by Josie Pagani

First, stop blaming the media. 

The problem isn't 'right wing framing'. There isn’t a media conspiracy to get a third term National government. When you fall behind everyone airs their favourite explanation and negatives get repeated and amplified. It's the job of politicians, not media, to inspire a change in the story. 

Labour’s new election slogan is a challenge for the party to focus exclusively ‘on the positive things that matter to Kiwi families’, as the PR promises. 

That means rejecting the rhetoric that has New Zealand going to hell in a hand basket, and avoiding negative distractions that make Labour look like the party of dead trees, slow trucks and extinct birds.


I like Labour’s ‘Vote Positive’ more than I like National’s ‘Working for New Zealand’ (which begs the question, ‘who have you been working for until now?’)

Whether it will change anyones’ vote remains to be seen.

When it comes to signing trade deals there are two principles which should never be up for negotiation; the net benefit to your country has to outweigh any concessions, otherwise what’s the point? And you never trade away fundamentals, like the right to legislate to protect your environment, the health of your citizens, or your education system.


The National government hasn’t been able to reassure us that they really will protect these principles in their secret Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

Over the weekend an 8-page taxpayer-funded advertisement for the National party arrived in our letterbox (I've tweeted a picture). Page after page laid out in National's party colours and font, bursting with photos of the PM, and of MPs Hekia Parata and Chris Finlayson. Also someone called 'Paul Foster-Bell' is prominently pictured in it, but goodness only knows who he is.

Headlines claim "We're on the right track", "Keeping Kiwis safer...", "Health targets are delivering better results", and other imaginary facts that don't pass scrutiny.

If a large majority of us are worried about inequality and National is making the problem worse, not better, why isn’t the Left doing better politically?


A recent UMR poll found 50% of us are 'very concerned' about growing inequality, 37% are 'somewhat concerned', and only 13% 'not concerned at all'. 

Seven out of ten of us believe the gap between rich and poor is widening.

No way should Labour do a 'Cup of Te' deal.

Labour should stand up for its own strong values.

 

Mana-Internet supporters have been vocal that Labour should accommodate a deal to sacrifice Kelvin Davis and make sure Hone Harawira wins Te Tai Tokerau. Labour MPs are dismissive, as Stuff has noted

I'm picking that Laila Harre's appointment as leader of the Internet Party will be good for Internet-Mana, but the impact on this year's election will be determined by the relationship with Labour. If Internet-Mana do well this year, though, there might be an important shake-up that will strengthen the broad left in the longer term.

Laila's selection is shrewd of the Internet Party and good for Mana. Few people to the left of Labour have as much credibility. She won't be dismissed as a puppet of Kim Dotcom. She has a deep understanding of the way party-alliances work, which will probably make her more patient with the complexities of a merger.

A scandal can be distinguished from a controversy. Immigration policy became controversial in the 90s, the foreshore and seabed in the 2000s. Even though there were bungles, and offensive views and policies were aired, the underlying issue was always sharp disagreement over core values and policies.

In a scandal, the underlying issue is wrong-doing.

Except when it’s a 'Kinsley gaffe', named after the first political botanist to identify this species in the wild. In these cases, the scandal occurs when a politician says something that is true but they shouldn’t have said, rather than does something wrong.

If Steven Joyce is right that David Parker told ‘nine lies’ about the economy on The Nation last weekend, then he must believe the economy is already in full boom; growth has peaked and needs to be slowed; exporters are whingers; the hot New Zealand dollar is nothing to worry about; that not selling enough products to the world to pay for all the things we buy from other countries isn’t a problem - hell, we’ve been doing it for forty years - let’s do it for another forty!

And there is no housing bubble in Auckland - David Parker made it up. 

Let’s go through Steven Joyce’s nine responses to David Parker: 

David Parker interview on The Nation – April 26 2014

1. “Export prices are going down” (David Parker)

How is Fonterra allowed to stay in business when it does this? Here is our dairy monopoly, enjoying its special status as the New Zealand economic engine (while threatening that economy with botch up after botulism botch up), now employing low paid ‘slave’ labour and getting away with it.


On the Fonterra site  - fencepost jobs - jobs are advertised on farms that provide Fonterra with its milk; farm assistants are expected to work 60 hours a week, with only one day off every fortnight in some cases.