Trotter on Labour Auslanders

October 4th, 2011 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

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YOU JUST DON’T GET IT, do you ? You don’t understand, even now, what National’s done to you? Well, let me tell you. They have transformed you into auslander – foreigners, aliens, exiles in your own country. You’ve been excluded from the ranks of “the people”. You’ve been pushed outside the circle, beyond the Pale. You no longer belong among “us” – you belong with “them”.
And you’ve no one to blame but yourselves.
Labour will no doubt dismiss Chris’ views as a member of the VRWNLLWC.
Key’s message was simple: “It doesn’t matter where you were born, or what you parents did: you can and should aspire to a better life. National has no intention of molly-coddling you. Unlike Labour, we don’t regard you as suitable cases for treatment – but as sovereign individuals. What does that mean? It means you must take responsibility for your failures, but, equally, you have the right to enjoy the full fruits of your successes. National isn’t offering to carry you – you’re not children. But, we are offering to clear away all unnecessary obstacles from your path. Labour needs you as weak and pathetic victims; desperate for, and dependent on, the state’s largesse. National says: ‘Stand up. Be strong. Make your own future!’”
It was a potent message. Because Key was offering working-class Kiwis nothing less than the opportunity to stand alongside National’s rich and powerful supporters and be counted among the “real” New Zealanders. These are the New Zealanders who don’t rely on other people’s taxes to pay their bills. The New Zealanders who try, fail, try again – and succeed. The New Zealanders who believe that with guts and determination they, and just about anybody, can and will – “make it”
If you believed in these things, then you could stand among John’s people. If you didn’t – you couldn’t.
If you rejected the values of rugged individualism. If you placed your faith in the largesse of the state. If you looked upon the labour and laughter of ordinary people with “cold dead alien eyes”, and regarded them as “suitable cases for treatment”, then you weren’t one of “us”, you were one of “them”. Something odd. Something foreign. Something unconnected. Something incapable of attracting more than 30 percent of the popular vote. Something from somewhere else.
Auslander.
I can see that term catching on.
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43 Responses to “Trotter on Labour Auslanders”

  1. Ross Miller (1,624 comments) says:

    … and just when it can’t get any worse for Labour, it does.

    Trotter remained true to Labour right through the 2008 campaign. To have him turn against you means you’re well and truly stiffed and stuffed.

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  2. sthn.jeff (100 comments) says:

    Should we be worried, sopmeone like Trotter offering tacit support for the Government???

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  3. Pete George (21,826 comments) says:

    Standard Auslanders complain about Farrar and Slater stoking the feckless Fenton festooned with festering resentment….
    ….as they stoke it some more.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/the-rights-weird-obsession-with-darien-fenton

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  4. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    The enemy of my enemy is still not my friend. I wouldnt cross the road to piss on Trotter if he was on fire.

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  5. somewhatthoughtful (437 comments) says:

    No matter how many times Trotter tries to, ahem, trot this old trope out, it doesn’t make it any more true.

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  6. Say Goodbye to Hollywood (552 comments) says:

    Pete, you’ve got to stop reading The Standard, it will only lower your IQ.

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  7. wreck1080 (3,527 comments) says:

    Trotter is sounding like he has defected to right leaning principles.

    Isn’t that what the right is about, individual responsibility and accepting the consequences of your own actions.

    And, the left is about removing consequences for reckless behaviour and shifting excess rewards away from those who make the good life choices.

    In the middle are those caught in circumstances outside their control , and these are the ones our state should assist. We are still very much a socialist state so labour shouldn’t be too unhappy.

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  8. slightlyrighty (2,448 comments) says:

    Actually, Trotter nails it. In the last election, many of my colleagues, including some who have been lifelong Labour voters, felt disconnected. Helen Clark was not one of us. She was one of them. Don Brash was not one of us. Key is. Goff is not the person to win that support back. In fact, it’s hard to see who, within Labour, is.

    Very simplistic analysis, but very true.

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  9. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    labor suffers from a reality distortion disorder.
    PG seems to considered far right wing even MM would be far right to them.
    After years of oppression under Clark its little wonder they have all lost the plot. Post traumatic stress disorder after being trodden down by their own leader?

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  10. kiwi in america (2,336 comments) says:

    Trotter traces Labour’s woes back to Rogernomics. It goes further than that. The intra tribal war of the late 80′s early 90s was between traditional tax and spend liberal/socialists (like Trotter) and a new class of economic rationalists (like Caygill and Bassett). Traditional working class Labour MPs like Moore and Goff were clever enough to finally realize that the command and control economy taken to the nth degree by Muldoon could not continue so they backed Douglas. Heck even Lange saw that until he started his dalliance with Pope. Clark, Dyson and the sisterhood finished off what the departure of Prebble and Douglas began, the mass exodus of the economic rationalists. Trouble was they drove out a bunch of small c conservative (socially) Labour voters with working class roots but with modest aspirations – to own a small business like a courier run or a pub.

