Willie Jackson

Maori Party mocks Labour using Willie Jackson

You have to admire the rat cunning of The Shark with this exchange in the House yesterday:

Switching support from one political party to the next has its downsides when past comments come back to haunt you.

Labour’s latest recruit Willie Jackson, who spent much of his time cheering on the Maori Party’s waka before boarding the Labour bus, was the butt of the biggest joke in Question Time on Tuesday as Labour’s attempted point-scoring went pear-shaped.   Read more »

Little Andy damaged after rebellion says Aunty Audrey

Audrey Young doesn’t think much of the past week for Andrew Little:

Rating the start to the political year, Bill English scores 8 out of 10; Andrew Little 2.

Little started higher, after his state of the nation speech, held jointly with the Greens.

He spruced himself up, and delivered a good speech at an event that went off flawlessly as a piece of political theatre to show a sense of cohesion on the centre-left.

But the rebellion over Willie Jackson has damaged Little and Labour in a way that won’t blow over in a week.

Little’s greatest accomplishment as leader – successfully instilling the need for party discipline – counted for nothing, and the chips weren’t even down.

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Trotter on the damage Labour inflicted upon themselves

Chris Trotter explains the damage Labour have caused themselves in the past week:

WHAT AN EXTRAORDINARY WEEK it’s been! Two years of exemplary discipline within Labour’s ranks have been unceremoniously ditched in favour of rank insubordination and revolt. Poto Williams’ intervention and its aftermath have left Andrew Little’s carefully cultivated image of unity and loyalty in tatters. No amount of “robust and honest conversation” can hide the fact that a depressingly large number of Labour Party members would like nothing more than to punch their supposed “comrades” in the face.

Williams’ decision to publicly challenge Little’s recruitment of Willie Jackson represents the breaching of a dam behind which huge amounts of anxiety and anger has been building up since November 2014.

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Poto Williams swallows huge rat to restore fake party unity

Party leader Andrew Little shoulder-tapped Mr Jackson, a former politician and broadcaster, to stand for Labour in the September 23 general election and is still backing him.

Ms Williams took to Facebook just hours after Mr Jackson was named as a list candidate to say his comments over the Roast Busters scandal in 2013 didn’t match her expectations of a Labour Party member.

Mr Jackson says he apologised for his Roast Busters comments at the time, and has done so several times since.

The pair met for a “robust and honest conversation” on Wednesday night and Ms Williams said she accepted that Mr Jackson’s apology was genuine.

She said he realised he had more to learn about issues of sexual violence.

“In that regard I hope to help him increase his understanding an our conversations will continue,” she said.

“I welcome that opportunity and Willie is keen for that to occur.”

But Ms Williams stopped short of endorsing Mr Jackson as a candidate.

In the end, for a sitting MP to be made to meet with someone who isn’t even a Labour candidate yet and be forced to play nice is just humiliating.   But as one fire is put out, another starts.   Read more »

There really isn’t any way Willie-gate can be spun as positive for Andrew Little

DPF over at Kiwiblog summarises

“Here was a party that spent last week standing up to Trump and for progressive values, and this week we’re proposing to slot a right-wing, shock-jock into Parliament? We just want a party that puts forward Labour values every week of the year.

“We want an inclusive big-tent party, but where do you draw the line? This guy supports charter schools – he’s no lefty.

“I just hope Andrew [Little] is right about Willie – because he’s made a mighty big captain’s call on this one. He can’t say people didn’t warn him.”

Captain’s call is a term that comes from Australia first used by Tony Abbott to justify his decision to give Prince Phillip a knighthood. It is now used to generally denote any stupid unilateral decision by a leader. Read more »

Little walks back his promise to Jackson completely

It is hard to see this revelation as anything other than total defeat by Andrew Little in the face of a caucus revolt.

It also means his promises to Willie Jackson of a winnable list placing are as shallow as Labour’s talent pool.

Labour leader Andrew Little says potential candidate Willie Jackson should be ranked behind senior MPs, including Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis, after earlier refusing to say where he stood on the issue.

He said foreign affairs spokesman David Parker and current Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard – who are both reliant on their list places to be re-elected – should also take precedent over Jackson as a first term Labour candidate.

“We have got to get David Parker up. He’s a huge intellectual powerhouse for us. Trevor Mallard up because we want him as next speaker,” Little said on Tuesday.   Read more »

Is Little walking back his statements on charter schools?

It looks like Andrew Little may have had a call from the teacher unions.

The other day, while defending Willie Jackson, he made this statement:

Little clarified that Labour did not agree with the charter schools model including its provision for unregistered teachers and the ability not to adhere to the formal curriculum. However, it had supported special character schools.

“We are supportive of school systems that work and particularly that help to address educational underachievement.”

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Andrew Little’s promise to Willie Jackson rings hollow

Andrew Little is dying in a ditch defending Willie Jackson, but at the same time, he is walking back his promises after an activist and caucus backlash.

Labour leader Andrew Little said he would address internal ructions about Willie Jackson with his caucus today and indicated MP Poto Williams would be reprimanded for voicing her concerns publicly.

She directly, and rightly attacked Andrew Little’s leadership. He is riding roughshod over the rules and constitution of the party.

There has been some concern within Labour about Jackson since Little announced he would stand on Labour’s list, including from Williams.   Read more »

The hard-left continue to smash Willie Jackson with vigour

Willie Jackson is also in trouble for daring to be a bloke, and for supporting charter schools.

Both things are anathema to the modern and politically correct Labour party.

Labour leader Andrew Little has gone into bat for Willie Jackson after further concerns from Labour’s ranks about Jackson’s past comments on radio and support for charter schools.

An open letter which says it is from Young Labour members is urging Labour’s New Zealand Council to reject Jackson as a candidate, citing his past comments on the Roastbusters case, his questioning of Labour MP Grant Robertson about his sexuality, and his support for charter schools.

The letter says all three demonstrated his unsuitability to be a Labour MP. It also points to Labour’s own rules to have a higher proportion of women in Parliament.

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Trotter on the outbreak of war in Labour

Open warfare has broken out within the ranks of Labour with a sitting electorate MP, Poto Williams, attacking list candidate Willie Jackson and now the unofficial mouthpiece of activists, The Standard, also weighing in trying to discredit him.

Chris Trotter writes at The Daily Bog about the outbreak of internecine warfare, just when Labour are trying to suggest they are a government in waiting.

POTO WILLIAMS’ very public criticism of Willie Jackson’s return to Labour has done huge damage to her party’s re-election chances. At a stroke, her ill-disciplined and (presumably) unsanctioned outburst has undermined the positive perceptions created by the joint Labour/Green state-of-the-nation event of 29 January. All of those “good vibrations” (to quote TV3’s Patrick Gower) have been drowned out by the high-pitched screeching of identity politics. Too wrapped up in their quest for a gender-balanced caucus to recognise the strategic importance of Andrew Little’s eleventh-hour recruitment of Jackson, Williams and her supporters have cost Labour tens-of-thousands of urban Maori (and Pakeha!) votes.

Little’s own quest: to reconstitute Labour’s “broad church”; is clearly considered secondary to the Labour Women’s Council’s determination to achieve a gender-balanced caucus in 2017 – as mandated by the Party’s recently revised constitution.

The recent recruitment of Greg O’Connor to contest the critically important Ohariu electorate has ruffled more than a few progressive feathers. (The Left deems the former policeman to be a rock-ribbed social conservative.) With the surprise return of Jackson to Labour (on the promise of a favourable position on the Party List) these already fragile feathers have started flying in all directions.

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