Trotter on the damage Labour inflicted upon themselves

Chris Trotter explains the damage Labour have caused themselves in the past week:

WHAT AN EXTRAORDINARY WEEK it’s been! Two years of exemplary discipline within Labour’s ranks have been unceremoniously ditched in favour of rank insubordination and revolt. Poto Williams’ intervention and its aftermath have left Andrew Little’s carefully cultivated image of unity and loyalty in tatters. No amount of “robust and honest conversation” can hide the fact that a depressingly large number of Labour Party members would like nothing more than to punch their supposed “comrades” in the face.

Williams’ decision to publicly challenge Little’s recruitment of Willie Jackson represents the breaching of a dam behind which huge amounts of anxiety and anger has been building up since November 2014.

Andrew Little showed just how dopey he was by first pushing for Willie Jackson, then defending him when under attack, then walking back promises made to Willie Jackson.

Caucus last Tuesday was a nasty and raucous affair.

Andrew Little walked into the caucus room thinking he could cow his caucus with threats. He had no reason to doubt he would succeed. It is after all the modus operandi of a union boss.

Unfortunately, he ran into a well organised semi-coup against his leadership and it shocked him to his core. He was left in no uncertain terms that his position of forcing a non-member (at that stage) ahead of the queue on list rankings was untenable and unconstitutional.

Sure he blustered and threatened but last week’s caucus showed Andrew Little that his tenure as leader is on a knife edge right now. He had little choice other than to back down, and in doing so he empowered his caucus against him.

Previously, it was conventional wisdom that Andrew Little would last until the next election at least. After Tuesday’s caucus meeting there is small talk about a Moore solution and the timing of such a solution. Labour now realises that, despite the bravado of its leadership, victory in this year’s election is far from assured and likely in fact to have disappeared on them. They therefore need someone to arrest the decline. The only problem with such a course of action is finding someone to take one for the team.

Labour finished the week in disarray and they managed to make a hopeless Prime Minister look sensible and considered.

The only way Labour could have made it worse was to engage Michelle Boag to tell the media that the attacks on Willie Jackson were because he was coffee-coloured.


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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.