What is the point of the Labour party?

That was the headline in the UK on an article by Janet Daley. With just a few word and name replacements the article could easily be re-printed here with the same messages about our own Labour party.

Which of the following is Labour?s greatest electoral liability: a) Ed Miliband, b)?Ed Balls, c) the trade unions, or d) the combined effects of a), b) and c)? Answer: none of the above. While certainly not underestimating the disincentive to vote Labour provided by any of those four options, I would argue that the greatest obstacle to the party?s return to power is much more fundamental ? and far less easy to remedy ? than any of them. It is the matter which the party thought for over a decade had been settled, but which is now about to dominate its conference with as much urgency as if?Tony Blair had never been born.

Just replace Ed Miliband with Phil Goff, Ed Balls with Trevor?Mallard?and Tony Blair with Helen Clark and you can see how accurate that is.

I will explore?the?rest of the article in each part over a series of posts.