Jacinda Will Keep Us Moving – To The Same Place.


IF, AS EVERYONE ANTICIPATES, Labour wins the election, it is important to understand that, for Jacinda Ardern, little will change. She will still be Prime Minister, with all that entails. The constant flow of information from her officials will not slow. The daily decisions of government will still have to be made. Yes, there will be a new cabinet, but the key figures in that cabinet will still be her closest allies: Grant Robertson, Chris Hipkins, Meagan Woods. For Jacinda, the next few days and weeks will not be distinguished by how much everything has changed, but by how much of it has remained the same.

Depending on how the votes fall, Labour may, or may not, have to decide what sort of relationship it wishes to establish with the Greens. If, as National is desperately hoping, the Greens are forced out of Parliament, the matter will have resolved itself. If, however, National’s soufflé rises too little, too late, and the Greens squeak back into Parliament, then their relationship with Labour will be determined by whether or not the seats they hold are needed to form a working government majority.

Obviously, if Labour needs the Greens to make up the numbers of power, then Jacinda will be obliged to offer James Shaw, Marama Davidson and, perhaps, three of their parliamentary colleagues, seats at the Cabinet Table. But, if Labour has the numbers to govern alone, then they will have a choice to make: to govern with the Greens – or without them.

A not inconsiderable number of Labour MPs will argue against a voluntary coalition with the Greens. Many will be furious with them for refusing to hose down National’s Wealth Tax allegations in the final days of the campaign. They will argue (with some justification) that Shaw’s and Davidson’s refusal to simply take the Wealth Tax off the table provided Judith Collins with the only weapon capable of influencing the election’s outcome. That’s not something they’ll let Jacinda forget. Their argument will be simple and brutal: The Greens cannot be trusted – not when it counts. Let them sit on the cross-benches for three years. See if that improves their judgement.

The Prime Minister and her closest advisors are much more likely, however, to heed the advice of that hardest of hardball politicians, President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who, when his advisers pressed him to put the formidable FBI Director, J Edgar Hoover, out to pasture, memorably quipped: “It’s probably better to have him inside the tent, pissing out, than outside the tent, pissing in.”

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

The last thing Jacinda and Labour needs is a Green Party, positioned well to their left and feeling morally obliged to criticise every move Labour makes for the entire term. Better by far to slap them in the handcuffs of Collective Cabinet Responsibility – the doctrine which requires cabinet ministers to defend even those government policies they have argued and voted against. The Greens should therefore be very wary of smiling Labour leaders bearing gifts of ginger cake and kindness!

In the best of all possible worlds, the Greens would refuse to join any form of coalition government. In that world, the Greens would not need to be told that the only thing capitalism truly fears, or has the slightest reason to fear, is anti-capitalism.

Liberalism, even in its most radical manifestations (embodied to a decidedly unhealthy degree in the current crop of Greens) remains indissolubly wedded to the core principles of the profit-driven system. When the Green Party was first formed, more than 30 years ago, it quickly attracted a swathe of hard-core anti-capitalists (many of them, like Sue Bradford, refugees from the communist organisations driven out of Jim Anderton’s NewLabour Party). By no means all of these “eco-socialist” anti-capitalists have exited the Greens, but it is indisputable that the party has become much more capitalist-friendly since James Shaw was elected co-leader. Only stupid capitalists fear the likes of Shaw. Smart capitalists all know him to be a man they can do business with.

To avoid disappointment, and that all-too-familiar disillusionment that sets in among leftists after every Labour victory, progressive New Zealanders need to understand that “doing business” is the default setting of the system our representatives are elected to administer. Capitalist democracy has almost nothing to do with the emancipation of those on the receiving end of its economic and social injustices; it is, rather, as one of capitalism’s better analysts, Joseph Schumpeter, pointed out: all about securing “an orderly circulation of elites”.

National is demonstrating – to a hilarious degree – all the signs of an elite which has become exhausted, and needs a period out of power to reconstitute and re-energise itself. Labour, by contrast, has drawn around it an impressive cross-section of the professional and administrative strata responsible for keeping this country going.

Though few New Zealanders would express it in such a fashion: Jacinda’s and Labour’s general handling of the Covid-19 crisis proved both to be highly effective defenders of the capitalist status quo. She, and they, kept the lights on. And that, in the absence of an alternative team of lighting engineers, is pretty much the whole extent of 95 percent of New Zealanders’ expectations.

