Worrying signs for Labour with Little big scorn

Andrew Little has been widely criticised and ridiculed for his stance on the TPPA – Little followed up similar comments by Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern saying several times that a Labour Government would ignore parts of the TPP agreement they didn’t like and deal with any consequences.

Little’s first positioning on this was on Q & A on Sunday:

“So will you, in terms of that foreign buyers issue then, Grant Robertson suggested you may flout those restrictions…”


“…and still impose a ban, you’d do that?”

Yes we will.

…we will legislate for it and we will have a fight for the rest of the TPP if we have to have that.

Bryce Edwards rounded up the critics from across the political spectrum in Political roundup: Labour’s TPP disaster.

The left were probably more scathing than anyone. For example:

It’s hard to imagine Little making a worse mess of Labour’s position on the TPPA. He has angered the far left who were hoping he would be their Corbyn, and has taken a sever hit on his credibility as leader across the spectrum.

There are worrying signs for Labour. They have eased back to 29% in the (admittedly volatile) Roy Morgan poll released yesterday – and that stopped polling on Sunday so won’t reflect this week’s Little big scorn.

Yesterday a NZ Herald editorial looked at Labours deputy leadership:

Little facing dilemma over deputy choice

Labour’s leader, Andrew Little, faces a dilemma over what sort of deputy he needs.

Labour needs to project the image of a fresh, new potential government. Ms Ardern can help project that image. Ms King cannot.

The bigger problem for Mr Little may be that Ms Ardern probably projects that image better than he does, and the last thing he needs is a deputy whose promotion might cause her to be seen as a rival to himself. Ms Ardern no doubt would deny any wish to replace him, and mean it, but if her public reception was much better than his, she would be a contender.

But Labour have a much more important dilemma to address – their leader. Little hadn’t been doing badly but he hadn’t been making much headway either. Until this week, when he did very badly.

Anthony Robins posted on the Herald editorial at The Standard – Labour’s deputy.

One would hope that The Standard would be one of the most supportive forums for Labour and their leader. In a leadership thread here are the references to Little and leadership:


Andrew needs a Deputy prepared to work as hard as he does.


He does 40 hours per week ,no more

Hami Shearlie:

Jacinda never ever got the better of Paula Bennett in Parliament – that says it all really- She hasn’t been able to win her seat , mind you neither has Andrew Little! Do we really think that Little is a better leader than David Cunliffe was – I sure don’t!

Chooky responded to that:

+100 Hami Shearlie…

If David Cunlife were still leader, as the grassroots Labour members wanted, Labour would win the next Election in coalition with NZF and the Greens


Hate to think too darkly, but in terms of cleaning up after a potential Labour defeat in 2017, I’d go with King cleaning up the mess, over Ardern.

In fact I’d go with King as Leader and Ardern as Deputy in a post-2017.

Should Little lose (let’s charitably call that 50-50), King would be an excellent centrist with caucus headkicker credibility, good Parliamentary scalps, and some surprising donor networks. Ardern could just whip majorities between her magazine cover-shoots.


…actually bring back David Cunliffe….that would be a winner…and he is the Labour membership choice!


It doesn’t matter who Labour picks as its deputy leader – or its leader, for that matter. It is still unelectable until it decides whether it wants to be a progressive force for social justice or remain committed to the neoliberal status quo. If the second course of action is pursued, Labour may well gain office at some stage in the future but it will never obtain political power.


The winner should be Ardern, who will be paving the way for Robertoson to have another go at the leadership.

Some positive comments eventuated. ‘tangled up’:

Since Little became leader there has been a subsequent decline in gaffes and infighting which has resulted in a big enhancement of their credibility in the eyes of the public which the polls have been slowly but surely showing.


Why is it even a two-candidate race? Why is it being viewed as some major decision?

After the leadership election, media pundits tried to plug Robertson as the enemy within, encouraging the fighting of the previous few years. Robertson pledged loyalty in unconditional terms, Little is strong, and there’s not been a repeat of intra-caucus warfare. So now they’re simply tweaking the plan into another forced dichotomy, Ardern vs King. Ignore everyone else (all of whom would have something to offer the job) and get the beltway quarterbacks to start a rucus.

