Chris Trotter

Trotter on Labour’s coming shuffle of the deck chairs

Chris Trotter returns to sensibility and explores the shuffling of the deck chairs on the sinking ship Labour.

SOMETIME THIS WEEK (the date keeps changing) Andrew Little will announce his Shadow Cabinet reshuffle. The refreshed line-up of senior Opposition spokespeople will be the electorate’s best guide as to who will be doing what in the next Labour-led government. Barring unforeseen circumstances, and unforgiveable cock-ups, Little’s promotions, reappointments and demotions will be the last such exercise before the 2017 General Election.

Very few New Zealanders will pay much attention to Little’s final choices. Labour’s ranks, thinned by successive and increasingly severe defeats, contains nobody upon whose shoulders the burden of the electorate’s hopes has  yet descended.

Labour has a talent pool as shallow as a carpark puddle in the heat of summer. I was discussing this yesterday at lunch with the boys at church. They looked at National caucus and at Labour’s and came to the conclusion that even if a plane crashed with most of National’s cabinet aboard, there would still be capable people left in caucus to run the show. If Labour’s front two benches got cleaned out who would be left with any skills?    Read more »

Trotter says Capitalism kills but it has nothing on Communism/Socialism

Skulls of the victims of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot

Skulls of the victims of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot

Chris Trotter has gone nuts again…but his friends at The Standard think he is on fire…this is why:

Capitalism kills. It has done so from its earliest beginnings, and it does so still. The only distinction between the history of capitalism and the history of the Mexican drug cartels, is that the cartels have never pretended to be advancing the progress of humankind.

He even tried to lay the blame of deaths in Russia at capitalists feet.

Notwithstanding its logical absurdity, it is the condemnation one hears most often from the Right: that the Left, in the shape of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, or the Communist Party of China, is responsible for upwards of 100 million deaths.

They forget, of course, that the vast majority of those killed were individuals who refused to accept the right of either of these parties to impose their will on the people in whose name they had accomplished the overthrow of the old oppressors. Whether it be the rebellious Russian sailors at Kronstadt in 1921, or workers and peasants across the whole of China from 1949 to the present day, whoever, in the name of justice and equity, takes a stand against an oppressive system of domination, coercion and exploitation is, by definition, a leftist.

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Does Chris Trotter realise what happened at Waterloo?

Chris Trotter spends an awful lot of time waxing lyrical about the French Revolution and the appearance of a short Corsican to the leadership of France.

Apparently Napoleon Bonaparte was the savour of the revolution…and apparently Chris Trotter thinks Andrew Little might be Labour’s Napoleon.

One hesitates to describe Andrew Little as Labour’s Napoleon, but what cannot be disputed is the eagerness with which both the membership and the caucus responded to his calls for unity, focus and discipline, and to his passionate reaffirmation of Labour’s radical political mission.

Sheer exhaustion may also explain the New Zealand Labour Party’s curiously subdued reaction to the rank-and-file revolution that installed Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party. It wasn’t that the Kiwis were all secret Blairites, more a matter of New Zealand Labour having “been there, done that, sold the T-shirts – lost the election!”    Read more »

Trotter on Labour’s conference media ban

Chris Trotter isn’t very happy about the media ban imposed on the Labour conference this weekend.

The extent of this year’s media ban speaks eloquently of a political party at odds with, and mortally afraid of, itself.

It is almost a reflex among those who like to think of themselves as political “professionals” to deny the public even the slightest glimpse of events they haven’t already emptied of anything remotely resembling controversy, spontaneity or authenticity. The people surrounding the party’s leader have a “message” they wish to present to the public, and they are determined that every single party member should remain resolutely and coherently “on message”.

After the tumult and turmoil of the past four years, the message Andrew Little’s staffers are determined to communicate to the voting public is that Labour is united. And by ‘Labour’ they mean the whole party. The Labour caucus, the New Zealand Council, the trade union affiliates, and even the rank-and-file, are all 100 percent united and raring to go. Nobody’s heard of Jeremy Corbyn. Nobody’s the slightest bit worried about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. From top to bottom, Andy’s electoral vessel has been caulked and sealed and plugged. Nobody’s getting in and, sure as Stalin, nothing is getting out!

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Even Trotter says Martyn Martin is wrong

There isn’t much in New Zealand politics that Martyn Martin Bradbury aka Wrongly Wrongson gets right. He is wrong on almost everything.

Chris Trotter even says as much as he ticks off Martyn on his own blog for being wrong…again.

“Bomber” is part old-time preacher. (Who else greets his audiences with an all-encompassing “Brothers and Sisters!”?) But he is also a user of the very latest communications technology. Loud, brash, occasionally reckless, Martyn Bradbury may not be universally liked, or invariably correct, but his determination to mobilise the young in their own defence cannot be disputed.

His latest crusade on behalf of younger Kiwis calls for a lowering of the voting age from 18 to 16 years. This radical extension of the franchise would be accompanied by the inclusion of a new and comprehensive programme of civics education in the nation’s secondary school curriculum.

In Martyn’s own words: “The sudden influx of tens of thousands of new voters with their own concerns and their own voice finally being heard could be the very means of not only lifting our participation rates, but reinvigorating the very value of our democracy.”

Yeah, nah…and Trotter explains why.

In 1971, the Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution declared: “The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.”

Young activists in the Democratic Party wasted little time in flexing their political muscles. At the 1972 Democratic Party Convention, an army of young delegates, veterans of the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War struggles in the streets of America, turned the tables on the old “pols” of the Democratic Party “machine”. (The same machine which, just four years earlier, had unleashed the Chicago Police on anti-war convention delegates.) Using the new party rules which the Chicago debacle had inspired, these youngsters comprehensively out-organised their much older right-wing opponents and secured the nomination for George McGovern, the most left-wing presidential candidate since Franklin Roosevelt.    Read more »

The left are in total disarray over TPP


Earlier today we saw Andrew Little flip flop in less than 24 hours from being against the TPP to not being against it.   We then segued into Chris Trotter’s work who on the basis of Andrew Little’s strong opposition to the TPP less than 24 hours earlier had declared 2017 a win for a Labour-led government.

