Little’s Labour – it’s just a jump to the centre



The reason Little was the best candidate for Labour to move forward with was because he was the only one who could reach out beyond the current Labour Party electorate and appeal to middle NZ.

Little’s current stance on broadening the definition of worker to include everyone is a clever move that gives Labour a reason to tour the country and listen to that middle NZ who are intellectually intimidated by soy lattes. Little can push National lite policy that appeals to the middle while doing his shouty angry routine in Parliament to keep the activist base cheering.

It’s very smart tactics.

With Labour killing off MANA, and the Greens moving to the centre, Left voters have no other choices in front of them but to get on board regardless.

What Little and Labour need is some issue that galvanises middle NZ without angering the left base, they need a Countdown issue that shows strong Labour values while appealing to everyone. I think that issue, if the small business owner/contractor is the target, should be a strident criticism of IRD and their penalty rates on tax for small business. If Little can articulate a new relationship to that middle, his comfort in his own skin can appeal to their anti-intellectual shoulder chips while his blunt language stands in stark contrast to Key’s dead eyed duplicity.

In Little, Labour have finally found a leader who can beat Key.


  1. I still don’t think the Greens are moving to the centre, although they are packaging themselves for wider appeal. Can’t think of one policy they have altered to suit more right wing voters. For instance, they were the only party to vote against survelliance without a warrant bill.

    • I have far more faith in them than in Labour. Little is just another fire and brimstone union bureaucrat who rarks up the workers to accept less than the bosses are willing to offer. Labour has not changed its neoliberal spots, as shown by the craven complicity with the Camera in Every Bedroom Bill. They don’t care about squirrels overreaching their powers, as evidenced by that Algerian guy, and they did buggerall to stop the invasion of Tuhoe. Then they got together with NAct and Winston First to try and smash Mana.

      FJK and FAL too.

  2. I hope you’re right. So far I am unimpressed by Little’s parliamentary performances as expected. BUT, he does appear to be keeping the sh**heads like Robertson in their place. Smart organizational move putting that ego in the Finance portfolio he will actually have to do some real work. I am hopeful Cunliffe and Parker will move up the ranks in 12 months.
    Mahuta given a suitable ranking as her preferences got him to the top.
    However like Little it is a dull line up. Reminiscent of Bolger’s front bench and utterly devoid of flair. Yawn! So yeah, it will make muddle new zild feel safe and colourless and boring as ever.

      • Little is not honest. Wake up. He ‘s brash he calls a spade an effing shovel . So what? He supports the surveillance of NZ citizens . He is dull dull dull.He is a creature of corporatism. You will all be disappointed. Flair inspires change.Flair indicates the ability to think differently and originally. This country is so pathetically afraid of change .An iron grip will bring stability but no real improvements to our lives. The changes so desperately needed will not be made. But then any slight improvement will be seen as as something greater than what it is. Lets face it by 2017 NZ will be in the longest severe economic depression it has ever experienced.

        • Maybe ‘dull’ is good after the circus antics of Key. You may put personality above substance, but most of us want someone who is real, and not someone who is ‘made’ by a PR machine

  3. Yeah if Little doesn’t give Parker a job perhaps Key could?

    I mean for all the leftist rhetoric, thanks to Parker Labour’s fiscal policy was to the RIGHT of National at the last election, but thanks to Grumpy Cat, nobody noticed.

  4. I think Little is a poor Parliamentary performer (he is just too ‘angry’), but his wider performance to date has been very encouraging. Labour simply have to move to the centre, because that’s where most NZ’ers leanings reside – the last election proved that conclusively. I heard Little interviewed by Larry Williams yesterday and he was very clear that he wanted to reconnect with wider NZ.

    • I don’t think you get to be an effective unionist by simply being ‘angry’. I hope there’s a gamut greater than A to B.

      What he said to Key what what so many of us have wished, wanted, and longed to say for six long miserable years. I’m glad he spoke for us. That’s his duty and obligation.

      Key has cornered the public perception on ‘nice’. I hope that Little can corner ‘honest’, ‘straight-talker’, and ‘does what he says he will’.

      And I further hope that the rest of Labour’s parliamentary team join in, while steering clear of those ‘smarty-brat’ ways of Key, Joyce, and the ever-glowing Ms Bennett. (Trevor Mallard, please take note.)

  5. I do hope that Andrew Little has cojones big enough to hack Labour neo-liberal genes that were introduced by that well known voodoo doctor Roger Douglas 30 years ago. I am not holding my breath though, with Annette King as his deputy, and Grant Robertson as his Finance spoke person.

