What Would Rod Say?

Rod on steps2This first anniversary of the National-led government is also the fourth anniversary of the death of former Green Party Co-Leader, Rod Donald. With the many retrospectives being written about the “new” government, my thoughts turn today to what Rod might have thought about the developments of the last year.

There’s been commentary claiming the government hasn’t actually done very much in its first year. Rodney’s embarrassment aside, it seems safe to say that Rod wouldn’t agree.

First off is the long list of backward steps taken on environmental protection. National started the year as it is likely to finish it – under urgency. Under the guise of the collapsing world economy, legislation having little to do with the crisis was repealed, such as the act that set standards for sustainable biofuels, and one that established a renewable preference for electricity generation.

At the other end of the first year, we have the fiasco of the government’s 0-20% emissions target (for who knows where it will end up), and an Emissions Trading Scheme that will subsidise polluters by the billions at taxpayer expense, likely increasing our emissions rather than reducing them. I’d forgive Rod if what he might have to say about that wasn’t even printable.

The great worry is that this government has only just begun its programme of environmental negligence. The Resource Management Act part two reforms is an example of things still to come, with the government showing it will trade short term economic gain for long term economic and environmental sustainability.

And you can be sure Rod would be out there gathering signatures for the Green Party mining petition too.

Rod's tree 091106 008
Rod's tree at Parliamentary Library

One of the other early casualties was Rod’s beloved Buy Kiwi Made programme, ably implemented by Sue Bradford after Rod’s death. The Kiwi Diary 2009 notes today is the anniversary of when the Green Party won the battle to have the “Buy Kiwi Made” campaign restricted to goods and services manufactured and processed in New Zealand, 2006. Even Labour didn’t get it.

There are so many other examples. But most of all, I think Rod would be gearing up for the next public discussion on MMP, due to occur over the next two election cycles. Rod was a passionate advocate of the new system recommended by the Royal Commission and helped lead the coalition advocating change. Rod knew that MMP meant  fair representation for all Kiwi voters and that it would lead to the current diversity we see in the House today. I think Rod would agree that there are improvements to be made to our MMP system. I’m certain he would be fighting hard on behalf of all citizens for its retention.

Greens across Aotearoa are thinking of you today, Rod.

68 Comments Posted

  1. phil u

    Confusing Bolsheviks with Marxists is wrong just as confusing Marx with Marxists is also wrong.

    The Catholic Church has rehabilitated Marx, but their aversion to Bolsheviks and Marxists is undiminished – if even they now get the difference between the theoretical dialectic, as in using Hegel’s change dynamic to bring about a more just society (by posing a dictatorship of the proletariat – threat, if the poor working class are not empowered by inclusion within democracy – appeased). I regard Marx as trying to bring about Fabian socialism/social inclusion for the dispossessed, simply by declaring they had an equal right to disposses their lords and masters, and for the sake of social cohesion people should choose to get along and concede a place for all in the democratic process.

    Unfortunately some Marxists tried to win it all confusing the means to equality for all (claim of right to rule challenge to existing privilege and or capitalist elitism/oligarchy) with the end (trying to win power into their hands, rather than bringing in true democracy and egalitarianism).

  2. “so..how does that meld with the contemptuous/denigrating of greens shundra that appears at kiwiblog at regular intervals..?

    with language/tone/tenor blending seamlessly with that of the resident rightwing trolls..?”

    Phil I confess to writing some less than friendly stuff, but that was mostly a long time ago when I first started doing the blog thing. I have tried to be more civil and constructive in recent months, but please keep me honest by posting any offending comments here for all to see if you feel the need. Truth is you seem to see my criticism of individual politicians as criticism of the environmental movement, any politician is fair game as far as I am concerned green or otherwise.

    Greenfly said:

    “But Shunda, you might like to re-write/think this sweeping claim”

    Fair enough, I have yet to master the art of not making sweeping generalisations, perhaps I am still trying to look at everything from the big picture.

    SPC said:

    “As for sb, I suspect he can be educated about environment issues, but will retain a long term aversion for social liberal progressives (who he confuses with left wing) even if he ultimately signed off on Green environment policy.”