    The complete dominance of the “gaggle of gays and trade uninists” to paraphrase O’Connor has created the very Auslander complex Trotter so eloquently details. Labour has ceased to be relevant to both the aspirational lower middle class AND those in the working class who aspire to be in the middle class. The 30% core is the beneficiary, union activist, rainbow coalition, socially progressive base. The antics of Mallard, Fenton, Wall, Dyson etc are merely open manifestations of a party now fully out of touch with a large swath of middle NZ and not willing to openly deal with the reasons for Clark’s defeat in 2008. Clark created a party fully in her own image and only a handful in Labour are prepared to admit its now too far from the emotional heart of the country.

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  11. Pete George (21,826 comments) says:

    Not just Trotter. Russell too…

    … at a time when Phil Goff continues to struggle not to suck all the charisma out of any room he’s in, a Facebook blurt that puts the party on the wrong side of Warriors Fan No. 1 was spectacularly unhelpful to Labour. Idiotic comments at The Standard, only more so.

    Such sentiments are widely – if somewhat lazily – accepted in the political blogosphere as proof of Labour’s “arrogance”. But Labour doesn’t have a lot to be arrogant about at the moment. What you’re hearing there is grief, anger and frustration.

    When the whole world’s against you….

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  12. Scott Chris (5,682 comments) says:

    So on the one hand, Trotter extols the virtues of rugged individualism, and on the other he parodies the labour faithful as outcasts in their own land.

    Notice the contradiction?

    One could easily extend Trotter’s inane analogy to parody the social conservatives, amongst whom, it seems, is one John Key. From a Classical Liberal point of view, conservatives could easily be seen as aliens and foreigners, but fortunately, Classical Liberals are not *that* egocentric. That is the essence of tolerance.

    Enough with the divisive Ra Ra bullshit already.

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  13. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    This is the same Chris Trotter who wrote his “courageous corruption” piece justifying Labour stealing tax payers money to remain popular enough to win the 2005 election….

    Perhaps the only problem Trotter really has with Labour is that they are not popular. Perhaps he would get back into the ring and fight for them if they broke the electoral laws and promised to over tax low-middle earners like they did last time he was prostrating himself defending the indefensible for them.

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  14. RF (1,132 comments) says:

    Auslander…. I like it.

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  15. Positan (378 comments) says:

    The main point on which I’d disagree with Trotter is his “what National’s done to you.”

    Labour has inflicted every stroke of its death-by-a-million-cuts upon itself – the quality of those it foists upon itself as MPs – the rabidity of its MPs’ me-first natures and their hunger to be seen as “being someone” – the driving motivation of its MPs to be paid way, way above what they might otherwise expect – and the generally lacklustre administrative talents of its MPs combined.

    It’s a waste of a time of a party and, politically, a nonsense – lacking even in the slightest apparent grasp of the big picture. Imagine being focused on hitting the productive in order to stand up for society’s beneficiaries.

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  16. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    Lots of stupid nincompoops above ……

    Trotter did not at all espouse support for the right or the National lot. What he did was describe how the politics has been played, in his view. It is an attempted objective view of matters and includes no statement whatsoever that Trotter has changed his own political views. Think sheeple think.

    But if you now like what Trotter said then also read what he wrote today in The Press, where he describes this government as a bunch of consitutional barbarians who break the law and are effectively just like any tyrant in the world today. Gaddafi, Bananarama and Key have all done the same thing with their nation’s constitution and legal principles. Shame.

    Trotter is right in both cases. Unfortunately.

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  17. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    vto

    …here he describes this government as a bunch of consitutional barbarians who break the law and are effectively just like any tyrant in the world today. Gaddafi, Bananarama, Clark and Key have all done the same thing with their nation’s constitution and legal principles. Shame.

    There fixed it for you – and thanks for reminding us that Trotter defended Clark for that and bags Key because… well because he’s not Clark I guess.

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  18. ben (2,386 comments) says:

    Trotter wrote:

    Unlike Labour, we don’t regard you as suitable cases for treatment – but as sovereign individuals. What does that mean? It means you must take responsibility for your failures, but, equally, you have the right to enjoy the full fruits of your successes.

    But how can that be true? In policy terms, National is indistinguishable from Labour. Virtually all if not all Labour welfare state initiatives remain in place under National. How can Labour be pushing treatment and National be pushing sovereign individual when the policy mix under each government is identical?

    True, National has had some initiatives that Labour would not have done had they stayed, but these are at the very margins of spending and overall direction.

