Sue Moroney

Russell Brown thinks Little is a disaster

Pots, pans and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown rarely, if ever these days, writes about politics.

He has broken habit by writing about Labour’s just completed leadership election.

Unusually for him it is brief, he’s normally a big fan of the tl;dr post.

I’ll be brief (it’s 5am where I am and have to catch a plane) but the Labour’s leadership result and the means by which it was achieved both seem disastrous for the party and for the prospects of the centre-left.

Little didn’t win the support of the party or the caucus, he loses his electorate more badly every time he contests it, and he’s vowing to dump all the intellectual capital built up by David Parker. I can’t see any good thing about this.

Am I missing something?

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Waikato Times joins in Pimping the Poor

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A reader notes that the Waikato Times has joined in pimping the poor.

I tried to make a comment on this article stating that we don’t have “slums” in Hamilton and that these people should travel to Africa, India, South America etc to find out what a real slum looks like. I also suggested that they could tidy up their lawns and do some basic maintenance and their houses would look quite nice.

I thought you’d be interested – there have been a lot of these articles crying poverty coming from the Waikato Times lately – even as Hamilton is booming, growing fast, and clearly one of the most successful cities in NZ at the moment.

I am so tired of all the whining in our media about how awful NZ is.

We top the world rankings in so many different lists about quality of life/best places to live/least corrupt governments etc. I wish our media would find something else to talk about besides doom and gloom.

And what do you know…the Waikato Times shows us a house with not one, but two Sky dishes.

They then proceed to outline how all these people living in subsidised housing are apparently living in a slum.

One photo even has nice polished floor boards…some slum eh?

josephine Read more »

Is Martha Cloakley the Sue Moroney of American Politics?

The Democrats in Massachusetts are not particularly smart. When Liberal Lion Teddy Kennedy keeled over there was a special election held, and the Democrats nominated Martha Cloakley.

Cloakley managed to lose Teddy’s senate seat to male model Scott Brown.

So in 2014 they select Cloakley to run for governor. She loses quite badly, getting beaten by about 2%.

Republican Charlie Baker was elected governor of Massachusetts on Tuesday, Fox News and ABC News project.

Incumbent Gov. Deval Patrick (D) decided not to seek re-election, though the Massachusetts governorship is not term-limited, leaving the field wide open for Baker, Democrat Martha Coakley and three Independent candidates.

Coakley, the first woman to serve as attorney general in Massachusetts, has been serving since 2007. In 2010, Coakley made an unsuccessful bid to represent the state in the U.S. Senate.

Baker ran unsuccessfully for governor as the Republican candidate challenging Patrick in 2010. He currently works at a venture capital firm.

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Face of the day

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Labour MP Sue Moroney.

 

Labour MP Sue Moroney has been forced to concede defeat over her paid parental leave bill and instead is asking National to support a severely watered down version.

The new version gives extra leave to parents of twins or triplets, premature babies or those born with a disability.

Ms Moroney’s members’ bill to lift paid parental leave to 26 weeks will go before Parliament again tomorrow but the election result means she no longer has the numbers to pass it.

Instead she introducing an amendment to replace the universal extension in the bill with a much narrower provision to extend paid parental leave to 22 weeks in June for parents of babies born prematurely, with a disability or in the case of multiple births. It would lift further to 26 weeks in 2017.

Ms Moroney said she sent her proposal to the all the other parties in Parliament yesterday but was yet to hear back. Her decision to water down her original bill so significantly were forced by “political reality” – after the election National now had the numbers to vote it down.

-NZherald

I don’t imagine that her current position of begging National to support her will be successful. She is now totally powerless, having to rely totally on other parties to get even this shadow of her former bill through.

It sucks to be a Labour MP right now.

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Andrew Little’s New Plymouth problem

Given the lack of talent for Labour’s leadership spill, Andrew Little looks like a good safe bet.

