Unconvinced: Why Chris Trotter Is So Sceptical About The Labour-Green “Understanding”

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AS SO OFTEN HAPPENS when I appear on Paul Henry’s morning show, a host of lefties have devoted the rest of the day to disowning me. Underpinning their criticism is a strongly held belief that anyone billed as “left-wing” has a duty to stick up for Team Red – no matter what. Independent critical analysis is not considered helpful. Whenever someone like Paul Henry asks someone from the Left for their opinion, the only acceptable response, apparently, is: “Hooray for our side!”

But whatever else I may be, I am not a cheerleader. If I believe the Labour and Green parties have announced their new “Understanding” far too soon; without preparing the electorate or priming the news media; without securing real and valuable gains for both partners; without carefully gauging the reaction of both their members and their voters; and without having straightforward answers to journalists’ straightforward (and entirely predictable) questions; then I reserve the right to speak bluntly and critically about these deficiencies.

I further think that it is especially important to give voice to my misgivings if the deficiencies I’ve observed suggest a host of even bigger problems behind the scenes.

For months now there has been much discussion “inside the beltway” of Labour’s deep-seated financial difficulties. The slightest suggestion that a person might harbour left-wing sympathies has been enough to earn them a deluge of begging e-mails from Andrew Little and other Labour politicians. People make a joke of it, but those who know something about political fundraising are only too aware that these are the tactics of desperation.

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It gets worse. Just last week the veteran political journalist, Richard Harman, writing on his “Politik” blog, suggested that Labour’s membership might now be less than the Greens. If true (and Richard is no slouch when it comes to acquiring “usually reliable” sources) that would indicate a total of, at most, 5,000. Some have gone so far as to say that if the number of affiliated trade union members is subtracted from that total, then there may actually be fewer than 2,000 paid-up ordinary members in the whole party.

This is the kind of information that a political analyst draws upon when confronted with an event like yesterday’s announcement. And so, because I cannot pretend to be unaware of Labour’s difficulties, I will not characterise Labour’s decision to strengthen its relationship with the Greens as anything other than a desperate concession of organisational and electoral weakness. Indeed, were I a member of the Labour Caucus, I would be demanding to read the fine print of this new “Red-Green Alliance”.

Even were Labour coming at this from a position of strength, I would be doubtful of its efficacy. The historian in me reacts badly when people cite the example of 1998 – when Labour and the Alliance finally decided to end their civil war. The punishment meted out to both parties by the voters in 1996 had transformed the theoretical arguments in favour of reconciliation into objective psephological fact. Both Jim Anderton and Helen Clark knew they had to respond to the wishes of their core constituencies, and they did so with tremendous theatricality. In their superbly choreographed television embrace, centre-left voters saw the beginning of the end of Jenny Shipley’s turncoat government. Clark, quoting Dickens’ A Tale of two Cities, called it “The Spring of Hope”.

The skill with which the coming together of Labour and the Alliance was communicated to the electorate spoke volumes about the readiness of both parties for the rigors of office. The gimcrack quality of yesterday’s (31/5/16) announcement: a hastily cobbled together presser in the old Legislative Chamber; likewise had a story to tell.

It is the story of an exhausted and impecunious political organisation. A party stumbling towards its 100th anniversary in desperate need of support – any support. It is also the story of a younger and much more vital party desperate for its chance to exercise real power, and absolutely determined that it will not, once again, be robbed of its chance at the eleventh hour.

Such is my understanding of the Labour-Green “Understanding”.

Those who think they’ve witnessed a marriage made in electoral heaven – should think again.

103 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe Trotter is a doubter because he has failed to grasp our new MMP system?
    I remember the social credit and labour alliance as well and FPP, voted for change, happy to have MMP, maybe Trotter doesn’t want change, suggestions are after all just that, suggestions.
    Suddenly all media will be asking many questions, these parties are running with a great idea, MMP for the win, many details to iron out, but election is over a year a way, plenty of time to work out the full plan.
    Well played by these two parties, standby for a stunning election.

    • It was actually a Labour/ Alliance alliance. The Alliance comprising Greens, New Labour, and Democrats (ex Social Credit). I also remember while negotiations were taking place, Labour refusing to budge on their preferred tax regime. I also remember that by far the most progressive policies were Alliance initiatives. I hope the Greens remember and consider the cause of the demise of the Alliance Party.

    • It was actually a Labour/ Alliance alliance. The Alliance comprising Greens, New Labour, and Democrats (ex Social Credit). I also remember while negotiations were taking place, Labour refusing to budge on their preferred tax regime. I also remember that by far the most progressive policies were Alliance initiatives. I hope the Greens remember and reflect on the the cause of the demise of the Alliance Party.

    • His name is Chris. Disagree, take issue with his points, feel free to rebut them, but at least try to be polite, please.

    • Again — I do not agree with most you assert Mr. Trotter.
      Your negativity continues to dominate your ” going on and on ” writing and is not only predictable but a bit boring now.

      Maybe it is you who should ” think again. “

  2. Yep, my “understanding” is that, I expected no less from you Chris, the usual fare of left-baiting and soft-right critic of Labour.

