Andrew Little

Labour’s problems and a possible solution, Chris Trotter explains

Chris Trotter analyses Labour’s problems and discusses a possible solution to their woes.

THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has cast a deep pall of gloom over all three Opposition parties. Among Labour supporters, however, a growing sense of utter futility is palpable. Support for the party has crashed back to the abysmal figures of Election Night. Barely a quarter of the adult population is willing to identify Labour as their first electoral choice.

The corollary to Opposition gloom is, of course, Government elation. And, with the Roy Morgan poll showing National on 54 percent, who can blame its MPs and supporters for breaking out the bubbly? Remember, this latest poll was conducted when Amanda Bailey’s ponytail was dominating the headlines. Did it damage the Prime Minister’s reputation? (As so many of John Key’s enemies were hoping.) Not appreciably. “Teflon John” continues to shine.

The problems are well known, we just saw them repeated in the UK. Doing more of the same is no longer an option.

At around the same time as Roy Morgan’s callers were working the phones, Sir Michael Cullen and the NZ Fabian Society were attempting to rally Labour’s dejected troops with a presentation entitled, rather hopefully, “Destination: Next Progressive Majority.” Arriving at that destination, says Sir Michael, will depend on whether Labour is able to re-present itself as the party of Choice, Aspiration, Responsibility and National Pride.

For that re-presentation to work, Sir Michael stresses, Labour must re-connect emotionally with the electorate. “Policies can be a means to this”, says the former Labour Finance Minister, “but rarely the most important means.” In saying this, Sir Michael is echoing the advice of Lynton Crosby – the man who, earlier this month, won the UK General Election for the Conservative Party. Policy matters, says Crosby, only inasmuch as it expresses the less tangible and more visceral reasons for supporting one political party over another.

“This is Key’s huge strength”, Sir Michael observes, “he has enormous emotional connection with voters. The sloppy language we like to make fun of is the language most people speak, not like University lecturers like Helen, Steve and I. The casualness to turn things aside, not important, at the end of the day.”

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Want your own FLOTUS? ISIS would sell you one for $60

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Michelle Obama would get about US$45 on the ISIS slave market, says Dabiq

The latest issue of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) propaganda magazine Dabiq promises that ISIS will bring its slave market to the West, but doubts that an enslaved First Lady Michelle Obama would fetch much.

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Little should worry about his own back rather than trying to protect my good friend John Key

Andrew Little is out there trying to kick up some insurrection inside National.

There isn’t any, I’d know if there was because I’d be helping it along. Quite simply Andrew Little is dreaming.

“She’s clearly got ambitions for the top job,” says Labour Party leader Andrew Little. “She’s currying favour with whomever she can. She has seen an opportunity and I think she is going for it.”

Mr Little might just be onto something.

“I’m friends with most of the people in my caucus, particularly on the backbench,” says Ms Collins.

Yes, that’s right – “my caucus”.

Typically National is good at keeping internal divisions under wraps. But there are strong interests at work here – think farmers, forestry, small business, fishing and not to mention the force that is Ms Collins.

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ACT newsletter scores the budget speeches: Little 1/10

Death by Assimilation
National have returned to their traditional governing style, managing other parties’ ideas. Labour promised to introduce a capital gains tax and build houses, the Greens promised to deal with child poverty, New Zealand First promises to do nothing on Superannuation, and Peter Dunne promises to do nothing on the RMA. National are now, to an extent, doing all of that.

Bill English (7/10)
Bill is the policy architect of this government. He provides his colleagues with the alternative to government by pork barrel, and often succeeds. He has managed to refocus the civil service on achieving outcomes instead of consuming inputs. The biggest disappointment was that his courage cutting the $1000 Kiwisaver kickstart wasn’t matched on fixing Superannuation. As a result, a generation is paying twice.

Andrew Little (1/10)
Free Press feels sorry for Little. His speech has been panned as the worst ever. Some would have sat down upon running out of material, so we are giving him one point for speaking right through his time allotment. He talked about a ‘rooster on heat’ and then about ‘fiscal gender reassignment.’ Clearly Little needs biology lessons. But he’s got bigger problems too.

