Small on Labour

March 29th, 2011 at 2:02 pm by David Farrar

also provides advice for Labour:

’s leadership may not be on the line today at the shadow cabinet meeting in Dunedin, but no change is no longer an option.

That’s also a big call.

Looking again at the wider leadership team including and David Cunliffe and making a change there may be the answer.

Helen Clark did it in 1996 to shore up her leadership.

At the time her rivals did not have the numbers to roll her, but she recognised the concern in the party at its poor poll rating and knew she needed to act.

The result was her deputy and finance spokesman David Caygill hit the cutting room floor in favour of Michael Cullen, creating the leadership team that was so effective for Labour during nine years in office.

Politically that might work, even though it would be quite unfair. Goff is the one who has ballsed up so badly, and I don’t think King has done anything much wrong – we don’t know what she advised Goff. And the fact the incident happened at her house is not a reflection on her. There’s nothing wrong with having a colleague stay with you – in fact probably saves the taxpayer money.

But Annette is very loyal to Labour, and it is possible she could walk, to save Goff.

There is clearly a split between Goff and the party or at least president Andrew Little over the handling of the issue and the lack of communication. It goes deeper than the papering over of the cracks that occurred late on Sunday when the two finally talked about the issue.

Labour is in full fund-raising mode, made difficult by the current controversy. Its activists on websites and blogs are openly questioning the party’s direction and Mr Goff’s judgment. Its union backers and foot soldiers need to be motivated but are in danger of being demoralised.

Business as usual is simply not an option.

Meanwhile in a seperate galaxy, located well beyond the Andromeda Galaxy, Stuff reports that “Phil Goff has said the affair has ‘strengthened’ his leadership”

You can’t make shit this good up.

Image courtesy of Iidiot/Savant.

Tags: , , , ,

40 Responses to “Small on Labour”

  1. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Goodbye Labour party, you’ve been useless in opposition, you won’t be missed.
    I don’t see how you’ll survive financially to be honest, only a hard core of loyalists are going to back you now.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    And who wants this goof in charge when there’s a crisis?

    In my book, not stepping up to leadership is as bad as being a weak leader.
    What is wrong with Mallard and the rest of them? I never thought he’d be a wet cop-out.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Meanwhile in a seperate galaxy, located well beyond the Andromeda Galaxy, Stuff reports that “Phil Goff has said the Darren Hughes affair has ‘strengthened’ his leadership”

    Of course it has. People haven’t doing the numbers over the course of this year for David Parker, they were doing the numbers for Darren!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. ben (2,379 comments) says:

    That last quote is beyond ridiculous. It does tend to be the Left that thinks spin is enough. Witness the daily nonsense at the Standard.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    RightNow: Labour is like a coldsore. It may get beaten down for awhile, but when you least expect it, it will pop back up. Complacency would be a mistake.

    DPF: It could be seen as strengthening his leadership if he does do a Helen Clark, like one of your previous posts. If this mess identifies insurgents within his MP’s he could eliminate them and thus strengthen his position. You know, like Saddam used to do…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    So Goff is Zovirax?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I think Goff is right. That means I think you are wrong, David. Why? because you appear to be willfully neglecting this: no one wants the job of Leader of the Party right now. I think, as I’ve suggested before, that your otherwise flawless judgment is failing you here, because it is tinged with wishful thinking.

    I think it boils down to this. The more of a train-wreck the Labour Party becomes, the less likely anyone is likely to step up and take all the shit that goes with the job. Goff took over when the party was already derailed by Clark’s protracted nepotism and failure to cultivate an heir apparent – let’s face it, the only one up to it left to work at Massey University prior to the election. He is merely fulfilling the breif – take all the shit, and baby-sit the party until the electorate forget about Clark.

    So, really, the Hughes affair did little to impact on Goff’s position. Ironically, it has strengthened it, because now the Leader of the party, instead of being up to his armpits in shit, is now up to his chin in it. This is a cynical but sadly accurate overview of the collective lack of moral fibre in the crew that Clark left in her wake.

