Matt McCarten

Laila Harré rejoins Labour, putting the dirty politics crew back together

Laila Harre

Labour is putting their dirty politics crew back together with Laila Harré announcing she is rejoining Labour and seeking nominations.

Rumours have been flying around for days and earlier yesterday we put it out there.

It was no surprise then that Andrea Vance, one of Nicky Hager’s go to media peeps, suddenly had an exclusive:

After 30 odd years, Laila Harre has re-joined the Labour Party – and she wants to be a Labour candidate at next year’s election.

“It’s been a while. It’s really great to be back,” says Ms Harre, who first joined Labour in 1982 at the tender age of 15.

It has been a varied, roller-coaster ride of a political career since then.   Read more »

Sledge of the Day

Judith

Judith Collins wins the internet for a day:

Most politicians offered at least some praise for Cunliffe: Labour leader Andrew Little said he would “leave a gap in terms of our intellectual firepower”, while Prime Minister John Key described him as “obviously a talented guy”.

However, Collins – who slated Cunliffe as a moron after the 2014 election – was less positive when asked for comment on his announcement.

“I’m trying to think of something nice to say – well, he was really helpful in the 2014 election campaign for us.”   Read more »

Well well… McCarten’s being paid from Little’s parliamentary taxpayer funded budget

Labour are dancing on the head of a pin for the funding of their Auckland campaign “Outreach” office.

Labour leader Andrew Little has defended the taxpayer-funded salary of a top Labour campaign strategist, saying he will not be campaigning.

Rather, chief of staff Matt McCarten will be paid out of Little’s taxpayer-funded leader’s budget to run a new Auckland office, from which he will manage Little’s “public outreach” programme.

Asked to describe the difference to campaigning, Little said his weekly outreach work programme involved “meeting with all sorts of people, right across New Zealand”.

Little’s Leader’s Budget is provided by Parliamentary Services to help fund his parliamentary duties as the Leader of the Opposition.

That does include consulting with the electorate, and communicating certain parts of the party’s policies with the public.

Read more »

Maybe the union boss is just a poor employer?

Andrew Little has massive staffing issues.

Rob Hosking at NBR reports:

Perhaps Labour Party leader Andrew Little is one of those employers who can’t get locals to do the hard work for him.

They won’t do the difficult jobs, they want too much money, and they take drugs.

How else to explain the Labour Party’s inability to attract good staff?

How indeed? Are we to seriously believe that the heads of various affliate unions have no interest in being the Chief of Staff? No comms staff at various unions want to work for Andrew Little?

Seriously, though, the exodus of staff from the Labour Party’s office is causing quite a bit of comment but I think a lot of the comment misses the point.

Normally, who gets what job in Wellington is only of minimal interest, apart from a few jobs such as prime minister, minister of finance, Reserve Bank governor, leader of the opposition, etcetera,

At least, that is, for the most well-grounded readers of NBR ONLINE.

But the run of exit interviews Labour Party leader Andrew Little is being forced to undertake is causing much busy speculation.   Read more »

Another moment of clarity for Danyl

Danyl at Dimpost has another moment of clarity, the second time in a week.

I have no idea what’s happened in Andrew Little’s office, or why his Chief of Staff has stepped down. I haven’t even heard plausible rumours. But I keep reading these takes in which McCarten shifting back to Auckland is somehow ‘good news for Labour’ or ‘a smart strategic move’. It is neither of these things. Being without a Chief of Staff AND a Communications Director less than a year from the start of an election campaign is not smart, or strategic, it is a catastrophically bad position for a political party to be in: a harbinger of doom.

Those senior staffer positions are stressful. People burn out, or get fed up, or just want to do something else with their lives. But the Opposition Leader’s Chief of Staff is in line to become the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, who is one of the most powerful people in the country. It is a position a professional political operative willingly step downs from about as frequently as an Opposition Leader willingly steps down, ie pretty much never.

