The Election Labour Has To Lose.


LABOUR’S GOING TO LOSE the General Election, and everybody with a shred of objectivity left knows it. The government of Chris Hipkins is doomed, and it’s not just the polls that are giving them the bad news, it’s Hipkins himself. He has nothing to offer the electorate: nothing that it wants to hear; and he knows it. Political promises are useless now. There are simply too many voters convinced that, after 14 October, Labour will be in no position to honour them. Hipkins is in the same position as a country experiencing hyperinflation: no matter how many zeros get added to the notes rolling off the printing presses, the currency remains worthless.

The real question is: “Why is Labour going to lose?” At the beginning of the year the party stood at 38 percent in at least one of the major polls. Hipkins’ takeover from Jacinda Ardern had been executed flawlessly and his “bonfire of unpopular policies” had been well-received. For a few precious weeks, the electorate believed Labour was listening to them. Had Hipkins and his colleagues followed through: focussing, laser-like, on “bread and butter” issues as promised; they would now be odds-on-favourites to win the electoral race. But, they didn’t follow through, they stopped listening, and Labour’s long, slow slide into the sub-30 percent “death-zone” commenced.

It is clear now that Hipkins’ really didn’t care one way or the other about the “unpopular policies” – and neither did most of his colleagues. There was no factional divide in either Cabinet or Caucus over issues like Three Waters or Free Speech: no ideological conflict with passions running high on all sides; just the polls, the focus-group findings, and the tactical opportunities they presented.

That’s why what was probably the least popular of the “unpopular policies”, Three Waters, underwent only cosmetic changes. The Māori Caucus wanted it because Iwi leaders wanted it, and if they didn’t get it, they might start knocking on Te Pāti Māori’s door. No one else in the Labour caucus proper felt strongly enough about the issue to organise any kind of serious resistance. So, Hipkins allowed Three Waters to be tweaked and re-named, and hoped that the public would be satisfied with a ludicrous name change. They weren’t.

It was left to Labour’s resident policy boffins, Grant Robertson and David Parker, to come up with something to replace the “unpopular policies” theme. It had to be about tax (because tax was National’s headline policy initiative) and it had to be bold enough to get the voters thinking and talking about Labour’s radical proposals all the way to the polling booths. To give Robertson and Parker their due, the plan they came up with felt like a winner. Certainly, it would have kept the political spotlight fixed upon the Government. Parker’s investigation into who pays what in tax had already predisposed the public to radical change – the polls were saying so quite emphatically – so, it just might have worked.

But, if the polls were pointing to widespread public support for making the super-wealthy pay their fair share of tax, Hipkins was adamant that the focus-group reports were all pointing the other way. From the other side of the world, in Vilnius, Lithuania, the Prime Minister issued his “Captain’s Call”, voiding Robertson’s and Parker’s plan, thereby making Labour’s election defeat inevitable.

Why did he do it? Because, deep down, Hipkins is a conservative politician, with a conservative politician’s deep-seated horror of anything that threatens to upend the status quo, and a genuine conservative’s loathing for all those who presume to challenge it. Oh sure, he is a Labour Party politician, but only because he got into parliamentary politics via student politics, where a rhetorical commitment to the Left is more-or-less de rigueur.

At heart, however, “Chippy” believes in the hierarchies of expertise and competence by which New Zealand politicians are surrounded from the moment they enter Parliament. It matters not at all whether they enter the circles of power as political advisers, Members of Parliament, or, in the cases of Hipkins’, Robertson and Ardern, a good measure of both: the idea that all great political ideas come from below, from the people, is dismissed out-of-hand as antiquated nonsense. Those who believe otherwise do not fare well in the NZ Labour Party of the Twenty-First Century.

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The great irony, of course, is that if the Labour Party had somehow remained a mass party, made of, by, and for the New Zealand working-class, then Labour’s present difficulties would never have developed. A party permitted – nay, encouraged! – to engage in robust policy debates would have equipped its parliamentary representatives with a set of policies which enjoyed the democratic imprimatur of a political movement boasting powerful and organic attachments (through trade unions and community organisations) with something very close to a majority of the voting public. A party of that sort would require a lot of convincing to take on board policies that struck its members as peculiar, offensive, unfair, unscientific and/or at odds with plain human decency.

Such a party is, of course, an impossibility in a society dominated by neoliberal ideology. Such a society could not countenance any serious political movement that is not dedicated to preserving the interests of the ruling elites, or run by anyone other than their enablers in the professional and managerial class. What Chris Hipkins (and Jacinda Ardern) have shown us is that remaining in office is, ultimately, much less important than ensuring that no policies are contemplated – let alone enacted – which might undermine the neoliberal order.

Unpopular policies, especially those that encourage social division, are nothing for neoliberals to worry about. It is the policy capable of attracting two-thirds or more of the electorate’s support, the policy holding out the promise of actually challenging and changing the neoliberal status quo, that must be resisted – at any cost. A policy calling for the introduction of a Wealth Tax, for example.

