The Cunliffe speech

April 30th, 2012 at 3:18 pm by David Farrar

David Cunliffe delivered a speech yesterday that has many Labour and left activists praising it. It is a speech well outside his area of economic development (He is Economic Development, not Finance spokesperson after Shearer demoted him), and is an effective state of the nation or state of the party speech. I have seen these speeches before, and inevitably when portfolio spokespersons give speeches like this, they are wanting a certain job. Some extracts:

You know that at the last election, the one that we lost so badly, nearly 1 million people didn’t vote. Over 800,000 people: a fifth of the population didn’t vote.

Now you know, there are lots of reasons that people didn’t vote, and there were even more reasons why people didn’t vote for Labour. Let me give you just a few.

The major reason that voters didn’t vote for Labour, and sometimes didn’t vote at all, is simply that Labour failed to inspire voters that it was a credible alternative to National. …

I want to be clear from the outset that this speech represents my own views and does not pretend to represent overall Labour policy. All policies are being reviewed in the post-election period. 

All the classic signs. “My personal views”. “Why we failed”. The implication is “Why we continue to fail”.

When the right-wing party says that it’s going to cut your leg off, voters want the left-wing party to say that it’s not going to cut your leg off. Voters don’t want to be told that the left-wing party is also going to cut your leg off, but cut it off a bit lower down and give you some anesthetic.

 I think that’s a major reason that nearly one million voters deserted us at the last election. It wasn’t because we failed to communicate our policies. Quite the opposite. Those voters saw that our policies – with the exception of asset sales – were mostly the same as National’s. So we can’t really be surprised at the result.

This is a clear call to arms for the left activists. Never mind the reality they were promising $70 more a week to beneficiaries and the like, and most commentator said their policies under Goff were more left-wing than even under Helen Clark. Cunliffe needs the left activist base. The activist base is always less moderate that the supporters. The average National activist is well to the right of a National Government, and the average Labour activist well to the left of a Labour Government.

But you’d never know this if you listened to John Key. Like a quack doctor whose cure has failed, his response is to double the dose until the patient is dead.

 Sorry, John, but let me quote Sir Winston Churchill:

“The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.”

No matter how many politicians and economists still defend the economic policies that led us into this mess, the truth is steadily showing itself.

The obligatory Churchill quote every leadership speech has.

Labour has a new leader with strong values, who’s focused on reconnecting with the voters and has the courage to stand up to bullies. It’s up to us, as a Party, to share with our leader, our hopes, our fears and our dreams, to reconstruct the Party from within, to reclaim our natural constituency of decent, ordinary New Zealanders who believe in fairness and hard work.

This paragraph is astonishing. It strongly implies that the leader does not already share their hopes, fears and dreams. It is a call to action for activists to back Cunliffe’s views and policies and insist Shearer implements them, with a clear implication about what may happen if he does not.

But we didn’t. And we don’t have to back away from creating policies that can turn us away from the economic insanity of the last three decades.

was a Minister in the last Labour Government. He is now saying that the economic polices of that Government were insane. This is what you do when trying to position yourself as a new leader.

What I find surprising in this speech is not that Cunliffe is making a leadership style speech, but that he has done so in such an unsubtle way. Normally these things are much more subtle and coded. I have never seen an MP urge activists to “share” their views with the leader, in a way which suggests he is out of touch.

The other interesting thing is events of the last week. First we have top Auckland Labour Party official, , who blogged last Wednesday praising David Cunliffe. He implied the Robertson camp was behind the attacks on both Cunliffe and Shearer, and openly said:

Cunliffe may now be Shearer’s best chance of survival as Labour Head Office and the Beehive are filled with Robertson supporters. 

Now bear in mind to have your top Auckland official openly talk about the leader not surviving, and how it is is only the good graces of Cunliffe keeping him alive. In National such an official would be outski. Party officials should never ever talk about how the Leader is struggling to survive.

Then two days later on Friday blogged:

I was wrong about . I made the mistake of believing that a politician with a brilliant back-story couldn’t fail to give us an equally brilliant front-story. …

It’s time for the Labour Caucus to put an end to “the unfortunate experiment” and begin a new one. They could call it “democracy” – and stop taking their party for Grant-ed.

A clear attack on both Shearer, and Grant Robertson, which by omission suggests Cunliffe should be Leader.

Then another two days later, Cunliffe makes a “True Labour” speech, with noting:

It was given by David Cunliffe at 2pm Sunday at the Blockhouse Bay Community Centre on his personal beliefs for the economic vision for Labour. 70 people were there by invitation including myself, Chris Trotter and Peter Davis and I have never heard the explanation of why Labour lost the 2011 election and what vision is necessary to regain that support with the passion and intelligence that Cunliffe brought to it. 

Cunliffe launched a personal vision of what I’d call ‘True Labour’, a renouncing of the neo liberal agenda and an explanation that the reason a million enrolled voters didn’t bother to vote Labour was because despite a few policy differences, Labour was still the lighter shade of blue. 

Now I am sure this is all a coincidence because I am a trusting sort of person. But someone more cynical and suspicious than me might wonder about the timing of all this.