    If only they had made you President and you had suggested a Labour-Green alliance, all would have been OK, eh Chris?

    Poor form Chris, would you like some mouldy cheese with those sour grapes?

  3. Chris Trotter the undercover rightwinger pretending to be a loony lefty it s no wonder people on this post are turning off your garbage

      • At least see the longer picture of what Labour and the Greens are doing, don’t just negate Labour all the time then Chris!

        • I am rather afraid of you virulent anti-Trotter people: you seem to want to suppress any self-criticism by the Left as a betrayal of the cause. If ever you get into power, you will continue to want to suppress any criticism of your government, and I have seen quite enough of that already. No thank you.

          If you do not like what Chris writes, point out the flaws in his logic and where he is wrong. Virulent accusations of betrayal make me wonder if you are capable of that – it is possible that Chris knows far more than you, and he may not be wrong.

          If he is right and the Left do lose the next election, will you think, ‘Maybe Chris was right’? I suspect you will bitterly blame Chris for the loss instead.

          To accuse Chris of working for the Right is nonsensical to my mind. If the Left cannot endure his criticism from a leftist point of view, then the Left is no more worthy of being in power than the cynical, greedy Right.

          • Rubbish. Can’t people have an opinion Vino? they have pointed out where they think he is wrong, and you haven’t been paying attention to his blogs, he’s a big Jk fan.

            • Rubbish. People can have an opinion after they have carefully considered all facts and arguments. To my mind Trotter has done this better than you who criticise him. The opinion you already hold is blinkering your vision. I think I have paid far more attention than you have.

              • Bull Vino, that’s a hypocritical statement, you are the one with blinkers on, and we all don’t have to agree because you happen to like CT and his rw support.

                • Sorry, but you are the one throwing toys out of the cot and screaming,’Right-Winger’ as soon as Trotter writes something you find unpalatable.

  4. Today at 5.15 pm on RNZ a story ran on a marae taking in the homeless in Mangere, a grim and almost unbelievable story occurring in NZ. The minister Anne Tolley FAILED TO FRONT! Did what pussy Nat ministers do when they are up to their eyeballs in the shit mess they made, does a press release So Chris gives Labour a kicking.

    Today John Key has taken a pasting from objective economists about his farcical excuse for taking over Auckland Councils ability to apportion land for development and Chris joins Claire Trevett, Larry Williams, the TDB and others and gives Labour a kicking.

    National is on the ropes in what is a fast unravelling nigutmare with housing and all the associated additional problems that go with it, Chris gives Labour a kicking

    One of Labours big problems is its broke, theres a business in keeping Labour broke, donors have learned.that their donations buy what they pay for with the Nats, sometimes more, wink, wink, who else is so bent in politics who can match that shit? So stop supporting the right Chris, do something useful!

      • Gee, the fisheries scandal with Peter Goodfellow, Nat party Pres and fishing industry exec jumps to mind.

        • Yes Dirk, did you read that key said Goodfellow leaves the room when fisheries is being discussed, so there is no conflict of interest Lol arrogant key must think people are stupid, the conflict of interest already exists, it doesn’t matter if Goodfellow is in the room or not.

  5. I don’t care whether Trotter thinks this may work or not, it has to work. Having just watched another idiot minister in Coleman making statements on mental health, then listening to the most dictatorial prime minister in our history tell journalists that if they go on Trademe, they will find houses in Auckland worth $500,000, in response to questions around the average home set to hit $1 million in Auckland, National need to go. When we have maraes and volunteers required to feed and house people in NZ, then social values are being eroded.
    So Chris, if it takes the marriage of Labour and the Greens and NZ First to oust a far right National government, then so be it!

  6. Attack the messenger – vintage Labour. FWIW, I agree with Chris. Labour is a busted flush now. It is out of money, ideas and active members. And it’s all the fault of its caucus too. I’d really like to see Labour overhaul itself and come storming back, all guns firing (I’d be right there with it, too). But it isn’t going to happen. I expect to see Labour reduced to a metropolitan, metrosexual rump (no pun intended) after 2017 and to fade, rapidly, after that.

    • Correct Labour is not flush with money right now but it is disingenuous to say it is out of ideas. They have plenty. It is absolutely clear however that National is backed by big business/ corporate and wealthy migrants escaping China. It is also very clear that National have no ideas whatsoever as they clamber from one mess to another on housing, health, education and child poverty. If they have an inkling of a solution, then it always inevitably derives from Labour. What we have witnessed in the past 12 months under National has been the decimation of democracy and it requires a universal; approach to extinguish Nationals chances of re-election. National, I may add are giving middle and lower income N.Z. enough evidence to oust them once and for all. The only issue left will be repairing the wake of destruction left behind by Key and National.I guess Crosby and Textor will be working overtime in the next 12 months:
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/510500/Nats-secret-advisers-accused-of-dirty-tricks-in-Aussie

  7. Early days – let’s see how it works before damning it. No honeymoon period though Chris? I’d’ve thought a few days grace wasn’t amiss.

    • Yes I think Chis has been a victim of EMF radiation poisoning which is a real health effect after living near Wi-Fi enclosed workplaces.

