‘Secret ballot’ by social media drip feed

It seems quite odd to me that what I thought was supposed to be selection of a Prime Minister and a deputy Prime Minister by secret ballot next Monday have instead been a procession of pronouncements through the week by social media.

I guess National MPs can do their selecting and their voting however they like, but does anyone know if they have ever selected their leaders so publicly before?

Who remembers how John Key’s selection as National leader and leader of the opposition in 2007?

This is all the National Party constitution says about leadership selection:

PARLIAMENTARY SECTION
Constitution

81.The Parliamentary Section of the Party shall consist of the members of the Party elected to the House of Representatives. Should at any time a member of the Parliamentary Section cease to be a member of the Party he or she shall cease to be a member of the Parliamentary Section. Leader

82.  (a) The Parliamentary Section shall appoint its Leader as soon as practicable after each General Election.

(b) If at any time the leadership of the Parliamentary Section falls vacant, the Parliamentary Section shall appoint a Leader to fill such vacancy. Notwithstanding Rule 82 (a), the Parliamentary Section may at any time between General Elections confirm or change its Leader.

(c) The Leader of the Parliamentary Section shall, upon receiving the approval of the Board, become the Leader of the Party. The Board shall consider such approval as soon as practicable after the appointment by the Parliamentary Section of its Leader.

Maybe the secret ballot idea is incorrect and the National caucus just selects it’s leaders however they feel like at the time.

From the Herald:

If no clear winner between Bennett and Bridges is found by Monday – when a caucus vote will be held – it is understood both candidates will give speeches to the party before a private ballot takes place.

Who next for Prime Minister?

If things go according to John Key’s suggested time frame then the National Party caucus will choose a new Prime Minister within a week. Breathtaking. This is a very tight timeframe for all MPs other than Bill English to consider their near future ambitions and to decice whether they are willing to hand over their time and their privacy to the country.

A UMR poll done from 27 September to 14 Octoberasked about preferences for a Key replacement:

  • Bill English 21%
  • Steven Joyce 16%
  • Paula Bennett 11%
  • Judith Collins 6%

Others mentioned as possibilities are Amy Adams (she seems to have preferred to work hard out of the public eye) and Simon Bridges (too soon for him). Jonathan Coleman has also been mentioned.

Key has  said he will support English if his current deputy decides to put himself in the reckoning. English appears to be the only one who knew about Key’s intentions well ion advance.

One thing is certain – politics and the country will continue on next year without Key as leader, and those who rise to fill gaps will take over the media and Opposition heat.

Labour will be rubbing their hands together, thinking that Key gone straight after their Mt Roskill by-election success will give them a better chance in next year’s election. It will – but how much remains to be seen. Key’s resignation won’t fix Labour’s problems and it’s hard to see them getting a 10-20% boost.

When an English-Little contest was suggested on Twitter journalists lamented the lack of excitement. This is one problem with our media, the Prime Ministers and Parliament are supposed to be running the country with a minimum of fuss, intervention and disruption.

They are not supposed to be click bait entertainers.


Added – poll number cruncher with a leftish viewpoint, Swordfish (from a Standard comment):

Here’s my March 2016 overview of public opinion on a post-Key successor (Polls over the last 5 years)

http://subzpsubzp.blogspot.co.nz/2016/03/next-national-leader_14.html

Corbyn re-elected

I don’t think this is much of a surprise, but Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected leader of the UK Labour Party.

Guardian: Jeremy Corbyn sweeps to victory increasing his mandate as Labour leader

Jeremy Corbyn has won a decisive victory in his second leadership contest, beating Owen Smith by a bigger margin than he had when he saw off three opponents in 2015 and thereby strengthening his grip on the party. Unlike a year ago, he won easily amongst party members (as well as among registered supporters and affiliated supporters), confirming that the nature of the party membership has shifted quite considerably since the 2015 general election. In a speech which conveyed notably more confidence and authority than the one he delivered after his victory last year, he appealed for unity, saying it was time to wipe the slate clean. He also used a phrase, “more in common”, coined by Jo Cox, the Labour MP killed in the summer who had been one of his critics. He said:

Elections are passionate and partisan affairs things are often said in the heat of the debate on all sides that we later regret.

But always remember in our party, we have much more in common than that which divides us.

As far as I’m concerned the slate is wiped clean from today.