UPDATE: Am sure this David Cunliffe campaign website is also a coincidence and is really aimed for the general election in 31 months time.

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91 Responses to “The Cunliffe speech”

  1. bhudson (4,738 comments) says:

    And the race is on. Grant has to be prepared to move sooner than (you’d imagine) he would have wanted to, or he will miss his chance.

    The poll results would favour Cunliffe deposing Shearer now. (Especially if there is truth to the rumours that a number in caucus are resisting Shearer’s plans for change.)

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  2. Cunningham (840 comments) says:

    Good grief Labour sure knows how to show a united front don’t they?? The public will not like this kind of thing. Just shows that their dirty selfish nature is well and truly alive. Do they still not realise how much people/voters hate this sort of thing? They certainly are slow learners. National must be stoked with how this is playing out.

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  3. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    There’s been some interesting comments at The Standard, with talk of another speech to come from Cunliffe, on “the economy and the environment”.

    And talk of being a fairly open challenge to Shearer. Plan A didn’t work after the election. Is this Plan B? And if it doesn’t work is there a Plan C? A Cunlife split party has also been talked about. More details in Cunliffe rebellion?

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  4. rouppe (967 comments) says:

    No matter how many politicians and economists still defend the economic policies that led us into this mess, the truth is steadily showing itself.

    Wouldn’t that be the decade that Labour was in power?

    And we don’t have to back away from creating policies that can turn us away from the economic insanity of the last three decades

    The last three decades. 80’s, 90’s and 00’s.
    The 80’s were dominated by Labour, which lost power in 1990 just has the world economy bottomed out after the 87 sharemarket crash. National then had to deal with awful economic conditions, and just as things were looking rosy again, Labour got back in again in 1999. Who lost power just as the world economy went to hell in a handbasket from the GFC…

    So Labour were in power when conditions were rosy and money was readily available, and left power as everything turned to shit, with the books so upside down there has been nothing to work with.

    A bit like living pay to pay, and leaving nothing for if there’s the slightest crisis.

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  5. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Never mind the reality they were promising $70 more a week to beneficiaries and the like,..”

    yes..that was to be by 2018..two election terms away….

    ..so really..they were offering s.f.a…

    ..which is why those whom both parties have ignored for so long…

    ..still didn’t see anything for them/any real change..

    ..so they didn’t bother voting..

    philllip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  6. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “…their policies under Goff were more left-wing than even under Helen Clark..”

    funny story..!

    ..if clark was ‘left-wing’..

    ..i am garretts’ love-child…

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  7. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    There’s a new “experimental” website to go with it: New Lynn Labour Party
    http://newlynnlabour.nationbuilder.com/speech_get_your_invisible_hands_off_our_assets

    I wonder if the experiment is to see if “Lynn” is required or not.

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  8. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “.. But we didn’t. And we don’t have to back away from creating policies that can turn us away from the economic insanity of the last three decades.

    David Cunliffe was a Minister in the last Labour Government. He is now saying that the economic polices of that Government were insane. This is what you do when trying to position yourself as a new leader…”

    well..it is a reality that the neo-lib policies of both national and labour are what have brought us to this sad place…(3rd-world povery-diseases..”

    ..and that a repudiation of both that..and austerity-as-policy..are labours’ road back to power.

    ..just being like national..or old-labour (as i call them)..will see them not finding that road..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  9. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    The Labour Party swung to the hard Left under Goff and it failed. Why does anyone think it will work at the next election? Shearer may be a poor leader, but the idea behind his election as leader was right. They need to connect to middle New Zealand and win back people who believe in hard work and fiscal responsibility. Cunliffe is delusional if he thinks his rhetoric will apeal to anyone except unionists and drug addicted criminal welfare cheats like Philu.

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  10. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “it is a reality that the neo-lib policies of both national and labour are what have brought us to this sad place…(3rd-world povery-diseases”

    Importing people from the third world probably had more to do with it.

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  11. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    well done there lee..in two short comments you define yrslf as both a political-illiterate..and a racist…

    fact/reality-check for you..goff is from the rightwing of labour..and always has been..

    ..got that..?

    ..and yr racist-comment is beneath contempt…

    ..and really just reflects on you…

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  12. dime (9,855 comments) says:

    What happens to Shearer if hes rolled? Front bench surely? otherwise they look like even bigger idiots

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  13. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    the reason a million enrolled voters didn’t bother to vote Labour was because despite a few policy differences, Labour was still the lighter shade of blue.

    Apart from being wrong – Labour lost because they were seen as not competent – the “milllion voters” claim is ludicrous. He could have said three million I guess. But there certainly aren’t a million lurking voters just waiting for Leader Cunliffe to vote for.

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  14. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    and of course..rightwinger pretending to be centreis p.g is also terrified of any repudiation of the old ways…

    ..arguing for ‘sensible’ centre-right policies..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  15. alex Masterley (1,510 comments) says:

    The reason Labour lost was the parliamentary wing was, is, and remains largely a group of retreads hanging around like Banquo’s ghost rattling their chains and remind the electorate of the excesses and arrogance of the period between 2001 and 2008.

