Chris Trotter

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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Chris Trotter takes issue with Bradbury’s hate speech

Chris Trotter gently chides Martyn Martin Bradbury’s hate speech in his new, and likely short-lived, “TV” show.

NO, NO, NO, BOMBER! This ageism has got to stop – now. You wouldn’t permit anyone writing for The Daily Blog to discriminate against people on the grounds of race, gender or sexuality. So what, in the name of Progressive Politics, are you hoping to achieve by blaming everyone born between 1946 and 1965 for Auckland’s housing crisis?

The Baby Boom generation didn’t choose their parents, Comrade! Any more than a black man chooses his ethnicity, or a woman chooses to be born female. Scapegoating people on the basis of their date-of-birth makes no more sense than scapegoating them because of their genetic make-up, or because their sex chromosomes are XX and not XY.

I’m genuinely affronted by all this Baby-Boomer-bashing, old friend. And if you want to know why, then I’d invite you to sit down and watch Episode 2 of Waatea Fifth Estate, and every time the word “Baby-Boomer” or “Boomer” is used, to mentally over-dub the word “Jew”.   Read more »

Guest Post – Answering Trotter’s claims

Frances Denz writes:

Chris Trotter states in his blog of 23rd of February that the Sensible Sentencing Trust is a powerful lobby group and is supported by the Conservative rural sector, which is the influence behind bringing back Judith Collins.

These lobby groups do make themselves heard, and perhaps influence others to their cause.  However, as Muriel Newman found out, lobby groups do not always reward their political support base for their cause with their vote!  Muriel put a huge effort into working with the Union of Fathers who wanted equal access to their children.  Did they vote for her?  All the evidence suggests that they did not.

Voting is not necessarily for appreciation for the work done by an MP on their behalf.  People make their choice for other reasons as well as their passion of the moment.  So a Labour voter might like and appreciate the work she has done for them, but cannot bring themselves to vote for the total package if it is against their family tradition, habit or peer pressure.  They believe she has done her job as an MP, “as she should”.    Read more »

Apparently free trade is a ‘virus’ killing off the Labour party

The rhetoric of the TPPA argument has now reached the absurd, with free trade being described as a “virus” that infected Labour and is killing it off.

The precise nature of the vector which carried the Free Market/Free Trade virus into Labour’s ranks in the early 1980s is still not 100 percent clear. Part of the answer no doubt lies in the examples made of the governments of Chile’s Salvador Allende, Australia’s Gough Whitlam and the UK’s Harold Wilson, by the enemies of Democratic Socialism. The policies of the New Right governments of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan had, similarly, made it plain to New Zealand’s Labour politicians that democratic economic planning and the preservation of national independence were well-and-truly off the “Free World’s” political agenda.

What a revealing analogy from Chris Trotter. He considers free trade and free markets to be a virus.   Read more »

Trotter on Hooton and why he wants better dinner guests

Chris Trotter sums up Matthew Hooton nicely.

[Simon] Wilson has a newshound’s nose for a shift in the political winds. As a Metro writer, he’d correctly predicted John Key’s comprehensive electoral victory in 2008, and two years later used his new position as Metro’s Editor to deftly reposition the magazine as the voice of the socially liberal, economically conservative and aggressively acquisitive Auckland middle-class. Nowhere was this repositioning more in evidence than in his choice forMetro’s political columnist. Where the magazine’s founder, Warwick Roger, had turned to New Zealand’s best left-wing journalist, Bruce Jesson, for political commentary, Wilson’s choice was the National Party’s leading ideological skirmisher, Matthew Hooton.

Those skirmishing skills were displayed to considerable effect from the get-go on Tuesday night (9/2/16) when Hooton accused the writer of seeing the 4 February anti-TPPA demonstrations as “the beginning of a revolution”. It is precisely this acidic mixture of smile and sneer that makes Hooton such a formidable opponent. That, and his ability to master a complex political brief very quickly and then fashion it into a political argument that is at once simple and subtle. Hooton, when he’s in control of himself, is both a superb manipulator of the truth and a master at identifying his opponents’ weak spots.

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Hey Chris, one protest does not a change of government make

Chris Trotter is off in lala-land again today, whimsically over-stating the impact of 5000 smelly hippies blocking up the Auckland CBD.

Parliament resumes sitting on Tuesday, 9 February. The slow wending of the TPPA document through numerous select committee hearings; followed by the Government’s enabling bill’s passage through the four stages of parliamentary debate; both will provide excellent opportunities for carefully targeted protest action. Likewise, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trades’ (MFAT’s) travelling road-show of public presentations intended to “sell” the Government’s pro-TPPA position to the electorate. All should be seen as educative political events, reinforcing the anti-TPPA’s core messages of diminished national sovereignty and a deepening democratic deficit.