      This EMF radiation alters our mind and ability to rationalise most thought process’s now science has found.

      You all must now be aware that the US largest ever most authoritative study of the affects of EMF radiation has just been released two days ago and now most global press has covered the warnings about MF Radiation so read this report now.

      Simply use Ethernet cabling to your laptop and also use a separate keyboard to.

      Don’t over expose yourself anymore.

      https://emfscientist.org/

      http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/areas/cellphones/index.html

  8. I don’t agree with you Chris. I can understand your comparison with the coming together of Labour and the Alliance, but as you point out in your post, the situation is very different this time. For one thing, this is the first move I have seen in the past seven years with the potential to rob National of room for manipulation. For another, it signals a clear intention to the electorate. I am not so silly as to say nothing could possibly go wrong, but I am far more optimistic about it than you are. And I am not a cheerleader either.

  9. The supposed goals of Labour and the Greens are mutually exclusive.

    Labour supposedly wants an industrial economy offering full employment, ‘decent wages’ and economic growth that will raise the standard of living.

    The Greens supposedly want to protect the environment and provide the next generation with a future, which means not having economic growth or even having an industrial economy. In fact, the Greens should be advocating rapid and complete phasing out of the industrial economy.

    So how those mutually exclusive paradigms can possibly co-operate politically is a complete mystery. Which probably is why MoU has been heavy on rhetoric and light on policy.

    Whilst all the politicking continues, the meltdown of the planet continues: 408 ppm atmospheric CO2, rising temperatures, and fast-disappearing ice, with multi-metre sea level rise within decades now locked in.

    • So bloody true Olwyn

      Greens should also be handling this and getting our Politicians tested as their brains aren’t function properly.

      http://www.naturalnews.com/054200_glyphosate_EU_Parliament_members_herbicide_contamination.html

      Urine of every single member of the European Parliament tested found to be heavily contaminated with glyphosate weed killer

      Monday, May 16, 2016 by: Sarah Landers
      Tags: glyphosate, EU Parliament members, herbicide contamination

      (NaturalNews) In a bid to show the public that there is no reason to be concerned about exposure to popular herbicide glyphosate – produced by Big Agri Giant Monsanto – Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) volunteered to take a urine test to see if glyphosate was in their systems. As reported by Reader Supported News, 48 MEPs from 13 different European Union countries participated in the test to see if they had been exposed to the cancer-linked weedkiller – and now the results are in.

      According to the test results from the accredited Biocheck Laboratory in Germany, “all participants excreted glyphosate by urine.” That’s right – every single one.

      The experiment

      Spearheaded by the Green Party in the European Parliament – who are hoping for a ban on the toxic herbicide across the EU – the experiment found that on average the MEPs each had 1.7 micrograms/liter of glyphosate in their urine – which is 17 times higher than that found in European drinking water (on average 0.1 microgram/liter).

      This shows that glyphosate is entering our bodies not only from drinking water, but from the food chain – as everyone tested was way above the limit for residues of pesticides in drinking water, as Reader Supported News noted. The report states that: “All investigated EU-parliament members were glyphosate contaminated. This will show glyphosate is also in the food chain of members of the EU-parliament.”

      Dangers of glyphosate

      According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, glyphosate is a “probable carcinogen” – linked to serious health impacts. As reported by Mother Earth News, glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor, and has been linked with various health risks – including cancer, miscarriages and disruption of human sex hormones.

      Monsanto’s government ties

      Glyphosate is a compound contained in commonly-use herbicide Roundup, which is produced by Monsanto. Monsanto has long been known to have some pretty weighty government ties, including to the Obama Administration.

      In fact, according to Monsanto Mafia, the U.S. is “rapidly devolving into what can only be described as a Monsanto Nation. … Since day one, the Obama Administration has mouthed biotech propaganda, claiming, with no scientific justification whatsoever, that biotech crops can feed the world and enable farmers to increase production in the new era of climate change and extreme weather.”

      Obama’s Administration has reportedly become a “revolving door” for Monsanto operatives – including the USDA Secretary, pro-biotech former governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack. Meanwhile, Michael Taylor, former Monsanto Vice President, is now the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods.

      The findings of the EU experiment show that governments are not doing enough to protect people from exposure to glyphosate – and are taking no measures to prevent the health risks that develop over time. The fact that the average MEP was found with glyphosate levels in their urine that were 17 times higher than that in European drinking water, is certainly cause for concern and alarm.

      Yet, according to Reader Supported News, despite fierce opposition from European Parliament, the EU Commission plans to relicense glyphosate for another nine years. The Green Party have said that they are “p****d off that our governments want to allow this poison for another nine years! No politician should have this in his or her body, and not a single citizen either!”

      Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to allow glyphosate to be used in public spaces, for agriculture and even in your back yard.

      Sources include:

      ReaderSupportedNews.org

      MonsantoMafia.com

      MotherEarthNews.com

      TruthWiki.org

      Science.NaturalNews.com

      Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/054200_glyphosate_EU_Parliament_members_herbicide_contamination.html#ixzz4AJWawIKK

      • Glysophate is dangerous stuff but the most dangerous situation is having a Govt that allows it to be marketed.

