No Cookies! But maybe the balance of power. Why Kelvin Davis and the Labour Right are so scared of Internet-Mana.

By   /   August 6, 2014  /   28 Comments

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The scuttlebutt in left-wing circles is that Davis has been “rarked up” by Labour’s ABC Faction, who not only need their leader, David Cunliffe, to fail on 20 September, but who are also determined to deny Internet-Mana a parliamentary bridgehead.

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THE CRUDE POLITICAL GAMBIT of Kelvin Davis and his supporters in Te Tai Tokerau has fallen flat. His plans to knock Internet-Mana out of the electoral race have been revealed and the Maori voters of the North will punish him severely. Not only for his confrontational and abusive rhetoric, but also for the rank ingratitude and disloyalty he has displayed toward Labour. The rest of the country can only shake their heads in wonder at the strategic stupidity of the man.

Davis is, after all, the candidate to whom the Labour Party’s Ranking Committee gifted a very favourable position on the Party List. His role in Te Tai Tokerau was not to go all out to take the seat from Hone Harawira, but to maximise Labour’s Party Vote. It is staggering that Davis and his allies have been unable (or unwilling) to grasp the simple fact that the welfare of the people of the North will be most effectively secured by a victory in the forthcoming election for the parties of the Left – of which Internet-Mana is becoming a potentially vital component.

The scuttlebutt in left-wing circles is that Davis has been “rarked up” by Labour’s ABC Faction, who not only need their leader, David Cunliffe, to fail on 20 September, but who are also determined to deny Internet-Mana a parliamentary bridgehead. Their plans to haul Labour back to the “centre” (the Right’s code word for an ideological position acceptable to Business New Zealand, Federated Farmers and the mainstream news media) will suffer a serious setback if Hone Harawira, Annette Sykes, Laila Harre and John Minto get to play the role of the Left’s staunch chorus – passing withering judgement upon the antics of a back-sliding Labour Caucus.

In this effort, the Labour Right is marching in lock-step with not only the National Party’s but the right-wing news media’s political objectives. The more intelligent among them understand that an Internet-Mana presence in the House has, over a three year term, the potential to haul back “Overton’s Window” from its present location well to the right of the political spectrum and reposition it much closer to the left. The overwhelming priority across the entire New Zealand Right is, therefore, to strangle this potential left-wing Hercules in its cradle. Wittingly or unwittingly, Davis has allowed himself to become a pawn in this game. How else to explain his willingness to be associated with David Farrar and Cameron Slater, the twin serpents sent to dispatch the Left’s infant hero?

The ABC Faction’s tactical position is to smear David Cunliffe as Internet-Mana’s secret enabler: the politician who’s promising publicly to have nothing to do with Kim Dotcom’s creation while all the time secretly plotting to give Maori Affairs to Hone, Social Welfare to Laila Harre, and Foreign Affairs to John Minto. They are well aware of how badly the idea of any kind of Labour “deal” with Internet-Mana plays with young, reasonably skilled but indifferently-paid women workers whose grasp of politics is almost exclusively informed by what Patrick Gower, Tove O’Brien and Corin Dann tells them on thesix o’clock news.

In the past, these young women: retail workers, hairdressers, receptionists and office personnel of all kinds; have provided Labour with the numbers necessary to evict a National Government. Without them, securing victory becomes extremely problematic. Helen Clark lost what the British snobs might call the “Chav Vote” to the dashing John Key in 2008 and poor old Phil Goff never seriously tempted them in 2011. David Cunliffe just might win them back in 2014, but not with Kim Dotcom looming behind him like a pantomime demon.

It is this need to distance himself from Dotcom and his allies that explains Cunliffe’s refusal to call out Davis for the dangerous political distraction he has become. Indeed, in a funny sort of way, Davis’s extreme animus towards Harawira and Dotcom has played into the Labour Leader’s hands. It has enabled him to reiterate in even more unequivocal language that Labour will have no truck with Internet-Mana. That there will be no deals done and that no Internet-Mana MPs will be invited to serve in any coalition Cabinet over which Cunliffe presides. In Andy Williams’ immortal words to the importunate Cookie Bear: “Not now. Not ever. Never. No cookies! 

