Predictions 2014: Snowden, oil leaks & who wins the election?



Time to do some crystal ball gazing to look at what 2014 will have in store politically for NZ.

Most important person politically in 2014:
Without a question, this will be Kim Dotcom. His legal case against Key in March stands to be the most important political event of the year that will overshadow everything else. Snowden hasn’t released more than 5% of what he has, and purposely the NZ section hasn’t been made public yet, if Dotcom proves that John Key has lied to NZ as to when he was informed of Kim’s existence, Key will have his credibility mortally wounded. Expect this to have more impact on the election date than anything else.

Economy – China is the risk:
National’s reliance on selling milk powder to China and mining and drilling everything that moves while racking up obscene levels of debt increasingly being spent on corporate welfare while tens of thousands of beneficiaries are forced off benefits to become invisible statistics makes NZ appear far stronger economically than it really is. The real threats to NZs economy next year will come from China’s financial bubble and the growing global financial bubble which is now back to pre-bust levels.

China’s financial security could have large repercussions to our economy. This from Forbes

Even without adding in shadow banking exposure, China’s banks are undoubtedly balance-sheet insolvent if their assets were classified according to international standards. Yet these institutions have always remained liquid. Now, as we have seen at the end of this quarter and the second one, they are beginning to run out of cash.

Most analysts don’t worry. By and large, they believe the recent shortages of liquidity are the result of central bank efforts to tighten, so in their view the problems are short-term and “manufactured.” Take the Financial Times for instance. “Looking at interbank borrowing rates, while durations of one month and less have shot up, those from three months to one year have remained much flatter,” writes Simon Rabinovitch today. “This is an indication that the cash crunch is more an end-of-year scramble for money than a fundamental breakdown of the Chinese financial system.”

There are two main problems with optimistic views. First, the argument—it’s really no more than that—ignores why the central bank needs to rein in the money supply in the first place. Chinese technocrats need to tighten because of systemic flaws, especially runaway debt creation. Last year, China’s risk-laden shadow banking sector grew 42% according to one estimate, and credit overall may have soared by almost a third. If credit grew by only 20%—a conservative estimate one hears—then debt is increasing more than twice as fast as officially stated gross domestic product. My sense, based on guesses as to the extent of back-channel lending and more realistic GDP figures, is that credit is growing about seven times faster than the economy. In any event, Beijing has no choice but to rein in credit.

And reining in credit will inevitably create more Lianshengs. Once they can no longer borrow, broken businesses will default across the country. “If China is insolvent, why haven’t there been any big defaults yet?” asks Quartz’s Guilford. “Here’s why: China’s shadow lending system keeps credit pumping to insolvent companies, so no one can tell that they’re bankrupt.”

Second, given a runaway situation, the central bank is eventually bound to cause a disaster with its remedial measures. Not only pessimists think this. “We believe the PBOC is faced with some serious challenges with rapid unfolding of bottom-up interest rate liberalization and is confused on whether to target volume or rates of liquidity,” writes the normally optimistic Lu Ting from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “With its limited predictability of flows and its insensitivity to market reactions, the PBOC finds it much more likely than before to make operation mistakes.”

The problem is even worse than the oft-quoted analyst thinks. Lu assumes that the central bank has a way forward. Yet it is much more likely that there is none. Chinese technocrats continually talk about “reform” and the need to accept lower growth rates, but they always flinch, falling back on state stimulus and rampant credit creation when growth rates falter. They do that, I suspect, because they know restructuring would cause the economy to fail.

With interest rates set to jump, many home owners currently struggling to make ends meet will find themselves in trouble as Auckland’s property bubble swallows up any silver lining generated by the Dairy industry, but if China fails on top of those interest rate increases, the white gold won’t be enough to insulate us from that economic fallout.

For those with, the economy will continue to pay dividends, for those without, the economy will continue to provide cold hopelessness, but if China has a financial meltdown, even those living in leafy Epsom will feel the impact.

National – no mates:
National will be the largest Party after the 2014 election but not gain an outright majority and they will still need coalition partners, unfortunately for National those limited options will make for an election that is razor close. The real problem for National will be in avoiding sickening their own soft blue support from being so alienated by the hard lurch to the right a Conservative Party/National Government would represent that they simply stay at home and don’t bother voting. National will have little option other than scare tactics, so expect a dirty, dirty fight.

TDB Recommends

NZ First – writing Winston off:
Has Winston got one more left in the tank? The conventional wisdom in NZ punditry is never to write Winston Peters off, well, I am. NZ First made it across 5% last time because of 2 things – the first was the utter failure of Phil Goff to perform as an opposition leader and the second was the ridiculous Epsom Tea Pot fiasco. This time around Cunliffe will be a star performer during the election and there won’t be any repeat of the Tea Pot nonsense, with Winston positioning to be a coalition option for National, the electoral seduction of voting for him to throw the Government out will not be enough and National Party voters would prefer to vote United Future or ACT than Winston. For the sake of the progressive left, NZ First better come under the 5% threshold because if it doesn’t, they will give National the numbers to be the Government or they will spend 3 years frustrating every single Green Party political aspiration.

Greens – their own worst enemy:
The Greens have done a terrible job of reorganizing their strategy since Cunliffe’s win. Next to Shearer, the Greens looked like a credible 15%, but much of the Greens win last election was again due to a weak Labour Party and much of their sky high polling since 2011 has again been due to Labour’s total lack of a convincing direction under Shearer. That has changed dramatically with Cunliffe’s ascension to leader and as each poll passes, the Greens are the ones losing soft vote to Labour.

The Greens need to start looking like Labour-Plus rather than National-Plus to keep the vote they obtained at the last election and this can only be achieved by appearing like a Government in waiting alongside Labour. This would require symbolic gestures aimed at looking like they can work with Labour rather than against them. Such gestures would be not standing candidates in certain electorates where the combined Labour-Green vote trumps the National candidate.

If Cunliffe can convince the Green leadership to attend the last Labour Party conference before the election with a handful of targeted electorates as symbolic gestures alongside a couple of core policies, the Greens can succeed in getting real policy advances and have a real argument for genuine Cabinet representation.

Maori Party – no point being at the table when John Key has sold the table:
The Maori Party are a finished force if Labour and MANA cut a deal in the Maori electorates. The reality is that if all National require to become the Government is one vote from the Maori Party, then the Maori Party will sell out again and give Key his majority. The simple truth is that the Maori Party can’t be trusted to do the right thing by anyone but themselves.

United Future – no political middle ground:
With soaring inequality, there is no more political middle ground, the next election will be decided by either end of the political spectrum, it will be decided by either MANA or the Conservative Party. The end equation will decide if modern NZ is egalitarianly socialist or socially conservative at heart. If the Greens can put their ego’s in check, a deal should be reached in Ohariu with Labour to deal to Dunne once and for all. Cunliffe should be paying for a one way ticket for Charles Chavuel to return from the UN.

ACT – dead political corpse walking:
At this stage in ACT’s demise, they could put Jesus Christ, Frank Sinatra or Elvis up as a leader and it wouldn’t make a jot of difference. The stinking hypocrisy and rot caused over a decade is beyond saving. Matthew Hooton may have harbored a pretense to become the leader, but ACT are dead and the vast amount of skeletons in Hooton’s closet meant mutually assured destruction if he had made the attempt. Banks’ trial next year, even now he is stepping down will be automatically associated with ACT whether they like it or not. Even if they win Epsom, they will bring no one else in with them.

Conservative Party – lunacy in full moon bloom:
Colin Craig’s path to Parliament looked set until he started talking about moon landing conspiracy’s, chemtrail conspiracy’s and climate denial. While there is a flat earth audience for such musings, it ain’t enough to get over 5% and the weirdness of it all destroys National’s main strategy plan for next year to paint the Green Party out as fundamentalists. National are only going to cut a deal for an electorate with Colin if they are desperate. Expect the decision to have a lukewarm milo with Colin in East Coast Bays to be decided VERY late in the 6 week election campaign.

MANA – 3 MPs:
Under the mainstream media radar, MANA have been making huge efforts in each Maori electorate to build Party infrastructure, their surprise second place win in Ikaroa-Rawhiti was proof of that. Te Ururoa Flavell will be rolled by Annette Sykes who has been tireless in Waiariki, within a few months of campaigning in the last election, she had cut Flavell’s majority from 7000 to 1700, with 3 years worth of ground work, she will take him out next year. While the media attack Hone for not being in Parliament, he spends all his time on the road in those electorates meeting Maori communities large and small. MANA will pick up 2 electorate seats and another MP off the Party list. If they cut a deal with Labour to end the Maori Party, they will also hand an election win to the left.

Cunliffe’s Labour:
The ABC’s within Labour are still dragging their feet and praying Cunliffe fails meaning the need to trim the dead wood within Labour is now a fire hazard. Expect Trevor Mallard to fight some ridiculous socially conservative issue in the hope of hanging on (bets are on for it to be some over the top response to legal highs). The incredible win in Christchurch East was important but what really sealed the deal was Cunliffe’s speech at conference, which was one of the most sophisticated performances in modern political history. The problem essentially is that Cunliffe can communicate, the Labour Party can’t, and the more conservative hands steering the Labour ship will do all they can to suffocate Cunliffe’s ability to communicate for fear he over promises. Cunliffe has only one shot at leadership, if he loses next year the ABCs will turn on him and he becomes a political footnote and not a political legacy. Cunliffe needs to be allowed to be Cunliffe and the only one who can ensure that is David himself.

Oil leak or another shipping accident:
Two things that could really damage the Government is another ship crash or a major oil leak from the current oil drilling. With the full text of Anadarko’s oil drilling now revealed, the Government will not be able to pretend to not have been warned.

Whaleoil – how low can he go?
The new sewer levels of gutter trawling Slater has descended to this year hints at dark tactics that will be used next year. The clear connection between the Prime Minister’s Office and Whaleoil are now publicly noted and to pretend that there isn’t high level communication to seed sleaze and smears between the PMs Department and the Whaleoil blog seems naive in the extreme. The problem for Slater is his current court case where he is demanding legal protection of his sources. While Russell Brown’s rush to defend Slater looks more like self interest for Brown as a blogger, the issue is whether or not Slater’s bizarre attack on Matthew Blomfield amounts in any way shape or form to public interest. If the Court rules that Slater’s attack on Blomfield isn’t in the public interest, Slater will face serious ramifications. I’d love to hear Russell Brown explain exactly how the attacks on Blomfield were in the public interest and why Slater should be given legal protections to attack private citizens, because Journalists are given these protections to speak truth to power. How on earth Slater’s weird out of the blue attack on Blomfield manages to fit into the ‘speaking truth to power’ category is an utter mystery to me.

Early election?:
With Dotcom’s case against Key in March and a Royal visit in April, could the Government go to the polls early? Only if National can generate an excuse to do so.

Global warming:
Despite the howling of deniers, the planet continues to warm due to human made pollution and that continues to impact on the climate. We can expect more weather extremes and more denial of the science in 2014.

Rising inequality & poverty denial:
It is exceptionally important for the right to deny poverty in NZ and its structural implications. If they ignore child poverty and refuse to measure it, they aren’t responsible for it. Expect a lot of disinformation on inequality in 2014 in the lead up to the election.

Political Media:
The good news is that the Wellington Press Gallery are increasingly irrelevant, the bad news is that the finance companies who bought up leveraged media companies will continue to cut back on quality journalism. With Mike Hosking and Paul Henry returning to TV, the hard right bias inherent in corporate media is going to become unmistakable. The blogs and social media will increasingly become important places for voters to gain information for the election. Hopefully the first thing a new Government invests in is public broadcasting.


