Hide: Labour’s change in deputy leadership was brutal

Just a week ago the indefatigable Annette King was playing the age card. Talk of replacing her was “ageist”; speculation the result of a “media vendetta”.

But Parliament’s mighty lioness was reduced to a victim. I found it sad.

I knew she was toast on Monday when rising star Jacinda Ardern declared herself happy doing “whatever’s best for the party”. That was the knife plunging in.

It’s up there with Winston Peters declaring he was happy just being “MP for Tauranga” with everyone in on his play for a much mightier role.

Then Labour Leader Andrew Little said no, he wasn’t thinking about a change in deputy because “there is no vacancy”.

Kapow! No ringing endorsement for his Deputy. And it just happened that his rising star was ready to step up if only there was a vacancy and she was asked.

Ageist! ?She couldn’t use sexist. ?And to demand to be kept in a job because of your age, or despite your age is exactly the reason why she served her purpose. ?

King was gone Wednesday and Ardern swiftly anointed. The caucus vote this Tuesday is a formality. It was brilliantly deft.

The big mistake in politics is to underestimate opponents. Clearly, I underestimated Little and Ardern.

The best coups are bloodless and the second-best appear bloodless. Little and Ardern achieved a coup that appeared bloodless and in that one stroke presented a new leadership team, with youth and glamour on its side and Auckland in its sights. They are a force to be reckoned with. And they did it on the back of nothing much. …

A politician’s best work is done away from public view.

Ardern was 3 when King was first elected. By her second term, King was a minister. It took Ardern three terms just to win an electorate. And within a week she’s Deputy. That’s impressive.

King is wonderful. She has achieved much in her very full life and has, rightly, won huge respect and admiration. But there comes a time to give the kids the keys. That time is now.

She can look back with pride and forward with excited anticipation. The manner of her dispatching suggests these kids can thrill.

The old Labour jalopy just got some grunt.

Another pundit talking it up. ?Let’s hope with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. ?This is like a sandpit brawl. ?It may be interesting in isolation, but in the end there will only be one measurement that counts: ?Can Labour and other left parties get enough votes to take over as government?


Instead of just rearranging the deck chairs, they have replaced the reliable and strong but dull canvas with a nice light-weight bright floral pattern. ? The iceberg ahead does not care what the deck chairs look like.


– Rodney Hide, NZ Herald