lprent: At a rough guess this guest post is probably from a David Parker supporter. But hey, this is politics. Unlike me people have opinions (this is the hardest work I have ever had for a political campaign as a voter). It looks like guest posters are starting to wise up and are disappointingly not letting me select a classics title 🙁
In my opinion Andrew Little has painted himself into a corner by bagging the Capital Gains Tax. I’m certain I knocked on more doors and rang more punters in this election than Andrew and capital gains tax was not an issue that turned off our voters. The second problem for Little is his approach to Labour policy-setting. Labour’s policy is set by the members, the Policy Council and the Caucus. The days of the Leaders dictating policy on the fly, as happened in 1984, are over.
Robertson’s Pledge Card reads like a wish list – more politics than substance. The Party certainly needs to improve its organising capability but whether finding and funding regional organisers is the way to go again, is a decision that should not be only for the Leader to make. My estimate is that you would be hard put to pay a salary of less than $50k and with offices and travel costs (car included for at least four) of say another $30k, we are looking at a $500k per annum. I think that sort of money would be much better used training and supporting hundreds, if not thousands of active Party members.
I’m also not at all sure about his Pledge Card plan to elect ‘members’ to the Election Campaign Committee. The Campaign Committee is, in my opinion, already too big to manage and any more elected members on it is a waste of time. In fact, because of the day to day needs of a campaign, a much tighter team needs to be formed with demonstrated campaigning expertise. Adding another layer to the already clogged representative morass that is the Labour Party, is a waste of time. That is one area where the Leader should select people.
Former Cabinet Ministers Parker and Mahuta are the so-called back markers.
Parker has been a revelation. By all accounts his Wellington effort was pretty good but Robertson and Little predictably gained more applause. However, Parker’s Palmerston North effort was outstanding and he cleared away from the pack. With a solid base in caucus I certainly won’t be writing him off. His trip to the Savage Memorial for Labour Day was a great stroke and from the TV it looked like he pulled a crowd – that may become a seminal moment in his career and it would be good to see him back regularly to respect MJ Savage on what is, effectively, his day – it fits with his outstanding speech at the Party Congress earlier this year.
Parker is sticking to his line that by improving working peoples lives we will have the time and money to look after the vulnerable. Now that is not going to be easy, given that the jobs that supported the working class through the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s are gone – the freezing works, the car plants, F & P, the Railway workshops. Parker will be addressing this at an event with entrepreneurs Rick Boven and Sel Pellet at the Polish Society on Sunday 2nd at 430pm. The discussion with business representatives also pitches Parker as somebody who can bridge the gaping chasm Labour currently has with the business community.
Nanaia Mahuta is an intelligent and insightful politician, experienced and well-grounded. Again one not to be overlooked. She will certainly have a major role of one sort or another in this coming Parliament and beyond.