I expect the political prospects of the left to dramatically lift



I feel like it’s day 2 of the siege of Helms Deep & Bryce Edwards is calling the war for the Orcs.

The attempt to destabilise Cunliffe’s leadership is as manufactured as his supposed leadership coup in the 2012 Labour Conference.

Cunliffe has had a difficult juggling job to date. Attempting to bring the enemies of his Caucus with him while keeping faith with the members and affiliates who elected him. Cunliffe has attempted to hire staff who would keep the ABCs happy and has watered down policy to keep them on side, the response from the ABCs in Caucus has been to sit on their hands in the hope they lose 2014.

This latest poll, as flawed as it is, manipulates opinion against a change of Government and Cunliffe should use it to do what the affiliates and members want him to do – stamp his own mana upon his leadership of Labour. Cunliffe needs bold policy ideas, bold candidate selections and an election campaign that is social media flexible and utilises efficiently the surge in volunteers and doubling of members the leadership challenge inspired.

The attempt to put Shane forward by some as a possible challenger won’t happen because the new rules don’t give Caucus that level of power any longer and because Shane Jones has so many skeletons in his closet, he makes Matthew Hooton look like a feminist hero.

I’m sure Shane would want to go out of his way to be a servant of the Party and would show nothing but loyalty to the Leader. He would certainly keep Cunliffe’s office in the full loop about his war on Countdown and he would be the first to speak out against anyone who was slagging his leader off. I’m sure of those things because if there was any hint of disloyalty I’m pretty certain the left blogosphere would go feral on the Jonsey, and the ABCs don’t need a reminder of what happens when that occurs do they?

The election is September/October. Allowing the mainstream media using flawed landline opinion polls which have given the National Party as much as 9% above what they actually received on election night to depress those who want a change in Government is kinda what Key wants.

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Don’t believe the hype, the 2014 election will be razor close, and the possibility of a Labour-Green-MANA Party Government is worth fighting for.

I expect the political prospects of the left to dramatically lift.


  1. That National are floating the dead-duck of a Jones leadership again (through their usual unofficial spokespeople) shows it must be close. They’re scared of what a Cunliffe government might do and uncover about six years of Key. Bet he leaves the country within a week of losing.

  2. Except it’s not just the landline polls that are showing National on an upward trend, its pretty much every poll released in the last couple of weeks.

    Chris Trotters post on the same subject offers a more realistic analysis of the prospects of the Left come October.

    • @ The Real Matthew –

      “Chris Trotters post on the same subject offers a more realistic analysis of the prospects of the Left come October. “

      You might have a point if two things were to happen,

      1. The election were to be held in the next few weeks – then the poll might hold some value,

      2. If the poll was more accurate, and phoned respondents on cellphones, like Roy Morgan does. (Yes, Roy Morgan has polled me on my cellphone, last year.)

      Simply phoning landlines is not credible, especially when the 2013 census revealed that around 14% of households did not have landlines. http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/census-surveys-and-cellphones-part-rua/

      Coupled to that is the 13% of the Colmar Brunton Poll who expressed No Opinion/Refused To Say – and that’s a mighty big chunk of of voters.

      Given those two provisos, I might be concerned.

      But not when we’re still eight or nine months out from the election.

      It’s early days and let’s not forget that in February 2011, the Nats were again polling 51% in a Colmar Brunton Poll. The final election night result, nine months later?


      Curiously, if the poll result were reversed;

      Labour on 51%
      National on 34%

      – then I’d be sh*tting my pants with worry.


      Because that’s when the Left would get cocky; make mistakes; and lose.

      To quote Dear Leader, “I’m relaxed.”

  3. I’d be surprised if the Green Party dipped below 10% at the next election as the Greens tend to attract voters who don’t lightly swing from party to party.

    • Indeed, Fambo. There are a lot of young people who vote Green who don’t use landlines any more (so very 20thy century!, so who are invisible to the main polling firms – except Roy Morgan.