The next time you see Chippy on the news, take a look at his eyes. There you will see the sadness and resignation of a man who not only knows that he cannot, but also that he must not, win. Labour is going to lose the election, not because it wants to, but because it has to – before it remembers who it was created to serve.



  1. You will not be popular with the lefties with this post Mr Trotter, but you are basically correct. You fail to mention the main portfolio that Chippy was in charge of before he was PM. Education is a disaster and the jewel in the crown is an embarrassment, the polytech merger should be a blueprint for all new MPs (from both sides, a training aid) to study on how NOT to run a ministry!

    • I’m Right. 100%. Education is a disaster; the school system shocking, the universities may be lost. National’s negligence should have been addressed, but it’s been neolib business as usual.

    • The day I think you @ ir know what you’re writing about then I’ve surely been body-snatched by aliens and had my brain drained of it’s vital fluids.
      @ C.T.
      “LABOUR’S GOING TO LOSE the General Election, and everybody with a shred of objectivity left knows it. The government of Chris Hipkins is doomed,”
      The reality, and not the Idiot IR’s alternate reality is that it was National Party influence via that hideous, odious little creep roger douglas and now his blood-boy seymour who have parasitised Labour which is why Labour no longer makes sense.
      A Labour leader position exists and Hipkins is merely keep the chair warm until someone comes along and fills in the gap that Norman Kirk left. No pun intended.
      Hipkins never talks about re unionising the labour work force, doubling WINZs payouts paid for by taxing the fuck out of the foreign owned banks, decriminalising drugs, crushing the Natzo’s and their besties, the racketeering foreign owned banksters, the multi-billionaire and multi-millionaire gangsters and their sundry money fetishists and power freak hangers on.
      Instead, The National Party’s labour lap poodles are just fine about homelessness, 200,000 hungry kids, 480 families living in cars and a disastrously tanking primary industry who make the foods and wool we must export. Our very farmer export infrastructure are themselves dangerously teetering on the edge of bankruptcy made so by the rapaciously greedy National Party parasites who’ve plagued farming for generations. In the U$A that’d be known as racketeering.
      There’s no one out there, is there, who could turn the ship around. We’re heading for the rocks at full steam ahead. Our politics is in tatters, we’ve lost our spine when it comes to demanding more of our politicians and our farmers are closer to ruination up than I’ve ever seen and Chris Hipkins fucks about trying to have hallucinations.
      “I am looking forward to getting on the campaign trail and talking to New Zealanders about my vision for the future and what I hope to achieve in the job.” ” Chris Hipkins. Not a tidal wave of confidence Hipkins. If you don’t know by now that we’re in deep shit then you never will.
      If you’re having visions you’re either taking LSD or mushrooms because what needs to be done is blindingly fucking obvious without the hallucinogenics.

  2. Chris – Thank you…Labour has lost its way for over 2 years ago…they (Labour) managed to be hijacked by the more unpleasant chapters within Labour, and it shows in their policies

    • Can you at least admit that it’s been far longer than 2 years? Covid saved them, without Covid they were highly likely going to be a one term govt.

      • BG – I was trying not to upset the hard core Labour supporters…but, yes it has been more than 2 years

    • Labour have been irresponsible in their governance obligations for nearly 6 years evidenced by the failure in most everything.(Education,poverty,homelessness,children’s welfare,universal suffrage,the economy etc, etc.)
      They have done absolutely nothing to grow our economy simply because they don’t know how.

  3. What a brilliant article Chris Trotter. And while am not your typical Labour voter, I bet that the wealthy, if confronted with a reasonable and workable wealth tax, would learn to live with it and manage just fine and not escape to wherever, because NZ, well, is just too nice. Having said that, taxing your way to productivity and profitability is not the solution either. If Labour had announced, just for ok “Fuck the Greens, were gonna start a state-owned resources industry with our own super-refinery and processing capabilties that leads to 1000s of jobs and flow-on infrastructure materials supply, to help with build decent highways amongst other”…then they’d be polling near 50% now. They’d have my vote! This concept of ‘punishing the wealthy’ may appease the working- class and you, and yes the wealthy will cope, but it won’t solve our biggest problem by far far far far far: NZ as an entity is unproductive, bankrupt and poor! To date no politician on either side is giving us a vision of a country ‘swimming in money’ when we could so easily be one. Which brings me to the the last thought: what you wrote there in last paragraph applies to the Greens too. They are no longer a party focused on the planet with relevant big ideas that could also lead to big profitable green industry. So goodbye to Labour and the Greens for a long while. Let’s hope National don’t become like Labour and fuck up the country even more, if that’s at all possible. Although, looking at Luxon, I’m worried about that. He may be able to ‘manage’ a big entity given to him, but hasn’t sold an inkling of a big future vision for fear of upsetting 3 voters somewhere. Pathetic jellyfish really. Us voters don’t have great choices do we?

