Mike Smith steps down

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, July 20th, 2009 - 16 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Labour General Secretary Mike Smith has announced he will retire at the party’s national conference in September.

He’s the last of the four – Helen and the three Mikes – who led the parliamentary and party wings during the fifth Labour Government to step down. While Mike Williams ran fundraising, Smith concentrated more on organisation and activating the membership. In the last year there’s been a movement towards a more open and accessible Labour party – the Grassroots Labour site and Red Alert being prime examples. He goes out on a high after Labour showed that it is still a formidable campaign machine with the stunning victory in Mt Albert.

It looks like Chris Flatt, campaigns organiser for the CTU, and John Pagani, Jim Anderton’s former chief of staff who was heavily involved in Mt Albert, are the main contenders to replace Smith. Both are excellent candidates. Pagani is rated very highly as a political operator and his move to Labour represents the continuing process of the Progressives returning to the fold. Flatt on the other hand, with his union background (including an organising role in the Your Rights @ Work campaign that removed John Howard), has a lot of experience in organising and mobilising members.

[Mike Smith announced he was stepping down on the 8th. I wrote this post at the time but accidentally didn’t publish]

16 comments on “Mike Smith steps down”

  1. burt 1

    Hopefully the person who replaces him will have a better memory. How can someone as “good at what he does” as Mike apparnently was not remember $100,000 loans or talking to Owen Glenn?

    • Craig Glen Eden 1.1

      Burt you have got the wrong Mike. Easy enough do do I guess but if you are going to throw stones Burt be sure of your target! Your target should have been Williams not Smith.

      • r0b 1.1.1

        It’s all the same to buddy Burt – Labour bad! Labour bad!

        But anyway, thanks to Mike S for all his hard work for the party…

        • felix

          At least he’s not blowing on about retrospective validation anymore.

          Gee, I wonder why?

          • burt


            I missed the validations that covered an unknown amount of money over 14 years and that killed a standing court case. National must have slipped that one through will little fan fare and little resistance from the opposition. Was that because there were just common-or-garden validations passed by National or was it because you are too fucked in the head to know the difference?

            • felix

              Do you really want me to go back through all your comments about how the very principle of retrospective validation is abhorrent, corrupt and anti-democratic?

              You have quite a lot of “biodegradable thoughts” don’t you wee burtie?

            • burt

              No felix, you just seem incapable of getting your head around the difference between common-or-garden validations for unexpected or unplanned spending (such as emergency aid relief after a natural disaster) vs political ass covering for deliberately ignoring warnings about spending on election advertising.

              I think where you fall into a hole felix is that you are stupid enough to repeat NRT’s complete gob-shite on this issue. Perhaps you hadn’t noticed that NRT won’t allow comments when he makes absurd comparisons of apples and vagina’s unlike yourself who merrily toes the party line thinking you are oh so clever. However felix I do like the way you keep giving me opportunity to highlight the differences and point out how self serving the last Labour govt were and how some people like yourself will try anything to re-write history.

            • felix

              I think I get it now.

              When Wodney does it, it’s ok.

              When National do it, it’s ok.

              When Labour do it it’s abhorrent, anti-democratic and corrupt because the unions ruined your holiday in the 70s.

              Thanks for clearing that up.

            • burt

              That’s right felix, when it is done to cover unexpected situations then it’s OK because it needed to happen. When it’s done to keep an MP out of court it is wrong. You are finally getting it.

            • felix

              Hey burt, seeing as you like to slag off NRT for not letting you piss all over his blog, when are you going to get around to blogging up your ideas?

              That could be fun.

            • burt


              This simple test might help you in the future: Who’s interests were being served by the actions of the MP’s?

              For example if we had a tsunami and the govt spent an unexpected $20m dealing with it then the best interests were the people who received the aid and nobody will be upset that it gets validated (except NRT trying to make absurd comparisons). If close to a million is spent on pretty plastic cards which had already been identified as election advertising then validating that is quite different (unless you are Chris Trotter where you don’t care about the method if it achieves the desired outcome).

              So tell me felix, are you capable of independent thought or are you just a parrot for NRT and Trotter when it comes to parliamentary process?

            • felix

              I don’t see what that has to do with Wodney and his retrospective validation but that’s ok burt, I never expected you to break with tradition.

              Seriously though, why don’t you start a blog and write about this stuff? No-one else is writing about it.

              I mean that. It could be really interesting.

            • burt

              It’s OK to say you were wrong felix. Go on be an adult and admit you lost the plot and you are trying to compare apples with vagina’s like a good puppet for NRT.

      • Tim Ellis 1.1.2

        Craig, wasn’t Mike Smith the electoral finance agent for the Labour Party at the last election? As such wasn’t he responsible for declaring donations and loans to the Labour Party? Wasn’t it the case that he didn’t declare it?

        • burt

          Apparently a different Mike Smith Tim. One was a dim-bulb who forgot stuff all the time and the other was the best thing since sliced bread. Easy mistake to make apparently.

  2. lprent 2

    Felix. I think that you owe Burt an apology. He has/had a blog. It parroted The Standard.

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