MEDIA WATCH: Andrea Vance’s obituary to James Shaw is tender but misses the point

21
1082

Andrea Vance’s political portrait of James Shaw serves as a tender obituary to him and the Green Party pending their demise at the ballot box if they slide below 5%, but doesn’t seek to explore why they are once again clinging to electoral obliteration.

She doesn’t ask why the Greens have gone backwards in the last 3 elections and she kindly ignores the latest polls that have them sinking beneath 5%.

Vance reads like she is from the same Identity Politics cultural clique that the Greens currently occupy so she might be blind as to why the Greens have become so alienating to the wider electorate.

It’s not just the identity politics brand damage to the Greens that have eroded their support, it’s what the Greens have done with the power they have had that has cost them.

The Greens lacklustre performance on stopping the sale of water to China, handing National their Parliamentary Questions and their next to useless Carbon Neutral Legislation have all combined to leave actual environmental activists demoralised.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

At no point does Vance seek to ask why the Greens are performing so badly and based on the answers Shaw gives in this interview, I don’t think Shaw knows why either.

The Greens have been plagued by poor political advisors and bad backroom tactics that have failed to give them any leverage. Combine this with pure temple politics that exclude rather than attract, and you have a Party that keeps sliding backwards.

As someone who has voted Green all my life, watching their demise is heartbreaking.

If the Greens do manage to limp over 5% in September, the grim reality is that it won’t manage to beat their 2017 whipping, so if the Greens are back and if they are under 6.4% both James and Marama must resign as leaders and pass the co-leadership along to the next generation of Green leaders.

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media.

21 COMMENTS

  1. “The Greens lacklustre performance on stopping the sale of water to China” – this was the issue the Green MPs needed to fight hard on, even if they lost. Eugenie Sage should not have rolled over so meekly. The most demoralising moment of the past three years for the political green movement

  2. The basic tenets of the Greens are still “A sustainable future and Social Justice” There is no other Party worth voting for.

    • “their is no other party worth voting for”?????

      Nah Garbbaldi.

      If the ‘Green Party are so great now’, why did they ‘sack two of the most influential members’ that they had in 2017?

      That knife cut deep.

      As I was saddened as a Green party – past member myself when we saw that happen.

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/336665/video-green-party-in-chaos-after-two-mps-rebel
      “Speaking to media, Green Party co-leader James Shaw said he had a great deal of respect for both MPs but they could no longer stay on in the caucus.”
      “I’ll be moving a motion to suspend both of them from the Green Party caucus and I’ll be speaking to the executive about their membership of the Green Party and about formally removing them from the Green Party list.”

      NZ First is a ‘hand brake’ on the ‘right wing’ MP’s inside of the Labour Party Garabildi, – and keeps them from moving further right to become another “National Light”

  3. We had an impressive candidate standing in New Lynn, Leilani Tamu. With a new LP candidate from outside Auckland, I thought she might have a chance for the seat but the Greens were campaigning here for party vote only so lack of posters etc no promoting for her. She was one of 2 really good Pasifika candidates who were way down on the list. Really limp as with other Green Party decisions

  4. I disagree. James is not the problem- he is the solution if given the keys to the party and unshackled. Marama is totally the problem- and her toxic social discourse across the last 3 years. I want a proper Green Party. Put James in charge properly and I’ll come back, get rid of the identity driven bigotry

    • Tony S. Totally agree that Marama Davidson is a major problem, possibly the major problem.

      I am unlikely to vote for them again; Davidson is what the membership wanted, and that’s an indictment of the whole party ethos.

      Just because Davidson is a Maori woman does not confer an automatic stature upon her; nor does my criticising her make me racist.

    • Agreed Tony S 100% Even Winston said he gets on well with James so you are right on there.

  5. I disagree. James is not the problem- he is the solution if given the keys to the party and unshackled. Marama is totally the problem- and her toxic social discourse across the last 3 years. I want a proper Green Party. Put James in charge properly and I’ll come back, get rid of the identity driven bigotry

    • TonyS – duplicate comment, but (as only a minute apart) I am sure I’ve done similar myself with site lagginess.

      Personally – I do not see either Davidson nor Shaw themselves as the problem with the GP. They may appeal to different portions of the electorate, but that’s not exactly a bad thing.
      Bradbury may be closer to the mark with his condemnation of; “advisors and backroom tactics”, but you still have to distinguish between the GPMPs and the wider party membership. My problem is that the whole consultation and policy development process is so very tedious that it empowers committed pedants over people who have other stuff going on in their lives.

      However, if we’re going to compare election performance, it would be best not to artificially limit the time-range. Since their split with the Alliance, the GP have usually come in around the 7% mark with only 2011 & 2014 being above 10% exceptions.