    • Roy Batty. 100% . Well said. This concept of “ punishing the wealthy” always jarred, and it was a dreadful approach, from memory, first flung about by dreadful Marama Davidson. Ardern’s equally dreadful authoritarianism has dirty-clouded Hipkin’s tenure, and he was the smiley one who proposed door knocking at the homes of the unvaxed, as if losing their jobs wasn’t enough. They were always about control, rather than being the voice of the people who put them into power, and their shocking determination to silence free speech rather than espousing it, is sufficient reason to bid them adieu.
      National are equally inept, and we are left with Peters as the only reasonable alternative among a pretty depressing bunch of wannabes.

    • Well said @ Roy Batty, I to although not a typical labour voter agree that if a reasonable/workable wealth tax was implemented, then the so called wealthy would live with it, instead we are confronted on a daily basis of taxing our way, not to prosperity but just to keep afloat and the scary thing is, that the perceived wealthy are those that are keeping this country running, Ie Tradies, Front line doctors and nurses, Farmers and other small businesses all being hammered, if not from rising costs and or petty compliance issues but add into that anti social behaviour and crime, being rubbed in our faces and swept under the carpet.
      In some ways MMP can be blamed for the lack of accountability or implementing bread and butter policies especially with our current government’s coalition partners who seemingly are more focused on peripheral bullshit such as gender identity etc.
      Although it is looking likely we will get a new government, more than likely a national led one, I can’t help but feel that it could be same shit different day (with National). Can only hope that there coalition partners can keep things focused productively.

      • Frankly Black you should not even be talking to us if you don’t want to do what’s right…vote. or is the responsibility too much to handle?

    • 100%. They could, for example, be building a Coal to liquid fuel plant at Manapouri (it’s a very energy intensive process, but could be done “greenly” there using hydroelectric power) right now that would make New Zealand completely independent from foreign oil (and price fluctuations).

    • The country is not bankrupt. As for productivity I don’t disagree but Luxon’s answer is to fire up the housing ponzy scheme so don’t hold your breath. Let’s face a lot Labours problem is they are too like National. It’s an absolute fallacy to say they have been any better managers of the economy in the past.

    • Yes neo-liberalism no economic plan for productive wealth for the people, its just a legal frame work so the 90 percent pay rent and superprofits to a capitalist somewhere with great EFFICIENCY.

    • Correct, makes me laugh every time crown accounts are reported, and the media praise Australian earnings.
      Tell their stories of riches to be found on the yellow brick roads across the ditch.

      Where the fuck do they get their money?
      They’re digging it up out of the ground faster than ever.
      Natural gas/LPG at record prices thanks to Putin, guess who has massive Natural gas reserves?
      Record prices for coal. Guess who has huge high quality coal reserves?

      And if we don’t dig it up, provide employment, & income, does the world go without? No!
      Is there just one ounce less coal burnt thanks to Jacinda’s capt’s call? No!
      Are we actually burning less fossil fuels as a result of this ideology? No, more in FACT!

  4. They’re going to lose because they’re hopelessly, famously,uselessly, visibly and blatantly incompetent.

    They can’t do governance, they can’t do politics, there’s nothing left. 20-odd seats.

  5. “Because, deep down, Hipkins is a conservative politician”??

    During Hipkins tenure as Education Minister, the cultural Marxist makeover of our education system went into overdrive. To the extent that our kids are now told that maatauranga Maaori is “co-equal” with so-called Western science, and encouraged to believe that some people are “born in the wrong body”. The TEU warned universities they must eliminate ethnic disparities in pass rates, on pain of fines. Apparently unis can just magic away ethnic disparities.

    And as PM, Hipkins was unable to answer the simplest of questions – What is a woman?

    A conservative politician, you say?

    As for the “hierarchies of expertise and competence” that supposedly prevail in NZ politics, what a curious idea. Jacinda Ardern as PM? Kelvin Davis as her 2ic? Jan Tinetti now Minister of Education? A party so utterly in the thrall of DEI is unlikely to have hierarchies of competence, to put it mildly.

    • Wonderful stuff Pope 100%.

      Same with Health and the neglect and disdain they, particularly Andrew Little, have treated the health workforce with.

      Great article Chris. Labour lost my vote and my loyalty as a party member about a year ag

    • Pope Punctilious 11. The dumbing down of the education system proceeded Hipkins, and current ignorami politicians are evidence of how very well it has succeeded. But yes, the demolition of science under Hipkins is surreally shocking, and the damaging gender ideology now being promulgated as science, which it most certainly is not, can be described as evil. The whole anti-child ethos of this government, with Sepuloni and Davis put in as slimey Pied Pipers, is inexplicable and inexcusable.

    • Pope+Punctilious+II — “the cultural Marxist makeover of our education system”

      ”cultural Marxism” is the delusion that Brenton Tarrent and Anders Behring Breivik were ‘fighting’ ,,,, is it Act/National policy now Pope+Punctilious+II?.

