Hide on Labour and Greens going steady

Labour and Greens have made public what we long suspected – they don’t like National in power. Photo / Facebook
I am pleased for Labour and the Greens. Truly I am. They have tied the knot. They have announced they’re together. They have made public what we long suspected – they don’t like National in power. And they agree they’d both prefer it was them. Together.

(Well, they would prefer power all to themselves individually but accept that it’s going to take at least two to tango.)

The only unsettling thing is that despite their ballyhoo they don’t agree on much. The leader, deputy leader and two co-leaders have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

Item one is their “Purpose”: “to work co-operatively in order to change the Government at the 2017 election”.

That makes sense. But MPs and parties co-operate all the time. That’s hardly news. It feels a little like they don’t trust each other unless they have signed up with us as witnesses.

Item two is “Working Together”. There are six sub-headings.

The first is “we commit to treat each other with integrity and openness”. That’s nice. But weren’t they doing that already? It makes me think there’s dark stuff in their history they want to put behind them. It has clearly not all been Morris dancing and group hugs.

Integrity and openness in politics?  Doomed to fail.  At some stage you need to place the relationship ahead of the self.  I can’t see Labour ever doing that.  It’s simply not in their DNA. 

[…]  Fourth, “no surprises”. That is an advance. Parties typically don’t tell each other what they’re about to do and that can catch each other out. A journalist can ask a party leader what they think of a particular policy, the leader declares it nuts only to be told that very policy has just been announced by their would-be coalition party.

Fifth, “consider ways that we can co-operate in the 2016 Local Government elections”. That’s a Green and Labour thing. They involve themselves in local politics. National tries to stay clear. It makes sense for the two to “consider” co-operating. But again, I would have thought it wiser to announce the co-operation rather than that we are considering it. What if the consideration comes to nothing much?

And sixth, they are going to “meet at least monthly”. Nice. Meetings are always good.

And Item Three is that they “Agree to Disagree” but in “a collegial and respectful manner”. Has that not been the case in the past? The memorandum is all good stuff. But why not just do it rather than agree to try?

It really is just a load of hot hair that means nothing more than

  • We hate National
  • We should try to stay out of each others’ way
  • We have no new ideas
  • But if we do it all together, somehow it will make a difference


– Rodney Hide, NZ Herald

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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.