Why National are performing so poorly against a self mutilating Labour and why capacity is the real issue for 2023

National hooning around doing victory doughnuts after winning Hamilton West

The truth of the polls at the moment, is that despite enormous self inflicted injuries, National are not soaring ahead.

It’s like National and Labour are playing Rugby and Labour are all on crutches with one arm tied behind their back while National are only 2 points ahead at half time.

3 Waters, co-governance, free speech, all needless fuck ups while the real mahi isn’t getting done. The Labour wonks and geeks seem to think rearranging the bureaucratic structure of services is how we win continued electoral support, rather than focusing on the end user experience for those services!

When you go to the Emergency Department, you don’t care that the back room has been centralised, all you care is that you will be seen in a short amount of time and your care is safe and will heal you.

Labour have spent far too much energy doing Sim city rebuilds of bureaucratic reform and and not nearly enough on dealing with people’s material well being.

‘Well Being’ for Labour seems to be a Māori sign language advert produced in Wellington with a diverse cast of actors.

We have ended up cheerleading esoteric issues like land rights for gay whales.

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People are struggling and things are getting worse, not better. Structural problems that won’t be solved by rearranging the bureaucratic deckchairs on the Titanic!

DESPITE Labour being shit at getting things done, National can’t crack 40.

There are three reasons for that.

The first is that while many are angry at Labour’s failure to be transformative, we are still grateful that Labour stepped up and saved us from a Covid pandemic that could have been far more damaging to us. Yes, many of the things we had to do in the spur of the moment have had costs, but so would tens of thousands dead so playing the hindsight game and claiming these current problems somehow eclipse the public health emergency response.

The first responsibility of the State in a Democracy – protect the people.

Jacinda did that, she has earned another term and if that means eating some dead rats, so fucking be it!

The second reason National haven’t cracked 40 is the naked reality that all they are coasting on is the animosity towards Jacinda that Covid has provoked. National have no plans what so fucking ever to get us out of the crisis we are in.

All they have are putting ankle bracelets on children, punitive welfare reform, mass immigration to pump up houses and ripping up everything Labour have achieved that will deal to the structural problems we face.

To wilfully destroy 6 years of Government with no real solutions to the problems that they were built to solve.

National have no vision, just ‘we hate Jacinda too’. That just isn’t good enough to justify winning power.

Our problems are too big for bullshit political theatre!

National have no solutions, only condemnations, that’s never going to get over 40%.

The third reason they can’t crack 40% is because of the intense polarisation of politics. ACT went from .7% in 2018 to 12% in 2022.

That level of political dislocation represents a radicalisation and polarisation of political debate in NZ. ACTs vision is hard right with a vastly  reduced  capacity of State.

And that is what this entire debate is really about.

What we saw during Covid was the desperate need for the State to have capacity to honestly deal with the problems we have.

The neoliberal experiment in NZ stripped the State down to its bare bones and the political Right have continued to strangle off revenue so people can’t expect the State to provide the basic services a liberal progressive democracy demands.

We need more capacity at our schools, our hospitals, our police force, our welfare infrastructure, our social housing even our armed forces!

We need MORE capacity, not less, and we need this extra capacity to be funded by a tax system that targets Banks, Corporates and speculators, which hilariously are always the biggest donors to the political right.

Capacity of the State to do the things we need it to do is the true political argument next year and the left keep fucking it up because they are too busy playing bureaucratic  semantics rather than making the argument to tax the mega rich to fund urgently needed  expansions of the State!

Why is the political debate in this country just so stunted and tiny?

The current debate is beneath the challenge in front of us.


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  1. Some will always vote Labour or National so it is the swing voters the parties are after .If they stay at 39 National will win power and that will please many like me .Personally I rather see National and Act in power with a small majority than a landslide as we can see from the last 2 years how slack this can make the ruling party .

    • I’d rather see National and Labour own up to their neoliberalism and form a supermajority.

      MMP is supposed to bring more voices and ideas to the table, instead we mostly have two undead giants pretending either of them is an option.

