Labour to have a leadership battle oath!

November 14th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Claire Trevett at reports:

Labour is proposing to make future leadership contenders take a “behaviour pledge” to try to prevent messy cannibalistic attacks on each other during leadership races.

The change is among changes party delegates will consider at its conference this weekend following a major review of the party.

A change to give the party members and affiliated unions a vote on the leadership will include new rules under which a leadership contest is held – including a “behaviour pledge” for contenders and a spending cap on any advertising in a leadership contest.

Will the oath include angry bloggers trying to force the current leader out on your behalf?

The Herald editorial:

 Those calling time on Mr Shearer blame him for the fact that the present Government is clearly not on the wane. It has endured a difficult year. There has been the Dotcom saga, the setbacks over partial asset sales and the pokie deal, privacy breaches, the resignation of two ministers, not to mention the Prime Minister’s “brain fades” and occasional careless remarks. Yet National still polls at around 47 per cent, a dozen points ahead of Labour, and Mr Key seems as popular as ever.

Mr Shearer’s critics cannot understand this. They know there are only two explanations: either the Government is genuinely popular and they are out of touch with the country’s mood, or the mood has changed and Labour’s leader is failing to capitalise on it. Naturally they prefer the latter view but they are wrong.

This is spot on. Many of the critics are angry. They even blog proudly how angry they are. They detest John Key. They hate National. All their friends hate National also. They don’t know anyone who doesn’t hate National. So it is a huge mystery to them that National remains ahead in the polls. Hence someone must be to blame, and they have decided it is . Never has the possibility dawned on them that they live sheltered little lives where their only friends are fellow political activists or unionists, mean they are not in touch with the majority of the country.

He was thrust into the limelight too quickly and he still sounds diffident. But his judgment on policy so far has been good. He appears to be a moderate, responsible decision-maker and a personality the country would like when Labour’s time comes. That cannot be said for some of his possible replacements. All he may need is time.

Shearer is moderate, and I think that is a strength. But party activists are not moderates.

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38 Responses to “Labour to have a leadership battle oath!”

  1. Pete George (23,126 comments) says:

    I thought from the heading ‘oath’ was an exclamation like “Oath!’ having heard the next snippet:

    Talk that David Cunliffe’s doing the numbers, as rumours fly about uprooting David Shearer as leader of the Labour party.

    National’s Steven Joyce claims Mr Cunliffe was spotted with 11 colleagues in a private dining room last night.

    Labour’s Annette King says that’s rubbish, and David Shearer has the party’s support.

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/2128264426-cunliffe–doing-the-numbers-

    It’s ramping up when opposing MPs start pushing stories.

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  2. alloytoo (445 comments) says:

    It appears, in the face of the government’s moderate mostly sensible policies that labour, having being ousted from the middle ground are desperately throwing policies at the electorate in the hopes that one will stick.

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  3. Poliwatch (335 comments) says:

    “This is spot on. Many of the critics are angry. They even blog proudly how angry they are. They detest John Key. They hate National. All their friends hate National also. They don’t know anyone who doesn’t hate National. So it is a huge mystery to them that National remains ahead in the polls.”

    Sounds like the Republican Party in the US.

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  4. Reid (16,061 comments) says:

    Their fundamental issue is that in their hearts, they really do think they’re doing the right thing and therefore, they conclude, they have to be right, they can’t possibly not be, so it’s therefore just a matter of educating the people.

    This thinking is why the idiots still can’t understand why they lost so badly at the end of Hulun’s reign. They can’t possibly face up to the fact that maybe, just maybe, it’s their policies that stink, that’s simply inconceivable to them, it has to be something else.

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  5. Pete George (23,126 comments) says:

    I think it’s a bit different to that Reid.

    Most people out in normal NZ vote mostly on how they perceive personalities and parties. policies are a partial consideration but they first look to whether they think the personalities look ok.

    Like them or not Labour had a strong team in Clark and Cullen. When they lost the election they also lost their key assets. Now they keep flailing around with poicies think they need to find the magic formula there, but instead what they really need is a magic wand to transform their MPs into something people would be prepared to vote for.

    Activists pushing for Cunliffe want him because of their perception that he would drag Labour leftward, but that won’t help the public polling.

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  6. Tom Jackson (2,476 comments) says:

    Jesus, how many times does this have to be explained?

