Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Cold political calculation

The Labour caucus has responded to John Tamihere's friendly fire and denigration with... a motion of censure. That's right, the old wet bus ticket one-two. But lest anyone think that Labour is doing this because they're saps, think again: there's cold political calculation going on here. Tamihere's comments are made, and can't be undone. The only question is whether Labour loses more by keeping him around as a millstone around their neck, or by fighting a messy and uncertain battle to deselect and evict him.

When faced with a problem like that, Helen Clark will choose certainty every time. Especially when, despite everything he has said, Tamihere can get the full backing of his electorate committee.

He'll never be in Cabinet, of course - not after alienating not only his caucus rivals but his allies as well - but I'm not sure that that's enough of a punishment. And OTOH, it's not my party, and therefore in many ways not my business. The most I can do is not vote for people who will tolerate such an arsehole. But then, I was already doing that...