A week ago

A week ago I speculated that Annette King was about to be replaced and that Shane Jones would be the replacement as Phil Goff’s deputy.

I was hearing these whispers from people I shouldn’t have been hearing them from. Now it looks like the whispers have come to the ears of Matthew Hooton.

There is growing speculation in Auckland political circles that?Labour’s candidate for Tamaki Makaurau,Shane Jones, will be promoted to near the top of the Labour list before it is sent to the?Electoral Commission before the deadline.? According to the rumour mill, this may even involve him becoming Deputy Leader of the Party should?Annette King decide at the last minute not to spend another three years in Opposition, while freeing up her safe seat of?Rongotai for a new younger candidate.? This would also give Labour the opportunity to revisit its entire?widely-mocked list and address the fact it?protects has-beens and never-weres while?dooming some of its new talent to electoral defeat.

The theory goes that Mr Jones would gain enormously from the mana such a move would bestow on him in his battle-to-the-death with?Maori Party?Co-Leader Pita Sharples in Tamaki Makaurau.? (The way things are going for both the Labour and Maori parties in the party vote, neither Mr Jones nor Dr Sharples can be confident?of returning to Parliament if they lose the seat.)? Mr Jones’ prospects would also be boosted if?WIllie?Jackson then threw his hat in the ring for the new?Mana Party.

iPredict?has launched a?stock to monitor whether or not there is anything to the rumour.

Perhaps they are waiting for the results of the two main TV network polls this weekend before moving. However I think this move will be sen as?desperation?politics. Changing the wrong partner for the last dance of the desperates won’t work.

It is Goff that needs to go not Annette King. Labour’s caucus are so riven with factions that even the most ambitious of them can’t muster the numbers, leaving Phil Goff as their inept, ineffectual leader.