The Dim-Post

October 4, 2011

This is so stupid

Filed under: too fucking crazy to count as politics — danylmc @ 7:16 am

Yesterday Bryce linked to and commented approvingly on Chris Trotter’s latest exposition of his ‘Waitakere Man’ thesis. We all know it now: to win back power, Labour needs to become a workers party so they can win back the vote of ‘Waitakere Man':

. . . the sort of bloke who spends Saturday afternoon knocking-back a few beers on the deck he’d built himself, and Saturday evening watching footy with his mates on the massive flat-screen plasma-TV he’s still paying-off.

National’s partner – let’s call him Waitakere Man – has a trade certificate that earns him much more than most university degrees. He’s nothing but contempt for “smart-arse intellectual bastards spouting politically-correct bullshit”. What he owns, he’s earned – and means to keep.

“The best thing we could do for this country, apart from ditching that bitch in Wellington and making John Key prime-minister,” he’d inform his drinking-buddies in the lead-up to the 2008 election “would be to police the liberals – and liberate the police.”
According to Trotter it’s easy. All Labour needs to do is win the votes of these socially conservative, authoritarian white males on high incomes! And the way to win the votes of people who supported National because they loved tax cuts and hated ‘the nanny state’? Why you simply make it compulsory for them to join unions and pay them a portion of their income!

All the polls show us that the majority of the public likes Labour’s values. They prefer their polices! They despise the leadership of the party, but that’s a sound and sensible character judgement, not a rejection of liberalism.

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73 Comments »

  1. Bryce Edwards is from Dunedin, so his source narrative is permanently stuck in pre-1984 New Zealand. Chris Trotter’s writing is heavily influenced by the need for a Messiah type figure to come and lead him by the hand into the promised land. He pines less for Waitakere man than the certainty of the Presbyterianism of the likes of Nordmeyer or Walter Nash. To fufill this need, he currently oscillates between fawning over the manufactured common man appeal (Chris wants to believe!) of a millionaire money trader and wishing for a re-assertion of the values of a vanished working class, also circa pre-1984.

    The retreat of middle aged men into curmudgeonly, prudish authoritarianism is pretty well documented. Old tuskers tossed out of the herd by younger more virile elephants are well known to be extremely dangerous, moody and unpredictable.

    Of course, some old tuskers are lucky enough to hang on in the herd, in which case they forget their new discovered prudishness and authoritarianism and organise a bunga bunga party instead.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 4, 2011 @ 7:33 am

  2. As with many things, I think Trotter has diagnosed the malaise adequately, but his proposed cure is worse than it.

    L

    Comment by Lew — October 4, 2011 @ 7:37 am

  3. Goff’s major play along these lines, the flirtation with “nationhood”, was also his biggest strategic blunder. I won’t say nobody believed it, but hardly anyone in the target audience thought it was credible coming from a party that had been led by Helen Clark, and it mostly served to piss off not just his base but also Waitakere Man’s opposite, Wellington Central Woman.

    Second-biggest strategic blunder might turn out to be the current party list.

    Comment by bradluen — October 4, 2011 @ 7:58 am

  4. Bryce Edwards is from Dunedin, so his source narrative is permanently stuck in pre-1984 New Zealand. Chris Trotter’s writing is heavily influenced by the need for a Messiah type figure to come and lead him by the hand into the promised land.

    I wonder if Edwards has taken over the role of “chief principled tormentor of the Labour Party” that Trotter once coveted as his own.

    Comment by Russell Brown — October 4, 2011 @ 8:10 am

  5. Second-biggest strategic blunder might turn out to be the current party list.

    Spookily enough, I was just looking at it and thinking a WTF? moment.

    Comment by Russell Brown — October 4, 2011 @ 8:12 am

  6. I guess what has changed is that Tradesmen were pro union and pro labour for years, what has happened is that a tradesmen’s income has increased dramatically over the last 10-15 years. Myself and the tradies I work with get paid north of $20 an hour with this comes a change of thinking. Speaking for myself I consider it ridiculous that I am entitled to $15 or so dollars a week in working for families. All it does is pay for my beer. This money would be better spent elsewhere or to reduce borrowing etc….

