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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dear Labour Party - don't screw up the leadership decision

Phil Goff, the most humble Prime Minister NZ never had is doing the honorable thing by falling on his sword in the wake of the 27% result.

He fought a bloody hard campaign and despite being written off as a bloated political corpse by the entire mainstream media, he performed far better than the pundits and right wing attack blogs had predicted.

But performing better than expected can't save him from the inevitable, and in this Goff is showing real leadership.

The problem for Goff was that he never fought to win the leadership, while handing him the crown might have saved the Party from in-fighting post Helen's loss, political power can never be given, it has to be taken and in this regard the head long rush by some in the Labour Party to ram through a quick process is the worst possible outcome from the grace Goff has created.

The Labour Party need to breath through their nose and allow the leadership battle to take place over the Summer because this leadership selection is vital if the left are to have any chance of winning 2014 and fighting the vast swath of change Key will claim is his mandate.

The conclave of Labour must decide no who has the backing of Labour's factions, those factions need to work out who can beat Key in 2014 and to beat Key in 2014 you need someone who can do two things:

1: Appeal to the soft centre of National
2: Inspire voters who made this the worst election turn out in 120 years to re-engage.

The only time during the campaign that I heard Labour Party rank and file sound excited during the election was when Cunliffe was performing well in the media. He is sharp, brilliant and the right intellect to go one on one with Key, in fact Key's endorsement in itself yesterday suggests that's the leader National least want to fight.

Having Nanaia Mahuta as Deputy would be genius, however she will have to work on her apparent coldness in the media.

That leaves what to do with Shearer, as his rising star should be used to boost this team. Could he do Finance? With the world economy on the brink and austerity around the corner, the portfolio of Finance will come to be seen as pivotal and if Labour focus on rebuilding the middle class as their mantra, Shearer could create a narrative for voters that goes beyond the impenetrable jargon of economics.

To boost blue collar credentials, Lianne Dalziel needs to be front bench and the intellect of Chauvel and talent of Moana Mackey need to be better utilized as well.

This selection process must deliver a team that can seriously beat Key rather than a decision that hopes voters will have tired of Key.

Labour needs to inspire NZers to beat National, hoping Key loses 2014 rather than winning it is not a strategy.



At 29/11/11 2:04 pm, Blogger Canichett said...

Maybe combine two Davids - Cunliffe for leader with either Shearer or preferably Parker for deputy - that might stop any infighting later?

At 29/11/11 2:08 pm, Blogger mickysavage said...

Agreed Bomber.

Shearer would be a great Minister of Education. He would be welcome with open arms by the Teachers Unions and could be a formidable foil to Tolley.

At 29/11/11 3:20 pm, Blogger Richard Christie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 29/11/11 3:21 pm, Blogger Richard Christie said...

I thought Key had indicated that he won't be available as leader for a third term. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
Not being interested in a third term will allow him to do pretty much as he pleases without regard to personal popularity, which isn't a good outlook for the country.

At 29/11/11 4:46 pm, Blogger Rangi said...

Nanaia is useless, fuck that

At 29/11/11 5:37 pm, Blogger CAS said...

Yeah, I heard something similar re: Key that Richard up there has said, and that Joyce will lead them into the next election.

As for the next Labour leader decision, Labour, IMO, has done the right thing by creating a buffer between Goff's resignation announcement, the actual resignation and the announcement of the next leader. It gives the party faithful good time to think of the pros and cons of the move and if anyone in caucus has any second thoughts, there's plenty of time to work with that as well.

What's been increasingly obvious is that the Labour front bench have become the same tired people from 12 years ago and it gives off the impression that the party is stagnant. One of the things that made Key so popular was the impression that he was someone new (had he been in parliament since when English was leader? Or was it when Brash became leader?)
Hopefully, this result has forced Labour's hand and we'll see a major reshuffle of the party and hopefully the newer Labour people that fell out of parliament on Saturday night are brought back in as promoted list MPs.

At 29/11/11 6:36 pm, Blogger Hypatia said...

OK, so maybe Goff is a nice guy, but there are thousands of Labourites out there who remember that he was in the thick of asset sales, and that he did nothing to secure ACC against privatisation - the same goes for most of the rest of them ( labour MPs)and that he has been quite happy to see Labour stampede closer and closer to "the centre" ( centre = Right Wing)- Labour will have to wait a long time till these voters and their memories of Labour as a left wing party disappear .... in the meantime i'm voting Mana , unless Labour has a REAL cleanout and starts to represent workers and low income people again and stops indulging in right wing policies.
Show some balls Labour ! Get rid of all of the cronies !!

At 29/11/11 6:38 pm, Blogger Hypatia said...

" thought Key had indicated that he won't be available as leader for a third term. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong."

I remember reading that he wanted to be PM because he wanted to see what it would be like ...a bit like buying a jetski, a hobby for a wealthy dickhead

At 29/11/11 8:08 pm, Blogger Beverley from birkenhead said...

1st issue: The storm in a teacup issue.
‘Well, I completely support John Key on this one, because it is an issue of privacy. What if a husband and wife who are nuclear scientists were discussing in the privacy of their own home, their ideas on say extracting uranium to make nuclear defence weapons. Now if their conversation was secretly taped and published - it could mean the end of civilisation as we know it. This is how serious this teacup situation is – if we let this go and don’t uphold the law it will escalate and the next thing you know we face the destruction of the entire planet. No, we all of us should support John on this one in the name of world peace.

2nd issue: Paula Bennett.
Now Paula Bennett has only just exposed the widespread abuse of the benefit system by drug addicts & criminals. I was so shocked by this eye-opener – someone should have told us sooner - that I immediately rang my sister whose daughter is on the benefit, and I asked my sister straight out ‘is my niece a drug addict and is she on the run from the police?’ Of course my sister denied it all and I did consider a citizen’s arrest – but I’ll leave that one for now.. But my point is, we all have a responsibility to stop this benefit fraud – each and every one of us to confront our own and make a stand.

3rd issue: Global economy & Greek crisis.
I keep informed by watching the Fox channel (I am a teacher) & I find it most informative & fair. For instance, last night they revealed the truth about the Greek crisis & the terrible mess those Greeks have created for themselves by importing expensive- straight- out- of- the-showroom- German- luxury- vehicles. What a revelation!!
I’ve been to Greece & helped out with my tourist dollars, I’ve seen those lovely peasant women dragging their donkeys up and down the cliffs to get water or whatever it is they do. But now it seems – those same women all have Mercedes-Benzes hidden away in their olive groves and this is the root cause of their woes – wanton consumerism and we should all know these things. John Keys knows all this and I think once people become acquainted with the truth, perhaps they’ll think better of voting for radical like the Green Party.
Beverley from Birkenhead

At 29/11/11 8:58 pm, Blogger Elaine said...

I couldn't agree more Beverley. They just bring it on themselves! Let's have tea soon, but not in that terrible red cafe in Belmont where Maggie isn't welcome. How are your African violets by the way?

At 30/11/11 8:57 am, Blogger Canichett said...

I live just round the corner from the infamous red cafe. I hear they serve delicious lamingtons (recipe from John Boscawen) and spit-roasted lamb!


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