      • But it’s not just ‘neoliberalism’ that Labour and the natzos have to own up to. It’s a trans generational carpet of lies, misinformation and disinformation too, that must be dealt with severely.
        Inter party tribalism, the con that’s MMP, the hollow label that’s neoliberalism stuck to acts of legitimised, self-help crimes, crimes which are really just bully-boy acts of sequestering taxes-paid-for assets to boldly pocket in broad day light is the real and enduring problem we all must identify and then fix.
        NZ History / Nga korero a ipurangi o Aotearoa
        The 1951 waterfront dispute
        “The waterfront dispute of 1951 was the biggest industrial confrontation in New Zealand’s history. Although it was not as violent as the Great Strike of 1913, it lasted longer – 151 days, from February to July – and involved more workers. At its peak, 22,000 waterside workers (wharfies) and other unionists were off the job, out of the country’s population of just under two million.”
        Ok. Righto then. So let me ask? What were they striking for? Tourism?
        The national party came down on those guys, and latterly, gals also, like a ton of fucking bricks. Why? Tourism? It was just after WW2 and there was tons of money around. Who’s money was it? It was tourism operators of course.
        The reason for the watersiders strike was because they were being paid shit money while them there fancy natzos were gorging on the income stream tit of tourism. Vast numbers of tourists were flooding into AO/NZ on steam boats so it was decided to herd them onto farms where we bred ever more of them until their numbers quadrupled. What was even better, the moment we exported them to a winter bound and war ravaged Europe and UK, they returned with new rolls of film to take ever more photographs of sheep and Mount Cook / Aoraki. Our economy boomed. We went from having four pounds ten shillings and sixpence in treasury to a massive 120 pounds 8 shillings and ninepence. AO/NZ’s economy rebounded from the right wing, white, male, urban, maggot encrusted war years to a new wealth. Tourism! I tell ya, that’s where the gold is! In them thar bored clusters of shambling click-clackers.
        This will come as a surprise to most of you but the above is an untrue, non correct little story. It’s sarcasm. fyi. For the first fifty years or so, AO/NZ exported refrigerated food stuffs to the UK and EU. During that time and in the early days of the refrigerated shipping AO/NZ’ers invented, the national party was formed when satan fucked a coven of evil demons who then went into a forty day and forty night gestation to eventually shit out the national party’s early members. From that point inward, from the horrors of war, the natzo’s spotted an opportunity to steal good coin. Aye boys? From about the early 1930’s to today we AO/NZ’ers have never really known the true wealth of our country. We’ve never experienced what it should have been like to live in a genuine utopia because of a thin white line of crooks spinning wank and lies then using cops to break bones to keep a lid on the biggest cash cow in modern financial history. ( Per capita of course. In 1951 there was only 2 million of us. )
        Now? Today? We have now nine multi billionaires and four foreign owned banks stealing billions of dollars out of our economy in net profits while our two major political parties wring their hands and tut-tut as they keep their jackboots on the backs of our necks. Fascist neoliberal capitalism was born from events leading up to, during, and after the 1951 waterfront strike.
        Who wrote, and I paraphrase, ” those who don’t study their history are doomed to repeat it.”
        Royal Commission of Inquiry Urgently please.
        Can I just write one more little thing:
        Merry Christmas dear Martyn Bradbury for giving me, and others too of course, the opportunity to write and write and write the rage out.
        The Daily Blog is an Oasis in a vast desert of msm-pointlessness. Only here, in the entire AO/NZ.
        Well done @ MBB. Here’s to you.

      • Expose the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of New Zealand’s 40 years of neoliberalism.
        We need a party that declares war on want by declaring war on wealth; a party that will tax capital gains, tax land, tax inheritance and gifts, and prise open family trusts and closely held companies.
        Use that money for a universal basic income, for free health care, free education.
        It won’t be the Greens, because they are endlessly diverted (and are endlessly alienating) by chasing off after red herrings, green herrings, brown herrings, rainbow herrings. It’s the economy, Stupids!

  2. Surprised to see Claire Trevett picking him as politician of the year. He’s a dud and he is THE reason National can’t hit 40%. But next year they will as 2023 is a nightmare year for Labour because of…

    A Reserve Bank driven recession
    Cost of living
    Fuel costs up because the government cannot help itself wanting more tax
    Mortgage hemorrhages and first home owners losing everything
    A government who thinks it can continue to fool voters with appearance management policy.

    Picking ACT above 10
    National in the low 40’s
    Greens between 5 and 10 if only because of Wellington
    Labour mid to low 20’s and lots of their MP’s looking for jobs and the odd Commissioner.
    Winston scraping back in, maybe. If he does it will be off the back of disaffected Labour voters.
    Depending on things like worsening crime and mortgagee sales which may lift turnout I suspect it will be lower because National are so uninspiring and Labour aren’t worth the effort.

