Felix Marwick on Labour

July 21st, 2014 at 12:30 pm by David Farrar

from NewstalkZB writes:

Deficits are something no political party likes and the problem for the Party at the moment is that it has one; a popularity deficit.

Its 27 percent result at the last election was the worst result it’d had in over 80 years and, at the time it was thought the party had scraped the bottom of the barrel. The only way, it seemed, was up. But four consecutive polls since last Wednesday have had the party polling below 30 percent and it seems distinctly possible Labour could crash and burn on September 20 unless it has a major change of fortunes.

From the outside Labour’s predicament looks pretty simple. It has no discipline. Its caucus appears more focused on personal rivalries, revenge, and self interest than they do in winning the election.

I’m trying to recall the last time I chatted to a Labour person about winning, rather than about internal battles. It was a long time ago, with the exception of the odd electorate candidate who is very focused on their local race.

Certainly there are some within Labour’s ranks that will probably argue that David Cunliffe and his supporters are being served the dish they themselves plated up for previous leaders Phil Goff and David Shearer. It does seem there is an element of payback going on. This is something voters should pay attention to the next time a Labour MP tells them about how committed they are to the future of this country. The party’s track record since the departure of Helen Clark suggests self interest reigns supreme.

Bring back Helen!

What all of this means of course is that Labour is worse than a house divided; it’s a house falling apart. It’s a Christchurch red zone home. Its foundations are stuffed, its walls are broken, the roof is a leaking ruin, and its garden is submerged in liquefaction.

Nice analogy.

One seriously wonders if the party would be better off ditching all of its incumbents, replacing them entirely, and starting afresh. If ever a political party needed a fresh slate, it’s Labour.

Some people say the next Labour Prime Minister isn’t yet an MP. They do need a circuit breaker. Hard to see David Shearer uniting the party after he challenges for the leadership back in December.

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18 Responses to “Felix Marwick on Labour”

  1. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    I really hope that Labour splinters into several different parties after the election.
    That would be *great!* It would allow the Nats to continue their good work – benefit numbers steadily dropping, a surplus around the corner (ready to be built on) and charter schools getting good results.

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  2. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Labour will almost inevitably recover and one day become the Government again.

    Sir Peter Leitch is just about the only man I’m currently aware of who I would want to see as the next Labour Prime Minister.

    Someone who has done real good for those who need help, but also someone who knows the value of hard work, industry and money.

    I.e. someone who is a good bastard not some died-in-the-wool beltway commie unionist, and could make the Labour Party a constructive force for good in the country and not just an instrument for bleeding taxpayers dry.

    Sadly for NZ, I get the feeling that if he was at all interested, we’d already know about it by now…

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  3. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    There are some bright spots in their candidate list. They are are mostly 30’s male and telegenic. I refer to Stuart Nash , Chris Hipkins, Kelvin Davis, and Tony Milne. They are the future for Labour. But they are not in Government yet nor look like it. But Labour needs to get rid of all this PC nonsense and start looking like a Governing Party. And their leader has to be a credible Prime Minister. One of those 4 in time could do it. But that could be another two terms in opposition.

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  4. Crusader (314 comments) says:

    Nice ironic metaphor “Red zone” = Labour.

    But honestly I used to wonder whether Labour’s present collapse would translate into growing support for the Greens. But it seems that some of the red/anti-capitalist/youth/”protest vote” has headed to Mana/Internet instead, so hard cheese for the Greens too!

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  5. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    Hipkins? Hipkins is a career leech, having gone to uni to learn politics and focused his entire working life (such that he has had) to getting into power.

    that should scare anyone. that a 19 year old decides they want to be in politics and uses everything and everyone around them to facilitate that, so that we can pay them more than their BA would ever normally be worth.

    nothing hipkins said at Vic where he was practicing to be an MP by being a pain in the ass student politician, gave me any confidence that he has any idea how money is actually made, and nothing has changed since he became an MP.

    If hipkins is the answer its a fucking stupid question.

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  6. Ross Miller (1,704 comments) says:

    David … you missed out the best sentence from the opinion piece …. “At the moment they’re like a blind man in a dark room, looking for the black cat that isn’t there”.

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  7. RF (1,398 comments) says:

    tvb. 12.51pm.

    Cannot agree that Tony Milne is a bright spot and future for Labour.

    He is a self serving little boy in a mans world. He was given an easy ride by his mate Timmy Barnett.

    I hope Nicky kicks his arse in September.

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  8. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    I’ll have to agree with a low assessment of Tony Milne.

