Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!

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Annette-King

I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party.

I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern or Robertson but Annette King?????? Andrew Little has astonished me.

What her appointment says is that Labour’s most right-wing MPs have such a throttlehold on the parliamentary party that Little felt obliged to give this role to someone instrumental in the neo-liberal reforms led by Labour in 1984.

These 1980s Labour MPs are the group which backed Roger Douglas as he trashed the country and the economy, sold our assets to his rich mates at bargain-basement prices while driving hundreds of thousands of families into poverty.

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We live their awful legacy every day.

King was there alongside the likes of Phil Goff and Trevor Mallard as loyal disciples of Roger Douglas and rode shotgun for the one percent at successive Labour conferences as the right-wing fought off attempts by labour activists to return to labour values.

Far from quietly fading away these MPs are fighting within Labour for their political legacies. I could respect them if they acknowledged the dreadful errors they made 30 years ago but they don’t want to face the fact their whole political lives have been devoted to the precise opposite of what Labour once stood for. So they hang on in the hope some miracle will rehabilitate their political souls. No chance of that.

One of the ironies of the latest election result is that these MPs – so long a sea anchor dragging Labour back from its support for the one percent – are now stronger in caucus because they held their safe Labour
seats in a significantly reduced caucus.

Yet another fresh-faced Labour leader is tarnished by the clawing hands of the living dead.

There’s no rejuvenation for Labour here – it’s a case of back to the future.

59 COMMENTS

      • Dearest Peter McKeefry … What’s a “staunch National Party supporter”, with Janus-faced Kelvin Davis as a Facebook friend, doing, other than trolling, a ‘loony-leftwing’ blog thread? Must be awful boring hanging out in ideological circle-jerks, with dead-eyed blue meanies, all the live long day.

  1. Could it be that Annette has kept that job for twelve months while the newer MPs in the shadow cabinet get more experience. The roles are to be reviewed in twelve months. I read somewhere Adhern turned down the DL.

  2. It is the real battlers of the activist movement that usually end up having to work with class collaborationist Labourites and win them to progressive positions which in some ways is to be expected.

    They are reformists not revolutionaries. But one’s commitment to united front work can be stretched when as in the recent election the Labour party by its own peoples admission under resourced some LECs while finding the means to put a heave into the West Auckland end of Te Tai Tokerau; which is where ‘Kunning Kelvins’ vital numbers came from to deny Hone and Laila.

    Social democracy is not the main class enemy in my opinion, that is reserved for global capital and US imperialism, but is certainly up there in second or third place with local and finance capital.

    Andrew Little has sent a stunningly bad message here, but has the out of this reshuffle being for just 12 months. I guess the message is do not assume people have a level of class analysis that they clearly do not.

    • The Rogernomes are not social democrat class collaborators. They are as rabid about the market as Key is. They still have a hold over Labour and Little is showing his class collaborating Engineers’ Union instincts by working with them. I hoped for something a little better, but deep down, this is what I expected.

    • Imperialism and finance capital are not separate entities, but part of the same system of capitalist exploitation. Lenin pointed this out in ‘Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism’, as they are mutually reinforcing. One enemy capital.

  3. Hmmmmm…roles are to be reviewed in 12 months…..

    Well they better start spouting gold cuff links for the working poor or get shown up for the neo liberal Nat lite crowd they really are…

    Perhaps there’s a longer term strategy in Little’s planning…..divide and conquer. It might be the case King better start walking the straight and narrow as well as other neo lib’s having to heave – to and play the game.

    Any bald faced dissension in the ranks might be taken a dim view of here…we will have to see..even though at the moment , it doesn’t look a particularly promising start.

    I would have far preferred to see that ilk relegated to the most uninfluential roles…as a warning shot across their bows…

  4. Yes… but (and I see Delia has beaten me to the punch), he made it clear that these appointments are for the next 12 months and then will be reviewed. So let’s not panic?