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  16. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “fact/reality-check for you..goff is from the rightwing of labour”

    And he swung to the hard left to try and get elected.

    “and yr racist-comment”

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ……

    Wake me when you learn to think for yourself.

    “..if clark was ‘left-wing’..

    ..i am garretts’ love-child…”

    No, your just a brainwashed sheep blindly swallowing and following the propaganda fed to you by the Frankfurt School of Marxism.

    And Helen Clark WAS Left wing. That she may not have been as far to the whakjob left as you wanted does not change that fact. In two elections now, THE LEFT WAS BEATEN.

    Get over it.

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  17. RRM (9,827 comments) says:

    Well this leftie agrees 100% with this part of what Lee01 said:

    Lee01 (1,810) Says:

    The Labour Party swung to the hard Left under Goff and it failed. Why does anyone think it will work at the next election? Shearer may be a poor leader, but the idea behind his election as leader was right. They need to connect to middle New Zealand and win back people who believe in hard work and fiscal responsibility. Cunliffe is delusional if he thinks his rhetoric will apeal to anyone except unionists…

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  18. Fisiani (1,032 comments) says:

    Cunliffe believes he is the smartest Labour MP and deserves to be leader.
    Robertson believes he has polished up the handles of the big front door so carefully that he deserves to be leader.
    Neither of them rate Shearer and they are simply jockeying for pole position to stick the knife in.
    Robertson believes his own press cuttings ( He keeps a huge scrapbook) and is already preparing for accession.
    Cunliffe knows this and knows that he has to build up a momentum quickly.
    Shearer wants them both to sing Kumbaiya…….

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  19. RRM (9,827 comments) says:

    My theory is that Cunliffe knows the public needs a bit more time to get used to the idea of a political leader with such a funny name.

    So he is taking it slowly, one press release / speech at a time…

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  20. rouppe (967 comments) says:

    Cunliffe believes he is the smartest Labour MP and deserves to be leader.

    And very versatile. When in South Auckland he says “ben-nif-its”, when in Wellington he says “reconstruct the Party from within, to reclaim our natural constituency of decent, ordinary New Zealanders who believe in fairness and hard work”

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  21. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Cringe.
    The Churchill quote is so out of place. So token.

    Here’s a question for David Cunliffe…
    If he has had such a road-to-Damascus shift to the Left, will he be selling his multi-million dollar home in wealthy Herne Bay?

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  22. lastmanstanding (1,281 comments) says:

    Gosh didnt think Silent T would move so quickly. Talk about outta the blocks and running. And just after the Trotter denoucement of Shearer.

    Dont suppose………….. No would be too coincendental that Chris bags Shearer and Silent T has his speech all ready to go.

    Looks like the knives are out and its death by a thousand cuts for Shearer.

    Wonder what her in NY makes of it and who is she backing?

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  23. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    There is something very distasteful about a Leftie quoting a Tory Traditionalist. Perhaps quoting Lenin, Mao or Che was a little too revealing and risky at this stage in his campaign.

    Cunliffe, leave Churchill alone. He would have had nothing but contempt for you and your party.

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  24. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..And he swung to the hard left to try and get elected…”

    so…extending the wff to bene-families..by 2018…is ‘hard-left’..eh..?

    cheers for the chuckles..eh..?

    fact/reality-check:..there was very little discernible difference between labour and national..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  25. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Here’s another Churchill quote for David Cunliffe:
    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

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  26. Cunningham (840 comments) says:

    FFS PhilU how could extending WFF not be hard left? The hard left believe that everyone has a god given right to sit on their ass and do nothing should they wish (of course details on payiong for that is not something they are ever interested in). Removing any incentive to work by extending WFF is about as left as you can get. Bugger me I cannot believe how clueless some people are.

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  27. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “so…extending the wff to bene-families..by 2018…is ‘hard-left’..eh..?”

    Doing it by ANY date was and is hard left.

    “there was very little discernible difference between labour and national”

    In terms of major policies there was a great deal of difference, especially on tax, asset sales and welfare. But if the gap between them has narrowed it is because National has moved somewhat to the Left, not because Labour is still stuck on the right. Any claim that Labour under Goff was still “neo-liberal” is proven false by the fact that he intended to change the Reserve Bank Act and essentially restore genuine full blooded Keynesianism.

    Your claims just do not reflect reality. But then they never have. I mean come on Phil, you predicted Labour victories, as well as massive victories for Left in general, prior to both previous elections and got it badly wrong.

    Your living in a drug fuelled fantasy world.

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  28. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    First we have top Auckland Labour Party official, Greg Presland, who blogged last Wednesday praising David Cunliffe.

    Uncoincidentally, that’s the same person promoting the New Lynn Labour Party experimental website.

    About: This is the campaign website for New Lynn Labour and David Cunliffe. It is a prototype at this stage so we can try out Nationbuilder software.

    Maybe using “Nationbuilder” software is a coincidence for an electorate website.

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  29. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    EWS 4:30 – Great quote. Pity his successors didn’t take heed.

