Chris Trotter

Chris Trotter on Sue Bradford’s latest organisation of angry upset commies

Chris Trotter isn’t at all enthused by Sue Bradford’s latest escapade…the form of a left-wing “think tank”. Oh I know…hard left people actually pretending to think…it’s almost too much to bear.

Is it too soon to pronounce judgement upon ESRA? Economic & Social Research Aotearoa has only just been launched. So, surely, we should give it a little time to show us what it can do? Except that we already know what ESRA will do, because we already know what ESRA is. ESRA is a Far-Left “think tank” whose contribution to the formulation and implementation of broadly acceptable progressive policies will range from negligible to nil.

Unfair? I don’t think so.

If I were to show you the first fragile leaves of a lemon sapling, and ask whether or not you wanted a lemon tree in your garden, I very much doubt that you would say: “Oh, let’s not be hasty. That might not be a lemon tree after all. Or, if it is a lemon tree, it might prove to be one of a very special kind – one that does not bear sour fruit.” More likely your answer would depend on how you feel about lemons.

If you like lemon trees, and lemons, you’d say: “Oh, by all means, let it grow.” If you don’t like lemons, you’d tell me to pull it out.

Well I don’t like lemons. At least, I don’t like lemon trees that take up space and consume resources I would much rather allocate to other plants.

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Trotter isn’t convinced either

Chris Trotter is a loyal servant of the left, but what I like about Chris is that he isn’t a cheerleader no matter what. If someone on the left does something dopey then he will say so.

It is therefore very interesting when he isn’t convinced of the merits of a Labour/Green merger.

AS SO OFTEN HAPPENS when I appear on Paul Henry’s morning show, a host of lefties have devoted the rest of the day to disowning me. Underpinning their criticism is a strongly held belief that anyone billed as “left-wing” has a duty to stick up for Team Red – no matter what. Independent critical analysis is not considered helpful. Whenever someone like Paul Henry asks someone from the Left for their opinion, the only acceptable response, apparently, is: “Hooray for our side!”

But whatever else I may be, I am not a cheerleader. If I believe the Labour and Green parties have announced their new “Understanding” far too soon; without preparing the electorate or priming the news media; without securing real and valuable gains for both partners; without carefully gauging the reaction of both their members and their voters; and without having straightforward answers to journalists’ straightforward (and entirely predictable) questions; then I reserve the right to speak bluntly and critically about these deficiencies.

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How many members does Labour really have?

The other day Richard Harman speculated (with good cause) that Labour’s membership database is somewhat diminished, perhaps even lower than the Greens.

POLITIK has learned that the party’s membership is now probably below that of the Greens, which would place it below 5000, possibly less than half that.

Well, that set off a shit storm with denials and counter-claims.

Chris Trotter was prompted to write:

HOW MANY MEMBERS does the Labour Party have in its centenary year? According to the veteran political journalist, Richard Harman, the answer is – not a lot.

Writing in his “Politik” blog on Monday, 23 May, Harman noted:

“Politik has learned that the party’s membership is now probably below that of the Greens, which would place it below 5000, possibly less than half that.”

If true, that is shocking news – and it’s only fair to point out that within 24 hours the Labour Party’s new General Secretary, Andrew Kirton, was assuring Harman that it was not true. “We are far, far higher than 5,000 and therefore well above the Greens.”

In spite of reassuring his readers that the contested information came from “a usually reliable source”, Harman was willing – as of Tuesday morning – to take Kirton at his word.

A more cynical person, upon being told by Labour’s General Secretary that the membership figure is “far, far higher than 5,000”, might offer, by way of response, the words of the infamous call-girl, Mandy Rice-Davies, who, when told that an Establishment big-wig had denied all knowledge of her, shot back the immortal line: “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?”

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Trotter on Labour’s ham-fisted attacks off the back of the Panama Papers

Chris Trotter is unimpressed with Labour’s Panama Papers “all in” strategy:

Labour’s response to the “Panama Papers” has left me cold.

The Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Little, lacking hard evidence of criminal behaviour – of any kind – has opted to unfurl his party’s banner on the moral high ground.

He has accused the law firms involved in servicing foreign trusts of participating in a “grubby little industry”.

He’s probably right about that. Shielding rich people from their tax obligations hardly constitutes a noble calling.

My problem with this approach is that it all sounds a bit like a student union SGM, where the deployment of high-flown rhetoric is inversely proportional to the debaters’ command of useful facts.

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Trotter gets it, shame the rest of the left don’t

I respect Chris Trotter. Sure he is a left-wing commentator but he is at least intellectually and politically honest.

His post today about the failure of the left-wing to understand middle New Zealand is telling, especially as we witness Labour going full retard on the Panama Papers.

BRINGING DOWN JOHN KEY has become an abiding obsession of the New Zealand Left. As if all of New Zealand’s problems have their origins in the actions of a single individual. As if the Prime Minister hasn’t been shaped by the people he governs every bit as much as they have been shaped by him. As if Key’s uncanny ability to extricate himself from scandal after scandal hasn’t been made possible by the electorate’s willingness to look the other way while he does it.

