Dom Post on Labour’s List

June 25th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post editorial:

’s list is not inspiring. There are few fresh people in winnable positions, because the party has been unable to chop out dead wood. There are half a dozen sitting MPs who should have retired, but didn’t. This adds to the voters’ impression, once again, that is a party not yet ready to govern.

Politicians who are past their use-by date rarely go voluntarily. And perhaps Labour leader David Cunliffe decided that a forced purge would simply be too damaging to a party that is already in trouble. Renewal can be another name for bloodbath, although National has managed to refresh its line-up without great strife. Perhaps renewal is easier in a party that is doing well.

So we are left with the current caucus dominating the winnable list, and a number of unimpressive MPs in constituency seats. These are of course more difficult to shift than list candidates who can simply be moved down the rankings. But someone should have tried harder to persuade Ruth Dyson to retire this time. The West Coast’s Damien O’Connor and Mangere’s Su’a William Sio similarly add no value to the Labour Party brand and should move on. Hutt South’s Trevor Mallard dresses up his decision not to seek a list place as a magnanimous gesture to help Kelvin Davis in the north. 

Which is nonsense. Only if Mallard loses Hutt South, would his not being on the list help Kelvin Davis.

Labour does have the virtue of taking the issue of women’s representation seriously. It aims for 45 per cent of women MPs, although it would reach this figure only if it wins more than 30 per cent of the total vote. On present polling that looks an ambitious target.

Yep. So what happens if their caucus is not 45% female? Does the President resign for breaking the constitution?

Labour’s list is not at all a “fantastic array of talented candidates”, as Cunliffe claims. But the party’s problems lie far deeper than the list. It has altogether failed to win over the voters of New Zealand. It can blame the factitious charm of Key, or the economic upturn that came at an unhelpful time in the electoral cycle, or whatever other excuse it likes. The voters, whether they are right or wrong, are still broadly happy with the country’s direction. And Cunliffe has utterly failed to sell himself as a plausible alternative prime minister. All the signs suggest that Labour will have another dismal day on September 20.

If Labour do do badly on 20 September, then their lack of new blood will make 2017 even harder for them.

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23 Responses to “Dom Post on Labour’s List”

  1. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    The inclusion of the veteran trougher Full Moon Annette King at number 4 sums it all up: a horrible list full of deadwood and no-hopers.

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  2. radvad (744 comments) says:

    “Labour’s list is not at all a “fantastic array of talented candidates”, as Cunliffe claims.”

    As I said in a previous post, if this was true then Cunliffe should be number 57. The kindest way of putting it is that the list is nothing more than an “array”.

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  3. David Garrett (6,966 comments) says:

    Shit, that’s a fairly hard hitting editorial…Perhaps the MSM is starting to realise that unless it lifts its collective game its time will be over…

    Not sure I agree re O’Connor though…he is the only one who springs to mind as lively to be able to talk “Waitakere Man’s” language…A policy analyst from the Ministry of Womens’ Affairs will go down very well in Westport or Blackball…

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  4. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    “Boys will be Boys”

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  5. ShawnLH (4,481 comments) says:

    “Shit, that’s a fairly hard hitting editorial…Perhaps the MSM is starting to realise that unless it lifts its collective game its time will be over…”

    David, I have been surprised repeatedly by the number of seriously scathing editorials and opinion pieces since Cunliffe’s Liu blunder.

    I wonder if one of the reasons is that he told the media that he had never had any dealings with Liu, and they are pissed that he treated them like idiots who could be easily fooled?

    Whatever the reason, I don’t think I have ever been this moderately impressed with the MSM!

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  6. Nigel Kearney (970 comments) says:

    Who are these people further down the list that are allegedly better than the ‘dead wood’ that should have been chopped out? Labour’s problem is much bigger than failing to replacing Trevor Mallard with Tamati Coffey.

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  7. polemic (460 comments) says:

    I fail to see why you would want to remove Trevor Mallard,
    He has experience, he is at least a man, and he has fists, and he knows how to use them… and isnt this what they are lacking in the wet blanket line up they have presented.

    The Labour Party is dominated by “sweet pete’s” and feminists yet they expect to appeal to the mainstream…..

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  8. greenjacket (451 comments) says:

    “the party has been unable to chop out dead wood.”
    First job of a leader is to get rid of the incompetent, the lazy, the tired and the disloyal. That Cunliffe hasn’t been able to axe a single MP in this list says a great deal about his weakness as leader.

