Shane Jones wouldn’t be quitting if he thought he was going to be in government next year. His resignation is a very clear warning bell; Labour cannot win if it loses people like Shane Jones and voters who support him.

And Labour cannot keep Shane Jones and the people who support him unless it looks like a party capable of winning, and that means a party that is inclusive, focused on jobs, better pay, and on celebrating opportunities for all of us to do better in life.

That is a basic core message that the Labour left ought to be able to unite around. The grave threat to Labour are the people, many of them Cunliffe supporters and workers in his own office, who are celebrating Shane’s departure and calling for even more Labour voters to be purged.

Here’s what Martyn Bradbury said on the Daily Blog tonight:

Labour dodge a bullet….(it’s like) the relief of a haemorrhoid being surgically removed, losing Shane Jones is no different to that. Good riddance”.

Here’s a taste of what they’re saying on The Standard

“Tracey

4.1.1.1

22 April 2014 at 6:40 pm

no shane jones was labours john key and accordingly pushed national policies. HE WAS IN THE WRONG PARTY HENCE HE HAS DISCUSSIONS WITH MCCULLY FOR SOME TIME.”

Some, not happy to stop at driving Shane out, want to see others gone too:

Kerry @plateaunz Protected Tweets  

Goff Mallard and King should have walked the plank.”

There’s no problem finding other Labour party staffers and candidates who share the view that Labour needs fewer not more people on its side, and that it can define itself by throwing people out rather than bringing them in. These are the militants who make every issue, from man bans to building roads a litmus test, and if you fail - good riddance.

The viciousness of these heretic hunters is driving people out of the Labour party at a time when Labour needs all the votes it can get. 

If you disagree with these policy police or attempt to debate an issue, you are not just an opponent  - you’re an enemy within.

This is a warning call for Labour; very few extra votes will be attracted to Labour because people like Shane are being driven out. And the more people who are driven out of the party, the more the party is dominated by people who don’t even realise there is a problem, let alone what the problem is. The risk then, is not just that Labour ends up in opposition next year, but that it is in no better position to heal itself for future elections.

In 1996 the Labour party dropped to 14% in the polls, ten weeks out from an election. They choose not to batten down the hatches and double down on failed strategies. They looked at why they were so unpopular, and changed. They reached a more respectable 28% on election day, and laid the seeds for victory, and the most successful Labour government of my lifetime so far in 1999. 

Today there is only one way to stop a calamity, and that is for genuine progressive to run towards the party and demand a focus on jobs, and higher wages, not on banning Nigella, or trucks, or roads, or whatever NGO the Labour party is trying to be this week.

Focus on what Labour is for, and stop being against every passing thing the government does. We want to hear more from people who celebrate New Zealanders and less from the heretic hunters who want to purge the party.

 

 

 

Comments (31)

by MJ on April 23, 2014
MJ

What 'people' Josie? And if by people you mean people funded by their paliamentary opposition and then offered and provided a parachute jobs by their parliamentary opposition could you name them please.

These are not the actions of someone who has been driven out. 

Shane has had a long run with Labour. In that time he has not say- had a bill voted to it's second reading while in opposition or introduced a major piece of policy. He has had a couple of scandals. His input (I assume) into the forestry policy and his potential in future government would have been interesting. 

Your fixation with Bradbury continues. You give him much more import than most others do. 

You have nothing but snark for the Labour party and praise for someone who has been mercurial and inconsistent in his achievements to date. 

You don't seem to understand how someone who is walking into a job set up for them by Murray McCully in election year... oh never mind...

 

by MJ on April 23, 2014
MJ

Also you condemn trucks- but you notice the difference in coverage that got compared to the release of the forestry policy which was about jobs?

Anyway- hard for the voters (of whom I'm one )to figure out what it is all about- Shane is a Labour guy, with National mates, or a Maori guy with political aspirations as yet unfufilled for him or a Labour man's man from the old days of full employment and smoko rooms or a business leader among Maori or one of those old school anti-big business nationalists- it's all a bit confusing, and on the same day the Blues let Benji go...

by Che Nua on April 23, 2014
Che Nua

Let's just face it Cunliffe is the wrong choice to lead Labour.  And now Matt McCarten is really stuck with a pig's ear 

by Alan Johnstone on April 23, 2014
Alan Johnstone

Another good post Josie. 

