viagra canada cheapest car eurospecialist usa viagra from canada 2 day delivery dapoxetine medicine in pakistan halal food corvasal generic cialis cialis in manila philippines finasteride 5mg filipino review metformin order online no prescription expert sildenafil 50 mg masticable en cialis price in pharmacies buy clomid research chemicals dove trovo il cialis generico walmart price.for.viagra cloridrato de prasugrel generico de cialis quaility propecia online safe pure to buy viagra online in australia zoloft 50 mg and aspirin viagra nederland bestellen buy viagra in melbourne vic can i take benadryl while taking doxycycline buy viagra with cashiers check nolvadex pct for sale sydney priligy dapoxetina acquisto occasione italia mastercard boom loader for sale in uk zithromax buy clenbuterol nolvadex online doxycycline in lupus viagra pills in india cost tab tadalafil 10mg prezzo del generico del viagra foundation to use with accutane buying viagra from a chemist indian sildenafil tablets for sale the best homemade replacement of viagra metformin 250 mg daily reciprocating gun carry states cialis to masterbate viagra price rise doxycycline hyclate used for bladder infection time day best take finasteride linezolid generico do viagra buy ciprofloxacin in mexico prednisone 10 mg for poison ivy how many to take a day free prescription viagra carry viagra in flight vibramycin 100 mg buy sildenafil 20 mg tablet can you buy over the counter viagra in vancouver canada cialis pharmacie en ligne canada buy azithromycin doxycycline viagra prices in france buy viagra san diego hiv specialists in dekalb county ga viagra for women put in drink online viagra ads do you take zoloft in morning or night acquistare viagra in parafarmacia morlan cost of viagra in dominican republic accutane in indonesia can i cut my 20 mg cialis in half effectiveness of liquid cialis can i take paracetamol with accutane can i take doxycycline and go in the sun es cialis help in premature ejaculation prednisone 1 mg pill description genericos do viagra comes viagra generico sms sildenafil using paypal where to buy propecia 0.5 mg in malaysia what would happen if a female takes viagra indian cipro tablets images viagra bestellen pillendienst legal purchase nolvadex if viagra comes in pfizer packaging is it real where can i buy cialis in toronto viagra spray available in india cialis generic china sildenafil canine dosage zoloft and binge eating disorder cialis generico es bueno cialis and bph metformin in third trimester pregnancy bula viagra generico in farmacia can doxycycline cause low blood sugar propecia generico prezzo vouchers cialis monthly cost walmart buy viagra online uk only suppliers metformin for weight loss in women viagra 100 mg 30 tablet fiyati clomid babycentre uk viagra uk over counter sildenafil generic expiration date viagra 50mg buying viagra for men in manchester where i can get viagra pill in philippines how can i buy 4 pills of zithromax coopman classification of corticosteroids prednisone sildenafil 50 mg tabletas masticables 1000 mg metformin for weight loss onlinedictionary datasegment com word doxycycline quanto costa cialis 20 mg farmacia what counteracts the prednisone induced dog panting legitamite place in oklahoma city to buy cialis propecia alternative 2013 which is the best viagra available in bangalore viagra tablets name for women in india zoloft 50 prix maroc zoloft treat anxiety disorder metformin in treating pcos s au scuturat toti trandafirii generic viagra what to watch for in generic cialis viagra cialis spam how to buy cialis online sinot 875 mg generico do viagra tadalafil generika deutschland germany would a 150 mg diflucan tablet cure oral thrush generic viagra priligy metformin taken with clomid viagra generico de la india cytotec in the united states not ovulation after miscarriage clomid online sildenafil generika rezeptfrei cheap indian viagra online generic cialis markings over the counter viagra chicago walmart viagra price 100mg breaking cialis tablets propecia for sale cheap diflucan 50 mg posologie amoxicilline beconase generic uk viagra can minors take viagra viagra online soft deos viagra come in syrup ampicillin drug study nursing crib review dove comprare viagra generico is 5 mg prednisone daily for pain too much for 8lb dog pfizer viagra 100mg test cozaar 50 mg generico do viagra ampicillin concentration in lb plates with kanamycin non prescription 40 mg lasix generic viagra works prescription dapoxetine uk boots cosmetics viagra by pfizer in lahore fluimucil pediatrico generico do viagra cost of viagra 25 mg cialis puede causar impotencia how many mg of viagra should a 280 man glucophage 500 mg pcos diet maximum recommended dosage viagra clomid como deve ser usado zoloft falling in love viagra pfizer europe viagra sale in toronto welche viagra kaufen where can i buy sildenafil 9 pm tablets excelentes resultados con finasteride cost priligy 30mg e 60 mg adderall cialis generic for daily use prednisone dose in kids donecil 10 mg prednisone sildenafil generico retirada translation does generic viagra work from canada cheapest generict viagra australia what is the maximum safe dose for viagra divalproex 500 mg tablet delayed release metformin ghb main ingredients in viagra cheap tadalafil whartisthebestin cialis 2 5 costo base ingredients in ciprofloxacin