Susan Wood on Labour’s leadership farce

Susan Wood doesn’t hold back with her thoughts on Labour’s leadership farce.

I’ve been thinking about leadership – real leadership and what it means.

I think this quote from a Harvard university professor sums it up. “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence. And making it last in your absence”

That gets me to our political leadership and soon to be former Labour leader David Cunliffe. I have no doubt he is an intelligent man, a well-intentioned man. But he has failed as a leader. The voters rejected him and his own caucus turned on him. The men and women he is leading have not become better because of his leadership and his absence has left a gaping hole of indecision and infighting.

The election defeat was of course not all his fault, no more than the National victory was all John Key’s work. But a great deal of it was.

Yes indeed, and his failure to be accountable has annoyed a great many members.

Since election night Cunliffe has barely put a foot right. The bizarre election night speech, a failure to take responsibility then a belated acceptance of sorts, dragging his decision out for a week before standing aside only to stand again which will lead to a protracted public blood letting.   

The man has tits for hands.

The factions within Labour were clearly illustrated on  TVNZ’s Q+A yesterday when two panelists and Labour supporters unionist Robert Reid and  former candidate Deborah Mahuta-Coyle went for it. It was one of the hottest debates I’ve witnesses in the studio. Voices and blood pressures were raised and it showed the huge divide inside Labour

Of course there are factions in all parties. But good leaders manage these. Helen Clark did. John Key does.

Robert Reid is barking mad, he has shown himself to be a Cunliffe sycophant.

The Labour party can say parrot-like that the process for electing a leader is democratic, but it will also be divisive. The results will inevitably find their way into the public domain and we will know that if Cunliffe wins then Labour has a leader the caucus doesn’t want, and if Grant Robertson wins then Labour has a leader that the membership had once rejected.

It is hardly democratic, the unions have a large out of whack vote and the caucus another, the members really don’t get a look in.

If either David Cunliffe or Grant Robertson end up as leader then the party is in for a drubbing well before the next election.


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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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