Unsuitable for politics, says Rodney Hide

Facebook via NZ Herald

You may have missed it but there was good news for Labour this week with their candidate Rohan Lord quitting the race for East Coast Bays.

No doubt Lord is talented and experienced but he well demonstrated he’s not for politics.

He quit because he was ranked 72 on Labour’s list. He put the boot in declaring there’s “no chance for white middle class men” in Labour.

He obviously overlooked Labour leader Andrew Little. And before him, David Cunliffe, David Shearer and Phil Goff. White middle class men have done very well in Labour in recent times.

Lord proved he’s not a team player. He quit because the team didn’t appreciate him enough and he kicked them on his way out. His ranking proved generous given his behaviour.

Labour is better off without him and Lord himself is better off out of it

The real problem is people like Lord make it into parliament care of the evil party list system.  This kind of petulance and self-importance drives a lot of these people.  Do you know who I am?  

Lord’s quitting proved he wasn’t standing to support Labour’s values, principles and policies but rather to get to Parliament. That’s completely wrong-headed and a further reason why it’s good news that he quit.

Would-be politicians need to understand in politics the team and what the party stands for matter more than what any individual candidate wants.

Lord missed another key aspect of politics. It’s not a meritocracy like sport or business.

Parliament is the House of Representatives. The place represents us all and parties – explicitly or implicitly – work hard to achieve diversity in their candidate list to represent better the votes they hope to win.

It’s true that white middle aged men get marked down because by their nature they offer themselves up in greater numbers. That’s so in every party. That’s politics.

Politics is also, well, politics. We speak of work politics when colleagues get promoted not on merit but because they’re good at self-promotion, lobbying, winning the support of those they need, and, indeed, applying leverage when and where they can.

Those ahead of Lord were better at politics than he. Politics requires that you win the support of others. Lord is clearly capable and experienced but not in politics.

Even trying to buy your way in doesn’t really work.  Politics is like nothing else.  In the end, you need people to vote for you, and then keep voting for you.  And if not you, then your party.  And in that case, you need to have a silver tongue and sharp elbows.   And the capacity to sell your mother into prostitution.


– 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.