    • Great question and your ‘doormat’ comment says a lot. You are of course right, there is a righteous resentment by many in the Greens at the way Labour treated them under Helen Clark, but if the end point is to implement a green agenda across the policy platforms of Government, the Greens need a far more productive relationship with Labour than they have had in the past, especially if they are to survive the stresses of being in an actual Government. The Greens also need to ensure NZ First are not in the mix, so combined efforts and symbolic gestures now will have far more positive impact than the current level of passive aggressiveness from the Greens. They also risk being seen as obtuse of Labour & MANA cut a deal and the Greens won’t.

      It all depends on what is actually important to the Greens, their ego or actual implementation of environmental policies.

  1. Great analysis Bomber. The Labour Party – Green Party relationship will be the killer in this election.

    John Key has already signaled this.

    John Key has signaled that he will make this relationship a target, demonising the Greens as crazy tree huggers out to destroy New Zealand’s economy to save the climate, who will draw Labour after them.

    This must be countered by Cunliffe coming out and openly standing in solidarity with the Greens and openly stating that the Greens are right about the danger of climate change. And that the Labour Party also backs taking comprehensive action to avert this threat. This immediately would take the wind out of John Key’s sails.

    If Labour under David Cunliffe does this, then for John Key to continue this line of attack, he will actually have to start taking issue with the science. And actually discussing the issue is the last thing he wants.

    If Labour stay silent and don’t stand with the Greens, then John Key will be able to avoid having to concretise his attacks on the Greens, and will have a free run with his vague slurs about the Greens being mad tree hugging extremists.

    ….to keep the vote they obtained at the last election and this can only be achieved by appearing like a Government in waiting alongside Labour. This would require symbolic gestures aimed at looking like they can work with Labour rather than against them. Such gestures would be not standing candidates in certain electorates where the combined Labour-Green vote trumps the National candidate.

    I agree, a great strategy.

    If Cunliffe can convince the Green leadership to attend the last Labour Party conference before the election with a handful of targeted electorates as symbolic gestures alongside a couple of core policies, the Greens can succeed in getting real policy advances and have a real argument for genuine Cabinet representation.

    Again good stuff. I don’t think there will be any problems getting the Greens to attend a Labour Party Conference. It is actually Labour that has to be convinced to move.

    Bomber, as you say, the Greens should have no problem providing Labour, “with a handful of targeted electorates as symbolic gestures”

    The problem will be with Labour coughing up “a couple of core policies” to satisfy the Greens.

    The minimum couple of core policies that the Green Party need to gain from Labour are; No Deep Sea Oil Drilling and No New Coal Mines These are both bottom line Green Party policies.

    At present the Labour Party are trying to pressure the Green Party leadership into accepting Deep Sea Oil Drilling and the new huge Denniston coal mine as a condition of entering into cabinet.

    At a time when thousands of Green Party grass roots members are rallying and protesting against these two very things, for their party leaders to be part of a cabinet bound by cabinet collective responsibility to support Deep Sea Oil Drilling and the Dennistion Coal Mine will ring in the electoral death knell of the Greens.

    The Labour Party Leader must tell the country that New Zealand needs to stop all new coal mining and deep sea oil drilling and explain why.

    This is a winning strategy. Not only will it deflect John Key’s attacks on the Greens, but polls show that it would be a generally popular move.

    • “Horizon Poll on Climate Change”

      “People want more action on climate change”

      64.4 per cent wanting Parliament to do more
      60.6 per cent wanting the Prime Minister to do more
      62.9 per cent saying government officials should do more.

      “The news isn’t good for Prime Minister John Key, with 15.4 per cent saying he’s doing the right amount, 26.1 per cent saying he should do more, and 34.5 per cent saying he should do much more. Just 2.7 per cent want him to do less.”

      Horizon August 10, 2012

      There you have it. The majority of the population want the government to do more on climate change. It is a huge reserve of votes just wanting to be tapped.

      The question must be asked: Why are both Labour and National so leery of reaching out to this huge majority?

      I can understand National as the political representative of the rich and big business, even when it is not good news for them to do this.

      But why Labour?

      • With all respect, JENNY, yes, the public may well want more action on climate change, but such polls must be treated with great caution. The poll is over a year old, from a time when the Greens seemed to enjoy more profile, and media attention, and they were, alongside media reports from overseas, able to raise more awareness then.

        Presently most media report positively on the economic situation, and with Cunliffe having taken over the leadership of Labour, there is more focus on the less clear cut Labour Party and their policies, and less focus on the Greens and climate change issues.

        Polls change as much as people hear and read things, and perceive things, topics may rate highly one month, and less so the other.

        And then many want action, but when it comes to participating and making sacrifices, like driving less in cars, and to switch to public transport, that is still lacking in most places, then you will find the “wanting” of the people being rather compromised, so that individual lifestyle choices are not meant to be put into question or given up.

        Many like others to take action, rather than doing it themselves. It is therefore easy to point at overseas countries to do more, and then follow.

        This does not mean that I see a need to address climate change, I just have some doubt about the sincerity or seriousness of people answering to certain polls. What were the questions? This may also be interesting to look at.

        • “With all respect, JENNY, yes, the public may well want more action on climate change, but such polls must be treated with great caution. The poll is over a year old…”

          Yes indeed as you point out Marc that is an old poll, dated August 10, 2012. Unfortunately I was not able to find a more current poll.

          But I would say that this figure would be even higher today. Some pundits I have spoken to on this question, are of the opinion that it now somewhere closer to 80%, of “People want more action on climate change”.

          Of course without any polls to refer to, this opinion is just that, opinion.

          But there is some solid reasoning behind it.

          But since this poll came out – Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 25 2012. There has been the record breaking ‘Angry Summer’heatwave in Australia that made world headlines for having to introduce new colour categories to depict it’s severity. And not so much world news but last summer’s record breaking drought here.. There has since been record breaking rim fires in the US which started on August 17…. There has been Typhoon Bopha Dec. 3 2012, and now Typhoon Haiyan, both unprecedented record breaking Superstorms. Typhoon Haiyan in particular being the strongest ever storm ever recorded to have hit land anywhere on earth. Not to mention the warmest global November ever recorded.

          Marc, I would say that your objection is weak and that the levels of concern are much higher today than they were when this poll was taken. Which means that whichever party takes up the cudgels on behalf of climate change will have a vote winner.

          Of course we won’t know for certain until another poll is done. But will it be?

          As Yogibare has pointed out over the question of deep sea oil drilling, when the NZ Herald poll started to show overwhelming opposition, the poll was discontinued, and only started showing the total votes cast, not their breakdown.

          In my opinion I think this reluctance, reflects the bigger reluctance of the establishment parties to address this matter, for fear of offending the powerful fossil fuel lobby.

          So it is quite possible that we will never get to see another poll on this matter, well at least until the elections are over anyway. And the fanatic climate change ignorers in Both Labour and National with have their comfortable bi-partisan agreement on coal mining, deep sea oil drilling and fracking unchallenged.

          In the case of Labour Party this is most particularly tragic because with the election being so close they actually risk losing if they don’t reach out to this overwhelming majority who want our government to do more.

          They actually risk losing if they let John Key demonise the Greens.

          As Chris Trotter is fond of saying, “Labour would rather keep control of the losing side, than lose control of the winning side”. In practical terms Labour will refuse to make any real concessions to the Greens over the climate even if it means losing the election.

          • Jenny, you can conduct as many polls as you like, and the people that do bother to have a view on climate change and environmental issues, they will sign online submissions and petitions, send support messages for issues Greenpeace raise, send emails to the PM and Ministers, will continue to click “like” buttons and comment on certain blogs.

            Yet in the meantime, the government pushes ahead with their agenda of drilling and digging, with giving oil exploration contracts to overseas corporations, with ignoring all appeals, as they have the votes they need, and above all, they have the cash rich supporters and lobbyists behind them. They build yet more roads and highways and put stringent conditions on public transport funding.

            Tweeting, texting – pro or contra, emailing en masse here and there for whatever cause, that is light-weight, armchair activism stuff, which achieves little. What happened to the 99 per cent movement? Where are the occupiers of Aotea Square and their supporters, where are the tens of thousands that marched against mining Schedule 4 land, where are the Green supporters, and those other environmentally minded, but simply busy working in and from their groups, while they are struggling to get cash they need?

            We have a situation where it is MONEY and POWER that do the talking, not arguments or polls! Even an election “poll” becomes irrelevant in New Zealand’s unicameral Parliament, where a one vote majority allows a government to push through virtually whatever they like. The true left is actually struggling, and even Greens and Labour combined barely get 45 per cent of potential votes, while not just many in caucus, but also a fair share of Labour supporters, are not that pro environmental after all.

            To bring in a change, there needs to be substantial, if not massive support, and people need to be out in the streets, in meetings and take a firm stand, and honour their tweets, texts and mails with real physical action, and with some cash to further the cause. That is not happening, so polls are just expressions of wishful sentiment, not much more. You are up against brute power and force, that is in the hand of the ones that own and possess money, assets and the controls of the economy, and with that society.

            It is sad but the blunt truth!

            • You are up against brute power and force, that is in the hand of the ones that own and possess money, assets and the controls of the economy, and with that society.

              You are right.

              They don’t stand a chance.

          • “As Yogibare has pointed out over the question of deep sea oil drilling, when the NZ Herald poll started to show overwhelming opposition, the poll was discontinued, and only started showing the total votes cast, not their breakdown.”

            There you go then! OCCUPY the corporate media outlets, perhaps, as that is where the ones that have the wealth and resources under their control, also put in their expectations, for the media to dance to their tunes.

            It is the advertising dollars, paid by retail- and other businesses, by corporates and other players in the business sectors, who commission also private, commercial advertising agencies to do the advertising, and then pay the media for time on air, for spots online, and so forth.

            Do not bite the hand that feeds you is the motto behind the actions and non-actions of the mainstream media, there is nothing much else behind it. Hence we get the news the advertisers and their bosses and paymasters see fit, little else.

            So while a Mr Tiso forced Mediaworks to take actions against two controversial, allegedly misogynist talk-back hosts, why do people not take action and force the media to become accountable in general? The alternative is traditional revolutionary action, like occupying and taking control, at least in form of a protest. This may get a few minds ticking, but I doubt that anybody dares to break the law and trespass, or whatever.

            Some tried it at a WINZ Regional Office in Auckland two or so years ago, and they were dragged before the courts.

            “Freedom and democracy”, yeah right, only as much as the “paymaster” allows you to!

    • On finishing this article I was disappointed that the Cunliffe/ Labour position on environmental matters had not been more detailed, thank you for addressing some of these issues with your comment.
      Last time I looked on the NZ Herald poll “Do you support deep sea oil drilling in NZ?” there were 3794 for/against votes, so this is important to some of us. (N.B. the green/ against votes were outnumbering the brown/for by at least 2 to 1 but now the paper is only listing the total votes cast with no for/against numbers)

  2. I think the major issue this year will be housing, and interest rates. The banks have moved their rates upwards in the last week, and my gut says that if they start nudging 7% the govt is in trouble. Hip-pocket politics matters, and if people feel poorer they will vote accordingly.

    Housing is difficult. There is very little a govt can do because on one hand you want housing to be affordable and on the other hand you dont want to destroy peoples equity. I expect Key to attack the greens around their land zoning beliefs, and pin the blame on raising house prices on a lack of land available for development.

    • I think the major issue this year will be housing……

      You are probably right SDM, and that is as it should be. Just as inequality and poverty especially child hood poverty need to be addressed and should be.