best time for taking finasteride buy zithromax canada pharmacy reviews on doxycycline for acne zovirax pommade prix maroc generico del viagra en colombia donde generic cialis price pro cytotec express en costa rica cheapest tadalafil .uk propecia cost year best site buy generic viagra viagra usa canada doxycycline dog india drug what happens if a 13 year old takes viagra acne scarring treatment after accutane tadalafil 20mg generic no prescription prednisone weight gain 5 mg buy nolvadex cheap from india what does the 20 mg tadalafil pill look like discount pill viagra viagra viagradrugs net generic finasteride 5mg reviews on windows can i get high off doxycycline hyclate finasteride 1 mg dosis buy viagra in australia review 15 mg prednisone olexar 10 mg prednisone ventajas y desventajas de usar sildenafil donde comprar viagra en santiago de chile viagra price buy online super pro cms dapoxetine tablet in india how successful is 50mg of clomid zovirax eye ointment equivalent in spain thuoc isonace 10 mg prednisone can i take cialis for 2 days in a row buy discount cialis clomid fertility drug buy online uk purchase ampicillin dergboadre cytotec arthrotec oxaprost london prices how many viagra can one take in a day comprar cialis valencia sin receta sildenafil citrate tablets brand names cialis uk purchase doxycycline dose poultry generic viagra united pharmacy viagra 25mg efeito where can i buy generic viagra with a mastercard viagra saferx 2.5mg valium in combination with viagra doxycycline use in malaria enalapril 20 mg indicaciones ciprofloxacino can you take avodart with viagra singapore buy cialis where can you buy cialis or viagra in dubai cipro 500 mg 14 tablet computer safe take tylenol accutane generic sildenafil online uk degrees ciprofloxacin hcl 500 mg tablet images finasteride legal in dubai ciprolex 5mg online uk 20 mg splitting 20 mg cialis lb medium ampicillin sales of viagra statistics fabian essays in socialism most popular title buy azithromax 1 gram clomid metformin without prescription cheap generic generico viagra mexico pay in usa for viagra comprar citrato de sildenafila pela internet viagra generika ohne zollprobleme tadalafil ciales india buy cialis online no prescription usa ciprofloxacin ratiopharm 500 mg beipackzettel ismn viagra substitute in stores what are the generic names for viagra alternative to zithromax reliable online source for viagra buy cialis in the united states mercury drug viagra in philippines doxycycline manufacturers in philippines glucophage 850 kaufen nolvadex sale online legal us medication to counteract prednisone can general practitioner prescribe cialis online can metformin 500 er be taken in the morning cialis overnight fedex prednisone pregnancy uk qka eshte doxycycline accutane 20 mg every other day doxycycline hcl manufacturer india cheap viagra cialis tablets comprar cialis 40 mg how long is it safe to stay on zoloft tadalafil 20 mg vs sildenafil wholesale kamagra jelly viagra doxycycline al 100 mg viagra vs tadalafil get viagra india sildenafil canadian drugs how does clomid help in pregnancy fast viagra delivery what is teh best time to take cialis what ingredients in viagra cost of clomid injection in india indian generic viagra reviews cialis 20mg in bahasa malayu 203 k loan specialist in pennsylvania viagra canada headoffice doxycycline iv 100 mg tablet i need cialis fast delivery no prescription cost of viagra in europe what is the cost of viagra pills at walmart maximum dose for vibramycin cialis best strength generic viagra made in united states safe take benadryl zoloft cialis retail suppliers in south africa cytotec in labour propecia works great cialis generic cialis viagra sildenafil citrate pills in india when can u take clomid buy livening com viagra health walimex studio set kh 150 mg viagra prescription viagra paypal can clomid cause an ectopic pregnancy prix prednisolone 20mg knee pain cipro full specialist license in florida viagra order by phone no prescription ciprofloxacin 250 mg film coated tablets for sale zovirax ointment over the counter in australia sildenafil generico dr simi norwood can i take diflucan 150 mg 4 days apart identify viagra pills non prescription viagra walmart cost doxycycline dosage elephantiasis can you buy finasteride online proper dosage of clomid where to buy clomid online hong kong cytotec how long does it take to work generic alternatives accutane i want viagra without prescription in brussel very nice site cheap viagra 20 mg prednisone dosage for adults cialis uk using paypal can you take viagra with citalopram scoliosis specialists in missouri nolvadex hereisthebestin for sale when will the price of viagra drop metformin hexal 850 mg filmtabletten is viagra available in tesco stores in dublin ireland fabian essays in socialism year published what is amoxil 500mg used for which viagra to carry when you go to pattaya from india zithromax online consultation us how many mg of prednisone to get high viagra tablets in india and cost in rupees metformin brands in malaysia viagra for long lasting cheap cialis unitied states quel est le prix du viagra generique indianapolis accutane lawyer azithromycin over the counter uk viagra mycostatin sciroppo controindicazioni cialis is it legal to sell viagra in the uk next day viagra delivery uk anyone get pregnant first