  6. ” I don’t think Shaw knows why either ”
    Well he should and if he doesn’t then he must stand aside including Marama.
    One of the Greens failures of the last coalition negotiations was not fighting harder for their share of policy concessions and a seat at the cabinet table.
    NZF made it to cabinet with only a slightly higher share of the vote than the Greens got at the general election yet the Greens have allowed themselves to be marginalized right from the start but not standing firm with some serious policy wins that would help to re elect them at the next election and show their supporters and people wanting to support the environment that the Green vision and ideas can be implemented if they are at the heart of a government of the center.
    They have been pushed aside by Winston ( and some Labour ministers ) and his mates when it comes to having any meaningful influence.
    We need a strong environmental voice in parliament now more than ever and one that supports social justice in our current neo liberal plutocracy.
    We need Sue Bradford in there advocating for the forgotten ignored economic refugees we love to throw on the scrap heap , in fact i saw Sue in Christchurch last year and said we need her back in parliament unfortunately i am not sure i convinced her.
    Chloe is the future leader of the Greens , she is articulate , bright and has a toughness that is required in parliamentary politics and has now had invaluable experience of being part of a coalition government.
    As we face the destruction of the environment and climate change we need a strong Green party that is not distracted by the meaningless squabbles of the last three years.
    We are running out of time.

      • Snow white you are right on the mark and totally agree about Helen Kelly.
        We lost a remarkable , capable strong voice for the many marginalized workers in dangerous industries.
        She should have been recognized posthumously for her dedication and courage to the union movement and working peoples welfare.
        If they can knight Key and English for enriching certain members of the community then Helen deserves recognition for her contribution.

  7. These are the times of retreat.

    These are the times of organized retreat from an industrialization process that destroys nature and environment, and human species as being a part of it.

    The life cycle of capitalized industrialization, as we know it, is coming to its end.

    The groups and individuals, the different social and ecological movements that founded the Green Parties allover the world are aware of this factual situation since half a century, or more.

    The Green Party is the parliamentary wing of the green movement.

    Repeat. The parliamentary wing of a wide movement. A long history of resistance and struggle against exploitation of nature and humankind.

    The specific green genesis makes a fundamental difference to a usual party set-up, the inherent non-capitalist nature not sufficiently understood by the present leadership of the Greens. As the interview by Andrea Vance shows, too.

    Wings that do cannot uplift the body are in need to be replaced. A simple matter of common sense.

    And a matter of civilized retreat.

    Internationally there are 10-30% of the electorates consistently willing to vote for green parliamentary wings.

    In case the Green Party of AO/NZ cannot resurrect itself from within its own party substance, a new social and ecological party is certainly necessary as replacement.

    Having green parliamentary wings is most important for an organized future adaptation process and the actual quality of our climate resilience.

    These are the times of retreat.

    These are the times of organized retreat from an industrialization process that destroys nature and environment, and human species as being a part of it.

    The present leadership and ‘modus operandi’ of the Green Party of AO/NZ fails to show the suitable pathways…. and the electorate very much understands this.

    This is why the party hovers around the 5% mark.

    System Change. Now.

    Hannah Arendt: Meaning of Revolution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7go5naCDV50

  8. I put up a few lines on anarchy philosophy on Bryan Bruce’s thoughts about where now. I was thinking about a summary of the anarchy philosophy.,as a system of social thought which aims at fundamental changes in the structure of society and particularly at the replacement of authoritarian states by co-operation between free individuals.  As such anarchism has a respectable pedigree.’

    And I think this may have hit the Greens. Everyone being heard and having the right to express themselves, no-one taking supreme leader, can mean a watered-down version of everything. Or it can mean those with the most passion can be let through because their belief and right is seen to overcome everyone else’s, and result in the ‘c’ word topping the charts. So busy is the meeting resolving hurts and unfairness in general, that the particular which needs attention and a carefully tailored structure and argument for it plus implementation methods, is sidelined.

    The left is great at listing all the keywords by which its decisions will be made. But they may not be interpreted fully with examples of how they will be applied. Hence everyone to their own idea, and a lengthy time giving everyone the same amount of speaking time on their own opinion, which may not be helpful in actually deciding on the problem, identifying exactly what it is, and how can that be fixed, and all the other enquiry words. The end can result in withdrawal of thinking and a desire to just come to some end agreeable to all and let’s have a cup of tea.

    Tom Lehrer can be short and succinct. Mid 1970s but still a star at irony and satire. But not p.c.
    Tom Lehrer Quotes – I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.

  9. {From yesterday’s OM, but I feel it bears repeating given the forum of a post about Vance’s Shaw piece – also giving me a chance to link this:
    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2020/06/on-political-capital.html
    }
    This is such deceptive title {Portrait of Green leader James Shaw: ‘Labour wasted its political capital’} compared to the actual text of the Vance interview with Shaw!

    “While NZ First will position themselves as a ‘handbrake’ on radical reform, the Greens election campaign will centre on pushing the Government to go “further and faster”.