But there is a problem, and that is his less than stellar performances in New Plymouth.

Phil Quin explains;

There’s a lot of smart money going on Andrew Little’s bid to lead the Labour Party, but the numbers in New Plymouth don’t lie. So what are they saying?

There’s a lot of talk about “listening” in Labour circles these days. Announcing his bid for the party leadership, list MP Andrew Little named as his top priority “getting the process underway to listen to the voters who have abandoned us”. Grant Robertson agrees, telling reporters last week “as we emerge from our heavy election defeat, we must now take the opportunity to listen”.

I suspect Little and Robertson have in mind some version of a “Labour Listens” tour (as Neil Kinnock did in Britain in 1997 and Gordon Brown did in 2010), a series of carefully staged outreach events involving a great deal of ostentatious nodding and taking of things on board. This is all well and good, and may even help in the long run, but there’s no reason to wait for a bus trip to start the process.

New Zealanders have said a great deal already, and in the most unequivocal terms imaginable: they have voted.

As it turns out, electors in New Plymouth haven’t left much to the imagination when it comes to Little. Labour’s performance in the seat since he became the party’s local standard bearer has been disastrous. It seems worth analysing Little’s record in light of David Cunliffe’s endorsement, not to mention his own acknowledgement that the next party leader will need to arrest the party’s decline by rebuilding the party and reconnecting with voters. “We don’t have a choice,” Little told Lisa Owen on The Nation last weekend, “We’ve lost three elections in a row. Our vote has been going down. We’re down to 32 MPs. We are scraping the bottom of the barrel”.

He should know. In the two elections since Little became Labour’s candidate in New Plymouth, National’s party vote margin in the electorate has more than doubled from 6,600 to 13,000 votes. After a 5.8 percent two-party swing from Labour to National in 2011, there was a further 6.3 percent swing in New Plymouth this year – roughly three times worse than the nationwide average. As the electorate candidate, Little also attracted 6,500 fewer electorate votes than in 2008 when the previous Labour member, Harry Duynhoven, lost the seat. After three years of resources and profile as a list MP based partly in New Plymouth, Little managed a 7.8 percent swing against him on the electorate vote this year, to compound the 6.7 percent he suffered in 2011.  Read more »

Why can’t Labour just be honest with themselves

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They just don’t get it do they
continually trying to put a positive spin on election results instead of being honest with themselves.

This from the Facebook page of Hamilton East Labour candidate Cliff ‘Ghost’ Allen.

“Labour Party 8,264 ALLEN, Cliff LAB 9,194. Final result for Hamilton EAST. We came second but lifted the Party vote a tad. Strange thing is it felt a lot better on the ground as there were no real negative campaign experiences. Still, the voters decided and a huge thank you to all those who voted for me and for Labour. I will work to keep David Bennett honest because strong opposition is essential.”

Lets look at the numbers shall we:     Read more »

Nashy bows out

I think Stuart Nash has made a wise decision not to participate in Labour’s leadership spill.

It promised to get messy and it is my belief that no good will come of this battle as the caucus seeks to rid themselves of David Cunliffe.

Napier MP Stuart Nash has ruled himself out of the Labour leadership contest so he can turn his electorate into a “Labour fortress”.

Mr Nash had previously indicated his decision would be influenced by whether list MP Andrew Little was in a position to stand.

Mr Little’s place in Parliament was confirmed on Saturday following the counting of special votes.

Last night, Mr Nash confirmed his withdrawal from the contest and said he had decided against standing after a meeting with his team yesterday. Mr Little’s situation had had only a small bearing on his decision.

“We had a good look at everything and decided there’s a whole lot of work to do in Napier … to turn Napier into a Labour fortress.”