        Using short term economic arguments to support poisoning the environment is plain crazy.

        Wrightsons ( Monsanto NZ ) cannot counter argue to the massive data accumulated overseas about glysophate related health damage to Humans let alone the residual accumulated systemic toxins from glysophate in soils and ground water, glysophate resistant crops for consumption and non targeted fodder species. Glysophate is nightmare.

        DDT now banned, was pronounced safe but we know the damage still being caused by residual DDT.

        De-industrialisation of cropping and use of a permaculture approach of course is not big business so gets not Govt support.

        • Thanks John W,

          https://www.rt.com/op-edge/154000-toxic-herbicide-gmo-monsanto/

          Yes Probably the politicians are getting poisoned incidentally as they have not been briefed of the CAS registry showing these Glysophates are terribly toxic to humans as they are to animals.

          Perhaps they have been also used in a chemical soup titled as “Pesticide’s or Bug retardants as I was chemically poisoned on these when in Canada in 1002 a carpet order was sent to a Government building under final stages of construction and laid down all 5 acres of it without central air circulation being used then or laid out as usual to be “Out gassed” so yours truly got chemically poisoned for life similarly as Vietnam solders did with “Defoliant” (Weed killer)

          yes we live in a toxic soup today all because industry hide the toxicity of their products.

    • This cleavage between Labour and the Greens exists in any case, and can’t be wished away. However, without some form of compromise, the left seems unlikely to win.

  10. Why do we give a monkeys what egotistical right-wing jerks such as Paul Henry think about it?
    Wasting time worrying about that just plays straight into their hands.
    Henry and co. can’t see further than the noses on their smug faces so their opinions are the opinions of losers and wannabe celebrities.
    The opinions that count are the members and supporters, and we have not yet had enough time to see what these are.

    • “It is difficult to get a man [Paul Henry] to understand something, when his salary [ from Mediaworks] depends upon his not understanding it!” I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (1935)

      Henry is a minion of Despicable Key – what else would you expect from him.? Gower is too, but at least Henry has a laugh like Dick Dastardly’s Muttley, as a saving grace.

      If Henry is Muttley, who is Dick Dastardly? Joyce or Key. Joyce can be Dick Dastardly and Key can be Despicable me Key.

  11. Well lets just see Chris.

    I guess its fair enough that you are not wanting to be a chair leader.

    But as far I can tell, you are not putting forward any positives of the deal. Many on the left have be looking for this from Labour and Greens since before last election.

    You also bring up Labours finances and membership numbers. Why add that into your critique of the L and G announcement? Surely they are two separate issues. It just comes across that you are highly critical of the Labour and Green move, but hasten to add hearsay information about Labour’s numbers that have been refuted by the party. Yes Labour might be hard up, but they don’t have the access to corporate donors that National do. Why not still to policy rather than strategy?????? In criticizing strategies, rather than policy you are falling into the msm trap.

  12. Well lets just see Chris.

    I guess its fair enough that you are not wanting to be a chair leader.

    But as far I can tell, you are not putting forward any positives of the deal. Many on the left have be looking for this from Labour and Greens since before last election.

    You also bring up Labours finances and membership numbers. Why add that into your critique of the L and G announcement? Surely they are two separate issues. It just comes across that you are highly critical of the Labour and Green move, but hasten to add hearsay information about Labour’s numbers that have been refuted by the party. Yes Labour might be hard up, but they don’t have the access to corporate donors that National do. Why not stick to policy rather than strategy?????? In criticizing strategies, rather than policy you are falling into the msm trap.

  13. Interesting insider goss Chris, but – however valid financial issues might be I don’t see how that relates to this agreement – which has nothing to do with sharing campaign resources, AFAICT. Call me naive but for me in terms of morale this was some of the best political news I’d heard in long time, being rather tired of finding myself with my party of preference under a bus a bit too often.

    However – the weaknesses appear to be that the agreement only lasts until election day – undercutting the central plank that it’s to help visualize a viable coalition. And the difficulty Labour has had in articulating some boundary setting in respect to NZ First. Winston may be a deeply cynical king-maker but he is only so because we allow him to be that.

    This agreement could still be built upon – to set some clear lines about post election dealings. None of us want another National term but getting rid of this government cannot be at any cost and I hope a tangible coalition government in waiting can progress further to define and commit to something that goes past election day

  14. Interesting insider goss Chris, but – however valid financial issues might be I don’t see how that relates to this agreement – which has nothing to do with sharing campaign resources, AFAICT. Call me naive but for me in terms of morale this was some of the best political news I’d heard in long time, being rather tired of finding myself with my party of preference under a bus a bit too often.

    However – the weaknesses appear to be that the agreement only lasts until election day – undercutting the central plank that it’s to help visualize a viable coalition. And the difficulty Labour has had in articulating some boundary setting in respect to NZ First. Winston may be a deeply cynical king-maker but he is only so because we allow him to be that.

