Russel Norman gives Hone a final kick in the guts as Harawira bows out with dignity


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Well the repositioning of the Greens as open for business with National is well and truly underway with this vicious smack down of Internet MANA by Russel Norman on the Waatea News with Willie Jackson last week.

The slagging off of Hone and Laila is astounding as Russel buys right into the right wing narrative and damns Kim to political damnation. It’s an extraordinary interview and is in stark contrast to Hone’s gracious and dignified bowing out of Parliament today asking that his Feed the Kids Bill continues on, his words are elegant and humble…

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…it is such a shame that Russel doesn’t seem to possess the decency to at least wait until Hone has had the moment to step down with some dignity before slagging him off. It’s a needless kick in the guts and not what most people would expect from the leader of the Greens.

Harawira said he was proud of his Party’s achievements and commitments in parliament.

“A commitment to ending poverty for all and particularly those most vulnerable in our society, our kids; a commitment to putting an end to the grinding homelessness affecting tens of thousands of New Zealand families; a commitment to putting the employment of people ahead of the sacrifice of jobs in the endless pursuit of wealth for the few; and a commitment to a future where the Treaty of Waitangi is honoured as the basis for justice and good governance.”

How could any one kick that in guts?

The Green brand isn’t supposed to be this bitter.

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  1. This is really disappointing. These are the same people who embraced the arrival of Greenwald etc and the truths they brought to Aotearoa. Who brought Greenwald etc to NZ? The Tooth Fairy?

    • This is really disappointing b/c I had a huge respect for the Greens. This is the same man who said he,” learn’t more about the GCSB from Greenwald and co’s visit / appearance, than being on the GCSB committee,” and got starstruck when Greenwald was in the country when he was in the same room as him, when he did The Nation interview. Now “The Moment of Truth” is a bomb? Geezus where is the loyalty in this country. I am really gutted by this interview.

      • The moment of truth was a bomb because Dotcom let the non-event of the release of his big evidence against Key overshadow the important info that came out from Greenwald and Snowden – and because it never should have been scheduled five days before the election. The Nats internal polling started going up immediately after the bomb that was TMT.

        • so the non-release of 1 email is more important to people than the revelations of Snowden, Greenwald and Assange on mass surveillance by the state and USA on all kiwis and others around the world? How is Dotcoms 1 email going to affect your children and their children and generations to follow – as opposed to the fact all of them will be subject to mass surveillance as revealed by Snowden, Assange and Greenwald? 5 days before the election ? .. wow that’s a bummer to find this kind of information out at this time isn’t it. how inconvenient.

  2. He did stick the knife in a bit to KDC throughout the campaign but that’s the Greens trying to appease those fickle middle class that “think” about voting Green but curiously their vote on the night is never what they appear to be polling prior to voting day!

    After so MANY years consigned to the fringe being known as the loony left or the pot smoking hippies I would think that Russell might remember how it felt never being taken seriously for those “radical” policies like a fairer, smarter, cleaner NZ or to be so passionate about your policies you will try new things (partnering with KDC) to help achieve those policies!

    But then again it was Jeanette and Rod that had all those years banging their heads against the media/public brick wall and Russell & Metiria are working hard to protect their new branding!

    All a bit hard to swallow and perhaps all of the back stabbing from Cunliffe and Norman was partly to distance themselves from association with KDC but also maybe because they do have a lot of overlapping policy and they know there are only so many voters that vote left!

    But apart from all of that the saddest thing is that there is NO HONE IN THE HOUSE! worst election result ever! Always hoped that Hone would be PM ( yeh in my dreams, live in hope) or at least deputy PM so gutted! but may turn out to be best for him!

    HONE HARAWIRA Kia Ora mo to mahi, Kia kaha, arohanui ~~~

    • That is simply not true. Unlike Labour the Greens did not criticise IMP during the campaign and the relationship was very good on the ground between the Greens and IMP. Ask anyone actually out campaigning from the two parties.

      There was no back-stabbing from the Greens – that was everyone else. The Greens ran a clean campaign and saved criticism for the National Party and its cohorts. Something the other parties of the left could take a lesson in.

  3. What is truly disappointing is that you didn’t actually listen to the interview Martyn.

    He did NOT put the boot into Hone – he explicitly does not include Hone in his criticism of Laila and KDC. He says that he advised against setting up the Internet Party when the idea was brought up by KDC, that he thought it would go really badly – which it did – and Hone lost his seat because of the decision to start the Internet Party.

    The Greens did not criticise IMP at all during the campaign, unlike Labour, and the relationships on the ground were very, very good.

