Whale interviews Trotter

January 23rd, 2011 at 11:42 am by David Farrar

An interesting interview with Chris Trotter by Whale Oil.

His thoughts on are especially insightful:

On Labours “Get John Key” campaign:

“Com­pletely mis­taken, did not read the man at all well”

“One sus­pects that they despair of find­ing some other way through.”

On how mod­ern Labour can become more appealing:

“It does very well when it plays to the best, in New Zealan­ders, when it booths artic­u­lates and asks peo­ple to respond to the bright side rather than the dark side of the NZ way of doing things.”

“When they find some­one who can artic­u­late them, as they did with Michael Joseph Sav­age  as they did with Nor­man Kirk, as they cer­tainly did with David Lange, then they are very hard to beat, but if those two things are lack­ing, if they lack some­one who is able to artic­u­late that appeal to New Zealand’s bet­ter angels, to bor­row Abra­ham Lincoln’s famous phrase and if they aren’t dri­ven in a sense by adverse eco­nomic winds then Labour does find it dif­fi­cult his­tor­i­cally to win.”

On Phil Goff:

“He hasn’t demon­strated to date, either the rhetor­i­cal skills nec­es­sary to make that appeal, and cer­tainly to date he hasn’t been able to emote in a way that New Zealan­ders can believe.”

On Labour entic­ing bet­ter candidates:

[They need] “life expe­ri­ence which you cer­tainly don’t get in any great breadth on the ninth floor of the beehive”

 

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21 Responses to “Whale interviews Trotter”

  1. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    In other words Labour is leaderless.

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  2. Monty (977 comments) says:

    Clark’s legacy to Labour. Just brilliant. Her own insecurities have left Labour pining for her. They have been unable to move on (I love that irony) from her micro-management.

    Labour have no policies that trigger the imagination or aspiration of New Zealander – made all the worse four them because the Nation continues their love affair with John Key and National. Reality is that Labour’s biggest problem is that they have no one now, or coming up through the ranks who could challenge and take on John Key at his own game.

    NZ furthermore simply does not trust Labour to fix the economy.

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  3. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    WTF is he talking about. NZ is going through a period of economic decline in certain sectors and no amount of flowery rhetoric is going to change that. The victims of the decline of manufacturing are generally detached from politics- most of whom don’t vote, understand or really care about public policy. The rest are doing ok though not flourishing.

    Labour and National are locked into a battle for middle class voters whose chief interests are entirely about cost of living (fuel and food prices, taxes etc..)- so we see both sides looking for good dog whistle phrases and photo opportunities. Phil is simply not as adept at that sort of politics than the money changer from Parnell.

    Don’t see much of our better angels in that.

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  4. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    To win the hearts and minds of New Zealanders Labour needs to understand the people in the middle ground. But they recruit their MPs from a narrow clique of ninth-floor pollie-obssessionistsas, teachers, unionists and teacher-unionists who just don’t get it. Trotter is right about the need to get a broader view and a broader understanding in their ranks.

    The problem is: they don’t want to. They much prefer to be pure, and regard anyone who understands concepts like “aspiration” and working for your bread and butter rather than just taking it from someone else, as traitors. They have their heads stuck in the sand, and like being there.

    Essentially, if Labour did understand these things, it wouln’t be Labour. The best they can hope to grope for is enough understanding of these strange concepts to be able to present a convincing veneer.

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  5. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    Chris Trotter is right: ideally Labour should have a leader who can emote.

    Labour voters emote, rather than think, so a sensible leader is a turn-off for them. Goff, if anything, is too much like Key. A rabble-rouser would be ideal.

    But they don’t need a new leader to win.

    If Maori or the Maori Party go with Labour, and Winston crosses the threshhold and does likewise, then Goff could still be PM in November (as Bob Jones predicted he would two years ago).

    National need to not only win, but win well.

    And they need ACT.

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  6. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    So National needs to get about 55% of the vote to be the Government next election and Labour only need 39% of the vote to be Government.
    Gee MMP is a really good of voting system.

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  7. Manolo (13,765 comments) says:

    National need to not only win, but win well.

    But isn’t a National win also a win of sorts for socialist Labour?
    What has fundamentally changed over the last two years to indicate we actually elected a new government in 2008?

    National has built upon the pillars erected by its Labour predecessor, taxation continues to rise, nanny-statism has not diminished, racist policies go on unabated, expenditure on welfare is on track to bankrupt our country, etc.

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  8. hj (7,010 comments) says:

    I agree with s.russell, Labour (and other parties are controlled by acitivists who are out of touch). Labour has linked worker with beneficiary (even during full employment); see how they squealed when Paula benet released details off what the fuller woman took home. Low paid worker is supposed to shut up and (just pay) tax. Then you have people like Jacinda saying objection to the foreshore and seabed process is (mistakenly) “fear based” etc

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  9. hj (7,010 comments) says:

    On Reading the Maps, Keri Hulme calls Chris Trotter ayapping (…) dog due to his stance on Maori nationalism.