    I confess to confusing the left wing/liberal thing a bit, but I am trying to better understand the various ideals and motivations that drive these people. I will say that I now believe there are many people on the “left” that are sincere and really do want to make a difference for the better.
    Turns out you are not all Marxists 🙂

  3. There’s a lot of that “Green is OK but those greenies are too left wing” – it enables people to say they are not anti-environment when they vote National.

    At least openly denigrating the environment cause is being supplanted with denigrating those of the left who have been or still are part of it.

    The problem of course is do these pro-environment anti-lefties actually support Green policies, or just claim to be pro-environment but yet oppose policies to protect the environment (like farmers who claim to be personally pro-environment and know of many other such farmers – but who oppose any attempt to regulate farm practice to ensure what they do is required for all farmers).

    As for sb, I suspect he can be educated about environment issues, but will retain a long term aversion for social liberal progressives (who he confuses with left wing) even if he ultimately signed off on Green environment policy. Similarly there are “one or two” who have obvious right wing tendencies in economic/social policy settings.

  4. To be fair to Shunda, I’ve read some very surprising, hard hitting, pro-environment statements from him, over on Fartblog and I’ve cheered him on (unable as I am to write in support).

    But Shunda, you might like to re-write/think this sweeping claim 🙂

    The only difference between me and other greenies is that I don’t share the love for extremist left wing thinking.

  5. so..how does that meld with the contemptuous/denigrating of greens shundra that appears at kiwiblog at regular intervals..?

    with language/tone/tenor blending seamlessly with that of the resident rightwing trolls..?


    (as i said)..’highway one’..)


  6. “i just never get used to the bullshit from righties trolls..

    ..pretending..for whatever reason..to be ‘friendly/open’ to greens/green ideas..

    as we both know shunda..you are full of it..eh..?”

    Here we go again. The only difference between me and other greenies is that I don’t share the love for extremist left wing thinking, I see it as just as destructive to society as the crap you are trying to cast out.
    What you are really saying is because I don’t fit the typical green stereotype, because I am not “hard core” I must be illegitimate.
    You are wrong Phil, and for the record I have learnt a great deal from frog blog, I have changed my thinking on a number of issues and realised that there is truth to both sides of the story.

  7. but y’see shundra,,it’s not about you..or about me..

    it’s about the unimaginable/hidden cruelties done to the animals..

    oh..!..i guess you could throw ‘fecking the environment’ in there as well..

    you do not factor morality/ethics into your choices around food..

    most don’t..

    and..i am not in the halfway house that is vegetarian..

    eating cheese/dairy still means those animals suffer..

    i am vegan..


  8. Phil

    Pointing it out is fine. Some of us actually agree with you realistically and philosophically. Reminding us of it periodically is good.

    Some agree in part… as in I don’t accept the notion that lacto-ovo is somehow still “evil” for instance… but I surely don’t need beef in my borscht. That’s my mother-in-law’s idea and arguing with my Russian Mother-In-Law has a degree of difficulty that beats the hell out of anything I argue here 🙂

    Just accept that this is one of those things that is really hard to change.

    …and I still find it weird that Porterhouse can be half the price of a decent swiss cheese. Somehow we have to work out where the economics have gone astray.


  9. I can appreciate and respect your choice to be vegetarian Phil, but I can’t respect your demands that all people follow your ideals or your intolerance of those that don’t , that is called bigotry my friend.

  10. is everyone ok with greens who eat animals ..

    ..being called ‘carni-greens’..?

    (‘cos we do need to differentiate/identify..

    so..any other suggestions..?)


  11. Phil – Sapient says he has no trouble reading what you write (where others seem bamboozled).
    I think he’s a potential convert. Don’t alienate him!
    He suggests that you avoid ‘coming over’ as a raving lunatic, not that you are one. Something may be being lost (or added) in translation. It’s not a bad suggestion.

  12. “..Not coming over as a raving lunatic tends to help too…”

    wow..!..top critical analysis there..!..tiger..!

    “..Try not deliberatly alienating those that could potentially be your converts..”

    would pointing out to those calling themselves ‘green’ the obvious glaring contradiction of their eating animals..?

    would that come under that ‘alienating’ category..?


