Hide feels sorry for Little

By the time people feel sorry for a politician, you know we’ve got to the point where they are kicking someone who’s already down.

Every time I think of Labour Leader Andrew Little – which I must confess is getting less and less – I can’t help but feel sorry for him. Nothing ever goes his way.

Prime Minister John Key sails on and on, seemingly effortlessly. Little fumbles and falls. And if he doesn’t trip up, one of his team does it for him.

Now Helen Clark has teamed up with Key for her tilt at the UN’s top job.

That must rankle.

It’s not just Key endorsing Clark. It’s Clark endorsing Key. They are now a team who talk and strategise. They are Richie McCaw and Dan Carter after the top prize.

It’s impossible for Little to present Key as arrogant and incompetent when Clark calls on his help and he agrees. It looks good for Key. In 2008 voters were forced to choose between the two but now they are a team. It makes Key middle-of-the-road and attractive to the former Labour voters he won in 2008.

And while Key is helping Clark scale the Mt Everest of politics, Little is left aimlessly throwing rocks. It’s not a good look, not when Key and Clark are arm-in-arm winning the vote of the world.

I can’t help but smirk at the inevitable – that the deified Helen Clark is going to have to become a pariah.  Not only has she said anyone who didn’t support the TPP is stupid, now she’s even working hand-in-hand with the Government to get her next job. Oh, that must hurt so much…  

Clark had New Zealand’s top job, has gone even higher on the world stage and is now after the UN’s top job. Her political fortunes have risen higher and higher since she departed Parliament; those of her party have sunk lower and lower.

Key has already spoken to his mates Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron. We are reminded he has built personal relationships with world leaders that no other New Zealand Prime Minister has enjoyed.

He and his family had a weekend at Balmoral Castle. He plays golf with the President of the United States. He chats to the British Prime Minister.

Little has no power and little influence. Sadly for him the polls have him and his party stuck resolutely in Opposition.

And yet, internally, they still repeat the mantra that they’re doing 35%. Yet poll after poll comes out starting with a two.

As for Little being a preferred Prime Minister, he’s being hauled in by Jacinda Adrern because of her glossy magazine charm offensive.

How many 20-something polls and preferred PM polls will it take before Labour admit to themselves they simply do not have the momentum to take the toys from John Key?

Don’t tell me they’re once again hoping for something, like the Panama Papers, Dirty Politics v2 or some other scandal.

Labour are dead in the water.

The truly remarkable thing is that they continue to tell themselves they have a chance.


– Rodney Hide, NZ Herald


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  • sandalwood789

    “It’s not just Key endorsing Clark. It’s Clark endorsing Key.”

    That’s yet another reason that I won’t be voting for National in the next election.
    I don’t think this kind of nonsense was what people voted for when they kicked Labour out in 2008. They weren’t voting for “Labour Lite”. They wanted a government with *balls*.
    Apart from charter schools and getting the DPB numbers down, “Labour Lite” is what we have now.

    • Graham Pilgrim

      An interesting comment. Surely a vote against National is a vote against a National-led Government.

      • Wheninrome

        It depends where that vote is and where it goes, National will still need its support parties, and if you go hard right that can help Act, which in turn can only go with National.

        • Graham Pilgrim

          Personally, I think that is too risky. I would prefer that National didn’t need support parties, and could govern alone. I am not witnessing a groundswell of support for ACT, and as has often been discussed on this blog, the current one and only ACT MP has occasionally expressed views which could hardly be described as “right wing”.

        • Crowgirl

          Act might’ve got mine but they’ve turned me right off with their refugee policy.

          • Graham Pilgrim

            That, and Seymour’s support for that frightful “Red Peak” flag cost them any support I may have had for ACT.

          • Crowgirl

            I didn’t care so much about that as I took it to be his personal preference, not the party’s. He’s allowed to have a preference, like the rest of us.

          • Graham Pilgrim

            In view of how “Red Peak” became “popular”, I should have thought that it would have been politic for Seymour to have kept that particular preference to himself.

