Too Little, too late?



I have avoided having a crack at Andrew Little and the Labour Party’s campaign strategy until now as I thought he deserved the right to have a bit of time to establish himself and chart his own course. Too often the left-wing critics of the major parties sound like sloganeers rather than reasoned voices and I wanted to avoid that.

However, in the past week, it has become abundantly clear that the strategic options being pursued by the Labour Party are not going to dig the party out of the hole it is in.

Those of us active in unions want a change in government. The formal political programmes of all the opposition parties are, on paper at least, an improvement on the staus-quo. Labour, the Greens and NZ First have all supported significant increases in the minimum wage for instance. The members of Unite Union in the fast food industry will welcome that change with some enthusiasm.

The challenge for the leadership of a moderate social-democratic party is to appear as a meaningful alternative for its own natural supporters, generally working people, while not upsetting the wealthy owners of big business. I think that is a mistake. Having a bob each way often leads to the risk of being insincere and untrustworthy bullshit artists. That seemed to be the fate of an earlier announcement around 90-day trials.

Labour won the 1999 election by ending its war against the left-wing Alliance Party and adopting key policy issues that made it appear they would make some significant changes in the interests of working people when they became the government.

In government, however, Labour’s reforming zeal was exhausted pretty early on. It focused on being a safe pair of hands for managing capitalism. With a continuously growing economy and falling unemployment over the next nine years they held onto office but without generating any particular enthusiasm from their core support base.

Once the National Party had got rid of the loony-right leadership of Don Brash that the Business Roundtable tried to impose on them, they simply had to wait for their turn in office which came in the wake of the 2008 recession.

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Helen Clark’s retirement and Labour’s selection of the notoriously right-wing Phil Goff as leader ensured the loss of the 2011 election. Continuous leadership changes and an inability to project the image of an alternative government in waiting meant continuing decline in 2014. There had been an improvement in the policies of the party but no-one took it very seriously. There was a certain incoherence about the policies as well. Progressive policies in support of a minimum wage rise were combined with reactionary ones to increase the pension age.

There is one aspect of liberal policies I particularly detest which is they way the well-paid leaders of liberal-left parties argue for the need to increase taxes in order to pay for progressive policies without emphasising that the increased taxation will be on the rich not working people. In fact, taxes on working people should be radically reduced.

Workers in New Zealand are taxed at a regressive punitive rate that should be ended. We pay income tax on average of about 20% every penny we earn. We pay another 15% on every penny we spend. We pay more taxes on petrol, alcohol, and cigarettes. Then there are extortionate charges on every kind of government service we receive. We are taxed to death and we hate it. We don’t even get a decent return on what we pay. At least in some Scandanavian countries, they pay high income taxes but the return from society in the form of free education and heath care, as well as widespread access to childcare, is so good most people don’t mind.

In New Zealand, after paying savage taxes, working people still have to pay charges for education from school “donations to university fees. We have high fees for accessing doctors and waiting lists for important operations in public hospitals.

I remember watching a televised debate in despair between John Key and David Cunliffe in the 2014 election where Key baited Cunliffe over wanting to increase taxes and the then Labour Party leader David Cunliffe had no answer. I wanted to scream at the TV screen. “Just tell the people you will reduce taxes on ordinary kiwis and hit the rich who pay little or no tax today. Tell the people that John Key is a liar because he increased taxes and charges on most people when he had run on a promise to reduce taxes for everyone. The only people to actually get a tax cut were his rich mates.”

We usually don’t hear those sort of simple messages because the Labour Party leaders seem to have a compulsive fear of offending big business and their bought and paid for scribes in the media.

Progressive policies like the one Little announced last week to provide three years of free tertiary education was qualified by so many caveats that it was almost meaningless. Rather than three years free education in the small print we discover that we get one year free in the first term, another year in the second term (if we re-elect Labour) and a third year in the third term. We actually have to wait until 2025 for any current school student to get it. To be honest, I thought the media gave Andrew Little a free pass on that one, but when the limitations of the policy sinks in the disappointment will be obvious.

