Latest guess? Andrew Little will shift the deck chairs on the Titanic today

What do you mean margin of error stuff, Phil said this would work?

What do you mean margin of error stuff, Phil said this would work?

Andrew Little is going to announce the shuffle of the deck chairs on the Titanic tomorrow.

Given Labour’s talent is as shallow as a carpark puddle in the middle of summer it will really be a forlorn exercise.

Some big movers are tipped in Labour leader Andrew Little’s first big reshuffle.

A year into his leadership, Little will announce on Monday the front bench team he plans to take to the next election and into Cabinet with him in Government if Labour wins the 2017 election.

Speaking on Sunday, Little said the refresh would present a “new look”  front bench. And while that would mean some big promotions for Labour’s newer talent, there would also be demotions.

“It’s the last reshuffle I’m planning before the election… I think there are some quite significant changes there and I see it as, and am presenting it as, a blue print for Cabinet under the next Labour government.”

“We’ve got to think not only about the portfolio allocations, we’ve got to think about chief whip and junior whip in a new government, and positions outside Cabinet, positions available for potential coalition partners.

He also needed to think about MPs who might retire from politics during the first term of Government, and the requirement for understudies in those portfolios.

“That will likely become apparent tomorrow.”

One such portfolio may be health, which is held by Labour deputy Annette King, with speculation she may want a diplomatic posting if Labour makes it back into power. That would see her move on partway through a first term.

Good luck with that Annette, if I were her I’d dial back the anti-Key rhetoric and go ask him if they can rustle up a deal like the one David Shearer is trying to do, because there is no way an Andrew Little led government is ever going to be formed.

Some of the big movers are tipped to include Kelvin Davis, who has tackled Prime MInister John Key head-on over Kiwi detainees across the ditch. He has also had the Government on the run over failings by private prison operator Serco.

Auckland MP Jacinda Ardern is also tipped to move into the top five given her high profile in the polls. Ardern was controversially passed over for the deputy leadership but Little confirmed on Sunday that decision would not be revisited.

Housing spokesman Phil Twyford is another expected to be rewarded for his work highlighting Auckland’s housing affordability crisis. His name has been linked to the trade portfolio,as has former leader David Shearer. They are on opposing sides of the Trans Pacific Partnership debate, highlighting one of the difficulties Little faces balancing competing factions within Labour. Shearer is part of the pro-trade and TPP faction, while Twyford has joined rallies opposing the deal.

Paid Parental Leave advocate Sue Moroney could be another on the way up.

Excuse me? What has Jacinda Ardern done other than appear in women’s magazines to justify promotion?

All Kelvin Davis did is reinforce Labour’s criminal-friendly attitude to voters. Phil Twyford alienated half of Auckland with his wonky jihad against Asians and don’t even get me started on the woman who is challenging Little for the biggest increase in their National opponents’ majority.

Little said there would be some “disappointed” MPs but “in the end people understand that we’ve just got to knuckle down and get on with the job”.

“That’s certainly the mood everyone has been in so far this year and by and large I think that’s where people will be after the announcement.”

The reshuffle is an important positioning move for Labour as the year rolls to a close. While the party’s poll ratings are up on the election result, Labour continues to trail National by a large margin.

With Little’s negatives they are likely to remain disappointed.

If those leaks are the best Little has got then he is doomed.


– Fairfax


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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.