Maybe, as the world descends further into epidemiological and economic panic, and the planet itself turns aggressively on its dominant species, Jacinda, Labour and the Greens will prove themselves unequal to the challenge of keeping the lights on. At that point, we will begin in earnest the search for an elite dedicated to the creation of new kind of economic, social, political and ecological order. That’s generally the way it works: the failure of an old system calls into existence a new one.

When our very survival turns on the creation and election of anti-capitalists, then rest assured, we will find them – and vote for them. In the meantime, as the French are wont to declare:  plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.




  1. Completely agree.
    Things will have to get very very bad before we actually change system.

    Before the climate gets us, there is war coming with China.

  2. “Labour, by contrast, has drawn around it an impressive cross-section of the professional and administrative strata responsible for keeping this country going.”

    Yes, Labour are perfectly placed to continue with their program of “progressive” neoliberalism. Matariki looks like becoming a public holiday, Ihumatao will be handed back to the iwi, the Greens will push for a Ministry of Rainbows, Jacinda will continue to talk about “child poverty” and the so-called “gender pay gap” etc.

    But the neoliberal structure will remain in place.


    The above for Chris Trotter is based on Labour needing the Greens to Govern. This now being spoken of as a fait accompli is a direct result of notoriously inaccurate TVNZ / Colmar Brunton polls. The latest of which should be viewed with total skepticism. Any poll that has National at 31% at this time is best dismissed as inaccurate at best. Their previous poll showed Collins had jumped 5% in the preferred PM stakes which is akin to saying Collins is preferred as PM by approximately 1 million New Zealanders. Anyone who actually believes that is an accurate and true reflection would also believe in leprechauns, Mermaids and Unicorns. I despair at my fellow Kiwis from time to time but refuse to accept 1 million of them are troglodytes.

    Labour will Govern alone and the true diabolical state of the National Party will be brutally exposed tomorrow evening within hours of the polls closing.

    Try polling members of the Mongrel Mob and Black Power gangs about wearing gang patches in public…then come back and tell me that result reflects the perspective of all New Zealand. Our political polls are mostly chocolate teapots and chocolate fireguards. Any poll that allows or even encourages blatant bias should be treated with the contempt they deserve. I sincerely hope this ongoing issue is addressed with some urgency post election.

    Last nights “final” poll was “designed” by vested interest to achieve the desired result and impact the way votes were cast in the all important final 36 hours. To describe that as an unacceptable rort of epic proportions would be an understatement.

    End result on election night will be similar to this.

    Labour 52%
    National 27%

    The gap between the two main parties will be 25 percentage points, not the farcical 15 shown last night.

    When people form their perspective and judgments on farcical poll results, they end up producing crap like this on blogs.


    • Yes I tend to agree with you Jacindafan. Nationals increase in the polls will probably be the margin of error. If I was a selfish person I would vote national to get the 49$ extra in my pay which I would save by the way. I told my partner to tell the factory workers he works with, that Judeath and her national party want to give there bosses 49$ extra a week in their pay packets and they want to give you an $8 a week increase now do you think this is right?

    • My thoughts too Jacindafan. The large turnout of early votes and expected overall turnout speak to a big youth vote which will almost all go to Jacinda. Why would the greens have suddenly come up to 8%? Is everyone delighted with their attempted demolition of Jacinda’s credibility on the wealth tax? I doubt it but it would be the only explanation for the bump if it was real.
      I think your % result predictions are conservative. I would put labour higher, esp by the time wasted votes are accounted for.And I doubt that anyone in the country would be happier about that than Chris Trotter.
      Cheers D J S

    • Dearest JacindaFan
      We don’t always see eye to eye – but I hope you are right!!!! I’d rather have Labour fuck up the next three years all alone, than team up with some phoney ‘environmental party’ whose sole narrative is taxation and taxation and taxation.
      PS: would do National good to hit 20% to force a complete rethink…maybe even change itself to a LBLN Party – let’s be like Norway.

    • Crap? No, Jacindafan. An analysis based on the evidence available at the time.

      Your comment is liberally sprinkled with assertions but there are very few facts in evidence.

      Electoral politics have become increasingly volatile over the past two decades, and those of us required to provide daily commentary do our readers no favours by ignoring that reality. Neither is it enough to simply whistle as one passes National’s graveyard. If Judith Collins had proved to be an effective neoliberal ghoul (as opposed to a ridiculous Tory hobgoblin) this election could, indeed, have turned out to be a much closer affair.

      All the way through, a shift of just 5 percentage points from Labour to National, had the potential to change everything. Jacinda always knew that – even if Jacindafan did not.