It’s all a pile of crap – Little will choose a solid deputy. If anyone else in caucus desperately wanted the job and lost out, they’ll get favours and the rest of caucus will keep them in line. I’d say that almost everyone in caucus knows their best opportunity is to work together. Nobody wants to be in opposition forever.

But they are followed by resignation/despair. Michael:

It’s probably time to look closer at the Greens for effective opposition to the Nats.

That’s about as good as it gets for Little this week.

Little has been widely scorned this week, and most of what should be his base are unimpressed.

When those who should be the first to be on your side are mostly not then it’s a worry.

Little needs to dig deep and come up with something that puts this week behind him – trying to just ignore that it happened won’t wash – and forge a strong image as a potential leader. Otherwise he may be handed two snapper in Parliament by his colleagues.

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  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  16th October 2015

    Best advice for Labour: Hire some brains and integrity if you don’t have them. Then stop all your no-hopers from white-anting them.

    Alternatively, get used to decorating the opposition benches.

    • That means they will have to sack some of the dunderheads that are running the show now.

      • Pete Kane

         /  16th October 2015

        Pete, remember, you are talking about the Labour Party – don’t start complicating the argument by bringing logic into it.

        • DaveG

           /  16th October 2015

          But, to bring logic into it, someone in their leadership, would firstly understand the basics of logic, or be prepared to listen, and then act. Unfortunately, I can’t see anyone with sufficient:

          A). Logic
          B). Listening skills
          C). Be prepared to act on the advice!

          Let’s not forget the unelectable Labour Leader is a red to the core unionist, the modus operandi is “My way or the highway”. Yeah, didn’t the non negotiable conditions in his little love letter for the TPPA work out well for Andy.

  2. Brown

     /  16th October 2015

    I was reading the bible this morning and came across this in Ecclesiastes 10 vs 2&3

    “The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
    But the heart of the fool to the left.
    Even as fools walk along the road,
    they lack sense
    and show everyone how stupid they are”.

    There’s a lot of wisdom in that.

  3. Sitting Bull

     /  16th October 2015

    “I am nothing, neither a chief nor a soldier”

    • tealeaves

       /  16th October 2015

      I believe this was specifically directed at the White people (some are more greedier than the others):
      ” When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.”
      ~ Cree Prophecy

  4. kittycatkin

     /  16th October 2015

    I am still at a loss to understand why Labour has lost so much support, even allowing for its stuff-ups. One would think that traditional Labour voters would still be Labour.

    • traveller

       /  16th October 2015

      I believe the purists, Maori and PI demographics still are tribal Labour and won’t change. Those swinging voters who back the best horse for any given moment have had no alternative to the Nats. The danger of long term opposition is you risk losing the voter who begins to identify with the incumbents. At this stage Labour don’t begin to look like having the skill set to manage or champion this country.

  5. So last time Labour had a major faux pas with Chinese sounding names, out was rolled Serco and troubles at Mt Eden remand……I would expect the dirty files are being scrutinised as Mattie and Andy seeking a way to move the debate and focus on to something else…

    And I fully expect National to raise TTP in question time as long as they can see the Labour old guard squirming…. and with Phil Goff breaking ranks there is a nice wedge to drive home and set Andy and former leader Goff up as being in open warfare…

  6. tealeaves

     /  16th October 2015

    Oh my Gawd, it’s Bible commentary time. Great, I love that. Here’s an alternate interpretation of the meaning of “right hand” or “inclining to the right” in Ecclesiastes
    Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
    2. (Ec 2:14).

    right—The right hand is more expert than the left. The godly wise is more on his guard than the foolish sinner, though at times he slip. Better a diamond with a flaw, than a pebble without one.

    It mentions being “on guard” as a symptom of the “godly wise”. I would think that Labour’s desire to continue to legislate in favour of basic housing security for New Zealanders in the face of a “trade agreement” that would alienate this legislative right from New Zealanders, not just politicians, could be considered an instance of being on guard, in a good way. A caring way. A realistic way. A wise way…. A prudent way.


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