Annette, Save Us!

Written By: - Date published: 2:18 pm, November 30th, 2011 - 47 comments
Categories: Annette King, labour - Tags:

If Phil has had enough of the sh!# thrown at him and wants to get out of the way and relax back into a mere 60 hour week working for his constituents, fair enough.

But Labour would still be better off with a protracted positive leadership contest, where all the candidates can be examined, got to be known and considered.  The party could do with the time to consider why it got its worst result since the 1920s, have the contenders articulate how they will move the party forward, and consider what plan will work best.  And all those juicy, easy summer news cycles need filling with positive Labour vibes.

This is where Annette King could step up.  Like Harriet Harman did in the UK after Gordon Brown resigned, she could be interim leader while the contenders focus on a positive campaign, getting themselves known by the New Zealand public and Labour party members alike.

The media are desperate for a bloodbath and division, so the campaign would need to be tightly run – caught briefing the media against your competitors, or openly criticising them, you’re out.  Annette can set the rules and ensure they’re kept: focus on your vision for the future of the party and New Zealand, and your own strengths and plan to achieve that vision.

The party need to organise townhalls around the country so members can hear them speak, and media can present them to the country.  Let’s have an invigorating contest!

So members / caucus: if you can’t get Phil to stay a bit longer, push this on Annette!

47 comments on “Annette, Save Us!”

  1. ron 1

    “The media are desperate for a bloodbath and division, so the campaign would need to be tightly run ”
    Couldn’t agree more.
    The real reason Phil has to go is that the msm decided he was “ineffectual” “smarmy” “etc etc”. This immediatley became part of the public discourse. Goff showed during the campaign that he had the chops but the msm had started the build up to their planned leadership bloodbath stories well before the election and now their vision must be carried out.
    It’s a shame and a watse of talent.

    Given all that, it would be great to see all the candidates refusing to comment publicly except to put their hand up. I heard Parker briefly last night saying everything he had to say and refusing to be drawn into manufactured contoversy. That’s the way to do it. Look reasonable, professional and calm.

    I will bet you my right arm that CloseUPCampbellCheckpoint will do their utmost to manufacture something diofferent but it could just work.

  2. gingercrush 2

    Bit late when the media have already been told they have two weeks. I thought Farrar had a good blog on stuff today looking at what Labour could have done or could still do. The problem had Goff stayed on like many would have liked him to is that just encourages the media to ask when the coup is coming (if for instance Labour wasn’t improving in the polls etc). I guess they Labour are stuck with the decision they’ve made on how the leader will be selected.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Bit late when the media have already been told they have two weeks.

      It’s easy.

      “After consulting with caucus, its become clear that Labour MPs wish the aspiring leaders to go out and meet with local communities in various electorates. And to make their individual case for a renewed Labour, and for why they should be the one to lead that resurgence.

      In the meantime, Annette King has agreed to stay on as acting Labour Leader until Waitangi Day 2012, in order to facilitate this process.”

      Done.

  3. Tom Gould 3

    Not a bad idea, a sort-of primary round, open to members and non-members, maybe streamed too, and with a running blog? Might work. Would certainly take the control from the Tory MSM chooks, they would resist of course, and invent stuff in revenge, but not a huge problem if the public really do think of the chooks like Key said they did over the teapot tapes. Worth serious consideration.

  4. gingercrush 4

    Oh and sorry but I see Shane Jones now wants to be a Deputy leader. Ewwww.

  5. SHG 5

    If the new Leader is a) gay, b) a unionist, or c) was part of a Clark caucus, the media will report it as “more of the same from Labour”.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      Because Goff was a gay unionist?

    • felix 5.2

      Fuck them.

      1. If you think sexuality is a legitimate issue in 2011 then vote National. That’s your home.

      2. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s the LABOUR party. Unions are quite important to LABOUR. Unions are the reason we don’t work in sweatshops. It’s what the LABOUR movement is all about. If you don’t share the goals that the unions have always fought for then vote National. That’s your home.

      3. Helen Clark was the most popular PM in NZ’s history (yes, even more popular than Doofus). If you think that’s something to be ashamed of then you need to examine your thinking. Seriously.

      • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 5.2.1

        What is your numerical/evidential justification for saying Clark was the most popular PM in NZs history?

