Moving To The Right

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CURIA RESEARCH’S (i.e. David Farrar’s) latest poll for the Taxpayers’ Union bodes very ill for the Left. Although Labour retains a commanding lead, with nearly 45 percent of the Party Vote, and in spite of the fact that National still languishes in the low 20s, the gap between the parties of the Left and the parties of the Right has shrunk from nearly 20 percent to 12 percent. The direction of travel in New Zealand politics is no longer towards the Left. Unmistakeably, political sentiment is shifting rightward.

Let’s begin with the Greens. Historically, this has been considered the most left-wing political party in the New Zealand Parliament. Debateable from the outset, this characterisation has become increasingly difficult to sustain. Certainly, the departure of such recognisably left-wing Greens as Sue Bradford and Keith Locke made the designation tenuous – at best. Such ideological positioning that the Greens have undertaken since they re-entered government in 2017 has caused many observers to locate the party at the extreme end of radical Identity Politics.

Not that observers any longer have much opportunity to observe the workings of the Green Party up close and unmolested by its official gatekeepers. In its early days, under Rod Donald’s and Jeanette Fitzsimons’ leadership, the party made a positive fetish out of its openness to the news media and interested members of the public. Over the course of the last decade, however, this openness has decreased to the point where, at the party’s latest AGM, no part of the proceedings (apart from set-piece speeches from the co-leaders and a final media conference) were open to the news media.

Green supporters would, of course, object that the conferences of the main parties have for many years been similarly restricted. While that objection is true of Labour, it is less so of National. Besides, such a bare-faced defence of public exclusion sits very uneasily with a party calling itself Green. Clearly, the ultra-democratic, libertarian principles of the early Green movement have long since been replaced with … less friendly … concepts.

Perhaps it is this sense that the Greens have changed, that they are not what they were, that lies behind their 3-point loss of support. Alternatively, it could be the increasing difficulty in distinguishing the political style and content of the Green Party from that of Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party which explains the shift of support from the former to the latter. Whatever the explanation, Labour will be feeling both relieved and concerned at the transfer of allegiance.

Without the influx of former Green support, Labour’s numbers would not have looked anything like so solid. The Green defectors masked the exodus of yet more of Jacinda’s 2020 supporters in a generally rightward direction. Without them, Labour’s strategists would have been fielding questions about what the mainstream news media would have delighted in calling “a precipitate loss of support”.

Being spared that headline, while gratifying, would, however, have been of only limited consolation to those same Labour strategists. The last thing they need is a Green Party hovering over the 5 percent MMP threshold, while Labour is struggling to hold a position in the mid-40s. Happiness and security is Labour at 45 percent and the Greens at 10. (Labour at 50.1 percent would, of course, be better, but elections like 2020 are once-in-a-lifetime events.)

Labour’s woes, however, must seem like the purest joy to a National Party spiralling down towards electoral destruction. One can only imagine how devastating it must have been for its strategic leadership to observe the approaching throng of former National supporters: the mostly female supporters who deserted Judith Collins for Jacinda almost exactly one year ago; pass National by and just keep right on marching to the beat of David Seymour’s Act-ivist drum. Naturally, some of them returned to the National fold, but nowhere near enough. National’s upward tick of support was well within the margin of error. Set against the roughly equal amount of support that had bled out to Winston Peters and NZ First, there really was very little to celebrate.

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Only in Act were the champagne corks popping. Seymour and his team must be wondering where, exactly, the upward curve on the graph is going to stop. Could it really keep climbing all the way up to and beyond 20 percent – the figure at which surpassing National becomes practically an arithmetical certainty?

Curia Research has only hopeful things to tell them in this respect. In the key electoral real estate of Auckland, Act has already overtaken the National Party. The same is true of rural New Zealand and the small provincial towns that serve it. A torch-passing moment may be at hand: the historical supplanting of the dominant right-wing party by its tightly disciplined and pitch-perfect challenger.

It is important not to let the imagination run too wild at such moments. Older voters who backed the late Jim Anderton’s Alliance in the early 1990s will recall the days when its poll numbers soared past Labour’s, driving its centre-Left rival down to a humiliating 15 percent. But, Labour, led by the steadfast Helen Clark, surged back into contention and, eventually, into the role of senior partner in the Labour-Alliance Coalition Government of 1999-2002.

National, too, can climb its way out of the hole it has dug for itself since the departure of John Key and Bill English. A fair amount of metaphorical blood will have to be shed to aid that ascent. But that is unlikely to prove an insuperable obstacle. National has never been averse to spilling a little claret.

