Josie Pagani

Josie Pagani has got it on dealing with Islam

Josie Pagani has four things we can do post Paris.

A couple of them are useful, others are wishful thinking, but at least she has shown an ability to step outside of liberal hand-wringing over upset feelings of “moderate” muslims.

While it is morally clear that we must stop ISIS, it is not obvious how. Here’s where we can start:

1. Step up air strikes against ISIS strongholds and increase no-fly zones so that moderate groups can better fight back themselves.

France has already stepped up its air campaign and bombed the ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria. It’s not clear that boots on the ground would be lawful. However if more attacks are planned, international law says a country can act in self-defence where an ‘instant’ and ‘overwhelming’ risk exists which gives a country no ‘moment of deliberation.’

What’s certain, is that air strikes will continue.

To anticipate those who say that would be a repeat of Iraq: all the outcomes are bad, but some are worse than others. Boots on the ground in Iraq was a disaster, so was the half-way house in Libya. The failure to intervene in Syria has been possibly the worst outcome of all. We must stop fighting the last war: The 2003 misjudgment over Iraq does not mean any intervention today against ISIS will also be a disaster.

Daesh needs to understand that if they come above ground they will be bombed and if they live in caves they will be bombed there too.    Read more »


Andrew Little the picture of negativity

Josie Pagani and some academic I’ve never heard of explain the problems that Andrew Little is facing with his relentless negativity.

Jennifer Marshment-Lees, a Auckland University expert in political marketing, says that is one of the problems. “[Little] needs to stop criticising everything the National Government do. The voters voted them in, so if you keep criticising a party that is still relatively popular and respected then you’re criticising the voters.”

She pointed to “peripheral” examples such as the flag as well as bigger issues including the TPP, talking down the economy and Labour’s gloomy response to the return to surplus. “Hitting a government on its main strength is a bit stupid.”

She also pointed to Labour railing against the deployment of trainers to Iraq. “Andrew Little started with negativity and he should have acknowledged it’s a difficult decision for a Prime Minister.”    Read more »

Josie gets it, probably why she won’t ever be a Labour MP

Yesterday while most of the left-wing in New Zealand was unhinging and making a rush on tin foil at the supermarkets, it appears that Josie Pagani was taking the time to actually think about the TPPA deal.

The TPP was never going to be the miracle that shot New Zealand to the top of the global supply chain. Neither was it ever going to be the Darth Vadar of deals where American corporations got to destroy the planet.

It was always going to be a little bit disappointing to everyone. The deal calls for Vietnam to allow free unions and Malaysia to stop people smugglers, but in most countries there aren’t enough gains for politicians to campaign on it. Stephen Harper doesn’t want the text made public until after the Canadian election and Hilary Clinton’s team just want the damn thing off the agenda by 2016.

Tim Groser’s summary of the benefits of TPP was incomprehensible: “Long after the details of this negotiation like tons of butter have been regarded as a footnote in history, the bigger picture of what we have achieved today remains.” But I give him credit because I believe a TPP negotiated by Phil Goff would not have been decisively different.

The twelve countries have an agreement only because they’re equally unhappy. Even so, we should give the deal our conditional support.

The devil’s in the detail of course, and that could change my view, but the two questions  you have to ask yourself are: ‘Does TPP solve the problems that are holding back the New Zealand economy?’ and ‘Are there any benefits to NOT being part of the deal?’

Now that other countries are signing the deal, walking away would be unthinkable. As Helen Clark pointed out, New Zealand can’t afford to be locked out of a trade bloc involving the Asia Pacific.

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Josie Pagani on Corbyn’s election

Josie Pagani offers her thoughts on Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader in the UK.

Jeremy Corbyn will never be Prime Minister of Britain. He’s unelectable. A cruel and anti-worker Tory government set on scrapping the Human Rights Act, taking Britain out of Europe, and cutting welfare is now free to rule, probably for at least a decade.

We’ve been here before. Michael Foot’s defeat in the 1980s condemned Britain to the cruellest years of Thatcherism.

There is nothing noble or brave about unworkable polices and promises that will never be delivered. There is only defeat.

Tory activist Lord Ashcroft recently published a survey of loyalists who voted Labour in this year’s UK election. It found, “More than three quarters said one of their main reasons for voting Labour had been that the party’s values were closest to their own; fewer than half said it had been because they thought Labour would have made the most competent government. This, then, is Labour’s loyal core vote.

“They believed people had failed to appreciate what Labour had achieved, that credulous swing voters had been influenced by the right-wing media, and that although Labour’s policies had been right, they had not been communicated well.”

Ashcroft’s analysis shows Corbyn has been elected by activists more concerned about validating their anger and feeling good about themselves than by people who will make Britain better. They think its more important to show their rage about inequality than to reduce inequality. Labour’s base has indulged itself, convinced of their own principled virtue rather than asking hard questions about why most voters don’t trust us to deliver on our principles.

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The Huddle at 1740


I’m on ZB with Larry Williams to do The Huddle with the delightful far right commentator, and traitor to the Cause, Josie Pagani.

Planned topics include:

  • First up the Local Government New Zealand conference being told by central government – there’s no extras or law changes coming your way.  Paula Bennett was unequivocal about the fact that councils had to manage with what they currently get and reign in their spending.
  • Who is responsible for increasing house prices in Auckland?  The answer may well lie in the rate the people are moving to Auckland regardless of where they’re coming from.  But Labour’s continuing to be caught out over playing the race card with the dodgy stolen data they used to blame the Chinese. Clearly the media cornered Little again and he’s been caught out AGAIN.
  • …and something else…

You can listen online via iHeartRadio and normal methods.

