Phil Quin notes that there appear to be many in side Labour who are playing political chess when they are more suited to playing checkers.
Leaked revelations of a dispute between Labourâs Te Tai Tokerau candidate Kelvin Davis and the partyâs Head Office over a proposed negative campaign against Hone Harawira and Kim Dotcom have been used as evidence of Davis going rogue. Â In truth, the documents show a candidate engaged in nothing more sinister than garden variety electioneering; of trying to win a tough political fight. The tone of the news coverage appears to align with the political objectives of whoever furnished the leaks to begin with: to shut Davis up, and and his campaign operation down.
A more intriguing, as well as troubling, aspect of the leaked emails from Labour’s General Secretary Tim Barnett suggests someone is telling porkies about the party’s Maori seat strategy, not to mention understating its eagerness to figuratively wade in Kim Dotcom’s pool.
In sharp contrast to comments David Cunliffe made as recently as last Tuesday, Barnett prohibits the Labour campaign in Te Tai Tokerau from campaigning against the Internet Mana Party which he casts as a “progressive” ally. Â Cunliffe, meanwhile, repeatedly told Radio Live’s Duncan Garner that Labour was âabsolutely notâ doing a deal with the Internet Mana Party, and that âwe are backing Kelvin Davis to win in the North.â Â And yet we now know, just a few weeks earlier, Secretary Barnett was telling the Davis campaign team to refrain from âpicking fightsâ with Harawira and Dotcom. Â There shouldn’t be any doubt about what Barnett is advocating here: since âpicking fightsâ with opponents is the very stuff of elections, Barnett is effectively instructing Davis to ârun deadâ rather than actually campaign to win in Te Tai Tokerau.
At best, this suggests Mr Barnett does not stand by his leader’s oft-repeated mantra that Labour intends to contest all seven Maori seats, including Te Tai Tokerau. Â At worst, it calls into question whether any such strategy ever existed.
We are witnessing yet more attempts at three dimensional chess by people far better suited to checkers.