    There was open dismay when Hone lost his seat at our Green Party election night event.

    The criticism was aimed squarely at Laila and KDC – the Greens thought it would go badly, said so at the time, and it did. He is allowed to remind everyone of that fact.

    • I listened to the interview twice and I heard what Martyn heard. I was shocked as I am a huge Russell Norman fan, it was unbelievable to me that he referred to the IMP as crazies, foolish and stupid. Hone is the M in IMP, as are others including John Minto who I am also a huge admirer of. You cannot single them out of Russell’s characterisation of IMP just because he didn’t name them specifically and only named Liala and

    • Hone lost his seat because of the decision to start the Internet Party

      Te Tai Tokerau went to the Nats-in-Labour-clothing in a de facto expansion of the Nat empire, courtesy of the gang tactics of the three big bully boy players. Each of the three biggies played the system (Labour knew that by running Davis as an electorate candidate they were playing Nat’s Epsom game). It was NOT a fair election there; it was an aberration of the spirit of MMP. And it still took all three other parties to beat Hone out.

      The media beat up on IMP served as a convenient cover for the political agenda for the region. (imo)

    • I am just not buying this. Through out the campaign the IMP vote rose steadily until, as the interview said, it stood at 4% five weeks before the election. Some time before that, I had made a prediction on TDB that if Internet/Mana reached 4%, a month out from the electio, it would go on to reach possibly 10%.
      My reasoning was that the voters would be wary of voting for IMP unless it it was in touching distance of the 5% it would need to make best use of its vote. Without such a result there was no chance of a Left Wing victory (I had already predicted that the Labour/Green vote would not reach 40%. In the end it wasn’t even close).
      All that was needed at that moment was a clear endorsement of Internet/Mana by Labour and Greens. Instead Labour shafted IMP, prefering to lose rather than let the Left in, and Greens were not supportive either. The voters panicked and dumped all their IMP votes on NZ First instead. Russell Norman is re-writing history.

  4. Actually listen to the whole interview why don’t you. Russel was really clear to defend Hone after everything that happened to him.

    • I agree. I thought Russell handled the interview well and the emphasis was not slating Hone, he reiterated his initial warning that the Internet Mana coalition was a bad idea, and its emphasis on vengeance did cause many voters to switch to National.

      • I’m sorry but in the first few minutes of the interview Russell sounded really sour and bitter about the IMP – it surprised me and was quite offputting – fortunately I listened to the whole interview and his sense of humour came back but I am a bit alarmed at his take on it. Maybe he will chill out a bit over the next few months.

        One of the things he said was that IMP was taking votes off the greens but my memory of the polls was that the IMP vote collapsed and the Green’s received no benefit at all – plus we all know IMP were trying to attract new people into voting.

        Overall though I think the parties on the left should stop squabbling amongst themselves and recognise that when you’ve got a party in the ascendency like National with very effective tactics combined with the most unusual election campaign we’ve ever had, trying to blame each other is a waste of time – it’s just like National couldn’t get traction for so long while Helen Clark was in power.

        And the last word should always come from Nicky Hager, who has basically been saying “Didn’t I tell you this would happen”

  5. Listening to this interview Russell sounds tired and frustrated. The way he talks about IMP sounds more like a private conversation than a public interview. It’s sad really, the Greens are better than this.

  6. That’s not how I heard the interview at all – maybe I missed a bit. When Hone was mentioned it seemed to be with regret that he was caught up on the whole KDC thing. What key bit did I miss?

      • Russel’s language was unfortunately loose, but is that the main thing taken from the 20 minute interview? Russel predicted starting a new party would hurt the left and recommended Dotcom not do so. In the end he was only wrong in that he didn’t say it would be a complete clusterfuck for all concerned. Even the very important Greenwald/Snowden info is tarnished by association. Crazy is actually pretty mild after all.

      • That was Willie Jackson’s implication, not Russell’s emphasis, he repeated that he had warned it was a bad idea.

  7. For an inspiring and encouraging read, see
    “Mana’s Challenge to the 51st Parliament”

    eg, “My FEED THE KIDS bill is live in parliament as we speak, a bill which already has the support of Labour, the Greens, New Zealand First and the Maori Party, a bill to provide what the people of New Zealand have called for – a comprehensive, government-funded food in schools programme. It is ready to be passed at the first sitting of parliament..”

  8. Pretty pathetic trying to scapegoat InternetMANA, Norman got caught out trying to play both sides for votes and was punished. Next time he should pull his head in, it was his trickiness alone that allowed the Greens to get out spun in their positioning for/against National.