        • felix 5.2.1.1

          It’s a bit late for you to feign interest in numerical evidence now MC, your comment history is available to all.

          • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 5.2.1.1.1

            So thats a “I dont have any, and I am just parroting Helen Clarks claim that Helen Clark was a popular PM” then?!?!?

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1.1

              No, that’s a “you’re a RWNJ astroturfer, fuck off”. Pretty clear, I thought.

      • jbc 5.2.2

        Fuck them.

        The media? Absolutely. I respect that opinion, and…

        If you don’t share the goals that the unions have always fought for then vote National. That’s your home.

        I can respect that position too, but I also think that is a problem. It’s good to hold true to an ideal, but if public opinion shifts, different things become important, then you will not hold the same share of the vote.

        There’s a gap at the moment to the left of National. It’s where I am (and I’m unlikely to be unique in that respect).

        I don’t like asset sales.
        I am not a ‘conservative’
        Don’t like monopolies
        Want polluters, exploiters, etc to pay
        Do think business needs to be kept in check
        Sense of social justice
        Don’t like concentration of power/money to few
        Can’t stand racist / xenophobic policy
        Anti-authority

        I’m teetering on skipping Labour entirely and going Green. They looked a lot better this time and I possibly overlooked them.

        Take what I say with a grain of salt but I think the “Fuck them, we are righteous” is one of the things that hurt Labour. It’s an automatic turn-off for me no matter who says it. That’s the anti-authority aspect saying “Fuck you too”.

        • felix 5.2.2.1

          Can’t say I disagree really jbc.

          What I was trying to say (in my ham-fisted way) is that our democracy is better served by a genuine competition of ideas than it is by the marketing of brands.

          A party needs to be able to throw down the gauntlet and say this is the fight, this is what we stand for. Sometimes people will agree, sometimes they won’t, and that’s not something to be afraid of.

          I don’t think that need come across as unnecessarily righteous, but you do have to believe you’re right. Otherwise you’re just blowing in the wind.

          I think Labour did pretty well in the campaign in this regard.

          • jbc 5.2.2.1.1

            Yes, they did a decent campaign. And righteous was a poor choice of word. Yes, you want to be right but not to the point of polarizing people.

            Goff is a likable leader but I guess he didn’t manage to capture the public’s attention. He’s much preferable to Parker or Cunliffe I think. On the other hand Key doesn’t sparkle either. Hardly what you’d call charismatic but NZ’ers seem to like the guy. He came out of nowhere too.

            So I think the point about choosing a new face is important. No need to sell-out on what you stand for, but the perception of who is presenting the idea makes a big difference.

            Labour presumably does not need to try too hard to persuade the labour movement – as you point out it is the name and history of the party.

  6. hobbit 6

    Labour need someone new. They need to be able to parachute someone in like the Nats did with Key.

    Sadly I don’t think that will be happening anytime soon.

    Until it does, we’ll lack a real opposition. We’ll be left with the shattered remains of what was once a great party.

    Scrap it, and start again.

  7. ianmac 7

    Actually I was thinking about Annette’s great contribution and yet she hardly gets a mention. She would make a great caretaker Leader and defy the MSM who are beating up the “debate for Leader.” She was a great Deputy and could be a great Leader. Until say mid-February and bugger the MSM?
    So great idea Bunji.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Yes until Waitangi Day Feb 6, 2012. That would be fitting.

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      She was great as deputy, was she? I can’t think of any positive news stories about her in the last term, at all.

      All that comes to mind is the child’s policy which was an absolute shambles for PR (WFF being extended to families that don’t work? hello?) and a minor part in the Darren Hughes saga.

      • vicks 7.2.1

        If you are a voter who makes decisions by who is in the media the most then you wont go past the media whores who are National. King has a proven track record and is a passionate and intelligent speaker. I’m pleased to see the old guard understand that Labour need a new process for bringing in a new leader. It’s great to see they such strong candidates but for me the emphasis is on new.

    • Rodel 7.3

      Ianmac..I agree strongly.King has a strength that hasn’t been seen and should stay in the interim..or longer.
      A hurried selection of new leaders is not good.
      Please don’t let it be a hollow/shallow ‘branding exercise’ like ‘brand Key’ and Banks nonsense about ACT needing a new brand and a new name…Its not pizzas we’re talking about.

