Labour is really battling this week and it is showing. Patrick Gower follows on from Garners larrup yesterday with a hit out of his own. If it wasn’t bad enough that there is massive caucus ill will at the moment Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill is causing anguish in the base:
The gay marriage bill has started to tear the Labour Party to pieces.
Labour’s Mangere MP Sua William Sio has basically called for a divorce from the bill, saying it should be withdrawn – because it could cost the party the next election.
Yes, that’s right – Sio says the bill could cost Labour an election.
And you can’t really fault Sua’s logic: he says it will wipe out the Pacific vote in South Auckland – that’s Labour’s heartland, that’s where it wins elections.
As Sio told Radio NZ this morning: “There are weightier and more pressing issues, like holding John Key to account for the weakening economy and the lack of jobs – and that’s where our priority ought to be.”
Now that has to hurt David Shearer, who is out shaking hands in Nelson today trying to woo provincial voters back to Labour – while Labour’s stronghold in South Auckland is burning.
I’m not sure Su’a William Sio is properly briefed on the latest polling data that I have seen. I suspect he is talking out of his arse. If he does know then he is simply causing unnecessary animosity to a caucus that is obviously strained. Not only that I suspect Su’a will have had his arse kicked for overshadowing his boss’ yawn inducing speech today.
Meanwhiule Duncan Garners hand greandae has gone off in the left blogsphere and online with comments like this being left everywhere:
Duncan, you’ve been listening to Trevor again. Like when he lied to you about the Shearer/Cunliffe vote. He’s been doing numbers for Grant in the last week or two. This must be his attempt to hobble the opposition ahead of trying to roll Shearer. All he’s doing is hobbling Labour. He needs to go.
All the notable (I know) left wing blogs are now commenting ont eh stoush and all seem to be blaming Trevor Mallard and Grant Robertson for this bursting out of the caucus room. Chris Trotter has written about the “unfortunate experiment” again:
The cynical calculation that persuaded Mr Cunliffe’s enemies to unite behind Mr Shearer in December 2011 has delivered a very paltry harvest. The public was prepared to give Labour’s new boss a fair go at growing into a credible Opposition leader, but their patience isn’t endless. Above all other things, a political leader must be a communicator – and Mr Shearer isn’t. Not surprisingly, the major public opinion polls are all now registering declining levels of public support for both Mr Shearer and his party.
To gain some idea of just how poor a communicator Mr Shearer is, pay a visit to the NZ on Screen website and watch the 1973 interview of Labour Leader and Prime Minister, Norman Kirk, by the celebrated British broadcaster, David Frost. Not only does “Big Norm” speak in fully-formed sentences, unpunctuated by umms, errs and you-knows, but with the calm assurance and persuasive eloquence that only a person in absolute command of his facts, his thoughts, his convictions and, most importantly, himself, is able to project.
He too calls for Mallard’s head:
If Labour is to be saved, then its younger MPs must not resist but make common cause with Mr Cunliffe. This is the only alliance that holds out the slightest hope for a renewal of the party’s purpose and the rebirth of its fighting spirit. Mr Robertson and his friends have time on their side: they, unlike the political movement to which they have devoted their lives, can afford to wait.
The Labour Caucus has nothing to lose but Trevor Mallard.
Mallard is certainly looking like the fall guy. The problem he has is that he has angered so many Nats over the years that any attempt to try and lobby for diplomatic posting to his preferred locations would be met with utter contempt. If it was up to me I would send him off shore but to places he can’t pronounce…like Thwitherland, Thweden, Thamoa or Thwathiland.
Frankly I wonder if Shearer has the stones to arrange his de-selection.
Happy times though for us ont eh right watching the blood bath boil over in public. Happy days indeed.