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Posts Tagged ‘Mana Party’

A positive story of political co-operation!

28 August 2014 2 comments

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20-september

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Wellington, NZ, 23 August - The following is a true story and shows how the natural inclination of the rank-and-file of our main left-wing parties is to work together…

I’ve been in contact with both the Green Party and Internet-Mana, to offer both parties a spot on my front lawn for election billboards.

The Green Party was the first to respond, and I outlined my idea to them that I wanted a billboard frame to be erected on an angle, so that Internet-Mana would build the second “arm” of a V-shape frame, and attach their own election corflute. The plan;

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election frame construction

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The Green’s billboard team were agreeable to the idea, and a couple of members arrived two days ago to erect their hoarding frame.

Before they started their work, one of the team members – Ian –  knocked on my door to advise that they had a spare hoarding frame. He offered a suggestion – and what followed was perhaps the most remarkable and positive story relating to this election campaign.

One facing was covered with the main Green Party hoarding;

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Green Party

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- with a smaller, detachable corflute (the plastic sign) attached to the other side.

Ian’s suggestion? That the second facing of the V-shape could be used by Internet-Mana, when they arrived, to attach their own corflute sheet. The small “Green Party” corflute could be easily detached and stored away until collection on 19 September.

In effect, two Green Party volunteers with no allegiance to another political party, had decided to extend a helping hand and assist Internet-Mana’s own election campaign by putting up a wooden frame for them. Nothing was asked in return. It was sheer Kiwi good will.

It was an amazing experience and perhaps, sometimes, we forget the good people of this country who want to participate in our democratic process – and not just focus on those politicians who are self-serving and negative. Especially to allies on the Left.

Without naming names, certain other people on the Left might reflect on this story.

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vote mana labnour green

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 24 August 2014

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Mana-Internet Roadshow hits Wellington

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internet mana

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Wellington, NZ, 4 August – The Mana-Internet Roadshow hit Wellington on a chilly Monday evening, with the event scheduled for the waterfront venue at Mac’s Brew Bar,  in Taranaki Street. The first sign of the event was the eye-catching bus, decorated in Mana-Internet livery, parked outside the old brick, brewery building;

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Inside, Mana-Internet activists were busy setting up for the 6pm start, arranging chairs, speaking podium, party merchandise and leaflets, etc. It was a hive of quiet, determined, activity. Note King Kapisi (middle image) at work on his board;

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Party paraphernalia had sprung up throughout the hall;

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Videographer, Gerhart, chatting with Mana Party Leader and MP for Te Tai  Tokerau, Hone Harawira;

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 KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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Mana Party President, Annette Sykes, and the world’s first transgendered elected representative, Georgina Beyer – pausing from their chat to pose for cameras;

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Mana Leader, Hone Harawira, and Mana candidate for Rongotai, the dedicated Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati;

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mana internet party roadshow - wellington - 4 august 2014

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Eager young Mana-Internet activists on the main door, answering questions from members of the public;

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mana internet party roadshow - wellington - 4 august 2014

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Interestingly, contrary to some bullshit being spun on social media, there was no “door charge” and neither were members of the public offered “freebies” of any description. The lies from certain individuals illustrates their desperation to undermine Mana-Internet’s credibility.

Meanwhile, former broadcaster and Alliance MP, the extraordinary Pam Corkery, and Internet Party leader, Laila  Harré, catching up and enjoying a quiet moment;

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mana internet party roadshow - wellington - 4 august 2014

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Glenn McConnell, from The Beehive Mandate, interviewing Internet Party candidate, for Wellington Central, Callum Valentine (camera-person – off shot – Saeran);

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mana internet party roadshow - wellington - 4 august 2014

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During his speech later in the evening, Callum said,

“Throughout the ’80s we saw a rise of stark individualism, and I think from my point of view what my generation is trying to piece back together is a sense of community…”

Interesting, how the young folk understand the price we paid for neo-liberalism.

The public meeting was due to “kick off” at 6, and at 5.30, the hall was still mostly empty.

This blogger asked several activists if they were worried that the turnout would be low.  Without exception, every single Mana-Internet volunteer smiled or grinned with confidence and replied “wait and see“.

They were either hopelessly over-confident – or their experience on the road, travelling around the country had given them just cause to be confident.

They were not mistaken. By 5.50, the main part of hall looked like this;

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The rear part of the hall  filled quickly as extra chairs were laid out. By 6, there was standing room only;

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There have not been very many public political meetings where a minor party has drawn such numbers. These people were not political activists from the Left. Instead, they represented ordinary New Zealanders of all ages and ethnicity.

If this meeting had been publicised with a full page ad in the Dominion Post, this blogger believes that the Wellington Town Hall would have had to have been hired to cater for the numbers that would have attended. There seemed a feeling of  anticipation on the faces of many.

If  every hall in the country where the Roadshow has stopped was filled in the same way, then little wonder that John Key and certain right-wing Labour MPs are worried at the spectacular rise of Mana-Internet.

No wonder Mana-Internet cannot expect allies in any part of the political spectrum. This alliance of two tiny little parties has sprung from the fertile soil of discontent, and is quickly becoming a very real threat to the established political status quo of this country.

And it is little wonder that they are so hated by the mainstream media commentariate; they simply  don’t ‘get‘  why Mana-Internet is so popular.

As the hall filled to capacity (250-300, according to Brew Bar management), singer Matiu Te Hoki set the mood with several songs – including a few with audience participation. The response was enthusiastistic support  from most of the crowd;

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Internet Party candidate, Chris Yong, mc’d the event, and introduced guest speakers as they made their way up onto the stage;

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Wairangi Koopu (L),  professional rugby league player for the Pt Chev Pirates, and hip hop recording artist, King Kapisi (R), entertaining the crowd;

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mana internet party roadshow - wellington - 4 august 2014

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Mana Party leader, Hone Harawira, spoke with wit, humour, and passion;

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Hone began  by explaining Mana’s fierce determination to fight the current National government. He said,

This country is being driven to poverty. That too many of our people are being driven to homeless. Too many of our young people are being driven into unemployment. A lot of them just get on the plane and go to Oz… simply because this government is committed to maximising the wealth for their friends. It’s not a society that I want, it’s not a society that Mana wants.”

He then gave a brief background into how the idea for an alliance between Mana and the Internet Party had come about;

So as we moved closer towards this election, I started thinking about how we could lift our game. How could we raise our voice. How could we engage with wider audiences. How could we get our  our message out to a greater public.

Now, I didn’t know how to do it. I was struggling with the ideas – watching, of course,  while all sorts of other people were trying all kinds of deals. Then I was sitting down and talking to some young fellas at my Kura at home and one of them, a 17 year old, says to me, ‘You know this Kim Dotcom guy? Do you mind if I left Mana and joined the Internet Party?’

I walked away and I had a really good think about it. And then I came back to him, and sat  down and talked to him some more. And what I realised was that our kids, Maori kids I’m talking about, and I imagine all kids, they’re ready to ‘fly’. They’re ready to chase that internet dream. And yet politics was stuck in a quagmire. Much of a muchness. Sameness after sameness. Nobody being prepared to to step outside the box and do something different.”

He said, “that young fella basically challenged me to do something about it“.

So I thought to myself, I’ve been getting these calls from this guy, lives up in Coatsville. Big mansion up the road on the North Shore. Might be time to take that call.

Took the call.

We sat down. We had a bit of a korero. Well I’ll tell you, he talks like nobody I’ve ever met met before.

Hone added, to audience laughter,

Not just because he’s German, either.”

Hone described Kim Dotcom’s credibility by the way he spoke on certain issues, and how those same issues mattered to young people that Hone listened to.