We are proud as a party that we’re not afraid to discuss openly, to debate and disagree that is essential for a party that wants to change people’s lives for the better that isn’t prepared to accept things as they are

Corbyn has said that “lots of MPs” are now willing to support him ahead of compromise talks which may thrash out a deal that could lead to shadow ministers who resigned because they had lost confidence in Corbyn agreeing to work for him again. Around 60 shadow ministers resigned over the summer; a few have indicated publicly that they would be willing to return to the front bench, but many are still resisting. The party’s national executive committee is meeting this evening to discuss the impasse. Corbyn wants the dissidents to return to the front bench so he can run an effective opposition in parliament. His critics want him to agree to shadow cabinet elections. As the Herald’s Kate Devlin reports, MPs are under pressure not to go back until Corbyn has compromised.

The Labour caucus has got Corbyn whether they like it or not. They either have to do the best with him as leader as they can, or really they should resign or split and form another party.

What next for Jeremy Corbyn?

Shadow cabinet elections

Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, has proposed to the party’s governing body, the national executive committee, that MPs elect colleagues to positions in the shadow cabinet, as they did until 2011. The issue is top of the agenda for an NEC meeting that will take place in the hours after Saturday’s leadership result.

Watson has said such a system would allow former frontbenchers to return alongside Jeremy Corbyn with dignity. Corbyn, however, fears it would mean the shadow cabinet does not reflect his political views. He is also concerned that critics would fill the three shadow cabinet positions on the NEC.

Corbyn has proposed that the shadow cabinet be selected on a tripartite basis: a third elected by members, a third by MPs and a third appointed by the leader.

Many MPs are dismayed at the prospect. They say it would be expensive to ballot members and impractical because shadow ministers would have differing mandates. They also say the policy does not represent a compromise with MPs, because Corbyn’s acolytes would dominate the shadow cabinet.

There were discussions on the subject during Tuesday’s NEC meeting, but a decision has been delayed and may well be kicked into the long grass given Corbyn’s new mandate.

Sounds very messy still.

 

Theresa May: PM by Wednesday

The Conservative leadership contest has ended with Angela Leadsom pulling out, leaving Theresa May as the only contender. And (since Missy’s recent heads up) it has been announced that May will be Conservative party leader and UK Prime Minister by Wednesday.

BBC: May to become UK leader by Wednesday

PM-in-waiting Theresa May promises ‘a better Britain’

Theresa May promised to build a “better Britain” and to make the UK’s EU exit a “success” after she was announced as the new Tory leader and soon-to-be PM.

Speaking outside Parliament, Mrs May said she was “honoured and humbled” to succeed David Cameron, after her only rival in the race withdrew on Monday.

Mr Cameron will tender his resignation to the Queen after PMQs on Wednesday.

It follows another day of dramatic developments in the political world, when Andrea Leadsom unexpectedly quit the two-way Conservative leadership contest, saying she did not have the support to build “a strong and stable government”.

Her decision left Mrs May – the front runner – as the only candidate to take over leading the party and to therefore become prime minister.

“I am honoured and humbled to have been chosen by the Conservative Party to become its leader,” Mrs May told the gathered media.

She said her leadership bid had been based on the need for “strong, proven leadership”, the ability to unite both party and country and a “positive vision” for Britain’s future.

“A vision of a country that works not for the privileged few but that works for every one of us because we’re going to give people more control over their lives and that’s how, together, we will build a better Britain.”

And in a message perhaps designed to reassure Brexit-supporting colleagues, Mrs May – who campaigned to stay in the EU, said: “Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it.”

This is good for David Cameron, who was a lame duck Prime Minister. It means he can hand over power sooner and more seamlessly.

It is good for the Conservative Party. Any leadership contest reveals splits and differences in a party but with all the other contenders pulling out it has minimised internal acrimony.

It is good for the UK. The Government can get on with governing through a very challenging time for the country.

And it’s good for democracy with May making it clear that the referendum result will be respected.

And Missy has provided some details:


Quick update from the UK – and it was all happening today, though only two things did happen.
Conservative Leadership:

Andrea Leadsom withdrew from the race at approximately 12noon, as such it left it open for Theresa May to become the next PM. David Cameron has confirmed that he will lead his last cabinet meeting tomorrow, and have his final PMQs on Wednesday before going to Buckingham Palace to formally resign. Theresa May will be PM by Wednesday Night. The Queen will return to London from her holiday in Scotland tomorrow to accept David Cameron’s resignation, and formally appoint Theresa May as PM.

