Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win

Unequal To The Task: In the twelve months he has been leader of the Labour Party, David Cunliffe has made plenty of mistakes of his own, but these should not in any way detract from the mistakes that were made for him. The political and business establishment had even more to fear from a Cunliffe-led Labour Party forming a government in 2014 than the ABC faction of his own caucus.

THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is indisputable. Equally indisputable, however, is that he has proved unequal to the task.
 
It is worth recalling the observations I made back in February following the announcement that Matt McCarten had been appointed as Cunliffe’s Chief-of-Staff:
 
[T]he Left has been given an extraordinary opportunity to prove that it still has something to offer New Zealand ….. If Cunliffe and McCarten are allowed to fail, the Right of the Labour Party and their fellow travellers in the broader labour movement (all the people who worked so hard to prevent Cunliffe rising to the leadership) will say:
 
“Well, you got your wish. You elected a leader pledged to take Labour to the Left. And just look what happened. Middle New Zealand ran screaming into the arms of John Key and Labour ended up with a [pitiful] Party Vote … So don’t you dare try peddling that ‘If we build a left-wing Labour Party they will come’ line ever again! You did – and they didn’t.”
 
Be in no doubt that this will happen – just as it did in the years after the British Labour Party’s crushing defeat in the general election of 1983. The Labour Right called Labour’s socialist manifesto “the longest suicide note in history” and the long-march towards Blairism … began.
 
The cuckoos (a.k.a the “ABCs”) are now poised to reclaim control of the Labour Party caucus and organisation to a degree not seen since the departure of Helen Clark. Not only will they purge the Leader of the Opposition’s Office of Cunliffe and his immediate entourage, but they will also ensure that the current party President, Moira Coatsworth, and the General Secretary, Tim Barnett, are eased out of their positions. A concerted effort will also be made to rid the party’s NZ Council of all those known to be sympathetic to Cunliffe and his vision. Within the trade union movement there will be a strong push for “left unity” and the choice and management of affiliate delegates to and at regional and annual conferences will be given much closer attention.
 
By the time the 2015 annual conference of the Labour Party convenes in Palmerston North, delegates will be welcoming a new leader, electing a new president and general secretary, and contemplating a NZ Council already shorn of most of its left-wing radicals. The delegates, too, will likely be a very different bunch. At the level of the Labour Electorate Committees there will be a concerted effort to provide delegate credentials only to those “approved” by the dominant caucus faction. The names of people not wanted at the conference will be discreetly circulated to the new leader’s most reliable supporters. Challenges to dissidents should be expected.
 
Right down to the lowest levels of the Labour Party, politics is about to get very ugly.
 
Is there no way back for Cunliffe and the Left? No way at all?
 
No, there is not.
 
To understand why one needs to understand the average Labour activist. While a minority of active members are driven by ideology, the vast majority are driven by a mixture of sentiment and loyalty. These emotions have either been programmed into them by their upbringing – as in “I remember Norman Kirk” – or through a longstanding personal relationship with their local Labour MP. The strength of these emotions means that when push comes to shove the Labour Party’s activist base will almost always defer to the wishes of the parliamentary caucus, or, if that fails, to appeals by the party hierarchy to rally in Labour’s defence.
 
That these traditional appeals to sentiment and loyalty failed to keep the membership quiescent for the six years after 2008 bears testimony to the iron grip in which Helen Clark held the party organisation for an unprecedented 15 years. Pressures for a more democratic Labour Party had been building for some time under Clark (especially during her final term as PM) and they burst forth in the form of constitutional and policy innovations following her departure. The effective coronation of Phil Goff as party leader in 2008, followed by the caucus’s refusal to acknowledge Cunliffe as the membership’s choice in 2011, gave the rank-and-file’s reforms an even sharper edge.
 
The high tide of the democratisation process coincided with the election of Cunliffe over the objections of the parliamentary caucus in September 2013. Cunliffe himself was only too aware of the momentous potential for change which his election signified. A left-wing party strong enough to dictate the composition and policy direction of its parliamentary representatives constituted a clear and present danger to New Zealand’s 30 year-old bipartisan consensus in favour of neoliberalism. Cunliffe’s efforts to reassure his colleagues that he had no intention of availing himself of that potential proved unsuccessful. There were simply too many Labour MPs with personal and political fortunes that could not survive the subordination of the Labour Caucus to the Labour Party.
 
