Friday 24 October 2014

Labour Needs To Stop Saying What People DON"T want to hear.

A Freight Train Called Key: On election night 1975 Bill Rowling said Muldoon's landslide victory felt like being run over by a bus. Oh what David Cunliffe would have given for that bus on 20 September 2014!

THE ANGUISH of Labour supporters on election night was expressed mostly in Anglo-Saxon. Polite English just doesn’t have the emotional range for disaster on such a lavish scale.
Unquestionably, as political disasters go, this one was a biggie.
Bill Rowling told the nation on election night 1975 (when Rob Muldoon sent Labour plummeting to the abysmal depths of 39.6 percent) that he “felt like he’d been run over by a bus”. Oh, what David Cunliffe would have given for that bus! On the night of 20 September 2014, Labour’s hapless leader must have felt like he’d been run over by a fully-laden freight train, which had then stopped and reversed back over him, just to make sure.
No wonder the poor fellow behaved bizarrely. When the political historians have to go all the way back to 1922 to find a comparable result, bizarre behaviour is probably the very least that should be expected. Because, sadly, no political leader can come back from a hiding of such career-killing severity. Sooner or later that bitter truth just had to sink home. In David Cunliffe’s case, sooner would have been better, but he got there in the end.
And now, of course, we are witnessing the contest to find his successor. Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson are all vying for Labour’s top job while the rest of New Zealand looks on with a mixture of fascination and disbelief. Most cannot fathom why Labour’s caucus and the wider party organisation have opted to set about finding a new leader before determining what needs to be done to get Labour match-fit by 2017.
See above re: bizarre behaviour. By resigning the leadership when he did, Mr Cunliffe set in motion a relentless constitutional process that neither Labour’s MPs nor its New Zealand Councillors can countermand. A more rational order of events might have been assured if, on election night, Mr Cunliffe had announced his intention to stand down as leader in six months’ time – thereby permitting a thorough post-mortem of the debacle. But, he didn’t. So, they ain’t.
In the absence of any conspicuous rationality, a host of political journalists, columnists, PR specialists, bloggers and academics have hastened to proffer their well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) advice as to how the party might be resurrected. Most of this may be boiled down to: Labour lurched too far to the left. Recovery lies in the centre-ground.
Labour’s 2014 manifesto was considerably less left-wing than the manifesto it took to the country in 2011. David Cunliffe may have campaigned for the Labour leadership in fiery left-wing poetry, but he campaigned to become New Zealand’s prime-minister in the dullest, the most uninspiring and, ultimately, the most unconvincing prose.
The party’s election strategy, under both David Cunliffe and his predecessors, David Shearer and Phil Goff, had been to woo “soft” National Party voters back into Labour’s orbit. There was nothing remotely left-wing about raising the age of eligibility for superannuation. In fact, it turned Labour supporters off – in droves. The same applies to Labour’s Capital Gains Tax:  a measure which even the OECD has advised New Zealand to introduce!
Labour didn’t lose the election because it was too left-wing; it lost because in an election dominated by extra-parliamentary sideshows (Dirty Politics and The Moment of Truth) it failed to get cut-through.
How does one get cut-through? Well, for a start, you hire the very best pollsters and focus-group analysts you can afford; you tell them exactly what you’re trying to do; and then you listen to them when they tell you how to do it. That’s what National and its leader, John Key, does – and it works.
There is absolutely no point in acquiring accurate intelligence about the electorate’s mood; its likes and dislikes; its hopes and fears; if you then do nothing constructive with it. A political party should never allow its policies to be dictated by polls and focus groups, but when it comes to telling a party how to present or, more importantly, how not to present its policies, they become tools of extraordinary utility. If talking about a specific policy turns voters off, then don’t talk about it!
Whoever becomes Labour’s leader needs to understand, precisely, what New Zealanders do NOT want to hear, and stop saying it to them – loudly.
This essay was originally published in The Waikato Times, The Taranaki Daily News, The Timaru Herald, The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 24 October 2014.


Anonymous said...

