With just one Tweet Phil Twyford has signalled the undermining of Andrew Little as leader.
Angry Andy just can’t keep his staff.
You’d think a former union boss would know a thing or two about staff retention.
Another Labour Party press secretary has quit the party, the fourth to do so in just three months.
The latest casualty is Danya Levy, a senior press secretary who has worked at Parliament for 12 years in a number of roles, including as a journalist.
It leaves Labour with just two full-time press secretaries and a handful of other staff doing communications duties part time. Read more »
It is a sad political party that reheats yesterday’s dog sick as policy.
Political parties are being urged to stop quibbling over definitions of child poverty and start working together to do something about it.
It’s become a burning issue since Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft threw out a challenge at the weekend for child poverty to be cut by 10 per cent a year.
The government doesn’t accept that any one measure is accurate and says it’s better to focus on the causes of deprivation.
Labour says that’s cowardly and party leader Andrew Little is going with Judge Becroft’s figure of 149,000 children in poverty.
[…] Read more »
No one will ever accuse Andrew Little of being boring after his bold rejection this week of the political centre.
The one political concept almost everyone grasps is the traditional left-right spectrum. People understand that the right tends to want lower taxes and spending and the left wants to raise them; the right likes exams and the left school counsellors; the right is more supportive of globalisation and the left more interested in protecting particular jobs; the right is more likely to support a US military adventure while the left defers to the UN; the right wants to lock up criminals while the left prefers restorative justice.
These are all generalisations, of course but you can’t do political analysis, economics or any social science without generalising.
Moreover, people continue to be happy defining themselves broadly on the spectrum. When asked in 2014 by pollsters UMR, 30% of New Zealanders roughly identified as left, a quarter as right and 42% as in the middle. That the largest group lies in the centre is why John Key, like Helen Clark before him, has trained his ministers to parrot in public “we think we’ve got the balance about right.”
More sophisticated models of political values have been developed but the traditional left-right spectrum continues to do its job. Read more »
Political commentator Peter Wilson opines
Little, in a confusing way, is trying to avoid having any labels pasted onto his party.
The government is trying to do that, using glue called MOU.
The memorandum of understanding, or co-operation agreement, between Labour and the Greens is being used to claim a defeat for National next year would put an extreme left-wing government into power.
“If you vote Labour you get Green Party policies,” says Prime Minister John Key.
“They’re joined at the hip, before and after the election.”
These are gross exaggerations but the message is easily understood, and it will be hammered into the heads of voters during the election campaign.
Not sure if it is fair to say it is a gross exaggeration. Labour will not be able to govern without the Greens, and the Greens will want around a third of the cabinet posts. Read more »
WHY, OH WHY didn’t Andrew Little keep his mouth shut? Or, when asked by a journalist to respond to the political observations of his party’s former leader, just stick to the time-honoured current leader’s script?
“I’ve enormous respect for the wisdom of Helen Clark. Her record of winning three elections on the trot speaks for itself. Her political observations are informed by the experience and achievement of many years. Only a fool wouldn’t listen very carefully to her advice.”
If that wasn’t sufficient, then Clark’s remark about Labour needing to “command the centre” should simply have been endorsed. Something along the lines of:
“She’s quite right about that. When questioned, the overwhelming majority of people position themselves between the extremes of left and right. And if you don’t secure the votes of a very big chunk of these centrist voters, then your party’s chances of being elected to govern are next to zero.”
A statement of the bleeding-bloody-obvious, of course, but sometimes the bleeding-bloody obvious is what people need to hear. It reassures them that you, and the party you lead, are in tune with their own general view of the world. Nobody gets to become Prime Minister by making voters feel that the Leader of the Opposition is out-of-tune with their general view of the world.
And yet, that’s exactly what Little did. He described Clark’s bog-standard pol-sci observation – that, to win, his party must “command the centre ground” – as “pretty hollow”.
Yeah, Angry Andy really doesn’t do surprise questions very well. Read more »
By going to a hug fest with Canada’s Trudeau, Andrew Little managed to edge closer to breaking the 21 day “no ballsup” record. Earlier this week we reset it to zero as he decided to ignore the advice of one of our most effective and successful Labour Prime ministers ever. Read more »
Labour leader Andrew Little has presented his election winning strategy for 2017 and it is shaped like a donut.
There is a big hole in the centre.
He presented this sweet treat after former Prime Minister Helen Clark advised that in order to win an election in New Zealand “you must command the centre ground.”
Not so, Little said. The centre did not exist. It was a “hollow term”. It was the middle of the donut. This came as a shock to many. It has long been accepted wisdom that reaping votes from the centre was the key recipe for electoral success.
Then again, it was also once accepted wisdom that the earth was flat. Just as Ferdinand Magellan set out to prove the earth was round, Little embarked to disprove the centre ground theory.
He would not win in 2017 by taking the centre ground. Instead, he would win by taking “middle New Zealand”.
He would do this by appealing to “a coalition of constituencies”.
How do you pick between Andy and Helen? How can Andy possibly put poor Claire in that position? Read more »
It seems I was wrong. And Helen Clark was wrong, and John Key was wrong. The winning of the election isn’t in the centre, it is heading left like Bryan Gould says.
The latest Roy Morgan poll suggests that Andrew Little’s eschewing of the centre is a brilliant move. Instead of trying to out National National, they need to double down on socialism…it’s working.
During September support for National fell for the second straight month, by 4.5% to 41.5% (the lowest support for National in three years since September 2013) now clearly behind a potential Labour/Greens alliance 45.5% (up 5.5%) for the first time in a year – since September 2015 after Prime Minister John Key attended several overseas summits in early September. Read more »
Vernon Small goes through life with red tinted glasses, but he is perplexed over Andrew Little’s bizarre rejection of Helen Clark’s sage advice.
Even if things should fall apart, it seems the centre cannot hold Labour leader Andrew Little’s interest.
In a strangely intense rejection of Helen Clark’s suggestion that parties on the left must “command the centre ground” to win elections, Little dismissed the idea as “meaningless” and “a pretty hollow view”.
Strange, because it is truism. Winning power requires 50 per cent plus one of the voters – and Mr 50 and Mrs 51 are by definition in the centre.
Perhaps Little was trying to say something more subtle – that the centre can be owned by someone else (not John Key surely? Maybe Winston Peters?) without embracing defeat. Read more »