Labour picked one of the Labour movements biggest losers to review their performance at the election. He is Bryan Gould.
Chris Keall explains his credentials at losing.
The convenor for Labourâs panel is Bryan Gould â the ex-pat famous for being a senior MP in the British Labour Party. He even got as high as making a bid for the partyâs leadership in the early 1990s, but was outmanoeuvred by rivals and returned to NZ to become vice chancellor of Waikato University.
Gould is a smart man, Iâm sure. But heâs not a winner in the game of politics. The ex-pat was a senior MP between 1979 and 1992 â a period of course dominated by Thatcher and the Conservatives as Labour struggled to make itself look anything close to electable.
Gould has poured vitriol on Tony Blair â the man whose up-beat style and move to the centre saw the party finally return to power.
Many in Labour will agree with Gouldâs critiques of Blair for going too far in greasing up the press, moderating policy, and poodling to America on Iraq. In various newspaper editorials and his memoirs, Gould won the moral high ground hands down. But he lacks Blairâs ruthless and practical streak, and focus on likeability, thatâs so necessary to win power.
A key question for NZ Labour is whether to shore up the partyâs base with hard left polices or move to the centre, where elections are won. No prizes for guessing where the academic Gould will land.
Just last Thursday, Gould was comparing Key to Kim Jong-un. Great lorks if you’re a humour writer for the Internet Party. Not so much if you’re trying to talk to middle NZ.