The Nashing of Labour’s Teeth: Why being Green ain’t getting any easier

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IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to Stuart Nash.

Speaking today at the big oil exploration industry conference at Sky City, Labour’s energy spokesperson warned his audience that the tiny minority who opposed oil drilling was “always in our ear”. What’s more, he said, “they’re very “media savvy”.

The Napier MP (who raised the bulk of his campaign funds at a single dinner organised by Matthew Hooton and held at Auckland’s exclusive Northern Club) lamented the fact that the oil industry’s “great story” – about jobs, regional development and enhanced government revenues – was simply not being heard by the New Zealand public. It was time, said Nash, for the industry to “lift its game”.

This is, of course, the same Stuart Nash who is also urging Labour’s caucus to abandon its support for the Greens’ flagship energy policy of setting up a single electricity buyer – NZ Power.

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“It will be my very strong recommendation that we drop NZ Power,” the Stuff website quotes Nash as saying. “There are very few people that think it is a policy that’s needed in 2015. Maybe 10 years ago there was a strong argument for it, but not now.

“We have got a regulatory framework – the Commerce Commission and the Electricity Authority – which is out there looking at predatory behaviour, and also with a strong mandate to foster competition . . . you could argue that the level of competition necessary to drive prices down is coming in.”

Nash is the fresh new face of a Labour Party Caucus still smarting from the hiding it received at last year’s General Election. A large number of the Napier MP’s colleagues share his view that the party cannot be elected while tens-of-thousands of voters see it as being joined at the hip with the “far-Left” Greens.

Nash is convinced that until “Middle New Zealand” becomes convinced that any future Labour Government will not only limit itself to “sensible” economic and social policies, but also undertake to keep the Greens on a tight leash, there is very little chance of the party being re-elected.

It’s a view that can only have received powerful reinforcement from Winston Peters’ conservative populist victory in Northland last weekend. The speed with which the NZ First leader embraced the role of environmental defender (by promising to keep the Resource Management Act safe from Dr Nick Smith’s ‘forests and sawmills’ model of economic development) will not have been lost on Nash and his ilk. They’re convinced that a substantial number of New Zealand voters, while happy to call themselves “environmentalists”, shudder at the thought of being labelled “Greens”. Nash (and Peters?) suspect that there may be upwards of 100,000 “detachable” Green voters just waiting for someone to offer them a more comfortable billet.

All of which leaves the Greens facing some very uncomfortable choices. With the zeitgeist offering scant protection to old-fashioned left-wing radicalism – let alone revolutionary ecologism – the party will either have to hunker-down and wait for the conservative tide to turn; or, allow that same tide to carry it inexorably to the Right.

The first option would see the Greens’ numbers shrink, but the party itself would remain true to its core principles. Anchored firmly on the Left, it would offer the electorate clear policy and, more importantly, clear ethics. In a Parliament awash with opportunism and equivocation, the Greens would continue to speak truth to power.

The second option offers the Greens the prospect of power itself. Yes, it would give rise to enormous internal tensions and involve some pretty major compromises; and, yes, the Green leadership would have to restrict the party’s ambitions to achieving the sort of small gains that either Labour or National might reasonably be expected to concede; but they would, at long last, be part of the game.

After being excluded from executive power for nearly twenty years, the Greens would finally be free to choose. They, and they alone, would decide whether Green Party ministers took their seats at the Cabinet Table alongside Simon Bridges – or Stuart Nash.

69 COMMENTS

  1. Stuart Nash reminds one of the UK, “New Labour” and the war criminal Tony Blair.
    While I concur with the efficacy of business friendly policy this should not mean “at all costs”. If Nash is unable to have the vision to seethe writing on the wall for fossil fuels and the economic nonce to understand the word monopoly then he or his ideas are ill-equipped to lead NZ.

  2. Does Nash believe that climate will sit on hold for politicians to stuff around chasing voters who largely wallow in ignorance.
    Does he also believe that we are not exhausting non renewable resources and accelerating pollution and waste while chasing an illusion of growth and continued blundering on to the inevitable consequences of over shoot in population globally, toxic emissions still increasing at an exponential rate with no alternative offered or even contemplated by current governance. Ban the Greens is about as good as you get.

    Shoot the messenger and call them names.

    The Green lobby will grow as shown in many places overseas. It cannot be ignored and name calling won’t do much to change what is happening.