      However Climate Change cannot afford to be ignored either. (Though it probably will be)

      “Last month’s devastating Typhoon Haiyan [Yolanda] destroyed many towns and communities in central Philippines left more than six thousand people dead and an estimated four million homeless”.
      4 million homeless

      According to the Wall Street Journal more people have been made homeless by “Superstorm” Haiyan “than the number of those displaced by Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean tsunami combined” 4 million, as if the total population of New Zealand was made homeless.

      Now that’s a housing crisis.

      That is not belittle or denigrate those who suffer homelessness here. Homelessness is an awful experience in whatever country it happens. And that it happens in one of the most fortunate and blessed countries on the planet, with a mild climate in a land to use the biblical metaphor, overflowing with milk and honey*, is very wrong. The housing crisis just like the climate crisis, points to something very structurally, fundamentally wrong at the very basis of how we organise our affairs.

      The climate crisis something that we can no longer ignore and that we need to address urgently, because time is running out.

      *In literal terms, every natural resource and advantage in abundance.

  3. “Cunliffe needs to be allowed to be Cunliffe and the only one who can ensure that is David himself.”

    This one bit I want to argue with. Cunliffe got to where he is because the party members put him there. If we sit around hoping he gets it right we’re in trouble. We need to send the message to the ABCs that it’s time for change.

    We need to write to them and tell them (as in my case) I’m actually considering voting Labour for the first time in 24 years of voting because of Cunliffe.

    We need to tell any Labour party member we meet that Cunliffe is crucial to our support and the party members in Labour all need to be passing that message on to the party hierarchy.

    There needs to be a constant noise that he’s the one we want – (then when he’s been PM for a while and starts getting arrogant like they all do we can remind him who put him there).

    That’s how democracy is supposed to work; with us being active – not by us being hopeful.

  4. My guesses:

    1. National will just win the election, going into coalition with what is left of the Maori Party and/or possibly Winston. The coverage of the election campaign will be a series of “gotcha” moments without any substantive discussion, and this will turn more people off voting and politics in general.

    2. The Snowden revelations will continue and those who care about them will increasingly make the discovery that most people really don’t care about human rights and are quite happy to go along with drone attacks, terrorism, etc. as long as the “right side” is doing them.

    3. More old and new democracies will fail (Thailand, Ukraine, Egypt, etc.) as democracy proves an increasingly incapable of dealing with political realities. Left wing bloggers will continue to pretend that this isn’t happening.

    4. Twitter spats will provide most of the material for journalists.

    5. Nothing will be done about climate change as we slip into the new normal of conservative intransigence dictating public policy. See #2.

    6. The All Blacks will be unbeaten again.

    7. The US Supreme Court will issue a number of appalling decisions.

    8. North Korea will experience an acute political crisis, causing instability and possible collapse of the regime. If it collapses, so will the South Korean economy.

    • Well I think you may have been unduly pessimistic on two counts.

      National will fall well short in this election as voting reveals the declining accuracy of landline based polling in the mobile era. Key’s miraculous popularity will be shown, like most things too good to be true, not to be. Most people have suffered declining economic outcomes under the Gnats – they will not forget.

      And if North Korea collapsed (which it won’t, though the reigning dynasty might) the South Korean economy would boom as long overdue rail and hi-speed rail links finally reconnect South Korea with China, Russia, and Europe.

  5. Slater works for Judith Collins, not John Key.

    Key is as bent as a three-dollar note and his Dotcom-saga lies will expose that in its entirety. He’ll be lucky to escape a prison term let alone escape to Hawaii with a knigthood, friendly cuppas with QE2 notwithstanding.

    Charlene Shovel won’t be abandoning the heavenly haven of Uncle Helen’s progressive gay-friendly New York-based internationaist paradise in favour of a massive pay cut and another term in opposition anytime soon.

    Cunliffe hasn’t excited the electorate yet and he isn’t going to, especially with two-thirds of his caucus working against him.

    Mana and Maori will both disappear as Labour makes a clean sweep of the apartheid elelctorates.

    Green support has peaked as has National’s. Both have only one way to go, that being down, and both will go down.

    One or two more of Colin’s Crazies will emerge from his shadowy List and come out blinking into the light, and any potential support for them will evaporate as all bar the absolute fundamentalist lunatic fringe drop them like a mouthful of wasps.

    Winston First will double their numbers as National and Labour supporters both hedge against the dreadful prospect of a Green influenced Labour Government, and as National supporters hedge against the dreadful prospect of National/Conservative, National/Act, National/Something new invented on the right, or worst of all, National by itself.

    Captain Sensible will confound and disappoint the nation to win Ohariu yet again, unless of course the Nats decide they want it back.

    No-one outside the Wellington beltway media bubble believes in global warming anymore. People read the mainstream overseas press online, and they know the truth which our own MSM would rather stayed hidden. It ain’t happening and never was. Let it go.

    Pumping oil will make NZ the Norway of the South Pacific, and the sky will not fall because of it.

    Apart from all that you’re not far off the money.

  6. Excellent article, thanks!

    Would you call it howling if I ask how you can say “the planet continues to warm” when the global temperature datasets (accepted by people on all sides of the issue) show there has been no global warming for almost the last twenty years?

    • “Would you call it howling if I ask how you can say “the planet continues to warm” when the global temperature datasets (accepted by people on all sides of the issue) show there has been no global warming for almost the last twenty years? ”
      – has been misrepresented to attempt to show there has been no global warming for almost the last twenty years?….would be a better description .

      It’s real, it’s happening, glaciers don’t melt, sea temperatures don’t rise, ice doesn’t thin out without warming taking place. It’ll happen regardless of the naysayers and their pedantic points of minutiae

      • Hey JONL. Do the HadCrut4, NasaGiss and NOAA surface temperature datasets and the UAH and RSS satellite lower atmosphere observations all show global warming continuing over the last 18 years? Or do they show no global warming at all?

        I think you will find that they all show no warming, but if you have evidence to the contrary, please state it.

    • Simon, without meaning to sound overly sarcastic, I’d venture a guess that the polar ice-caps; Greenland ice sheets; our glaciers; et al, aren’t melting because dastardly aliens are zapping them with their phaser beams?

      Ice tends to melt when it gets warmer.

      • Oddly, global warming may be evidenced by lower sea temperatures. Melting ice is an endothermic process, it lowers the temperature of surrounding water. In a warming sea then, ice coverage might decline, as over the Northwest Passage, but sea temperatures remain relatively constant or even fall.

      • Frank, Are you saying that the our attempts at measuring global temperatures directly, by using land and sea based thermometers, or by using satellite technology, both of which show similar results, are all mistaken these last twenty years? That we can be sure the globe is continuing to warm, simply because the poles and glaciers are melting?

        Only, the poles aren’t melting. The Arctic is below average, the Antarctic is well above average. There’s a ship stuck in the middle of all that extra ice now. So, when you look at total sea ice extent, not just one of them, you don’t see anything out of the ordinary.

        We’ve been told for years that settled science shows that co2 is a primary climate driver, an increase of which will result in increased global temperatures (to the degree that we should be extremely concerned). Co2 has increased. Temperatures have not. It’s reasonable to ask why this is.

        • What seems more farcical to me is that people expect to pump massive amounts of pollution into the atmosphere since the Industrial revolution and expect that to have no impact whatsoever on the environment. The oceans have been sucking up the heat transfer, the misinformation campaign to discredit global warming by pointing to more cold weather seems either ignorant or churlish. Global warming will increase extreme weather events like more intense blizzards and more intense cold while also creating more intense droughts and rain, and heat etc etc.

          Where we are now in terms of debate is the same place smoking and cancer was in the 1970s with the tobacco companies telling everyone ‘the science isn’t conclusive that there is a link’. Man made pollution is causing global warming, the longer we allow deniers to muddy the science, the longer t will be before we do something about it.

          • Martyn, surely you are not suggesting that curiosity about the discrepancy between global temperatures as anticipated by the climate models, and temperatures as measured and recorded in the global temperature datasets is on the same level as some loon who claims that one localised instance of weather says anything significant about global climate? One is farcical, the other is not.

            We have been told for years that if atmospheric co2 levels continue to increase, global temperatures will increase. The science on that has been “settled” for decades. And that warming was fully expected to show up in these global temperature datasets. Only, it didn’t. Suddenly there was a “pause” to explain. That’s the very reason the hypothesis you mentioned was even generated.

            No matter what we eventually discover, we can say one thing. The science, up to this point, was not settled. The real world did not behave as the settled science expected.

            The scepticism of people who were not convinced the real world would behave as portrayed by ‘settled science” has been entirely justified. Apparently the real world is more complex than was thought. Those who insisted the science was settled, we now know, were overly confident. I wonder if any of those who hurled insults at people, or created hate ads, have ever apologised, now that we know the scepticism was justified? Somehow I doubt it.

            We may eventually find evidence that gives us confidence one of those explanatory hypotheses is correct. Or we may discover that human emissions of co2 are dwarfed by more powerful natural processes that have been warming and cooling the planet for a long time before we came on the scene. I’m not convinced that anyone has found such evidence yet.

            The warming trend that has stalled for the last couple of decades might start up again, might continue to plateau, might turn into a cooling trend. No one knows with any certainty, do they? And even if it does start warming again, that in itself does not establish that our co2 emissions are such a major driver that we could arrest that warming trend by reducing them. After all, the natural forces that produced that warming trend, well before human emissions could have any global impact, haven’t all disappeared just because we’ve turned up on the scene.

            • I disagree with most of what you have written here. We are well aware of the dynamics that heat and cool the planet, man made pollution is currently generating the present heating. Your words read like the tobacco industry double talk trying to convince us that smoking doesn’t cause cancer.

              • I would be fascinated to know which bits you disagree with, as most of the things I’ve stated are, to my mind, indisputable.

                But I also want to stay on friendly, or at least polite, terms with you, since I respect your political/human rights perspectives so much. And it doesn’t look like that’s got much of a chance if we continue this discussion. So it’s probably best we agree to disagree.

                cheers, and keep up the good work!

                • Reddit banned climate deniers on their site. If the uber geek geniuses of Reddit can make a call like that, I’m more than comfortable doing it here.

                  • It may be alright for uber geeks to ban climate change deniers.

                    But I wonder.

                    I know that they can be a pain, and often their true beliefs and motives are hidden. And their true reasons for denying climate change have nothing to do with expressing an honestly held opinion, and more to do with providing political cover for vested interest.

                    But sometimes for non-scientists like me, the objections climate deniers have raised, have sometimes made me go back and look at first principles, and delve deeper into the subject. In the process I have deepened my own understanding.
                    With out the deniers I would have not made this effort and my understanding of the science would be a lot more superficial than it is currently.

                    Never underestimate what you can learn from the deniers (especially the honest ones).

                    I agree with you Martyn, most if not all of Simon’s objections are pure hogwash, meant to fool the uninformed, and, quite possibly not Simon’s honestly held opinion.

                    More heat means more evaporation, which means more and bigger extreme precipitation events of all kinds. Where the temperature does drop below zero. (As it still does in large parts of the world) there will be bigger snowfalls, and with those bigger snowfalls colder local temperatures.

                    We are witnessing this right now in the main land USA where they are having one of the coldest winters on record in every mainland continental US state except ironically Alaska, which is having one of the warmest November December periods ever as is the globe.


                    I have likened this effect to leaving the fridge door open in your kitchen. Of course it will get cooler in the kitchen, while it gets warmer in your fridge.

