In his weekly blog post Peter Dunne has made it clear that he doesn’t rate Andrew Little highly.
Dunne is obviously not angling for a memorandum or any sort of understanding with Labour. He may not care, it’s unknown whether he will stand again next year. He may also not care for an alliance involving Greens and NZ First along with Labour.
Dunne’s post takes a historic look at why he thinks Little’s spurning of the centre is likely to be unsuccessful, interspersed with some fairly pointed remarks about Little.
While the Leader of the Opposition is right to talk of “coalitions of interests” he is wrong to assume he alone can put them together without the glue of the centre ground. Fraser, Holyoake, and more latterly Clark and Key fully understood that point.
Mr Little, who is nowhere near their league, appears not to.
Not very complimentary.
So, the Leader of the Opposition thinks elections should not be about who wins the centre ground. He is right, up to a point, especially about bringing together “coalitions of interests” in his bid to win office.
Where he is wrong, however, is that no New Zealand Government – single or multi party, pre or post MMP – has ever been elected without winning over the centre ground of politics. Moreover, for at least one hundred years, New Zealand has had moderately conservative governments, led since the 1930s by either National or Labour.
But Dunne also opines that Little is nowhere near the quality or popularity of Labour’s successful leaders, like Norm Kirk, David Lange and Helen Clark.
It is no coincidence that along the way, Kirk, Lange and Clark had all moderated their message to win the public confidence, and that Labour only won office when they did so.
Yet the far less impressive Mr Little apparently believes he can eschew those lessons.
But again, the decidedly inferior Mr Little knows better.
Dunne is yet another ex-Labourite who is not on good terms with the current Labour leadership.