Only 3 Factions? Surely there is more?

Eddie blogs at The Standard about three factions of the Labour party.

It’s interesting how little understanding there is of the state and politics within the Parliamentary Labour Party. A lot of the coverage of Labour’s internal workings has tended to personalise the tension – it’s been focused on Shearer vs Cunliffe without any questions about what lies beneath.

As always, there’s a lot more to it. Most of the drama within Labour since the last election can be put down to the power struggle between the Parliamentary party’s three factions. I think it’s time to shine a light on what’s going on so members can better judge the behaviour of their parliamentary representatives.

Questions of ideology, loyalty, and personal advancement all play their part in the makeup of Labour’s three factions. Each faction has a core group of hard support as well as a handful of soft supporters who can and have switched allegiances from time to time. This is much looser and informal than the Australian system of factions.

S/He labels the factions as:

  • The Right
  • The Left
  • The Careerists 


Chris Trotter also blogged about 3 factions.

“So, now the Labour caucus is divided into three, roughly equal groups”, explains Charles. “Goff’s and King’s rear-guard of has-beens and Beagle Boys – with Mr Mumbles as their figurehead. David’s loyal ten, and Robertson’s cast of the young and the restless. You must have at least one of the other factions, plus your own, to mount a successful coup.

Are these the same 3 factions?

What about the unions, the gaggle of gays (they seem evenly spread across the factions), the heterosexual blokes and the Maori factions?


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  • expression07

    Don’t forget the feminists too.

  • Pete George

    Three just happens to suit the current Trotter/Eddie attempt at stirring things up.

    Another three things that are relevant:
    1. Shearer’s biggest embarrassment

    2. Trotter blogs about factions and coups

    3. Eddie blogs about factions and coups

    Coincidence? Or the plot thickens? “Labour’s three factions” and talk of coups

  • blokeintakapuna

    So not only is the 4-headed Taniwha enough to frighten any sane person, each particular head has its own multiple personality disorder!

    No wonder National want Shearer to remain as “leader” because come election time, the electorate will have some very clear options… And some absolutely fucked-up alternatives.

  • Drhill

    What about the old faction, Labour MPs that have been there since the 70’s/80’s and have no desire of leaving.

  • tarkwin

    Who cares how many factions there are? It’s like “Life Of Brian” the united front of Judea etc only more farcical.

  • johnbronkhorst

    Surely with this bunch of self centred, egocentric arseholes. There are 34 factions, all crying ME ME ME ME ME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JeffDaRef

    The three factions are:
    (1) the clueless
    (2) the really clueless
    (3) the really really clueless
    Apparently the first faction is quite a bit smaller than the other two….

  • PlanetOrphan

    Sounds like they need to talk to Simon Cowell…
    Be honest Simon , where’s the … um … like … um what I mean to ask is … um … where’s our X factor?

  • cows4me

    No wonder Mr Mumbles has the onset of mange, my hair would fall out to.