My good friend Brian Edwards gives his 10 cents worth on Labour’s leadership struggle.
It would have been nice if the Labour Party caucus had just been able to get together and pick a new leader, following the departure of David Cunliffe. That would have been the tidy way of doing things â€“ a secret ballot, no dirty laundry washed in public, no protracted taking of soundings from all and sundry, no overt competition between the aspirants.
Letâ€™s not do that then! Too sensible. Too easy. Too quick. Too like the way the National Party does things. And look where that got them.
So when the unions and the membership and the caucus have been consulted and weighed up the respective merits of the four contenders, thereâ€™ll be a new leader ready to take on John Key and the Nats.
Not an easy job when three out of four New Zealand voters just made it crystal Â clear that they didnâ€™t want a bar of you. And even less easy when youâ€™ve just made it plain as a pikestaff to the electorate that no-one in your caucus stands out as the obvious, unchallengeable, next leader of the party. And certainly not Nanaia Mahuta, Andrew Little, Grant Robertson or David Parker.
Uh oh…all is not right in the Edwards household…perhaps the luncheon sausage ran out.
Itâ€™s not that theyâ€™re unintelligent or palpably untrustworthy or â€“ as far as we know â€“ have deep dark secrets waiting to emerge from the abyss like Kafkaâ€™s beetle. No, itâ€™s just that three of them are dull and the fourth is interesting for the wrong reason.
No X-factor, no pizzazz, no charisma, no capacity to generate excitement. Oh for a Kirk, a Lange, a Clark. Good lord, even Geoffrey Palmer could play the trumpet!
The Labour Leadership race made it to Nelson last night.
That’s the crowd.
We couldn’t get them off our screens and out of the newspapers last time this sideshow occurred. Â This time, they’re all quietly ‘listening’ to ‘their’ people.
In fact, one refused to talk to media altogether.
Where they did pop out of the woodwork, people were left stunned.
What Labour’s first Prime Minister, Michael Joseph Savage, would have thought of his party’s demise and recent squabbles is anyone’s guess, but David Parker felt the need to summon his spirit.
“He would be saddened by our loss of connection with working New Zealanders because the Labour Party was born of working men and women for working men and women,” he says.
Mr Parker says his message is simple â€“ he wants to reconnect the party with working people.
“… just like National”, he forgot to add.
From yesterday’s Back Chat.
How the NZ Herald reported the Labour Caucus support for the four leadership contenders.
“Support amongst Labour MPs for the party leadership has Grant Robinson just ahead of David Parker with 11 and 9 supporters respectively and both were some way ahead of Nanaia Mahuta and Andrew Little with 6 supporters each”.
How it should have been reported.
66% of the Labour Caucus don’t want Robertson, 72% don’t want Parker, 81% don’t want Mahuta and 81% don’t want Little.
Which is totally true.
The bottom line is this for Labour…they are rooted, their caucus highly factionalised and at war with each other and the party is similarly fractured.
All a new leader will do is add a very thin veneer to the crumbling facade of a party that seems it won’t make it to its centenary.
The whole article from Audrey Young read as a space filler for the paper after an advertiser cancelled a spot.
Basically it can be summed up as a summary of mediocre and less than talented troughers all trying and failing to get a majority in caucus. Â But with the picture placement it certainly looks like we know where the Herald stands on the leadership debate. They had a lovely photo of two young vibrant socialists who look to have been untroubled in their lives by pesky things like having to have had a real job. Read more »
Another media driven NationalÂ hit piece. Â This time on behalf of
Andrew Little the unions.
Following on from the story earlier today how Mediaworks are making the government look bad on purpose, here is an example of a press release, followed by promoting ONE labour leader constestant’s web site, and absolutely not declaration of the source, balancing comment or any attempt at making it look anything except a paid-for piece… or at least a personal favour?
In the interest of critiquing, let’s have a look at it in total:
If there’s one thing the Labour leadership contenders agree on, it’s that the Labour Party needs to change.
And there is your problem. Â For each candidate to stand out and make a clear difference over the other, they have to artificially come up with different ways to “fix” Labour.
During this year’s campaign, Mr Robertson said it was obvious Labour had lost its connection with people.
“We need a new generation of leadership, we need to do things differently,” he said.
“Labour must be a voice in the community every single day, not just when we show up at election time asking for a vote.”
Labour must campaign 3 years.
Ms Mahuta said Labour needs to have honest conversations within its membership.
“Only 25 per cent of people that voted for us and believed in the message that we had,” she said.
“This is about how greater New Zealand responds to who we are and what we stand for, and whether or not we’re listening to them.”
Let the Labour Party members tell us what to do.
Mr Parker said Labour’s spent far too much time over the last six years talking about itself.
“If we can agree on a unity of purpose, we will get strength and confidence from it and success will breed success and people will come back to us.”
Labour needs to figure out what it stands for. Â Read more »
It appears that Jacinda Ardern is a little sensitive about her one page CV and lack of real world experience.
She has gone all snippy and declared that she is just like Pauline Hansen from Australia and has worked in a fish and chip shop.
Labour MP Jacinda Ardern has rejected a “beltway babies” jibe, saying she’s “worked longer in a fish and chip shop than as a parliamentary staffer”.
Ardern has thrown her support behind Grant Robertson’s party leadership bid, with Robertson saying he wanted her as deputy leader should he win.
The deputy is decided by the caucus, but the MP recommended by the leader is often chosen.
The other leadership contenders – David Parker, Andrew Little and Nanaia Mahuta – have ruled out picking a deputy before the leadership vote in mid-November.
At an event in Auckland yesterday, Wellington Central MP Robertson announced Ardern was his pick for deputy should he become leader.
“She connects with a broad range of New Zealanders, lives and breathes our values, and has driven bold and new policy for children,” he said.
“I would be proud to serve with her.” Â Read more »
Ok so the name that they’ve come up with for a gay man and childless single woman to lead Labour is…”Gracinda”.
I mean seriously?
These people with single page CVs of nothing jobs and a lifetime in the trough are wanting to lead a party called “Labour”…I doubtÂ either of them have ever had a callous on their hands from using a shovel or doing some other sort of “Labour”.
Bryce Edwards is drinking the Koolaid.
The dynamic duo of Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern – now termed ‘Gracinda’ on social media – could well be the Labour Party’s best bet for recovering from its 2014 electoral nadir. The two are probably the most dynamic of the leadership candidates on offer, and have real talent. There will be a strong temptation among the membership to choose their ‘new generation’ message. But there are also some major problems with putting ‘Camp Robertson’ in charge of Labour. While they might have more style than their counterparts, some commentators are pointing to their lack of substance as being a worry for the party’s future.