    This agreement could still be built upon – to set some clear lines about post election dealings. None of us want another National term but getting rid of this government cannot be at any cost and I hope a tangible coalition government in waiting can progress further to define and commit to something that goes past election day

  15. “Begging letters” from Andrew Little ? Really . That’s an interesting interpretation.
    You might want to do a comparative analysis and have a look at what National does to get it’s money . Try secret meetings they have with Chinese billionaires where Key “begs” for money that has some serious strings attached.
    Ask Paul Henry next time you’re on his show. He knows everything there is to know about everything.
    I’ve never yet seen him ask some one from ‘The Left’ their opinion without pre loading it with his own opinion first or couching it as a put down . No credibility there!!
    The ‘running out of money’ conspiracy theory is a good one, which I’m sure ‘The right’ are hoping to be the case.
    Hence the near hysterical noises coming from them and why they decided to wheel you out just for a reassuring back rub and a ‘there there .’
    With the plethora of ‘clusterfucks ‘ now banking up on them, highlighting their utter incompetence every where you look and the ‘Key’ myth in tatters, their desperation knows no bounds.
    The thrashing metered out to Joyce in Parliament today was yet another example!
    And how is the reputation of all those ‘expert’ independent commentators going to look. The ones that have talked Key up for so long now ….egg…..face !
    How does the saying go … ‘A little knowledge is dangerous’.
    Sorry to disappoint, but Labour are definitely not running out of money!
    Better pass that on to the ‘Specialist Independent Analysis Club’.

  16. Very clear thinking, as always from Mr. Trotter. I was particularly underwhelmed with the fact that this ‘understanding’ expires with the election. Where is the ‘government-in-waiting’ vibe? Solely with the Greens for me, with a healthy dose of one Mr. W. Peters. Not that they’ll get the chance with the bouffant one propping up nashional.

    • CD

      Give this some bedding in time for these parties labour/Greens/NZ First to plan their regime change and depose this toxic Nazional cancerous toxic administration from our shores.

  17. Agreed Chris Labour is in serious trouble in terms of membership.
    They won’t be getting another cent of my hard earned dosh that’s for sure.
    They have a blithering idiot for a Finance spokesman and Annette King is like a haemorrhoid. Able she may be but she is a neoliberal and so is that turd Hipkins and that idiot Shearer. Goff is a treasonous scumbag. Ardern is insipid and unimpressive. Labour deserve to keep on paying for their betrayal of the NZ worker . They do not deserve to be in Government unless they are a minor partner.They owe the people of New Zealand an apology for their treachery . Cunliffe should leave and take the hardworking Maori Pacifica heart of the dead thing that is Labour NZ with him while it is still beating.
    Good on the Greens for finally getting an agreement out of the mongrels who have shafted them repeatedly and prevented them from being in Govt. But if the Greens think they have headed NZ First off at the pass they are fools .

      • Telling it how it is dreamer.
        “A cynic is someone who sees things as they are not as they ought be” Oscar Wilde on leaving Reading gaol.

        • Trouble is with simple simon is he/she is simple, Winnie is ready don’t worry about this, he is wise and seea the long game and has things up his sleeve don’t worry.

          he knows of old who to trust inside that camp and who not to.

          Simon Simple should recall Winston has been made the target of all sides in the past to try & execute him, so he is ready have no fear.

          So Shona you are right in your focus as David Cunliffe has been learning along the way as Bullenglish, Metira, and others had to do also before.

          he deserves to take a close to leadership place within labour.

          • Sorry, but no way would I vote for Winston, Cleangreen. Without knowing his intentions, I’ve no desire to hand him a blank cheque so he can do backroom deals after the election and I wake up to another National-NZ First Coalition. Bugger that.

            I’ll want a firm committment from Peters that he is 100% committed to changing the government, and by “change” I mean real change, not from National to National-NZ First!!

    • Quite frankly, its John key and his government and their partners in crime that owe New Zealand a massive apology Shona. But even then that would never put right what they have done over the last 8 years. Don’t work yourself up into a tizz, there are many more of us who are more than willing to put our hard earned money to Labour. You keep supporting the dirty nats. I would rather have a Labour led coalition government, than the treasonous crook and sell out John key and his government of thieves.

      • Rubbish Words. The Nats are mere opportunists. Particularly gutless and cruel ones at that. Labour opened the doors for National to live out it’s wet dreams of exploitation. Anyone who loses sight of that is not worth listening to.

        • It’s been over 30 years ago, and there has been a very successful Labour government since then so that doesn’t wash Shona, and excusing the Nats doesn’t wash either.

          I cannot blame the current Labour party for what a Labour government did decades ago, just like I cannot blame John key for Muldoon and every other bad National government.

    • Shona, you have seen the light. The so-called “left” in No Zealand are traitors and in it for themselves. Labour and National are the same animal painted different colours. The only real left-wing solution is armed violence. Keen? There are 10,000 fighters waiting to be released from prison. Totally doable.

      • Shona, like you Castro , is deaf dumb and blind. Take your blinkers off, violence achieves nothing but death and misery.

        • it’s a wind-up..words..

          ..like frank noted..(i paraphrase here) some rightwing auto-eroticist is calling him/herslf castro..

          ..and advocating an armed left-wing uprising..

          ..yeah right..!

