He would be a great choice. He’s left, he’s already identified some of the reasons for Labour’s disconnect with the voters, and he’s prepared to make the big calls. For example; no CGT, no rise in the super age.
As the former head of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union, Little has shown he can connect with working people. He knows their issues and he knows the solutions. He is a proven leader and has a history of working with different factions to bring unity. During his time as EPMU National Secretary, he convinced the staunchly independent Miners’ union to join his organisation. The benefit of that amalgamation was quickly shown in the cruellest of circumstances; the greater resources of the EPMU made sure the voices of the 29 workers killed by corporate greed in the Pike River disaster echoed through the public enquiry. The miners put their trust in Little and they were not let down.
It’s fair to say that he’s only a list MP. Or that he’s only just starting his second term. But Andrew has the skills and abilities to rise above the carping. He has a sharp mind, terrific debating ability and goes into the leadership campaign free of sectarian baggage. And according to his facebook page he likes The Clash, the Smiths and Woody Guthrie. There’s three great reasons to vote for him right there!
The NZ Labour Party is hurting. We need to find a way to cut through and reconnect with the Kiwis who rejected us at the ballot box. More importantly, we need to give those who didn’t vote a compelling reason to take five minutes on a Saturday morning three years from now to change our country’s direction.
In the ballot, Little will get some support from the membership. Maybe not as much as Cunliffe, but likely more than Robertson. He will get the tick from the affiliates. And, in caucus, he will get the votes of those not closely aligned with the other candidates. And possibly the ABCers if they tactically vote to keep DC out.
If he runs, I believe he will win. A fresh start, a fresh face. A Little may go a long way.
Te Reo Putake
(Disclaimer: I’ve known Andrew for ten years. I’ve worked with him on occasions and on the other side of the table from him on other occasions.)