Hooton scores Labour’s frontbench

October 7th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

writes in NBR:

As prepares to dust off ’s front bench, David Cunliffe plots his dust up with Mr Shearer.  Here’s a report card for the last 10 months:

David Shearer, Leader – 5/10
Hapless and ever-less-confident media performer, except on TV3 comedy shows.  Failed to build cohesive team.  Caught inventing stories about painters.  Lost control of his own office, now staffed by Grant Robertson loyalists.  Faces leadership challenge before Christmas.  Only KPI, though, is becoming prime minister.  If he holds on as leader, recent polls suggest that’s what he’ll be in two years.  Five points for that alone.

Grant Robertson, Deputy Leader, Environment – 3/10
Allowed Tim Groser to defang the ETS without political cost, making Labour cheerleader Rod Oram the lone campaigner against the changes.  Has provided no public support for his leader, fuelling destabilising leadership speculation.  Points for achieving more control over the party apparatus than Helen Clark in her prime.

David Parker, Finance
7/10

His plans to intervene in currency markets to drive up the Australian and US dollars are nuts, but are at least bold and have people talking, even if he will ultimately lose the intellectual debate.  Needs to package his ideas more coherently and learn to distil difficult concepts into fewer words.

Jacinda Ardern, Welfare
1/10

Failed utterly to confront Paula Bennett’s welfare reforms, despite the beneficiaries burdened with new obligations being a key Labour voting bloc.  Wins a point for leadership on gay adoption, targeting her Grey Lynn constituency.

David Cunliffe, Economic Development
4/10

Should be sacked for disloyalty.  Gives cliché-ridden think-speeches, with excruciatingly laboured analogies.  Panders to Labour’s left by advocating 19th century mercantilism, which he can’t possibly believe.  However, he’s the only Labour MP whose speeches anyone bothers to read and can articulate complex ideas.

Clayton Cosgrove, SOEs
6/10

Like Lianne Dalziel, manages to get under Gerry Brownlee’s skin occasionally, but can’t take any credit for Mr Key’s difficulties with the SOE floats.  Is meant to be Labour’s attack dog but has been over-shadowed by the Greens’ Russel Norman.  If he wants to be the tough guy, needs to fix the first name.

Shane Jones, On Gardening Leave
0/10

So much hype, for so many years.  So little to show for it.  Pro-business attitudes not a good fit with his party. Walking advertisement for political mercy killing.

Nanaia Mahuta, Education
0/10

Has done nothing.  Will be sacked.  Mr Shearer should demonstrate importance of education to Labour by taking portfolio himself, a la Peter Fraser and David Lange.

Maryan Street, Health
1/10

Wins a point for promoting euthanasia law reform, but voters probably expect potential health ministers to focus more on curing people than killing them.

Su’a William Sio, Employment
0/10

Unemployment is touching 7%.   High profile job losses at Solid Energy, Tiwai Point and Kawerau.  Ever heard of William Sio?

For those who want to do the maths, that is an average of 2.7.
Hooton’s solution:

His best performer is Phil Goff, who severely damaged National’s master strategist Murray McCully over restructuring at the foreign ministry.  He and Annette King deserve to be returned to the front bench.

  A more constructive role for Trevor Mallard should be found.

  Even bolder, Mr Shearer should announce that John Tamihere will be his social welfare minister.  It is nothing more than has already been mused privately.

  It is also time to move up new talent like Andrew Little – although strangely he has been overshadowed in ACC by the Greens’ Kevin Hague.

  The Reverend Dr David Clark is targeting an economic role and there is more to him than being one of the world’s leading experts on Christian existentialism.

  Chris Hipkins has done well tackling Hekia Parata.

It will be very interesting to see who get promoted and demoted in the reshuffle. Will Shearer be bold?

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28 Responses to “Hooton scores Labour’s frontbench”

  1. Michael (911 comments) says:

    Reading between the lines, is Hooton saying Labour are getting thoroughly beaten not only by National but by the Greens? Shearer will not survive until the election if his caucus realise that the Labour researchers, Leaders office, and caucus brains trust are needing a cleanout to be able to compete after an election win.

    I suspect a National Party led by someone as cunning as Stephen Joyce would completely dismantle a Shearer premiership.

