The machinations of shanking Labour – Green Peak



Watching the Greens shank Labour to cut a deal with Key to get their flag design onto the referendum has consequences.

One of those consequences is the extra $400 000 being blown on redesigning the referendum printing to include the Red Peak design.

Another consequence is the rise of the Capital Clique who now rule the Greens who see a future working together with National as a means of shifting out from under Labour’s shadow. The appointment of Ruminator of all people as their media coms person suggests Shaw’s grip on power has resumed after his attempt to vote for bars staying open for 72 hours during the Rugby World Cup failed. This decision to trip Labour up smells of Shaw.

It sends a clear message to National voters that the Greens are open for business, while this may make a chunk of the activist base of the Greens walk away, as long as Shaw keeps the Party over 5%, he can cut a deal with National in  2017.

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Labour MPs are beyond furious with the way the Greens allowed National to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but their own lacklustre performance means that the Greens are tired with waiting for them to do something that makes them a contender for 2017.

One of the other consequences is that the move gives power to the new generation of voters who see design AS politics rather than than having  political values. The Aesthetic Left is twitter trending politics and can keep the Greens above 5% if the more value based supporters walk to Labour.

The biggest move here is that NZ First and Labour are now far more suspicious of Shaw and will be far less accommodating.

By wanting to show they can work with anybody, the Greens risk looking like they’ll fall for anything. That’s a risk they’re willing to take and Shaw cleverly opens up a working relationship with Key. It might cost him the battle with a chunk of Green voters walking (there’s a lot of angry Green voters who see this collusion with National as a betrayal) but it could win Shaw the war if National need his 5%+ or if Labour/NZ First needs his 5%+ come 2017 .

The real winner here is John Key who manages to keep his flag distraction in the media as he moves to sign the TPPA and privatise social services.


  1. The “collusion” accusation is bollocks. There are obviously a number of people who see the Green’s role as simply to fling faeces at anyone on the opposite side of the political spectrum. That’s immature i think.

    The Greens this time have managed to get something done, without swallowing any dead rats. The flag referendum is happening whether we like it or not, and now voters have more choice. And that’s thanks to the Greens.

    • Oh come on … you have to “collude” to cut a deal, you can’t do it telepathically. The proportion of Green supporters who want an alternative to the neo-colonialism of Labour and National, and see this expedience as indicative, remains to be seen. The Greens have simply opted for the comfort of being a limpet party in the same mould as ACT and United Future. Usurping Labour as chief opposition comes through being a better opposition … not jumping the opportunity fence.

    • the greens got a nazi flag and helped national waste more money on a stupid flag distraction will vote spoil and foil and focus on the important zero hour contracts and starving kids

  2. Yes it’s now widely accepted out in the real world that
    the Green Party Incorporated is now open for business.
    With the parent company National Party Incorporated rewarding their buying shares in the Great National Lie with a UK Security poster posing as a contender for our national flag.
    Is this really the reason Norman left …. moving away from the core green issues, looking like every ones bitch.

  3. Where the fuck is Metiria Turei ??? I met her in the Dunedin AP once and honestly? She seemed humane, intelligent and very approachable.
    Why is she not bouncing off the walls over this blatant sabotage of the Green Party ? It’s like 1980’s Labour all over again. When the swine take over the pig factory.

  4. Firstly, Labour has absolutely NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to feel agrieved with the Greens’ behaviour. Labour has gladly slid the shank into the Greens when it suited them, not to mention the snivelling treachery and dishonesty they threw at Hone Harawira. What goes around comes around. Payback’s a bitch eh?

    Secondly, the Greens are now revealed for what they have been all along: a pack of middle class wankers playing fashionable lefties but needing the “solid citizen” of the National Party to feel safe. Talk about having and eating cake. This will make them the same as the Maori Party in that they will be seen as parking their values to cozy up to government and become just as politically irrelevant. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    But it really is nice to see the Greens’ reality made public. No prevaricating now; no political double speak. They are clearly just another facet of National and have made themselves irrelevant. Now they can just be shovelled off to the wastelands where they belong and those of us on the real left who are truly keen on bringing change can get on with it.