    Fun times!

  3. Don’t worry that National has no plans, ACT will step up and supply plenty of plans, policy & direction, you’ll love it 😉

  4. I think you will find a growing number of people who can’t be bothered voting for these clowns anymore.
    Too many years of talking it up then not delivering does that.
    Too often they talk it up helping kiwis but in reality only help the well off.
    The rest of us have had enough.

  5. ” Surprised to see Claire Trevett picking him as politician of the year ”

    I’m not. She has never made it a secret where her political loyalties lye. Her grovelling to Key and his faithful in her regular column’s where nauseating at best but not surprising.

    Her new messiah’s party has only climbed thanks to LINO being exposed for the frauds they are in promising to # Lets do this and build back better was all just a scam. Had Luxon’s party not climbed then Trevett would not be handing out pointless awards.

    The neo liberal disease like Covid has infected the economy at every level , it controls the narrative and can’t be argued with or debated freely. And more importantly it has diluted the once opposing forces of left and right and the end result is that parliament does not speak for the many who have had their representation and voice silenced.

    It has even stopped peaceful protest that not so long ago would have demanded action for the misery and plight of so many who live in abject poverty thanks to the free market and its enablers with no accountability afforded to them and their human rights.

    • She is not called ‘red Claire’ without reason. Part of your side Mosa simply realising that the tide is turning. In fairness Claire is old enough that she grew up and learned her trade at a time when their was still a degree of objectivity within the MSM

      • You still down that media is left rabbit hole Frankie. You still believe Hosking is neutral and Santa Claus is real and that National are better for the country as a whole?

      • Trevett, Young, Prebble, Joyce, Smellie, O Sullvan, Hooten, Coghlan, Cotterill – all right wing has beens and part of the Tory Times Herald. They and Tory talk ZB have been supporting and promoting the Tories for decades. Where are the left wing ravers to balance Hosking, Garner, Duplessie, Tory Tim, woodham, and others.

  6. Keep clutching at straws….Labour has at least 10% to drop yet.
    Ardern will step down early in new year (family commitments of course, never the dire polling of course)
    It’s over!
    Never getting a third term, no coming back from 5yrs of delivering nothing but empty promises and failures.

    • Love her or loathe her – she has dedicated herself to New Zealand’s greater good during an unprecedent time. John Key would have ‘quit’ once Covid reared its pretty head, had he not done so over another one. If she does ‘retire’ – she will have earned it.

      • Yeah Right. She shat her pants in September 2021 when Key wrote her a letter. So much so she made a political decision to end lockdowns and unlock the gates! That’s the action of what a coward does.

    • Probably. I expected great things from Helen Clark’s government but they achieved sod all of any great significance and paved the way for that nice mr Key to lay waste to the nation, and only after he’d made a colossal mess did Labour get back in – and proceeded to do sod all to fix that mess. This will be the pattern of NZ politics for the foreseeable future, sadly, with extremists getting more extreme at the same time.

    • Because the world will have ended before then? Or do you work as a publicist for the Labour Party, if so that would explain why you can’t see the writing on the wall, certainly Labour seem to have few, if any clues which way the wind is currently blowing. Maybe some market research might help? Co-governace? Republic? Actually trying to fix the social problems that have beset New Zealand? Housing? Poverty? Cost of living?

        • But somehow Labour is going to manage to turnabout their death slide into oblivion and win in 2023? Or are you relying on Winston riding in on a white horse with a posse from Te Pāti Māori to save the day?

    • They don’t have to win, they have to just get enough votes together with Act and maybe NZF to from a government. That is all they have to do.

  7. I havne read a bit but I think you would be saying we can’t relate to National’s neoliberal rich leaders.

    Perhaps a brief moment, but we very well may spit them out of our mouth. That brief moment would be a good moment.

  8. Purely the Jacinda effect. Without Ardern, Labour would be mid 20s .

    There’s still those that get their news from the latest Women’s Weekly, and no wonder her publicist gets her on as many magazine covers as possible.

    Luxon just dosen’t inspire, and many believe that NZ has a presidential election.

    My prediction, National will win, just. But Luxon will be replaced in the first term, probably by Willis.