Fully funded, the three years free tertiary education policy is estimated to cost $1.2 billion a year. There is no reason that couldn’t have been done immediately. Current government expenditure is $95 billion a year. A 1.26% increase in spending from making the rich parasites pay their full share would deliver more than enough. That also leave aside the possible reallocation from prisons, the military and other less useful expenditure.

The problem with being so “careful” not to offend the orchestrated “consensus” in the media and the commentariat to be “fiscally responsible” as Andrew Little explained on one interview is that Labour appears scared to promise anything of substance. There is nothing much on offer to get particularly excited about. And if this is how they treat a flagship policy in the education sector then we can be sure very little will be being offered that actually has significant costs associated with it.

Andrew Little came across as simply being dishonest when he announced that Labour would be “opposing” the TPPA – but would vote for the enabling legislation and would not repeal it if passed!

The National leadership has cultivated a down to earth persona that tries to portray itself as straight shooters. To a degree, it has been successful. But Labour’s inability to speak honestly and directly to people, let alone inspire them with a vision for something significantly different and better, will be its death knell unless reversed.

The only thing going for Labour at the moment is the high likelihood that we will have a deep recession before the next election. National’s self-cultivated image of being competent economic managers will be dealt a significant blow. Whether it is enough to see them defeated is another question.

For that to happen Labour needs to significantly lift its game. We need less of Andrew Little the shifty lawyer and more of the Andrew Little I remember when he was a union leader speaking to mass rallies of workers with force, directness, clarity and vision. I assume he is still there somewhere.


  1. Labour need a new leader, a Norman Kirk charismatic type, I do not see such a person in their ranks at the moment though.

    • Of course you don’t Dave, you’re a national party troll. Don’t you mean that National needs a new leader? The lying traitor you have now looks so hollow, tired and stale.

        • Well,…you’ve got to admit…. the neo liberal brand has taken a hit – and not just in NZ either… I hear the Germans are getting a bit pissed with them over there as of late as well…

          All that remains now is further hypocrisy’s from the neo liberal far right and the purge will begin…and going by recent events?

          ….it doesn’t look too far off into the future.

        • Remember how ineffective the National Party were when they were in opposition for 9 years Dave?

          Labour, NZ First and the Greens are doing their job.

        • Every democracy also needs a government that has its people’s best interests at heart – and plays by the rules with which it gained power. We don’t have that either.

        • “WORDS – every democracy needs an effective opposition. We do not have one. – Dave

          Dave, every democracy needs an honest Prime Minister. We do not have one. There, fixed it.

          • ALH84001. Our parliament is modeled on the Westminster system so the opposition is never as effective as the people would like. However, the opposition are doing their job under that system.

            You are right about dishonest John key.

      • Words, I remember a very good article by Chris trotter some two years back. Basically Chris opined that national are the natural party of government in NZ and that it always takes a sensational leader from Labour to wrestle the treasury benches off National. Think Kirk, Lange and Clark in my lifetime. Other Labour leaders outside these three simply do not have the ability to take on National and win. Think Rowling, Palmer Moore Goff, shearer, cunliffe, little

        And I don’t see any talent in the Labour wings with the abili to take on and beat key.

        So I ask, rather that waiting their turn, will Labour produce that sensational leader to beat Key? Not from the current bunch as far as I can see

        • Well, that’s just your bad opinion, but I do not think ‘sensational” is the correct word to use anyway. The political landscape has changed considerably under the key dirty politics National government, and I think New Zealanders are fed up with the lies, the deceit and acts of treason by John key, who is a legend in his own mind. New Zealand doesn’t need a sensationalist prop, we have had that over the last 7 years, what New Zealand needs is a real leader, with this country’s best interests at heart and mind and Andrew Little fits the bill in my humble opinion. Little is a far better and safer bet than John key, who has done nothing but lie and deceive us and sell us out to his American corporate/government friends.