    It’s just a shame that they use a name that overseas has credibility and honourr…

    • Good points J S Bark – as usual.

      Sometimes I wish the Greens would just go into coalition with the Greens so their base will ditch them. We (the left) have suffered for years with this self-defeating centrist posturing.

    • Exactly. The Greens owe Labour NOTHING. They have repeatedly frozen the Greens out whenever Labour got twitchy about the Greens getting too close to any actual power. They haven’t really done anything yet to dispel that image, unfortunately.
      But come on…. Greens “another facet of National”? Nah, the nats find them useful, and in the end it will be a non-issue because the flag won’t change, so it’s a gift for the Greens. Makes them look positive, kicks Labour in the goolies and nothing is at stake. Smart.
      I was under the impression that according to a lot of sources, Key could have just made the change anyway. He didn’t need the support of anybody. Was that really the case?

      • I was under the impression that according to a lot of sources, Key could have just made the change anyway. He didn’t need the support of anybody. Was that really the case?

        According to a very exasperated quote from the Greens, yes. The original source of the ‘Greens betrayed Labour!!’ aspect is *JOHN KEY*. Certainly a credible and reliable source…

        John Key: “The point here is that the Greens are trying to say to Labour – stop being pathetic, stop playing games, people want choices.”

        Green Party co-leader James Shaw said the process set by the Government had been deeply flawed from the start.

        It was “absurd” that his MP Gareth Hughes had to put forward a solution today.

        “The Prime Minister always has the option, it is kind of ridiculous that it has got to this point. He could have, with the flick of his pen, have included Red Peak as one of the options if he wanted to.

        The fact that Labour have had a go, we have had a go, to get it through the process is kind of absurd, because [John Key] always had that option.”

        And I’m not sure why Labour proposing the EXACT same thing isn’t considered a betrayal – it really does seem like either nobody even cared what Labour does, or they’re just upset because the Greens beat Labour to it.

  5. I’ve just noticed that your reversed red peak looks more like a red vulva.

    Kinda appropriate when one considers politicians are genrally regarded as c..ts! 🙂

  6. Little is right in a way. Below the surface of this whole process is the question of whether we should retain the current flag anyway, regardless of the merits of the alternatives offered. Now of course, if the current flag is retained we won’t know whether it was because the alternatives were considered unimpressive, or whether change was rejected simply as a matter of principle.

  7. Labour MPs are beyond furious with the way the Greens allowed National to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat,

    (shrug), history shows that the Greens owe Labour nothing, especially Labour MPs.

    The biggest move here is that NZ First and Labour are now far more suspicious of Shaw and will be far less accommodating

    So what’s changed? it’s not as if either party were ever accommodating toward the Greens.

    You are dead right that many in the Greens will be keeping a wary eye on Shaw and will walk if he moves to the right, and I somehow doubt they’ll run into Labour’s arms. Probably join the swollen ranks of the disillusioned.

  8. I’m actually annoyed now that no shrill vocal minority forced the “LASER Kiwi” flag as an alternative to the original shit four, instead of the equally shitty “Red Peak”.
    Now that would have been a genuinely hilarious protest vote that I totally would have gotten behind if only to showcase what an utterly farcical referendum this has been. I couldn’t fucking care less what our flag looks like to be honest, but if The John Key must have his way, then forcing something ridiculous would have at least made him regret the whole idea (and perhaps dented his perceived popularity).

    • me too would have voted for frickening laser kiwi, but none of the others they are not flags they are corporate symbols, including red peak – you can have whatever back story you like but the design is gormless!

