Privately Labour MPs don’t think they can win the election. Publicly they are all macho and putting on the face of ebulliance…but it is rather hollow.
After 3 dreadful polls showing that the party’s choice for leader hasn’t worked as they thought it would. Ther eis no great hankering for a top end of town trickster masquerading as an unreconstituted trade unionist from the 1950s.
Tracy Watkins picks up this dissonance.
Scratch beneath the bravado Â in Labour these days and you will find a pessimist.
Blame it on the weather or a shortened barbecue season, but Labour MPs seem already to be doubting the prospect of a Labour win. Even the optimists donâ€™t much bother to pretend they believe in Labour overtaking National any more. They argue instead that with the Greens votes they donâ€™t need to.
It may be politics as MMP intended it but it is still a long way removed from the mindset that reigned in Labour under Helen Clark.
Clarkâ€™s focus first and foremost was to amass the most votes to give herself a strong hand in post-election negotiations.
Her alliance with the Greens was at best uneasy, and at its worst acrimonious. You didnâ€™t have to be a mind reader to figure out that relations between Miss Clark and Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons were at an all time low on the 2002 campaign trail. Miss Clarkâ€™s body language during the televised debates said it all.
Constantly torn by the dilemma of whether to sidle up to the Greens or cannibalise their vote, Labourâ€™s relationship with the Greens remains the source of internal party soul searching.
But it has been a long time since the polls delivered a scenario where Labour could do without them.Â Read more »