Why do the Unions have so much sway over Labour?

The Unions have a reputation for controlling Labour, and with some good reason. Six affiliated unions get 20% of the Labour Leadership vote, so you would think that they are also the Labour Party’s biggest donors.

The problem with this is it is not supported by the facts. Since 1996 union donations have been a little over 11% of Labour’s total declarable donations.

In most years the unions don’t give anything to Labour, who must only ask unions for money in election year.

Total Donations Union Donations Union Donation %
1996  $65,327.00  $- 0%
1997  $280,000.00  $- 0%
1998  $20,055.90  $- 0%
1999  $1,115,375.00  $80,000.00 7.17%
2000  $35,000.00  $- 0.0%
2001  $107,525.00  $- 0.0%
2002  $671,719.00  $70,000.00 10.42%
2003  $54,000.00  $- 0.0%
2004  $369,951.00  $- 0.0%
2005  $930,977.04  $140,000.00 15.04%
2006  $140,988.04  $20,000.00 14.19%
2007  $1,030,446.39  $- 0.0%
2008  $422,917.00  $117,500.00 27.78%
2009  $10,063.00  $- 0.0%
2010  $56,720.00  $- 0.0%
2011  $225,200.00  $105,200.00 46.71%
2012  $430,259.33  $- 0.0%
2013  $-  $-
2014  $251,000.00  $162,000.00 64.54%
Total  $6,217,523.70  $694,700.00 11.17%

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Map of the Day

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Quote of the Day

From Judith Collins and her transcript from the Chisholm Inquiry:

Ms Collins previously said she was “disappointed” at Mr Feeley over the champagne story, which came to light in September 2011.

She told the inquiry his actions were a “disaster” because they emerged two days before an important PR release on crime statistics.

“My crime stats, I say with absolutely no modesty whatsoever, were the best crime stats we had ever had. It was a really, really good news story.

“It was my shining glory, so the last thing we needed was leaks out of the Serious Fraud Office talking about champagne being used that wasn’t actually owned by the person who was using it. It was a disaster.” 

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What Labour needs to do to win in 2017

The reason I read widely about UK politics is that is tends to give us insights into our own political parties.

This is especially true about the Labour party, and the similarities between the UK and New Zealand are striking.

Labour lost the last elections in the UK and NZ with almost identical policies and style. So when commentators look through the entrails and make observations about UK Labour they apply as much to them as they do to NZ Labour.

John Reid, Labour’s former Home Secretary, writes at the Guardian about how Labour can regain government.

Less than two months on from one of the worst election defeats in my lifetime, the Labour party finds itself in the middle of a protracted leadership contest, debating its next move over the course of a long, hot summer.

There are those in the party who have argued that Labour simply needs a different leader, but that the politics, plans and policies of the past five years will be enough to get us over the line in 2020 – with a little tweaking, of course.

Others have argued that moving to the left, in response to a Tory government that managed to achieve the difficult feat of gaining an overall majority, is the right response. That the “false consciousness” of modern working people will somehow disappear as the scales fall from their eyes.

Neither of these approaches will work. Neither recognises the sheer scale of the challenge Labour faces. Both have been tried, and tried, and failed and failed.

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The drug that isn’t

Packets of tablets.
The humble placebo or ” dummy ” treatment has been praised by scientists who say that it is under appreciated by the Medical community. They suggest that the placebo effect is actually an important tool and can relieve patient symptoms as well as improve the effectiveness of other treatments.
I have never been given a placebo to my knowledge but I have been tricked by my mother. She told us that she wanted to switch from salted butter to unsalted butter and Dad and my brother and I protested that it would taste awful and that we would notice the difference. “Okay,” she replied ” I will introduce it without you all knowing when and then if you notice the difference you can tell me agreed?”  “Agreed,” we replied confident that we would all notice immediately. She then smiled and told us that we had all been eating unsalted butter for a month.
Have you ever been given a placebo that helped you or do you have a tale like mine where you were effectively tricked?

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Photo Of The Day

Unkown Source: Edward V11,  Bertie, Prince of Wales Favourite chair.

Unknown Source: Edward V11, Bertie, Prince of Wales Favourite chair.

”Edward the Caresser”

Among the bordellos of Victorian Paris, Le Chabanais was the most exquisite, and the most lavish. Over the years this ‘maison de tolerance’ — the word ‘brothel’ was considered too tawdry — saw visitors as illustrious as Humphrey Bogart, Mae West and Cary Grant.

But in the 1880s, one of its principal clients was the future King Edward VII, then known to everyone as ‘Bertie’, the playboy Prince of Wales.