                    (That is of course until your fridge motor overheats and burns out, then it will get hotter everywhere. And in the case of the real world with all the built in positive feed backs, much, much hotter)

                    Another clue to the sincerity or not of a climate change denier is whether they actually provide any links to back up their assertions ,even if only to recognised climate denier websites, some effort to corroborate their rave is worthy.

                    • That is actually not what happens with fridges. ALL fridges release more heat (via the coils on the back) than they remove inside (due to laws of thermodynamics). If you open your fridge door your kitchen will heat pretty much exactly just as much as if you’d left it closed (it would be acting as a dehumidifier).

                    • I am aware of that Nitrium. But there is an initial cooling when you open the door, at least until the temperature equalises. In your kitchen this is a very short period.
                      But you can get the benefit of it, if on a hot day you open the door and stand in front of the fridge for a short period. As many people with out air conditioning are wont to do, on a very hot day, now and then, when they go to fetch a beer. However this effect is very brief. And if you don’t close the door soon, your fridge will start to defrost and your beers will become warm.

                      Globally, on geographic and time scales relevant to human perception, this initial experienced cooling effect seems a life time. In geologic time scales it is an instant. To try and make claims about the long term trend as Simon does is ridiculous bordering on willful.

                  • If certain member an australian expedition to Antarctica had listened to “deniers” they would know that sea ice is at a record high down there and wouldn’t currently be stuck with no immediate hope of rescue.

              • Your words read like the tobacco industry double talk trying to convince us that smoking doesn’t cause cancer.

                I remember that well. Same scenario. Pseudo scientists claiming research that proved smoking didn’t cause cancer. Later we discovered those same ‘scientists’ worked for the tobacco industry. Replace tobacco industry for oil companies and hey presto… we’ve got the same thing happening today.

                I look forward to successful prosecutions against the oil companies (and their pseudo-science minions) for manipulating genuine climate data with a view to misinforming the public.

                Be lovely to see Leighton Smith in the dock.

        • Simon says,”Co2 has increased. Temperatures have not. It’s reasonable to ask why this is.”
          Many paleoclimatologists would remind you that we were due for another Ice Age, that we were warned about back in the 1970’s, man made global warning appears to delayed its onset.

            • Simon, from denying climate change is happening, to saying that it might be a good thing, seems to hint at some insincerity on your part. So which is it according to you?

              1/ Is climate change not happening?

              2/ Or is Climate change happening, but is “a good outcome”.

              Or maybe,

              3/ You think that climate change is happening but is part of a natural cycle that human beings have nothing to do with?

              These are the three main climate denier positions. What all three have in common is a refusal to accept any need to act and an insistence that Business As Usual must continue.

              There is another level of climate denial, but not many denialists reach it.
              Exhibited by more clever apologists for Business As Usual. And which is expressed in the view that nothing can be done and that climate change is unavoidable and that it too late to act, so it is best, that nothing is done. These sorts of deniers who I term “ignorers” will do everything to silence any demands for government or political parties to act. (Not mentioning any names here Lynn.)

              Stage 5: It’s too Late

              “Stage 5 global warming denial involves arguing that it’s too late to solve the problem, so we shouldn’t bother trying (though few climate contrarians have reached this level). Unfortunately this stage can be self-fulfilling. If we wait too long to address the problem, we may end up committing ourselves to catastrophic climate change.
              Dana Nuccitelli The Guardian
              Monday 16 September 2013

              “That had already happened. Quite simply we are on a irreversible rollercoaster to a vastly changed climates.” (sic)


              “The good news is that we still have time to avoid a catastrophic outcome. The more emissions reductions we can achieve, the less the impacts of climate change will be. The challenge lies in achieving those greenhouse gas emissions reductions when Rupert Murdoch’s media empire and other news outlets are spreading climate misinformation and denial.”

              Dana Nuccitelli The Guardian
              Monday 16 September 2013

            • 1998 was an El Nino year and the hottest ever measured, so a line starting from that point can only either plateau or drop (until we have the next strong El Nino and the record is broken). That there actually was a pause has been challenged (see links below)

              9 of the 10 hottest years have been in the last decade. 2013 is on track to be the 7th warmest year since 1850 World Meteorological Organisation Secretary-General Michael Jarraud,.
              “All of the warmest years have been since 1998 and this year once again continues the underlying, long-term trend,” he added. “The coldest years now are warmer than the hottest years before 1998.”

              The pH of the oceans is dropping as they absorb some of CO2 released by the use of fossil fuels. Ocean acidification is a serious long term threat to most life on the planet.

              And here is the reason nothing effective is being done to reduce fossil fuel use: In August 2013 ABC News reported “Big Oil’s most profitable quarter ever $51.5 billion”




  7. When it comes down to it, I find it difficult to see Winston First as being more opposed to the Green Party than some in the Labour caucus. As long as Sealord Jones keeps attacking the environment and Parker and Goff keep attacking the working class, why the hell should the Greens act as a doormat for Labour? Labour actually owes them a lot, not least for providing an opposition during the Goff/Shearer period, and even now, because Cunliffe has not yet taken off. I see absolutely no good reason why the Greens should bend over backwards and stand in line to be treated like shit by the party that brought us Rogernomics and opened the door for a succession of ACT governments.

  8. This is an interesting set of predictions that Martyn presents.

    But I cannot agree with about half of it.

    Re Dotcom, I know there could be some revelations that may harm Key, but I doubt that they will reveal anything beyond reasonable doubt that will put Teflon Key into much disrepute. Key will talk his way out of it, as usual, possibly claiming lapses of memory or whatever else. Re political ambitions, I fear Dotcom will not “fire” and convince enough.

    China is indeed facing major fiscal and economic challenges, that can have serious social consequences. But I would never under-estimate the ability of the CCP government leaders and their expert advisors to manage any most serious crisis rather well. They turned a command economy into a state capitalist economy, which has opened up to a moderate degree, but they can also swiftly bring in control mechanisms that avoid the worst, that is for China. Naturally it will be foolish for any New Zealand government or business to rely on an endless “white gold rush” kind of “boom”, as it cannot last for various reasons. The Chinese are encouraging state and part privatised companies of their own to buy up assets world wide, using the ample reserves they accumulated smartly, before they may lose value, due to the US heading into inflationary territory or whatever. Also the arms build up and sabre rattling about South China Sea isles is intended to complement the nurtured nationalism, to keep the people loyal behind the leadership.

    As for National, expect them to run a dirty campaign, using Whaleoil, Hooton and others, and they will do all to have some “mates”, and Colin Craig’s bits of bizarre madness will be history, come election time. Also I do not write off Winston and NZ First, as there is a strong minority of NZ nationalists, of conservative mindset, for whom a strong man like Peters will appeal more than a wimpish “smart school-boy” type like CG is no option.

    I would not hope for an oil-spill or another shipping accident, as the chances are honestly extremely slim. And for the Greens, yes, they will have to work hard, as they enjoyed more limelight and opportunity under two co-leaders with some good skills and knowledge, while Labour was getting nowhere.

    Cunliffe will have his work cut out, and I expect him to run a strong, convincing campaign, but he will have a challenge with caucus not fully standing behind him, so he will juggle policies and promises in a way, that will primarily appeal to those more to the centre placed in the “middle class”, who fear for instability and unaffordable housing and the likes. Education may be an issue, but I fear he will let those on welfare down, apart from promising working poor better wages, which will though partly lead to less social service entitlements like WFF.

    I give Maori Party one electorate MP to make it, Dunne a maybe for Ohariu (but he maybe irrelevant after all), and ACT will only get in over another “cuppa”, for which I think Key and Nats will not go with them, given the bad aftertaste from before.

    Although I would like to see Mana with 3 MPs in Parliament, I cannot honestly see this to happen, as those that have reason to vote Mana are often also the most difficult to motivate to vote. With the MSM most likely to serve us another “fear scenario” of the “extreme left” Green-Labour government that may make it, they will do all to report as little on Mana as possible. Hone and colleagues will face an uphill battle. I would be happy if I will be wrong.

    The Greens face a formidable challenge, as they are the honest pollies that try to present a convincing, humane and friendly approach, which I fear will not reach enough for them to get over 10 to maybe 12 per cent. They may even end up just below ten per cent, because I sense that most older voters do not vote Greens, but also many younger ones are not really that “green” in their views, although they especially should have every reason to be so. The commercial, consumerist brainwashing, the teaching of new-right, neo liberal thinking and opportunism has shaped too many too much, while the media seems to continue to charm Key and the government, with the supposed “economic success” we now have.

    The Wellington Press Gallery is still having quite an impact, even if just via bizarre tweets on Twitter, and the MSM, mostly corporate and commercial, they will have not just talk back, but even TV, being dominated by “fans” of this government.

    A formidable challenge for Cunliffe, Labour and Greens and others, I’d say, and it will only be won by showing the weaknesses of government policies and performance, not by simply attacking Key 24/7. Economic growth is largely due to the Ch-Ch rebuild and milk powder and baby formula boom to China. Take that out, and the picture looks very gloomy. This must be firmly exposed!

    Also social injustice, income disparity, child poverty, problems in education, ever so expensive and affordable housing, and health, and so forth, that is stuff the election can be won on.

    Go for it, and use social media, and hold endless public meetings, in squares, halls and wherever, to reach the people, as the MSM will not help Labour and Cunliffe!

  9. Such gestures would be not standing candidates in certain electorates where the combined Labour-Green vote trumps the National candidate.


    Had Green voters given their electorate vote to Charles Chauvel in Ohariu, Peter Dunne would have been voted out (yes, it was that close) and National would have lost their one-seat Coalition majority.

    By relying on Maori Party support, the asset sales programme would never have got off the ground.

    Hopefully the first thing a new Government invests in is public broadcasting.

    At “Save TVNZ7” public meetings, Labour seemed committed to reinstating a non-commercial, public broadcasting channel. The obvious model would be a non-commercial TV1, funded by a fully commercialised TV2 (offering such gems as “Survivor Eketahuna”, “Outhouse Improvements”, and “talent shows” where contestants show us how many matchsticks they can insert in their nostrils. Yay).

    That would serve our needs.

    Those who insist that it’s not the “platform” that matters but the content ignore a simple reality; it’s easier to go to one, non-commercial station to seek out content than spend twenty or thirty minutes each day channel surfing.

    Just as it’s easier to go to your local supermarket, rather than half a dozen different shops, to do groceries.

    • Shit Frank I thought you weren’t’ into labour exceptionalism. Why is it that logic takes a back seat to some on the left – I didn’t’ vote labour because I don’t trust labour – but I should vote for them because of the good of… What exactly? That I’m to support a bunch of self absorbed bastards who still worship neo-liberalism? That I’m to toe the party line?

      FFS you all wonder why working class have left the left – Have a look at yourselves – bullshit arguments and blinkered logic. Vote for the party who will cut me off at the knees instead of the hips. They need to do better – and guess what – neither the greens or labour are talking to working people – they are talking at them.

  10. Here one for you. The working class are fucked off at politicians, political parties, hack, lies, lairs, not being listened to and of course – the press. This will mean they use the only voice they have left and not vote in droves at the coming election.

  11. Dear Bomber.

    You can probably guess why I’m writing in … I’m taking issue with your NZF prediction.

    First up, we didn’t need the Epsom Tea Party to get back into Parliament. If memory serves, the Herald’s (admittedly rather unscientific) Digi-Poll had us on 4.9% the day before the Cup. Roy Morgan had us on 4.5% on the actual day of the Cup itself. Noting the underrepresentation we habitually cop in mainstream polls, it therefore seems almost certain we would have made it back into Parliament with or without said Cup.

