Alistair Cameron

Is the take over complete?

Labour have appointed Tim Barnett as their General Secretary. That makes three if not four of the most powerful positions in the Labour party all part of the Rainbow faction.

Grant Robertson as Deputy Leader, Alistair Cameron as Chief of Staff, now Tim Barnett as General Secretary and of course Jordan Carter, a key policy influencer. Of course there is also Charles Chauvel, Louisa Wall, and Maryan Street.

Labour certainly looks decidedly top heavy in the Rainbow stakes, not that it should affect the votes of Waitakere Man in the slightest. Perhaps now Labour will have the courage to actually use the words same-sex marriage in their policy rather than skirting around the issue.

Little wonder (if you will excuse the pun), that Shearer has bought off the union faction by ceding control of the party to them with their constitution changes.

The Labour Party has appointed former Christchurch Central MP Tim Barnett as its new general secretary.

He takes up the position on July 26 replacing Chris Flatt who has been appointed secretary of the Dairy Workers’ Union.

For the past year Barnett has been a consultant in Southern Africa “developing political leadership to address the HIV epidemic”, Labour said in a statement.

Labour president Moira Coatsworth said Flatt had been a very strong leader during challenging times, and left the party in a stronger financial position and in good health.

“Tim comes to this role with considerable experience as a political representative and manager of organisations, at a fascinating and exciting time in our history. He will be driving implementation of our Organisational Review, forging a campaign-ready Labour machine nationwide and spearheading our fundraising. All key tasks towards achieving Labour-led government from 2014,” she said.

It’s Over Trevor

 Southland Times

Like this is ever going to work:

Labour veteran Trevor Mallard is likely to become the party’s buddy MP for Invercargill.

The move is part of the party’s response to its declining vote in the province and would be allied with a more regional approach from its existing Dunedin MPs.

However, the choice will not be without some controversy.

Mr Mallard provoked fury and outrage in the city during his term as education minister in the Labour-led Government as he oversaw the closure of 14 city schools in 2004.

His combative style could also be described as polarising.

Oh dear whatever has Southland done to deserve this…the oyster season has finished so there is absolutely no advantage for anyone wanting to visit the place.

This can only mean several things:

  1. Trevor has a new girlfriend in Invercargill.
  2. He has been given the arse card by Shearer and this is his genius plan that has so much cunning that Trevor has completely missed it.
  3. It wasn’t Shearer’s cunning plan, I sense the hand of Alistair Cameron who has done what Nashy failed to, banish Mallard, in the middle of winter, to the provinces.
  4. Labour have given up on the provinces completely for 2014.
  5. Hutt South is now vacant for Stuart Nash to return.
  6. The lack of broadband will ensure less tweets, Facebook updates and Red Alert posts minimising Labour party SMOGs as a major benefit.
  7. Labour actually hate Southland and Trevor Mallard equally now.
  8. This is Mallard’s cunning plan to avoid litigation from Judith Collins.

If Trevor Mallard is Labour’s answer then it was a bloody stupid question. wait for him to challenge a local blogger to a cycle race (Watch out Ele!)

Trevor Mallard should just face facts, that he has been sent to the New Zealand equivalent of the Siberian gulags.

As an interesting aside one of the most popular sports in Southland is duck shooting. One more Mallard won’t make a blind bit of difference.

Watch his travel bill bloat out like Parekura’s togs when he bombs into the hot pools.

Appealing to Waitakere Man

Well this one must be on Chris Trotter’s wish list for the future of the Labour party.  Today’s Herald on Sunday has run a photo from a recent ‘Get it On’ event – Urge Black at the Emperor’s Bathhouse.   The Herald’s photo is taken from the ‘Get it On’ facebook page.

Nothing out of sorts here except that the HoS has highlighted David Shearer’s Chief of Staff Alistair Cameron attending and showing off his particularly fine physique.  Why is this an issue?  Well of course it isn’t.  Well, not really.  Except that Labour are desperately trying to appeal to the ‘Waitakere Man” and to have the most senior staffer cavorting in next to nothing in a room full of queers probably won’t appeal to Waitakere Man.

Face it Chris, Labour no longer wants to appeal to ‘Waitakere Man’.  He’s been left out in the cold.  The few blokey Labour men are either  closet right wingers like James Bews -Hair or, like O’Connor and Tamihere, have worked out that Labour is doomed to be run by the ‘gaggle of gays’ and the ‘self-interested unionists’.

I very much doubt that Shearer could quietly ask Cameron to think about Labour’s brand when he attends events (even in a personal capacity).   I can just see the howling of homophobia, the “Chris Carter” defence and Cameron running to the man who installed him (Robertson) for some assistance in retribution.  Yeah sure, Cameron is there for Shearer.  I called bollocks on that here in April.