Such is the general ignorance which still surrounds the MMP electoral system, however, that many of those reassured by Cunliffe’s rejection of the Internet-Mana Party may be shocked to discover on Election Night that they have somehow managed to win seats in Parliament. What’s more, as the sworn enemies of John Key’s government, if the numbers are there for David Cunliffe to become Prime Minister with Internet-Mana’s support they will happily make him so. This will undoubtedly provoke an outcry from those who interpreted Cunliffe’s “Internet-Mana will have no place in a Labour-led Government” as meaning “We will not accept the votes of Internet-Mana’s MPs in assembling the support needed to form a government.”

If that turns out to be the case, then New Zealanders are in for a crash-course in constitutional realities. They will discover that if Internet-Mana have the numbers to make David Cunliffe the Prime Minister, they will most likely also have the numbers to prevent John Key from resuming office. Whether some of the voters like it or not; whether National likes it or not; whether the mainstream news media likes it or not; and whether Kelvin Davis likes it or not; if the rules of MMP return the Internet-Mana Party in sufficient numbers to break the National Government and install a Labour-Green coalition – then that’s exactly what it will do.

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28 Comments

  1. dwnats says:

    Roll on September 20. I have no objection to Laila, Hone, Annette, John,…. Confidence and Supply are sufficient and have assured the creepy key for too long. I have no fear of them either. Great people. Labour compatible, far more so than the creeps of the right.

  2. Kat says:

    Yep!

    Thats MMP…..no wonder key & co want it gone.

  3. Saarbo says:

    Andrea Vance sheds light…good to see MSM doing their mahi…finally

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/10350433/Te-Tai-Tokerau-tangles

    It does make you wonder why RNZ continue to get Hooten to comment on Nine to Noon…he’s a disgrace.

  4. Peter Archer says:

    Excellent analysis, agree totally.

    And, if political realities prevent David Cunliffe from speaking out publically against the “ABC” faction and against Davis, no such ‘reality’ applies to rank and file Labour Party members, people like me, and I can assure you that many of us are txremely ANGRY with Davis and his cronies, and we are saying so, publically.

    For 30 years, these right wing backsliders, entrenched within the Labour caucus, have sabotaged and undermined Labour, and we will NOT put up with this any longer!

  5. Dennis Dorney says:

    If David Cunliffe really believes that he can state now that Labour will not permit IMP into a Labour Government but will change his mind later if need-be after the results are in, he is very much mistaken and so is Chris Trotter. The problem with being a daily political commentator is that you start to think like a politician, not like a voter.
    When I heard David Cunliffe reject any deal with IMP, I thought “This is an attempt by Cunliffe to destroy the IMP before it really gains momentum” by ensuring that the IMP failed to get to the magic 5%. And then I thought “This guarantees the defeat of Labour on Sept 20th”. I suspect that most IMP supporters thought exactly that.
    Assuming that I have correctly guessed their response, how will they react? Will they abandon the IMP and redirect their votes elsewhere? Obviously they will not vote for any of the right wing parties – IMP is far too left wing for that. Nor will they give their votes to NZ First since that party is toying with the idea of supporting National, which is anathema to the IMP.
    On the Left they will not vote Labour, which is trying to sabotage the IMP vote. They could vote Green but not en masse. Or they could go back to not voting at all. This guarantees a Labour defeat because it will waste a lot of IMP votes and will also fail to mobilise the non-voters, which Labour had regarded as necessary for victory. An alternative reaction, which is even worse for Labour is that it creates a backlash with voters who see the Labour party as acting out of malice and incidentally showing that it is still a right wing party. A possible result is; a flood of voters abandoning Labour as being a lost cause; a drop in the NZ First vote to below 5% (which I believe will happen anyhow and will waste a lot of left- leaning votes) and a corresponding rise in the IMP vote ……. but not by enough to gain a victory. If that event produces a narrow defeat, people will say that the defeat was Labour’s fault – and it would be, because the very best result would have been obtained by saying of the IMP what it said of the Greens – that it cannot predict the outcome of the election but it will play the cards it is dealt after the election. That option has now been lost.