        • KGB

          Good grief if ACT is hard right I’ll eat my hat :)
          DS is the new Peter Pan, and Genter is now the sensible Wendy.
          It appears the only party looking right wing right now is good old WP. And that’s only when he plays the old race card.
          Little’s is now left of the looney Greens, and the Maori party is more racist than WP.
          How confusing it’s all become!

        • Edward M Blake

          Act was never hard right. Act was formed with(classic) liberal refugees from the labor party.

    • Oh yes and who will you vote for then?

      Andrew Little? You must be part of the 28%
      Winston Peters – he propped up Clark you know?
      Colin Craig – next year he will never show his face again after I’ve rinsed him in court. He probably should emigrate.
      Greens? – Seriously?


      • northern

        ACT of course! It’s a no-brainer!!

        • sheppy

          The increase the quota and don’t give them benefits party? Fantastic idea to line the streets with desperate people from a troubled background with no money who’s religion tells them to do bad things to us….
          Those comments in my eyes made Act unelectable sadly

        • Seriously?

          Which is (in substance) the same as a vote for National…

    • Old Kiwi

      Unfortunately “what we have now” is MMP. Many voters after many years don’t seem to appreciate the implications of that yet. Northland recently showed the MMP effect in spades regarding the revamp of the RMA.

  • Sally

    Apparently there is a TV1 Colmar Brunton poll out tonight. Wonder what will happen if Labour drops a few more point and Little polls lower than Peters. Would show that after Labour’s Future of Works key points and talks of free money for everyone over 18 another failure. End of the line for Little?

    • Carl

      Cheers for that Sally will have a look at that.

    • Pretty sure there is a TV3 poll too.

    • Bryan

      national 50% three up, labour down 4 !! to 28 % and Little has dropped to 7 % as preferred PM even Winston is higher on 10%

      • northern

        Right on! Crack open the bubbles!

  • Wheninrome

    Come on, you know that Little is hoping that Helen doesn’t get the UN job then he can blame John Key for that among all the other “Key” things to be laid at his door.

  • Cynical Guy

    And add the Godfather of Labour finance, Sir Michael Cullen. First Key had him Knighted, then he made him Chair of NZ Post and then he had him announce the redistribution of assets. It’s poetry to watch sometimes.

  • Cadwallader

    If Labour falls below 20% even their most ardent (read:daft) supporters will awake to the simple realisation the “Party’s Over!” They may as well leave Little where he is, wherever that might be, and let him lead them stumbling into oblivion. I suspect the votes from Labour will be slipping away to Winston rather than to the government.In astronomical language we’re witnessing the death of an old tired star.

  • Alan Beresford B’Stard

    You missed the best line from Rodney’s article, which is:
    “Labour appears unfit for Opposition, let alone Government.”

    • OneTrack

      He is right, they are hopeless. They apparently don’t even understand what the role of a parliamentary opposition is – all they do is oppose everything. Just like the flag debacle – they voted against their own policy simply in order to “get Key”. Well it worked, they stopped NZ getting rid of the Union Jack. Labour are closet royalists – who knew?

  • kayaker

    “Prime Minister John Key sails on and on, seemingly effortlessly. Little fumbles and falls. And if he doesn’t trip up, one of his team does it for him”.

    Herein lies the key (no pun intended) – JK carries on BAU effortlessly, whereas Angry and his team put a lot of effort into failing.

  • Simon P

    People are too smart for Labour’s envy politics, I think New Zealanders want aspiration, the only thing Little aspires to is taking something from someone who has earned it.

  • 10cents

    I think it is actually quite interesting to ask the question how the wider NZ public got smart enough to see through Labour’s take with the right hand and give with the left hand mentality. When did NZ actually wake up? I’m damn glad they did but at the same time I’m now curious as to how this happened. Was it the spin off from the worst of Ms Clarke’s Nanny State-ism?

  • Ruahine

    It is the Media Party that keep Labour on life support. Both have not figured out yet they are both in need of life support.