Brian Edwards isn’t hopeful of peace breaking out

My good friend Brian Edwards isn’t hopeful of peace breaking out in the Labour party anytime soon.

I note the many reasoned calls for unity in the Labour Party once the new Leader has been selected. I’ll happily add my name to that list, but the odds on a harmonious outcome seem to me slim.

It’s a matter of simple mathematics. The largest group in the current Caucus is the ‘Anyone But Cunliffe’ group, including no doubt most Robertson supporters and a few Jones supporters.

If David Cunliffe wins the leadership, this large group will, to put it mildly, be extremely miffed. Faced with the near impossibility of mounting a challenge to a newly elected Leader, making Cunliffe’s life as difficult as possible for the next 14 months might just seem an attractive option. True, the resultant disharmony and internal division would almost certainly mean losing the 2014 election, but the upside of that is that, having led the party to defeat, Cunliffe would be gone. So strongly is this group opposed to the Member for New Lynn, that they might just see three more years in the wilderness as worth it.  

In this hara kiri scenario the party members and trade unionists who had been responsible for Cunliffe winning the leadership in the face of Caucus opposition, would also be extremely miffed that their man was not receiving unqualified loyalty and support from Caucus. Such would be the level of dissent that the Labour movement could implode, inviting the possibility of John Key becoming only the country’s second four-term Prime Minister. We’ll call this ‘the apocalypse scenario’.

I think that is a distinct possibility. I believe that there are irreconcilable differences inside Labour and that David Cunliffe with his own version of being a grandiose narcissist will be unable to contain his glee at ascending the leadership.

Trevor Mallard has got some retribution coming his way…the way he spoke to Cunliffe while he was seated on th back benchers was heard by many. Cunliffe won’t have forgotten those tirades and abuse.

Happy days.

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