Hone then went to to relate the reaction of Mana Party membership when he disclosed to them that he had been in discussion with Kim Dotcom. He said he knew there was a big risk in what he was considering. He described their reaction;

Mate, the response was almost universal. 99.5% – ‘what the —- do you think you’re doing! But as they heard more, as they learnt more, they realised that there’s something happening here.

He explained how such a strategic alliance would be the catalyst to “lifting our game”.

Hone then went on to describe the necessity of finding a leader for an Internet-Mana alliance,

So when it became possible  that that leader might,  just might be Laila Harré, I’m thinking to myself, ‘If we could pull this  off, this could go down  as the biggest strategic move in politics in 2014‘.”

Many in the audience clapped enthusiastically at that point.

Hone said that “we either got Laila, or else there would be no deal“.

So when we signed a deal between Mana and the Internet Party for the creation of Internet-Mana, I knew what the rest of the country didn’t know was that the deal was going to be done because I  have a comrade standing alongside me that I could be proud of, that I would be proud to stand on any front line with, and will be proud to sit back and let her do all the driving.”

Hone added that whilst Mana-Internet might not have “all the right things to say“, that people wanted change. He was adamant that was why Mana-Internet was enjoying packed halls around the country.

Where we are now, everybody, is we’re  in a position  to take politics to a whole different world. We’re in a position to completely change the way people view politics.”

After strong applause, Hone introduced the next speaker…

Kim Dotcom – one of the freshest things to hit New Zealand politics since the Green Party’s Nandor Tanczos – addressed the audience with his usual waggish, cheeky style. (One of the reasons Dotcom might be so popular with ordinary folk? He possesses a strong streak of that  Kiwi trait of anti-authoritarianism, that ferments just below the surface of our docile sheeplike-veneer, and which  was cleverly epitomised in the 1981 iconic classic movie, ‘Goodbye Pork Pie‘.)

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Kim gave his greeting in Maori and welcomed those in attendence;

“Very nice to see so many people show up here tonight, in Wellington, in the ‘belly of the beast’! Isn’t this exciting?

We have had this happening every night for the last four weeks. There is something happening in this country. There is an appetite for this.”

With his trademark humour, and wry jabs at the establishment, Kim said,

“Because we are in Wellington tonight, I want to ask every staff member of the GCSB, please raise their hand… I know there are a couple of them here. Alright, so let me address you first.

Please don’t worry even though we’re going to shut you down, we will find you guys jobs.”

Kim then related the lead-up to the creation of the Internet Party. He referred to the Hollywood-style raid on his property; the closing down of his business; the illegal aspects to the search  of seizure of his property; the spying on eighty-eight other New Zealanders by the GCSB; and how he and his wife, Mona, had been supported by many of his neighbours. He said that with the seizure of all their assets, they survived on the generosity of neighbours who brought them food, and one even loaned him a car to use.

Kim said the this support increased massively after his interview with TV3’s John Campbell.

He described the government’s closing down of his business, Mega-Upload, as an “over-reach” carried out without a trial.

Kim explained how his now-defunct business, Mega-Upload operated, and that in effect it was similar to a very big external hard-drive. He said people could upload their files for storage or to share with others. It was not a pirating service, he explained, though some users did carry out such activities. He likened his business to the old VHS video tapes which Hollywood at one time tried to curtail, because they could be used to copy commercial movies.

Kim also explained why current practices by Hollywood played into the hands of movie-pirates, by delaying release of movies by several months in different parts of the world. This, he said, was done to maximise profits. The consequence was,

“So they are actually responsible for the creation of the piracy problem, simply by the way they are doing business. Because even if a New Zealander wants to access a movie legally and is happy to pay for it, [they] can’t find it, and the only way to find it is on Google and through an illegal  download. Well then that’s really a problem Hollywood should solve and isn’t really a problem for service providers like myself or the users.”

Kim then changed tack and described a “total lack of vision” when it came to the digital economy. He berated the lack of cellphone coverage in many areas of New Zealands and asked, “is this Zimbabwe or New Zealand?”

He condemned a focus on primary production as limiting our economy, and failing to “take this country forward”.

Kim digressed at one point and outlined his previous criminal convictions in Germany. He said he was 19 when he had hacked NASA because he was curious if they knew of the existence of aliens.

This drew loud laughter from the audience.

“I didn’t find anything”, he lamented. The laughter from the audience increased.

He then hacked Citibank to make a donation of $20 million to Greenpeace because he thought the organisation deserved a donation because “I thought they were good for the environment and stuff”. More laughter from the audience, and some clapping.

After which he hacked a credit rating agency to set the credit rating for the Prime Minister to zero, “because I didn’t like the guy”. This drew even more laughter, cheers, and a round of applause.

Kim said that at his trial, the judge pointed out that he should use his talents and knowledge for the benefit of society. What followed next could only happen in a civilised society with a brilliant sense of humour.  The judge said Kim should use his skills to improve on-line security for businesses, to protect them from other hackers;

“To make their networks secure. I thought that’s a good idea so I wrote a business plan. I went to my government and I said I’ve just been convicted, can I please have a million dollars for my new business. And they gave it to me.”

The audience laughed with delight.

“So they gave me a million dollar loan, 20 years interest free. Didn’t have to pay anything back for 20 years. Within a year I had fifty staff and in another year later I already paid it all  back.

We don’t have anything like this in New Zealand.

There are a lot of young people here with great ideas. If they had programmes like that, we would would have in ten ten years down the road a much better, a much bigger workforce; more jobs.”

Kim said many other countries also had such programmes which invested heavily in the minds of young people.

The right wing and some in the media commentariat have no hesitation in pillorying Dotcom’s misguided youth. But when they condemn a person for his illegal actions as a 19 year old, you just have to wonder where their heads are at.

Kim then told the audience of something else that bothered him; the New Zealand tertiary education loan system. He said that the Mana-Internet Party would remove all fees and provide free tertiary education for all students.

That announcement was greeted enthusiastically by the audience.

“Let me explain why. Because what’s currently happening is that we are asking our future, our [human] capital of this country, to study and get brighter and smarter and be able to create and build something with that knowledge. But we are putting them in a position where they have their first mortgage before they even started their professional life. They are indebted so much that  they are looking for jobs abroad that are usually paying a bit more than in New Zealand. They are leaving this country; they build a network of friends there. Some start a family there and they never come back.

And how is that smart for this country if you send our best people – our biggest chance to increase our market share in the digital economy – away. It makes no sense at all… Why not make that investment in you for you to stay here and use your capacity that you have up here [indicated head], to make life better for all of us.”

Kim then turned his attention to Hone Harawira, seated on-stage beside him, and told the audience that the Mana Party leader was committed to resolving inequality in New Zealand. He said that we had a huge problem in this coiuntry and that our society was not fair.

Kim said that we needed to re-establish a social fairness contract, making sure that those who had the least were supported and looked after.

He thanked Hone for the partnership between them.

Kim turned to Laila Harre and described her as “an amazing source of power”. After the Mana-Internet alliance had been announced, Kim said that the media attacks on her were vicious. He said,

“But she stood her ground and she said, ‘so what?'”

He thanked Laila for her participation and taking the movement to a “whole new level”.

Kim then paid tribute to Mana-Internet’s young candidates as the best at their fields. He said that they did not “think like politicians“, they thought like the many young people in the room.

He said that young people would be instrumental in the growth of the internet economy and the growth of GDP.

Kim said we could take our market share in the world economy and lift our standard of living for all. He said this would increase incomes so people could afford housing and other consumer goods to make their lives better. He said all other industries would also benefit from a tech-boom.

Kim said that South Korea had already transitioned to a tech economy. He said the South Koreans had had an economy similar to New Zealand’s until they made the conscious decision to turn their society into a high-tech society, with high-speed broadband into every home. In the process, they went from unemployment at over 10% to 2.6%.

