A win for Robertson

August 31st, 2013 at 5:03 pm by David Farrar

Just got back from Levin where they had the first of 12 meetings for members and affiliates to hear the leadership contenders and ask questions.

Media were invited to the speeches part, hence why I went along. They initially said I could not report on it, as they get to decide who is and is not media. But then a compromise was done where I could report on it from just outside the building. I was more than happy with the compromise, as it was in fact nicer in the sun than in a crowded room.

Labour had around 300 people there, which is pretty impressive for a meeting in Levin. They’ll be pretty happy with that.

There are stories up on NZ Herald and Stuff on the speeches.

was first up. He used a couple of his previous lines, including taking on the $50 million gorilla which went down well. The key thrust of his speech was that he is the only candidate who can reclaim or recover the territory Labour used to have, which National now has. He spoke on the need for more regional development and said that does involve mining and drilling (not those exact words though). Called himself the embodiment of both old and new NZ, and related his mixed heritage.

He finished with saying that the real enemy was apathy (I thought it was the gorilla!), and had a classic line about how he wants Labour to get over 40% so that it doesn’t need a Green urologist to lift them up!

A good speech from Shane, which played to his strengths. I would be surprised if he got a lot of votes though. A reasonable level of applause at times, and at the end.

Second up was . He started a bit subdued, but this may have been deliberate to avoid going over the top like at his campaign launch.  He spent most of the first half attacking the Government and saying that for 250,000 kids in poverty the Kiwi Dream is a nightmare. Lots of applause. He said the current kids may be the first generation to end up worse off than their parents and said Labour is the best hope for restoring the dreams.

He also borrowed from Helen, and called the Key Government corrosive. Then he showed he had done his homework by quoting regional unemployment stats and finally pledged to abolish the Kapiti Expressway if elected PM (not quite sure how that will help create local jobs!).

He also played to his strength by saying Labour managed economy well when last in Govt, and would do so again with him. said National focuses too much on welfare fraud and not enough on tax evasion, which was very popular. Tried to deal with the JAFA issue by saying he was born in the Waikato. He concluded by saying the red tide is rising and will take NZ forward. I almost expected them to start singing the international socialist song!

Overall a very good speech, that went down very well with the members there. One member tweeted that while he liked the speech, Cunliffe mainly repeated Labour policy and didn’t make the case for why he, not the others, should be leader.

Finally they/we heard from . He started low key but got people warmed up with a joke about how John Key had said the leadership contest is a reality TV show. he pointed out reality TV shows are popular and that John Key has his own show, called You Are The Weakest Link – which of course they loved.

Grant obviously decided there is no way he was going to let Cunliffe be seen as the candidate of the left, so he pledged in quick order full employment, a living wage for all and a 50% female quota for caucus. They cheered and cheered.

The living wage commitment was specific – he will give a date by which every state agency must pay every employee at least a living wage (over $18 an hour) and also every contracted company to them must do the same. This is basically a 40% pay increase for every cleaner. By no coincidence, the room was full of Service and Food Worker members, many of whom are no doubt cleaners.

Grant also pledged to repeal National’s employment law changes, which again went down well. Then he had another line on how Steven Joyce thinks economic development is a night out at Sky City.

Grant’s use of humour to attack Key and Joyce is, for my money, an effective strategy. Just calling them evil uncaring people won’t convince anyone but the base. Humour used effectively though can undermine.

Then at the end Grant spoke on the need to win the next election at all costs, and how Labour needs to be unified to do that, and he is the person who can lead and unify the party.

I thought at the end of it, that Grant clearly was best on the day. Cunliffe was very good, but Robertson excelled. he got the mix of policy, rhetoric, humour and “why me” just right. Cunliffe did a great attack speech, but didn’t make the case so effectively for why it should be him.

The danger for Robertson is that if Cunliffe clearly outclassed him at the first debate, or two, then the uncommitted MPs and unions would swing behind Cunliffe as the likely victor. I think he did more than enough to keep the contest very finely balanced.

After the speeches, they went into committee for the Q+A. Amusingly they kept the doors open so one could hear everything said outside if you tried to listen to it (I didn’t).

Chatted to a few people afterwards, and the consensus seemed to be that Robertson performed the best. However 11 more meetings to go.