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  30. Kimble (4,432 comments) says:

    The major reason that voters didn’t vote for Labour, and sometimes didn’t vote at all, is simply that Labour failed to inspire voters that it was a credible alternative to National. …

    But that had less to do with policy, and more to do with their political strategy and the legacy from their last two terms in Government.

    All it seems Cunliffe is saying is that more leftist policies would have made us better off.

    Yeah? How?

    Thats where Labour lacks credibility. They cannot explain how their policies lead to better outcomes, no matter whether those policies are left, hard left, or far left.

    Lets see the counter-factual. If NZ hadnt liberalised markets, abandoned protectionism, reduced social spending, restructured government departments, broke union strangleholds on industry, how would things have turned out different? Show your workings.

    Start with either how we would have avoided bankruptcy, or how bankruptcy would have been a good thing.

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  31. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    so..cunningham..you think it just all tickety-boo that we have gone from the good end of most international stats/rankings…

    ..to the bad end of those rankings..?

    “..extending WFF is about as left as you can get..”

    no..a more progressive tax system..

    ..a capital gains tax..

    ..a financial transaction tax..

    ..a guaranteed minimum/living-income for all citizens..

    ..eco-taxes on dirty industries..(and tax-incentives for clean-industries..)

    ..a land/mansion-tax..

    ..in effect..a serious redistribution of assets..

    ..is getting kinda ‘lefty’..eh..?

    ..just including bene-families in w.f.f…in six years time…is hardly ‘hard-left’..in anyones’ books..

    (..except of course…for the most hysterical from the right..)

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  32. somewhatthoughtful (464 comments) says:

    God pete, you’re such a traffic leech. I hope that nz’s blogs “nofollow” links so all your link whoring amounts to nothing – checking your pagerank would confirm this.

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  33. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ krazykiwi

    Envy is the big one. And it’s that human flaw the gives socialism it’s leg-up.

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  34. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “so..cunningham..you think it just all tickety-boo that we have gone from the good end of most international stats/rankings…

    ..to the bad end of those rankings..?”

    We have been sliding down the rankings for a long time, certainly well before the 1984 reforms, and the real reasons clearly escape you.

    “no..a more progressive tax system.. ..a capital gains tax.. ..a financial transaction tax.. ..a guaranteed minimum/living-income for all citizens.. ..eco-taxes on dirty industries..(and tax-incentives for clean-industries..) ..a land/mansion-tax..

    ..in effect..a serious redistribution of assets..

    ..is getting kinda ‘lefty’..eh..?”

    You do realise that these policies would cripple the economy right? They have failed everywhere they have been tried. The Soviet Union was an economic failure. Cuba is an economic failure. North Korea is not a workers paradise.

    “just including bene-families in w.f.f…in six years time…is hardly ‘hard-left’..in anyones’ books”

    It is in fact hard left in MOST peoples books, including many working class people who chose not to vote Labour. At least one Labour politician has admitted that this policy went down very badly with lower income working class people.

    The problem Phil is that you have no idea what most real, ordinary working people think. Your woefully out of touch, because you do not work. Perhaps of you had a job you might find that most lower income working class people are nowhere near as left as you.

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  35. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Also,

    Can we please have Philu banned?

    Not because of his content (though it is shit). But because his formatting is so annoying and hard to read – my eyes glaze over after the third line and my inferior frontal gyrus (the part of your brain that recognises words) just registers ‘blah blah blah’ and I scan down for the next contributor.

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  36. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Thats where Labour lacks credibility. They cannot explain how their policies lead to better outcomes, no matter whether those policies are left, hard left, or far left…”

    parker had a go on his fleeting appearance on q&a…saying that what labour is talking about is a re-arranging of priorities…

    ..(i guess an example of that..wd be the holiday-highway..and yes..i wd fight to end poverty before pouring squillions into an ak inner-city rail-loop..

    ..and..as an aside..i wd like someone to ask ‘ten-bucks-each-way’ brown..what he has done..in a practical sense..to help the homeless of ak..since he came to power..)

    “…Lets see the counter-factual. If NZ hadnt liberalised markets, abandoned protectionism, reduced social spending, restructured government departments, broke union strangleholds on industry, how would things have turned out different? Show your workings..”

    our moves across the board from the good end of those international-stats to the bad-end..over these neo-lib decades..is a clear marker of how ‘bad’ they have been for our society/country…

    ..the galloping gap with australia is largely a result of them not ‘breaking’ their unions…the free-market here has created/built a low-wage economy…

    ..and of course those countries with strong social support for all are the ones least hurt by the great-recession…go figure..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  37. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “our moves across the board from the good end of those international-stats to the bad-end..over these neo-lib decades..is a clear marker of how ‘bad’ they have been for our society/country…”

    In fact we have been moving down the ranks for a lot longer than that. You cannot blame the so-called “neo-liberal” reforms for something that was already taking place.

    “and of course those countries with strong social support for all are the ones least hurt by the great-recession…go figure”

    Fuck this is really retarded.

    Ahem. Greece. Massively generous welfare state and massivley generous support for public workers. In the shit. Go figure.

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  38. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..and the real reasons clearly escape you…”

    and those reasons are..?