So what you're saying here Chris, is for instance Labour still proposed to keep a policy of raising the age of superannuation eligibility for the 2017 election, and it's in the raft of policies, they just shouldn't "talk about/promote" it? So, if elected, having "tucked it away" and then implementing it having become government, wouldn't the voters (and probably including Labour voters as well) feel as though they had been betrayed.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

It seems to me that the Labour Party is suffering from confirmation bias. They "know" what is wrong, and it will be extremely difficult to change their minds. It can be done, even to conspiracy theorists, but you need a shit load of expertise to do it. Perhaps they should have a compulsory reading of Eric Hoffer's classic book.

Chris Trotter said...

To: Anonymous@13:38

No, I'm not suggesting that Labour picks up where it left off in 1990.

What I am saying is that Labour should do all within its power to discern what its voters want. And if there's a major discrepancy between what Labour's policy-makers believe should be done and what their supporters will accept, then at least they will know where the work needs to be done.

Either, Labour changes the minds of its supporters by good, old-fashioned, evidence-based advocacy. Or, if that doesn't work, they devise a way of achieving the desired end by other means.

What I'm begging them NOT to do is to go around telling people what's best for them and then giving it to them good and hard!

David said...

I don't think Labour ran a great campaign but I think the blame lies with New Zealand voters who prefer the type of government they are presently getting

Victor said...

My memory of the recent campaign is that Labour didn't say all that much about CGT until John Key rather forcefully brought it to our attention.

If you don't want an unpopular policy talked about, it's best not to go there in the first place. Otherwise, all the spinmeisters in the galaxy (and beyond) won't be able to help you

Is this what you're saying, Chris?

If not, what? I'm confused.

Brendan McNeill said...


I believe labour needs to start with a blank sheet of paper, and ask the following questions –

1) Are we a party that is primarily ideological or pragmatic (like National)?

2) Who then do we represent?

3) How many voting New Zealanders are in this segment?

Once they have figured that out, then ask -

4) Based upon 1 to 3, do we have a voter base large enough to govern with the Greens?

If the answer is ‘yes’ then that’s great. If the answer is ‘no’ then it’s time for the difficult questions to be asked.

Right now, I believe the answer for Labour is ‘no’. This may be in part due to the unique popularity of John Key, but only in part. Labour does have a very real identity problem with 75% of New Zealand voters.

Changing the leadership will change nothing without addressing those primary issues. Will they deal with these issues, or simply wait for the public to tire of the Key machine? If they choose the latter option I predict they will be in opposition for a very long time.

pat said...

think Labour could follow Nationals example...Housing Corp house sales, water down RMA, further weaken worker protections are a few examples not or barely mentioned pre election that oddly seem now to be vital urgent policy. You have to hand it to them, they keep doing it and the electorate remains disinterested. Whether or not the electorate should be concerned about this is not the issue, and telling them they are foolish for not recognising the scams is likely counterproductive...Labour need to fight fire with fire.

Simon Cohen said...

I am amused to read David's comment,
"I don't think Labour ran a great campaign but I think the blame lies with New Zealand voters who prefer the type of government they are presently getting"
A classic idiot's comment.If the majority don't agree with me they are wrong.
It reminds me of the woman watching her husband's battalion marching by saying they are all out of step except my Albert.

Richard Christie said...

Keep the focus groups out of it. The mainstream media decided how policy was or was not to be presented to the voting public and there was very little Labour and the left could do about it.

In over five decades I've not before seen such manipulation and control of the political narrative in this country as I witnessed in the 2014 election. Particularly by NZ Herald and the television news programmes.

The reasons for the degradation of public discourse run deep and basically, we reap what we have allowed to have been sown.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of 1975: Labour got about 30,000 fewer votes in 2014 than it did in the Muldoon landslide. I'm not talking percentage, I'm talking actual quantity of votes.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

What Brendan said makes sense. I only wish it were true. New Zealand elections are cyclical, and I suspect that all the faffing around just tinkers around the edges. It might be worth doing even so.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

This is worth reading, especially the comments. I'm not sure if Winston Peters is our Ukip though :-).

Charles said...