What really struck me was how far left Grant was prepared to go to head off Cunliffe. This is in fact quite good for National. If Grant wins, he is on record at pledging to effectively increase the minimum wage to over $18, and to have a gender quota for caucus, plus full employment. I love how he pledges 40% pay increases plus full employment! What will be interesting is if Cunliffe tries to match these pledges. He did unilaterally announce the scrapping of the Kapiti Expressway so by the end of their campaign, I hate to think what they will be promising – all motorways closed down, rail for all, jobs for all, and $29 an hour minimum wage!

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58 Responses to “A win for Robertson”

  1. jaba (2,143 comments) says:

    every-time I see the 3 amigos I get caught up with the battle .. the problem is that I then imagine which one I see as a PM .. the answer is none of them. They would be awful AND they are the best Labour have to offer.
    Also, if a woman HAS to be deputy then it must be Turei

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  2. berend (1,711 comments) says:

    Cunliffe: He said the current kids may be the first generation to end up worse off than their parents and said Labour is the best hope for restoring the dreams.

    There is no great stagnation!

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  3. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  4. Michael (910 comments) says:

    Key only responds to Cunliffe’s remarks. Does he want him as Leader of the Opposition to rip the Labour Caucus apart?

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  5. homepaddock (408 comments) says:

    “He also played to his strength by saying Labour managed economy well when last in Govt, ”

    If he thinks putting NZ into recession before the GFC hit the rest of the world was managing the economy well he’s got even less grasp of economics than the rest of his caucus.

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  6. OneTrack (3,114 comments) says:

    ” – all motorways closed down, rail for all, jobs for all, and $29 an hour minimum wage!”

    DPF, don’t give them any ideas.

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  7. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    I hope Robertson wins, so that he has to follow through on his balmy ideas. Cunliffe too – he’s just a walking talking Rich poorman humblebrag. I find him just awful. At least other money men like Brash have a sense of dignity, or Bill English has a sense of groundedness. This oleagnious nit and writer of awful poetry is a prime example of sentiment outweighing substance.

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  8. Chi Hsu (101 comments) says:

    If Grant wins, he is on record at pledging to effectively increase the minimum wage to over $18.

    Regardless of the economic impact (and I don’t see why it would be regarded by anyone in Labour since their greatest interest is getting into power), if their members are smart they will vote for Grant. This is a clear vote winner given the economic illiteracy of your average mum and dad voter and I wonder whether Robertson was also the genius who thought up interest free student loans?

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  9. Redbaiter (9,098 comments) says:

    “Grant obviously decided there is no way he was going to let Cunliffe be seen as the candidate of the left, so he pledged in quick order full employment, a living wage for all and a 50% female quota for caucus.”

    Jeez, Labour people are a fucked in the head demographic.

    Why don’t they all just fuck off to Cuba.

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  10. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    DPF, you’re certainly right about humour.

    Key and co give you plenty to laugh at.

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  11. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    I wonder whether Robertson was also the genius who thought up interest free student loans?

    He certainly was. And right proud of it he is too.

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  12. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Key and co give you plenty to laugh at.

    They certainly do. And all at the expense of the hapless Labour Opposition.

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  13. Chuck Bird (4,895 comments) says:

    If Robertson did become PM and there was a meeting of heads of states in Russia I wonder is he would bring his husband or wife or whatever the fuck he calls it like other heads of state.

    I actually hope that Labour make him leader as that would mean there would be a Labour led govenment.

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  14. Ashley Schaeffer (488 comments) says:

    I will pretty unhappy should Labour and the Greens manage to cobble together an unholy union at the next election, but at least I get a consolation prize if Cunliffe is PM – no Kapiti Expressway. Woot! :-D

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  15. Reid (16,509 comments) says:

    It’s a sad comment on a leadership battle in a political party that it comes down to a policy lolly-scramble made up on the hoof by a single candidate who may or may not be able to sell it to the people who he doesn’t promote when he wins, as opposed to a considered careful debate and analysis over a period of time by all the members representing the entire wisdom of the caucus, plus all the advisors and political strategists.

    Sad for the members that they belong to such a stupid pathetic party that not only tolerates but encourages and even rewards (!?) that sort of childish moronic and foolish behaviour in the first place and sad for the people of NZ who will be forced to endure the folly forthcoming therefrom.

    It’s also interesting that the biggest cheers and claps come not when the candidate promulgates a clever idea, but when they promulgate a denigrating line against their perceived enemy.

