The Dim-Post

January 31, 2011

Alliance redux

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 11:19 am

Stuff reports:

Talk of a new Left-wing party is gathering steam, with veteran activist Sue Bradford confirming behind-the-scenes discussions and revealing she would consider leading it if asked.

Expectations are growing in Left-wing circles that renegade Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira could be the lightning rod for a new movement if the rift between him and the Maori Party hierarchy ends in divorce.

I kind of doubt this will happen. It’s a natural reaction to the collapse of Labour as a functioning political party, but that’s a temporary situation that will start to resolve itself with Goff’s resignation in November and a subsequent purge of the front bench.

The nightmare scenario here (for the left) is that this might split the Green Party vote and they could end up with just under 5%, swinging the distribution of seats in Parliament far to the right.

Update: Just to make a couple more points: 1. Bradford and Harawira are such polarising figures that both of the main parties would probably have to rule them out as coalition partners, and 2. My gut feeling here is that there are a lot of activists around who want to see a far left party coalesce, but not that many voters.

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29 Comments »

  1. Sue Bradford on Nine To Noon politics blag (opposite Hooton) pouring some cold water on the idea right now.

    L

    Comment by Lew — January 31, 2011 @ 11:22 am

  2. I really wonder about so many people talking about coalitions with Labour. Labour showed their true colours in the past – they refused coalitions with the Greens or the Maori Party, opting instead for the Winston First party and Peter Dunne!! What do those groups have in common? Really only one thing – being in power. Those you would have thought had a “natural” philosophical alliance were ignored by Labour. Why would it be any different now?

    Comment by David in Chch — January 31, 2011 @ 11:36 am

  3. Of course Bradford is pouring cold water on it. The plan is simply to keep the idea relevant, and it’ll serve it’s purpose. Harawira and Bradford are just reminding others in political circles the idea is floating around. It gives Hone leverage; and keeps Bradford in the news, probably good for their focus groups.

    At the end of the day I very much hope it happens. Rodney Hide could write a very easy letter to Epsom voters reminding them of the options: Nact, or Labour/Greens/Winston/Harawira/Bradford/McCarten et al. ACT has often had problems selling their politics. They shouldn’t have a problem selling that.

    Comment by Gooner — January 31, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

  4. I agree it has a lot to do with the low expectations of Labour and the lack of a strong left leaning party in parliament. I know as a leftie I feel really dissapointed by our current parties.

    Comment by K2 — January 31, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

  5. God it’s like groundhog day. A bunch of teat suckling bludgers looking to extend their exploitation of the taxpayer. If you look past the upcoming Labour makeover (assuming A.Little has the balls to do it properly) to the recapture of the heartland NZ worker aka the middle classes, green, union and potentially maori demographic by new, young and dynamic candidates and party machinery it’s easy to see why the deadwood are looking to band together and try and close out that recapture. Imho.

    Comment by leon — January 31, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

  6. God it’s like groundhog day. A bunch of teat suckling bludgers looking to extend their exploitation of the taxpayer. If you look past the upcoming Labour makeover (assuming A.Little has the balls to do it properly) to the recapture of the heartland NZ worker aka the middle classes, green, union and potentially maori demographic by new, young and dynamic candidates and party machinery it’s easy to see why the deadwood are looking to band together and try and close out that recapture. Imho.

    That is a great description of most of the National Front bench, so what are your observations on a possible new lefty party?

    Comment by andy (the other one) — January 31, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

  7. The plan is simply to keep the idea relevant, and it’ll serve it’s purpose. Harawira and Bradford are just reminding others in political circles the idea is floating around. It gives Hone leverage; and keeps Bradford in the news, probably good for their focus groups.

    Whose focus groups? Harawira’s? Bradford’s? The news media’s?

    Comment by Helenalex — January 31, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

  8. The duff being Andy is the the Nats have a leader with some balls, if I may be so non-cardy wearing in my assertions.

    Comment by leon — January 31, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  9. Diff..damn blackberry spell checker, disturbing it has duff in its dictionary…

    Comment by leon — January 31, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

  10. The duff being Andy is the the Nats have a leader with some balls

    I know who he thinks about when he plays with his balls (not tiger woods, but tigers benefits and Liz Hurley), please provide linkage of said ballsiness? Even most right leaning types think he is timid, partial asset sales is ballsy? What happened to WFF as a commie plot and interest free student loans as singularly bring free markets to their knees and bludging DPB mums stifling the creativity of nz’s entrepreneur classes? Oh nothing, due to ummm eh, er, eh, balls?

    Personally I think a Sue and Hone party would be great news for Key as the they are like a shiny object to take away media coverage from Goff, but in reality won’t happen. Where is the money going to come from? How would Sue the socialist sit with Hone the Maori capitalist/iwi corporate interests? An amazing one night stand of ideas but difficult to wash out the shame of the morning after and the hangover of reality.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — January 31, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

  11. This is bad for Phil Goff.

    Comment by George D — January 31, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

  12. Sue and Hone are longtime National Party sleeper agents who have just been activated. Boy, that John Key thinks long term!

    Comment by Tinakori — January 31, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

  13. An amazing one night stand of ideas but difficult to wash out the shame of the morning after and the hangover of reality.

    WIN.

    Comment by Phil — January 31, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

  14. “How would Sue the socialist sit with Hone the Maori capitalist/iwi corporate interests?”

    doesn’t have to. Hone has never represented those interests.

    Comment by kahikatea — January 31, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

  15. “The nightmare scenario here (for the left) is that this might split the Green Party vote and they could end up with just under 5%, swinging the distribution of seats in Parliament far to the right.”

    I don’t think this is likely, but I also don’t think Bradford in particular would be distraught if the Greens were dumped from Parliament.