  5. Stop jumping up and down people and look at this a bit more logically. This is temporary and what is needed right now is a steadying hand on the tiller.
    Although I don’t like the method of selection I have a feeling that Little may be the goods.
    Adern is too young yet, she is a political talent and has plenty of time to rise to the top without going too fast and risking having the wheels fall off.
    King has landed some pretty serious blows on Ryall and she is very capable.
    Little will probably change his electorate to Rongotai after King vacates to have a tilt at the mayoralty. Good thinking if he does.
    He’s gone for a mixture of old and new so it will be interesting to see how they get on.
    And for those of you looking for hard left from Labour, forget it, that is what we have far left parties for and why we still need Mana and/or Internet, as foils to the likes of ACT
    Like it or not, elections ARE won in the centre, and that is what you have to work with

    • If the political scene still needs a Left wing, why did Labour deliberately sabotage those parties? I dont believe that Mana or the Internet Party can recover from this, so we now have no left wing and no likelihood of a left wing party for the foreseeable future. Thankyou, Labour!
      One last thought. Lets suppose that the Left positions on monetary and tax reform, environmental innovation, TPPA, free schooling etc, etc are both right and necessary; lets also suppose that the neo-liberal policies of the Labour right are suicidally wrong and take us down a blind alley to oblivion. How good do you feel that you have no way back?

      • All I can do is voice my opposition to these things and hope that EVERYONE else shouts as loud as well.
        I am trusting that Mana and or Internet will be back.
        Not much else I can do about it other than work within what we’ve got.
        You could look at it a little differently, we do have the Greens and they are doing one hell of a lot better than ACT. It’s John Key that has the voting block that doesn’t really give what they are voting for a lot of thought, and unfortunately, they make up a large number who do influence election outcomes, not everyone is into politics you know.
        Unless we on the left accept that Kim Dotcom scared off the voters who could vote either way, then we are destined to stay where we are.
        I trust you like the idea of democracy.
        Labour would have “sabotaged” Mana and Internet as they could see what the general public was thinking about Dotcom’s presence, had it just been Hone and Mana it would have been different – dollars to doughnuts

  6. Although King is indeed a has-been she’s a fair bet for the appointment because she is at least a safe pair of hands. Clarkes culling of the Party ensures that today there is a dearth of talent available, so Little has little choice.

  7. You have to understand the role of deputy.
    Andrew Little is a newbie, in Parliamentary terms. He needs a competent, experienced and unambitious deputy on hand for strategic advice and one who will know how to hold the fort when he is not available, which is likely to be often as he tries to rebuild the party. He doesn’t need someone yet who will necessarily be deputy all the way to the election. Also, it would be unwise for him to play favorites among the factions which have unfortunately developed within the caucus – and the party – over the past few years. Better to select a apparatchik who can help establish a calm which will allow time for the rifts to mend, while Andrew Little assesses the best options going into the election. You may also find that Annette King does not plan to stand next time, which is just one more reason to select her. Unlike you John, the choice of Annette King did not surprise me in the slightest. In fact it was just about the only decision Little could make without inviting bad feeling. Clearly this policy did not work with you, but you aren’t even a member of the Labour Party, so who cares?
    (Note: if we want to foment even more divisions and factions, Mr Minto is our man. We all should look to him for advice on the best way to move forward with the Labour Party. Forward to oblivion, of course, but forward nonetheless.)

    • Nope…some parts of your comments add up…but you dont have to have a swipe at John , as I – like many , many others have had a total gustful of neo liberlism and it destructive influence. The pressure needs to be constantly applied to its advocates to dislodge its cancer from our nation.

      • Absolutely @wild katipo . More than ten years as ago now I wrote to king and asked her if she thought neo liberalism had become a production line for social destruction . Her response was to send the cops after me a at my business as a thinly veiled threat.
        I’m now deeply worried.

