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Imperator Fish: Critics slam Labour list selections – again

Written By: - Date published: 2:08 pm, June 23rd, 2014 - 20 comments
Categories: election 2014, humour, labour, parody, Satire - Tags:

Some things are so predicable that Imperator Fish can write about them years ahead. Like the typical reactions to the Labour list. Let us observe the predictability of the right and others to it today.

The Labour Party is due to release its party list today, to much derision from the right. There will be too many gays, not enough red-blooded men, too many unionists and teachers, not enough people with “real world experience”, and a few too many non-white faces.

I wrote this post back in 2011. It still seems relevant.

The release of the Labour Party list has been met with scorn and derision by political commentators, bloggers and newspaper editors.

The full list of 70 was released over the weekend, but it has drawn an immediately negative response.

The first 30 on the list are:

  1. Jesus Christ
  2. Elizabeth I
  3. Alexander the Great
  4. Jane Austen
  5. Albert Einstein
  6. Mohandas Gandhi
  7. Mohamed
  8. Florence Nightingale
  9. Marie Curie
  10. Sir Edmund Hillary
  11. Mother Teresa
  12. Abraham Lincoln
  13. Aung San Suu Kyi
  14. Sir Ernest Shackleton
  15. Queen Victoria
  16. Elizabeth Blackwell
  17. Joan of Arc
  18. Nelson Mandela
  19. Jodie Foster
  20. Pericles
  21. Sir Winston Churchill
  22. Rosa Parks
  23. Amelia Earhart
  24. Captain Chesley Sullenberger
  25. Queen Elizabeth II
  26. William Shakespeare
  27. Alfred Hitchcock
  28. Helen Mirren
  29. Audrey Hepburn
  30. Martin Luther King

Blogger Campbell Slug described the list as “seventy tired and useless losers”, while the New Zealand Herald editorial said the list was “unimaginative, uninspiring and elderly. There is no freshness in what Labour has to offer.”

Left wing pundit and newspaper columnist Mike McMartin said Labour had lost the opportunity to blood fresh talent, and was instead relying on “a miserable cast of has-beens, failures and retreads.”

Political commentator Martin Hooterson savaged the list in his weekly political column, comparing the Labour list unfavourably with the recently-released National one.

“The Nats have time and time again shown they have a knack for blending youth and experience in their list choices,” said Mr Hooterson in his column.

“Mixing the experience of the likes of Genghis Khan and Richard Nixon with the youthful vigour of Justin Bieber and Brittany Spears is bound to pay off for National at the polls this year when people come to choose who to give their party vote to.

“Jesus Christ may be well-meaning, but his earnest do-good brand of socialism has no show when compared with the hard-nosed realism and business nous of Judas Iscariot.”

“The Labour selections are just a mishmash of old farts, screaming leftists and dreamers.”

TVNZ’s political editor Gary Escargot said the selection of Alexander the Great at number three on the list was a sign of desperation by Labour.

“Labour prompted Alexander because he conquered half the known world. But choosing a man who only gets half the job done is typical of a party lacking a clear policy focus.”

TV3 political editor Dwayne Gardner also slammed the selections, and predicted the public would vote with their feet.

“The decision to include Sir Ernest Shackleton is a bold step, but it may come back to haunt them,” said Mr Gardner.

“He may know a thing or two about snow, but has he ever been under any serious pressure?”

Religious leaders have also slammed the list, noting that it includes only one messiah, one prophet and one saint.

And the Bisexual Playwrights Association is fuming that only one of its members was selected.

But the harshest criticism of all was leveled at Labour by its opponents.

National Party strategist and blogger Ming the Merciless wrote of the list: “Our enemies have shown how truly feeble they are. Now we shall crush them with our space fleet! Launch rockets! Destroy them all! Bwah ha ha ha ha! Bwa ha ha ha ha!”


20 comments on “Imperator Fish: Critics slam Labour list selections – again”

  1. greywarbler 1

    Great incisive political comment, appropriate to 2011. But now it’s all different what!
    National Party strategist and blogger Ming the Merciless wrote of the list: “Our enemies have shown how truly feeble they are. Now we shall crush them with our space fleet! Launch rockets! Destroy them all! Bwah ha ha ha ha! Bwa ha ha ha ha!”