    “There are things that we could have done in the last two-and-a-half years that we have been prevented from doing together,” Shaw says. “If I have a frustration with Labour, it’s that they could have spent more political capital than they have”.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/121694108/portrait-of-green-leader-james-shaw-labour-wasted-its-political-capital

    But the main thing I got from the article was the reminder of the pro-lifer nutter who fractured Shaw’s eyesocket last year. It was the day before the Christchurch shootings, so had slipped my mind. That was a bit of a surprise because it had been the female GP MPs getting the death threats.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/111305387/james-shaw-back-on-deck-sporting-black-eye-following-alleged-assault

    His response at the time was very; keep calm and carry on, but there is a bit in the Vance interview that reads a bit like a description of PTSD triggered by similar body language:

    “Over his shoulder, there was a guy who was acting quite erratically. [Dave] asked me a question, and God knows what it was. I couldn’t form a coherent sentence.”

  10. The Green Party has been failed by a lack of real world experience. Their backroom advisors have never held a real job in their lives. They’ve never had to deal with WINZ. They’ve never gone bush. They’ve never worked on a farm. They’ve never travelled NZ but have been imported from overseas.
    All those reasons, and more, are why the Greens have managed to alienate themselves so successfully from NZ Greens. The anti 1080 movement is a case in point. While 1080 does work, and does contribute to an increase in native birdlife, it does absolutely nothing for the waterways. Everything that falls to the ground ends up in the water sooner or later. The only thing to do is get people back into the bush trapping the pests again. We can then drink from our waterways again. Once that’s done, NZ could work on becoming a world leader in the manufacturer of possum fur& hemp clothing. Our possum fur will be caught by the previously mention bush trappers. Waterproof, machine washable warm clothing that composts if it’s left behind could see NZ streaks ahead of the rest of the world reliant on a cotton/poly-yuck-ster blend which is environmentally damaging.
    Such thinking is anathema to the current green party. The only way NZ will get to a point where it can be a manufacturer of note, is through government provided capital. As possum/hemp manufacturing is a risky venture (but one that will pay off big time) private capital is less than forthcoming. At least if government capital is provided, with the state as a shareholding entity, NZ might actually get somewhere. It’s how and why China succeeded with the majority of their manufacturing companies being state owned. The state is the only one with the capital to get new industries off the ground.
    In a post covid19 world, AO/NZ needs the state to invest in new industries. Hemp is one. Possum fur is another. Wood manufacturing is a third. There is so much NZ can do. We are only limited by our inability to see the state as the purveyor of the funds to get new industries up and running.
    Imagine how many new businesses could have started during April 2020 had it not been the lack of access to capital. If the government had offered say, $20k no obligation payments to people with viable business plans, how many more new businesses could have started under level 4 lockdown?
    The lack of capital access is the biggest barrier. And NZ Governments continually fail to address that. Instead capital is spent on keeping the old boys afloat instead of allowing some young, nimble business to fill the gap that comes about from failure. All things in life die. Capitalism is not exception. State Funded Capitalism is the new buzzword for the 21stC

  11. The Green Party has been failed by a lack of real world experience. Their backroom advisors have never held a real job in their lives. They’ve never had to deal with WINZ. They’ve never gone bush. They’ve never worked on a farm. They’ve never travelled NZ but have been imported from overseas.
    All those reasons, and more, are why the Greens have managed to alienate themselves so successfully from NZ Greens. The anti 1080 movement is a case in point. While 1080 does work, and does contribute to an increase in native birdlife, it does absolutely nothing for the waterways. Everything that falls to the ground ends up in the water sooner or later. The only thing to do is get people back into the bush trapping the pests again. We can then drink from our waterways again. Once that’s done, NZ could work on becoming a world leader in the manufacturer of possum fur& hemp clothing. Our possum fur will be caught by the previously mention bush trappers. Waterproof, machine washable warm clothing that composts if it’s left behind could see NZ streaks ahead of the rest of the world reliant on a cotton/poly-yuck-ster blend which is environmentally damaging.
    Such thinking is anathema to the current green party. The only way NZ will get to a point where it can be a manufacturer of note, is through government provided capital. As possum/hemp manufacturing is a risky venture (but one that will pay off big time) private capital is less than forthcoming. At least if government capital is provided, with the state as a shareholding entity, NZ might actually get somewhere. It’s how and why China succeeded with the majority of their manufacturing companies being state owned. The state is the only one with the capital to get new industries off the ground.
    In a post covid19 world, AO/NZ needs the state to invest in new industries. Hemp is one. Possum fur is another. Wood manufacturing is a third. There is so much NZ can do. We are only limited by our inability to see the state as the purveyor of the funds to get new industries up and running.
    Imagine how many new businesses could have started during April 2020 had it not been the lack of access to capital. If the government had offered say, $20k no obligation payments to people with viable business plans, how many more new businesses could have started under level 4 lockdown?
    The lack of capital access is the biggest barrier. And NZ Governments continually fail to address that. Instead capital is spent on keeping the old boys afloat instead of allowing some young, nimble business to fill the gap that comes about from failure. All things in life die. Capitalism is not exception. State Funded Capitalism is the new buzzword for the 21stC

  12. You ignore the fact that the Green Party has negotiated a change to the Overseas Investment Act so that if any overseas investment involves taking water for bottling, Ministers and the OIO can now consider its sustainability. The law changes are currently at select committee https://www.parliament.nz/…/overseas-investment…

Comments are closed.