  6. Kim Dandy says:

    New Zealanders will be voting a government out – whatever party they vote for to do this, better play nicely with the others to accomplish this goal.

  7. WILD KATIPO says:

    Seems like a lot of reverse psychology in the tactical game being played out…but then again…Im sure you will agree IMP have shoulders big enough to see through the Davis lunacy – as do the voters who want this current govt done , dusted and gone.

    People are not so stupid….

    You may well remember a chap by the name of Jones , who , some years ago set up a political party with the express purpose of bringing down the Muldoon govt. Now this character was a good buddy of Roger Douglas and his fish and chip brigade…(despite his denials might be to the contrary ) and adored the neo liberal message Douglas was preaching enough to pour a few mil into creating a party to do just that.

    However , unlike Jones…who some perculiar individuals may attempt to forgive for having an aserbic and somewhat cynical sense of humour , – despite his endorsement of policy that would enrich only himself and his buddies…. the IMP was set up expressly to give a voice to all those thousands of New Zealanders who’s lives have been negatively affected by the likes of the former and his ilk…

    So…fast forward to the year 2014…and here is another rich man who spent a few mil setting up a party ….who , incidently …is alot richer than Mr Jones…and wont be packing up his party into an old kitbag once its realised its objectives. Its here to stay, ladies and gentlemen.

    And therein lies the great strength of the IMP….and what the Right fears…to put it bluntly – ‘ the jig is up’. Its motives are aligned with the people ( look back and see even the middle classes had their turn of abuse from these neo liberals as well ) who have had 30 years of getting kicked in the teeth in this country and who have been deliberately demonised and made political playthings of successive neo liberal govts.

    Its over. and the Right know it.

    So if the tactic of DC is to pretend he wont do deals with IMP…yet keeping up the appearance of endorsing Davis and using him as a useful stooge ..well so be it. Very clever move. Thats why DC is leader and Davis never will be.

    Interesting Davis is being endorsed by Right wingers…I think we can safely say we can write him off. In no way are the people up North that gullible..so he insults their intelligence as well. He will be punished in the polls.

    So , if ever there was a message for Davis…it would be… ‘Pull your head in cobber – and try growing a brain next time’.

    • Michael Herman says:

      Whatever his reasons, Kelvin decided to prove he’s got big balls above proving he has a big brain. There’s no need to waste time questioning the wisdom of his decision – it was clearly tied more closely to his own ambition than to the strategic imperative of the moment.

  8. I was surprised at Andrea Vance’s forthright comments today… Amazing stuff.

    Even more incredible was that the Dom Post printed her words.

    It was a piece I could well have written,m with the same conclusions.

    Let’s hope it doesn’t cost her her career.

    As for Chris’ pierce – well said.

    Come post 20 September, Kelvin Davis should be dismissed from the Labour Party. It is time to put an end this his kind of self-serving, undermining, rubbish.

  9. yabby says:

    I’d say you’re talking about the next leader of the NZ Labour Party in Kelvin – he’s a bright cookie!

  10. The Real Matthew says:

    Kelvin has been thrown under the bus by his party

    With Labour looking at a party vote of around 25-27% his position is extremely marginal. It’s sad to see some on the left want him gone as he is a capable politician who has the interests of the North at heart.

  11. Mike the Savage One says:

    Kelvin Davis has shown his true colours, and he is not as “professional” as he may think he is, considering a dirt slinging campaign against IMP and Dotcom. His comments on Facebook exposed more of a lack of good judgment, and a fear of losing the seat he contests. I suspect that David Cunliffe has been put under some pressure internally, and that this has led him to finally stress that IP will have no part in a Labour led government. If that is not the case, he at least seems rather worried about public perception.

    But my impression is rather that the problems go far beyond Kelvin Davis, and that we have again the mainstream media (MSM) interfere very heavily in the election campaign this year. That is parts of the MSM, which is full of rather one sided, National friendly TV and radio hosts, “broadcasters”, moderators, commentators and what else you call them.