    Now second … I take strong issue with your claim that we are “positioning to be a coalition option for National”. Do parties positioning themselves as coalition options habitually lay out bottom lines that include the comprehensive repeal of the main party’s signature big-ticket policy item from the previous term? (As Renationalization of them assets would unquestionably be)

    Would have thought that would put a damper on the ardour of blue-blooded suitors for us who may come a’calling.

    Also, we’re hardly likely to spend the next three years frustrating “every” Green Party “aspiration” – particularly as there is considerable common ground on economic policy between the Green Party and NZF. Far more likely, I would have thought, that we’d be working together on items of shared interest.

    Anyway, let’s see if this makes it through the comment filter.



    • I take strong issue with your claim that we are “positioning to be a coalition option for National”.
      Curwen Rolinson

      All very good Curwen. Except for one thing.

      Where does your party stand on climate change?

      I ask this, because increasingly this is the great divide, delineating political parties from each other.

      Where New Zealand First stand on Climate Change, will indicate who NZF will form a coalition government with.

      Oh and before you answer Curwen, spare me your usual evasive, “New Zealand First support the removal of the ETS”. So what? So does most of parliament, including some Green MPs.
      By almost unanimous agreement, Labour’s fraudulent Pollution Trading Scheme has been a disaster for the climate, overseeing a huge increase in green house gas emissions.

      And before you start complaining of being filtered, the mic’s all yours. However, I don’t expect a reply, going on your past record Curwen, you will self censor.

      But surprise me….

  12. Taking the discussion in a slightly different direction – Labour need to consider how to appeal to female voters, especially younger women. Yes, many of their policies are worthy (e.g., extending paid parental leave), but even though they have a strong ratio of female MPs, the faces seen in the media tend to be male, middle-aged and pale. The one female who seems to be regularly trotted out is Jacinda Adern, and while she is reasonably articulate (and reasonably young) she seems somewhat wishy-washy in her political outlook. While I think they are abominations, Judith Collins and Paula Bennett are seen as heavy-hitters for the Key government and they help hide the lack of balance in the National caucus and cabinet.

  13. All the above are in reality, just Minor Distractions.

    NEW ZEALAND is another (albeit tiny) nation held captive in the MAJOR (GLOBAL) GAME for GLOBAL POWER, by a “a few ruling People” who have $$$$TRILLIONS.
    This is a True FACT.

    “The Elections”..a Bullshit Game to distract people .Make people believe that they can change anything.
    The REAL Game that is being played behind the scenes is much too sophisticated for ordinary people to understand. Also, ethics DO NOT FEATURE.
    QUIT believing that because we live in (so- called) “modern” times, that people play by the rules. They DON”T.
    One also needs to recognise that-
    We live in the Age of Deception. Never has it been easier to deceive and manipulate people en mass ,thanks to the power of modern technology..

    So, how can NZ be saved from this destructive global influence?
    CAN NZ even be saved?

    Any possible Remedy will lie in getting NZ citizens reacquainted with the Basic Essential core HUMAN values. Quite a mission, since past decades many people are not even aware of such a concept.Which is a very disturbing fact.

    We are all too aware that John Key is a liar/ untrusworthy/fake
    By virtue of that alone he should be ousted, and anyone like that.
    How come he isn’t?
    It’s because as a nation of people we have badly allowed our Standards to slip! (this is because of unwittingly allowing our lives become increasingly “commercialised”.)
    Commerce values are opposed to human values.

    In terms of basic human VALUES. eg Necessary & desired attributes in a (so called)Leader, does JK meet the should be essential criteria?
    The correct answer should be a resounding. “F**k NO!”

    Why don’t you all write down a list of “the Essential Qualities” of a Leader. Just as a reminder of a REALITY check.

    1) Should be concerned about human wellbeing. Wellbeing of a nations citizens) -Don’t you all agree?
    2) DECIDE once and for ALL , whether “profit” should be the ruling principle of Life, (which it is now well under way of being)..
    Just to get started into thinking again.
    And BTW, turn off TV, and all other techno distractions which are really just designed to tip your reality into a FAKE reality zone.

  14. A couple of points

    to the 40 percent who support JK, the fact of him being caught lying won’t mesn a thing. However if JK is found to have broken the law in no uncertain way, that could cause problems for him.

    Secondly, it is Labour who feel uncomfortable being on the same team as the Greens. Labour is in no way committed to reversing the current trend towards environmental destruction. If true, their expectation for the Greens to accept deep sea drilling is laughable. They will need to learn that they never be in government again without the Greens so need to become more progressive in this department st the very least as the circa 12percent the Greens can rely on will not accept anything less.

  15. Good analysis as always Martyn. I’m not sure that NZ First will be out of the game but that’s the thing about elections….we just don’t know until the votes are counted!

    But the thing I wanted to thank you for was for calling ‘Corporate Welfare’ what it is. I don’t know why Labour (and the Greens?) keep referring to ‘Corporate Cronyism’ when, I would hazard a guess, a big chunk of the population doesn’t even know what that means.

    ‘Corporate Welfare’ needs no explanation.


    above , Curween gives all centre and centre right observers good reason to steer well clear of NZF. Not that she knows anything, no one knows anything in NZF. Members have had a gutsful of being lured in by some good policy, but without any idea of the fundamental alignment

    here it is from Curween,

    Dear Bomber.
    You can probably guess why I’m writing in … I’m taking issue with your NZF prediction.
    First up, we didn’t need the Epsom Tea Party to get back into Parliament. If memory serves, the Herald’s (admittedly rather unscientific) Digi-Poll had us on 4.9% the day before the Cup. Roy Morgan had us on 4.5% on the actual day of the Cup itself. Noting the underrepresentation we habitually cop in mainstream polls, it therefore seems almost certain we would have made it back into Parliament with or without said Cup.
    Now second … I take strong issue with your claim that we are “positioning to be a coalition option for National”. Do parties positioning themselves as coalition options habitually lay out bottom lines that include the comprehensive repeal of the main party’s signature big-ticket policy item from the previous term? (As Renationalization of them assets would unquestionably be)
    Would have thought that would put a damper on the ardour of blue-blooded suitors for us who may come a’calling.
    Also, we’re hardly likely to spend the next three years frustrating “every” Green Party “aspiration” – particularly as there is considerable common ground on economic policy between the Green Party and NZF. Far more likely, I would have thought, that we’d be working together on items of shared interest.
    Anyway, let’s see if this makes it through the comment filter.
    – See more at:

  17. On David Cunliffe’s fate.

    “Cunliffe has only one shot at leadership, if he loses next year the ABCs will turn on him and he becomes a political footnote and not a political legacy”.
    Martyn Bradbury

    I actually disagree with this summation for a number of reasons.

    1/ Labour leaders are now chosen by the membership, the ABCs have little say. No doubt ABCs will turn on Cunliffe, just as you say Bomber, but most of the reason for a Labour defeat will lie with them.

    2/ David Cunliffe is one of those leaders that turn up once in a generation.

    3/ Win or Lose David Cunliffe, still has something to say.

    4/ Norman Kirk as Labour leader, lost not one election, but two, 1966 and 1969, before finally becoming Prime Minister in 1972. Despite having two losses Kirk was still retained as the parliamentary leader of the opposition Labour Party and government until his death.

    Norman Kirk was the last of the working class Labour Party leaders. And the first New Zealand born Prime Minister, bringing a blend of this country’s unique working class and cultural history to the job.

    The temptation for the party was to emulate the right and install a polished, educated, professional politician more like his opponent. However Labour decided to stick with Kirk, who despite lacking a formal secondary education, by dint of hard work, courage and sticking to principle, went on to become one of our greatest Prime Ministers ever.
    What if Kirk had been dumped?
    We would have been denied one of the best Prime Ministers this country has ever seen.

    5/ Political parties are not football teams and the coach should not have to fall on their sword if the team loses the big final. The best leader that best embodies the ideals of the membership of the party should be the one who leads.

    6/ 2015 looks to become a watershed year. My guess is National if they do manage to scrape in, will not be able to cope, (even a good Labour Government will struggle), consequently, a well led Labour opposition Party that weathers the storm and doesn’t waver on principle will reap the benefit. In the event of a Labour loss, David Cunliffe if he believes in his cause, needs to fight for his leadership, and the membership need to back him.

    7/ At the moment the conservative MSM media outlets are trumpeting a booming economy, which they all attribute to the conservative Key led government. But it is all smoke and mirrors, specifically huge overseas borrowing, currently running at $110 million a week. (down from a peak of $380 million a week.)

    In 2015, whatever government is in power will be having to pay the piper for all this profligate borrowing, a lot of which, as Jenny Mitchie mentions has been spent on Corporate Welfare for John Key’s rich mates.
    To balance the books the hammer of fiscal austerity will descend most heavily on those already suffering, under Key’s feed the rich, bleed the poor strategy. It is also possible that a within the near future an extreme weather event will hit New Zealand making a mockery of National’s climate policies. A National administration overwhelmed by such problems, and a strong Labour Opposition armed with an alternative vision, and National won’t last three years.

    My advice to the Labour Party is to hammer the government over climate change, it is National’s worst performing portfolio.
    Climate Change is also an issue which under the weight of the accumulating evidence many are becoming worried about, and which polls show the majority want the government to do more on. Tapping into this majority feeling and giving it a clear voice Labour will create a huge majority which they can then reap at the polls.

    I would also advise the Labour Party to stand with the Greens particularly over the climate threat and don’t let John Key isolate and demonise them.

    I know the Labour Party will ignore this advice and therefore the result will be a close one.

    Still I wish them and their new leader well.

    • “[…]My guess is National if they do manage to scrape in[…]”
      I doubt that is possible, National won’t hold onto at least three seats, and this is excluding the increase in party vote that Labour and the Greens will have from last time, and the high chance that Labour and Mana will take seats off the Maori party in the Maori electorates.

      If National gets back in, I can count my blessings that I left NZ rather than suffer another term of a far-right government. It would be horrible for lower-income people if National got another term, NZ already has third world diseases spreading through lower-income groups, and in some news articles GP’s,etc have reported malnutrition in children i.e. children eating medicine as they have no food.

      Time that NZ stopped marching towards the third world, and started giving a damn about the poverty stricken parts of society; and that begins with kicking out the far-right and putting in a government with some progressive or center-left values.

  18. Labour has made it’s pitch for the non-vote. Writing at the time of the Labour leadership contest, according to associate professor of politics at Massey University, Grant Duncan, the strategy of appealing to the “politically disengaged”, though probably very worthy, is risky.

    “Labour’s lose-lose-lose strategy”

    It doesn’t matter who becomes leader, says Grant Duncan, he can’t win the election without the centre

    NZ Herald, August 30, 2013

    “Leadership does matter in politics. So does the underlying strategy. And it’s fairly clear what Labour’s chosen political direction is, regardless of which leadership contestant wins.

    Labour has been torn between two strategic options. The all-important centre of New Zealand politics is the battleground for swing-votes. If a Labour-Green duo is to get the numbers to form a government, one option is for Labour to capture a greater share of those voters.

    But the centre is getting crowded, with National, NZ First and now even the Greens taking slices of that part of the pie. (Don’t believe John Key’s hype about the Greens being “far left”, because many of their voters are urban, educated and middle-income, and concern for the future of the planet is fairly mainstream now*.)

    Labour’s other option is to go for those who may not vote at all. That sounds funny perhaps, but in 2011 the non-voters were about one third of those eligible….

    “…..These people tend to be young, lower-income, and/or Maori or Pasifika. Many are those “left out” by the economic reforms of recent decades, and they’ve become politically disengaged. Their worries are likely to be a job, a wage and paying the rent. Saving the planet can wait for another day…..