      And predictably, the last few polls had the Greens sitting over 10%;

      Roy Morgan poll: 6 – 19 January 2014: 12.5%

      Roy Morgan poll: 20 Jan – 2 Feb 2014: 11%

      Roy Morgan poll: 25 Nov – 9 Dec 2013: 14.5%

      Roy Morgan poll: Sept 30-Oct 13, 2013: 12.5%

      Roy Morgan poll: Sept 16-29, 2013: 11.5%

      Roy Morgan Poll: Aug 26 – Sept 8, 2013: 15%

      Roy Morgan Poll: July 29 – Aug 11, 2013: 14%

      So – 8%?! Yeah, nah.

  4. (love the graphic )

    I think TPP should be the major issue of this election .
    No single event ,other then losing WW2 has had the potential to change the lives of every New Zealander ,living or yet to be born.

    The party with the balls gumption to openly show their priority is with the interests of the New Zealand people and not transnational corporations will see loyal grassroots support.

    TPP is Tim Groser’s “love child” and it has been kidnapped and returned as a Frankenstein !

    I require more from my Government ,secrecy has no place if we are trying to have the best working democracy we are capable of .

    • Please, please, please let the left waste time and effort making the TPPA THE issue of the upcoming election. If you want to turn off people from your message fast you can’t do better than discuss the detail of international negotiations.

      • What “detail [sic] of international negotiations”, Gosman, the whole point is that they refuse to show us any details?

      • are you channeling John Key ?
        if TPPA is signed New Zealand has lost the right to self determination.
        Corporate tribunals aren’t my idea of what justice looks like and democracy requires informed consent .

      • The TPPA will indeed be an issue, Gosman. Specifically;

        1. The secretive natibve of the TPPA discussions. If the TPPA is so uber wonderful – why the secrecy? Negotiating parties are already aware of the text of the proposed Agreement – so why keep it from the public?

        2. Proposed secret, trans-national Tribunals circumvent democratic institutions and will bind governments. This is not democracy, this is quasi corporate fascism.

        3. Governments will be bound by the proposed Agreement – but not corporates. This was nicely illustrated by Aussie supermarkets recently deleting NZ goods from their shelves despite our NZ-Aust CER.

        The CER binds Australian and NZ governments to free trade terms – but not corporates.

        4. Governments become targets of corporate-driven lawsuits if legislation impacts on their profits. Again, this is highligted by the current Philip Morris Asia Ltd lawsuit against the Australian government regarding plain packaging for cigarette packets.

        5. Despite Key’s glib assurances, there is a real fear that PHARMAC’s purchasing power will be watered down, to satisfy pharmaceutical corporate’s demands.

        There goes our sovereign right to purchase low-cost generic medicines.

        Now, I know you don’t give a rats about “quaint notions” such as democracy, transparency, sovereignty, etc. You’d be happy as a pig-in-mud to live in a corporate-driven world where democratic rights were secondary to commercial imperatives. But you’re a distinct minority with a very skewed view of the world and human nature.

        The rest of us fully comprehend what the TPPA entails, and don’t want a bar of it.

        This is not a “free trade” document. From what little has been leaked, it is a “magna carta” for corporate sovereignty.

        The sad thing is that despite your intelligence, you don’t seem to understand any of this.

        • Most international agreements are negotiated with a degree of secrecy. The China-NZ FTA is an example of this. The Greens were prominent in attacking this agreement as well. The fears expressed over this were unfounded.

          The Tribunals are unlikely to be secret. Even if they were the Government of each country would be party to them and in NZ this would be subject to OIA requests and open to scrutiny by the parliament.

          I don’t know what you mean by Governments are bound by the agreement but not corporates. This is an inter-government agreement so as you would expect it does only involve governments. If you wanted it to bind other entities you are arguing for a far more intrusive agreement than that being discussed.

          I don’t think governments having to take in to account such things as intellectual property rights is a bad thing. Whether a corporate merely taking a case constrains government action though is unknown at this stage. We won’t know until the outcome of the case in Australia.