    Long version: the economic situation is bad, and people are trying to hold on to what they have, hoping that it will blow over soon. People have a choice between a party that is viewed as less likely to increase taxation, and one that is viewed as more likely. Because, people are personally responsible for their own debts, but not for the state’s debts, they favour policies that maximise their ability to service personal debt (i.e. policies that don’t involve them being taxed more). The fact that this is collectively self defeating in the long run doesn’t seem to have occurred to them, but that’s democracy.

    Short version: all other things being equal, in hard times people are more fiscally conservative; in good times not so much.

    As I’ve said before, the National Front bench could be exposed as a paedophile ring or John Key could declare that he was sired by aliens, and the government would continue to poll well.

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  7. Harriet (4,607 comments) says:

    At least Gillard had a some what ‘plausable’ excuse after she knifed Rudd – “we are a good party who has lost it’s way.”

    NZ Labour isn’t even argueing internally over policy – let alone ideaology – so what is the arguement against Shearer?….Low polling?

    Which now brings me to what former Australian Labor PM Paul Keating has said about Labor “…They can’t even get out of bed in the morning until they take a public polling to see which side to get out of….”

    And there in lies the problem for NZ Labour, the more polling Labour does – the poorer it will be.

    Labour’s poor polling is a reflection of nothing – no meaningful idealogy, no policies, no leadership, and generally no idea.

    At best Labour’s polling is a reflection of what National are not doing. :cool:

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  8. Rex Widerstrom (5,307 comments) says:

    a spending cap on any advertising in a leadership contest

    Surely this isn’t an issue? Leadership spills are still done in the traditional way, by plotting furiously behind the scenes while pledging your undying loyalty to the mug whose ribs are about to feel the edge of your blade. I can’t recall seeing an actual piece of paid media collateral saying “Pick me!” aimed at as small an audience as a caucus.

    Unless you count the outrageous pork-barrelling that goes on, so the biggest mugs of the lot – the taxpayers – end up footing the bill for wasteful spending in the electorates of MPs whose allegiance was for sale to the highest bidder, or for the overheads of a Ministerial office granted to some halfwitted incompetent in return for their support. That certainly “advertises” that the member concerned is a whore, so can we get round to banning that?

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  9. Tom Jackson (2,476 comments) says:

    This thinking is why the idiots still can’t understand why they lost so badly at the end of Hulun’s reign.

    They lost because of the recession and because they were a tired, old, three term government.

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  10. PBJ83 (26 comments) says:

    Not an activist, not a unionist, not sheltered, hate National. Here’s a list of reasons why (off the top of my head): Selling assets for ideological reasons rather than genuine budget reasons (ie the earnings forgone exceed interest payments saved); Targeting beneficiaries for ideological reasons rather than budget reasons (ie top-earning tax-evaders cost the country far more); deliberately dragging heals on climate change to please their farming base – climate change is real and comes with real costs, National’s attitude to it is just woefully short-sighted (yes it costs money to protect your grandchildren!); changed our labour laws to suit a multi-national corporation at the expense of the job-security of New Zealanders (go take a look at the legislation, it’s a weird read now); and at the perhaps less-serious end of things (perhaps not), John Key couldn’t just say “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that, you’re right” about the “gay red shirt” comment and accept that gay meaning weird is ENTIRELY the problem with using it like that. Gay teens kill themselves way more often than straight and his comments contribute to the climate that these suicides happen within.

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  11. Mark1 (90 comments) says:

    How do top-earning tax-evaders cost the country far more? Not giving enough of their own money to the government is somehow costing more? They are still net tax payers unlike beneficiaries or even lower to middle income earners. Not giving something that you own to someone else is not “costing” that other person anything.

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  12. s.russell (1,578 comments) says:

    Poliwatch,
    That was exactly the post I was going to make.

    Reid, alloytoo,
    Also spot on.

    While the media is on the one hand a great help to Labour et al because they are so sympathetic to the left, they are also a curse because they encourage Labour’s insularity and failure to connect with a wider audience. So, like many Republicans, they believe that their failrure last year was because they were not left-wing enough to inspire all the people out there who (obviously) must hate National and want left-wing policies.

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  13. wreck1080 (3,778 comments) says:

    I’ve wondered where this hate comes from . I believe helen clark hated national and everything it stood for.

    Why is that?

