Labour roll over on the TPPA – is it time to do a Corbyn on the Labour Party?



Andrew Little flip flopping on TPPA

As The Daily Blog has pointed out may times, the right wing faction of the Labour Party were always going to force Andrew Little to flip flop on the TPPA and his woeful capitulation on Radio NZ this week spells out that Labour will roll over and accept the TPPA with a promise to flout the rules once they get elected.

Yeah Right.

Labour have given up on inspiring the missing million voters and are now just trying to woo soft National Party voters and soft National Party voters get spooked by big ideas that grind against their anti-intellectualism.

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If you pop over to the Standard there are plenty of voices from the EPMU arguing that Little isn’t flip flopping and he has to blah blah blah but that’s all just apologist pap desperately attempting to gloss over such a huge capitulation.

Labour will do what they did when they capitulated on giving the SIS warrantless searches – they’ll complain loudly, seize upon some tiny concession by Key as a major triumph and then vote for it.

So what do progressive voters do now Washington has bribed both sides of the political spectrum?

Join the missing million and walk away in disgust from politics altogether?

Vote for a Green Party that is trying to show they can work with National so they aren’t squeezed out by Labour + NZ First?

Vote for NZ First knowing that Ron Mark is more likely to cut a deal with John Key post Winston?

Or do a Corbyn on Labour?

What does doing a Corbyn on Labour mean? It means a massive and ongoing social media campaign to join the Labour Party and then a well publicised meeting schedule for new members to turn up at Party meetings and swamp those meetings with new remits and take the Party back from the inside the way Corbyn supporters did in Britain.

Ultimately it’s up to progressive left voters – do we walk away from Labour in disgust at their spinelessness or do we join them and force Labour to be a real Opposition?

To join the labour Party it’s $5 for unwaged and $20 for waged. 

So what are we going to do?


  1. All very well, Martyn, but the conference is almost upon us and, even if it were months away, new members will not be well-versed in the minutiae of process for months.

    And Andrew Little has not resigned, and nor will he, he’s not that bendable a person.

    Finally, the surges in membership when David Shearer and David Cunliffe resigned have not resulted in a surge of committed activists. (which is a serious danger for Jeremy Corbyn, by the way, though he has more than 4 years before the election).

  2. Martyn complains about the Greens trivial flag deal because he’s so partisan he can’t advocate for the left generally, but only his little partisan part of it. As anyone should know, the Greens are the real progressive opposition and will never flip flop on the TPPA. How many more terms of National do people need before they see that Labour no longer have a purpose?

    • I love angry Green Supporters, their twists of the knife are always designed to break off a tip and get infected. The Greens have to look like a possible partner for National so that they are no longer sidelined by Labour + NZ First, Red Peak is an example, leaving Farming out of emission targets for 5 years is another example, the original decision to vote for the RWC all night boozing bill getting flipped and then flopped is another.

      While the machinations are purely political make up to make Labour + NZ First sit up and listen, the possibility of a National-Green majority is enough to make tribal left not vote Green. I could never forgive myself if I voted Green and they post election decide they can get more from Key than a NZ First hamstrung Little.

      Your narrative that I can’t advocate for the Left seems intent on ignoring what I’m saying. That seems a bit beltway for me.

      • Any party can betray it’s voters. There is no such thing as the iron-clad guarantee you seem to need. But none of your examples are betrayals, yet they are being used to argue that the Greens are really no better than Labour, which is a crock. Take the worst of them, the 5 year delay for farmers. The Greens were arguing for a cross-party deal on climate change and to again show that by rejecting the very idea of taking the politics out of the issue, National isn’t acting in the best interested of NZ or the world. This small compromise would be well worth such a deal, not the abrogation of principles you make it appear. Give the Greens a chance. If they blow it in govt, you’ll have an argument. Right now you have none.

        • Is there a difference between a bad deal and a really well thought out bad deal?

          The Maori Party pretty much use the same arguments you propose. Being at the table blah bla, we negotiated a bad deal into a not so bad deal. (I still haven’t figured out the difference because TPK with its hundreds of millions are struggling)

          You seem to have a complete lack of understanding about how the public actually perceive the goings on in parlment.

          • I haven’t made any argument akin to what the Maori Party have done, so that’s a straw man. The Greens will not be sitting around the table with National after the next election, which even Martyn seems to admit is true despite recent rhetoric. I’m happy for the public to decide whether what they want to support. In the meantime we need commentators on the left, including prominent bloggers, to inform the public and that means talking about parties and issues accurately. Martyn isn’t doing that when he claims that those decisions by the Greens somehow equate to Labour’s TPPA betrayal.