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  10. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    Chris should be happy with that – she calls me a Nazi. (So much for the credibility of the Booker Prize.)

    Talking of National Socialists, Manolo asks: “But isn’t a National win also a win of sorts for socialist Labour?”

    Yes Manolo. We’re in the third year of the fourth term of the Clark government, with the boss on sabbatical in New York.

    (I’m not saying she’s coming back, but what difference would it make if she did? Who’d have thought Michael Cullen would be only the Second-to last of the Big Spenders?)

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  11. jaba (2,141 comments) says:

    I can’t remember when but it was at least a year ago when I mentioned on Redablurt before my most recent self imposed exile, that the only way the Nats could lose the 2011 election would be because of it’s coalition partners, ACT and the racist Maori (sorry, no macron) parties. I still think that.
    I also mentioned on numerous occasions that they must stop playing the person and focus on policy. They have ignored that free advise from their enemy (me) and I guess there are 2 reasons:
    1/ they can’t help themselves .. Clark and Cullen relied on personal attacks and old boy daffy followed suit like the good lapduck that he is.
    2/ they have no policy that makes sense in the current economic enviroment.

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  12. Viking2 (11,470 comments) says:

    HMM, well given Trotters correct statement ““When they find some­one who can artic­u­late them, as they did with Michael Joseph Sav­age as they did with Nor­man Kirk, as they cer­tainly did with David Lange, then they are very hard to beat,” we should look at Keys performance both at Pike River and Christchurch and we can see exactly who Key models himself after. It is of course M.J.Savage.
    This has been obvious for quite sometime for anyone watching with a sense of MJS.

    So why would we expect the National Party to be different to the other Socialist party when its leader behaves in the same manner?

    And don’t forget, English was full of praise for Cullen considering he did a good job while in Govt. so that also tells us that English is of the same philosophy.
    Oh for a right wing leader that can articulate what’s needed.

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  13. tvb (4,421 comments) says:

    Labour in modern times does quite well when there is plenty of money to splash about and people do not mind higher taxes. But when things are tight the Labour Party is seen as rewarding the feckless and the indolent.

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  14. NX (504 comments) says:

    he hasn’t been able to emote in a way that New Zealan­ders can believe.”

    ^ that can only be expected when you simulate your rage – Phil Goff’s one trick.

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  15. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    Where’s my cycleway Mr Key?
    I wouldn’t mind Mr Goff being PM, if he implemented the 1984-1987 policies of the Labour Party. He voted for those policies in parliament and he was part of the Douglas-Prebble-Moore faction?

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

    What Mr runny arse and his lefty mates want to come up with is polices that actually work. Himself and his mates live some world devour of reality. Tosser, his concept of a fair and equitable society is a return to the bloated state and it’s mindless minnows and tit suckers. Runny arsed’s country is falling apart and his longing for the radical return to the old days when protest and high ideals paid the bills is simply stupid. And if he so happens to read this please tell me how you can lift the wealth of our country without destroying the very people that produce the wealth, I do not accept an answer. And why doesn’t he throw his name in the hat, after all you have all the answers?

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  17. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “…So National needs to get about 55% of the vote to be the Government next election and Labour only need 39% of the vote to be Government.
    Gee MMP is a really good of voting system..”

    yes..mmp is a good voting system…

    ..that grouping of labour/grns/maori party/peters/w.h.y…will represent the votes/wishes/desired political direction of the majority of the people in the country…

    ..how can f.p.p..where 39% of the vote imposes their will upon the majority…

    …how can that be a ‘better’ voting system…?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  18. big bruv (13,887 comments) says:

    Phool

    Are you predicting a Labour/Green government?

    And if so, what changes do you think they will make?

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  19. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    What Labourites seem to be desperately trying to predict is any combination of seats that could get them in to power, regardless of who the party with the most seats is (probably by a significant margin).

    They should be trying to promote themselves in the best way possible, instead they seem obsessed with promoting any bunch of rag tag that could conjure up a coalition in their favour.

    What they seem to forget is that they have previously shunned the Maori Party, and they have shunned the Greens. Not only do they hope enough minority seats will add up to 60+ they also hope that miraculously all those minorities will be willing participants.

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  20. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    reality-check for pete george..

    most maori party voters ticked labour for their party vote..

    ..(can i just leave you with that..?..)

    …and if norman and goff haven’t yet hopped into bed together for the full consummation…

    …they are in serious eyebrow-batting/foreplay/hand-clutching roles…

    (can i just leave you with that..?..)

    so..as can be seen…yr 9.15 shouldn’t really have happened..eh..?

    ..now..about yr other 8,000 plus comments..?

    (can i just leave you with that..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  21. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Reality check for philu – since when have Labour cared about where their party votes have come from. Does “last cab off the rank” ring any bells? Or is that too far back for your memory?

    Reality check for philu – how often have Labour been in coalition with the Greens?

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