McCarten on Labour

Matt McCarten in the HoS looks at Labour over the last week:

Ordinary people who assault their colleagues are sacked on the spot. In fact, people get sacked for a lot less than what Mallard did. For example, I’m dealing with an employment case at the moment where a worker who was assaulted by another worker so he went home. On the way out, he impulsively kicked the offender’s car.

The next morning, the victim apologised to the offender for kicking his car and promised to pay for any damage. Both workers shook hands and made up. However they both got the sack: the offender for punching the victim, and the victim for damaging the offender’s car. On Friday, the Employment Authority upheld the employer’s decision to fire the victim on the grounds of safety. This week Mallard was appointed the new Minister of Labour responsible for this department that rules that this worker could be sacked for an offence for which he himself received a wrist smack. The irony and the unfairness is sickening. Even my very clever lawyer says that the victim has no chance of being reinstated, as employment law is clear, no matter what the provocation. Clearly the rules of behaviour that the rest of us abide by do not apply to politicians.

I suspect there are many in the union movement who have had employees in similiar situations.  I’m pretty sure none of the employees got effective promotions as a reward for their actions.

It’s an open secret now, with the resignation of Steve Maharey and the demotion of Mallard, that Phil Goff is Clark’s anointed successor. If Labour loses the election next year, Goff will be unanimously appointed to the party leadership. When you’ve got senior leaders of the party’s left wing articulating why Goff would make a good leader, you know it’s a done deal.

I said much the same thing a week ago. But I find it interesting that Andrew Little twice refers to Maharey’s retirement as a factor in his reconsidering to stand. The race may have just been re-opened.  The fact Clark didn’t appoint her most competent Minister to a senior domestic portfolio suggests she may not be too thrilled with the idea of Goff as sucessor.  To be fair to Clark though, I doubt she wants any talk of any successor.  Not that there is any threat to her leadership – a challenge is unimaginable prior to the election.

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