Kim said there was “no secret” to achieving such a transformation. He said it could be done, and New Zealand could do it.

He said,

“We are in a position in New Zealand where we have so many smart young people that are hungry for an opportunity like that, so let’s give it to them with Internet Mana this year.”

Kim was followed by another well-known New Zealander.

She might be sick and in the midst of medical treatment, but the vivacious Georgina Beyer was a firebrand, speaking with  powerful  determination, and  attacking the Foreshore and Seabed Act, as well as the current government.

Georgina described the intense pressure that Labour’s Maori MPs had come under to vote for the Foreshore and Seabed Bill. One by one, except for Tariana Turia – who she paid tribute to – they folded. When she requested that she be allowed to abstain from the Bill, the Labour Party caucus howled her down.

She expressed her deepest regret that she had voted for the Foreshore and Seabed Act. She said,

“I committed a great shame under the Helen Clarke, Labour-led government; the Foreshore and Seabed [Bill]. That was the greatest Treaty breach in modern history…it did an absolute injustice to Maori.”

It had been the pivotal moment when she could no longer stomach being a member of parliament, and resigned shortly thereafter. Georgina said that Labour did not deserve to win back the Maori seats, because of the way they had abused their Maori MPs.

Joining the Internet-Mana campaign, she said, was her way of contrition for her mistake.

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[Note: apologies for heavy red-tone to above image. My camera did not "like" some of the overhead spotlighting, from certain angles. - FM]

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After Hone’s stirling introduction of Georgina, she described the  “despair and desperation” that was impacting on many people in this country. She illustrated by launching into a furious condemnation of the 90 Day Trial period for new employees, outlining how she had lost her job to an unsympathetic employer,

“When I did get a job at [employer's name redacted] in Masterton, the goddamn 90 day fire-at-will clause got me sacked! Why? Because I wanted to practice democracy in the 2010 mayoral democracy.”

She added, “Watch out when I get back there [to Parliament] – it’s [90 Day Trial Period law] going!”

Georgina said that the Unions needed to be strengthened after being decimated the last couple of decades. She said that when people are employed, that they should feel safe and be paid properly.

Georgina described walking into the WINZ office as “de-humanising” and must be changed. She accused Work & Income’s previous CEO, Christine Rankin of creating a climate that was more like a correctional facility, complete with security guard(s) at the door.

Paula Bennett’s figures for reduced numbers on welfare was treated with derision and  challenged,

“Paula Bennett sits in Parliament, rabbitting away about the wonderful figures of the employment rates coming down. She’s shifting them around!

I’ve chaired the social services select committee for four years. I know the ‘jiggery-pokery’ that goes on, and the goddamn fiddles to make them look good. She’s telling you porkies!”

Georgina said Bennett wanted everyone to think “everything was going well, under this rock star economy“.

She added she was seeing the “hurt and the hate” that was being created in communities, and said there was little wonder that society was stressed and resulting in growing violence and abuse.

Georgina recounted her recent trip to Christchurch where she had been handed a report by Te Puawaitanga Ki Otautahi Trust  on social problems affecting that city. She described the report as sobering;

“It’s about whanau housing, post-earthquake, down in Christchurch. Just one thing I’d like to share with you which I just think is atrocious, and it may well be happening in other areas around New Zealand, South Auckland, Northland, where-ever like that. Women are terminating their pregnancies because they don’t want to bring a child into the shit, crap places that they’re living in.

They’re cold, they’re damp, they’re rat infest[ed]. Now Christchurch, yes, is an exceptional situation right now. But you’d think after nearly two or three years they would’ve got those sorts of problems sorted,  while making crap deals with Skycity and convention centres in Auckland, [and] building roads of national significance around the country…

… building stadiums that really aren’t necessary while people in our country are going cold, and tired, and starving, and children who are getting skin diseases…”

Georgina demanded to know,

“Is this the New Zealand we want to live in?”

When the audience replied “no!” in loud unision, Georgina responded that the government had to change, as well as people’s attitudes about our growing social problems.

If her strength that night was anything to go by, once her health improves she’ll make the ‘Energiser Bunny’ look like a wimp in comparison.

Georgina was followed by Annette Sykes, Rotorua lawyer, activist, and champion for  Māori independence;

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[Note: apologies for heavy red-tone to above image. My camera did not "like" some of the overhead spotlighting, from certain angles. - FM]

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Annette opened by saying she was proud to be part of a relationship that was built on mutual respect between both parties. She said,

“It’s important that we make choices that are wise, choices that can be reviewed, but [also] choices that aren’t just good for Maori but are good for all of this country. And that is why I’m really proud to be part of a relationship agreement that is building on those fundamentals; mutual respect. A desire to see all sectors of society, the poor and the rich, making a  contribution [and] also receiving a benefit from their participation in this government.”   

Annette confirmed Hone’s description of how his suggestion for an alliance between Mana and Internet was received by the membership;

“I was [part of] the 99.5% at Mana. I was the one that Hone had to persuade the most. I was really suspicious about the relationship. But I had to take my hat off to Mr Dotcom, because there’s very few pakeha that would dare to walk into the Mana AGM, and subject themselves to the kind of cross-examination that Mr Dotcom did. And I can tell you it was without mercy.

He was asked [about] everything. How would he feel about our first policy of course, [which] is to tax the rich? How would he feel about us promoting quite candidly policies that stopped the $1.4 billion of benefit cuts that are being taken from the poor, and reversing the tax cuts on the rich and then substituting them with things like  a Universal Basic Income?

Substituting them with a Capital Gains Tax? Substituting them with a tax on the toys that boys like to play with; you know, fast cars and flash boats.”

Annette continued,

“And he handled it. He handled it with an aplomb. I see a number of my socialist comrades here, and they will testify for the questions that he stood up to. And weren’t any easy questions, even for the most, I think, weather[ed] politician like Hone. They are real fundamental questions, like did he agree that we should stop foreign sales like the kind that are going through the back door at Taupo? Right now, as we speak?

Should we be putting in safeguards to protect [us from] the  privatisation of our most fundamental assets from going offshore? And in all of those questions he came up with the single answer which is Mana policy. We have to take the power back from the National Party. We have to put the power back into the community where it belongs.”

Annette had a message for the mainstream media which seemed obsessed with Kim Dotcom, Mana, and the Internet Party;

“When he enters a room, yep, he’s got plenty of money. Stop talking about his money, please. He’s a man with a mind and a mission. That’s really important. The mind of the man, the intellectual largesse that he brought into our meeting house at Ngati te Arere, is what we saw.”

She gave this parting advice,

“Stop listening to the TV [and] start listening to your hearts.”

The next speaker was another well-known New Zealander; Laila Harré. She explained her reasons for joining the new Mana-Internet alliance;

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[Note: apologies for heavy red-tone to above image. My camera did not "like" some of the overhead spotlighting, from certain angles. - FM]

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With obvious pride in her voice, Laila told the audience;

“…From the the north of the North Island we have filled halls in Kaitaia, in Kaipoi, in Kerikeri, then we ran out of towns starting with ‘K’ in Northland so we filled the hall in Whangarei.

We went back to “K” and with a full hall, pouring with people, in my political turangawaewae, the Kelston Community Centre in West Auckland.

And onwards from there to Rotorua, where Annette Sykes rocked the town with one of the biggest political meetings to have been held there, in a generation.

On to Hamilton, then to New Plymouth, on to Whanganui, yesterday in Palmerston North, and now in Wellington. And we are reaching thousands and thousands of people through these direct communications, in the halls, and town halls, and school halls of New Zealand and we are changing politics!”

Laila was ‘working’ the crowd with a voice that was soft, yet steeled with  determination. She had a message she wanted to give, and nothing short of Wellington’s ‘The Big One’ would get in her way.