    “..They have failed everywhere they have been tried…”

    not really…south american countries have been showing the way..

    (nationalising oil companies/energy-resources/breaking up big landholdings..giving land to peasants..etc..)

    ..and of course those countries that always rank as the happiest/most equal..are also radically ‘left’ in yr eyes..eh..?

    ..so that’s examples from current countries..and emerging/changing countries..

    “..At least one Labour politician has admitted that this policy went down very badly with lower income working class people…”

    yes..that was the rightwinger pagani..yr point..?

    ..i think most..”most lower income working class people’ are tired of no future..no hope..

    (and i haven’t even gone near the in-motion asset-stripping of the country by the elites/1%…eh..?..)

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  39. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    I’m sorry if I’m swaying back away from the topic, but simple logic will tell you that there must have been a hugely discernable difference between National and Labour, otherwise the 70% of people we are told do not support “asset sales” would have voted for Labour.

    Or… just maybe the people aren’t actually that infuriated, and it is only a few (about 3,000 in Auckland) impassioned left-wing supporters who actually care, and the rest realise that this is a tough situation financially and there is no perfect solution.

    To say that there was not enough difference between National and Labour is ridiculous. The differences were large, noted, and the direction Labour was taking was deemed wrong by the voting public.

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  40. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “the galloping gap with australia is largely a result of them not ‘breaking’ their unions”

    No, the galloping gap with Australia is largely because they like things like mining, while the NZ left does not.

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  41. JeffW (326 comments) says:

    I cry for my country when people think that Labour is a lighter shade of blue, when it is so clear that National is pink and Labour tending red (and seemingly to get redder if Cunliffe has his way). I am thinking of moving to Greece.

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  42. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    lee..i was citing the scandanavian countries..not greece..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  43. big bruv (13,718 comments) says:

    Phool

    It is the height of rudeness for a bloody parasite like you to talk about ending poverty when you boast openly about being a bludger and having no intention of ever working.

    There is no poverty in NZ, there are scum like you who choose not to work, there are those who make bad life choices and there are the terminally lazy (Labour voters) who want more but do not want to work for it. However, there is NO poverty.

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  44. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “… I am thinking of moving to Greece…”

    that has to be funniest one-liner of the day/thread..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  45. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..No, the galloping gap with Australia is largely because they like things like mining, while the NZ left does not…”

    no..unlike here..the unions weren’t broken..so while wages were driven down here..they continued to grow in australia..

    .and also there they have industry-wide parity in wages in many areas..

    ..here the poor just get poorer..and the rich just get richer…(by billions since/during the great recession/neo-lib decades..)

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  46. BeaB (2,118 comments) says:

    Shearer was doomed as soon as he cut his hair to disguise the balding and the grey hairs. A dead giveaway – just look at Mallard who did the same thing. Next it will be botox like Helen.

    Labour never seems to get it’s substance not image that really matters.
    They stupidly buy into that nonsense about perception being everything when truth is always what resonates with voters.

    That’s the trouble when your ‘new’ man is older than the incumbent PM and looks it with his silly new haircut and the bags under his eyes.

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  47. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “not really…south american countries have been showing the way..

    (nationalising oil companies/energy-resources/breaking up big landholdings..giving land to peasants..etc..)”

    You mean like Venezuela? Venezuela is only hanging on by a thread and largely because it like selling oil to tyrants. You know about oil right? Thats the thing in the ground the Left does NOT want us to trade in. Yet you hold up an oil based economy as an example???

    “Oil-rich Venezuela gripped by economic crisis”

    “We just stop,” said Jesus Yanis, who paints cars. “We don’t work.”

    Neither does the rest of Venezuela, where a punishing, months-old energy crisis and years of state interventions in the economy are taking a brutal toll on private business. The result is that the economy is flickering and going dark, too, challenging Venezuela’s mercurial leader, Hugo Chávez, and his socialist experiment like never before.

    No matter that Venezuela is one of the world’s great oil powers — among the top five providers of crude to the United States. Economists say Venezuela is gripped by an economic crisis that has no easy or fast solution, even if sluggish oil production were ramped up and profligate state spending were cut. ”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/28/AR2010042805712.html

    “Venezuela’s Economy Ranks Second to Last in Latin America”

    “Yet another study confirms what most Venezuelans already know – Mr. Chávez’s failed economic policies are hurting that country’s economy. The 2012 Index of Economic Freedom ranks Venezuela’s economy 174 out of 179. Among Latin American economies, Venezuela is second to last, ranking 28 out of 29 economies. To put it in perspective, Venezuela’s economy is less free than that of Burma, Iran, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The 2012 index captures the dim state of affairs for the Venezuelan economy, listing a number of factors that contribute to that country’s economic repression. Topping the list is the near-total authority wielded by the Chávez government. Since Chávez’s 2004 political takeover of the nation’s Supreme Court, Venezuela’s judiciary has been little more than a rubber stamp for the executive branch, allowing Chávez to break contracts and expropriate private property with near impunity.”

    https://www.whatsnextvenezuela.com/news/venezuelas-economy-ranks-second-to-last-in-latin-america/

    “It was 2003 when the Chávez government introduced its first big wave of price controls. That year inflation exceeded 31%. Since then prices have been frozen on a wide variety of food items—meat, corn flour, rice, bread, sugar, coffee, powdered milk, cooking oil—and a host of other products and services, including cement and building materials, domestic air travel, private education and medical clinics. The main effect is that many items that used to be readily available are now scarce. Yet inflation stubbornly persists.