The wider political and business establishment had even more to fear from a Cunliffe-led Labour Party forming a government in 2014. Cunliffe made plenty of mistakes on his own, but these do not in any way detract from the mistakes that were made for him.
 
And now the Labour Party membership and affiliates find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They must decide between engaging in a long and bitter internal struggle for ideological and organisational supremacy with their own MPs; or, by rediscovering their former, uncomplicated loyalties to party hierarchy and parliamentary caucus, avert the bloody consequences of a civil war from which neither side would likely emerge as a viable political force.
 
All my experience of the Labour Party tells me that it will capitulate to its parliamentary wing. Rank-and-file and affiliate union members know that their MPs are full-time political professionals who, in this sort of battle, can count on the support of virtually the entire New Zealand establishment. The news media, in particular, can be relied upon to portray the caucus as reasonable and responsible, while painting Cunliffe and the party as a bunch of loony lefties dangerously out-of-touch with “Middle New Zealand”. That being so, and with such wise old Labour Party heads as its former General Secretary, Mike Smith, and its current Policy Council sage, Professor Nigel Haworth, counselling moderation and caution, the membership will, once again, like Orwell’s “Boxer” in Animal Farm, allow the pigs to harness them to the plough.
 
This essay was posted simultaneously on Bowalley Road and The Daily Blog on Wednesday, 24 September 2014.
 

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

The UK Labour party is neatly summarised here: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/23/ian-martin-labour-conference-thick-of-it

How have our political labour movements allowed themselves to get to this?

Greg

Debbie Sullivan said...

As you have noted Chris a Labour Party that is truely left and not merely Neo-lib light will not be allowed to succeed by the media..the Neo-libs worked out quite some time ago that they could successfully control the narrative by acquiring the mainstream media.

Anonymous said...

Started with the Rogernomes

Anonymous said...

The path ahead is being forged in Scotland. Labour is all but finished there, the left is now mobilizing around the Greens and the SNP. Membership of the Greens and the Scottish National party is surging. The SNP has doubled its membership since the referendum just a week ago, from 30,000 to 60,000 and rising. Scots are sick of the Labour "RedTories" and 30 years of joint party neoliberalism and plan to deal to them in 2015.

Kat said...

You had better champion your man better that this Chris. If Cunliffe is rolled then the only real alternative is a Nash/Ardern ticket.

Great combo, in theory, but not before 2026.

Tinshed said...

May I add an observation which has very little to do with Chris's fine observations. David Cunliffe is an unlikable person. He comes across as smary, arrogant and conceited. Yes, the personality of a leader should have nothing to do with the current difficulties of the Labour Party. And yes, I can see why many on the Left see John Key as a dead-eyed, lying, rich prick. However that is not the view of most New Zealanders. They rather like John Key and they don't like David Cunliffe. Is that wrong and delusional, vacuous and irrelevant? Yes, probably. But it is a reality and until the Labour Party faces that reality, a difficult road lies ahead. Whatever the rights and wrongs are, Labour will never attract anywhere near a majority of those that actually vote until they have a new leader.

I am old enough to remember the hammering 'Gentleman' Jack Marshall had at the hands of Norman Kirk and rightly so, and equally the miserable time Bill Rowling had at the hands of Muldoon - unrightly so if there is such a word. David Cunliffe may have intelligence to burn, but he is, simply, an unlikeable man.

Jd said...

this is interesting in the context...

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2014/09/how-to-attack-labour-leaders.html

Guerilla Surgeon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J Bloggs said...

Tinshed: You forgot to add "Untrustworthy" to the list.

- White-anting the previous leadership to engineer the leadership challenge

- Secret trusts with "anonymous" donors (who he was able to refund) in the Labour leadership campaign

- Promising his supporters a big step to the left at his election, then almost immediately reneging on that to the media waiting outside.

- The downplaying of his own wealth and residence, while attacking Key's wealth. Hypocrisy doesn't sit well with the public,who don't like being taken for fools.

- An overall impression that he'd promise anything to anyone, if he thought that will gain him votes, even if this directly contradicts previous promises.

Then, once the campaign was underway, his being evasive about the details of the flagship CGT policy, then finally admitting that the details would be sorted out AFTER the election. This essentially amounts to the Cunliffe saying to the NZ public "trust me"

And they didn't.

RedLogix said...

So if a left-wing party will never succeed - what next Chris?

