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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Paganis vs The Standard and the battle for Labour's political soul

I love watching Labour Party centrist strategists, Josie and John Pagani fight with The Standard.

The left do bitchy better than anyone else. The friction between those trying to drag Labour to the right to chase National voters and the activist base who want a real left wing party is finally being articulated in public about 6 months after Tumeke pointed it out.

Better late then never I suppose.

What I honestly don't understand is why Labour are listening to the Pagani's and not to The Standard. While The Standard has me rolling my eyes at times with some of the defense they run, they are far more on the money than bloody John or Josie Pagani. The Standard have hundreds of thousands of hits per month and have a far better idea of the pulse of the nation than the average back bench Labour MP.

Watching John attack The Standard in the Listener this week shows how far out of touch the Labour Party strategists have become...

Then again, as left-leaning political-consultant-turned-commentator John Pagani notes, Farrar’s apparently easygoing tone might be among his greatest advantages. “He has a more reasonable tone than, say, the left blog the Standard, whose idea of political is embittered and angry and it’s therefore hard to read,” says Pagani

...whoever thought we would see the day when a Labour Party spokesperson was bagging The Standard while praising the right wings most insidious pollster? The funniest thing about that article is that Pagani is described as 'left-leaning'.

The Pagani Doctrine and its terrible weaknesses have been pointed out a couple of hundred times here, but it's worth repeating that chasing National Party voters is about as pointless for Labour as chasing the mythical 'blue green' vote is for the Greens. It is the 800 000 registered voters who didn't vote that Labour need to chase, not National Party voters who have bought Key's empty aspiration hook line and sinker.

Josie even goes as far as attacking my argument that the 800 000 enrolled voters who didn't vote were mainly left wing supporters, the fact Labour sunk to 27% screams to the highest mountain that the majority of those voters were former Labour Party voters.

Labour doesn't need to eat into Green Party votes if they stick to articulating a new economic model that challenges the neo-liberal model National champions. The economic environment is closer to meltdown than the actual environment.

As Brian Easton points out...

The global economy is already in its fifth year of stagnation, and there is little sign of its end. But a neo-liberal response to the crisis hardly exists – I don’t think charter schools are going to resolve it.

That hasn't stopped the swing to the right Shearer's leadership has brought about. The problems for Shearer are...

a) his lack of confidence

b) his inability to express an opinion without contradicting it (when asked today by journalists if Mr Shearer was not connecting with voters - his answer was "I do not believe I am not not connecting")

c) his attempt to adopt 3rd way Pagani nonsense for welfare by having a go at beneficiaries added to David Parker's speech to financial elites where he told them telecommunications and energy production would not be regulated or on the list of assets to be saved

d) a total inability to voice an alternative economic direction

...which all combines to leave a bitter after taste in many rank and file Labour supporters mouths.

It is these supporters who must get so angry with the Party that they demand a new leader at conference in November because if such a rank and file backlash is not forthcoming the reality is that the Labour Caucus is simply too weak to make the change themselves and will stick with Shearer all the way to the 2014 election.

If the Caucus wouldn't dump Goff, they are too dumbstruck by indecision to dump Shearer.

Shearer's lack of political traction must be blamed on the Pagani Doctrine - if Labour don't get Shearer better political advisors, they will lose 2014.

The silver lining is that early this week, feelers were coming out from the Party towards some left wing strategists as the concerns continue to mount and they would do well to start listening.



At 15/8/12 8:15 am, Blogger Unknown said...

Agree entirely Bomber. I posted this yesterday in the Standard:

After thinking about Josie Pagani’s bene bashing comments yesterday on Radio New Zealand I thought I would check out hubby John Pagani’s activities.

It seems that his blog is down. I wonder when that happened.

He has recently sent a couple of tweets. One of them says “Martin Hawes on buying shares in Mighty River.Excellent analysis. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7466680/Ignore-hype-when-investing”

The Hawes article he links to is a cold hard financial analysis of the share float of MRP that does not mention Iwi claims or the risks that they pose. Hawes’ conclusion is that ”[o]n all of these measures, MRP comes out well. It is in a good, stable industry providing energy from renewables, but with growth prospects as it sells its expertise in thermal power to other countries. It has strong finances and very good governance and management.”

It would appear that Pagani thinks buying MRP shares is a good idea.

Is he still speech writing for the Labour Party?

At 15/8/12 8:29 am, Blogger Tim said...

