Monday 14 September 2015

Chris Trotter Talks To Paul Henry About Jeremy Corbyn.

IF I KNEW HOW to drag anything but YouTube clips onto Bowalley Road I'd be spared the embarrassment of having to direct you to this morning's Paul Henry Show interview using an old-fashioned link. But there we are, and here it is.
If you'd like to hear me discourse at a little more length on the subject of Jeremy Corbyn go to the Ika Seafood Bar and Grill website and make a booking for tomorrow (Tuesday 15 September 2015) evening's "Salon" session.
Maybe I'll see you there!
This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite.


Anonymous said...

I watched the interview Paul Henry and yourself, very enjoyable and informative. Your viewpoints on whether Jeremy can survive and win a British election were quality opinion. Politically these are exciting times, Britain, America, Australia and of course our own drama's. If the Labour party of NZ want a Jeremy Corbyn I suggest they look no further than Keith Locke.

Tiger Mountain said...

yes well, the still evocative 40th anniversary of the famous Chilean “half revolution”–Allende’s Popular Unity Government, was just last week, Paul Henry might have pretended to not know who Robespierre was, but well intended shifts in class power have often come a “gutser” over the years

the Rogernomes still regret not going the “whole hog” as per Roger Douglas “Unfinished Business”, so Corbyn supporters need to learn from the critics left (Socialist Worker et al) and right (Tabloid press, Blairites and UK state forces) that they need to keep on keeping on till the job is done

Nick J said...

Nice interview Chris, even Paul Henry was well behaved and asked questions non judgmentally (unlike Hoskings who doesn't seem to have the ability to do other than cheer lead).
I liked your answer to "can he win"? Times change, in 4 years the cool winds of depression, massed conflict over immigration, real climate changes, resource availability and price might all kick in. These may combine to display the emperor with no clothes at which point anything is possible. Your reference to Robespierre was a classic, he had better have a plan.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

What many people on the right don't seem to realise is that quite a number of Corbyn's policies are very popular. Particularly it seems to me the renationalisation of the British rail system, which from what I can gather has been turned into rubbish by privatisation. I must confess, that's the first time I have ever listened to Paul Henry. He doesn't seem quite so bad as I imagined. :-) Almost as if he was a serious journalist. I presume/Hope he was joking though when he said "people I've never heard of".

Grant said...

Chris, why did you let Henry lead you into saying that Corbyn was (maybe) to the 'left of Karl Marx', when it just ain't so? A quick lesson, for the benefit of Henry and those watching the interview, as to where Corbyn actually sits in the political spectrum would have been of some real value. He may appear 'radical left' to those whose memories don't extend beyond the 1980's, but as you have pointed out yourself in previous columns, that's only because we are living in the era of the 'neo-liberal settlement' which has moved the political centre radically to the right. Corbyn is no more radical in his social democrat beliefs than most of the Labour politicians who ran extremely successful administrations in both Britain and NZ before the Thatcher / Reagan / Douglas years. Personally I can't work out whether to giggle or snort every time Wayne Mapp and his ilk trot out the 'hard left' meme.

AB said...

Chris - could you please have countered Henry's repeated assertion that Corbyn is extreme? Go back 35 years and Corbyn would be unremarkably middle of the road. He's a moderate Keynesian social democrat, opposed to austerity as a way out of recession/depression, which is simply the obvious historical lesson of the 1930's.
The real story is surely not Corbyn's supposed extremism, but how the neoliberal revolution has moved the centre so far to the right? 35 years ago it would have been Henry who was the extremist, wanting a return to the unregulated capitalism of the 19th century.

David Stone said...

Hi Chris

I noticed that on this interview and on morning report you cited David Cunliffe as Corbyn's nearest equivalent, and the NZ labour parties' rejected option for a radical left turn. I'm not close to the political scene but I take an interest and take in what is generally available to the proletariat , and as a Joe Public that aspect of his persona passed me; so I suspect it may have passed a lot of other interested Joe Publics as well. Has anyone else got a view on this ? Perhaps he never made enough of it.

Cheers David J S

JanM said...

Good interview, Chris.
In the mean time we have the new PM in Australia saying how wonderful John Key is - is the right wing going to start holding hands as they watch for the tidal wave?

Richard Christie said...

Nice quote from Robespierre, nevertheless, Robespierre was a great example of somebody who didn't know when to stop.

It's disappointing that media hostility, being one of the major reasons for Cunliffe's failure, wasn't even alluded to, particularly when face to face with one of the worst offenders.