Each of the establishment’s 30 rooms had its own theme, such as Moorish, Louis XIV and ancient Roman — but Bertie’s favourite was the Hindu room. For there lived an extraordinary contraption, a testament to the Prince’s insatiable lust and to his immense corpulence. Known romantically as a ‘siege d’amour’, or love-seat, this chair allowed the distinctly unathletic Bertie to have his way with two women simultaneously, all with the minimum of effort.

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Registered? Of course he was

The Labour party and the teacher’s unions all say that registration of teachers should be mandatory…to protect the kids.

Like in this case where a registered primary school teacher is up on charges for fiddling with kids.

A primary school teacher accused of indecently touching nine of his female students over a four-year period has denied the allegations.

The man in his 50s, who has name suppression until the end of the Auckland District Court trial, pleaded not guilty today to 16 counts of doing an indecent act on girls under the age of 12.

The name of the school at which he taught was also suppressed.

Crown prosecutor Eliza Walker said the alleged indecency began shortly after the teacher started working at the school.

She told the jury the charges covered the defendant touching a girl’s chest, lap, buttocks, waist and “private parts”.

It is also alleged he groped a girl under her culottes and kissed one complainant on the forehead.

“She was freaking out but she didn’t say anything or do anything. It was the last day of school and she just thought ‘why was this happening?”‘, Ms Walker said.

“[The girl] was shocked by what her teacher was doing to her.”

Ms Walker said the actions took place on school grounds, mostly in the classroom in front of the other students.

The prosecutor outlined the evidence likely to be given by each girl.

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Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Auckland Council officials squabbling like children

The left arm doesn’t know what the right arm is doing at Auckland a Council. It’s so typical you’d have got a low return from the TAB.

What a bunch of clowns!

Two Auckland Council bodies are at loggerheads over whether 20ha of land at Hobsonville Pt should be used for housing or a film studio.

Five consultant firms have been hired during the dispute, which arose when Ateed, the council’s economic development arm, made a late pitch to turn some of the council-owned land into a film studio campus.

Auckland Council Property Ltd says it has a masterplan for the site and work can start immediately on 80 of the 441 houses and apartments, of which up to 15 per cent would be in the affordable category.

The masterplan will recoup $36 million spent to date on the land and provide a tidy $34 million profit for ratepayers, says ACPL in a report going to the Auckland development committee today.

An analysis of the Ateed proposal by CBRE property consultants for ACPL said the film studio would get the land for free for about 20 years and the council would be $24 million worse off in cash terms.

Ateed, which has used three consultants to fight its corner, said a film studio campus on 10ha of the land would provide 435 jobs annually and generate $483 million to the Auckland economy over 25 years.

The other 10ha would be used to build 315 homes.    Read more »

Will Greece be the last gasp of Marxist delusion?

The left wing are all enamoured that the dodgy Greek socialists flipped the bird at the EU.

They think this is cool and even Chris Trotter rolled out the “death of neo-liberalism” epithets.

It’s hogwash of course…neo-liberalism didn’t sink Greece, dodgy socialists drunk on other people’s money and lazy to boot sunk Greece.

Janet Daly explains in words even simple-minded socialists can understand.

Which of these do you find more repugnant: an autocratic European Union which is no longer bothering to conceal its intention to displace an elected government, or a shambolic clique of Left-wing fantasists who are propelling a country – and its hapless population – into economic ruin and political chaos?

It’s a tough call, isn’t it? Whatever happens in the Greek referendum on Sunday, it will not be the end of this pantomime. In fact, it is intended not to be the end, in spite of the Greek prime minister’s bizarre assertion last week that he could guarantee a deal would be made with the country’s creditors within 48 hours of a “no” vote – when, in fact, a “no” vote would effectively guarantee the impossibility of making such a deal since the answer “no” is a rejection of meaningful concessions to the creditors.

There is no point any longer in trying to make sense of this. It has gone beyond sense. It is now incomprehensible in the strict technical meaning of the word. The “options” available are all catastrophic and delusional in varying degrees and combinations, and nobody is actually going to get to choose between them anyway – at least, nobody in Greece. To the extent that they have had any involvement – or culpability – in this matter, the Greek people must come to terms with the consequences of electing Russell Brand to head their government. Voters do have some responsibility for the choices that they make. That is what distinguishes mature democracy from the students’ union. But given the price that they are paying for that moment of mad frivolity, it seems harsh to condemn, especially as the prospect of fiscal rationality had already been ruined by the fecklessness of previous governments and external forces beyond their control.

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