Patrick Gower has been scathing of Labour’s leaked election review, even by his standards, in Where Labour went wrong – election review leaked.
And it actually contains a dire warning for the Labour Party, it’s says that Labour is broke, so broke that it needs money, it needs money right now, or else it could face political oblivion.
The 2014 election was a total disaster for Labour.
This review was into what went wrong and reveals Labour is totally broke.
The review also warns that if Labour does not find some cash quickly “it will continue experience electoral failure and place the status of the party as a political institution of influence at risk”.
Gower to Andrew Little:
Labour is so broke it’s headed to political oblivion.
That’s what the report says, um that’s not what’s going to happen.
The review found plenty of other problems but stated the obvious.
“Labour’s campaign preparation was inadequate”.
“Tension around the leadership and disunity within caucus seriously undermined Labour’s credibility”.
“There was a general lack of message discipline”.
There’s nothing in there that I think would take anyone by surprise.
Now someone has leaked this report, suggesting that disunity, credibility and message discipline are still serious problems.
Except that there is some message discipline. Te Reo Putake at The Standard, in NZLP Review of Election 2014; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly,
There isn’t much in the review that will surprise anyone.
Is that the official Labour response?
I guess the take home message is that the party is in good shape and despite the grumbling of a few less relevant MP’s the caucus is as united as it has been since the Clark years. And that’s clearly due to the management and leadership of Andrew Little.
Hardly anyone is saying the party “is in good shape”. And the report has been leaked under Little’s management.
There’s a lot more in there, and most of it is honest, straightforward and sensible.
Yeah, right. Then in typical Standard fashion TRP attacks the messenger, or in this case the leaker.
One thing that does not get mentioned, however, is the issue of internal discipline. TV3 were leaked this document. No point gnashing our teeth over who leaked it because they’ll keep ducking and diving anyway, but whoever you are, you’re scum.
So internal discipline under Little’s management isn’t so flash after all.
And commenters at The Standard even go as far as naming suspect MP leakers. TRP is usually quick to stamp on any messaging or accusations or statements of fact that are unfavourable to his task, but he lets this speculation go unmoderated, so he must be comfortable with internal witchhunting. He could be doing it himself under alternate pseudonyms (he’s known to comment under different names).
Then in a comment TRP says:
I don’t know how widely circulated the leaked version was so it may be that no MP had access to it. One of the noticeable changes under Andrew Little’s leadership has been caucus unity and discipline. Prior to his election, leaking was commonplace. Since he took over, it seems to have stopped completely.
So TRP allows specific MPs to be accused (two of them) but tries to claim a new level of “unity and discipline” under Little’s leadership.
The review didn’t mention how far divorced from reality some of the people acting for Labour are, and that’s a problem that looks entrenched.
However more and more with an interest in Labour and ‘progressive politics’ can see the problems, with the party and now with this report. Patrick Leland in Reviewing the review:
The envelope on which NZ Labour’s campaign review was written on the back of has unsurprisingly been leaked. Expect a witch hunt to distract from just how sub-standard the review is.
See the above and the Standard post and thread.
The content of the review, and lack-thereof, offer a fascinating insight into a party in turmoil. The actual 2014 general election campaign is skimmed over – most of the focus of the review instead seems to be the party’s organisational structures.
He comments on sections of the report, critically, then concludes:
At the end of the day this review is a mess. However the biggest problem will be if the party focusses on the guff in it (I can already imagine the fights that changes to LEC and regional council rules will cause) and continues to ignore the very real political problems it faces – which remain largely unaddressed.
Given this review is a waste of the envelope it was written on, it will be interesting to see how the new leader and president react (I can’t imagine the current General Secretary doing much to improve the situation).
If Te Reo Putake’s attempts to paper over the cracks (or chasms) and pretend “I guess the take home message is that the party is in good shape” are any indication of how Labour sees the report then the party is going to struggle to recover, financial fix or not.
UPDATE: according to ‘Saarbo’ even the leak can’t be Labour’s fault.
I refuse to believe that someone within Labour would have leaked this report to Gower.
This leak is either a hacker or Labour has someone within its ranks who has been planted and leaks in the best interests of Labour’s opposition party’s, it seems implausible but at some stage someone has to start asking this question.