I can exclusively reveal to my three readers that, despite all appearances to the contrary, there are two Chris Trotters! It's hard to believe but I have irrefutable truth that the well known political commentator is, in fact, two people.

Chris Trotter 1 writing on his blog Bowalley Road yesterday was urging Labour leader Phil Goff to 'reset the course of New Zealand social democracy'.

But a just few weeks earlier,on the same blog, Chris 2 was attacking Phil Goff for dismissing Labour's traditional social democratic principles!

Wrote Chris 2:

Listening to Radio New Zealand-National’s "Focus on Politics" yesterday evening, I was incensed and depressed, but I can’t honestly say surprised, to hear Phil Goff dismiss Labour’s founding objective – "the socialisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange" as "nineteenth century history."

It got worse, with Phil adding ideological insult to historical injury by declaring that the modern Labour Party believed "a well-functioning market system is the most effective and efficient way of organising an economy". Yes, he was willing to "recognise market failure", but only to the extent of ensuring "an adequate level of regulation".

So while Chris 1 is urging big Phil to rediscover social democracy Chris 2 is attacking Goff for embracing neoliberalism !

Clearly such diametrically opposed political viewpoints cannot be the work of just one Chris Trotter- there must be two of them! Has he been cloned or does he have a twin? Or does he have a doppelganger?

Perhaps the two Trotters should get together and see if they can work out a consistent political position. Clearly they are both all over the shop when it comes to the Labour Party.


  1. Really Steve, a little intellectual honesty would not go amiss on your blogsite.

    Yes, I was sharply critical of Phil Goff for his comments to Radio NZ's Brent Edwards. And yes, I pointed out the historical and economic inaccuracies contained in those comments.

    But, no, I did not call for Phil to go, nor for his party comrades to sack him. What I said was:

    "If it is your view, Phil, that the quest for democratic socialism should be dismissed as something belonging to "nineteenth century history", then I say: "The hell with you!"

    And, to the members of the NZ Labour Party I say: 'Find yourselves a new leader.'"

    That is a conditional - not a categorical - statement, Steve, and after spending the best part of three days at Labour's annual conference, I am satisified that, in practical terms, Phil Goff continues to embrace the fundamental principles of Labour's social democratic ideology.

    It's pity you weren't there too, Steve, because had you attended (even as an observer)you could not have been able to write such a very silly posting, either in regard to myself, Phil Goff, or the Labour Party generally.

    One of these days you should try stepping outside that curiously closed little world of yours and take a look at what's actually happening in New Zealand.

    Ideological certitude undoubtedly confers a measure of emotional comfort, but it is no substitute for critically investigating real world politics.

  2. So Chris, could you point us to a public statement where Goff has said that he IS on a quest for democratic socialism? I'm a bit confused.

    Or are "democratic socialism" and "social democracy" now synonyms amongst the Labour faithful? We've all grown tired of minor Labourites get their little frisson from using the word "socialist" when applied to themselves, but no (former) cabinet minister has dared to do that in public for quite some time... They wouldn't like to scare the horses, which seems to be Goff's sole political mantra.

  3. I agree with Declarity - I haven't heard Goff mention 'democratic socialism' once.

    I little intellectual honesty would not go amiss, Mr Trotter.


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