    • I think he actually wants everybody to move backwards first and flagellate themselves for the mistakes of the past 30 years … but for godsake let’s just let it go, John! Surely there’s been enough looking backwards; let’s all turn around now and get on with it.

  8. John, the political reality is that without the middle ground neither Labour or the combined left have a hope of winning an election this side of the return of Christ.

    • Matters not what persuasion the party is so long as the neo liberal agenda is continuously pressured out of our country and replaced with a right and proper social democracy.

  9. Annette has always impressed me with her ability to communicate in clear and concise fashion. She is an impressive operator and has been under-utilised by Labour in the last two terms.

    I think Little is backing a winner here.

    • The only reason she has impressed you is because of her neo liberal mantra. THAT is the TRUE reason you’ve piped up. Other than that,- you cry crocodile tears for social democracy.

      Admit it.

  10. Who know why he has chosen King – maybe as a strategic move. I guess it is hard to get anything done with your own colleagues ready to put the knife in.

    I’m more interested in if Labour change their ways in particular are they just going to support National on the 48 hour surveillance laws or take a tough stance and actually stand up for NZ civil rights and vote and debate against the bill – as usual rushed through with URGENCY

    • Put it this way ,- if they DONT show some opposition to current National destructiveness and lies,…We can say goodbye to Little and Labour.

      This is Littles one and only strike at it. If he misses the mark , Labour will be political toast.

  11. Oh dear

    Temporary or not, what these appointments signal is that, for merely questioning some aspects of neoliberalism and raising concerns over the trashing of the planet, even a mild urban intellectual like David Cunliffe is seen as far too Left Wing for the modern Labour Party.

    Also, Andrew Little by not returning David Cunliffe to the Shadow Cabinet, we have to accept that this is the end of this talented politician’s parliamentary career, representing a total across the board victory for the conservative ABC Business As Usual brigade.

    So where to from here, for David Cunliffe?

    Maybe David Cunliffe could continue his contribution to the public sector in local body politics?

    Auckland badly needs a new mayor.

    Maybe, just as David Cunliffe endorsed Andrew Little for the Leadership of the parliamentary Labour Party, Andrew Little could endorse David Cunliffe for a tilt at the Auckland Mayoralty. The incumbent is the epitome of a political lame duck, and we don’t want the leadership of Auckland to fall into the hands of the Right by default.

    Auckland faces huge problems around its infrastructure and environment, that need to be adressed and aren’t.

    David Cunliffe could be the man for the job.
    Especially if the combined Left got behind him.

    • You’re forgetting these portfolios will be reviewed in a years time.

      That is the pressure put on to ensure they shape up or ship out. As for Annette King, she has stated she will be not re – seeking the position after a year.

      We will have to wait and see how all this goes.

  12. Wow what a load of absolute trite.

    King and Mallard along with Clark and many others were opposed to Douglas’ reforms publically. Has the left-wing blogosphere totally given up on history?

    King wouldn’t be my pick for deputy but she’s a good temporary leader before bringing Ardern in a years time maybe after a string of bad polls for Labour to emphasise the renewal narrative in the media. It’s a very good move by Little and I think will pay off.

  13. In King Little has a deputy who will put comparatively few knives in his back – pretty much what Cunliffe wanted from Parker. Neither Robertson nor Adern are prime deputy material at this point.

    Other choices are less inspired – Hipkins, Davis, Nash – ambitious without showing much in the way of quality. It’s very light blue, and has little to offer thus far.

    Little’s pragmatism is working already though, with his moderate condemnation of the Sutton dismissal getting better airplay than anything Cunliffe managed to say.

    Key is in trouble with his record of theft and administrative failure coming home to roost. Small wonder he’s looking for a short victorious war, though his choice of Syria – a perfect quamire – reiterates his ineptness as well as his desperation.

    Maybe Labour should press for an audit of CERA, I’m sure many unlovely things are hiding under the rocks there.

    • I’m sure there is much Andrew Little can use as ammo against John XkeySCORE.

