little “one of the biggest dick’s in the world ” and then affectionately refers to Bill English as “Billy”, you know the establishment are rattled . They have lost control and there is nothing they can do about it.

    Abraham Lincoln ….you can fool all the people some of the time , and some of the people all the time , but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.

    • Tiger Mountain says:

      yes agree, saw Little in Whangarei last week and he definitely looks like he has some self belief now, mind you it certainly does not hurt to usher out the last of the Rogernomes!

    • Michal says:

      ‘N.Z is just fortunate they have an Andrew Little waiting in the wings. Solid , sensible , mature , no nonsense, intelligent, focussed, fair minded and smart.’

      AND GUTLESS frankly he was the one that said ‘people don’t like capital gains tax’ and then he scrapped it. Foolish stuff, we have to have capital gains tax.

      • bert says:

        Just like all political parties, you say what people want to hear to get their vote. Little realised this on CGT and vocally opposed it. If elected, watch quickly Little introduce a CGT. Little is a quick learner. having seen him in action as a union leader, he is also “for” the people, as aposed to for the wealthy, so he get’s my vote

        • Jlo73 says:

          So you are essentially saying Andrew Little is going to lie to the people of NZ and introduce a CGT after the election?
          Last Time Labour did stuff like that it gave rise to Roger Douglas.

          • bert says:

            No he is not going to lie, like Key promising not to raise GST, Little will just change his mind. He has a right to do so.

            • Chris says:

              I hope Labour changes its mind on a whole bunch of other stuff, too, like raising basic benefit levels, bringing the special benefit back, reversing its 2007 social security amendment Act that anyone would be forgiven for thinking was introduced by the nats and publicly apologising for voting with the government’s anti-beneficiary legislation in 2014.

        • Strypey says:

          You might have missed it, but National quietly introduced a limited CGT not that different from the one Labour was proposing. Instead of an exception for the family home, it has an exception for properties owned for more than two years. All of National’s best policies have been pinched from Labour in similar ways, they tell the news media what a silly idea it is while Labour are doing the hard work of pitching it, and then once the news media magpies move on to the next shiny thing, National modify that “silly idea” and pass it into law.

          Since Labour seem to be able to get moderate policy passed whether they are in government or not, you’d think they would have a go at campaigning on some more radical policy. At least that way National are less likely to steal their thunder.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      150% Grant,

      We are more foreign owned than ever and in personal debt to leave the young Millenniums to rustle with ALL THEIR LIVES.


  9. WILD KATIPO says:

    ”English cannot seem to avoid either insulting or upsetting the electorate. If he’s not dismissing young New Zealanders as drug-addled layabouts, he’s informing them that they’ll have to wait an additional two years before becoming eligible for NZ Superannuation.

    From having a National prime minister who worked tirelessly at being “Everyman”, New Zealand finds itself saddled with a prime minister who appears to have it in for every man, woman and child unfortunate enough to have been born outside the top 10 percent of income-earners.”

    And here we have it. But lets not let John Philip Key entirely off the hook on that score , either. He was not above developing symptoms of the Double Dippers disease more than a few times as well towards the latter part of his odious leadership… chiming in with a few pedigree insults of the NZ public himself on occasion.

    This seems to be an overriding theme with the neo liberal brand of politician… this peculiar contempt for the voting public ,… peculiar because they seem to forget it is ‘we’ who say who governs , ‘we’ who say what laws they will and will not pass and most importantly … it is ‘we’ who pay their salary’s.

    And this Bill English is one of the more obvious offenders.

    He has stated as much when he said words to this effect on at least two occasions :

    1) ” We should be glad we have a LOW WAGE ECONOMY as that encourages FOREIGN INVESTMENT”

    What does the above tell you about this National govts destructive , out of control immigration policy and the main reasons behind it?

    Cheap labour to drive down wages?

    Cheap way to create and drive a housing bubble that gives false perception of an economy doing well when its patently not?

    Effective way to create a destabilized and deunionized workforce full of immigrants afraid of losing their visa’s if they raise their heads above the parapets and approach a union?

    2) ” The concept of the sovereign state is going to become more and more irrelevant in the future”.

    What does this say about his loyalty as a New Zealand citizen from the start and jut where his loyalties truly lie?

    Is this a window of his real ideology’s? – that of international globalism and the demise of the sovereign state and the rise in its stead of the conglomerate ‘super state’ linked by free trade agreements , and military alliances designed more for local population control than for defending its borders from foreign aggression?

    Look carefully now.

