Grant Robertson

Why the Labour Leadership race is broken

If there’s one thing the Labour leadership contenders agree on, it’s that the Labour Party needs to change.

And there is your problem. ¬†For each candidate to stand out and make a clear difference over the other, they have to artificially come up with different ways to “fix” Labour.

During this year’s campaign, Mr Robertson said it was obvious Labour had lost its connection with people.

“We need a new generation of leadership, we need to do things differently,” he said.

“Labour must be a voice in the community every single day, not just when we show up at election time asking for a vote.”

Labour must campaign 3 years.

Ms Mahuta said Labour needs to have honest conversations within its membership.

“Only 25 per cent of people that voted for us and believed in the message that we had,” she said.

“This is about how greater New Zealand responds to who we are and what we stand for, and whether or not we’re listening to them.”

Let the Labour Party members tell us what to do.

Mr Parker said Labour’s spent far too much time over the last six years talking about itself.

“If we can agree on a unity of purpose, we will get strength and confidence from it and success will breed success and people will come back to us.”

Labour needs to figure out what it stands for. ¬† Read more »

Now we know why MPs are members of unions, so they can get multiple votes

When moderates complain about Labour, they’re told they¬†can join and have their¬†say.

But will it be an equal say?

No. Because unionists and special interest groups, the very people corroding the party, get more than one vote.

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No wonder things just keep getting worse. Talk about a failed attempt at democracy! ¬† Read more »

Will Winston do a Deal with Grant Robertson?

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Grant Robertson is running a pretty slick campaign.

It is certainly better than his opponents, and is talking about lots of the right things.

His big problem, however, is finding a route to victory. How does Robbo get 50% +1 of the votes in Parliament.

It would be a very, very brave or foolhardy person to predict that Robertson could find a route to victory without including New Zealand First in his coalition. To include New Zealand First he first needs to get Winston Peters to agree to do a deal with him.

Robertson realises this.

Build confident and mature relationships with other parties that we can form a government with in 2017.

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Deputy Ardern: a tactical error, arrogance or the first sign of incompetence?

Unlike the party leader who is elected by the unions, membership and the caucus, Labour’s deputy leader is always selected by the caucus.

Jacinda Ardern may emerge as Labour deputy leader whoever wins the race for the top job, but her nomination as Grant Robertson’s running mate is seen as a risk because the deputy’s job may be useful in reconciling the rival camps.

The Wellington Central MP nominated Ardern as his preferred deputy on Sunday, but his main rivals have signalled they will not name a favoured deputy.

Former president Andrew Little, who made the early running in the tight race, said he would not promise any role to anyone. Acting leader David Parker said he would ‚Äė‚Äėstand on my own two feet‚Äô‚Äô.

Caucus spokeswoman Annette King said that, unlike the leadership, the choice of deputy was determined by the party’s MPs alone.

That could potentially stymie Robertson‚Äôs choice ‚Äď although it is unlikely the caucus would make such a blatant challenge to a new leader ‚Äď or see her elected deputy whoever wins.

However, one party source yesterday said Robertson’s move was risky because the deputy’s role could be a useful olive branch to help unify the caucus after the run-offs.

Here’s the problem: ¬†Robertson is said to have only 12 supporters within caucus. ¬†If the remainder do not support Ardern, even in the event Robertson wins, the caucus can install its own thorn in Robertson’s side. ¬†Someone like Parker, or Little, for example. ¬† Read more »

Not sure channelling Pauline Hanson is a winner, Jacinda dear

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Jacinda Ardern working like a navvy in the chippy

It appears that Jacinda Ardern is a little sensitive about her one page CV and lack of real world experience.

She has gone all snippy and declared that she is just like Pauline Hansen from Australia and has worked in a fish and chip shop.

Labour MP Jacinda Ardern has rejected a “beltway babies” jibe, saying she’s “worked longer in a fish and chip shop than as a parliamentary staffer”.

Ardern has thrown her support behind Grant Robertson’s party leadership bid, with Robertson saying he wanted her as deputy leader should he win.

The deputy is decided by the caucus, but the MP recommended by the leader is often chosen.

The other leadership contenders – David Parker, Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta – have ruled out picking a deputy before the leadership vote in mid-November.

At an event in Auckland yesterday, Wellington Central MP Robertson announced Ardern was his pick for deputy should he become leader.

“She connects with a broad range of New Zealanders, lives and breathes our values, and has driven bold and new policy for children,” he said.

“I would be proud to serve with her.” ¬† Read more »

Gracinda? Someone needs to tell them they’re dreamin’

Ok so the name that they’ve come up with for a gay man and childless single woman to lead Labour is…”Gracinda”.

I mean seriously?

These people with single page CVs of nothing jobs and a lifetime in the trough are wanting to lead a party called “Labour”…I doubt¬†either of them have ever had a callous on their hands from using a shovel or doing some other sort of “Labour”.