    “….Of all three candidates, David Cunliffe is best placed to appeal to voters in the centre. He has good experience as a Cabinet minister, and can tackle Key in the House. His background in business and economics is solid, and he enjoys a comfortable middle-class lifestyle….

    “…..But while Cunliffe has made a pitch to the left, his waspish look and policy-wonkish tone may not inspire the low-income constituency that Labour seeks to mobilise.

    “….Whichever leader it goes for, Labour is now pitching for the “unclaimed” disfranchised left.

    “….National must be happy Labour isn’t contesting the centre this time around.

    Winston Peters must be pleased too, because those who might have voted National but are too grumpy about their government will vote for him in protest rather than switch to Labour.

    For every party vote that Labour fails to gain in the centre, it will have to mobilise two or more supporters in the likes of Mangere or Tamaki Makaurau to lift its polling out of the low 30s.

    Labour’s nightmares could return at the next election if, despite its best efforts, those low-income neighbourhoods just don’t turn out to vote for Labour. They may not hear or believe the message about hope and equality, and they may not see Labour’s leader as representing anything new or hopeful or relevant. Heavy rain on election day could be enough to tip the balance.

    “…..So chances are we will see a National-NZ First government after the next election.
    Dr Grant Duncan Associate Professor Politics Massey University

    If you take Professor Duncan’s political analysis as fairly accurate, then undoubtedly the best strategy for Labour, would be to campaign on both the social justice platform, and the save the climate platform. Both areas in which National are weakest, and both areas where National can’t go to compete in, without alienating their big corporate backers.

    If Labour took up the cause of the climate, as well as garnering the middle class vote, it would also kneecap National’s campaign plan to isolate and demonise the Greens.

    And forget what Curwen Rolinson claims; In the case of a split decision, New Zealand First will go with National.

    * my emphasis

  19. There is no such thing as bad soldiers, only bad generals.

    The Standard has done a post on climate change bemoaning the fact that more Left leaning Americans (Democrats) believe in climate change than more Right leaning Americans (Republicans) and that Americans with no interest in politics can’t make up their minds.

    Unfortunately I am not allowed to post on that website because I insist on putting demands on our political parties to give a lead and take concrete real world actions. My insistent demands that climate change be an election issue, must be having some effect, for Lynn Prentice to label me a climate change “Goebbels”. I don’t know whether to be flattered that he considers me such a threat, or appalled to be compared to a blood thirsty fascist who murdered his own children.

    The tone of the ‘The Standard’ post is the opposite of the Napoleon quote, ie that the people are at fault not the leadership.

    Who believes in climate change?”

    Americans make their minds up about climate change depending on what political party they belong to, or if not in any party, as the temperature goes up, (or down).

    What this reflects is the leadership, or lack of leadership around this issue.

    This is so basic and so obvious that I wonder what point is trying to be made here.

    Most Americans, like I imagine most New Zealanders, have so many other things competing for their attention all the time. It is not they that are at fault. The American people like all people rely on their leaders to inform them of what is important. If that is not what leaders are for, then why do we have them?

    Leaders are supposed to give a lead, again this is so basic it shouldn’t have to be stated.

    Its All About Leadership

    In the mid-2000s a new craze was sweeping America’s evangelical congregations. Some of the most devout, anti-environmentalist Christians were having Climate Conversions. You could walk into a Church on a Sunday and find parish members kneeling at the altar renouncing their scepticism. The phenomenon was welcomed by those arguing for action on climate change, but it raised an obvious question: who were these evangelicals listening to and why did they believe them?

    The short answer was that American evangelicals were listening to Richard Cizik. Cizik was a stalwart Republican and the vice-president of government affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals, where he had been a member since the early 1980s.

    The NAE represented about 45,000 congregations across America and Cizik’s job was to lobby Washington so that their views were heard. In the 1980s and ’90s Cizik had worked with the Bush and Clinton administrations to oppose abortion and same-sex marriage and do more to tackle human trafficking and global poverty. However, more recently Cizik had begun to take an interest in climate change.

    Cizik’s initial impression was that scientific opinion on climate change was divided. ‘One side says this, the other side says that. For Cizik, though, something shifted in 2002 which compelled him to act. That year he was invited to attend a forum on climate change at Oxford convened by the British evangelical and scientist Sir John Houghton.
    Houghton was a retired professor of atmospheric physics who had made significant contributions to the findings of the IPCC. The forum he had helped to organis walked evangelical leaders through climate science and related it to their biblical responsibility.

    In the 1960s, Lynn Townsend White Jr, an American historian, had accused Christianity of responsibility for the world’s environmental degradation. In an article titled ‘The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis’, White had pointed to a key passage from Genesis which he said encouraged Christians to exploit the Earth: ‘God blessed them and said to the, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”‘ The passage had stung many of the devout.

    Sir John Houghton now argued that Christion leaders needed to follow a different theological principle than that of ‘subduing the Earth’. God had created the planet and it was the responsibility of all Christians to look after it. Failure to dos was an abrogation of their duty. It was not good enough to dismiss cimate change as God’s will.

    Houghton’s alternative interpretation of scripture, with its talk of ‘creation care’ and ‘neighbour care’, shook Cizik to the core. On their final day in Oxford, Houghton showed the group of evangelical leaders through Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home of Winston Churchill.* That afternoon Houghton pulled Cizik aside. ‘Richard,’ he said, ‘if God has convinced you of the reality of the science and the Scriptures on the subject, you must speak out.’

    After reading more books and flying over a drought-stricken Africa, Cizik decided to act. Over the the next five years he built an alliance of evangelical leaders to convert Christians across America into climate change believers. In 2003 Jim Ball from the Evangelical Environmental Network had driven a hybrid car through America’s Bible Belt as part of the ‘What Would Jesus Drive’ campaign. He soon joined Cizik, and in 2004 Cizik and Ball issued a statement, ‘For the Health of the Nation’. Released under the NAE banner, the statement laid out a rough theological basis for ‘Creation Care’ on climate change. It evolved into the Sandy Cove Covenant of 2004 and then the Evangelical Climate Initiative, which was launched in 2006. By the end of that year, Ciziks’s coalition of converts included some of America’s most politically and theologically conservative Christians. one was the the televangelist and voice of the American Christian Right, Pat Robertson. In a radio broadcast on the 700 Club in 2006, Roberson confessed that he had ‘not been one who believed in the global warming’, but that he had now become ‘a convert’ to the cause of climate action.

    The flurry of climate conversions in the American Bible Belt eventually petered out, but along the way it revealed something important about climate conviction. It had less to do with what science you believed and more to do with whom you chose to listen to.

    Why We Argue About Climate Change

    Let us admit up-front the most obvious and resolutely denied, fact of the climate change debate. It is not, about the science at all. It is an ideological debate and not a scientific one.

    It comes down to politics.

    And it can be no other way.

    I am not a scientist, so I have to take a lot of the things that the scientists claim on faith. I believe in science, which for a lay person can be just as much an act of faith, as believing in religion. As a believer in science, I take what the scientists are telling us about the need to take action on the climate very seriously.
    If 99% of scientists tell me that climate change is an existential threat, I take them at their word.

    So how does all this relate to the real world.

    “Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears….”
    Mark Antony

    Political leaders who have the ear of the people have a the responsibility to listen to the scientific experts advising them in these matters, and then make the necessary political calls that the scientists cannot.

    This is the duty and responsibility of leadership. Many leaders will try and shirk this duty due to competing interests and loyalties, to party members, to sponsors, to business lobby groups etc.

    But for principled leaders who take their duties to serve seriously, they will make the necessary political call. The probable question exercising the imaginations, and worrying the minds of the Labour Party activists at The Stanard, will they be listened to, or will they be spurned by the voters?

    Ultimately this will be a leap into the unknown and a courageous act of faith.

    But my view is, that not only would a party that came out strongly and called for resolute action on climate change find a mandate, but that by doing so, they will actually create and grow that mandate, untill it becomes irresistible.

    Unlike the example I gave (above), the majority of New Zealanders are secular and not religious, that is, they take their lead not from religious leaders but from secular ones.

    Time for David Cunliffe to step up, the new Labour leader who was so strong on climate change before he became leader needs to to dust off his earlier speech on climate change, and now that he is a position of authority form a strategy based on it.

    “I feel incredibly lucky and grateful that I have the good fortune to live in one of the few remaining places on earth that has a stable democracy, food, education, healthcare and, above all, a healthy environment.
    How much longer will this paradise last? I’m not sure. I’m very sad to say there’s a very good chance that by the time my two young sons reach adulthood, the safe and healthy world that we all took for granted will be gone. Finished…..

    …..the nature of this crisis is far deeper and more fundamental than the standard environment-economy trade-off thinking might suppose. The coming crisis threatens more than just marine biodiversity. The species we are trying to save could be our own….

    Despite the fact that in a recession, people are more focussed on the short term challenges of making ends meet, if the science is reliable, then this is a longer term issue we cannot afford to ignore.[viii]

    Our National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (or NIWA) says the Earth’s sea surface temperature around New Zealand has increased approximately 0.8 degrees since 1900,[ix] mostly in the last several decades.

    Because of the lags between greenhouse gas emission and climate adjustment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), estimates at least a 1.4 degree rise above 1900 levels even if no more greenhouse gases were emitted.[x] This is already forecast to affect the severity of floods, storms and droughts.

    The IPCC’s worst case, if nothing is done to limit emissions, is for warming in the range of 2.4 to 6.4 degrees by 2100, and the latest tracking data has us close to the worst case.

    A six degree rise risks setting off a self-reinforcing cycle of polar ice cap and tundra melt, natural increases in methane emissions, sea level rise, and reduced climate buffering by the world’s oceans.[xi]

    Stopping this, according to the IPCC requires emission reduction of at least 25-40% below 1990 levels.

    New Zealand’s carbon emissions are the fifth highest per capita highest in the OECD and they’ve increased 23% since 1990.[xii]

    ….One thing is certain – much stronger action will be needed. Much will depend on each and every one of you, as well as on future governments.

    ….when I look at my two sons, I fear that our generation has failed them. They will inherit a world far more difficult and more treacherous than our own.

    So, if we care about our kids and grandkids, we must act with moral courage now to give them the best possible chance of navigating this uncertain future.

    ….We need a structural shift in how our economy works, not green-wash dreamed up by some marketing guru.

    “While science is necessary for policy, it is not sufficient. Science does not tell us how to make trade-offs, and trade-offs will almost certainly be needed. It is very unlikely that we can have our cake and eat it too.

    ….We need some real-world rules of thumb to guide us through the economy-environment maze.

    First – adopt the precautionary principle. New Zealand should be prudent about anticipating and managing the risks that flow from significant global climate change, fossil fuel constraints and economic turmoil.
    David Cunliffe Excerpts from The Dolphin and the Dole Queue speech. Delivered June 23, 2012

    So what should the Labour Leader do?

    For a start:
    An immediate announcement by Labour Leader David Cunliffe that under a Labour/Green government there would be –

    No new coal mines

    No deep sea oil drilling

    No fracking, or any other new unconventional fossil fuel extraction.

    Funds put aside for Roads of National Significance, (RONS), will be switched to public transport.

    Cancellation of the $150million bail out of Solid Energy with transfer of that money to go to retraining the coal workers for a just transition to jobs that don’t fry the planet.

    Huntly will be closed, Hauauru Ma Raki will be restarted.

    With these few 6 policy announcements, the world and the people would perceive that the New Zealand Labour Party and the Labour leader takes climate change seriously

    And with human beings perception is everything.

    Just like the evangelicals, thousands, possibly tens of thousands of New Zealand voters will have climate change conversions.

