Clark mum on Labour leadership
Wed, 14 Nov 2012 5:25a.m.
By Laura McQuillan
Former Labour leader Helen Clark is keeping mum on rumblings about a potential leadership challenge within the party ahead of its conference this weekend.
Ms Clark, who now heads the United Nations Development Programme, delivered a lecture at Victoria University's School of Government last night.
Afterwards, she faced inevitable questions from media over the party's direction, as current leader David Shearer faces the threat of a coup if he fails to deliver in a major speech to party faithful.
He will address several hundred Labour members at their annual conference in Auckland on Sunday, where he is expected to announce new policy moves.
It will be his chance to convince members that after 11 months in the job and little progress in opinion polls, he is the man to lead Labour into the 2014 election.
Ms Clark was tight-lipped on how Labour was faring, saying the party has been "left to a new generation".
However, she confirmed she is still a member of the party, adding she "always will be".
Mr Shearer was hand-picked by Ms Clark to stand in her former Mt Albert electorate in 2009, and is regarded as her favourite for the leadership job.
His challenger for the leadership last July, David Cunliffe, arrived late to Ms Clark's speech but strode in to take a front-row seat next to Ms Clark's seat, while deputy Labour leader Grant Robertson and senior MPs Trevor Mallard and Lianne Dalziel also turned out to see their former leader.
Earlier yesterday, Mr Shearer scoffed at the suggestion he might face a leadership challenge.
"We've halved the gap between National and Labour in about 11 months. We're closer together than we have been in the last five years, so that's a pretty good record. I'm very happy with where we're going."
Other MPs toed the party line, including Mr Cunliffe, who said Mr Shearer was "doing a good job and he's working really hard".
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17/11/2012 12:34:54 a.m.
You have always been a nasty one Eddie, I dont know personally whether there is a lot of hope for you, perhaps you will grow a moral backbone and support something other than your own self involvement.
14/11/2012 11:44:31 p.m.
@eddie who says per capita the gays and unionists are over represented in the Labour party. My question to eddie is : What is the per capita pecentage of crooks, liars, BS spinners and idiots in New Zealand and how come National and ACT parties are over represented by them, huh?
14/11/2012 6:51:16 p.m.
@ Kathy...you can't see what Greg posted as true?...really, take a good hard look at Labour, the gays in NZ per proportion to population is a small %age, how many Lesbians/gay men they have as MP's? and what is the %age of total Labour MP's in the house, or another way, the amount of unionists (who derive a salary being a union representative from the union they represent) in the working population is miniscule...how many they have as MP's Kathy?...see how Labour HAVE turned away from the working man and made it a club for themselves, and until Labour and their voters see/recognise this they will be marganalised and a nothing party....Clark stacked the party with lesbians, not just women, but gay women, if you do not believe me do some study as to the % of women in Labour in 1999, and to when she left in 2008 and do the sums as to the % gay to straight.
14/11/2012 1:58:51 p.m.
Politics in NZ is divissive. My point being what support base does labour have, it marginalised workers who left it in droves. If Labour wants to survive as a party over the 20 years it will have to merge with the Green party. Nation big money supoprers have a two each way be and fund Labour as well. Im just pointing out the obvious. Helen stacked the Labour benches with yes ministers not lets do it minisiters.
14/11/2012 11:40:14 a.m.
John Davis wrote:
National is failing new zealanders badly, what does that say about Labour if they can't even bet National.
Labour get your act together.
14/11/2012 11:25:16 a.m.
Greg really? that was a nast bigotted post.
Are you a John Key supporter? being Gay is bad is it?.
I'm a christian and I dont think that I have the right to judge others in the way you have.
Labour still supports workers far more than National ever has Greg.
Just because you make a statement online, doesnt make it true.
Infact many right wing posters just make up a lot of the information that they post and hope people are gullible enough to believe the rubbish that they post.
14/11/2012 10:49:14 a.m.
Helen fixed the labour for good.I doubt it can recover, it marginalised its main support base and nearly went bankrupt. Its paid for by the same supporters as National. It can now no longer be defined as a workers party. It sould rebrand itself to it fits profile for the gay community, femenists.Mythical tough leaders cut of any talent and threat to their image when they strive for popular support like Helen did. Labour will only win a election by default, not because of popular support.
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