      Is it your fight too ? ,,,, as part of the ‘hard right’ extremists nutters club.

      You wouldn’t know a ‘Marxist’ if you tripped over one. Idiot.

      • Yes indeed Awakesky, I subscribe to ‘hard right’ extremist ideas like free speech, one adult = one vote, and policy based on evidence rather than ideology or “feelings”. That’s me.

        • Yawn Bob ,,,, when did your opinion become anything other than your opinion? ,,, you come across as conceited to state it as fact

          anyway, What’s your opinion on the popes (deluded) opinion about “the cultural Marxist makeover of our education system” ?

          Or about Tarrents and Breivik’s belief in this “Cultural Marxist” thing?.

          I presume you think they have a point ….

          but if you don’t buy into it,,,, then your posting priorities are warped, imo.

          • My opinion certainly got your attention.
            Gosh you are a first term student trying to sound erudite tossing out left wing rubbish.(Tarrant,Breivik?)
            You have confirmed my earlier comments.
            Thank you.

      • “You wouldn’t know a ‘Marxist’ if you tripped over one. Idiot.” B Awakesky

        Be Asleepsky, who thinks a ‘Marxist’ is someone who supports Russian imperialism and war.

        • Good to see Bob admit he was just stating his right-wing opinion …. but just like the pope he slides away from owning up to his “cultural Marxism” buy in/belief….. Unlike Tarrent and Brevick who 100% owned up to believing and waging war on this specific delusion about ‘left-wingers’….

          …. As for Pat natO Dea ,,,, he has a long and repeated history of telling lies about what people say and think….. as in this instance.

          • B.Awakesky
            No idea what you are talking about so I’ve concluded it must be rubbish.
            Marx isn’t he the chap that died a stateless pauper in England.
            Great family man I believe.

            • Bob obviously never made it past what used to be “School Certificate” ,,,,, perhaps he’d be best not to comment on things he knows nothing about.

              Once more, and this is the Fourth time I’ve quoted Pope+Punctilious+II/Tarrents/Brevicks phrase, which THEY call “Cultural Marxism”….. which IS garbage/rubbish.

              I am somewhat surprised by Bob and Pat natO Dea pushing back in defense of this “Cultural Marxism” idiocy …. As for ‘the pope’, no-one put words in his mouth,,,, and he has not retracted,,, so he’s a true believer.

  6. Labour need to go away and sit on their wet rock in the wilderness and contemplate how they came to turn their back on their own history and their own people.

    • This election was Labour’s electon to lose, and they have gone about losing it.
      Labour need to get back to their socialist left wing roots to have any hope of recovery.
      It is hard to imagine how Labour can recover from this setback otherwise.
      Cost of living crisis, housing crisis, climate crisis, impending war crisis, as long as Labour refuse to offer cut through socialist solutions to these multiple crise, being just a little bit better than the right, will not cut it.

  7. All politics is pressure.
    After the Far Fight pressured Jacinda Ardern from office, with violent threats and protest. This Far Right victory shifted the political centre.
    The Hipkins administration was always a place holder for a handover to the Centre Right National Party.
    What is not realised (yet) is that this shift to the right is not just a minor shift to the right to be rectified at the next election. But represents a tectonic shift to right wing politics in this country for the foreseeable future.
    We are in for a rough ride.
    Attacks on living standards and social services, removal of environmental protections, user pays in health and education, a roll back of civil liberties including a crack down on the right to protest and strike, increased surveillance and spying on citizens by the state, the incitement of national chauvinism, racism and intolerance of minority rights, increased militarisation and involvement in foreign wars. Everything that comes with a nation’s tectonic shift to the right will be hard to roll back.
    The recovery of Left politics in this country, strong enough to counter the political pressure of the Right and Far Right, will need a complete rebuild of the Left from the bottom up, starting with the basics of relearning the art of grass roots union organising and movement building.

    • Spot on Pat. Comment of the Year.

      Workers know that after the 14th Oct., the war will move from the ballot box to the streets & workplaces. When that time arrives folks, please bring a spine, and wear your grown-up pants.

      They will not only come for your money, they will come for your retirement years……….

      Work for your masters longer slaves, and be grateful! Love Chris & David

    • Pat O’Dea: “This Far Right victory shifted the political centre.”

      Who are these people, the far right? Commenters talk about them, but never offer evidence of their existence. It seems to me that Ardern left office because she’d realised (belatedly) that she wasn’t up to the job. The mess she’s left in her wake is evidence of that.

      Prior to her resignation, there had been increasing criticism of her government’s all-too-obvious inability to get anything done. I suspect that she knew that the path to defeat at the upcoming election was certain, if she remained as PM. But as we see, electoral defeat is pretty much certain, Ardern or no Ardern.