month clomid reviews how long does 10mg of prednisone stay in your system buy zithromax online in usa viagra tablets price in bangalore dating can you take vitamin b with doxycycline antabuse generic name accutane safe hair removal does everyone get initial breakout accutane come comprare la viagra does doxycycline cause rapid heart rate freya 28 generic viagra sildenafil citrate reviews viagra for men in helsinki urbason 16 mg dosierung viagra simvastatina 20 mg effetti collaterali zoloft in the military can i buy viagra myself lasix cheap generico de viagra en farmacias similares remedio bi profenid 150 mg zoloft sildenafil neuraxpharm 100 mg wirkung kardamom joypox dapoxetine review comprar viagra andorra precio metformin mepha 850 mg blood in urine cialis where online can i buy genuine clomid tablets cialis prices at walgreen sildenafil 50 mg low dosage 10 pills propranolol 40 mg grossesse buying viagra over the phone propecia by merck discount linagliptin metformin generico cialis leg pain treatment generic cialis available in india 40 mg accutane online test comprar viagra natural en argentina gliclazide 80 mg with metformin 500mg and weight long term use of 10 mg prednisone how long does impotence propecia last uk cialis 5 mg piano terapeutico aifa who had best reviews viagra is cialis and poppers safe prednisone 20 mg tablet 47714 can i take 50 mg of cialis can viagra cause leg swelling when viagra was sold in the philippines how much time tadalafil 20 effects in women body does chewing viagra make it work faster where to buy prescription cialis viagra next day delivery without prescription apa arti ciprofloxacin 500 mg lowest priced cialise in canada priligy available in canada order cialis from uk cialis 40 mg generico generic viagra from walmart cytotec ulcer medication over the counter lyrica generico de cialis lowest dose viagra cialis price increases over the years viagra cost per pill without insurance generic ciprofloxacin hereisthebestin nolvadex baownbeuv discount modulo delega generic accutane cheap alternative to propecia propranolol in treatment of hemangioma order prednisolone online viagra accept discover trusted prescriptions online comprar viagra online pharmacy cialis brand supreme suppliers canadian lasix priligy 30 mg60 mg filmtabletten cheap online pharmacy viagra viagra effects how long sildenafil stada 100 mg beipackzettel zithromax order online au vitamin c rose hip uk 1000mg metformin viagra pills free samples cytotec available in ireland where can i buy 100mg viagra propecia costco price is 150 mg viagra dangerous sildenafil 130 mg tablet 20 mg cialis vs 100 mg viagra doxycycline dosage chest infection weight loss drugs to counteract zoloft camazol 500 mg metformin viagra prices in kenya generic viagra poland viagra of the amazon viagra without prescription from canada ofteno prednisolone 20 mg mcp 5 mg dosierung viagra earliest age to take viagra dapoxetine drug test best facial cleanser while on accutane priligy medicine india coupon free cialis 5 mg pelvic pain specialists in minnesota generic cialis united pharmacy muscle relaxant drugs over the counter uk viagra zoloft 50 mg efectos secundarios cialis cialis cialis cum generic generic us com viagra viagra tablets price in islamabad hair loss caused by accutane viagra cost with perscription safe give dog prednisone costo viagra da 100mg famosos que usan finasteride wo kann man billig cialis kaufen amoxil rowcmoadreders price can i take two 5 mg cialis cialis 10mg filmtabletten preis buy propecia lloyds pharmacy jobs can you viagra over the counter in mexico best sleep aid over the counter uk viagra para que sirve el medicamento ciprofloxacino 500 mg sildenafil available in bangalore walgreen viagra price which is safe clomid or ovamit tadalafil 20 mg soft tabs prednisone hereisthebestin discount can i use lasix to lose weight 40mg cheap cialis prednisolone zentiva 20 mg notice of privacy how much is prednisone cost cialis 5 mg too weak opipramol stada 50 mg nebenwirkungen viagra cialis review malaysia prednisone liquid inactive ingredients viagra model in football jersey name bar buy clomid from uk no prescription best time take nolvadex cycle prescription for cialis required in mexico cialis spiegazioni in italiano yahoo ciprofloxacin ear drops price in switzerland does cialis affect women in conceiving cost of zoloft 100mg i have stents in my heart can i take viagra cialis 50mg sales in bulk how much viagra may i take in a month how yo order cytotec viagra in safeway dosage for clomid after steroid cycle do i need a prescription for generic viagra amoxil 1 grain to mg canada viagra without prescription how to take metformin er 500 mg is doxycycline used to cure gonorrhea finasteride 1mg vs finasteride 5 mg what works best 1 mg propecia of 5mg puedo tener relaciones despues de usar cytotec lasix online visa viagra in spain how much bula da amoxilina de 500 mg viagra for purchase vibramycin generic name cervilan tabletas generico do viagra ukmedix viagra for sale glucophage xr 500 mg cenapred new viagra prices generic viagra legal canada generic viagra generico cialis dr siminski 1 mg of prednisone for copd generic cialis brasil escola discount sertraline generic zoloft how to buy viagra over the phone metformin over the counter australia Kiwipolitico » Blog Archive » Like a fox?

