Rebuilding Labour

Yesterday I posted about why the Swallow Men has been put on indefinite hold. The replacement book that I am working on now is an in-depth political analysis of what Labour needs to do after the election to rebuild.

Readers are probably questioning why a long time National supporter would want to rebuild Labour. What may surprise readers is rebuilding Labour is a real passion, and their current state of uselessness causes me to lose sleep at night.

Blogging is a lot more fun when you have a worthy opponent, a formidable, competitive organisation that gives a blogger few opportunities to bash them. Labour in the last three years has been too weak to take seriously. Asymmetrical wars may be fun, but when they are against political pygmies they are too easy.

I wake up every morning knowing Labour will give me plenty “Nasty Party” posts, a few “Policy not Personality” posts, and many “Focussing on the things that matter” posts. They have made so many dumb mistakes I often feel like going straight back to bed hoping to wake up when they are competent again.

Blogging was a lot more fun when Clark, Cullen, Simpson and Williams were running Labour. I woke up wondering how I would put a hit on, because Labour were competent and didn’t make dumb mistakes. Giving Labour a helping hand to get them competent again means blogging will be come a lot more fun, because fighting a cripple is never as much fun as fighting an equal opponent will beat you if you aren’t at your best.

Rebuilding Labour lets me show my political knowledge is not just about how to bait Winston or Trevor, or how to define a party. Detailed, considered analysis doesn’t happen much on blogs where the drive for an instant post takes away from considered thought.

This is why I admire John Armstrong who writes infrequently but credibly, because he has considered his topic carefully. Hopefully there will remain a place for a writer like John in the blog driven future where frequency of posts brings more traffic and drowns out the occasional thoughtful opinion piece.

As a long time National supporter I have been through two disastrous National collapses, in the mid eighties and in the early years of this century. This will happen again to National. John Key’s popularity will fade, and the party could end up with the politically tone deaf like Bill English or Steven Joyce running the party.

It doesn’t take much imagination to realise that giving Steven a more prominent public position will mean more vote losing “Volunteers should take a deep breath” type statements. This kind of arrogant, off putting message, matched by English’s peerless ineptness means National runs the risk of falling back into hopelessness when Key’s time is up.

There are lessons from the current Labour Party that the current members of the National caucus will need to learn. Unfortunately if these lessons are not spoon feed to caucus they will fall into the same traps, and I don’t want this to happen because having an useless National Party makes politics as boring as having a hopeless Labour Party.

In the coming days I will blog on the contents of “Rebuilding Labour” and post a sample chapter.


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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.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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