    So let’s get this straight. They’re not only stupid children scrambling around greedily grabbing the biggest, shiniest lollies on offer, they’re also most excited when someone says something nasty. The ladies who used to sit around Madam Guillotine knitting while they watched fellow humans die during the French Revolution springs to mind, for some reason.

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  16. RF (1,404 comments) says:

    jaba. 5.15pm. Great call on the 3 amigos. I remember the real ones in the film standing along side each other banging their hips together. Grant would really like that and call for more. In spite of that I am leaning towards the ABC group as the silent T is a greasy bastard who was quick to slag off at JK at the Jafa market.

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  17. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Meanwhile poor almost forgotten David Shearer is at some friend’s bach somewhere – perhaps contemplating the surf – thinking “Thank fuck I am out of that….good luck to the lot of ya…” And who could blame him?

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  18. duggledog (1,559 comments) says:

    “He also played to his strength by saying Labour managed economy well when last in Govt”

    Christ!! Managed the economy well? Leaving no money after the best economic conditions since WW2? As far as I can recall, they paid down debt by raping the arse out of tax payers. Big fucking medal for that. Genius. Then proceeded to keep the thresholds low in order to throw shit forks of cash down the lavatory on poor quality spending and election bribes

    I want to see John Key tear Cunliffe a new one. Quite badly. I’d pay to see it.

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  19. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Cunliffe speaks well in the House…probably a fair bit more fluently than JK…that most emphatically does NOT equate to “tearing Key a new one”… Speaking well in the House would comprise about 10 or perhaps 20% of the scorecard for overall performance…IMO

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  20. Redbaiter (9,098 comments) says:

    “Meanwhile poor almost forgotten David Shearer is at some friend’s bach somewhere ”

    Not fishing for snapper I’d guess.

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  21. Harriet (4,975 comments) says:

    “…..The living wage commitment was specific – (over $18 an hour)….”

    Robertson must think that minimum wage workers are a bunch of masochists who don’t want to put a stop to their own suffering.
    :cool:

    Here’s what DOES happen when wages go up by government mandate.

    [1] Businesses put the cost of products up, people buy them, and those on minimum wage are right back where they started – buying exactly the same amount of stuff because the price of everything has gone up.

    [2] Businesses put the cost of products up, people don’t but them, and those on minimum wage are worse off – they have no job and no income.

    [3] Businesses absorb the cost of the pay rise, then they evaluate the risk of paying more interest to expand the business in a now volitile market place to maintain profit and risking all jobs. Less income tax is paid until profit returns.

    And in each case, businesses WILL FACE HUGE staffing problems buy those who WERE getting at least $18 an hour beforehand – but now have either no job, reduced hours – or have to pay more for everything that they buy.

    Either way, minimum wage workers are going to be hated by other staff – I hope they like abuse! :cool:

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  22. jaba (2,143 comments) says:

    I would love David Shearer to write a book .. I would actually buy it to try to understand the mind-set of a Labour MP in the modern world and how your team will fk you over for ideology reasons.

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  23. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    jaba: I agree! but I somehow think he is too nice a guy to drop the kind of shit-bomb he almost certainly could on his erstwhile colleagues….

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

    Three Amigos? More like the Three Stooges.

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  25. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    …and poor Shearer is so irrelevant that NONE of the contenders are citing his endorsement of them..or perhaps one or more of them asked for it, and was/were to told to shove it up their…passage? Imagine thinking you’d rather be negotiating with fanatics in Somalia than trying to lead that rabble? I really genuinely feel for the bloke…I remember when they elected him thinking his election gave a whole new meaning to “poisoned chalice” and “hospital pass”…I hope he is surrounded by supportive friends and family…

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  26. Harriet (4,975 comments) says:

    What should also be noted is that Robertson now has the support of the ‘working underclass’ and if either Cunliffe, Jones or anyone else is elected as leader – they’ll now have to deliver $18 as a minimum wage.

    Or most of the 800k voters stay home – again!

    The Greens and Hone will now have to back it too, but National has most of the workers who are above $18 – and they arn’t going to want to pay more for everything that they buy – or have their jobs placed at risk.

    Also, when governments mandate for minimum wage increases, those people on minimum wage no longer try to better themselves by moving further ahead with training ect, leading to unemployed youth not getting minimum wage vacancies.