 

Meanwhile Andrew Little, a man so unlikeable he has been rejected comprehensively by the voters of New Plymouth twice and can’t win an electorate seat is probably going to have a tilt at the leadership.   Read more »

Tim MacIndoe forgets to thank Sue Moroney

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The final election results have just been announced and I’m very grateful to the voters of Hamilton West for re-electing me for a further term. It’s heartening to have again secured an increased majority – now 5,784 (up from 4,418 in 2011, and 1,618 when I was first elected in 2008). Huge thanks are due to my excellent and very hard-working Campaign Commitee, Electorate Executive and other members of the local election team. No candidate could have been better supported and I am deeply grateful to you all. I’ll do my best to justify your faith and to work as hard as I can for my constituents and our great city over the next three years.

Tim Macindoe is known as a true gentleman.  Read more »

Chris Trotter on why changing leaders won’t be enough for Labour

Chris Trotter is a wise man of the left, more’s the pity that they don’t listen to him more often.

WHY DOES LABOUR do this to itself? Yes, they have just suffered an unprecedented (post-1922) election defeat, but that’s only because the 2014 General Election was itself unprecedented (post-1951).

And, besides, I’m tempted to say ‘so what?’ In 2002 the National Party suffered an even more embarrassing result when Bill English led his party to its worst defeat ever. National’s Party Vote plunged from a bad 30.5 percent in 1999, to an even worse 20.9 percent in 2002. (A whopping percentage point slide of 9.6, compared to David Cunliffe’s 2.8.)

The interesting thing about that debacle, however, is not what the National Party did in response, but what it didn’t do.

For a start, it didn’t change its leader. National understood (as Labour apparently does not) that a debacle on the scale of 2002 has many more contributing factors than simply a poor performance by the party leader. Defeat on such a scale is clear evidence of systemic – as well as personal – failures. Which is why the first priority of National’s hard-headed businessmen and farmers was to give the party organisation a very solid kick in the bum – not to sack Bill English. (He would keep.)

In the months following its 2002 defeat National thoroughly renovated itself: achieving for the Right what Jim Anderton, between 1979 and 1984, had achieved for the Left. Namely, the transformation of an ageing party into a vehicle more appropriately aligned to the economic, social and political context in which it operated.

Crucial to the success of such operations is the concentration of decision-making power in the hands of those best equipped to wield it. Under MMP, one of the most important functions to streamline is the formation of the Party List. National has achieved this by means of an all-powerful board of directors; the Greens by giving the job to their party members. For Labour, however, the list formation process remains the Party’s Achilles’ heel.

Bluntly, party list formation in the Labour Party is a colossal rort; a travesty of democratic principle on the scale of the “rotten boroughs” that once allowed the British aristocracy to control the composition of the House of Commons. More horse-trading takes place during this dangerously opaque process than at an Irish county fair – with considerably worse outcomes.

It’s ironic really, because Labour once boasted the most ruthless and centralised mechanism for selecting candidates of all the political parties. Seventy years ago it was the selector representatives of the all-powerful Labour Party Executive who called the shots – and they seldom missed. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then National, when renovating its structures, post-2002, paid Labour the most fulsome of compliments.

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Is there a third candidate? A compromise?

With Labour’s leadership stoush underway now there are stark choices.

There is the unelectable David Cunliffe, a man so unpopular he has to hire relatives for advisors. Up against him is another unelectable candidate, Grant Robertson.

It is fine to get yourself elected by the luvvies of Wellington Central and quite another thing altogether to win the nation over.

Wellington Central is no New Zealand.

David Cunliffe has already proven himself as an electoral turn off.

He claimed that the more the electorate got to see him the more we’d love him.

Well he won 2 out of three o the debates and the electorate did get to see him. He was weighed and measured and found wanting.

If Dirty Politics hadn’t consumed 4 weeks of the campaign I suspect David Cunliffe would have delivered an even worse result.

If David Cunliffe is re-elected leader I predict that the fall out from Dirty Politics will claim his leadership in any case in just a few months.

Both candidates are essentially useless.

Is there a third candidate?  Read more »