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  2. tvb (4,513 comments) says:

    Mahuta is coasting along letting the teachers’ unions do all the heavy lifting in the education area. Meanwhile she indulges herself with another pregnancy. I assume that is her excuse for doing nothing. Get pregnant, raise young children if she must but she cannot assume front bench responsibilities at the same time. Politics is a hard game and for senior positions the job comes first, families come second.

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  3. Keeping Stock (10,434 comments) says:

    Hooton has been very generous to Maryan Street. She has been missing in action ever since the 50th Parliament convened. She just seems to be marking time until a change of government leads to her getting a couple of cushy directorships. And he is being ultra-generous to David Parker who seldom scores a point at question time, and who packed a sad the other week withdrawing one of his allocation of questions because Jonathan Coleman was going to answer it.

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  4. Sofia (867 comments) says:

    Even bolder, Mr Shearer should announce that John Tamihere will be his social welfare minister.  It is nothing more than has already been mused privately.

    Did I miss something – like, John Tamihere’s election as a Member – or is Hooton the one missing something?

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  5. hannity (152 comments) says:

    Thanks for that irrelevance Hoots, now back to the ruling party

    John Key 0
    Caught out lying ,due to resign in disgrace.
    English 1
    Has overseen the largest blowout of govt debt in Nzs’ history.
    Brownlee .5
    Incompentent ,agressive buffoon ,failed miserably as part time earthquake tsar.
    singlehandedly cost ch ch residents millions ,in lost equity, on track to lose ‘safe’ ilam seat.
    Joyce 1
    litany of fuck ups. Rena,Rons, loan to mates using taxpayers money,
    Due to slither back to private sector in 2014
    Ryall .5
    About as much gravitas as that hand wringing, snivelling dweeb on Blackadder, whats his name?
    Parata 1
    Completely out of depth. nats twin token, performs valuable role of attracting widespread derision,taking heat off
    fellow incompetents.

    Feel free to add to list Hoots

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  6. Manolo (14,070 comments) says:

    Wellington fans of toothy J. Ardern must be sorely disappointed.

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  7. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,753 comments) says:

    J. Ardern’s only unique selling point was she was young. Her currency devalues with each passing day.

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  8. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    I thought Shearer would be a good leader BUT he is not cut out for politics .. if he was in a one on one debate with Key he would be destroyed.
    Labour have no MP worthy of being PM so they are stuck between a rock and a hard place .. oh well.
    As Hannity sort of stated, National also have issues with quality (not the ones he mentioned) of some MPs but they are better than Labours motley lot. (I still shudder thinking that the Gweens could be in power one day)

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  9. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    So they’re all ineffectual and useless. I guess they fit right in with the rest of parliament then.

    I’m of the opinion that a general cleanout of elites is needed.

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  10. Redbaiter (9,630 comments) says:

    “Wins a point for leadership on gay adoption,”

    “Wins a point for promoting euthanasia law reform”

    FFS.

    Hooting is just another clueless urban liberal media phony with views that demonstrate a complete disconnect from that demographic that is not part of the Wellington/ Ponsonby latte set.

    Who needs his opinions?

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  11. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Hooton is just another clueless urban liberal media phony with views that demonstrate a complete disconnect from that demographic that is not part of the Wellington/ Ponsonby latte set.

    The media also needs a wave of forced retirements, although it looks like the market is taking care of that. The mindless crap that passes for reporting in this country is a disgrace. People like Hooton might as well be reporting about another planet.

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  12. Nostalgia-NZ (5,281 comments) says:

    The strongest opposition is coming from Russel Norman, Hooten is right that Shearer can be PM by hanging in. Unfortunate that things are so bad in politics in NZ at the moment that someone could become PM almost by default.

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  13. Redbaiter (9,630 comments) says:

    “Hooting” was not a typo Tom.

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  14. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    “Hooting” was not a typo Tom.

    I apologise, Red.

    The Herald should give you a column. Although your faults are many (you capitalist running dog, you), you do write well. Nobody can do worse than Shelley “Breastfeeding made my boobs sag” Bridgeman.

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  15. Frederick (39 comments) says:

    At least Hooten’s list made for a laugh or two e.g Maryan Street

    “Wins a point for promoting euthanasia law reform, but voters probably expect potential health ministers to focus more on curing people than killing them”

    The columns of the likes of Vernon Small or Kate Chapman are totally humour free zones.