      I’m an old lefty: by 2018, this government had lost my support. I’ll never again vote Labour. I’d take a bet that there are many like me, who are thoroughly disillusioned. Right wing, my foot!

      • “Who are these people, the far right? “ D’Esterre

        A good question

        Who are these people?

        Nazi Hippies: When the New Age and Far Right Overlap
        Both the New Age and the far right are drawn to conspiracy theories….

        Jules Evans
        9 min read
        ·Sep 4, 2020


        …..Some people are astounded that New Age hippies could have any overlap with extremist conspiracy politics. But it happens…..

        World renowned Investigative Journalist Nicki Hager, reports on the rise of the far right in New Zealand
        …In recent years years we’ve had two bad experiences in New Zealand of the growth of the far right, both apparently foreign-inspired. The first was a bloody attack on two mosques by an Australian far right fanatic and then just this year a US-inspired protest against covid policies that was used as movement building for the far right.

        The protest was in February this year, when New Zealand anti-vaccine groups staged an action imitating the Canadian “freedom convoy” truck protest. Hundreds of people took over the Parliament sector of the city for four weeks, with effigies of people in nooses and being guillotined, and slogans about executing the Prime Minister. It had an ugly ending with protesters pelting the police with rocks and setting their tents on fire.

        The most chilling part was the social media statistics. They revealed that more people were getting news about the parliament protest from right-wing and conspiracy social media than from all the mainstream news media combined. The “mass” media was out-massed. It was unprecedented in New Zealand, showing the danger of on-line propaganda. There’s been talk for years about what happens when whole sections of society are detached from mass media and here were some of the consequences.

        I mention this story because it is a microcosm of worse things happening in many other places. Personally, I have decided I need to do work on these essentially fascist movements. I’ve put it on my list. You may already be working on this too. It is a dark cloud and there’s urgent work to be done.

        This also raises an interesting issue. As investigative journalists, a lot of our work centres on critiquing governments and uncovering things that they would rather have hidden. There is a risk that this can feed straight in to the narratives of the conspiracy theorists and far right: that governments and politicians are all corrupt, that they’re all just as bad as each other, that they are controlled by powerful forces. This is dangerous when the legitimacy of democratic government is already under attack on various fronts.

        I don’t think there is a simple answer to this, but I believe that part of the solution lies in our approach. When we expose wrongdoing, we are implicitly calling for a better world. Our currency needs to be hope, change, and improvement, not outrage and disengagement. We need to be careful of our approach and framing, but we also still need to carry out our role of holding governments to account, despite the activities of the far right.

        Also, I want to mention a positive story about our parliament protest. During the protest there was a lot of excellent research done, particularly using the massive amounts of social media video and chatter. Good work was done by some journalists but the exceptional work was done by two non-media people who reported on what was being said and done in the protest hour by hour. One was a university researcher and the other an anti-fascist campaigner….

    • Pat O’Dea: “This Far Right victory shifted the political centre.”

      Who are these people, the far right? Many commenters talk about them, but offer no substantive evidence of their existence. I suspect that many are like me: I’m an old lefty, I voted for this government in 2017, but never again. By 2018, it had shown it couldn’t – or wouldn’t – keep its election promises. At that point, it lost my support. Right wing, my foot!

      When Ardern resigned, it seems that it had dawned on her that the next election was unwinnable with her as PM. But she left such a mess behind her that it’ll apparently be unwinnable anyway.

      “We are in for a rough ride.”

      What do you think has been happening here in the last few years, if not a rough ride? The current government has dropped NZ down the gurgler: I doubt that things can get any worse, under new management.

      “…a roll back of civil liberties including a crack down on the right to protest….. increased surveillance and spying on citizens by the state….
      increased militarisation and involvement in foreign wars.”

      Again: so what’s different from right now? Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed.

      “….a complete rebuild of the Left from the bottom up, starting with the basics of relearning the art of grass roots union organising and movement building.”

      As we’ve seen over the past 6 years, the Labour government is as neoliberal as the Natz. Labour has abandoned its roots: I doubt that what you look for will happen soon, possibly ever. In any event, it’s too late for the likes of me.

  8. An excellent article.
    To me neither Chippy or many of his colleagues do not seem to stand for anything.I’ve asked the question repeatedly.” What does Chippy stand for?”
    I believe he’s lost the support of his most senior Ministers in Parker and Robertson without whom he has an incredibly weak lineup.

  9. It is no mystery how or why this situation occurred, and I agree with Chris’ take on most of it. 39 years of Rogernomics and 33 of Ruthanasia have embedded a neo liberal state brimming with contractors, consultants, PPPs, Ministries populated by fifth columnists, admin bloat and all the rest of it. NZ Labour always subordinated the ordinary members to the “Parliamentary Wing” or Caucus in other words. While this worked ok in the times of Norm Kirk say, after Rog’ and the backbone club purges it was the end of a substantially working class focused party.