For Labour to win it must be a broad church. At the end of the day, politics is all about identity. People will not vote for those who they can't identify with.

Labour is in danger of being seen as a collection of narrow interest groups; feminists, beneficiaries, professional gays (not normal gays who live their lives and just happen to be gay, those who let it define them)  

You know what?  Having just read my last paragraph, I've come to a realisation, what I really mean in those who identifiy themselves as victims and oppressed. Never realised that until now.

Labour has become the party of the victim not the party of aspiration. Surely the lesson of Blair, Clark and Rudd is the left only wins from the middle. 

by william blake on April 23, 2014
william blake

"You know what?  Having just read my last paragraph, I've come to a realisation, what I really mean in those who identifiy themselves as victims and oppressed. Never realised that until now."

if only this were true and the simple dichotomy of Tory = oppressor, Labour = oppressed still had currency voting would be so simple.

As it is we have full employment, great labour laws, state housing, a marvellous social welfare system, free education good food for all and such an egalitarian system we may as well do away with human rights legislation. Not.

 
by Pete George on April 23, 2014
Pete George

This may just be a coincidence but talking of 'heretic hunters' who outed Anna Lorck's tweeting?

http://www.hawkesbay.co.nz/councils/councils/12702-hawkes-bay-labour-can...

by MJ on April 23, 2014
MJ

So the difference between the Labour right and the National party? Both go out in public and tell Cunliffe and the Labour party members who voted for him what they should do and how wrong they are.

Only one of them openly admits to getting funding from National party sources and taking part in Murray McCully's grand schemes.

Who outed Anna Lorck's tweet? Do you think it was someone who A) wishes Labour well or B) doesn't like most of the commentators on this thread...

by mickysavage on April 23, 2014
mickysavage

Jones was not "driven out" of the party.  He chose to leave for his own reasons and on good terms.  And yet you continue to feed the right wing framing of the issue.  Do you think this is helpful for the Labour Party?

by MJ on April 23, 2014
MJ

Jones is like McCaw? McCaw always has enough energy for his job, leads from the front, never took a job from Bernard Laporte a few months out from the WC and never made the ABs all about him.

 

by Pete George on April 23, 2014
Pete George

mickysavage, ignoring this...

This is a warning call for Labour; very few extra votes will be attracted to Labour because people like Shane are being driven out. And the more people who are driven out of the party, the more the party is dominated by people who don’t even realise there is a problem, let alone what the problem is. The risk then, is not just that Labour ends up in opposition next year, but that it is in no better position to heal itself for future elections.

...is what's most unhelpful for the Labour Party. The party appears to be in a fiery spiral and they keep turning the afterburners on day after day.

A heads out of sand acceptance of what is going wrong and a drastic change in approach is urgently needed.

by Danyl Mclauchlan on April 23, 2014
Danyl Mclauchlan

I think this narrative about St Shane Jones being scorned by the Labour Party and forced out by the haters (a) ignores the fact that instead of exiling Jones to the backbench the current leader made him one of the highest ranking MPs in the party, and (b) Jones isn't leaving to 'spend time with his family' or 'work in the community' or even 'go into the private sector', he's taking a huge payout in taxpayer cash from National designed and timed to inflict as much damage on his own party as possible. Which suggests everyone who thought Jones WAS a heretic and SHOULDN'T have been in the Labour Party all along had a really good point. 

by mickysavage on April 23, 2014
mickysavage

@Pete George

Shane Jones was not driven out of the party.  All the evidence points to the opposite being true.  So why continue to trumpet something when there is no truth to it?

by Alan Johnstone on April 23, 2014
Alan Johnstone

Looks like Shane Jones is going to get the Leon Trotskey treatment.

From a distance it appears he was at odds with the leadership of the party on a number of key policy areas. For one, he appeared to unashamedly put jobs and economic development before environmental protection.

I think it's clear that he'd have stayed if he considered it likely that he'd have been a senior minister with a free hand to persue this policy agenda. It looks like he's come to the conculsion that he can do more on the outside.

