Michael Joseph Savage

Hooton: Andrew Little sides with terrorists

Matthew Hooton points out the obvious…that Andrew Little has sided himself and Labour with head-hacking terrorists.

As Mr Minto and his comrades argued at the time, it would not do to claim apartheid-era South Africa was a long way away, that what happened there didn’t affect us and that it would be dangerous to put oneself in harm’s way against the Red Squad.  They argued that to go to a game was to tacitly support the South African regime even if one claimed to oppose apartheid.  For those young enough, fit enough and brave enough (like Mr Minto and Murray McCully, now John Key’s foreign minister) it was seen as an important withdrawal of consent to be bloodied by Ross Meurant’s PR24s.

For his efforts, Mr Minto was labelled a “principled fanatic” by the SIS. With his background as a bland, middle-of-the-road union bureaucrat, no one will ever use that noun to describe Andrew Little. And now, after his despicable conduct over the training mission to Iraq, no one will ever use the adjective to describe him either.

Under Mr Minto’s formula, it is not enough for the Labour leader to say ISIS is evil but a long way away, nothing to do with us and too dangerous to oppose anyway.  His failure to support even the minimal contribution Mr Key has authorised – falling well short of what the Iraqi government sought – is to tacitly support religious barbarians so extreme that even Al-Qaeda has distanced itself from them.  Were he a Michael Joseph Savage, a Peter Fraser or even a Helen Clark, instead of bleating that Mr Key’s decision might put New Zealanders at risk, he would instead be attacking the prime minister’s minimalist response as cowardice.

Mr Little had a choice to stand beside Mr Key or Mohammed Emwazi, Jihadi John.  He chose the latter.

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Karl du Fresne on the left’s unwillingness to confront evil

Karl du Fresne calls out the left over their unwillingness to confront evil.

It’s hard to think of a more challenging conundrum than the one posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis).

Labour leader Andrew Little was right last week to describe Isis as evil. It’s a word seldom heard these days because it implies a moral judgment, and moral judgments are unfashionable. But “evil” is the only way to describe men who coldly behead their captives, and then amp up the shock factor by burning one alive.

There is an element of gleeful sadism in their barbarism. Last week they pushed a gay man from the top of a tall building – reportedly the fourth such execution for homosexuality.

As with their other atrocities, they posted pictures and video online, a gesture that was part boast, part taunt. In doing so, they were saying to the world: “Look what we’re capable of. There is no limit to what we will do.

“Norms of civilised behaviour don’t apply to us. In fact we hold the civilised world in contempt. You know, and we know, that you are too weak and divided to stop us.”

And these were merely the more flamboyant examples of Isis’ depravity – the ones calculated to get our attention and fill us with fear, horror and anger.

Almost unnoticed in the background, Isis is proceeding with its grand plan to establish an Islamic caliphate, which means systematically slaughtering or enslaving anyone who stands in its way. No-one, then, can dispute that Isis is evil. The conundrum is what the rest of the world should do about it.

I wish there was a pat answer, but Isis presents a unique challenge because it stands apart from all norms of combat or diplomacy.

It has no regard for human lives, including its own members. It acknowledges no rules, it has no interest in negotiation and its adherents – who seem to include a significant number of thugs with criminal records – are said to be happy to die for their cause because it will ensure entry into paradise. How do you fight such an enemy?

Yet doing nothing is not an option. Either we believe civilised values are worth defending and that vulnerable people deserve protection from mass murderers, or we don’t. And if we do, we can’t just whistle nonchalantly while looking the other way and pretending it isn’t happening.

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Labour’s ties to Ratana are questioned as well they should

Labour treats Maori with condescending and patronising behaviour.

They ‘expect’ support from Maori, in fact probably demand it behind closed doors, but the reality is after 90 years of association with Ratana the elders are finally getting the picture that more results for Maori have been delivered by the National party and their partnership with the Maori party.Labour is being put on notice again but anyone who has been observing politics as long as I have knows this has been going one for quite some time.

Maori it seems are content to talk lots but do little when it comes sorting out politicians.

At Ratana though Andrew Little got his beans, and it was particularly sharp in his mind after the elders changed the protocol for attending the marae, putting all politicians on the same level.

Only one got upset and that was Andrew Little.

Andrea Vance reports:

Ratana church leaders have warned Labour not to take its support for granted, after the party won six of the seven Maori seats at the election.

In a break from tradition, Labour leader Andrew Little and his MPs were obliged to walk onto the marae with politicians from other parties.

Events to mark the 142nd birthday of the prophet Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana ran well over time, because of the attendance of the Maori King Tūheitia Paki. But it’s known that church elders have long wanted MPs of all hues to be welcomed together.    Read more »

Tears of impotent rage over union backed win of Andrew Little

There are plenty on the left who are crying tears of impotent rage at the union backed win of Andrew Little.

None more so that poor wee Andrew Geddis, the man who can’t bear to speak my name.

Labour just made the wrong choice, in the worst possible way.

Obviously, I think that the decision to choose Andrew Little over Grant Robertson was the wrong one however it came about … that’s because Grant is a good friend whom I think will one day make a fantastic Prime Minister of New Zealand. So Andrew Little could be the reincarnation of Jack Kennedy mixed with Bob Hawke by way of Michael Joseph Savage (which he most certainly isn’t) and I’d still be lamenting the Labour Party’s decision to appoint him leader ahead of Grant.

So let’s put aside my personal disappointment at the actual decision that Labour has made and instead look at how it has done so. Because it looks to me like it’s created an almighty cluster&*k.

Nah let’s not…Andrew should cry some more his tears are delicious.

First, Little beat Grant by just over 1% of the weighted votes cast. That’s about as close a margin of victory as you can get, achieved on the third round. So the overall mandate for Little’s leadership is … fragile, at best.

Second, Little lost heavily to Grant in both the Caucus and the Membership vote in every successive round of voting. Little was the first choice to be leader of only four of his colleagues (assuming he voted for himself, that is). Only 14 of 32 backed him as leader over Grant by their third choice – meaning 18 of 32 think Grant is a better person to lead them. And in respect of the membership vote, Little was consistently 10% behind Grant at each stage of the vote.

The thing that gave Little the edge, of course, was his support amongst “affiliates” – which means those unions that still retain membership ties with Labour.    Read more »

Face of the day

Michael Joseph Savage

Michael Joseph Savage

My how things have changed.

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Guest Post – Thoughts on Labour

A reader and new commenter emails:

Dear Team,

I posted my first comment recently after a long time reading and enjoying the blog (as ‘Reasoned and Rational’). Slowly getting drawn into the vortex ;-)

Some time ago I seem to recall an article which indicated that submissions from readers might be considered if of a suitable standard. I wonder if you’d read through my thoughts below and consider if it meets that standard? If so, please feel free to use it at some time when you have space. If you choose not to, no worries, it’s been fun getting it down in writing.

Best regards,

Reasoned and Rational

I grew up in home with a photo of Michael Joseph Savage on the mantel above the fireplace. My Dad was a working man, and the party ‘we’ supported looked after the interests of the workers, ensured a fair deal from ‘the bosses’, was interested monitoring the terms and conditions of employment, and made sure that there was a safety net in the form of social welfare if something went wrong. Social welfare was to catch you if you fell, and support you until you were back on your feet again. You took personal responsibility for finding work and getting back into it as quickly as possible if circumstances changed.

In the house I grew up in there was a pride in working. My Dad was very unhappy when once I mentioned University as an idea. “That’s just for those that can’t work, boffins and the sons of the bosses” I recall him saying. That certainly didn’t mean that education wasn’t valued, and teachers were respected as providing the route to a better job for me than he’d managed.

Times were different. Unemployment was low. Rob Muldoon once half joked he knew all 70 odd registered unemployed by name. Yes, there were only 70! When I got my first job upon leaving school I was employed not because I was the best man for the job, but for the simple reason I was the only one to reply to the ad.

It was easy to change jobs. Give the boss the two fingered salute on a Friday night, read the ‘Sits Vac’ in Saturday’s Herald and there was a good chance by Tuesday or Wednesday you were starting a new gig. Management trainee jobs were good to get all round experience and were plentiful at the time and amongst many other things I got experience at the Otahuhu freezing works with Hellabys and a timber yard with Henderson and Pollard.

My first five elections were all votes cast for Labour, as much out of habit and conditioning as anything else. I was more interested in what was happening on Saturday night than the long term future of the country.

By the end of that fifth election though, I was out the other end of an apprenticeship, married and watching the sense of disbelief and betrayal that the Lange/Douglas Labour government wrought on my father. He never cast another vote for Labour as long as he lived. He could never vote National so he became one of Winston’s supporters.     Read more »

Hooton on Labour’s Next Leader

Matthew Hooton has written an article in the NBR talking about who could be the next Labour leader.

He speaks of centrist candidates Stu Nash and Kel Davis as potential leaders if they can win their seats.

Depending on how their electorate races go, two names would emerge: Labour’s candidates in Te Tai Tokerau and Napier, Kelvin Davis and Stuart Nash.

Both live and breath Labour values but are reasonably centralist, in the John Key mode.  Both have played for the parliamentary rugby team, drink beer out of the bottle, are married to women and have kids.

If Mr Davis makes it back to parliament, he will have defeated the formidable Hone Harawira and kept Ms Harre, Ms Sykes and Mr Minto out.  By working hard at the local level over two elections, Mr Nash will have overturned National’s massive 9108 majority from 2008.  Both will have done it by getting National voters to tick red.

In Mr Davis’ case, he would become the first Maori leader of a major political party.  For Mr Nash, he would be seeking election as prime minister in 2017, exactly 60 years after the last Nash, his grandfather Walter, took Labour to power.  Moreover, in Labour’s centenary year, the grandson of Michael Joseph Savage’s finance minister would be leading the party towards power.  If they worked together, a Nash/Davis ticket would be a dream team.

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Face of the day

A plan so cunning you could put a feather on it and call it a Moa.

A plan so cunning you could put a feather on it and call it a Moa.

Thanks to Trevor Mallard the era of  reconstructing new life from recovered DNA is upon us. No longer is it in the realms of Science fiction to bring Dinosaurs back. He wants the Moa brought back but why stop there?

Think of the possibilities Trev.

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Random reader observations about #Laboursgottalent

A reader emails:

If Grant Robertson becomes Labour leader, and in time, becomes Prime Minister, we’ll have to describe him as “New Zealand’s first openly gay Prime Minister”.

Just in the same way that some in Labour insist on describing Helen Clark as “New Zealand’s first elected female Prime Minister.”

There is some debate that Michael Joseph Savage was gay.

Personally I couldn’t give a toss for who someone sleeps with, I look at their ability and life experience and for that reason I find I am opposed to Grant Robertson rather than his sexuality.  Read more »

Why do unionists lie?

Watch this video from this morning on The Nation.

After Jami-lee Ross has his bit to say about his bill they let Darien Fenton have a crack and she lies right from the get go about Ports of Auckland.

She calls that dispute a lock-out when it wasn’t. It started as a strike and only became a lock-out near the end after some violent scenes at the gates of the port.   Read more »