      • It’s all guesswork. Mine is based on worst case.
        National up to 35%
        Labour 45-47%
        Greens 8-10%
        The rest who cares.
        I would think the majority of early voters would be the Boomers(sorry).
        They would predominantly be National as always.
        Just MHO.

        • ‘They (Boomers) would predominantly be National as always’.

          Oh come on GreenBus. That would have to be a generalization. If you have data on this please share it. Even anecdotal evidence would do. And don’t forget that under MMP there are two ticks. I am convinced many, Boomer, X , Y, or those eligible to vote in Gen Z, split their vote.

          • Yes it’s a generalization. No I don’t have data. I find it difficult to believe young people will vote in numbers, let alone early. This is always the way with the young voters. A lot of young people are just not interested in politics (and who could blame them). Again a generalization. Most oldies are reliable voters, with covid19 around perhaps they voted early as a safety issue. And I believe most are conservative as has been shown in previous elections. Who do you think voted for National and NZF in such large numbers? It would be interesting to have a breakdown of the who voted for who by age group after the election. I’m happy to be wrong, doesn’t worry me.

    • Oh my gosh he was talking about whether labour would be going into coalition with the greens if they didn’t need them. I’m a labour member but take the blinders off. The polls aren’t rogue
      Labour has been tracking downwards for a few weeks which is normal, it’ll be miraculous if it manages to get a small majority but what is most likely is labour gets something similar to key in 2008-2014.

      The most deluded people in politics are the ones who celebrate the polls when they are going up and say those same polls are rigged when those same polls have them going down. I’m expecting labour to get somewhere between what bill English got last time and what key got in 2017, which would be the largest share of the vote for labour in decades and a gigantic , astronomical achievement, 52% is dreaming, Tony Blair in 1997 with a legendary hundred plus seat majority after two decades of Tory rule and in a landslide not seen before only got 43% of the vote 52% of all voters in a proportional system? Maybe 52% of the seats but 52% of all votes… Get real I think they’ll get 46% and because of the wasted vote they’ll have a majority….

      Also nzf is tracking up if they pull a miracle or if national gets more seats than its party vote entitles them too or if the Maori party or one of the other parties wins a seat that changes the arithmetic entirely and probably means labour /greens.

  4. Maybe, but nothing lasts for ever and everything has its own lifespan. The Western post-war consensus which combined a strong state/welfare policy framework lasted some 30-40 years, which is roughly the amount of time enjoyed by the current market-led approach. Although viewed by critics as a largely policy free election campaign, the reality of a Labour-Greens Govt with no NZ First handbrake could mean that Labour can no longer disown its policy failures to the extent that the easier path actually becomes significant structural change (just as it was for the ’84 Labour Govt). If Jacinda Ardern’s statement on last night’s Leaders Debate about stepping down in the event of Labour defeat raises questions as to whether she really wants a third term in 2023, surely she will want to leave a legacy that marks the degree of personal sacrifice she has made for her life in politics.

    • She has made a clear path to follow aunty Helen to the United Nations and a roll there . If elected again you will see more moves to follow the path that they want the World to follow even if it is not the best road for NZ

        • Now that’s interesting,- ‘the soul of Russia’,.. Russia is an enigma in many respects, I’ve developed an interest in its history, it truly is an interesting history with its blood and war, its peace and its peoples…

          • Wild Katipo -And it’s glorious music and great literature, physical beauty and landscape – not forgetting the huge sacrifice made by ill-equipped Russian soldiers defeating Nazism in WW2, with America still trying to claim all the credit for that too.

            One of my kids did the Trans-Siberian railway crossing; was struck by how beautiful Russia is; contributed to the national economy by buying
            the crockery, piece by piece, which still sits stored in my garage – it’s how the workers supplement their income, reporting breakages.

            Even Moscow’s underground stations are works of art. My in-laws insulted English guests saying how dirty and tacky London’s are in comparison. But they were right.

            Contemporary Russian folk singers are as good or better than the Deep South of the USA with universal chords echoing from the beginning of time, telling many of our stories… but I daresay there’s still a place for tinsel town too, for the skimming surface sort of person.

    • john commons,

      Excellent points John. Same John who trained or trains racing greyhounds?

      It’s my sincere belief that despite the desperate nature of the National Party with all that entails, Ardern will be the PM for an unprecedented 4 terms. Along with considerable and desperately needed positive change to our beautiful country, we will also witness her family grow and her marriage while being our PM. Her legacy will be enormous……but she will be ridiculed, mocked, misrepresented and undermined every step of the way by the usual suspects.