I don't know what this new job of his pays, but it'll not be that much more than a cabinet minister. He's not gone for the cash, it's policy differences.

by Lee Churchman on April 23, 2014
Lee Churchman

Labour is in danger of being seen as a collection of narrow interest groups; feminists, beneficiaries, professional gays

That might have something to do with the relentless media portrayal of them as such. I have to say that the usual suspects have gone to almost comical levels this year. My guess is that National's strategists know that to win they must prevent David Cunliffe's message from being heard. It's working so far, since the news is all "Labour crisis this; Labour crisis that." Every week there seems to be another beat up.

If I were Cunliffe, I wouldn't even bother turning up.

by George Hendry on April 23, 2014
George Hendry

Yes, Lee, I agree.

David Cunliffe has still had relatively little time to gear up for the election year media onslaught - a year at least would have been good to get some basic hatches battened down before having to face the subtropical cyclone. Understandable that though he would have known about it in theory, there's no substitute for the actual experience.

 

by Andrew Osborn on April 23, 2014
Andrew Osborn

Josie: ...and that means a party that is inclusive, focused on jobs, better pay, and on celebrating opportunities for all of us to do better in life


But that would mean they'd have to join the National Party!

by Andrew Osborn on April 23, 2014
Andrew Osborn

Lee:  My guess is that National's strategists know that to win they must prevent David Cunliffe's message from being heard

You're kidding, right? Every time Cunlife has opened his mouth he's scored an own goal. His 'message' is currently one of the biggest problems facing Labour.

If I was his advisor I'd be telling him to shut up, stop making infantile personal attacks on his opposition and focus on pulling together some policies that might interest voters.

by Ross on April 24, 2014
Ross
15 National MPs are quitting - by your logic, these MPs are quitting because they don't see National becoming the next government. You might like to re-think your reasoning. Shane Jones says he couldn't have worked with the Greens...which suggests he made the right call to quit. The Greens are far bigger than one man who possesses an over-inflated sense of self importance.
by Alan Johnstone on April 24, 2014
Alan Johnstone

@Ross

" 15 National MPs are quitting - by your logic, these MPs are quitting because they don't see National becoming the next government. You might like to re-think your reasoning. "

There's a masssive difference between quitting as a backbench MP with no prospect of advancement and quitting with the prospect of being a senior cabinet minister.

Being a backbench mp looks a tedious slog, why would you do it for just $147k ? 


by Pete George on April 24, 2014
Pete George

A savage response: Labour and the working class

by Josie Pagani on April 24, 2014
Josie Pagani

by mickysavage on April 23, 2014

Shane Jones was not driven out of the party.  All the evidence points to the opposite being true.  So why continue to trumpet something when there is no truth to it?

Are you serious Greg? Sectarianism is dominating the Labour party at the expense of unity.

Here’s what Richard Hills, Labour candidate for Northcote tweeted about me:

Richard Hills @richardhills777

Why doesn't Josie Pagani join the National party? I kinda don't get it

(I have a screen saver of this tweet but can't get it to cut and paste here. Maybe he's deleted it after the Anna Lorch's notorious tweet yesterday?)

So he’s telling Labour supporters to go and vote National. Great. That’s a winning strategy. 

I want to see the Labour party united over what we agree on - that the job of a Labour party is to be on the side of wage earners vs capital, to be the voice of working people who want good jobs, higher wages and the opportunity to make something of their lives.

The sectarians what to split over what divides us and use every issue as a litmus tests. If you don’t pass on gender quotas in caucus for example, you’re not pure enough, out you go. I want to focus on what unites us.

Which side are you on Greg?

by Lee Churchman on April 24, 2014
Lee Churchman

You're kidding, right? Every time Cunlife has opened his mouth he's scored an own goal.

No. Pretty much every time he's said something remotely wrong, it has been pounced upon and blown out of all proportion. It's pretty infantile stuff, but then again, NZ is a politically infantile country, so it does work.

He needs to do what Obama did and hire enough people to counter this relentless BS (I see Ed Miliband has hired the man responsible for Obama's campaign). 

by Lee Churchman on April 24, 2014
Lee Churchman

that the job of a Labour party is to be on the side of wage earners vs capital, to be the voice of working people who want good jobs, higher wages and the opportunity to make something of their lives.