    The uncertainty it created lost the Greens votes not IMP.

    • Seriously! I still can not get out of my head when John Campbell asked Russell Norman what MP outside of his own party did he admire most and he said Bill English. Bill English! Really!!! WTF?

  9. Great questions from Willie at the halfway mark – “When were you guys ever middle New Zealand? … When did you guys make the switch to middle New Zealand?”

    Norman’s slide from activism towards respectability is undermining the Greens activist brand. As Willie said in the interview they are moving from principles to power and politics. Despite Russel saying he doesn’t read John Armstrong, they got Armstrong’s tick on their policies – that has to be the kiss of death.

    For me, the Greens started to lose their appeal about 5 or 6 years ago when they headed for respectability and climate change became just another policy area. They should be screaming about climate change alone, that issue alone. If that’s not sorted the rest is irrelevant.

    • The question was off the mark, as Russel wasn’t claiming that the Greens were middle NZ. As he explained, the left can’t change the govt without some of middle NZ, and it’s Labour who has to get them. 48% or no govt is just an unavoidable fact. IMP’s circus helped keep voters away, either by making them not want to switch, or by helping them stay at home. For sure there were other big reasons, like Labour’s own woefullness and Hager’s ill-timed book, but IMP was a terrible idea too and unfortunately, Hone has paid the price.

    • “They should be screaming about climate change alone, that issue alone”

      Yeah, that’ll get them elected.

      “they got Armstrong’s tick on their policies – that has to be the kiss of death.”

      Of course, and do you think that was intentional? You do realise that that Armstrong plays his part in the Dirty Politics agenda perfectly? Who gives a fuck what Armstrong says?

  10. Shocking. I stand by that Hone and Internet Mana would be in parliament today taking on Skycity, corruption, poverty, surveillance, human rights, TPPA and so forth if Labour and the Greens actually supported them and did not buy into the right wing discourse the KDC and Laila were somehow a distracting joke and undermining their very important messages. No wonder less people voted for Labour and Greens if they kick down any ‘rivals’. UMM the message from Internet Mana and their policies are pretty sound and close to Greens, so not sure why all the bitterness. Guess what, the voters did not like Labour and Greens distancing themselves from surveillance and dirty politics issues. Hone is not in parliament directly due to Labour’s conduct and helped by Greens and NZ First having a go. No wonder 1 million didn’t vote! At least with National you know where they stand. Didn’t expect such mean behavior from Greens and Labour. Hope Internet Mana stay together – Colin Craig started small and increased his voter base a lot the next election.

  11. Good take Martyn,
    It mearly showed that the opposition couldn’t unite to oust the enemy first & foremost.

    We sent countless requests to all opposition leaders to unite during the election campaign and to meet in strategic forums to plan the strategies to beat national out of office and apparently they couldn’t’ do this damn!

    That strategy would have been the best way to come together and show a united voice for the voter , so they failed the nation when they failed to unite and cast aside their differences to firstly defeat the enemy for us all before they try carving up the cake.

    Our chance was missed to have a better future will no doubt rest on their minds now as they ask “why didn’t we unite to defeat the enemy?

  12. Stop looking everywhere but where you need to for the failure of Internet-Mana. It WAS, whether you like it or not, Kim Dotcom and that is all there is to be said about it. He knows it, you know it, you just don’t want to admit it.
    Norman tried to talk him out of going anywhere near NZ politics but did he listen?
    It pissed me off big time as now we have National able not only to govern alone but shove any old stupid legislation that takes their fancy through with no opposition all the while wet-nursing the wet-behind-the-ears Seymour so they can scapegoat him for the the stuff they are going to shove through that goes down like a cup of cold sick with the biggest bulk of the population.
    Dotcom was a strategy and a strategy that failed, get to working on the next one. You need to look at some of things that National have done, like gifting seats to other parties, swallow the old pride and get about doing some of the same back. The ends can justify the means sometimes

    • Looks like you’re stuck on KDC as your whipping boy. Perhaps you might like to ask the Greens why they gifted Ohariu to Peter Dunne?

      • Why didn’t Labour find a decent candidate that could actually win the seat?

        Why didn’t Labour stand aside and let Gareth Hughes take the seat, since they obviously couldn’t find someone good?

        If the Greens had said to its supporters to vote for the Labour candidate then National would have just got their candidate to do the same thing for Dunne and he would have got in anyway – and if it looked dangerous would have had no compunction about withdrawing their candidate. Stop acting like National wouldn’t have reacted.

