Some thoughts on Rejuvenation

National is in full swing on its constant rejuvenation. Belinda McCammon has an article about the refreshing of National as a wrok in progress and quotes Chris Trotter:

“It’s certainly true that Labour left its rejuvenation project far too late when it was in government and National has a much better track record over time of renewing its ranks. Labour’s made some pretty useful strides over the past two or three years, but the turnover in National, especially Goudie and Mapp, shows that it [a rejuvenation process] is a much more institutional way of life for National than Labour.”

Trotter says once Labour MPs get into seats they are harder to move and it’s a problem for the party, citing George Hawkins in Manurewa as an example.

“Institutionally they [the National Party] seemed to have developed ways of handling the process of turning over personnel far more successfully than Labour has.

“Labour do it all in a mad rush in a couple of terms but National seem to do it steadily all the time, which is the way to do it.”

National has always been good at rejuvenation. Old tuskers usually get pulled aside and told to take a hike, with MMP there is always the list and National has become adept at sidelining people. I call it being Simiched after Clem Simich who was asked to go list to make way for the utterly disappointing Alan Peachey. Clem was then essentially sidelined and grew bored and found something else to do. Lockwood Smith is currently being Simiched.

Some should just be outright challenged. Alan Peachey for one. The man is sick, yet another collapsed lung, he is unfit for office and useless to boot even if he was fight.

But along with rejuvenation there needs to be a programme of identifying and positioning suitable candidates. National does have a candidates college, but it is a college in name only. It met just twice last year and for less than two days in total, during the national conference. There are some good names in  the college but they are all sitting there waiting for MPs to retire. If I was some of them I’d have a crack at some challenges, particularly in Tamaki, Mt Roskill, Mt Albert and Hunua in Auckland. Further afield there is Waikato and certainly some of the Wellington seats like Ohariu and down in electorates surrounding Christchurch.

In identifying candidates it is important that you don’t have a collection of fools applying. The party doesn’t want or need party hoppers, liberal elite wankers, celebrity liberals, or pranksters, jokesters and people who have a habit of coming second. We want winners, people who represent middle New Zealand and show that in the way they live their life and people who have real life experience without padded CVs or worse CVs with missing bits.

Politics is not cerebral, it isn’t an intellectual exercise, it is in the guts and so we want people who feel with their guts, not what pollsters and focus groups tell them. We want natural politicians not manufactured ones.

National could further renew, but there needs to be a bit of blood. Nothing focuses the mind like a good challenge and selection stoush. More importantly it needs to seriously get its act together in recruitment and nuturing of potential candidates.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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