Kat said...

Chris I liked the way you verbally danced around Henry's political banter but it was obvious he was never going to try and argue with you on left wing analysis. If only RNZ would invite you to comment alongside Hooton.

Wayne Mapp said...


surely the point of the "neo-liberal settlement" is that with in being the prevailing ethos for 35 years, it has created a new centre. You have to be over 50 to have any real appreciation of what the world was like pre-1980, as indeed Mr Corbyn is. Mind you many of those who recently signed up in UK Labour seem quite young, so clearly his message is not one just for the old guard. Presumably in FPP Britain he also attracts voters who in MMP New Zealand would more comfortably vote Green.

On that basis, I would say there is a reliable 25% of the voting population who are essentially left (hard left as I am wont to say) as opposed to centre-left. Is that enough to win general elections?

So I make no apologies for stating Mr Corbyn is "hard Left", though I do realize the history of those words. But surely for his supporters that is part of his appeal. That he is clearly Left. You cannot really complain about he others might characterize him (well, you can), but it is simply part of political discourse.

Personally I hope Mr Corbyn holds his position through to the 2020 election. He certainly has got a good mandate to justify that.

That way we will all know whether his views can win general elections. There have been so many complaints both here and on The Standard that a true left wing wing agenda never gets to be really tested in a serious political campaign. Well, now you have your chance for that to be tested. But just remember, it will be a vigorous contest. The Conservatives are hardly going to say, "Well OK Mr Corbyn, you can have your five years in government, 2020 to 2025".

Grant said...


If the NZ electorate was to vote for a Labour Government which was the equivalent, measured by policy settings, of the third Labour Government led by Norman Kirk from 1972-1975, thus moving the 'political centre' back to where it was forty yrs ago, you would presumably be perfectly happy to have the National Party described as 'Hard Right' would you? By your own definition that is what it most certainly would be.

I'll bet you would not accept that label for one moment.

Describing politicians of the centre left as as 'hard' or 'extreme' left is not normal political discourse. It is a carefully calculated smear tactic (the use of which leads me to hold you in utter contempt) playing off the memory of such REAL extremists as Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot. NO Labour politician in either Britain or NZ comes close to deserving those labels just as no National Party politician deserves to be called a hard right fascist at every turn.

To paint your political opponents in terms which imply they are extremists is a foul tactic for several reasons. Firstly, it cheapens any attempt at serious political discourse which acknowledges that there are REAL extremes and REAL moderates in the political spectrum, so that the voting public becomes less educated and discerning about the nature of ideological difference in a country like ours where moderation has always been the norm. Rather than an honest and careful debate about the political views of citizens who may be your family and neighbours, we wind up with a hate speech calculated to leave anger and bitterness that splits us apart and defines those who want a different political solution as 'the other' who are dangerous and not to be trusted.

You are a lawyer and a professional life long politician. The use of words, language and definitions, are central to your training, so I have to assume that when you play fast and loose with them you are doing it in a deliberate and highly crafted fashion. Alternatively it may be that I am giving you far too much credit and you are just not very clever and your slurs derive from intellectual sloppiness.

I have to say that on rereading your third paragraph I am inclined to think this may in fact be the case.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Good post Grant. I doubt you'll get much of a reply though. The right wingers who frequent this site usually only debate until it gets too hard. Still waiting to hear about your Islamic qualifications Brendan :-).

Jigsaw said...

No the right-wingers on this site generally despair and have other things to do with their lives. It's the people like GS who resort to f**k this and so on (where are any controls Chris?) and realise that some people are so saturated with ideology that they are unable to see the reality in any situation. If you really think that enough of Jeremy Corbyn's policies are popular enough to get Labour elected then you are seriously delusional.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I don't think it's like that jigsaw. We get to a point where you can't answer a question without looking silly, and you just stop responding. Brendan was the prime example, criticising Islam without any "theological qualifications", but criticising anyone who spoke about Christianity without any "theological qualifications". I'm still waiting for an answer from Wayne on how the Afghan army of today is different from the Afghan army of a few years ago when it ran away after billions of dollars worth of training. And if I went back I'm sure I could find a few questions you've refused to answer.
The problem with right-wing thinking is that it contains inherent contradictions that mean massive cognitive dissonance. At least on US websites right wingers keep plugging away, even if their arguments are old and tired. Yet all you seem to care about is a bit of profanity :-).