        • But if there was a decent get out the vote campaign to complement a united left vote strategy, National’s reaction wouldn’t have likely mattered. As it was 15.5k voted for The Left in Ohariu (with no concerted get out the vote campaign) and 13.5k voted for Dunne. 6k voted for National there. 4k difference could have been met with a strong get out the vote effort and more support for the united left bloc candidate. Appeal to Kiwi fairness — should a Party with 4k party votes really be in the government?

  13. Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

    Abraham Lincoln

    norman failed

  14. I think his frustration is well founded, it was a ridiculous strategy and whoever thought it could work should hang their heads. To their credit the Greens still didn’t attack them during the election.

    Internet mana destroyed any chance the left had at this election.

    • no it didnt…it was the msm journalists and right wing spinners that destroyed Internet/MANA…(by hitting on Dotcom, who actually did us all a favour in bringing human rights and democracy issues to the fore)

      Labour destroyed Hone’s and Internet /Mana’s chances in that Election…by standing Kelvin Davis against Hone and splitting the left vote ( Maori Party and NZF dint help either )

      …. and the Greens destroyed Labour’s chances of winning Ohariu and getting rid of Peter Dunne by standing agreen candidate which split the Left vote

      ….and Labour by ruling out the Maori Party before the Election destroyed two potential seats for the Left coalition

      Lesson: Instead of the Left parties attacking each other and undermining each other’s chances….they should be working strategically together to defeat John Key and Nactional!…

  15. Still have Russell over Key any day.
    Also hope to see Hone and Mana party back for the next round – was warming to them.

  16. I think the greens lost some votes during the election campaign when they suggested they might enter talks with National. Most folk who vote green don’t want a bar of National under whatever guise.

  17. What is it about truth……….that makes this country , its leaders , its people turn inwards , close ranks and appear as ragged , weak , pathetic wretches …….

    Why is it that when a failure is had there is immediately this compulsive need to franctically cast about for the scapegoat to be tried , butchered and quartered for public consumption?

    Like craven repulsive cowards …….like beggars with nothing to loose all scrambling to step over each other for the pathetic crumbs fallen from a table…..they tear and claw…

    You know….this treatment …of Dotcom as the nearest , most visible and most convenient victim of this weak pack mentality……the leer on JK’s face, of Paula Bennet …the loudest cheer went up at National HQ as Hone was ganged up on and dealt to….

    And yet we squabble…instead of doing the obvious thing…..NOT tearing at each other…and planning a forum between party leaders as a strategic electoral and cross party policy united front…

    Instead we let the hollow laughter of the ABC’S echo around all proceedings…while our country goes to blazes and the hour gets so dark…..we accuse, pontificate , argue , purposely blind to whats staring us in the face…your enemy are the neo liberals.

    These are the ones to direct your energies at…and to date,…they have proven MORE than your match. There is no truth in them …just guile. And what do they take advantage of so well?….

    Your division. Your squabbling , partisan ,egotistical , and petty division.

  18. After this mean-spirited attitude of Russel Norman, I shall forthwith be discontinuing my contact with the Green Party. I didn’t vote Green this last election, noting lately a marked drift to the right of that party, but I found the contact useful.

  19. the Greens would be most unwise to head towards the Right…because it is the Right which is fucking the planet!

    imo the Greens went down in the last week because of the perception (rightly or wrongly from television and other journalists/right wing spinners) that Norman was wanting to get into bed with John Key and the Nacts!.

    (..this caused a lot of consternation amongst potential Green voters…my own sister decided on voting Labour because of this rather than the Greens…others would have gone to NZF which was taking a strong stand on sale of NZ land and assets)

    as far as I am concerned the Greens and Internet /MANA have the same concerns…they should be working together !

  20. Russell is so full of the proverbial. Has he lost his memory? Has he forgotten the “teething problems” of early MMP when “crazies” more “crazy” than Laila and Kim were in and out of parliament, jumping parties left and right, forming their own parties, and the overall result…? We have it now. He’d have us believe that one or two “crazy” people could bring down a government and derail a nation, well duh, clearly that didn’t happen and never will. He’s talking like a scared conservative. The weird people, they did it. Those odd types, they’re to blame. The extremists… they… they want to ruin us all!

    The Greens lost momentum because they started talking Right. End of Story. It was noticed, it was purposeful, and their people didn’t like it. Historically speaking, and despite the desperate attempts, Mana did well. They pulled a stunt to try and accelerate a natural process that usually takes longer, I didn’t agree with it, but there’s no denying they got a message out that challenged and scared the status quo. That’s a big political win.