  13. Phil,
    Never said nice or polite.
    Try not deliberatly alienating those that could potentially be your converts. Its rarely a good idea.
    Not coming over as a raving lunatic tends to help too.
    I don’t have any problems understanding your writing but it would seem others do so thats another way to potentially increase your ability to communicate your ideas and reasoning to potential converts.

  14. I dunno Phil.. I don’t often criticize ANY of the ideas you push. You know darned well I back many of them. But who criticized your ideas? I’ll get down on you for your attitude and we sometimes disagree about method, but we both know who we are at this point… don’t we. We don’t always know what to make of one another, but there’s nothing wrong with your ideas.


  15. and what exactly is wrong with the ideas i ‘push’..?

    ending the madness of doing what causes half of our greenhouse-problems..(ie..meat/dairy..)

    ending the madness of social injustice/inequalities..
    (and their attendant social costs..)

    ending the madness of prohibition of the least harmful intoxicant of all..

    a herb that is actually a proven health aid/cure..

    (irony alert!:..while we are pushing/socially-approving/celebrating alcohol consumption..)

    (with the attendant social costs..)

    wanting new zealand to undergo the massive changes we have to..as soon as possible..

    exactly w.t.f.is so ‘wrong’ with those ideas..?

    that it should be some mark of cain..

    to be seen to be ‘siding with’ them..?

    ..or their author/booster..?



  16. i just never get used to the bullshit from righties trolls..

    ..pretending..for whatever reason..to be ‘friendly/open’ to greens/green ideas..

    as we both know shunda..you are full of it..eh..?

    latest example..?

    where you claim eredwen is ‘siding’ with me..just ‘cos she laughed at one of my attempts at humor..

    shunda..if bullshit were tarseal..

    you’d be highway one..


  17. Ah, you’ll get used to it Shunda – it’s the same arrogance you find amongst the conservative ‘elite’. Sir Roger Douglas is a very good example, if you are at a loss to know what I mean. Rodney’s catching up quickly.

  18. Eredwen is reprimanding BJ like an old school teacher and siding with phil, ha! classic.
    People like Eredwen are not the future of the Greens if she thinks BJ is unreasonable or arogant.
    It’s interesting that she could not hide her contempt for somebody that is probably one of the most reasonable posters here.
    I just never get used to the arrogance of the liberal “elite”.

  19. pull youself together
    point by point, deal by deal, issue by issue,
    you can win for New Zealand,
    and every month and year goes by your position gets stronger
    but you people insist on fucking around over left wing drivel,

  20. I knew Rod a bit, so will have a go.

    What would he have thought about the Maori backing the ETS revisions?

    That’s another easy one. I haven’t met a Green that isn’t appalled by the Maori Party’s sell out on this issue, particularly because they had very principled reasons for opposing Labour’s ETS. They said polluters should pay more and that it didn’t reduce emissions enough – the two goals National’s ETS make a complete mockery of!

    What would he have thought about the co-leader choices we made?

    That’s a much harder question. Rod encouraged many people to step up to leadership roles in the Party and to stand as MPs, even moi. I heard him talk positively of Russel as a possible future co-leader, so that’s a solid indication. But I have no idea who he thought should succeed Jeanette. I do think he was fond of both Sue and Meyt, but that doesn’t answer the question.

    What would he have made of our going to an MOU? How would he have thought we should go forward.

    Also not entirely obvious to me. Rod was big on principle. I think the idea that the Greens should be open to talking to anyone would have appealed conceptually, but Rod also knew we get many soft votes from Labour’s flank. Rod was very keen to come out completely against National in 2005, but it has to be remembered we were dealing with an even more extreme version of Blue under Brash. Still, my guess would be that he’d have been very wary of the MoU and may not have supported it, despite that it clearly trades away no Green policy or principle.

  21. it’s way past time to rein in the rich..

    (this is one of my picks..from todays’ harvest at whoar..)

    “..We don’t want our tax dollars aiding companies that increase social inequalities.

    So why do we let our tax dollars help companies that increase economic inequality?

    Back in 1974, the inaugural year for Dollars & Sense, young economic justice activists — like me — felt we had our hands full.

    I was working, at the time, in upstate New York, helping mobile home owners organize against trailer park landlord extortion.