      • I think they should allow John Key to fade out into a sunset somewhere and elevate Judith Collins. You see how easy she is with the media on Paul Henry. The camera and people love her and she just makes mincemeat of Annette King in any debate, where it is Annette that looks “hollow tired and stale”.

        28,000 or so marched against John Key and booed him at the Auckland Nines (but I still believe the crowd were booing some rough treatment by a security guard). It’s time to put a softer face on centre-right (and centre-left) politics.

    • No Dave, Labour need to let Goff, Shearer, Nash and Davis (?) and any other skulking Labour neoliberal wolves in sheep clothing, cross the floor and vote with Gollum Key and his corporate backers.

      Let Little and the remnants of the Labour Party re-connect with working poor and other victims of neoliberalism, that was started in 1984 by the hijacker ACT pillagers Douglas and Prebble and which has continued unabated by National, ACT and its various coalition parties since 1990.

      Fuck the neoliberals and their callous disregard for workers and working poor. Fuck the neoliberals and their asset sales and low-wage economy treason. Fuck the new neoliberal flag and its #1 sponsor Gollum Key.

      If the Maori Party, Goff, Shearer, Nash and any other anti-worker neoliberal bastards want to support Key and the neoliberal corporate takeover, go for it! The election in 2017 will sort out who was right and who was wrong.

      So bring it on, but let the neoliberal cancer be cauterized from Labour NOW once and for all. Little needs to bury the bastards once and for all from Labour, then wait for 17 months to rid New Zealand of the scourge in 2017 by getting rid of National, Maori Party, Peter Dunne’s Party and ACT.


    • Please give Labour a chance. This continual Labour bashing is not helping us get rid of the present horrific govt. Labour and the Greens have to win.
      Andrew Little may not be perfect but did anyone hear him yesterday in parliament? Check it out, he is growing even if Shearer and Goff are out to lunch.

      • Please give Labour a chance.

        Groan, how many years is it since the fourth Labour Govt lost office?

        They’ve had their chance – their multitude of chances, over a long, very long, twenty five years.

        Time to get off the can.

        • I agree with Blake. Maybe you should follow your own advice. Each and every National government, since it’s formation in the 1930’s has gutted this country for itself and left it in economic shambles, and stupid Kiwis keep voting that in, and all you can do is rabbit on about the 4th Labour government of decades ago. despite there being a successful 5th Labour government since then. It’s not the 1980’s anymore, it’s 2016 and the key National government has just given New Zealand the biggest F you finger of all time, and has handed us over to key’s foreign US corporate/government.

  2. Indeed…we need a progressive tax regime in place….and greater clarity of earnings to prevent the rich from using all manner of mechanisms to mask their actual earnings.

    [ ‘ Workers in New Zealand are taxed at a regressive punitive rate that should be ended. We pay income tax on average of about 20% every penny we earn. We pay another 15% on every penny we spend. We pay more taxes on petrol, alcohol, and cigarettes. Then there are extortionate charges on every kind of government service we receive. We are taxed to death and we hate it. We don’t even get a decent return on what we pay. At least in some Scandanavian countries, they pay high income taxes but the return from society in the form of free education and heath care, as well as widespread access to childcare, is so good most people don’t mind.’ ]

    So often the neo liberals who come on these forums love to quote ‘ socialism’ and their go to country is always Venezuela.

    Have you noticed that? I certainly have.

    And yet they go strangely silent when the Scandinavian country’s are mentioned …its like they don’t exist… conveniently.

    And yet those Scandinavian country’s are among the wealthiest per capita nations on earth. They are also among the highest taxed and highest wage/salary earners as well. But they are anathema to the neo liberal, an aberration to be avoided in any discussion on Social Democracy’s…

    Particularly as they show up the lies of the neo liberal agenda- and more particularly the Chicago school of economics. That in fact Social Democracy …with a Keynes based economic model (albiet modified form) is a far more successful model than the grasping opportunistic neo liberalism that we have had for the past 32 years.