Ironically, a fight to the finish between National and Act for the right to rule the Right may prove to a an electoral winner. Providing National chooses a personable and intelligent leader: someone capable of building a coherent and productive team. And if that team is equal to developing a policy platform which “Middle New Zealand” finds credible. Then, allowing a battle of right-wing ideas to rage between themselves and their equally engaging rivals in Act may actually end-up building the overall strength of the Right. Such an ideological struggle would certainly signal where all the intellectual and political action was.

If the Greens were still the party of Donald and Fitzsimons, it is possible they could goad Jacinda’s Labour into a similar battle of ideas. God knows, she and her party badly need to re-learn the art of arguing from first principles. Sadly, neither the Greens, nor Labour, any longer seem equipped to generate the collective excitement and individual commitment that keep the voters coming back for more.

When the smoke of the battle against Covid-19 finally clears, what additional achievements will the parties of the Left have to set before the voters – and what plans?

82 COMMENTS

  1. An interesting hypothesis. I’m not sold outside of what we are seeing being a hardening of attitudes and a partisan of our politics. The vile twitter campaign against the Gisborne pub owner is the latest example of this.

    • Frank the Tank “ The vile Twitter campaign against the Gisborne pub owner is the latest example of this. “ I agree with you about what the lynch mob are trying to do to this man – presumably put him out of business.
      It is ugly and scary bullying. He may also have a civil case against the originators of the issue – it’s already skirting around defamation.

      • Snow White: “…..what the lynch mob are trying to do to this man – presumably put him out of business. It is ugly and scary bullying.”

        It sounds ghastly. I’ve seen nothing of that, except for headlines on blogsites and the like. I don’t use Twitter: I remarked some years ago to a neighbour that the very name was sufficiently naff as to turn me off. It seems that I’m not missing anything.

        We have connections in Gisborne: from what we’ve heard, it seems that local opinion is on the side of the pub owner. I’m not surprised.

    • Well with Judith Collins oozing malice towards people, and the Greens being irrelevance to 90%+ of Kiwis (James Shaw big announcement on Climate Change funding increases towards poor nations — Groanfest)…no wonder ACT, and Labour are riding high….
      Suggestions to help out Kiwis
      – The Green MPs helping out at Food banks, Vax Centres…something useful for a change
      – Judith Collins getting rolled ASAP — who cares who takes over as long as they have a pulse
      – ACT refusing to accept any deal for Epsom from National
      – Maori Party focus on people, not their hat collection
      – Labour drops Operation Fear (current NZ Government Covid Plan), to Operation Hope (NZ Government states clearly what happens, and at what date, does NZ move out of Lockdown, especially the South Island — why Level 2 for the South??)

      • Preventing transmission is to prevent “total cases.” It does not mean preventing asymptomatic cases alone, because symptomatic cases transmit too (arguably more so).

        Moderna is over 80% effective for total cases, over 60% for asymptomatic, 93% for symptomatic alone

  2. “If the Greens were still the party of Donald and Fitzsimons”,
    they have stopped being that some time ago, and i doubt any of the current crew even remembers these two.

    • Well with Judith Collins oozing malice towards people, and the Greens being irrelevance to 90%+ of Kiwis (James Shaw big announcement on Climate Change funding increases towards poor nations — Groanfest)…no wonder ACT, and Labour are riding high….
      Suggestions to help out Kiwis
      – The Green MPs helping out at Food banks, Vax Centres…something useful for a change
      – Judith Collins getting rolled ASAP — who cares who takes over as long as they have a pulse
      – ACT refusing to accept any deal for Epsom from National
      – Maori Party focus on people, not their hat collection
      – Labour drops Operation Fear (current NZ Government Covid Plan), to Operation Hope (NZ Government states clearly what happens, and at what date, does NZ move out of Lockdown, especially the South Island — why Level 2 for the South??)

    • Sad but true, kejo. Take your pick between Jacinda’s jiggery wokery, Seymour’s free-market fundamentalism, or the void known as National.

  3. Hey Chris, I’m not sure if your tone is one of defeat?
    Hey, is this all a bad thing? Maybe not? Let’s take out the left or right wing aspect: I mean, outside of Covid, what has this particular JA govt done for NZ and it’s citizens? Name a few things of real consequence that represent personal growth and advancement and general productivity of the country. Please don’t include stuff like gun control or hijabs and hugs….it’s nice but that doesn’t but anyone a house or a new EV or even just a lawnmower. A new right leaning govt could hardly do worse. I think it’s fair to say, in the same way I harshly criticise National and Collins, that this must be one of the worst performing govts NZ has ever had. The list of significant non-achievements, the money wastage on ill-conceived ideas, it’s simple staggering. A new right-leaning govt, can hardly do worse, so we may as well try it.

