More nut-cutting

The negotiations to form a government out of the frankly ridiculous parliament that has emerged from our voting on the weekend continue. Like I said yesterday, I think there’s not much we-all-out-here have to do with it. It’s up to the politicians now, and what we are seeing about it in the media is not so much genuine ‘news’ as it is part of the negotiation. 

Musical accompaniment:

 

But the bullshit that’s really flying is about possible Winston-free governments and what not, and why not, and how come it will actually be your fault if Winston ends up in government. That Winston has been holding the balance of power in the polls for years seems to have been forgotten. Reckon if the polls are worth anything in terms of strategy, then the time to talk about how to not make Winston relevant would have been before everyone voted, but that’s just me.

So in ascending order of likelihood, (or descending order of cray), here are the possible governments that have been actually touted by people paid to write about politics:

National/Labour

Get a grip. People are really saying ‘hey maybe we should have a grand coalition because MMP’. They do then say how unlikely this is, putting that down to partisanship or tribalism and noting how sad it is that we are not mature enough to seriously contemplate this ridiculous idea.

It’s not ridiculous in principle mind, just in the context of this election we had. National and Labour have taken slightly over 80% all votes in the preliminary count. This may change by up to maybe a point or two when the specials come in.

A government with 80% of the seats is just ridiculous. So sit down and hold your Grand Coalition idea until such a government would have at most 60-70% of the seats and be formed to keep a radical alternative govt off the Treasury benches. There is no other point to a grand coalition that I can see, so stop being silly.

National/Greens

This is mostly being pushed by right wingers and I think the most charitable explanation for it is that they want to give New Zealand First the impression that National has alternatives. But they don’t, not really.

The costs of this coalition to the Greens would be high, and the people pushing for it seem remarkably reluctant to put any flesh on the bones of what they are offering. They seem way more concerned about telling the Greens off for not being sufficiently Tory than anything else. If National has an offer, they should make one.

Lance Wiggs describes a Nat/Green govt that I think would be worth the Greens considering but that I also think National would not be able to deliver. And that’s the basic and obvious problem.

The two parties disagree about everything under the sun, pretty much, so there just isn’t a deal that both sides can accept.

Good enough for the Greens is way too much to ask of National, and vice versa. So sit the fuck down, Tories, and face the fact that if you wanted a Winston-free government then you should have voted to make a Lab/Gre/MP govt more likely, not less. It’s not the Green’s fault you ate all your mates.

Labour/Greens/New Zealand First

This is the only shot for a non-National government and so Labour and the Greens have to make a go of trying. It’s fraught with fraughtness though, eh.

National and ACT will be sitting over there in opposition, with National screaming about their 46% and what have you, and certain members of the gallery will swallow that up like chocolate sauce. It’s all well and correct to say that the only mandate a government needs is the 61 votes on the house. That’s true and rock fucking solid in terms of democratic liberal theory. But that ‘46%’ is weapons grade bullshit that we just would not hear the end of.

If the government fails it will go down in pundit wisdom as ‘Actually why the biggest party actually deserves to govern actually’ and that will be the end of that argument.

And that’s before we even think about what mixture of policy would be acceptable to all three parties and their supporters.

So I think Lab and the Greens should absolutely try to negotiate a stable and good Government from that, but should not offer Winston too much. Better to fail to form a decent goverment than to form a disastrous one.

National/New Zealand First

The most likely outcome. Soz.

Fuck only knows what it’ll look like to be honest. I think it’s safe to say it will be economically more interventionist than Key’s governments, about the same on environmental issues, and potentially a shit-show on race relations. On trade and foreign policy? Who knows really, not me.

I think the risks for National in this are not small, and Labour and the Greens would have a good shot of bringing it down inside three years. The NZF vote can be wedged on economic issues, and the National vote on social. ACT will also be in opposition attacking this government from the right.

If it does collapse I think the left will steam in; obvs.

tl;dr we are going to see lots of shit floated in the media for two or four weeks. It’ll mostly be nonsense that’s less about getting information about what is happening in the nut-cutting arena out to the public than it’s frothy nonsense designed to influence the people inside of it.

