New Labour: dissent, scraps and blood
Thu, 22 Nov 2012 4:30p.m.
By Duncan Garner
Dissent. Uprisings. Rebellion. Scraps. Blood.
It was something Helen Clark kept a careful lid on.
Not even on her weakest day or in a moment of madness would Clark have given up control of who picks the leader of the proud Labour Party – never, ever.
Caucus must control its own destiny.
What happened last Saturday would never have happened under Clark's strong leadership. Now the Labour leader can get rolled and rolled easily.
If a minority of 13 other MPs out of 34 decide to support Grant Robertson or David Cunliffe next February, then that triggers a party wide vote.
During that vote, party members get a 40 percent say and unions get a 20 percent say. You reckon they'll hang on to David Shearer in that scenario? Doubt it. And it's like that every three years.
The February following each election, Labour will be able to boot out their sitting leader - that leader may have just months earlier been crowned Prime Minister.
It's a recipe for instability. Quite frankly it's a disaster, a train-wreck waiting to happen.
Imagine what it would look like in the media: For Labour it would mean weeks of public sniping and bitching.
If the 40 percent caucus vote and 40 percent party member vote cancels each other out - i.e the caucus wants a change but the party members don't, then guess who has the casting vote?
The unions. They get 20 percent.
Could the unions select the next Prime Minister? Yes. Could they dump a sitting Prime Minister just two or three months after they took office?Yes.
It's democracy at its best and worst. It's great for members - they feel part of the process again.
I believe they actually want to exercise this voting right in February, and choose a leader.
They may endorse Shearer. But they want a say. They've been given a big red shiny car with a V8 under the hood - and they want to put the foot down on the gas!
They feel valued. It may drive up membership. That's all good. And it's brave of Labour to follow in the footsteps of the British Labour Party.
But it's also bloody mad: a minority of grumpy MPs can trigger a destabilising public coup or primary.
It will be ugly. And it's exactly what Labour members voted for. No wonder some MPs spoke out strongly against it.
I can see and hear Helen Clark's evil little giggle right now. But she'll also be shaking her head over a luke-warm but weak cup of tea in her New York apartment.
“This wouldn't have happened on my watch,” she'll be saying.
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14/02/2013 7:59:28 p.m.
Alison Maysmor wrote:
Reply to Duncan's comment re Leadership dissent in Labour Party:
There is no doubt NZ political parties can 'dump' their leaders much easier than most other Western nations, except for of course the nations who just 'shoot' politicans they don't like or have a military coup! It really means that a leader has to step up to the plate with his/her performance, which makes me wonder why John Key is not attacked more in the media, when he is sending this country into 3rd world status! The reality is, most NZers now realise we are a working class nation and to have a National Govt in power at any time is just ridiculous, but the reality is also in these days, no thinking person believes any Govt or politican is worth trusting, let alone competent to run a country properly anymore. With big business more in control than politicians (USA Govt does not even own its own Reserve Bank)profit and power more important than the local populace and a politician's CV more important than what he does for the country whilst in power, Govts are just a joke and we await the fall of money driven capitalism, especially across Europe and ultimately in USA.
Thank goodness we are not as obessed as 'blind' Americans are, saluting the flag, idolising their presidents and all that nonsense. They are slowly waking up to its insider politics, corruption and global one world initiatives. Most NZers are too busy moving to Australia or elsewhere to worry if Labour dumps its leader prior to the next election. Others are being added to NZ's rising unemployment, the worst now in years. In a food growing nation, crime is being committed to acquire food now, not just drugs and food in UK and Australia is cheaper than NZ nowdays.
NZers might even migrate to India even as a better option. So who cares which man/woman is in power, this Govt has shown how incompetent they truly are and real peole and poverty do not matter. Their CV and credentials causes them to vote bills immorally to win votes to stay there.
9/12/2012 2:21:09 p.m.
Antony Cotton wrote:
Shearer needs to get rid of Deadwood in his Caucus King Goff and Mallard and company they are Joke at the moment I usually vote Labour will not 2014 I voting for Key to teach Labour a Lesson.
30/11/2012 10:48:36 p.m.
nothing mate compared to all the leaders national went through and their 7 years of constant blood letting big deal .aye ? at the end of the day the next election has already been decided by you people in our strange mainstream media we have in nz . shifty and strange and not fair and an balanced as duncan claims an indendant report says so released 3 weeks ago . can we please do what the the british are doing with the media here in nz its long over due .they are the establishment they are the syestem therefore they are a part of the problem as our media are not free and independant from the national government .they are saposed to stand between the people and the government instead they in the governments and big moneys pockets . oh and the free holidays the media get on the tax payer . why should we the tax payer pay for you guys in the media ? take some self responsibility media works pay for your own stop bludging from the tax payers .