    I look at policies, and vote for the party with the best score. Usually that has been on the act/national side (until act exploded), but, does not mean I don’t like any of labours policies.

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  14. PBJ83 (26 comments) says:

    Mark1, Types like you skirt around the fact that these top earners did not build the roads they and their goods drive on, do not employ the police who keep the peace necessary for them to do business, did not pay for the emergency services which rushed into collapsed buildings here in Christchurch, and did not build the hospitals which heal their employees and in which they were safely born. If they don’t like taxes let them move to a country where there are none and do business there, let them hire their own security, roading workers, doctors, nurses, midwives, emergency workers, and let’s see how much of “their” money is left as profit.

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  15. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    PBJ83,

    Actually they did.

    While they might not want higher tax rates, by virtue of their higher incomes they pay higher amounts of tax than people on lower incomes. That is true of both higher salaried income earners and those who receive incomes via companies or trusts.

    You see, it is not tax rates that build roads, hospitals, or pay the police and emergency services. It is tax dollars that do that.

    And you would rather see those that pay the most tax dollars today, emigrate and pay those dollars in another country.

    I don’t think that is all that sensible. If you think we should have roads, hospitals, police and emergency services, that is.

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  16. Reid (16,061 comments) says:

    I’ve wondered where this hate comes from . I believe helen clark hated national and everything it stood for. Why is that?

    Because she’s a thoroughly nasty example of a human being wreck.

    Crikey, I thought everyone except the left knew that.

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  17. PBJ83 (26 comments) says:

    Bhudson, the top earners pay more taxes because they pay themselves so much obscenely more than they pay those who do the work. (Perhaps this is already the case): Even if the tax rate were flat, if the top earners are paid enough more than those at the bottom they would be paying a majority of the total tax take. Pardon me if I’m not moist-eyed with gratitude to them. Why are they paid so much more? Because in the context of an economy with knee-capped unions, the market rewards them so. And how good is the market at distributing wealth justly? This is the market that rewards a mother for raising a child NOT AT ALL, and the tobacco executive very handsomely indeed.

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  18. Grendel (965 comments) says:

    PBJ83 might claim to not be a unionist or an activist but they are clearly a hard left troll. i just wonder which banned lefty they actually are.

    nice of you to make it really clear how much of a socialist you are by parroting Elizabeth Warren and Obamas lines about “not having built that”.

    if the high earner, or business owner, who pays most of the tax in this country did not build the road etc, then the low income earner sure as fuck didnt either.

    hell, they are probably being subsidised to use that while whining that the rest of us dont pay enough.

    like for example public transport, which being a climate whiner you (better) use (or you are an even bigger hypocrite). i dont and never use it but subsidise it for you. so you can claim we did not build the roads, but not only did we build the public trasnport infrastructure, we continue to pay for it so you can feel smug you are doing your part for ‘climate change’ (or whatever its called today).

    of course if you seriously beleived in climate change etc you would not be on the internet as that uses energy, which uses carbon etc. or are you another AGW worshipping hypocrite?

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  19. Grendel (965 comments) says:

    give us an objective definition of justly?

    so its november so i guess PBJ etc just finished their degree in leftwing bullshit (or pol sci they probably call it).

    are you saying that CEOs dont do any work?

    i appreciate that uni has told you that the labour value of work is the only true way, but it was discredited a long time ago and has never had any reason to not stay that way.

    how would the market ‘reward’ a mother for raising a child? i dont get rewarded by the market for reading a book. the market does not give or take, it is simply the mechanism for the willing exchange of goods and services.

    the market allows the mother to buy her groceries on line so she does not have to travel, to watch TV or use decent technology to clean the house when the child is asleep. without the profit incentive of the market, she would still be beating her clothes clean on a rock.

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  20. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    PBJ83,

    This is the market that rewards a mother for raising a child NOT AT ALL, and the tobacco executive very handsomely indeed.

    Actually you ignore that in the free market economy, and certainly in NZ, the mother raising the child can be the very handsomely rewarded executive.

    Why are they paid so much more?

    Not surprisingly, you expose your views as “explore myriad ways to carve up the pie” (which benefits some) instead of making a larger pie (which benefits all.)

    Even if the tax rate were flat, if the top earners are paid enough more than those at the bottom they would be paying a majority of the total tax take.

    That is absolutely true. (Mind you, only ACT campaign on a flat rate.)