Yesterday, Andrew Little said the TPP could not be supported by Labour because it only met one of the five bottom line requirements.   That bottom line requirement that the TPP does meet, according to Labour?

Treaty Obligations.


Not according to the First Union.   Read more »

Chris Trotter hung out to dry by Andrew Little


Chris must have needed a change of underwear when he saw Andrew Little come out swinging against the TPP yesterday, and he sat down with renewed hope and penned this piece for today… not realising Andrew would drop him in the poo by doing a flip-flop.

LABOUR’S STANCE on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could end up determining the outcome of the 2017 General Election. If Andrew Little aligns his party with the other parliamentary opponents of the TPP – the Greens and NZ First – then the legislation giving effect to the agreement will barely scrape through the House of Representatives. Such open and substantial parliamentary opposition will clear the way for Andrew Little to lead an anti-TPP coalition into electoral battle in 2017. If, however, Labour ends up supporting the TPP, then it will be a fractured and fractious Opposition that takes the field against John Key in two years’ time.

With Labour firmly opposed, the National-led Government’s best outcome would see the TPP’s enabling legislation passed by a margin of three votes. But if, as seems likely, the Maori Party acknowledges the rising anti-TPP sentiment within Maoridom, by either abstaining or voting against the bill, then the nearest thing to a TPP ratification process that New Zealanders are going to get will be carried by just one vote – Peter Dunne’s.

“With Labour firmly opposed”.  Snigger

Listen Chris, here’s a word of advice for you when dealing with Labour communications.  Always let things simmer for at least 24 hours before you run after the next passing red car.   There are two reasons for that.   One, they can’t add, subtract or otherwise use a calculator.  Press statements with numbers invariably fall apart under a small bit of scrutiny.   Read more »

Trotter has gone Deep retard. Never go Deep retard

Someone should have a sit-down with Chris and tell him to stop thinking so hard

IT IS NOW CLEAR that Helen Clark’s Trans-Pacific Partnership advocacy in New York was just the beginning. The opening move in a chess game that will end with the Labour Party knocking over its King and returning to the bi-partisan fold on the issue of Free Trade. To achieve this turnaround will require the mobilisation of all of the non-elected elements of the New Zealand political system.

Applying the maximum of public pressure to Labour will be the responsibility of the news media and the numerous business lobby groups. Behind the scenes, however, Labour MPs will find themselves on the receiving end of one-on-one briefings from old friends and colleagues (senior civil servants, leading academics) “deeply concerned” that Labour has positioned itself in the wrong place, on the wrong issue.

These “old friends” of the Labour Party will warn Caucus members that their failure to support the TPP will only end up driving Labour further and further to the Left. Just as they were beginning to make up much-needed ground, the party will spurn Middle New Zealand for the tin-foil-hat-wearing brigade. Not only will this render Labour unelectable, but it will also serve as an invitation for the news media to start casting about for a Caucus member who’s prepared to act in a more responsible fashion.

That such individuals exist within Labour’s caucus is indisputable. That money and resources will, very swiftly, begin flowing in the direction of these TPP supporters is equally certain. Metaphorical megaphones will also be handed to TPP supporters within the wider labour movement. Expect to see them popping-up again and again on radio and television.

It gets better.    Read more »


Trotter goes full retard, never go full retard

Chris Trotter woke up this morning and sat at the keyboard in his flannel pajamas and banged out the strangest of posts:

NEW ZEALANDERS are heading into a great storm of change. Much that is precious to us will pass away. As Pakeha we have grown accustomed to being the colonisers rather than the colonised. Loss of power will be a new experience for us. As the second great wave of colonisation washes over us, our best chance of survival will be to reach out our hands to the tangata whenua – whose feet are sunk deepest in the earth of Aotearoa. In the storm of change that is coming, the strength which that position gives to Maori will make them the only solid point around which everything else twists and turns. If we, as Pakeha, do not reach out and grasp that strength, the fury of the storm will blow us far away.

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Chris Trotter gets it on Dirty Politics

Chris Trotter writes at Martyn Martin Bradbury’s hate speech blog about the failure of Dirty Politics:

There’s no disputing that Hager’s Dirty Politics reveals an unprecedented amount of information about what was going on behind the scenes of New Zealand politics in 2014. The wealth of material contained in Hager’s book could not, however, have been acquired outside of the thoroughly digitalised society we’ve become. Thousands of hacked e-mail communications to and from Cameron Slater’s Whaleoil blogsite had been passed on to Hager, revealing a host of startling connections between Slater, the Prime Minister’s Office, Justice Minister Judith Collins, numerous journalists, and a strange coterie of behind-the-scenes movers and shakers calling themselves “The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy”.

That similar exercises in political character assassination, media manipulation, and influence-peddling went on in the past is equally indisputable. It was only very rarely, however, that evidence of such dirty deeds ever came to light. The shrewd operators of the pre-digital era took care to leave no paper trails for pesky journalists to follow. Granted, telephone landlines could be tapped, but not, in the usual course of events, by the Left. Nor was there an Official Information Act to trouble wayward civil servants and Cabinet Ministers. Dirty politics was easier to get away with in those days – and investigative journalism much harder!

The result, paradoxically, was that public trust and confidence in our political institutions was much higher in the past than it is today. What the journalistic eye could not see, the electorate didn’t grieve over.

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