    You will see no movement on this until after the election. And, if Goff’s lot are able to come away from the election not too badly bleeding, but with Little failing to win his seat, who would bet against Goff staying for another term? Stranger things have happened.

    Goff will promote his position as one which shows his ‘loyalty’ to the party and to his friends. That will exonerate him with the voters, and save his neck today.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    No RightNow, Zovirax is effective.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Well said Lee: “instead of being up to his armpits in shit, is now up to his chin in it”
    Cemented his position is probably more apt.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    slightlyrighty, fair call, if I am to compare Goff to any sort of medication it should be laxatives.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Lee.

    I like your assessment. Your conclusions are pretty much spot on. Goff’s leadership has reduced the party to such a state that no-one in his or her right mind would take that job.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Lee, you may be right in that the Hughes affair has strengthened Goff’s leadership position in Labour (or at least shown how weak any alternatives are).

    But I would be very suprised if it has strengthened Goff’s leadership as seen by the voting public. And that is a tad more important.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    first apology David – you did say in a previous post that ‘no one wants the job’. So consider my faith in your judgment is now reinstated. Well Pete, the is the old adage that some would vote for a pig with a red flag on it, and if Goff is the boss they’ll vote for the party. really the next election is about damage limitation – just how much damage this has done? Hard to say, compared to Carter – but who remembers him – already?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    There’s only so many that will vote for a pig with a red flag.

    really the next election is about damage limitation

    It should have been about how far Labour can rebuild, with an outside chance of squeaking (oinking?) in, but it does just looks like damage limitation now.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Bed Rater (239 comments) says:

    Do you think amateur political commentators might one day realise Tui billboard jokes are not the height of comedy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. DJP6-25 (1,387 comments) says:

    Lee C 2:10pm. You’ve made some very good points.

    cheers

    David Prosser

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. DJP6-25 (1,387 comments) says:

    Bed Rater 2:28 pm. Maybe. But the free entertainment provided by the enemy’s antics is stilll much appreciated.

    cheers

    David Prosser

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. V (719 comments) says:

    Is anyone sick to death of this supposed ‘Darren Hughes’ saga?
    No wonder newspapers/media are going to the wall when all you get is this drivel. Seeing the press gallery huddled around Phil Goff like leaches, asking the same Q repeatedly for 20 minutes, editors should hold their heads in shame at the ‘quality’ of journalism in this country.

    Surely at this point in time this is the least relevant story to most people, yet stories seem to be 5:1 DH v anything else.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. indie (17 comments) says:

    Watching Goff at the moment is like watching a respected sportsman who is playing one season too many and sullying his overall reputation.

    If he seriously thinks this has “strengthened” his position, and is claiming that “he did what was right in his heart”, then he’s got even less of an idea about the voting public’s impression than I thought.

    It’s all quite sad really.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    ” You can’t make shit this good up. ”

    Not so sure about that the Whale has been giving it a fairly good go with his Texts from New York.

    http://whaleoil.gotcha.co.nz/?p=21983#comments

    [DPF: What makes you think they are made up?]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    P G @ 02 27 in my opinion roughly 25% of the citizens who are tribal Labour, would vote for a pig, a photo of a dead person and even a Swede on a manuka stick if it was draped in red bunting. That is the intellectual understanding they possess of economic reality, manifested by their acceptance of the meaning of the word free when in fact such largess may well have been stolen from them in the first place, as opposed to a triggered emotion based on the fairytale that is the socialist message. Hence we had the disastrous result when Clarke and Cullen took the tribal labour rump for granted and made their very successful pitch for the centrist votes garnered from those connected to students and the beneficiaries of WWF or the votes of the target bloc. A strategy that is being found so difficult to unravel as Key and English try to find a way to reverse them and not commit the Richardson suicide outcome where she lost even the support of Bolger, her P M, who cut her adrift.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    V.

