Soper: Strategic positioning by the Labour leadership

It began last Sunday with a telephone call between Annette King and Andrew Little in the wake of Jacinda Ardern’s win in the Mt Albert by-election the day before, a result that came as no surprise to anyone.

But the media questions about Ardern becoming the next deputy leader riled King and she caustically reacted. In that call though she clearly wanted to see whether her leader felt the same way as some whippersnappers in the media and offered to make way for the Mt Albert whippersnapper if that was his wish.

It was and the rest is history, along with Annette King and perhaps a chunk of the elderly vote.

The other bit of positioning by Little may not seem all that important beyond the beltway but it is. It’s the membership of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee of which the Government has three members and the opposition two.

The recently retired David Shearer was one of them along with Little who has now nominated none other than Winston Peters to take the vacant slot. Usually The Greens, who have always coveted a seat on the committee, would have seen red.

Up until now Peters wouldn’t have had a look in, but surprise surprise, Little says as a former Foreign Minister (under Labour) he has extensive experience of New Zealand’s spy agencies. That’s true, in the past he’s painted them a bumbling bunch Inspector Clouseaus.

But Peters is now of course flavour of the election year and his nomination’s unlikely to be opposed by Bill English…

But more importantly, it will all come to nothing. ?All this “strategic positioning” will not gain Labour any more support.

Just too many muppets and just no saleable policies.


– Barry Soper, NZ Herald