  9. Rightwing environmentalism means that the cost of environmental policies fall on the poor.

    A good example of this is the phasing out of coal fires and fireplaces. Our houses were built and insulated with the assumption that heating would be cheap, but clean air policies means that the houses that we live in now cost a lot to heat.

    Sure, Labour has hardly offered much of a difference in the cost of living – house prices exploded under the 5th Labour government. But fuel poverty was slightly lower under Labour and the cost of heating is out of the reach of many more under National.

    My point is that the Greens need to be very careful of how much they flirt with National. The activist base of the Greens has always been leftwing. Today we have seen environmentalism become normalised across the political spectrum, but it’s tokenistic at best – green capitalism is a joke – National already offer it, so why support National when they are already caving in.

    If the Greens want to pretend that capitalism has no impact on the environment, or that neoliberal environmental polices aren’t an act of violence on the poor, then they’re either delusional or stupid. It’s also a fallacy to think the Greens need to be begging for crumbs at National’s table to push through environmental legislation. If they did need to be at the table of power, then why has environmentalism (albeit token) gained acceptance across the political spectrum in NZ and around the world?

    Can the ‘green-green’ zombies in the Green Party please read Naomi Klein’s new book ‘This Changes Everything’?

    It’s very simple; neoliberal environmentalism is an oxymoron – it can’t exist. Furthermore, neoliberal environmentalism is a death sentence to the poor.

  10. The real winner here is John Key who manages to keep his flag distraction in the media as he moves to sign the TPPA and privatise social services.

    Yes the Greens are toast I say now.

    Winston was right not to include them in a deal.

    All along the Greens were putting a spoke in the wheel of any accommodation of a cross party Opposition alliance to be reckoned with so Greens are on their own now until they wake up that they have been infiltrated by the right wingers.

  11. Why is it every time the Greens misstep, you think they’re going to join up with National? They vote against the Nats more than any other party. It’s the very last combination you should expect to see. You’re just stirring again, Martyn. This means very little.

  12. As a Green, I feel compelled to stand up for what they have done. We are lumbered with a process that few wanted and gave a shite selection of tea towels to chose from.

    At least now there is a design in the mix that has already shown, not only the ability to stir up a lethargic populace to enter into a dialogue, but also has released a torrent of creativity, not only from designers and artists, but ordinary folk putting up their interpretations as well.

    At least the Greens have now given us the opportunity to vote for something that has a subtle simplicity and a hell of a lot more class than the banality we had before.

    It would be nice if the Daily Blog and the Standard labourite commentators would stop accusing the Greens of treachery. That is bit rich from the party that first betrayed its core supporters and then has proceeded to support Neo-liberal policies for several iterations, continues to shun alliances with left wing parties and cannabalises its own leaders.

    • I am afraid the only principled position for any opposition party in the flag affair is to completely oppose the flag referenda.

      By taking the stance it has, your Green Party has broken that golden rule and now appears to be enabling Dear Leader’s Ego Project 1.

      I’m sure you all believe you have found a popular working solution, but judging by the tenor of the posts here most people are not seeing it that way.

      Pretty much the same thing happened to the Maori Party who really believed that being in the government could achieve more than being outside the government.

      And look how their own people treated them at the last election.

      Being seen and thought of as collaborationist is inevitable to anyone taking the same stance as the government.

  13. Can we all just take a breath here, and review what *actually* happened. Unless you’re willing to accept the conspiracy theory that Key wanted Red Peak all along, and the whole social media campaign and political dance was a clever bait-and-switch, the facts of this storm in a teacup are:

    * Key expressed preference for flag with silver fern
    * 50,000 sign petition to put Red Peak on the referendum ballot
    * Labour takes up their cause, but adds their own demand for a yes/no question on initial ballot
    * Key says he will add Red Peak, but only if Labour drops demand for yes/no
    * Greens try to intercede on behalf of the 50,000 or more Red Peak supporters by putting forward their own bill
    * NZ First tries to block the Greens bill, fails
    * National adopts the Greens bill, and says he’d vote for Red Peak over keeping the status quo, implying he would vote for Lazer Kiwi if it means getting rid of the current flag (why so keen, one wonders?)