    We are in deep trouble and no measure of denial will remediate the mess nor will playing unemployment or investor returns as trump cards improve the future prospects.

    A fundamental shift in how we face survival is well overdue by about 40 years, during which time we have operated on denial about our situation.

    The greens are the only ones addressing (in a very tentative way) the fundamental changes which must be put into reorganising our economic and social memes.

    Presently we are flying blind having any faith in Labour, National, NZ First, United Future (ridiculous title), Maori Party, Act or Conservatives; who all are firmly wedded to Business As Usual.

    More of the same will not do a thing except speed up our destruction of the biosphere which supports our being.

    There is no future for such a BAU approach. Living in denial is a short term strategy with dire consequences.

    Our children and grandchildren have little prospect of hope with such hopeless forbears.

    • Agree. The Greens’ hour has not yet come; but it will come, and National and National-lite, and Winston First, will be will be found out and shown to be seriously unprepared. Better for the Greens to maintain their principles even though they may continue to pay the price in the short term.
      And it is this short term thinking that is so frustrating about Labour. They repeatedly have shown that they have no intention of working with the Greens. (Apart from the maverick power policy announcement). What actually do they stand for anymore?

      • With record car imports, that burn fossil fuels, more SUVs than ever in my neighbouring suburbs than I ever saw in my lifetime here in Auckland, I doubt it has sunk in that resources are limited and that climate change will cost the nation billions in years to come.

        But of course, when a government does not care, does not educate the people, does do all to misinform, and when the media is reduced to private enterprise, profit and ratings driven results, and none else, where infotainment is the rule, we cannot expect people to “wake up”, can we?

        Then newest app, the new celeb news item, the cheap special on offer at the shops, that is what seems to be the priority, none else.

  3. The Greens will never sell out because its members are there for principles they believe in – otherwise they would start another party, give it another name and it would still be the same group of people.

    I think Labour moving to the right environmentally will actually stabilise and slowly continue to grow the Green vote as people who realise the seriousness of the environmental situation realise there is no other party serious about global warming etc.

    I doubt very much there are 100,000 detachable Green voters. Most of the people I know who are environmentalists but don’t like other aspects of the Green Party policies have already chosen not to vote for the Greens at the last election (they are also often the same people who have a problem with Labour for one obscure reason or another) The Green’s 11 percent are essentially core Green voters already.

  4. Yes Chris, Good article here, Nashy is a rising labour M.P. as the only other opposition party that oust a sitting National MP as Winston and nashy have both done, using the electoral strategies that the nasty natZ have used over and over to win the last three elections.

    Dissussion;
    To survive now in politics and succeed after & during the terror raid of the current “Nasty-NatZ” reign era is to become more street smart to roll these corrupt mob and beat them at their own game.

    We do collectively need to take over the treasury benches finally and then moderate political climate from that point onwards.

    Remember Helen Clark saying in May 2008, “the political climate is changing”, she knew this hell hole Planet Key was coming then.

    Stuart is right, and the Greens have lost their edge since Rod Donald and Jeanette Fitzsimmons ran the party that I was then a part of then.

    But since their departure I have left and joined efforts to support the other parties who give their constituent’s more support rather than just concentrate on the environment rather than all those in the environment US being the point here.

    I did become saddened when they concentrated on minor rather than major issues affecting us all.

    Have you heard lately the Greens banging on in the press about our abandonment of our environment safeguard’s over the Napier Gisborne rail washouts deliberately sabotaged by the natZ and operated by Kiwirail recklessly?
    No but Winston and Stuart Nash are very press vocal about the loss of the rail to the road truck gridlock now, so if Nashy and Winnie come to “save our rail” who out there in the public would choose to side with those who don’t get active for clean green rail instead of someone who remains quiet about the NatZ deliberate wrecking ball of our rail system and regional NZ?

    Stuart Nash is a rising serious contender for labour and must be taken seriously, as his grandfather was credited for making Labour into a fully functional Government rather than a minor party.

    From the early 1950’s after the 161 day very ugly wharf strike during this divisive ugly era, Walter Nash pushed the National Government towards a more egalitarian society.

    I lived through this era as a teenager, and saw his efforts though history may not have recorded his achievements very accurately “it’s the putting right that counts.”

    Chris, you quote Stuart Nash as saying the following;

    “We have got a regulatory framework – the Commerce Commission and the Electricity Authority (EA) – which is out there looking at predatory behaviour, and also with a strong mandate to foster competition . . . you could argue that the level of competition necessary to drive prices down is coming in.”