    • “If Jacinda Ardern’s statement on last night’s Leaders Debate about stepping down in the event of Labour defeat raises questions as to whether she really wants a third term in 2023”
      I was struck by that statement too. It certainly means something. She obviously had thought about it. But could it simply be that she just wants to be a mom for a while? Connecting with her little family and maybe adding to it before it’s too late is a terrible sacrifice a political leader has to make. And if the country doesn’t want her that much why should she make it. She could take a couple of terms off and come back.
      If they loose this (extremely hypothetical) she will not have the kudos to land her an important job at the UN I wouldn’t think though with Helen advocating perhaps… But it would seem like something further into the future to me.
      D J S

      • She never said she was leaving parliament, she said she would step down as leader.
        That’s a massive difference and unbelievable it has been misreported to such a degree and not picked up by left wing blogs.

        • It would be good to be clear on that SOB.But she was asked at a standup yesterday”why she had waited for the second to last day before the election to announce that she will quit politics if she lost. She answered that it was the first time she had been asked , it had always been her position. She did not correct that it was only the leadership she would quit.
          D J S

  5. Maybe, but nothing lasts for ever and everything has its own lifespan. The Western post-war consensus which combined a strong state/welfare policy framework lasted some 30-40 years, which is roughly the amount of time enjoyed by the current market-led approach. Although viewed by critics as a largely policy free election campaign, the reality of a Labour-Greens Govt with no NZ First handbrake could mean that Labour can no longer disown its policy failures to the extent that the easier path actually becomes significant structural change (just as it was for the ’84 Labour Govt). If Jacinda Ardern’s statement on last night’s Leaders Debate about stepping down in the event of Labour defeat raises questions as to whether she really wants a third term in 2023, surely she will want to leave a legacy that marks the degree of personal sacrifice she has made for her life in politics.

    • Why are we having to guess, yes, guess, what’s going on in Jacinda’s mind? I think cowardice is deep-wired into 21st Century Labour politicians, and that’s the best interpretation of their motivations.

    • Pedro,

      Jesus wept Pedro.

      Ardern was asked if she would step down as leader if Labour lost the election. Her answer was yes and reflects her own integrity, honesty and authenticity along with what is the status quo when a party leader fails to win the election. Ardern has a 0 % chance of losing this election so what the question should have been was “if and when you ever lose an election, will you step down as leader?”.

      Even someone with your obvious limitations and impediments should be able to comprehend that Pedro.

      • Hey hey JacindaFan

        No need to be snipey and insult Pedro mate! Why are you suggesting he is mentally not at you level…maybe he is way above, wouldn’t be difficult!!! It’s just typical of your petty little bitchy approach all along – to anyone that disagrees with your view of dear Jacinda. Are you Clarke Gayford in disguise???…are you like Jacinda’s PR minder?? It comes across like that.

        As for your Jacinda, I think whoever called her a ‘caretaker’ back then was sort of correct. Yesterday came across like she had mentally signed out already. She won’t entertain fighting back should Labour lose – not that they ever will., don’t panic JacindaFan we won’t even suggest it.

        But Pedro is fair to observe it, we could all see it (except you with all that pixiedust in your eyes) Her attitude was like: “Whatever.”

        Aaah must be nice to be at Saint!

        • Herman Shovel Ready,

          “snipey”? haha. That coming from a person who’s input is often “snipey” draws a smile. As for me being insulting to Pedro. You’re being selective and hypercritical. Anyone who from the shadows has another piss-take at Ardern with visionary leadership mocking leaves themselves wide open to retort.

          The rest of your input at your usual utterly pointless inane level.

          • Visionary leadership? Dude don’t drink the cool aid.

            Jacinda is awesome, I think she’s a really decent person and is everything she makes out to be bit you’re putting things on her she’s never claimed, I don’t think someone whose ruled out something as puny as a capital gains tax or truly raising welfare can be described as visionary leader.

            She’s a bog standard social democrat and a conservative one at that, on reform and bold leadership moves Justin Trudeau whose another bog standard social democrat but a liberal one , leaves her for dead and everyone rubbishes him.

            When we think of Jacindas leadership we don’t think of major reforms we think of how proud we were that she showed the world that kiwi girls are tough but that politicians don’t have to be vicious, that women don’t have to decide between a career and family, of March 15, COVId 19 and many numerous things on the international stage she’s done that have been great promotions for NZ, but not visionary, a visionary would have found a way to get a three parties who all agree on more public funding for trains to build a lite rail.