More from Missy in the next post.

Lineup of Little lambasting

Andrew Little and Labour have had an awful week, and that’s after Roy Morgan polling ended on Sunday and Labour ended up on 28% – see RM poll – National down.

Little made some mistakes ranging from minor to serious, and made a mess of dealing with them. From Below the beltway: The week in politics:

DOWN

Andrew Little: The Labour leader spent the week on the back foot after he and his finance spokesman were caught out musing aloud about bailing out farmers, strong-arming the banks over interest rates and curtailing the importation of ethnic chefs.

One of his biggest problems is that Little has lost the political journalists, and according to one of them he’s losing some of his caucus. Tracy Watkins in Is Andrew Little getting angry about all the wrong things?:

So why isn’t angry working for Little? Labour is stuck in the poll doldrums and looking increasingly adrift as a frustrated Little clutches at a grab bag of soundbites and tries to give them a unifying theme.

If the short unvarnished version of that theme seems to be sticking up for the little guy, or sticking it to the man, the long version seems to have been lost in translation.

Because it’s all looking increasingly desperate and on the hoof.

It’s not just the punters who are confused. Little’s MPs are less and less inclined to hide their bafflement at what’s coming out of the third floor leader’s office or – more to the point – what’s coming out of the leader’s mouth.

This is a dangerous time for Little. The success of his leadership so far has been in unifying a fractious and divided caucus. But the traditional fault lines are starting to reassert themselves.

Not to the point of open revolt or even to the point that Little’s leadership is yet under threat or even in question. But eyes are rolling.

When journalists’ eyes are rolling and Labour MPs’ eyes are rolling Little has two big problems – he is losing political credibility where it really matters, and he and his team don’t seem to have a clue how to deal with it nor get out of the hole they keep digging.

And there’s more. Audrey Young: Little’s shocking week a worry for the voters

If Andrew Little’s aim this week was to annoy his most important coalition partner, unsettle the markets and horrify his ethnic support base, he had a good week.

Otherwise it was a shocker.

In most respects it was as bad a week as Little has had in his 16 months as leader and not one he would want to repeat.

The problem for Little is not just getting into tangles, it is that he has difficulty extricating himself from them because of the dilemma it creates.

Little can afford to have the occasional bad week without it destabilising his leadership.

It is the effect on the voter that he needs to worry about more.

And the Herald editorial: Labour leader showing little credibility

Poor Andrew Little could not seem to say anything that worked for him this week.

Mr Little’s problems arise from his failure so far to strike a chord with the country.

He does not help his party’s credibility, or his own, with the sort of suggestions he made this week.

The enforced interest-rate cut in particular made no sense.

This is elementary monetary policy and if Mr Little proposes to change it, he needs to produce a comprehensive alternative prescription for economic management. In the absence of a policy so daring, his suggested jawboning of banks this week deserves the derision it received. He needs to do better.

Philip Mathews: Week in review: Andrew Little and the wok star economy

Labour leader Andrew Little had what they politely call a shocker.

So what can Little do about it? Once political ridicule sets in it’s hard to turn it around, as David Shearer found out.

Little is simply not coping well with the demands of his job. The big question for me is whether Little is up to the job or not.

And answering this depends on whether he is making natural gaffes, or whether he is conflicted between who and what he is and what his team are trying to make of him, as seemed to happen with Shearer.

I hope that Little is better than he currently seems to be and can lift himself out of the hole he has been digging deeper.

I think that Little needs to make radical changes, and the first target should be his support team. Matt McCarten would have to be a prime candidate for dumping, having already worked behind the scenes in David Cunliffe’s 2014 election embarrassment that was also a disaster for Labour and for the radical left (Mana/Internet) that McCarten had connections to.

Little has to appear as if he is a natural leader, so he has to start leading on instinct (if he’s already doing that he and Labour have a major problem).

Otherwise Labour risk a downward spiral and National and John Key will keep getting away with things they should be hammered for.

Without significant and noticeable changes Little and Labour will look like losers.

