Chris Trotter laments the situation the Labour party finds itself in.
He has decided that the current Labour MPs are “not fit for purpose”.
Which is a fine sentiment, but misses the point that if he finds them unfit for purpose then there is little reason at all to vote for them, or for the Labour party.
Has Labour ever been so hopelessly lost? Has the path to electoral victory ever been so obscured? Starting from where they are now, how can they possibly get to where they need to be onÂ 20 September?
What is it? What is making it so hard for David Cunliffe and his party to get any sort of political traction?
The answer lies in Labourâ€™s caucus. Not only is a majority of the caucus profoundly unhappy with Cunliffe as their leader, it is also profoundly at odds with the Labour Party members who elected him. Labourâ€™s MPs are torn between their desire to occupy the Treasury benches â€“ and thus be free of the Partyâ€™s influence â€“ and the realisation that even becoming the government would only postpone the confrontation with the party that Cunliffeâ€™s election made inevitable.
Expressing the problem with maximum brutality: most of Labourâ€™s present crop of MPs are not fit for purpose. A handful are holdovers from the Rogernomics Era â€“ and thus reminders of the very worst period in Labourâ€™s history. More are the products of Helen Clarkâ€™s personal intervention in the candidate selection process; followers of a career-path that began in the student unions (or MFAT) and ended on the Prime Ministerâ€™s floor of the Beehive. The remainder are what emerges from the deeply compromised horse-trading that assembles Labourâ€™s Party List â€“ burnt out trade unionists and identity politicians.