Helen Clark’s legacy

Yesterday I was thinking about Chris Trotter’s post about the factions and the post at The Standard by Eddie, also about factions.

It got me thinking. This was Helen Clark’s legacy. This was her construct and her gift to Labour.

The Right The Left The Careerist Left
David Shearer (leader) David Cunliffe (leader) Grant Robertson (leader)
Phil Goff Nanaia Mahuta Chris Hipkins
Annette King Louisa Wall Jacinda Ardern
David Parker Sue Moroney Phil Twyford
Clayton Cosgrove Su’a William Sio Clare Curran
Shane Jones Lianne Dalziel Maryan Street
Damien O’Connor Parekura Horomia David Clark
Kris Fa’afoi Rajen Prasad Trevor Mallard
Ross Robertson Rino Tirikatene Darien Fenton
Carol Beaumont Megan Woods
Raymond Huo Ruth Dyson
Moana Mackey
Iain Lees-Galloway
Andrew Little

Some of those names do seem out of kilter though. For a start there are 14 names in Cunliffe’s camp. If that were so he would have won the leadership ballot in February.

Also I would have put David Clark into the Right Faction…not necessarily because he is ‘right’ but because he seems pretty smart and one who could easily get a job outside of parliament. He has the dourness of a presbyterian but the smarts of an economist.

But all that is neither here nor there. The purpose of this post to for you to see the legacy of Helen Clark.

In order for her to reign as along as she did over the Labour party, and over the country, she had to ensure that no one could roll her. Therefore she cosseted and nurtured interest groups, but also made sure that the larger factions never had enough support to be able to gain total control. Each faction would need the support of at least one other in order to rule.

Clark of course had Heather Simpson to coral and instil fear into the faction bosses, and the members. In this way Helen Clark was able to control the party absolutely.

When she left she named Phil Goff as her replacement, mainly out of spite. I don’t think even she thought that Goff would last, but last he did, until defeat. It was an inept leadership, which was strange for someone who had trained his entire political life for the moment…and he bombed it. But Goff was really let down by the factions…they hadn’t yet found their true form, that was still to come as the caucus finally realised that Clark was gone never to return and they had to make their own way.

David Shearer has inherited this mess. But worse he is pathetically weak and easily manipulated. By now though the factions have entrenched and now Shearer is merely a place holder for the real leader who will emerge in due course.

But Clark’s legacy is deeper than that…have a look at that list of names…a talent pool as shallow as a bird bath. That was Clark’s final legacy…delivering a bunch of inept, barely capable middle manager types to parliament, a great many of them through her office. They were certainly no threat to her and they are no threat to John Key.

This is the modern labour party, chosen personally by Helen Clark, many never having had a job outside of the beltway. Chosen only for their ineptitude and undying loyalty to the cult of Helen Clark.

In doing this she may well have destroyed the Labour party.


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  • Gazzaw

    Clark & Simpson? More like Stalin & Beria.

  • In Vino Veritas

    All very true. Clark chose and arranged the bottles (empty from the neck up?) in a way that would ensure there was no meaningful challenge. All the best business leaders surround themselves with excellence, with the expectation that someone from that group of excellence will be part of a succession plan. Clark left Labour with no succession plan and a group of essentially, no hopers. The proof is indeed in the eating of the pudding, which has been happening for over four years now, with no sign of the feast ending any time soon. Given Labours reliance on old fashioned unionism, they are fighting for relevance in today’s world.

  • Cam, you mention Shearer is a place holder, do you hold any thoughts as to the leader to emerge. I expect that will be after Shearers’ failure at the next election? I can’t see anyone having an easy task walking through from these factions and getting support. They had a 3 way election last time. I can only see the same happening again. There is no natural leader with any charisma. Shearer only got elected because his lack of charisma was replaced with his ‘back story’ which has been woefully inadequate to support ability – or lack of, as a leader.

    • AnonWgtn

      I still expect Shearer to be chopped by Robertson and his Rainbows fanciers before the next election – probably early next year.

  • ConwayCaptain

    How many of these have had a REAL job working for private enterprise in the real world.
    Silent T is a Chardonnay Socialist.

    • unsol

      Hmmm let me take a guess – zero?!!!

      Bunch of wafty academics or bunch of unionists – either way they all know diddly squat.

      What really annoys me though is that we get a change of govt & yet the stupid ill-founded utopia striving but government wasting policies remain…such as WFF & having DHBs.

  • John.Doe.

    Great post WO. I hear that Helen was also scared of Michael Cullen – wonder if that was true ? What role did fat bastard mike williams have in this poisonous cup ? As part of his pitch to charities is that he hand picked all of the labour MPs so they “owe him”…..just heard Lyen Len Brown on radio live, and frankly, he is a fucken cunt !

    • Clark stared down the one and only challenge from Cullen’s crew, then she made him her deputy and that was the end of that.

  • Jax

    So is that some respect owed to her then? May not like her or what she stands for, but for gaining and retaining the top for so long with such cunning – not to bad.