  8. Jimmy 8

    The short time frame smacks of a deliberate act to favour certain candidate(s) by preventing other(s) gaining traction. We have to remember that Labour is a political party. Of course there will be politics over who takes over. Labour have the opportunity to do whats right for the party and potentially the country, but I doubt that rates highly in the agendas of those involved.

    At least we won’t get the cringe fest that is the US nomination process that does more harm to the party than contesting another political party ever could.

  9. hellonearthis 9

    Didn’t Annette resign as dept leader today too… They have three years to sort it and I bet they will rush it through in three weeks or less.

  10. warren 10

    IMHO Annette has just been warming her seat for the last 3 years. I am more than happy to see her go. I just wish “Campaign Phil” could have stayed on 🙂

  11. aj 11

    There is a risk leaving the leadership decsion too long. It will be played by the opposition (Nats, NZF, Greens, Media) as being indecisive.
    The media in particular will put the word ‘factional’ into their spin with all the negative conatations that word contains. We saw that last night with the rabid Garner. It was all blood on the floor and factions fighting.
    As much as I think Labour do need time they are not permitted to take it.

    Goff? yes I think he could have taken Labour into the next decade. He Stepped Up. But for those who think he should have stayed on – he’s made his decision, and probably for the good of the party. It makes a clean break with the politics of 20-30 years ago, to which he is still tied to even if it’s only is a historical way. (he weas there)

    FWIW – I don’t think Robertson is a starter near the leadership YET.
    It will allow the Nat’s and associated spinners to replay the Clark era drum, as alluded to by Damien O’Connor.

    New Zealand is not grown up enough yet.

    Shearer? not yet. Maybe if Labour lose the next one. He has to gain more expereience.

    Mahuta/Adern. Not yet. Young and plenty of time.

    My pick? Parker / Cunliffe. The right mix of brain and brawn, both have it in equal measure and would be a formidable team.

    The others right up on the front benches.

    • Jackal 11.1

      “Labour would still be better off with a protracted positive leadership contest.”

      Not so sure about that Bunji, I tend to agree with aj that it will give the opposition more ammunition if Labour aren’t careful… especially because Labour needs to rely on the very media that has ensured their decline.

      Giving the media another reason to stick the knives in is not the right thing to do. Tonight Sainsbury was asking if the candidates were recreational drug users… I mean FFS! You wouldn’t hear them asking Key that sort of shit!

    • vicks 11.2

      Labour won the campaign hands down in so many arenas. Goff out debated Key, Labours message was clear while the Nats didn’t seem to have a message and National have put all their eggs in one Key basket while Goff was not so vain or Presidential that he appeared on all the billboards. It felt like the beginning of a new era for Labour.

      Despite this the outcome for Labour was abysmal. The voters heard the message, got the idea but still didn’t buy into it. Internally Labour messed up with the shonky list construction evident in the Tizard debacle which they should have learned from and again now by putting all the old timers at the top and letting the new and energised candidates fall into a political hole.

      It is time for some new energy. Shearer can do this with a strong mix of experienced and new people behind him. I hope they continue to be as civilised as they are with this process.

  12. Steve 12

    Here we have the Labour party’s problem summarised in a nutshell. Annette, David, David or David and Shane.
    In terms of public appeal David Parker is the least worst, and maybe could rise to the challenge. I like his quick wit….he has that doesn’t he? Deputy Jacinda. David C Finance, David S something important.
    I would vote for that.

  13. neoleftie 13

    As we all know the MSM have simply been reduced to a entertainment media – they even think they dictate and shape events…
    From what ive heard the labour caucus is sitting tight, weighing up party direction and then coming to a conclusion. moira is doing the prudent thing and taking it to the members and gauging support from the activists first and then the caucus and party will decide.

    I am more concerned that once again history was repeated – Time for the labour party to engage electorate, open its branches and organisation to non-traditional types who would bring a wealth of organisational and operational skill to the local level…surely there is more that can be done apart from waving of signs, a few bill boards, door knocking and the odd meeting or two.
    This is serious stuff, the future of our country and mostly amateur hour..in the real world this campaign methodology just would get any grade..
    Non core voters IMO simple laugh or ignore a bunch of marginalised activists. Smarten up, get modern and reconnect or Brand Tory with its modern connected marketing program will simply continue to errode the middle and then the soft core voter.
    Stealth blueing of the electorate so fight smarter folks or the tories will always have the numbers.