    Comment by Cricklewood — October 4, 2011 @ 8:13 am

  7. Awesome. And all the greens need to do is appeal to elderly men lliving in rural areas who don’t believe in climate change. Its so simple!

    Comment by Amy — October 4, 2011 @ 8:17 am

  8. Putting Rajan Prasad at number 20 always gets me.

    Comment by danylmc — October 4, 2011 @ 8:17 am

  9. No disrespect Cricklewood, but can you define “North of $20 an hour”?

    Despite the government’s commitment to lowering wages $20/hour still works out as less than the average/median wage I believe.

    I have cousins in their early 20s doing apprenticeships and have told them, “learn the trade, then learn the business”, the sooner they can be self-employed and employing someone else, the better for their earning potential., but they’ve still got to pay their dues first.

    As for Trotter, he’s as relevant as Douglas or Bob Jones these days isnt he? A relic of the not lamented 80s (King & Goff should be in that stack too. They will be in 2 months)

    Comment by Paul Rowe — October 4, 2011 @ 8:43 am

  10. Putting Rajan Prasad at number 20 always gets me.

    Down from number 12 in 2008, but.

    Darien Fenton vaulting from 33 to 18 this year is the one for me.

    Comment by Russell Brown — October 4, 2011 @ 8:50 am

  11. Trotter has a point but as usual projects too much of himself in it. “Waitakere man” probably doesn’t give a shit about politics, too busy to follow it that much and just votes for someone he likes, he sees John Key on TV now and then, hears him on the Edge, he comes across well so gets a vote.

    There’s no vindictive feminazi bent to it at all.

    Comment by Anthony — October 4, 2011 @ 8:51 am

  12. Tradesmen only make all that money (and it isn’t that much – if I was an electrician I’d make way less then I get with a degree and an average IT job) because we still have the ability to borrow and construct stuff. When China fucks up, which can only be a matter of time, that’ll disappear. Not to mention that as oil prices get tighter, that lifestyle (cheap city fringe house, V8 car, holidays in Queensland) will get a whole lot less affordable.

    I wonder how many Waitakere Men will be voting National when mortgage rates are 18%, wages are $20 an hour if they can find a job and the V8 costs $400 to fill.

    Comment by Rich — October 4, 2011 @ 8:52 am

  13. Sanctuary wrote: “Bryce Edwards is from Dunedin, so his source narrative is permanently stuck in pre-1984 New Zealand.”

    have you ever actually been to Dunedin?

    Comment by Kahikatea — October 4, 2011 @ 8:52 am

  14. “…have you ever actually been to Dunedin..?”

    Yes, I go down to Queenstown every year and usually make it across to Dunedin every five or so years. And I am struck by how old fashioned it all is compared to Auckland.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 4, 2011 @ 9:04 am

  15. Heh. Sanc knows all about Dunedin because, as an Aucklander, he holidays in Queenstown. priceless.

    L

    Comment by Lew — October 4, 2011 @ 9:05 am

  16. 13.Sanctuary wrote: “Bryce Edwards is from Dunedin, so his source narrative is permanently stuck in pre-1984 New Zealand.”

    have you ever actually been to Dunedin?

    Probably just listened to Clare Curran!!!

    Comment by Jeff — October 4, 2011 @ 9:06 am

  17. Second-biggest strategic blunder might turn out to be the current party list.

    @ braadluen / Russell B

    Apropos, this gem in the RA comments made me chuckle.

    ‘I’m afraid Labour’s list selection panel (some 35 or more which is way too many and a recipe for disaster) lost the plot and placed several experienced and/or up and coming politicians (part of the 2008 intake) lower on the list than they should be. They are electorate candidates and it was assumed (I suppose) they would win their seats. It looks like some may not win – Damien O’Conner is one of them – and that could put them out of parliament altogether.’