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  21. PBJ83 (26 comments) says:

    Not a troll at all Grendel, and I’m not someone else in disguise. I come here because there’s active discussion of politics, definitely not for personal attack. I’m not parroting them, it’s a well-known argument and it’s one I’ve never heard a good refutation of. Make a coherent argument Grendel, spare me the spit and venom.

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  22. speters (108 comments) says:

    Shot Grendel – so nobody who believes in climate change can do ANYTHING that uses energy? By the way I don’t think it is USING carbon that is the problem

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  23. PBJ83 (26 comments) says:

    Bhudson, yes growing the pie is good (ignoring ecological limitations on growth, an entirely different argument), but there is presently enough of a pie that children should not be hungry, cold, or sick with preventable diseases, regardless of their parents irresponsibilities. And if top-earners are galled at paying a bit more tax to see that happen then they’re quite welcome to move country, I’m sure we’ll cope. And the point is that the mother is not rewarded for her mothering, she is rewarded for something else entirely.

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  24. Pete George (23,126 comments) says:

    PBL83 – it’s difficult to argue because what you say is unclear. Are you aware we don’t have a pure market based system? Far from it. At the moment all parent/caregivers of childen get substantial state assistance.

    And I’m not sure what unions have to do with excessive pay for employees of some companies. Do you think unions should control the distribution of remuneration in companies?

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  25. PBJ83 (26 comments) says:

    My point exactly, only through interference in the market is the mother “rewarded”, and of course unions using collective power to ensure better pay and conditions for employees will in effect mean there is less pay for those at the top – something has to give. I don’t care how much the top earners earn to be honest, provided those earning least earn enough to live healthily and enough to raise children that reach adulthood on equal footing (in terms of health and basic education) with those who earn most.

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  26. Grendel (965 comments) says:

    Speters, if you beleive that there is a crisis and that the only way to avert this crisis is to do whatever is neccessary to scale back to pre 1990 levels of activity, then you need to show you are doing this. harping on about it while you still watch tv, drive an SUV, fly for holidays and everything else just makes you a hypocrite.

    i will beleive there is a crisis when those who say there is a crisis, start acting like there is a crisis.

    PB, as your 1st sentence stated you hate national, you are the one who came here with spit and venom.

    you are parroting obama etc, becuase it fits the envy view point of the left, that seem to think that those people who earn a high income dont ‘deserve’ it. its clear becuase you use waffly language like “And how good is the market at distributing wealth justly?” without defining such a subjective term in anything like an objective way.

    why should i reward someone i dont know for popping out a kid? its none of my business, same way as you should not be paying for any of my kids. thats another envy laden attempt to try and get more money taken from people you dont like and given to those you do. the reward is the mother gets to live in a country with a very high likelihood that the child will survive to adulthood, beucase in the main, of the effort of those who sought profit, to make the country better than a 3rd world shithole.

    there is no reason for any child to go hungry etc in this country other than the fecklessness of their parents and family.

    more tax money wont help that, it will just fill the coffers of govt for more pork.

    btw, we have heard all this before, it was crap when Ure spouted it, it was crap when hamnida spouted it, its crap now.

    come up with an argument that works why dont you?

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  27. UpandComer (517 comments) says:

    You’d be right Poliwatch…. except the Republicans aren’t the government. Sooooo you’re an idiot.

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  28. Griff (6,965 comments) says:

    @ Grendel
    :” if you seriously beleived in climate change etc you would not be on the internet as that uses energy, which uses carbon etc. or are you another AGW worshipping hypocrite?”

    Seeking to label the whole concept of science and the climate as a political tool of the left is silly. Science is not the lefts propaganda toy. There is no massive conspiracy by scientists
    Acknowledgement of the science is the only sane choice. The evidence is compelling that we have a developing problem with the climate. You do not have to agree with the proposed fixes from the left. The tendency to confuse climate science and politics is allowing the left to dominate the high ground on the environment.

    There are many things that are green that can enhance your life or save you money
    Next time get a diesel car BMW Audi and Merc all make some stunning executive cars that burn less co2 and go like the proverbial raped ape. :wink: Accountant and user both happy
    Replace all your light bulbs modern LED technology last multiple times longer and uses far less co2
    Install heat pump if building new or renovation. Up grade to green technology when it is cost effective.

    Why do you have to be a Luddite if you find the evidence for AGW overwhelming?

