Soper on Labour’s biggest problem


’s biggest problem going into this year’s election isn’t what’s been identified by Shane Jones, the man who before the last election unsuccessfully tried to become the party’s leader, missing out to David Cunliffe.

Jones, who’s now formally joined forces to become what he says is a union with Winston Peters in the far north, believes the hook up with The Greens has diminished Labour’s brand.

The biggest problem for Labour is the trade and the influence they’re able to exert on who’s the party’s leader, given to them just five years ago. Andrew Little’s there simply because the unions want him there.

It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with trade unions, many of us can thank them for the working conditions we have today. It’s just their political influence takes away the ability of the caucus to chose who they want to daily lead them, and those at the pitface of politics know better.

I’m always surprised more people are not outraged over the union power within Labour. There;’s a huge difference between being pro-worker and letting unions decide who your leader is.

Imagine if the National Party leadership wasn’t decided purely by National but the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Dunedin Employers Association, Business NZ etc all got to vote on National’s leader, vote on National’s list rankings, vote on candidate selection and bulk vote at conferences on policy.

And for Labour, anything they announce that benefits trade unions is perceived, rightly or wrongly, as being done to feather their beds.

Generally rightly. The more money they funnel to unions, the more unions spend on helping Labour.

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