RIP Waitakere Man
With the Labour Party leadership contest getting bitchy and the issue coming down to who can sway the middle voters to decamp from National and back to the traditional party of the workers, I'll make only a few observations:
When Grant Robertson (who covets the deputy post) was asked why he was backing Shearer he didn't say anything about philosophy or ideology or policy or principle - he simply said it was because that is who he thought could win against John Key at the next election. Hmmm. And he said he had "political experience" that Shearer lacked. Like being at the NZ University students association forever and being a total careerist product of the Labour machine flitting from one government job to the next - as if that was a qualification for leadership? Hmmm.
And Labour's philosopher-at-large, Chris Trotter's definition of the Labour Party's problem as connecting with a mythical "Waitakere Man" has taken a blow after he died. NZ Herald:
Waitakere man [...] died instantly after the spinning propeller of his homemade hovercraft struck his head during a test run on Muriwai Beach, west of Auckland, on July 31 this year.
Coroner JP Ryan said an inspection by a marine engineer and ship surveyor who has experience with hovercraft found the hovercraft was "structural on the light side, and that structural failures were inevitable".
The engineer's report found the "overall condition of the craft creates an impression of urgency by the owner to make the hovercraft functional, well before it was viable or safe to do so", Coroner Ryan wrote.
"This is indicated by a significant number of aspects of the construction which had not been completed prior to the test run, such as a mechanism for steering the craft, a seat and seatbelt for the pilot, and a safety grill for the lift fan."
What a way to go. Using this tragedy as an analogy is tempting: No steering, no seat and a big rush, structural failure - sounds like the way to lose an election.