  2. Tracey 2


  3. Michael 3

    I don’t think the Labour Party needs “celebrities” on its list. What it does need are people who understand the principles of social justice, are capable of translating those principles into coherent policies, and making sure the bureaucrats execute those policies. I see no evidence that anyone of this list has those qualities. Evidently, many New Zealanders feel the same way and will not vote at all on 20 September.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      I don’t think the Labour Party needs “celebrities” on its list.

      Spot on comment.

      What it does need are people who understand the principles of social justice, are capable of translating those principles into coherent policies, and making sure the bureaucrats execute those policies.

      That’s OK. But where is the sense of mission? The sense of purpose? Something more than just tinkering, because to face up to energy depletion, climate change and financial crises, tinkering won’t do at all.

    • greywarbler 3.2

      Are you trying to be funny? It is a thin line between celebrities and familiar faces in politics. And if people don’t know you, don’t recognise you, they might not bother to find out what your qualities are. So how do you think politicians should make themselves appear electable, stand in the streets and hand out leaflets? That get thrown on the ground a few steps on. And the ordinary person I know doesn’t talk or think like you, none of the wide range of people I meet express themselves like a policy implementation document. You wouldn’t get many votes.

      • Michael 3.2.1

        Fair enough. But neither, I predict, will Labour get too many votes on 20 September, following the path you seem to advocate for it.

        • greywarbler

          But I am not advocating for anything set, it is the outcome Iam advocating for. That is finding a way to speak to left-thinking people so that they can hear what Labour plan for them. Labour lefties have to come out of the closet they have been hanging in and hang out with the people. And start talking working hours, fortnightly and monthly rosters, set number of hours a week for minimum so people can return
          to having a life, minimum 2 hours work. Seems that you may want that too.

          • Michael

            Yes, I do want those things for our people. But I also want a government that works for them and not against them, as it has done for many years (see: ACC, WINZ, Department of Labour, IRD, etc). Legislating minimum employment conditions, along the lines you suggest, is fine but those laws must be enforceable – always difficult in the private sector. In the public sector, however, I think effective government can, and must, make the bureaucrats (ACC, WINZ etc) stop crapping on people and start helping them instead. The last Labour government did bugger all of that; the one before it, encouraged bureaucrats to crap on people. We need a real change of approach and we need credible evidence that Labour is able to make the machinery work for the people, instead of oppressing them.

  4. Anne 4

    Err…ummm…aaah Michael – what?

    • freedom 4.1

      Yes Anne, I also didn’t see the sarcasm, it is a bit veiled. If he isn’t being satirical then one can only surmise he had not read the list above and thus had not seen that it is not the actual list.

      • Michael 4.1.1

        I read both the lists and was commenting on the “real” one. We’ll see how Labour gets on in a few week’s time. FWIW, I think most of the people on the “real” list are decent and worthy people. Unfortunately, nobody knows whether they are likely to give effect to the Party’s values or just sell them out to the New Right once again. I think it’s probably too late now for these candidates to convince anyone, which is one of the reasons Labour’s support is tanking. It will be lucky to hold its Party Vote at the 2011 level this year – and that result was the worst in its history.

  5. blue leopard 5


    I thought this was a critical piece for real when I read the title and reluctantly* clicked on it to see what the critics had to say.

    What a delight to discover the article was satire 🙂

    *overload -getting a bit sick of critical pieces about Labour – such a saturation of it in the media, and nearly always paying solely lip-service to real analysis.

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    Send war rocket Ajax to bring back his body…

  7. Jimmie 7

    Very unfair of all the critics to slam Labour in 2011 – they performed much better than the mockers proclaimed.

    So what was Labour’s percentage of vote in 2011 again? 27%…..hmmm maybe the critics were right.

    Will they be any better in 2014? Time will tell.

  8. dave 8

    hitler ,franco ,stalin, sadam hussain , george w g bush ,moe.caligullar,pol pot,john key must be on nationals list

  9. Rodel 9

    Bit sad that celebrities get votes.
    Celebrity defined as someone who is famous for achieving nothing..vis -Maggie and Rankin

  10. Phil 10

    3.Alexander the Great

    Pedantic point;
    Historians now regard Alexander of Macedon as probably the most brutal dictator to ever walk the face of the earth. He’s responsible for genocide, ethnic cleansing, and human atrocities on such a massive scale that even the worst of WWII pales in comparison.

    He was a great military strategist and general, no doubt… but he was an awful human being.

  11. We need a real change of approach and we need credible evidence that Labour is able to make the machinery work for the people, instead of oppressing them.

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