    I had one friend active on a campaign to win bargaining rights for the local university’s food service workers, another pushing for public housing, still another advocating for a badly needed primary health care clinic.

    Everywhere we all looked, we saw people hurting, we saw unfairness, we saw economic injustice.

    Now today, 35 years later, I’ve come to understand what we didn’t see: ..

    .. the big picture.

    Yes, back then in 1974, we certainly did face injustice at every turn.

    But we were living, thanks to years of struggle—and success—by our activist forebears, in a society where politics actually revolved around confronting those injustices ..

    ..and making change that could really help average working people.

    And, even better, we had a realistic shot at achieving that change.

    The reason?

    Our activist forbears had sliced the single greatest obstacle to social progress—the rich and powerful—down to democratic size.

    In 1974 we were living in a society with an enfeebled wealthy .. and we didn’t know it.

    Shame on us.

    By not understanding—and not appreciating—the equality our progressive predecessors had battled so hard to achieve .. we failed to defend it.

    We let the wealthy come back.

    We let grand concentrations of private wealth reconstitute themselves across the American economic landscape.

    We let the super rich regain their power to dictate and distort America’s political discourse.

    How rich—and powerful—have today’s rich become?

    Some numbers can help tell the story.

    In 1974, the most affluent 1% of Americans averaged, in today’s dollars, $380,000 in income.

    Now let’s fast-forward.

    In 2007, the most recent year with stats, households in America’s top 1% averaged $1.4 million ..

    .. well over triple what top 1% households averaged back in 1974—

    – and, remember, this tripling came after adjusting for inflation.

    Americans in the bottom 90%, meanwhile, saw their average incomes increase a meager $47 a year between 1974 and 2007 ..

    .. not enough to foot the bill for a month’s worth of cable TV.

    The bottom line: ..

    .. top-1% households made 12 times more income than bottom-90% households in 1974..

    .. 42 times more in 2007.

    The numbers become even more striking when we go back a bit further in time and focus not on the top 1%, but on the richest of the rich ..

    .. the top 400 ..

    .. the living symbol of wealth and power in the United States ever since America’s original Gilded Age in the late 19th century.

    In 1955, our 400 highest incomes averaged $12.3 million, in today’s dollars.

    But the top 400 in 1955 didn’t get to enjoy all those millions.

    On average, after exploiting every tax loophole they could find, they actually paid over half their incomes, 51.2%, in federal income tax.

    Today’s super rich are doing better, fantastically better, both before and after taxes.

    In 2006, the top 400 averaged an astounding $263 million each in income.

    These 400 financially fortunate paid .. after loopholes ..

    .. just 17.2% of their incomes in federal tax..”

    see what i mean..?..about a ‘good pick/writing’..?



  22. Phil

    I am quite sure I have answered you. You asked me a question about why I thought it would be good to cohabit with National. Which isn’t what I thought and that IS an answer which is what I gave you. I know I did that… and then you kept on about it so I provided a scenario in which it might make sense for us to consider it, and answered it in that form.

    Just what do you think an answer to that question might look like Phil? I’ve tried two forms of reply and neither seems to satisfy you.

    What makes you think that getting in bed with Federated Farmers is such a good idea? How would you answer a question like that Phil?

    Just trying to give you a taste of what you’re doing here. Really.


  23. but..b.j..you never answer what i ask you..

    you just slip into ad hominems..

    how about going back and answering what i asked you..?

    as my granny used to say..

    ‘don’t answer a question with a question!’..


  24. I don’t know the man, never did. Only became interested in politics and joined the party when Russel was made co-leader. Cant say that I heard anything positive about him until I joined the party though.
    I don’t know his personal politics, but I can say that, in my view, if he would have been willing to compromise the ability of our society to continue into the future for minor to nil social gains, like Bradford, then he would not have been one worth of rememberance as a green minded individual.

  25. Is there anyone who actually has any answers/opinions relating to the things I asked relating to Rod?


  26. I like to hear what BJ thinks we should do, just as I like to hear what Phil thinks we should do, Shunda too, and the rest of the motley crew (and I mean that most sincere).

    Eredwen, might I ask, why do you contribute so rarely now?

