Does Vlad want Goff’s head on a pike?

Digital image credit: Luke

Embattled Auckland Mayor Phil Goff?s problems are going from bad to worse. Having received a ‘stop being a dickhead? letter signed by nine of his councillors, Goff continues to misjudge situations and he misjudges people.

Goff thinks constant media briefings and spin are a substitute for leadership. Meanwhile Auckland motorists are paying more at the pump courtesy of the Goff/Labour fuel tax.

Now Goff has received the hiding of his life via the launch of his toilet tax by National?s housing spokeswoman, Judith Collins. Nothing Goff has done during his time as Auckland mayor comes close to the headlines he’s copped in recent days.? ?

One of his fatal errors is mishandling one of the Albert Street Nine, in particular Manurewa?Papakura councillor Daniel ‘Vlad’ Newman. Vlad was perfectly willing to say publicly what he thought of Goff?s toilet tax, and he did not hold back.

The problem for Goff is he has misread Newman and other Albert Street Nine councillors, many of whom are far brighter and more ruthless than the bunnies Goff generally rewards. Treating people as badly as he has treated nearly half his councillors means he has some effective political operators out to put his head on a pike.

Vlad is also one of the most formidable campaigners in Auckland. The tip line suggests his patience with Goff?s inner leadership group has expired and he has begun returning calls from aspiring candidates around the Auckland region. This is almost certainly bad news for Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore, whom Vlad is known to dislike and thinks is a thoroughly ill-mannered ratbag who has sold out his right-wing ward to promote left-wing causes.

Watch for Vlad to work with other opponents of Goff in the coming weeks. Whaleoil understands Vlad’s opposition to the toilet tax was declared weeks ago, but his loathing of Goff?s asset-sales agenda dates back even further. Goff?s opponents will bludgeon the mayor one asset sale at a time. It’s bloodsport, Auckland style, which will be well worth watching.