Matt McCarten

I still reckon 300 is a better analogy

congressional-train-wreck

Andrea Vance reckons Lord of the Flies, I reckon 300…I still reckon i’m right.

Who will be the next Lord of the Flies?

Another leader has passed through the Labour Party grinder.

Normally coups are quick and bloody.

But by his own hand, David Cunliffe’s exit was torturous. A slow-motion train-wreck that played out over a week. His caucus ignored him, defied him, humiliated and deserted him.

And now he’s coming back for some more of the same. David Cunliffe either has the resilience of a cockroach or a total lack of self-awareness. He schemed and manipulated his way into the top job – just as his caucus colleagues schemed and manipulated to keep him out of it.

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Did Hone throw TTT?

Plausible

There is some speculation that Hone Harawira threw Te Tai Tokerau.

It seems, on the surface a strange accusation to level against the man, but it has been a persistent theme this past week.

I decided to think this one through and I’ve come to the conclusion, in Mythbusters style, that the supposition is at least plausible.

Let’s look at some provable facts.

  1. Hone Harawira did a bunk for at least a week during the campaign.
    There were reports of him being in Australia and other parts of NZ. Irrespective of those rumours he was certainly absent from campaign duties for a considerable amount of time.
  2. There  were several fallings out amongst the leadership, the most notable being over legalisation of cannabis
  3. The deal to merge the parties was stitched together by Laila Harre, Gerard Hehir and Matt McCarten and presented to hone Harawira as a fait accompli. He had no input into the process or decision.
  4. It was only the offer of funding that swayed Hone Harawira to accept the merger.
  5. Hone’s wife was against the merger of the Internet party and the Mana party, despite the money.
  6. Hone Harawira didn’t speak at the campaign launch and was barely noticed after Dotcom boasted of hacking and Pam Corkery went feral on the media as Kim Dotcom did a runner out the back way.
  7. The whole concept was really a plan to resurrect the Alliance.

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Lindsay Mitchell on why Labour copped a flogging

Labour copped a flogging in the election.

Despite the obvious, they seem to be unable to understand why.

Lindsay Mitchell has provided a handy post explaining precisely why Labour was unelectable and will remain unelectable.

If I could say it in a sentence – Labour makes us feel bad about ourselves.

We are told we should be ashamed to live in a country that tolerates  inequality and poverty. It’s implied that success is a matter for sheepishness when others are missing out. We are heels for feeling any aversion to taxation, or the idea of increasing it.

They ran what was billed as a positive campaign but talked, almost always, negatively.

I cannot be a surprise to anyone that their disconnected campaign slogan was designed to link to Nick Hager’s Dirty Politics saga. It turned out to be a spectacular failure on their part, and it will be interesting to find out precisely who suggested it. My pick is Matt McCarten had a hand in that. The slogan meant nothing without dirty politics.

If things were really dire it might have worked. Oppositions can run winning campaigns built on bad news if it’s real and pervasive.  But economic and social statistics are nearly all trending in the right direction. There were no traditional battlegrounds on which Labour could build a case for change. Not the economy, health, education or welfare.

They tried to bribe the have-nots and guilt trip the rest. But the working have-nots figured out they would lose other subsidies with any wage increase, and didn’t like the idea of beneficiaries getting the tax credits they’ve been working for.

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Cartoon of the Day

myturn2

Credit: SonovaMin

How about all those game changers, eh?

During the last parliamentary term we were all told repeatedly that this policy or that person was a “game changer”.

How did those game changers all work out?

Chris Trotter thought Matt McCarten was a game changer:

These are the stakes the Left is playing for – and they could not be higher. If progressive New Zealand rallies to Cunliffe’s and McCarten’s bright-red banner and helps them convince Middle New Zealand that Labourism, far from being an alien and dangerous creed, actually stands for all that is best in this nation, then it will have won an historic and lasting victory. But if it fails to seize the opportunity it has been given, then all that is worth fighting for on the Left will go down to defeat and New Zealand will be National’s for the foreseeable future.