Garner on next National leader

Duncan Garner ponders on who may be National’s next leader. He rules out Judith Collins, saying her party has lost faith and trust in her (she could earn that back but it will take time, effort and care).

PAULA BENNETT

She’s emerged from the Collins rubble to be the frontrunner. She’s handled everything Labour has thrown at her and sent it back with interest.

JONATHAN COLEMAN

The Health Minister is ambitious and is starting to get a bigger profile – and he likes the idea that he’s being spoken about as a potential leader. He will need to show more charisma and reach out more.

AMY ADAMS

Depending on who you speak to in the National Party she’s either a leader in waiting or someone you wouldn’t touch with a barge pole.

SIMON BRIDGES

He has long been discussed as a future National leader and that will probably mean it will never happen. On TV and radio he sucks the life out of the universe but he’s still very capable and knows his subject.

TODD MULLER

I got to know Muller when he was a Boy Friday in  Jim Bolger’s office in 1996. A thoroughly smart and likeable bloke, Muller bleeds blue and has been earmarked for higher office from an early age. He has genuine private sector experience and has wisely kept his head down  in his first term as an MP.

That’s about how many ex-leaders Labour has.

More details: Duncan Garner: Forget Crusher, Paula Bennett is National’s next leader

 

 

Craig won’t seek leadership – yet

The newly elected Conservative Party board (some members were in the previous board) is looking for a new party leader. Colin Craig has said he won’t seek re-election – for now.

NZ Herald reports Colin Craig won’t seek re-election:

The Conservative Party’s newly elected board confirmed today it was looking to get back on track after a disastrous year by electing a new leader.

Colin Craig says he will not be seeking re-election as leader of the Conservative Party because it would be wrong to take on the role while he is being investigated by police.

He is facing a police complaint over his party’s spending during the 2014 election, though no charges have been laid.

“My feeling is that it is not right for me to put my name forward until the most serious allegations are cleared,” he said.

But:

If he was cleared before the 2017 election, he would consider returning to the party as a candidate, “if they will have me”.

So he won’t stand for leadership now – which means he won’t be on the board – but “would consider returning to the party as a candidate”.

Who would want to be leader with him hovering in the background considering returning by the next election?

Some one will volunteer to be a placeholder for him.

Impressions of Andrew Little’s conference speech

I’ve just watched Andrew Little’s conference live through his Facebook page.

My overall impression is that it was well done. Little speaks well when given the opportunity.

The content of the speech sounded like Little could have written it all himself, rather than being a recitation of a committee of speech writers as some political speechs sound like.

There was the usual concocted clapping and cheering, but as Little go into his speech he built a good rapport with the crowd and had them listening and laughing, especially when he talked of his personal political experiences with his staunch National Party supporting father.

Little began by introducing a parade of the Labour front bench. He also praised is MPs, particularly Grant Robertson. This is smart team building.

Little sounded genuine in saying he wants to stand up against injustice.

There was some idealistic phrasing but that will always be included in major political speeches.

It sounded like be believed in the values he spoke of and promoted.

“Taking a stand because it’s the right thing to do” sounds good but that’s always hard to live up tio in the New Zealand of MMP dominated pragmatic politics.

Sure he pandered to the Labour base and the Union supporters, but he did it effectively.

“Last year the average house in Auckland made more than three times the average woerker” is a good line. And a concerning fact (presuming it’s accurate).

Having battled with cancer himself made Little’s commitment that he will “make sure Kiwi’s get the healthcare they need…” sound genuinely heartfelt – but the cost of healthcare will make that a difficult to meet challenge.

“I want to lead a Government that makes a genuine difference” sounded genuine – but not out of the ordinary, all party leaders should feel that way, all MPs should feel that way.

“If you want me tell you what my three priorities are they are jobs, jobs and jobs” got the expected applause from a Labour audience. That’s laudable and addressing jobs could boost the economy – or could weigh it down if they are unproductive jobs.

Little says Labour shouldn’t be a shirker on climate change and compares to the namby pandy Government measures – he mostly talked about his and Labour’s aims and ideals and only occassionaly blasted Government.

Policy announcement – 150,000 New Zealanders and rising are out of work, plus 90,000 under employed, plus 200,000 who can only get temporary work.

His main policy announcement – “We will use the Government buying power to create jobs at home rather than sending them overseas”.

