Sunday, March 27, 2011

What a shambles

Just wondering, can we have a Labour leader now? Forget David Cunliffe. Grant Robertson, although a fairly recent arrival in Parliament, would do a better job (and so what if he is gay) – but he doesn’t want the job. No one wants it. Phil Goff has it and he should get on and do it, because the party deserves it and needs it.

Phil Goff’s handling of the Darren Hughes allegations was terrible. If he is inept at this, how is he going to be able to run a country?

Goff has refused to return calls from party president Andrew Little on the Hughes allegations. He has refused to truthfully reveal how long he had known about the Hughes allegations. We now know he knew a day 0r two after the complaint was made to the police , i.e within a few days of the alleged incident. He has refused to accept the resignation of Darren Hughes,(twice), only to accept it, under pressure, days after the news broke. You’d at least think that he’d talk to his president to manage how this news was to be broken, or before accepting a resignation of a top MP before a police investigation is completed.

But he did neither. The immediate appointment of Goff’s old school mate David Shearer to Hughes’ education portfolio hasn’t pleased everyone. Nobody in Labour wants Judith Tizard to replace Hughes on the list, although Goff has asked Tizard whether she will take up the vacant list spot.

But Goff hasn’t spoken to Little about that, either. Goff doesn’t want Tizard to take up the list place, but feels he has to give her first dibs, and told reporters she should be the next MP. Meanwhile LIttle was telling journalists that Louisa Wall - who is several list places lower than Tizard - should be the next MP. One political journalist asked me, “Do they even talk?”.

Tizard said she`ll let Goff know in about a week whether she wants to be an MP again and get $162,020 for a few month’s work - perhaps she`ll talk to the New York branch of the party first. National MP’s, however, would love to see Tizard back.

Goff is a hopeless leader because he doesn’t generate hope, and he doesn’t have the support of his caucus. Labour MPs, rather than following him, are merely falling in behind him, unsure whether to backstab him, because no one wants to lead the Labour Party in its current state until they feel it is necessary to do so. Goff is no pied piper. There’s no way Labour can effectively run the country under Goff, when it can’t even be an effective opposition or explain its own policies.

Take employment for example. Labour’s employment strategy is that it is telling people that it has a plan for jobs, and that National doesn't. That’s it. No mention at all as to what that plan actually is.

We deserve better than that. If we don't have an effective opposition, who is going to provide checks on democracy - the fourth estate?

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Blogger Keeping Stock said...

Just a point of clarification; Judith Tizard WILL replace Darren Hughes in Parliament, unless she turns the opportunity down. The Electoral Act sees to that. Phil Goff and Andrew Little may not like it, but that's the law.

Other than that, agree wholeheartedly with your conclusions.

March 27, 2011 at 5:53 PM  
Blogger Swimming said...

re Tizard: there are a few other reasons that can preclude Tizard from taking up her seat. But I doubt if any will occur any time soon.

March 27, 2011 at 7:40 PM  

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