    This is mostly true, but may I add corrections, as I am involved with the current EA administration staff Managers proposal’s for changes.

    I am seeking changes to a more consumer friendly choice of products and self made choices for owning and use of consumer owned metering, as at now there are “false perceptions” that a consumer must “mandatorily” accept the Power retailers choice of metering so the agency is a little out of step with the consumers choice of products and choices.

    If a consumer becomes a (MEO) “meter equipment owner” under (EA) registration rules Part 10 under Electrical Industry Participation Act,
    a consumer is placed on the EA register and should be able to request that their own metering be installed and used as most NZ operational Industries and business will ask for currently today so we argue that single consumers also be given equal rights under the act.

      • Nash blocked the banking reforms championed by John A Lee.

        We are still slaving in the clutches of international bankers and loosing without any political will to change that.

        Russel Norman mentions state intervention and easing of money supply from treasury and he is branded a communist.
        The banks don’t want their monopoly to issue money out of thin air challenged.

        Nash folded, to put it kindly or was he bought.

        http://www.positivemoney.org/

    • Actually Stuart Nash is the Adopted child of Walter Nash’s son. If you ask me he is an opportunist. Oil is becoming obsolete. Where I live we now have vehicle charging stations in the supermarket parking lots. I would post a pic of that but don’t seem to be able to here. I drive a Ford Hybrid that I would not be able to afford in NZ. That is what needs to change. Money spent on drilling for oil particularly in the Pegasus Bay and anywhere off the coast of NZ has the potential to cause earthquakes and is a waste of money. And Fracking anywhere has been proven to cause a multitude of problems including, health issues, pollution of ground water, leaving large toxic ponds of waste water and Earthquakes. NZ media need to do some research. Not only that. The Frackers that are producing oil from shale are now going bankrupt since the price of oil fell. The U.S. stupid Banks have loaned these Frackers money and are left with bonds or some other useless collateral.bthe economy here is very close to collapsing again due to this greed. Shoulda stuck with the Greens.

    • @ cleangreen..

      it really surprises the people who seem to support this rightwing stalking/trojan-horse nash..

      ..he is a total tool of/for the right..

      ..and he won his seat because that clown from sensible sentencing trust split the right/reactionary vote enough for nas to slide thru the middle..

      ..he owes them for his seat – they own him..

      ..the details of this are covered here:

      http://whoar.co.nz/2015/comment-whoar-rightwing-labout-mp-stuart-nash-urges-labour-to-move-to-the-right-and-to-dump-its-policy-to-help-low-income-nzers-with-their-costs-for-energypower-ed-no-surprises-there-eh/

  5. It is people like Nash in Labour that actually are stopping Labour getting votes.

    No one wants climate change deniers in Labour in exchange for donations.

    Not sure why everyone keeps harping on about going to the right – it is pretty clear to me, the voters are rejecting this. First in the election and then in the by election. Many people voted Winston because he wanted rail, he wanted ports in Northland, he did not support RMA taking away protection to the environment, he does not support TPPA, etc etc. Yes his brand might be more conservative that Labour, but many of his policies are more Green than Labour.

    People are worried about the high price of power, the lack of affordable alternatives, global warming, lack of rail and public transport, and NZ’s very poor record on that.

    NZ under National and to a small extent labour are Green-washing their polices. Pretending to be Green but nothing of the sort, a sort of Crosby Textor device out to steal voters from the other parties.

    Likewise we have Red washing, MP’s in Labour who are actually more blue than red. Just go over to National – god damn it – so old Labour supporters can start voting for Labour again!

    Even the most conservative people are rejecting National values and polices now. Wake up. Voters DO NOT want right wing polices they want more left wing policies across the board apart from hIgher taxes!

    • Could not agree more.
      I have frequently and will continue keep making the call for the Labour party, including the MP’s, to publicly and loudly admit the errors made in the “wholesale” adoption of neoliberal / Rogernomic policies.
      Until they do so they will not bring back their natural or the young / forward looking voters.

    • I would have to say, are National so devious they actually have their own in Labour too, like Nash? Just wrecking the Labour brand, while inexplicably being touted as potential leadership material. The guy he seems closest to, to me is John Key. NASH is a NAT!

      • Save NZ I feel you are on the right track here

        Didn’t Wira Gardiner – hubbie of Hekia support Shane Jones’s leadership fund?