Perhaps Labour should move demonstratively left & green to first absorb nearly all votes to its left, except the old hard left dinosaurs, whose clichés we know too well, and still suffer like the living dead. They, Mana & the Greens etc were part of why Labour was shunned the last three elections. Labour must not be tainted by them any more by any connection.
Then having done that Labour may be a newly united left core, perhaps a 33% core.
Then 'new' Labour can craft quite new policies aimed mostly at sustainably raising the incomes & status of the lower income half of the country without just taking it away from the other half, the half which currently generate all surplus wealth. If they don’t achieve that then the better off half will remain in power indefinitely. Why? Because they control the businesses that generate wealth and the airwaves funded by that wealth, so they can keep what they see as a destructive left out of power if it threatens.
But if a new, fresh left was seen as benign and plausible by them, it would get elected almost by default, since sooner or later most people like a change to the new. But it has to be a credible change, and that requires a party exhibiting a consistent unity and stability which currently are completely absent.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Perhaps we should ask those who didn't vote what would make them vote. Perhaps we should suggest to them that if they don't vote they're going to end up with your good old 19th-century Dickensian labour relations. Brought in by those right-wing dinosaurs of national and act. Although of course, that might not galvanise them too much as many of them are out of work. And perhaps if those who generated all that surplus wealth would stop defrauding the tax system of billions of dollars we would be able to offer them jobs :-).

Victor said...


Could you explain to me exactly why you believe that the higher-paid generate all that surplus wealth for the country?

I've got nothing personally against those who are better off, esteem many of them and am proud (on personal grounds) to number some of them amongst my friends.

But I've never understood how being, for example, a chartered accountant in private practice (i.e. someone who advises on how to reduce tax liability), a real estate agent, a property developer or a currency trader ipso facto means that you're increasing the wealth of the country to a greater degree than does Joe or Jill Blow lower paid worker/consumer.

Farmers and entrepreneurs are, I grant you, in a different category, but only if the farmers are in it primarily to profit from producing food and not just to see the value of their land increase.

One of the problems I have with both Right and Left is their tendency to default to morality tales when discussing the economy.

In reality, the process of wealth creation is complex and multi-facetted with only the broadest correlation between inputs and outcomes. Much of it is the province of chance or of what Keynes called "animal spirits". It is not, therefore, a particularly easy subject to moralise about.

But one thing is clear. Unless you're Robinson Crusoe on your desert island, all wealth is ultimately created by society.

For this reason, both morality and good sense dictate that we pay attention to what is best for society and not just for those who fancy themselves as its wealth creators, decent, hard working folk though many of them are.

And, of course, good sense also dictates that we are mindful of our environment.

I tend to think of myself as a Burkeian conservative with a small "c". But if these thoughts label me a "water melon" then so be it.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I don't think that New Zealand governments can do anything about the economy as such. Except maybe tinker around the edges – at least at the moment. It would be nice if they had done what they said they were going to do and rejig the whole thing into a high added value, high skill economy, but we are still exporting raw materials basically. This means we are vulnerable to outside influences which the government can do nothing about. What they could do perhaps is a bit of redistribution. But we all know that National isn't going to do it and labour doesn't seem to be in favour of it much these days anyway. So we're all fucked :-).

Davo Stevens said...

One of the best comments I have seen in a while:
"~ Second, even decently capitalist governments need to make sure that their beautifully designed market economies extend right down the scale. There is little benefit in having an economy that would make Ludwig von Mises purr, if its benefits extend only to the top half of the income distribution, and the bottom half is mired in squalid shantytowns with no opportunities of bettering themselves.

In uplifting the very poorest, direct cash transfers with only simple conditionality are highly effective. A program such as the Bolsa Familia (Brazil) costs only a couple of percent of GDP, far less than massive infrastructure schemes, yet it reaches the poorest in society effectively. Complex programs designed to meet needs precisely, with massive administrative costs and rent-seeking at all levels, generally miss the poorest and most needy, and merely add bureaucratic bloat.

History also suggests that the simplistic cash-transfer approach to welfare works better. In Britain before 1834, the poor were given "outdoor relief" in the form of cash or food handouts, and therefore remained active in the economy. However the 1834 Poor Law, introduced by the foolish doctrinaire Whigs, invented the "workhouse" by which the poor were segregated from the rest of society in an institution deliberately designed to be "less eligible" and thoroughly unpleasant for its inmates.

The result was a mass of leftist propaganda, starting with Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist," an inexorable rise in the cost of welfare provision and a deterioration in low-end living standards. Thus by the time Charles Booth wrote "Life and Labour of the People in London" in 1889, many of the urban poor lived lives far more squalid than had their great-grandfathers a century earlier, in spite of the huge rise in living standards generally.

