Winston hands Andy his arrrrrs

Rodney Hide reviews the major strategic error Labour made in Northland

It seemed a good idea. Support Winston Peters in the Northland byelection to give John Key a bloody nose.

It would save the embarrassment of coming third and show Andrew Little’s ability to work with Peters. So Little dumped on Labour’s own candidate.

The young Labourites cheered. Finally, a leader with smarts. It’s MMP in action, they cried. It’s pragmatic politics. Labour must hold its nose, look the other way, and back Peters. If that’s what it takes, that’s what we do.

The old hands weren’t so sure. Dumping on your own candidate didn’t seem right. And Labour’s support for Peters embarrassed them.

Not as it it hadn’t happened before. ? Kelvin Davis stood up against the party’s wishes for him to pull up lame and let Hone Harewira bring in Kim Dotcom’s Laila Harre and perhaps even John Minto. ?When it comes to pragmatism, Labour have no problem. ?

They also knew that giving Peters an opportunity, any opportunity, would not necessarily develop to Labour’s advantage.

This week’s Herald-Digipoll survey confirmed their worst fears. Little is polling below Labour’s previous leaders, David Cunliffe and David Shearer.

Peters is breathing down his neck. Key remains on 51 per cent as preferred Prime Minister.

Peters has emerged the victor with a soapbox. It’s he who beat National in a safe seat. It’s Peters who is giving Key a contest. It’s he who is news.

Little has crowned Peters Leader of the Opposition. It’s hard now to see what Labour has gained.

Exactly. ?Northland sent a message alright. ?And they managed to make it heard far and wide.

Peters took their support, brushed them aside and now eclipses them. Such is his power and ability.

He’s now not pinching National’s votes. He’s pinching Labour votes.

Nobody thought it through. ? That’s what happens when you have a bunch a crime supporting thugs on your “strategy” team. ?Instead of doing what needs doing, they’re constantly trying to get there by using underhanded methods. ? Fine. ?If you’re good at it ?snort.



Postscript on the Official Assignee story

Despite my best efforts, I am none the wiser why the Official Assignee has been using her powers to have private investigators question my friends and colleagues.

I have emailed Minister Paul Goldsmith. He has promised to get back to me in “in due course … in the near future”.