    John Key IS now going to rip a new arsehole in each of the candidates! Trust me. :cool:

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  27. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @Reid – “They’re not only stupid children scrambling around greedily grabbing the biggest, shiniest lollies on offer…”

    Agreed. It infuriates me that (a) Labour always play the “lolly-scramble” card, and (b) ignorant bloody voters vote for them because of it.

    There should be compulsory basic economics and politics classes in all high-schools which include (as part of the curriculum) showing the utter folly of political lolly-scrambles and why they are such poor policy.

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  28. the conservative (66 comments) says:

    Roll on Grant; this is just what New Zealand wants, a homosexual and his f**k buddy to represent New Zealand. The Conservatives can only benefit from a homosexual at the helm. After the majority of New Zealanders were shafted by Labour/National et.al. with gay marriage, including social-conservative Labour supporters, they now have nowhere to go except the Conservatives or NZ First.

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  29. kiwi in america (2,454 comments) says:

    This leadership contest is shaping up to have some familiar similarities with US primaries without all the money. Each candidate is appealing to the activist base who form the vast bulk of the primary voter turnout. Gauging turnout will be tricky because this is new territory but you can guarantee that the hard left activist base will be the most likely to vote. Cunliffe and Robertson are in a race to the left to woo this constituency. Sprinkle in the unions’ wish list and, after the 12 meetings are finished, National will have a treasure trove of sound bites destined to keep middle NZ firmly in the Nats camp. Jones is the only candidate that understands Labour’s only chance to lead a winning coalition is to win some Waitakere Men back off National – trouble is Waitakere Men (and Women) mostly are not Labour party members so will not be voting in this race.

    Cunliffe and Robertson hope that come the General, tacking back to the centre will be ignored and forgiven by the leadership contest voting base. National’s challenge is to capture the sound bites in this race to the left and re-package them for easy consumption come October/November 2014.

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  30. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    [DPF: You're a fuckwit. I endorsed Cunliffe as their best choice last week. The only thing predictable is you talking out of a hole in your arse.

    I love how you can tell who was best at a meeting which you were not even at. Magical abilities]

    My my my…

    [BWV: 50 demerits and a warning...you are skating on extremely thin ice. DO NOT TRY MY PATIENCE]

    :)

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  31. Harriet (4,975 comments) says:

    Here’s what will replace the counter staff at Macca’s BK and KFC:

    “…….Published on Apr 10, 2013………Self-order kiosks use touchscreens to replace cashiers. Fast food chains implementing automated self-service machines include McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and KFC……”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfKbaX4jE9U

    The ‘living wage’ campaigners in the US were told earlier this year “The fast food industry will be ripe for futher automation if wages go up.”

    Robertson has just started a war that the left couldn’t ever win! :cool:

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  32. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    Haha bwav u got ownd. Nice work dpf!

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  33. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    Amazing skill that you can type with his cock in your mouth cunningham!

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  34. iMP (2,387 comments) says:

    DPF, who is this late dark horse GRANT? Do you mean Robertson vs Cunliffe?

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  35. RF (1,404 comments) says:

    Black with a Vengance. 9.01pm. Sorry to bring this up old chap but you are lost. The Standard is that way…….. Save your foul bile for that rag so fuck off.

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  36. Nostradamus (3,344 comments) says:

    iMP:

    DPF, who is this late dark horse GRANT?

    Dark horse? Are you referring to Jacinda?

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  37. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    makes you wonder whether Jones would have been in the hunt if he had not been caught charging porn to his ministerial credit card. That issue will continue to haunt him until the end of his political career as it simply makes him too easy a mark for the National MP’s

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  38. Nostradamus (3,344 comments) says:

    Look who popped up over at The Standard:

    phillip ure
    30 August 2013 at 5:48 pm

    “..Look forward to the public reports…”

    there won’t be any..the media are blocked from attending..
    ..i was looking forward to doing a report on the event..
    ..but no..
    ..i won’t be allowed to/in..
    ..phillip ure..

    And lots of further protestations from Mr Whoar on that thread.

    So Phillip Ure thinks he’s providing a media service – whatever next?

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  39. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    Ha, you’re all class bwav!

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  40. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    RF (892) Says:
    August 31st, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Black with a Vengance. 9.01pm. Sorry to bring this up old chap but you are lost. The Standard is that way…….. Save your foul bile for that rag so fuck off.

    or what tough guy?

