Audrey on Little

December 14th, 2010 at 1:19 pm by David Farrar

at the NZ Herald reports:

is right: the threat by retiring MP George Hawkins’ to quit Parliament if the Engineers’ Union organiser was picked to replace shows the sense of entitlement that some MPs develop.

I’d go further and say it was a disgraceful abuse of the process. No one will know how many people in Sunday’s marathon selection in Manurewa favoured Louisa Wall over the Engineers’ candidate because of Hawkins’ blackmail to quit if Jerome Mika won.

But unfortunately for Little, the moral high ground has just collapsed under him with his extraordinary admission this morning that the ultimate aim had been to get rid of Hawkins.

“The key objective had been to remove George Hawkins and we achieved that objective,” he is reported in the Dominion Post.

He also called him a lightweight, which is as much an insult to the local members who put him there year after year. It’s one thing to think it – it’s another to say it.

The party deserves to feel as outraged by Little’s statement as Hawkins’ antics.

The caucus this morning could have expected an explanation if not an apology from Little if he were at the caucus.

This shows the problem of Little’s dual roles. As EPMU National Secretary he can call an MP useless, but as party president he can not slag off a long-serving MP in that way. It will cause MPs and party members to questions whose interests he is representing – Labour’s, or the EPMU?

The re-emergence of factional fighting is Goff’s worst nightmare. It kept Labour out of office for nine years and then Helen Clark kept a tight lid on it for another nine years.

Goff is portraying the Little-Hawkins clash as a personality clash rather than a power struggle within the party to limit the power of the unions.

Whatever take you put on it, Labour goes into the summer break in a worse place than when it started the year.

BBQ season perhaps.

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15 Responses to “Audrey on Little”

  1. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Let the good times roll!

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  2. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    So if Goff and Little go head to head, who wins?

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  3. projectman (224 comments) says:

    There have long been tensions between the unions, the Labour Party and the political “wing”. For a fascinating insight to some of the history, read Michael Bassett’s book – “Working with David: Inside the Lange Cabinet”. Riveting stuff.

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  4. Monty (977 comments) says:

    and add to all that the tension of Goff being at about 6% on the preferred PM stakes and his party at a dismal 31% compared to the National Party on 56% plus the support parties and you can understand why Labour are desperate and angry and looking for someone to blame. Each Faction will be digging in their trenches as they expect fire from within (friendly fire?)

    Labour have always struggled to present a united front. All the different factions now see the 2011 election as the fight for their lives and political survival. Expect thing to get so much worse (for them)

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  5. tvb (4,417 comments) says:

    The threat to quit is a problem for Labour because they were scared of a by-election when the main focus would be Trade Union interference in the selection of candidates. Otherwise they could have called Hawkins bluff and ignored it. So they selected a compromise candidate. Little had to have the last say but he blew it. “The key objective was to get rid of Hawkins” (sic). That was a bit of spin to get around the final selection not being the Union candidate. The menacing language of Littles will leave an uneasy feeling. Goff does not have the sort of control Helen Clark had. Her iron fisted control was there for a reason and it was very effective party management.

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  6. Inventory2 (10,337 comments) says:

    BeaB asks

    So if Goff and Little go head to head, who wins?

    John Key?

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  7. Rick Rowling (813 comments) says:

    However, none of this was relevant to TV3 news last night, although there was plenty of time to gossip about Warne & whatsername.

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  8. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    RR

    You sound surprised? The MSM (and that includes TV3) always look after their socialist mates, last night was no different. . .

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  9. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Liarbore’s infighting must be of some concern to the other commie party’s chafing at the bit to screw NZ over. How can they ride into power on the coattails of a party that is lead by the inept and unpopular.

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  10. lastmanstanding (1,293 comments) says:

    Its like watching a pack of chichuachuas tearing each other to pieces. Small brained yappy and shit all over the place.

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  11. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    Well said tvb,

    Helen Clark’s ability to keep the internal party tensions to a bare minimum is certainly credit to her ability as a politician. Goff’s inability to follow suit suggests that he is incompetent, and out of depth as leader. A resignation from him before the end of this year is probably better than allowing this to seep through into the new year (Labour needs a clean slate).

    I’m also expecting the head of Andrew Little to roll, his loyalty to the EPMU is painfully obvious. This will be the source of further conflict if he continues as party president. The two should roll together.

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  12. backster (2,171 comments) says:

    I’d go further and say it was a disgraceful abuse of the process. No one will know how many people in Sunday’s marathon selection in Manurewa favoured Louisa Wall over the Engineers’ candidate because of Hawkins’ blackmail to quit if Jerome Mika won.

    I would see it differently the abuse of process occurs when headoffice can virtually negate the electorates wishes and Union Carpet Baggers can be drafted in from outside the electorate to negate their influence. That is surely antidemocratic, as happened in Mana.

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  13. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    I think we should be congratulating Andrew Little for having the dedication to cash in his naked ambition to be PM simply in order to don his cloth cap and bravely put forward the point of view of his comrades and bruvvers in t’ movement. That’s what I call loyalty to a cause.

    Knowing the way unions work, some hard-toiling organiser will be being sacked even as we speak so they can afforf to give Little a raise as a vote of thanks.

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  14. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    If Goff doesn’t get rid of the time serving twits on his front bench and promote the young blood it will be BBQ season this summer.

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  15. Swampy (191 comments) says:

    Mr Farrar, the affiliate unions are full members of Labour and if Labour wants their money they have to let them have some candidates as well. But this thing of union members going around targeting candidates who are’nt left wing enough is too dumb and Goff has to be a fool not to pull them into line because Labour is supposed to be a broad based party

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