    I listened to Radio Live yesterday morning and this morning. For a moment I thought that Sean Plunket was at last accepting that John Key may not be such a great, honest and admirable Prime Minister, when he interviewed him on farm land-sales yesterday. But he let slip through a rather insensitive remark by Key, that Dotcom is Laila Harre’s “sugar daddy”, not challenging Key on such insulting remarks. That was later discussed more intensely by Duncan Garner, who though had little sympathy with Laila and showed his chauvinistic view.

    We get this all the time from Radio Live hosts, we get worse from Paul Henry and Mike Hosking, who are as biased as can be in this election time, when “interviewing” political candidates. National and Key have the privilege that most in the media give them more credit than they do for Cunliffe and Labour, who have been discredited, ridiculed and attacked endlessly.

    This morning Sean Plunket has launched another media attack on Internet Mana Party (IMP), highlighting one very short video that IMP had put on their Facebook page, which showed apparently a bit over excited and possibly intoxicated youth shout “sack John Key” and also “f*** John Key”. He makes more out of it than it is. He has his usual fans and supporters ring in, same as some Nat Party supporters, and he gives little credit to ones wanting a balanced view.

    In any case, I see this election is being manipulated very highly, and while the right gets all kinds of financial support withouth many questions raised about that, IMP and Laila Harre and Hone Harawira get attacked as being bought by “sugar daddy” Dotcom, who donated a few millions to a left leaning party. So it is ok for the right parties and National getting generous funding, but it is not ok for Dotcom donating money to IMP.

    To challenge Sean Plunket I sent him this email this morning just after 10 am, and he does not read it out or mention it, which is NO surprise. I put it here, so people can read what kind of challenge I put to the media in this country:

    “Sean, I have just watched that video covering a tiny bit of a Christchurch meeting, where New Zealand youth chant (amongst other) f*** John Key. I note that this is just a small clip out of a longer and larger meeting.

    I am not that impressed by it, but is this not just the typical youth of your country? They behave like that many times when they have “parties”, cheer on rugby teams and do whatever, especially at year’s end?

    Is this not the backlash to a societal status quo that so many are disaffected with?

    We have also a largely commercially dominated, privately owned media setting the tone, and especially now in election time, and we hear and see bias everywhere. David Cunliffe was attacked, discredited and dismantled from the start, so no wonder we get crap polls for Labour. Now you are out to discredit Internet Mana, who I do not even support. But I take note how some in the media are again at it.

    Media here is owned by Mediaworks, APN, Fairfax, Radio Network, Sky and only few others. Publicly owned media exists only in fragments and has been pushed to follow the commercialisation agenda, pumping us full of infotainment and commercials shouting at us to buy this, buy that and do whatever.

    Where is the information and balance?

    Youth have been corrupted by consumerism and commercialisation, and the media is responsible for it. So why do you wonder they are not critical and engage in such behaviour?

    I dare to say the NZ media is nearly as “professional” in misleading and manipulating the NZ public as Goebbel’s condoned media in the Third Reich was.

    You are not helping your cause at all, and it will only encourage more to seek alternative information on social media, and they will fall for other ill informing such as by some political opportunists.

    New Zealand as a society is screwed one way or another, all ruled by money, not just Dotcom’s!”

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      ‘I dare to say the NZ media is nearly as ”professional” in misleading and manipulating the NZ public as Goebbels condoned media in the Third Riech was’. …

      ‘New Zealand as a society is screwed one way or another , all ruled by money , not just Dotcoms ‘…….

      Ah yes, but never let it be said that the process was started by our former social democracy…let us all remember exactly the people who set this all in motion…

      The neo liberals.

      And let us also remember Mr Dotcom wasn’t even around when these malicious characters started on their nation destroying path here in New Zealand.

  12. Sanctuary says:

    “…If that turns out to be the case, then New Zealanders are in for a crash-course in constitutional realities…”

    They will get a crash course alright. If Labour/Greens/IMP get 33%/13%/4% then there is no way the Labour right will allow the formation of such a radical government. They’ll walk, form a new pseudo-party and prop up another three years of neoliberalism under John Key. It will be the third schism (ACT and New Labour being the other two) of Labour and the final ending of the influence of neo-liberalism in Labour.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      In that case …the purge will be a natural one and , as neo liberalism is becoming more self evident in its destructive nature in this country…those who do leave to form yet another right leaning party will steal votes from the Nats…and further inhibit any far right activity…ensuring they are killed off before they even get out of the starting blocks..