    “Labour’s list is not at all a “fantastic array of talented candidates””
    The second job of a leader is to pick and promote talent. The talent that Cunliffe was able to pick is a junior analyst in Ministry of Women’s Affairs (snigger). So Labour couldn’t find anyone better than that? Sheesh. They are in trouble.

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  9. tvb (4,318 comments) says:

    The editorial mentioned National being rather poor at getting women into Parliament so Labour are doing rather better. However Labour seem to keep its women in fairly insignificant positions. They do the same thing to Maori.

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  10. David Garrett (6,966 comments) says:

    tvb: Are you in favour of “selection by gender”? I agree with Red (shock, horror) that the Nats are traitors to their own principles in taking any notice of the sex of prospective candidates…

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  11. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    polemic: Mallard does not know how to use his fists, he only selects known coronary patients, and then looked like a drunk in the old Wellington at 10.00 am. He had an opportunity to show his prowess outside the debating chamber a few years ago (he would have been in his prime), but as the perpetrator, who he had been pissing off during debate, was an ex cop, and a real man, Mallard ran away like a wounded cur.

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  12. duggledog (1,498 comments) says:

    Damien O’Connor should cross the floor and pledge undying allegiance to National. I mean National is just Labour but done better.

    Can you imagine what it’s like for the poor bugger he’s probably the only one who drinks beer in the list. Robertson – Pimms, Cunliffe, honey mead, Annette King, anything…

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  13. mara (762 comments) says:

    I read an article somewhere recently that seriously suggested that there are 21 different genders. Overcoming Transgenderism is said to be the next big progressive mission. Labour should immediately take note of this new ” reality” and organise its list accordingly. Male vs female representation is SO yesterday.

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  14. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Damien would be the only male in Labour to use a urinal!

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  15. GPids (18 comments) says:

    He’s also the only one in that entire caucus that can speak with any credibility on agricultural issues.

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  16. duggledog (1,498 comments) says:

    I would get the hell out of there if I was O’Connor. Even if he does still believe in the ancient, and kind of worthy, Labour message, it’s f***ing dead and gone with the present muster.

    My advice to O’Connor is the advice I gave my dog today ‘get outside of it you bugger’

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  17. KapitiCoast (114 comments) says:

    @ David Garrett (5,932 comments) says:
    June 25th, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I was thinking the same as you..right down to the fact that O’Connor is one of the few (only?…I need to think on that one, possibly yes the ONLY one) Labour MP’s that I think is wasted in Labour, he seems to have his constituency as #1 in his priorities, but also has to tow the party line which is inevitable.

    This is not only because his comment of ‘Gaggle of gays and Unionists’ when describing Labour and how it’s changed from when he joined (that phrase he used we all use almost daily here on KB and WhaleOil).

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  18. Fisiani (1,024 comments) says:

    Labour needs to split into about three parties to represent the various factions. They have no internal cohesion and two thirds of caucus cannot stand the leader. I suspect the infighting on the Left will get more and more bitter over the next three months and worse thereafter.

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  19. labrator (1,893 comments) says:

    I realise this is a little off topic but what is the logic in 45% female caucus? Last I saw of full-time workers 37% were female. Or is this just the Green’s equality of outcome dream being seconded as Labour policy?

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  20. adze (2,070 comments) says:

    Having a representative mix of gender and ethnicity makes the herd stronger… but it is something to be encouraged, not mandated.

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  21. RightNow (6,966 comments) says:

    Leaving the weak ones to die makes the herd stronger but I don’t think they’d be left with a breeding pair..

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  22. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    I would get the hell out of there if I was O’Connor.

    Damien is full of empty words and posturing.
    He”ll stick with the socialists because he wants to keep his salary and MP’s pension.

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  23. Paulus (2,597 comments) says:

    The difference between National and Labour Members is that a National Member can get another job having come from one out side Parliament, whereas almost all (excluding failed Lawyer Finance spokesman who has a very poor and checkered commercial career in Dunedin) Labour Members have never had a proper job other than from the taxpayers tit, and would have great difficulty finding another job as who would want to employ them – even the unions will not take them back as they are failures, and that is not acceptable even to the Unions.
    But the pensions are great for the elderly Labourites.

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