    Comment by bradluen — January 31, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

  16. Andy, that was a comparative statement so if you think Phil ‘mid life crisis/motorcycle diaries’ Goff has more balls I’m all ears.

    Comment by leon — January 31, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  17. Labour has become a centrist party for baby boomers. There is no coherent left wing beyond the Green party – which is a horrible shame considering we are so close to an election. Anyone aged below 45 has no choice on that basis unless they or their parents are very wealthy. Based on the fact that 50% of 22-35 year-olds have already left the country our grandkids will be screwed over and in a few decades half of our assets including private property will be owned by foreigners. Merrill Lynch & the rest of the New World Order will be stoked. Arise Sir John!

    Comment by Andre — January 31, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

  18. 50% of 22-35 year-olds have already left the country

    I’d like to see a source. Not impossible (I am in Melbourne typing this after all), but that’s a strong claim.

    Comment by George D — January 31, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

  19. The Alliance, RAM, and the Worker’s Party combined got a capitalism-smashing 0.14% in 2008. McCarten got 3.5% in Mana. I think that the Green’s vote is pretty safe, their reliance on the “socialist” vote has been falling every year, but they’ve been reaching deeper into the middle class electorate to compensate. Certainly, the Green lineup of 2011 is vastly more professional, middle class, and educated than that of 1999.

    The Mana result could be pretty indicative – the Greens kept virtually the same percentage of votes despite McCarten.

    Comment by marsoe — January 31, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

  20. “How would Sue the socialist sit with Hone the Maori capitalist/iwi corporate interests?”

    doesn’t have to. Hone has never represented those interests.

    Hone has a strong interest in treaty settlements, he ran radio stations in northland and runs social services up north. His interests would eventually not align with Bradfords vision, imagine Hone agreeing to Iwi paying a capital gains tax and higher tax on settlement incomes to fund ‘Sue’s ultimate welfare state’. IMO.

    @Leon

    Phil has been on bikes for years, its not a mid life crisis. I think that his calls for reforming monetary policy are ballsy, not to sure what he wants to do but even talking about that shibboleth is big news if you can stop people talking about your hair dye.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — January 31, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

  21. “Hone has a strong interest in treaty settlements, he ran radio stations in northland and runs social services up north.”

    And Sue Bradford ran social services in Auckland and owns race-horses. Your point is?

    Comment by kahikatea — January 31, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

  22. Your point is?

    on the surface they look like they would play nice together, but eventually interests diverge for one reason or another.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — January 31, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

  23. I think it is a splendid idea. Imagine the thril – seeing Sue, topless with musket in hand and Hone, up there on the barricades, shoulder to shoulder: ‘sticking it to the man’.
    This dream-ticket reminds me of a quote by Marx ‘From the moment I picked it up to the moment I put it down, your book had me convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it…” Yes, Groucho, Not Karl . .

    Comment by Monkey Boy — January 31, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

  24. Labour showed their true colours in the past – they refused coalitions with the Greens or the Maori Party, opting instead for the Winston First party and Peter Dunne!! What do those groups have in common?

    If the electoral results had provided enough seats for a viable Labour-Green-Maori coalition then it would’ve occurred. The antipathy of NZF and UF towards working with the Greens was a major factor in 2005 coalition building too.

    Comment by Ethan Tucker — February 1, 2011 @ 12:25 am

  25. “@ George D: 50% of 22-35 year-olds have already left the country

    I’d like to see a source. Not impossible (I am in Melbourne typing this after all), but that’s a strong claim.”

    Hi George in Melbourne. I read this figure in an opinion piece in a major paper about NZ super but now can’t find the bloody thing after hours of searching. Apparently the government’s estimates of how much tax they will receive in 20 years time don’t take into account how many young people will still be here. i’ll keep searching.
    We should ban foreign ownership of our land. Let them lease it. That way it will always be returned. A rural landmass the size of Greater Auckland is already owned by foreigners so we’re well down the track on this one.
    Hone wants to ban non-Maori from certain beaches. I’d prefer a left-wing government that opened up all waterfront property instead – including the huge percentage that is privately owned. He’d be a turn-off for many voters who would otherwise cast a vote against the main parties. The Maori party is founded on what I think are sometimes racist principles that seem to go beyond seeking equality with other kiwis. Manu Motuhake didn’t talk about banning white people from going to the beach.

    Comment by Andre — February 1, 2011 @ 9:24 am

  26. If anything, a political tie-up between Bradford and Harawira would be set up to fail, and Bradford for now has made the right choice steering clear of him. Bradford is clearly of the liberal Left, whereas Harawira is far more reactionary conservative Left.

    Comment by DeepRed — February 1, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

  27. Manu Motuhake didn’t talk about banning white people from going to the beach.

    And if you can provide evidence that Hone Harawira has, I’ll stop thinking you’re a dick.

    On the original topic, I think there’s a market for a proper left-wing party since we don’t really have one any more. The problem is the left is so fractured I can’t see any party surviving as a functioning entity long enough to do anything useful. That goes triple if Harawira is involved, since he exemplifies the hard left’s classic ‘better to be completely powerless and take my allies down with me than sully my ideological purity’ attitude. Also I can’t see him taking an interest in any non-Maori party anyway – I don’t think he’s racist exactly, but I also don’t think he particularly cares about improving the lot of poor people if they’re not Maori.

    Comment by helenalex — February 1, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

  28. Hone will have his arse handed back to him on a plate by Tariana. He’s all mouth and no action. So, he’s real upset with being in coalition with National. Tariana got pissed off with Clark and formed another party.

    Comment by NeilM — February 1, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

  29. Wow! This is bad for Phil Goff.

    Comment by Jon Guy — August 17, 2011 @ 1:49 am


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