Labour party

Little’s first challenge: how to arrange his “talent”

He’s putting a brave face on it, but he’s really got very few options.

New Labour leader Andrew Little is not revealing which roles Labour Party members will take, but says there no guarantee they will keep them.

Mr Little says he’s been “having very good conversations with every caucus member” to determine who takes on which role.

However, they may not be the people who take the party into the 2017 election, he told The Nation today.

The party was trying to achieve and fresh look and harness the talent it had.

“I may play the role of the coach and say hey listen lets try some people in new slots. Lets try some combinations, but listen we may well come to review those.”

The party had new members and wanted to try others in senior roles, Mr Little said.

“Lets try them out while we’ve got a bit of an opportunity to do that, but by the end of next year, two years out from the election, lets crystalise who the team will be that will take us charging into 2017.”

“Try them out” is a nice way of saying he’s got no clue, and he’s going to just go with the flow right now. ¬†There are a lot of tensions, lot of expectations, and still some quite unrealistic ambitions that he has to accommodate. ¬†It’s a hospital pass, really. ¬† Who wants to be the leader of a party that had it’s worst defeat in almost a century? ¬† Some of it must be down to poor and worn out talent – but Little doesn’t seem to have the stones to do what it takes and take the rotten apples out of the barrel.

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Armstrong on Little

John is so fed up with all the go-nowhere Labour leaders over the last few years, he’s altogether too excited about the fact that Andrew Little appears to have made no mistakes yet in the first 48 hours.

Can Andrew Little pull Labour out of the mire in which it is stuck so deeply – and from which it is going to find it immensely difficult to extricate itself?

Little has been in his party’s top job for all of four days and has hardly got his feet under his new desk. Yet anyone who has been watching him since his victory in the party-wide leadership ballot would have found it hard not to conclude that if someone can succeed where his immediate predecessors failed in such spectacular fashion, then Little is that someone.

Why? Gut feeling as much as anything. Because when it comes to leadership of a major political party, you either have the goods or you don’t.

Observing Little’s handling of questions at two press conferences this week, it was apparent he had made the transition from the relative obscurity of Labour’s middle-bench to the harsh spotlight of leadership with absolute ease. He was assured, relaxed and unflappable. He gave straight and simply-worded answers to questions which demanded them.

Little’s hardly been under pressure yet. ¬†Let’s see how he handles parliament. ¬†Let’s see how he handles a scandal among his ranks. ¬† Read more »

Labour’s Helensville candidate busted for anti-semitic Facebook post


Corie Haddock was Labour’s Helensville candidate at the¬†last election, he also¬†works for Lifewise (more on that later)

On 13 November he posted this anti-semitic message on Facebook.


He got busted. ¬† Read more »

The problem with St Helen…she isn’t

Helen Clark wants the top UN job

I’ve noticed a few things about Labour, but the one thing that sticks out is the absolute deference they all hold towards Helen Clark.

I despise her politics, but am mature enough to recognise a superb politician.

Helen Clark took over the labour party when it was in disarray, she withstood a coup attempt and ruled the party with an iron fist for 15 years.

She moulded the party into her likeness and the two became synonymous.

The labour party was Helen Clark and Helen Clark was the Labour party.

That was Labour’s strength and it was also its Achilles heel.

Eventually the voters tired of her and Labour lost to John Key’s National party.

Now this is where it gets interesting.¬† Read more »

We picked the sherrif, but we don’t wanna pick his deputy

Grant Robertson has retired hurt

In the hurricane of media that accompanied Andrew Little’s elevation – inevitable with any new leader – it would be easy to overlook runner-up Grant Robertson sitting stunned in the eye of the storm.

Yet Little’s next steps now become crucial. Handling Robertson and the party’s “second power base” will be a key issue for Little as he puts his new team together.

In the immediate aftermath of Little’s win Robertson understandably expressed disappointment.

He had, after all, won 56 per cent of the caucus, 55 per cent of the party membership and it was only Little’s status with the affiliated unions (and perhaps an echo of the gay-shy stance of some unionists evident during the 2013 run-off) that thwarted his second bid for leader.