 

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Nut-cutting time

We haven’t yet come up with word for this time in MMP politics; the bit after the election, when ‘the nation decides’, but before we know what the new government will be. It’s been called, humorously, the time we we find out ‘what the nation meant’. And I get that this a joke but I also think it’s a bad thing that I’m going to rant about.

Musical accompaniment:

To be clear, I think the bit about ‘the nation deciding’ is wrong and people should stop saying it. It’s a bad thought that frames what you think about elections in ways that are, well, false. The nation sure enough votes, but that’s all that can honestly be said.

The ‘electorate’ or ‘the nation’, or whatever, is not a thing with a mind. The nation does not ‘decide’ anything. The outcome of an election is emergent; there is no conscious ‘decision’ made about what parliament will look like, there is a discovery. For example, I voted Green, and this added my tiny bit to the emergent outcome.

But if I had my deciding druthers, the parliament would not look like this at all. It would have Māori Party MPs in it for starters, and about 10 more Green MPs and at least a dozen fewer Nats. This goes for most other voters too, I imagine, in that they don’t vote for a parliament in whole and will have ideas about how voters voted wrong. They vote for a party and wait to see what happens. That we disagree with the way loads of other people vote is precisely why we have votes in the first place.

The parliament that emerges from an election decides who the government will be, and this nonsense about ‘what the people voted for’ is mostly just part of the negotiating. It makes sense for parties to say, ‘the people voted for change’ or ‘the people voted for much less change that what you reckon, actually’, because they are politcking and applying pressure and signalling various things to their own voters.

Pundits, on the other hand, should not be aiding the politicians in this. Unless they too seek to politick and apply pressure and what have you. This is where all this nonsense about ‘moral rights to govern’ comes from, and it’s good to see most pundits slapping that particular argument down, but to really slap it down you need to abandon the ‘nation decides’ metaphor.

So in this time after the election that we haven’t got a word for yet, parties are negotiating to form a government. Any combination of parties that gets to 61 seats will have a mandate to govern. That’s the facts of how it works and everything else is bullshit.

 

 

Vote: 2017

This election is coming down to the wire, it’s probably the most interesting in terms of potential outcomes so far this century. Excepting possibly 2005 but that was a more clear cut dash to stop Brash.

There was a letter in the DomPost this morning, by one Caroline Glass of Newtown, that corrected the ‘drag race’ metaphor many pundits have used to describe this race.

Caroline pointed out that it is not a race between the two main parties; it is a race between three potential governments and the closeness of the race means that the effect of where you throw your vote  is more clear cut than usual.

So thinking about this race in that way, here’s a voting guide based on that three horse race:

Government One: National – New Zealand First (N/NZF)

This is the only National government on offer; if National is to win they will need NZF. ACT will get two seats if they are very lucky, but they probably won’t, and any extra ACT seat can only come at the expense of National. It’s unlikely the Māori Party would go into coalition with NZF. If you want a National government, you have to accept that it will be a N/NZF government. So if this is the government you want then list vote National and may god have mercy on your soul, etc.

Government Two: Labour – New Zealand First (L/NZF)

This is what we’ll possibly get if the Greens don’t make 5%. If the Greens are out, then it will be NZF’s call as to whether we get N/NZF or L/NZF.

If L/NZF is really what you want then list vote Labour. (This would be a shitty govt IMO. With no Greens in Parliament pressuring from the liberal left, and with National being all ‘nats in oppo’ mode, Labour will fold when the political pressure comes on, we all know this eh.)

Voting NZF is a vote to say you don’t care which of those two governments we have. If you want a NZF coalition to be either N or L lead, then vote for that main party instead.

Government Three: Lab/Green/MāoriParty (L/G/MP)

If the Greens get over 5% then there is a good chance this government will form. But the Greens breaking that threshold is in real doubt. If you want this government of the three potential ones on offer, then you really, really, should vote Green. Every vote on the cusp of Greens/Labour that goes Labour’s way makes a New Zealand First government more likely, and a Labour Government less likely.  It is highly likely that the Greens will get at least 4% from their hardcore. So if you are concerned about that vote being wasted, then vote to stop it being wasted.