She told the audience she was the recipient of two extraordinary gifts. The first was Kim Dotcom’s gift, to those New Zealanders who felt disconnected and disenfranchised from the established political system. She spoke of the Internet Party building a new movement that would create a new voice in politics.

She said the second gift was the alliance of the Mana Movement  with the Internet Party. Laila spoke of votes counting as people voted for the Internet-Mana alliance, and predicted that Hone Harawira would win Te Tai Tokerau for a fourth term.

There was an outburst of applause when she said that, and again when she predicted that Annette Sykes would win the electorate seat in Waiariki.

The crowd erupted into louder applause when Laila took a swipe at coat-tailing media commentators (commentators who seemed to focus primarily on Mana-Internet . With defiance, she said,

“I have no shame at all in going into Parliament on his coat-tails and on her apron-strings!”

Laila also sent a message to her colleagues in the Trade Union movement. She said,

“My message is this. Progressive politics is about constantly building and inventing and reinventing the way that we enghage the people and make a difference on their behalf. Progressive politics is about alliances and this alliance and the the Intertnet Party’s developement gives us the opportunity as progressive New Zealanders to connect a whole lot of people to the power of progressive politics who have become disillusioned with it, or who have seen their only opportunities  being to give in to the craven individualism promoted by the New Right in this country, because nothing else has looked better or more attractive to them for a long time. And the trade union movement has always been about strategic alliances; about clever politics; about being brave and standing up for what we see as fair and just, and this alliance has the capacity to change the government in September. And that is what the working people and the unemployed people of this country need to happen desperately.”

Laila then “sent a message” to Wellington, and it was simple and to the point;

“We don’t have a rock star economy!”

She said that the Mana-Internet roadtrip had visited many communities and told the audience, “you would be horrified at the propaganda by this government sold to New Zealanders over the last six years“!

The disgust in Laila’s voice was apparent. She expressed her horror at the loss of decent, affordable health services, especially in the regional communities. Laila’s exasperation was evident when she said she had believed many critical health problems had been solved – but instead many poor families and young mothers  faced prohibitively high medical, doctor’s or prescriptions charges. She said,

“When they fêted Tony Ryall when he finished his term as Health Minister, they weren’t  fêting him for improving our public health system. They were fêtinghim for keeping the horror stories of  our health system off the front page of our newspapers for the last six years. And I want to know why the Opposition has been asleep on the job, because I have heard stories in the last four weeks that I was hearing fifteen years ago at the beginning of the health services crisis in this country, that I believed to be fixed. And I’m going to raise those issues in Parliament, in Wellington in [drowned out by applause and cheering].”

Laila added,

“We have an inequality crisis in this country. And it is a crisis that has been building and growing for thirty years. Now 285,000 children live in houses with incomes below the poverty line.

That’s almost become a cliche, hasn’t it? In the circles that we mix in – just an accepted reality. 285,000 New Zealand children whose parents don’t have a large enough income to provide for the very, very, most basic necessities of life. It’s a disgrace!

And if we think that we have an inequality problem now,  let’s just look twenty years ahead, at what that time bomb means for the capacity of New Zealand to cope and to lead in the digital technical age.”

She said it was a disgrace that over 200,000 New Zealand school children had no internet access in their homes, saying it deprived them of knowledge to lead our economy in twenty years’ time.

Laila explained,

“Internet-Mana represents a very different kind of politics and there’s a few people out there including some of our friends, who are finding ourt new kind of politics quite confusing. It’s like ‘did we give you permission to do this’? Well actually, we don’t need permission to participate in the democracy of our country and neither do you,” pointing to the audience.

Laila said that Mana-Internet took away the sugarcoating, to dress things up, to spin things, and to pretend there is nothing really wrong with this country. She said Mana-Internet would lift the responsibility from the shoulders from all those burdened by the way things were in New Zealand.

She said she was giving  fair warning to the National Party and mainstream media, that she would be attending the Helensville electorate meeting on 11 August, where John Key would be making his one and only public appearance (how very ‘big’ of him, I thought). As the rapturous applause died away, Laila grinned and said matter-of-factly,

“I know it’s a long shot.”

She said she would be fronting to John Key, to engage with the Prime Minister on his record, and how he had abdicated his responsibility for a decent future for this country’s children.

Laila said she would demand that he bring along the text of the secret TPPA document, so we could know in advance which rules and laws we would be allowed to pass, and which ones we were not.

She asked, “wouldn’t it be kind of decent” to know what we were signing up to?

Laila then announced clearly and succintly,

“We are not going to support a National government, that’s for sure. But we’re also not going to support Labour to sign the TPPA!”

The audience cheered and clapped loudly at that policy announcement. It was clear that there was no public support in that hall for the TPPA, or that it was held in secrecy by the National government.

Laila also said she was going to ask the Prime Minister “to give us just a little bit more information” than what he gave to the Auditor-General on his conversation with SkyCity which
completely gutted normal rule of law and procurement processes“, and which changed the laws surrounding gambling to suit the corporate agenda of the casino in Auckland.

Laila called SkyCity “the biggest corporate pariah” in the country.

She said,

“I want to know what went on, and we do not stand committed to that [Skycity convention centre] contract.”

Laila said that the pokies that had been gradually eliminated from Auckland would now be returned to SkyCity. She said that the convention centre deal was funded on the backs of problem gamblers.

Laila said she would be asking the Prime Minister what really happened with respect to to Kim Dotcom’s permanent residence application, and,

“… did he really not know about Kim Dotcom until one day before the raid?”

She would be asking the Prime Minister to account for the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom and eightyeight other New Zealanders.

Judging by Laila’s powerful combination of fierce intellect, wit, and passion, Key would be in for a ‘bumpy’ ride that night.

In parting, Laila gave the audience a message to which they seemed very receptive;

“You can make that happen on September 20th… This is an opportunity to put some honest, brave, and smart voices into Parliament and to deliver a new kind of message and a new kind of politics to this country…

…we can change not just government, we can change politics forever.”

She added,

“Whatever the polls are telling us, the outcome of this election does not depend on the people who vote National. The outcome of this election will depend on those people who don’t.”

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Postscript 1

Going by the lack of media (except for a sole Radio NZ reporter)  coverage of the Roadshow event in Wellington,  one thing seems clear; the mainstream media has no idea how to deal with the Mana-Internet alliance.

Is it a passing fad? Something fleeting that will vanish like so many other small parties have come-and-gone over the years?

Or is it something new? Something that is a radical step-change in politics in the 21st Century?

One thing that struck me was the age of most of those involved; they were young people in their late teens and twenties.

It is my belief that politics in the 21st century belongs to a new, younger generation… and they are slowly awakening.

The msm has no idea of what is coming. And if they do, they have no idea how to frame it.

The Rule Book on Politics has just been chucked out the window.

Postscript 2

This is Leo…

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mana-internet-party-roadshow-wellington-4-august-2014

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After the roadshow, we had dinner at Wellington’s iconic Green Parrot Cafe, a block away from the Brew Bar

We met Leo, one of the hard-working staff at the Green Parrot. He casually enquired if we’d just come from a gig and we replied that we had – the Kim Dotcom Roadshow ‘gig’.  Conversation turned to what Dotcom was trying to achieve with the Mana-Internet Party; to shake up the political system.

Leo said he had not taken much notice of politics, but he had heard of Dotcom and the hassles he was having. Even though he was entitled to vote, he hadn’t last time.

I replied,

“Well, if you don’t vote, you’re letting someone else decide your future.”

Leo got that immediatly and we chatted more. He said he wasn’t sure who he would vote for – but was adamant “it won’t be for that guy, John Key“.