  27. i blame that phil..

    (he always lowers the tone..)

    and bj..!

    love that g.p.a..!..eh..?..(green-party-passive-aggression..)

    “…Phil does blame ME for certain things that Greens have done… and in particular that Sue is not co-leader, as though I am somehow able to sway the entire party.

    Greenfly added to his question in a much more interesting manner


    b.j. gets p.a-ed by eredwen..

    and lashes out at me..


    but seriously..!

    ‘i blame phil..!’


  28. Eredwen

    With patience I was responding to Phil… who posed a question DIRECTED at me that he seems most insistent be answered… about things I reckon have very little to do with what Rod would think… but Phil does blame ME for certain things that Greens have done… and in particular that Sue is not co-leader, as though I am somehow able to sway the entire party.

    Greenfly added to his question in a much more interesting manner with some real potential for opening a decent discussion. This is simply a blog where anyone can say what they please (within very loose limits). Threads drift and often come completely unstuck here. I answered them both… and I won’t apologize for having done so.

    I AM delighted that your other conversations dwelled on the future… but I am still wondering what people who really knew Rod THINK he might have said and thought about the direction the country, and the party is taking. There’s very little substance here except Frog’s original post. Yes he’d have hated where the Nats are taking the country… but simple answers aren’t all I want to know. We all hate what the Nats are doing. That’s TOO simple.

    What would he have thought about the Maori backing the ETS revisions? What would he have thought about the co-leader choices we made? What would he have made of our going to an MOU? How would he have thought we should go forward.

    I’m happy to talk about all manner of stuff Eredwen… but I didn’t know Rod. I need more information to contribute to the actual thread topic and I would probably just be taking it in if someone else were contributing meaningfully and Phil wasn’t Phil.


  29. so..eredwen…it’s been a while..

    anything you’d like to share with us/say..?

    still getting your daily news fix from whoar..?

    (‘whoar.co.nz..celebrating excellent writing..since 2005’..)


  30. bj..you’ve just been ‘eredwen-ed’..!



    (that’s known as a g.p.p.a.s.p..

    a green party passive-aggressive sucker-punch..

    we could hear you hit the canvas from here..)


  31. I returned to frogblog today, because of this anniversary, only to find that bj, even on a thread like this one, persists in lecturing the Greens on what “we” should be doing and how “we” should do it
    … and “I wondered what Rod would say” …

    On Friday 6 November Port Hills Electorate Greens (“Rod’s Mob”) met for a “five o’clock beer” at Warners Hotel, Cathedral Square Christchurch (an historic local watering hole). We were joined by a variety of other Christchurch and Aoraki Province Greens, Local Body and visiting Politicians (General and Maori)etc … and other locals.

    At this informal occasion it was interesting to hear people’s remembrances of Rod’s doings(at various ages and stages of his life)in his home town. Some of us had known him for a very long time.

    bj should be delighted to hear that a large proportion of our conversations were about the present and the future as well
    … That is what active-in-the-Party Greens do!

  32. “It’s just that Phil’s unwilling to swallow rats. ”

    No greenfly blue rats, The Greens seemed to develop and appetite for red rats for a good 10 years, what’s the difference?

    Reign the bas!ards in greenfly, get in amongst it.

  33. It is sobering to reflect on what Rod would have made of nats 100 days etc. He would have hated it, like most Greens do. And he wouldn’t have thought a lot of the bickering twaddle that passes for comment on Frogblog these days.
    And his van had hands-off mobile phone gear years ago.

  34. the historical/current ineffectuality of the political wing of the green/environmental movement will come even clearer into focus..

    ..in hindsight..

    (expect major approbrium..)

    but you didn’t nswer that question..bj..

    as in..show/tell us how it wd have been a good idea to go with national..

    and how ..in hindsight once again..how she was ‘wrong’..?

    ..in that no-way-with-national stance..

    and your ‘non-knowledge’ of the tone/timbre of the campaign against bradford..

    is kinda ‘touching’ in its’ naievete..?

    and..you are quite happy with the ‘silences’ under clark..?

    and don’t see that happening again/now..?

    under national..?

    and of course the green party aren’t ‘forced’into silence..

    they willingly..even eagerly..