  3. Don’t agree with all of Corbyns policies but then
    He was right on south africa
    He was right on PIRA ( The IRA)

    So he has unpopular views history has proved him right on. Having some body in parliment who actually belives in something could be interesting.

    How would forcing labour to do anything work. I mean, we’re used to parties talking a good game before elections then after, blame the budget ect ect.

    An NZ Corbin should build his party from the ground up. In my opinion.

    • @ Sam – Your final statement –

      “An NZ Corbin should build his party from the ground up. In my opinion.”

      He has.

      It’s called the Mana Movement.

      • Bruh. You try selling there policies to a wider audience. First of there members like income every one of there moral superiority. And wtf happen to sue Bradford.

        It’s very frustrating.

        When you are small playing the populace stuff on a budget. It only works for so long.

  4. I’m suffering under the student debt scam that the Fourth Labour Government introduced and the Fifth Labour Government refused to repeal.

    $5 is a lot to me. I’d rather spend that $5 on some eggs to throw at my local Labour MP.

    Labour teamed up with National and the Maori Party to kill off my party in Te Tai Tokerau.

    Labour offend my friends with un-Kiwi last names – whatever that has to do with housing shortages, I have no idea.

    I couldn’t think of much worse than Little getting in for 6-9 years then National getting back in. I’d rather Key stay in until 2020 and hopefully by then Labour will rediscover their values. Nothing worse than back stabbing ‘friends’.

    • @ Fatty …I gave you a thumbs up by mistake…if you are accusing Labour of racism you are wrong!(re “Labour offend my friends with un-Kiwi last names – whatever that has to do with housing shortages, I have no idea.”)

      …Chinese buy up is a fact and the offense is pretence…even the Chinese say it!….and if you want the details see below

      ‘Wall of Chinese capital buying up Australian properties’

      • If Labour wants to restrict foreign buyers then they can go for it – although that’s ignoring the local property barons who will mop up the properties and continue the exploitation. I don’t care if the landlord that rips me off is living down the street or on the other side of the world, I’m still paying their mortgage and being kept in poverty.

        Nationalistic policies mean fuck all to me, I’d rather anti-inequality policies, or better yet, anti-capitalist policies.

        But here’s a tip for not being racist, don’t release a half-baked list based on Chinese surnames – that’s racism.

        Meanwhile, Stuart Nash was on RNZ a few hours ago having a go at the government for blocking Chinese farm buyers. Labour can’t even keep their racism consistant!

        • re -“Nationalistic policies mean fuck all to me, I’d rather anti-inequality policies, or better yet, anti-capitalist policies.”

          ..”anti-inequality policies” from China?…I think not!

          …”anti-capitalist policies.”…from China ?…I think not!

          This shows your absolute naivety …if you are advocating Chinese free for all and hence takeover

          Perhaps you would like to become like Tibet or Africa?

          ….really unless you have been to these countries you are totally ignorant of the sheer population size and money involved or the extent of the environmental degradation

          • Bruh. Labour ain’t that special it isn’t immune from racists ideology. I could go on about terror raids and how current Labour MPs still refuse to apologize for something that has nothing to do with terrorism.

            Instead I will say persons trying to left themselves out of the communities they grew up in, traveling and going on better holidays by becoming MPs, is slight racism.

          • No, you misunderstand my points and my solutions. How on earth would giving open access to overseas buyers decrease inequality or be anti-capitalist? That’s not what I’m proposing at all.

            My point is that Labour’s policy will do nothing to stop the local land barons. We’ll still have Colin Craig type creatures profiting from rent and creating poverty – I think we can do much better than that, don’t you?

            By all means ban overseas buyers, but what is your obsession with ‘the Chinese’?

            Here’s my solutions (which can be seen as a stepping stone):

            1. Ban people who live outside of NZ from buying land or housing (notice how I didn’t mention an ethnicity there? It’s not that hard. Also, this policy in itself does fuck all)

            2. Place a very high CGT tax on an individual’s second home.

            3. Make it pretty much impossible to purchase a 3rd home – extremely high CGT.

            4. The use of family trusts to purchase or own property must be tightly controlled. One property within a family trust or under collective ownership is fine, but not a portfolio. We have bi-cultural responsibilities to allow for collective ownership, and collective ownership is good for communes etc.

            5. Give long term renting rights. Landlords should have little control over the length of a lease (like Germany and other European nations).

            6. Rent caps to stop profiteering (again, like Germany and other European nations).

            7. A social housing scheme that will flood the market with homes and eliminate homlessness.

            These are just off the top of my head and they shit all over Labour’s blame the foreigners policies. Landlords and rent profits are the problem, not ethnicity. Letting the landlord down the street do what foriegn landlords do means nothing. I have no idea how you think Labour’s policy will stop the exploitation.