    • Jacinda Trump will lose the election. Like her namesake for every person that loves her 1.5 persons hate her guts. Like the GOP Labour won’t ditch her until it becomes a foregone conclusion.

      Robertson lacks the guts to throw the icepick.

  9. Your Sim City and Gay Whale comments are absolute gold Martyn! (It’s the humour that keeps me coming back)

    As for National’s polling:

    1. Luxon knows that polls aren’t worth winning, but elections are. National MPs are busy with policy details and are keeping their powder dry. They will announce policy in their election campaign, leaving Labour too little room to react.

    2. While Labour is in self-destruction mode it is smart of Luxon to stand aside, appearing calm and presidential.

    3. It takes time to turn a ship around as well as people’s perceptions. There’s no need for this dog to chase every passing car as long as the movement in the polls is going his way.

    • I really do wish you were correct Andrew. National however do suffer from many of the same problems as Labour .
      They have few thinkers, lack real world experience( not as much as Labour admittedly) have awful personalities, appear flatfooted and charmless,and simply do not give a fuck about the poor.It shows. They are cruel and ignorant. Their education reforms over the last 30 years have fucked our education system( Labour too is guilty)and they haven’t a single original constructive economic policy as they have no fucking idea how anything operates in NZ. Just like Labour. NZ is fucked we have allowed our country to be dependent on Aussie banks, Aussie fuel companies and the PRC. That’s neo liberal free market economics for you. We have zero sovereignty or control.
      I have never voted for the Gnatz.

      • One can accuse National Party MPs of being many things, but cruel and not giving a fuck about the poor aren’t among them. Have you ever met any? I’ve met a few over the years and I’ve found all of them pleasant and generally well intentioned. My criticisms include:

        > Being weak. Refusing to stand up for a position thus too willing to compromise.
        > Too focused on ‘balancing the books’ and leaving social policy to the left.
        > Tinkering around the edges of a problem rather than addressing the core issue.
        > Too much of a private school boys club. They need to pick candidates who have had difficult lives, battled and won.
        > Polite to the point where they’re scared to offend anyone.

  10. Labour will not go to the next election in its current form. Some members will retire , be sacked , or walk the plank , and possibly form a new party or join an existing party. Panic will set in next year as reality bites and the economic issues grow by the week….The fluffy brigade will dig their toes in with a last gasp of silliness and will seal their fate for a decade or so. Wellington overheads will slip into panic mode as the thought of being unemployed seems to loom as many government departments will not exist in 2024….The time is now perfect for a new worker’s party to be formed with an aggressive approach to evil values of the free market and the Douglas experiment…We need a new date in our history books….14th of July 1984 was the day that New Zealand lost its soul…to be replaced by the culture of greed…money before people…..The new date should be the day that the people of New Zealand voted out the free market and decided to return to a system that we had previously where New Zealand citizens welfare was the first , and only , priority of the public servants and members of Parliament ….the question is …will the date be next year…

  11. Luxon/Willis WTF are they, opinion poll policy chasers, reactionary dipshits. NZ is a fast developing country, needs visionary policy. Wait a minute ! that sounds a bit like Grant Robertson.

  12. The spokespeople for National do seem quite competent. Luxon going wouldn’t matter I think. A sparrah to no longer shoot arrows at.

    • Luxon and Willis lead the weakest tory party I have seen in Aotearoa. The do nothing party will see a different labour party in 2023. Willis has no clue about running an economy – all she does is select words from reports and has never come up with solutions – ditto Luxon. They don’t now mention NZ’s inflation being lowest in world and being lower than Australia. Goldsmith is a dithering idiot with no clue of what he’s talking about. Labour has an easy run to election next year. The grumpy old hate Jacinda brigade will be sad this time next year. The right wing governments around the world are being thrown out.
      Go Jacinda, the world is behind you.

      • Don’t know about the weakest National Party but the Left bloc has a very good chance next year, as per 2005. We didn’t want Don Brash then, nor a neoliberal richie rich with no connection to us now.

        It’s there’s to fluff away, like Helen, if they don’t deliver the next election after. These frameworks are built in, so they probably will. No heart and head in Labour anymore.

  13. Congrats on the article — hits the solar plexes of the matter.

    Bit sad neither you nor Trotter have the knock-around qualities of my brothers. Touchy, is the motto seemingly of prominent types everywhere. Don’t think it helps the cause of the people — the three Left blogs are small businesses with declining customers partly because of it. You, least.

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