You've closed off all the democratic doors to a decent society. If Labour is going to swing back to the right of John Key let's stop pretending there is any point in trying to win an election with the 'left' in it's current configuration - and with a media capable of repelling all boarders.

Because when you arrive at a place where you have nothing more to lose - you are free to become something else. I'm not sage enough to know what, but I sense the sea-change.

Anonymous said...

Spectacularly missing the point. The people saw the left, and rejected it. Vox populi vox dei, and all that.
Many reasons for this; from a tactical view the worst was refusing to utterly refute Dotcom, and not letting Davis campaign properly until it was almost too late- and lying about it. If you won't back your guy, you think we will?

No one is preventing the left from campaigning, talk of media bias is conspiracy theory. They are pro feeding frenzy, not anti Labour.

Cunliffe's post election behaviour confirms his opponents suspicions. Worst result ever, not backed by his caucus, refuses to resign!
Plus the Labour party have trapped themselves with their crazy rules that allow a leader who doesn't have the backing of his caucus!

Nothing is preventing the Labour party or unions from getting members or support. Yet most people don't support them. They need to ask themselves why. And 'everyone but us is dumb' or 'its a conspiracy' don't cut it.

Debbie Sullivan said...

Dont think it is a case of a left wing party will never succeed, but more a case of what will be the make up of any future leftwing government...society now is far more diverse than previously and I believe that Labour will be unable to provide the broad appeal it seeks at the same time as satisfying its factions.
Labour could well fracture again, this time as centrist and a socially liberal groupings.
It will only take a substantial increase in the price of crude, a couple of years of drought or further environmental impacts on the economy of one sort or another and we may well see a left wing coalition in which the Greens have a more substantial role.
I suspect the missing million will by and large remain missing.


Debbie Sullivan said...

as to media conspiracies...it is not a conspiracy if its not secret. You can ignore the well publicised ownership and misuse of mainstream media power currently if you so choose but would note the cry of conspiracy theory loses a lot of its impact when so obviously over and misused. Rupert and Gina would be proud.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I don't see why the missing million should remain missing. It just takes something to galvanise them. They got galvanised in Scotland for independence. We just need an issue that will wake them up. :-)

jh said...

Forget the past this is the era of globalisation. You are appealing for the worker vote but read this:

" OPINION: "Bloody immigrants, taking our jobs, shouldn't be allowed!" That's how conservative working-class voters sharing a jug at the Hornby Working Men's Club might've put it.

But their analysis, for all its pith and honesty, would've been wrong. Immigrants have become an indispensable component of the New Zealand labour market.

Without them our economy would stall. It was David Shearer's duty to explain that. As leader of the Labour Party his role is to counter ignorance with facts, and prejudice with values. In Christchurch last week he did neither."

Michael Reddell Reserve Bank and Treasury have a somewhat contrary opinion (Paul Krugman in NY Times also)

Davo Stevens said...

Labour will come back and hopefully stronger. I recall back in '99 how the Gnats lead by Jenny Shipley bombed in the election. Jenny went on her merry way and Billy English took over. He was useless as a leader and people couldn't connect to him at the next election.

In my wanderings I talk to people of all sections of society from the filthy rich to the very poor. Almost all the ones who didn't vote were the poor - Low incomers and beneficiaries. Why didn't they vote you ask? Well they couldn't see anything in the policies that would benefit them, rather the opposite. So why vote?

I have consistently said that for Labour to get ahead it needs to get back to it's grassroots support. The very people that the party was set up to represent.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I notice that Mallard has just said something like "it's obvious that you can't win an election in New Zealand without appealing to Middle New Zealand." There are close to 1,000,000 people that didn't vote for Christ's sake. What about them? Don't they actually deserve representation? Or I perhaps should say relevant representation. You notice a lot of lipservice to getting people out to vote, but essentially the right doesn't want to, because they know who doesn't vote.

Debbie Sullivan said...

GS..the bulk of the missing million will stay missing essentially because it is all too complicated and as far as many of them are concerned irrelevant to their daily lives ...I heard a woman on the radio today saying she didnt vote Labour because she was pregnant and about to buy a house...didnt appear to understand that Nationals increased grant has already been added to her purchase price , nor any mention of Labours ECE or PPL policies..she seemed articulate so I think it demonstrates how the message is being lost in the over supply of information for many..hence many simply go "its too hard."
agree however that something may galvanise (a proportion) of them...suspect the turnout for a referendum on the flag will be higher than the election ,sad to say...a simple, emotional issue.
Labour reverting to its grassroots wont solve their problems...the grass root society that formed and supported Labour for the past decades no longer exists...NZ society has changed too much both socially and economically....unless of course National screws up and tries to move too far to the right and middle NZ feels the need to cast around for an alternative.