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  16. alex (304 comments) says:

    Even if a National cheerleader like Hooten were to rank the Nats frontbench, I’d be surprised to see an average mark above 4. The past year, both major parties have been an absolute farce.

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  17. Paulus (2,665 comments) says:

    Russel Norman will make a great Prime Minister.
    He will show that he can destroy New Zealand in 12 months.

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  18. alex (304 comments) says:

    Also, Ardern is fairly weak and hasn’t really done anything as a politician, and everyone outside the Labour caucus knows it.

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  19. alwyn (438 comments) says:

    It doesn’t really matter what David Parker is like as Finance spokesman. He’s never going to have the job of Minister of Finance.
    Mad Russel Norman is obviously setting out his case that he will require the Finance portfolio (and deputy PM) after the 2014, or more likely 2017, election.
    Doesn’t that scare you? It frightens the hell out of me.

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  20. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Jones, Mahuta, Street, Sio….. these are **front-bench** MPs?
    Gawwwwwd. To say that Labour’s pool of “talent” is as deep as a car-park puddle is to be *extremely* generous.
    If Labour somehow manage to get in at the next election, it’ll be because National *loses* it – not because Labour “wins” it.
    I very much hope that the Libertarianz conference this weekend results in a right-wing party that can be an ally of the Nats and that can attract voters who believe (as I do) that John Key and co have become real soft-cocks on economic policy.

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  21. Manolo (14,070 comments) says:

    Among the worst of all Labour lackeys in the media is the useless Barry Soper.

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  22. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    alwyn .. well said

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  23. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    Because of egotism, the right has fragmented since MMP. This is usually more characteristic of left wing parties.

    This has done irreparable damage to the country, from which it will probably never recover.

    Consequently another right wing party won’t help. What is needed is for the right to stop infighting and make a broad based coalition. The first thing is for them to give up the fundy stuff. The horse has bolted.

    Next to warn national to support the coalition or face annihilation .

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  24. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Strange comments from Hooters re Shearer. Hooters reckons Shearer is the greatest thing since sliced bread and is forever signing his praises.

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  25. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @Kevin – “…another right wing party won’t help.”
    I beg to differ, Kevin. :)
    I think another right-wing party is the *only* thing that will help.
    National is in **desperate** need of coalition partners. A one-person Act party.
    A one-person United Future party. Very little strength as far as partners are concerned.
    If the Libertarianz were able to make a stronger showing and get at least a couple of MPs in, that would help.

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  26. Redbaiter (9,630 comments) says:

    Jezuzz, look at those Labour front bench people. Liberal elitists almost everyone of them. Not one who has poured concrete on a building site or hammered a steel stake into a rail sleeper or hooked a bale of wool to a crane, and they’d probably hold anyone who has done those things in utter disdain.

    Even from a Labour perspective, and on a scale of 1 to 10, there’s not one of them worth a score greater than -20. Posing progressives who shouldn’t be anywhere near a traditional Labour party.

    In fact the old Labour Party has fallen victim to the same disease infecting the Nats, and nowhere is that better exampled by the choice in Auckland central. Nikki Kaye or Jacinda Ardern? How the fuck does it matter?? Both useless political fluff.

    (IMHO Damien O’Conner is probably the best candidate they have for leadership right now,)

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  27. duggledog (1,589 comments) says:

    Alwyn.

    It doesn’t frighten me, because like children, some New Zealanders (actually, a hell of a lot of New Zealanders) are just going to have to learn the hard way. Like Greece is learning now.

    I am almost hoping for a Lab / Green / NZF whoever the fuck else coalition this election or next; by jesus that is going to be some nasty medicine. (I still reckon National should have stood aside and let Clark take a bath in it)

    Like the average rate payer is finding out now, it really pays to be very, very careful with your precious vote. That is, if you can be bothered voting!

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  28. Viking2 (11,571 comments) says:

    Nikki Kaye or Jacinda Ardern?

    Child MP’s red.
    Along with Nick the dick, Hipkins, Bridges and so many others.

    We need a party of veterens. Must be over 50 and done some hard yards somewhere.

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