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  29. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    but there is presently enough of a pie that children should not be hungry, cold, or sick with preventable diseases, regardless of their parents irresponsibilities

    The only sustainable solution to that problem is fixing the “parents irresponsibilities”.

    Their behaviour – receiving welfare assistance for their family and yet neglecting their children’s welfare – shows that extra money is not any guarantee of solving the problem of the children’s welfare. It doesn’t even promote any level of confidence that it would address the problem.

    It is not a solution, merely a conscience salver. Salved consciences will not fix the problem. Only addressing parental responsibility will do that. National’s welfare changes do that far more effectively than providing parents who ignore the welfare of their children with even more money to ignore their welfare with.

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  30. Positan (384 comments) says:

    I was fascinated at both Cunliffe and King trying to make out that the Labour gathering which Clark attended was “just a social occasion with a former leader and respected friend.” Cunliffe, in particular, claimed there was no “leadership” talk – that they just swapped stories and chatty reminiscences.

    Surely the voiceless walls of that room must be endeavoring to scream, “YEAH, RIGHT.”

    With all the flak from Labour commentators and media people flying around, who would ever believe that, in the presence of Clark, the subject never arose. It is far more likely that Labour’s “leadership” issues were the sole reason for Clark’s presence there – and that the fatuous accounts of what did and didn’t happen were more targeted at the diminished ranks of Labour’s remaining supporters. However, unlike those who blindly expect straightforwardness from Labour politicians, I don’t accept utterances that, by any rational analysis, must be patently untrue.

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  31. Roflcopter (444 comments) says:

    There’s another way to look at this leadership battle.

    The anti-Shearer mob want him gone, yet openly proclaim that Labour will sleepwalk to victory (tui). If that’s the case, why are they wanting him gone?

    Easy… if they don’t roll him now, and they do sleepwalk to victory, they won’t be able to easily roll a “winner” for at least another 3 years after that. If they do it’ll turn them into a 1 term gov’t… imagine how frustrating that’ll be for the Silent T and Robertson brigades.

    It’s almost a now or never moment for some of them.

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  32. RightNow (6,777 comments) says:

    It seems at the moment there’s still more people that hate labour and greens than hate national. So far Labour and the Greens are doing a good job of maintaining that.

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  33. Alan Johnstone (1,070 comments) says:

    “It seems at the moment there’s still more people that hate labour and greens than hate national. So far Labour and the Greens are doing a good job of maintaining that.”

    Yes, but it’s damn close and that is reflect in a 1 seat majority.

    Over time it erodes, when you govern you own things that break; oppositions don’t.

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  34. Tom Jackson (2,476 comments) says:

    How do top-earning tax-evaders cost the country far more? Not giving enough of their own money to the government is somehow costing more? They are still net tax payers unlike beneficiaries or even lower to middle income earners. Not giving something that you own to someone else is not “costing” that other person anything

    Because the rest of us end up paying to make up the shortfall, you muppet. If they don’t like NZs tax laws, then they can petition for change or they can piss off somewhere else.

    By all means, petition for he tax laws to be changed. But don’t excuse the scofflaws who think the rules don’t apply to them. Think of how much lower the honest tax payers rate would be if they didn’t have to cover for self righteous scum who think that. Law only applies to other people.

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  35. PBJ83 (26 comments) says:

    Bhudson, that’s why meals in schools and free primary healthcare till age 18 and good schools and WOFS for rental properties (ie making sure they’re well insulated) are where the wealth should go. Take parents out of the equation in these respects at least. There’s only so much control the state can exert of course, but these would certainly make a big impact.

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  36. BlairM (2,303 comments) says:

    “This is spot on. Many of the critics are angry. They even blog proudly how angry they are. They detest John Key. They hate National. All their friends hate National also. They don’t know anyone who doesn’t hate National. So it is a huge mystery to them that National remains ahead in the polls.”

    Sounds like the Republican Party in the US.

    What a bizarre statement! Even in Texas you can’t throw a rock without hitting someone who voted for Obama. Which is handy, because they need to have lots of rocks thrown at them.

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  37. Harriet (4,607 comments) says:

    “….You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong….” – Abe Lincoln.

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  38. Yoza (1,640 comments) says:

    ““….You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong….” – Abe Lincoln.”

    “You should quit while you’re a head.” Robespierre to Marie Antoinette

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