The more we chatted, the more we realised that Leo was the archetypal young non-voter. He said politics didn’t seem very relevant in his life.

I encouraged him to check out the Mana-Internet or Green parties, as he might find relevance with either one.  Whoever he chose, it was important that he cast his vote. He said,

Yeah, I’m going to look into it…

One of the ‘Missing Million’  –  may no longer missing.

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References

Maori TV: Internet Mana roadshow meets Kaitaia

Radio NZ:  Internet Mana takes aim at Labour

The Beehive Mandate

Rotorua Daily Post: Internet Mana launches campaign in Rotorua

TV3: King Kapisi sent out to rally young voters

Te Puawaitanga Ki Otautahi Trust: Housing survey

Mana Party:  Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki

Related

Fairfax media: Te Tai Tokerau tangles

Fairfax media: PM quiet on Dotcom’s ‘f*** John Key’ rally

Previous related blogposts

Labour’s collapse in the polls – why?

The Mana-Internet Alliance – My Thoughts

The secret of National’s success – revealed

Political Identification Chart for the upcoming Election

The Media will respond to Kim Dotcom’s up-coming revelations professionally, impartially, and with all due diligence

Patrick Gower – losing his rag and the plot

Other Blogs

The Daily Blog:  No Cookies! But maybe the balance of power. Why Kelvin Davis and the Labour Right are so scared of Internet-Mana.

The Daily Blog:  Cunliffe on Internet MANA, how ungrateful is Kelvin Davis & how we know Labour’s vote isn’t collapsing

 

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vote mana labnour green

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 10 August 2014

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Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…

4 August 2014 2 comments

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20-september

 

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Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out;

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Deals show contempt, says Labour

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Now we can look forward to TV3’s political commentator, Patrick Gower, posting tweets of outrage at Key’s machinations – just as he did two months ago. On 29  May, Gower was scathing at the alliance between Mana and the Internet Party;

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Patrick gower - twitter - laila harre - mana internet party alliance

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Patrick gower - twitter - laila harre - mana internet party alliance (2)

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Will Gower make the same expressions of outrage at National?

What are the odds?

Postscript

It seems obvious that Gower has a personal thing against Mana and Kim Dotcom.

His most recent utterances on 29 July made that perfectly clear, when he has again stated,

“And David Cunliffe has repeatedly and pointedly refused to rule out working with Internet-Mana to form a Government.”

At every opportunity, Gower has repeatedly demanded Cunliffe rule out working with Mana-Internet.

Why?

When a journalist demands that a political party make a definitive policy statement to rule out a potential coalition partner is not reporting the news – it is a naked attempt to influence it.

It is one thing to ask a party leader who they will/won’t deal with, post-election. That is a perfectly legitimate question to ask.

But to pressure a party leader to rule out a potential coalition partner?

Gower has stepped beyond the bounds of what is acceptable journalism. It is not his job to dictate to any party leader who they should/shouldn’t coalesce with. His job is simply to report their decisions.

The rest is up to us, the people to evaluate that information.

Pull your head in, Paddy.

 

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References

Radio NZ:  Deals show contempt, says Labour

TV3: Opinion – Dotcom does Key a Winston favour

Previous related blogposts

Patrick Gower – losing his rag and the plot

 


 

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david cunliffe stood up on the issue of domestic violence

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 29 July 2014.

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An interesting poll from TVNZ. Note some of the VERY left-wing questions!?

24 July 2014 5 comments

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20 September

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July 19 – Yesterday, I received this poll, sent by TVNZ to my email.

What I found very interesting were some of the question relating to issues that have not been discussed – literally – for decades. The question regarding free tertiary education is again an election issue. This is something we can attribute directly to the rise and rise of the Mana-Internet Alliance.

The questions (and answers I gave) are presented here as screen-shots. (Only the final two pages are not included, as they contained some personal responses and details. My preference for which Party I will be endorsing with my Party Vote for will be the subject of an up-coming blogpost.)

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TVNZ on-line survey p1

 

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TVNZ on-line survey p2

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It is a shame that the “anti-smacking” question (above) was put without real reference to what the law actually states. If people actually knew the actual nature of the  repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act, they might be more inclined to vote as I did. It is a fallacy that the repeal of Section 59 banned all smacking and is a deliberate distortion promulgated by neo-conservatives and religious right elements in our society.

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TVNZ on-line survey p3

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I responded somewhat “lukewarm” to the question about compulsory Kiwisaver (above). The problem of compensating low-income earners and beneficiaries should be taken into account along with implementing compulsion. Forcing the poor, who might be currently living in garages and unable to afford even the basics, to save for Kiwisaver would be an untenable proposition and a farce.

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TVNZ on-line survey p4

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I voted “strongly disagree” to the proposition that high income earners should not receive superannuation. We have been through this issue before and it was blindingly obvious that high income earners simply hid their money by clever accounting tricks – thereby avoiding cuts to their super.

Targetted superannuation invites the growth of a labyrinth of rules, exemptions, asset-income testing, and an associated invasive  bureaucracy. Better to have Universal Superannuation,  alongside a comprehensive progressive tax rate  that claws back super-payments by slightly higher marginal tax rates.

And the final tranche of questions;

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TVNZ on-line survey p5

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It is interesting to note that questions regarding tax cuts were omitted. I would have liked to have seen what New Zealander’s attitudes toward cutting taxes would have been. Especially if the question was framed as a choice between more tax cuts and less social services.

Now that would really have been a barometer of our nationwide psyche!

Now we just have to await the outcome of this poll…

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References

Wikipedia: Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007

 


 

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 20 July 2014.

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The secret of National’s success – revealed.

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labour mana greens internet

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1. Preface

Firstly, a disclosure on my part: I am a Green Party supporter (though by no means ‘wedded’ to that  particular party – or any party for that matter).

Secondly, it is not often I write a piece criticising others on the Left. I have long held the opinion that the Left needs to work together to achieve common goals, and that public displays of discord only serves to play into the hands of the Right.  And really, do we need to give the Right any further ammunition? Especially free of charge?!

2. What the hell is going on?!

Going by recent public comments made by Labour MPs and candidates, it seems that the Labour Party is either planning to sit this election out – or some of it’s higher-ranking public individuals are out of control.

How else to explain recent statements made in the mainstream and social media by Labour people, attacking others on the Left?

A few examples.

Kelvin Davis on 28 May  (see video at 1.29);

“People can see that this is just a stitch-up and I don’t think they like seeing Tai Tokerau being traded off like that. I think they’re taking the voters of Tai Tokerau for granted.”

Chris Hipkins on 30 May;

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chris hipkins - unprincipled sell outs - twitter  - Mana party - internet party - labour party

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The above ‘tweet’ was supported by none other than ACT Party-member, Peter McKeefry;

and we look forward to you Chippie slamming the corruption of democracy by the left in general debate.

Meanwhile, also on 30 May,  Labour MP and one-time Party leader, Phil Goff, added his three cents worth on Facebook;

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Phil Goff - facebook - Mana party - internet party - labour party

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Goff makes the point,

I am also opposed to anyone buying a political party and buying influence by splashing out $3 million as Dotcom proposes.”

Funny. That is precisely the same smear that the Right continually throw at Labour: that unions are “buying influence” with their donations to the Labour Party campaign ‘war chest’.

It can only be a facepalm moment when a senior, experienced, supposedly politically-savvy Labour politician utters a statement that parrots and validates Right-wing bullshit. Nice one, Phil. Got anything on ‘lazy benes’ spending up large on SkyTV, booze, and drugs?