        Maybe someone like Frank has more detail on this belief?

        • McS

          Mr Jones revealed to the Herald that Sir Wira gave $1000 and NZ Oil and Gas board member Rodger Finlay also donated money to help the MP to pay for his campaign to win the Labour leadership

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11241914

          Then the very next day:

          Shane Jones says he’s not a ‘sellout’ for leaving the Labour party to take up a position created by the National-led Government.

          The MP blindsided his Labour Party colleagues by announcing last night he intended to quit politics just months out from the election

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11242512

          People who genuinely are not sell-outs, generally don’t have to go around making statements to that effect. It’d be interesting to know how much Finlay has donated to Nash’s political career, but I imagine this is something only a forensic accountant could determine:

          Rodger Finlay: donated an unspecified amount.

          • South Island-resident company director and investor
          • Directorships include NZ Oil and Gas, the Public Trust, PGG Wrightsons, Agritech, Moeraki Ltd.
          • NZ Oil and Gas is working the Tui and Kupe oil and gas fields
          • The company also has interests in several mining exploration permits.

  6. ” “We have got a regulatory framework – the Commerce Commission and the Electricity Authority – which is out there looking at predatory behaviour, and also with a strong mandate to foster competition . . . ”

    Buuuulll Shit ! What a load of bull shit . What a lying , hypocritical little shit . Stewie can just fuck right off . Little Lizard Lips is spouting logical fallacies like a punctured septic tank. If anyone swallows that kind of line deserves to be sold the Auckland Harbour Bridge .

    He comes from a long line of bristly little ferrets talking you and I out of our resources and our money . Fuck off to him and if you see him out and about ? Fucking tell him .

    Electricity prices in NZ are an outrageous rort . As are virtually all of what were once our resources and amenities . Thanks entirely to little wankers like stewie nash .

    • Commerce Commission is a rort. They do absolutely nothing for kiwis in relation to power and will not take on cases with this. Power is going up including daily fees up to $1.70 per DAY before you Draw any power. A lot of people can’t afford the daily fee, let alone the actual power and GST!!

      The daily charge is to rort consumers to just be a tax on everyone. Even if you put up solar panels but stay connected to the grid you pay these ridiculous power charges. Anyone building I recommend don’t connect to power at all, go totally off grid. Cost the same as connection in most cases and no future bills.

      If you connect to mainstream power and are in the country then you will have to pay $7000 for a transformer to connect to the road. Yes that’s right some sweet little earner that city people don’t seem to have to pay. Then you have to pay for the cable, private pillar, meters boxes, first time connection fees, your electrician, the inspector, and all in all in a rural property you are probably looking at $20k to connect to power.

      Then after paying for all the infrastructure yourself and doing the work, the power company charges you the daily fee, and if anything happens it is your responsibility to pay for it to be fixed, because you own the infrastructure.

      Does this make sense to anyone? You pay for the infrastructure, your cost to maintain it, and yet you pay the power company a daily fee, even if you do not use any power?

      Hello, ding a ling, Commerce Commission. That’s a dirty deal that they will not investigate.

      • A single 20 -24 year old unemployed person I think gets $171 per week. So if they pay to connect to power before with ZERO power at $1.70 per day someone is paying nearly 10% of their income to connect to power without drawing any power.

        That folks is one big RIP OFF!

        Maybe that’s why we have record levels of preventable sickness in this country!

        • SAVE NZ and COUNTRYBOY and others;

          Couldn’t agree more.

          The whole thing is one huge scam (with carbon tax’s the excuse?)

          The fact that 90-95% of our electricity is generated by
          Renewables (ie water) never seems to be highlighted by anyone.

          And to CHRIS TROTTER;

          This is the 2nd or 3rd time (more?) you have promoted
          this man.
          We are sick and tired of this game of ‘pass the baton’!
          Just look at the comments on this page.
          The comment of ‘Tony Blair infiltrate’ is so obvious to most.

          Go to Martyn’s column, ‘National & the Green’s worst
          nightmare…..’ march 31 and halfway down the page
          you will see CLEANGREEN’s comment and my reply.

          Read both, then re-assess your last post on the subject
          of the by-election.(march 9th)

          After your post on Eco-Terrorism and now this post……
          I mean come on Chris……
          I’ve eagerly read your Friday columns throughout my
          my latter working life.