    I had an argument with him some years ago. Suffice to say, he was right and I was wrong.

    But the point was he was shockingly inept in showing that I was wrong. He asserted that he was right and did not think to provide further information (which he had to access to!) in order to convince me that I was wrong. Instead it was a futile back-and-forth exchange that went nowhere until a third party provided the relevant information.

    If he is the Brave New World of the NZ Labour Party then its future is little more than a museum piece IMO.

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  9. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    Labour’s only chance would be to join with the Greens, Mana/Interweb and the Maori Party. They could call themselves, oh I don’t know, something new and fresh, how about … the Alliance.

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  10. greenjacket (466 comments) says:

    tvb: “There are some bright spots in their candidate list. They are are mostly 30′s male and telegenic. I refer to Stuart Nash , Chris Hipkins, Kelvin Davis, and Tony Milne. ”

    They are only bright spots because the rest of their candidate list (excepting Deborah Roche) is so utterly devoid of any talent.

    Tony Milne: work experience solely in Labour Party offices and now for Problem Gambling Foundation. A lightweight.

    Chris Hipkins: work experience as policy adviser and then in parliamentary offices – his performance in Parliament has been weak (that Hekia Parata is not troubled by him shows how useless he is!) and his policies are just cut and paste from NZEI. A lightweight.

    Stuart Nash: seemed capable, until it was apparent that he did not know the difference between revenue and profit. Ooops.

    Kelvin Davis: Principal of a school, so at least he has some real world experience, but his statements on policy are just boilerplate and don’t suggest much is happening upstairs.

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  11. hj (7,023 comments) says:

    I see LPrent groping around at the NZ First conference. He calls Kiwiblog “the Sewer” and I imagine his holiness would think NZ First are a bunch of bigots.
    He doesn’t like the idea of referenda. Other objections aside, I’m picking the main issue with referenda is that people like himself should be making the decisions. (not the unwashed and uncouth).

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  12. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    On behalf of middle NZ, I would like to thank David Cunliffe for agreeing to be the Neil Kinnock of the NZ Labour Party.

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  13. spanish_tudor (80 comments) says:

    Kelvin Davis would make a great Labour leader, with the potential to recapture the lost members of the tribe.

    But the gaggle of gays and self-serving unionists will never allow that to happen. Or the harridans of the Sisterhood.

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  14. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    Looks like Labour’s only strategy and hope is to wait for “da bomb” from DotCon…..I am not getting a good feeling about “da bomb”…..

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  15. OneTrack (3,105 comments) says:

    RRM – “Sir Peter Leitch is just about the only man I’m currently aware of who I would want to see as the next Labour Prime Minister.

    Ah, but you forget, Darien Fenton declared him “an enemy of the people” and suggested Labour voters put him out of business after he said Key seemed a nice guy.

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  16. Ed Snack (1,872 comments) says:

    Nash is right about one thing, that the Napier election is likely to be decided on local issues and National have completely fucked that up. They’ll probably win the party vote but Nash will take the seat. Why, because Napier has a solid majority opposing amalgamation, and National is simply too stupid (there’s no other good explanation, doctrinaire amalgamation just doesn’t seem like a heartfelt must-have policy to me) to understand that. Why not be true to your principles and let the locals decide, if they want to pay for the difference (and face it, given our experience to date they’ll probably enjoy a financial benefit) so be it.

    Paula Bennett was at a meeting in Napier and derided the local electorate chair who got up to explain that amalgamation was unpopular. Way to go Paula, you fuckwit, try listening for a change instead of knowing better what people want than they do themselves.

    The arrogance is running strong in National these days, and they will pay for it.

    The sad part is that Nash otherwise isn’t that strong a candidate.

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  17. Reid (16,464 comments) says:

    One seriously wonders if the party would be better off ditching all of its incumbents, replacing them entirely, and starting afresh. If ever a political party needed a fresh slate, it’s Labour.

    Interesting isn’t it that the gweatest PM NZ has ever had left her vehicle in such a stinking pile that a total and complete blood transfusion is the only possible thing that might get rid of her poisonous legacy, years after she left to do the same thing to the UN.

    Lucky them.

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  18. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    Paula Bennett was at a meeting in Napier and derided the local electorate chair who got up to explain that amalgamation was unpopular. Way to go Paula, you fuckwit, try listening for a change instead of knowing better what people want than they do themselves.

    So Napier doesn’t want to be in the same local authority as Hastings? Boo fucking hoo. With an attitude like that, it’s little wonder that Jan Molenaar went postal.

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