    Labour squandered its once in a generation MMP 2020 majority and did not take David Parker’s and Robbo’s recent advice on tax. The IMF and World Bank long ago admitted Trickle Down was a cruel non event–but that news never seems to have reached NZ Labour! So a massive own goal. How many times has it been said–voters walked to the voting booth to elect the first Labour Govt.s and years later they drove to the polls to vote them out! Self interest, individualism over collectivism and tale of two cities levels of inequality are the legacy of neo liberal ideology.

    Of course what those on TDB who lap up the prospect of a Labour loss like a dog returning to a regurgitated dinner, will find out soon enough is that the Natzos only intend to make things much, much worse for ordinary NZers. Public housing will not appear, inflation will not disappear, petrol prices will not drop, unions will be busted again, FPAs gone, Māori rights and O Tiriti will be attacked by a tyranny of the majority referendum, PPL rolled back, union gains rolled back, minimum wage frozen, private health care boosted, will Teachers and Nurses strike again?–unlikely they are usually very quiet under tory Govts.

    So in material terms life will not improve for most New Zealanders. The 1%ers and their 9% enablers and crawlers will have a nice time though counting all their ill gotten loot and the big 4 banks and supermarket duopoly will keep on printing money in the billions!

    This is the right wing boomers (many of that demographic are not selfish grumpy bastards with multiple properties of course) last dance though. It will be an interesting election for all sorts of reasons including the fruit cake post COVID parties like Matt King’s and what other scandals emerge, and whether people do wake up at the last minute? But really until NZers widely participate in politics again we are stuck with big money and their media channels trying to buy elections.

  10. Chris, your best article for 2023.
    The upcoming PREFU will graphically demonstrate the financial illiteracy of this incompetent regime.
    It will be the straw that broke the camels back and consign Labour into the wilderness for a decade.
    On Election Day both Labour and ACT will have something in common.
    Both will be on 20%.

  11. Their leader for 5 years was taught policy by the war crimal Tony Blair so is it surprising the party is so out of touch with its core membership.

  12. Yup. And I reckon that they will not be in government again for decades. Any of the 3rd parties now, will become the 2nd party alternative from Octobers election onwards.
    NZF or Act.

  13. Well worded article Mr Trotter. It says what a lot of us labor supporters have worked out over the last 2 years. Labor has given up it grass roots core policies and has forsaken the working poor. The right and far right will be in power and the only way to end this neo liberal experiment is with revolution and a civil war we are well down this path as people will not be able to take much more of neo liberalism. Just look at the mood the electorate is in.

    • Another word for neo- liberalism is liberalism.
      Modern day liberals only want freeom for people in areas that they want them to have.
      – Freedom to spend your own money? Nope.
      – Freedom to state the obvious fact that women don’t have dicks? Nope.
      – Freedom to choose which medicine to take? Nope.

      The left USED to be the home of liberalism, now the right is.
      When you vote left, you are voting for rights to become privileges that can be taken away at a whim.

  14. They will lose because they are useless and have been so since Ardhern won in 2017. What a low bar the opposite side has to stroll over! In Australia. No tax to $19,900. Middle income still lower tax than NZ. High 47% and capital gains tax and state stamp duty on property purchases. NZ has lost the plot or never had one. All labour had to do was even up the tax system and spend the rest of their time on wipping the food costs into some normality. Taken GST of all food products like in OZ.

  15. Just a single question. Name a single thing in NZ that has improved since 2017. Education? Health? Law and order? The economy? R,ace relations? …..HELP!

  16. Thanks Chris
    Labour paved the way for National to take Rogernomics to the extreme in 1990. in 2007 they put in the new purposes and principles of the social security act that put paid work and looking to your own resources before the state at the heart– in 2008 National used this to promote extreme policies in welfare. Labour, despite WEAG, despite all their so called consultation has taken 6 years to do nothing to cement in new purposes and principles. Thus in 2023 they have paved the way once more…..

  17. Thanks Chris
    Labour paved the way for National to take Rogernomics to the extreme in 1990. in 2007 they put in the new purposes and principles of the social security act that put paid work and looking to your own resources before the state at the heart– in 2008 National used this to promote extreme policies in welfare. Labour, despite WEAG, despite all their so called consultation has taken 6 years to do nothing to cement in new purposes and principles. Thus in 2023 they have paved the way once more…..

    • Completely agree with you Susan. To make matters worse the focus of Labour’s 2020 working for families policy and its focus on increasing the In-Work tax credit effectively endorse the right wing approach to welfare adopted in the 2007 legislation, even though the rationale behind the IWTC makes no sense and been shown to be ineffective as a work incentive. The excuses for ignoring the welfare working group were just that – Labour’s 2020 welfare policy shows its not about time or resources – the real reason is Labour don’t want to.

