Cactus on Labour’s front bench prospects

This afternoon David Shearer will announce his front bench. It is supposedly going to be resplendent with fresh new ‘talent’. David Farrar’s picks are already out of date after Carmel Sepuloni exited after the judicial recount in Waitakere.

Cactus Kate looks at the choices and is left underwhelmed:

Being named on Labour’s front bench however is kind of like climbing your way to the top of the class but in the bottom stream of Auckland Grammar. Made worse now because all the older kids have been ruled ineligible to compete. I doubt any female will be given a grunty portfolio either requiring any real application.


Shearer will be racking his brain right now trying to get the balance right, knowing full well that King, Dyson, Street and Dalziel are light years more capable in any portfolio he gives them than any of the “talent” emerging under the Labour renewal process. Leaving them in the Backbenches may very well be his downfall.

National have a caucus of 59, a huge Backbench of their own and many MP’s bored enough to deem heckling the hapless newbies a competitive sport.

It is going to be very embarrassing for Labour when the likes of King, Dyson, Street, Dalziel, Mallard, Goff and maybe even Cunliffe have to step up and save those who replaced them from making tits of themselves in the House and in their portfolios knowing they are all still better than the newbies. A few of those named will serve their final years in long careers hand holding inferior replacements knowing they were actually only one seat away from victory and a place opposite where they are now, sitting in a Cabinet reliving their glory days under Clark.

Seeing how Mr Peacekeeper deals with keeping the oldies happy enough to babysit their replacements for three years, spinning recycled hacks above them as “renewal” and handles the classic pinko gender and race balance issues in his rankings will be the best show in town this week.

With a talent pool as shallow as a carpark puddle it is hard to see how Shearer is going to deliver on his promises. In just few hours we will know.