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  41. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    Ha, you’re all class bwav!

    BWAV on Kiwiblog – Staying classy since fuck knows when!

    :)

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  42. Anthony (796 comments) says:

    I remember seeing a doco about political campaigning in the US – it had footage of LBJ I think it was talking to a group of farmers in the early 60s telling them just what they wanted to hear about keeping up prices for their crops or similar (just like telling a group of cleaners that you’ll raise the minimum wage to $18). Then the narrator said this was the last time this sort of electioneering could be used because with the advent of mass media, politicians would be caught out if they told one group one thing and then changed their tune for a different group of voters.

    Are these potential Labour leaders going to tone down their left wing interventionism rhetoric when talking to middle NZ, or will the class warfare battle cry continue?

    My teenage daughter does gym coaching for a non-profit gym club and gets paid minimum wage for one class and helps with another for no pay. If they have to pay her or someone else more then class fees will have to rise – simple as that. And also they may decide to use an older person and give her the boot.

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  43. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    The ‘living wage’ campaigners in the US were told earlier this year “The fast food industry will be ripe for futher automation if wages go up.”

    Robertson has just started a war that the left couldn’t ever win!

    Are you serious? You’ve more or less repeated Karl Marx’s prediction for the end of capitalism. When machine labour starts to replace most human labour (and not just shift human labour into other sectors), capitalism will no longer be politically sustainable, because there won’t be many earners to buy the products that the capitalists make, and a whole lot of poor, bored and pissed off people who vote.

    It’s like the boss who went through the robotic car plant bragging to the union official that he’d have a hard time collecting dues from the robots only to receive the retort “Not as hard a time as you’ll have trying to sell them cars”.

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  44. Redbaiter (9,098 comments) says:

    Oh sure Tom, the robots just materialise out of thin air and require no maintenance.

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  45. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    The good press Robertson has been getting is because he’s the favoured candidate of NZ’s “Very Serious People”.

    I doubt very much that Labour will get much more than 27.5% of the vote with Robertson in charge (they might make 30-33% at best). At the moment Labour already has the “people who will vote for a fat gay guy” vote sewn up (I doubt many fat gay guy lovers will defect from the Greens). A Robertson led Labour Party will give the Labour voters who’ve defected to National and those who have given up voting altogether zero reason to vote Labour again.

    I’m still picking Robertson to win. My guess is that Cunliffe may carry the membership by a small amount, but the unions and caucus will carry it for Robertson, and the slow disintegration of the Labour Party will continue.

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  46. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Oh sure Tom, the robots just materialise out of thin air and require no maintenance.

    If past experience is anything to go by, it will probably end up being cheaper to replace and recycle them. Maintenance is such a quaint 20th century concept.

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  47. Redbaiter (9,098 comments) says:

    “and the slow disintegration of the Labour Party will continue.”

    Not really such a loss for the left, as National is slowly morphing into Labour anyway. Still taxing us twice as much as they need to. Until taxation is at least halved we have a socialist government.

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  48. Reid (16,509 comments) says:

    the slow disintegration of the Labour Party will continue

    Like acid isn’t it Tom. Very corrosive. It didn’t used to be like that before Hulun turned up. It’s like they’ve got cancer.

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  49. Bogusnews (474 comments) says:

    Two things strike me from this:

    First, if we needed more evidence that Labour simply hasn’t learned from the past, then this is it. I’m staggered that Cunliff said they were competent managers of the economy. They ended up spending an addition 16Bil a year on the state service and I’m damned if I can see how it made it better. Someone mentioned them paying off a portion of the overseas debt, unfortunately this is massively overstated. Cullen paid just over 7Bil off (compared to Nationals 22Bil during the 90’s when we had half the GDP).

    They put us into a major recession 8 months before the rest of the world through their massive waste of our tax money, and now they want to do it again. When National took over, the cupboard was so bare, that I remember several clients of mine had even stopped buying stationery. I’ve never known the market to be so shattered – ever. I have to admit it is a stunning achievement for National to bring us back from the brink as they did with so few casualties.

    The second thing that strikes me is that the Labour would be’s must genuinely think people are so totally stupid as to support these policies.

    Regrettably, they may be right.

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  50. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    The ‘living wage’ campaigners in the US were told earlier this year “The fast food industry will be ripe for futher automation if wages go up.”