    Ok, Trotter has column inches to fill. But let’s stop pretending the 1% difference between National and Labour in total spending represents a difference as fundamental as the one Trotter is pushing. No way.

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  19. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    ben

    Their logo is blue – only red logo’s are good. Perhaps National have not been self serving enough for Trotter and he hasn’t been challenged by defending them for rorting the tax payers for their own gain. Perhaps if Key was busted from a court case by retrospective legislation Trotter would love National.

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  20. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    true burt. agreed re clark and some of her actions, which I railed against to the same extent as well at the time.

    no matter the political colours of our future governments I betcha those controlling the levers of power will do the same. It is shameful and when they do this they should be voted out immediately.

    Vote Them Out !

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  21. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    vto

    Key “might” have broken the law, hopefully if he has it will end up in Court rather than be retrospectively rectified under urgency for him. If he takes the “Clark” route and uses parliament as his personal minder/play thing – then I will be calling loudly for him to be voted out – like I did for Clark.

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  22. ben (2,386 comments) says:

    The enemy of my enemy is still not my friend. I wouldnt cross the road to piss on Trotter if he was on fire.

    Hell, I would. Be a damned good pub story. What are the odds: Large left wing columnist on fire, only one available water source.

    That’s golden.

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  23. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Scott,

    “So on the one hand, Trotter extols the virtues of rugged individualism, and on the other he parodies the labour faithful as outcasts in their own land.”

    I don’t think he actually is extolling those virtues, anymore than he has shifted to the Right. I think he is just pointing out the fact that National’s message is far less patronising and more positive than Labours. I don’t think he believes the message itself, he is still an old fashioned socialist.

    I don’t often agree with Trotter, but I have a lot of respect for him, he’s the kind of guy I would be happy to sit down and have a beer with. He despises the latte liberal urban/academic elite that has highjacked Labour and turned it from a working class party into a party for homosexuals, cross dressing freaks and male-hating feminists. And he’s right.

    And National needs to be careful that it does not make the same mistake.

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  24. Scott Chris (5,682 comments) says:

    vto – “What he did was describe how the politics has been played, in his view.”

    I take your point, but there is certainly a note of smug admiration for the Nats in his rhetoric. Seems to me that Trotter is another who has jumped ship and is indulging in a little schadenfreude.

    Hardly objective.

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  25. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    ben,

    “How can Labour be pushing treatment and National be pushing sovereign individual when the policy mix under each government is identical?”

    Because they are not identical. National has pushed labour reform, education reform, asset sales, icome tax cuts for the wealthy, welfare reform, and other policies that are anathema to Labour.

    Now, they may not be as far aprt as you would like, but that is simply a function of democracy, in which parties that want to be successful must generally stay close to the center. But they are not identical. That claim, usually made by Actoids and the nutters in the Libertarianz, is simply false and dishonest.

    Of course, I’m not exactly happy with where National is myself. But its pointless blaming them. The only option in the long run is to shift the center.

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  26. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    Stand up. Be strong. Make your own future

    Has a lot better ring to it than “Own our future”.

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  27. Scott Chris (5,682 comments) says:

    Regarding the term “Auslander”

    Seems Zeanlandians can’t refer to our great Australian neighbour without revealing our national inferiority complex.

    Every time a snide remark is made about the Aussis, our national penis shrinks yet further at the expense of our national shoulder chip.

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  28. Pete George (21,826 comments) says:

    Regarding the term “Auslander”

    Ausländer is a German term, outlander or from another land, foreigner.

    Ausplaneter might be more appropriate for the last of Labourites. From an äußerer Planet.

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  29. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Greg I strongly disagree about your not crossing the road to piss on Trotter if he was on fire. Hell I think we all should… and why wait till hes el fuego?

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  30. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    National has cannibalized Labour voters simply for the reason that National had abandoned its founding principles and moved left into Labour’s territories/policies. The only thing that Labour can do to resurrect themselves is to switch position and move to the right. They should campaign for smaller Govt, sell state owned assets, cut existing Welfare programs, low tax, etc… This is the only sensible thing for them to do. If Labour move to National former territories/policies, then I reckon, I will vote Labour.

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  31. Ed Snack (1,539 comments) says:

    Scott, PG has it, Auslander is a German term meaning outlander. Kind of destroys your little rant and faux philosophizing about NZers and penis sizes I’m afraid.

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  32. ben (2,386 comments) says:

    Lee01 – yes, I acknowledged that, but all the things you list are at the margins and represent perhaps 1% of government spending or assets. One cannot take that 1% difference and say as Trotter does, that there is a gulf between the parties. I’m not blaming National or saying I like or dislike it, just that Trotters analysis doesn’t fit with the fact 99% of spending under National would have happened under a Labour government. As FF says, National is winning not by being different from Labour but by eating Labour’s big government lunch.