That just isn't going to happen, Josie. The NZ left has been captured by identity politics interests, and there is not much the rest of us can do about it. If the party can't organise itself around a common platform, then that's a signal that it is no longer a viable political party. A hard lesson, but perhaps a necessary one.

by Ross on April 24, 2014
Ross
@ Alan Johnstone You might have have fogotten that both Katherine Rich and Simon Power called it quits whilst they were Ministers. Clearly they didn't think that being a minister was the be-all and end-all. The fact the Shane Jones has quit is no big deal. In fact, it will benefit Labour in the short and long term.
by Ross on April 24, 2014
Ross
Josie, Hills isn't the first person to suggest you are not representative of Labour and I am sure he won't be the last. The fact remains that Shane Jones thought he was bigger than a political party. His ego and sense of self-importance were too big.
by Alex Coleman on April 24, 2014
Alex Coleman

The sectarians what to split over what divides us and use every issue as a litmus tests. If you don’t pass on gender quotas in caucus for example, you’re not pure enough, out you go. I want to focus on what unites us.

Unity though right? If the party decides someting, and you disagree, does unity mean swallowing your lumps and getting on with what unites, or going to media and giving them quotes about "geldings"?


And how does being given a front bench seat equate to "out you go"?

 

by Andrew Osborn on April 25, 2014
Andrew Osborn

Lee: Pretty much every time he's said something remotely wrong, it has been pounced upon and blown out of all proportion


Nope. You still don't get it. Two recent examples:

1/ It was he who chose to attack JK over his house in Parnell. Did he never consider that his own place in Herne Bay would be thrown back in his face? Of course the media had a field day - it was hilarious!

2/ The Labour transport policy statement. This is worth a D minus if it was the work of a high school student. So bad it's laughable.

These things are not 'remotely wrong', they're self-inflicted disasters.

 

by Alex Coleman on April 25, 2014
Alex Coleman

1/ It was he who chose to attack JK over his house in Parnell. Did he never consider that his own place in Herne Bay would be thrown back in his face? Of course the media had a field day - it was hilarious!


That's a really good example actually. Cunliffe was talking about a Salvation army report on poverty, and the PM dismissed it, in his usual fashion. 


Cunliffe responded by attacking the PM for being out of touch, saying that he got out of flash house he would be more in touch. The PM then attacked back by bringing Cunliffe's house into it.


It's quite clear that Cunliffe wasn;t acttacking him for having a nice house, but for being out of touch. That Cunliffe has a nice house too is completely beside the point. 


Polls bear out that a majority of people agree that key is out of touch with ordinary people too,  by the way, and they have done for over a year:


http://www.reidresearch.co.nz/TV3+POLL+RESULTS.html

not that this is included in many media narratives about 'how the PM is percieved'.


 


 

by Brendon Mills on April 26, 2014
Brendon Mills

The way I see it, Shane Jones pretty much had the view that farmers, miners and drillers could foul our air and water as much as they like, take as much resources as they like, and leave us with a big mess as long as there were a few brown faces on the payroll.

 

The guy clearly supported the loosening of environmental regulations, and as long as a few of the bros got to clean up the mines for minimum wage, who cares if a dam full of toxic tailings with sediment on it would be allowed to fester for 50-off years, like at Te Aroha.

 

Piss off Shane.

by MJ on April 26, 2014
MJ

Brendon you might have views on the environment, but that clearly makes you anti-Labour, anti-industry, anti-jobs and anti-unity, so for the sake of a broad church party, and to help prevent sectarian violence , can you please, um, vote Green....um, no, hang on I'll get it in a moment....not express yourself on the internet as it is clear that..um...

by stuart munro on April 28, 2014
stuart munro

Well the heretics have had a pretty good run - but the country didn't perform under their neo-liberal assumptions. The rudderless rightward drift needs to stop. Shane was a long way starboard of the needs of membership. What you are presently enjoying Josie, is an inkling of the level of job insecurity the rest of the country has been 'enjoying' since Douglas and Prebble turned traitor. Not much fun is it.

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