    The inflation tax hits the poor the hardest and they are Mr. Chávez’s most important constituents.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203833104577070773734191202.html

    Oops. Philu gets it wrong again.

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  48. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “yes..that was the rightwinger pagani”

    Actually no it was not. And Pagani was a majoy player in Jim Anderton’s Party. Calling him right wing is just plain stupid.

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  49. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “no..unlike here..the unions weren’t broken..so while wages were driven down here..they continued to grow in australia..”

    No, it because Australia allows more high wage jobs in reseouces and mining. And I am old enought o remember what the economy was like when the unions in NZ were powerful. It was shite. failing badly, and held to ransom by greedy union bosses.

    Union power was the real reason we started sliding down the scales, because they wanted to protect a failing economy and ptotect their own greed and privilege.

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  50. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i was talking about ms pagani..

    but both paganis are reactionary-incrementalists..

    ..(just ask them about pot..whoar..!..as reactionary as anderton on that..)

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  51. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    lee..you cite the washington post..(that moonie-rag) as yr authority/evidence..?

    (snigger/snort..!..)

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  52. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    so.following beabs’ hair-thesis…

    dunny-brush should be leading the biggest party…

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  53. Elaycee (4,374 comments) says:

    Another interesting thread is ‘pharked’ by the incessant chirping from the resident magpie. 50 comments in and already 14 of them (28%) from the moron with tourettes in his fingers and a sackful of dots, dashes, question marks and slashes in the space between his ear lobes.

    It’s like trying to read morse code through a kaleidoscope. :(

    [EDIT: Bloody hell, it doesn't stop... ]

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  54. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Phil,

    I sited several out of several hundred articles from mainstream news sites around the world that all said the same thing. The Chavez experiment in hardcore socialism has failed and made the poor poorer.

    “but both paganis are reactionary-incrementalists”

    Ohhhhh.

    Fuck, Philu has finally come out of the closet as a true red communist.

    Tell me phil. How do you explain the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Cuba and North Korea? All countries of horrifying tyrrany and mass murder, and all economic failues?

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  55. Swifty (26 comments) says:

    you cite the washington post..(that moonie-rag) as yr authority/evidence..?

    (snigger/snort..!..)

    Good grief.

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  56. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..I sited (sic) several out of several hundred articles from mainstream news sites around the world that all said the same thing…”

    ..that’s right..the mainstream media owners are terrified of idea-infection from chavez hurting their hegemony..what’s not to understand about that..?

    ..maybe you need to widen yr reading/open yr eyes/cast off yr ideological-blinkers..

    http://whoar.co.nz/?s=chavez

    (it also includes criticisms of chavez..is more balanced than the (agreed) messages you have been fed/eagerly swallowed…)

    and what the fuck has the soviet union got to do with the progressive policies being forwarded..?

    ..are you just retreating into old-school/cold-war rhetoric/slogans..?

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  57. flipper (3,981 comments) says:

    Oh pillie babe….
    Are you well?
    You appear to be off-colour.
    Have you seen your psycho lately?

    Try this excellent prescription for Labour written by The Outside the Beltway Group, in January 2012:

    ” …… For Labour to make any significant progress the party needs to:
    • Re-think and re-state its under-lying philosophy
    • Marginalise the Greens and expose them as charlatans.
    • Reconnect with the Kelburn (plus Christchurch and Auckland) intellectual base that they have lost
    • Significantly modernise its structure by eliminating all sectoral (union and other) block and representative voting
    • Revitalise its candidate selections by eliminating sectoral influences
    • Eliminate professional and career – path politicians
    • Present itself as realistic and supportive of all sections of the populace
    • Present a modern image that relates to the aspirations of young and old
    • Espouse policies that reward effort and discourage reliance upon the State
    • Reconnect with farming, the rural sector and provincial new Zealand
    • Disavow nanny state …. “

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  58. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    ok swifty..you tell us how the washington post is not moonie-owned…and reactionary..?

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  59. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    For decades Labour has represented no one except its plundering state-sector union owners.

    They calculate they just need to buy the vote of professional bludgers to get them over the line, but here’s Cunliffe complaining how hard it is to get those lazy bastards out of bed to actually vote.

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  60. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “that’s right..the mainstream media owners are terrified of idea-infection from chavez hurting their hegemony”

    Economic data cannot be hidden, at least for long, and the data from Venezuela’s own government is saying the same thing. Failure, price rises through new taxation making goods and services harder for the poor to buy…..

    “and what the fuck has the soviet union got to do with the progressive policies being forwarded”

    When you claim that someone as far to the left as Pagani is a “reactionary incrementalist” that suggests your a hardcore communist not a “progressive”. So the Soviet Union is relevant.

