Trotter on Len Brown

My, my, Chris Trotter has got a big knot in his Y-fronts.

He has launched a tirade against Labour and against Len Brown. it is writing like this that I used to enjoy when I lived in Wellington and he wrote for the DomPost.

WHEN will Labour ever learn? A party whose membership now numbers less than 5,000 nationwide, and probably less than 1,000 north of Taupo, has decided ? unilaterally ? to select the Left?s mayoral candidate for the new Auckland “supercity”.

“Cheek” is too small a word to describe this sort of behaviour. Why? Because, if we accept the well-established rule-of-thumb that only ten percent of any organisation?s paper membership should ever be considered active players, fewer than 100 people took it upon themselves to choose the person aiming to represent 1.4 million.
For the sheer, jaw-dropping arrogance of this pre-emptive strike against democratic procedure, Labour deserves a hefty political smack ? to say nothing of the “good parental correction” required for putting its own, narrow, partisan interests ahead of Auckland?s future.
Nice to get an insight into how parlous Labour’s membership is, no wonder they are pushing hard for state funding of political parties.
The creation of the new “supercity” offered the old political players of Left and Right a rare opportunity to come up with new ways of choosing their respective flag-bearers.

They could, for example, have adopted the “primary election” model operating in the United States. Surely, in the age of Facebook and Bebo, it?s not beyond the wit of Auckland?s political geeks to devise a secure system of on-line primary voting? And, for the voters who prefer to judge their political horseflesh up close, what stopped Citizens & Ratepayers and City Vision from organising a region-wide round of public meetings and straw-polls?
The answer, of course, is that there was nothing stopping either group from doing one, or even both, of these things ? except the over-riding fear of having the choice of political flag-bearers taken out of their hands.
Yes very strange that something like wasn’t tried considering that Len Brown’s labour Party lickspittle, Conor Roberts,? sitting in his council office using council paid for supplies actually wrote a paper for the electoral Commission about just such a system.
Of Labour (and City Vision, its front organisation) I did, however, expect something more imaginative (and democratic) than an old-fashioned “deal”, hammered out in a variety of smoke-free rooms, between a clutch of anonymous party hacks and the Mayor of Manukau City.

Strategically commissioned opinion polls, notwithstanding, Mr Brown has long been the Auckland Right?s preferred opponent. He comes across as an evangelical social-worker, who, when he?s not mouthing bogus Pasifika street-slang, delivers earnest speeches in which the buzz-words “vision”, “passion” and “community” are endlessly repeated. Up against a ruthless political veteran like John Banks, Mr Brown will be made to look exactly what he is: an ambitious, over-confident, and woefully inexperienced political parvenu.
I do, however, give Labour points for staking its claim so early and with such clarity. The other potential candidates: be he Waitakere City Mayor, Bob Harvey, or the Chairman of the Auckland Regional Council, Mike Lee; can now be intimidated into withdrawing from the race ? on pain of “splitting the Left vote”.
Major Ouch! Chris Trotter has just called Labour’s preferred mayor an “ambitious, over-confident, and woefully inexperienced political parvenu”. Worse he says that all his dancing and prancing and rapping is really just crapping on.
The last few paragraphs continue to put the shiv in;
In Mr Banks, the Right knows exactly what it?s getting: a successful business entrepreneur; a former National Party cabinet minister; and the twice-elected Mayor of Auckland City. They can be confident (because he has done it before) that Mr Banks possesses the political grit to drive through a radical right-wing agenda.
But, if the Left accepts Labour?s fait accompli, what will it be getting in Mr Brown? A Palangi lawyer from Manukau, with a very thin portfolio of municipal achievements (unlike his illustrious predecessor, Sir Barry Curtis) and a rather goofy grin.
Wow, stunned. I think the best thing someone could do is print off 1 million copies of this piece and mail it to every voter in Auckland.
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