    A quick read of the Mont Pelerin society’s past board list includes Roger Douglas of the Labour party and Ruth Richardson of the National party . Both odious to the NZ public in retrospect and both former FINANCE MINISTERS of those two respective party’s. And both two of the most notoriously viscous neo liberal politicians this country has ever known. The only one who remains as equally as hated is Jenny Shipley.

    Do you really think events merely just ‘ happen’ in some kind of a vacuum without human intervention ?

    Do you really think these things just ‘ come into being’ with no human planning and deliberation whatsoever at all ? That some of the most ugly , viscous , deceptive and extreme measures against its own people are introduced by these type of politicians out of some bizarre sense of political suicide and nothing more than that ?

    Or is it far more credible that these politicians ACTUALLY DO adhere to a particular ideology that is never openly discussed in any public media ,… that they do in fact order their affairs broadly along the lines of a prescribed agenda – and that that agenda has NOTHING to do whatsoever with the voting public and EVERYTHING to do with a globalized and centralized political and economic system , – one in which the concept of any form of ‘ national sovereignty ‘ is not only redundant , – but reprehensible .

    Bill English is one of the last of the Roger Douglas years of Treason era politicians. And NOT ONE of those former conductors of treason have EVER renounced their treasonous subversiveness of New Zealand’s former political and economic Keynesian – based social democracy pre 1984.

    Not ONE of them.

    After 33 years.

    And there are still remnants to this day in both National and Labour. In addition , there is still the ghost of a party today being propped for the purposes of confidence and supply in the form of the ACT party.

    And while the very idea of a centralized global world power and its banking elite orchestrators is indeed a heady one, – we in little old New Zealand deal day in and day out with these treasonist’s in our very OWN parliament …. and in full view of our news at six o’clock every night.

    Hiding in plain sight for all to gaze upon.

    And there they are.

    Hardly dancing around in a Druids robes in some evergreen forest at Bohemian Grove or performing Satanic rituals …

    Video for satanic rituals on opening european tunnel you tube▶ 23:52

    Bohemian Grove – Alex Jones – YouTube
    Video for bohemian grove alex jones▶ 1:31:38

    But instead,… there we have Boring Bill English in his boring suit , boring us all to tears in his boring hypnotic monotone about something that will greatly affect all of us in a negative fashion …

    Wait ?…. WHAT ? !!? ….

    Yes,… in typical fashion , after using the hired gun mercenary John Philip Key to soften up the NZ public still further…. we are then treated to the low profile accountants persona to put in some finishing touches ,… in the form of the ‘boring and hardly threatening ‘ Bill English.

    Think again , New Zealanders.

    Hiding in plain sight.

    No different from the Bengal tiger that always approaches from behind, stalking the peasant farmer and with the rush and release of incredible fury and power thus inflicting that deadly crushing bite to the victims neck…

    Hiding in plain sight, … not in camouflaged stripes to blend in with long grasses and reeds,… but in dull suits , conservative hair cuts and jargon designed to convince the ignorant and the unawares and to throw off any potential inquirers of note who have noticed discrepancies…

    Hiding in plain sight.

    The predator.

    • countryboy says:

      Good stuff @ W K.

    • mary_a says:

      Excellent summation as usual WK.

      You really need your own blog page on this site. Your comments are always thought provoking and pretty well hits the mark of what’s going on in NZ.

      I definitely would like to see WK with a more broad platform to express his/her perspective on the issues. Any chance Martyn and team?

      • WILD KATIPO says:

        Thank you for the vote of confidence , but I sincerely feel there are those far more qualified than myself to post. I am simply a generalist , whereas so many bloggers here are more actively involved, have access to data … and often lead the way before the news has even broken on the msm…

        But best wishes and thank you anyways .


      • the pigman says:

        Satanic rituals, Alex Jones


        Excessively long rants that branch off in 100 directions.

        Perfect contributor to the Daily Blog.

        • WILD KATIPO says:


          Too eclectic, too aesthetics based ?… All good … I’m OK with that,… here , something that may stimulate the mental juices if the Bible or politics doesn’t do it for you.

          A little bit of focus on Downunder this time… its a big , big world, and no… we humans do not have as much control as we would like to think we do , … and sometimes our most cherished theories just don’t cut the mustard…


          Please do.

          DAVID PAULIDES 2017 # # Unexplained Disappearances … – YouTube
          Video for DAVID PAULIDES 2017 # # Unexplained Disappearances In Our National Park you tube▶ 1:29:46

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      Do not forget English’ comments before the 2014 elections, claiming that being on a benefit is just like being on a drug:

      • WILD KATIPO says:

        Hegelian Dialectics – methodology of the deceitful neo liberal.

