socialism

Chris Trotter on The Cunliffe

I’ve been waiting for this post by Chris Trotter.

He is the left’s canary in the coal mine. When others blame the messenger it is  Trotter is analysing the message.

MUCH SCORN has been heaped upon the claims of Fairfax political journalist, Vernon Small, that a change of leader could rescue Labour’s electoral fortunes. But shooting the messenger, as so many have done in relation to this story, is a poor substitute for studying the message. Especially a message like this one!

According to Small, if every person who claimed they would vote for Labour if David Cunliffe was no longer its leader kept their word, then support for the party would skyrocket. From its present parlous position, located somewhere between 23 and 25 percent, support would rise by an astonishing 13.5 percentage points to an election-winning 38.5 percent.

Whether this projection is statistically valid or not interests me much less than what the numbers cited by Small tell us about the political preferences of the electorate.

Clearly, there is an extremely large number of voters (several hundred thousand) who would like to vote for the Centre-Left but are disinclined to so while it remains in its current state.

At the heart of this disinclination is the Labour Party itself. Looking at it, they see a tortured, internally fractious, ill-disciplined organisation peopled by individuals who clearly loathe one another, and who seemed determined to not only lose the Election of 20 September 2014 – but all subsequent elections.

Not surprisingly, the person they blame for this state of affairs is the Labour leader, David Cunliffe. In spite of so obviously wanting the job, the general consensus among centre-left voters is that, having got it, he has made a God-Almighty mess of it.

Cunliffe’s tentativeness and outright bumbling has both surprised and disappointed his supporters. He had led them to believe that if Labour’s members and trade union affiliates made him their leader he would lead his party in double-quick time back to its democratic socialist roots. But, when Labour’s rank-and-file did exactly as he asked, Cunliffe spent the next three months doing three-fifths of bugger-all.   Read more »

Is David Cunliffe about to lurch Labour back towards the centre?

Matthew Hooton believes that The Cunliffe may be about to lurch Labour back towards the centre as they attempt to get some traction…any traction at all..in this election campaign.

If that is the case then John Tamihere’s assessment in the Herald this morning is spot on, that “He’s an extraordinarily talented chap but you never get to see the real David. You get to see the David that he thinks you want to see. And that’s his problem.”

Hooton is alluding to that in his column at NBR.

If David Cunliffe becomes prime minister this spring, the origins of his win will be traced to the last week.

This may seem counterintuitive. After all, his highest profile move was his apology for being a man, generally lampooned as absurd. More substantively, though, it revealed a deeply collectivist worldview, where people’s main identity is not as an individual with personal responsibility but where we are primarily members of categories from which we accrue collective guilt and credit.

Such a political philosophy may be abhorrent to anyone who values basic concepts of human autonomy but it was wildly popular among Labour’s Women’s Council, the unions and the far-left activists who back Mr Cunliffe. Some even rang Mr Cunliffe’s office weeping with gratitude.

Intentionally or otherwise, the apology created cover for a repositioning of Mr Cunliffe back to the centre, which would begin at Labour’s conference the following day and is at the heart of Labour’s strategy for the next 10 weeks.

The Cunliffe needs to do this because so far his socialist prescription is failing to resonate.

Mr Cunliffe ran for leader from the far-left, with rhetoric about red roses, the failed neoliberal experiment, the missing million, the misery of 250,000 children living in poverty, and a commitment that his Labour would be “deep red, not pale blue.”

As a strategy to become leader it worked well but it reversed all the progress Labour had made in the wider polls under David Shearer’s more centrist approach.

Talking down New Zealand as a failed state with starving kids wasn’t connecting with voters experiencing economic growth, falling unemployment, rising wages, low inflation, still-modest interest rates and a kiwi dollar enabling them to afford some luxuries after five difficult years.   Read more »

Manawatu Standard endorses Josie Pagani’s sentiments

The Manawatu Standard, normally a hotbed of arch socialists has become quite strident in recent weeks against the Labour party.

Yesterday they endorsed the sentiments of Josie Pagani’s 2012 article in the NZ Herald, the one that essentially caused her excommunication from the Labour party for daring to utter the truth. What she wrote back then is as true today as when she wrote it and perhaps even more true.

After Labour was humbled in the 2011 election the party’s Rangitikei candidate had some advice for the party.

Be more positive, Josie Pagani wrote in January 2012 in the New Zealand Herald.

“We were turning up on people’s doorsteps telling them their lives were gloomy. And anyone who has ever been poor knows the last thing you want is someone telling you your life is crap,” she wrote.

Labour had started to forget its roots, she said, that it was a workers’ party with a focus on making the lives of working people better, not a party focused on providing for those who were out of work.

When Labour launched its campaign at its general conference on the weekend it was clear some of Pagani’s message from 2012 had sunk in, or the party had reached the same conclusions independently.

The party’s slogan for 2014 is Vote Positive, with a tick instead of a v for good measure.

It was accompanied yesterday by a call from party leader David Cunliffe for candidates to refrain from sledging members of the opposition.

Read more »

Where are Labour’s Big Donations?

Labour are an embarrassment of a party, with a dud leader, dud policies and they are absolutely flat broke.

Moira Coatsworth said as much when she told the world that they weren’t going to campaign with billboards or signs, instead they were going to use social media, hashtags and some flash American software the Republican party uses.

Political parties cannot survive without money.