Capitalism needs to include the entire population, and it needs to do so through simple cash handouts and work opportunities, not through elaborate and counterproductive social engineering."

From here:

It's what I have been saying for a long time. By increasing the benefits and the wages of the lowest paid workers, they get to contribute to our economy and we all benefit directly or indirectly.

When one has a Consumer Economy one needs Consumers. By having a large proportion of our workforce struggling to survive, and the number is increasing daily and weekly, the Consumer Economy splutters and dies. It's the ordinary joe with bucks in his pocket that create the wealth in such an economy not the wealthy few.

Charles said...

Hi Victor, good question, but for an economist I'm afraid. I'm only gleening what I've read from The Economist for the last twenty years.
As I understand it, real wealth gains are created by surplus production in goods and services. So if the accountant you put up for example does your accounts for $1000 but you benefit $1500 from his orderly work then $500 wealth is created. If I grow a pine tree worth $250 and you cut it into timber and build a shed worth $1250 to someone then you have created wealth of $1000 less the cost of your labour and other materials etc.
Anyway I am saying that about half the population in NZ are engaged in a huge number of activities like this that create wealth and the other half are drawing on that wealth at a rate greater than their input into creating wealth. The lower input workers are creating wealth too, but less than the amount they are getting from wages, welfare, charity and things like 'working for families credits'. So that is a system that works but it is under stress from those needing to be carried by the surplus providers. We on the right want to have more people join us on the surplus side and so should the left but recently you guys think we should just pay more to support the deficit side.
Trouble with that is classic human nature. As soon as someone gets into surplus they no longer want to support the other half from which they came. This is the reason Labour is in deep trouble.
The trick for you guys will be to lift the incomes of the supported half without pulling down the other half. Achieve that and even I will vote for you. It is seriously the great challenge of our times because I am sure it can be done, yet neither side look like pulling it off currently.

pat said...

pat said...

Chris Trotter said...

Saw all your own logs do you, Charles? It's a wonder you have any energy left for commenting on blogs!

pat said...

well that was fortuitous timing Charles....a little relevant reading for you re wealth creation and social contracts.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Anyway I am saying that about half the population in NZ are engaged in a huge number of activities like this that create wealth and the other half are drawing on that wealth at a rate greater than their input into creating wealth. "

Link/source please.

Anonymous said...

Spot on Trotter.

Victor said...


In the example you've given, the $500 that the accountant manages to retain for his/her client is $500 that fails to go to the government which is not therefore able to use it for schools, hospitals, roads, r&d grants/loans etc.

If the client goes out and spends it, that $500 may help to stimulate the economy, to either a greater or lesser extent than the government would have managed to achieve with the same sum and with either a greater or lesser positive impact on society.

Assuming the same level of stimulus and positive social impact between funds spent by government and by private individuals, that $500 of tax saving adds nothing to the nation's prosperity but nor does it necessarily diminish it.

As, however, wealthier citizens tend (not unreasonably) to hang onto a greater percentage of their incomes, it's likely that the $500 will simply be removed from circulation, thus helping to dampen rather than stimulate the economy.

Worse still, it could be placed in what is effectively (at this particular time) an anti-social form of investment (e.g. real estate surplus to the requirements of the client's household).

Moreover, that $500 wasn't created ex nihilo by our accountant's client's brain. He or she was probably the beneficiary of an education either directly provided by the state or by some institution that required the state to exist, roads to be built and civil peace and the laws of contract established and maintained.

The client may also travel every morning to his or her place of employment on such a road, spend time in the company of colleagues who are not all suffering from communicable diseases brought on by poverty and the absence of affordable medical facilities and make use of the labour of others who are not so well remunerated.

Without these and a myriad of other benefits, the client wouldn't have been able to earn five cents, let alone $500 and would probably be dead.

As they say on Coro Street, "think on't"!

Victor said...


Just to clarify my argument: with respect to your example, it applies equally to the $500 surplus of tax savings following deduction of the $1,000 owed to the accountant and to the gross saving of $1,500.

