Trotter on Labour

April 6th, 2011 at 9:05 am by David Farrar

writes at Stuff:

Nature abhors a vacuum – and so does politics. With ’s front bench and the party’s ruling council both declining to deal decisively with Phil Goff’s inadequate political leadership, Left-leaning voters have been given a powerful incentive to look elsewhere for progressive representation this November.

Not since the early 1990s has Labour provided its competitors with such a huge opportunity to enlarge their electoral support base. …

So long as Labour demonstrates both an appetite for power and the means to attain it, a solid majority of Left-leaning voters will remain in its camp. In such circumstances, Labour’s potential allies, the Greens and NZ First, must be content to trawl for votes at the political margins – scrabbling for the 10-15 per cent of the electorate whose electoral needs Labour cannot, or will not, meet.

But the events of the past fortnight suggest that Labour possesses neither the appetite nor the means for winning power. On the contrary, its caucus and council appear quite blind to their party’s growing leadership deficit. With electoral defeat now regarded as inevitable, the No 1 priority of Labour’s front bench is how to emerge from the post-election bloodletting at the head of the pack.

Trotter is right, that this is a great opportunity for the Greens especially.

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24 Responses to “Trotter on Labour”

  1. Michaels (1,318 comments) says:

    The spooky scary thought is it may well be good for Winston First.

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  2. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    An accurate summary by Trotter. I’ve felt that Labour were going through the motions for a while. Get through this election, get rid of Helen’s old guard and start fresh. This next election is National’s to lose, watch those minority parties.

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  3. BeaB (2,081 comments) says:

    Labour has a fatally stricken leader, a small group of spineless wannabes and a ragtag collection of MPs.

    This is the inevitable outcome of decades of moving the party away from its strong working class roots to a party of middle class, university-educated political careerists. Just look at them with their designer clothes, overseas trips and chardonnay lifestyle. Not a calloused hand among them. Except perhaps for Shane Jones.

    They are a supine, effete elite who connect with only a small segment of the community. Nevertheless, unregenerate Labour voters will continue to choose Labour over the Tories because that’s what they have always done and the rest will defect to minor parties as a way of showing their contempt for the whole system.

    If the Nats could make a real push into the teacher/nurse/family vote they could rule alone for years.

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  4. nasska (10,903 comments) says:

    Suppose Labour/Greens/Maori/Hone’s Haters/NZF & the rest of the Great Unwashed managed to be in a position to form a coalition. It is easy to presume Labour to be the lead party but with it’s present problems with organisation & leadership I am becoming less inclined to see it as having the ability to pull everything together.

    We know from past experience that any government that Winston Peters forms part of will be handing over a fair package of baubles. Would Labour be sufficiently venal to include the office of Prime Minister as part of the deal?

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  5. Chuck Bird (4,763 comments) says:

    Chris Trotter is making a lot more sense as he gets older. Maybe he is like many on the left like some former ACT MPs who were originally Labour. In any case I believe he should be given credit for his honesty.

    Below is a quote form an interview of Chris trotter by Larry Williams of NewstalkZB.

    “Well, there is at tremendous amount of rumour flying New Zealand at the moment and I don’t know if the rumours are true of false. But, I would say if half – even half – of what is rumoured to have happened turns out to be true then certainly Phil Goff’s and Annette King’s positions will become untenable.”

    http://truebluenz.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/darren-hughes-phil-goff-and-annette-king-chris-trotters-strange-comments/#respond

    What he says makes sense and should be obvious. National and ACT should be hammering Goff and King over this. I do not know why they are not so one can only speculate. Could they think having a totally ineffective Labour leader is political beneficial to them? It may be but a weak ineffective opposition is not good for the country as a whole.

    Goff has put his friendship not only above what is good for his party but also the victim. It is hard to believe that he was not aware of the young man running naked from King’s house soon after the event. If he had of stood Hughes down straight away the details probably would not have been made public and the victim would not have been identified to many people.

    If Hughes is not charged many people will rightfully suspect there has been political interference for whatever reason.

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  6. Yvette (2,744 comments) says:

    Is this just Trotter flying a kite or does he have facts in any party poll shift?

    But then, perhaps extending his kite flying and imagining what left leaning voters may now feel about Labour – if the leadership issue is not resolved NOW does this not make the difference between a Party with intent to keenly pursue the power it needs to do anything, or just a bunch of people, trying to ‘keep their powder dry’, jostling for post-election individual positions that will be cushy, albeit in Opposition, for another three years.

    Does Labour now offer anything to the people of New Zealand, or just jobs for 30 – 40 politicians next year and [accidently, almost] a bunch of support staff?

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  7. Fisiani (993 comments) says:

    VOTE WINSTON but you get LABOUR
    VOTE GREEN but you get LABOUR
    VOTE HONE but you get LABOUR
    VOTE MAORI but you get LABOUR

    VOTE NATIONAL get THE STRONG GOVERNMENT WE NEED

    For STRENGTH and STABILITY VOTE NATIONAL

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  8. Inventory2 (10,174 comments) says:

    @ Fisiani – there’s no need to shout ;-)

    Trotter’s quite right however; who would want the Labour leadership this side of the election. The real shit-fight will start after Labour is decimated in November.

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  9. adze (2,000 comments) says:

    I don’t know that Progressives find a natural home in the greens either; half of their discourse these days is informed by Maori nationalism, a movement I don’t see as being particularly progressive.