      And that will be good.

      Either or,…matters not…its all good news.

    • Nick says:

      Oh nonsense. Why the paranoia? The right/left schism is way overstated. In the above case (given that the total adds up to 51% rather than the 50 of your maths) Labour would seek to form a minority government and Mana-Internet would doubtless give them supply and confidence. MIP would be better off outside government and could contribute on matters internet. The future of Dotcom would not figure as Hone and Leila Harre have no long-term commitment to him. His future would be settled by the courts, as it would with a National re-election. Chances are that he would not be extradited as the evidence is inadequate and he has the best representation money can buy.
      Labour is certainly a broad church and there are no doubt those within who are more interested in incremental social advancement than slash and burn transformation. But all no doubt believe in the power of the collective (the State) to usefully contribute to that amelioration. In this they are infinitely to be preferred to the incumbents. Stop tearing yourselves apart and get back to the real struggle or look forward to another 3 years of internecine bloodletting.

  13. Mapuna says:

    kia ora, the hypocrisy of John Key who is the ‘sugar’daddy’ of the Brethren of the Business Roundtable of his rich neighbours in Panmure of all those businesses who DO NOT pay their fair share of taxes. I call for a demonstration to that small family of ‘haves and gots’.
    1. Lets leave the cities if we have no jobs and return to our Maori lands and live there paying only the rates from the local authorities.
    2. Lets turn off the national grid and find alternative power for cooking and heating.
    3. Lets turn off Sky. Lets stop buying the Fairfax newspapers. Lets stop watching the news of all tv channels. Lets listen to overseas radio.
    4. If you agree- lets all do this together as one united NZ the day before the election, the day of the election and the day after the election. Lets get someone to txt the results.
    5. Above let us all enrol and let us all vote for change

    • Michael says:

      We may want change, some of us may even vote for it, but we won’t get it from the Labour Party of 2014.

      • Cagey says:

        Well if ‘we’ don’t vote for it, we won’t get change. Labour isn’t the only party on the ballot – vote for the one you like the best or it’s just Shjonkey for another three years.

  14. ZED says:

    New Zealand journalism is in a sorry state of affairs, yes I am trendy lefty, but at least us trendy lefties want some depth of intelligence in our journalism. Business imperatives has stolen the heart of the journalist and created a robotic machine that is there to gain quick scandalous news worthy of the Woman’s Day. My mum loves the Woman’s Day, I look at the pictures when I’m at her house. But don’t tell me that’s hard journalism.
    The news is skewed and repugnant on the most part. I was asked after a free few weeks of NZ Herald whether I would be interested in a bargain of a subscription. I said if the journalism was decent I would feel it a duty to buy the paper, but the journalism is so rubbish I can’t buy it.

  15. This is great , real Gilbert and Sullivan stuff. I remember protesting in The Tour and shouting the rant ‘ The whole World is looking at you ”
    OMG , what does the WORLD think of little old New Zealand. It is a bit funny but really pathetic in its own way . I hear that the chant from the young rabble was rehearsed at a party the previous night . Cancel their student loans I say

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      Well, old chap…I do so hope you got your sources correct…seems to be a lot of people running around saying ‘ I heard from a mate of a mate these days..’

      However the overriding sentiment of the young folk at the IMP rally cannot be faulted.

      And somehow , in its raw and most primeval delivery , – bespoke more of the sentiments of the common man in New Zealand today than all the eloquence and polished delivery that is paid for in exorbitant amounts to spin doctors by National and all their other Right wing allies put together.

      In fact, those students had a great sense of cadence and harmony in unison with one another…their sense of rythym was impeccable…their ability in melodic counterpoint beyond reproach….indeed… not only were their efforts richly rewarded if they HAD indeed rehearsed it… …it also gives us great insight into the political future of our country.

