Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A plea to the Labour Party

So, Phil Goff has done the inevitable and announced his resignation as Labour party leader. Good riddance. From the beginning he was a hapless leader, tainted by his Rogernome past, limited to empty managerialism. Except he wasn't even competent; when push came to shove, he displayed consistently poor judgement, demonstrating a total lack of virtù (not to mention ethics). Rather than oppose the government, his default position was just to echo John Key, with a pathetic "and my wife too" tacked on the end. Suddenly finding his mojo during the election campaign wasn't enough to make up for two and a half years of that.

So, who's next? Conventional wisdom says its one of the two Davids - Parker or Cunliffe - though some of the media pack seem to be pushing Shearer instead (in the same way they pushed Jones). But in some ways, I'm not really that interested: its not my party, and I'm not a member (and even if I was, I wouldn't get a say anyway, Labour not believing in democracy where it counts). Except I have to be - because this decision is going to be important in determining whether Labour is electable in three years time.

So Labour, please don't fuck this up. Yes, if you do, there'll be a positive side: the Greens will keep eating you from the left, in the process swinging the makeup of any future Labour-led government further in the direction I want. But in order for there to be a future Labour led government, you have to do your bit. Starting with picking an effective, competent leader capable of articulating an alternative vision for New Zealand and inspiring people to actually turn up and vote for you. I don't know if any of the candidates meet that criteria (Cunliffe would probably be closest from what I've seen) - but I hope you'll bother to at least look and see whether they do, rather than picking some hack who promises to preserve your high list ranking.

(Sadly, in this as in almost everything else involving the Labour Party, I expect to be disappointed. But I live in hope...)