      All the lies and deceit practiced by John XkeySCORE and his National dirty politics brigade in the run up to this election better not come up smelling of scented roses with his ‘internal inquiry ‘ into SIS , GSCB and all the other ‘ tip of the iceberg’ issues he was complicit in.

      Then we will know something stinks in New Zealand.

      Reeks,…in fact.

      So….this will not only be a test for the integrity of New Zealand politics, but for Andrew Little as well.

      He better not screw up.

  14. Hmmm, apology to Goff over the attempt to discredit him over Israeli spies. I am feeling the wheels beginning to slow on Key juggernaut.
    TPPA, foreigners buying houses and land what Key said in his speech about THAT when Xi was here and this for starters.
    Be patient, my pretties

  15. Hmmm, apology to Goff over the attempt to discredit him over Israeli spies. I am feeling the wheels beginning to slow on the Key juggernaut.
    TPPA, foreigners buying houses and land what Key said in his speech about THAT when Xi was here and this for starters.
    Be patient, my pretties

  16. Annette king is the perfect choice and who cares what minto thinks! He can pick the leader for his own party. I am sure people would love Andrew to pick someone they can watch fail because they are not ready, Annette will provide the stability needed. Who even knows bill is deputy in John’s party?

    • Its not about failing …its about curbing the despicable ,cancerous influence of neo liberalism that has held this country in its grip for 35 years.

      Stability?….if you count stability as creating the conditions of the working poor and childhood poverty as the price we have to pay for ‘stability;….

      I’m afraid your version of ‘stability’ is parasitical at best, at worst – narcissistic .

      Annette seems to have been set up as a stooge and a victim of her own neo liberal folly. Perhaps they are now growing old or tired ,(after the damage has been done)…..and are quite willing to extricate themselves from the social chaos they are guilty off….to retire in benevolent obscurity….

      But their names will go down in history as the rapists of this country….the original facilitators of the 1% elite. The 1984 neo liberal globalist experiment.

      Sell outs.

      Traitors.

      The Benedict Arnolds of this country New Zealand.

      As I said before…..they better start shittin gold cuff links to the working poor ,disenfranchised , and unemployed or be prepared to cough up 35 years of theft, rort , and political betrayal and deceit in the form of personal recompense from their personal bank accounts to every family , couple and child who have been the collective victims of their un- bridled and unprecedented greed.

      Then , …and ONLY THEN …will an apology for their treasonous misadventure be accepted.

      And even that in a pensive and ‘ attitude of giving them the benefit of the doubt’…. and following that?….to be stood down promptly and permanently from ever returning to parliament .

      THAT ….might be proper recompense….either that or a lengthy prison term for outright treason.

      ….Now….as for John XkeySCORE…..

      Well……there’s a lot we can say about that character….but that is for another post.

      Lets see what Little can pull out of the bag…and if that falls short…the pitchforks are comin out for sure..

      • OK OK we get it, “sell-outs and traitors”, and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth … (yawn) … settle down! Let’s get over it! Let’s pretend we’ve had a truth-and-reconciliation thingy! And please, please let’s move on!

        • You don’t EVER ‘ move on ‘ from an incumbent corrupt govt.

          Too many such as yourselves want to live in candy floss land pretend it isn’t happening.

          Its called planet Key.

          John XkeySCORE, TO BE PRECISE.

  17. I used to enjoy listening to Annette King pulling the wings off Ryall and Dearest Ms Bennett.

    I hope she continues to boil the claws of ministers for Housing, Health, and Social Devolvem…oops, Development. She has years of experience to draw upon.

    For ‘Wellington deadwood’ to win seven elections in a row, the last with more than 9000 majority – she’s more like swamp kauri than chips off the shoulder. Some respect for the Rongotai voters would be fitting, perhaps?

    With Mrs King in place for the next twelve months, maybe Ms Adern can learn a few tricks of the trade? Enough for her to start scoring against whoever she opposes this time.