    If Labour take up this cause there will be no uncertainty, they will win the election.

    National will apoplectic but will be unable to make any reasonable response.


    *Funny how when discussing leadership, Churchill’s name often pops up in some form. To launch the fight against climate change, all that is really missing, is the political will. To tackle climate change is a matter of leadership. In this endeavour I have sought to popularise the example of Winston Churchill drawing parallels with his vital leadership role in the fight against fascism, which like climate change posed an existential threat to civilisation.

    The interminable international intergovernmental conferences on climate change will never come up with any binding international agreement to act.

    Just like the League of Nations failed, the United Nations Convention on Climate Change COP 19 and all the rest, will fail to come up with any binding resolution. That is not how things are achieved.

    What it really took to launch the international war against fascism was not a universal binding convention forged in the League of Nations, but the singular leading example of one Island nation with a resolute political leadership that refused to make its peace with the fascists and mobilised every resource at the their disposal to resist.

    The same will happen in the fight against climate change.

    What better country to take that role than this one?

    The time to start is now.

  20. Jenny – maybe you are a bit harsh on The Standard? It is just a forum, and while some there can get a bit “personal”, uptight and possibly over the top with their comments or their monitoring, there are certain rules and one must abide by them.

    I cannot speak for Lynn and what led to you being banned there, but I have seen others come and go there, as commenters, blog writers, and as readers, most of what happens there is ok with me.

    While I appreciate your firm and strong stand on climate change issues and policies, some may feel that you push it a bit too hard for their liking, at times in threads that may have a slightly different focus.

    But live and let live, maybe whosoever banned you, may see the light one day and allow you back there? My view is a diversity of opinions can only enrich good blog discussions, as long as they are backed up with sound information and arguments.

    Best wishes for 2014 and after –


    • Thank you for your kind words marc.

      FYI Yes it was Lynn Prentice who banned me.

      But it is not personal Lynn has a job to do, and that is to make sure that climate change does not become an election issue.

      As a middle ranked Labour Party activist running an extremely influential website, the last thing Lynn Prentice wants is for the similarity between Labour and National over climate change to become a talking point. Instead he has tried to claim erroneously that Labour is closer to the Greens than National on climate change.

      The last thing Lynn or Labour want is any close examination of this claim.

      I was banned at The Standard for starting a discussion on the Solid Energy bail out. The Green Party had harshly condemned the bail out, while the Labour Party and The Standard authors (as a collective) maintained a silence.

      During this debate Lynn grew quite heated calling me a liar and liking me to Goebbels and allowing death threats and ad hominem personal attacks to be made against me.

      Lynn Prentice main gripe is that I was telling the The Standard authors what to write. That is actually untrue, they can write or not write what they like. I just pointed out the fact of their silence and proceeded to talk about the bail out anyway. But it seems that as well as indulging in the time honoured journalistic tradition of self censorship, over issues they dont’ want raised. When called to The Standard will also resort to overt censorship when needed.

      One TS author mickysavage did say that he would do a post on the bail out. As I predicted he would mickysavage gave in to the pressure to keep his silence, and never posted his essay.

      Another reason why I was banned was because Lynn knew I would keep up a counter pressure on mickysavage to honour his promise to publish his post on the bail out. But this is one load of worms that Labour don’t want out of the can.

      • Thats a load of bollocks Jenny. You consistently rammed climate change every chance you got on Open Mike on the standard and continually accused others of not taking any action. Some people are totally apathetic towards it, and you had plenty of opportunity to submit your own post – did you? Lynn has an earth sciences degree I believe, so he quite rightly wanted you to provide evidence to support your oft hysterical claims.

        Even on here I groan when I see that the first comment is often yoh, and the spin you employ in attempting to make a link, however tenous, between the topic and climate change would make a cirque de soleil contortionist gasp in awe at your efforts.

        Some people. Just. Dont. Care.

        After 13 years of crap being forced down our throats such as rising sea levels, no more snow by 2010 ( as said in 2000 by University of East Anglia) apparently ice free Arctic by 2012, and no more Maldives due to an apparent 10 metre sea level rise, none of which have happened, and sea level rise is still in mm, the ongoing crap, lies, misinformation and lack of reasonable explanation provided for the 13 year pause – along with a complete denial of the factors that Sol plays on temperature differentials just makes any person blathering on about CC akin to the people of old wandering the streets with their ‘ end is nigh’ sandwhich board, which, Jenny, you are firmly establishing yourself in the category of to my mind.

        • “Lynn has an earth sciences degree I believe….”
          James Thrace

          Myself and Lynn are in agreement about the science. Our dispute is not about science. It’s about politics. It’s about how much of a stake you either have, or don’t have in the current social and political system.

          The Standard have a post that links to data that makes this very point.

          “Across party lines there is a large divide, with Democrats mostly believing climate change is happening, and Republicans mostly disbelieving. Independents are split. But not by science….”

          In our human, socially divided society, those blessed with the luck and/or skill to be at the top, or, near the top of the social pyramid, who’s current lively hood and existence as a social class, directly and even indirectly are the major benefactors of the exploitation of the social human environment, and the natural physical environment, are anxious that, that state of affairs continue, even, when quite clearly, the physics says it can’t. (The natural world part can’t, though the human part might. Though the latter could break down as society breaks down)

          Those with a stake in the current establishment includes the established political classes.

          People like Lynn Prentice, a mid level Labour Party activist, who’s whole social circle, friends, colleagues, even business partners depends on him not making demands on the establishment, especially on the established political party to which he gives his public allegiance too. For Lynn Prentice to put demands on the Labour Party to act on climate change, risks undoing his whole web of social, political, and business contacts. A very uncomfortable place to be.

          This is why those with less stake in the current political system are more likely to make demands on society to act on climate change.
          That is why those on the Left of politics are more likely to demand something be done about climate change than those to the Right or Centre of politics.

          There are exceptional individuals in the establishment that are exceptions to this rule. Al Gore is one. Lord Stern is one. Lynn Prentice could be one. He just needs to realise that he has to make a stand, no matter what the personal cost.

          What goes for Lynn Prentice, also goes for Greg Presland, it also goes for David Cunliffe.

          These three leaders could be great, they could be remarkable, they could change the whole political agenda. They could be the leaders who change the whole world.

          If my long experience in the union movement and voluntary community groups has taught me anything, it is that if you really want to make a difference good leadership is essential.

          Lord Nicholas Stern @ 3:30 minutes AoL video

          “I think it is more worrying than when the Stern report was published seven years ago….”

          “;…. for me actually, it is about political will.
          We don't know everything. But we know enough to start, and start strongly. And we will discover things along the way.
          Its the political will to start, and that's I think the key place that we have to think about, in making our arguments, and making our case.
          Show its possible, show its attractive. And also, and very strongly show that its the right thing to do."
          Lord Stern lead author of the British Government Stern Revew on climate change.

          Mary Robinson @ 5:10 minutes AoL video

          “There are some things we can’t adapt too”

          “What I want to build on, is the point that Nick made. What we need is not just political will, which he emphasised it’s transformative determination, transformative leadership. But… We need to talk about, what the benefits will be as you are encouraging us to do to get that transformative leadership. And we need pressure on leaders to be transformative because we know what to do as Nick said. Its a world that will be so good for our children and grandchildren and they will thank us because obviously we made the right decisions between now and 2015 in order to trigger that kind of movement.

          Mary Robinson president of the Mary Robinson Foundation

        • “You consistently rammed climate change every chance you got on Open Mike on the standard…..

          “After 13 years of crap being forced down our throats such as rising sea levels, no more snow by 2010 ( as said in 2000 by University of East Anglia) apparently ice free Arctic by 2012, and no more Maldives due to an apparent 10 metre sea level rise, none of which have happened, and sea level rise is still in mm, the ongoing crap, lies, misinformation and lack of reasonable explanation provided for the 13 year pause – along with a complete denial of the factors that Sol plays on temperature differentials just makes any person blathering on about CC akin to the people of old wandering the streets with their ‘ end is nigh’ sandwhich board, which, Jenny, you are firmly establishing yourself in the category of to my mind.”
          James Thrace

          “I just want to highlight this illuminating infographic by James Powell in which, based on more than 2000 peer-reviewed publications, he counts the number of authors from November, 2012 to December, 2013 who explicitly deny global warming (that is, who propose a fundamentally different reason for temperature rise than anthropogenic CO2). The number is exactly one….

          “Now I understand as well as anyone else that consensus does not imply truth but I find it odd how there aren’t even a handful of scientists who deny global warming presumably because the global warming mafia threatens to throttle them if they do. It’s not like we are seeing a 70-30% split, or even a 90-10% split. No, the split is more like 99.99-0.01%.

          Isn’t it remarkable that among the legions of scientists working around the world, many with tenured positions, secure reputations and largely nothing to lose, not even a hundred out of ten thousand come forward to deny the phenomenon in the scientific literature?

          So are contrarian climate scientists around the world so utterly terrified of their colleagues and world opinion that they would not dare to hazard a contrarian explanation at all, especially if it were based on sound science? The belief stretches your imagination to new lengths.

          Those who think scientists keep silent on global warming presumably because they fear the barbs of the world demonstrate a peculiar kind of paranoia, especially since what they fear largely does not exist…..
          “This chart should tell us why we need to move the debate beyond the fundamental fact of global warming, from disputing the basic science and effects of the process to disputing the details of consequences and the proposed solutions.

          Ashutosh Jogalekar Writing for Scientific American January 10, 2014

          James, as to your charge that I consistently rammed climate change at every chance I got on the open mike at The Standard…. I plead guilty.

          In my opinion I didn’t go far enough, if Labour Party supporters, like yourself still deny the reality of climate change.

          As for the “13 years of crap forced down our throats” (about climate change) I am afraid I can’t be held responsible for that. Maybe you could take it up with Ashutosh Jogalekar and the vast majority of the scientific community.

    • “Jenny – maybe you are a bit harsh on The Standard?”

      Possibly Marc. But then again, The Standard moderator Lynn Prentice is very harsh in protecting his stance of refusing to allow demands to be put on our leaders to do something about the climate (or as in the case of Solid Energy at the very least not make things worse).

      Marc, If I could be so bold, could I ask you a question?

      Do you think it was harsh for Lynn to compare me to Joseph Goebbels, for making demands on the Labour Party to declare themselves over the bail out of Solid Energy?

      Do you think it was harsh for Lynn to allow debate on how much CO2 my body would “contribute to the atmosphere” if I was burnt to death?

      Far better for Lynn to have just banned me, rather than indulge in a low campaign of character assassination.

      But he couldn’t do that, in politics you can’t execute an opponent, (even metaphorically), without first engaging in a campaign of character assassination and calumny necessary to justify your actions.

      “While I appreciate your firm and strong stand on climate change issues and policies, some may feel that you push it a bit too hard for their liking, at times in threads that may have a slightly different focus.”

      Thanks again for your kind words Marc. Again you may be right. Maybe I do push it a bit hard. But this is deliberate. If you follow my comments you may be aware that I have been trying to popularise Churchill’s fight against fascism as an example of the type of courageous fighting leadership we need if we are to have any chance of tackling climate change. Churchill on facing the same sort of criticism that he was pushing his message a bit too hard once said:

      “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”
      Winston Churchill

      While I may not have landed any “tremendous whack” I must be making some sort of impression to be compared to fascist mass murderer Joseph Goebbels. I don’t know whether I should be flattered, or appalled. (Mostly I am appalled).

