Mapp on Labour and free trade

June 21st, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

writes at Pundit:

For decades now National and have had a cosy little arrangement when it comes to . Both parties could count on each other to provide a solid bloc of votes in parliament to pass any bill implementing agreements.

So any hyperventialting by the Greens, New Zealand First, the Maori Party or Mana counted for nothing. Jane Kelsey might get to write as many op-eds as she likes, but she has virtually no influence on the actual outcome of the free trade agenda. The solid National–Labour coalition ensures that the relevant legislation will pass.

But will this arrangement prevail after this election?

A very good question. Monetary policy used to have bipartisan support also, but Labour have abandoned that to go along with the Greens and NZ First. Will they do the same with trade?

This election could see Labour down in the low 30s as a percentage of the total vote. If a combination of Labour, the Greens, New Zealand First, the Maori Party and Internet Mana can form a government, Labour is only going to be 60% of the government, at most. All its likely partners have opposed every single free trade agreement over the last two decades. Collectively they could demand that Labour not support the TPP as a price of coalition. And could Labour resist such a demand?

What’s more, if the Left (apologies to Winston who is not really left) do not have enough votes to form a government, would Labour still continue the cosy arrangement of supporting free trade agreements? Increasingly Labour activists, including their left leaning MP’s, oppose TPP. David Cunliffe, supported by Phil Goff and others, has positioned the party to be able to vote for TPP. But that is before the election. An election loss could well weaken the free trade faction in Labour.

I’m not sure there is a free trade faction left in Labour. Goff, and O’Connor maybe. Who else?

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28 Responses to “Mapp on Labour and free trade”

  1. David Garrett (6,461 comments) says:

    Is that “Wayne Mapp” the none too bright ex poli, or the guy who comments here from time to time??

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  2. wiseowl (763 comments) says:

    Exactly DG.
    Well I’m no lefty but these are not about free trade.They seem to be about one government and loss of sovereignty.

    The trade part is a front for giving away a whole host of other concessions and we are not allowed to know about it.

    It stinks.

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  3. mjw (228 comments) says:

    Talk about drawing a long bow! Don’t forget that Labour were responsible for the Free Trade Deal with China. Actually, Labour are the ones with a history of enduring reforms that shape New Zealand. The welfare state, anti-nuclear policy, free trade, gay rights, independent foreign policy, marriage equality, superannuation (x3) the list goes on and on. So if you want to know what will happen post-election, I think you can count on Labour for enduring reform. They have run minority governments before, and done so successfully. There is no reason to think they won’t repeat their track record of stable minority government able to deliver a major legislative programme.

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  4. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    If Labour moves against the TPP they don’t have a hope of getting to treasury seats.

    globalism is the era of now, tomorrow and beyond. Besides, if H Clark wins the UN no 1 position, the TPP and

    breaking down of NZ sovereignty will not unwind. NZ will cease to be a nation for Kiwi’s any longer.

    We will be tenants in our own country and J Key will abscond to his little hole in NY at Merill Lynch or the Federal Reserve whilst his co conspirer at the UN will invite the Chinese and anyone else with currency to rape everywhere from Kaitaia to Bluff.

    I’m fascinated with how Nat supporters completely deny the history of their smiling assassin like his back ground is a huge secret.

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  5. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    Wiseowl lives up to his name grandly

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  6. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    So if you want to know what will happen post-election, I think you can count on Labour for enduring reform.

    Liar.

    Thats all you possibly could be if you claim that this Labour party has anything in common with the Labour party responsible for the economic reforms in the 80′s.

    The entire point of the post was that THIS Labour party is departing from their free trade tradition.

    And your response is, don’t worry about that because look at the tradition they are departing from?

    Liar or fucking idiot. Take your pick.

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  7. mjw (228 comments) says:

    Kimble – Actually, the entire point of the post is right wing spin. It continues a recent trend of making a ‘guess’ about what Labour might do, and then criticising them for it. Make something up. Pin it on Labour. Then harrass them for it. It doesn’t take much to see through it, really.

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  8. Harriet (4,524 comments) says:

    “……Make something up. Pin it on Labour. Then harrass them for it. It doesn’t take much to see through it, really…..”

    The Greens and Mana make stuff up, Labour’s stuck with it, why don’t you harrass them for it? It doesn’t take much to see through it, really.