30/11/2012 7:09:32 p.m.
all wiped up and caused by you guys in the mainstream media funny enough just when national were starting to really be under the gun . im stupid i have followed politics for over 30 years now . what we need in is an inqurey into the mainstream media like in the uk . and an independant body to to ensure they remain fair and inpartial . they work for big money . what they are doing duncan here in nz is the same as what has been going on in the uk . and with out big money influence in the press labour will bolt after one term in opposition .you cant be trusted to regulate your selves duncan . we all remember gyon espinar colapsing onto the floor on election night becouse his beloverd national party could not get 50% of the vote an for all the medias hard work down the tubes he collapsed crying on the floor . you why i think you are just working to keep key elected .
26/11/2012 7:21:56 p.m.
Bit of a diatribe Mr Garner. Don't know if kiwis give a hoot what Labour are doing at the moment. They're way too busy dealing with the utter and completely 2nd-rate crap their having to put up with, from one of the worst govts this country's ever had,(there's some more hyperbole for ya). Focus your diatribe analysis on the collection of inept,bungling fools who are masquerading as NZ's governing party. Plenty of time later, to look at the collection of inept, bungling fools masquerading as NZ's opposition party.....see what a balanced approach to this subject sounds like?
24/11/2012 3:42:29 p.m.
Tory' or what ever your silly name is, as with religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents. You aptly prove my point.
Socialists cry "Power to the people", and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean — power over people, power to the State. Under socialism, there is no incentive to supply people with anything they need or want, including safety. Socialism is a just a form of slavery. Socialism has not or ever will work. History tells us that.
Time to take your red tinted glasses off and look at reality 'Tory'.
24/11/2012 1:00:02 a.m.
Tory Buster wrote:
Chris is a condescending twat who refuses to acknowledge the unethical behaviour of large corporates, who undermine the democratic process for their own selfish ends. The Netherlands has one of the world's best-performing and stable economies yet it also has a fully funded healthcare and education system. So how does that fit in with your bullshit about socialism being a failure? Your arrogance is staggering. Oh, so terrible things don't happen when neo-capitalist fascists seize power then? No-one is advocating a Stalinist-style communist regime in New Zealand, so stop using extreme and unrealistic scenarios to support your pathetic 'arguments'. I seem to recall New Zealand was a pretty cool place to live under Norman Kirk and Michael Joseph Savage, no-one got thrown into a gulag and at least 80% of population owned their own home, and we had near-full employment. Whereas today.....NZ is a complete shithole with no future no plan, no growth, just lots of talk about a 'brighter future' on the distant horizon....yeah right.
23/11/2012 7:51:57 p.m.
Dissent. Uprisings. Rebellion. Scraps. Blood. All this happened to the National Party leadership as well. Jenny Shipley shafted Jim Bolger for the PM's job when he was overseas. Shipley was subsequently rolled as Nats leader by Bill English who in turn was trounced by Don Brash. Brash was easily overthrown by John Key and here we are today. All of this proves that leadership shenanigans isn’t new or confined to Labour.
23/11/2012 7:42:59 p.m.
"I can see and hear Helen Clark's evil little giggle right now."
What an infantile comment to make Duncan Garner. There is nothing "evil" about Helen's (yes, I know her from way back) "giggle". What a dastardly thing to do, be normal and giggle sometimes.
Now that you have left TV3 it would seem your true political hang-ups are being exposed for everyone to see.
I read in the newspaper today that you had a big farewell booze-up Wed.night. Fair enough, nothing wrong with that. But the list of political attendees (particularly from the Labour side) tell an interesting story!
23/11/2012 1:29:19 p.m.
To Much Deadwood in the Labour Caucus King Mallard Goff Street Fenton Horomia Dyson Ross Robertson Dalziel are all dead wood yet Shearer Promotes ahead of younger talent Moana Mackey Ian Lees Galloway Charles Chauvel Andrew Little David Clark Sue Moroney. Yes Labour needs experience like Cosgrove Parker Cunliffe and Damien O Connor to Unite and to work together they are all form Minister and can lead the party. The Big Winner is John Key and his Government.
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