Garner on the humiliation of Labour being banned from saying their own name

Duncan Garner writes:

It’s the simple little things in politics that tell you everything you need to know. …

Labour has been rolled on an industrial scale over what appears to be the trivial matter of what to call this government.

But don’t be fooled, names aren’t trivial, and what people call you can reveal so much. 

So can you believe this? Can you believe Labour has actually agreed not to call this Labour-led coalition a Labour-led coalition, when it clearly is?

Labour got 37 per cent on election night, NZ First got 7. Labour has the prime minister’s role, Labour dominates the Cabinet positions, although losing two Cabinet ministers in the past fortnight has been messy.

The backroom arm-wrestle between the PM and her maker, Peters, gets more tense by the day.

That it’s now spilled into the public arena should infuriate Ardern, but she has nowhere to go. She is in the hands of the 7 per cent while the rest of us can’t believe how cunning Peters has been.

Yep Winston has forced Labour to ban themselves from referring to the Government as Labour-led. Effectively it is them implying NZ First is an equal partner with Labour despite getting 770,000 fewer votes.

A once proud party has agreed to lose its name because the ageing husband isn’t happy with who’s getting the credit. 

No wonder Peters is sensitive about who is leading the coalition. His popularity rose during his time in charge, and he doesn’t want ministers and the PM to add to the 51 times they have called it the Labour-led coalition in Parliament. 

So the name Labour is dead, put on ice, gone – well, for now anyway.  And anything Labour-led no longer exists and it must never pass anyone’s lips. And so far Labour ministers have been too scared to test the issue.

I asked Labour Party minister Kris Faafoi to repeat after me the following phrase on The AM Show: “I am in the Labour-led coalition.” He refused. Classic. 

How humiliating.

It actually beggars belief that Labour has dumped itself from this ruling coalition. It is no longer a Labour-led coalition. Well, it is, but Winston won’t have it.

When Winston barked, Labour’s conga line of weakness and wusses agreed.

Why on earth would you agree to losing your name and identity on the shop window when you’re running the show? Maybe when you’re not.

Winston gets all the power of the Prime Minister without the responsibility that normally goes with it. Genius.

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