    • In fact Labour’s efforts at gun control have had the opposite effect, marked with an increase in gun violence by actual criminals & the disappearance of over 100000 banned semi-autos.

      • “In fact Labour’s efforts at gun control have had the opposite effect, marked with an increase in gun violence by actual criminals…”
        Richard, I am not sure how you link the increase in gun violence to the gun buyback. Gun violence was already increasing and predicted to continue to increase; along with gang membership. Absolutely nothing to do with the gun buyback.
        At no time was it expected that firearms held for nefarious purposes would be handed in; what it was aimed at was removing one of the sources of such weapons. There is no reason, other than self-image, for a private citizen to have at home a military style automatic weapon, they are not required for hunting or target use.

        • Guys you are going off track….come back! The point I made was that this JA govt always picks the low hanging woke fruit, no…actually the ‘easy as’ fruit that fell off the tree, because it makes them sound like they are ‘doing something’. Hate speech next. But ask them to tackle housing, infrastructure or poverty, or Transaction Tax or fix the RMA…the difficult stuff we expect a govt to tackle…no way. No can do. They just don’t have the management skills. How could they when they are still students from the leftie student union who grew a bit older?

          • You are correct, they do tend to go for the low hanging fruit and have little else to show for their time in office other than the elimination of COVID-19. My point was the even some of their much touted “successes”, look like total failures by any rational analysis.

          • I think there was an atrocity that motivated the so called hanging fruit. Nothing to show for it other than its handling of a pandemic, well i suppose in your mind that nothing to show.

            • But instead of addressing the actual problem, proposing real, workable solutions, they spun a narrative, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, solving nothing, and the country was the worse for it. This seems to be the pattern of how they deal with all of their crises.

        • I’m 75 tomorrow, I learned to shoot a 22 when I was about 8. It was a BSA with a magazine , a tube running underneath the barrel . Held about 15 shots. Now it is illegal. This is crazy.
          D J S

        • If the aim of gun control is to reduce gun violence, then after enacted a series of law changes with this in mind, you should see a decrease in gun crime, not the dramatic increase we are currently seeing. Either the law changes failed or reducing gun violence by real criminals was never its aim.

          Also what do you think the over 100000 semi-autos that vanished with buyback are doing now? I’ll give you a clue, it probably isn’t legitimate target competitions or pest control.

        • Also Peter, if you want to be the judge on what people should be allowed to own, here’s a few new rules for you…

          As a committed Green I believe anyone owning a private motor vehicle is an environmental criminal & so these should all be banned & confiscated.

          Anyone owning more than one house, should have it seized by the State & given free of charge to a refugee family or a homeless person. Anyone with a spare bedroom should be made to house a homeless person free of charge too.

          Also all gendered clothing is banned, as are gendered toilets & changing rooms.

          There we go that’s reduced our carbon emissions, made our roads safer, solved the housing crisis, as well as SUFWs gender identity crisis. Happy now Peter Kelly? Or do you just feel only you should have the right to dictate what people are allowed to own & what they are allowed to do with their own possessions?

          • Richard, I hope you feel better after that rant! It’s simple, guns/rifles have one ultimate function and that is to kill; none of the other distractions you introduce have that function. Using your logic against lethal weapons, do you believe we should be allowed to own RPG’s? or is that too liberal for you and where would you draw the line?

            • Most of my guns sit quietly in a safe, they punch holes in paper targets, knock over steel plates, they don’t kill. But as you say, most of my firearms were designed specifically to kill people, some of them possible have, but none of them have done so since they were taken out of the hands of the Governments that owned them and moved it to private ownership.

              The rifle that may have guarded a concentration camp in Nazi Germany moved to the middle east after the war to protect the newly formed state of Israel before moving to New Zealand to sit quietly in a safe. These are just objects, without human intent they do nothing. An LPG cylinder, a box of matches and a box of nails could be used to construct a nice deck and host a BBQ or used as part of terrorist bomb, they are just objects, objects are not good or evil, only humans are.

              The reason Tarrant was so dangerous was not that he had guns (due to the absolute & repeated failures of the NZ Police), but that he had money, and that coupled with his evil intent allowed him to bring his evil enterprise to fruition. Without money, he would be just another loser living in small town Australia, a nobody, a nothing and we would have never heard of him.