Like a fox?

datePosted on 21:02, March 29th, 2011 by Lew

Lynn at The Standard has a nothing to see here sort of post about how the Darren Hughes scandal isn’t important. True to form, he misses the fact that that the ‘Labour footsoldiers’ for whom he claims the scandal is an irrelevant distraction are the least-important players in this particular game. What matters is the public, and in that regard the views of the media and the ‘beltway creatures’ matter plenty. So while he might be right that it’s a beat-up and there’s nothing in it, that doesn’t really matter — if Labour treats this as a matter of ‘business as usual’ the results will be deservedly catastrophic.

But one thing which struck me while watching the news coverage of the Dunedin stand-ups before and after the front bench meeting today: he looks happy and confident and genuinely at ease; even effusive. As some wag on twitter said: “Phil, leave some kool-aid for the rest of the caucus!” Looks like he did, because the front bench response of solidarity also looks like it’s for real. If you watch it with the sound off, it’s the very model of a party holding a unified front.

The trouble is that what Goff is saying — that his leadership is stronger now than it was before the Hughes scandal broke — is totally barking mad. It simply doesn’t make any actual logical sense that it would be, that it could be. My instinct is that the fact the caucus and the advisers are letting him bark in this way indicates an utter dereliction of duty on the part of the advisers, and a complete lack of political nerve and sense on the part of the caucus. But, as I argued the other day, as bad as Labour is, I don’t think they’re that far gone. So maybe there’s an explanation other than mass political psychosis: maybe he’s banking on this strategy being just barking mad enough to work. This response, for all its other failings, does hint at the Machiavellian characteristic of virtù which I/S (I believe correctly) diagnosed as lacking in Phil Goff’s leadership. It is nothing if not audacious. It is certainly not a ‘business as usual’ response.

So maybe he’s hoping to catch the government on the hop by simply pretending his situation isn’t as dire as it is and hoping that the pretence is infectious. Perhaps it’s actually not pretence; perhaps he really does have that support. Perhaps he’s relying on people ignoring the waffly words and inept deeds and simply taking their cues from the appearance of functionality which Labour is trying to present.

This might not be as far-fetched as it sounds: Lynn does make a good point that people don’t pay close attention to the details; and it’s an old trick to watch political TV appearances with the sound off to get a feel for how a naïve viewer might perceive it and to look more closely at the underlying messages about the political actors and organisations which appear in them.* This sort of presentation of functionality is also a pretty good indicator of eventual success: Drew Westen documents cases where random voters could predict with reasonable accuracy the outcomes of political contests by watching brief segments of silent footage and simply observing the political actors’ nonverbal cues.**

So are they crazy like a fox? Yeah, nah, I don’t really believe it either. The hell I know. Good luck to Phil, and all of them, because they’re going to need it.

So, setting aside the conventional wisdom that Labour is just marching into an electoral abyss, what are your theories as to what they’re up to at present? Wackier the better.


* There’s a bit of this sort of analysis done on US political events, such as Sarah Palin’s blood libel speech — see here for example. Though not really the same thing, it’s also worth you googling “breath libel”. Scary.
** I’ve lent my copy of The Political Brain to someone, so I can’t substantiate this at the moment, sorry.

32 Responses to “Like a fox?”

  1. Phil Sage on March 29th, 2011 at 21:26

    Goddamn impudent children saying the emperor has no clothes.