    We were indeed the guinea pig test case nation – and those who enabled those ‘tests’ are still very much alive and well in this country – John Key is but the latest in a long line of them. Perhaps even the most blatant PM to uphold the lie… it would be a toss up between Douglas , Richardson , Shipley , Goff, Caygill, Moore, Clark …and these are but the most notable ones… behind them are an army of them past and present that still infect what could be an amazing example down here in the South Pacific on how things SHOULD BE DONE.

    Instead we are saddled with the above parasites.

    Parasites that have successively ground this country down , plundered the wealth of the commons, sold off our assets, and in the latest episode with the TTPA… even sold off our very Sovereignty.

    What an appalling legacy they have left us and future generations. Absolutely disgusting.

    • I would like to add something to your great story, please.
      A month or two ago, I was talking to a lady who, although born in NZ had lived most of her life in Denmark.
      She told me lots about how people live in Denmark, how they are paid, how they are taken care of by the state when things go wrong.
      She told me how she found NZ almost unrecognizable from the place she had known as a child.
      She couldn’t believe how exploited workers are here and how the rule of law has become based on economic size and wealth rather than individual right.
      When I asked her if she might come back to NZ to live permanently she laughed in horror. “Not back to this basket case” she said.
      We get the constant spin about how great this country is, but it is a lie.
      It used to be a great country before the great (and ongoing) neo-liberal experiments of the 1980s but so many of us have been brainwashed into thinking that all we can ever hope for.
      Not on my watch, sleepy hobbits.
      While I still have breath I will do what I can (I know its not much but I will do it nonetheless) to cause a mass awakening here. A mass awakening to the worthless neo-liberal experiment that has turned our formerly great little country into an international-owned corporate laboratory with our inhabitants as lab mice.
      That is my thought for today.
      Have a good day thinking people.
      Have a great day nosing through whaleoil you trolls.

  3. Have to wonder why Mike Treen is not having a “crack” at National for ramming this down our throats, and signing what amounts to be a blank piece of paper to be filled in later on by John key foreign US corporate/government friends, but is attacking Labour instead?
    Labour and the other opposition parties, like the rest of us, don’t have a say in it. And as Corin Dann points out, National have the numbers to pass the TPPA legislation despite opposition from Labour, NZ First and the Greens.

    “In parliament today, Andrew Little said “There has been an absolute and abject mishandling of the TPPA by that government. They have been diabolical, they would not keep New Zealanders informed…”

    “while Labour says it might be able to support bits of that legislation if it deals with things like tariffs but the reality is that the TPPA has smashed a consensus between the two major parties on trade….”

    “National has the numbers to pass the TPPA legislation and it’s likely to be done by the end of the year. ”

    Have a crack at the Maori Party for continuing to support this treasonous Key led National government. They are being dishonest by not walking the talk.

  4. Great article Mike, but you might as well forget it, it’s hopeless. The only chance we have is if Bernie Sanders gets elected President and decides to annex New Zealand.

    Otherwise, I don’t see any other way that we will ever rid ourselves of our “Establishment”, and the centrist soft-power corruption that has suffocated our political system for so long.

    Unless of course you throw your hat in. That might do it.

  5. Clarity, directness, force, vision!
    Noble traits but I do not equate them to what I see any more either Mike
    You forgot to add beyond what a leader was, to inspire and unify now they also need mana.
    Real mana.
    Mana in any language interpretation that includes
    the sense of someone whose words have credibility and integrity!

    In an age when the kind of kotahitanga I experienced on Auckland’s streets on the 4th, is the only way I see NZ ever again being what it was world famous for when I exchanged the Disunited Kingdom for NZ as home in the late 80’s, I have to say that may require a very different person at the helm.
    If the TPPa IS ratified we may never see the like in any party allowed again!
    It’s kind of urgent!
    I’m glad you have chosen now to speak up!


