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Let’s Do This NOW, Jacinda – NOT “As Finances Permit”

By   /  August 16, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  44 Comments

THIS IS THE TIME of maximum danger for Jacinda Ardern. Caught off-guard by their stop-gap leader’s astonishing energy and confidence, the tired grey men of the Labour Party could only look on in wonder like the rest of us. As public expectations of Jacinda have soared, however, the men and women of Labour’s political apparatus are beginning to close in around her.

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The Greens’ Campaign Reset: Normal Ideological Transmission is Resumed

By   /  August 15, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  29 Comments

WATCHING THE GREENS’ campaign reset unfold, I couldn’t help but regret the demise of the pre-Dotcom Mana Party. Because sure as eggs-is-eggs, the Greens have put poverty behind them. Not rhetorically, of course, as James Shaw, now the party’s sole leader, made clear to the assembled journalists: “[W]e will continue to talk about poverty. That conversation makes a lot of people uncomfortable. I’m comfortable with that.” Except, of course, he isn’t. Not in the least. Not on your Nelly.

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Election 2017: No Country For Old Men

By   /  August 12, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  40 Comments

How are Bill English and Steven Joyce supposed to defeat a young woman who can set the cold, cold heart of Paddy Gower aflame? How do a couple of guys on the wrong side of 50 fight a social-media phenomenon? Sure, they can say that elections are about policies – not personalities – but, after ten years of relying on John Key’s winning personality, who’s going to believe them?

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Avenge Metiria!

By   /  August 10, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  48 Comments

IT WAS SHORTLY AFTER MARAMA DAVIDSON’S impassioned appeal to Metiria Turei’s devastated supporters, that the “Avenge Metiria” meme made its first appearance. No one’s entirely sure who started it, but pretty soon it was all over social media. Then the ideas for action started pouring in to the Green Party HQ. Though expressed in a multitude of ways, the message was clear: “If Metiria is to be avenged, then we have to get her supporters to the polls!”

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Have The Greens Entered Their Jacobin Phase?

By   /  August 9, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  25 Comments

THE JACOBINS, along with “Madame Guillotine” and Robespierre’s Reign of Terror, will forever be associated with political extremism. So, the mere suggestion that our very own Green Party might be entering its Jacobin Phase is unlikely to be well received – especially by the Greens!

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Friends In High Places: Will Jacinda Be Swept Into Power By Another “Revolution From Above”?

By   /  August 7, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  17 Comments

New Zealand capitalism is in urgent need of a reboot. The agricultural sector is offering nothing more imaginative than more (and more!) of the same: more cows, more milk powder, more massive irrigation schemes, more befouled waterways. The road transport industry is swallowing a disproportionately large amount of New Zealand’s limited investment capital. Our civil service is not only displaying alarming levels of inefficiency but also outright corruption.

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MUST READ: The Right Thing To Do: Metiria Turei Stands Aside.

By   /  August 4, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  41 Comments

Responding to Kelvin Davis’s less-than-friendly comments on the AM Show this morning (4/8/17) she could have pointed out that the first Labour Cabinet contained a whole swag of radical activists whose youthful union activities in the Red Feds regularly involved breaches of the law. She could have pointed out that Labour’s second prime minister, Peter Fraser, had been jailed for sedition during the First World War.

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You Say you Want A Revolution?

By   /  August 4, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  28 Comments

Jacinda does need to put herself at the head of a revolutionary throng. Not one bearing rifles or waving little red books of dogma, but at the head of a movement determined to re-order this country’s economic and social priorities by means of an unprecedented blending of intelligence and compassion.

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Labour Can Win If … Defining Jacinda’s Political Mission

By   /  August 2, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  39 Comments

LABOUR CAN NOW WIN the 2017 General Election. Thanks to Andrew Little’s noble self-sacrifice and Jacinda Ardern’s spectacular political talent, the fortunes of the centre-left have undergone a sudden and dramatic transformation. Victory is not, however, certain. As always in electoral politics, there are a number of important “ifs” that must be factored into any winning equation.

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BREAKING: Before The Flood: Political Ruminations on Labour’s Fate While Waiting For Tonight’s TV3-Reid Research Poll

By   /  July 31, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  33 Comments

TONIGHT’S REID RESEARCH POLL promises to be a shocker. Such a shocker that, like Santa Claus in the Christmas song, the journalists at TV3 are making a list of the awful numbers – and checking them twice. If the results of last night’s One News Colmar Brunton (ONCB) poll are confirmed, then Andrew Little’s future can only be described as bleak.

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Escape Velocity: The Greens Rocket Out Of Labour’s Gravity

By   /  July 29, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  76 Comments

WHERE DOES LABOUR go from here? Because their Big Plan is fluttering down to earth in flaming tatters – burned out of the sky by Metiria Turei and the Greens.

Labour’s Big Plan? What’s that?

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Election 2017: Spell-Binder Or Spell-Breaker?

By   /  July 26, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  27 Comments

For a distressingly long interval it appeared that the Greens had abandoned this revolutionary narrative for a kinder, gentler, more environmentally friendly iteration of the neoliberal programme. Thankfully, Metiria Turei’s promise to make a bonfire of the infrastructure of neoliberal oppression – most especially of its poverty traps – has extended the promise of a better and fairer future to Kiwis who had almost forgotten how to hope.

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Sudden Shifts: Bill English Backtracks, And Winston Peters Changes Tack

By   /  July 24, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  15 Comments

Conservative voters in the regions are much more willing to tolerate foreigners prepared to work their land for low wages, than they are indigenous New Zealanders preparing to reclaim their patrimony. As Bill English noted of National’s and NZ First sudden shifts: “the policy direction is going to be driven by the strength of the economy”.

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Sins Of Admission – critiquing John Armstrong’s attack on Metiria

By   /  July 22, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  60 Comments

Metiria is guilty of a crime – but not the one John Armstrong rails against. Her transgression was to break ranks with the socio-political formation that has kept Richardson’s and Shipley’s welfare cuts bleeding and raw for more than quarter-of-a-century.

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“Let’s Get Together”: National’s Campaign Video Ticks All The Boxes

By   /  July 21, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Media Watch, Most Recent Blogs  /  41 Comments

George Orwell argued that power is defined by the ability to inflict pain. It is, therefore, vital that those who wield decisive power in our society be insulated from the social pain that secures it. To preserve their dominance we, the vast majority of citizens, must be persuaded that the people in charge are just like us – ordinary, decent Kiwis. And that all will be well in our beloved country so long as enough ordinary, decent Kiwis “get together” – and vote for the National Party.

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A Cautionary Tale From Canada

By   /  July 19, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  14 Comments

With Winston exhaling anger, and Metiria Turei breathing hope, Andrew Little and Labour need to offer the New Zealand electorate something more than a deflated ideological balloon.

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