Could Jacinda and Twyford save Labour

With less than 1500 members Labour is trouble. Unlike the equally parlous labour movement there aren’t a lot of parties with which they can merge and others on the left would really rather Labour died so they can get on with leading the socialist rebellion.

Duncan Garner wonders whether Phil Twyford and Jacinda Ardern can save Labour.

Would Jacinda Ardern and Phil Twyford be a better leadership team? Both are from Auckland. Both have performed well this year. Both know the issues. But sources tell me this won’t happen.

The caucus is resigned to heading into the election with Little at the helm. There is a growing acceptance within that Little won’t lead them to victory.

My sources also tell me Little has failed to raise any money and that’s crucial. Also, who can even tell what Labour really stands for any more.

Not just Andrew Little, but also Nigel Haworth, who told the recent regional conference in Whanganui that he hadn’t raised a single cent. Labour supporters should be asking both Little and Haworth about fundraising, especially after their promises of a year ago.  

I’m not sure how Garner can honestly say Jacinda Ardern is doing well, she has been missing in action, when she does enter the fray it is usually with something stupid to say. As for Phil Twyford, he is just a race-baiting fool. Sure he got headlines, but for all the wrong reasons.

Yes they claim they will sort out the housing woes, apparently, with a major scheme to build 100,000 homes across 10 years. Sounds great. Is it possible? Who knows.

Little’s claim to sort the housing crisis out within the first term doesn’t ring true.

No amount of wand- waving can sort Auckland’s housing issues within three years. It’s impossible.

Labour used to stand for a capital gains tax, then they dropped it. Yet this week they have talked once again about new taxes and targeting property investors and speculators. Does that mean a capital gains tax again? Possibly. But not for the 2017 election.

How can you trust Labour, they won’t explicitly confirm anything, instead asking us to trust in an un-named working group to come up with solutions. The flip side of that is Labour is telling us they have no idea what to do, so will ask some experts. Well, why don’t those experts stand instead of Labour. At least voters know National has a plan.

Labour needs to settle on five crucial policies and target the voters with them. Bill English had 72 policies in his woeful 2002 election campaign. Labour needs to look at that as a lesson.

I don’t think Labour can settle on one policy…oh wait…spending $1.2 billion on subsidising rich kids into university…that’s one plan…never mind it is 80% of projected increased spending for next year.

Both John Key and Andrew Little’s numbers are going backwards. But Key is still in power and still holds the advantage. Little needs to be growing his numbers in the face of the PM’s slow slide.

And crucially, Labour needs to present itself as a government-in-waiting. It is a long, long way from that.

Yes it is.

And that means there is only one winner here: Winston Peters.

Peters is a comfortable second behind John Key as preferred prime minister. That makes him the leader of the Opposition doesn’t it?

His party is increasingly popular as it taps into the discontent around immigration and the lack of regional growth.

All signs point to Peters as the deal-maker next election.

And after seeing him prop up National in 1996, there’s nothing that suggests he won’t do it again.

Winston Peters knows how to count. Two parties in government is better than three or more. National plus Winston is higher than Labour plus Winston plus the Greens plus the Maori party plus Peter Dunne.

So can Twyford and Jacinda save Labour? ….sadly no…unless they believe in political euthanasia.


– 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. 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.