        Hegelian Dialectics :

        1) Thesis

        ( create a problem ie ; dissenting social group – such as a unionized workforce )

        2) Antithesis

        ( Antagonize that group , and use the media to emphasis any perceived excesses – regardless if true or not – to fit a desired narrative and outcome )

        3 ) Solution

        ( After sufficient time for media to manipulate and form the desired narrative , enact laws that bring ‘ resolution ‘ to the perceived dissenters ‘ issues’ while at the same time ensuring that demonization of that group has occurred and can be used for future political capitol.

        1 ) sell off SOE’S

        2 ) privatize , asset strip , employ only skeleton staff.

        3 ) Lobby parliament /sympathetic politicians to pass legislation to de tooth unions. ( Employment Contracts Act)

        4 ) Put all employees on individual contracts – but insure they are still taxed on a PAYE basis.

        5 ) Move large industry’s offshore – in particular to third world country’s where there are NO union protections or conditions.

        6 ) Create further downwards pressure on wages and conditions by using above methods and the introduction of cheap immigrant labour.

        7 ) Create a large pool of indigenous unemployment by direct competition among a de unionized workforce.

        8 ) Allow tension between migrant workers/ indigenous workers to create further division , resentment and infighting.

        9 ) Lambaste / insult / demean indigenous workers in order to A) justify further cheap immigrant labour B) further erode wages and conditions and bargaining power ,… and finally ,… C) create a political scapegoat to be used as leverage during times of dissent ,… and events such as an upcoming general election.

        And this is how both the National party and the Labour party neo liberals achieved their Hegelian Dialectic programmer in New Zealand.

        AND THAT , … my friends, … was how they ( the neo liberal treasonist’s ) achieved their goals in our once strong country of Aotearoa / New Zealand.

  10. mosa says:

    Usually if a watershed election is on the way its because the sitting government is unpopular and out of step with society at large and the media by this point has turned against the incumbent administration and the polls begin to show a shift in public sentiment.

    Thats not happening yet and the corporate controlled MSM will still be on the governments side and has controlled the narrative for 9 long years and the electorate was well and truly hoodwinked by that shyster John Key
    who ran one of the best political hit squads since Muldoon.

    He also created a new monied property class who have become paper millionaires and they want to keep their new found status.

    Of course the economy is a mirage and is being kept alive through debt, consumption and immigration and is still delivering low interest rates on huge mortgages , so no pain is being felt in the beltway where a change of government usually comes from.

    Labour needs to match National in the party vote or out poll them to make a change of government a reality and that has not happened since 2007.

    If Labour can achieve those numbers in the next seven months then it will truly be a remarkable feat indeed.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      I think that this time, at least some in the MSM will be on the opposition’s side, realising it is “time for a change”. But they will only allow the Labour led government to implement policies that their business mates can tolerate, as once Little and his government step too much out of line, they will crash down like a ton of bricks against Labour, Greens and whoever else may be in government.

      The MSM supports the economic and social status quo, pro business, neoliberal in essence, and nothing else, certainly no pro worker or even pro beneficiary “revolution”.

  11. Colin Dickson says:

    I am kind of conflicted on this issue. I do really want a change in government, a left leaning government specifically, however…

    I have this sinking feeling that another Global Economic Crisis is brewing. I for one would rather see it hit a National Government, than a Labour Government.

    • frank says:

      you may well be correct….but who would you prefer to make the decisions for the benefit of the whole country in such circumstances?…as always it is those least able to protect themselves that suffer first and the most in any economic downturn.

  12. Mike in Auckland says:

    English has with his rushed proposal to change the retirement eligibility age from 65 to 67 in 20 bloody years predetermined the election result.

    His rushed announcement of the newly led government’s position only two days after he started heated debate after that The Nation interview has made him look desperate or foolish, or both.

    Such a sudden change in a very core policy area, by a government party, that is serious stuff, and will gain some supporters but also make many former Nat voters disappointed and worried.

    If he was serious with reforms, he would have set an earlier date and offered a more sophisticated set of changes, allowing physical labourers earlier retirement. He would also have been wise to seek a cross party approach, rather than rush ahead with this.

    That makes him look unprofessional, and as he lacks the charisma or spell of the Mr Smiling Assassin, his days are numbered, as Nats will lose the election this time.

    Even ACT’s Seymour cannot believe the change in policy by the Nats, he ridiculed English and National in Parliament. There goes a useful ally.

    Indeed, there is likely to be a change this year, and NZ First will gain as immigration will be a serious topic also, besides of housing, health, the now slowing economy (see dairy price drop, China importing less), education and so forth.

