Get all the way out

It appears as if David Cunliffe has taken his habitual position as agitator on the Labour Party’s threshold. He stays in the media eye and annoys his caucus colleagues coming in to do a decent days work. Does he have nowhere else to go?

Shearer thinks he should resign from Parliament altogether. That he should come to terms with the fact that he has no political future as future leaders will deny him position and influence for fear of his untrustworthy ambitions. He stooped to hubris by declaring that he would have won the leadership if he hadn’t withdrawn, rather begging the question; why withdraw then?

The Labour party is a group of factions and cliques each with their own leaders, all with ideas for how to better New Zealand. This is in contrast to National which is likewise an arrangement of factions and cliques, but with the main difference that the ultimate goal is power. Pursuit of power means things like ideology, personal loyalty, and personal values, are malleable and able to be beaten into any election winning entity.

The Labour Party works when its branches are connected to a strong central trunk, a sturdy pillar holding up the wide church. Helen Clark was the most recent pillar of this sort. But she left no plan for succession, no thought as to the makeup of future Labour governments. When she left, and Cullen left, the vacuum that ensued swallowed the leadership prospects of Phil Goff, David Shearer, and David Cunliffe. We have now reached the point where the promise of a strong Labour party — not even a Labour government — seems more and more fantastical.

The implications for the moment are that the government has a clear run for the next six months on their legislative agenda. If the logic says that the wheels fall off a third term government then the logic is faulty. Entrusting the heavy lifting of scrutiny of the governments actions to the media instead of a functional opposition may by entrusting the fourth estate with far too much. There is little cause to hope the state broadcasters TVNZ and Radio New Zealand will see any increase in funding, so the quality of the media will remain on its present course down the styx.

The rise of the blogger might give the privately owned media franchises a run for their money and the will to improve through competition. We bloggers have no-one backing us, we exist on the odor of a petrol soaked rag, and we are committed to improving the state of current affairs. At least I am. I can’t (and won’t) speak for the likes of Kiwiblog and Whaleoil. Better days may still lie ahead, just stay informed.

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