    • Thanks for putting up that link. I watched Our Leader’s wee rant, Little’s response and the Peters and Marks stand up/sit down routine..but didn’t think to watch Shaw.

      My mistake. True genius. Heard some real commitment to being part of the next government.

      And I thought the ‘boneless meat’ gag was the best of the day!

      Thanks, Kate.

      • Yup. It was a pretty solid speech. The financial bits where easy to understand. For the first time there clean green proposals didn’t sound so wishing washie.

    • I agree Kate. It was good to hear him royally and intelligently put the national led government in their place and expose their very dirty laundry.
      He presented good ideas for change and did it with strength and authority.
      We have to get behind Labour and the Greens even if every member is not perfect, in order to get rid of the filth that now runs the show.

  6. Too little, too late for me. The way they have stalled on policies shows they are still too far aligned to neo-liberal policies. I would only vote for them again if I genuinely believed the representing the people at the bottom.

    • What do you mean “The way they have stalled on policies”? And what do you think of what John key and his National government have done?

      • We should do an Iceland on Key et al – they jailed the crooks – we need to too. Big countries like America might be able to afford corruption – we can’t.

        • Agreed. With you there on that Stuart. John key would be on the top of the list to be sent to jail, on a number of charges that includes treason.

      • Look. The discussion is, is Labour intent on representing the left with policies, that will enable all of us to live a decent life, as they did prior to 1984. The discussion is not about comparing Labour and National

        • Don’t know if you have noticed Bridget, but the discussion is actually more to do with the TPPA. The focus should be on National but it’s being deflected onto Labour. It’s no longer 1984, and it amazes me how everyone seems to conveniently forget Muldoon’s National government.
          The Clark Labour government had a successful 3 term tenure, and kiwis enjoyed a better lifestyle than what they do now under the self interested corrupt Key National government. But I suspect your comment was more about just having a go at Labour rather than discussing the key National government selling us out.

      • It is clear that Slumbergod is not intersting in talking about the Nats I expect they and you know already that they are disgusting and don’t represent the poor and downtrodden. Of course they have stalled and back tracked, I could never see myself voting for Labour ever after they deserted their constitutency. Tell me what they ever did for the three poorest electorates in the country, Manuka, Mangere and Manurewa… these are their people they vote for them but they get zilch. I will continue to vote Green it is our best bet.

        • Good for you Michal, but if you want the Greens in government, Labour has to win the election, It is as simple as that. All the parties are on the same page, they need to stay like that, (so do their supporters), to kick National out. Northland showed the way. Personally, I don’t like the way the Greens are talking, I know it’s a political move on their part to appeal to a broader group of voters, but it could easily back fire too. I have no doubt that the Greens would never prop up the Key National government like the Maori Party are doing, but it does give the right wing the narrative to attack the opposition. Personally, I will be voting for Labour. There is one thing the opposition has over National, They don’t need coat tailing to get into parliament. Act, Maori Party and UF need to be wiped out
          I lived in Manurewa, and I can tell you, it was way better under a Labour government, than under a National one.

  7. NZ Labour, please come out of the closet.

    Time to be another Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbett see what it can do.

    • They have come out of the closet so please consider not continuing the same ole Labour bashing rhetoric. Did you not hear Andrew Little in parliament yesterday. There was fire there and compassion and he is far from the idiot we now have as pm. Give them a chance. Labour and the Greens have to win next time even if they are not exactly what we would call perfect.

  8. Call me lefty but I would be happy to pay a bit extra taxes if I new that it would actually reach NZ super, The health budget, R&D, defence, education, state housing. Ya know, the things that made New Zealand great?

    • Sam, I agree. Reading Frank’s piece on tax-cuts, I can understand why so many of our social services have been cut back.

      The whole concept of tax cuts is fraught if in the end we end up with more user-pays.

      • I would have though it was pretty obvious. Seven tax cuts over 20 years have failed to produce the forecasted tax revenue every single budget. Here’s this famous saying again. The definition of insanity is to repeat failure.