      And I do apologise for making comments in threads that “may have a slightly different focus”. (Including this one). But I find that I have trouble finding threads where what I want to say fits in. What was good about the Standard was their ‘Open Mike’ where I could put up my views. But you will see that Lynn often complained about that as well. Being highly critical of the fact that I was often the first one up. But that was unavoidable, as like most people I have to work during the day and had to leave the house early. But of course it was not the method or manner of delivery that Lynn was uncomfortable with, but the message. And that message is; All political parties and especially Lynn’s party as the likely leader of the next government, must take climate change seriously. And that the issue of climate change must no longer be allowed to be deliberately ignored as an election issue, (as was done in the US presidential elections and the last national elections here).

  21. Your words are obvious aware.Yet your answer is left without opinion.Are you vacant to care,or vacant to be proved wrong.

  22. Is Shane Jones in the wrong party?

    A Herald-digiPoll survey that shows that the National Government’s plans to mine it, drill it, frack it, is losing support, has seen the Labour Party rally to the government’s defence.

    Labour Party Spokesperson Shane Jones criticised the National government for not selling the mine it, drill it, frack it, program hard enough.

    Labour’s economic development spokesman Shane Jones said the increase in opposition showed the Government and Mr Bridges were failing to properly counter a “sophisticated anti-campaign”.
    Claire Trevett NZ Herald 12:41 Jan 4, 2014

    The only conclusion you can draw from Shane Jones statement is that a Labour led government would be far more effective in promoting deep sea oil drilling and all the rest, than a National led government.

    Shane Jones is probably right, a Labour led government would be more effective in pushing Deep Sea Oil Drilling. Because if Labour can get the Greens into a Cabinet dominated by Labour, Green Party opposition in parliament can be effectively nullified, in Cabinet the Green MPs would be bound by ‘Collective Cabinet Responsibility’ not to oppose a Labour Party program of Deep Sea Oil and Coal Mining.
    Of course this would decimate the Green Party support. But from the tone of Shane Jones comments that is Labour’s intent.

    “Politics, unfortunately, is as much about heat as it is about light. There is no light emanating from the Government, but there is considerable heat being generated by New Zealand. If that is allowed to drift, the largely ill-informed public can be swayed by fear mongering.”
    Shane Jones as related to Claire Trevett, NZ Herald 12:41 Jan 4, 2014

  23. “New Zealand is doing nothing about climate change”

    WrittenBy: MICKYSAVAGE – Date published:7:56 am, January 5th, 2014

    You’ve got that right!

    Mickysavage severely criticises the National Government for not putting agriculture into the Labour Party’s Emissions Trading Scheme.

    Although Mickysavage steers well clear of saying that a Labour government would or should, do this.

    Though he doesn’t state it, let’s take for granted that this is what Micky wants.

    While I would support bringing agriculture into the ETS.

    At this point in time, calling for such a policy in an election year would be a bad tactical move, and as Micky well knows, the Labour Party will never take this issue up and campaign on it.

    To do so would be giving metaphorical bullets to the Nats to massacre them in the polls.

    Going from one extreme to the other and missing out all the necessary intermediate steps, will never achieve anything, and will cost Labour votes.

    For micky to raise this demand now is pointless, Labour will never adopt it as a campaign issue.

    Mickysavage might as well bay for the moon.

    While I would support putting agriculture into the ETS, tactically at this point in time it would be electoral suicide.

    What I would like to raise but am not allowed too, are the immediate practical and positive climate change issues that are on the table right now that Labour could address but refuses to even discuss.


    Over 60% of the population want the government to do more on climate change.

    Stopping deep sea oil drilling and all new coal mines as well as banning fracking would be hugely popular issues that will EARN LABOUR VOTES, especially if it is carefully explained why these things must be done.

    National will have no reply, they won’t be able to emotively argue, as they would over agriculture, that Labour is sabotaging the economy and costing jobs, because the fossil fuel sector is only a small part of our economy and relatively job poor.

  24. Going through all the political predictions being made for the coming year, there are two topics most of the erstwhile crystal ball gazers have ignored.

    Missing from all main stream predictions, is any discussion of the possible fortunes of the Mana Party.

    Except for Martyn Bradbury above, not one of the MSM political soothsayers who has ventured a political prediction, has ventured a prediction on how the Mana Party and their sole MP Hone Harawira will fare in the elections.

    Going by the political predictions being made for this election year, by all the regular MSM political pundits and editors, the Mana Party and their leader will be effectively sidelined by the MSM media.
    But the Mana Party will not the only thing that will be frozen out of the main stream political discourse.

    The elephant in the room

    So what according to these pundits, are the issues, the upcoming election will be fought over?

    According to Bryce Edwards who does a round up all the predictions, the #1 issue will be a non-issue. ie An issue about personalities and ideologies and the balance of power, of which side has the numbers and which side hasn’t, (a subject, sure to turn voting public off by the tens of thousands). While real world issues of concern to people will be down played or ignored.

    Major issue #1: The importance of minor parties

    This column points to the more interesting and important views being put forward, details two major issues that are set to dominate this election year…

    …The questions will be around which parties are likely to make it into Parliament – and in what sort of numbers – what major parties they will aid to form a new administration, and how they will coalesce and survive in government….

    …At this stage it appears this year’s general election could go either way. Opinion polls show that the Labour-Greens bloc and National continue to have even support. Most commentators are wary of predicting the outcome of the election, and instead stress the similar chances that either side have. For example, TVNZ’s Corin Dann says ‘The 2014 election is shaping up as a good old fashioned cliff hanger and is anyone’s to win’, and blogger Martyn Bradbury predicts ‘an election that is razor close’.

    Scaremongering about minor parties will form a large part of the tactics of all political parties, but especially Labour and National, who will seek to drive up concerns about the supposed extremism of the minor parties their opponents will rely upon to form a government. Gordon Campbell puts this very well: ‘in 2014 we are going to be hearing less about whether a centre left coalition or a centre right coalition might have the better plan to meet our current and future needs – and a lot more about how scary those weirdo junior partners may be.

    Bryce Edwards “What will happen in 2014”

    This is not good.

    If Bryce is right, this will be an election campaign just the way the politicians like it… A campaign that dwells on the minutia of the balance of forces rather than discussing the issues…. A campaign in which the politicians can avoid being put on the spot about the tricky and contentious issues of the day… Now, that’s just great.

    A campaign where we get to choose which bunch of baby kissers is the most, or least appealing, and the question of how each will deal with the real world issues of the day is if not ignored, is minimalised.

    This is really depressing. And if it is allowed to play out this way, it will turn many voters off completely.

    Bryce Edwards pick for second most important election issue is the economy.

    Major issue #2: The Economy

    Both National and Labour appear determined to make economic issues central to this year’s election campaign. National’s main campaign pitch will build on its economic achievements – with a trumpeting of the flourishing economy. Certainly the media is full of predictions of the golden weather about to arrive …..

    Bryce Edwards “What will happen in 2014”

    The Right talk in glowing terms about the miraculous economic recovery.
    The left speak of the growing inequality and the human wreckage left in the wake of the so called recovery.

    This will be a failing strategy for the Left as I explain HERE

    In his article Bryce Edwards namechecks the Greens, Labour and the Nats, NZF, ACT, the Maori Party, Peter Dunne and a possible Dotcom political vehicle. Bryce is silent on Mana and Harawira.

    An editorial at the Dominion Post picks a real world subject, ‘Housing’ as the leading election issue, over the sterile, boring, balance of forces, who’s got the numbers debate, picked by Edwards.

    “Housing will be one of the most contentious themes of the year, prompting National to announce further measures to help low-income and first-home buyers.”
    Dominion Post Predictions for the new year…

    The Dominion Post editorial also predict that National will win. Unlike almost everyone else on the left, I also make this call. Unless, something drastically changes, National will win the election.

    The Dominion Post also predict that David Cunliffe will keep his leadership role if he loses the the election (something I also pick HERE)

    The Dominion Post mentions the Greens, Labour and the Nats, NZF, ACT, the Maori Party and Peter Dunne. The post is silent on the fortunes of Mana and Harawira

    Most conservative pundits pick a National win, most progressive Pundits admit it will be close. Which is almost the same thing, (except hopeful)

    If New Zealand First get in, they will go with National. This is a cert, and most pundits agree. I don’t know of any who don’t.

    The takeaway message here is; ‘If you do want a change in government, don’t vote for Winston’s Party.’

    Continuing with the mainstream newspaper editorials; The NZ Herald, like the Dominion, looks to pick real world issues, over the party numbers game to be the main issue in the election:

    “The hottest issues tipped to divide polling booths this year are: child poverty and the wage gap; housing affordability; the price of electricity; (plus) Maori affairs;”

    The New Zealand Herald Welcome 2014:

    The NZ Herald editorial talks up the economic recovery, everything is good news for the Herald. The Global Financial Crisis is a thing of the past, everyone is in line for a pay rise, and the All Blacks will be unbeatable. The Herald mentions the Greens, and National, no-one else is mentioned. This obviously is who The Herald see the contest between.

    Colin Espiner makes his predictions:

    “The new year promises so much: a buoyant economy, the “real” football world cup, two decent summers in a row and, according to Wikipedia, a commercial cure for baldness. Whether it will deliver on any of these is obviously an open question.

    But here are my picks for 2014:

    . . .The economy will go gangbusters . . .

    All the signs are that 2014 will be the best year for the New Zealand economy in a decade. Treasury is picking 3.6 per cent growth; I reckon it will top 4 per cent, making us the fastest-growing economy in the Western world.

    Colin Espiner 2013’s outstayed its welcome. What’s next?

    Again the positive spin on the economy and talking up of a National victory at the election.
    Colin Espiner namechecks the National Party, the Labour Party and the Greens, Colin Craig, and the Conservative Party. ACT gets a mention. Dotcom won’t enter politics according to Espiner. Colin Espiner is silent on the fortunes of Mana and Harawira.

    So if things don’t change…..,

    For what it is worth. Here are my 8 predictions for electoral year 2014:

    #1 As all pundits predict, the election will be a cliff hanger, with a result that reflects that.

    #2 National will win.
    New Zealand First, (if they get in), will give their support to National, ensuring National a third term. NZF will be credited with preventing Labour raising the retirement age to 67.

    #3 People will vote with their feet and not their ballot.
    The Business As Usual nature of the election, won’t engage people, and there will be a huge stay at home non-vote. (possibly, if the election is held earlier in the year there is a chance that this effect could be worsened by bad weather on the day).

    #4 Hone Harawira will lose Te Tai Tokerau to Labour.
    The Labour Party strategists realising very early on, (from their in-house polling of the electorate), that they don’t have the numbers to beat a Nat NZF coalition, will switch huge resources to undermining Hone Harawira and Mana who they see as a major threat on their Left flank.

    Consequently the Mana Leader Hone Harawira will narrowly lose his seat to the Labour candidate. In the process confirming Chris Trotter’s view, “That Labour would rather keep control of the losing side, than lose control of the winning side.”

    #5 The main topics of the election campaign will be what those other guys, the mainstream pundits above, said.

    #6 Going on past and current trends none of the political parties, will be challenged over their relative positions on Climate Change.

    The pending catastrophic destruction of human civilisation, along with a fair part of the bio-sphere that sustains all life, will not be subject considered worthy of an election debate, (but may be allowed an fleeting and obscure mention, or two.)

    #7 Our political leaders on both sides of the ship of state, standing on the bridge the NZSS Titanic will fight to be at the ship’s wheel, lashed and aimed straight at the drifting berg. Arguing over who gets the bulk of the deck chairs if the economic sun ever comes out.

    #8 I will be crossing my fingers and fervently praying the whole time, that I will be proved wrong.

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