Garner on Labour’s uppercut

Duncan Garner doesn’t mince words and other Stuff columnists gush about Ardern’s tour of New York talk show programmes: Quote:

It’s the simple little things in politics that tell you everything you need to know.

A complex scandal with too many moving parts equals switch off. An easy one and the paying public get it.

When John Key ruled out working with Winston Peters, it was clear what he meant.  

When David Cunliffe dribbled a pathetic “I’m sorry for being a man” from the corner of his mouth, we all collectively sighed, thinking some people can’t be saved from themselves. But we got it.

However, this latest brainfart takes the cake and a second serving.

Labour has been rolled on an industrial scale over what appears to be the trivial matter of what to call this government.

But don’t be fooled, names aren’t trivial, and what people call you can reveal so much.

So can you believe this? Can you believe Labour has actually agreed not to call this Labour-led coalition a Labour-led coalition, when it clearly is?

Labour got 37 per cent on election night, NZ First got 7. Labour has the prime minister’s role, Labour dominates the Cabinet positions, although losing two Cabinet ministers in the past fortnight has been messy.

The backroom arm-wrestle between the PM and her maker, Peters, gets more tense by the day.

That it’s now spilled into the public arena should infuriate Ardern, but she has nowhere to go. She is in the hands of the 7 per cent while the rest of us can’t believe how cunning Peters has been. Well, we probably can. End quote.

Winston is as cunning as a shithouse rat. Jacinda Ardern has no choice because if she pisses off Winston she’s out of a job and all the photo-ops stop instantly. She becomes the little prime minister who couldn’t. Quote.

The collective brain of Labour is struggling to keep up with Peters and his new bag of tricks and twists at every turn.

At least Ardern has had some victories of late. Strangely, sacking two ministers is now seen as victories, and Ardern had to win the refugee fight. Had she not got her sweet-spot number of 1500, she would have looked impotent. End quote.

But has she? It isn’t being implemented for two years and the way polls are running right now it looks like they have seriously underestimated public opinion on refugees. Winston has played for time. All Jacinda Ardern has done is yet another PR exercise that will likely become unravelled at the most inopportune time for her. Quote:

In the bang-for-bucks stakes, Peters is an Oscar lifetime award winner.

If Ardern is king, then she’s in a battle to keep the title because Peters isn’t letting just 7 per cent of the popular vote ruin his delusional thoughts, which are actually turning out to be real victories in the real world.

A once proud party has agreed to lose its name because the ageing husband isn’t happy with who’s getting the credit. 

No wonder Peters is sensitive about who is leading the coalition. His popularity rose during his time in charge, and he doesn’t want ministers and the PM to add to the 51 times they have called it the Labour-led coalition in Parliament. 

So the name Labour is dead, put on ice, gone – well, for now anyway.  And anything Labour-led no longer exists and it must never pass anyone’s lips. And so far Labour ministers have been too scared to test the issue.

I asked Labour Party minister Kris Faafoi to repeat after me the following phrase on The AM Show: “I am in the Labour-led coalition.” He refused. Classic.

This is real. It actually beggars belief that Labour has dumped itself from this ruling coalition. It is no longer a Labour-led coalition. Well, it is, but Winston won’t have it.

When Winston barked, Labour’s conga line of weakness and wusses agreed.

Why on earth would you agree to losing your name and identity on the shop window when you’re running the show? Maybe when you’re not. End quote.

Labour is caving in because they know they are one whisky session away from oblivion.


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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.

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