      • Until the money system /creation of money is reformed then discussion on tax levels is really just a distraction.

        Private banks creating/ issuing money for themselves cannot replace the benefits of the state creating money to use for the benefit of the whole of NZ.

        This conversation is avoided by politicians and the public who are neatly conned into accepting the status quo of being robbed blind every hour of every day continuously for decade upon century.

        Who gave the banks the power to create money … you by acquiescing to their quislings.

        The housing “bubble” is a bonanza for banks and speculators ,and both groups reap enormous profit without producing anything.

        The banks presently “own” more than half of rural NZ. Cost to them, just the expenses of facilitating the taking.

        Banking is a deep dark black hole not open to public scrutiny.

        Tax evasion only being a tip of their activity.

        Your PM and the Ozzie PM are bankers looking after their parent backers.

  9. If Labour turns to the right, it will cease to exist as a major party, and become nothing more than another Act. So it should instead treat itself as a center-left party and not just to the left slightly of National. Labour was stupid to attack the Greens and Mana, distance itself, and fragment the left last election. It’s billboards also sucked, all Labour needed to do was look to other countries for inspiration – instead of just putting a name on a billboard with a lame slogan. People want something funny to look at or a rebuttal of National, not just ‘I’m Labour, vote for me’ – which strategy has failed Labour every election.

  10. Great speech from Andrew Little yesterday…a bit of fire and much needed passion….if he carries on like this he should be able to climb in the polls and position a labour/green/maori coalition to win the next election…He needs to take a principled stand for and against the real issues: Social Housing, wage stagnation for most, poverty, TPPA etc

  11. [In case you missed it, Oxywood, your posting rights here are rescinded. I have good reason to believe you are a previously banned poster, that has operated under several pseudonyms (“Nehemiah Wall”, “Intrinsicvalue”, “Gypsy”, “Lion King”, “Contravert”, “et al. ) As a right-winger, you appear to have a disregard for property rights and willingly trespass where you are not welcome. – ScarletMod]

  12. [In case you missed it, Oxywood, your posting rights here are rescinded. I have good reason to believe you are a previously banned poster, that has operated under several pseudonyms (“Nehemiah Wall”, “Intrinsicvalue”, “Gypsy”, “Lion King”, “Contravert”, “et al. ) Despite your right-wing beliefs, you appear to have a disregard for property rights and willingly trespass where you are not welcome. – ScarletMod]

    • Thanks TDB for getting rid of dishonest trolls. Crims like him will just get a new email and try try again to sell his BS that is worthless and very smelly.
      People see right through the childish propaganda but they keep trying to sell their worthless tripe.

  13. After carefully listening to Andrew Little in Parliament yesterday, I am beginning to see the fire in his guts and true compassion in his words.
    He and his party are not the lame idiots that the Natz want to continue to portray. Little is a formidable force now and I hope that we NZ’s will give him a chance even though at least two in his team support the tppa — David Shearer and Phil Goff ( shame on Helen Clark ! ! as well ) You can smell the NWO corporate and criminal bankster allegiance a kilometre away.

    I watched John Key in parliament yesterday deny the truths; try to sway the masses with his rosy phony rhetoric that he thinks we all buy. His humour is so pathetic and what a real joke he really is. He had to put on a song and dance show after dildogate and the massive tpps protest and his no show on waitangi day and now the country is beginning to see right through his elitist, out of touch, sad leadership. He is way way beyond an embarrassment at this point and those trolls and voters who are still hanging on will soon loose their grips as their beliefs slip into quick sand when the truths come out into the light of day.

  14. +100 especially

    “Workers in New Zealand are taxed at a regressive punitive rate that should be ended. We pay income tax on average of about 20% every penny we earn. We pay another 15% on every penny we spend. We pay more taxes on petrol, alcohol, and cigarettes. Then there are extortionate charges on every kind of government service we receive. We are taxed to death and we hate it. We don’t even get a decent return on what we pay. At least in some Scandanavian countries, they pay high income taxes but the return from society in the form of free education and heath care, as well as widespread access to childcare, is so good most people don’t mind.”

