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Te Atatu electorate letter

Written By: - Date published: 2:56 pm, December 6th, 2010 - 25 comments
Categories: labour - Tags: ,

Much to the delight of the right wing chattering class, the Te Atatu electorate has written a letter attacking Labour leadership:

Labour’s Te Atatu electorate committee has written for a second time to the party backing expelled MP Chris Carter and effectively expressing no confidence in leader Phil Goff.

The letter, dated November 20, said the local committee had two weeks earlier unanimously resolved to write expressing “our disgust at the way our MP Chris Carter has been treated over the last four months”.

It took issue with how Mr Carter was told of his expulsion from the party and complained the committee had not been consulted about his future and says there is “no certainty” that any other Labour candidate would retain the seat.

It isn’t clear who wrote the letter, but it is clear that its intent was to do maximum damage:

Electorate secretary Jenny Atkins today confirmed the letter, sent to party president Andre Little and leaked to National-leaning Kiwiblog website, was legitimate, but declined to comment on any details of it.

She denied a suggestion Mr Carter himself had written it, but would not say whether she had written it herself.

I’m not going to condemn the electorate for standing by Chris Carter. Having done the odd turn as an electorate chair, I know how strong the bond of loyalty with each other, and with the MP, can be. However I do suggest, with all due respect to Te Atatu, that the way that they are choosing to express that loyalty is both unwise, and damaging to a greater bond that draws the whole party together.

Whatever. I have no doubt that Te Atatu will keep doing what they feel they must, and I suggest that none should escalate the situation by responding too loudly. In any case, I don’t think there is any shock value to the public in further revelations about Chris Carter, just a bit of titillation for the blog fodder.

25 comments on “Te Atatu electorate letter ”

  1. John Dalley 1

    Chris & Co continue to be absolute plonkers.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    Credit where it’s due. Chris Carter is a dedicated MP and he works tirelessly …

    … for John Key’s re-election.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      That’s what it’s looking like. Hell, they even went to the effort of leaking the letter to Kiwiblog.

  3. ianmac 3

    Wonder how it leaked to Kiwiblog? Good on whoever for backing their man but not helpful if it bags the leader. Did it?

  4. The Voice of Reason 4

    Well, I’ve got a suggestion for Jenny Atkins that’ll help Labour in Te Atatu. Resign forthwith. Go on, just piss off.

    We had the same pompous, self serving bullshit in one of the electorates I have an association with just prior to the last election. The local committee wanted one of their own to be the new candidate when the long serving local MP gave it away. The floor vote, union vote and head office vote went in another direction and the committee members’ runner dipped out in the early rounds. The committee members spat the dummy and walked, saying there was no way the eventually chosen candidate would win the seat, the local party would fall apart without them and this was the beginning of the end for Labour in the town.

    Actual result? A shiny new Labour MP, a whopping increase in party membership (and branch funds!) and an LEC that works like a well oiled machine. I reckon there’s enough intelligent, hard working Labour members in Te Atatu to get the LEC back on track, so if Atkins and the other whingers won’t shut up about Carter, they should just bugger off and leave the organisation to people that put the party first.

    • grumpy 4.1

      Hey, VOR, I reckon you speak great common sense regardless of which political party you are referring to.

    • TVOR

      Not needed.

      Activists should be allowed the dignity of their passion.

      • The Voice of Reason 4.2.1

        What’s dignified about writing* a whingeing letter about an issue that’s already settled and leaking it to a right wing blog, Mickey? Their ‘passion’ has just made the work of all other Labour activists harder, so, yep, I think they should just piss off.

        *I said ‘writing’ but it’s not even that. It’s actually just signing a letter written by a justifiably expelled ex-member and passing it off as original thought.

      • Anne 4.2.2

        “Activists should be allowed the dignity of their passion”

        Couldn’t agree more, but then send out 80 copies of the letter? According to Radio NZ they did anyway. Whoever was responsible was asking for it to be leaked were they not?


        • Anne

          Second time today I’ve tried to post a comment and I’m straight into moderation. Havn’t commented for a while either – what gives?

          [likely you share an IP range with someone in moderation – lprent will probably notice this comment and have a look — r0b]

        • mickysavage

          Hi Anne

          You and TVOR are expecting good local activists who like their MP to have a really sophisticated understanding of NZ politics and media and understand the possibility that sending a letter to various people may result in it being leaked.