              As to owning a RPG, I know a number of people who could safely do so, all well vetted by the Police, responsible & safety conscious. In fact the RPG would be less lethal that the belt fed machine guns they already own. There are other people, who you couldn’t trust with a box cutter knife. That’s why we vet the individual, and why extra care is taken vetting people who want to own restricted or prohibited firearms.

              Guns don’t kill people, Governments & criminals with guns kill people.

              • Richard, I too have spent many pleasant times on a range, particularly enjoyed my Bren gun shoots. But I know from personal experience in an emergency service what a whole new dimension any dispute takes on when firearms are involved, legal or illegal. Yes, the Police failed spectacularly with the CHC shooter, but no vetting is 100% and there are plenty of examples of legal firearms being used during disputes. Yes LPG cylinders and many other things in common use are dangerous, but require premeditation; not so with a firearm. I remain of the view that there is no reason other than machoism or nefarious purpose for any private person to want to own and have in their house a military style weapon.
                Cheers.

                • I never really understand shooters who are happy to throw other shooters under the bus, based on the cosmetic stylings of their gun, the type of action or the size of the magazine protruding from the bottom of it. People like Gun Control NZ want all guns banned, not just those used by other people.

                  If you are aware of someone who is unsafe or engaging in threatening behaviour, report them, that is your duty of care, and hopefully the Police will actually take some action. But wanting something banned because it makes you feel uncomfortable is another thing. If that is ok, then our society is in real trouble.

                  Criminals are increasingly armed and are becoming more likely to fire on Police officers and others. They import literally tons of meth and firearms are just as easy to bring in with shipments, and their businesses now require these tools. Taking firearms off law abiding citizens and creating new laws, makes little difference to criminals, there is too much money to be made in the global drug trade and the war on drugs is an ongoing failure. Gun control is not about public safety, it is just about control.

                  My oldest firearm is over 100 years old, after World War 1 it returned to New Zealand, it’s duty done, shrugged off its military styling and took up deer stalking, before eventually ending up in the bargain bin at Shooters Supplies. It now slumbers peacefully in my safe. Yet despite its’ age, it is almost identical in form & function to a “modern” bolt action “hunting” rifle. “Modern” semi-automatic rifles are based on designs that are now well over 50 years old. Do you still drive a manual car? No air conditioning? AM radio only? Probably not, yet if someone uses a modern semi-auto, they are a criminal or brimming with toxic masculinity? One of our cars has a crank at the front, a stick shift, tiny 750cc engine & a fold out windscreen for ventilation, it’s fun to drive for outings on sunny days, but if I’m going on a serious journey, I’ll take the modern automatic every time.

          • What you think New Zealand’s streets are safer now too?

            Or do you agree that the buyback was never about making things safer for New Zealanders, it was just about pretending to do something to create a positive image on the world’s stage and draw attention away from the Government, Police & security services?

  4. I’m not sure one can truly describe a party with libertarian leanings as ‘right’ because both the hard right and hard left are authoritarian in nature while libertarianism is inherently anti-authoritarian.

    As for polling, it really doesn’t matter at the moment. Once the virus is raging through the population and they find that Labour hasn’t added a single ICU bed to the total, only THEN will polling matter:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/300431939/covid19-what-the-everchanging-icu-bed-numbers-tell-us

    • Andrew – you talk nonsense. For hard right and left, I would say totalitarian, not merely authoritarian. And your so-called libertarianism is not anti- authoritarianism. It is mere self-interest and greed.

  5. The Greens are losing many of the leftie boomers who have tenaciously backed them since their Values days.
    The current lot seem to have lost their way and have lost their focus. The core Sustainable Future and Social Justice seem to have been derailed and sidetracked into “wokeniss”. I predict if they don’t immediately rethink what the hell they are doing then – goodbye,and hello to sub 5%. If they think they can rely on the young voters by maintaining their current performance then they are dreaming.

    • Yes, again, Garibaldi. Unsure though whether the contemporary Greens ever purported to be an environmental party, it’s more the community of the hurt feelings, and some seriously strange people, which Donald and Fitzsimmons weren’t and they mightn’t fit in there any more themselves.

      Metiria Turei was another loss of intelligence and conscience, and her replacement a shocker; the sheer wholesomeness of the foundation Greens is from a faraway time and place – gone with the birds.