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  33. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    ben,

    “just that Trotters analysis is out to lunch”

    True, and they often are. Trotter is prone to hyperbole in part because of his ideology, as we all are at times.

    “National is winning not by being different from Labour but by eating Labour’s big government lunch.”

    Thats an arguable claim. But rather than argue it, I would simply point out that National has never been nor claimed to be in favour of “small government” in the way ACT is.

    What I don’t understand is why anyone is surprised and/or outraged that National is simply being itself, what it in fact always has been, a centrist and “small-c” conservative party.

    To listen to some here you would think National had campaigned on ACT’s policy platform, then changed their minds.

    The combined support for ACT and the Libertarianz would not currently pass the 5% threshold. There is simply no serious electoral support for the kind small government ACT wants.

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  34. s.russell (1,486 comments) says:

    Trotter has a remakably good description of National’s philosophy:

    Key’s message was simple: “It doesn’t matter where you were born, or what you parents did: you can and should aspire to a better life. National has no intention of molly-coddling you. Unlike Labour, we don’t regard you as suitable cases for treatment – but as sovereign individuals. What does that mean? It means you must take responsibility for your failures, but, equally, you have the right to enjoy the full fruits of your successes. National isn’t offering to carry you – you’re not children. But, we are offering to clear away all unnecessary obstacles from your path. Labour needs you as weak and pathetic victims; desperate for, and dependent on, the state’s largesse. National says: ‘Stand up. Be strong. Make your own future!’”

    I do not think that Trotter is endorsing this message – or National. But he recognises it is there.
    …and the responses to Trotter (on his blog) by Anonymous are delightful: on the lines of Trotter being a traitor because he criticises Labour – and thus reinforcing what Trotter says about Labour’s arrogance.

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  35. Scott Chris (5,682 comments) says:

    I take it Ed and Pete haven’t heard the use of Auslander in reference to Zealandian domiciled Aussis. I suspect Trotter has.

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  36. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Given the thrust of his post I doubt Trotter was using Auslander in that way Scott, otherwise it makes less sense. The German term outlander is far more likely.

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  37. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    Scott, You would be the only person who has heard of your understanding of the term Auslander.
    You would also be unique in declaring that NZ has a national inferiority complex.
    Ever hear the expression, ‘stepped on his prick” ?
    i’ll spell it out for you if you like.

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  38. Scott Chris (5,682 comments) says:

    Lee

    I disagree. Why choose the term Auslander out of the blue? I don’t think Trotter is that pretentious, though I could be wrong…. Much wittier to use the perennial Aussi barb.

    Bereal – “Ever hear the expression, ‘stepped on his prick” ?”

    Actually no. We must move in very different circles. Auslander is quite the mot du jour, don’t you know old boy? Or should that be wort des tages? ;)

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  39. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,681 comments) says:

    I just hope we beat the shit out of the bloody Auslanders at Eden Park in a couple of weeks.

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  40. kiwi in america (2,336 comments) says:

    vto
    I never suggested that Trotter’s comments somehow favour National. They don’t and he has always maintained a reliable left wing view on economic and political matters. Trotter points out why he thinks Labour are in the trouble they are in and I happen to agree with most of his thesis except for the issues I posted.

    I guess you and he conveniently overlooked Labour’s constitutional barbarians who broke the electoral law regarding the pledge card rort and went so far so as to legalize their theft with retropective legisalation. The targetted amendment to the surveillance laws come nowhere near this aggregious law, Labour’s EFA that provoked a rebuke from the Human Rights Commission nor what has happened in Fiji and Tripoli and to suggest such an analogy is typical of the hyperbole of the left.

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  41. KevinH (1,129 comments) says:

    Finally Trotter comes to terms with the character of a New Zealander, the rugged individualism exemplifies the Kiwi psyche through and through because the strong silent types had to endure the profound harshness of isolation and a lack of technology to build this country to where we are today. It is not about John Key’s personal view or the philosophy of the National Party, it’s about New Zealanders.
    Not since Big Norm has Labour produced a leader the average Kiwi can relate to, not those wanky university types who haven’t got a clue what it’s like to milk cows at 4.30 in the morning in a hoare frost.

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  42. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    Scott . Back to phonetics school for you babe.
    Now, say with me ‘ Owse-lander.’
    Again, Owse- lander. Owse get it ?
    Thats better babe.

    Not ‘ozzlander’ ozzlander is a fail.

    Of course we move in different circles because nobody in my circles believes
    that New Zealand has a national inferiority complex.
    Look into yourself to see where you got that idea.

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  43. RightNow (6,348 comments) says:

    I thought Chris Trotter came dangerously close to an election advertisement with his description of National.
    Poor Labour, is it too soon to label them the Moro party?

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