    Excellent analysis Lew, obviously they did not send you the memo. ;-)

  2. Idiot/savant on March 29th, 2011 at 21:56

    So, setting aside the conventional wisdom that Labour is just marching into an electoral abyss, what are your theories as to what they’re up to at present? Wackier the better.

    Well, you asked for wacky:

    * they’re all really blood-drinking shape-shifting giant lizards.
    * they’re actually playing host to the Shan
    * they believe their own bullshit.

    I regard all of these as equally improbable.

  3. mickysavage on March 29th, 2011 at 22:01

    Sorry Lew but there is the political reality in South and West Auckland where people are struggling to feed their kids and there is the political reality in Wellington and on the blogosphere where many are incensed at how Phil managed the timing of the announcement of Darren Hughes’s problems.

    There has been a right wing beat up of the issue. They are good at this sort of thing. Many of the left have responded in a similar fashion, myself included in that I think that Goff should have announced pretty well immediately rather than delaying the issue although with the benefit of hindsight I can see how he could be in two minds.

    And then the left and the right join in this intellectual consensus that Phil is not up to the job and will lose. And here I part company with the consensus.

    I class myself as a grassroots activist and on the ground things are fine for the left. The Botany by election showed that South Auckland is coming back strong. They are not worried at all about beltway issues although anything that suggests a lack of morality is a problem.

    The situation does show a weakness for Labour however. It is ruled by intelligentsia and relies on decent ordinary people, often poor, for support. Leadership could actually be more diffuse.

    Lew I am interested in your experience of grassroots activity. I enjoy your sophisticated analysis but when I think of my grassroot activity your comments jar with what I believe ordinary decent people are thinking.

  4. marty mars on March 29th, 2011 at 22:09

    It’s the classic ‘rope a dope’ strategy – let everyone beat you up while you protect your vitals and then, near the end of the fight, unleash your reserves of strength in a flurry of unanswerable blows to your opponent – and win.

    Unfortunately it doesn’t work if you get carried out on a stretcher early or you really are just a bunch of dopes – which is what the evidence is pointing to.

  5. Armchair Critic on March 29th, 2011 at 22:10

    Wacky theory:
    Labour have some salacious information on several members of the National front bench and are waiting to do unto National as others have done to Labour. At a more opportune time.
    Similar to the Heather Roy/David Garrett thing that ACT did to themselves last year. Didn’t that turn out well.
    Or, maybe it’s not that wacky.
    Labour aren’t marching, either, it’s been more like a stumbling shuffle. No quibbles about the likely destination, though.

  6. Hamish on March 29th, 2011 at 22:13

    Interestingly in the 1980 Labour administrations the defence of the political reforms brought in was largely the TINA theory a fairly daft justification in any political context but one pushed by Goff at the time. It is with some irony I note it will probably be Goff’s political epitaph following this years election.

  7. just saying on March 29th, 2011 at 22:48

    Goff is a terrible actor. There is ample evidence of this. If he had any acting talent at all, he would be better able to sell Labour’s alleged “left wing” change. Sadly, in fact, his performance makes Key look fluid and convincing by comparison.

    I think the frightening reality is that Goff, his advisors and the front bench, really are that out of touch, and that this has been an enormous part of the problem all along.

    The only plausible alternative is that Goff has been drugged to the eyeballs, and frankly if that’s the case, as long as his chaffeur is in the driving seat, it can only be an improvement, and long may it continue.

    What annoys me about Labour’s apologists in this matter is that they pretend that this is an isolated incident, and not the latest fiasco is a series that stretches right back to the beginning of Goff’s leadership.

    Mickey, I’m from South Auckland and talk with folks from there all the time. South Auckland may not have as many members of the so called ‘intelligensia’ as the more privileged suburbs, but the people there are no less intelligent than residents of any other part of Auckland. For the most part, those that have the time and energy to pay attention are not impressed (or fooled) by Goff and Labour. Quite the reverse.

    It’s worth remembering that Brown’s victory in the supercity elections did not occur under the Labour banner. He ran as an independent for good reason imo.

  8. Lew on March 29th, 2011 at 22:48

    Thanks all.

    Micky, I have no grassroots political experience, and have never represented myself as having any. If that means I’m not a ‘proper lefty’ then by all means ignore my analyses; I present them strictly on a ‘for what it’s worth’ basis. I get it a fair bit. Though I would also note that political insiders’ perspectives are routinely clouded by various sorts of delusion; notably the need to feel like they’re on the winning team when, objectively speaking, they’re not.

    I’d also note that you’ve so far failed to deliver the promised rebuttal of my recent “hard rain” post. Don’t feel too bad about it; you’re not the only one.