    Comment by Gregor W — October 4, 2011 @ 9:14 am

  18. Hmmm, actually going to Otago and having friends down there I would suspect makes me better qualified that you Lew, but there you go.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 4, 2011 @ 9:16 am

  19. @9 Starting at about $21 through to $29 for a foreman…

    Comment by Cricklewood — October 4, 2011 @ 9:21 am

  20. Meanwhile, the Guardian shows the way liberals should deal with the lumpenproletariat with this recipe for barbecued peasant.

    Comment by Rich — October 4, 2011 @ 9:22 am

  21. According to Goff Labour’s only problem is that The People have not been paying attention to politcs and when they wake up they’ll vote Labour.

    Fenton, Curran et al (how many et al one wonders) might be marginal but the notion that Labour’s poor performance lies with voters goes right to the top.

    I think the problem lies with the current leadership having their roots back in the 80s when there were big and morally clear issues such as aparthied, anti-nulcear etc, plus there now being less cohesion between the main two arms of Labour’s support base – unionism and liberal issues (gay rights etc).

    Comment by NeilM — October 4, 2011 @ 9:26 am

  22. Sanc, the difference is I’m not the one making idiotic and slightly condescending generalisations about the place (where half my extended family lives, BTW).

    L

    Comment by Lew — October 4, 2011 @ 9:27 am

  23. In the interest of equal opportunity snark, let me say that National’s list has its share of howlers — I mean there’s a good chance Paul Quinn, the least competent MP since Alamein Kopu, will return to Parliament. Difference is that to National, this hardly matters.

    Comment by bradluen — October 4, 2011 @ 9:28 am

  24. I love the idea of this tradie sitting around watching the league with a few beers and talking about “policing the liberals”. Methinks someone’s projecting…

    Comment by garethw — October 4, 2011 @ 9:31 am

  25. @12, & when that happens, and things really turn to shit what will an IT specialist do when nobody has the coin to buy the products from the companies whom the It specialist works for… or what will they do in the event of mass energy shortages?

    Comment by Cricklewood — October 4, 2011 @ 9:38 am

  26. I mean there’s a good chance Paul Quinn, the least competent MP since Alamein Kopu, will return to Parliament.

    Given at least one other member of the National caucus I can think of, this is grossly unfair to Paul Quinn.

    Also, the reason Quinn may return to Parliament is that National may get 61+ MPs.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — October 4, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  27. forgot a third aspect to how times have changed and Labour hasn’t – they can no longer rely on maori votes

    Comment by NeilM — October 4, 2011 @ 9:43 am

  28. That’s the thing, National have numerous counter-productive MPs, but they’re smart enough not to make any of them campaign manager.

    Comment by bradluen — October 4, 2011 @ 9:45 am

  29. It reminds me of US Democrat senator Howard Dean attempting to reach out to the ‘pickup truck with Dixie flag’ vote in the 2004 presidential run-up, at the expense of his core supporters.

    Trotter seems to be adhering to the theory that Waitakere Man is NZ’s Essex Man/Reagan Democrat.

    Comment by DeepRed — October 4, 2011 @ 9:52 am

  30. Waitakere Man is Trotter’s version of the Brash/Ansell “mainstream”. Both arise from marketing folklore about tribes, which is reductive tosh as far as I’m concerned.

    Comment by Stephen — October 4, 2011 @ 9:56 am

  31. Unsolicited advice about what Labour ‘needs’ to do has to be the #1 thing grating my gears at the moment. Yes, Chris Trotter, we will throw anybody who isn’t a straight (talking) white man under the bus. As Danyl says, the best way of winning against Naitonal is to steal their core demographic of voters off them, right? And yes, Bryce, we’ll take the advice of somebody who probably hates Labour/the Greens more than they do National, of course.

    The thing Labour & its supporters need to do is make sure we get at a solid base of at least 30% in this election so that when Key actually has to make big, and bad decisions next term we have enough of a base to beat him in 2014 with.