Victor said...

Debbie Sullivan

"As you have noted Chris a Labour Party that is truely left and not merely Neo-lib light will not be allowed to succeed by the media."

I'm not sure that a "merely Neo-lib light" party would be allowed to succeed either. There may well be too many vested interests at stake in this sadly misgoverned nation.

So what would be allowed to succeed?

I'm not sure but I doubt that it would look much like the alternatives on offer at the moment.

I also fear that we're in for a protracted period of right-wing rule, as happened both here and (even more) in the UK, during the decades when Labour was replacing the Liberals as the main champion of the Left.

Barry said...

Left wing/right wing is irrelevant. Election campaign performance is irrelevant.

It all started some years ago when labour started down the track of identity politics/special interest groups.

When a political party cant see something wrong with things like "man bans" at electorate level and the leader standing up and apologizing for being a man, then it obvious that they are unhinged.

Labour has managed to alienate most men and many females with their pandering to the feminists, the homosexuals, the transgendered, the poor (without knowing who they actually are) the far left, the environmentalists, the te Reo supporters, etc, etc.

Labour has to be able to recognise and speak to the WHOLE community AT THE SAME TIME.

This means that most of the MPs and supporters have to go........

AB said...

@Tinshed
Where does this weird thing about Cunliffe being unlikeable come from?
I find him very likeable - smart, decent, compassionate. Exactly the type of guy I would want to talk to at the neighbour's barbie. Key I would want to escape from as soon as possible - dull, conservative, and unoriginal. Some unpleasant attitudes overlaid with standard kiwi bloke bonhomie.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

This country's politics have always been ruled by interest groups. Maybe just a fact of life in a small country maybe just a fact of life in general, but that's pretty much been it for at least 100 years if not more. The problem is, that the major left-wing interest group has been gutted by both Labour and National, so that it can't advocate on behalf of its constituency as effectively as it used to. Whereas Federated farmers and the manufacturers have had their arses kissed by everyone :-).

Davo Stevens said...

@ Debbie Sullivan: I feel that you are wrong. NZ hasn't changed that much for most of the workers. Perhaps the change is that the majority of NZ workers are having to work 70 hrs a week just to keep their noses above water. They are the ones who mostly didn't vote because nothing changes for the better for them. There is no Political Party that now represents their interests, traditionally it was Labour.

Also the CGT is not relevant to them
as they will never be able to even own their own houses. That is where Labour should targeting not trying hard to be Gnatlite and motivate them to get out and vote.

They are the ones who need help not the rich pricks at the top.

Jigsaw said...

AB- YOU may like David Cunliffe but the general opinion is-and that's what counts-that he is unlikeable, arrogant even and certainly doesn't have the common touch. I think that the real problem is that I doubt that there is anyone in the Labour party with enough experience who is capable of developing enough to actually be a leader. Grant Robertson doesn't strike me as such a person either. Stuart Nash-maybe but needs some more experience first.

Wayne Mapp said...

Debbie,

You are making the mistake of far too many on the Left. You can't tell the voters just a few days after they voted that they got it all wrong. You have to accept their judgement. And this especially true after three consecutive defeats. The voters are trying to tell you something, and you need to listen.
The woman on the radio looking to buy her first house is making a perfectly rational choice. The Nat policy makes it easier to get the deposit, which is what matters to her. Just because Labour says it will increase prices does not make it true. It all depends on whether Nationals other policies (freeing up more land) increase supply.

Tinshed said...

@AB

Perhaps I should have added the words, "comes across as" unlikeable. In person he no doubt comes across as personable as the next bloke. Clearly, you have meet him. I have not so you have the advantage. But that is not how he comes across to a majority of voters. Both National and Labour's polling would have indicated that. In our household, which is mostly Green Party and female, none of us could stand him. Yes, this is probably unfair, which is the point I was trying to make. But it is a widespread perception. His problem is, I think, he just doesn't seem genuine or comfortable with who he is. Again, he may well be this, but that is not how he comes across as to most people. And it seems many in the Labour Party caucus think the same. They clearly have the best view of him up close.