    In summary, the Greens managed to get Key to flip-flop over Red Peak, without agreeing to support any neoliberal policies, which is a win not just for Red Peak supporters, but for all opponents of Key’s government and neoliberalism generally. Labour have lost nothing except face. As others have pointed out, based on their history since 1984, and particularly the glee with which they knifed their potential allies in the back during the last election, their claim to being part of “the left” is tenuous at best. NZ First were just being obstructive and petty, and considering their party’s actions in 1996, their cryptofascist immigration policies and their arch-conservative social policies, they too have a fairly flimsy claim to being part of “the left”.

    Yes, the Greens have been disappointingly “moderate” (ie lame duck) on many issues over the last few years:

    * supporting public funding of 1080 use, despite it being corporate welfare for a poisons company
    * taking a weak position on water fluoridation, also a form of corporate welfare for poisons companies, despite growing public opposition
    * supporting corporate welfare to pharmceutical companies via Pharmac instead of pushing for the abolition of drug patents, and at-cost local manufacture of medicines with proven local benefit by the public health system
    * taking a weak position on genetic patents, and biotech generally, despite having policy on the books strongly critical of them
    * voting for the Harmful Digital Censorship Bill
    * refusing to speak up for drug law reform, despite having policy on the books supporting it, while their overseas counterparts are front footing it
    * etc etc etc

    Of all the issues you could take them to task over, why this one?

    BTW Bomber, I’d like to apologise for the strident tone of the my comment on your last blog on the issue. I know better than to stew over being trolled and provoked in another forum, and take it out on you here. Sorry bro.

    • Excellent points all, Daniel.

      However… (don’t you just hate that word?)

      NZ First can have no claim ever, never, ever, er… to being part of the left. No way.

      And I don’t give a rancid dingo’s eyeball for Labour losing face. They gave up being the Labour Party after the 80s.

      Why the flag?

      Because that’s the one that seems to have bitten by dint of social media and needs responding to. We seem to be drifting (dangerously) into an era of politicians being influenced by social media…

      … and that just ain’t any good.

      • >> We seem to be drifting (dangerously) into an era of politicians being influenced by social media… <<

        What you mean like theDailyBlog? Heaven forbid the government would actually listen to what its citizens write on the internet…

  14. The straight forward explanation should always be preferred to the conspiratorial explanation. As the comment by Daniel Strypey Bruce (above) explains, all the Greens did was “to intercede on behalf of the 50,000 or more Red Peak supporters by putting forward their own bill.” How else could adding Red Peak to the ballot be achieved? It was never a “tripping up Labour” move.
    I puzzle about your worries about an “Aesthetic Left”. Are we against design now?

    • re “all the Greens did was “to intercede on behalf of the 50,000 or more Red Peak supporters by putting forward their own bill.” How else could adding Red Peak to the ballot be achieved?”

      are you and the James Shaw really supporting a corporate designed flag?..

      As Parsupial said on ‘The Standard’:

      “the Red Peak flag was created by a Xero product design director (Dustin), has had its online campaign coordinated by another Xero associate (Simpson), and was included in the top 40 while the Xero CEO (Drury) was one of the dozen on the selection panel; perhaps we should ask how has the Greens relationship with that company changed recently?

      Two years ago:

      Norman issued a media release yesterday questioning whether Palantir, a firm co-founded by wealthy US technology investor and Xero shareholder Peter Thiel, had been hired by the Government to spy on New Zealanders…”

      Conclusion: Red Peak flag supporters are either naive or superficial or right wingers or stupid? …not worthy of a vote anyways…no wonder jonkey is laughing and Labour is seething

  15. “Labour MPs are beyond furious…”

    Are they? REALLY?

    More like they think the leadership was stupid to try and grandstand over such a petty issue.

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