OK six months ago Shane Jones’ political career was going nowhere. Watching porn on the country’s credit card is not a good look and people have not forgotten this.
He was very entertaining during the Labour leadership campaign and made many people smile. There should be a place in the labour party for real characters although where precisely I am not sure.
His elevation to the front bench was deserved. He has preformed pretty well and skewering the Aussie supermarkets in the way they have manipulated local suppliers has been a highlight.
But Shane needs to realise that the game does not revolve around him. The Labour Party is not here to provide him with a career, he is here to further the interests of the Labour Party.
During the past couple of weeks he has in the news slinging mud at Green MP Gareth Hughes, calling Russel Norman an “Australian” and then letting some of the pressure off Judith Collins by insinuating she was having an affair and then apologising to her. He has continuously attacked the Greens for wanting to protect the environment and says that they are costing jobs. I am sure National MPs agree with Jones whole heartedly which shows what the problem is.
Yesterday, on the day that David Cunliffe gives an important speech the media are concentrating on Jones back down.
Jones and a few of the old guard seem to think that Labour’s best chance to win the election is to side up to New Zealand First and to attack the Greens. This is a really stupid idea and will trash a lot of good work that has been put into improving the relationship between Labour and the Greens. The thought of some sort of deal between Labour and Peters will annoy Labour and Green activists no end and will cause Labour considerable harm.
In 1999 when there was cooperation on the left Labour was elected to Government. In 2005 when there was similar cooperation Labour won a knife edge election and was elected to a third term for the first time since the first Labour Government. Cooperation is good and the sort of things left wing parties should do.
The problem with Jones cuddling up to Peters is that it makes it more likely that Labour Voters will go over to NZ First. Peters will side with the party that offers him the most baubles. Jones’ strategy may see National confirmed in Government for three more years.