      Like Shona, I’m considering not voting. I will never vote Green again, and cannot remember when I last voted Labour, but know that all the TOP people were remarkably high calibre persons, and Mana had good social policies – and there’s much worse than Winston.

      • Reckon those on the Left are experiencing the same recoil in horror as did those conservatives that backed Rob Muldoon- warts and all and who watched incredulously as the ingrate and Johnny come lately roger doulas destroyed our wonderful social democratic and Keynesian economy under the jack boot of Mont Pelerin society neo liberalism.

        I watched Rod Donald and Jenette Fitzsimmons from afar and admired them and felt in having their presence in and out of parliament. The last sense of security was the wonderful ‘tell it like it is and no compromise’ Metiria Turei. When she left, the Greens left with her. I feel sorry for Chloe,… one whose very persona mirrors those wonderful earlier and respectful pioneers of the Greens. But what a hard mountain she has to climb.., but if anyone can, – she can.

        And then there’s Winston. I’ve always liked the guy, and certainly his party. It, along with Social Credit, are in my view one of the last Keynesian alternatives. Early on I did not like either Robertson or Adern, I saw them as third way Blairite neo liberals. I think time has proven that right. The ‘small govt, do nothing’ crowd.

        Not good enough.

        However I party voted Green and gave adern my candidate vote. That was to keep National and Act out. I am happy ACT are corralled into one corner, they are more easily focused upon that way. Pressure can then be applied with every gaff, screw up and foolish mistake they will make while National can languish.

        Divide and conquer as it were. Pick them off starting at the weakest links and then flanking and surrounding.

        It is said that Sir Rob Muldoon’s National party were more left than todays MANA. Certainly more left than todays Greens. If a conservative yet Keynesian political leader like Sir Rob were here today, I’d vote for him in a heartbeat. Jeremy Corban and Sir Rob would’ve gotten along just peachy.

      • Have ICU beds been under pressure anywhere any more than in a normal flu season? I’ve read plenty of articles that say otherwise. They haven’t added extra ICU beds because they know they won’t need them.
        D J S

  6. Fully agree that the fight is on for the right wing vote.
    All the major parties have moved ever rightwards over the last 10 years. Everyone is fighting for the same group, taking their core supporters for granted.

    Feels like Labour is eating nationals lunch and ACT is the only home for those that can’t ever bring themselves to vote red.
    There is no other home for traditional ‘labour’ voters

    Take a look at these and see the drift
    https://www.politicalcompass.org/nz2020
    https://www.politicalcompass.org/nz2011

  7. Parliamentary Politics has become more a spectator sport these days than an activity which many actually get involved in between election cycles. Anyone with a digital gadget and Wifi can now be a pundit of sorts.

    Politics is still more than Parliament thankfully–it is what is happening out there–and A Tale of Two Cities is what is happening. 50% own just 2% of the wealth and work is precarious for many. We have had an alienated underclass since the death of manufacturing under Rogernomics, and the Mother of All Budgets and Employment Contracts Act under Ruthanasia, and mass housing speculation (during homelessness) under Sirkey.

    So if you think Mr Seymour and his incels, gun lovers and Nat escapees are going to keep a lid on that toxic socio economic brew think again. Major political realignments and strategies are due as Aotearoa NZ becomes less white dominated and the reactionary conservative boomers recede in numbers and influence.

    • Given that a Baby Boomer just beginning to draw his or her pension can, on average, expect to live for another 15-20 years (with many more making it well into their 90s) that recession of reactionary influence promises to be an agonizingly long process, Tiger. Especially since roughly 90 percent of the buggers actually get out there and vote!

      • Quite likely Chris in “normal circumstances”–but we have several kinds of disrupters at work concurrently; including the global transition from analogue to digital, the end of work as boomers knew it, and the biggie–Climate Disaster which has also assisted the rise of cross species viruses via extinctions and habitat degradation.

        The fall back argument of right wingers on generational change has long been that successor generations will likely not vote in huge numbers, and if they do it will be proportionately similar to the boomers anyway. My take is maybe…but if voter suppression and discouragement is replaced by encouragement, such as lowering the voting age, moving to online voting, voting day a public holiday etc. that could be different. The unpublished roll needs more promotion and a residential postal address not required to enrol.

    • Tiger Mountain: “…. NZ becomes less white dominated and the reactionary conservative boomers recede in numbers and influence.”

      It’s worth remembering that Boomers of my generation (born very soon after the war) were considered by our parents to be extremely radical. There were among our numbers anti-apartheid, anti-war, anti-nuke, feminist and pro-civil rights activists. These are the people that you are now characterising as “reactionary conservative”.