          ..(anyway..we don’t need an armed revolution here in nz to change things..

          ..we have mmp..we can have our revolution at the ballot-box..

          ..it’s as easy/simple as that..

    • I have no doubt that Crosby and Textor smear campaign is responsible for the decline in Labour’s membership. I am also absolutely certain that big money corporates have gotten National over the line in recent years and it is clear that they have all been well rewarded for their efforts, Sky City, Sandfords etc.
      Your dislike of members from Labour is clear for all to see but they pale into oblivion compared to the likes of Coleman, Brownlee,Bridges,Perata,Seymour, Key et al. Arrogant , dictatorial, unsympothetic, the lot of them. Watch parliament T.V for just 5 minutes, not the rehearsed news snippets and you will see what I mean. And I do disagree with you on King,Hipkins ,Shearer and Ardern.

    • I mostly agree, Shona. Especially with “Labour deserve to keep on paying for their betrayal of the NZ worker”, but the trick is how they pay without the NZ worker paying as well. Your characterisation of them is deadly accurate, and I’d add that Little is an uninspiring bureaucrat.
      Still, I welcome the agreement. I somehow doubt we’ll see a revived Mana and this may be the best thing going right now.

  18. The reasons for this MoU may or may not be the one’s Chris posits in this article. I don’t know, and frankly, I don’t care. All I know is that for the past God-knows-how-long, any utterance from an Opposition party that doesn’t align with Neoliberal doctrine gets flame-grilled by the Corporate Media Machine. If, by openly siding with a party that espouses true social democratic values, Labour gets itself to a point where it can FINALLY rid itself of the parasitic Neolib fanatics infesting the organisation, then that alliance has to be considered a good thing, from the Left’s point of view. So I say (in pure hope) “Go, you good thing”.

  19. Labour and the Greens will have to do it alone. Winston has stated he won’t play third fiddle to them and didn’t like a deal done behind his back (his words not mine.).
    And you’re absolutely right Shona,Labour have a lot of making up to do to the workers of NZ. They could start with repealing the employment contracts act and give back our rights.

    • There has been a 3 termed successful Labour government since Roger Douglas and the Lange government of over 30 years ago Dale, so that doesn’t wash.

      But what about what the current anti kiwi key National government is doing with their anti worker legislation? it was Labour with the support of the Greens etc that got rid of punishing zero hour contracts!! And they did it whilst in opposition,which was no mean feat, that’s a start is it not?

    • You people are hilarious…This latest one is a real doozy…the Employment Contracts Act was repealed 15 years ago! To be replaced by Labour’s Employment Relations Act…which – surprise surprise – didn’t give power back to the unions…No why do you suppose that was?

      Ah yes..Labour are “class traitors” that’s right…

  20. I think I agree Chris, labour are toast. Thank goodness – we need real social democrats to argue with. Not a bunch of liberals who are wet behind the ears.

  21. so..in summary..trotter disagrees with the timing of this..

    ..and thinks it should be more ceremonial/cathartic..

    ..and no mention of the most important component of this deal..to agree to not wreck each others’ chances of winning seats…and stopping gifting the likes of auck cent to the tories…and maybe getting rid of dunne..?.(still my beating heart..!..)

    ..nothing about all that eh mr trotter..?

    ..that is some serious political analysis from you there..eh..?

    ..others are seeing this as labour (finally!) facing the twin-realities that they will never again rule alone..and how to actually work/function in mmp..to achieve victory…

    ..and those screaming about this sullying green ‘purity’ are just fools….do they think the greens will rule alone..?

    ..and if not that what…?

    ..their analysis/evaluation is as misguided/off the mark as trotters.

    • Phillip Ure why don’t you piss off back to Crosby Textor we don’t need your tripe.

      If you had anything constructive to add say it but your carping criticism is not helpful so PISS OFF!!

      • wd you mind acting as my agent to get the monies i am clearly owed by crosby-textor…?

        ..i haven’t seen a bloody cent so far…sheesh…!

        ..and while you are at it..tell us again how you are an animal-eating ‘green’..and why that is ok/doesn’t dent yr pulpit a jot..eh.?

        ..that’s always fascinating..

  22. Hehehee… here’s one from Shakespeare for you Mr Trotter…

    “Our doubts are traitors,
    And make us lose the good we oft might win,
    By fearing to attempt.”
    —Lucio in Measure for Measure

    • And here is another one from the Declaration of Arbroath ….

      “For so long as there shall but one hundred of us remain alive we will never give consent to subject ourselves to the dominion of the English. For it is not glory, it is not riches, neither is it honours, but it is liberty alone that we fight and contend for, which no honest man will lose but with his life.”

      Simply exchange the word ‘English’ for neo liberal/globalists … and start to build on the Labour / Green framework.

      If you wish to welch out , then fine.

      If you want to get in behind and put your shoulder to a fledgling movement no matter how tenuous its beginnings… then do so without excessive complaining or finding fault.

      That is just uselessly expending vital energy for nought.

  23. Never know who I’m going to vote for until the moment I’m in the box. ALCP last time, Greens twice before that. Labour hasn’t had my vote since they turned out to be racist neoliberal liars.

