The big news circulating Wellington and now Auckland is that Len Brown’s Chief Political Advisor and campaign supremo Conor Roberts has accepted a job as Corporate Affairs Manager for Todd Property Group.
This seems like a curious move however it seems to meet someone’s objectives on many levels:
First, the obvious line that Farrar has picked up on that Conor Roberts wants a political career. He’s smart enough, or has a smart enough advisor, to realise that he needs some real world experience to balance his political experience. The Labour party is bereft of people who have connections with the business sector so it makes sense for Conor to go to a corporate, one that is headed by a right-winger like Evan Davies. Conor is also ably assisted by James Bews-Hair who now seems to like Roberts so he will no doubt assist him in making the right sort of career moves, and hopefully get rid of some of Conor’s lofty, lefty belief system.
Second, this clears most of the left wing influence out of Len’s office. Bews-Hair knows that moving Roberts into the Todd Property role also removes an impediment to good ol right wing sensibilities and influence. While Farrar likes to think that Roberts is a right winger having been in Len’s office through the Maritime Union disputes the truth is Roberts has been wracked with guilt over what he did to his Labour comrades.
Third, Bews-Hair doesn’t have that many friends left in Labour so it will be very useful for him to have a rising star under his wing who is heavily indebted to him
Fourth, Evan Davies (head of Todd Property and former head of Sky City) is a good mate (and former boss) of Bews-Hair. In Roberts, Davies gets a good political operator (albeit a bit of a wet one) and later a tame rising star. That makes Davies indebted to Bews-Hair as well. To be fair, Bews-Hair had to find a replacement for Sifa Taumoepeau who he took off Davies to install back into Sky City.
Fifth, Bews-Hair gets to enjoy the fun of having turned Auckland-based Corporate and Government Relations into his own personal chessboard. There’s a fair few people who are now indebted to Bews-Hair for manouvreing them into useful positions.
The trade unions that Bews-Hair hates will be so confused by this move but there are plenty of others who will work it out.
Perhaps Hooton and i-Predict should run the long term odds on CR. Pinko backs him to be the next Steven Joyce! On the Left Conor Roberts is likely to be a future political power broker. He is pretty useful in his own right and has the added bonus of his mate, James Bews-Hair, lurking in the shadows.