Labour seem staunch in their determination to contest the Te Tai Tokerau electorate. This is at odds with what has been described as “the new Auckland left”.
Kelvin Davis, Labour’s candidate for , continues to promote his chances in contesting Te Tai Tokerau for Labour against Mana’s Hone Harawira (electorates will be contested as MANA, only the party vote will be sought for Internet/MANA).
Davis linked to Today in politics: Saturday, May 31:
Davis will put in 110pc to win Tai Tokerau
Retread Labour MP Kelvin Davis likes a rugby analogy. And he is adamant he will not lay down or allow Labour to cut a deal in Te Tai Tokerau for the election, backing himself to take the seat off Mana leader Hone Harawira. “I played rugby until I was 40 so, in 20 years of senior rugby, not once did I step on to a rugby field and want to come second.” He says he is the most logical, intelligent, and sensible person to become MP for Tai Tokerau.
He is clearly backed by Labour leader David Cunliffe as interviewed on Q & A yesterday.
Corin Dann: …in Te Tai Tokerau can you give voters an assurance that there’s going to be no cup of tea deal to ensure that Hone Harawira has a clear run at that seat?
David Cunliffe: I can assure voters that Labour is contesting vigorously all seven Maori seats and we think we have the opportunity to win all seven.
Kelvin Davis is a terrific candidate as you have no doubt heard, he is passionate about representing the people of Te Tai Tokerau, and we’re backing him to do that.
This follows a Radio NZ report on Friday: Labour says no Te Tai Tokerau deal
Mr Cunliffe said he expects that Kelvin Davis, who was 1165 votes behind Mr Harawira at the 2011 election, to run a vigourous campaign. He said there would be no deals with other parties until after the election on 20 September once it is known what voters want.
Mr Davis is adamant he is in the competition to win. “It would be immensely damaging up in Te Tai Tokerau. The people up there do not want to see an MP whose prepared to roll over for anyone. They want somebody up there who’s prepared to stand and fight for what’s important to them.”
He told Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report programme on Friday the Internet-Mana alliance is a ruse and a scam and he would fight them for the seat.
“I’m the best person – the logical, the intelligent, the sensible person – to become the Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau. They can see through this whole ruse. Basically it’s a scam to get their vote.”
Hone Harawira said Mr Davis had lost the seat several times before and is confident his constituents supported the alliance.
Mr Harawira said opposition parties shouldn’t be fighting each other. “We can either focus on attacking one another and end up with a limited number of seats and no possibility of changing the Government or we can be intelligent enough, and big enough, and bold enough to work together.”
Davis has continued the attack against Internet/MANA on Twitter today:
Davis has been criticised by some on the left who want to see co-operation amongst parties “for the greater good”. A comment on Davis’ Twitter page:
Will Edmonds Yup, previous Labour voter, but disgusted by your apparent inability to work for the greater good on this issue. You’ve lost my vote, just ridiculous.
Chris Trotter blasted Davis on The Daily Blog in Authoritarian Labour: Why Kelvin Davis needs to STFU – and soon!
DAVID, MATT, SOMEBODY – PLEASE! Tell Kelvin Davis to pull his head in. His outburst on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report this morning was way beyond embarrassing. The ill-considered slagging of Hone Harawira and the Internet-Mana Party (IMP) not only reflected poorly on his own political skills, but it also raised doubts about Labour’s overall ability to read what is happening in the run-up to 20 September.
Trotter seems to be swept up by the Dotcom/Mana mania, where some on the left seem to think it will be the saviour of the Left’s election chances. But trotter het”s unusally carried away.
It wasn’t just the absence of any semblance of strategic – or even tactical – understanding that was so worrying about Davis’s performance this morning, it was his barely concealed aggression. There is an anger in Davis that calls into question his suitability for any kind of public office. Anger, and what appears to be a classic authoritarian character structure (the two often go together).
Just listen to how he describes his family in the potted biography Labour has displayed on its website. Davis tells us that he is “married with three beautiful, intelligent and respectful children”. It’s the use of the word “respectful” that gives him away. His need for respect and his use of the word as a distinguishing character marker, as in: “My children show me respect – do yours?”, tell us a lot about Davis’s personality and where he most likely fits on the Left-Right/Authoritarian-Libertarian grid.
My guess is that he occupies a position that places him towards the Authoritarian end of the Authoritarian-Libertarian gradient and well to the right on the Left-Right spectrum.
Very ironic that Trotter wants to dictate to Davis and at the same time accuses him of being authoritarian.
There seems to be a battle looming on the left, and Labour seem to be staunching up against the attempted takeover of the left – and Government – by “the new Auckland Left that is now influencing so much of these strategic moves”.
Cunliffe and Davis at least are clearly in the camp that wants to see Labour dominate in Te Tai Tokerau and dominate the left. The election itself may be just another battle in a bigger war – if Internet/MANA can establish credibility and build themselves into a cohesive political force.