      • Thanks for comment Joe. They have both coalesced around the discriminatory in work tax credit that is paid far up the income scale while excluding the 200,000 lowest income children that need immediate help

  18. The most succinct summary of Labours woes, ever.

    It has meant every little thing like 30 km/hr speed limits just add fuel to the fire too.

    And yes, it doesn’t cover of the housing, health and crime failures or non delivery on several promises but it doesn’t need this because bizarrely, Chippy seemed this have just enough goodwill if he’d managed the bread and butter gig and defused the 3Waters bomb, but he didn’t. And it’s that one failure, especially when they pretended they overhauled it, that sunk Chippys credibility of real change.

    And for that failure, the Maori caucus has cost themselves any further influence as of October and it will see that legislation repealed forthwith. As has the greater caucus for not seeing the danger it put their government in.

  19. All very well , so Labour isn’t left enough for its traditional supporters. But you don’t explain why those supporters would transfer their vote to a incompetent, populist right wing alliance that will hurt them even more than they’re hurting now, or by not voting enable that to happen

  20. Sadly in many ways Labour does deserve to lose this election for the reasons you have stated. However in reality the alternative is still far worse, and may be unleashed to finish the destruction of the society we once knew.
    The choice between bad and worse is never palatable. However once again you fail to look at the alternative choices. The Greens cannot win a majority, but having many more Greens in Parliament, even in opposition, is the one realistic way of maintaining a clear critique of the neo-liberal shit-fest.

  21. The Neo liberals Chris what universe do they live in? Are these the same people that run the public service in Welly and wear the shiny suits. Its hard to define them because how do U define them?

  22. The reason that Labour won’t implement the type of policies people in this forum want is because most people are happy with ‘neoliberalism’. Outside of websites like this I’ve never heard anyone talk about ‘winding it back’. Labour doesn’t have the mandate to do it.

  23. Capital gains tax? I used to be in favour of it, until I read this:

    And a wealth tax? How many ultra-wealthy are there, really, in NZ: 300? If we’re lucky….

    As we’ve seen with taxes on trusts, it’s the hard-working, certainly-not-wealthy NZers who’ll be stung by it. I read somewhere that the Greens want a wealth tax to apply to anyone with assets of a million dollars or more, including the family home. Until house prices crashed, that would’ve been just about everybody in, for instance, Auckland. And a few other places. Ultra-rich? Pfft!

    This country cannot tax its way to wealth. Putting more money into the welfare system just creates a larger number of poor people. It’s barking.

    It’s difficult to see these proposals as anything other than an expression of envy, driven by resentment and a lack of financial knowledge.

    • it’s about taxing capital and not income. its a disincentive to hoarding and the creation of dynasties. c’mon baby, eat the rich, bite down on the son of a bitch.

  24. ” Such a party is, of course, an impossibility in a society dominated by neoliberal ideology. Such a society could not countenance any serious political movement that is not dedicated to preserving the interests of the ruling elites, or run by anyone other than their enablers in the professional and managerial class. What Chris Hipkins (and Jacinda Ardern) have shown us is that remaining in office is, ultimately, much less important than ensuring that no policies are contemplated – let alone enacted – which might undermine the neoliberal order ”

    Maybe its time all of New Zealand that wants real change and are the constituency that LINO claims to care about ( all of those under $80,000 a year ) and solicits their votes with promises of transformation and being in it for us marketing campaigns that this system will never face real opposition while the current NZLP exists realise their vote for a major neo liberal party is a wasted vote. They simply are now irrelevant unlike their National -ACT party colleague’s who exist simply to serve their constituency and wealthy donors that prosper from this empirical evil economic system.

    The NZLP is a conservative managerial class organisation that should consider changing its name. It has not been what ” Labour ” in a historical context used to represent from its 1916 formation. It cannot expect in the future to get elected by only representing the upper class who will move to National when they feel their interests threatened or the tide is going out for their conscience party of the right.

    ” Hipkins is in the same position as a country experiencing hyperinflation: no matter how many zeros get added to the notes rolling off the printing presses, the currency remains worthless ”

    Certainly for so many who are human victims of this ongoing unregulated capitalist juggernaut and an economy that’s only purpose regardless of red or blue delivers for the powerful few at the exspense of so many.

  25. Jesus, why can’t you lefties put the horse in front of the cart when talking tax? Just taxing more is not going to improve anything.

    There is no point in raising more tax if, like the current government, you have no idea how to use the money productively. Hiring endless consultants, setting up working groups, rebranding everything in Te Reo, creating new ministries, centralising. None of this has helped the working classes. No government in NZ has ever raised so much tax as this one. Its income is sky high yet everything is palpably worse be it delivery of health, education, law and order, infrastructure, housing or liveable incomes.

    Right wingers would indeed tolerate taxation reform if they had any confidence that the government was not going to just piss it away.

