Waiting for the Langoliers

I have been thinking a fair bit about the pavlovian tendencies currently infecting the Labour party. There seems to be an unwillingness to move on, to admit past errors and to move with the times.

It got me thinking some more. I recalled watching a movie some years back call The Langoliers and I think it is a fitting metaphor for where the Labour party is at right now.

In the movie a group of airline passengers are trapped ‘the past, a world that forbids time travelers to observe or interfere with past events, but a deserted world that “time” has left behind.’

Not only that the Langoliers are out there they ‘are the timekeepers of eternity, and that their purpose is to eat what is left of the past.’

So because they have Phil Goff as leader, a relic of the past and not able to even remotely connect with the present they are stuck in the past, the past created for them by Helen Clark, left behind by world and local events. They are waiting for the Langoliers to consume them and they don’t know what to do about it all. They truly are trapped by their past. their “world” forbids them from observing or commenting on the errors of the past. It is expressly forbidden, Labour’s group think is that Helen Clark is a saint and did no wrong. The electorate doesn’t think that and changed their view some time ago leaving Labour behind.

The election is the main body of Langoliers and it is coming to consume the legacy of the past.

Unfortunately that is just the first wave, just like in the movie there are lead elements and I think the election is just that. After their defeat on November 26 Labour is faced with having to renew but with a diminished caucus filled with the remnants ‘that “time” has left behind’. And so Labour must face the second wave of Langoliers in order to clean out their caucus.

It maybe an imperfect metaphor but is one that works if in a bizarre way to understand why Labour fails to move ahead. They need to break with the past, and do it quickly to escape the Langoliers.


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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. 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 who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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

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