TDB Summer Election Special: Is TOP real or a Gareth Morgan vanity project?

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Is The Opportunity Party real or a Gareth Morgan vanity project? We should know the answer  to that by Wednesday 1st of February as that is when the nominations for the Mt Albert by-election close. 

If Gareth is serious he will be a candidate in that by-election, if he isn’t serious he won’t be there.

Gareth Morgan could be the anti-candidate that the electorate is looking to channel their Trump and Brexit frustrations into.

His surprising position on Palestine, his hard line on the environment and his strong support of a Universal Basic Income has the potential to disrupt politics and rupture ideological boundaries.

Gareth’s solution based policy will actually come across far more radical than Labour or the Greens policy platforms. Morgan has spent a huge time educating and learning about challenges like Universal Basic Income, affordable housing, climate change and pollution.

TOP will appeal to urban males who default vote to National because they’re made to feel guilty for having a  penis inside the Labour or the Greens. That on its own is enough to peel voters off National, Greens and bring some of the disconnected million voters who don’t vote because of the poor choices on offer by the two major parties to give him 5%.

But where Morgan could gain 15% is if he ignites a populist move against the neoliberal welfare State while selling the UBI to those beneficiaries who currently live in terror of WINZ, Housing NZ, MoD, CYFs, Probations, Corrections etc etc etc.

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Labour can’t criticise what those Government Departments do to the poorest and weakest members of society because they are beholden to the PSA, but Gareth Morgan could hold up terrible example after terrible example form the neoliberal welfare state and argue convincingly that rather than pour those billions into government services that are ultimately counter productive to the most vulnerable, why not put it into a Universal Basic Income instead?

Morgan could be our anti-establishment candidate and he has a real chance to do something unique here, whether he’s serious will come down to if he runs in the Mt Albert by-election.

The disastrous decision by the Greens to run in Mt Albert builds an immediate platform during the news dead zone of February. If Morgan ran he could spend 4 weeks pumping TOP policy against Jacinda and Julie Anne Genter, showing up how safe their policies are in comparison to the far more radical ideas TOP has.

It would give Gareth a huge platform and there’s even the remote possibility that he could come through the middle of Genter and Jacinda. Gareth could rightfully point out to the voters of Mt Albert that they already have Jacinda and Julie Anne in Parliament, so electing him would actually create something unique and send a very clear signal to Wellington that voters are sick of the same old same old.

It’s an easy pitch and Gareth is a talented speaker. He has an opportunity to make TOP something unique, he just has to get his nomination in as late as possible to surprise the media.

26 COMMENTS

  1. For me it’s between TOP and The Cannabis Party at this stage. People don’t realize that The Cannabis Party is the 5th most popular political party in New Zealand. The mainstream parties are very foolish for not tapping into this voting block.

  2. What makes him our Trump vote?.
    Why not our Bernie or our Corbyn?
    And while we are at it, throwing around ‘Trump and Brexit’ like they are the same set of frustrations. The narrative that Brexit was the angry white man vote is a disservice to everyone disenfranchised under the ‘free’ market and Globalization.
    We need these conversations to be a bit more nuanced, especially in NZ, the number of people who bemoan Brexit, yet are vehemently anti TPP with absolutely no sense of irony. (Often the same folk who, hilariously, think Obama is a ‘Great President’ who just didn’t get the chance to bring in the policies he wanted…till I remind them he wanted the TPP as his legacy.)

    • Trouble with the leader of this Party is that Gareth Morgan is a cold distant character that hardly gives us a feeling as though he is genuine and cares about local issues out ion the provinces so he will not gather any votes out there when the economy tanks this year.

      We need as a leader a passionate caring soul who wants to make the goal one of giving everyone a fair share of the wealth of this country by a rebalancing and re distribution of the wealth generated and closing the gap between rich and poor as the real worth of his vote.

      Begin phase two of “egalitarianism” that will do it but I cant see Gareth being able to sell this socialist platform can you?

      • Point of fact..Corbyn did ‘get in’ as Party Leader, despite the medias constant ‘whatever’.
        But anyway, it is true that neither are currently leading their Nations, however, nor is Gareth.
        So, till Gareth is voted in as Prime Minister, I shall put him, very, very vaguely, in the Corbyn/Bernie side of Politics…NOT Trump.

  3. ” Gareth Morgan could hold up terrible example after terrible example form the neoliberal welfare state and argue convincingly that rather than pour those billions into government services that are ultimately counter productive to the most vulnerable, why not put it into a Universal Basic Income instead? ”

    And where do those ‘ billions ‘ come from? The Auckland property market? The tourism ‘ industry’ ?
    Does Gareth Morgan know? If he, like virtually everyone else, doesn’t know or prefers not to admit, then he, like all the others before him, will continue to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic that is NZ’s economy.
    It’s essential for NZ to develop a Universal Basic Income to coincide with necessary repairs made to our export earning agricultural infrastructure. ( Not to be confused with Corporate Farming and cowsploitation.) How else can we expect NZ’ers to emigrate into the countryside and once again become part of our export infrastructure, the very same infrastructure that the neoliberals destroyed for their personal empire building. One only needs to drive through NZ’s hinterlands to see small towns with most of their shop fronts boarded up to get a hint at the scale of that swindle.
    A word to any farmer reading this. Beware of English. He’s truly dangerous to yours and your families future on your homelands. Just like bolger, douglas and those other creeps before them.

  4. “But where Morgan could gain 15% is if he ignites a populist move against the neoliberal welfare State while selling the UBI”

    …but hasn’t Morgan backed away from offering a UBI? I’m pretty sure he’s said he won’t be having a UBI policy. A shame for someone who claims he’ll offer something different.