But he expected the union vote to go against him, and Little’s three-to-one advantage with the handful of private sector unions affiliated to Labour was in line with feedback both camps had received.

What must have surprised Robertson’s camp was the unexpectedly low vote from his fellow MPs. His lieutenants were expecting him to clean up by about 21-11 on a two-man preferred basis, with most if not all David Parker’s second preferences going his way.

We’ve seen the photos. ¬†Grant and Cindy were devastated. ¬†But now comes the hard part. ¬†Because of Grant’s lower than expected support in caucus, he may not end up as deputy leader. ¬† Read more »

Josie Pagani on Andrew Little’s challenges

Josie Pagani has some sound advice for Andrew Little.

I bet he doesn’t listen though, but he really needs to.

How many times have we seen shots of Labour party leaders declaring unity while standing in front of caucus members, smiling the kind of smile you produce by sucking air through your teeth?

Labour doesn’t need more protests of unity. It needs more open debate.

People used to join the Labour party for the policy fights. A contest of ideas was how you sorted  good ideas from bad. Achievements like paid parental leave and the nuclear free policy were achieved only after advocates won the argument; Unity was earned by debate, not by shutting debate down and pretending there was no diversity of opinion on these issues.

You can’t have a contest of ideas unless you accept into the fold people with a range of views, and celebrate ideological breadth. Bill Rowling and David Lange were both early sceptics of the nuclear free policy; yet today publicly arguing for a minority position within the party is mistaken for disloyalty.

So Andrew Little’s first challenge is to change this culture.

That is so true. Labour has this tug the forelock, doff the cloth cap, kneel in obeisance to the leader mentality that was beaten into them by Helen Clark and her stasi-like control of internal party debate. Those attitudes now need to be beaten out of them.

The 600,000 people who voted Labour a few months ago had nothing to do with this leadership contest. Most didn’t care because the election purported to be a contest between fifty shades of beige: ¬†‚Äėfairness‚Äô and ‚Äėopportunity for all‚Äô as if anyone in Labour is in favour of unfairness and opportunity only for a wealthy few.

The exception was David Parker and Andrew Little differing over capital gains tax and the retirement age. Andrew Little wants to jettison Labour’s election policies on those issues. He will now have to respond to Parker’s question – if not a CGT, then what? Not forgetting the CGT is more popular in the polls than Labour right now.

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Ex Political Party strategist on Andrew Little

Wrongly Wrongson the Blogger formerly known as Martin Martyn used to be employed as a Strategist for both the Mana Party and the Internet Party. His political advice and expertise was highly sought after and people like Kim Dotcom were happy to pay for his pearls of wisdom and his strategy documents. The irony of course is for years he has been trying to tell people how to kill off the Act party, which is still in parliament, and he almost singlehandedly killed off the Mana party.

As it turns out he got it all wrong. Really wrong, 100% totally and utterly wrong but he hasn’t let this stop him sharing his pearls of wisdom on the appointment of Andrew Little as Labour Leader.

As usual his disdain for the average Kiwi voter  is dripping off every paragraph.

His misery and sarcasm is a joy to read as it tells me two things. One he will not be employed any time soon, in any way by the Labour Party ( which is a great pity ) and two, his Blog which is funded directly by the Unions, if it is not already in a financially precarious situation, soon will be, given his criticism of the Unions choice, Andrew Little.

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Wrongly Wronson has a history of burning his bridges. My favourite one is when he upset Radio New Zealand. It wasn’t a permanent ban but as usual he so bitterly condemned his former employer that he hasn’t been invited back since.

When I read his latest post I smelled smoke and heard the crackle of kindling.