    • You just better hope she’s got this country’s interests at heart ,dearie – because from the continuum of 1984 onwards?….I don’t think the Left has got any patience with any more mealy mouthed bullshit platitudes about equity.

      She better start coming up with some gold plated , vintage Labour core values and start being seen to REALLY deliver a truckload of social democratic virtues and morals.

      Otherwise her place in history will always be likened to a tarnished black mark. And no matter how many times she has a speaking engagement , no matter how many times she and her ilk tries to justify herself / themselves …her and her odious colleagues – will still be reckoned in history books as the era of the Great New Zealand sell out.

      THAT’S WHAT THE 1984 LABOUR GOVERNMENT WILL BE REMEMBERED BY.

      They’ve got a lot of apologetic’s to the New Zealand public to do – that and PROVING it by their actions.

      Talk is cheap.

  18. King will be the perfect deputy in Parliament now and Adern will be a great deputy showing a way forward for Labour at the next election. I have already forgotten which party Minto belongs to

    • He belonged to the party the gutless neo liberals like John XkeySCORE sought to silence…

      Y’know , – the neo liberal crowd who think its ok to have the working poor , child poverty , – and a finance minister who states ‘We should be glad we have a low wage economy as it encourages foreign investment .

      Problem is , people who think that way don’t even understand basic economics….that when you rape and pillage a society….like a parasite…you have to move onto another society to exploit.

      That’s what neo liberalism does.

      And you call that stable??!!!?

      John Minto and his friends thought it’d be a great idea to feed the nations children – a bit like Mickey Joseph Savage did.

      And maybe up the wages so there’d be EQUITY…you know…that old KIWI thing about a fair days PAY for a fair days work??? and while we’re at it…how about the multinationals starting to pay their fair share PER CAPITA as well????

      Be kinda nice for a change , now, wouldn’t it?

      You know- the fair and decent society thing?…or was that just a bastardized Bolger thing?…….Bolger…yep…a good neo liberal apologist if ever there was.

      And if you cant remember recent New Zealand history , buddy , perhaps you need to take a crash course in neo liberalism for the last 35 years to gain an overview of the destruction it has inflicted on vast swathes of the NZ working public.

      That and the efforts to turn this shitty tide of parasitical ideology around by the likes of the Mana party – to which John Minto belongs.

      And if that’s the extant of your memory , mate – God help us all and totally explains how John XkeySCORE was voted in yet again.

      Bloody hell.

      • Ouch stung by the spider. My income was under $26,000 last year so don,t talk to me about poverty. My wife gets some part time work so we kept a roof over our head for another year. Try being 60 years old my friend without many skills because believe me you do soon learn how our economy and society operate. I have consistently argued against neo liberalism most of my life especially against the sale of the assets that the working class created and relied on and against any other measure that has been used in the attempt to destroy working class consciousness. The Mana party sold out simple as that. They became puppets of the big millionaire and the only person with integrity, Sue Bradford, saw that and walked.

        • OK fair comment, however ,-if its good enough for the right to have millionaire backers and donaters, its good enough for the Left to have a backer who happens to be wealthy…whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

          You cant have it both ways.

          You also know as I do that the real decline happened post 1984. And was a direct result of Roger Douglas ‘reforming’.

          And we don’t have to state the ideology. Neo liberalism.

          We all know that by now so we dont have to defend it. Or its advocates.

    • Mahuta would of been more relevant. Hands down.

      You get in behind those two you’d have a damn nationalist leadership par excellence.

      The message would be clear.

      Bout time we took this country back.

    • Neither Arderne or Mahuta have the experience or gravitas to do the job Little needs done for the next 12 months; and it would have been unkind of him to have thrown them to the wolves in this way. His plan is solid. He’s not into ‘sending messages’, by the sound of him; he’d much prefer just telling it like it is, and I’m fine with that. In a year’s time it very likely to be Aderne or Mahuta – IF they have proved themselves.

