On Agenda last weekend, Labour President Mike Williams said:
“There are a significant number of retirements going to.we think probably six or eight may be ten will retire – people who feel they’ve done their dash made their contribution.”
That’s a fair few. Let’s see who those ten may be:
But has Labour left rejuvenation too late? Let us look at the Labour top eight (which is what most of the public see the most). In 2007 it is:
Now that is, I think, almost identical to the top eight in 2000. Horomia the only new face I think.
Now look at how National changed its top eight by its third term. In 1990 it was:
And in 1999:
Now of course National still lost the 1999 election, but it does show they did manage to rejuvenate while in office, with a very different front bench in their third term to their first term.
Labour would be silly to change Clark before the election, but if they want a proper rejuvenation, some of their frontbench need to consider their futures.
Tuesday’s Dom Post Editorial touches on this also:
But just as winning sports teams have to constantly rejuvenate their playing strength, so political parties need to keep finding new talent.
That, however, is something Labour has failed to do. A year ago it was a failing it might have got away with. But, with National under new leadership, it is no longer enough for Labour just to muddle along.
To be fair to Miss Clark she has tried to freshen up her cabinet but she has been handicapped by the dearth of talent within Labour’s ranks, a consequence of selecting candidates on the basis of loyalty and service to the party rather than ability.
Miss Clark can either buy the peace by pandering to sensitivities of non-performers within Labour’s ranks or she can gear up to face the new challenge from National. She cannot do both. What she decides will affect not just the coming election, but Labour’s ability to fight future elections.