“How hamstrung by Union fealty he is” (Andrew Little)

This morning on Q & A Labour leader Andrew Little said the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement failed Labour’s bottom lines on two counts – that it didn’t allow legislation that stopped foreign nationals from buying property in New Zealand (and he supported Grant Robertson/Jacinda Ardern’s suggestion that Labour would ignore the Agreement and cop the consequences), and that the gains for dairy trade were too small to justify the agreement.

So while Little says they have to wait until they can see the details of the TPP Agreement he seems to have positioned himself and Labour as being against the Treaty.

When asked how this sat with Helen Clark’s comments – she said it would be “unthinkable” for New Zealand to be left out of the TPP Agreement) – Little waffled around without directly disagreeing with Clark.

In comments on Andrew Little on the TPPA (on Q &A) Traveller said:

I could feel sorry for Little if I wasn’t so hard hearted. Every time he opens his mouth he illustrates how hamstrung by Union fealty he is. How hearts and minds will be won in 2017 by what we’re all coming to see is a Union movement dominated Labour I’m buggered if I know.

It does appear that Little is backing what seems to be a general Union stance of free trade agreements and particularly the TPPA – they are bad because they are pro-corporation and anti worker.

What Unionists don’t acknowledge that many workers are employed by corporations.

Many businesses in New Zealand that will benefit from reduced or removed tariffs and reduced trade barriers are small businesses, and medium and large sized business that employer workers.

I’m not aware of many worker controlled co-operatives involved in international trade in New Zealand. I guess that’s because Unions want the Government to employ everyone.

But even if the Government employed everyone New Zealand would still be very reliant on trade with other countries. And that would benefit from more trade agreements, not less.

I can understand Unionists being immersed in worker versus corporation ideology.

I understand that Andrew Little was a Unionist before he became an MP and before he become leader of the Labour Party.

I also understand that Little became leader of the Labour Party in no small part because of the 20% of the vote for leader that unions get, plus a good share of the membership 40%..

I also understand that the not much of the Labour Caucus 40% went to Little.

I don’t know if Little is hamstrung be Union fealty, but he certainly seems committed to supporting Union ideology on the TPPA. Which means opposing it.

If so this is a major change in position on trade agreements for Labour. Or at least for some of Labour.

It wouldn’t be surprising if there’s quite a bit of concern in Labour’s Caucus about this significant shift.

Little seems to be committed to being anti-TPPA and pro passing legislation that ignores the Agreement, similar to Robertson and Ardern.

Where does this put Labour’s deputy, Annette King. I don’t know how inclined towards Union fealty she is.

Is this enough to swing favouritism for deputy in Labour’s promised reshuffle next month towards Ardern?

Leave a comment


  1. Mike C

     /  11th October 2015

    Andrew Little has just given John Key the perfect gift for the 2017 Election 🙂

    While Little and Ardern keep blathering on about how bad the TPPA is for the people of New Zealand … John Key and Bill English will go about proving how fantastically fruitful the TPPA has been and will continue to be for our economy for decades to come.

    Little is on a hiding to nothing … again. LOL.

  2. David

     /  11th October 2015

    What I don’t get is the meat workers union, the engineers Union, the dairy workers union etc etc will have more secure jobs and better prospects if we can export more. Little is intellectually unfit to be a PM in a small trading nation that has almost no barriers to international markets, he is a fool.

    • traveller

       /  11th October 2015

      You’re not supposed to think David. That’s not expected of a Labour voter.


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