Archive | August, 2013

Trying to make sense of the Labour leadership election

31 Aug

There is little doubt that the resignation of David Shearer will make the Labour partys chance of forming the next Government more likely. Whoever wins will get a lift. However the three candidates who have emerged are confusing to say the least. I have no opinion on who should win it , other than the entertainment factor I don’t care. But what is interesting me is the media narrative and agenda around these three men.

David Cunliffe is presented as

1. The Favourite

2. A smooth performer

3. Someone who will take the party Left.

Left , Cunliffe ? He seems at times indistinguishable from Shearer in policy terms. A veiled threat to raise tax is hardly Socialism ( Bill English takes more money off me than Michale Cullen did ). Perhaps that’s why hes started to show a beard , a lefty beard. It still looks like a herne bay beard to me. Cunliffe it seems is the candidate the media want to succeed. Without much though as to whether he can or should.

Shane Jones is , we keep getting told ( by him ) straight talking. Well lets assume we get over the issue of electing someone who charged adult movies to the state when a Minister. He portrays himself as a guy of the people , the people who want slightly misogynistic soundbites, and yet hes clearly a middle class conservative. Surely the most right wing of the three , his comments about greens being ” flat earthers ” must mean hes confident about a coalition with New Zealand First ( which seems his natural home at times ). Try as he might he just seems out of step.

Grant Robertson , seems to have two agendas being run against him . The constant ” is his sexuality an issue ” issue and his Wellington profile. He is not a household name to be sure. Does his sexuality matter – only to the media. And to those people who would never cote for him anyway.  He seems to have stolen a march on Cunliffe twice so far. His launch got him ahead of the pack and his pledge for a living wage has helped him move Left.

Is the left where they need to go ? Who knows. Cunliffe’s victory seems inevitable , but I am less certain any of them will be Prime Minister.