Obviously I’ll be voting for that last government, with list vote Green.

I’m just some random, but here’s why I’m asking you to think hard and then list vote Green please.

I’ve never joined a political party, wouldn’t count myself as an activist at all, and voted for a few different ones. Even ACT, once, ffs.

But here’s why I’ll be voting Green rather than Labour and I ask you to think hard about doing likewise

It’s great that Labour is doing better than they have for a decade, but if the Greens aren’t in Parliament then the best we can hope for from labour is a continuation of the last 18 years of drift. There are many good people in Labour, don’t get me wrong, but they are a centrist party. They have to be.

So seeing I want something a bit more than that, I’ll be voting for people I want to be influencing Labour and applying pressure to it. It will either be the Greens doing that, or New Zealand First. That’s a no-brainer for me. Who do you want to be shouting at Labour behind closed doors when Captain Fantapants over there in DC there starts asking for support to attack Iran?

Also, people matter. Who is in parliament matters. No offence to whoever the marginal Labour list person(s) are that miss out if the Greens do earn the votes to get them over the threshold, but not having those Green MPs will be a great loss. It will be much harder for the Greens to get back in if they do drop out this year, and some of the outstanding talent on their list this year may no longer be available next time if they miss out this time.

Lastly, if the Greens go out, Hooton and Farrar and Slater and that lot will be crowing, and rightly so because it will be a victory for them. And nobody wants that.

NZPol, Trump and Winston.

We don’t know what Winston will do if he gets to choose which bloc will lead the next government in NZ, but it does seem obvious that he’ll campaign with a Trump/Brexit vibe.  It also seems very likely that being ‘Pro-Trump’ will be unpopular with majorities of supporters of National, Labour and Greens.

This need to keep onside with Winston while also letting voters know that they are not Trumpists will drive all major parties to accuse the others of being ‘most like Trump’. And we are already seeing that. And things get heated.

I admit I’m biased towards the Greens and Labour and against National. But as with everyone all I can do is ask questions of myself, and answer them to the best I can. Voting is always a crap shoot, to an extent, but political support or allegiance develops on the outcomes of previous crap shoots. The dice are loaded with past knowledge and trust, as it were.

For me, these are some of the things I’m thinking about:

  • National, Labour and the Greens will all have some supporters who like Trump. People will like Trump for various reasons but oppose him on others. What they criticise tells us something about what bits they like, or at least, care less about. So watching how political parties and their sympathisers criticise Trumpism can tell us which bits of Trumpism they are likely to go along with. It also tells us which bits of Trumpism they are more likely to take a strong stand against when in government. Parties with more Trump supporters voting for them will have to be more cautious, and the things those voters like about Trump are the things they’ll won’t oppose.
  • Voices on the left are being far more oppositional to Trump and those on the right are more often taking an Anti-Anti-Trump position. There is very little pushback on the right against this. The Anti-Trumpism on the right is cautious, and is maybe because National is in power. But that doesn’t explain why pundits are attacking the left for opposing Trump poorly, or unwisely, or hypocritically, or on the wrong issues.  There is no qualm in writing pieces mentioning the hyperventilating lefty critics on twitter that demonstrate something about the ‘left’, but mentioning how Trump is discussed on RW blogs simply never happens. They claim the blogs are irrelevant;  how they are less relevant than than ‘twitter’ is not explained.
  • So the fight about which party is most like Trump, and so which govt would be more Trumpist will come down to which bits of Trumpism you really think suck, and which Govt, Lab/Greens or National, would be more likely to stand up against the things about trump you think are most toxic.
  • The cold war wasn’t about tax rates.

Postscript. I’m pretty sure the left will publicly have its fight about ‘the Left and Trump’. I only hope the the Right does too, we need to know what the right thinks in order to know what they’ll roll over on for Trump (torture/ Muslim bans/ stupid wars/civil liberties?). But I suspect they will keep their concerns private, seek to exploit the lefties fighting over it, and assume they can control their own base. Like the GOP did.

PM Bill English.

Barring a whole bunch of the National Party being, (to no apparent end), two-faced liars, Bill English will be PM by the middle of next week.

Jonathan Coleman is still saying it’s a race but I guess that’s for ‘reasons of optics’, or some other such thing people say that sounds like an explanation but really isn’t. (EDIT: He just pulled out, so Billy will become God Emperor uncontested. All rise, etc)

Collins pulled out this afternoon, after poor old Cameron Slater had finally got his blog cranked up yesterday and this morning to write post after post* after post after post* after post after post after post after post* after post after post after post in support.

The * posts are the particularly funny ones, but the whole feast is worth wallowing in if you need to reconfirm for yourself how massively full of shit Cam Slater can be.

tl;dr for those wise enough not to bother: Slater reckoned that English would be terrible and Collins would be the best choice, obvs, because of Nicky Hager. And because of how journalists are wrong about everything including Brexit, Trump, and, (most especially), how much support there exists in caucus for Judith Collins. Also English would suck at raising money, and would lose because that’s what losers do and he’s a loser.

For completeness sake here’s the post where he throws all the toys out of the cot, sets fire to the cot, blames John Key for the burnt cot, and then declares he doesn’t like fucking toys anymore anyway and Bill English is Not the Boss of Him.

So.

PM Bill English.

It’ll take a while for that to roll around in everyone’s heads before polling shows what people think about it, so I won’t pay much heed to the polls that we’ll inevitably see before Christmas. Polls will polls, and let the people work it out.

But FWIW my reckons on the various things already being said:

‘He lost in 2002’: Ages ago now, when he was up against first term PM Aunty Helen Clark and his party was a bit lost in the old wilderness and kinda broke. None of that applies now.

‘Does he even really want this?’ Who knows, but he went for it. He has seemed much happier as MinFinance, and that’s a tough gig. But it’s a different sort of gig from being leader. He may well front up with an ongoing Clark-like command of detail that Key famously didn’t have, or he may try and model Key’s breezy style but with a laconic southern blah blah. Which would be a mistake I think. English is much more the Treasury wonk now than he is a Dipton farmer.

‘Can he control the divisions exposed by the recent brief unpleasantness’ Who the fuck knows? Not me. Depends on how pissed off Collins is I expect. And how pissed off various backbenchers who don’t get what they want, and can’t see it happening for years now, are. And how pissed off he suspects they all are, etc, and so on, down through the turtles.

But aside from that, there’s a bit on his plate. He has to deal with the inevitable WTFery of the incoming US administration, so he he has in Foreign Affairs will matter. We have soldiers deployed in Iraq that will be under the de facto command of Trump in about two months. We do not have a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, but instead have some sort of ad hoc ‘it’ll-do’ arrangement. We might want to think pretty hard about that.

Soz Yeats, so very soz.

Flipping and flopping in the widening gyre
The Media cannot hear the median;
Things fell apart; Mr Centre, he did fold;
Contested leadership loosed upon the world,
The smurf-dimmed tide is loose, and everywhere
The ceremony of certitude is drownded;
The best lack all charisma, while the worst
Are filliped with blogsters intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Southland
Troubles my sight: a charity boxing ring;
A shape with middle aged body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of can’t-watch-this cringing birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That fifteen years of stoic sleep
Were vexed to dream in a subsidised cradle,
And what fortuitous rabbit, its hour come round at last,
flip flops towards Bowen to be born?

Key, relaxed as ever.

The Prime Minister talked with Paul Henry about yon Trump this morning and whether or not our Prime Minister was one of the world leaders Obama has said are ‘rattled’ by the possibility of Trump taking it all the way to the Presidency. ‘Stop the train’, world leaders are apparently signalling. Are we one of them? Nope, we are not.

Or at least, not as far as Key thinks the NZ public has any right to know.

There’s video at the link, and a write up. The bit that does the work as to why Key is not rattled goes like this:

“If he became President, the question is what could he get through the Senate? What could he get through Congress? He can stop things, but he can’t necessarily make things happen. He’s got executive powers, but they’re not that wide-ranging.”

Here’s the problem with that. It’s true for some things, like the deporting of undocumented immigrants and what not. But it’s not true for many other things, like ‘bombing the hell out of ISIS, or ‘bringing back torture’.

Here’s Trump on torture at a debate in New Hampshire in February  “[I’ll] bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding”.

And here he is expanding on that after the terrorist attacks in Brussels a short time later:

“Look, I think we have to change our law on the waterboarding thing, where they can chop off heads and drown people in cages, in heavy steel cages and we can’t water board,” Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “We have to change our laws and we have to be able to fight at least on almost equal basis. We have laws that we have to obey in terms of torture. They have no laws whatsoever that they have to obey.”

Now it’s true that he says he would have to change the law there, but bear in mind that no law was changed under Bush to enable waterboarding. They got a legal opinion, and just went with it. Obama stopped doing it, but again this was just an executive decision, and crucially, the Obama administration has not investigated what happened with a view to prosecution as required under the treaties that make torture illegal in the US. He just let it slide. This leaves torture on the table for another President to pick up, politically speaking.  Sure, you can argue that it’s illegal, but who is actually going to enforce that? That horse has bolted. If the next President wants to bring back torture, they most likely will, and they’ll sell it the same way Bush did, and pundits will most likely fall in line just as quickly as the Never trump circus folded its tents

Now here’s some more from Trump, from that same link on the legalities of it and the politics of dealing with that:

Trump added that it was a “political decision” to oppose torture. Blitzer also pointed out that torture violates international agreements that the United States has signed.

“I would say that the eggheads that came up with this international law should turn on their television and watch CNN right now, because I’m look at scenes on CNN right now as I’m speaking to you that are absolutely atrocious,” Trump said. “And I would be willing to bet, when I am seeing all of the bodies laying all over the floor, including young, beautiful children laying dead on the floor, I would say if they watched that, maybe, just maybe they’ll approve of waterboarding and other things.”

If that reminds you of all the talk from FOX news and talk radio and Dick Cheney except wound up beyond eleven, you are not alone, I am there with you.

moar Trump:

Blitzer asked Trump what he would say to American Muslims who would feel discriminated against under such a policy.

“I say we have a problem. We have radical Islamic terrorism problem,” Trump said, while alluding to the debunked story that U.S. General John Pershing shot Muslims with bullets covered in pigs blood.

“It’s a very gruesome story. But you know what? The problem didn’t exist for 48 years after that happened,” Trump said. “We have to be a lot tougher than we are. Right now they look at us as weak, soft, stupid people. Look at scene on CNN right now, where all of the bodies all over the floor and we’re worried about waterboarding.”

All that is to say that I don’t think we can rely much of the power of the Senate to restrain Trump on this. And the same goes for his avowed policy to start killing the families of terrorists. Which would also be a war crime that he could quite probably get a legal opinion to justify, as long as it didn’t need to be tested in court. And good luck with getting it to court, by which time it would be too late anyway.

The other thing Key said to explain his lack of rattlement about Trump was that it is his job to get along with the President as best he can, whomever that may be.

That’s fine, but there’s ‘getting along as best you can’ , and there is ‘being part of the club’.

I don’t think it’s too much to ask that we know where our membership in the club will stand in the event the dues include ‘being a party to war crimes’.

 

 

 

Leaky old leaks, three.

A quick think about three leaks this week.

The first:

A Paddy Gower special pushed as a Crisis Meeting in the Nat Caucus with someone LEAKING to him about the fact that some Nats support the flag change and some don’t. That’s not really even interesting, the real story he was telling is that someone leaked something to him for the sole purpose of showing that someone would leak something to him to damage Key. A good chunk of the report is him posing the question of who his source is. No one knows, but someone wants us to wonder, and Gower’s just the man to ask us to wonder on their behalf, I guess.

The second:

This one more serious. Long running saga of Bain. The latest legal development in his quest for compo gets LEAKED with Potentially Shithouse results for justice. More on it here from Geddis . These events made me concur with the Member for the Rotten Borough of Epsom, so yeah, I’m pretty livid about it.

And this, too, is relevant:

But given what we know about how info flows in and around Parliament, the definition of ‘had been provided’ isn’t as rock solid obvious as it might read. I don’t trust any of these people to use English any more, but that’s just me.

The third:

Another lucky LEAK* to Newshub. They got the text Glucina sent to the PM about the interview she did with the waitress whose ponytail John Key kept pulling. ‘Obtained it’ they did, but Glucina was not available to talk to them.

The PM was told today, by the Ombudsman, that he had no reason not to release the text under the OIA to the unstoppable Idiot Savant of No Right Turn who had requested it. He said he would release it soon, but Newshub got it first, robbing Savant of the fair shake at being the first to write it up. Glucina not available to comment to the News org whose owner co-owns the Scout thing she is also a co-owner of.

 

Yup.

*I’m calling it a leak though I’m not sure others are.

Winston’s fence

My god it’s hot, the sun is beating into the lounge, the boy is in the bath, the dishes are lurking somewhere on the table or in the kitchen the demanding bastards, the tail end of one of the 7pm newsish shows is chattering away, bright and breezy telling me they’ll see me tomorrow as they stare down a camera and an apocolyptic news business model that no one is sure how to play anymore, parliament reopened, the back door is also open in a complete failure of an attempt to create a draft from the lounge windows that also are open as the sun beats through them heating up this joint in a way that would be useful at some other time other than when the boy is about to get out of the bath and go to bed and the dishes need doing. Fucking hot. If I wanted this I’d live in Auckland, and blog more and tweet less, mocking the twitteratti and imagining I have a clue about politics and lecture the left about what actually ails them, and it wouldn’t be me I tell you what, it’d be them, all of them, the other lot, the ones stopping Labour catching the middle or some other fundamentally useless piece of tautological horse shit that might convince some poor schmuck that ‘political comms specialist’ is a collection of words that is worth a damn or at least a free new lappy.

But that’s another thing, that centre, jesus wept. You think this is rough wait till I really start on that one, another time. Parliament reopened and they all did their speeches. I didn’t watch. I watch NZQT but there’s a limit. From what I picked up the PM ‘went on the attack’ Little ‘responded firefully’ probably. Peter totally Dunned it with reference to people who died, god rest their souls, and tutt tutt everyone else who didn’t mention them ,what are they like, the partisan snipey little bastards. Dunno if he talked about maybe we need to settle down the acrimony of Waitangi Day by having a fesitvus for the rest of us sans the airing of grievances which is the whole bloody point. Shaw was earnest, and probably correct, with a dry humour that may or not be a calculated attempt to shed the Greens of their longstanding reliance and image and put forward a business friendly or at least less business hostile, oh gawd, no he isn’t, let him be. Fuck it’s hot. The current spox for the Rotten Borough of Epsom was baffling, and also earnest, and maybe humourous with a self conscious did-you-see-what-I-did-there,-did-you,-did-you-huh smirk to wrap around the simple idea that everyone has heard and thinks is a bit rubbish that is the ACT party since Prebble left. I’m guessing here, based on scrolling through the twitter as it happened but I’m probably making it sound less exciting that it was and more exciting than the various prognosts will have us believe as they all explain how that bloody centre is the target in the year to come and if you say something the centre likes then you can win, because they will vote for you, which is quite honestly what passes for explaining what happens once said prognosts have finished with it. And who’s to say they’re wrong, seeing they aren’t actually saying anything.

Winston probably said something too, but Labour should burn down his fence and here’s why:

The NZF party has its place, it has a view that is coherent and not without its fans. It sits happily in a spot where it can plausibly go into power with either National or Labour.

Winston plays this like a fiddle claiming, not unreasonably as far his viewpoint goes, that he will keep the bastards honest. That’s one part of the fence he sits on like some smug cat.

But here’s the thing, here’s why Labour ought to burn that shit down.

A lot of people who vote Labour don’t like him, coz reasons. And the same goes for people who vote National.

Currently, a lot of people who vote NZF don’t like National. I reckon it’s *at least* half of NZFs base using the sort of gut based evidential logic that gets deployed in these situations. I can defend it if you like some other time. Those voters are the ones that matter as far as Labour is concerned. They want NZF to keep *Labour* honest, by which, as far as I can tell, they mean ‘keep the Greens in their place’. Labour should target these voters. Make them choose.

Another lot that matters for Labour are people who would vote for NZF but hate the Labour party. They currently vote for National. Labour should let these voters know it’s safe to vote NZF.

Now it’s no secret that I like the Greens, upfront about that and I can get into why at some other point, but facts here. As long as Labour needs both the Greens and NZF National gets free hit after free hit with the ‘unstable multiheaded monster’ stick. It doesn’t matter that it’s unfair or whatever, you can’t talk your way around it. Burn that shit down.

Stop thinking about trying to get the fucking centre, create a centre. If you shift votes, those shifting voters are the centre. The map describes the territory, not the other way around.

Make people choose between labour+Greens+Māori Party or a National led government, and see what happens. Be fucking bold.

Winston won up north on keeping *National* honest, and he’s been cranking up the race shit as well. These are signals and frankly things that Labour should be responding to. Labour should be sticking up for those Māori seat voters they have won back just for starters. Labour does not want to be tied to what he is selling, so reject it. As often as possible let Labour leaning NZF voters know that voting for Winston is very likely voting for another term for National. He’ll deny it, so what. It’s a fact, repeat it, and repeat the reasons for why he is the last cab of the rank what with all the racist shit he talks and how he wants to hold his strong National voting seat and all.

Let National voters know it is safe to vote for Winston, tell Labour voters that it’s not.

delenda est

It’s obvious that none of the above screwballs to the corner pocket will shift votes from left to right. But what kicking NZF off that fence might do is mess things up. Shake the fucking stasis. Labour Greens Māori Party would be a NZ version liberal govt, this would help define that and contrast it with a National-NZF-ACT govt it ways that might be valuable in shifting some of National’s soft support.

that breeze is working now at any rate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dancing with history.

The former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, was less than amused with the half time entertainment at yesterday’s Super Bowl.

He had a couple of gripes, firstly

I think it was outrageous. The halftime show I thought was ridiculous anyway. I don’t know what the heck it was. A bunch of people bouncing around and all strange things. It was terrible.

He is talking here about Beyonce’s performance of ‘Formation’. The song is an overt tribute to Black Lives Matter, a protest movement against police brutality in general and, more specifically, the fact that African Americans get shot by the police at a far higher rate than other groups and that the police officers tend to walk.

You can view Beyonce’s performance at the link above and see for yourself what Giuliani is talking about. He is quite correct to note that it largely consists of people bouncing around and it would, if you didn’t know what dancing was, seem very strange. This caveat may be important.

His second gripe:

“This is football, not Hollywood, and I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive. And what we should be doing in the African-American community, and all communities, is build up respect for police officers. And focus on the fact that when something does go wrong, okay. We’ll work on that. But the vast majority of police officers risk their lives to keep us safe.”.

What he is talking about there is the references in Beyonce’s performance to the Black Panther movement of the late 60’s.

Beyonce definitely referenced them, and the Black panthers were definitely militant. No arguments there. Giuliani takes this performance as a direct threat to current police, an attack on them, even. This seems overwrought.  If Beyonce was waiving guns around and calling for African Americans to actually, for real, take up arms agin the police like some Oregon militia I think his point would be stronger. But she didn’t. She referenced the Panthers and thus tied Black Lives Matter to the history of police brutality that the Panthers were also a reaction to, all those years ago.  Google image ‘Newark riots’ for some context here. The stuff BLM is protesting is not, unlike dancing, an issue with which Giuliani is unfamiliar.

In the wake of the death of an unarmed African immigrant named Amadou Diallo — killed in a hail of 41 bullets fired by New York City police — and a state court’s decision not to convict the officers involved in the man’s death, Giuliani said the officers followed “standard procedure.” Yes, “standard procedure” left a man with no criminal record and no weapon with no life left in his body. But according to Giuliani — while still mayor and ostensibly the boss of a police force with its share of known problems and a series of high-profile shooting deaths and alleged police abuses in its record—  that was not something about which to be alarmed.

An interesting historical side note to all of this, given the current gun debate in the US, is that in California it became illegal to carry a loaded firearm in public via the 1967 Mulford Act. Guess what that was all about?