          We know you have to earn your bread&butter but you
          have not made any comment on Winston’s win but put
          up this post instead.

          Surely you have something ‘nice’ to say?
          Congratulations?

          Cheers.

      • Your concern about the high connection charges occurs in the city. In suburban Auckland Vector charges $9000+ for a connection, and you have to pay for the wires to bring it to the pole.
        Sames goes for water and sewage connections, Watercare charges over $10,000 to existing street connections.

    • After shuffling through and suffering through many rip off power companies all charging hundreds ($300+) more a month than the one we found to be the best. Month after month now our bill is hundreds lower ( actually less than one hundred a month) we have done nothing different but found Powershop. I feel so angry that all the other companies ripped us off so much money for bloody years!

      Powershop people, now it seems normal exactly what would be right living without water using appliances and a very small hot water tank. I do feel sick at how much NZers are being ripped off for just about everything. (We live on a rain water system).

      • @Kate, totally agree. Kiwis are being ripped off for practically everything and then the tax payer funded ‘regulators’ are just stooges who are there to pretend, there is some sort of democratic process and fairness to ‘investigate’ issues.

      • And that is the point of a competitive electricity market. You found the best deal to suit your needs.

          • Powershop has been around for ages. Why don’t people use the market for their benefit instead of just moaning that things are too expensive?

            • @ ONE TRACK ? And why don’t you just go fuck yourself . I’ve paid for the power generating infrastructure and now some foreign wanker sucks at my wages for the electricity I use . Fuck that !

          • Indeed @ Kate . And fuck power shop too , and fuck the other fuckers. I just want what was mine back . And I want the fuckers who swindled it away put in jail . Never mind the bollocks !

        • Labour allowing the infiltration of neoliberal shite into NZ in the 1980’s needs to be exorcised, cauterized and taken to the political dump. Worker’s rights, hard-fought-for worker’s conditions have been systematically eroded by neoliberal wolves in sheep’s clothing like Douglas, Prebble and co – and now Nash FFS. If you want to screw worker’s rights and conditions, at least have the decency and honesty to go and do it in a party fit for purpose ie National, ACT, Maori Party or Peter Dunne’s Party. At least Shane Jones resigned and took up a lovely National Party sinecure when it was exposed that he was being funded in his leadership bid by Wira Gardiner (Mr Hekia Parata). Time for Stuart Nash to resign from Labour, stand as a neoliberal independent with National Party backing and let Labour get back to its political roots and values. ENOUGH SAID

        • Gosman & One Track – who do I invoice for the hours spent trawling through vast data on which company charges how much; all the “special deals” (with “note conditions” attached); etc, etc, etc?

          You may be too young (?) or naive, but before de-regulation, our power bills were two-monthly; easy to understand; and low-cost. The retailers were locally owned, so profits stayed in the local community.

          These days, power bills come monthly; the charges are exorbitant, and you need to have a degree in forensic accountancy to understand them.

          If I had it my way, I’d re-nationalise the whole bloody industry and re-institute local community ownership for the retail outlets.

          And if you don’t like it, then I respectfully suggest you fuck off.

          I’ve just spent over three months sorting out a power account for an intellectually-impaired person who got into dire straits through no fault of his own with his powerco and one of their “offers”. (I was successful; they cancelled his $400-plus “debt”.)

          So please keep your damned corporate cheerleading to yourself. High power charges and corporate shenanigans show you up to be less than credible.

          • Thanks Frank. Totally agree. Nothing pisses me off more that the dirty swines selling of our Hydro Electricity assets. I grew up in the MOW villages of Roxburgh, Hawea and Otematata. My father and his mates worked very hard to build those projects. They should always remain a Public asset. In the Mid 90’s when they started the sell off we kept our power shares in Palmerston North. Gradually they were whitled down by the changes when sold. So we had less shares and bonds. To fit in with the Govt rules on share ownership. The next time they were sold to a jack up company from Australia. Those shares were forcibly taken from us because they were 1500 or under and the law said they could. We were robbed basically.

          • FRANK;
            And that’s just your point; The Gating? quote of
            Telecom a while back;
            “Confusion in the market place and we make money”!

            Cheers.

        • To Gosman:
          Until enough people became connected to the internet it was near-impossible for anyone to ‘shop around’. And a lot of people still can’t do that – access internet and shop around.

          To have the choice between Genesis and Mercury – Mercury actually came round door to door and their USP was that they would read the meter every month instead of guesstimate.