Now IS the time for all good comrades to come to the aid of the party. Because, whichever way it turns out, the appointment of Matt McCarten is bound to be a game-changer.

Chris Trotter was very prescient in that post, he also predicted disaster.

[T]he Left has been given an extraordinary opportunity to prove that it still has something to offer New Zealand, but a desperately short period of time in which to do it. If old wounds, old grudges, old defeats (are you listening Jim?) are allowed to get in the way of making this unprecedented situation work to the advantage of ordinary New Zealanders, then it will end in failure.

And that failure won’t just be Cunliffe’s and McCarten’s, it will be the failure of the entire progressive movement. And it won’t just be for a triennium (or three) it will be for an entire generation.

If Cunliffe and McCarten are allowed to fail, the Right of the Labour Party and their fellow travellers in the broader labour movement (all the people who worked so hard to prevent Cunliffe rising to the leadership) will say:

“Well, you got your wish. You elected a leader pledged to take Labour to the Left. And just look what happened. Middle New Zealand ran screaming into the arms of John Key and Labour ended up with a Party Vote even more pitiful than National’s in 2002! So don’t you dare try peddling that ‘If we build a left-wing Labour Party they will come’ line ever again! You did – and they didn’t.”

Be in no doubt that this will happen – just as it did in the years after the British Labour Party’s crushing defeat in the general election of 1983. The Labour Right called Labour’s socialist manifesto “the longest suicide note in history” and the long-march towards Blairism and the re-writing of Clause Four began. (Never mind the impact of Maggie Thatcher’s unlikely victory in the South Atlantic, it was Michael Foot’s socialism wot won it for the Tories!)

Plenty of others thought Matt McCarten was a game changer…they just didn’t realise he wasn’t working for Labour. He certainly was a game changer…for National.    Read more »

David Cunliffe outs campaign manager Matt McCarten as a @whaleoil contact

What does Vote Positive mean?

Serious political watchers have been wondering what the hell Labour’s Vote Positive slogan means.

It basically means nothing at all and does little to motivate voters to vote for them. It is very unconventional as a slogan.

Vote Positive could be put down to Labour being dead set useless and coming up with a seriously dud slogan. 

Vote Positive only makes sense if it is linked to a negative campaign like Dirty Politics. Then it goes from being a dud slogan to something that makes sense.  Read more »

Matt McCarten’s manners – the stress is showing

McCarten-On-Cunliffe

Via the Tipline

Normally I’d let this slide, but having worked for a number of years in the service industry to put myself through university, what I saw this morning really disappointed me. Read more »
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Impertinent questions

Are David Cunliffe, Chris Hipkins and others really asking for a full inquiry into Dirty Politics?

A FULL inquiry?

Have they forgotten the hacker only provided emails damaging to the National Party?

Have they forgotten all my emails were stolen, also those damaging to everyone else?

Don’t they think I would be part of a FULL inquiry?

Do they expect me to protect all my sources, as a journalist?

How much are they hoping that Judge Asher declares that I am a journalist and media so that I CAN protect my sources with privilege?

Or do they expect me to tell everything?

Are we going to see more pre-emptive articles in the NZ Herald, this time from left politicians and staff?

How are things in the war room?

Media fall for Labour slight of hand

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This has Matt McCarten written all over it – it’s a brilliant move.

Labour has come out stating they have cut policies they haven’t even announced yet, so they are going to be able to deliver a better budget in light of the recent Prefu results.

The media have eaten it up like they were meant to:

The Labour Party has broken new ground in election campaigns by announcing cuts to spending that it had not announced. Leader David Cunliffe and finance spokesman David Parker called a press conference to say they had shaved $300 million from their plans after seeing the Treasury’s pre-election fiscal update last week. They said they had dropped six of seven commitments they had been planning to announce during the campaign, but they would not now say what they were. Read more »