Chris Trotter

Trotter says it is all over bar the shouting

Chris Trotter has called the election all but over.

UNLESS SOMETHING HUGELY DRAMATIC HAPPENS between now and polling day, 20 September, the General Election of 2014 is all but over. The National-led government of Prime Minister, John Key, looks set to be returned for a third term by a margin that may surprise many of those currently insisting that the result will be very close. What may also surprise is the sheer scale and comprehensiveness of the Left’s (especially Labour’s) electoral humiliation.

By which dark paths must one travel to reach these gloomy (for the Left!) conclusions? Simply stated, one has only to follow the basic precepts of psephology (the study of elections and electors).

No matter whether you approach the forthcoming election from the perspective of the socio-economic context of the contest; contrasting styles of political leadership; the policies of the major players; the parties’ organisational heft and their respective financial resources; or the many factors influencing turnout; the advantage lies decisively with the National Party.

Ominous and dark are those words from Trotter. But as is usual he backs them up with salient facts and observations.

With most opinion pollsters recording three-fifths to two-thirds of voters saying the country is “heading in the right direction” it is clear that the run of generally positive news stories about the New Zealand economy are rebounding to National’s advantage. To those with secure paid employment and/or comfortable incomes, these reports offer no compelling reason for a change of government.

Yes, of course, there are 285,000 children living in poverty and 150,000 people out of work, but by and large these are the most socially marginalised and politically inert members of New Zealand society. They are consequently also the most likely to stay at home on election day. In the absence of the “hugely dramatic” intervention alluded to above – something big enough to propel them back into the electoral process – poor Kiwis simply won’t be counted.  Read more »

Stuart Nash responds to media bias claims coming from the left

shoot-self-in-foot copy

The main cry coming from left wing commentators and paid bloggers and spin weasels is that the media is bias and hates David Cunliffe.

They claim this is the media’s fault without critically examining why such a situation may exist in the first place.

Stuart Nash responds to Chris Trotter’s attempts to blame media in the comments at The Daily blog. [Edited as to formatting, not content]

Chris, this is an interesting piece (and I am going to write my own tonight), but complaining about the media is the same as MPs complaining that MMP has added a rural hump into their once-safe electorates. So what.!

The stories in the media piss me off as much as they do the next person, however, we know this is now the game. If you don’t like the heat then get out of the kitchen.

We all know the media hunt as a pack, and if they smell blood they go hard.  Read more »

Trotter is onto it…inside job for the hit on Cunliffe

Labour is in serious trouble.

I had trouble keeping up with the long list of Labour people calling me about the problems inside Labour right now.

The more I think about it the more I eel that all these stuff ups and mistakes and leaks there are the more it looks like an inside job…especially the trusts and donations issue.

Chris Trotter is onto it, even if he does take 423 paragraphs to get to the point.

Basically it is an inside job to white ant David Cunliffe.

As for the latest revelations or error – those swirling around the trust mechanism chosen by Cunliffe’s campaign team to conceal the identities of those willing to donate money to his cause. Have our political journalists really forgotten the strength of the factional undercurrents that have ripped and bruised Labour MPs and activists since the right of Labour’s Caucus imposed David Shearer on a left-wing Labour Party in 2011? Can the Press Gallery really not imagine the reputational and career consequences for those who backed a losing Cunliffe campaign – and then had their names made public?   Read more »

Trotter’s Forlorn Hope


“The Devil’s Own” 88th Regiment at the Siege of Badajoz. Watercolour en grisaille by Richard Caton Woodville Jr. (1856-1927)

Chris Trotter writes an impassioned post about the ‘game changer’ appointment of Matt McCarten as Chief of Staff to David Cunliffe.

It reads more like a forlorn hope.

“MATT McCARTEN? CHIEF OF STAFF! SERIOUSLY?” How many times have those words been spoken in the past 48 hours? Sometimes with barely suppressed excitement; other times in barely suppressed fury; but most of the time in a tone of utter disbelief that the speaker made no attempt to suppress at all.

The New Zealand Left suddenly finds itself in the position of the dog who caught the car. For years, slagging off the Labour Party as a bunch of neoliberal sell-outs has been one of the Left’s favourite pub and parlour games. But now, with one of this country’s most effective left-wing campaigners just one door down from the Leader of the Labour Opposition, the Left, like the bewildered pooch for whom the fun was always in the chase, has finally got what it wanted and must decide what to do with it.