          A friend saw his power bill hurtle skywards over summer and could not get any service from his provider. He had to set up and run his own checks because he couldn’t afford the $90+ call out fee that our local electrician cartel charges.

          Even in that mythic ‘land of the free’ (make that ‘especially’) the theory that consumers have choice is just that – theory. It’s rare for the consumer to win.

          I think you know that.

      • Add the Supermarket chain duopoly, or oligopoly, where they continue to charge prices substantially higher than in most other developed countries, and where NZ produce and meat is sold cheaper in Europe than here.

        What the f*** is ever done about it, apart from repeated moaning and lamenting and empty talk on the odd TV show? Nothing is done, and one major problem New Zealand has is too indifferent people, who actually do not examine things, do not demand things, who simply shrug their shoulders and continue to be ripped off left, right and centre.

        I dismay at times, about the widespread ignorance and indifference I witness, and NO solidarity, all just lone fighters for their consumerist own causes, NO conversation even with neighbours, in the main centres, a lost society, unless this changes.

  7. The first option would see the Greens’ numbers shrink, but the party itself would remain true to its core principles. Anchored firmly on the Left, it would offer the electorate clear policy and, more importantly, clear ethics. In a Parliament awash with opportunism and equivocation, the Greens would continue to speak truth to power.

    Long term, this is the Greens only hope. For a party that espouses sustainability that would be consistent.

    Or, to take the “second option” they would be trading their birthright for a mess of potage and destroying their brand. The illusion of power might tickle a few egos but would not advance the Green agenda.

    Entering into a compact with any of the existing parties would make the Greens “just another political party” and the main point of difference that was their origin would vanish.

    Power is transient, ethics are not.

  8. The problem with posts like this is that “centre” can now mean many things. If the Labour Party were to think that Peters’ win up North suggested a Lusk/Hooton approved move rightward, they would be very much mistaken in my opinion. The aspect of the current zeitgeist that Peters has tapped into is the desire for real representation, which also involves sovereignty, since you cannot make a good fist of the former without something of the latter. It is true that that the liberal versus conservative argument currently lacks traction. It is also true that a robust form of socialism does not look achievable from where we now stand. This does not, however, mean that Nat-lite is the way to go. Rather, it means that we have to gain hold of some meaningful levers if we are to improve the lives of New Zealanders at all. To do this will prove hard. But to borrow from Wittgenstein, my suggestion to Labour is “go the bloody hard way.”

    • I should not have to add this, but I think I do. By “go the hard way” I do not mean “don’t fear alienating voters, just steam on ahead.” I mean, “Stand up for the people who actually live here and vote for you.” That is the example to take from Northland.

      • For Labour the dilemma is, they did NOT win Northland, it was Peters, full stop. That gives Peters and NZ First much space and air, and lots of opportunity to present themselves as a “growing party” also for the disaffected, and it can gain traction, win them more and a wider support base. Especially since they have some new, younger, not stupid MPs there now, there is a lot of opportunity for NZ First, and this leaves Labour (at present) in the shadow. All Little and others can achieve is to appear to try and “chase up to the challenge”, they are NOT leading the challenge at the moment, and Little is NOT the man for doing that. Cunliffe may have had his faults, but he, same as even Goff, would have done better now, to advance Labour, but they are “neutralised” on back seats, in semi retirement.

        Labour is in a HUGE DILEMMA now after Peters won Northland, with their help, of course.

        • Yes Labour is in a huge dilemma. But that is life. The whole point is that that Labour need to evolve and understand what the people want.

          If Labour has better policies and offers better representation then the people will vote for them not NZ First or National.

          This is the call for Labour to STEP UP. They need to make policy decisions are come clean on Labour’s policy on mass surveillance and TPP.

          I have yet to see any poll sent to me from Labour asking my views on these issues although constantly in the media.

          Labour are playing too safe. Pretty much everyone wants state houses kept, but Labour has to make policy to differentiate themselves from National in particular on foreign policy.

          Foreign policy in the past has been Labour strength, think Lange and even Clark, and at National and Act weakest think Don Brash, Nuclear free policy gone by lunch time.

          In my view the Nats have infiltrated Labour and are infecting their policy from the inside in particular foreign policy.

          I would like to see all MP’s in Labour vote, do they support mass surveillance and the current conduct of GCSB and SIS? Should Labour sign TPP?