    • Joe Bloggs

      Is some respect owed to her? Only if you like to show respect to sociopaths…

      Clark’s legacy is typical of the bullying, sociopathic micro-manager who divides and conquers. As IVV pointed out she was a master at factionalising groups to remove threats to her ambition, so what we’ve got now in Labour is the product of many years of low rat-cunning, weeding out the strong and capable, and leaving the weak and degenerate.

      • blokeintakapuna

        …and the inept, morally corrupt and bankrupted and then there’s those that think the backbone of the country’s business owners are ‘parasites’ eh Mr.Little. Talk about pot meet kettle moment…

    • johnbronkhorst

      Hitler, stalin, castro, kim the son grandson and father, all long tenures, all corrupt, brutish, economically incompetent, the difference between these arseholes and auntie Helen????…………………………………… .OPPORTUNITY.

  • cows4me

    What a sad legacy, sounds like government by paranoia but I guess it’s a by product of the ideology these fruitcakes live by. I believe She Beast spent her whole political life trying to exact revenge upon the world that saw her and her kind as outcasts. No one was aloud to near the top except the very few that saw the world her way, it would seem very few did see the world the way she wanted it, thank God.

  • Can someone please explain to me why Lianne Dalziel doesn’t appear on the Labour Party list? I thought everyone in the party would appear on the list? http://www.elections.org.nz/events/past-events-0/2011-general-election/parties-candidates-and-promoters-2011-general-election–6

    • Ah found it. She didn’t want to be on the list if ChCh didn’t want her. I reckon Dalziel has got ambition and wouldn’t be surprised to find her putting her hand up soon now that silent T has shown his ineptitude.

      • Anonymouse Coward

        No, Megan who is a front bencher, a Christchurch MP and has a large number of constituents with EQC issues who will be in the vanguard of Labours response to the privacy breach and in the process showing her worth to the party and the voting public. This will pull the spotlight of attention away from those who commentators here believe are more worthy of leadership.

        Oh wait .. it is the demoted back bencher who is making the running on this issue.

      • AnonWgtn

        Dalziel still not been poached to go for Mayor as Jim has not made up his mind yet.
        Believes she is the answer for the Christchurch EQ moaners
        – the media do not report that many are very happy following the tragedy not of human making.
        Mind you Dalziel thinks that the Council and EQC are entirely responsible.
        As a person she would make a lousy Mayor as she cannot control herself, let alone a left wing Council

        • Patrick

          She is an opportunist plain & simple. She will exploit issues in ChCh EQC to enhance her brand. She cares no more about the people or issues than that, it is all about her.

  • williamabong

    What a superb stroke from the she beast, interesting to see the unionists spread through all the lists, as are the fags and fag hags, and the brown people only in the left and right groups, not the third group.
    Also the dirty trick squad, Mallard Curren etc all bunched in with Robertson, a betting man would throw most of the money down on this lot, this is the group that has the potential to eat their young at any stage of the game.

  • Patrick

    Helen Clarke – hater & wrecker extraodinaire

    Look how many of the names have come through the Unions, many via SFWU. Then you can appreciate what a commie bunch the Labour Party is, there is absolutely no chance of this lot being even capable of making decisions to assist NZ businesses.

    Avoid at all cost.

  • Blair Mulholland

    Destroyed?! Leftists are like zombies, they always reanimate more dangerous than before. Destroying the Labour Party is like trying to get rid of Michael Myers – there’s always going to be a sequel. And the more inept and disorganised they are, the worse they will be in government. Just look at Obama.

    • StupidDisqus

      Not if you gun them down they don’t. Ain’t been no commies in West Germany since Hitler shot the lot in the 30s.

  • thor42

    Almost all of Labour’s MPs would struggle with even flipping burgers at Maccas.
    They are *that* bad.

  • unsol

    “But Clark’s legacy is deeper than that…have a look at that list of names…a talent pool as shallow as a bird bath. That was Clark’s final legacy…delivering a bunch of inept, barely capable middle manager types to parliament, a great many of them through her office. They were certainly no threat to her and they are no threat to John Key”

    Smart politicking really & prove that whatever the left do it always comes down to political expediency rather than a genuine interest in this country’s long-term welfare.

    Lange always said she was a snake & let’s face it, it is now to our benefit. Just a shame she got 9 whole years in govt; this country would never have been ready to accept Bill English or Don Brash as PM….anymore than they would have Richard Prebble….

  • starboard

    Helen E Clark is a cunt.

  • I still think a career of at least ten years in the private sector, (it matters not an individual does) should be a prerequisite for entering politics. Perhaps they would then understand whose money it is they fritter away with their snouts in the trough.
    I have no time for politicians who have never known real work.

  • Her ex party is so inept because she ran around doing all their jobs for them, She was afterall known as the minister of everything, never let them out to talk to the media never let them out to play with anyone else, no wonder they have so much PR problems now, current Labour Caucus is just like a bunch of children whose parents never encouraged them to be anything or do anything with their lives, Now Mummys gone never to return, they now appear as they would like us to be, dependents!

  • SImply brilliant. When you combine this with the spectator from last week.