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Chris Hipkins on 31 May;

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chris hipkins - twitter  - Mana party - internet party - labour party

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Right-wing blogger and National apparatchik, David Farrar, caught on very quickly when Kelvin Davis re-tweeted one of National Party supporter, Hamish Price’s tweets, and posed this question;

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David Farrar - kelvin davis - twitter  - Mana party - internet party - labour party

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Hipkins again, on 1 June;

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chris hipkins -dodgy deals - twitter  - Mana party - internet party - labour party

 

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And just to make sure we all got the gist of his attacks on small parties (aka, Internet-Mana), Hipkins threw this ‘grenade’ into the mix on the same day;

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chris hipkins - small parties - twitter  - Mana party - internet party - labour party

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Of all the statements put out by Labour’s MPs, that one has to be the most asinine yet – as blogger Jackal (et al) tried to point out to Labour’s Napier candidate, Stuart Nash;

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jackal - jackal blog - stuart nash - twitter  - Mana party - internet party - labour party

 

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Kelvin Davis seems unable to comprehend that a “Labour victory” is unobtainable if Labour shafts potential coalition partners.  He could not answer the simple question; “How will you achieve a Labour  victory without coalition partners“?!

This simple fact not lost on National – and the Nats have consistently out-ranked Labour in every  poll to date! (More on this point in a moment.)

Twitter-user, Andrew Riddell  tried (in vain) to point out the futility of Labour’s attacks on Mana-Internet – and was “rewarded” with a very bizarre, Winston Peters-like evasive response by Labour’s Education spokesperson and MP for Rimutake, Chris Hipkins;

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chris hipkins -andrew riddell - twitter  - Mana party - internet party - labour party

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Kelvin Davis on 2 June;

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kelvin davis - twitter - ngatibird - laila harre - Mana party - internet party - labour party.

Kelvin Davis’ hardline statements were supported by rightwing Twitter members such as Hamish Price, Manoja St John – and by right-wing, National-supporting blogger, Keeping Stock;

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keeping stock -  mark mitchell - kelvin davis - twitter  - Mana party - internet party - labour party

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Note who “Favourited” Keeping Stock’s tweet – Kelvin Davis and  National Party MP, Mark Mitchell (red arrowed).

Amazingly, it was ‘ordinary’ Twitter users who tried to talk sense into Labour’s MPs and candidates;

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They want to be be in opposition. They can’t even function together as one team.

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Ppl don’t have the confidence to vote left bcause they can’t see how we will work together. Fix this!

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For someone who is pro-MMP you show a real inability to think in terms of left and right blocs.

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why use strategic friends and allies when you can just lose all by yourself?

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if u want to win need to get around your heads around the fact that MMP rules allow what happened and be more magnanimous

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that is not constructive. Think outside the “two big parties” box please.

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another crack at your future coalition partners.. It’s like you know you’re going to lose….

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Gee, , I’ve never heard you be so purposefully insulting … oh, wait. Yes I have.

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Speaking of sell outs.. I remember the time in 1984 when I voted Labour and got neoliberalism instead.

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Kelvin,you are in the wrong party .. join the Nats and make a REAL difference

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It is counter productive for the left to dis the left Instead its smarter 2 wish them well & focus on a left win

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Even more kinda sorta ironic that the Kelvin Scale is used to determine absolute zero.

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how many tory votes do you think that tweet scored you?

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Pull your head in .clowns like urself are gonna cost THE LEFT thats right THE LEFT. this election.

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Is Labour on a kamikaze mission? Goff, Davis & now Nash slagging off coalition partners. This is damaging.

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more the left stands undivided the easier it is for the country to think the right is the only consistent choice

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The last (but not really – there were many, many more)   made the point that really counts.

3. The Primal Urge to Self-Destruct?

I’m not sure what ‘game’ Labour is playing at here. Obviously they are trying to grab potential votes that might accrue to Mana-Internet – but the process they are using is so utterly destructive that it beggars belief.

In an MMP environment, both National and Labour need smaller parties as coalition partners. This was amply illustrated in 2011, when National all but endorsed John Banks for the Epsom electorate, and made Katrina Shanks an electorate candidate-in-name-only in Ohariu, to allow Peter Dunne the opportunity to win.

National fully understands the realpolitik of MMP.

Labour – it appears – is still playing by First Past the Post rules.

National set the rules for MMP  on 14 May 2013, when Justice Minister Judith Collins told the House that National would be rejecting the Electoral Commission’s recommendations to abandon the ‘coat tailing’ provision and to reduce the party threshold from 5% to 4% [which this blogger supports]. Collins gave the weak excuse,

“Mr Speaker, of course I did not hold the MMP Review. That was a matter that was undertaken by the Electoral Commission. But I can also say that I made it very clear that we need concensus on these matters for any change and there is no concensus for any change.”

The “concensus” that Collins referred to was ACT and Peter Dunne opposing the scrapping of coat-tailing because it would significantly damage their electoral chance to win extra seats with that provision.

As Gordon Campbell wrote;

National can hardly bitch and moan about this outcome either. For nearly 15 years, it campaigned loud and long against the evils of MMP and railed for a review of its shortcomings. Yet then Justice Minister Judith Collins promptly and cynically shelved the MMP review findings, once National realised that the review’s main recommendation – that the electorate seat coat-tails now being used by Harawira and Dotcom should be abolished – would hurt its own chances of getting Colin Craig and his Conservatives and the Act Party’s latest minion in Epsom onside, and into Parliament. If the Mana/Dotcom arrangement looks like cynical pragmatism, it is merely par for the course.”

Labour needs to get their head around one simple reality; that it must – must! – play by the rules which National have set. Playing by another set of rules will result in losing the election in September and staying on the Opposition benches.

If Labour is trying to paint itself as “principled” – they have failed. Right wing blogs and even msm journalists have tarred both main parties with the same brush, as TV3 journalist, Patrick Gower did in 2011, with an outrageous claim about Labour doing “dirty deals” with the Greens. (For the record, since 2002, the Greens’ policy has been to campaign for the Party Vote, not the Electorate Vote. Gower was making sh*t up when he claimed – without any actual evidence – that Labour and the Greens colluded in Ohariu in 2011.)

Being “principled” will not prevent public attacks by  right-wing commentators; headline-hunting conservative msm journos; business interests; National/ACT; etc.

Being “principled” will simply give National a free run in this years’ election.

Being “principled” and attacking potential allies will result in under-mining potential coalition partners.

Being “principled” and attacking potential allies will result in looking weak and fractured, in the eyes of the public.

Being “principled” and attacking potential allies smacks of dis-unity. Dis-unity, in the eyes of the public, is not a Government-in-waiting. It is Labour unable to set aside self-interest and  party-politics for the good of the nation.

If the public perceive that Labour is more interested in attacking it’s own potential allies – and here is the nub of the problem – then why should people vote for such a fractious party that appears unable to work alongside said potential allies?

National – polling in high 40s and low 50s – cultivates potential allies.

Labour – polling in high 20s and low 30s – undermines, attacks, and marginalises it’s own potential allies.

Contrast Labour’s current destructive pattern of behaviour with National’s attitude, as repeated ad nauseum by John Key;

 We’ve shown we can deliver strong and stable government and can work with other parties for the good of the country, even when those parties have different policies.

Labour says that it will campaign on it’s own policies.

So does National.

But the difference  – the B-I-G difference – is that in doing so, National does not attempt to subvert the chances of it’s potential allies. Quite the contrary, it nurtures it’s potential coalition partners like a farmer tending to his flock.

Is this “dirty deal-making” as sensationalist media headline-mongers keep hysterically screaming?

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Patrick Gower - laila harre - twitter  - Mana party - internet party - labour party

Patrick Gower - twitter  - Mana party - internet party - labour party

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- or has National understood what the public really, really, really want; constructive co-operation between political parties?

How many times have we heard the public say, “why can’t they work together for the good of the country?”.