          However maybe they should poll their supporters first and see what comes back.

          Winston is stronger on foreign policy than Labour because he is very nationalistic. Labour need to make some hard decisions.

          • Have you had any polls from Labour on anything? I signed up and I get all the polls and had the opportunity to submit in my views on policy. It is at least asking for input. people who have strong views on issues and want to make a difference need to stand up do something about it instead of just replying to blogs.

      • @Olwyn. We’re on a similar page. The “hard way” is to offer a distinct alternative which is clear and credibly presented. A good many casual voters pay only scant attention to whether left, right,centre or in between applies, especially the younger generation. Nothing needs to be framed, in terms of policy, in those terms. People are much more responsive to policies which as you say, “improve the lives of New Zealanders.” There’s more than a few disaffected with the current mob wanting an alternative, not a substitute. The result in Greece shows it can be done.

  9. Nash or Bridges? It’s enough to make me give up voting.

    Mind you, if I was in Nash’s electorate I’d definitely vote – against him.

    Maybe he should go over to NZ First – he’d make a good leader of that party but I suspect he wants to stay in Labour to “save” it from going too far left.

    • @Aaron

      That’s the whole point. They want all the MP’s to be the same whether National or Labour. So people get disillusioned and don’t vote. The dirty corporates have hijacked with money, certain MP’s and political parties.

      They lobby the politicians and instead of innovating their business and improving it, they spend their $$$ on lobbyists and Crosby Textor type firms to control the message and maintain the status quo.

      I’m actually for business, but not the dirty polluters or social destroying corporates or bovine auditors and consulting firms that just write right wing reports for hire. (Oil, tobacco, gambling, factory farming etc etc)

  10. Chris, thanks for alerting me to some of Nash’s back-story and for providing further good reason to not to resume voting Labour.

  11. If I read you right, Chris, the idea is for all the fringe groupings to find their own niches: Left extremes (such as are the most obstreperous on this blog-site) coalescing round Mana, the Green returning to their principled knitting of Environmental protection, New Zealand First attracting the more conservative disadvantaged in the provincial areas. leaving Labour to hoover up the middle-Left ground with a view to bringing in those who would be frightened off by more extreme elements. The end game being to allow the creation of a 40%+ party with far greater credibility with the vast bulk of more cautious voters.

    In such a composite central party there would be room for an employment-focused member like Stuart Nash, while his more unacceptable views would naturally be tempered by slightly more enlightened, or at least eco-oriented, Labour Party members supported by the Greens and perhaps Mana where necessary.

    The implication is that while Labour clings to its Left Wing, and while the Greens continue their goal of eventually destroying and supplanting Labour, the path back to the treasury benches will be that much less possible.

    Or maybe I am misunderstanding. (You may have just wanted to trash Stuart Nash). However the above is probably true, whether it was your intention to convey it, or not.

  12. So it’s a choice of the Greens remaining principled, and Green policy being a direct representation of what the membership agrees on.

    Or…

    Abandoning those principles and core ideas for power and politics.

    It won’t happen, because that kind of change only comes if Green membership decides and votes on it.

    Even if it did happen, it’s such a core feature of Green policy it would lose them members in droves.

  13. Is anybody surprised? This is Nash, the young Nash, the one who often talks as if he has been hired by the corporates, has been “bought” by certain influential business circles, and who is now unashamedly talking about “drill it, baby, drill it, baby”!

    His talk about the “media savvy” Greens, and environmentalists, he is one ignoring the fact that this “media savvyness” did not win the election, and is generally not mentioned that often at all in the media, not the MSM.

    Instead, what we have is, after two to three decades of privatisation, of asset stripping and selling off, of giving power to business, big rather than small, and of shrinking the state, and certainly people’s power, it is a largely PRIVATE media that does the spinning. We have elections that are won based on the spin of the day, the spin of the moment, largely done, or at least enhanced by key media operators, key “journalists”, who are anything but that, who look at what is in for the money makers.

    Media is now largely run like a commercial, advertising business, and the advertisers, and private owners of media outlets, they want RETURNS, RESULTS and what SERVES their interests. They are NOT interested in communities, in ethical and social matters, they want to make bloody money, no doubt about it.

    Why will Mediaworks merge TV and Radio and put Paul Henry on, to make it a “fun time” for morning “news”, it will be “infotainment”, not information you will get, forget it!