    ..sign up for it..

    both then..

    and now..


  35. The MoU is here. It contains no policy agreements and explicitly says both sides are free to speak publically on all issues they are not actively working on together. It is very hard to see how this might be constraining the Greens. As readers here should know, no punches have been pulled regarding the fiasco that is the National/ACT/Maori Government.

    No doubt the Nats gain some credit for working with the Greens on a few issues, not that one can point to very much activity in this regard. We could have made a purely political calculation and decided not to talk to them even when there is a chance to further our policy and benefit Kiwis, e.g. millions for home insulation. We think we’ve done what is morally right. Others are free to disagree.

    I hope Nandor knows he is always welcome here and of course is free to make comment at any time.

  36. Phil

    “those who argue for cohabition with national..

    (i’m looking at you..b.j..!)

    they could do well to explain to us just how they could see this happening..?”

    —- I think perhaps that this is part of the differences we have. That IS a confrontational approach to me.

    Greenfly has a better question. Why would I venture into a diner known to serve rats? When it is the only diner open for business I might. I might ask. I might ask to inspect the kitchen as well.

    The requirements I might undertake in order to ensure that I get what *I* want in the negotiation have never been specified, the assumption is always that I will ultimately sit down and eat rat. That’s not the case. I will consider what is on offer and THEN make a decision, and as I point out, probably walk out and do exactly what we have done since… but I will have done so on a rational rather than confrontational basis… and can publicly be seen to have done so in just that way.

    “the Nats would, cloaked by the warm woolly coat we made for them, bound wolf-like into a second term only to slash and burn, aided and abetted by us. If you catch my drift. “

    I do indeed, and Phil’s point about how ineffective we were in our agreement with the prior Clark government is telling as well.

    I fail to see why and how we are “silenced”. The government has been given hell for its ETS changes. What more is there we CAN do? What more, with or without the Memorandum, is there?

    Is it stopping us from holding an event like 350’s climate change day? This is a reality, we did NOT poll high enough to be able to force them to take our opinions into account. THAT is what we have to accomplish. We have to accomplish it by persuading individual New Zealanders to vote FOR us… not by scaring them about “what those lunatics might do if they ever had control of anything”.

    We certainly can’t force them to think. One wishes that there was a way to do that, but it doesn’t happen often in democracies.

    Is this a media problem rather than a government problem? That they don’t report what we are saying? That seems likely. They don’t have to really, WE DON’T COUNT.

    Phil.. since I have no idea where your “whispering campaign” was waged or what it was about I can’t comment on your notions about how wise it was or wasn’t. I never had anything to do with a whispering campaign. I made my views clear and never “whispered” them. Nor has anything since given me to believe that I am in error.

    The bottom line is, I don’t see how there is a limitation based on the memorandum that keeps us from pointing out the errors of National’s ways. We aren’t muzzled…

    What we are is muffled and Labour is with us in this respect because THEY have no significant power in the face of the National majority polling either. Maori have been co-opted by their “National” wing and their Green and Labour sub-groups are similarly restricted.

    You want to know WHY this happened? Quite a few things combined to reach this stage. In no particular order:

    1. Rather than coalition with Greens Clark went into coalition with Winston First.

    2. Winston screwed up by the numbers. He alienated his own supporters. The perception of corruption was tangible and tainted the Labour party.

    3. We went along with their Election Finance Bill. We did it with open eyes but in the end it was pretty awful. I held my nose and suggested changes but supported it, but in retrospect it should simply have been dumped.

    4. Rather than modifying S59 with explicit law which would have been easy to enforce and educate and which would have been passed by acclamation, we got what we got, which led to a referendum against it and at least 4 years of wasted effort and which I think is the single thing that kept Sue from assuming the leadership of the party.

    5. Labour failed to reform any part of the housing based economy.

    So the “nanny state” perception stuck. The corruption perceptions stuck. Labour and Greens were cast howling into the wilderness.