    It’s really sad that The Greens and a large number of their online supporters have chosen to aspire to the “compromising respectable conformist” way of life in word and style. Just look at the multiple interpretations of the interview above – total contradiction. All confusion over interpretation shows is that deceit is the new clarity, and why support deceit. Seems political parties have a useful life of about 20 years in NZ.

  21. The Greens haven’t moved to the right, they have moved forward. They got another MP just now!

    Russel was letting voters know about how the Green Party worked with National before with an Memorandum of Understanding in 2008, and that would be something they could possibly do again. Our party throughout has made it clear we could not form a government with National.

    I listened to the radio interview with Russel, he does seem irritated. Fine let him be….I get tired of all the rehearsed and restrained comments from politicians….let him be REAL and express the frustration. I think all of us need some time to let it seep in what the Moment of Truth exposed, and Nicky Hagers book “Dirty Politics” has exposed. It will be exposed also….maybe not just yet, but it was put in our minds now.

  22. the greens can go blue or what ever, I wont be voting for any one that sells their soul, Ill vote for ethics next time, maybe they have missed the feeling that some have had enough of the fun and games they call politics and miss a huge percentage of potential vote for those that have a handle on the lies and corruption, so they emulate it to try and get the idiot vote? key has got the idiot vote covered, bad move green

    • Silly comment, his name was Rod Donald, and Rod was hungry for power just as Russel is, they were/are both astute in their own way but focussed on different things. Just as Jeanette and Rod were a balanced partnership so are Russel and Met.

  23. If you want to know what is going on with the Green Party, go to their website, talk to someone that is a member, talk to one of the MP’s or candidates that just ran, or call their head office to get the facts!

  24. Martyn, do you fundamentally disagree with what Norman said or do you just believe he shouldn’t have said it?

  25. I listened to the interview and while Russell was scathing of KDC and Harre he came across as sympathetic to Hone getting caught up in it all. The tone of the interview was quite irreverent and Jackson’s style is to be outlandish and see what reaction he can get.

    In the scheme of things I just don’t agree Martyn that this is a significant kick in the guts.

    I have been talking with a lot of friends and co-workers over the last two weks and the consistent feedback is that they couldn’t bring themselves to vote left because it was in such utter chaos – Labour and the Greens weren’t united, Labour had internal issues of their own, they might have to rely on IM which meant KDC, and as Key’s polling had told him the KDC brand in politics was poison. Ironic because a lot of people do have sympathy for how he has been treated by the Govt.

    In this context the Dirty Politics book and the Moment of Truth just exacerbated the situation – they were too complex and too close to the election, and the MOT couldn’t decide if it was about surveillance or KDC’s treatment. Not everyone lives in an always connected Twitter powered bubble where they evaluate this stuff in a microsecond. I think we saw a huge “better the devil you know” effect. If Dirty Politics had come out 6 months ago then it might’ve had more impact. But the MSM isn’t capable/willing to dig into these things.

    I’d call it a clusterf$#@k! But if everyone on the left can’t start getting along a bit better then we are going to be in the wilderness for a long time to come…

  26. Martyn listen again, your comments are not correct. I thought russel was fine, he did not at any point slag Hone. He is angry pissed off about the result, but not bitter. Russel is wrong in that blaming KDC and the alliance with Mana is only one part of what helped along the result of the elections. Whilst I think it was misinterpreted, primarily by the media, his comments about having an accommodation with National didn’t help – media felt it kicked Labour and some thought wow they are getting into bed with the Nats when in fact they had some gains over some things last time.

  27. Labour lost the election for the left. It wasn’t Hone, it wasn’t Dotcom, it wasn’t even Norman. It was Labour with their shit ABC caucus leaking worse than my old pup tent. It was Labour putting up the retirement age. It was Labour congratulating Key for doing so well with GFC and Christchurch. It was Labour saying they’d drill it and frack it. It was Labour aligning with Winston First, the kupapa party and NAct to get rid of Hone.

    What Norman said stinks, but it came afterwards and didn’t cost the election. The sad fact is that our professional representatives are a bunch of muppets who couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery. We’ve got 3 years to fix this and do better.

  28. In the interview, which I listened to in full, Russell clearly accused Hone of selling the second list seat to DotCom for $3 million. The inference is that Russell thinks Hone is shallow, venal and a fool. As I understand the point and Martyn’s characterisation of it Russell does indeed kick Hone in the guts along those lines. Did none of the other commentators hear that?

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