    So that is what has resulted in three election defeats for the Labour Party and Greens, especially Labour. Any attempts to return to their true roots and the SPIRIT of the party have been buried now.

    They have finally fully, completely resigned to the National Party demagogery, the neo-liberal approach, they have given up the ones they used to care for, now they want to win the “middle ground”, that includes BUSINESS, the employers now of most, and forget all they stood for before.

    It is only sentimental bullshit they utter at times, for the “feeling” of the poor, to deceive them into thinking, ah, yeah, maybe Labour still mean it and “care” for us, but in reality they do NOT.

    No talk about those on benefits, NO talk about the rights of the poor, forget the environment too now, that is secondary, first of all it is about “business”, “employement” (by business) and “jobs”, even at just 15 dollars an hour, NO talk about social justice, welfare, about human rights and the protection of vulnerable environments anymore.

    Stuart Nash has finally outed himself, the dandy boy of the petroleum and other industries, make NO doubt about it. Forget Labour, you may as well vote National now, or if you don’t quite agree with them, for NZ First, as the alternative, as the Greens will be sidelined, marginalised and will soon hardly feature in the media, as I already witness it. What a cunning, dirty strategy, also sidelining and ignoring the massive number of disillusioned non-voters.

    We are heading towards US American political, economic and social conditions!

  14. Labour is gone. Over the last 40 years they’ve lost their way in spite of the Clark era, and in their neo-liberal wanderings have dragged the centre line in NZ politics markedly to the right. Nash’s presence makes it quite clear they’re still a long way from home. Unless we speak only in terms of contemporary relativity there is no longer a genuine left wing party in NZ in my opinion. I also believe that it’s this polar shift which has contributed to National’s success. Without clearer distinctions and forthright leadership (think Syriza) voters drift more easily across a hazy boundary and vote on confidence rather than policy. I thought it was dodgy at a glance that Labour electorate candidates were conceding huge party vote numbers to National. Since then I’ve spoken to a number of people and are blown away by the number who voted for a Labour candidate but gave their party vote to National. The lines are further blurred by their joining the Nat led gang tackle on another left party which resembled Labour’s traditional values more than they do themselves. Dwindling voter loyalty seems their greatest contributor The blame for that lies squarely at the feet of Labour for the reasons above. Too much water under the bridge for a genuine return to the traditional centre left where they belong. Those who still recognise what left really means have been deserted and left confused about where to head … opting for compromise, a smaller party, or, having no real representation, not voting at all. There is a huge void waiting to be filled, which if the policy narrative is carefully constructed, could have been Labour’s for the taking, attracting disaffected voters in droves … they wouldn’t have been fussy as Northland result shows. But you can only do that with the right formula, and Labour haven’t got it. It’s still there for the taking.

  15. “The second option offers the Greens the prospect of power itself”.

    What’s the point of said power if you’ve become just another right-wing party? We might as well just vote National!

  16. So Nash is in the wrong party because he is pro economic development and jobs? Not sure how that contradicts “Labour values”.

    Maybe it’s some of you who are in the wrong party.

    • “pro economic development and jobs” It’s the WAY he’s pro-jobs. The fellow’s a dinosaur in his thinking.

      And that’s not the ‘practical visionary’ way of the Labour Party as it was. That’s not solving problems and lifting the game.

      ‘Hell no!’ More like taking the well-paved road to ruin and keeping the pie small enough for a few.

      Seriously. Where’s the opportunity for bringing in Kiwi ingenuity, new ideas and technologies, alternatives to highly expensive and risky petro-carbons? Affordable, too, for those of us at the bottom of the long-drop…(from the heavily populated parts of the world, of course.)

      Has he No imagination and vision?! If not – and if he is not attracting people who can leverage that vision he’s expressing, then, quite simply, he’s not a leader. He’s merely another drone-manager, like Helen Clark before him, and the benches fore and aft in are full of similar clones.

    • Martyn;

      Please don’t post anymore from this ‘one man band’,it’s plain dribble.
      The name saiz it all. “The Lefty Collective”

      The post and the ‘Coffee with Winston’ was enough,plus the headlines of the rest.

      Logan Reynolds,age 21. Green Party supporter. mmmmmmmm.
      Webster Tarpley may see this site as an example of ‘acting under left
      cover.’

      Cheers.

  17. The most urgent thing the NZ Labour Party needs to do, is change its name.
    Anything that doesn’t include the word “labour” will do.

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