Well, National’s strategists have understood and implemented this very simple truism; the public do not like seeing squabbling politicians. The public want political parties to work together, collegially  to solve pressing problems.

That is why Key keeps repeating his mantra,

 We’ve shown we can deliver strong and stable government and can work with other parties for the good of the country blah blah blah.. 

That is why National is high up in the polls.

That is why Labour is floundering and losing support. And respect.

That is why the latest Roy Morgan poll – the most reasonably accurate of all polls (except the one that really counts on Election Day) – had this recent shocking result;

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National (52.5%) surges to election winning lead while Labour/ Greens (38%) slump to lowest since last New Zealand Election as Greens propose a Carbon Tax to replace the Emissions Trading Scheme

Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows a strong gain in support for National (52.5%, up 7%) now at their highest since before the last New Zealand Election and well ahead of a potential Labour/Greens alliance (38%, down 6%) – almost matching their performance at the 2011 New Zealand Election at which the two parties polled a combined 38.5%.

Support for Key’s Coalition partners has also improved with the Maori Party 1.5% (up 0.5%), ACT NZ (1%, up 0.5%) and United Future 0% (unchanged).

Support has fallen significantly for all Opposition parties with the Labour Party down 1.5% to 29%, the Greens down 4.5% to 9% (the lowest support for the Greens since September 2011), New Zealand First 4.5% (down 1.5%) and Mana Party 0.5% (down 0.5%). Support for the Conservative Party of NZ is 1% (unchanged) and the Internet Party is 0.5% (unchanged).

If a National Election were held now the latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows that the result would be a landslide victory for the National Party and a third term for Prime Minister John Key.

 

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That is why the Left will lose on 20 September.

Unless Labour radically changes tack and demonstrates to the public that they are more interested in working together with potential partners – than wrecking their chances at winning votes – voters will be put off. Telling the public that Labour “can work with other parties after the election” is not good enough. Labour must show it can do it.

Otherwise, as one quasi-fascist right-wing blogger put it, the public will perceive that “things are falling apart for the Labour Party“.  He may have a valid point.

Again, as Gordon Campbell stated,

 Labour may just be mule-headed enough – and tribally fixated on the FPP-era of politicking – to try and get rid of Harawira at all costs, and thereby torpedo one of its main chances of forming the next government.

At which Scott Yorke at Imperator Fish added;

 How not to win an election…

…Pretend that we still have a First Past the Post electoral system.”

It is supremely ironic that National – the champion of the Cult of Individualism – can work collectively and collegially with other political parties. But Labour – a party of the left, which espouses collective action for the greater good – is desperately and greedily scrabbling for votes for itself and attacking  potential allies.

Also ironic is that the current MMP rules were set by a National government for the benefit of National. When other parties such as Mana-Internet try to use those very same rules, the reaction from National,  the media, and other right wing commentators, is both vicious and sustained.

Unfortunately, Labour have bought into National’s strategy.  The concept of “principles” – which utterly eludes the Right – has been used to frame the issue of small, left-wing parties “coat tailing” into Parliament. It is “un-principled” when the Left does it.

When National does it, they are being “pragmatic” and duly ignore the shrill screams of the likes of Gower, Garner, et al.

Because in the final analysis, National has sussed perfectly well what the public wants.

We have three months to do likewise.

Or we will lose.

 

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References

TVNZ News: Former MP Laila Harre tipped as Internet Party’s new leader

Twitter: Chris Hipkins

Facebook: Phil Goff

Twitter: David Farrar

Twitter: Hamish Price

Twitter: Chris Hipkins

Twitter: Chris Hipkins

Twitter: Jackal (Jackalblog)

Twitter: Andrew Riddell

Twitter: Chris Hipkins

Twitter: Kelvin Davis

Twitter: Keeping Stock

Fairfax media: Government’s MMP review response slammed

TV3: John Key’s State of the Nation speech – the main points

Kiwiblog: Mana-Dotcom Alliance

TV3: Dirty electorate political deals, done dirt cheap

Twitter: Patrick Gower

Roy Morgan Poll

Previous related blogposts

The Mana-Internet Alliance – My Thoughts

Patrick Gower – losing his rag and the plot

Judith Collins issues decision on MMP Review!

Additional

Fairfax media: Labour MPs not happy with Mana-Internet

Other blogs

The Standard: Labour’s Mana Internet Party dilemma

Gordon Campbell: Gordon Campbell on the rise of Laila Harré

The Daily Blog:  Authoritarian Labour: Why Kelvin Davis needs to STFU – and soon!

The Daily Blog:  Keep Calm And Carry On: Why the Left should ignore the next round of poll results

Imperator Fish: How to win an election

 


 

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Why I am a Leftie

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 7 June 2014.

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Letter to the Editor – Dom Post editorial off into LaLaLand…

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Today’s (9 June 2014)  editorial in the ‘Dominion Post was an interesting take on the John Banks Affair and National’s cynical exploitation of MMP’s “coat tailing” provision;

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Stuff.co.nz

Editorial: Discredited flaw still being exploited

Last updated 05:00 09/06/2014

Every electoral system has flaws which politicians exploit. The coat-tailing provision of MMP is now utterly discredited, but it survives because it serves powerful political interests – especially the National Party’s. The clause should be abolished, but no National-led government will do so.

Labour promises to quickly abolish the clause, which allows a party with just one electorate seat to avoid the 5 per cent parliamentary threshold, if it gains power. There is already a paradox here. Labour might have to rely on the votes of the Mana-Internet Party to do so. But Mana-Internet will get into Parliament only via the coat-tailing clause. Nobody believes it will get 5 per cent of the vote.

The case for abolishing coat-tailing is overwhelming, and was made by the Electoral Commission in 2012. That inquiry grew out of John Key’s promise to “kick the tyres” of MMP, but his government ignored the recommendations. The reason is quite simple: coat-tailing helps the National Party. The Government’s refusal to take any notice of the inquiry was naked realpolitik and a supremely cynical act.

National’s coat-tailing deals with ACT in Epsom have left an especially sour taste in voters’ mouths. Key’s “tea-party” with the-then ACT leader John Banks before the 2011 election was widely recognised as a stunt.

The politicians invited the media to their meeting and then shut them out of the coffee-house while they had their “secret” and entirely meaningless chat. It added insult to injury that Key complained to the police after a journalist taped their conversation.

National and ACT had done similar self-serving deals in Epsom before, and showed just how unfair coat-tailing can be. In the 2008 election ACT got 3.65 per cent of the vote but won five seats in the House thanks to coat-tailing. New Zealand First, by contrast, got slightly more than 4 per cent of the vote but no seats in the House, because it won no electorate. This was mad, but highly convenient to the two right-wing parties.

Coat-tailing, in fact, has kept the dying and discredited ACT party alive. It delivered John Banks a seat in the House, and this week Banks stood disgraced when found guilty in the High Court of knowingly filing a false electoral return. Key, whose self-serving deal with Banks has hurt his own credibility, has even persisted in defending Banks’ “honesty” since the verdict. Now, of course, the Left is doing its own tawdry coat-tailing deal in Te Tai Tokerau. Without Hone Harawira’s electorate seat, Internet-Mana would go nowhere.

Hard-nosed strategists such as Internet Party leader Laila Harre argue that this is “taking back MMP”, as though this kind of thing was a blow for people power instead of the cynical politicking that it really is.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, no matter what power-hungry politicians might think. The Government should abolish the coat-tailing clause, along with its associated overhang provision, and drop the 5 per cent threshold to 4 per cent. However, it won’t happen while National is in power.

– The Dominion Post

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Note the highlighted sentence; ” Now, of course, the Left is doing its own tawdry coat-tailing deal in Te Tai Tokerau. Without Hone Harawira’s electorate seat, Internet-Mana would go nowhere“.