  6. Look at Little’s speech in a deeper perspective.
    The self-employed are being squeezed downwards.
    The right keeps them onside by blaming the underclass but in reality they are heading for the underclass with zero hours and zero rights.
    If the right succeeds in bamboozling them with red scares, they become the neo-fascists.
    Little is trying to recruit them to the working class as people who work rather than let their money work.
    They often begin on wages and get sacked and re-employed as contractors on worse wages and conditions.
    Now we find that the ECA mark2 has reduced all workers to private contractors starting with zero hours and zero rights.
    This makes the affinity between wage workers and most self-employed clear, they are both zero unless they join forces.
    The debate about the future of work can only come to one conclusion, under capitalism all those who work are headed for a big fat zero, while those who make their money work for them are big fat parasites.
    A strong union movement offers the self-employed the chance to escape their fantasy of quick riches and join the self-respecting workers battling the parasites for survival.
    The result is a big majority of organised workers for an end to capitalism and for a new start workers’ government.
    If the Labour Party provides a crutch to get the workers back on their feet, don’t throw it away because its not an assault rifle.

  7. Who ARE these people for whom Little is “broadening the definition of worker”? Everyone I know has always had that ‘broad’ definition of worker – i.e. low to moderate incomed people who work for a living, irrespective of the circumstances, with various levels of struggle.
    And why does everything he does have to be a ‘clever move’ and ‘smart tactics’, as if it’s all just a dark plot, with no real personal concern at all? Why so cynical?

    • Except one of these ‘national’ parties will have vast swathes of us homeless, while the other ‘national’ party will not – to quote just one example of their differences. Perhaps we should give the latter ‘national’ party a different name? Labour, perhaps?

  8. Yes Martyn, You read that one exactly right.

    “If Little can articulate a new relationship to that middle, his comfort in his own skin can appeal to their anti-intellectual shoulder chips while his blunt language stands in stark contrast to Key’s dead eyed duplicity”

    Also Andrew must appeal to the shrinking middle class who have been savaged ruthlessly by Key’s consistent demolishment of those who had built a reasonable property retirement portfolio but increased GST and other loss of tax writeoffs on property have wrecked their asset bases.

    This is particularly hurting in regions outside the main centres.

    while other middle class and retired folks had placed savings in formerly trusted term savings accounts have now found to get little money back after depreciation of the currency is factored in.

    Key’s hollowing out of the middle class is a heartless tool used to limit that middle class to retain some influence in the political arena.

    Lastly Key has reduced spending on most of the other regions also as he marches forward with borrowed foreign money for major projects mostly in the upper half of both Islands and those are Keys major voting blocks.

    Key has shrunk the unions as yet another destruction of that anti-Key voting block.

    Again we see that Key has planned to wreak his voting opponents from all potential opposition voting blocks.

    Andrew Little must play a sweet fiddle to those disenchanted groups to kindle their support again leading up to the 2017 elections.

  9. For one thing, we cannot say for sure that Mana has been killed off as a political force – Winny made a comeback after being squeezed out of parliament and so might they.

    For another, you seem to be overlooking two quite important points from Andrew Little’s speech – rather than simply moving to the designated centre, he is drawing the distinction between “those who work for their money and those whose money works for them,” and not between, say, the beneficiary and the working battler. He underlines this stance by pointing out that the average house in Auckland earned more last year than the average worker. Moreover, he describes his view of injustice, which he opposes, as “when the powerful and the privileged take advantage of the weak.”

    To me, these points suggest that Little is grasping the nettle rather than succumbing to business-as-usual. They challenge significant underlying strategies of the right over the past 30 years – quietly removing wealth from the equation and talking as if it is all about work, and protecting power and privilege from challenge so the point where the only path left open is predation, supposing there is anyone further down the food chain than you to predate upon. The workers who are made to pay for stolen petrol, for example, will in many cases be the last stop on a predatory chain.

  10. What s the point in beating Key if Labour is the same as National. They’re not going to come out and say or do anything different. What’s the point in voting?
    Little was even endorsed by Boag. How nationalised is Labour then?

    • If Little’s Labour supports ALL struggling workers towards a decent living, then we no longer have 25% of our children living in poverty. How on earth is that the same as National, whose policies have kept children destitute for years?

  11. If Little doesn’t coerce the farmer ( and their money) away from National by offering stability and security ? Then he’s just another wind bag with a private agenda.

    • Has the broad farming community got the nouse to stop ‘mostly voting for National’ and actually start getting past the ‘less tax! More breaks!’ mentality of yore?

      Would Federated Farmers work more to educate the politicians of all colours in what the industries it represents need to compete successfully AND conserve the means whereby they can produce? Something smarter than Ardern and his tractor up the front steps, for preference.

      When you look at Labour’s line up – who would be your choice to build that connection? O’Connor and …? Because it makes no sense to ignore Primary Industries. They’re too interwoven in so much of what we do.

  12. I think Andrew has other plans also in waiting not just following the wagging National tail here.
    He knows his way around the political field and has a wider focus on the future than this narrative.

  13. Can’t believe it. Little has had an incredible two weeks since becoming leader. I thought the fiery performance in parliament was great. The cut the crap line is the first time I have seen a politician treat JK like the smart arse adolescence he acts like.

    I think he is genuine. You failed to mention that he has alluded to a UBI first from Labour. And I think his slogan “no one left behind” says it all. OK I know its only a slogan, but its a bloody good message.

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