Scouring Labour for some Trubro magic

Chris Trotter dismisses the chances of Labour leader Andrew Little weaving any Trudeauesque magic in New Zealand and scours the Labour ranks for what I presume he wants, a change of leader.

He is seeking a Trubro that doesn’t seem either apparent or likely.

Having moved on quickly from the hope that UK Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn would inspire a world wide left wing revolution Chris Trotter is now hoping that Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the template for his socialist nirvana.

From his latest column at Stuff – Chris Trotter: Can Labour find someone to weave some Trudeauesque magic?:

Inevitably, those New Zealanders favouring a change of government in 2017 are scouring the ranks of opposition parties for a Kiwi politician capable of bringing some Trudeau magic to our own political arena.

Before he scours Labour’s ranks Trotter writes off Little.

Labour supporters, in particular, are looking at the rather dour figure of Andrew Little and wondering whether he has what it takes to unseat a Prime Minister as popular as John Key.

Are they? Or is it people like Trotter who seem to want to remake Labour into their own socialist ideal?

New Zealand leftists who have studied the Canadian campaign are worried that Labour has already committed itself to the sort of moderate and fiscally unadventurous course that saw Canada’s left-wing New Democrat Party (NDP) relegated to third place behind Trudeau’s Liberals and Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

Leftists always seem to be worried about being foiled by a moderate approach to government.

So concerned was the dour and rather tetchy NDP leader, Tom Mulcair, to fend-off criticism that his party wasn’t ready to manage the Canadian economy, that he promised voters to keep the federal Budget in permanent surplus. Given that this was also Stephen Harper’s policy, Mulcair’s decision allowed Trudeau to outflank the NDP on the left.

Little’s critics look at his inept handling of the Trans Pacific Partnership issue and wonder whether something similar hasn’t already happened here.

Trotter went from almost maniacal  trumpeting of a Little lurch left over the TPPA to despair in a day recently. He is obviously now in the ‘Little’s critics’ camp.

In the end, however, most of the speculation about whether a Justin Trudeau is lurking, unrecognised, in the Opposition’s ranks circles back to the Labour Party. If Little is too dour and grumpy to beat the man Bill English once described as “bouncing from cloud to cloud”, who is left to bounce Labour’s banner up there alongside him?

Little is also Labour’s current leader and there is no sign of a mood in Labour to go through yet another leadership contest.

Grant Robertson would probably say Grant Robertson. (And, to be fair, there are many in the Labour Party who would agree). But, to the rest of New Zealand, Robertson can come across as just a bit too complacent; a bit too absolutely, arrogantly, Wellington. For the best part of a year, he’s had plenty of chances to shine as Labour’s finance spokesperson. That his light has barely flickered in that role must count heavily against him.

Robertson certainly appears to be no Corbyn or Trudeau. Nor probably New Zealand Prime Minister. He has twice failed to become Labour leader. And it’s difficult to see him getting the union support thought necessary to swing a Labour leadership contest.

Which leaves just two names for Trudeau-seekers to play with: Stuart Nash and Jacinda Ardern. Both are well endowed with the skin-deep trappings of the Trudeauesque politician: youth and good looks.

Nash even boasts a famous Labour name – although, the number of people who recall New Zealand once having had a Prime Minister called Walter Nash will not be large.

And the number of people who see Nash as a genuine socialist revolutionary probably isn’t large either.

Ardern, herself, is already registering in the preferred Prime Minister stakes – always a sign of better things to come. The positives are definitely there for both MPs.

So to Ardern, the Labour MP who doesn’t even aspire to becoming deputy leader.

Trotter may need to scour the ranks of ambitious candidates-to-be and hope that a New Zealand Trudeau – a Trubro? – somehow manages to survive Labour’s selection process and score a winnable electorate or list position.

And then get sufficient time and experience to be considered leadership material by those who vote in Labour (not Trotteresque miracle fastrackers). And to survive and succeed in a leadership contest.

Trotter’s Trubro aspirations may need to look past 2017, to 2020 or even 2023. By then surely New Zealand will have woken up to the wonders of socialism that have never proven successful to date.

Leave a comment


  1. kiwi_guy

     /  27th October 2015

    Maybe they need to find a beta male ( plenty of those around these days) whose mummy raised him as a feminist:

    “Speaking in a recent TV interview (via The Star) Trudeau said: “Yes, Yes. I am a feminist. Proud to be a feminist. My mom raised me to be a feminist.”

    His feminist mummy’s only achievement in life was marrying a rich powerful man who had worked hard all his life. A gold digger who was 30 years his junior, she went on to have affairs with Ted Kennedy and Mick Jagger:

    “1977: Margaret Trudeau and the Rolling Stones. Margaret Trudeau spent her sixth wedding anniversary without her prime minister husband, instead partying with the Rolling Stones at a Toronto nightclub and later in Mick Jagger’s limousine. The rendezvous sparked rumours that she was having an affair with the band’s front man. She later disappeared to New York. The scandal signalled the end of the couple’s tumultuous marriage, but Margaret Trudeau denied having affairs with any members of the Rolling Stones, later telling a conference on mental health, “I should have slept with every single one of them.”

    “Margaret smuggled drugs in the prime minister’s luggage, made scantily clad appearances at Studio 54, and tore apart a tapestry in the prime minister’s official residence in Ottawa because it celebrated “reason over passion”

    LIke the champagne socialist he is, the son regurgitates feminist talking points:

    “Speaking of the inherent misogyny in society, Trudeau also said certain music, pornography, and absent fathers were in part to blame. “I think there’s probably an awful lot of factors that come together to shape societal behaviours, certain types of music — you know, there’s an awful lot of misogyny in certain types of music, there’s issues around pornography and its prevalence now and its accessibility.”

    LOL, blaming absent fathers? How about holding to account his gold digging, promiscuous mother for her appalling behaviour.

  2. If they are looking for a new leader why was Kelvin Davies not mentioned in Chris’ article???? Latent racism? Surely not from a supremely correct Leftie like Chris……

    Or is he writing to push Ardern? I listed out Jacindas credentials at Kiwiblog yesterday…. there is not a lot there at all.

    Groping around in offshore politics for the characteristics a Kiwi left leader needs is just desperate. Smacks of creating something, a facsimile to trick the voters…. I really don’t think it will work.

    They need a man or woman with a “doing” track record in the real world who is genuine and “warm” in their interactions with people. Labour haven’t had a leader with charisma since David Lange.

  1. Genter versus Robertson, Greens versus Labour | Your NZ

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