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  61. Swifty (26 comments) says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Washington_Post

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Washington_Times

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  62. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “maybe you need to widen yr reading/open yr eyes/cast off yr ideological-blinkers”

    I already have. I used to be a hardcore Marxist. I have actually read Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto. I voted for groups to the left of the Alliance. And because I read widely and have an open mind, I discovered for myself what a load of shite the entire Left is.

    Perhaps you should try casting off your ideological blinders?

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  63. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “The Post has won 47 Pulitzer Prizes. This includes six separate Pulitzers awarded in 2008, the second-highest number ever given to a single newspaper in one year. The Post has also received 18 Nieman Fellowships and 368 White House News Photographers Association awards, among others.

    The newspaper is owned by The Washington Post Company, an education and media company that also owns Kaplan, Inc., and many media ventures besides The Post.”

    Oops. Philu gets it wrong again.

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  64. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Well, it’s been fun to browse through the contributions from philu and Lee01. What a pair of losers – a perfect couple.

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  65. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..I already have..”

    did that happen with ageing..?..it often does..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  66. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i got my post and my times mixed up..

    .the point stands tho’..you are quoting mainstream american media..

    ..who are all in lockstep about ‘bad-chavez’..

    ..so my original point stands..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  67. Elaycee (4,374 comments) says:

    Bloody hell: 66 comments and what have we got so far?

    22 comments by the dot maniac.
    15 by Lee01.
    TOTAL: 37 comments (more than 56% of all comments) totally devoted to a pissing contest.

    Guys – why don’t you take your mutual bitch slap somewhere else?

    You won’t be missed a bit. Really!

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  68. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Mike

    “What a pair of losers – a perfect couple.”

    This from a man (I think) who believes Islamic immigration has been good for the West! :)

    Philu,

    no it happens by thinking for yourself. You should try it.

    “the point stands tho’..you are quoting mainstream american media”

    Which does not make it false. And I could have quoted a great deal more from around the world.

    “who are all in lockstep about ‘bad-chavez’”

    Bullshit. If you had a clue you would know that some of the Liberal msm in the US has been sympathetic to him. Wrong agains Phil. And as I said, the economic data from the Venesuelan government itself says the same thing.

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  69. Johnboy (16,059 comments) says:

    Hell if Silent T is the best hope Liarbour has NOW got, they are fucked!! :)

    When did you become a Liars Party cheerleader Magpie?

    Was it when the Greenies told you you to piss off because you’re a bloody boring old fart!! :)

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  70. wiseowl (869 comments) says:

    The only post worth reading today is jeffw.
    A pink Nat government and the option of return to disaster with the Labour mob.
    When are the real politicians with guts to make the right decisions and the principles to stand up for what they believe in, going to appear?

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  71. Johnboy (16,059 comments) says:

    The answer is never wiseowl as the greedy, leaching scum that constitute the voters of Godzone will never vote for politicians such as that! :)

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  72. dion (95 comments) says:

    The fact remains that he is a smarmy git who isn’t called “Silent T” for nothing. I think his leadership bid will go the same way as Kevin Rudd’s did in Australia – and that Grant Robertson will lead Labour into the next election.

    Which is unfortunate for them because I can’t see him actually winning.

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  73. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    wiseowl: When are the real politicians with guts to make the right decisions and the principles to stand up for what they believe in, going to appear?

    I think we need as new breed of “politicians”, and a new party without any baggage, and with a nuetral name without affixing a label that can never be adhered to.

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  74. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Pete, the only thing we need more than than a ‘new party without baggage’ is a consitituancy that is so pissed with the status quo that they’ll vote for said new party. We’re not there yet IMO, but as we start looking like Greece/Spain sentiment will start to move.

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  75. Johnboy (16,059 comments) says:

    Hear hear PG.

    Give me a yell next election for a donation! :)

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  76. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    kk – I think there are enough people pissed enough to support the right sort of party, what’s needed is enough people with the vision, time and determination to get it going.

    I’d prefer it not to be policy driven, but instead to have a democratic governing structure that allows for talent and different ideas to be decided on and acted on. People already vote far more on party and people with perceived capabilities than policies now.

    Cheers Johnboy. I’ve learned a lot over the last year, gained some valuable experience, and received invaluable encouragement. There’s more time now to try and build on that.

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  77. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Looks like Cunners is determined to take Labour further to the left.
    That’s fine with me. It leaves the centre and right vacant for National to camp on.
    Left-wing politics has no future. It is all “tax, borrow, spend” and the spending is all on non-productive things – mostly beneficiaries. Add to that the fact that the lefties in Europe and the UK have (for the last 30 years or so) thrown open the immigration floodgates to millions of Muslims (with their hostile ideology), and it is no wonder that the parties on the right are making big gains in Europe.

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  78. Johnboy (16,059 comments) says:

    Poor old Enoch.

    Be spinning in his grave!

