Vernon Small at the Dom Post reports:
A Labour MP says the party’s new list is dominated by “self-serving unionists and a gaggle of gays”.
The party was the target of a bitter broadside from list MP Damien O’Connor, who opted not to go on the list, which he said was dominated by unionists and a gaggle of gays.
A gaggle of gays? Pretty insulting to his caucus colleagues.
Labour leader Phil Goff said he had “scolded” Mr O’Connor about the comments, which the MP had told him about, “although … it will probably help him no end on the Coast. He’s a pretty straight talker and he used West Coast language.”
I wonder what Robertson and Chauvel think of Goff saying that is “west coast language” which will help O’Connor “no end” on the coast.
O’Connor could have made the point that straight white males struggle to get good list rankings, due to the identity politics in Labour, without labelling people as a “gaggle of gays”.
O’Connor said he stood aside because he did not trust the list ranking process. “Frankly, I didn’t trust the system to give a straight-shooter a fair deal … It is dominated by self-serving unionists and a gaggle of gays.” …
“It does not truly represent the rank-and-file members and delivers a list that is not truly representative of those who vote Labour.”
So let us look at the effective list for Labour, and see if the substance of Damien’s comments are accurate. How many non-union straight European males (such as Damien) have list spots? In the top 15 effective spots, there is only one – David Parker. In the top 30 effective spots, there are only two – Parker and Nash.
So Damien has a legitimate gripe, but the way he has gone about expressing it does him little credit.