      • He also made the point the other day that he is going to be doing a lot of outing and abouting over the next 12 months so definitely a firm hand is needed at the wheel while he is doing that.
        He also made a very very good point about not having a electorate seat. As leader he has to cater for the whole country and being without an electorate means he can do that without having to worry about letting his electorate languish.
        Having said that though I do expect him to stand in Rongotai when King vacates, which will be next year, no doubt

      • He also stated King will relinquish the job in 12 months time. Additionally , other portfolio’s will be reviewed around that same time as well.

        So, – IF we are talking about a fresh new line up – you cannot claim Mahuta is some wet behind the ears newcomer to politics.

        We have a ‘prime minister’ that for all intents and purposes was the classic ‘newboy’.

        A currency trader. And all it took for him to succeed was Crosby Textor and a lame smile.

        You honestly think Mahuta, who has been around for years, is some newcomer?…..maybe she was too polite .

        And by the way…I believe Little is a pretty good choice under the circumstances…I also believe he’s a lot more savvy than some would think.

        But now is the chance to overturn a lot of too- long embedded deadwood. I hope he does it.

  19. Some pretty interesting comments here, Mallard, King and Clark were opposed to the Douglas reforms, well that sounds okay, so what did they do about those reforms when they got into government with Clark at the helm. ZILCH, ZILCH.

    I am not sure that you know about history at all.

    These people were part of a government that after 9 years of economic growth (supposedly the great saviour of our nation eternally growth at any cost) they left 150,000 children in poverty. A dam disgrace and it says a great deal about the Labour party which I gave up on in the eighties.

    The Labour government was meant to represent the working man and woman. From 2000 until 2005 every single piece of industrial legislation that went through the house would have been a whole lot better for the working class had Labour supported the supplementary order papers that the Greens put forward for each piece of legislation. And yet we have Helen Kelly still banging on about the marvellous Labour party, still wedded to it, oh yes I know she has already accepted the crown to take over from King, but really, why, tell me why they didn’t back the Greens ahead of Labour, ooooh they couldn’t possibly do that could they, dear dear betrayal of the Labour party wouldn’t do would it.

    I heard Kelly on the radio recently talking about Clark being one of her role models, well I would never want a role model that left all those kids in poverty but could have and should have done something about it. A dam disgrace.

  20. You know, today was the first time I smiled when I though of Labour. Annette King said this in 1996 about the introduction of the child tax credit

    “What this Government has done is create two classes of children: the children of beneficiaries and the children of people in work. We have never had a public policy that labels children and put value on a child whose parents have a job and a lesser value on a child of a person who is on a benefit. But that is exactly what this Government has done with its announcement. If one is the child of a beneficiary, one is not as valuable as the child of a working person.
    It is no wonder that we do not value the work that is done in our homes, because we dismiss it and give it no economic value at all. That is disgusting. To divide children into those whose parents are good parents because they work and children who are bad because their parents do not is absolutely disgusting”

    Annette King 1996 MP

    There is unfinished business here for Annette

    • Well…I like that…nice words….but as said before…talk is cheap. Believe it when we see it.

      Until then – living down the fact that Roger Douglas was given a free reign back in 1984 and in the following years, to cause such disruption in Labour , OUR COUNTRY – and ultimately cause Lange to resign (at least being a significant contributing factor ) ….makes one wonder just WHERE were all these NOBLE politicians while all that was going down???

      As stated before , – talk is cheap . And some of us were born in the 1960’s and earlier ,- not POST 1984 . And we are well aware of what New Zealand was like BEFORE neo liberalism.

    • What did she have to say about Working For Families, a program designed specifically to subsidise employers? She could have used the same speech. Did she?

  21. After reading all of this from top to bottem I would say its a very good decision and makes a lot of sense ..Andrew little .is begining to suprise me in good ways I hope he keeps it going .

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