All of which suggests that the Left’s obsession with bringing down Key isn’t about the National Party Leader at all, but about its own inability to attract and hold the same level of popular support that keeps him in power. All of which raises the possibility that the Left’s real problem isn’t with Key at all – but with the democratic process itself.

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Trotter on Labour problems, and his fantasy opposition wishlist

Chris Trotter has had another lucid moment, albeit with a fantasy paragraph near the end.

He discusses what is wrong with the opposition:

IT IS ONLY NOW, thirty years after the event, that the full effects of Labour’s 1984-1990 betrayals have become visible. The party’s inability to respond coherently to John Key’s National-led government has allowed the latter to escape, Scot-free, from economic and social policy failures that daily grow more intractable. All over New Zealand, voters shake their heads in frank disbelief at National’s extraordinary run of political good luck. Everywhere their cry is the same: “If only we had an Opposition worthy of the name!” How right they are.

I pity Chris sometimes, with his rose-tinted glasses. He still thinks that Roger Douglas did enormous damage to New Zealand when, in actual fact, he saved it from the rampant socialism of Muldoon.   Read more »

Shock for Andrew Little in latest INCITE|Curia poll

INCITE

In our latest edition of INCITE: Politics which will be released today there is a catastrophic result for Andrew Little in our monthly INCITE|Curia polling.

Exclusive to us Curia looks again at how New Zealanders think our political leaders are doing. This is the only public poll in New Zealand that reports on approval of party leaders.

We asked 1,000 New Zealanders “Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Key/Andrew Little is handling his job as Prime Minister/Leader of the Opposition?”

And the results are devastating. Andrew Little has slumped 12 points while John Key has increased slightly by 1%.

It is clear that last months results were a ‘dead cat’ bounce and Andrew Little is now back under the pump for his lack of performance.

Full details are only available to subscribers.   Read more »

Forget KDS now there is RLS

Chris Trotter has identified another syndrome that affects the feeble minds of the left-wing. First there was Key Derangement Syndrome (KDS), but now there is the more pernicious Reflexive Left Syndrome (RLS).

THE LABOUR PARTY is at serious risk of, once again, succumbing to Reflexive Left Syndrome (RLS). Simply put, RLS causes progressives to respond predictably (and all-too-often counter-productively) to every issue affecting the Left. Those suffering from RLS do not wait for the facts; nor do they pause to consider whether their support for one part of the Left might put them at serious odds with another. Positions are fixed with precipitate haste, and room for subsequent manoeuvre and compromise is severely restricted. RLS nails its victims to the political spot: positions they frequently cannot abandon without incurring serious damage and/or ridicule.

We are seeing this now with the Panama Papers issue. Little and Labour demanding transparency when previously they were concerned with erosion of privacy. Opposing the flag change when it Labour policy to change the flag. And now it is opposing the Kermadec Marine Sanctuary.   Read more »

Run on tinfoil reported at Three Kings supermarkets

trotter-tinfoil

Chris Trotter must have been out buying up all the tinfoil for his latest Fairfax column.

The heavily guarded Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) travelling roadshow came to Christchurch last week.

The word “heavily” is used advisedly. According to the reportage of Josie Butler (who staged a peaceful protest at the event and was escorted from the auditorium) the roadshow was not only protected by upwards of 30 police officers, but also by 40 members of the New Zealand Defence Force. Butler’s reportage further alleges that the roadshow had at least one other protector – its government-appointed chairman, broadcaster Sean Plunket.

If Butler’s description of the proceedings is accurate, then it is fair to say that Plunket has opted for an alarmingly heavy-handed approach to chairing these gatherings. Participants are restricted to asking questions of the presenters and will be interrupted aggressively if they so much as attempt to contextualise their queries. Hecklers are summarily ejected.

What was presented to New Zealanders as an opportunity to participate in a free and frank discussion of the costs and benefits of the TPP, is being experienced by those attendees not already convinced of the agreement’s benefits as little more than a crude propaganda exercise. Even worse, these meetings are alleged to have been conducted in a fashion that treats dissent as a hostile and potentially criminal act.

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Trotter on Labour’s death spiral

andrew little labour leader

Chris Trotter writes about Labour’s parlous electoral position after Stephen Mills from UMR confirmed yesterday that Labour is on 30% in their own polling.

STEPHEN MILLS, from Labour’s pollsters, UMR Research, today confirmed that Labour’s support has slipped back to just 30 percent. He also informed RNZ’s listeners that Phil Goff is leading his nearest rival for the Auckland Mayoralty, Victoria Crone, by 33 percentage points. This is, of course, the same Phil Goff who, as Labour’s leader, failed to squeeze more than 27 percent of the Party Vote out of the New Zealand electorate.

It’s a grim parade of statistics for those of us hoping for a change of government at next year’s general election. And what it’s telling us is this: Labour isn’t trusted to govern. Phil Goff may be trusted to lead the country’s largest city – overwhelmingly trusted. But, Andrew Little is not trusted to lead the country.

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