    You tell ‘em! It’s thanks only to right-wingers’ success in preserving jobs by keeping wages low that it’s still cheaper to get a whole lot of guys with shovels to dig a ditch – oh, wait… No, that’s wrong! Rising wages completely destroyed the navvie job market! What’s the government going to do about it?

    I doubt very much that Labour will get much more than 27.5% of the vote with Robertson in charge (they might make 30-33% at best). At the moment Labour already has the “people who will vote for a fat gay guy” vote sewn up…

    Hey, come on. The Hand Mirror has a guest post up showing that Robertson also has significant appeal to the vital student-politician-turned-union-organiser demographic…

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  51. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    Three of the most viral scum in NZ politics.

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  52. KapitiCoast (114 comments) says:

    “The second thing that strikes me is that the Labour would be’s must genuinely think people are so totally stupid as to support these policies”…..Bogusnews, you know as well as everyone that posts on here that Labours ‘core’ ARE stupid as they vote with their wallets and truly believe the soundbites that Labour throw out “$50 million Gorilla’ etc, they enjoy the politics of envy rhetoric that the left attack National with, whilst totally ignoring the fact that Labour front bench are/were millionaires individually. Helen Clark had 5-6 houses, Cullen 4 ….Shearer was earning 500,000 a year (tax free) for 4-6yrs with the UN and then tried to seem ‘normal’ by telling everyone that he has a mortgage too! (insert Tui ad here) and now Cunliffe lives in an Auckland mansion and a millionaire…..but they take the ‘National are all rich pricks businessmen’ hook line and sinker without ever taking a backward step and thinking ‘wait a min…you are in the same group as them…’, THESE are the dumb fucks that vote for Labour and always has been and always will be.

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  53. calendar girl (1,242 comments) says:

    You have always favoured Robertson, DPF, and fair enough – there is no doubt that you know these guys up close much better than the rest of us do.

    However, your otherwise insightful report reveals your personal preference without your having to express that conclusion explicitly: “I thought at the end of it, that Grant clearly was best on the day.”

    Generally your comments refer to Robertson as “Grant” (6 or 7 times!) while Cunliffe is “Cunliffe” throughout.

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  54. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    >He did unilaterally announce the scrapping of the Kapiti Expressway so by the end of their campaign

    Haven’t they already started work on this? Is the policy to rip up the bits that will be completed by the election?

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  55. tvb (4,430 comments) says:

    They are trying to keep these meetings in private so these crazy promises do not become a millstone around their neck. The problem with the Labour Party is their activists are stupid who are way offside with middle NZ. So the Labour leadership have to be two faced and dishonest. Grant Robertson will be comfortable with that.

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  56. gump (1,650 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter

    “Oh sure Tom, the robots just materialise out of thin air and require no maintenance.”

    ——————–

    They’ll materialise from shipping containers – that have transported them from high-tech manufacturers in the far East.

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  57. Paulus (2,632 comments) says:

    I don’t think that New Zealanders will necessarily turn against a fat gay guy.

    After all they voted for a very fat loudmouth rooter in David Lange.

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  58. ste3e (118 comments) says:

    Shane Jones believes he can pull in the lost tribe, but how many existing voters will leave if he leads? Why on earth would one want a poor right wing Labour leader when you could have a excellent right wing National leader? Which is the point, a left wing Labour leader is required because the right wing ignores social realities and popular outrage. And here is the problem. Any left wing agenda has to work in an international economy owned by magnates and bankers working for multinationals, they being the ones who can buy the legislation that holds any economy in place. How can a leader professing subjugation to international economic tyranny expect to implement social policies the international economy does not care for? Hence the deformed shape of the country under Key; economy in line with the magnates sucking the life out of the people for the benefit of the “worthy”; terrible society!

    What is needed is a leader who understands NZ economy’s place in the international economy and knows how to give it the wriggle room required to afford Labour policies. Furthermore, they need to be wired into the international scene because that is changing; what else is the bail out of banks and the current printing of money but acknowledgement that the existing economic system has flaws; that leaving the design of the economic system to magnates and bankers is wrong; and thereby the need for duly elected officials to make legislation for the people who are the tax payers that have paid the bail out?

    Cunliffe and Robertson would be the contenders. Doubtless Cunliffe has the better experience in this area, but it is Robertson who is talking about new technologies and new approaches to problems.

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