Chris Trotter hung out to dry by Andrew Little

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Chris must have needed a change of underwear when he saw Andrew Little come out swinging against the TPP yesterday, and he sat down with renewed hope and penned this piece for today… not realising Andrew would drop him in the poo by doing a flip-flop.

LABOUR’S STANCE on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could end up determining the outcome of the 2017 General Election. If Andrew Little aligns his party with the other parliamentary opponents of the TPP – the Greens and NZ First – then the legislation giving effect to the agreement will barely scrape through the House of Representatives. Such open and substantial parliamentary opposition will clear the way for Andrew Little to lead an anti-TPP coalition into electoral battle in 2017. If, however, Labour ends up supporting the TPP, then it will be a fractured and fractious Opposition that takes the field against John Key in two years’ time.

With Labour firmly opposed, the National-led Government’s best outcome would see the TPP’s enabling legislation passed by a margin of three votes. But if, as seems likely, the Maori Party acknowledges the rising anti-TPP sentiment within Maoridom, by either abstaining or voting against the bill, then the nearest thing to a TPP ratification process that New Zealanders are going to get will be carried by just one vote – Peter Dunne’s.

“With Labour firmly opposed”.  Snigger

Listen Chris, here’s a word of advice for you when dealing with Labour communications.  Always let things simmer for at least 24 hours before you run after the next passing red car.   There are two reasons for that.   One, they can’t add, subtract or otherwise use a calculator.  Press statements with numbers invariably fall apart under a small bit of scrutiny.  

Two, you have to allow for Mr Andrew “Loose Cannon” Little to reverse out of the political cul-de-sac after shooting off his mouth with union decreed rhetoric that the rest of the party are unable or unwilling to sell.

What the Right fears the most is two years of rising political temperatures and sharpened social antagonisms, during which the controversial content of the TPP supplies the Government’s opponents with all the ammunition they need to bring down the National-led coalition of right-wing political parties.

Over the next few weeks the New Zealand people should, therefore, be on the alert for two full-on political campaigns. The first will be a government-funded PR campaign designed to sell the alleged benefits of the TPP to as many Kiwis as possible. The second will involve dozens (if not scores) of journalists, businesspeople and academics doing their level best to persuade Labour to return to the bipartisan fold.

What the Right fears the most is for a capable and charismatic Labour Party leader to appear.

As for dozens (or scores) of journalists, business people and academics doing their level best to persuade Labour to return to the bipartisan fold, I guess that’s already moot.

Seriously Chris, I know Andrew gave you a little hope there, and you grabbed it like a drowning man grabs the arriving lifeguard, but you might just want to take a tip from your old mate from the Right:  next time just check if Labour’s policy and direction is going to hold for more than 24 hours before getting a rush of blood to the head and declaring an election win for Labour in 2017.

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– Bowalley Road


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