  24. I’m thinking about making regular donations to the Labour Party after this agreement. I already make regular donations to the Greens. I don’t agree with Labour’s policies as much as those of the Greens but I see that both parties have to be strong to win the next election.

    Other than that, although I respect the independence of Chris’ opinions, and enjoy reading his columns, you don’t see many right wing opinion shapers being so generous. It doesn’t pay to hand out ammunition to someone who hates you and all you stand for.

    • Strategy is the way EP, so our family splits all three leading Opposition Parties so all get a look in.

      Tonight’s 5th Estate was a very thrilling event worth a watch as it featured this debate so good feedback over Labour now being informed to get on board playing the MMP LADDER.

    • Don’t forget stupid.

      The Gnats are… not exactly in immediate danger of Nobel recognition.

  25. Chris is right. The left are weak and I say that as a frustrated and disappointed long time lefty. Across the English speaking world – despite blatant social and economic injustice – the left repeatedly fails to gain political power. In the UK voters have happily and repeatedly chosen a right of centre government – one that is well on it’s way to dismantling the lefts most cherished success story – the NHS.
    In the US the centre right have rendered Obama impotent by winning more votes and seats in the Senate and House of Representatives. We have seen Bernie Sanders proposals for significant economic change drowned out by “the orange one” and the smooth certainty of Clinton and the DNC. In Australia a right of centre government continues to enjoy the support of the electorate – though it should be pointed out that right of centre in Australia is well left of our own NZ Labour Party.
    Chris’s objective and hard look at the ailing Labour Party still at 30% in the Polls is needed. Reading the comments above simply confirms the insular and fairy tale world that those of us on the left like to live in.
    We are failing. 30% in the polls against a third term National government is a disaster. Couple that with the parties financial woes and we have a tragedy.
    We are going to need to learn to win the hearts and minds of middle NZ who have been convinced that they are all going to make millions from property speculation and low taxes. How do we change that? How do we convince voters that higher taxes (for the middle class – not just the rich) and wealth re-distribution is better? The middle class have a responsibility and duty to invest in the common good but they have forgotten that. At the moment Labour is doing nothing to remind them of this fact.

  26. Chris, you might be right in what has motivated Labour to engage in a MoU with the Greens.

    To be honest, I care not one jot. Not a skerrick. Not a molecule.

    I just want Key and his inept ministers gone. That’s it. Gone. By lunchtime would be nice.

    But I can wait till dinnertime, if need be.

  27. I’m not sure this strategy is going to be much use in unseating the gnats if it only lasts till election day.
    For example:
    Party A and party B have a MoU.
    A person is a party A supporter and lives in an electorate where it would be prudent to vote for party B, but party B has given no assurance it will support party A once in power. Why would said person give party B preference over their preferred party? They are just as likely not to vote at all.

  28. Not stepping into, or aligning with either side of the current ‘fray’ – but taking his point, I would like to ask Chris Trotter is he happy with a political system that is determined by the $ support? Will that achieve the best well-being for all?

  29. Quote:
    “But whatever else I may be, I am not a cheerleader. If I believe the Labour and Green parties have announced their new “Understanding” far too soon; without preparing the electorate or priming the news media; without securing real and valuable gains for both partners; without carefully gauging the reaction of both their members and their voters; and without having straightforward answers to journalists’ straightforward (and entirely predictable) questions; then I reserve the right to speak bluntly and critically about these deficiencies.”

    Dear friends, I understand many persons and commenters’ frustrations, but this is a rushed reaction, what I read in many comments. I am by no means a “friend” of Mr Trotter, or a fan of his, and I have shown this with many comments on some of his former postings here.

    But I would appeal to all, to be a bit more considerate and careful, as what Chris is raising as a serious concern is not that wrong. We have had this rather low key, unannounced, poorly prepared announcement of a MoU at a chamber in Parliament, which was headed by in my view two rather weak leaders.

    Andrew has struggled to front foot issues, to present a clear line for a party that has changed its position on major topics so significantly over recent months, it raises the question, that many ask, what does the party actually stand for?

    Metiria, she is herself a loyal and principled person, but in my view, she has reached her limits as co leader long ago, she often sounds like a broken record, looks less enthusiastic and convincing, and without Russell Norman the Greens have lost a bit of clout, it seems.

    Labour have no coherent policy, they talk a lot, but much that was presented over the last half year or so was half-baked, contradictory and unconvincing. They are neither here nor there on most issues, including the TPPA, UBI and social welfare reform, also on taxation. We get no clear messages, at least the Greens have a more solid policy base and stick to it.

    This MoU would better have been announced at Labour’s conference in November or early next year, to prepare people for the major election campaign. The way they did it, without popular support from party members, it is looking like a media stunt, nothing else, it looks also as it is a desperate effort by Labour to get some attention, as the budget criticism left them without much of a voice.

    I actually share Chris Trotter’s concerns in this regard, as it could have been done better, must have been done better.

    At Labour’s conference some good policy may be shaped and announced, and if this complements well with the Greens’ policies, it would have been the ideal time to announce this joint effort, aligning both with well articulated programs.

