Saturday 2 March 2013

Chris Trotter - Shearer Supporter!

WHAT A DIFFERENCE a year makes! In this "Politics Chat", recorded in the television studio of the University of Otago's impressive Media Centre, political studies lecturer (and compiler of NZ Politics Daily) Bryce Edwards, while discussing many other subjects, quizzed me on the state of Labour and the New Zealand Left generally.

As you will see, in late February 2012, I was still publicly backing David Shearer's leadership of the party (my endorsement comes about 30 minutes into the interview). Although, I think it's fair to say that, even then, a few hair-line cracks in my allegiance were beginning to show.


This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite.


Sparky said...

Oh My! How photogenic you are Chris.

But please stop referring to Labour as "Left" it is not. The party is, at best, 'Centrist'.

As a 65 yr old Kiwi I know the difference between Left and Right Politics and have lived through and seen all kinds of political persuasions. The Greens and Hone are more 'Left' than Labour has been in years.

Anonymous said...

Chris, as I recall you said in 2008 that only Phil Goff could save the Labour Party, then not long after you were calling for Goff to go. Then you backed Shearer as his replacement... and now you say he needs to go too.

I'm with you on Cunliffe, but given your track record I'm worried to be in your company!

Chris Trotter said...

A fair call, Anonymous@10:25AM.

However, you would have to concede that I only ever call for a leadership change when it's become clear that the incumbent cannot (or, in Shearer's case, should not) win the next election.

You have to ask yourself: "Which is more rational? To go on supporting an individual who will lead my party to defeat out of dumb loyalty? Or, to advocate a change of leader in hopes that a fresh face and a new approach might lead my party to victory?"

The great sin of the 2008-2011 Labour caucus was that it contained no one with the character to step up and depose Phil. All of the contenders opted to let him carry the odium of defeat and then climb to power over his political corpse.

All of the poisons that are now toxifying the Labour swamp may be traced to that collective failure of nerve, and to Phil's, Annette's and Trevor's justifiable contempt for the pretenders to their vacated thrones.

Is it any wonder they contrived to select the weakest leadership contender? What motivation had they been given to do anything else?

Quentin said...

I'm reminded Chris that Norman Kirk lost the 1966 and 1969 elections before winning in 1972. Big Norm is regarded as having a fresh, bold vision for Labour and the country. However, for the record I agree with you about Shearer. Cuncliffe would have been a far better and more progressive choice.

Anonymous said...

Remember that Chris Carter sounded a hellofa warning... BUT got the process wrong.

Giovanni Tiso said...

You had started to ring alarm bells well before that interview though - right after Shearer's "let's turn the page" mini-speech, if memory serves.

Robert Miles said...

It is certainly true in the United States in early 1973, eg Time magazine coverage NZ,Australia, Chile and even the left in Argentina were viewed as having some similarities in being outbreaks of Southern Cone indepedence which was to be regarded at best with a patronisng cyncicism. But the reality was Allende was moving in the direction of Cuban, East European marxism with the apparatus of a Moscow alligned state and control begining to be installed. Since the late 1960s Marxist militias and revolutionary priests had been leading illegal land and estate confiscations.One hardly needs to point out the similarities with the over generous settlements of Maori issue pushed for May Chei.
Beyond that Nixon, Kissinger and earlier McNamara were in a desperate state of the Cold War where like the Rand corporation and Le Mays strut they had to convince the Soviets they just might really be prepared the use the hydrogen thermonuclear war.
That is the real reason the linebacker in 72 when Hanoi was smashed and the fercocity of the later stages of the Vietnam war.Its way Allende and his regime were treated savagely. Kissinger called it the Madman strategy that he had to convine the Soviets and Chinese the Nixon was so savage and vengeful seeking he might use the bomb. American tech after Tet and in 73 Arab Israeli war was increasingly being matched by the Soviets. Undeclared hot war existed in the submarine battle at sea. THe USS Scorpion had more than likely been nailed by the Soviet Navy and unknown to the Americans the Walker brothers tretchery had meant the Soviets could read all USN and CIA and state communications in real time including those to the SSBNs.

