I’m not sure who (as in which hat he was wearing) he was being the day I saw him. He is, I think, practising for his campaign. I was initially surprised that he slagged off (he would not, of course, put it quite that way) another union: Actors’ Equity. I’d said that it had been a bad week for the unions, thus, to pinch a bit of union lingo, collectively lumping all unions in together. He said, “It’s been a shockingly bad couple of months for Actors’ Equity. It’s been a difficult week for unions … And I’m not going to defend the Actors’ Equity because the handling of it has been an absolute disaster.” Is it helpful of him to say that? “I’ve spoken to people in Actors’ Equity. They know my view.”
Andrew has spoken the truth, as no other unionist has been willing to do so – he is smart enough to know you do not defend the indefensible.
He has been what I call interfering and what he calls trying to help, behind the scenes. He spoke to John Barnett, and to Robyn Malcolm, whom he flatted with years ago when they were both at Victoria University.
Trying to help behind the scenes is what Helen Kelly should have restricted herself to doing, rather than calling Peter Jackson a spoilt brat. It is a pity Andrew is standing for Parliament – he could do more good arguably as the CTU President.
He has long been seen as not Left enough by some factions of the Left; as too friendly with big business. An indication of where he sits is that he is equally scathing about Fran O’Sullivan and Chris Trotter. In other words: he is firmly in the centre.
Andrew is not centrist, but he is not extreme – he is mainstream centre-left.