    We did not get this, it was rushed, looks desperate and unprofessional even.

    It also leaves out Winston, and while it is difficult to ever commit him and NZ First, some clear statements should have been made in regards to both parties’ position re NZ First and possible cooperation to form a government. A kind of pro active olive branch should have been extended.

    Under Andrew Little Labour is now at its LOWEST in support, I guess, given the consideration it should have recovered much more since the election defeat. He has very low ratings himself in the polls we all despise, but it is consistently negative. He has the charisma of a tree stump in a cold wintry rain, that does not help, he is not well articulated, as some point out.

    It is the very last chance right now for Labour to get its shit together, but I fear they will not. We are seeing the gradual degeneration of a party that formed a core part of New Zealand political history. Andrew Little should only have been a transition leader, and Annette King a transition co leader, but they are now leading the party into another election disaster.

    I think this is all a free pass for Key and Natzies to get a fourth term, the way this was so poorly done and organised, and it looks real bad. Only the desperate cheer for the natural alliance, which should have happened years ago, but it did not, and we know why.

    It may be too late anyway, and it may not fire off as it should, and I see NO change in polls to come, while NZ First will take advantage and reach near 20 percent next election, wait and see.

    Too many had enough out there, but most are no longer warm hearted, liberal minded lefties, that used to be available voters, most will express their anger in protest votes over excessive immigration and other topics, a stuffed up economy and housing market and much more. They will vote NZ First in droves. This is Nat voters that lost faith, and Labour voters now having given up any hope for a reformed, stronger Labour. Greens will win also but only marginally, and Mana is the one percent party for those at the bottom, and nothing else will change.

    Winston will be kingmaker and it will be up to him, whether Greens and Labour or Nats get into government. Mark my words for this, thanks.

    • ‘Metiria, she is herself a loyal and principled person, but in my view, she has reached her limits as co leader long ago, she often sounds like a broken record’..

      i would like to call bullshit on that one..i gave turei a ten out of ten for her appearance with little explaining the mou…(and i tweeted that at the time..)

      turei has a fine mind – and when firing that intellect shines through..

      ..and i look forward to what she will achieve in a ministerial role..

      ..care to provide some evidence of yr claims she is past it.?

      ..or was that just another orifice-pluck on yr part..?

      • That is fair enough that you gave her ten out of ten, I give her five out of ten, and going my comments from a fair few MPs in the House, she is passable, but hardly stunning as a political performer. That is though the view of some and I am not quite that negative, but she is not shining as much as she once was, so her stars are waning, in my view of course.

  30. Chris has lost the plot. Harman’s numbers are utter bullshit, yet Chris keeps repeating them in the right-wing press. Then he claims Labour’s digital fundraising is a sign of poverty – does he not get emails from Obama, Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders? This is the gold standard now, and none of those campaigns are poor. I think Chris Trotter is well past his use by date. Sad, really.

  31. Chris:

    It seems you’ve lost some supporters with this post. The truth is sometimes too bitter a pill for many to swallow.

    I admire your integrity for having the balls to call it as you see it. Maybe these are friends you don’t need?

    Either way, you have maintained or even elevated your status as a pundit.

    The responses to your article pretty much sums up the Left today. Gone is the broad church of people who genuinely want to see the less able uplifted. Now we just see faction fights and petty arguments over ideological purity.

    And hate. Lots of hate. In particular hate of anyone who has, by some measure, been successful. Because success is now a dirty word among the left.

    • It seems you’ve lost some supporters with this post.

      Not at all, Andrew. I think you’ve confused healthy debate within the Left for monolithic-neo-liberalism on thew Right which has always pre-empted debate with the “There is no alternative” dogma.

      You go on ad nauseum about the Left being “North Korean” but yet you’re the one that doesn’t seem to comprehend the value of multiple voices on given issues.

      Time to broaden your outlooks, lad.

  32. This is interesting Chris and you make some good points.
    I think all political parties should have to list the no of paid up individual members (not affiliate or other such) and be audited by the electoral commission each year.
    That’s fair, Just and transparent.
    Thanks for the post.
    Mike

  33. The problem in this country is that right leaning blogs tear strips off of the lefties, but the left leaning blogs spend just as much time tearing strips off each other.

    The right’s unification under greed is why they keep winning and the left’s petty in-fighting is why they keep losing.

    Get it together already!

    • REALIST:

      You’re guilty of making a couple of false assumptions which have led you astray.

      Firstly, there is no right wing in NZ, apart from maybe a dozen skinheads in Christchurch.

      Secondly, the current government isn’t right wing either. If you transported their current policies back a few decades we could be forgiven for thinking they were a Labour government. In fact that’s the quandary Labour finds itself in today: National has cherry picked whatever bits of Labour policy might be useful and left them with nothing to call their own.

      Lastly you’re wrong in thinking those to the right of you (ie 95% of the population) are 19th century robber barons intent on stealing from the poor. We just believe that individual ownership generally works better than state ownership and things that have been worked for are most often cherished more than things that are given. Many of us think that the current welfare system is at the root of many of our society’s problems. Not that we’re dead against welfare, just that the current rules desperately need sorting out.

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