Danyl McLauchlan is one of the few on the left wing that I can respect.
His observations when he isn’t being silly or writing bad satire are usually spot on.
He has taken the time to discuss the Labour party and what he sees asÂ their impending collapse.
I donât know if Labour is a dying party. Looks like to to me, but thereâs still time to turn things around. I do think thereâs an important difference between National in 2002 and the Labour Party in 2014. After their 2002 election loss National realised that it faced an existential crisisÂ and took drastic action. They bought Steven Joyce in to review the party, underwent a huge reorganisation and then united behind their subsequent leaders, Brash and Key. The senseÂ I get from Labour is that they donât have anything to worry about because hey, National was in big trouble a few years ago and now look at them go! Sure, Labour arenâtÂ doing great right now but itâs just history; itâs political cycles. You gottaÂ ride it out and wait until the tide washes you back into government again. There was a nice example of this from former Labour President Mike Williams on the Nine to Noon political segment last week. Williams announced that the leader of the Labour leadership contest will probably be the Prime Minister in 2017 because four term governments areÂ rare. Forget all that hard work of somehow beating John Key, which Labour has no idea how to do, or even reforming the party. Fate will just return them to power, somehow, because thatâs what sometimes happened in the past.
I donât think Key and National see themselves as being circumscribed by fate, and that they should just resign themselves to losing in 2017. I think theyâve built a fearsome political behemoth that dominates New Zealandâs political landscape and which they hope will endureÂ forÂ a long, long time, even after Key finally retires in his fifth term (or whenever). Â Labour dying is not a worst-case scenario for the New Zealand left. Labour hanging around, slowly dwindling, occupying the political space of the center-left but not winning an election for another twenty years is the real and highly plausible doomsday scenario. I donât know how much of Nationalâs strength is an accident of Labourâs current weakness, but I do know that the new Labour leaders job will be reforming their party, and not beating Key. Thatâs not even an option for Labour until they somehow transform themselvesÂ into a modern professional political party, and figure out who they are and what they stand for.