  14. Misanthropic Curmudgeon 14

    Annette who?

  15. dad4justice 15

    The cow jumped over the full moon- so say mad minister of keystone plods.

  16. anne 16

    Key had an intention to lead national that was decided before he even came to nz,he is now implementing policies that pander to Goldman Sachs,when they have been in nz and have bought
    a large development for less than half its face value.
    The smile and waves are a front and the election showed he does not liked to be challenged
    on any level,if it can be said by a star in the uk that she waved a fee in order to get good press,
    is that what we have seen here over the tea pot tapes and everyday press releases,could be,as every media outlet decried, devalued,rubbished Goff and labour and yet in Goff there was honesty,trustworthiness,a man who fought for the people.
    Labour is now trying to find two people to replace Goff and King ,i am torn whether Goff
    should have stood down though,he was comming into his own and taking key on and he ended
    up being much admired by many, his deputy worked well with him and they connected that could be seen,however i think that Annette King is too close to the Clark era,while Goff took the battle to
    Key,King does not have the same connection with the people.
    If it has to be a new face for labour i was picking Shearer,but now i think that perhaps the ticket
    of Cunliffe and Mahuta, would be a balancing,instead of (please excuse the metaphor),’two white guys’ i could see this working quite well.
    Jacinda is a very good politician and she is capable of deputy too,she probably would be better teamed up with Shearer.
    I just hope that whoever it is that there is a female deputy for balance.Also that the infantile media give them some good press,or will they have to buy it?

  17. anne 17

    Just imagine if Phil Goff changed his mind and stayed,key has trumpeted his admiration for phil now,so how can he go back on his word,(yeh i know it would be easy for key) now if phil did decide to stay,that would be shock an awe in the media,now wouldn’t it and not a cuppa in sight.

  18. Jan 18

    When can we have the people’s media enquiry here in NZ like the Leveson enquiry in the UK?

    Looking at the comments above it’s obvious that fear of the media is NZ at least as bad in NZ as it is in the UK. Everyone’s terrified of the media’s “perception = reality” meme impacting the decision and the timing. Presumably this fear extends to the Parliamentary Party too. Media attacks are so ingrained in our mental space that deep thinking, analysis and discussion are undermined as we anticipate and triangulate against the possible media take on any issue. It’s so disheartening seeing it here as well – seeing our courageous and hard-working MPs dissed and dismissed in sound-bites.

    Surely one of the big tasks of the Labour movement – not just Labour Party – in the next three years is to address the lies (counterfactuals ;-0) of popular media led opinion on politics and the economy. I fear that the job is as big as it was for Savage. Despite the abject failure of monetarism many beliefs espoused by the media and reflected in our popular culture relate to a deeply conservative world view

  19. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 19

    We got TROUNCED in the election. Phil and Annette have correctly resigned. We could all see this as a possible scenario 18 months ago. The party leaders should have designed a more structured selection process. They did not do so. We have lost our No 1 position in a few spots; students, environmentalists, middle class liberals, Maori. We need a strong capable leader. Cunliffe is ready. Let us get on with it .

    • vicks 19.1

      Agree Labour should have seen it 18 months ago but nothing happened. With all due respect, the old guard looked after themselves and let the new ones hang out to dry. Cunliffe is incredibly capable and will stay around for a while but he is part of the problem not part of the solution.

  20. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 20

    We got TROUNCED in the election. Phil and Annette have correctly resigned. We could all see this as a possible scenario 18 months ago. The party leaders should have designed a more structured selection process. They did not do so. We have lost our No 1 position in a few spots; students, environmentalists, middle class liberals, Maori. We need a strong capable leader. Cunliffe is ready. Let us get on with it

  21. busman007 21

    things must be getting desperate to suggest this , has no one learnt from the flogging that just happened ???? get rid of these has beens !

  22. Steve 22

    Labour needs a total restructuring. The once working persons party has now gone, those in the top are there for themselves. Keep putting lipstick on a pig and it remains a pig.
    I voted Labour twice in 40 years, but never will under the present party structure. Haters and wreckers, you have to lose that image, and also stop spending other people’s money. Welfare begins in your own backyard, not penalising those who work very hard to get ahead.
    Time to face the music troughers

  23. dad4justice 23

    Can Ms King milk a flying cow?

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