Andrea Vance on Andrew Little’s “dream run”

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, March 1st, 2015 - 20 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, labour - Tags: , ,

On Stuff today:

Politicians exhibit a propensity for navel-gazing. But the recent level of attention around Andrew Little’s digestive tract is extraordinary.

National’s Judith Collins asserted that he had “no guts”. A day earlier, her boss Prime Minister John Key challenged the Labour leader to “get some guts”.

Little rose to the challenge fairly quickly.

On Wednesday, he promptly stripped Carmel Sepuloni of her shadow welfare portfolio on learning her mother faced benefit fraud charges.

A brave move for a former union boss and employment lawyer.

Little really had no option. He has repeatedly questioned Key’s judgment over now ex-MP Mike Sabin, who was at the centre of a police inquiry. The thrust of his argument was that Sabin’s chairmanship of the law and order select committee was a clear conflict of interest.

It seems unfair Sepuloni was punished for the alleged sins of her mother and to preserve the unassailability of her boss.

But Little neutralised some of the unjustness by indicating he will reinstate Sepuloni down the track. She retained her rank and position as junior whip.

As he marked 100 days in office on Thursday, this tough love was also indication of Little’s confidence in his own position. A leader could only have made that call if he was sure he had the backing of his caucus.

He also took Key’s intemperate attack in his stride. The prime minister unleashed fury, first in a press conference and then during a parliamentary debate, accusing Little of dishonesty and cowardice in his position on deployment of troops to Iraq.

Little waited until a slot on breakfast telly – usually a favourite conduit of his rival – to retaliate. “When we are talking about guts, I think I reserve that for the soldiers . . . you don’t need much guts to sit on a leather couch in Wellington and send people off to do your bidding for you.”

20 comments on “Andrea Vance on Andrew Little’s “dream run””

  1. Are there any political reporters who actually understand what a conflict of interest is and how to manage them appropriately?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Apparently not.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      I agree this particular angle (that Sepuloni has been demoted) is really annoying.

      Carmel has not been demoted. She has the same ranking and has been given additional obligations. All that has happened is that she has been temporarily had her duties changed so that the perception of a conflict of interest does not arise when she does her job.

      This is careful totally responsible action by Andrew and clearly is not a criticism of Carmel.

      If Andrea wants to investigate this concept as a story she should analyse National;s treatment of Sabin.

  2. Blue 2

    Little must be driving the press gallery nuts. They actually have to write something positive about a Labour leader. You can almost hear them grinding their teeth.

    All is not lost, however, when one can describe a late-paid invoice as an “excruciating blunder”.

  3. coaster 3

    I wonder how many of the national mps busineses pay accounts before the 20th of the month.

    i have yet to hear john key say anything inspirational about our troops going to iraq.
    even the aussie pm is doing a better job of it than john key.

    nz needs to support our troops, we dont need to agree with the deployment, we just need our troops to know that they have the nations support and that we will be worried about there safety and that we know they will act in a kiwi manner on behalf of us all.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Cold comfort to have the nation’s support when the government is comprised of slavering ghouls.

  4. 100 days?

    “He also took Key’s intemperate attack in his stride. The prime minister unleashed fury, first in a press conference and then during a parliamentary debate, accusing Little of dishonesty and cowardice in his position on deployment of troops to Iraq.

    Little waited until a slot on breakfast telly – usually a favourite conduit of his rival – to retaliate. “When we are talking about guts, I think I reserve that for the soldiers . . . you don’t need much guts to sit on a leather couch in Wellington and send people off to do your bidding for you.”

    The O’Bomber led ‘airstrikes’ against IS that Little has the ‘guts’ to support from his couch in Wellington have gone on since August of 2014.

    That’s about 200 days of blood and guts.

    • Anno1701 4.1

      “The O’Bomber led ‘airstrikes”

      new campaign song ?

      Its obama, its obama, its obama !

      • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1

        There are two ways to lose a war:

        1) use bombers only, and not send in ground forces.

        2) when using ground forces rely on helicopters

  5. “Politicians exhibit a propensity for navel-gazing. But the recent level of attention around Andrew Little’s digestive tract is extraordinary.”

    God preserve us from illiterate hacks trying to be clever with metaphors.

  6. Sable 6

    And yet he still has no faith in the Greens to help him keep an eye on what the spies are up to. When you consider this the rest really is of “little” consequence.

    • Chooky 6.1

      +100 Sable

    • Kenya 6.2

      Really struggle to understand why the Greens are getting so wound up about this issue, so wound up in fact that they spent three days in the media calling the leader of the opposition an amateur and a sexist for overlooking them and instead putting the most qualified person in Parliament in the job. Advice to the Greens: build a bridge, get over it. We’ve got an election to win.

      • framu 6.2.1

        might have something to do with the way communication between natural allies is supposed to work added to the repeat childish attitude that labour displays towards them

        and was it the greens saying things for 3 days or was it the MSM asking them for comment? – there is a difference

  7. Lloyd 7

    Why aren’t we sending cricket coaches to Iraq? The US sent a whole army – they didn’t clean the mess up. The greatest nation building event ever for Afghanistan is having a team in the Cricket World Cup. How about sending the Remuera Cricket Club instead of soldiers. They would have to play inside the boundary.

    • Murray Rawshark 7.1

      Makes sense to me. They could also send a young DJ to entertain the cricketers.

  8. I am not sure Andrea Vance was entirely on the money with her article. Andrew Little as yet has not been seriously challenged. And although they say a week is a long time in politics, he had better get used to it. The next election is still 900+ days away if National goes the full term.

    https://willsheberight.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/if-i-were-andrew-little/

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