Does Chris Trotter realise what happened at Waterloo?

Chris Trotter spends an awful lot of time waxing lyrical about the French Revolution and the appearance of a short Corsican to the leadership of France.

Apparently Napoleon Bonaparte was the savour of the revolution…and apparently Chris Trotter thinks Andrew Little might be Labour’s Napoleon.

One hesitates to describe Andrew Little as Labour’s Napoleon, but what cannot be disputed is the eagerness with which both the membership and the caucus responded to his calls for unity, focus and discipline, and to his passionate reaffirmation of Labour’s radical political mission.

Sheer exhaustion may also explain the New Zealand Labour Party’s curiously subdued reaction to the rank-and-file revolution that installed Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party. It wasn’t that the Kiwis were all secret Blairites, more a matter of New Zealand Labour having “been there, done that, sold the T-shirts – lost the election!”   

In restoring order and stability, Little has been quietly, but very ably, assisted by Labour’s President, Professor Nigel Haworth. As delegate Stephanie Rodgers tweeted from the conference on Saturday afternoon: “Cries of mock outrage as it’s announced we’ve wrapped up a policy discussion with time to spare.” Anyone with the slightest experience of Labour conferences will grasp the enormity of that achievement – testimony to the quiet authority and gentle humour of Haworth in the Chair.

And just as Napoleon’s coup d’état consolidated and entrenched the French Revolution’s achievements, Little’s keynote speech to conference delegates confirmed, in the most dramatic fashion, that Labour’s democratic-socialist aims and objectives, so unequivocally restated by the 2012 “revolution on the conference floor”, are now inscribed in the programmatic bedrock of the party’s platform.

The policies mandating a capital gains tax and raising the retirement age to 67, both of which aggrieved a large number of ordinary members, have been quietly discarded. Policies attacking poverty, homelessness and unemployment have taken their place.

Without this gesture of solidarity from the caucus to the rank-and-file, this weekend’s ‘Peace of Palmerston North’ could never have been more than a temporary ceasefire.

So Chris Trotter is suggesting the “Peace of Palmerston North” is but a temporary ceasefire before internecine fighting resumes once again in Labour. Could this be akin to Napoleon’s exile to Elba?

If so that means we now await Andrew little’s annihilation at his own Battle of Waterloo….the general election…after which he will face another exile and political death.


– Bowalley Road

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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. 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 who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.