The Labour Party is about to elect a new president after Moira Coatsworth retired. Labour desperately need a new president of the same quality as Mike “Fat Tony” Williams, New Zealand’s best political shakedown artist.
The most important role of any party president is to raise fund and build a war chest for the election campaign. Successive Labour presidents have failed abjectly, thinking fundraising was beneath them.
Andrew Little and Moira Coatsworth were both useless at fundraising, and as “Fat Tony” keeps saying, they have to ask if they want to get.
The two contenders are highly, if somewhat misguided, regarded union thug Robert Gallagher and Auckland University Professor Nigel Haworth.
Robert Gallagher has long been considered a man coming in the union thug wing of the party. He is known for his extremely abrasive personality and willingness to fight for even the most trivial point to the bitter end.
Rumour has it that the only reason he is running is because he wants to get his missus Carol Beaumont back into parliament as she is never going to get a job that pays as well as MP.
At least Gallagher recognises the role of fundraiser.
He would not set out what he believed the priorities were in the role, saying it was something he’d be addressing with party members. However, he agreed fundraising was an important factor.
The over-riding impression from Labour people is that he is dreadfully boring, rather dogmatic on minute points and certainly is no agent for change, in fact he is not even an agent.