    That is why Labour trying to get a few more tax dollars from the so called rich over $150k did not really work. These are not the super rich.

    If you live in Auckland you need to pay a million dollars for a ‘do up’, you then have to pay back student debt etc and then for being so ‘wealthy’ you then don’t get any of the benefits such as community services card, etc. Increasingly food banks are having to bail out the ‘wealthy’.

    Yep, people can scoff, but wealthy people in NZ can actually have less than some one with nothing as they carry so much debt. With increasing job insecurity and a real world decrease in wages middle classes are disappearing from around the world. Doctors can actually be poor on a high wage especially if they are not hell bent on getting as much cash as possible after they graduate.

    Would prefer politicians concentrate on the super wealthy that don’t pay tax on the highest bracket and the corporate welfare on steroids that just seems to be ignored by Labour.

    Labour need to stop picking on groups of workers, and concentrate on stopping corporate welfare and actually collecting taxes from companies with high profits that avoid paying tax in this country!!

  15. “Out, out, brief candle! Little’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.” Macbeth Quote (Act V, Scene V).

    Centrist Labour politics is finished, but as that is all this generation of politicians has ever known, they are incapable of changing themselves. They are the Establishment. They must be changed by us.

    The current Establishment must be turned out, completely, in a Political Revolution. We must stop negotiating at the fringes for petty concessions and make an entirely new system.

  16. Thanks Mike – this is a great post. I absolutely agree with you, too scare too gutless, they want a foot in both camps. One of the problems is that the centre has moved more and more to the right.

    • MICHAL:

      You’ve noticed!

      The centre of politics globally has been moving right since the 1980’s. This leaves the Far Left stranded.

      Since the 1980’s it’s been generally recognized that the far left policies don’t work. Even the leader of the UK Labour party has said as much.

      Andy Little will fail because he was installed by the remnants of the union movement. Little is unpopular. He’s never won a seat and would never have gotten near the leadership position if it weren’t for a constitution which gives unions too much say.

      As leader he is in an invidious position: He knows what will get votes (middle of the road policies) but the union heavies demand polices last seen in the 1960’s. No surprise then that he appears vacillating.

      • You’re a fool.

        The zeitgeist of the day is turning against the failed neo-liberalism that has caused the present global recession. There are no votes for Labour in the ‘middle’, a position that has moved left with declining real median incomes under the Key failconomy.

        It is the Right that have failed – failed to produce the prosperity and growth required to validate their policies. They were too corrupt. Corrupt markets are not efficient.

  17. The sooner this present Labour Party dies the better. At this stage it looks like I will have no-one to vote for in the next election! Where are our Saanders and Corbyn. Are there might be one. Hone, I am a 67 year old European who voted Mana in the last election. I would love to do so again. Hone, represent ALL New Zealand workers as well as Maori. We are all Kiwis now mate. Step up for all of us!

    • More Labour bashing. We have some politicians with their heads on straight in parties other than national. Back the good ones and lets stop with putting down the good bits in our political arena.

  18. Labour has nothing new to offer and Little seems to want to go back to the 50s. The world has changed Labour has not. They are no longer relative. As the the deep recession before the next election I see little chance of that happening in fact more likely the opposite but actually no one knows as in economics the past is not a good predicator of the future despite what economists would have you believe. I still see the Greens as taking votes from labour maybe it’s time the got together

    • Load of rw clap trap Dave, it’s the key National government that works solely for the elites here and offshore, that is stuck in the past with their anti kiwi and anti worker draconian legislation, that has pushed this country backwards by at least 100 years

    • Again and again more Labour bashing. This does no good when they are the party along with the Greens that will get rid of this terrible govt.
      They may not be perfect and Little may not be Sanders but please folks, lets stop denying that many politicians in the Labour and Green parties and also NZ. First are formidable players and they need our support and not so much negative criticism.

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