    • More tax and using that tax productively at the people level! One, giving people of working age prompt treatment from ACC so they can get back to work.
      2 Raising money from taxing people in strictly non-productive jobs like management and consultancies (which you mention) and putting it into reducing the hindrances, fines and stand downs that make it so hard for working people to manage, on top of likely low wages.
      3 Encourage local business and jobs, and not go for easy money that results in scamming immigrants who are ambitious and determined to improve their lot – good – but are being used to detract from local labour that has lost heart and personal strength. For too long unskilled and semi-skilled workers have had low opportunities and horizons and no security of employment (endless short-term contracts, seasonal and gigs).

      4 Do something about housing so there is somewhere safe and warm to come home to with meal, if you do get a job – use taxes for public housing, perhaps on long-lease to buy – something sensible. Encourage self-building through Housing Apprenticeships Plus group so that useful activity is going on under supervision while people are unemployed; these would be ‘hobbit-houses’ – tiny houses providing basic accommodation but also attractive and sleeping two adults or one family of four.

      Those are a few reasons for raising taxes. The government may still be deeply in the ‘business-case’ mentality and consulting with clever, rapier-smart (in their opinion) officials, management and IT smarts but let us have money to keep the country operating for the peeps while the upper PMC’s indulge themselves with their vanity projects FGS.

      This on posture actually describes our problems in the country bowed down by our present political system. Incorrect posture has many negative effects on the spine. For example, joint imbalance limits the movement of the tendons and muscles and makes normal exercise and movement difficult.
      Effect of an exercise program for posture correction on … – NCBI › articles › PMC4499985

    • Really? Yeah strip Shipley. But if honesty and integrity in leadership are the measure of a damehood, why has Jacinda been given a gong? Oh of course, how could we forget, she presided over the most transparent govt ever.

    • The disciplines of business apply equally to political governance and management,something sadly lacking in the current Labour Government and I think both Robertson and Parker are well aware of that hence Parker standing back and Robertson saying “I’m a team player.”

  26. Just noticed the different meanings of the headline. English can’t differentiate them. I’ll go for my meaning that any non-halfwit can turn it around. So, probably not Labour.

  27. I’m a one percenter or close to it, and to say the obvious, it’s about time National got back in. Labour are the underdog in this election, which is completely approriate and deserving. National has now easily overtaken Labour, and it won’t surprise me if National manage to reach double what Labour is polling. Money talks, and with the quantity of political donations going to National being 700% more than Labour and rising, then thats a lot of talk. In a small economy we need more foreign speculator money, not less, and we need to welcome it, and be grateful for it. And Act was right to want to blow up the ministry of pacific peoples, along with many other waste of space ministries and the human rights commission, and I wil be the first to light the match, to see those Wellington bureaucrats scuttle away with their tails between their legs. If the non well to do, thought they had it tough during Labour, then once National’s in power, you aint seen nothing yet. The top tax rate can easily be slashed, by reducing expenditure on education and health, and the teachers and doctors and nurses know it, which is why they have taken so much industrial action to try and gain pay increases before the govt changes, because they know it will be a completely different ball game when National romp home. Private hospitals and private schools are top class and anyone with the money can use their services. If you don’t like it, then buzz off to Aus, and good ridence. And as for the gangs, I have one word for you guys, Serco.

  28. One trouble with a wealth tax or a CGT or even amore graduated income tax is that if it is set at a level that will materially increase tax take the investment money that represents that wealth will slmply move offshore .To take control of our own economy it would be necessary to withdraw from the trade agreements we have entered into over the years and this would have catastrophic effects on our exports. Though mayne not so much with China as with the traditional Western partners.
    D J S

  29. This is the end of time, no 9 years Lab, 6 years Nat etc ever on. The Left can be serious about it (even the Right if obliged). This is the time of serious. The Left has the advantage of not needing to concentrate on the puerile short-term. Just a matter of a decision to face another way on their side v. the rich short-term guys. Labour could lead forever if they spoke and did the truth.

  30. With the most extreme right wing administration in a generation waiting in the wings, the most important election of your life, is being taken lightly by the Labour Party.

    Months after NZ First has already ruled out working with the Labour Party, Chris Hipkins calls a full press conference to release another empty election strategy, saying Labour and NZ First won’t work together.

  31. Sad indictment, not only on Labour but on the generally woeful character of the West as a whole. The world is changing rapidly and many will be consigned to the streets and gutters as the status quo gets harder and harder to maintain. I don’t see any of the issues National campaigned on getting any better so I’m expecting them to withdraw into their shells and concentrate on their donors wishes.

  32. Hipkins tries to out National, National.
    Shits on Greens from a great height.

    Hipkins message to the electorate; ‘Why vote National-lite, when you can have the real thing?’

    This clown will do anything to avoid having to be in the position to have to negotiate with the Greens or the Maori Party, so that he and the Nats can keep shitting on them.

    This is not to mention the sabotage that both major parties are doing to any meaningful climate policy on behalf of their corporate sponsors. While they both prepare to drag us into another war on behalf of our foreign partners.

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