Tamihere on Labour

April 25th, 2010 at 10:57 am by David Farrar

John Tamihere writes:

A document was released by a Party member asking how could make itself more relevant and meaningful to the New Zealand population.

The problem the present Labour Party has is it no longer understands who it represents, what it represents, and why it exists.

Over the past 30 years our society has changed dramatically.

The old debates about Labour left and capitalist right are no longer apparent.

The large number of so-called working class people have now migrated to the middle class. As a consequence, describing your politics in a class way is no longer sustainable.

Further, the great socialist and communist experiments – whether in Tanzania, Romania or Russia – have fallen over, most symbolically with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

By default, Labour’s politics are now determined by its well-organised factions – the women’s and gay divisions of the party.

It has drafted in a number of MPs who have studied poverty and the working class but have never come from those areas of difficulty.

It would be interesting to compare how many MPs have working class backgrounds today, as opposed to 20 years ago.

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33 Responses to “Tamihere on Labour”

  1. Monty (949 comments) says:

    Larbour are struggling for relevance and oxygen. Goff’s interview on “the Nation” is evidence of desperation. His only and pathetic counter to the upcoming tax decreases and GST increases is to re-instate the 38% envy tax. What a tosser. Goff will lead Labour to a well deserved rorting in 2011.

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  2. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    As a lifelong Labour supporter (until the last election) I agree with Tamihere. The Labour Party was hijacked and destroyed by the minorities within their ranks. This isn’t an anti gay or misogynist statement, just one of fact. The “well organised factions” wield too much power relative to the number of people they represent. Their policies are dumb, based on ideological garbage and devoid of common sense. It is certainly one of the main reasons I ditched them.

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  3. cha (3,541 comments) says:

    It would be interesting to compare how many MPs have working class backgrounds today, as opposed to 20 years ago.

    Or, given the history of the National party, MPs who are members of Federated Farmers.

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  4. Tauhei Notts (1,511 comments) says:

    Chris Trotter writes so eloquently on this situation. He points out how this creates a superb opportunity for Winston Peters. The sort of thing that would drive Whale Oil to the depths of despair.

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  5. Tauhei Notts (1,511 comments) says:

    Cha,
    once upon a time we had 90 acre dairy farms with an owner and a sharemilker, all of whom with their spouses were dedicated National members. Nowadays we have 400 acre owner operated dairy farms. Hence the political clout of the cockies has dissipated.

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  6. Grizz (477 comments) says:

    Not sure what is meant by “working class” but in my experience farmers have never had a problem getting their hands dirty.

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  7. Michael (880 comments) says:

    Or Labour in six words: “Academics pretending to be working class.”

    Labour needs to seriously reconnect with it’s traditional support base of Blue Collar workers – these people tend to be the conservative, rugby loving, give it a go in the community group type, rather than beneficiaries (who generally don’t vote) and students (who are rather fickle and switch to National when they start earning.)

    Phil Goff could connect with them, but it would mean having to ditch 3/4 of their caucus.

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  8. John Ansell (861 comments) says:

    With friends like John Key giving the country away to Maori and saving the planet at the expense of Kiwi householders, why would Labour’s supporters need the Labour Party?

    Key is running the country for the benefit of Lucy Lawless and Tariana Turia – the former so he can keep the lefties who came over to National for a three year trial, and the latter so Maori Party voters have too much to be grateful for to go back to Labour.

    So Labour are as irrelevant to modern New Zealand as National supporters are to John Key.

    This month’s Investigate offers a fascinating insight into the Clarxists from a young boy they allowed to hang around with them, despite the fact he was supposed to be at school.

    Labour’s gay brigade feature prominently, the boy alluded to Helen’s various relationships and Cullen’s dope smoking, and Lianne Dalziell was caught lying again.

    But none of this is surprising.

    What’s surprising is that it’s not a scandal – because the players are no longer of interest.

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  9. reid (15,601 comments) says:

    “What’s surprising is that it’s not a scandal – because the players are no longer of interest.”

    Whereas the media are full of Doug Graham’s antics. Hmmm…

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  10. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Tamihere hits labour on the head.. Labour have lost their cause their direction and their voters.
    Tamihere and others can keep telling them… tell the cows come home… but there’s nothing Labour can do to change it.
    Other than throwing out the old guard changing their name to the New Liberals and starting a fresh.
    But they want so they’re F*****.

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  11. Viking2 (10,742 comments) says:

    Labour needs to seriously reconnect with it’s traditional support base of Blue Collar workers –

    I can just imagine the Labour Party in China. For that’s where all those jobs have gone. Labour Ming by Ching Chong Goff and
    Ding Dong Mallard.