            • A capital gains tax isn’t that great because the really rich people who over inflate property price have

              1) access to zero percent interest loans

              2) are storing there I’ll gotten gains (or even fruit of the poison tree, a legalese thing) in property as apposed to accumulating equity to unlock for retirement.

              3) storing money in property will still be more profitable than keeping it in the bank under a CGT

              And again, the really rich guys who topple the property markets can just buy an investment visa and again get around a ban on foreign sales.

              Besides. I like Chinese, especially there food. And they work hard, don’t beat people up. Can handle there piss.

              I think a compressive tax on all capital income as proposed by the Morgan foundation will close all the loophole being talked about, and allow us to not piss of the Chinese.

              • Yes Sam, good points regarding the CGT. A tax on capital income sounds better, but will that stop land-banking?

                Someone who used to comment on this site was always pushing land value tax, and she/he seemed very knowlegable.

                Do you have any view on LVT? I’m unsure how well it will work.

                • LVT is just help to buy.

                  To churn out new contracts.

                  It’s a Nigerian scam.

                  I’m kinda late to reply so please excuse the briefness

  5. stopped voting Labour in ’87 and remain polite to Labour members that I know through unions but expect nothing but class collaboration from NZ Labour when the going gets tough, and when they do get elected it is “don’t rock the boat” as per the Clark years; yes you can get needed reforms but they can be swept aside by the next parliament unless widely supported by the people,

    on that count NZ has 500,000 owner operators and SMEs loosely called “companies”, this lot identify with the real captains of industry and make it difficult for the rest of us while they bennie bash and property speculate etc

    “from the inside” is a young persons game taking a lot of time, as the intense struggle in Auckland central to oust Richard Prebble and install Sandra Lee showed, so if you have the energy go for it, but for my money I will be at pickets and marches till the end supporting political groups like Mana

    • And long may you continue Tiger.

      These people seem to think we cannot remember things.

      Boy, are they ever wrong…

  6. How numerous was the Labour party membership in 1984?

    Did the party caucus take a blind bit of notice of the party back then?

    Or since?

    Can we identify more than token action taken by Labour, in Govt or opposition, since the sacking of Roger Douglas, that has rolled back the advancement of neoliberalism?

    Why won’t Labour commit to the recovery of stolen state assets?

    Why didn’t Clark govt roll back the Employment Relations Act?

    Why are Labour cementing global neoliberalism into existence, for at least a generation probably longer, by supporting the TTP?

    Why would any progressive think that Labour has any semblence of progression about them.

    CB talks about the Great NZ Institutional Lie. Labour is the Great NZ Political Swindle.

    No thanks to your solution Martyn.


  7. Once TPP is signed we will, in our lifetimes, never

    recover public assets stolen by the 1 %
    reform labour market to allow unions a fair deal
    wrest control of our economy from the banks and corporations.

    And that is what Labour are, without consience, agreeing to sign us up to.

  8. Labour are a waste of space. Clark was worse than Key. The housing bubble in Auckland began under Clark and Cullen as a deliberate, feel good, wealth effect, vote generator. Paid down government debt by encouraging massive private debt in the housing market and spiked it with WFF and accomodation supplements. They knew people in the top tax bracket were moving into property to offset the 39% rate but did nothing. They even joined in with their own “investment” properties.

    Labour have also been complicit in numerous foreign policy abominations through the decades including acquiescence over Indonesia, East Timor, not compensating Vietnam vets, Five Eyes collaboration, not to mention Operation 8 and Ahmed Zaoui at home. Corngate, apology to Bush, bailing out shareholders of Air NZ and Tranzrail let alone all the two faced actions of Rogernomics.

    Little promises more of the same.

    • John key is the worst PM in this country’s history, no other PM is worse than him. Helen Clark is regarded as one of New Zealand’s successful PM’s. Circus ringleader and dishonest showman John Key is an abject failure.

  9. …while last time I voted Green and Mana/Int …and I am a long time financial supporter of the Greens and was almost a member

    ….this time, thus far, I am voting NZF…I really dont trust Shaw with his slick support of Key over the Red Peak crap flag…and his lack of loyalty to Labour

    ( the Greens have got to get it into their heads that any flirting/support of this disgraceful right wing cronyist corporate inhumane jonkey nact government will absolutely KILL their Green voter support base…Shaw should resign imo…he is incompetent)

    Labour needs a Mana/Int ginger group to wake it up ( no TPP…buy back state assets …a prohibition on foreign ownership of NZ housing…NZ social welfare for NZers and take it to the Left) …if this happened I could see myself giving Labour one of my votes

  10. Labour’s best chance of a Corbyn was Cunliffe but things are not so bad in New Zealand as they are in the UK so there weren’t enough angry people looking for someone to get behind.

