Today our Labour MPs will probably vote for a leadership challenge in Wellington. Fine. We have come to expect no more of them. At every available opportunity they keep playing their bloody stupid dominance games that disrupt the rest of the party. It wastes our precious time on the 3 year campaign trail.
The campaign really had nothing that was particularly at fault except that it all happened too damn late and it was a weird fast and noisy election that Labour’s team had problems adapting to fast enough. It takes time to build experienced and adaptive campaign teams both in Wellington and throughout the rest of the country. But that appeared to start in *election year* because our numbskull politicians hadn’t bothered to think about it before 2014.
They certainly didn’t after 2011. The lessons learnt in core systems from that election like the voter management, distribution systems for campaign materials, and many other key campaigning systems were ignored. That led directly into the election defeat in 2014.
Instead the MPs were too busy with silly leader battles. They made a colossal screw-up with their selection of the novice David Shearer after Goff prematurely stepped down.
Now they will go through it again.
David Cunliffe in my view appears to have only two major faults as a politician (I have never been a huge personal fan of the guy, but I wasn’t of Helen Clark either and I volunteered for her for most of two decades).
David Cunliffe tends to leave things very late, probably because he has always been able enough to wing it. Being bright and competent is nice (I have always been like that). But it doesn’t beat long term campaigns of planning and work. That is something that he needs to have educated out of him by his staff. It was pretty evident that he improved markedly over the campaign so I’d guess that process has started. He seems to learn from his mistakes.
He is also an arrogant smart bastard who rubs some people up the wrong way in close quarters. I have no particular issues with that. Helen was the same. Most people who are effective are the same. David Shearer was as well. The main difference apart from experience between David Shearer and David Cunliffe is that Cunliffe has shown the ability to rapidly adapt to circumstances that David Shearer showed no trace of.
I’m afraid that the outraged egos of other politicians can taking a flying fuck as far as I’m concerned. I’m not concerned with their feelings. I concerned with winning the next election. I’m also really not in favour of exerting any more effort in support of Labour until I see that the idiots in caucus can actually get behind a 3 year PARTY campaign.
What matters for Labour is that Cunliffe is in place, displays the competences required, has built an effective policy team and campaign team (the latter needs more work). He is in the same position as Helen was after the 1993 defeat with a uphill battle to make a working campaign team to fight a party vote election. No reason to change.
We certainly don’t want to do it at the urgings of the shallow analysis of the anonymous editorial of the NZ Herald, never friends of Labour. Sure Labour probably needs to do more with its internal processes as Josie Pagani urges. But I’d start with the unwieldy constitution where the work was started and then stalled that she never mentions. That is what stifles debate about change inside the party to the point where we have to discuss it on the net in forums like this.
But don’t let that get in the way of getting the next campaign underway. That starts with getting the leadership issues of our childish MPs out of the way as fast as possible. Do the vote of no confidence, take it to the members and affiliates as soon as possible if needed and get the damn thing out of the way.
I’m pretty sure that David Cunliffe would win a members and affiliates vote. So suck it up MPs, stop playing your silly caucus games and do some frigging work this term rather than the self-indulgent posturing you wasted time with last term.