          All you have at this stage is a fear about the impact of Pharmac. I would prefer to reserve judgement. Fear is what has been the motivating factor for most opposition to most FTA’s as with the Greens opposition to the China-NZ FTA.

          • “Corporations will be entitled to be involved in the planning stages of any law that impacts on their ability to make a profit . So if say NZ decided it doesn’t want off shore oil drilling ,it must make available to the oil drilling companies all evidence it has that supports the Governments case that there is inherent risk in off shore oil drilling ! “Transparency” it is called ,it will allow Corporations to counter the arguments that the Government can make to stop the off shore drilling for oil ! TPP isn’t for the benefit of the people of the signatory countries ,it’s for the benefit of the Transnational Corporations ! That’s why they have been paying over 600 Lobbyist for over 3 years to get this deal sowed up ! THEY WANT A RETURN ON THAT INVESTMENT !”

            This video shows the concept of “transparency” at 18.50 …please consider the implication of the process explained by Dr Jane Kesley .

  5. I think Labour will be more focused closer to the Election better to be ahead on Election Day rather than now, being ahead in the polls now means jack sh*t.

  6. We should in fact be glad the Gnats have resorted to such dubious tactics so early. They are already a laughing-stock with their ‘rockstar economy’ ploy, and as Cunliffe comes unscathed through the fusillade of corrosive bile directed at him, once his more charitable policy analysis begins to resonate with the public we should see a more robust trend developing.

    (results indicated that, during the latter stages of a political campaign featuring known candidates, issue attack messages exert more change in attitudes and vote intention than character attack messages.)

    Crosby Textor falling down on the job again! Key’ll have to sell yet another strategic asset and hire someone else.

  7. Labour need to be wary of thinking the solution lies in having ‘policies’. How many detailed ‘policies’ did National put out there before their blitzkrieg victories at the last 2 elections? Phil Goff: same story – how many fuckin’ ‘policies’ did he thrown on out there? I actually gave a fuck, and I still couldn’t keep up. As soon as the general public find it hard to follow, they don’t want to know. They want narratives which explain what they’re voting for and why. Selling themselves with policies is what parties do when the don’t have a narrative to explain themselves.

    Every detailed policy release is just another chance for everyone from 3News and the Herald to DPF and Slater to pick something apart. And note that they don’t need to pick something like Kiwiassure or apart with a policy critique, they pick it apart with a narrative critique. And we know how it ends: Cunliffe got a couple of numbers wrong, therefore it must have been intentional, therefore he’s dodgy or incompetent or both. Which stuck faster in people’s minds? The policy, or the narrative + ‘baby bonus’ catchphrase? You know which stuck.

    Policies are for impressing the talking heads, and none of them like Labour anyway now that their dwindling breed are kept few in number and ensconced in the high-earning tax bracket so that they will share their masters’ fear the return of a Labour government. National can largely depend on them to be generous to them, but they still know not to give too much out.

    My advice to Labour: I suppose you’re stuck with the policies you’ve announced already, so don’t add more to the heap. Get your tax policy sorted out, make sure it covers what you’ve committed yourselves to so far, and take stances on things which build a narrative. Don’t bore the shit out of everyone with a motherfucking policy on everything. Nobody cares about that shit, except the people who are anxious to find the mistakes you made when you hastily drafted it so that they can hold those mistakes aloft and show the public what they claim it says about you.

    • All that would happen is that the talking heads would be all “Labour has no policies, substance, etc.”.

      The fact is that the news media with a very few exceptions has decided to favour the National Party, so Cunliffe will have to fight the election with the media on the side of Key.

      This should be no surprise. Media is dominated by Key’s natural constituency, well-off professionals.