      • That’s it JF you maintain the faith that Jacinda who is as transparent as cling film is going to lead you and the sheeple to utopia.
        It ain’t going to happen, none of who are on offer will, whether in 100 days or 9 years, the same old cycle will continue and you will still be here pontificating on about it all.
        I dont do personality politics, I judge them on what they actually achieve whilst in office.
        ” Let’s keep failing and keep rewarding those who fail”
        I wonder if some of that integrity of Aderns intermingled with the blood on Blairs hands when they greeted each other whilst he was in NZ.
        I dont tend to associate myself with murderers, thieves and just general fuckwits, how about you JF?

          • Keepcalmcarryon,

            Still butthurt from my comments about your input earlier in the week huh.

            Happy for you to disagree, challenge or throw fluff at me but if you repeated your fucked up abuse to me offline, the next ride you’d take would be in the boot of my car you brave wee thing.

            • Jacindafan For goodness sake, don’t let Keepcalmcarryon on
              get to you. There’s a method in her madness.

              Her trashing of cross dressers should show you she’s a mean old thing: life’s not exactly been a bowl of cherries for those I’ve known.

              Nor do people with logs for burning to keep warm, and animals to shoot for food, always care that the poor in the cities feel the cold too, that their food may depend upon the kindness of strangers, that the rain which feeds plants wrecks feet and fingers and brings the smell of other people’s urine up from under the bridge they call home.

              Don’t let them drag you down, this is Readers’ Digest 1960 squelching here, just for the sake of it.

          • Keepcalmcarryon Pegging is probably best restricted to putting hubby’s socks on the clothesline, Aggie.

            The typing of identity politics is precisely what has been asphyxiating New Zealand politics and obscuring the facts of major issues for too long now. It achieves nothing, apart from playing into the hands of those whom it suits to have facts obscured, in their own interests.

            ( Who’s Ritchie Hardcore anyway ?)

        • Pedro,

          You speak of personality politics as if it was a bad thing. Personality is crucial when it comes to leadership. Only eggplants don’t recognize that. Winston Churchill had exactly the right personality at the right time. Bill English had no personality and it showed in the way he led. He’s a bean counter that would have difficulty inspiring anyone other than the party faithful. Judith Collins is a bully. People recognize that and recoil. Personality in politics is huge.

          Your contention that Ardern is a leader who fails should be treated with the contempt it deserves. It also totally ignores the enormous time-consuming issues Ardern has had to deal with. Those who ignore those issues and their impact are displaying a high level of bias and or ignorance.

          I’m pleased you don’t associate with murderers and fuckwits etc. Well done you. I’m sure you’re aware that fuckwits invariably gravitate toward other fuckwits but are blissfully unaware they and their acquaintances are in fact….fuckwits.

          • To your first paragraph ; yes. Remember back to Roger Douglas and the fish and chip club. roger had the plan he wanted to impose but he knew from experience that he couldn’t sell it to the public or lead a party to implement it. they went out and recruited David Lange off the street, or out of his courtroom because they knew he had the gift of the gab and the oratory gift with a bit of a facelift to do the sales pitch to the masses.
            In Jacinda’s case she probably is not the one we should expect to have the transformative plan in here head, but we know she cares and will do her best for us and will carry the public with her once the map is drawn. There are two completely different skill sets needed and it is too much to expect one person to hold both. Hers is not to work out what is to be done , hers is to make it happen and to communicate what is happening and why.
            D J S

          • JF, yep well aware of that anamoly I heard it was first used in describing fuckwits who belonged to motorcycle gangs. Hang on weren’t you in one? What a coincidence.

            So is that what you expect from your elected representatives, personality, not delivery of policy/ leadership that will improve the health,wellbeing and quality of life to all NZ citizens?
            It amazes me just how sensitive and immature some are to Adern being criticized for failure,as she and her ministers should be, they all should be regardless of political affiliation.
            You using bias in a debate is a bit rich Jacindafan, obviously a very objective, balanced point of view always readily available from you whenever anyone dare criticizes your beloved leader.

            Let’s keep failing

          • Meanwhile Bill English got more votes than us when we ran literally the best campaign of our lives.

            noone in labour likes this Americanization of nz politics and the increasingly presidential style of our campaigns because Jacindas and Trudeaus are few and far between it means potentially great reforming people who would be incredibly good leaders have to have incredible star power, to an extent looks, communication skills, youth, and showmanship and if thats what is the new checklist for leadership, Helen Clark, David Lange, Michael Joseph Savage, Norman Kirk would never have been elected and the left world would only ever have obama and Kennedy wannabes running around.