Anonymous said...

Robert could you explain what on earth you're talking about? Can't make head nor tail of it in this context.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I don't think Allende was that great. Just another Stalinist associated with the Soviet machine and the arrogant Castro pricks and their crappy macho 'revolution'.

Why are we talking about this though?

jh said...

kowtow (3,815) Sums it up:
March 6th, 2013 at 9:02 am

pete george

Give me “old school” Labour any day over the bunch of girlie men they have today. Homo activism,immigration,multiculturalism,equality.

At least in the old days they did represent the working classes. Today they just want to spend our money on freaks and bludgers and create a dependant ,controlled client state.

jh said...

hj replies to kowtow:

you mean people with opinions like this:

Fantastic piece. Thanks so much.
Vancouver’s experience is probably like Canada’s on the whole. Trudeau brought in multiculturalism by federal directive in the 70s (“Although there are two founding peoples there is no founding culture…” and that mirrored Laurier before him…) Then in 1982, multiculturalism was enshrined in the Charter. Then in the mid-80s a Conservative PM enacted the “Multiculturalism Act”.
Now in Canada’s large cities it’s somewhat amusing to hear people speaking English. Fourth generation Canadians are seen as an amusing relic. Do you eat roasts? Do your parents wear sweaters to dinner and talk about classical music, ha ha ha?
The reality is that in NZ, the hegemony of Anglo Saxon culture refuses to die. The Interfaith dialogue was a fantastic example of that. Also, we never had (much) immigration from Central, Eastern or Southern Europe. We still treat South Africans and Pomps as “one of us”.


Comes down to who we think “ourselves” is, and whether we acknowledge it changes over time.

Robert M said...

Anon and others seem a bit confused about the relevance of my comments comparing the Kirk prime ministership to the Allende Socialist government in Chile and the Argentinian left. However today NZ may be on a somewhat similar trajectory with the National Government moving furthur left than Clark thought wise after 9/11, the winter of discontent and F-16 controversy.
Nationals trade minister, Tim Grosser see NZ future trade and strategic relationship as being predominantly with China and also in interviews this yr on TV1 and 3with an expanding trade relationship with Russia and India.
This is a very left wing direction, given that Russia and Iran are only minor NZ export markets and India remains modest as an export market and while China is a large market, its contribution remains reducable and disposable if absolutely necessary as Australia , USA and Japan remain far larger export earners for all in total. Development of far better trade and defence relations with Japan, ie (ceasing anti whaling agitation or friendship with China and Iran) considering the likely developing of ever worsening US and Japanese relations with China, the election of a conservative government in Australia and the apparent failure of Obama and the unbelievability of another Clinton presidency.
NZ could in the future face a US president as hostile to the left as Nixon and Kissinger and one unlike them not seeing any need for good relations with China.
The obvious evidence of immense US hostility to Chile and Australia in 1973 does not mean that such attitudes were not also held in the US Government and Pentagon about Kirk and foreign affairs in NZ. We should not presume we were ever off their horizon, if not usually worth commenting about. The 1973 Labour Governmnet collapsed under its own sex, alcholic and health problems with only minor assistance from the US and SIS but it is fairly obvious that a fairly massive UK intelligence effort occured in NZ under Thatchers command, if public denial, to stiffle the NZ anti nuclear movement. All sorts of things the death of Donald, Wilkes and the extraodinary Green/ Dewes marriage drama raise at least as many issues as Gaitskels demise in the UK.
Helen Clark would have had good reason to rise above this and play by the Americans rule after that.
I have always seen the Key/ English and Joyce administration as a rort to the left as much as the Frei government that preceeded Allende and a Cunliffe Government driven to the left by Norman and anti oil enviromental and pro Chinese pressure might find itself destablised. I imagine the Hay attempt to oust Norman reflects the machinations of the Auckland Bradford hard left or some other similar faciton.