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  9. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    It continues a recent trend of making a ‘guess’ about what Labour might do, and then criticising them for it.

    Making a guess about what Labour might do?

    Yeah, why would anyone want to do that at any time, let alone in the lead up to a fucking election?

    Fact 1: Labour has already abandoned bipartisan support for monetary policy.
    Fact 2: Labour will be beholden to lunatic parties to take power
    Fact 3: There are fewer and fewer voices in the Labour Party that openly support free trade.

    And what do you have?

    Instead of dealing with the facts or arguing where the analysis may be flawed, you are simply saying “Roger Douglas’s Labour made lasting changes” and “shut up, what Labour does in the future will only be worthy of discussion after they do it”.

    Liar or fucking idiot. Either way, your argument is piss weak.

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  10. mjw (228 comments) says:

    Kimble, I think if you re-read my comment you won’t see any mention of Roger Douglas or the economic reforms in the 80′s.

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  11. OneTrack (2,618 comments) says:

    mjw – “… I think you can count on Labour for enduring reform. They have run minority governments before, and done so successfully. There is no reason to think they won’t repeat their track record of stable minority government able to deliver a major legislative programme.”

    I can think of one reason – David Cunliffe. Just close your eyes and try and imagine DC keeping Russel, Metiria, Hone, Laila and Winston under control. Wont happen – they will maul him and the country will pay the price.

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  12. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    Jeez, is that all you have?

    Yeah, what would Roger Douglas or Economic Reforms have to do with free trade in NZ?

    Like I said, piss weak.

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  13. OneTrack (2,618 comments) says:

    “… if the Left (apologies to Winston who is not really left) ..”

    He will be propping up a hard-left coalition of envy, so it doesnt make any diffference. He is effectively left, whatever his policies are (get more baubles?).

    Vote Winston, get Green, Mana, Internet, ….

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  14. OneTrack (2,618 comments) says:

    mjw – “It continues a recent trend of making a ‘guess’ about what Labour might do, and then criticising them for it. ”

    Well since the “detail”(sic) that we have seen from the “policies” they have released so far, means all we can do is try and make intelligent guesses or estimations of what they might mean. Which is more than Labour have done. They seem to have no idea how their policies will work in practice. More than once Cunliffe has virtually said, ” We’ll work out the details later, trust us, we know what we are doing”. At that point Sledgehammer pulls his gun out and shoots a hole in the ceiling. Most times DC announces his policies, I see that scene.

    The fly in the ointment is, whatever their policies are now, what will they look like once Russel and Metiria have made their “adjustments”. Its like playing Russian roulette and they have put more than one bullet in the gun – 2? 5?

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  15. Duxton (581 comments) says:

    The entire Labour caucus supports free trade.

    They will freely trade anything to get into power…………………….

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  16. MT_Tinman (2,993 comments) says:

    Actually, Labour are the ones with a history of enduring reforms that shape New Zealand. The welfare state, anti-nuclear policy, gay rights, imarriage equality, superannuation (x3) the list goes on and on.

    And you wonder why thinking people vote right?

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  17. Akld Commercial Lawyer (160 comments) says:

    Hmm, when you read the whole article, Wayne (IMHO) makes a fair point – if only by putting the spotlight on what the approach of the Labour/Greens bloc is likely to be.

    The track record of Labour on economic policy in the last 12 months has been decidedly patchy – and where they share the platform with the Greens, especially on the Power NZ lie, it is rather worrisome.

    The case for the TPP, from a NZ perspective, is a very simple one – because agriculture makes up such a large share of our export receipts, we take a keen interest in tariff and other barriers. We might be amongst the most efficient farmers – but world agriculture markets are severely distorted. High tariffs and other non-tariff barriers in many of our trading partners mean that we either have difficulty in gaining access or get clobbered with financial measures. Also, our agricultural exports often have to compete against products that enjoy massive levels of subsidies.

    So anything to level the playing field – is worth considering.

    The left have dreamed up a sovereignty issue and other examples of culdesac thinking such as the risk of being tied up in litigation by a bigger, more well-heeled, opponent as reasons to oppose the TPP. Sadly, many of these arguments are just smokescreens for the usual anti-US rhetoric from the usual suspects.

    So, net-net, the core of the Labour caucus may well be pro free trade – but if they make up only 60% of a patchwork coalition and the balance are folk with hard left or just plain nutty views about trade – the public have a right to know before they go to the ballot.