          I honestly do not think the people involved intended this. They have worked for years supporting their local MP and they are grieving. We should cut them some slack.

          • Anne

            @ Mickeysavage
            Fair enough. My comment “whoever was responsible” wasn’t necessarily directed at any of the local electorate activists. I suspect they were badly advised by somebody but I have no more idea than anyone else who it might have been.

          • The Voice of Reason

            But this isn’t the first time they’ve done it, so they already know what happens if they publicly attack Goff. It’s instantly news. And they know it’s potentially damaging to the Labour Party. Sending out all those copies and leaking it to a Nat blog is letting down every member and supporter. If they don’t understand that, they aren’t fit to be in the party, let alone running part of it.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Yep. If they don’t know letters like this get leaked, then they should have been paying attention when Chris wrote a letter to the fricken gallery.

              Fair enough that they are upset, but it’s a political party for crying out loud. If you can’t accept that your guy has been thrown out, then walk out yourself. Let’s be clear, the writers of this letter put their loyalty to someone who is no longer in the party above their loyalty to the party, and didn’t care if the letter damaged the party or it’s chances to implement it’s policies.

              It’s not tiddlywinks. A political party is not a vehicle for politicians, it’s a vehicle for policy.

    • Francisco Hernandez 4.3

      You would have had a point if it weren’t for the fact that in TWO LEC MEETINGS Chris Carter was endorsed unanimously by every LEC member in attendance.

      I mean. I’m not the guy’s greatest fan but your blithe dismissal of long-time Labour party activists and supporters here in Te Atatu is a bit grating mate.

      • The Voice of Reason 4.3.1

        “You would have had a point if it weren’t for the fact that in TWO LEC MEETINGS Chris Carter was endorsed unanimously by every LEC member in attendance.”

        … and unanimously rejected in every other LEC, pub, workplace and media outlet in the country.

        In less than two weeks the Te Atatu candidate will be confirmed. Are the committee members going to participate in the campaign to get this person elected? If not, it’s time for them to move on.

  5. swimmer 5

    Now there’s a smart thing to do to the rest of the party who have probably been busting their humps. 🙁

    It’s not like the leadership is even going to change before the election, all they have done is stir up a hornet’s nest and for no good reason. They could at least air their dirty laundry privately. Not smart.

    • Rich 5.1

      You have to ask how the committee comes to differ with the mainstream party line, or why the local membership, if they are at odds with the commitee, don’t vote them out. (I have no idea how the internal rules of the Labour Party work – possibly it’s all set up so that local committees can self-perpetuate without reference to the views of the broader membership).

      Goff’s visionless and directionless leadership isn’t inspiring people to work for Labour, and I get the strong impression that many party activists (not only in Labour) have reacted to this by simply withdrawing from party activity.

      It’s pretty obvious that Goff is going to lose the election and resign, so why doesn’t he go now rather than waiting for next November?

      • swimmer 5.1.1

        He does have a vision and even gave a speech about it today.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.2

        Yeah NATs would love to play on the turmoil caused by a late leadership change (as per Oz Labor).

        Labour is going into 2011 in strong spirits, its going to be a tough battle and the Goff Father is gonna make’m pay.

  6. Tanz 6

    An absolute drip. Bring on the by-election, give Carter a real job. Stacking in the supermarket, etc, this would hit him where he lives. A man of privilege, gives not much in return.

    • grumpy 6.1

      Exactly, he never struck me as being anything other than a “man of privilege”. Hardly the type of guy you would expect to find as “champion of the workers”. His travel spending will always be an embarrasment to Labour and they will not be able to get into scandals like the Wong sage properly until he has gone.

  7. Raymond A Francis 7

    “The right wing chattering class”
    Don’t really think there are enough people in this category to make a class unless the education unions get their way and make classes really, really small

  8. deemac 8

    @Rich there is no surprise that some of the people who worked closely with Carter for years should still have some loyalty towards him and therefore feel differently from outsiders who don’t know him personally and have only seen the damage he’s done. Loyalty is a good thing, but there are still limits, which seem to have been exceeded here.

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