    Comment by Hobbes — October 4, 2011 @ 10:19 am

  32. Hobbes. …..a solid base of at least 30% in this election so that when Key actually has to make big, and bad decisions……
    Be ware of the dreaded MANDATE. It is coming to a country near you. Those dead rats that Bill English fed on are well and truly digested and eliminated. So without a credible opposition, the fat will be in the fire, the chickens will come home to shit on us, the Rubicorn will be a path to Hades, and Mr Trotter will be intoning, “I told you so.”.

    Comment by ianmac — October 4, 2011 @ 10:36 am

  33. To be fair to Labour, the crisis affecting our mainstream political parties is right across the entire west at moment, not just in New Zealand. National is not the voice of small businesses and family owned farms anymore than Labour is the party of “Waitakere man”. Across the West, the establishment political parties have been converted from mass membership grass roots organisations to elite cadre parties of career politicians. All mainstream parties are now made up of a largely interchangeable political class of pompous careerists that is mostly interested in securing its own sinecures and privileges, so is easily seduced and/or bribed by the baubles of other elites – in particular, globalised capital. The rise and rise of protest parties (like the recent victory of the Pirate party in the Berlin state elections) and right wing populist parties represent the electorates growing frustration with a political order that is little more than neo-liberalism hidden behind two drama masks.

    For right wing parties like National, this isn’t a huge problem they can’t deal with – they are simply extending their ground further to the right to embrace the new ideological warriors and benefiting from the wealth that flows into their party coffers by way of reward. For the nominal parties of the poor and working class however it is a disaster. They’ve forgotten how to fight and they allowed themselves to be co-opted onto the right’s ground from where they have collaborated in allowing their sources of independent thought, income and power to be destroyed. They are now cut off from their base and are beholden to the charity of their class enemies for funding.

    It is their own fault, but let’s face it, without the Labour Party even the interests of the centre-left have no chance of winning an election in this country for a generation. For all the wishful thinking of the ex-Alliance knockers and the Greens and Mana, Labour will remain the primary change agent for the social democratic left for the mid to long term. So the need to come up with ideas to revive the patient is really going to be more useful than indulging in a rhetorical competition to see who can come up with the most elaborate eulogy.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 4, 2011 @ 10:40 am

  34. Across the West, the establishment political parties have been converted from mass membership grass roots organisations to elite cadre parties of career politicians.

    To continue the theme of fairness, this is fundamental to Bryce Edwards’ outlook, which views modern parties as deracinated and without ideology.

    the need to come up with ideas to revive the patient is really going to be more useful than indulging in a rhetorical competition to see who can come up with the most elaborate eulogy.

    Amen.

    Personally, I want to see an end to the obsession with seeming reasonable, about putting limits on the possible, about winning the (impossible to obtain) favour of “serious” commentators.

    Comment by Stephen — October 4, 2011 @ 10:55 am

  35. “Paul Quinn, the least competent MP since Alamein Kopu”

    Eh? He may be no shining star, but he is in a parliament which also contains Hilary Calvert.

    Comment by Dr Foster — October 4, 2011 @ 10:59 am

  36. Quinn’s single solitary achievement in Parliament has been to disenfranchise New Zealanders; Calvert’s youtube antics pale in comparison (they’re more amusing than downright evil.)

    Comment by Hobbes — October 4, 2011 @ 11:11 am

  37. @Stephen – I think a lot of Bryce Edward’s analysis is good, it is commentary that is hopelessly compromised by anti-Labour double standard in my view. his commentary tends to go like this “modern parties as deracinated and without ideology, which is to be expected in traditional governing parties of the right, but in the case of Labour, well, they deserve a traditional Otago death by being shot in their beds after my paper run.”

    I also agree with you about that the need to appear reasonable and appease the unappeasable is inflicting serious damage to the left. The left still can’t get it’s head around the idea that the war is over for this generation. The neo-liberals won. the left has been tossed out of the establishment. We have to start thinking like radicals again, and seek to re-introduce radical rhetoric into the debate, rather than constantly seeking accomodations with the right in a social-democratic settlement that is now just a facade.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 4, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  38. We have to start thinking like radicals again, and seek to re-introduce radical rhetoric into the debate, rather than constantly seeking accomodations with the right in a social-democratic settlement that is now just a facade.

    how many votes do you expect Mana to get?