Bryce Edwards is drinking the Koolaid.

The dynamic duo of Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern – now termed ‘Gracinda’ on social media – could well be the Labour Party’s best bet for recovering from its 2014 electoral nadir. The two are probably the most dynamic of the leadership candidates on offer, and have real talent. There will be a strong temptation among the membership to choose their ‘new generation’ message. But there are also some major problems with putting ‘Camp Robertson’ in charge of Labour. While they might have more style than their counterparts, some commentators are pointing to their lack of substance as being a worry for the party’s future.

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Phil Quin on Robbo’s campaign so far

I know that Grant Robertson’s campaign has only just got going, but Phil Quin has looked through his rhetoric.

When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to “get alongside communities”, I am not at all sure what he means.

The phrase “get alongside” evokes the image of a teacher’s aide discreetly positioning him or herself next to a struggling student, i.e. “would you get alongside Johnny? He’s having trouble concentrating‚ÄĚ.

If Robertson believes that the ‚Äėgovernment‚Äô should adopt the posture of a teacher’s aide to ‚Äėcommunities‚Äô of troubled Johnnies, the metaphor was apt. If, as seems more likely, that was not the intended meaning, what was? The answer is nothing; nothing, that is, beyond the lukewarm fuzzies you get by placing inoffensive words in a pleasing formation. You could rewrite the phrase “government blah blah communities blah blah” without sacrificing an ounce of substance or impact.

There is nothing especially egregious about this one anodyne phrase out of hundreds like it, but it‚Äôs a decent example of a much broader problem ‚Äď with political communication generally, and with Grant Robertson’s bid for the Labour leadership in particular.

These are what I call bumper sticker slogans. Nice blithe anything to anyone statements but utterly meaningless in real life.

Here are Robertson’s ‘five commitments’ as laid out at his campaign launch in Auckland today: to listen to New Zealanders; to ensure the party is ready for the future; to stand for workers, entrepreneurs and small businesses; to focus on health, education and housing; and to stand for Labour values.

Who could object to a word of that? In fact, I find it impossible to disagree with anything Grant Robertson says ‚Äď and that‚Äôs a problem.

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Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Robertson picks Ardern – both make a career mistake

I would like to say I’d credit Ardern with more career nous than this, but that wouldn’t be very genuine of me. ¬†Already artificially over-promoted to give the front bench that much needed #manban and youthful look, she’s now hooked her future to a candidate that can’t win:

Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson has announced Jacinda Ardern as his running mate.

Although it is the Labour caucus who will eventually choose the deputy leader, Robertson said if he was picked as leader he would be recommending Ardern, in a widely expected move.

Way too soon, and also way wrong. ¬† But we won’t have to find that out.

“She connects with a broad range of New Zealanders, lives and breathes our values and has driven bold and new policy for children. I would be proud to serve with her,” he said today at his campaign launch in Auckland.

In fact, Ardern is the only media-acceptable supporter of Robertson. ¬†The rest of his team are either has-beens or nobodies. ¬†If I have to be honest, he didn’t really have much choice.

Robertson pointed to Ardern’s policy work with children and her connection with New Zealanders as some of her key achievements and qualities as a politician.

Yeah, here’s the gay man going: “look! ¬†this barren woman cares about kids, even though neither of us are in a family situation that anyone would recognise as mainstream New Zealand”. Read more »

Does middle NZ care about any of this Robbo?

On Grant Robertson’s website he claims this:

Demonstrating the values that were instilled in him from an early age, Grant has quickly made an impact as a progressive Labour MP. Among the measures that have earned him plaudits are a successful bill to “Mondayise” public holidays, the promotion of ethical investing by state-controlled funds, and his championing of the living wage. In his time in the Labour caucus he has held a number of portfolio responsibilities, including¬†Economic Development, Employment, Skills and Training, and Associate Arts, Culture, Heritage. Grant was Labour‚Äôs deputy leader from December 2011 to September 2013.

So basically Grant has done nothing of any real note.

He has appealed to the liberal elite wankocracy by coming up with gay policies that no one in middle New Zealand cares about.

To cap that all off he used his sponsoring of a bill to filibuster in order to prevent, unsuccessfully, the progress of voluntary student unionism. As David Farrar said at the time:

A number of organisations in New Zealand have enabling legislation such as the Scout Association. Another example is the Royal Society of New Zealand ‚Äď they needed their 1997 legislation updated to incorporate the humanities in their objects and make some governance changes.

Only an MP can introduce a bill into Parliament so a private body needs to find an MP to agree to promote their bill and steer it through the House. They will often ask the local MP, but it can be any MP. And if the MP agrees, they have basically a duty of care to that organisation to use their best efforts to get that law changed. This is normally very easy, as these changes are rarely controversial.

The Royal Society of New Zealand Amendment Bill was introduced in September 2010. It should have passed into law in early 2011. but instead it remains stuck on committee stage and now can not pass before the election. ¬† Read more »