  9. lprent on March 29th, 2011 at 23:31

    Lew, I guess you missed the point of what I wrote. It appears I have a rather different view of what is a Labour activist than you do?

    What I said was that journo’s should not look at left wing commentators and opinion writers and say that they are all Labour activists. At this time, most Labour activists are working on setting up for the election campaign. Regardless of how excited journo’s and people not actually setting up campaigns think, all of this stuff takes time and effort. You don’t stop just because your political opponents (even those broadly on your side) get excited about something.

    Quite simply in my view there is is not enough public information about Darren Hughes to take much of a stand apart from thinking that he is a bloody fool. There probably won’t be until the police release their findings. Getting excited about political issues when there isn’t enough information available is something that is better left to journo’s and other political dilettantes.

    Oh I am sure that there are important political issues there somewhere and a police lock on verifiable information, I am not inclined to speculate in the manner of a Farrar. I will get back to this issue when more solid information becomes available.

    But I did not appreciate Vernon Small describing those outside the party as being Labour activists and attributing their attitudes to us. I spent all weekend around actual Labour activists, and neither Darren Hughes nor the leadership were the main topic of conversation. Mostly we were talking about something of more immediate interest – candidates.

    Vernon’s comments about Labour activists, based in large part I suspect on comments in our site were evident bullshit. Most of the comments he was referring to were either from non-Labour activists or my new plague of turfers.

    That was what I said in my post. What you said that I said appears to me to be quite divorced from the reality of Auckland Labour activists like myself.

  10. lprent on March 29th, 2011 at 23:35

    BTW FYI your version of reedit doesn’t work on a iPad. The newer pay for version does.

  11. SPC on March 30th, 2011 at 00:33

    If the right spent all that effort to disseminating the idea of a coup and expending their credibility with the media (and the MSM get nothing to show for it but a negative consequence for their own credibility with the public – now that its clear that Goff is secure in the leadership till the election).

    Why … must be a difficult budget – like the one of 1984 that was never read? But given that Key has smiled and waved an election in November, it will have to be read. And that budget will reap its whirlwind – and this is why they are so afraid (desperate times, desperate tactics).

  12. Phil Sage on March 30th, 2011 at 00:47

    You asked for theories:
    It was all a giant conspiracy to reveal your lack of grassroots activism experience and shame Lew into becoming part of the Labour 2011 election campaign which will culminate in the greatest electoral comeback ever.

    Chris Trotter will be revealed as a schizophrenic who astroturfs on behalf of the NACToid’s one day and communes with the comrades the next.

    1. Tim Watkin says that Goff’s line about not intereing with a Police investigation is “spin” and that Goff had no plan for how to respond is an astroturfer
    2. Russell Brown flays Goff and says they are a “shambles” is an astroturfer
    3. Bomber at Tumeke says that if Labour are not questioning the leadership of Phil Goff, then they “are officially the most stoned Caucus in the history of the Westminster system” is an astroturfer
    4. Chris Trotter blogged that it is the moral duty of the Labour caucus to remove Goff if they don’t think he can lead them to victory is an astroturfer
    5. Matt McCarten says Goff’s performancee has been appalling is an astroturfer
    6. Lew at Kiwipolitico says that anyone who failed to understand the politics (like Goff did) of what happened “has no business running strategy for a Sunday book club, much less a political party which aspires to government” is an astroturfer
    7. Danyl at the Dim Post also rubbishes Goff’s claims of natural justice coming first, citing numerous examples to the contrary, and in another post says “in the UK they have a competent opposition party, while [Labour] are Really. Fucking. Terrible.” is an astroturfer
    8. Idiot/Savant at No Right Turns blogs that Goff has “established a consistent pattern of poor decision-making” is an astroturfer
    9. Robert Winter says “The onus is on our parliamentary caucus to provide us with that national leadership that we deserve.” is an astroturfer
    10. Psycho Milt (who is left) at No Minister says “ there should be wholesale ritual suicide in the Labour ranks” is an astroturfer

  13. Juan Manuel Santos on March 30th, 2011 at 01:02

    I think Phil Sage has also missed Lynn’s point. I’m not aware that any of the above lefties and nominal lefties are even Labour members, let alone activists.

  14. bob on March 30th, 2011 at 01:54

    Newsflash Juan – most voters aren’t members of any party. But parties would be wise to pay close attention to the views of those who indicate in polls/focus groups/conversation that they are of that party’s ilk.

    Curiously, the Greens suffer from this as badly as Labour – they cannot distinguish between what their MPs, staffers and party members think, and their wider voter base.