      • Potentially, but it’s all about how they craft their narrative. If they release a well planned tax policy with things like CGT included, where the focus is ‘fairness’, they then take a stand under this banner with Kiwibuild, Kiwiassure, extended maternity leave, whatever the hell the baby bonus is actually called (see, no catchy name, so DPF, Gower and friends named it for them), and of course, coalition policies like NZ Power. I’d say that depending on how they cost out their taxes, they can afford a couple of other supplements such as better minimum wage, living wage for govt. employees to set the standard for the private sector to follow.

        Other than that, they should take their lead from Shane Jones’ coup on the supermarket issue: oppose the TPPA in the spirit of fairness in solidarity as a coalition; pledge to reform the GCSB and TICS legislation in solidarity as a coalition and so on – these aren’t things you need to spend money on, they are just reform pledges which you make because they build the picture of a better society. You don’t need a spreadsheet in your back pocket to justify it, and your opponents can’t make ‘taxpayer money’ the basis of their attacks.

        And if Goff and others won’t work for it, then MPs who are up for the graft need to work twice as hard, and it will make the ABC shirkers look twice as bitter, twice as past it, and twice as feckless. Ball in their court from there.

    • “They want narratives which explain what they’re voting for and why. Selling themselves with policies is what parties do when the don’t have a narrative to explain themselves.”
      Cemetery Jones

      CJ. Labour do have a narrative.

      This narrative is; ‘We are little different to National.’

      Before he gave his touchy feely State of the Nation Speech David Cunliffe released Labour’s real narrative.

      1/ “Reversing the promised tax break on the first $5,000 of income, and the promised removal of GST off fresh fruit and vegetables.(A poverty mitigation policy worth at least $1.5 billion. And replacing it with a “targeted” child support policy of worth only $525 million)

      2/And support for deep sea oil drilling.

      These are flagship policies which indicate narrative direction. Dumping them gave a clear message to the electorate, which could not be covered up by the candyfloss policies contained in Cunliffe’s actual delivered “State of the Nation Speech”.

      • “My advice to Labour: I suppose you’re stuck with the policies you’ve announced already, so don’t add more to the heap. Get your tax policy sorted out, make sure it covers what you’ve committed yourselves to so far, and take stances on things which build a narrative.”
        Cemetery Jones

        “…take stances on things which build a narrative.”

        This is the key, and this is what Labour haven’t done.

        And till they do it, they won’t be differentiated from National.

        • I think Labour would be sensible to build a narrative around fairness. Whether we’re talking about supermarkets, taxes, wages, child poverty, it fits. It is also nebulous enough that DPF can’t start trying to fisk it, which is what happens whenever they take the well meaning but misguided approach of pinning too much detail to the board.

          As a narrative, it also works nicely with the Green and Mana narratives without stealing their thunder.

    • The problem as I see it is that NZ voters don’t vote for either policies or narratives but for personalities. Opposition parties will continue to have a tough time until a majority of NZ voters can be persuaded that voting for “that nice man they want to have a beer with” is against their interests. And that unfortunately is not an easy goal to achieve, but I sincerely hope that for the good of NZ it can happen somehow, and soon.

  8. Just curious, I’m not too sure how the internal parts of parties work. But can the ABC’s be fired/removed from the party? How can Cunliffe be expected to work and win in those conditions? They seem to be working against their own party and actively hoping for a loss in the elections. Is that allowed?

    • The bad news Franquis is yes, just about anything is allowed in politics despite what party rules and decisions may say.

      The good news is that the more ordinary people/members (as opposed to MPs and party officials) that participate in politics the higher the chance of defeating the likes of the ABCs.

      If hundreds turn up at Labour candidate selection meetings and LECs (Local Electorate Committees) the minority can be over ruled.

  9. Key’s rating went up because he had a photo op with Barak Obama.

    It’s as simple as that.

    Cunliffe needs to get on the airwaves and stay on – hopefully somewhere that’s not toxic right. The more he gets airtime the more Key will need to get some too or else he’ll look lazy, scared and uncaring. Since Key has nothing substantive to say, Cunliffe can make Key look a very dim bulb.

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