Chris Trotter nails his colours to HMS Goff

Dying for Helen Augusta – Opinion: views on the news on

Chris Trotter has in twice as many weeks come out publicly against Helen Clark.
Last time it was Helen of desTROY, this week it is Helen Augusta.

Trotter must be a fan of the Classics but he will now longer have any fans on the ninth floor.

[quote]"If we were to do as you suggest, the Labour Party would collapse." That was the terse response of one senior party official to my recent column suggesting the Government's chances of re- election might be improved if Phil Goff replaced Helen Clark as prime minister.
If the party official is right, the Labour Party is in much bigger trouble than I thought.[/quote]

He then goes on to talk about succession planning and how Labour has traditional ballsed that up. Then he gets to the real Brutus like stab in the guts of Helen.

[quote]But if the period 1974-1984 represented Labour's golden repub- lican phase, the nine years between 1984-1993 must rank as its Babylonian captivity.

In the wreckage of David Lange, Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Mike Moore, the party sat down and wept.

Rogernomics broke Labour's republic into three pieces: the Left was seized by Jim Anderton; the Right by Richard Prebble; and the centre by Helen Clark.

Shrunken in size, and terribly scarred by the fratricidal conflict that had torn them apart, Labour's rank and file no longer warmed to their democratic responsibilities.

After the bloody deposition of the last of the Rogernomes in 1993, all the party wanted was peace and unity. The membership knew Helen ? she'd been around for years ? and they trusted her. If she was ready to lift the burden of democratic responsibility from their shoulders, they were only too willing to give it to her.

Like the broken Roman republic, an exhausted, strife- torn Labour Party bestowed upon the last general standing the title of imperator. Oh yes, the forms of the old party remained intact: there was still a New Zealand council, a policy council, affiliates, LECs and branches.

But Helen, like Octavian, while paying lip service to republican forms, delivered imperial substance.
Now, 14 years into the reign of Helen Augusta, the thoughts of a new generation of Labour leaders is finally turning to the succession. With opinion polls registering just 35 per cent support, the question on everyone's lips is can the emperor be replaced without endangering the empire?

The answer is probably not. And surely, that's the point.
Political parties, especially those of the Left, should never allow themselves to be turned into monarchies. No organisation grows stronger by ceding its most important decision- making responsibilities to a single individual.

If a Labour Party led by anyone other than Helen Clark faces imminent collapse, then it is guilty of creating a monarch to rival Louis XV, and, like him, she can rightly prophesy: Apres moi le deluge.[/quote]

Chris Trotter will probably be maligned and denigrated as a class traitor or something similar.

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