Of course, if the accountant gave all the money he or she made out of the venture (minus tax) to a worthwhile charity or spent it on immediate consumption of New Zealand produced goods or services, he/she might be deemed to be enriching the country.

That's not how it tends to work out much of the time.

I should add that some of my best friends are accountants and some of them read "The Economist".

pat said...

GS...National ARE big on redistribution....upwards unfortunately.

pat said...

Well i hope Labour isnt looking to the UK again for its answers....

Anonymous said...

Agree with much of this, but you are missing a few crucial facts:

1) Cunliffe was not wanted by half his own caucus, and it showed. People won't vote for an obviously disunited party.

2) Cunliffe (IMHO!) came across as utterly insincere in a 'I'll say anything if I think its what you want to hear' kind of way. All those apologies (except for losing!). Claiming the Labour party were considering a statutory Maori deputy. Of course all politicians tailor there message to their audience, and people expect a large degree of 'spin', but Cunliffe just looked like a phony.

3) The Labour party have wasted 6 years. They flagged Goff as a leader, and waited for him to lose, then backstabbed each other for 3 years.
Then only major change they made was to make things worse, by changing their leadership election rules, see 1). Think what the Nats did after Englishes (worse!) loss.

Anonymous said...

Victor are you really that ignorant of Economics 101? The $500 wealth I cite is not income. It is not money that can be given to the government to pay for the education of our children.
It is wealth. Certainly it can become money in the economy, when for example a bank lends money on that wealth, for example if it is in the house made of the timber from my log, which was cut by Chris, who was paid wages for that work. And, to carry on my argument, his wages are a cost but also create wealth for the log owner in the process of creating something more valuable.
The thing we need to concentrate on is getting Chris' wages higher so he can afford to buy a house himself, to live in and own, but also as a store of wealth for him. BUT his wages (and all other costs) must not exceed the amount of wealth created or the enterprise will go bust! Surely you guys understand this kindergarten stuff. You do eh?

So in summary, my argument is that overall, about half the country is currently supporting the other half through the welfare and tax system etc. Is that a good system? In a way it is, as the alternative is real grinding poverty which Labour was created to fight. It has done its job so needs to move on. I think the next job is to improve the incomes of the half that have no, or little surplus, without destroying the system.

J Bloggs said...

I was going to respond, but anonymous has summed up everything I was going to say.

I'll just add that many on the Left's social media sites need to take a step back and look at how they were running prior to the election. There's being positive and supporting your team, and then there is groupthink.

Too many on the left were telling themselves what they wanted to hear, were attacking and shutting down contrary voices, and ignoring the closest thing to objective evidence, which was the polling (and no, the polling companies weren't rigging the polls).

Even now, there are those who would rather attribute the election loss to a vast RW conspiracy, than look at the failings of the Labour party and its (choice of) allies.

Anonymous said...

Chris, you say:

"What I'm begging them NOT to do is to go around telling people what's best for them and then giving it to them good and hard!"

Do you think they are capable of this?
Are any Left party?

Victor said...

Charles or Anonymous @ 10.11 (assuming you are the same person)

"if the accountant you put up for example does your accounts for $1000 but you benefit $1500 from his orderly work then $500 wealth is created."

I've assumed that the accountant was looking at the client's income and that the client was making an Income Tax return. I don't think that's an unreasonable assumption.

Could you please explain to me the scenario you have in mind as it is obviously rather different to that which I'd assumed?

I hadn't addressed your argument concerning trees and sheds. In that case, wealth may, indeed, have been created, depending on the social value of the shed when weighed against the environmental (and hence social)value of the tree.

Questions remain, however, over the number of inputs required to make the creation of the shed possible. Obviously, it won't have been created ex nihilo apart from the tree.

"The thing we need to concentrate on is getting Chris' wages higher so he can afford to buy a house himself, to live in and own, but also as a store of wealth for him. BUT his wages (and all other costs) must not exceed the amount of wealth created or the enterprise will go bust! Surely you guys understand this kindergarten stuff. You do eh?"

Why, apart from your obvious delight in hyperbole and insult, would you assume that I or others on this thread do not understand that point?

What exactly has been written to lead you to that conclusion?

"So in summary, my argument is that overall, about half the country is currently supporting the other half through the welfare and tax system etc."