    Under Ed Miliband, Labour has disowned the Blair reforms and rejects
    anything that weakens the power of the public sector elite for whom it
    now speaks. This is understandable, given that the unions are the reason
    Miliband is leader and provide a staggering 82 per cent of his party’s
    funding. Miliband is now soaring above the Tories in the polls. But
    sooner or later he must lay out his own agenda — and the ways in which
    he proposes a restoration of union power and the public sector elite. To
    be against the market is to favour its alternative: a ruling class.

    This explains Miliband’s deafening silence on policy. He will end
    school choice by abolishing the free schools programme and putting
    bureaucrats back in charge. The power of the discredited NHS elite would
    be restored, as patients would find it harder to seek alternative
    treatment in independent clinics. Miliband is mulling over whether a new
    bunch of cronies should regulate the press. His ‘predistribution’ plan,
    which is supposed to encourage markets towards fairer distribution,
    will only create a new matrix of social, business and official

    He will be saying ‘Trust me’ at a time when voters mistrust everyone.
    It is an odd thought, but the Conservatives are now the natural party
    of reform. And at the worst possible time, Labour is becoming the party
    of the Establishment.

    Shearer and all are in exactly the same position. Clarke is despised by the populace, just as Bliar is. But… they have no connection to the populace. Their party, which used to be broad (because most working men were unionized) is now an effete shadow of itself, populated by the more incompetent teachers, nurses and university lecturers.

    [Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach. Those who cannot teach become politicians or administrators].

    Labour is now the party of the elite, the upper middle class. It deigns to represent, is some queerly feudal way, favoured minority groups in the hope it can cobble together a big enough coalition to rule.

    For they see themselves (as the feudal Lords did) as born to rule. The deep irony is the rebels and trouble makers are not in Labour (or their junior partner, the greens) but in National.

  • minarchist_kiwi

    It actually goes way back even further than Helen to the late 60s/early 70s when Bill Rowling as Labour president selected the school teacher/junior lecturer/admin clerk/trade union organiser types as Labour candidates.
    Rowling, not realising he was a born loser, harboured leadership ambitions and so selected these morons as Labour candidates (and ‘temporary’ MPs before Muldoon got rid of them all) so that none of them would ever be much of a challenge to him and this drove all the best people from the Labour party to an extent it has never recovered.
    The most famous example was Eddie Isbey selected instead of Kevin Ryan in Grey Lynn.
    By 1980 the Labour party was an empty shell – leaderless, factional, purposeless, colourless – and it has never recovered. The 5 elections it has won since 1980 were all the result of Labour having unelectable opponents at just the right moment (Muldoon’s drunken ranting, Jenny Shipley heading a six party joke, Don Brash and fundamentalist lunatics) rather than any enthusiasm for Labour itself.

    • StupidDisqus

      Except 1987. The country wanted more of Lange, and Douglas, and Prebble…

  • StupidDisqus

    Bullshit. Clark’s #1 Legacy is John “Do Nothing” “Smile’n’Wave” Key, who has presided over Clark’s policies for the last four years – and looks set to preside for at least another four.

    As for Goff – well he ran Smile & Wave to within 45,000 votes at the last election — what’s more, that includes 60,000 votes for the conservatives who happened to be anti asset sales, and who easily outpolled ACT and UF combined (UF doesn’t really count, it always goes with the winner anyway). Goff (and everyone in Labour) expected to lose, expected it to be a three-year job when he took it. He did rather better than he had any right to! If Christchurch hadn’t voted National last time around — and thanks to Hekia, they’ll be back to Labour this time around — Key would have been nothing but a footnote and Goff would be cruising towards re-election.

    And then when you think that Key squandered two massive crises to reform NZ – the earthquake and the financial crash – and did nothing except keep Clark’s policies out of fear – it’s just completely and utterly pathetic.

    Clark and Cullen cut more taxes than Key & English, and privatised more state liabilities than Key’s managed so far. Hell even Mallard’s closed more schools than Parata!

    That’s Hellen’s real legacy. Not the current opposition — the current government.

    • minarchist_kiwi

      I would love to know which country you are describing – cause it aint the NZ Ive been living in! haha
      If you think Helen cut taxes – that going from 33% to 39% means a tax cut – then that is just dumb. How can 39 be less than 33????
      If you think Helen nationalising Air NZ and the railways means privatisation then that is also just dumb.
      Next you will be telling us that today is Sunday

      • StupidDisqus

        Cullen cut taxes – not the top personal marginal rate, but certainly corporate taxes and dropped thresholds. WFF is a massive tax cut for people with kids.

        Now, let’s try this slowly: How much tax has Key raised so far? Billions.

        Key whacking up GST for everybody raises more tax than Cullen whacking up the top marginal rate – because everybody pays GST.

  • StupidDisqus

    As to Clark being scared of Cullen – forget it.

    I’ve been in a room of 1000 people when Clark walked in. From 1000 conversations to silence in a second.

    Clark only ever admitted being scared once: her concession speech:

    “I just utter one fear, and that is that I do hope that all we have put in place doesn’t go up in flames on the bonfire of Right-wing politics.””

    We’ve had two terms of John Do Nothing Key Where the FUCK are the bonfires?