That bewilderment had better not last too long. Because unless David Cunliffe and Matt McCarten start talking with unprecedented clarity about what’s wrong with New Zealand, what changes need to be made, and how Labour proposes to make them, then the Right’s political narrative – that Labour under Cunliffe has executed a lunatic lurch to the extreme Left – will be the story that sticks.  Read more »

Trotter on the left’s problems

Chris Trotter is a thinker, he is a great sounding board for what is happening on the left.

His post on The Daily Blog is a must read, but to save you the hassle of going to that site here are the best parts.

Labour will take comfort from the fact that its vote has remained steady at 34 percent. It shouldn’t. Unless 100,000 Green voters have undergone a Road to Damascus conversion to John Key’s easy-going conservatism and are now declaring themselves National Party supporters, the poll result is simply reflecting the extreme volatility on the left of New Zealand politics.

The most likely sources of National’s 6 percentage point surge to 51 percent are Labour and (to a lesser extent) NZ First. Buoyed by optimistic economic forecasts and dismayed by the Opposition’s presentational gaffes, the voters who had drifted back to Labour over the past few months now appear to be rushing back to National.

Labour are putting about that the One News poll was a rogue because voters moved from Green to National. Only the most stupid of commentators would buy that spin and Trotter certainly doesn’t.

Most political analysts are attributing the sharp decline in Green Party support (from 13 percent to 8 percent) to Russel Norman’s secret meetings with Kim Dotcom. Norman’s purpose in approaching the German IT entrepreneur was to dissuade him from setting up a political party whose demographic appeal is certain to overlap that of the Greens. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Norman then managed to convey the impression that the quid pro quo for Dotcom’s standing-down the Internet Party would be a Green Party promise to prevent his extradition to the United States.

If the pundits are correct, then the Greens’ relationship with Dotcom has undone years of careful branding on the part of the Green Party leadership.

A critical factor in the Greens appeal – especially to left-of-centre voters – is the impression, conveyed by successive Green leaders, that their party is “above” or “in front” of politics-as-usual. The Greens’ proud claim has always been that they want no part of the backstairs, you-scratch-my-back- and-I’ll-scratch-yours transactional politics so characteristic of the National and Labour parties.   Read more »

The doubt is setting in, Labour in trouble

Privately Labour MPs don’t think they can win the election. Publicly they are all macho and putting on the face of ebulliance…but it is rather hollow.

After 3 dreadful polls showing that the party’s choice for leader hasn’t worked as they thought it would. Ther eis no great hankering for a top end of town trickster masquerading as an unreconstituted trade unionist from the 1950s.

Tracy Watkins picks up this dissonance.

Scratch beneath the bravado  in Labour these days and you will find a pessimist.

Blame it on the weather or a shortened barbecue season, but Labour MPs seem already to be doubting the prospect of a Labour win. Even the optimists don’t much bother to pretend they believe in Labour overtaking National any more. They argue instead that with the Greens votes they don’t need to.

It may be politics as MMP intended it but it is still a long way removed from the mindset that reigned in Labour under Helen Clark.

Clark’s focus first and foremost was to amass the most votes to give herself a strong hand in post-election negotiations.

Her alliance with the Greens was at best uneasy, and at its worst acrimonious. You didn’t have to be a mind reader to figure out that relations between Miss Clark and Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons were at an all time low on the 2002 campaign trail. Miss Clark’s body language during the televised debates said it all.

Constantly torn by the dilemma of whether to sidle up to the Greens or cannibalise their vote, Labour’s relationship with the Greens remains the source of internal party soul searching.

But it has been a long time since the polls delivered a scenario where Labour could do without them.  Read more »

Trotter goes all in, Cunliffe a Walter Mitty character

Chris Trotter has gone all in…I sense he is sniffing there is serious trouble inside the Labour party and in particular with David Cunliffe.

One News last night mentioned results of a poll in relation to Winston Peters so I suspect we will be drip fed information and other poll results over the weekend. Over he past 4 weeks there have been a number of polls and none of them are good for Labour and Cunliffe.

My Labour sources are telling me that the rumblings in caucus are pronounced and whatever supporters Cunliffe did have are fast evaporating as their own internal polling shows zero movement, even after major policy announcements.

Chris Trotter is a bellwether for strife in Labour…he is sensing it.

WE’LL ALL HAVE TO WAIT for Sunday’s One News bulletin to discover whether or not the results of the Fairfax Ipsos and Roy Morgan polls are confirmed by Colmar Brunton. If they are then David Cunliffe will have to act swiftly and decisively if he’s to preserve what little remains of Labour’s hopes for victory.