    Unfortunately their demise causes problems for NZ for the National Party are the Party of status quo. Its always been the Labour Party that bought fresh idea’s to Govt.
    Their demise however was brought upon themselves by themselves by becoming factionalised by the various non descript groups under Helen. They will struggle now to survive.

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  12. Caleb (465 comments) says:

    yup, very irrelevant with Nationals current political positioning.

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  13. gravedodger (1,426 comments) says:

    The socialist propoganda merchants make the erroneous link of farmers to the right of center National party and ignore the salient fact that FPP system threw up many politicians who represented rural electorates and happened to own a farm, just as the St Kilda, Sydenham, Onehunga et al demographic gave us workers who graduated to parliament often via a union background. The Labour Party of today (I nearly used the word Modern there) is overwhelmingly represented by academics who almost to a one have never earnt their living by PRODUCING anything other than theoretical rubbish or have existed in a world of self created societal value. Hence the vehement denial in the socialist blogosphere of nearly all dissenting opinion and their total disconnection from the electorate apart from the idealogical core and the thickheads who would vote for a concrete post with NZL logo on it. Not sure why I separated those two groups.
    The parliaments prior to MMP often gave us MPs who although having an appeal to their constituents offered little to the intellect of the group but did contribute a practical perspective to the philosophy of the party. Bob Clarkson, a classic example and I greatly admire his success in life as opposed to his parliamentary career.
    Many of the so called Farmers who went to Wellington were not regarded as farmers per se they just happened to own a farm. And of course they didn’t all represent the National party, One who comes to mind, Mr Williams Labour MP for the Wairarapa before Ben Couch took it for National,owned a farm maybe 3 miles From John Falloon’s..
    Of course cha you too could be a member of Federated Farmers but whether you could make a meaningful contribution, could be the question.
    Tamahere makes a salient point and it probably is one that many of the socialists would rather be denied Oxygen. It is interesting to me the obvious schism in Labour ranks as they struggle to find what they really stand for in the vacuum following the total domination of Helen Clark and her manipulation of the brand that without her is seen to be the fractured collection that commentators are referring to.

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  14. Paulus (2,299 comments) says:

    I love reading the Labour Parliamentary website “Red Alert”.

    It only goes to show what tossers they are. “Know your Enemy” is a well versed dictum.

    Currently there is no real Labour opposition, as the website continues to follow outdated dictums and factions arising.

    It’s great.

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  15. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Nice irony- Labour and the Greens appealing to middle class and wealthy educated eco-concious city-folk, whilst National appeals to working class anti-nanny state types who want to drive their V8′s and shoot deer. Shows how inane the class stereotypes really are.

    Don’t think the answer is going back to the old days (ie reconnecting with your party roots rubbish)- really need to look beyond the union-boss divide

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  16. Whafe (652 comments) says:

    Labour & National are almost one and the same, ACT is more or less where National was 10 years ago, the Greens, well who would know, al I know is they are oxygen thieves…..

    The whole political sphere is a fucking joke, politics has not really kept up with the changing times of NZ, the world and NZ’s place in the world… It is all seat of the pants stuff, putting out fires….

    There surely is a place for a party to come forward whom are original, strategic and have a agile focus to keep abreast of a NZ world that is in constant change……

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  17. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    “With friends like John Key giving the country away to Maori and saving the planet at the expense of Kiwi householders, why would Labour’s supporters need the Labour Party?”

    ….as always John Ansell sums it up perfectly.

    but what gets me John – is for how long ACT will sit back and be (coalition) party to it ???

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  18. bruceh (101 comments) says:

    What will give Labour oxygen in the future is the deeply wedded cultural attachment of New Zealander’s to overwhelming state domination in the delivery of social goods such as education, health, retirement income and social protections for unemployment, family income and accident risk.

    Prior to the Rogernomic reforms New Zealander’s were also deeply wedded to state control and management of agriculture, industry and enterprise. Prior to those reforms a sneeze in the world economy gave us catastrophic flu and ongoing chest wheeze, such was the rigidity and powerlessness of businesses and agriculture to respond in their own self-interests, along with increasing insanity in the ‘coping’ measures of govt, culminating in Muldoon running business decisions by fiat from his office.