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Chin up lefties, it’s not quite as bad as you all think

Everyone on the left, apart from a few unions, are in the doldrums. ¬†They’ve just replaced a terrible leader with a worse one. ¬†But the optimists are trying get everyone to look at the bright side. ¬†Says¬†one pinko commentator

I have been thinking about this overnight and to be honest I think there are actually a lot of positives from a Little leadership:

  • the guy took a Union who was having massive infighting problems and whipped them into shape. His climb to the top of that job is infamous for the way in which it was done, heads were trampled on and feelings were not spared. This is¬†exactly¬†what the Labour party needs.
  • Little isn‚Äôt beholden to factions: so Little was dead last in the¬†caucus vote. What this also means is that a number of ‚Äúdead wood‚ÄĚ Labour MPs who perhaps should have left the building by now could find themselves shepherded closer to that exit door.¬†Little owes very few people in the¬†caucus his leadership so he can afford to be brutal.
  • His name isn‚Äôt David.
  • Bomber is already crying into his cargo shorts, so this can only be a good thing. Read more »

An evening with Julia Gillard

I went to listen to Julia Gillard last night with Mum. It was enjoyable. Mum like me is a conservative but she appreciates women in positions of power and what we can learn from them. I didn’t agree with Julia’s position on ‘Affirmative action’ to get women into politics. Affirmative action whether applied to race or sex is reverse discrimination in my opinion and my Mum agrees.

My Mother heads a very large business and she built it from the ground up. She earned the respect she now commands and nothing was handed to her on a platter. We both find the idea of ‘ giving ‘ women a quota disrespectful to women’s abilities. As far as I know Julia Gillard got to the top job on merit yet she doesn’t expect other women to achieve what she achieved in the same way.To be fair I think her real problem was the number of women currently in Politics. She reasoned that if only a few are in it then that reduces the chances of a leader being a woman. Sure it does but it also ensures that when women like her and Helen Clark do make the top job,they will be more than equipped to handle it. As she said last night, Politics is an adversarial environment. Julia made it very clear that she did not think as some women do, that more women in Politics would make the environment more consensual. She believes that you should fight passionately for what you believe in and she makes no apology for doing that.

That aside, Julia had plenty of pertinent things to share with the audience and some of it was very relevant to why I am so excited about Freed.

She pointed out how the Media in Australia had become Protagonists in Politics instead of interested observers reporting on the action. Julia herself described some of the ways in which she was attacked in the media and media campaigns against her.

During the evening Julia’s world famous Misogyny speech¬† was discussed so I just had to watch it today. It was a very well structured and argued speech. Her experience as a lawyer was obvious as she used evidence to build her case with skill. I appreciate a good speech or debate because I understand the techniques used to make it good and the skill required to deliver it effectively. When I was at primary school we had a speech competition every year at every level. My brother made his first speech at only 5 years old. I was 9 when I started at that school and I took part every year until I was 12 and won every competition. At High School I won every year bar one when I came second to a guy called Grant who went on to become a lawyer.


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Gower backstabs Little less than 24 hours in the job

No love from TV3 Labour cheerleaders over Little it seems

Labour’s preferential voting system, combined with the backing of three-quarters of the union vote, saw Mr Little sneak through in what 3 News political editor Patrick Gower is calling “the great union ripoff”.

“It’s a backdoor takeover by the unions. Simply, Andrew Little would not be Labour leader without the unions,” Gower said on Firstline this morning.

“He is the unions’ man; Little is a union man, and the unions have got their man into Labour’s top job.”

Gower says it’s ironic after trying “almost too hard” to give men and women an equal say ‚Äď the ultimately doomed ‘man ban’ ‚Äď that a small group of “union blokes” have effectively chosen the party’s new leader.

“Most of those delegates, according to one of the most senior sources in the Labour Party, are men‚Ķ It’s just six unions out of about 150-odd in New Zealand. Just six of them get to have their say over this, and five of them actually rely on delegates ‚Äď the union bosses, the union chiefs, the union heavies. They say who they want.”

Having known Mr Little for 15 years, Gower says he represents a change in tack for the party, which has seen its share of the vote drop for three consecutive general elections.

“He is a straight-shooter, he speaks really directly, there won’t be any of this flowery language or hesitation or showmanship that we’ve seen from previous Labour leaders. The reality is he’s a hard bugger, and he’s going to need all of it to really crack some heads in that Labour Party and to take on John Key.”

What follows next is quite gob smacking – Gower undermines Little, who isn’t even 24 hours in the job – and puts his support behind a reworked Grant/Jacinda ticket Read more »