Chris Trotter writes an impassioned post about the ‘game changer’ appointment of Matt McCarten as Chief of Staff to David Cunliffe.
â€śMATT McCARTEN? CHIEF OF STAFF! SERIOUSLY?â€ťÂ How many times have those words been spoken in the past 48 hours? Sometimes with barely suppressed excitement; other times in barely suppressed fury; but most of the time in a tone of utter disbelief that the speaker made no attempt to suppress at all.
The New Zealand Left suddenly finds itself in the position of the dog who caught the car. For years, slagging off the Labour Party as a bunch of neoliberal sell-outs has been one of the Leftâ€™s favourite pub and parlour games. But now, with one of this countryâ€™s most effective left-wing campaigners just one door down from the Leader of the Labour Opposition, the Left, like the bewildered pooch for whom the fun was always in the chase, has finally got what it wanted and must decide what to do with it.
That bewilderment had better not last too long. Because unless David Cunliffe and Matt McCarten start talking with unprecedented clarity about whatâ€™s wrong with New Zealand, what changes need to be made, and how Labour proposes to make them, then the Rightâ€™s political narrative â€“ that Labour under Cunliffe has executed a lunatic lurch to the extreme Left â€“ will be the story that sticks.Â Read more »