That doesn’t sound new. Called Our Work, Our Future it is aimed at boosing local business and “won’t break the bank”.

“…commitiing our party to a new principle – we will not tolerate poverty in the twenty first century” probably got the biggest round of geneuine clapping and cheering.

“I won’t give up, ever, because I don’t give up on the things that matter most” but no indication of how it will be done or what it will cost.

Towards the end the audo quality deteriorated and became quite echoey and difficult to hear. But the presentation continued to be strong and was often applaused.

More about poverty and repeats of “the Kiwi dream”.

Little may have had a teleprompter but it didn’t show, he appeared to be speaking witrhout notes or prompts. He did that very well.

The Facebook feed showed Live 200 viewers towards the end, that’s not many.

“We have two years to change this Government”.

“Every decision my government makes will be checked against its impact on child poverty.”

He finished very strongly but the echoes made it very difficult to hear what he was saying. A lot of rallying of the troops.

“We can do this. We must do this. We will…kiwi dream” etc.

So Little can speak very well, I’ve never seen him like that before. Impressive. He needs to find a way of carrying that sort of passion and eloquence into other parts of his political presentation.

I expect his speech will have pleased and encouraged the Labour caucus and members.

It should also cause his political opponents to take notice and start to wonder how far Little can take it.

Two years is pleny of time to build – and to stuff up – but this speech from Little suggests there’s real hope for a Labour revival.

Speech text:

Labour: Andrew Little’s Speech to Labour Party Conference

The Standard: Andrew Little’s speech to the Labour 2015 conference

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…”

Yep.

“…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:

Atiawa:

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

billmurray:

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

Ad:

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.

Chooky:

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

Michael:

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.

Clean_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.

McFlock:

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.

Little versus Ardern misses the mark

The Herald editorial today looks at Labour leadership  and co-leadership options. In particular they promote Jacinda Ardern as a deputy, and as a potential leader in waiting.

Little facing dilemma over deputy choice

Labour’s leader, Andrew Little, faces a dilemma over what sort of deputy he needs. Probably he would be happy to retain the party’s present deputy, Annette King, but he said a year ago the position would be re-opened about now.

Ms King has been excellent in the role – loyal, experienced, sensible in public statements, liked and respected by friend and foe, a safe pair of hands. That is all any leader would want in the person who must stand in for him at times and back him up when necessary.

And King would be excellent in the role for the next couple of years. I don’t think anyone else in the Labour caucus comes close to her mana and reliability.

But whether Mr Little likes it or not, there is much interest in the possible promotion of Jacinda Ardern. She is young, presentable and appears to have a popular following. A political party in Labour’s predicament cannot afford to let her appeal go to waste.

The party is a year into a third term of opposition and the polls are not yet giving any sign that a change of government is on the cards at the next election.

Labour needs to project the image of a fresh, new potential government.

The editorial concludes:

In politics there are loyal, safe, non-threatening deputies and there are ambitious deputies, using the post as a step to the top job. Parties in government need the first kind, but in opposition they sometimes need the second.

In Jacinda Ardern, Labour would appear to have a potential deputy who would not press for higher office unless the party needed a new leader, and could step up if it did. Labour needs her.

This misses the most pertinent point. Andrew Little was selected as leader last year. Little needs to step up. Overshadowing him with Ardern wouldn’t help him. Deputies should be effective and largely out of the spotlight, Ardern and her promoters have an attraction to the spotlight.

Little and his management team have made mistakes. Some of them are significant mistakes, like their fluttering over the flag fiasco, and their awful positioning and handling of the TPP Agreement being reached.

I think Little is at a political crossroads. He seems to be heading down a very rocky track right now.

If he can learn from his mistakes and learn from the stupidity of his advisers and take drastic action to turn things around then he has time to get on track to at least make a credible attempt at the 2017 election.

David Shearer got sucked into the Labour party machine and never fought out and rose above that.

Little needs to recognise the problems and fix them – fast. Otherwise Labour are in trouble – as if they haven’t had enough trouble recovering from the Clark years.

Ardern may make good copy for the Herald but she is not Labour’s answer as deputy and she is certainly not Labour’s answer as a replacement for Little at the top.

Promoting Little versus Ardern misses the mark. Little needs to promote himself as a competent leader. That will take a major change to achieve but Labour needs it to happen – they need to allow it to happen.