    Labour needs to resolve it’s identity crisis and frankly I won’t be happy untill I see the members trying to take over their party properly and kick the neo libs out.

    I guess they thought changing the leadership voting rules would be enough but installing Cunliffe and leaving him too it didn’t work. If people are serious about reforming Labour they’ll need to set up a parallel/shadow network that has the power to determine the candidates for each electorate (which is what Corbyn needs too). In short they’ll need to work hard – and keep working – and stop waiting for a savour.

    On the other hand – this discussion could all be irrelevant – there is already a credible left wing party in parliament in NZ (The Greens) and when people get angry enough they can just swing in behind it.

    On the third hand – I worry that the Greens could never be a broad church party because their branding is so obviously environmental. This could mean half the angry people go to NZ First or it could mean they swing in behind Mana. I’m definitely not writing them off yet either.

    • re “there is already a credible left wing party in parliament in NZ (The Greens)”

      are you sure ?…i mean really, really sure about Shaw?

      …you know Shaw the Red Peak corporate flag man who got jonkey out of the flag hole …just when Labour had jonkey at the end of a staff pole

      • The flag thing was a political mistake, but doesn’t define the Greens position on the spectrum at all. It was a bit of populism, like Dunne leaping in with a members bill to grab credit for changing the daylight savings date (though not as popular). It was dumb, but to say they’re not the credible left party in Parliament right now is just crazy.

        • I think the “flag thing” was a salient lesson to the Greens – leave the fluffy, populist stuff to Winston Peters.

          We expect higher, principled standards from the Green Party.

          • yes that is a common right wing slur against Peters..that he is a “populist” , opportunist and shallow…and now “fluffy”!…really I would expect better from you!

            however it is more a reflection on the shallowness of the speaker than anything else….given Peters record on issues he is to the left of the Labour Party…and has never sold out on things like spying on New Zealanders, keeping NZ assets housing and land for NZers ….and certainly not selling off state assets …really if he was a populist he would have been PM long ago

            ….and the Greens are increasingly very middle class and supporters/cohorts of Jonkey nact

            • I would say that the Greens are increasingly “fluffy”

              …and less Green than a blousey pale Bluey

              … this has always been the dream scenario of Hooton

              …David Cunliffe shunned Hooton’s Christmas Party barbeque but David Shearer went along …I wonder if the Shaw of the Greens will be there? the interests of the Green movement of course)

            • Yet Winston is the one who gave the Nats a third term in the 90’s and promises to consider doing so again. He’s the one to worry about, not the Greens.

              • Learn your history ( see the documentary on Helen Clark):

                1.) a very short lived term and Peters brought down the National Party government when it sold state assets

                2.) …also as Helen Clark did not have the numbers to form a majority working government even with his NZF support ( Jim Anderton’s Alliance would not support the Labour Government) …Peters was faced with either being the cause of another Election being called ( with all the attendant expense and unpopularity)or trying to work with the National Government on his own terms ….when he could not he pulled the whole government down

                …and has never been forgiven by the National Party or the right wing

  11. Forget Labour, start a totally new progressive party, with some new faces and smart minds, that stands for truly social democratic left of centre policies and makes NO compromises to business and upper middle class voters, who only have contempt towards the marginalised and other disillusioned who cannot bother voting.

    Yes, Sanders and Corbyn show us the way, Labour NZ are deep asleep or hell bent on keeping themselves tied to failed policy.

    They have too much baggage, so a new party is needed, also able to take up good ideas from NZ First and Greens, with a progressive focus. Time to act those that care.

  12. Should Labour do a Corbyn? Yes, if it wants to forever be the party in opposition. Sure, it’d be a “better” party in the sense that it’d give voters a real alternative. But most people are happy with the status quo and aren’t interested in an alternative (btw I believe it’s a deliberate policy of National to keep the majority happy and ignore the disenfranchised minority unless shafting Labour).

    OK, if the property market crashes, the economy dives and unemployment soars then, maybe, a Corbyn Labour might possibly have a chance. But you’ll be waiting for a while for that to happen.

    I would have Labour split in two. A minority would be “Corbyn Labour” and the rest would be basically center-Left Labour. The center-Left Labour would be the Labour that gets in power, and the “Corbyn Labour” would be the party of influence that would influence the Labour government in power. A kind of National-Act thing, so to speak.

  13. I don’t get it, why the constant obsession with Labour? while National remain largely untouched by most authors on here and elsewhere. Why aren’t we all, including those within the media and blogs who have the power, putting pressure on National? after all, right now National are the government that are selling us out.

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