Labour has been a special kind of stupid in having a series of party people that have been dead set useless at fundraising. Chris Flatt, Andrew Little, Tim Barnett and Moira Coatsworth have left the party broke because they don’t raise any money.

Fundraising is the lifeblood of a political party.  Read more »

Trotter promoting jihad and political cleansing of Labour

Chris Trotter is still on his bender, this time he is promoting a jihad and political cleansing of Labour.

After a tedious little history lesson of the Labour party from the black and white era we get to the nub of what he is saying.

 [T]he Labour Party of 2014 boasts a narrow left-wing majority. That majority, after changing the party rules, elected David Cunliffe as its leader and is in the process of constructing a binding policy platform for the next Labour Government. At first glance, then, the lessons of the 1980s appear to have been learned.

All but one – and that the most important of them all. Majorities mean nothing outside the only Labour Party institution that truly matters: the parliamentary caucus. If you cannot control the caucus, then you simply cannot reassure the party that its best efforts will not be rendered worthless through the calculated insubordination of a clique of rebellious caucus members.

This is especially problematic when these insubordinate rebels (most of whom are securely ensconced in safe Labour seats) believe it will be easier for like-minded politicians to protect “the policies this country needs” if David Cunliffe and all that he represents loses the forthcoming general election.  Read more »

Socialism does not work

From the Backchat post last night.

Watch Daniel Hannan explain how socialism does not work.

It is the best 13 minutes of your life that you can spend today.

What makes leaders unelectable

1400674103663_Image_galleryImage_ED_MILIBAND_ENJOYS_A_BACO

Leaving John Armstrong’s truly weird opinion piece this weekend, Labours modern leadership across the globe is strikingly similar, out of touch, a bit odd and a long way away from the ordinary man on the street.

It is a life of multi million dollar properties, backyard beehives, fine wines and the pretence of trying to represent the working class.

When aside from having them cheer you on at a  meeting for the faithful then retiring to your nice hotel ordering an expensive glass of wine and hanging your $3,000 suit up, the gardener, window cleaner, house cleaner and the odd tradesman are the only time the new Labour elite get to rub shoulders with mere mortals.

It is the same for David Cunliffe and it is for Ed Miliband.

This should have been one of the best weeks of Ed Miliband’s career. In fact, it has been by far the worst. Disaster followed disaster.

Having made the ‘cost of living crisis’ the centrepiece of his local and Euro election campaign, the hapless Miliband suggested that his family’s weekly shop cost around £70 or £80 — a figure most commentators agreed was a woeful underestimate, suggesting that he didn’t really know what he was talking about.

Then the man who lives in a London house worth £2.5 million announced rather coyly that he is only ‘relatively comfortably off’.

Elsewhere, he floundered in a cringe-making radio interview in Swindon, unable either to remember the name of the borough’s Labour leader, or identify that the Tories ran  the council.

Worst of all were those pictures of him clumsily scoffing a bacon-and-ketchup sandwich in a desperate attempt to look like a man of the people. Those images, above all, will remain in the public’s minds.

To cap it all, yesterday — a day when he might have expected to be celebrating victory in the local elections and telling his troops to ‘prepare for Government’ — Mr Miliband found that Labour had turned in a shockingly poor performance.

Read more »

Labour “Big Tool” subsidises and splits family – Observation by the Owl

Last night my brother and I sat down and talked about the Labour “Big Tool”. Now my brother is a solo dad with kids and a situation he accepts as he made some decisions which were solely his so he is not bitter.

We started talking about the “big tool”…to put this into context, I never once thought after 40 years he was slightly interested in politics and if anything I would of thought he was a Labour voter at best.

The conversation started like this:

I asked who will you vote for in the next election?

He said probably National.

I said why?

“I can’t afford 15% on Kiwisaver on the so called big tool”.   Read more »

Even the left thinks Labour’s ‘big tool’ is useless

Things have gone very wrong for Labour when you get hard core lefty apologist for welfarism, Susan St John, criticising Labour party policy.

Labour’s argument is that the current account deficit is fuelled by a shortfall in national saving and that by forcing every worker into KiwiSaver and then gradually raising the combined contribution rate to 9%, individual saving will rise and therefore national saving will also rise. This will reduce the need to borrow and sell assets to foreigners to fund the current account deficit.

The presumed advantage will be that interest rates do not need to rise as much to reduce demand in the economy. Thus the exchange rate will be lower and exporters encouraged more than otherwise would be the case.

But inflation is actually very low.  What is the demand that actually fuels the current account?  It is not the spending of the low income families that are barely surviving. Forcing them into KiwiSaver is going to reduce the very demand that keeps their local economies going. Making them save even more to balance the economy in boom times is a bizarrely regressive idea for a Labour government-in-waiting.

As I said yesterday in a separate post, good luck to Labour explaining to South Auckland voters that their new “big tool” policy is going to be used to rape their already thin wallets even further.  Read more »

Labour seeks advice from Human Rights abusers and non-democratic countries over ECan

Labour has run off to the United Nations crying a river of tears because the government sacked a bunch of useless muppets at Environment Canterbury.

The Labour Party has complained to the United Nations over the continuing denial of democratic elections for Environment Canterbury (ECan) councillors.

“The National government took away the right of Canterbury people to elect councillors on ECan and in doing so denied them their democratic rights contrary to international agreements we are party to,” Labour MP for Port Hills Ruth Dyson says.

Two important UN treaties, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, confirm that it is a human right that citizens have a say on the running of their country and take part in the conduct of public affairs.  Read more »