    Nowadays major world economic blowouts occur and we seamlessly adjust and recover from the pain inflicted via floating exchange rates, price signals and smarter allocation of resources – enterprises change and adapt in their own self-interest and the economic distributions of goods, services, wages and profits continue to get delivered to the population. The first big test of the reformed economy was the Asian banking crisis of the late 90′s – the adaptive flexibility of industry was extraordinary.

    That National can continue with state dominance of social delivery in the face of obvious systemic malaise and appalling impacts on far too many lives is only because of our cultural sacred cow beliefs in the beneficence of gummint management. And so the voting pendulum will swing between the current National Sheriff of Nottingham and a future Labour one.

    The Unfinished Business of social delivery reform to add to the economic reforms already put in place was the genesis of the ACT Party and which remains it’s heartbeat. This heartbeat, currently represented in the new Douglas book No Second Class Citizens, coupled with ACT’s classical liberal DNA of the primacy of small government, low taxes and one law for all, especially in property rights, voting representation and civil behaviour, provide ACT’s raison d’etre in the New Zealand political landscape.

    The democratic context we currently have is an MMP environment. The reform opportunity available is in high quality Confidence and Supply agreements with the dominant party of the day, these agreements based on the inclusion of highly leveraging policies which were publicly campaigned for. The brokerage of this reform opportunity within the pressured, maddening currents of MMP government is Rodney Hide’s real talent

    The best hope for making real progress in the face of the timidity of both National and Labour politicians to confront and expose the stale, fraudulent promises of our cultural sacred cows is in increasing the ACT vote. It is also the key to breaking Maori Party hegemony. Most of the reform job can be done over two or three of election cycles with less than 10% of the vote. It’s called revolution-on-the-margin. Eric Crampton, take heart. John Tamihere should too.

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  19. MT_Tinman (2,793 comments) says:

    A well known 1980s quote from Beasley, father of Ocker pollie Kim Beasley sums Labour up nicely;

    “When I first entered politics the Labour Party consisted of the cream of the working class, now it’s made up of the dregs of the middle class”.

    Those worrying about National’s left leaning politics should stop, National has, with one short exception, always been well left of centre despite it’s pretending otherwise.

    It is the continuation of the unwanted and unneeded social engineering that is most concerning.

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  20. bruceh (101 comments) says:

    Patrick Starr asks – for how long ACT will sit back and be (coalition) party to it ???

    We didn’t get enough votes to be able to stop Natty’s giving away the country to radical, unsound, untested notions of co-management and trying to save the planet all by ourselves. The answer is simple, give ACT more party votes.

    It’s only the current distribution of seats in parliament that is allowing such Maori Party hegemony. A different distribution with more ACT seats would prevent this, whether National remains philosophically barren and naive or not. The power is in the margin. This is the key concept for thinking voters who want more-market and less-state to clinch.

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  21. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    bruceh -gee, thanks for clearing that up !

    get real – If you hope to gain more of the disenfranchised Nat vote its what you do today, not what you could do after the next election.
    As far as I’m concerned if you stay in bed with the crap that the Nats are dishing up today you’ll put up with anything.

    Time to stick your stake in the ground and say “we wont be part of this”

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  22. Swiftman the infidel (329 comments) says:

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/goff-ill-reverse-unfair-tax-cuts-for-the-rich/#comments

    Wanka

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  23. jackp (668 comments) says:

    Labour needs to fire their leaders. The same ones are still there and they lost the last election. If there were new faces, then maybe, but it would take time. The only way I can see Act gaining disinfrachised National voters is if Act cuts away from the coalition otherwise these voters are going to look somewhere else. Winston Peters got 4.2 percent of the vote in 2008 and the baby boomers are getting out of the work force into retirement. He has a good chance of getting back in especially since National is pissing off its core supporters. Also, some labour voters only voted for national because they were tired of Helengrad. They could switch over to Winston. I don’t like the guy but I don’t like John Key either. It’ll be interesting to see what happens closer to the election.

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  24. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Yes socialism and communism has fallen over but still the bastards try. Just like XP to Vista we have the idiots at National that are convinced their version of socialism will be the bees knees, fools the fucking lot of them. As for the poofs and wemen of the late great Liarbore party I hope they don’t disappear, I need something to laugh at as the Nats just piss me off.

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  25. deadrightkev (182 comments) says:

    John Ansell

    Well said.

    Labour is an irrelevant disgrace and what went on behind closed doors in NZ and the US with underage school boys should be exposed to show the NZ public what standard of person they had running the treasury benches, some of them still remain in parliament which stuns me. Only a complete transformation will rejuvenate them as a party, much the same can be said for Act, new faces and energy is needed.

