David Shearer

Who is Andrew Little? How did Little go at Ratana?

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Who me? No it’s Andrew Little not Stuart Little

If you look at media reports Andrew Little didn’t do so well at Ratana.

And those media reports are subtle but brutal showing that the as yet un-filled PR position in his team is going to have a hard job getting two positive stories about a dopey looking, dour, grumpy leader into the media.

The photo the Herald used on Saturday was dreadful.

The comments by Claire Trevett worse.

Andrew Little has survived his first address to Maori at Ratana but was well and truly upstaged by NZ First leader Winston Peters when it came to wooing the nannies.

Beforehand, Mr Little admitted to having butterflies in his stomach given the historic relationship between Labour and the Church followers.

He was also the third Labour leader in as many years and the Church speakers had issued a warning that Labour had to up its game after the faith Maori placed in it in last year’s election.

It may have helped that none of his predecessors – David Cunliffe, David Shearer and Phil Goff – attended this year. But the pressure went up when he discovered he’d also have to give his address in front of National MPs.

Usually the Government parties and Opposition are welcomed on to Ratana separately, but this year delays prompted the organisers to opt for a joint powhiri.

Mr Little managed to get through his speech without looking at his notes. He even managed to get in a few jokes, saying of the prophet Ratana that he was “80 years ahead of Gareth Morgan. And he didn’t have a book to sell”.

However, he didn’t get many laughs, possibly because Dr Morgan was on the paepae alongside the Ratana elders, having been welcomed on yesterday.

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Who is Andrew Little? How long does Little have to increase Labour’s polls?

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Labour have gone through four leaders in the past seven years, and are now on to their fifth.

This suggests that Andrew Little needs to be watching his back, or keeping it against the wall if Grant Robertson is around.

Robertson engineered the dumping of David Shearer with some beautiful low bastardry that impressed the VRWC.

This was all without Robbo copping the flack for doing the back stabbing. Shearer’s mid 30s poll ratings a year out from the election gave Robbo the chance to move his forces to stare down Shearer and force a leadership election.     Read more »

Who is Andrew Little? Ctd – Can Andrew Little win the Media Battle?

This is what Andrew Little looks like

Labour and the liberal elite have great hopes for Andrew Little.

They seem to think that he will have a broader appeal to middle New Zealand than Phil Goff, David Shearer or David Cunliffe ever did.

The problem with this the camera is unkind to Andrew Little.

Brian Edwards, the left’s master media trainer, called Little “Grim Faced”.

The word is that Edwards reckons that the dour, grim faced little is not going to be able to be media trained.    Read more »

Labour: don’t trust the government

via RNZ

via RNZ

Parliament will begin a wider review of the security and intelligence agencies in 2015 following rushed law changes to clamp down on freedom fighters.

Recent publicity and fears surrounding beheadings and threats by the jihadist group Islamic State have resulted in new restrictions on individual freedoms.

Really?   In a practical sense?   Anyone not been able to go to the dairy?   Or play golf?   What are these freedoms that have been restricted?   Read more »

Last poll of year is a bit boring but Audrey Young manages some weapons grade spin on behalf of Labour

The Herald’s last poll of the year is real margin of error stuff.

Labour is up a bit, so is National, NZ First and Greens down a bit…otherwise it is a bit meh.

It didn’t stop Audrey Young spinning this as a massive lift in labour’s fortunes despite them still being under 30%.

Labour’s popularity has jumped three percentage points in the first political poll since Andrew Little took over the leadership and the first major poll since the September 20 election.

But National’s support has also risen, while support for the Greens and New Zealand First has declined.

Labour is on 28.9 per cent, a rise of three points from 25.9 per cent in the Herald-DigiPoll survey conducted in the last week of the election campaign.

Its party vote in the election of 25.13 per cent was close to the poll result, so it can safely be said the party has had a lift.

Mr Little was elected on November 18 after the resignation of David Cunliffe.

