Face of the Day

Willie Jackson isn’t happy being 21st on the Labour party list.  It’s announcement was “held up” while he reminded Andrew Little of the private, verbal, iron-clad, take-it-to-the-bank, promise he made between two union blokes.

Labour has delayed the release of its list after broadcaster Willie Jackson flew to Wellington to discuss his ranking.

The moderating committee [held] another meeting [last] tonight to discuss Jackson’s placing, before an announcement is made [this] morning.

The news leaked out via media last night that Jackson remains at 21.

The party had been due to announce the list [yesterday]. A spokesman would only say “discussions are ongoing”.

Jackson, a former Alliance MP, was considering standing for the Maori Party, but that changed after being approached by Labour leader Andrew Little to stand on Labour’s list.

In announcing Jackson’s candidacy in February, Little said he would be “backing Willie to have a high list position” and “am confident he will be joining our ranks after this year’s election”.

Some members and MPs were frustrated that Little’s promise of a high list spot for Jackson went against the drive to get more women into Parliament for Labour.

The party has committed to at least 50 per cent of MPs being women, and its ruling council must consider that aim when selecting the list.

Matt McCarten tried very hard to get his two mates, Willie and Laila back into a paying gig in politics.  Union blood runs thick.  Which is why Willie believed Andrew when he was told he’d be looked after.

The thing is, the unions may have the power to force a leader onto Labour’s caucus, but they don’t -yet- control the List Moderation committee.

Based on Labour’s current polling and a fair dose of optimism, Willie Jackson will not make it as a list MP for the Labour party.

Willie has been in a downward spiral ever since the Roast Buster debacle when he lost his co-host John Tamihere on Radio Live.  He then funded a TV slot for his friend Martyn Bradbury as part of Waatea News, but it was poorly received and barely watched.

Jackson stopped appearing on the program, and later ceased paying for it.   Next he stepped down from Radio Live so he could be in the clear to campaign for the Labour party.  But he did that with the confidence from being head-hunted by Andrew Little himself.  Little had promised him a high list placing.

Willie is now outside of the media tent, and come September 25, outside of politics.

I guess Labour aren’t as convinced as McCarten and Little were that Jackson was going to bring in bus loads of disaffected urban Maori.  And it serves to remind the unions that they can only interfere from the top.  Even though Labour is one of the least democratically run parties in this country, it appears the committee remains beyond the reach of union intimidation.


– NZ Herald

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