    Many of us are sick of the Darren Hughes saga, but what you miss is that it has become the Phil Goff saga.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. kiwi in america (2,441 comments) says:

    Key and National’s strategists must be pinching themselves at the size and scope of Goff’s own goal. That Goff broke all the rules of scandal management speaks volumes for the lack of political acumen of him and his inner circle. Goff is saved only by the fact that his caucus is too divided between the alternatives for any one candidate to emerge through the middle and mount a credible challenge, the fact that likely contenders are either too old (Mallard, King), too inexperienced (Parker, Robertson, Shearer), tainted (Jones) or electorally unappealing (Cunliffe, Street) and that the prevailing sentiment is resignation that Key’s poll lead is insurmountable.

    Goff is now in the worst political position – seriously but not mortally wounded. The usual leftward tilt of the media that normally gives Labour a bit more benefit of the doubt will be subsumed by the favourite Wellington parlour game of coup related rumours and plotting. He will carry the air of irrelevancy of a soon to be defeated Leader but without the real threat of a credible leadership challenge. Goff could of course cock something else up even worse than the Hughes affair thus forcing the hand of his caucus but, like Mike Moore in 1990, who really wants the poisoned chalice of Labour’s 2011 campaign.

    Meanwhile the foot soldiers get more and more demoralised and swing voters aiming to punish the Nats for the struggling economy will just stay home. Goff does run the very real risk of a 2002 type result where Labour’s vote collapses to its core base of beneficiaries, low paid workers, rainbow coalition progressives and some Pasifika/Maori votes. The last two constituencies will be heavily wooed by the Greens and Hone Harawira respectively.

    I’ve never heard my friends inside Labour so dispairing of this clusterfark of circumstances their party finds themselves in!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    Indie 3.21
    It is more like watching Lee germon or taine Randall or Todd black adder. Nice guys but never top flight captains.
    Mind you, not sure any of them had been caught lying, rewriting history and sporting a creepy rictus grin as the pressure came on.
    Please excuse the typos. The iPad autocorrect is worse an e Labour front bench. Not fit for purpose.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Inventory2 (10,337 comments) says:

    The big questions now are these:

    1) Will anyone, especially in “big business” donate to Labour this year?
    2) With Goff having publicly ostracised Andrew Little, will the union movement be as generous with its money, but more importantly with manpower this election.

    I would suggest that Labour can take none of its traditional support for granted, and I can see Matt McCarten campaigning aggressively for the union support if the McCarten/.Bradbury/Bradford/Harawira party gets off the ground.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    It will be interesting to see how hard Little campaigns for:
    – his electorate seat
    – the party vote for his list insurance

    He obviously wants to get in, but he may not feel like going out of his way for Goff, for multiple reasons.

    It will also be interesting to see where he ends up on the list.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    V No, I’m not sick of it yet and look forward to much more merriment ahead – as long that poor abused boy is protected and all the odium is heaped on Dirty Darren and Goff.

    I am still amazed there is no-one in Labour ambitious enough to give it a go. This is the moment when power could be seized and a reputation built. When all hope is lost, that is the moment the true leader steps forward.

    But as I have said before they are gutless wonders, too cosy with their big incomes, designer clothes, childish politicking and insider gossip.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    Hitler’s leadership strenghthened by the outcome of WWII. Film at 11…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    slightlyrighty

    It always was the Goff saga, or in fact more correctly, the twice daily Goff serial. And its the best serial I can think of. Hughes is only a side issue.

    Its interesting, that many commenting on this blog have often observed during the Clark years that just when you think they couldn’t go lower or dirtier or more dishonest or more unethical, they did.

    Now, just when you think that surely Gaffy would have the sense to just STFU and “move on” in classic arrogant and dismissive Hulun mode, he keeps saying the most stupid things; even sillier than you could possibly have imagined after his last effort. But no, like the true comedy caper and credibility wreck that he is, he now comes out with this; all the more amusing in the context of him also reporting a “constructive discussion” with caucus today (translation: “FFS sake, just shut up you fuckwit”).