            Labour is supposed to reject all that and the prime minister has on many times. I don’t know who you are but I get the sense you’re either just a super fan or scarily , someone in the party with power and that genuinely terrifies me because I don’t want labour turning into the Democrats.

    • Pedro can you tell us what country in the world has visionary leadership at the moment? and why people are flocking to that country to live. Some NZers might want to move there.

  6. Nicely said, Chris, especially:

    ‘Maybe, as the world descends further into epidemiological and economic panic, and the planet itself turns aggressively on its dominant species, Jacinda, Labour and the Greens will prove themselves unequal to the challenge of keeping the lights on.’

    Nothing is more certain than the fact that things are unravelling fast, both here and overseas.

    Far from being under control, Covid-19 is surging in many nations -France hitting todays headlines with: ‘France reports a record 30,621 cases in 24 hours’ while just across the border ‘13,300 new infections in Spain’. Better not talk about India or Indonesia or South America.

    Meanwhile, over in Fantasyland:

    ‘New claims for unemployment benefits in the US came in just under 900,000 last week and that was much higher than the 825,000 expected. And the number of people still qualified and getting these benefits fell by more than -1.2 mln last week to just on 10 mln, as the pace rises whereby the six month entitlement periods end. Remember, at its peak in March it was at almost 25 mln. Many will have gotten jobs since then (about +700,000) but that leaves a huge 14 mln who have lost benefit qualification. And there is still no progress on any Congressional plan to extend benefit entitlements. The social pressures are building to an ugly level.’


    Presumably the petty crime rate is about to skyrocket, before the street fighting relating to the election fiasco commences.

    And I see that China has decided not to buy any more coal from Australia. That’s about 5% of their economy down the drain, isn’t it? That’s on top of the tourism and other sectors down the drain. Could be plenty of employment fighting fires and sorting out insurance claims though.

    Again from Interest.co:

    ‘And the RBA has raised expectations of a November rate cut, possibly from 0.25% to 0.10%.

    Meanwhile, consumer inflation expectations rose in Australia in the latest survey, now up 3.4% pa from 3.1% last time the survey was run.’

    The desperation of the ‘elites’ to maintain some semblance of control is palpable.

    But sine the whole caboodle is unsustainable and at the inflexion point, we are in for an interesting ‘ride’:

    Meanwhile, the plan is still to keep ‘fucking the planet’ as fast as possible, both here and overseas.

    ‘Alberta To Restart Oil Lease Sales Despite Crisis
    By Charles Kennedy – Oct 15, 2020, 2:30 PM CDT

    Alberta’s government plans to resume oil and gas lease sales by the end of the year to encourage companies to invest in the province, Alberta’s Energy Minister Sonya Savage told the Financial Post, while analysts warn that Canada’s oil-producing province may not get the best price for those auctions at a time when oil demand is still weak.

    After oil prices crashed in March, Alberta moved in early April to defer all public offerings, that is land sales and direct purchases of petroleum and natural gas and oil sands mineral rights, for a period of at least 90 days.

    Alberta, which has seen its revenues shrink with the collapse of oil prices and the downturn in the industry, now hopes to resume those land sales by the end of 2020, even if the market sentiment in general and in Canada’s oil patch is still gloomy.

    Oil and gas firms have been urging Alberta to restart the twice-monthly land sales, Savage told the Financial Post. The government is also looking to attract the industry to spend capital in the province.

    “There’s no question we have to open those land sales up otherwise that capital will be going somewhere else,” Savage said.

    To make sure that it isn’t ‘giving away’ land too cheaply, Alberta is considering raising the minimum bid for land sales.

    The province thinks it could be fair to set the minimum bid at US$38 (C$50) per hectare, according to documents the Financial Post has obtained. To compare, the minimum bid price per hectare of oil and gas rights in Alberta is currently US$1.89 (C$2.50)—an amount set in 1977.

    Alberta expects its total resource revenue – which includes royalties from oil and gas, bitumen, and coal, as well as bonuses and sales of Crown leases – will plunge to US$906 million (C$1.2 billion) in 2020-2021, down by US$2.95 billion (C$3.9 billion) compared to the initial forecast for Budget 2020.’


    In NZ, the continued ‘planet-fucking’ will be done under the pretence of moving towards ‘zero carbon’ and other nonsensical lies espoused by our illustrious PM…. all done with kindness, of course.

    ‘New Zealand’s net emissions increased by 57 per cent compared with 1990 due mostly to the underlying increase in gross emissions and increased volume of timber harvested from New Zealand’s plantation forest estate in 2018.’


    Undoubtedly, the surge in population, as climate-disease-economic ‘refugees’ race to perceived safety, will cause a substantial surge in NZ’s emissions.

    I don’t think the general populace will be particularly concerned about emissions, as the meltdown of global finance and ensuing mass redundancies are going to be far more visible.

    Savings deposit account: where money goes to die.

    • Growth that stupid politicians boast about.
      Poverty and Progress – Henry George
      Progress and Poverty – Bill Such (Kiwi)

      But if you have not listened to Shiva then catch up with this far sighted woman with impeccable credentials.


      “When natural resources like timber, water and mineral deposits can be extracted from ecosystems, they become assets with dollar values that can be bought and sold internationally and enable developing countries to grow and participate in the global economy. If growth is the key to emerging from poverty, then this might seem like a good thing. But what if these same resources being sold to richer nations come from an ecosystem that people depend on for their livelihood? What if new growth is actually proportional to the creation of new poverty?

      The cult of ‘growth’ has dictated policy for decades. But if well-being, not growth, is our goal, selling resources that bring long term wellbeing to communities for short term gain is a very bad deal. Hard as it may be for the West to understand, protecting the ecological resources of communities might be more important than GDP figures.

      Vandana Shiva holds a PhD in physics, but is best known as an environmental, and anti-globalisation activist and as a leading figure of ‘ecofeminism.’ Shiva is based in India and is the author of over twenty books, including Staying Alive and Biopiracy. She is a former recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize.”

  7. Nice piece Chris. How will history look upon what looks to be a returning Labour government, with or without a Green collation deal? That we will have to wait for. “Doing business” may well be the order of the day, but in these challenging times “business as usual” surely has to change. Those challenges have been well canvased in TDB: economic, social, environmental. Interrelated. Will history look kindly on efforts to shift the inertia? Or just more of the same: good intentions but little real transformation. We are but a tiny player on the global stage however. Probably best not to forget this in the excitement of a national election.

  8. I’m thinking Jacinda was trolling Jude when she said she would quit if Labour lost, or in her words “if people don’t want to see me resign then vote Labour”. Jacinda would surely never want to sound this pretentious or dismissive of the Party or her position to get a few votes or stroke her ego. Still, it reflects our society now where fear mongering seems to be a herding technique, whether it be fear of killing granny with your germs, or fear of the climate monster because some houses burnt down, or the biggest fear, that you wake up on Sunday morning to find Judith standing over you, breathing into your face with a frightening grin, whereupon she says, “I’m back”. No change Jacinda, please, no change.

  9. In cautious defense of Jacinda Adern and her collegues I’d argue that it’ll take time to tease and untangle AO/NZ’s own particular iteration of neoliberalism out of our politics.
    After all? roger douglals is still alive and phil goff is the mayor of Auckland and lianne dalziel still the mayor of Christchurch and I’m certain that neoliberalism is very well entrenched in our public service. It’s going to take quite the insecticide to knock off those particular parasites buried deep within our politic.
    I’m giving Adern three years. In that time I expect fur to fly and heads to roll.
    Heavily regulate foreign banksters.i.e. 99.9% tax on their net profits.
    Inquiries into past and present privateer individuals and their politician mates.
    A new and overhauled Ministry of Agriculture focusing on regenerative farming practices.
    Stuff like that there.

    • Heavily regulate foreign banksters.

      Absolutely!! And bring our own Govt banking home to AO/NZ! ENOUGH of having our own Govt $$s in an AUS-owned bank. Even without the money laundering of criminal activities that some Aus banks have been engaged in. (And why are those banks still here, after their corrupt dealings have been exposed?)

    • A new and overhauled Ministry of Agriculture

      Yes, for sure. And,
      A new and overhauled Ministry of Social Development (WINZ et al)
      A new and overhauled Department of Conservation
      A new and overhauled Ministry of Immigration
      A new and overhauled Ministry of Health
      Oranga Tamariki

      Jacinda has inherited an antiquated bureaucracy, with many depts in need of repair, updating, and generally bringing them into the 21st Century. And now to prepare them for all that lies ahead. No small task.

    • I disagree with just about all your defence of the farming industry countryboy, but I am totally behind your call for regenerative systems.
      That, in itself, could, no should, be the most transformative action taken for decades.
      On ya mate.