Debbie Sullivan said...

Davo..fair enough and dont disagree that those at the bottom need the help for the benefit of society as a whole, but having been a waged worker the past 30 plus years the changes to the labour market have been so fundamental as to render the Labour Party a minor player. i can well remember the union rep appearing at election time telling everyone they needed to vote labour for their own good..true there were some contrary types but many were happy to accept the guidance..consider the liberalising of the market and the number of contractors and self employed compared to the 80s and earlier, the virtual death of the unions, 2 generations who have been schooled in the ambition of the individual ignoring the good of society and it is easy to see how it all started...there is a whole raft of the population out there who have no interest in political science or macro economics (strange I know) who dont care or see any connection between these things and their lives...very easy to do when economic scene has been relatively stable the past 15 years (domestically at least).....It is the middle voter that swings elections in NZ and when they start to hurt they will look for change..I tried to be brief.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Trotter, perhaps it is rather time that you stop your constant media involvements as "political commentator", swinging all the time, from one position and view to another? Same may apply to some other "commentators" who willingly work with the mainstream media, constantly feeding and reinforcing endless bias, such as Ms Pagani.

I am sick to death of all this, and I know that the average public citizen, young and old, has a dim view of politics, and it is not just over commercialisation and "dumbing down" in the MSM, it is this arrogance coming from the "elderly experts", that turns so many off. Politics is a "dirty" word, and one nobody likes to be associated with.

No matter what efforts Cunliffe or Labour could have made, even the Greens, with a rotten, BIASED, totally sold out, commercial, Paul Henry and Sean Plunket "talk back style" media, and the other rest of it, we will NEVER have a chance ever again.

That is the damned ELEPHANT in the room, that NOBODY seems to be talking about! It was the MSM that once again determined the election outcome, rubbishing Labour, Greens and especially Internet Mana and Dotcom, for weeks and months.

Make no doubt about it, that was THE reason, like the last two elections, and it requires total independence from the MSM and their influence, to build up any independent, potentially successful campaign, as there is NO reliance on media independence. I would welcome the day you, Chris, take the needed step to distance yourself from this corrupt MSM lot!

Thanks

Mike

Anonymous said...

Good grief, I am just having a look at the crap Paul Henry Show tonight, where that horrible, nasty, aggressive woman is sitting in for Paul Henry, who tried to do all to embarrass Laila Harre on election night. She has Darien Fenton there for an interview, and I am shocked. How horrible, why the hell is Darien doing this to herself and Labour? She looks and sounds pathetic, and does not even realise she is taken advantage of, as just another example to ridicule Labour.

With such "media expertise" you are all "screwed", former and existing Labour MPs, for sure.

Debbie Sullivan said...

Wayne...I dont recall not accepting the election result and the woman on the radio was merely for demonstration purposes (although the fact the increased grant will merely increase the purchase price has been demonstrated time and time again so dosnt need any political party to point this out)...I know many people whose decision on whether and who to vote for are based on the most insignificant things, most which defy logic...this i believe is relevant if seeking to explain the poor showing of the left , it is not an attack on their intellect or a denial of the validity of their vote or of the result...there are many and varied reasons but I believe it needs to be acknowledged that not all members of the electorate are as consumed with the detail of the game as some would like to believe and it has contributed significantly to the result.

venezia said...

hWayne Mapp - why should we take seriously what you say? Directly from National's Think Tank. The young people in my family wanting to get into their own homes certainly did NOT percieve National's policies would make it easier for them. They were more interested in Labour policies and not only on housing.

Rain333 said...

Something I have wondered about for some time but I seldom hear mentioned. When one talks of the 'glory days' of Labour it is about the Labour of old. One thing that Helen Clark did extremely well was connect with the younger voter. If you look at both Goff and Cunliffe, I think you would have to agree that neither candidate would have any appeal whatsoever to younger voters. I was talking to 2 young people over the weekend, one a University student and the other a part-timer in a cafe with a young family. Both stated they felt no connection to the Labour Party whatsoever.

I would be very interested in finding a breakdown of the vote in relation to age. Which party do the young people of this country believe speaks to them, and for them. I fear the heart of 'old Labour' has failed to keep itself relevant and failed to keep itself modern. Labour is something that your parents or possibly grandparents voted for. Even though their ads suggested otherwise, I don't for one minute believe they have the support of young families.