What he Needed to Do
Little theoretically wants to be the Prime Minister. His 20 minutes of rage showed he is out of touch with the country – New Zealand in 2015 is not exactly at a low point in history. Unless he’s proposing a total revolution, he could have spent five minutes talking positives. That would have given him fifteen minutes to lay out Labour’s alternatives. Read more »

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How much longer has Angry Andy got? 12 months?

Roy Morgan came out last night.  In short, National up 3% at 54%.  Labour down to 25.5% (Greens and NZ First down also).

This poll was taken after ponytailgate, and before the budget.  Some budget details were already known, but not the increase in benefits.

Every time the left and the media go troppo on a National issue, they over-egg the pudding and end up driving voters back to National.

Labour was rejected by the electorate during the election at 25.5%.

At this stage, Andrew Little is adding no value over David Cunliffe and taking away value from where Phil Goff and David Shearer left Labour.   Labour, once again, have failed to capture the public’s imagination with their latest union muppet.

They did have some help from the man that poo-fingers everything he touches.  I’m talking of course about Martin Martyn “Wrongly Wrongson” Bradbury.   Donkey deep in Dirty Politics, he got a National Government elected with an increased majority.

As an encore, he returns with ponytailgate and pushes National beyond their election win, and plummets Labour back down to their worst election loss over seventy years.   Read more »

Handing Winston more votes

Andrew Little is a political retard.

He is handing Winston Peters even more votes after his stupid comments regarding people who earn a wage and get the pension.

TVNZ reports:

Labour leader Andrew Little has raised the prospect of introducing means testing for superannuation payouts.

Mr Little made his unscripted criticism of current superannuation rules at a post-Budget breakfast this morning.

He said it’s unfair that over-65s claim the pension while earning a wage, with superannuation set to cost the country $25 billion in the next 15 years.

A Labour Government would “have to have a look at” introducing means testing for superannuation, he said.   Read more »

Andrew Little spent the day explaining… I mean losing

His leadership is a dog's breakfast and tastes like a dog's leavings

His leadership is a dog’s breakfast and tastes like a dog’s dodoos

Labour Leader Andrew Little spent the day on the Budget back foot.

He made an embarrassing U-turn on retirement policy, and apologised to the rainbow community for making a transgendered joke.

The plan was for Mr Little to use his post-Budget speech to attack the Government, instead, he appeared to be making up policy on the hoof.

Little was asked in front of a Wellington business audience about means testing superannuation, and by the sound of it, he is behind potentially terminating payments if a pensioner is working.

“You’ve got a 30-year-old sitting next to a 66-year-old doing similar work, or work of equal value, and the 66-year-old is getting an extra payment.” Read more »

Gene Simmons? What has Gene Simmons got to do with anything?

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Gene Simmons featured in Andrew Little’s budget speech.  Why?  I have no idea.  Neither did Andrew Little.

I encourage you all to watch it.

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Vernon Small knows a capital gains tax when he sees one

Now admittedly Vernon Small looks at the world through pink tinted glasses, but he hits the nail on the head this morning by calling John Key’s tax changes for what they are – a capital gain tax.

When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.”

Like Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland it seems our most senior MPs want their words to mean only what they choose them to mean.

With apologies to the egg-man it is straying too far from reality, though, to claim – as both Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader Andrew Little have – that a tax on capital gains is not a capital gains tax (CGT).

Under the current regime we already have a CGT for those in the business of buying and selling houses or shares or whatever. In broad terms it can be avoided if the purchase was for rental or dividend flows, not for capital gains, and you can have that out with Inland Revenue through the courts.    Read more »

‘Twas the day of the Budget, and this man imagines himself Prime Minister?

Andrew Little is a keen reader but the urge to scribble down his own verse has never struck.

That all changed while in the thick of preparations to respond to tomorrow’s Budget, his first as opposition leader.

Over a couple of hours this morning, and in between other tasks, the Labour leader penned a lengthy poem that poked fun at National and began, “Twas the night before the Budget” – a nod to the famous A Visit from St. Nicholas (also known as The Night Before Christmas) by Clement Clarke Moore.

Mr Little’s poem painted a picture of panic amidst National MPs rising with the realisation the country’s finances weren’t as healthy as had been made out.

He later read it out during Parliament’s general debate – an event he later told the Herald qualified as his first poetry reading.

What next?  A slide show?   Interpretive dance?   What the hell does he think he’s doing?   Read more »