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  79. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Pete George, krazykiwi – I’m with you too – I’m keen to vote for a no-holds-barred right-wing party. Something bold and new. Here are a few must-have policies as far as I’m concerned –
    * Axe Working for Families.
    * Axe the DPB.
    * No more dole just for sitting on the couch. Workfare, in other words, not welfare. You either work (for salary or benefit) or you starve – your choice. Oh, and no benefits at all for anyone under 25.
    * Legally define Islam as an “ideology of hate”, akin to Nazism. This would strip it of any protection under the guise of a religion, and any right to “freedom of speech” (which it only uses to – ironically – *remove* freedom of speech from non-Muslims). This policy is us getting in early before we become Islamised, as Europe and the UK are.
    * Withdraw from the United Nations – bunch of leftist Muslim-dominated fools that they are.

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  80. wreck1080 (3,882 comments) says:

    Show me Shearer on tv and i wouldn’t recognise him.

    He is the invisible man.

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  81. Kimble (4,432 comments) says:

    our moves across the board from the good end of those international-stats to the bad-end..over these neo-lib decades..is a clear marker of how ‘bad’ they have been for our society/country…

    That doesnt come anywhere close to “showing your workings”. Thats like saying “of COURSE 10 divided by 3 is 2, just look how 2 2 is! It’s 2ing all over the place! You cant say 2 isnt 2, so I must be right!”

    Simply claiming a single possibility as an absolute truth leaves you open to uncomfortable questions from those unburdened by a similar childish, creationist-style certainty.

    Does the improvement in standards around the world offend you? Would you say you are more racist than xenophobe, or the other way round?

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  82. Kimble (4,432 comments) says:

    * Axe Working for Families.

    Meh. Its a stupid program with stupid incentives. Its aims can be achieved in other, better ways.

    * Axe the DPB.

    Why just kids? Why not the disability benefit as well? What about sick kids? Help them?

    I would go as far as saying that the DPB needs to be reconfigured to address some serious issues with incentives, but helping children is something of which I am in favour. So axing DBP is only acceptable when accompanied by a suggestion for a better program.

    * No more dole just for sitting on the couch. Workfare, in other words, not welfare. You either work (for salary or benefit) or you starve – your choice. Oh, and no benefits at all for anyone under 25.

    A requirement to seek work and appropriate time limits should suffice.

    And no benefits for the under 25s? Why do you hate young people? Are you old? Do young people frighten you?

    * Legally define Islam as an “ideology of hate”, akin to Nazism. This would strip it of any protection under the guise of a religion, and any right to “freedom of speech” (which it only uses to – ironically – *remove* freedom of speech from non-Muslims). This policy is us getting in early before we become Islamised, as Europe and the UK are.

    Defining Islam as an ideology of hate would not strip it of any right to freedom of speech.

    And the only irony I see is that you invoke our abhorrence of Nazism to support your desire to strip basic human rights from people for the religion most were simply born into.

    * Withdraw from the United Nations – bunch of leftist Muslim-dominated fools that they are.

    An organisation that is funded by the US, who sure would appreciate if we left the organisation they will remain a member of, taking our various Western Democracy supporting votes with us.

    You are as bad as any Lefty, claiming obvious simple solutions to complex problems.

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  83. RRM (9,827 comments) says:

    I think you forgot

    *Elect some kind of charismatic leader or “Fuhrer” who will spearhead the “final solution” or elimination of international Muslims from our cities? ;-)

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  84. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    labour up seven points in latest digi-poll…

    ..shearer is now secure…

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  85. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Fisking David Cunliffe by Not PC blog. Useful reading to lefty economics ignoramus on this thread.

    They endured David Cunliffe, but of vision, there was none

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  86. markm (113 comments) says:

    Perfect time to call an early election.
    Labour going into a campaign with an “unfortunate experiment”.
    The voter not knowing who would be a post election Labour PM.
    The leadership of this country sorted out behind closed doors.
    Indeed their could well be a joint PM , an unknown Labour one and either Turei or Norman.

    The other major issue would be for voters , more debt I.e $7 b. at least just on asset sales alone.
    Banks are holding more cash than they ever have before because New Zealanders don’t like debt.

    If National won then they could start from scratch with a fresh mandate or be reflected when the unknown joint PMs clash over some minor issue.

    Win win both ways

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  87. Paulus (2,607 comments) says:

    If Cunliffe does not mover very quickly, he will not have a chance. He may already be too late.
    Robertson is/has sown up the Parliamentary establishment with his accolites.
    They will only get what they want (as promised/expected) if Robertson succeeds, with Street as deputy

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  88. Michael Mckee (1,091 comments) says:

    “The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.

    I just love that. The truth is Labour screwed over the country and the voters and we wanted rid of Helen and them.
    We couldn’t vote for Mana, maori or the Greens as they were part of the Labour cabal against us.
    Sadly the only opposition we had was National as ACT was outski.

    AS for a right wing party, why not a proper centre party unlike left of centre labour and center left national.
    Common sense policies is what we need not ideologies.

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  89. bhudson (4,738 comments) says:

    Cue Pete George…

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  90. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    Yep bhudson, there’s certainly room there for a new party in the middle, isn’t there. The time is ripe for a fresh approach to party politics. If anyone’s interested I’m happy to consider joining you.

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  91. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..I’m happy to consider joining you…”

    have you told dunny-brush/dunhill that you are just ‘using’ him..?

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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