It’s been a dreadful week for Labour. So out come the oft repeated rumours of a coup against leader Phil Goff. Usually this is just the ever predictable right wing blogs stirring. But this time the excellent Scoop news site is making the claim:
Hughes Resigns As MP – Cabal Rising To Replace Goff
Scoop has also learnt that indeed a cabal representing a group within caucus is counting numbers against Goff.
Maryan Street and Ruth Dyson are representing a cabal that is seeking support for David Parker to replace Goff. And rumours that Helen Clark and her strong-arm strategist Heather Simpson have been consulted appear to have some substance.
Today, Scoop understands Parker has the numbers to roll Goff. He does have the support of the majority of the Labour caucus. But Scoop also understands the cabal will not make its move to roll the leader until Goff absorbs full responsibility for his handling of the Hughes affair.
In this case the Scoop reporter (Selwyn Manning) has it wrong. Some people may be talking, but (unless he is going out of his way to lie to reporters) Parker is not lining up to roll Goff. Besides which, Parker is far too smart. Now is the wrong time for a leadership challenge, Goff should lead the Party in to the next election, win or lose. And finally, I suspect that Parker doesn’t want the top job. He’s a political and policy powerhouse, with brains and capacity for work. The next Cullen. But he hasn’t so far displayed the manner or the soundbite view of the world that a leader needs. I don’t think he wants it.