    Those many renters in Auckland, facing massive rent hikes, they will grow tired of the present government, as there is no money for school lunches for the kids left.

  13. Afewknowthetruth says:

    A massive shit storm is coming to NZ as a direct consequence of the ‘Chicago School’ economic hijack back in the 1980s, as a consequence of overuse of oil, as a consequence of overpopulation, as a consequence of the consumer society, and as a consequence of the media serving the scumbags that some people refer to as the ‘elites’, and since the political system and all the people in it are very much part of the problem, the wise citizen is disengaging.

    I have recently met yet another person who no longer votes because she regards politicians as self-serving, corrupt liars or idiots…..probably because the vast majority are.

    No amount of pumping the propaganda is going to change that perception.

    Yes, change is coming. But it won’t the kind of change a lot of uninformed people (or those living in a state of denial) are hoping for: it will be a reversal of the Industrial Revolution accompanied by climate chaos.

  14. countryboy says:

    There’s nothing complicated going on.
    It’s dead simple.
    A cadre of swine have ripped us off for generations then along comes a slippery little eel like jonky ( No disrespect to actual Eels ) and bingo! Fait accompli. He sells us out to foreign money and perhaps we should be happy about that particular scenario because having actual armies come here and shoot us for our lands is significantly less polite, as I’m sure, Maori would agree.
    The problem for us is that the immigration we’re seeing is money. Not humans or at least not that many of them. Money’s what’s flocking here along with it’s associate dis-eases of gentrification, perversities and narcissism and it will be on a scale unseen before.Anywhere. NZ’s going to become the Global Rolleston, town of the Future. No neurosis will go un diagnosed as the money, now safe and secure in NZ will extend, from here, its influence into every nook and cranny of what will be left of a ragged and raped planet dying in the pollutions and toxins of the Money’s making.
    Nearing 50%.
    And, of course, you do know what industry is behind all that. All that horrible stuff. Behind The Great Swindle, behind the homeless as they breath in the gasses blowing out of Lambo’s as they cruise our streets?
    The Banks. When all is said, and God only knows there’s a lot of yap about, and when all is done…it’s the Banks.
    If you want to spot a scum bag or a lessor crook? Walk into any Bank.

  15. saveNZ says:

    National was never popular – it was just that people did not trust Labour or Greens policy enough to vote for them.

    Under Little that has changed. He has a slow strategic style that offers enough to the lefties while not being too radical for the righties.

    In short the middle where many of the votes are, that change the election.

    At the same time, National has become so despicable that people have become galvanised to vote and back into politics. Whether it is because your state house has been sold, your local river is a cess pit, your council structure has been changed and it does not look for the better (unitary plan, supercity, ECAN), welfare services don’t work anymore, the government is stealing from it’s citizen’s with privatisation and dodgy deals, wages are going down, public services are overloaded, disaster recovery is poor, roads are gridlocked, lazy immigration is hiding the hideous performance of the Natz economic policy while making even more problems for the future.

    It’s kinda the last straw when Blinglish is attacking his own citizens and calling them lazy druggies.

    Blinglish is captaining the NZ Titanic and more and more Kiwis are realising we need to turn it around before we hit the iceberg and 67% drown.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      Yes , I quite like Little. I get a general sense of trustworthiness from the guy. There’s also another aspect ,… which Im trying to find the words for but is to do with a steady kind of inclusive leadership style.

      Facilitator, perhaps?

      I dont know, but I do know that any leader who takes up the reigns after 8-9 years of Key / English has much damage restoration to do. It will not be easy and mistakes will be made.

      But I far value honesty , integrity and inclusive leadership any day of the week compared to dishonesty , exclusivity and avarice such as what we have had to endure under this National govt.

      • Grant says:

        Totally agree.

      • mosa says:

        Labour always have to clean up the damage and mess left behind by the National party who through their excess and harsh policies leave a fractured and divided country when they are finally forced to resign.

        Hopefully if there is a change this year Little and Labour will realise the current system is not working and lead the country in a new direction with the Greens having a chance to influence policy.

  16. Andrea says:

    You know the old story about how Labour is all ‘tax and spend’ and that National is a ‘safe pair of hands steering the ship of state’…

    Gets trotted out every election year.

    Someone in the UK did a bit of a study. (Even numerically challenged me could understand most of it :-0!)


    Do we have anything similar here? Free of smoke and mirrors and wishful thinking, of course.

    I can only hope that Labour’s ‘March to Victory’ doesn’t go anywhere near a cliff or the lemmings will be over it. They’re great for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, with no thought for their constituents.

  17. CLEANGREEN says:



    ‘Foreign ownership in private firms reaches 15-year high’