    Comment by NeilM — October 4, 2011 @ 11:43 am

  39. Labour’s ‘won the war’. The voters prefer their policies. All you have to do at that point is convince them that your party is trustworthy and capable and united enough to run the country. Unfortunately Labour’s senior MPs don’t behave like people who are smart, or capable, or united, and they seem like they’d do a terrible job of running the country.

    So they don’t have to re-invent the party, or abandon their core voters by chasing some working class vote that no longer even exists. They just need to present themselves as a capable, trustworthy party. That is, literally, all they need to do.

    Comment by danylmc — October 4, 2011 @ 11:44 am

  40. Danyl, I think one reason some people perceive some senior Labour people as not trustworthy and capable is that those people appear to soft-pedal the things they should be most proud of. This is where (to use Sanctuary’s words) reintroducing radical rhetoric comes in.

    Comment by Stephen — October 4, 2011 @ 11:52 am

  41. Labour doesn’t need to win the election this year, and given that they are completely fucked, for most of the reasons already explored, it is just as well.

    They need to keep National to about 45% of the vote,and hope that ACT gets a stake through its heart and the good people of Johnsonville finally wake up to Plank Dunne. Let’s see Mr Relaxed about the state of our economy manage his party under the pressure of having to work for a majority to sell the country down the river.

    Frankl, I think Labour have no chance of playing even that spoiling game.

    Comment by Paul Rowe — October 4, 2011 @ 11:52 am

  42. Oh and Sanc

    Your Traditional Otago Death quip is brilliant in its humour & offensiveness.

    Comment by Paul Rowe — October 4, 2011 @ 11:55 am

  43. > back in the 80s when there were big and morally clear issues such as aparthied, anti-nulcear etc…

    I think you’ll find there are still big and morally clear issues, it’s just that Labour has had difficulty identifying them.

    Comment by Ross — October 4, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

  44. I think you’ll find there are still big and morally clear issues, it’s just that Labour has had difficulty identifying them.

    but there’s something about abortion rights that motivates people much more than a CGT. Many of the liberal identity politics issues may have not been completely won by the centre-left but here’s been enough progress to take a lot of the steam out.

    Comment by NeilM — October 4, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

  45. > The thing Labour & its supporters need to do is make sure we get at a solid base of at least 30% in this election..

    I’m sure you meant “they and not “we”.

    I would’ve thought that it doesn’t really matter how big or little Labour’s share of the vote is at this election. It is going to come a distant second anyway. I find it hard to support a party that seems to have little interest in social justice.

    Comment by Ross — October 4, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  46. > Labour’s ‘won the war’. The voters prefer their policies.

    Goff will be heartened to hear that. Imagine if voters hated Labour’s policies, Labour would be in for a pasting come election day.

    Comment by Ross — October 4, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

  47. I think intergenerational politics is playing a much bigger part than is acknowledged by most commentators. Probably because the commentators are themselves aging, and the youth are so far down the path of disaffection they don’t even vote at all, nor participate in the debate. As the baby boomers get older they get richer, deeper into property, and more inclined to vote National. The next generation grew up with Rogernomics, have never known anything different at all, and were drawn up into the middle classes by their parents, and thus less inclined to buy into Marxist ideals. Half of them are doing OK, particularly the classes who sidestepped student loans, taking up trades, and are easily inclined to vote to the Right. Half are struggling, having sucked on the tail end of the property bubble, and facing stiff competition for their labour, which is by nature globalized, and of those half probably think that less tax is a good idea, and would vote in that direction. The poorest class are kids and they don’t vote, and don’t have a coherent opinion. Their training has pushed so far away from general studies that it’s rare to find one that feels the least bit qualified to make general statements. They can be mobilized to riot, but they can be effectively suppressed in democracies.