      Another thing: skin colour has bugger-all to do with anything. What is of moment is the fact that radical young people grow up, get hitched, have children, buy houses. Yes, even the current cohort will do those things. There’s nothing like having partners, kids and property to change one’s worldview. There’ll always be some radical holdouts, but the majority will move away from that sort of thing. And they’ll have a newfound respect for voting.

      • Ok D’Esterrre. Does this mean then, that the neolib policies engineered to keep folk out of home ownership, were done to keep them radical ? I don’t think so. Being a parent, and grandparent, and a teacher, and a child carer, does focus us more on the future now, which is why I don’t understand government failing to give serious attention to the climate change issues which are going to impact possibly horrifically on today’s children.
        I’m probably more radical now through having seen more and knowing more than I did when young. Despondent about voting, and despondent about having to morally compromise, but laughing at myself when most pollies don’t hesitate to do so.

        • Snow White: “Does this mean then, that the neolib policies engineered to keep folk out of home ownership, were done to keep them radical ?”

          I’m not sure what you mean here, or how you could have taken that from my comment. I pointed out that, for the most part, radicals grow up and become conservative parents and property-owners. It’s true enough: that’s what happened to my cohort. Property and kids both give one a desire for a stable present, along with a stake in a better future.

          Caring about the future our offspring must face isn’t radical or conservative. It’s human. We all do that.

          “….government failing to give serious attention to the climate change issues…”

          Of course the government isn’t going to pay attention to climate change. In the first instance the current lot are as neoliberal as any of their predecessors. They aren’t going to upset the economic applecart any more than they already have. They know full well that the price would be electoral oblivion.

          And in the second instance, what could they do which wouldn’t wreck the economy? That’s the dilemma that faces all polities, which is why they’ll talk big and do little. Scientific modelling notwithstanding, none of us knows for sure what lies ahead. And humans being what they are, they’ll keep on doing what is convenient to them, until there’s enough environmental disruption to force them to change. And we ain’t there yet, by a long shot.

          “I’m probably more radical now…”

          Radicalism usually entails the espousing of wholesale structural changes and upheaval in society. The Rogernomics bulldozer and the ’87 crash were quite enough upheaval for my taste. As I’ve got older, I’ve grown increasingly wary of the unintended consequences for our descendants of what seem now to be really good ideas. Labour and National’s latest announcement about increased housing density would be a prime example of that. Also WCC’s dangerous and undemocratic SNA policy. This may not affect you: it doesn’t affect us, either, but it surely does many property owners quite near to us. Another superficially attractive notion which is a stalking horse for an outright land grab and expropriation. I’m certainly prepared to, as it were, man the barricades over that issue, conservatism notwithstanding.

          “Despondent about voting…”

          Aren’t we all: at least those of us who’ve been lefties all of our lives. But I’ve abandoned both Labour and the Greens. Really, Labour couldn’t run a bloody bath, and also has a bad case of authoritarianism; and the Greens have succumbed to terminal identity politics.

          When it comes to the crunch, I’ll vote ACT, because of the free speech and euthanasia issues. I’m not a fan of some of the rest of their policies, but the alternatives are worse.

          Local government elections are next (if the PM lets us have them!), and I’m determined to vote out a particular councillor in this ward. There are a bunch of others who also need to be electorally ejected: I hope that you’ll be doing your duty in that regard, where your ward is concerned?

      • Am a boomer also–11 years after WWII. I don’t write novellas online like some, so my comments are not meant to be perfect, “the reactionary conservative boomers” is indeed but one section of boomers. But it is the section that votes tory.

        • Tiger Mountain: “Am a boomer also–11 years after WWII.”

          Pfft….mere callow youth. My cohort is right up there among the oldest of the Boomers. Anyone more than a year older than me isn’t a Boomer.

          “I don’t write novellas online like some…”

          Countryboy, you mean? I’ve tried: I really have, but I fall exhausted by the wayside, long before I reach the end of those comments.

          Here’s a thing: it’s a really good idea to stick to substantive argument, rather than chucking ad homs about.

  8. “Such ideological positioning that the Greens have undertaken since they re-entered government in 2017 has caused many observers to locate the party at the extreme end of radical Identity Politics.”

    The Gweens should be classified as a ‘H8 Group’ and an Active Terrorist Organisation in NZ!