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Little impresses, but apparently he’s been set up to fail

via One News

via One News

Cam’s very good friend Brian Edwards has come out of retirement to praise his golden boy:

Having of late been more critical than approving of Andrew Little’s efforts in television interviews I now come to praise him: he handled a lengthy and confrontational interview with the terrier-like Lisa Owen on ‘The Nation’ exceptionally well. His ums, ers and y’knows were gone, he was fluent, his eye contact was sustained and he looked confident. The interview should have been a winner.

Uh oh. Should? I can feel an ill wind… Read more »

Little is too grumpy, non-prime-ministerial, in charge of a wet fart

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Part of the mission of getting voters to see Labour as an alternative government means getting them to see Little as a potential Prime Minister. The polls show there is some way to go – Little is consistently outstripped by NZ First leader Winston Peters.

Part of that is familiarity. Little is yet to embark on his full charm offensive of the nation, so people are still operating on first impressions based on soundbites on the news.

In that respect, Little has taken to blunt talking. His first encounter against his opposite in Parliament saw him tell Key to “cut the crap” as Key faced an accusation of smearing a civil servant. Since then he has talked about “stiff-arming” the banks into passing on interest cuts, and accused the Prime Minister of lacking a moral compass and “playing silly buggers”. His tough talking has got him into trouble – hoteliers Lani and Earl Hagaman have sued him for defamation for his comments about a donation to the National Party. Little is clearly aiming to be the strong, straight shooter. But opinions are split on how successful he has been.

He’s known as Angry Andy.  It wouldn’t have stuck if he wasn’t providing proof on an almost daily basis. He even owns the title instead of resiling from it.  Read more »

Guest Post – Are the Greens naïve or just desperate?

Is it naivety or desperation that prompted the Greens to hop into bed with Labour last week?

I lean towards desperation myself. Let’s face it, Labour’s days are over, and everyone can see it. They no longer represent us workers, their main core of “talent” consists of unelected wannabes, and they have given away their control to idiot unionists. They have no option really other than to “merge” with one of their competitors in order to survive. Businesses do this all the time. Some flourish as a result and some fail. And it’s true too that the Greens are seemingly going nowhere at the moment. There’s only so many tree hugging hippies per head of population and that figure of around 9% seems appropriate.

I agree with most opinionators (I think I just invented a new word there) that both parties are dreaming if they think their combined vote share will increase as a result of this MOU.

But it could just as easily go badly wrong for both parties. Why? Matt McCarten, that’s why.   Read more »

The sensible wing of the Labour party say ‘no thanks’ to Green deal

The wheels are already falling off the Labour/Green civil union.

The sensible wing of the Labour has voiced their opinion with Damien O’Connor saying he can’t endorse the deal.

Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor won’t say whether he supports the new agreement between Labour and the Greens.

The two parties signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday. They’ve agreed to work together to change the Government, to co-operate in Parliament and to investigate a joint policy and/or campaign.

Mr O’Connor would not answer “yes” or “no” today when asked – seven times – whether he supported the memorandum.    Read more »

Hooton on the bumbling, fumbling, hapless Labour party

Matthew Hooton looks at the pressure on Andrew Little to move Labour to the left.

It has all the hallmarks of Matt McCarten blabbing to his mates trying to duck the blame for Andrew Little’s hapless bumbling.

The most common description of struggling Labour leader Andrew Little’s big Budget 2016 speech was that it delivered “mixed messages.” That was the kindly conclusion of reporters as diverse as TVNZ’s Katie Bradford and the Herald’s Claire Trevett.  It raises the question of how an opposition leader could have allowed himself to present such a mishmash of contradictory slogans.

In the speech, Mr Little declared Labour had a “positive plan” for “middle New Zealand” to achieve the “Kiwi dream.” This was defined as “a good job, a home they can call their own, a good school to send their kids to, healthcare if they get sick” and a “decent chance to get ahead … if they put the effort in.”

So far, so good: Elections are decided by the median voter and these are words with which three-time election winners like John Key or Helen Clark would begin a big speech.

But Mr Little just couldn’t manage it beyond the opening words and what followed was more 1980s student-politics Leninism aimed to please the quad.

Mr Little spat out the names of the class enemies: the property speculators, the land bankers, the tax dodgers. Only the kulaks failed to get a mention.

Read more »