Is “independent” Phil Goff really just a Labour plant in a bigger plan

Rob Hosking sees a nefarious rationale behind Phil Goff’s candidacy in Auckland:

Mr Goff’s weak points are twofold. One, is he is more tribally Labour, at a national level, than incumbent Len Brown. Labour is targeting the council of the country’s main city, along with Wellington, (it already has Christchurch in the bag).

Denuded of support, both financial and other, Labour is hoping to create bases in local government from which to challenge the government and, no doubt, surreptitiously support its general election campaign next year.

Two, Mr Goff’s priorities, and the priorities of staffers he brings with him, are going to be less Auckland-focused than those of Mr Brown.

The resources of the council, including ratepayer-funded sinecures for campaign staff, will be there for the taking, and Labour will need those to hang on to its ground, let alone gain any ground, in Auckland at next year’s general election.  

And the same issues are appearing in Wellington, but with a wrinkle.

This is also a reason for the growing bitterness in the Wellington mayoral contest: former Labour Porirua mayor Nick Leggett is running as an independent business-friendly candidate against Labour’s official candidate, Justin Lester.

Mr Little, in one of his more misguided splenetic outbursts, called Mr Leggett “right wing” and claimed his campaign manager is from the ACT Party. Factually incorrect on both counts – Mr Leggett’s policies are fairly centrist, and his campaign manager is another fed-up ex-Labour-ite, a breed not exactly thin on the ground.

Primarily, though, Mr Leggett has committed the unforgivable sin in Labour’s eyes of not viewing business as alien and threatening. The campaign against him by Labour activists in the capital is bitter and vicious and like almost everything else Labour does these days will be counterproductive.

The campaign is so bitter it has actually involved threats against people wanting to speak out against Justin Lester and some very untoward behaviour while on a council trip.

Either way Labour know they can’t win nationally, so they are going to stack local body instead.

 – NBR


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  • Sally

    Along with Unions involvement in local bodies it looks like there is a takeover. They have conceded that it is too hard to win at Central Government and decided “better work” can be done in local bodies where National are weak. These socialists are cunning little rats.

    • MaryLou

      Yes. National seems to regard this as a non-event. I wonder if they’ll be as nonchalant when the mayors of each major city decide to sandbag/sabotage or resist decisions made at central level. They need to wake up.

      • ridsel

        Maybe the plan to to get Labour to divert its attention and money into local government and then “reform” it? I.e. central government can do anything it wants, including gutting local government or making them carry out unpopular reforms *and* carry the can for them.

  • pisces8284

    Same issue in the regions. I think candidates should state their political affiliations/leanings. I was hopeful for one high flying candidate here and she will probably be elected, but won’t get my vote

  • David Moore

    There was an article in The Spectator recently likening Corbyn & his Momentum movement to a parasite taking over a much larger prey. Seems to be a similar tacit for ‘Labour’ activists here to take over both funding and resources of local government, not for the benefit of local people, but rather as a source of sustenance for the fringe who are progressively taking over Labour.

  • sheppy

    Surprise surprise there was a reason Matt McCarten was deported to Auckland. Plenty of other people’s money at the council to waste!
    NZ politics really are a cluster whatsit

  • Wheninrome

    I suppose the only hope is he starts spending and annoys Aucklanders so much by the election that people won’t have a bar of labour. Jobs for mates, pet projects. OR he shuts up shop to save money and services start to fail. The conundrum is will the elected councillors let him succeed or not, will they be on his page in which case goff would get the kudos and labour by association.

  • Whitey

    This problem is part of a broader trend within local government. Local government at all levels attracts more than its fair share of the useless, the lazy, the dodgy, and the officious little jobsworths who are desperate for any kind of authority because it makes them feel important. In short, people who can’t get a job anywhere else. It’s only natural that the Labour Party and its union cronies should wind up in local government.

  • arnietm

    Could be BUT are they bright enough to hatch such a complicated plan ( for them)

  • BigNose

    Worldwide the left have seen local government as the way to rule when they cannot get national government. Their fanatical 5% are enough to get them power localy. Meanwhile the right see local politics as beneath them and don’t bother. Happens in the UK, happens in Aus, happens here. For God’s sake, National, get involved in local politics – 15% wins here, and saving billions in wasted rates and local corruption is better for the economy.

    • ridsel

      Maybe they should start an official National spin-off party called Local.