National have branded themselves as slick, modern, vigorous and savvy... all the things that appeal to the well connected and confident younger voter of today.

Now Labour is just old...and tired. Very bloody tired.

Rain333 said...

To Mike (25 September 2014 22:18)
I could not disagree more. The MSM sniff around for anything they can turn into a delicious meal for the viewers in gaga land to feast on.

The MSM were hammering the Nats, Key, Collins etc after the launch of Dirty Politics, but the Nats were smarter and cannier than their Labour counterparts. The narrative of the media can be managed, if you have the smarts. Media management was just one other area where Labour performed dismally.

Just add it to the list..... As for telling people they should 'keep quiet'...you are taking the proverbial I take it?? Otherwise there really is no hope!

Debbie Sullivan said...

Ah that Wayne Mapp...Wayne if there is one person responsible for the lefts poor showing at the election (and probably number one on John Keys Xmas card list) it would have to be your friend(?) Mathew Hooton

Davo Stevens said...

@ Debbie: Thanks for your response.

Perhaps I wasn't clear in my previous post, there are almost 1 million workers in this country who earn LESS THAN $30,000 per year. That makes them Low Income Earners. Many who are there have to work 70 hours a week to get even that.

Now, of those roughly 1 million most didn't vote, why? Could it be that there is no political party that shows any interest in their position?

Labour traditionally supported those workers but not now. In fact they haven't supported the low paid for over 30 yrs. That is where Labour's member base should be.

Cunliffe's platform appeared to be the CGT which, for those workers, is meaningless. He wouldn't even support the Greens when they wanted to increase the minimum wage which would have helped so many of them out.

As some-one who has employed casual workers and paid them well for the work they do, I know that the economy would simply adjust around an increase in the minimum wage. Yes, it would mean that you poor buggars would have to pay an extra 50c for your Lattes and cappacinos! Gosh my heart bleeds for you all.

Debbie Sullivan said...

Davo..of those almost 1 million low paid workers I am sure many did not vote and as you say Labour didnt appear to be great advocates for them, but would say that Labour/ Greens were the the best or least bad option for them and that alone should have been enough to get their vote. i do acknowledge that when things are that tough it is very easy to simply not engage as it seems hopeless and I have no answer how to overcome this mindset, but then nor do many well qualified psychologists. This is one reason why middle NZ have an obligation to look out for the interests of this group as invariably they will be our brothers , sisters, parents, children or cousins or at the very least fellow NZers

Davo Stevens said...

Unfortunately Debbie the most of those in the upper middle income don't give a monkey's for those below them. "I'm alright Jack" seems to be their motto.

The biggest problem that I can see with Labour is that it is Gnatlite. When you take a close look at their core values, it's almost the same as the Nats. And if I can see that so can many others, so why vote? Doing so is just going to be more of the same so they will stay with the status quo. Hence Key's landslide victory.

Throughout history when such an inbalance occurred certain people lost their heads and I am concerned that it will happen again. Do we really want a revolution? Because the western world is heading in that direction. Also unfortunately, in the most part the aristocrats couldn't or wouldn't see it coming.

Already we have seen a revolution in Ukraina and Hungary is teetering on the edge of another. Estonia is having problems with their restless people. Yes, they are in Europe but such a set of revolutions can and do happen anywhere.

pat said...

Davo..the middle may appear to not give a monkeys for those "below" them but they would do well to realise that the bulk of NZers with our low savings rate and high personal debt loadings are only one economic shock or health concern away from joining them...as to the return of Madame Guillotine those with the wherewithal to survive economic and health risks may want to consider why so many wealthy foreigners desire seldom used bolt-holes in our far flung part of the world.

Charles Etherington said...

You're all mad or deluded.
DS: this million on less than 30k working 70 hours? Minimum wage is close to $15. That's $1050 a week. That's $54k p.a.If a couple then over a $100k.
I expect 40% of your million either did or would vote National. And btw its National not gnats. Show some respect to your betters and your views may carry more weight.
And GS: your million non voters are also a delusion. They can only be considered as supporting the parties in exactly the ratios of the actual voters. If not, why would they just as likely have not voted because they are perfectly happy with the status quo. You only think they are as unhappy as you because you are so self absorbed.
Above all you guys need to get out more. The world and particularly NZ is doing well, but you lot can't see it for all your moral vainity. Get over ir!