      Their wise taste in political good choice and the refrain used to reject the obviously golem -like object of their displeasure fills one with a sense of hope for the future of our land.

      These good people need to have no student loans whatsoever…just like the generations who gave them neo liberalism before them DIDNT.

      And in fact…that is exactly what will happen after this election..and they were obviously very happy with it.

  16. An insight…

    IMP doesn’t need to be in a Labour-Green government.

    The destruction of this current government will achieve 50% of their goals. Removing Key as PM and replacing him with Joyce or Collins (*snort!*) will be the remaining 50%.

    The Greens can then be the real conscience of a new incoming government, with Internet-Mana support.

    Mission: accomplished.

  17. Jenny says:

    The scuttlebutt in left-wing circles is that Davis has been “rarked up” by Labour’s ABC Faction, who not only need their leader, David Cunliffe, to fail on 20 September, but who are also determined to deny Internet-Mana a parliamentary bridgehead. Their plans to haul Labour back to the “centre” (the Right’s code word for an ideological position acceptable to Business New Zealand, Federated Farmers and the mainstream news media) will suffer a serious setback if Hone Harawira, Annette Sykes, Laila Harre and John Minto get to play the role of the Left’s staunch chorus – passing withering judgement upon the antics of a back-sliding Labour Caucus.

    The desperation of Labour Party’s Right Wing faction, to distance the Labour Party from away from Internet Mana as possible, has been best expressed over at the “centre Left” webside THE STANDARD in a guest post by Labour Party Right winger, Te Reo Putake.**

    Our Friends in the North By Te Reo Putake

    In this weird guest post Te Reo Putake argues the proposition that the Right Wing New Zealand First Party would be a better coalition partner for a Labour Green government than Internet Mana.

    Te Reo Putake envisions a Labour-Green-New Zealand First government in which of course the Right wing faction in Labour would naturally be ascendant.

    Ha ha. Fat chance

    The fly in the ointment of Te Reo Putake’s argument and which he doesn’t address is this; If Winston Peters, given the nod by Labour, gets enough votes to put him in position to be king maker, on the weight of evidence he will go with Key.

    Winston Peters like ACT leader Jamie Whyte has begun making a play for the Right Wing Maori bashing vote. Like the ACT leader, Peters has called for “one law for all” and attacked so called Maori Privilege. Winston Peters has also said that he will refuse to work with a Maori led party. Apart from the obvious inconsistency, (Peters is Maori). What is behind Winston appealing to the red neck vote? Basically it is an excuse to avoid working with a Left, Labour-Greens,-Mana, coalition. Some have said “but National also have a Maori led support party”. The fact of the matter is, probably not for much longer, polls are showing that after the election the Maori Party MPs will be in parliament in much diminished numbers, (if they are even there at all) and so John Key could easily dismiss their support as irrelevant and ditch them to stitch up a deal with Peters.

    Another indication of which way New Zealand First intends to go is Winston Peters declaration that he will not work with a party that supports raising the age of Superannuation entitlement. Labour is the only party in parliament that currently supports this proposition, even National have rejected it.

    So make no mistake a vote for Winston is a vote for Key.

    **Te Reo Putake, is a long time commenter at The Standard who previously wrote under the the pen name The Voice Of Reason. Unfortunately for, The Voice OF Reason he was disgraced badly during the wharfie’s dispute, writing expressing opinion in which he opposed the Maritime Workers in their struggle against the Ports Of Auckland outsourcing their jobs.
    Immediately on the wharfies defeating POAL’s attack on them, Voice Of Reason promptly changed his pen name to Te Reo Putake in an apparent attempt to avoid a simple google search of his previous comments.

    As far as I know Te Reo Putake, Voice of Reason, has never had a guest post at The Standard before. My feeling is that up until now TVOR’s rhetoric had been considered too far to the Right to be given any hearing by the more centrist Standard editors.

    However there seems to have been a sharp shift of Late to the Right in the editorial line of The Standard with the chief moderator Lynn Prentice refusing to allow any demands to be made on Labour to promise to expel the Israeli ambassador, and giving a guest post to a committed Zionist and genocide apologist who writes under the pen name Grumpy.

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