Simon Wilson, the editor of Metro, has an editorial about Phil Goff which seems to suggest that this hard core lefty is not that enamoured by the prospect of Phil Goff taking the mayoralty.
He even starts the article by paraphrasing the age old question that if Phil Goff is the answer then it must have been a silly question.
The mayoral election will be on us next year, which means the serious candidates should be walking among us now. So far, we’ve got precisely one: Phil Goff, the only man in Auckland who can keep a smile pasted to his face for longer than Len Brown. His intentions are not official, but they’re clear.
Brown himself continues to suggest he’s standing again. “Got it in the bag,” he declares to anyone who asks. Is he deluding himself? Or perhaps he knows he can’t announce his retirement yet because that would undermine his ability to keep doing the job for the year to come.
We’ve said it before: Len Brown will be thought of quite well by history. He’s the leader who gave voice to the reinvention of Auckland. He has wrangled a working majority on council across party lines and through two terms, in an environment where a lot of people want him to fail.
He has also presided over a steady rise in the quality of our top city officials. He inherited a lot of the CCO leaders and other key people from the old councils and central government appointments, but since the early days of the supercity Auckland’s civic leadership has grown stronger and more effective. Brown’s CEO Stephen Town is the most influential person in all that, but Town couldn’t be as effective if Brown stood in his way.
Still, Len Brown will not remain our mayor. Whatever his achievements, he’s unelectable. He lacks popular credibility, he lacks party and organisational support (Labour supports Phil Goff for the job) and he lacks financial support. All those people Brown thinks are telling him he’s their guy? They’re just being polite.
Besides, Len Brown has run out of puff. He’s not out front on the reinvention of the city anymore, but scurrying around in the background. Whether it’s the future of our port (see page 42), the intensification of housing or proposals for a new east/west freight connection, he has been, at best, muddled. He will do his own cause — the creation of a great “liveable” city — no good by clinging to the illusion that he can win again.
Read more »