Jordan Carter has a thoughtful piece on Labour and the Labour leadership. An extract:
In the wake of Labour’s most serious election defeat since the 1920s, a comprehensive and critical re-examination of almost all of what Labour’s politics is about is an absolute necessity for our party.
On the table must be our policy, our campaigning, our organisation from branch to national level, our candidate selection, our structure, our communications, our tone, the way the parliamentary party works, what the staff do in the party and in parliament, and on it goes.
I think Jordan is right in that the leadership is only one aspect that needs reviewing. I’ve written before about what National did in 2002 with an independent review.
We have to start with acknowledging what happened to us on 26 November.
We got hammered.
There are no two ways about it.
The result is worse than in 1996, which should have been impossible given that that result followed the three-way split of the 1980s Labour Party.
It is a comprehensive rejection of Labour as a party fit to lead the government.
I know it as a candidate. There was none of the anger of 2008 directed at us. Instead there was simply indifference. People were sure we weren’t ready for the job. Second time in a row.
We must face that defeat, own it as an organisation, acknowledge it, and be ready to take some hard choices about how to refound our party and our movement to win.
It’s that big a deal. A positive and upbeat four week campaign does not erase the fact of failure, and nor must it be allowed to disguise how far we have fallen and how much work we have to do.
First and most profoundly, Labour has to work out again what electorate it wishes to appeal to. Who are the 50-60% of New Zealanders we want to have open to voting for us, from which we can draw 40-50% of the vote at general elections?
Secondly, we need with hard data and through open and engaged listening, to work out why it is that so many of those groups who used to be open to us are not now listening, and just don’t care what we stand for or say.
Labour could do worse than put Jordan on the review team. Having said that, the review team should ideally have some external people on it. An internal review can only do so much.
Tags: Jordan Carter, Labour