    So yes… we ARE rather powerless at present. We have to do the best we can with what we have. That doesn’t mean that the alternative view of reality that is being presented here is any more correct. The mistakes made WERE made, and only some of them were actually things we had control over…

    Had we done things differently would the result have been the same? Hard to tell. Clark was making mistakes, Cullen was making mistakes and Winston WAS a mistake… but saying we are here because we failed to take a harder line may only be true in the sense that if we had taken a harder line (and made the same decisions I enumerated) we might well not be in parliament at all.

    Since I never had the pleasure of meeting Rod I can’t even guess what HE would say. I’d put more faith in Nandor’s opinion of that than my own… and I’d suggest that it might be nice for Frog to invite him to add somewhat to the OP.


  37. Watched Q&A then went outside to stack logs .. and got to thinking …

    The panel described Key as ‘unflapppable’ and praised his skill at keeping everyone from panicking about the economic situation and global warming … seems he’s keeping us calm … he’s the opiate to our masses … we wanted a comforter and we voted in John Key.

    Papa Somniferum.

    relaaaaaaaaax …

  38. and come on..!..b.j..!

    one of the main arguments in the whispering campaign against bradford..

    was that she ‘would not go with national’..

    a stand..which in hindsight..in light of current/ongoing events..

    looks somewhat ‘wise’..


    and makes that whispering campaign all the worse..

    for being so so ‘wrong’..



  39. b.j..two things..

    1)..what on earth was ‘confrontational’ about my comment..?

    (re-reading it..i can’t see what you are complaining about..

    frog asked the question..

    i gave my answer..

    but the significant point is the second..

    and that also revolves around what b.j says is his concern..and what fly touched on..


    namely..that one of my major gripes about the greens under labour..

    was how ‘cheap’ it was for clark to buy their silence..

    how all those tools in the greens toolkit..the media access..the platform of parliament..

    were silenced/never used..

    and whereas i see the green politicians role is to raise hell about the crap coming down on us all..

    whenever/wherever possible..

    this did not happen ..for nine long years..

    ‘cos of ‘the understanding’ the greens had with labour..

    so..one ray of sunshine i saw in the last election result..

    was that..finally..the greens would be operating as an effective opposition party/voice for the environment..

    silly me..!..eh..?

    one thing you have to give key credit for..it that he learnt a lot from watching how clark did things..

    and then copied them..

    and yep..!..he has done as clark did..

    and has ‘silenced’ the greens..


    as clark did..he flicked them a couple of crumbs..

    ..and got his ‘memorandum of understanding’..

    end result..

    a future of the green party still doing the three monkeys impersonation..

    and really..b.j..

    if i start dwelling on that self-emasculation by the greens..

    i can actually get quite ‘confrontational’..

    so i had better stop here..

    i would be interested to hear if others think this muzzling of the green party..

    ..is a ‘good thing’..

    at a time (surely?) they should be screaming their heads off..?

    and you have to ask..



  40. I suppose it’s a matter of rejecting the restaurant that is well know for serving rats. Not only might you be suspicious of the chicken meat on your plate, you might also be concerned that the pot used to cook your plum duff, wasn’t washed well.

  41. I suppose too there is the feeling that were we to assist the Nats in ways that softened the perception of them; that we, for example, ran a successful home insulation programme that warmed the homes and hearts of all New Zealanders, the Nats would, cloaked by the warm woolly coat we made for them, bound wolf-like into a second term only to slash and burn, aided and abetted by us. If you catch my drift.

  42. Greefly

    I don’t think it has hurt us… but I haven’t seen the exact text either.

    I don’t know what we could have done that we have not done. We have what is (from my point of view) the worst of all possible elected governments doing what the hell it wants to do.

    …but agreeing to work with them on the things where we DO agree is little more than good sense. Given th sparse nature of that matrix I doubt that it has been a hindrance to us and given the nature of the government, I don’t see what better we might have gotten.

    I object however, to the basic premise of refusing in the first place to discuss or consider other arrangements ( unless WE are the ones with the 51% majority and in a position to dictate terms ).

    I resent the insinuations of some, that because I am willing to talk with/to people I don’t agree with on almost everything, that I therefore agree with them on everything. That sort of polarization is counterproductive. It is street politics, it is gang warfare… it has no place in parliamentary debate or the formation of government. If nothing else the discussions would have given us a chance to measure their intentions more clearly, or to help them understand their own divisions more clearly 🙂

    Playing confrontational politics like that made US look like the ones throwing toys from the cot. Some number of people will remember THAT at the next election, when they are trying to decide if we are to be trusted with the future of the country.

