Russel Norman

Toxic Greens drove Jones from Labour


The Green taliban are toxic, which is hugely ironic since they claim to be clean and green, but electorally they are toxic.

Claire Trevett writes in the Herald about how it was this toxicity of the Greens that drove jones from Labour and from parliament.

Departing Labour MP Shane Jones’ antipathy for the Green Party went so deep he once told Labour’s leadership he would not be a minister if he was “second fiddle” to Green co-leader Russel Norman as deputy prime minister or in a senior economic role.

Mr Jones announced he was stepping down from politics this week and although his primary reasons are to take up a new role as well as personal and financial, he has also hinted he was increasingly uncomfortable with the direction of Labour toward the Greens.

Asked whether David Cunliffe had tried to keep him by promising a ministerial post if Labour regained the Government benches, he said he had told Labour’s leadership some time ago he would struggle to be a minister if Mr Norman or other Green MPs held senior posts.

“The Labour Party I came into is a party of New Zealanders. Some are on the left, some are on the right. The sweet spot is in the centre. I’m not interested in ever campaigning for the Green vote or going out there promoting Labour as only being able to govern if it has some sort of Green organ transplant.”

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Shane Jones quotes

Sourced from Kiwiblog (

On David Cunliffe: “When you build a whare, if you see a huhu grub, you’ve got to toast or roast it, otherwise your whare will go pirau.”

On Russel Norman: “I’m not going to have an Australian running the New Zealand Green Party, lecturing me about environment and economics in the north.”

On Gareth Hughes: “[He's] carrying on like a mollyhawk.”

On coalitions: “I like what David Cunliffe said on our behalf yesterday – Winston first.”    Read more »

Trotter on the demise of Labour and the rise of the Greens

Another day – and we have more Chris Trotter musings – this time forecasting the end for Labour and the rise of the Greens.

There is a growing awareness, among politicians and journalists alike, that the only person standing between the Greens and truly effective political power is the NZ First Party’s leader, Winston Peters. This will likely see the old campaigner restored to his role as “kingmaker”.

Labour’s decision to reject the Greens’ offer to campaign jointly under the banner of a “Labour/ Greens government” makes this even more probable.

The neo-liberal Establishment may not care for NZ First and its eccentric boss but, if he is ready to bar the cabinet room door to Russel Norman and Metiria Turei, they will tolerate him.

The pundits are confident that Peters’ presence at the centre of the current political equation has the Greens beaten. Regardless of which major party he decides to back, the Greens will play no part in the resulting coalition government. Yes, they may end up wielding an indispensable number of votes but these will avail them nothing because, in the end, they will not dare use them to force a new election.

Will they not? At some point the Greens will have to step away from the adjunct status they have, to date, been willing to accept.   Read more »

Another Green snow job on the media

An observant reader emails:

Hi Whale,

Having read the article about Living Wage crap  from this morning, I smelt something wasn’t quite right so do a bit of researching.

The article mentioned about Jesse Chalmers’s business, and how wonderful the living wage was for her business. That’s good on her but Stuff journalist also forgot the key information. That is Jesse Chalmers – the general manager of Chalmers Organic Ltd might be the same person as Jesse Chalmers – the networker for Auckland Region of the Green Party.

If that is correct, it’d make me wonder whether the article was a press release from the Green Party or infomercial for the Living Wage Aoteoroa.

I also love the fact how the media always tries to not mention/de-associate a person(s) from the Green or Labour Party, whereas always mentioned the link between “right leaning” Whaleoil political blogger and David Farrar travel blogger to the National party. I guess that is to ensure the articles always fair and well-balanced.

A few checks and we can see that yes indeed this is a story fed to the media by a Green party activist without a disclosure of their involvement.   Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

John Armstrong on Labour’s impending civil war

Armstrong’s pegged it right:  the War Room won’t be so much used to take down the National Party instead of causing a severe amount of collateral damage to their own side

Having turned its caucus room in Parliament Buildings into a war room staffed almost around the clock by policy wonks, political strategists, experts in social media, plus assorted press secretaries – all in readiness for the coming general election – the Labour Party may find itself with another war on its hands before then. Or something close to it.

The “enemy” on this occasion will not be National. Neither will it be Act. Nor United Future. Nor Colin Craig’s Conservatives. Nor even Kim Dotcom and his Internet Party.

No, this war will be of the internecine variety where the combatants all come from the same neck of the (political) woods.

It will have been sparked by the seemingly endless positioning and posturing ahead of September’s election which will count for little in the aftermath. But this week it all turned ugly for the Greens. And things may yet get uglier still.

It may be that fate has decreed that the power struggle between Labour and the Greens takes centre stage at the worst possible time for the centre-left.

It may not come to open warfare. But the dismissive, almost contemptuous attitude displayed by David Cunliffe with regard to a supposed ally is bound to rankle deeply wherever Green Party members gather.

You can be assured there will be a response; that there will no longer be any scruples about upstaging Labour on the hustings.

Labour are not so much in a war mongering mind set as they are in a siege mindset.  This is all about survival of those at the bottom of the party list.

David Cunliffe and his “strategists” know that a friendly face towards the Greens before the election will result in job losses for Labour, and increased power for the Greens.

If you were in Cunliffe’s shoes, what would you do?  Maybe get a chance to take down National as an equal coalition partner, or preserve your own power base as best you can?   Read more »

Explaining is losing

Not long after I posted last evening’s article on the Greens being slapped in the face by Labour once more, the War Room called for damage control


Let’s recap

- Greens say:  “Hey Labour, want to co-brand this election?”

- Labour say:   “Naff off!  We haven’t wanted nor needed you stinky hippies in the past, we certainly don’t need you now”.   Read more »

Labour MPs get no say in cold shouldering the Green Party

Credit: SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

If you’re David Cunliffe, and you rise to the controls of Labour Party power that essentially allows you to become party leader which results in you having about a third of the support of your colleagues, how can you get anything done democratically?

You can’t.  Not if you don’t want to get voted down every time.

Labour has rejected a proposal from the Greens to work together as an alternative government, with the larger party’s leadership saying it will focus on maximising its own votes.

Labour’s deputy leader David Parker says the decision to dismiss the proposal was made by the leadership group.   Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

A challenge for David Cunliffe, put your money where your mouth is

Jamie Whyte has issued a challenge to David Cunliffe…for him to put his money where his mouth is.

The Labour Party has announced a return to “industrial policy”. If elected, they will decide which businesses and sectors of the economy will deliver the highest returns and promote them in various ways – most obviously, by subsidising them with taxpayers’ money.

This policy effectively replaces the decisions of private investors with the decisions of Labour Party politicians. It would be a foolish policy if Labour Party politicians were not better investors than the private investors they will replace.

So, before asking people to vote for the policy, shouldn’t David Cunliffe prove that he and his colleagues really are better investors than those who do it professionally?

He could do this easily. Mr Cunliffe could set up a small investment fund – $5,000 would suffice to get started – and trade it in the months before the election. Since he claims to know better than private investors which businesses will give the best returns, his fund should massively outperform the NZX 50 and other stock market indices.  Read more »