    If we want to make sweeping guesses about the future of politics, the most important factor is going to be “which way will kids go”. Baby boomers are a dying species – in ten years there won’t be any left in power. It’s going to be my generation’s turn, and we need to look to our own kids to work out how to make our society work. The worst thing about disaffected groups is that their direction can be pretty random, easy prey for powerful organized groups, especially authoritarian ones.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 4, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

  48. “I wonder if Edwards has taken over the role of “chief principled tormentor of the Labour Party” that Trotter once coveted as his own.”

    I think Bryce is quite happy tormenting the Greens, actually. He’s presumably banking on to the fact that they will inevitably A) Get into government, and B) fuck up when they get there, this carving out a space for him as Cassandra to their catastrophe.

    Comment by Hugh — October 4, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

  49. “We [Labour] have to start thinking like radicals again, and seek to re-introduce radical rhetoric into the debate, rather than constantly seeking accomodations with the right in a social-democratic settlement that is now just a facade.”

    Try telling that to Charles Chauvel, Sanctuary! Labour just folded like a deck of cards (yet again) on our civil rights, and will support National in letting police put video cameras in our bedrooms, without so much as a warrant for that spying. Some ‘accomodation’…

    But that’s nothing compared to this Sanctuary gem:
    “Labour will remain the primary change agent for the social democratic left for the mid to long term. So the need to come up with ideas to revive the patient is really going to be more useful than indulging in a rhetorical competition to see who can come up with the most elaborate eulogy.”

    See, most of us contrary peasants would rather drive a stake thru the heart of the entire Labour caucus than revive it like Roger Douglas’ vampire corpse.

    Vacant Obama-style social democrat aspirations to manage free market capitalism does not work Sanctuary. As the ‘change’ man is discovering. At some point you have to create long-term jobs by protecting Kiwi workers from unfair competition with sweatshops pouring filth into rivers to make $2 hoodies.

    But for the record – surely….. Steve Tew – most incompetent bluff job ever? He’s just been called out to the OK Corral by the IRB on his threat to pull the All Blacks for the new RWC, and Tew scuttled out the saloon back door, to the jeers of the floosies. Perhaps Labour should hire IRB head Mike Moller?

    Comment by bob — October 4, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

  50. I agree. If Labour were to become a Workers Party, like they were originally, they’d get the vote of the Waikatere Men, the vote of a lot of other people as well. Let’s admit it, the workers are the bread and butter of this country; the businessmen and farmers that National have traditionally catered to are more like the cream, they’re delicious, rich, and there’s only a little bit of it.

    National have brought in a lot of legislation that limit the prospects of ordinary people, such as the 90 day work trial which should be reduced to 60 days; refusing to raise the minimum wage; refusing to consider a capital gains tax; not exempting fresh fruits and veges from GST; excluding our Maori citizens from a fair and right part in the making of politics; the list goes on.

    Comment by Betty — October 4, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

  51. Sanctuary, attacking the messenger seems to be a standard Labour tactic, but don’t you think it’s taking it a bit far attacking the whole province the messenger happens to live in? I guess it’s not dissimilar to Fenton’s bulk alienation approach.

    It’s also slightly ironic that you say “Bryce Edwards is from Dunedin, so his source narrative is permanently stuck in pre-1984 New Zealand.”
    What era is Labour’s narrative stuck in?

    Comment by Pete George — October 4, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

  52. Friday’s downgrades are an interesting case study. While I personally don’t think they’re a big deal in the long run, they gave a rare opportunity for Labour to do serious damage to National’s and Key’s rep as competent economic managers. What did we get from Labour?

    – Cunliffe wrote a Herald op-ed
    – Goff, Cunliffe, and Parker wrote press releases about the downgrade
    – Cunliffe, Robertson, and Jordan Carter wrote Red Alert entries about the downgrade
    – Goff, King, Cunliffe, Parker, and Robertson submitted downgrade-related questions to Question Time

    This shows the top of the party (1-4 on the list) see the downgrade as an opportunity. What about the next level down?