    Sadly, we do not appear to have been dealt a better deck with John Key, he seems content on being Mr International Socialist and taking no notice of public opinion.

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  26. Chuck Bird (4,415 comments) says:

    “get real – If you hope to gain more of the disenfranchised Nat vote its what you do today, not what you could do after the next election.”

    Patrick, if you feel strongly on this issue why not join ACT and put your position forward. I am an ACT member but think if Rodney throw his toys out of the cot this would be counter productive. Have you accepted the the ETS is a done deal? I have not and I do not want to speak for Rodney and John Boscawen but I do not think ACT has thrown in the towel on this tax grab. I am sure that John has not given up on his private member’s bill relating to the anti-parental authority legislation.

    Separating from National might grab a few headlines but would not be in the best interest of ACT and more importantly not be in the best interest of New Zealand.

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  27. jackp (668 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird, why do you think Act shouldn’t pull away from National? Does National think by making their allies ministers that they can absorb them? IT started to look that way until the Maori issues came up. I agree, it wouldn’t be in the best interest of New Zealand, they are the only ones that want to put common sense back into government, but John Key keeps undermining Act.

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  28. Grizz (477 comments) says:

    A lot of posters here are disillusioned with National and John Key. For most of them, I cannot see them voting Labour/Green/Winston First.

    Hence I would like to ask these disgruntled posters that if there was an election tomorrow, who would they vote for? It would Seem ACT is the next alternative however it is not like they have performed well lately either and after 18 months of their current crop I would question some of their personel. They have dipped their snouts in the trough a couple of times as well as at times putting their feet in their mouths.

    If none of the above is more likely, what would you like to see from a political party. Perhaps, to quote Clare Curren, you could use six words or less,

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  29. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    The latest polls suggest that Act is way down the list of alternate vote options, less than WP First which I find surprising.

    What I most like to see in any political party is Quality of Candidates. I’d rather have a genuine, committed candidate with integrity and common sense who puts the interests of the country foremost from Greens or Act rather than a PC list filler from National or Labour.

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  30. Chuck Bird (4,415 comments) says:

    Jack, please reread my post. As I said if ACT throw its toys out of the cot as you suggest would that make it easier or harder for ACT to influence National on such issues the ETS and anti-parental authority legislation?

    If anyone would like a better answer come along to the following meeting and ask Rodney yourself.

    Pre-Budget Meeting
    - Rodney Hide MP and Bernard Hickey, Economist

    When: Monday 26 April, 6pm
    Where: Mecca Cafe, Cnr Nuffield St and Remuera Rd, Newmarket.

    Join Epsom MP Rodney Hide to discuss the upcoming Budget along with ACT’s recent achievements – including its Three Strikes policy and the new Productivity Commission.

    Financial expert Bernard Hickey will also be there to talk about what must be included in the Budget in order to grow the economy and boost living standards. Bernard is an independent, unbiased commentator on financial, economic and investment issues, regularly appearing on radio, television and in the Herald on Sunday.

    Free entry – Cash bar available. Everyone welcome!

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  31. GJ (329 comments) says:

    I agree with some others here, that it is predominantly the huge social engineering with its corresponding loss of values/morals/discipline that has got up the nose of a huge number of New Zealanders. We are heading at the same pace under National towards a “Nanny State” as what happened under Labour and I think we will start to see their support fall.
    Scary to think that this may open a huge opportunity for Winston Peters and I guarantee that he won’t miss it! The way National is going I’m going to watch him with interest. Sure he made a big mistake, but National may be making an even bigger one. Taking the NZ voter for granted with their “We know best attitude!”

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  32. jackp (668 comments) says:

    I would go, unfortunately, I live in Napier. Please let me know how the turnout is.

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  33. Chuck Bird (4,415 comments) says:

    I think there would have 30 to 40 there. Rodney had commitments and could not make it. John Boscawen filled in very well. John also gave a very good reply to someone who wanted ACT to pull out of the coalition.

    There was a lot of interest in Bernard Hickey’s talk. I will not try to quote him as I might misquote him.

    What I took from his talk was that it is a shame Key does not put the country’s long term interest ahead of his ambition not to be a one term prime minister.

    The present superannuation cannot be sustained as the percentage of the population over 65 greatly increases. Key should be honest and tell the public this and not mislead them by saying he will resign is he raises the age above 65 of decreases the amount from 66% of the average wage.

    This may be possible for another two terms but the longer changes are delayed the more drastic the changes will have to be.

    Key is a poll driven politician whose ego it more important than what is good for New Zealand.

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