“Labour’s Looming Train Wreck”

The gloves are off as parties position themselves for the election.

Peter Dunne Speaks: Labour’s Looming Train Wreck

Dunne tries to draw parallels between UK Labourt and NZ Labour, and between Jeremy Corbyn and Andrew little.

For those who follow British politics, the prospect of the coming General Election turning into a major train wreck for the British Labour Party looms large. Barely a day passes without another set of contradictory views or comments emerging from senior members of that Party.

Most of the criticism inevitably finds its way back to the Party’s veteran socialist leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a man who, in a long political career has never been chosen to hold any Government office. For afficiandos, it is all fun and games, happening sufficiently far away not to be too bothered about.

However, there are some similarities with the New Zealand situation which should not go unremarked upon.

And remark upon them he does.

Jeremy Corbyn was never elected leader of the British Labour Party by the Party’s MPs – indeed, only a few months ago, they passed overwhelmingly a vote of no-confidence in his leadership. Yet he remains, having twice been selected by the Party at large and its trade union base to be Labour’s standard bearer.

New Zealand Labour has a similar selection system – current leader Andrew Little was installed in his role in 2014 with the backing of well under half his MPs, and then only narrowly because of the union vote.

As with Mr Corbyn, Mr Little knows that the key to his retaining the leadership, lies not with his MPs, but with the Party’s trade union affiliates. He has already shown his recognition of that by his installation of trade union officials as candidates in a number of seats around the country. Many are likely to feature high up on the Party’s “democratically” selected list.

And, like Mr Corbyn, he has eschewed any prospect of Labour claiming the centre ground of politics, indeed going so far as to dismiss the political centre and those who occupy it as “irrelevant.”

Both Mr Corbyn and Mr Little believe naively that there is a latent Labour majority out there – the missing million voters New Zealand Labour keeps talking about – that has only to be offered a “true” Labour Party for them to return home, and that in the meantime, there is therefore no need to reach out to any other voting group

As the Antipodean Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Little must have groaned when Teresa May called Britain’s election for early June. New Zealanders are going to be able to watch a preview of his performance and likely fate, well in advance of our own election.

And when the inevitable blood-letting takes place after the British train wreck, New Zealand Labour will struggle to avoid the spotlight being turned on its own Jeremy Corbyn, and his journey down the same track.       

Dunne and others will no doubt try to have the spotlight shone on similarities between Corbyn and Little, and between UK Labour and NZ Labour.

Leave a comment


  1. And yet as the Minnow in parliament, Peter does have a serious contender in Greg O’Connor. I was kind of hoping the defamation case went badly for Andrew Little so he would be forced to step down.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  27th April 2017

      It’s not over yet. Defaming an old, seriously ill man is, to say the least, unsporting !

  2. MaureenW

     /  27th April 2017

    “Dunne and others will no doubt try to have the spotlight shone on similarities between Corbyn and Little, and between UK Labour and NZ Labour”

    Politically Irrelevant ??

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  27th April 2017

      And pointless ?

      It’s not as if they are two branches of the same thing.

      Someone hasn’t much to do with their time !

      Here comes the PDT 🙂

  3. bring it on 23/9.. there may not be a change of Govt. but there will a change of MPs & final party numbers !

    BUT.. I’m keeping fingers crossed.. Grn-Lbr-NZF-ALCP-mana Govt. ?

    • What part of Winnie HATES the Greens don’t you get!

      The only thing he has in common with Labour is their history of rolling over and capitulating to accommodate his not insignificant, personally life-enhancing bauble and ego demands. That, and the overt racism towards Chinese.

      That’s not to say that his part in any government problematic. He needs to be kept out of the main portfolios and given something like Trade and Diplomatic service. He has no vision, apart from the myopic. To be crude, the followers I know of his are geriatric. He’s stuck in Utopia where pakeha calling the shots over Maori (who know their place and doff their caps to those who’ve transcended the gap) and the Chinese are all heading north of Cape Reinga.

      Only bauble-meister Peters would think it right to hang on to his ministerial issue car for months after being ousted.

      Peters’ big black shopping trolley – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10554574

      • Blazer

         /  27th April 2017

        speaking about vision whenever English has been asked…he defaults to,there is no silver bullet….steady as she goes,benign uninspired ,rhetoric.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  27th April 2017

      Ditto. Do you want turmoil and Trumpery ?

      I see that he has cut his own tax rates, which may make make the stingy sod pay some.

  4. Blazer

     /  27th April 2017

    Dunne threatened by O’Connor,and showing ..it.


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