    5. Dyson: nothing
    6. Horomia: nothing
    7. Street: nothing
    8. Cosgrove: nothing
    9. Mallard: some weird rhetorical questions on Red Alert
    10. Moroney: press release on education; a tweet about the downgrade
    11. Chauvel: press release saying how great the new surveillance bill is
    12: Mahuta: who is she again?

    I don’t expect all of the above to comment on the downgrade – it is, in the first place, an issue for the finance team. But you’d think at least a couple of them would be contributing to making an issue out of it.

    The top of the party (and that includes Robertson in practice) could be doing a lot of things better. But on this issue, as on many others, they’re getting practically nothing from the candidates below them until you get down to Jordan Carter, who, barring a miraculous recovery, won’t make it into Parliament, since he’s fifteen places below Rick Fucking Barker.

    Comment by bradluen — October 4, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

  53. Ummm, Betty, if Labour actually (when Hell freezes) became a Workers Party, then there would be no 90 day ‘fire at will’ law. Because cutting it to 60 days makes little difference. Bosses should not be able to fire any worker without giving their reasons, precisely because that allows the boss to disguise whether they had just reason to sack the worker, or whether the worker just refused to go along with some dodgy behaviour by the boss, like getting groped, or working for less than minimum wage, etc.

    But please do convert Labour to a workers party – I and Chris Trotter could then vote for it ;)

    Comment by bob — October 4, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

  54. BTW Sanctuary, how did Bryce Edwards regress so quickly since he moved to Dunedin?

    Bryce joined the Politics department in 2007. Prior to teaching, Bryce worked as a policy analyst in government departments in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

    His PhD, completed in 2003, was on Political Parties in New Zealand: A Study of Ideological and Organisational Transformation.

    His Vote Chat promoted from Facebook with live Twitter and follow up online video, along with his emailed and blogged daily social and MSM roundup is so pre-1984 isn’t it.

    How are the whizz kids at Red Alert going these days?

    Comment by Pete George — October 4, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

  55. It’s really not just a simple matter of national introducing it and then labour scrapping it and that whole scenario going on for decades, because I feel that employers have the right to have a bit of time to see if a candidate is right for the job, it’s just that 60 days should be sufficient because 90 days makes up too much a portion of a person’s calender year.

    I think you’ll find that paying people less than the minimum wage is still illegal under this new legislation. In terms of discriminating against people, that has become legal under the 90 day work trial, yes; and I have been a victim of it, and it is not right, however there is little that can be done about it.

    Comment by Betty — October 4, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

  56. Oh and Sanc

    Your Traditional Otago Death quip is brilliant in its humour & offensiveness.

    +1

    Comment by Russell Brown — October 4, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  57. Woof.

    Comment by little_stevie — October 4, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

  58. little_stevie

    Are you a revitalised little_jamesie?

    Comment by Gregor W — October 4, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  59. GregorW No I’m not. I thought since Danyl had dog whistled so well I should reply with a literal response instead of the long winded variety above.

    Comment by little_stevie — October 4, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  60. “Your Traditional Otago Death quip is brilliant in its humour & offensiveness.”

    yes, many Dunedin people may be offended by it.

    Clayton Weatherstone is likely to be offended by it for the opposite reason.

    Comment by Kahikatea — October 4, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

  61. Wellington Central Woman

    @bradluen: So stealing this.

    Comment by QoT — October 4, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

  62. Stevie, you lost me.
    Where’s the whistle? The premise and analysis seems pretty reasoned.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 4, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

  63. Actually Gregor – danyl’s premise seems a little shaky to me, and Trotter’s ‘Waitakere Man thesis’ is not too bad. Pakeha males would make up about 1/4 of the voters, so cannot be readily ignored by any party (ditto pakeha women). These jokers may be socially conservative, but most are not literally authoritarian (usually just peeved at Labour’s arrogance).

    Look at recent law changes – S59 was universally panned, but legalising prostitution and civil unions drew only low-level criticism. This suggests social conservatism is moderated by the impact the law/policy has on voters, not that voters supported Labour’s liberal law changes in the social sphere.