    BTW, what’s with the Dunedin caper? Who foots the bill for that?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. SHG (316 comments) says:

    We will, of course.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    The admin with the girl’s name is having a denial meltdown on the substandard… everyone who disagrees with him is now an “astroturfer” and their opinion is “meaningless”. Even if they’re obviously labour sympathisers, and their opinions are not in the interest of the VRWC ( seriously, who on the right wants Goff gone now? Please stay till the election phil!)

    Substandard commenter “Chris:”

    Sorry keeping Goff was a bad move. The media and the right will now continuously snipe away at Goff and keep him and Labour sidetracked – some of the ammunition they will continue to use is: /1 Goffs ‘handling’ of the Hughes scenario and who knew what / when / how etc. 2/ the fact that there has been open criticism of Goff by the likes of Chris Trotter, Matt McCarten and the less then happy Andrew Little. 3/ the The ‘negative’ attitude of people like Judith Tizard, Chris Carter, John Tamahere and others. 4/ Goff’s ongoing low personal ratings plus 5/ the public is not stupid they know there has been decent and fractions with the party and by MP’s who feel Goff is a liability. This will now sidetrack Labours build up in this election. It was either now or never and I feel Labours chances at the next election are receding rapidly. Sorry had to say it.
    Reply

    *
    lprent 16.1
    29 March 2011 at 3:40 pm

    And you look like an astroturfer to me. Your opinion is meaningless.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. big bruv (13,884 comments) says:

    Jesus this Labour party are a bunch of morons, they have effectively handed the election to the Nat’s.

    By keeping Goff in his job they have ensured that this story will not go away, the media will simply not let go, this will remain a front page story until they have hounded Goff out of office.

    Had they done the right thing and rolled Goff the change of leadership would have been a story for a couple of days and no more, indeed the positive press they would have received from having a new leader would have seen them shoot up the polls for at least a month or two.

    In fact, not only are they morons but they have effectively given up the right to call themselves the opposition, the caucus have decided to flag the up coming election on the basis that they can and will change the leader after November, frankly that is nothing short of dishonest.

    Goff and the rest of the Labour party should clear the opposition benches and let the Greens take the front seats.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. flipper (4,051 comments) says:

    So Phillie and his “front benchers” met today at Otago University.
    Pray tell me how it is that a political party can hold a formal meeting
    in rooms provided by a tax payer funded/owned university.

    I can just imagine the crap if the Nats or even that idiot Peters were to hold such a meeting at OU or ANY
    U.

    I suppose it simply confirms that Labour politicians are either failed cradle to the grave academics or dipshit trade union employees…….

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. troy mclure (9 comments) says:

    Just spotted this classy piece of work on the standard

    “I see the shades of Muldoon hanging over this case.
    I suspect that NACT has opened the history books to find new clothes for Key to wear for November 2011 and found the pages on Colin Moyle and decided to play the deck.”

    Charming.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    troy – yup over on the subStandard it’s everyone’s fault except Hughes, Goff and Labour… Muldoon’s certainly to blame, despite being dead 20 years. Fuck’s sake.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Rich Prick (1,700 comments) says:

    If that is a “strengthening” of a Labour Party leader’s leadership, I’d hate to see a total clusterfuck. Why did no one in the media say “Oh come on Phil, pull the other one”?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Rich Prick (1,700 comments) says:

    A total clusterfuck would have Goff imortalised in bronze, albeit in a Kim Jong Ill-eske kind of way. I suppose.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. troy mclure (9 comments) says:

    Maybe he has strengthened his leadership, under normal circumstances he would have been rolled.He now realises no matter how badly he screws up nobody will want to take his job and feels more secure.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    I think that’s it Troy, it’s more or less proven no one else wants to inherit the mess.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Rich Prick (1,700 comments) says:

    Labour could just let Goff go and hang out the “Situation Vacant” sign. They might get a taker. Who knows.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote