Whaleoil Radio Summer Series – Matt McCarten

I went to the UNITE union bunker/bomb shelter today and spoke with Matt McCarten. I even got a tour of the bunker including meeting Mike Treen. Unfortunately John Minto was out when I was there.

Here is the full interview with Matt McCarten

WOBH Summer Series Interviews – Matt McCarten

Direct url: http://whaleoil.gotcha.co.nz/audio/WOBH-McCarten[dot]mp3

Quotes and excerpts below:

On the new left wing party

The most important thing is you’ve gotta have a constituency and a call for it. It can’t just be a bunch of individuals who write out a cheque and think that’s going to do it.

Resources are important otherwise it is just a good idea

The most important thing is is that is there a view that such a party, like a new left party is needed?

There is a need for principled staunch left party, I also think there is a place for a staunch right wing principled party.

On the Maori Party

The latest successful party has been the Maori party. that was very much one of those triggers, the F&S building up over a period of time, they had no money, but what they had was MPs and state resources through Tariana.

On Labour and the Greens

Labour has no future without the Greens

On Labour

Labour still has a brand but it will take time to recover.

On politics

When we don’t have the two poles we have a dumbing down of politics, and it becomes how to capture the centre and it is full of opportunism and softness and no one actually stands for anything.

The worst thing for democracy and any form of democratic or civil society are these people who take pride in being ignorant.

On the Greens

I think the Green party is the default left party, but i think it is too nice to be left wingers.

Up and coming principled left wingers

I think there is a generational problem, there has been a big gap between our generation and the staunches coming through.

The left lost or ran away from the neo-liberal debate.

We’ve lost a generation of leaders

The intellectual heft isn’t there.

On the right wing

I think a lot of right wingers are intellectually lazy

On money buying elections/ideas

It can’t.

People, particularly on the left, get frightened about people being able to spend money and then thinking that is going to overwhelm the political debate, my view is that people don’t pay much attention to political advertising.


It wasn’t pro MMP [the vote], it was just that it wasn’t that system.

It is one of the downsides of MMP [List MPs], it takes the hunger out of candidates

My view is that if you are a sitting MP and have a seat, you shouldn’t be allowed on the list.

It’s hacksville where they kiss up to a committee

On John Banks

John Banks could have spent a $100 million and wouldn’t have mattered

I think Banks was advised badly, he was put into a position into he shouldn’t have been put into.

On Helen Clark

It was very much the top down, I am the great leader, we know what is best, ok

On John Key

He’s the Aw Shucks guy

He’s a pragmatist, I think he is a Holyoake type, I think his end game is to be a popular prime minister, he is apolitical, no he is not ideological and he treats it like the same way he runs his previous life, what works.

On current record he is a shoe in

I don’t think Key is going to drop the ball

On Winston Peters

The FU vote which can be significant, see kind of Winston appeals to that.

Yes he’s a crook, You hear all sorts of stories, half of them are true.

He should be in jail.

I think it is because Labour have been so useless that people are looking at him again

On where the passion on Politics has gone

Capitalism won

The traditional left has run away from the fight.

You do a service and those of your ilk, but they do a service, and that is a service of a contest of ideas.

Politics has been taken over by technocrats who stand for nothing.

On Muldoon

You could argue he was the last socialist Prime Minister.

On Marginal Auckland Seats

Maungakiekie – I think Sam winning last time, we are talking about a pacific islander who did the graft, and all power and credit to him.

There is enough crossover for soft Labour/liberal support who say well they’re a good MP so I give them my vote and give my party vote to Labour?and Labour’s response is…no we want both your votes.

Carol having lost the seat, or not won the seat, and not having won it and then running again so its nothing new, well, I beat you last time and so you are coming back for another hiding.

This government is not un-popular and so therefore Sam will get the National vote anyway and because of who he is, in terms of ethnicity, his moderate position and his mana, then Carol’s going to job cut out.

On Public Transport

If I had my way I’d just have free buses and forget all the other bits

On Len Brown catching the train

It’s called theatre

On Labour

I think Labour has got such a struggle on all fronts, I’m not what its strong in

The Labour party needs stronger candidates, re-hashing list MPs into seats and then thinking they can win them, well there’s no hunger there.

On Act

They have five more than they should