Clever politics by Winston at Pike River while Greens fight Labour in Mt Albert

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Winston Peters at Pike River today

Jesus Winston is an amazing political peacock isn’t he?

While the Greens and Labour needlessly fight each other in a fortnight in Mt Albert, Winston is at Pike River telling those families that re-entering the mine will be a non-negotiable bottom line of any co-alition.

Christ that’s clever.

NZ First are aiming at the provincial vote and the bloke vote and this is smart by him.

What is bewilderingly stupid is Andrew Little’s response…

Labour leader Andrew Little slams as ‘cheap’ Winston Peters’ Pike River re-entry comments

Labour leader Andrew Little has fired back at Winston Peters over Pike River – saying Peters’ comments about being among the first to re-enter the mine were “cheap”.

In December Peters said he would be willing to be among the first to enter the drift, and at a public meeting at the Paroa Hotel in Greymouth today he criticised Labour’s stance on Pike 

That drew a response from Little.

“One thing I am never going to be challenged by Winston on is my commitment to Pike River. And the difference between me and Winston Peters is I wasn’t sitting in a Cabinet in the 1990s that undermined our health and safety regulations in mine regulations, specifically,” Little told the Herald.
“This is a serious issue. Put aside the, I thought, cheap call about Winston leading a team in there – that is disrespectful to the mines rescue folks and others who are experts – you do want the best possible decision to be made.”

…cue open mouthed shock look now. Andrew can be forgiven for being blindsided by this clever political stunt, he’s got the Labour Party MPs meeting on Monday and Tuesday for a special caucus to get everyone to promise not to stab each other in the back this election and he’s been caught flat footed.

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What he should have said is “I’m glad that Winston takes the issue as seriously as the Labour Party does and it is also our bottom line for any Party who wishes to join us in Government.”

Instead he’s opened up a war of words with Winston which is the last thing he wants to do for two reasons.

The first reason is that he’s got a high ranking Labour Party MP fighting the Greens in a by-election and that looks bad to the wider voter landscape who demand unity from a Government in waiting and picking a new front with Winston is possibly the only thing they could do that would make that situation worse.

The second reason is that  Andrew Little was the Leader of the EPMU right before the Pike River Mine accident. There have been all sorts of quiet angry questions about the role of the EPMU in the lead up to the Pike River Mine accident and if there’s anyone who can research those questions and bring them into the open, it’s Winston.

How can the Left shoot itself in both feet and we aren’t even into the second month of election year?

PS: Here’s the Wellington Comms Unit of the PSA showing everyone how progressives alienate on social media like no other.

They are just incredible aren’t they?

Less micro aggression and more macro aggression. This is how to win friends and influence them in Wellington is it? 

25 COMMENTS

  1. Andrew Little is an idiot…why attack your coalition partner?

    Winston for Prime Minister….he makes the rest look like amateurs

      • let the people decide!!!

        btw the rank and file Labour Party members wanted David Cunliffe for leader and look what happened to him!….

        • Let the people decide is what Andrew Little is saying.

          Wasn’t right but that’s politics. David Cunliffe endorsed Andrew Little.

          • Little made a rookie mistake boytee. And Labour made a monumental mistake not backing the candidate the public wanted. Now labour must be punished. Sorry mate. Labour had there opertunitues and they themselves literally fucked it up. We can only back a sick horse for so long

  2. Winston is the only politican left with any credibility left in this country NZF could be at 15-20% in the polls come election time if they can pick up disillusioned National and Labour voters, at least NZF has clear practical policies and are clearly different to the two main political parties who have destroyed this country in the past 40 years?

  3. Winston is the only politican left with any credibility left in this country NZF could be at 15-20% in the polls come election time if they can pick up disillusioned National and Labour voters, at least NZF has clear practical policies and are clearly different to the two main political parties who have destroyed this country in the past 40 years?

  4. You forget this has been a fight going on for years and years. Andrew Little, along with Helen Kelly was there straight after the explosion. His union was on the job immediately with legal advice and support. I remember Andrew, the secretary of the miners union at the memorial standing in the crowd, with EPMU members because he wasn’t allowed on the stage with Kate Wilkinson, Peter Whittle and John Key. Damien O’Connor has done a lot as have other Labour MPs; the union movement has been there all along, and are still ; through the years of the commission of inquiry and the subsequent legislation, which fell well short; Where was Winston in those harrowing days after? Where was he in the years and months after that? Where is he today in helping prevent similar accidents under our deeply flawed H & S system. This was a stunt. It might be clever, but it is a sickening and selfish play for populism ;

    • Where was Winston in those harrowing days after? Where was he in the years and months after that? Where is he today in helping prevent similar accidents under our deeply flawed H & S system?

      Precisely Darien.

      I don’t remember Winston Peters making regular trips to the coast in the ensuing months/years comforting the victim’s families and providing whatever assistance he could. I do remember Andrew Little visiting the coast on a regular basis and, along with Damien O’Conner, doing his best to help the families. No, he didn’t shout it from the rooftops because that is not Andrew’s style. Nor, I might add, has the MSM bothered to give him any credit for his past endeavours, but we have come to expect as much from them.

      But you Martyn Bradbury should know better. This post is an uncalled-for nasty shot at Andrew Little. Shame on you.