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Message to Progress: Piss off and Join National

Danyl McLauchlan echoes what many left-wing activists are saying to the folk at Progress.

He is telling them to leave Labour alone and piss off to National where they belong.

I have two basic problems with the idea that Labour should be a centrist Blairite ‘third-way’ party. First: the left’s great intellectual struggle over the past eight years has been about how to reposition ourselves after the catastrophic failure of Blairist third-way centrism. The deregulated free markets that were supposed to fund generous social welfare states worsened inequality, even when functioning, and then they crashed and needed to be bailed out. The centrist argument boils down to ‘Let’s go back to that system that failed!’ It is not intellectually serious.

Was Blairism really a “catastrophic failure” or are people trying to re-write history and lay the blame for Labour’s subsequent failures on Tony Blair and not on Gordon Brown?

Secondly, we already have a Blairite centrist third way party in New Zealand. It’s the National Party. If you take Labour and nudge it slightly along the political spectrum while taking away the identity politics and token environmentalism you have a smaller less popular version of John Key’s National.   Read more »

Labour’s leadership puts head in sand and starts cleansing dissent

Matthew Hooton, in his NBR column tells the tale of how Labour are moving to shut down what they see as dissent inside their party.

Progress wanted Labour to take a more holistic view of who people are, how they live and where they want to be.  As they see it, in a 24-hour day, people want the opportunity to spend eight hours being involved in creating something meaningful and valuable at work.  They want another eight hours to enjoy time with their families and communities.  And they need the remaining eight hours for sleep in a safe, warm, comfortable home.

Progress believes this more well-rounded vision is a far more accurate echo of the message of Labour’s original founders than the views of the “self-serving unionists and gaggle of gays” they believe have undue influence on the party today.

Alongside Labour’s approved factions – the Women’s Council, Te Kaunihera Maori, the unions, Rainbow, the Pasifika Sector and so on – the new Progress group thought they might have something to offer.  It turned out they were wrong.

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Why is Labour attacking voices of reason?

If you ever needed an example as to why Labour are totally unsuited for government even after 7 years in the wilderness, it is the reaction to Progress – the brainchild of Josie Pagani, Nick Leggett and Phil Quin.

Some Labour people say they want to set up a think tank, because what has been done and is being done isn’t working. The polls and election results are very clear on this.

The very first reaction, though, is to tell those people to get fucked.

Not, “Let’s see what they come up with and debate it”.

They just can’t get past the personalities.

Have a look at the posts and comments on Labour’s proxy-blog, The Standard. I have so you don’t have to.

Sacha says:

Current stirrer and disloyal former Lab staffer Phil Quin blusters self-servingly in public, again

Standard regular Anne says:

Exactly. And the Pagani/Leggott/ Quinn thing is a recipe for a future annihilation of Labour just as its proving to be in Britain. Its the Thorndon bubble effect (courtesy of CV) just like the Brit LP is suffering from the Westminster effect.

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I wonder if Megan Woods and Louisa Wall will push harder for the expulsion of these rabble rousers

Yesterday Richard Harman broke the news that a new ginger group was being set up by Josie Pagani, Phil Quin and Nick Leggatt to attempt to solve the ills inside Labour.

He also reported that several MPs in Labour’s caucus were aghast at the idea and promptly called for the excommunication of those involved.

WOBH can reveal that two of the most vocal supporters of expulsion for the rabble rousers were Megan Woods and Louisa Wall.

Meanwhile Josie Pagani has spoken to Claire Trevett at the Herald.

One of the founders of a proposed Labour-aligned lobby group says it will make some in the party uncomfortable but Labour cannot avoid the tough issues it is facing.

Josie Pagani, a former Labour Party candidate, confirmed she was involved in setting up a “think-tank” called Progress targeting Labour’s right and centre.  Read more »

Finally someone in Labour gets it, now watch for the witch hunts to drive them out

The Labour Party preaches tolerance, mainly in other people. We are supposed to be tolerant of all the minorities out there including gays, ethnic minorities and all religions except Christianity. The problem for Labour is that they don’t actually like a faction that cares about sensible things like getting elected.

Richard Harman has a great yarn about a new grouping inside (for now) of Labour trying to effect change.

Controversy within the Labour Party over moves by some right wing members and MPs to set up a think tank aligned with the party.

Some sources say that things got heated at last week’s Labour caucus over the proposal and  expulsion of some of those involved was threatened.

But a spokesperson for Labour Leader Andrew Little says that while he does not discuss what happens at caucus, those reports are “inaccurate”.

Indeed the spokesperson said Mr Little said he welcomed the idea.

“Labour is a broad church and we welcome all sorts of ideas,” she said.

“If people want to have things like think tanks with ideas that’s good.”

One source said the proposal was initially for the new body to be called “True Labour”.

But when it was discussed at the Caucus last week it apparently came under fire.

It was then renamed “Progress”.

Names mentioned in connection with the proposal include two Labour members usually identified as being on its right wing; Porirua Mayor, Nick Legget and the blogger and commentator, Phil Quinn.

Former candidate, Josie Pagani and Napier MP, Stuart Nash are also said to be involved.

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