  10. Well Chris, I’m expecting to see another uneventful three years if labour get to rule by themselves or more Incrementalism if they’re partnered up with NZF again or with the new look Maori Party.
    369,000 unemployed with another 95,000 due up after their wage subsidy ends. What next? Austerity MK11? How will they deal with that debt burden hanging over their head when shes already ruled out any sort of new taxes and increases? MMT perhaps? Inflate it away?
    Another three years of vacuous promises of everything being better in the future, bla bla bla … wont cut it when the house in been burned down.
    Lets hope covid kicks in again I guess they’ll all be hoping for?

  11. “Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth.” Lucy Parsons

    Do wonder how long it will take for people to realise this voting con as it stands, is not in their best interests.

    The misguided belief that their vote will make a change, is getting beyond a joke.

    “The most violent element in society is ignorance.” Emma Goldman

  12. ” Better by far to slap them in the handcuffs of Collective Cabinet Responsibility – the doctrine which requires cabinet ministers to defend even those government policies they have argued and voted against. The Greens should therefore be very wary of smiling Labour leaders bearing gifts of ginger cake and kindness ”
    I the NZLP actually remembered what the party’s founding principles were and actually gave that real thought then there would be a number Labour MPs who would be holding Jacinda and Grant to account instead of relying on a party that may or may not be in parliament and then be expected to behave itself while propping up a market driven social democrat party that has the arrogance of ruling out a discussion about possible policy before any negotiation is entered into.
    At least the U.K had Corbyn and the States has Bernie to remind the so called Labour movement why they exist in the first place rather than voting for a fashion accessory to ease a wealthy and middle class persons conscience about looking after the destitute.
    I see Judith has now decided that they will give themselves until 2030 to address real poverty in New Zealand.
    Then it will be 2040..50 etc.

  13. Frankly I found it a bit insulting to see the photo of MJS ‘on the shelf’, yes, that’s exactly where she’d put surely the most progressive and transformative labour government, unfortunately the achievements of MJS are now just office decorations for the labour party . I kept thinking -turn around, he’s behind you!

  14. The election is over and Labour has won. All that is left is to count the slips that confirm that. Why this is so can be attributed to the 1.7 million early votes. Judith Collins took over when the National vote was at a low and Labour was at or close to 50%, the Greens were also at a low and falling;NZF was sliding slowly but inexoribly and Act had not yet made its run. If this was what the pollsters found, you can virtually bet that the early voters would have shown the same out comes. Why should they be any different? And the votes cast are irretrievable.
    What does this signify? Nearly all the early votes cast for Labour will be at at a high of about 50% a figure that National cannot possibly pull back, so expect Labour to achieve nearly that tomorrow, while National will not break 30%: NZFirst is not on late roll – its on a too- late death rattle. ACT will hold its present figures unless Nationals simply choose not to vote.
    The really dangerous situation is for the Greens. We are told by recent polling that they are nearly safe. but for most of the Green voters their vote has hovered around 4-6% and early voters will have voted to numbers around that.
    The danger is all the bigger because they dont seem to see it. I am expecting them to survive by their finger nails. If you haven’t yet Party voted Green, they need you now.
    Incidentally who is saying the Greens are not to be trusted? Labour could have made the Greens safe at any time by asking their voters in Auckland Central to Party Vote Green. They didn’t. Because Labour want the Greens out and a return to two party Government. How treacherous is that?

  15. Well I enjoyed this piece by Chris Trotter,… esp –

    ” The Prime Minister and her closest advisors are much more likely, however, to heed the advice of that hardest of hardball politicians, President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who, when his advisers pressed him to put the formidable FBI Director, J Edgar Hoover, out to pasture, memorably quipped: “It’s probably better to have him inside the tent, pissing out, than outside the tent, pissing in.”

    That’s an interesting slice of American history as well, Johnson, … where so much murkiness surrounds him, Hoover , the FBI and the CIA and the murder of JFK.

    Happily, I will party vote Greens, even though I dont like Shaw, and am aware of the ‘new generation ‘ of Greens who seem very much cozying up to neo liberalism. But not all are. I think Labour, – who will win- need a balance in there. And only the Greens can do that.

  16. Jacinda is a fake ‘leftie’, as we know, and indeed, little will change, there will certainly not be transformational change, as former Nat voters voted for her. That will make Jacinda mindful of the fact. As we have early results now, we are likely to have Labour govern alone, this is not good for progress.

  17. No one of us who follow things is excited. If the Greens weren’t who they are, maybe. I remember 2017, we were excited. Not even Jacinda looked excited this time. She’s trying to imagine where Rangitata is coming from. She should fluff off to wherever CV-ville takes her.


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