The public’s appetite for protest action evaporated when half a million workers were seriously inconvenienced by the rowdies in Auckland. That protest was as big as you are going to get, and it wasn’t as big as you claimed it was. Don’t kid yourself pal. The TPPA does not diminish our sovereignty…if it does then so does every other treaty, including the Treaty of Waitangi, but I don’t see anyone else calling for those treaties to be renounced. Neither does the TPPA create a democratic deficit. For goodness sake you all claimed the end of our democracy was nigh, but where you all are marching the streets, enjoying freedom of association, freedom of speech and not a single person was arrested. It seems the democracy and our freedoms are perfectly intact despite your claims.   Read more »

Martyn Bradbury’s TPP riots results in advice to nearby businesses to stay closed

Martyn Bradbury has been talking up riots for this week. Chris Trotter has attempted to mitigate the actions of Bradbury, but the fact he is mentioning the potential of violence suggests that some on the left are planning for it.

Such is Bradbury’s ill-informed ranting that businesses are now being advised to stay closed on February 4.

Auckland Council workers are being told avoid the city centre if they can during demonstrations against the TPP.

Several protests and hikoi are expected to march up Queen Street and end at SkyCity, where the agreement is expected to be signed.

Auckland Council has advised staff that if they can work somewhere other than at their headquarters near SkyCity, then they should.   Read more »

Trotter wants Labour’s history expunged

Chris Trotter thinks that until Andrew Little expunges Labour’s neo-liberal history they will be forever hamstrung in their long march to the left.

Not only has Phil Goff’s “dispensation” to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) not pulled Labour’s ranks together (quite the reverse!) it has also been seized upon by Labour’s opponents to discredit the party’s anti-TPPA stance.

The TPPA endorsements of former Labour leaders — from Mike Moore and Helen Clark to Phil Goff and David Shearer — have been a godsend for the agreement’s supporters. “What can be so wrong with the TPPA”, they demand, “when four out of the last six Labour leaders support it?”

It’s a fair question, but one which Labour – for fear of re-opening the old wounds of the 1980s and 90s – is loath to answer. At some point, however (and it may have arrived) the Labour Party is going to have to confront the ghosts of its Rogernomics past and lay them, finally, to rest.

Quite how he is going to achieve that is worth exploring. It is always fun watching blood and guts fly.

There is simply no upside to being utterly defenceless before your history. Labour may be ready to reclaim its progressive heritage – as its position on the TPPA makes clear. But, unfortunately, as Goff’s “dispensation” makes clear, it’s still not ready to repudiate 25 years of neoliberalism.

Labour members and supporters have been in the ears of Labour MPs for decades, urging them to cast adrift the barge-load of rotting ideological garbage that the party has been towing behind it since the 1980s. They also suggested the enforced retirement of every MP who refuses to acknowledge the stench. All to no avail. The Bible says: “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.” Unfortunately, far too many of Labour’s dogs never left!

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Trotter on Labour’s education policy

Chris Trotter doesn’t seem too enamoured with Labour’s education policy.

THERE’S A HOLE in Labour’s emerging policy framework – through which too little light is getting in. The party’s latest big announcement: three years of free post-school education; is a case in point. As a headline, it’s fantastic. But, Labour supporters’ euphoria is unlikely to survive the policy’s fine print. Nearly a decade will pass before the plan is fully implemented – but only if  Labour wins the 2017, 2020 and 2023 elections on the trot. It’s not quite a case of  giving something with one hand, only to snatch it back with the other – but it’s close.

And why is Labour unwilling to offer three years of free tertiary level education in its first budget? Because it’s not yet ready to adopt a social-democratic fiscal policy to pay for its social-democratic education policy. That’s the hole – and it’s a bloody dangerous one!

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The problem with Trotter’s Analysis

andrew little labour leader

Chris Trotter writes a long article about why the Labour Party might have a hope of winning in 2017.

He makes the point that National are a pack of dullards, recognised by business as having done bugger-all in their seven years in power, and harks back to the glory days of the 4th Labour Government.

It’s an extraordinarily clever move on Robertson’s part. The NZ Herald’s “Mood of the Boardroom” revealed that, while appreciated as a canny election-winner, Key is not regarded as the political and economic innovator New Zealand so desperately needs. With his radically innovative and politically transgressive “Future of Work” policy package, Robertson should be able to pass the hat around New Zealand’s major enterprises with every hope of receiving more than polite refusals.

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