  9. Well with Judith Collins oozing malice towards people, and the Greens being irrelevance to 90%+ of Kiwis (James Shaw big announcement on Climate Change funding increases towards poor nations — Groanfest)…no wonder ACT, and Labour are riding high….
    Suggestions to help out Kiwis
    – The Green MPs helping out at Food banks, Vax Centres…something useful for a change
    – Judith Collins getting rolled ASAP — who cares who takes over as long as they have a pulse
    – ACT refusing to accept any deal for Epsom from National
    – Maori Party focus on people, not their hat collection
    – Labour drops Operation Fear (current NZ Government Covid Plan), to Operation Hope (NZ Government states clearly what happens, and at what date, does NZ move out of Lockdown, especially the South Island — why Level 2 for the South??)

  10. We are in a very confusing political situation. As pointed out by Chris Jacindas Labour and the Greens were voted in because of what they might achieve. There was no Covid and the books were good. The electorate put their trust in them along with Winston to make meaningful change for the environment and for social justice. Not achieving what was promised in their first term was acceptable because of the time needed but there were and still are red flags. There is no real change in thinking. It was and is National with lipstick. So the trust has gone and that’s big. This coalition got re elected but was put on notice. Covid has been a horrific distraction and a drain on resources and The government can’t be blamed for that although the circus that’s going on now needs sorting out quick. I believe a move to the right is inevitable. If Jacinda survives to, and wins the next election there will be no mandate. It will be a mess. Even less will be achieved. I believe the nail in the coffin will be debt. Growing uncontrollable debt. If the next election went to an Act National team National would be the handbrake on any Act extremism, but That won’t leave many on this forum happy.

    • NV, lipstick on a pig? Oosh! I dunno if we as a nation can predict anything yet. We gotta have hope. Plus, humans are an odd bunch when faced with adversity enmass (onmass?). I hope pandemic provides tipping point for a paradigm shift whereby humanity evolves. Big picture styles

  11. Seems distractions (impending wedding tidbits and gossip will be drip fed to compliant media when numbers looking bad on some policy) and not forgetting the $110mil to the media has certainly blunted any critisisms towards Labour!
    Can any of you lefties, with a straight face, honestly say that ALL media would have the same coverage for a National Govt that St Jacinda has had for last few years of the abysmally bad stats under her watch?, had it been National in Govt i think we all know it would have been wall to wall MSM coverage and damning editorials and John Campbell out on the streets…microphone in hand!
    Strangely its only TDB, from the left, that actually reports the govt failings (needless to say on TS its all rosey out there as we all seem to be basking in Jacindas radiance)

    • “Seems distractions (impending wedding tidbits and gossip will be drip fed to compliant media when numbers looking bad on some policy) and not forgetting the $110mil to the media”

      Spoken as if Whailoil wrote this himself.

      And National had the biggest media joy ride in our political history.

    • Have you seen what Jacinda Ardern has had to put up with from the press on an almost a daily basis. Have you seen the right wing press opinion pieces from right wing ex politicians with their scathing articles, have you heard the disrespectful radio shock jocks with their nasty misogynistic rants and who show the PM absolutely no respect, have you read some of the right wing garbage on this left wing blog. You think the criticism is blunted, you must live in a parallel universe, you must still think John Key is still the PM.

  12. The government’s between a rock and a hard place at the moment for sure. This is potentially the trickiest period of covid management politically, as you have nobody dying en mass and businesses locked up and making no money. On the one hand, you could relax restrictions and make a lot of people happier in the short term, but a few months down the track when hospitals are overflowing and deaths increasing will those same people refrain from blaming the government for the situation? Or you can keep restrictions longer and make people grumpier with every passing day, but relax gradually in the leadup to Christmas. Will you get plaudits from people for a more free Christmas, or will those people just mutter “about bloody time”. You can’t really win either way.

    I agree with Chris regarding the big ticket items you can sell the electorate on. Helen Clark’s government left us with Kiwisaver, Kiwibank and The ‘Cullen Fund” amongst others. All big improvements on what came before. At this point Labour has nothing, outside of its covid management. Possibly the health reforms could be that thing, if all goes to plan and it makes a material difference in healthcare around the country. If only they had time to work on it instead of having to constantly battle covid.