    But it is economics that hits Labour hard – they are free market capitalists, the same as National and ACT, so struggle to make their policies distinct. Add to that National marketing to the stupid greed of voters (vote to pay less tax and no-one telling ya what to do), and Labour struggle. They don’t want to shift too far from what National are doing, so can’t push real alternatives. 9 years in power only saw Kiwirail nationalised, and only because the 2 companies that ran it (Tranz Rail, Toll Rail) went bust. Free trade deals and floating exchange rates undermine any local manufacturing, and Labour never touched that.

    Which leaves us with Mana as the only party actually challenging the tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum Labour-National act. Pity they picked Hone as leader aye? Hated more than Goff by Waitakere Man….

    The weired one is how badly the Greens have duffed their marketing (again). Their policies *could* really appeal to Waitak Man – massive state house building means jobs for tradies, subsidised home insulation means tradie jobs, and building reneweable energy plants gives infrastructure jobs, for skilled and semi-skilled tradies. Fencing waterways and riparian planting gives unskilled jobs, etc….

    Marketed right, the Greens should have gobbled up far more of Labour and National’s current voter support. But they project themselves as hand-wringing liberal nannies. Sigh.

    Comment by bob — October 5, 2011 @ 1:14 am

  64. Why does Bryce Edwards hate the Greens so mcuh? Did Russel Norman sleep with his girlfriend once?

    Comment by Amy — October 5, 2011 @ 8:56 am

  65. He used to be in the Alliance

    Comment by Hobbes — October 5, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  66. @ bob

    I suspect Pakeha male ‘voters’ make up far more than 1/4 of voters, given they make up more of the electorate population than that and tend to vote as a percentage in higher numbers than non Pakeha males.

    Comment by insider — October 5, 2011 @ 11:45 am

  67. Probably >35% of voters are white guys – Wikipedia says 69% of New Zealanders are of European background (whenever that was, last census I guess) – & the other largest demographics like Maori & PI vote at a much lower rate than Europeans, as do young non-conservative people. The game is kind of rigged against parties which rely on the non-white guy vote until the rest of the population vote as much as they do..

    Comment by Hobbes — October 5, 2011 @ 11:57 am

  68. that 69% number is likely wrong as they included a new category ‘NZer’ in 2006 and that took nearly 10% of the population. Strangely the Pakeha number dropped by a similar count from the previous census…

    Comment by insider — October 5, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

  69. Danyl, once again your insight is masterful.

    I would be delighted if you posted policies and politicians that you approve of
    (and the majority of nzers) would vote for.

    I am sure your political acumen would ensure a resounding labour victory for generations to come.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — October 5, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

  70. @Amy #64: it could be a classic case of Peoples’ Front of Judea-ism – spending more time and energy fighting ones’ own kind than the real enemy.

    Comment by DeepRed — October 5, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

  71. Labour needs to write this one off and focus on a bottom up strategy. Focusing on the 2013 school board/local body elections would be a good start, and I think also have a crack at getting candidate on the energy consumer trusts as well. Root out the tories at the grassroots and build your way up. You dont have to be in government to make a difference.

    Comment by millsy — October 6, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

  72. @ millsy – that’s what Labour said after the 2008 election! And for a moment there, when you said ‘root out the Tories’, I thought you meant from the Labour party, but then I realised you meant swapping National Tories for Labour ones…. sigh. (though your tactical analysis is spot on ;) )

    @ insider & Hobbes – I was going off memory, so being ultra consrrvative on the pakeha male estimate. But the exact figure isn’t important – I was just saying Trotter’s point is valid – Labour have spurned straight pakeha males, and need to woo ‘em back. Sending Chris Carter to Kabul may help there ;)

    @ DeepRed – more People’s Liberation Front of Judea (Alliance) vs Tree-Hugging Gardeners to the Romans (Greens, hugging our capitalist overlords to warm the planet)…

    Comment by bob — October 6, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

  73. “I thought you meant from the Labour party, but then I realised you meant swapping National Tories for Labour ones…. sigh.”

    I meant both. ;-)

    Comment by millsy — October 6, 2011 @ 3:02 pm


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