So, Chris, was this what you had in mind from Shearer in leading Labour back to Labour’s roots?


On matters Labour

Some interesting things have come to my attention.

Of course last week there was a nice opinion piece by David Cunliffe in the Herald.

Then this weekend he delivered a big key note speech where Chris Trotter and other commentators were specifically invited and is now being seeded nicely across the left wing blogs.

Then there are the moves by Moana Mackey who is busy trotting around visiting MPs. Of course Moana was supported in her list ranking by none other than Jordan Carter and Alistair Cameron, Shearer’s new chief of staff. I hope she can count better than the last time she ran the numbers.

Jordan Carter has burst forth on his blog again, in support of David Cunliffe’s nicely timed keynote speech.

Someone pointed out to me too that I may have been a bit wrong about Alistair Cameron’s loyalties…that they quite possibly weren’t with Grant Robertson, given his close professional and personal relationship with former president Mike Williams.

Who then pops up this morning commenting in the media today about how secure Shearer is….anyone fancy a Tui.

He told 3 News Firstline this morning, that Mr Shearer has the support of the vast majority of Labour MPs.

“I rang around some caucus members yesterday… and there’s no mood for change at the moment, I can tell you that.”
Mr Williams says if Labour does decide to change leaders, again, it must do it by the end of the year – two years out from the next general election.

As they say the Ducks are lining up…the wonder is if one particular Duck is lining up on the right side or the wrong side.

With Shearer off being entertained by corporate lobbyists on the weekend instead of shoring up his support, things are looking dodgy for him to continue much longer.

You know you are rooted when…

On the left of politics you know you are rooted when Vernon Small calls time on you. He doesn’t actually use the words but what he does is simply repeat all the comments on the slow and careful death of David Shearer’s leadership. Normally he would write about something else.

Labour leader David Shearer is under mounting pressure as some prominent Left-wing commentators say his leadership is doomed.

Party sources yesterday rubbished any talk of a leadership coup.

Deputy leader Grant Robertson has said there is not even a grain of truth in suggestions, run on political blogs, that he is positioning himself for a tilt at the top job.

That speculation was fuelled by the appointment of Wellington-based lawyer Alastair Cameron as chief of staff in Mr Shearer’s office.

But speculation is widespread in the party that a change of approach is needed if Mr Shearer is to lift his profile and cash in on the Government’s problems as Finance Minister Bill English struggles to get the books back into the black.

Left-leaning commentator Chris Trotter wrote in yesterday’s Dominion Post that he had been wrong to back Mr Shearer. “Let’s face it, he ain’t anybody’s kind of leader.”

Unlike former prime minister David Lange, Mr Shearer could “barely string 10 words together”.

“It’s time for the Labour caucus to put an end to `the unfortunate experiment’ and begin a new one,” he said,

Another leak designed to destroy

Dominion Post

The Labour party is in turmoil with leaks and counter leaks. One thing is clear the leaks that are being run now are designed to neutralise David Shearers support. Tracy Watkins obviously doesn’t have the stones to name me like the NZ Herald does. As the Labour civil war gathers momentum the tipline is humming:

The Labour leader’s office appears to be in turmoil after David Shearer’s chief of staff abruptly left Wellington.

Former Labour MP Stuart Nash, who has been in the job just a few months, was seen leaving Parliament yesterday after a meeting with Mr Shearer’s incoming chief of staff Alistair Cameron. He later confirmed that he would be working on projects from his home in Napier for the next couple of weeks. He is due to finish on May 31.

Mr Nash rejected suggestions he had been “frogmarched” out of the building or given orders to clear his desk but his abrupt departure coincides with rising conflict in the Labour Party over Mr Shearer’s continued poor polling and lack of a clear strategy.

Some of that conflict has been laid bare in leaks to a Right-wing blog that could only have come from either senior MPs or highly placed members of the leadership team.

There is definitely a whispering campaign going on. I certainly heard about Stuart Nash’s departure before he did, and it wasn’t from Wellington beltway sources.

Mr Nash’s departure will only fuel speculation over the ambitions of his deputy, Grant Robertson, who has been forced to deny interest in the leadership after some key appoinments were filled by Robertson allies.

Mr Cameron, a Wellington-based lawyer and Aids Foundation Trust chairman, is a former adviser to Labour MP Marian Hobbs, in whose office Mr Robertson also worked. Another appointment seen as “Robertson-friendly” included his former Wellington Central campaign manager Patrick Leyland and there are suggestions Jordan Carter is poised to replace Chris Flatt as party secretary.

The Labour luvvies are gossiping and the Auckland ones are squawking nicely. The gay grapevine is way quicker than the political pigeons in getting news out.