So, who is to blame for Labour’s predicament?

Phil Quin explains who/what is to blame for Labour’s current political predicament:

I don’t want to unduly pile on Andrew Little. In fact, during a phone call with a Kiwi journo last week, I couldn’t have stressed often enough how the current malaise facing Labour is not this particular leader’s fault. Instead, it arises from the misguided abandonment of broad church values that can be traced back at least three elections. As I have said often, Labour’s appeal is structurally insufficient; and that the quaint notion that the natural ebb and flow of politics will eventually land Labour in the shores of government neglects this point.  

Labour’s share of the party vote has declined precipitously since losing office. They are six points adrift of where they were in 1996, the first MMP election, after Labour had all but torn itself limb from factional limb. Those two facts alone should give pause to anyone still clinging to the notion that all Labour needs to get from zero to hero is the passage of time. 

Yes, appendectomies give Andrew Little a run for his money in the popularity stakes, but it is wrong to imagine any other prospective leader would have done better. In all likelihood, Robertson, Parker or whomever would have done just as badly, albeit in different ways. As finance spokesperson, Robertson has not displayed any greater capacity than Little for policy innovation — even if the Future of Work commission asked the right questions, the answers contained in the final report were a heady blend of inaccessible jargon, motherhood statements and empty promises. Oh, and lengthy passages ripped whole from The Economist. As for Parker, he’s not trusted in the same way Shearer wasn’t, and would have been dispatched in similar terms — although even more brutally in light of his irascible, idiosyncratic manner.

The problem appears systemic, and it easily harkens back to Clark’s era. I would argue that her slaying of the factions and placing utter and total controls on the party is what has directly led to the predicament they are in now.

In order to remain in power she collected a bunch of useless, middle management types, recognised not for their intellect but rather their ineffectiveness. Labour is now reaping the legacy of what Helen Clark sowed for them.

They have forgotten what their name means. They have forgotten their past legacy of sticking up for the working man. They are now the party of poofs, bludgers, criminals and wastrels, and even The Greens are trying to ransack that remaining support by taking the bludger and wastrel vote.

If they lose again let’s hope they have a proper review and call in people like John Pagani, Phil Quin and Chris Trotter to do the review.


-Phil Quin

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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.

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