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  10. Rick Rowling (823 comments) says:

    A year or so ago every other comment here included the phrase “one-term John”.

    Has that belief gone from those commenters, or are they all on the banned list at the moment?

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  11. smttc (711 comments) says:

    I still think there is still a possibility Goff will see the light (or at least the writing on the wall) and go voluntarily. It is the only way it will happen – no-one but a moron would want to be leader of the Labour party this side of the election. What will be really interesting is who steps forward if Goff resigns voluntarily prior to the election.

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  12. tvb (4,247 comments) says:

    But there are deeper problems for labour. Labour parties are in decline as their original purpose does not exist. Middle income people keen on environment issues and human right issues are not blindly loyal to labour. The Maori vote is more mobile. And the small self employed business people who could vote labour but probably will not due to tax issues. So labour is in trouble here and Australia and UK.

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  13. BeaB (2,081 comments) says:

    Goff would go, I am sure, if he was offered a plum job but there’s no-one to do that and he is so irrelevant he won’t be enough of an irritant for National to silence him as they did so cleverly with Clark and Cullen. In fact it suits the Nats for him to limp along to November.

    I can understand Trotter’s frustration. National has preserved all the welfare provisions so Labour can’t attack there unless they tell lies (like King and the cockroaches) and Labour cannot possibly have any credibility as a government of enterprise and aspiration.

    By the way I always used capitals before I could use Bold for emphasis. Interesting how quickly people latch on to silly rules like capitals mean shouting. But then Kiwis love rules and reminding other people about them.

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  14. Yvette (2,744 comments) says:

    Inventory2_
    “who would want the Labour leadership this side of the election.”
    smttc –
    “– no-one but a moron would want to be leader of the Labour party this side of the election.”

    So it’s plain then is it, that Labour is a bunch of pollies playing musical deck-chairs, but have nothing to offer actual New Zealand voters this up-coming Election? Hardly worth having them at all really …

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  15. publicwatchdog (2,279 comments) says:

    Perhaps Chris needs to study a bit more closely the results of the Botany by-election – the ONLY poll that counts?

    Remember folks – a week is a long time in politics……….

    ‘One minute you’re the rooster – the next minute you’re the ‘feather duster’ (and vice versa? :)

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure .wordpress.com

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  16. publicwatchdog (2,279 comments) says:

    “# Inventory2 (6,053) Says:
    April 6th, 2011 at 10:05 am

    @ Fisiani – there’s no need to shout ;-)

    Trotter’s quite right however; who would want the Labour leadership this side of the election. The real shit-fight will start after Labour is decimated in November.”

    Is that right – ‘Inventory2′?

    Like Labour were ‘decimated’ in the Botany by-election? :)

    The ONLY ‘poll’ that counts?

    For whom are the 9000 (former?) National Party voters (who voted for Pansy Wong – but not Jami-Lee Ross) going to vote?

    Mark my words – (former?) National party voters, just like a significant number of other voters DO NOT AGREE WITH ASSET SALES.

    (Sorry about the ‘SHOUTING’ – but think it comes under ‘freedom of expression’? ;-)

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

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  17. RichardX (326 comments) says:

    The “only poll that counts” gave you 124 votes. Any indication of how the general public view you?

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  18. V (694 comments) says:

    What I don’t understand about all this is why doesn’t somebody ask Trevor Mallard, he is the one running the strategy isn’t he?

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  19. publicwatchdog (2,279 comments) says:

    “# RichardX (40) Says:
    April 6th, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    The “only poll that counts” gave you 124 votes. Any indication of how the general public view you?”

    I think the 9000 (former?) National Party voters who chose to stay home in the Botany by-election, are an indication that my campaign, which was focused on opposing privatisation /asset sales and corruption, was actually VERY successful?

    :)

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

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  20. RichardX (326 comments) says:

    That would have to be the most mind-blowing egotistical nonsense I have read. Claiming a VERY successful campaign, not based on the number of votes you received, but on the number who did not vote for your opponent. Any evidence that any of those 9000 even know who you are, let alone were swayed by your campaign?

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  21. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    BeaB (718) Says:

    April 6th, 2011 at 11:53 am
    “Goff would go, I am sure, if he was offered a plum job but there’s no-one to do that and he is so irrelevant he won’t be enough of an irritant for National to silence him as they did so cleverly with Clark and Cullen. In fact it suits the Nats for him to limp along to November.

    I can understand Trotter’s frustration. National has preserved all the welfare provisions so Labour can’t attack there unless they tell lies (like King and the cockroaches) and Labour cannot possibly have any credibility as a government of enterprise and aspiration.

    By the way I always used capitals before I could use Bold for emphasis. Interesting how quickly people latch on to silly rules like capitals mean shouting. But then Kiwis love rules and reminding other people about them.”

    When did National cleverly silence Cullen? When did anybody?

    Bea, the rule against capitals is internet etiquette accepted all over the world.

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  22. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Stuff offers Trotter as a balancing act for the odious Richard Long.

    Difference is Trotter thinks for himself. Long is just a National Party toadie.

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  23. big bruv (13,555 comments) says:

    Maggie

    Are you suggesting that anybody in the media who is not a left wing toadie should be fired?

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  24. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    No I’m not. Wrong again, sport. You seem to make a habit of it.

    Long should at least be identified as a National Party toadie. Though as soon as you start reading his column it’s blindingly obvious.

    Of course he was editor of the DP before going to work for National as a spin doctor. An example of the leftwing media.

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