I have to laugh like hell every time I hear Kathryn Ryan say "From the left - Josie Pagani, and from the right - Mathew Hooton". I laugh even harder when I hear people accuse Radio NZ of being a bunch of lefties - if they are, it's certainly not on-air 'personalities' between 9am and 5pm OR much of the management.

At 15/8/12 8:43 am, Blogger Tim said...

Oh, and another thing - why hasn't Labour cottoned to the idea that those 3rd way / 4th Reich ideas are not going to solve our woes either. Don't they look at Labor OZ or Labour UK and wonder why the hell the Labour movement around the world is in so much trouble - it's because they got hijacked by all those Amex-Gold-card carrying 'advisors' who got too comfortable and lost touch with their respective electorates and base.
Labour if they're not careful will have 'shifted right' (even further) just around the time sleepy hobbits have woken up and ready to cast their vote - only to discover limited choice. The Paganis really are in the wrong party - as obviously are some of our MPs who don't seem to have learned anything from history.

At 15/8/12 10:15 am, Blogger Jasper said...

Have to agree with both you Bomber & Tim ... I think it's about Labour returning to it's core, it's "Roots" man. The working class before the working class becomes the unemployed.

At 15/8/12 11:36 am, Blogger Tim said...

@jasper: What's even worse is current debate caused me to go trawling across other blog sites - ending up on the likes of the Standard, Bowalleyroad, Brian Edwards, Kiwiblog et al. Like a couple of commenters, I wondered just who the hell this Josie Paganiis/was. I stumbled on a Youtube interview. In that interview, she said (in jest) "I was determined to marry a man with a good surname". A-haw-haw-haw-haw. No truer word spoken in jest as they say. I suspect even Brian Edwards judgement might even be clouded by the fact she's probably quite a nice person. Nice people (as I'm sure even David Shearer is) can be over-ambitious, self-obsessed, career-path-oriented, egotistical, 'fashionably-liberal' people. My father used to coin a phrase (thankfully he died before the neo-lib 4th Reich agenda took hold). It was "social climbing wankers".
I'm very pleased for Josie she has a good surname now - a working class Smith or Jones would NEVER have done! I'm not sure how the hell I can POSSIBLY vote Labour at the next election - but as they say .... "I didn't desert Labour, Labour deserted me". And that's coming from someone that's sampled all the "class" divides.
It kind of reminds me of someone (who also used to comment on RNZ) that I went to school with and who now writes and edits a certain magazine. When a highly paid IT person and 'consultant', I used to get a civil "hello" when walking down the street. When however, in the midst of an employment dispute - I used to get the pretense from this person that they did not see me.
I'd put money on it that Pagani and he love sharing a gorgeous tipple or two at various Chardonnay-socialist functions or focus groups these days.
Josie shood hook up with Chris Finlayson - apparently HE "saw sense" and became a NAT convert. Fingers crossed she can see sense and persuade hubby to jump ship too.
The Sleepy Hobbits though ARE gradually awakening. Shame has got the 'read' ALL wrong! Sometimes I wonder where some of those Labour party MPs really stand - NOW including J Adhern.... oh - and G Robertson.
Oh.... and ninetonoon is always slightly better when KR is having one of her off days and an "arts on Sunday" typr presenter has to stand in.

At 15/8/12 10:57 pm, Blogger Phil said...

@Tim. Tend to agree. RNZ left wing? Hahaha. To a right winger a centrist looks like a far leftie! Obama is a commie by this rationale. KR on RNZ is a bit dim and has a tendency to mis-interpret guests. Lyn Freeman sitting in for KR is better. Also I prefer Finlay McDonald when he fills in for Jim (trivia king) Mora. You can hear JM sigh when anything serious comes up for discussion. He can't handle it. Mind you, it may his producer or under instruction?Stick to muckin'in or dog shows Jim.

At 16/8/12 6:37 pm, Blogger Pete George said...

"While The Standard has me rolling my eyes at times with some of the defense they run, they are far more on the money than bloody John or Josie Pagani."

I empathise with the first half of that sentence, but the oodles of angst oozing from The Standard is due to frustration at not getting it and not being got.

At 17/8/12 2:38 pm, Blogger Unknown said...

Yeah I think some of the featured posts on the standard can be a bit nit picky (As Pete George says) but the as a whole the majority are right on the money, and Labour MPs would do well to read these daily and pick up on how the left really think and feel.


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