    FWIW, I reckon Goff is no worse than the rest of his caucus and staffers, so its pointless ditching him. Labour need to ditch capitalism and social engineering, not Goff. Voters want affordable housing, not Goff & Cunliffe racing Key and Groser for a free trade deal with the US.

    P.S. Noone critical of Goff’s handling if the Hughes saga seems to have considered that Hughes may not have been fully up-front with Goff initially. Goff may have kept quiet because he had been misled into thinking it was really minor – Goff could hardly come out blaming Hughes when the true extent of the allegations were made known to him. Or Goff and his advisors may just be inept.

  15. Lew on March 30th, 2011 at 07:49

    Phil, I’ve deleted a couple, but I’m going to let that one stand as testament to your poor humour, your lack of originality, or your tendency to comment while drunk (readers can choose the explanation which makes most sense to them).

    Lynn, I see your point — I just assume Vernon Small, being as he is the chair of the parliamentary press gallery, actually knows what he’s on about and uses the words he means to use. The list DPF made and which Phil repeated above is certainly a very thin showing indeed for ‘Labour activists’, particularly since I’m on it. I should note that all the die-hard Labour people I’ve discussed the matter with ahve been in full-scale denial mode, clinging fervently to the line that this really ain’t no thang.


  16. Phil Sage on March 30th, 2011 at 08:06

    Lew – Thanks for that deletion. Just a note, your request to delete does not work in chrome.

    You have backed down to the standard bullshit boys. They take a very narrow legalistic definition of “activist”. Must be party member and list selector and must be calling openly in a list selection meeting for the ouster of the current leader. I feel a tui ad coming up.

    There is no way on gods green earth that people would articulate concerns like that at what is arguably the most important contribution party members make. Lynn was revealing in how sycophantic the Labour party process of ranking MP’s is.

    The people above, including yourself, are actively promoting Labour ideals. Party membership is completely meaningless.

    Your analysis is still substantially better than Lynn’s apologia or indeed Vernon Small’s get it together appeal.

  17. Lew on March 30th, 2011 at 08:15

    Phil, yeah, several of the plugins are a bit broken at present. I’ll try and have a look at ’em tonight but I suck at wordpress. (Give me a config file and documentation — fine, but a web-based control panel and I’m next to useless).

    I have’t backed down, and I stand by my argument. But the fact is that most of those listed above really aren’t Labour ‘activists’. I’m certainly not one.

    I agree with your point about groupthink Labour, and I consider it to be among the party’s biggest flaws. That’s just one of the reasons I’m not a member.


  18. Danyl Mclauchlan on March 30th, 2011 at 08:19

    @Lynne – it’s true that this scandal isn’t significant in big picture terms, but it’s significant in what it reveals about Labour and its leadership.

    Being leader of the opposition is basically an extended job interview for being Prime Minister, and when there’s a crisis in Goff’s party we get to see how he’d react if there were a national crisis and he was Prime Minister. And the answer is: really badly.

  19. ak on March 30th, 2011 at 13:22

    Whackiest theory I can come up with is that Labour has at last realised that the media will crucify them whatever they do, accurately read the mindset of the crucial swinging voter and finally realised that he and she value loyalty and “innocent till…” and don’t think Goffy should be shot simply because he didn’t “fire at will” a most likeable and hardworking cobber for an unknown “crime” he claims he didn’t commit, and that the so-called “experts” of the blogosphere can actually, occasionally, in the most very rare and extenuating circumstances, get it wrong.

    Nah, too far-fetched. As you were.

  20. […] saga, from both sides of the political spectrum. Lew at Kiwipolitico pretends for a second that Goff is stupider like a fox, while Farrar at Kiwiblog hints at things slightly more civil for Cunliffe and […]

  21. Lynn Prentice on March 30th, 2011 at 16:50

    As you say, I don’t think that ANY of the list the Phil Sage or Farrar put up were Labour activists. But I’d be surprised if Vernon just worked off something like that when he was attributing disquiet to Labours activists. I think that he went and read comments in blogs.

    But only a smallish fraction of the commentators on The Standard are actual bona-fide Labour activists, ie at least members of the party and who turn up for occasional events. Most of them are obvious because they state it. And it is the same on Kiwiblog with National activists as far as I can see. I can see lots of Act activists there and other assorted nutbars, but very few National activists apart from Farrar.

    Main reason why? If you have a party to vent in, then why would you vent in a blog? Besides in my experience party members in major parties if they are active are very very active. Who has the time to comment?

    But there is also a Wellington/lower North Island difference as well. From the viewpoint of everywhere else that I have lived – Wellingtonians are total gossip nuts.

