Trotter isn’t impressed

Chris Trotter has some stern words about Labour, its caucus and David Shearer:

AS LABOUR’S TRAIN rolls on towards 2014, I feel a bit like the bull in the Georgia politician’s story. Describing yet another doomed campaign waged by his liberal opponents in the Senate, the all-powerful leader of the segregationist Southern Caucus, Senator Richard B. Russell Jnr, observed that their position “reminded him of a bull who had charged a locomotive train. That was the bravest bull I ever saw, but I can’t say a lot for its judgement.”

I should have known that in championing the leadership credentials of David Cunliffe I was backing a bull over a locomotive.

Yes the bull got run down. What about Labour’s caucus and their abilities? 

I don’t think it is drawing too long a bow to say that the moral health (not to mention the historical success) of any political party depends upon its caucus’s ability to both recognise and engineer the promotion of the one/s most likely to succeed.

The elevation of the woefully inexperienced and chronically inarticulate David Shearer to the Labour leadership revealed a caucus no longer capable of identifying “The One”. Indeed, the very notion of a candidate possessing outstanding leadership qualities is now condemned as both disruptive and demoralising. Anyone promoted on the grounds that they possess superior talent or, God forbid! – charisma – is immediately blackballed by their less talented and charisma-bypassed colleagues.

The personality structure best suited to a Labour caucus overpopulated with MPs who owe their parliamentary seats to a high ranking on the Party List is that of the passive-aggressive courtier; the intriguer; the secretive collector of his or her colleagues’ political IOUs.

Robust egos and forthright personalities are proving easy meat for such folk.

Is Trotter suggesting another coup in his last paragraph?

It is in the nature of bulls to defend their own. Mr Cunliffe’s supporters should, therefore, console themselves with the knowledge that while they lacked the judgement to avoid a head-on collision with Labour’s locomotive, they retained just enough courage for one final, redeeming, charge.


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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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