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  18. mjw (228 comments) says:

    Onetrack – More spin. Labour have released substantial policies and have more to come. They have an experienced team that has proven its ability to govern. They have also proven their ability to navigate minority government.

    I guess scare tactics and bullying are par for the course at this stage of the electoral cycle, but hopefully National will lift their game as the election approaches.

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  19. OneTrack (2,618 comments) says:

    mjw – I don’t think any of that is correct. They have released very broad outlines of some policies but the detail is notably lacking – so much so that anybody voting on that basis would be taking a very broad punt. Typically, where is the money coming from to pay for it.

    What do you mean “they” have proven their ability to navigate minority government. “They” was Helen, who ruled like an emporer. The people left are just the minions – good at taking orders, but, being in charge? I dont think so.

    Like I said, an energised Green Party will just push them around, especially with the relative voting percentage the parties will have this time. Potentially Green, IntermanaNet and Maori will actually be able to out-vote Labour. Helen didn’t have that problem – she could just ignore the Greens. DC wont be so lucky.

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  20. niggly (799 comments) says:

    Well said One Track.

    mjw you’re deluded, your Chardonnay must have gone flat :-)

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  21. smttc (692 comments) says:

    David Garrett, congratulations for threadjacking the post.

    You and all of us might not have much regard for Wayne Mapp. But why don’t you play the ball (the issue raised) rather than the man.

    NZ depends on international trade, the freer the better, to make its way in the world. And Labour because they are now politically piss weak are seemingly prepared to compromise consensus politics on important issues to appease leftie parties.

    Get you mind back on the real issue man.

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  22. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    They have an experienced team that has proven its ability to govern.

    Name names.

    Who is in this experienced team that has proven ability to govern? Go on. Wow us.

    Name these detailed policies.

    You are obviously just voting for a logo.

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  23. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    I guess scare tactics and bullying are par for the course at this stage of the electoral cycle, but hopefully National will lift their game as the election approaches.

    As you are a Labour supporter I am sure you know all about scare tactics. It has been Labours entire platform for years.

    I am also sure you are so bereft of imagination that you couldnt even consider the possibility that anyone else would ever NOT use those same scare tactics.

    It is not scare tactics or bullying to point out that Labour is no longer as strong a voice on free trade. Perhaps you can point to a recent speech where Labour has reaffirmed their free trade credentials? Or maybe you can identify something in the teams they will have to appease that is contrary to their stated anti-free trade policies?

    It isnt scare tactics to present political reality to those such as yourself, no matter how much you fear it.

    And it isnt bullying to point out the deals that your lot will have to make to trick government from the most popular political party in the country.

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  24. mjw (228 comments) says:

    Sure, lets do a fair comparison. Give me an example of announced policy from the Nats that meets your criteria, and then I’ll play.

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  25. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    Why compare?

    I never said anything about National. So I have no reason and no responsibility to defend them. I am not going to do it, and the fact you even demanded it simply proves my point.

    You said Labour released “substantial” policies, you said they had the “experienced” team. I called you on that bullshit, and now you are dithering.

    You obviously cant do it. You cant name their detailed policies or name the people you have touted as “experienced” and with “proven ability”.

    Like I said, you are just voting for a logo.

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  26. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    You obviously dont know anything about Labour, their people, or their policies.

    And you feel “bullied” and “scared” because someone had the temerity to present the facts and you have to face the reality that Labour’s policies are shit, their people are weak, and they will have to sell out to wingnut crazy parties to gain any sniff of power to the extent that they would probably be forced to subvert the law to protect a criminal rich sponsor.

    If they need Mana and IP to form government then they are as good as bought by Kim Dotcom themselves.

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  27. Crusader (279 comments) says:

    mjw (164 comments) says:
    June 21st, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Labour have released substantial policies and have more to come. They have an experienced team that has proven its ability to govern.

    ROFLMAO. Stop, please stop. It’s too early on a Sunday morning for that degree of hilarity.

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  28. Paulus (2,503 comments) says:

    The TPP as currently envisaged will not happen.
    Japan and the US want everybody else’s pound of flesh in their favour.
    Unfair practice in their eyes is when they do not get what they want.
    It is possible that a revised smaller TPP will emerge in a year or two, but not now.

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