    In Auckland or Christchurch or Dunedin the political landscape in major parties is mostly about how to campaign or problems in society somewhere. But whenever I have been in Wellington (hell – even when I talk to people from Wellington) I learn far more about the what politicians has been screwing what (both actually and metaphorically) than I could really be bothered knowing.

    To be perfectly frank, many of us outside the gossip capital have long since started ignoring the irrelevant speculation that is so ably obsessed over by Mr Farrar. We tend to wait until some actual facts come into public view. Now I suspect that there is more gossip about Darren Hughes from the reactions of the gossipers and journo’s (including our wellington writers). But since it isn’t out in public most of the party activists can’t be bothered speculating about it. We have better things to do – like getting ready for an election.

  22. Phil Sage on March 30th, 2011 at 21:23

    aha – so posting and multiple comments over the fact Small used “Labour activists” rather than “Leftist activists” is not obsessing.

    Good to know Lynn, I can feel a Tui coming on

  23. SPC on March 30th, 2011 at 22:37

    The point was whether the comments by “leftist activists” about the Labour Party leadership was relevant if they were not members.

  24. Juan Manuel Santos on March 30th, 2011 at 23:13

    I think the point was that Vernon was technically wrong in referring to the people commenting as ‘Labour activists’.

    They are important in shaping activist opinion, many of them will vote Labour etc, but they’re not, strictly speaking, Labour activists.

  25. Lew on March 30th, 2011 at 23:55

    It is a fine distinction, but it’s also an important one. After all, the topic was the party leader being relieved of his duties; not just the party’s popular support.


  26. Bruce Hamilton on March 31st, 2011 at 13:27

    Wacky Theory – Phil realised that historical Labour voters can’t relate to the political kindergarten currently called the New Zealand Labour Party.

    He wanted the party to sack him at the conference, so he could leave and form a new party with opportunists such as Peter Dunne and Jim Anderton.

    When they didn’t sack him, he tried to rile them by saying their support for him was even stronger. Unfortunately for him, they didn’t have enough wit to discern between reality and fantasy.

  27. Lynn Prentice on April 1st, 2011 at 10:48

    Thanks Lew – exactly the distinction I am making.

    Popular support is pretty damn important for getting elected. But you don’t have a party to get elected without activists in the party. They are the people who go out and do the multitude of things that are required to get you elected. Everything from raising money to canvassing. Not to mention that they are the best source of information for the politicians of their party.

    BTW: The Standard is having a routing problem in the US this morning. It is rather a pain in the arse as I’d allocated time this weekend to set up a new server in NZ. The old backup server is offline in prep for that (and wouldn’t handle the load anyway) so I can’t flip the server.

  28. Hugh on April 1st, 2011 at 12:42

    Not to mention that they are the best source of information for the politicians of their party.

    Doesn’t that lead to an echo chamber effect? There are many policies that party activists will approve of which would be absolute poison to the wider voting public.

  29. Lew on April 1st, 2011 at 12:50

    The echo-chamber effect is my objection also, and one which is, in my view, already a severe problem within the Labour party. Particularly since many of those insiders are the same idiots who lost Labour the 2008 election. I wrote about this dynamic 18 months ago, and as far as I can see, nothing has changed since.


  30. Hugh on April 1st, 2011 at 16:12

    I don’t know if you can really blame the Labour Party’s loss on its activist base. But they certainly produced a campaign that seemed utterly ignorant of the context they were operating in.

    You might argue that the party “owes” its activists concessions to their policy preferences, but to claim that these policies are also the ones that will be popular is largely untrue. Sometimes there’s a policy that’s both wildly popular among the activist base and the public at large – the no-nuclear ships policy would be the standout example in a NZ context – but it’s almost the exception that proves the rule.

  31. George D on April 2nd, 2011 at 20:05

    Sometimes there’s a policy that’s both wildly popular among the activist base and the public at large – the no-nuclear ships policy would be the standout example in a NZ context – but it’s almost the exception that proves the rule.

    I don’t know. I would think that reinstating overtime and penalty rates, for example, or taking GST off all food (rather than fresh, giving the appearance of weakness and a limp attempt at social engineering) would capture the majority of both. The nuclear ships issue was by no means supported by the entirety of the NZ population. It took a few years to reach that level of acceptance.

  32. Hugh on April 4th, 2011 at 01:52

    George, Labour’s pre-election polling in 1987 showed them that the nuclear ships policy was extremely popular which is one of the reasons they emphasised it so strongly in their campaigning.

    You could well be right about either policy but I could see National fashioning a narrative that portrayed them as anti-growth, which could in turn sour the public on them.

Leave a Reply

Name: (required)
Email: (required) (will not be published)