If he fails to act, then the narratives being constructed around his leadership will harden into perceived facts that he will find increasingly difficult to escape.

There are rumours, but I’ve heard those rumours before and they’ve been wrong, so will wait for the results. I suspect though that Labour and National know so I will watch for posts on blogs framing the talking points.

What are those narratives? There are many, but for the moment these are the two most damaging.

The first asserts that while Cunliffe undoubtedly won the support of his party in 2013, he singularly failed to win the support of his caucus. That failure is forcing him to tread with exaggerated caution around his parliamentary colleagues in an attempt to maintain a facade of party unity.

The Leader of the Opposition’s and his advisers’ preoccupation with unity is now extending that caution into the realm of policy with the result that Cunliffe’s campaign promises to enshrine Labour’s core values at the heart of the party’s 2014 manifesto are beginning to ring hollow.  Read more »

Trotter on Cunliffe, it ain’t flash

Chris Trotter can see that the emperor has no clothes.

This is what he has to say about David Cunliffe’s State of the Nation bomb.

The “Best Start” policy of state-rewarded fecundity is the work of many months of flailing and threshing in Labour’s policy mill. A little grist from years of selfless advocacy by Labour’s Policy Council, and a lot of chaff from the uneasy trio of Annette King, Sue Moroney and Jacinda Ardern.

I listened and sighed. Not because helping the new-born baby’s parents with a weekly payment of $60 is a bad thing to do, but because there was a time when supplying the wherewithal for the labour force’s reproduction was the employers’ responsibility – not the state’s. Will Labour never tire of subsidising the bosses’ parsimony with money taken from the pocket of one worker and slipped into the hand of another?  Read more »

Garner on the muppet show of minor parties

Duncan Garner writes about the idiot, the crook and the rooter.

There’s a reason why Kim Dotcom, Brendan Horan and Colin Craig are getting so many headlines right now: All the other politicians are on holiday, and simply don’t give a stuff.

They’re either at their beach houses or overseas, and politics is the last thing on their mind. This has happened for years.

The political year kicks off when politicians pretend to care about the Ratana Church celebrations at the end of January and when the first Cabinet meeting takes place. Parliament doesn’t actually sit until February.

So, right now those three are taking their chances with the media, but they will soon have to compete with the big boys and girls for space. It will get that much harder.

Duncan is dead right…most MPS I know are still away or in shorts and jandals. If there is a vacuum it will be filled.

Colin Craig can only say so many crazy things and may have shot his load already. But I’m picking he’ll get into Parliament under some kind of deal with National and John Key.

Read more »

[EXCLUSIVE] The Internet Party strategy revealed

Bd96K8mCYAA9XKNThe Internet Party has been announced today by Kim Dotcom, complete with logo resplendent in the corporate colours of Orcon.

This story though reveals the background behind the party and the key people involved in the formation of the party including the exclusive release of leaked documents that outline their strategy and plans to hoodwink the public into voting for what is emerging as a left-wing front and political subterfuge.

The money:

The strategy paper (below) reveals that Martyn Bradbury is working for Kim Dotcom and is charging him $8000 per month plus GST for political strategy, on top of a $5000 payment to allow him to upgrade his computer, cellphone and tablet devices.

Bradbury refused to answer his phone despite messages and numerous calls. Bear in mind that Bradbury has also been on the parliamentary payroll for the MANA Party.

On top of that we can reveal that Wellington barrister Graeme Edgeler apparently also consulted to the Dotcom party and charged $3000 plus GST for a report into two electorates.Upper Harbour and Auckland Central. When we spoke to Graeme Edgeler he refused to comment on clients despite repeated questions regarding the nature of the report and billing arranges, his constant refrain was that he “refused to talk about clients”.

Then just yesterday Martyn Bradbury wrote a post about the pending Dotcom party where he stated:

I think all those urban professional male Gen X National Party voters who don’t derive an income from the Dairy Industry will find Kim Dotcom’s economic vision a genuine way forward and they will find it difficult not to vote for him.

Urban professional male Gen X National Party voters vote National out of default, appeal to their logical sensibilities and watch them change that vote. Many would feel their cosmopolitan skin crawl at the idea Key will cut a deal with a religious social conservative like Colin Craig and while that disgust isn’t enough to make them vote Labour or Greens (and they aren’t crazy enough to vote NZ First), Dotcom’s Party could very well be their protest vote in 2014.  Read more »