        • This latest, irresponsible, misleading vindictive beat up, a reprint of a slanderous Cameron Slater slur. Final straw. Shame on you Martyn

          • Kia ora Words.

            Thank you for your comment, it is your right to stop supporting TDB, that’s your right. It would be a sad loss to not have you continue commenting on this site as much you have to say is wise.

            Could I just point out before you make your decision to leave TDB, that you not your claim that the criticisms directed at the EPMU and Andrew Little ARE NOT a Cameron Slater slur.

            That’s just not true Words.

            Slater covered this when it was first posted, that’s how you are getting confused. The original text which I have linked to and re-posted is written by the Marxists and the argument and criticism was also on the Socialist blog. I was challenged on whether or not there was any criticism, and I linked to it. Say what you like about Marxists, but none of them are in the pocket of Cameron Slater Words.

            • Nothing to reply to the comment calling you on your unwarranted attack on little? Reading this post you sound like an alt_righter, replace “progressives” with “leftists.”

              • Kia ora Karaka, I am genuinely surprised you are asking about it.

                What exactly are you asking? Unwarranted attack on Little – what unwarranted attack?

                • Karaka, further, if I want propogada which is now being called the alt right/left in echo chambers such as the standard and kiwi blog. I’ll go to the mother fucken standard or kiwi blog.

                  For regular information tune into The Daily Blog

    • Talking about being first to reenter the mine. That borders on being in very bad taste.
      I’m also curious…when exactly did Winston start to care about Pike River?? Given his mining history I would have thought it an issue close to his heart…but Google search isn’t being that helpful.

    • Jeez, Darien! Read Rebecca Macfie’s book. Commiserating with the families of the victims after the event is no more than anyone would expect. The question none of Labour’s apologists are willing to answer is: Why didn’t the EPMU insist upon Pike River’s closure on health and safety grounds BEFORE 29 men lost their lives? The warning signs were all there – but the EPMU failed to act.

  5. I hope Winston is not playing politics with this announcement and is serious !

    The families and the men that perished have already been shafted by that bastard Key and English would never do the right thing when he behaves like we are all expendable in this economy and as long as he and his mates can milk the system he is not interested.

    We will never get an alternative to the current harsh realities of the neo lib dictatorship voting for Winston.

    Yes Andy could have handled it better and how many times will we repeat that statement this year !

  6. How many Pike River miners were actually EPMU members?

    (I found this article helpful for background info regarding the role of the EPMU).

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11157949

    “…..The union representing mine workers, Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU), could have brought the mine to a halt, at least temporarily, by encouraging strikes, pickets or bans over safety.

    But it caused no disruption to Pike’s path to calamity.

    It had a limp presence at the mine, in part because it wasn’t welcome.

    There was only ever one walk-out over safety, when mine deputy Dan Herk threw down the gauntlet about the lack of mine vehicles available to quickly evacuate workers in the event of an emergency.

    Herk called the local EPMU representative, Matt Winter, and said he was concerned for the men’s safety; Winter advised he should, therefore, walk out.

    Herk led the men out of the mine.

    Shortly afterwards Winter received an angry call from Pike’s human resources manager, Dick Knapp, advising him to tell the men to go back to work.

    When Winter refused, Knapp threatened to sue the union.

    The issue the men were protesting about was attended to within a matter of hours, with the prompt repair of a broken-down vehicle that had been out of action for three weeks.

    Winter was aware of workers’ concerns about the lack of a proper emergency exit, and he had heard about the series of methane ignitions in late 2008.

    He was also worried about the high number of cleanskins – workers new to mining – at Pike.

    He understood that it was desirable in underground coal mining to have a ratio of experienced to inexperienced workers of about four to one.

    Pike had a much larger proportion of inexperienced men than other sites he looked after.

    It wasn’t easy to enlist Pike workers into the union.

    Some told Winter they didn’t want to upset management by signing up.

    And he got the impression Pike management wasn’t interested in forming any sort of relationship with EPMU.

    Pike had an internal health and safety committee but the union had no representation on it.

    Winter found Pike management “arrogant and unwilling to listen.

    They were prepared to tolerate the presence of the union in line with their legislative obligations, but they were not at all interested in developing a good relationship.”

    He left his job in early 2010 and handed over to a new man, Garth Elliot.

    Others at the site also had the impression that the company preferred not to have a strong union presence.

    In 2009, when health and safety manager Neville Rockhouse sought to have the union involved in a training exercise, Peter Whittall told him in an email: “Please do not use the union in the same sentence as anything at Pike.

    Our relationship and the way we communicate is between us and our employees.”

    And so men like Willie Joynson, who went underground every day to earn a living, and who were entitled to the protection of robust safety systems and equipment that left a fat margin for error, were working on the edge.

    Pike River mine, which needed to have the best of everything to succeed in its tough environment – the best geological knowledge, the best equipment, the most rigorous safety regime – had the worst of everything.

    Joynson and his workmates were exposed on all sides by those whose job it was to protect them: a regulator that was submissive and unwilling to use the powers at its disposal; a board that was incurious, bereft of knowledge and experience of underground coal mining, and unable to see the symptoms of failure; management that was unstable, ill-equipped for the environment and incapable of pulling together all the pieces of its own frightening picture; and a union that was marginalised and irrelevant.

    …..”

    Penny Bright

    2017 Independent candidate for the Mt Albert by-election.

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