You have yet to produce evidence for this ostensibly bizarre claim.

"I think the next job is to improve the incomes of the half that have no, or little surplus, without destroying the system."

Who, in your view, is threatening to destroy the system and how? Is this not just more hyperbole?

And could I ask you to stop referring to "you guys". There's a group of individuals contributing to this thread. I'm not responsible for anyone else's comments and they're not responsible for mine. Besides, the usage is, to my mind, grating.

Charles said...

10.11 Anonymous was not. It was me. Sorry

Davo Stevens said...

Oh Good Lordy! Anon @ 10.11. Easy to spout Economic Theory but we live in a real world. A world where the "created wealth" is accumulated at the top. Which explains why real wages have not increased in 30yrs.

Now before you rabbit on about "productivity" remember that NZ workers have increased their productivity by 300% over that time but have not seen any increase in income, wonder why that is? Could it be that the "enterprise Owner" that you refer too is shipping the wealth off overseas? Could it be that the "enterprise owner" has it all tied up in a bloody great palace that is just sitting there and not generating any added value? Nah! Can't be that!!

clairbear said...

I think all political parties need to think about, but Labour seems to need the most help, is that New Zealand Society has changed in its relative makeup and we are all facing the impact of technology communication and transport on a world scale. This is a very different set of circumstances than existed at the birth of the Labour Party, and yet you continually hear the call for labour to get back to its roots. Equally you hear people trying to sum everything up in a notion of Left or right of centre with absolutely no analysis of what this means - obviously relative terms , but as we are facing massive world wide impact due to tech, coms and transp. relative to what.

A UK university did an analysis of classes or cohorts in modern society in the UK and came up with 7 groupings of which 1 being 18% was the traditional labour. So Labour are trending towards their roots but unfortunately that seems to be about 18%. So they need to have a thorough understand of who the voters are and aren't, and what are their situation and aspirations and need to work out some strategies where they can talk to a wider audience, and show how they can address a range of aspirations, and get those who are better off understanding that they can make a change that will keep them better off but also help bring those that need support into the productive wealth creating group even if in a small way (e.g. Chris's guys on the saws) better that than leaving them to be a cost. Labour needs to restate its values in a modern society rather than elect a new leader right now. Further the new leader I expect will have a single purpose to keep attacking John Key - there is another winning strategy (not)

Victor said...


"but also help bring those that need support into the productive wealth creating group"

Well how about counter-cyclical economic policies aimed at keeping unemployment low?

And how about tax breaks for the low paid and restoring the previous balance between direct and indirect taxation?

And how about ensuring that no child grows up hungry, thus perhaps stunting their potential for life?

That's quite a programme you've got there.

Charles said...

Clairbear is returning us to topic, not that it will work, as for many contributors, clearly any old ramble will do.
But Chris I presume would like some ideas on 'where to from here' for Labour rather than 'I would not start from here if you want to go there' as the Irish man said.
So I think go left, but go modern left, not old left.
The reason is old left is out of a job, or at least one that will get it elected. The idea that there are enough oppressed and poor 'out there' to vote Labour in is doubtful I think. And even if the left helped them up, they may then vote National as why would they want to be associated with a Party focused on the bottom of the heap, and minorities? So the new left should not pitch itself to minorities and 'the poor', unless it wants to permanently be the party of the unhappy and grumpy, in opposition to the majority of society. New left needs to appeal to the majority too. But not by being like National. You can't be like that anyway, unless you fake it and that shows, as Cunliff found out.
That is why I advocate looking at pure economics and finding new policies to help the large group who only just make ends meet and effectively receive the same or more in tax payer help as they contribute. That is another way to look at what I am getting at btw Vic. Net tax paid.

Victor said...


"New left needs to appeal to the majority too. But not by being like National. You can't be like that anyway, unless you fake it and that shows, as Cunliff found out."

So now you appear to be damning poor old Cunliffe for trying to fool people that he was a Tory!?! Is there no end to your fantasies?

".. finding new policies to help the large group who only just make ends meet and effectively receive the same or more in tax payer help as they contribute."

And what new policies would those be? Let's have some specifics.

Davo Stevens said...

A fascinating look at the Economy in the USA. By default it would also show what is happening here!

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Give them somewhere to go and they'll leave :-).