National’s support rose 2.2 points, from 48.2 to 50.4 per cent in the poll, conducted in the second and third weeks of December.

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Some words of caution for Andrew Little and Labour, but will they listen?

Tony Alexander, in his latest newsletter, has some words of caution for Andrew Little and the Labour party about the path they have embarked on.

Last week I noted that there are some trends which people (businesses I suppose, truth be told) should keep an eye on. These included growing wealth inequality and employers exploiting staff. Perhaps this latter thread is one of the motivating factors behind the new Leader of the Opposition’s announcement that he will set up a two year “Future of Work Commission”. The intention is that this project will examine changes in the way people work via numerous workshops and extensive contact with various groups. The risk is that it ends
up being a grumpy free for all for all and sundry so the first task of the work which Grant Robertson will lead is to tightly define what they wish specifically to focus on and go from there.

Good luck to them because one outcome of the GFC is an altered relationship between employers and employees. But more than that whole new industries and jobs have appeared, there is more casualisation and contracting, and a generation of people have come through the education system and entered the workforce with minimal awareness of what unions can offer them. And that union movement suffers greatly from being associated with exactly that – a politically motivated always Labour-supporting “movement” rather than true representation of employee concerns.

These are early days for the re-elected National government and early days for the latest Labour Party leader, so the thrust of changes in the employee-employer relationship for the next three years is still likely to be in the direction of further empowering the former. But employers should keep an eye on the building undercurrent of discontent among the working poor in particular, what the Aussies call the “battlers”, and where possible seek input into the new Commission.

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Moira quits, time for Tim to go, and Matt should pack his bags too

Election losses demand accountability, and when the election loss is as bad as Labour’s heads need to roll.
David Cunliffe has gone. Now Moira Coatesworth has gone.

Moira Coatsworth has resigned as President of the Labour Party and will stand down in mid-December.

Ms Coatsworth confirmed she had formally resigned and the party would elect a new President by postal ballot in mid-February to work with Andrew Little on making any changes required after the party’s post-election review.

She had earlier said she did not expect to stay on as President after holding the position for 3.5 years – working with four different leaders in quick succession – Phil Goff, David Shearer, David Cunliffe and Andrew Little.

Names which have been mentioned as possible contenders include Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett and academic Nigel Haworth, Labour’s current policy director. Mr Leggett has previously expressed an interest, but his enthusiasm has reportedly waned.    Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Armstrong on Labour reshuffle

John Armstrong hasn’t had this good a time for ages

Ignore for a moment the installation of veteran MP Annette King as deputy-leader. That is ostensibly a temporary move designed to avoid Little being bogged down in Wellington and freeing him up to get around the country to sell the revised Labour message he is promising to deliver.

But it also gives Little time to see who on the party’s new front bench performs with panache and substance to deserve promotion. It also leaves a difficult decision to another day.

With the elevation of Kelvin Davis and Carmel Sepuloni and to the frontbench, Little is not only responding to Labour tradition that Maori and now Pacific Island community-based MPs be so represented.

Their presence alongside Phil Twyford, Chris Hipkins and Jacinda Ardern, plus the promotion of fast-rising David Clark, marks a long-overdue generational change which brings a much fresher face to Labour.

Those are, on the surface, the good bits.  But Little’s had to hurt people to do this.   Read more »

The problem with St Helen…she isn’t

Helen Clark wants the top UN job

I’ve noticed a few things about Labour, but the one thing that sticks out is the absolute deference they all hold towards Helen Clark.

I despise her politics, but am mature enough to recognise a superb politician.

Helen Clark took over the labour party when it was in disarray, she withstood a coup attempt and ruled the party with an iron fist for 15 years.

She moulded the party into her likeness and the two became synonymous.

The labour party was Helen Clark and Helen Clark was the Labour party.

That was Labour’s strength and it was also its Achilles heel.

Eventually the voters tired of her and Labour lost to John Key’s National party.

Now this is where it gets interesting.  Read more »