    Listening to National, and then taking the opportunity to publicly state the reasons we could not agree to their “terms” and must remain in opposition would have been a lot better education for the public. Phil likes the confrontational style. Notice how positively it affects our perception of HIS point of view? Even when I AGREE with him I have to argue.


  43. BJ – ‘our’ MOE is a coalition deal of sorts and could serve as an indicator of how a broader arrangement might have played out. Do you think we are making gains as a result? Is the country benefitting? Is it liberating for us or has it tied us down and hampered us in being an effective opposition?

  44. Thing is, I am also unwilling to swallow rats. I am however, willing to ask the waiter before deciding unilaterally that the only thing on the menu is rats. Even when I am pretty sure that is going to be the case, I will ASK.

    Reminds me of one of the stories about Rickover, back when he personally passed on every officer accepted to command a nuclear powered ship. He’d put them in a situation, like taking them for lunch. He would observe them… and if they salted their soup before tasting it, they’d get downticked. Wasn’t always that, but he insisted that actions be based on observed conditions, not assumptions.

    That’s an important lesson. Took me a while to understand it when I first heard it ( I was young once ).


  45. Phil

    Don’t be silly. I never described any sort of “deal” with National that would allow such things. What I DID say was that you don’t rule out talking to anyone before the election. Don’t rule out deals before you know what deals are on offer. This is scarcely “cohabitation”. You’re ruling out a cuppa and conversation.

    Nor is it necessary to compromise principles to make a deal, or to continue a deal if there was a demand from National to compromise them. If we had been included in this government, and I severely doubt we would have been, it would certainly have suffered a vote of no-confidence on any of a number of issues brought up to date.

    Would a Green presence have prevented those problems from ever occurring? We never will know. Personally I doubt we would have been offered anything useful and would have wound up in opposition in any case, as National had many alternatives to us, and we have to be their last choice of potential partner in government, but ruling out talking with them is not IMHO, a good strategy.

    So, right back at YOU Phil… why burn bridges before you get to them?

    You need any further explanations my belligerent interlocutor? I’ve explained this often enough.

    I worry about our appeal to the center, not our appeal to “National Voters”,


  46. i’m picking he wouldn’t be happy that nandor did not succeed him..

    i’m picking he wouldn’t be happy that sue bradford did not succeed fitzsimons’..

    i’m picking he would have laughed at the outburst from harawira..

    and i used to criticise him for being so strongly/verbally/publically anti-national..

    he seemed so adamant the core politics of national meant the nats and the greens could not be a match..

    and would publicly denigrate national party/voters..

    but he was right..

    this national govt has proved that fact..again..

    hands up those who can see green mp’s/ministers having ‘ministerial-responsibility’for..having to support..

    say..the privatising of acc..?

    ending the training allowance for sole-parents..?..etc..?..etc..?

    those who argue for cohabition with national..

    (i’m looking at you..b.j..!)

    they could do well to explain to us just how they could see this happening..?

    without the greens totally selling out on so much they ‘believe’ in..?


  47. We’re plummeting? We’re giving uncritical support? We’re infatuated?
    You can’t understand why we don’t give up the Green party? The ‘race card’?
    It is puzzling!

  48. I can’t understand why you people don’t give up the green party (gblog seems to have died) and just join the racist wing of the Maori Party. Your infatuation with Mr Hone Harawira … given, among other things, the his family history of the ‘treatment’ of mentally disturbed patients … is sadly indicative of moral relativism – which ultimately denies any moral progress.
    Aren’t you here supposed to be considering how Rod Donald would be reacting to the current environmental catastrophe that is the government, rather than giving uncritical support to a politician who uses the race card at the drop of a hat?
    No wonder you are plummeting in the polls.

  49. Rod did not understand the politic of dealing with helengrand Government issue by issue.
    Recently Green has managed this with our pink tie friend,
    and it is the only way forward.
    Eventually we will render even Rodney H for hubris, H for hypocrite, H for high minded Act we will render him down.

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