    His first policy on taxing unearned wealth was a good one, but his immigration policy was moronic and short-sighted – an awful policy

  5. “TOP will appeal to urban males who default vote to National because they’re made to feel guilty for having a penis inside the Labour or the Greens”

    You nailed it with that one sentence ! 🙂 Nicely done!

    I have several colleagues here who are TOP supporters:

    All young/middle aged, white, male, educated, liberal thinking, previously Labour voters.

    As a result my expectation is that, just as you said, TOP will strip some votes off Labour and very few off National.

  6. ‘his hard line on the environment’

    I wonder what that means.

    Industrial civilisation based on the use of fossil fuels is completely incompatible with continuation of life-as-we-know it on this planet for more than a few more years. And industrial civilisation cannot function without fossil fuels.

    Option 1. Keep using fossil fuels and continue to acidify the oceans until most extant marine life forms cannot survive, and continue to overheat the Earth, causing yet more ice to melt, oceans to rise dramatically, ever worsening weather events and climate devastation, to the point of the Earth becoming largely or completely uninhabitable for humans and most other species.

    Option 2. Phase out fossil fuels and witness all current industrial living arrangements grind to a halt, with banks and corporations collapsing and the uninformed, unprepared general populace with an astounding sense of entitlement going berserk because they have been lied to for so long.

    My guess is that Gareth Morgan will go for option 1, just like all other politicians and political parties. In fact, it is a sure bet he will.

    • Just remember everyone that at this stage Gareth is merely testing the water to see if it is worth proceeding properly . Therefore it may be a bit premature to expect him to go in boots and all in a by-election when the Party organisation is not bedded in properly (if at all).

      • Whoops! Just got an e-mail saying the Party is registering now, in case of an early election , so looks like it is full steam ahead. Interesting.

  7. “Labour can’t criticise what those Government Departments do to the poorest and weakest members of society because they are beholden to the PSA,……”
    That’s because they’re still incapable of differentiating between those public servants on the front line, and the public service corporatised managerial ‘class’ that rules them. When they realise that all that went wrong in the public service started to happen in the late 80s under their watch, they might ekshully get a handle on it.
    I’m not holding my breathe though.
    We don’t actually now have a public service. We have a series of little feifdoms under the control of corporatist CEO’s concerned with KPI’s, purchase agreements and other bullshit.
    But I’m repeating myself. The systems now pervades central government administration, local government and quangos.
    The hint is in the words ‘public service’. Hopefully the PSA understand that, or they’re destined for irrelevance too

  8. A couple of quick points:
    1) You claim Labour are “beholden to the PSA”. Bullshit. Have a look at the list of affiliated unions and see if you can show me the PSA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Labour_Party#Affiliated_Unions
    The closest link you’ll find is simply via the CTU. Hardly “beholden”.
    2) Labour is lead by a male and has more male than female MPs. The Gen Sec is male. The Greens have a male co-leader and 6 male MPs (and 9 female). Are these men oppressed or persecuted on the basis of their genitalia (‘made to feel guilty about having a penis”)? Grow up, mate. Aspiring to give women equal access to political representation and office is not male-hating.
    ps – these comments having nothing to do with your chromosomes or genitals; just your slack thinking.

    • 1: The Labour Party is beholden to the PSA and that’s why they pull their punches when it comes to criticising the appalling damage those many public services inflict upon the poorest and weakest amongst us.

      2: My point is that Men who don’t feel welcome in Labour and the Greens might vote TOP. your taking offence at that sentence helps strengthen my point.

      • The reason Labour sucks on benefits has nothing to do with the PSA. It’s because Labour want a tent so big that it includes people who hate beneficiaries, under the guise of being “centre-left,” aka. being neoliberal centrists. I’m not sure what’s up with you and the PSA lately tbqh, but this makes less than zero sense.

        National raising our starvation-level benefits before Labour did is an essential “Nixon going to china” moment where we discover just how far to the Right the Labour Party have moved on the issue of our welfare system, where the party that’s kicking people off benefits is more apt to raise them than the party that’s supposed to be for ordinary kiwis, because they are too afraid to be criticised by working kiwis for supporting the welfare state.

        As for men revolting and going to TOP, of all places, please. TOP isn’t registering on polling at any appreciable level, is looking like more of an excuse to discuss their policy platform than an actual political party, and anti-feminist backlash is likely to go to either NZF or National, not to TOP, because when you’re involved in backlash you don’t seek someone who’s exactly the same as the people you’ve come to disagree with but doesn’t say the things you don’t like, you seek out a group that will attack the things you were frustrated with. (which presumably in this case is either going to be “political correctness” or “women,” not to imply that women are things rather than people)

        I’ll reconsider TOP when they start acting like a political party rather than another issues-based splinter group like the ALCP.

  9. “Gareth Morgan could be the anti-candidate that the electorate is looking to channel their Trump and Brexit frustrations into.”
    I cannot believe you wrote this, and am very disappointed that your political analysis (which I usually agree with) is so misleading and just plain wrong on this critical issue.
    What Morgan is (hopefully) going to represent is a Left alternative to the centrist free market disaster that Labour represents in NZ today, with no change from them on the horizon.
    With no Left safety valve for voters, you get Trump…that much should be very apparent.

    And what exactly does Morgan have in common politically with Trump?Brexit?
    Obviously his political similarities are more akin to Corbyn/Sanders.

    • My point is that the frustration that many voters felt that saw Trump and Brexit occur could be mustered by TOP.

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