That statement demanded a response…

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FROM:   "f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT: Letter to the Editor
DATE:    Mon, 09 Jun 2014 10:11:45 +1200
TO:     "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz> 

 

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The editor
Dominion Post

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Your editorial on National's exploitation of MMP's
'coat-tailing' provision was insightful until this jarring
statement ruined it;

"Now, of course, the Left is doing its own tawdry
coat-tailing deal in Te Tai Tokerau. Without Hone Harawira's
electorate seat, Internet-Mana would go nowhere." (9 June)

What "tawdry coat-tailing deal" might that be?

Because every indication is that not only will Labour refuse
to engage in any deal-making, but  MPs Chris Hipkins, Kelvin
Davis, Stuart Nash, et al, have been vociferously attacking
the Internet-Mana Party on social media. If any such "deal"
exists, someone forgot to tell those Labour MPs.

However, if even Labour and Mana-Internet came to an
Epsom-like arrangement - so what?

Those are the rules that this government has decreed and
must be played. Anyone playing by some other mythical
"principled" rules will sit saint-like on the Opposition
benches whilst National gerrymanders the system.

Suggesting otherwise creates an unlevel playing field that
benefits one, at the expense of others, and is untenable.

If it's good enough for National to arrange deals in Epsom,
Ohariu, and soon with the Conservative Party, then it should
be good enough for everyone.

No one takes a knife to a gunfight unless they are dead-set
on losing.


-Frank Macskasy
[address and phone number supplied]

 

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References

Dominion Post:  Editorial – Discredited flaw still being exploited

 


 

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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= fs =

Patrick Gower – losing his rag and the plot

.

Foot In Mouth

.

When I first read  Patrick Gower’s comments on Twitter;

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Patrick gower - twitter - laila harre - mana internet party alliance

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– I was gobsmacked.

For a moment I considered that his account had been hacked and hijacked by ACT-On-Campus agitators.

Then I read several further “tweets” from the TV3  journalist;

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Patrick gower - twitter - laila harre - mana internet party alliance (2)

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This was not the work of a “hacker”.

More like a hack.

Note Gower’s comments,

1.

“Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP Same goes for your pals Hone, Dotcom, Minto and Sykes.”

I trust that Gower will not be surprised if Ms Harré declines any further interviews  with him? After all, Laila’s compassion would not allow her to make poor Patrick “feel sick“.

2.

“No I’m not OK with it. It’s not OK. Rorting MMP is not OK.”

 

No, Patrick. A strategic alliance between two political parties is not a “rort”.  It is making full use of the rules of MMP – as this current government has itself endorsed and used on at least two occasions.

Secondly, it is not a “rort” because the strategic co-operation is out in the public domain, for all to see. Including the voters of Te Tai Tokerau.

It is up to voters to determine if it is a rort or not.

I would add that this strategic co-operation was done more openly; more transparently than the *nudge,nudge, wink, wink* “cuppa tea” meeting between John Key and John Banks, in an Epsom coffee shop, on 11 November 2011. And far more open  and upfront that the sham candidacy of National Party candidate, Katrina Shanks, in Ohariu in the 2011 Election.

Was the Alliance – set up in 1991  between the NewLabour Party, Mana Motuhake, Greens, and Democratic Party (a fifth party, the Liberals, joined later)  – also a “rort”?

Or was it a what it was – a strategic alliance of small parties to adapt to the rules of the then-electoral system of First Past the Post?

The rules of MMP were not decided by Lalia Harré, Hone Harawira, Kim Dotcom, John Minto, or Annette Sykes. They can only use what they have been given.

3.

“I want coat-tailing to go. I want politicians to stop rorting MMP.”

Fine. But I really think you should take that up with John Key and Judith Collins.

They are the ones who decided to keep the “coat tailing” provisions.

They are the ones who rejected the recommendations of the Electoral Commission to eliminate the “coat tailing” rule and reduce the threshold for Parties from 5% to 4%. But they refused. Why?  Because the “coat-tailing” rule suited them very nicely.

When a governing party decides to preserve a provision in an electoral system because it increases their chances of winning more seats, or gaining seats for prospective allies – that is a “rort”.

It is also known as gerrymandering.

Blaming two tiny political parties who, between them have one seat in Parliament, and are using the MMP system as it has been presented to them – is just too asinine to take seriously.

Gower shows himself to be the  village idiot, with an over-inflated sense of self-worth, is he does not understand this simple truism.

4.

“I fight those deals too.”

“Lets fight these deals together.”

Really?

And here I was, thinking that you were a political journalist reporting the news – not making it or judging it.

Aren’t you supposed to present the facts to us, and leave the evaluation to us, Joe and Jane Public?

Or are we too thick to be able to form our own opinions without journalists now telling us what and how to think?!

If you want to do a Campbell Live or Paul Henry style of story-telling – get your own show, Mr Gower. Then we can keep the differentiation between real reporting and advocacy journalism.

5.

“Nobody in politics will – all are too greedy for power.”

Really?!

Funny thing about that, Mr Gower –  all those “greedy for power” were elected to office by us, the People. If you have a problem with that – take it up with the voters who put those politicians into office. I’d like to see Patrick Gower make a tweet, for example;

“Voters of Epsom – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP Same goes for your pals, the voters in Ohariu.”

I could see your employers having ‘kittens‘ if you tried to slag off tens of thousands of potential viewers with such a shotgun-style delivery of abusive criticism, eh?

What really annoys me about such a cynical state that “Nobody in politics will – all are too greedy for power” is that it is patently untrue. It is a generalisation based on nothing except your own personal experiences and cynical outlook on life.

Because, really, what is the alternative?

Democracy is be the worst form of political system – except all the others, as some famous bloke said a while ago.

By your cynicism you are simply perpetuating the feeling of alienation that pervades our society and helping to further voter disengagement rather than doing anything positive to improve the system.

Maybe I’m missing something here?

Perhaps trying to increase disengagement – especially with parties on the Left – is your real agenda?

6.

“It is about standards. Somebody has to hold the line”

I guess it’s easier to maintain “standards” and “hold the line” when it’s two small parties, with one MP between them – rather than the governing party in power, with fiftynine MPs, and the full force of the State behind them?

That’s the ‘trick’, Paddy, start small, on the little guy. And if you can beat him up, move on to the next little guy. But whatever you do – don’t take on the Big Boys, Paddy. Because you know they’ll kick your flabby arse from one end of this country to the other.

7.

“@RusselNorman Yes. But now it is time for the Greens to show some backbone and rule out working with the Mana-Dotcom rort. Why won’t you?”

Ah, and here we have it – the nub of it all.

This is not about “rorting” MMP. Or keeping “standards“. Or “holding the line“. Or any other lofty ideals.

Nah.

This is about keeping a Labour-Green-Mana-Internet Party(-NZ First?) coalition government from taking power post September 20th.

Because if the Greens (and Labour) were foolish enough to follow  Gower’s suggestion – that would effectively lock out any chance of a new government forming, thereby throwing out Key and his cronies.

Bear in mind that when National did their dirty deal in Epsom with John Banks – Gower did not call on Key “ to show some backbone and rule out working with the ACT-Banks rort”.  (If he did, I must have missed it.)

That is what this is all about. All this self-righteous, indignant chest-thumping – to keep National in power and prevent a left-wing government taking office.

How else does one explain the volume of hysteria associated with two tiny political parties that barely register 2% (collectively!) in the polls?

Answer? Because it threatens the established system and those who maintain it and profit by it.

Gower has seriously damaged any credibility he might have had.

By his own words, he has disclosed his agenda.

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References

Twitter: Patrick Gower


 

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20 september 2014 VOTE

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 1 June 2014.

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= fs =

 

 

 

 

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