  13. @ CT. You write;
    “Let’s begin with the Greens. Historically, this has been considered the most left-wing political party in the New Zealand Parliament.”
    The Green Party will always make sure to derail any cohesive attempts by our agricultural PRIMARY industry to be inclusive and cooperate with the dependent cities in an organic and regenerative way because our agriculture is far too important an exhausted, exploited, parasitised cash cow, pardon the pun, to be allowed to
    merge seamlessly with our city cousins and in so doing could bypass the cadre of manipulative and exploitative few who deviously spend all their waking hours figuring out how to remain unseen and unnoticed while they bank their ill gotten gains, which, I can confidently assure you, will be substantial.
    james shaw?
    Wikipedia:
    “Career before politics
    Before returning to Wellington in 2010, Shaw worked in the consulting division at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Between 2011 and 2014, Shaw worked as both a consultant for HSBC bank on “environmental awareness programmes for future leaders” and also at Wellington social enterprise the Akina Foundation.”
    Most farmers and those associated with farming have little or no idea of what’s really playing out here.
    The last thing the inner workings of The Green Party would want is for our agriculture to become’ Green’.
    If farming became organic and regenerative and farmers themselves sought to politically, and even socially align themselves with their city cousins then how would the cadre of manipulative, greedy, swine keep banking all that free and easy money?
    That’ll be james shaw’s job essentially. To make sure that never happens.
    Chloe Swarbrick could save our AO/NZ in one foul swoop by wooing then leading our farmers away from the cynical freak show that’s ACT, the current iteration of The Greens, easily identified as being the wolf wearing designer Italian sheep skins and the frightening, criminal overtures of the institutionalised parasitic blood sucking national party and their soulless hangers on.
    Farmers? Are you there? What’s your opinion on the above?
    A capitalist, right wing politic will always only be exploitative. The kinds of humans who hunt within a capitalist, right wing environment will always be the “Me first, now give me all your money!? ” types who will not only cheat you and me out of a standard of living relative to our income and held secure behind state owned assets but worse, they’ll gleefully and happily do it then brag about how fantastic they are for being able to pull off the swindles.
    Farmers? Do you want to live a predictably comfortable lifestyle where you’ll be certain of a secure future? Or do you want to continue living with uncertainty, rising debt worsened by deteriorating weather events and the hyper riche parasitising you while the very same right wingers who exploit you are the same right wingers who own our MSM who demonise you to divide you to control you?
    There are more than one or two very, very dangerous individuals lurking in the shadows of our politic and we must be hyper vigilant for them. And most importantly, never be afraid to have an opinion.
    Who are they, you ask? Answer: All of The National Party, all of ACT ( Who are the same thing. ) and most of Labour.
    Who are to be trusted in politics? ( Speaking more broadly than the width of jerry brownless’s arse. ) In my humble opinion?
    Chloe Swarbrick. Jacinda Adern. Grant Roberston. Keri Allan. Nanaia Mahuta.
    There may be one or two others who are trust-worthy but God only knows who they are. The rest are old neoliberals or are sitting on their meal tickets until they get kicked off them.

  14. Of course every capitalist party is moving right. Capitalism is in its End Stage. Every bourgeois is looking after their own skin, and that includes politicians. The majority workers in every country need their own class party that rises to power and puts an end to all pretense that capitalism can resolve any the existential catastrophes of its own making.

    • Dave, your opinion is based on the premise that workers are not looking after their own skin. Maybe till they have nothing to lose but their chains of slavery (as Marxists used to say).

      Can you give us one truly completely socialist state, it means with state owned means of production, that has been successful?

      USSR and its block, Cuba, North Korea …?

      Alexandra.

  15. Reflect on ACT surpassing National. If they teamed up to be the government the John Banks cup of tea with John Key would have been the most valuable (or terrible) cup of tea ever in New Zealand.

    Without that foothold ACT coukld have been history.

  16. ” Labour strategists. The last thing they need is a Green Party hovering over the 5 percent MMP threshold, while Labour is struggling to hold a position in the mid-40s. Happiness and security is Labour at 45 percent and the Greens at 10. (Labour at 50.1 percent would, of course, be better, but elections like 2020 are once-in-a-lifetime events. ”

    Yes Labour’s strategists don’t care about the Greens constituency and what they voted for as long as the free market economic machine keeps eating its young and provides the numbers to allow the SDP to have the confidence of parliament and continue to take the Green party for granted which is not all that hard since they sold out in 2017.

    Its time for a new movement to take on the free market LINO and represent the constituency that the SDP used to defend and represent.

    There will be no pressure on the LINO members who are feeding from the public trough until there is a lod stern action only voice from the left.

  17. Even this Aynist has scruples, so we’re 300 % above Oz and 3000 above US. But you can see the logical continuance of the rule of the powerful.

    All these scruples came from our liberal and then social democratic society. In these fuckwits’ marrow unacknowledged.

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