Hooton has the inside word…
…as The Daily blog has always pointed out, the neoliberal streak runs deep within Labour. That’s why Cunliffe’s Leadership was killed off because he threatened to wake the sleeping dogs of the free market debate, just as Corbyn has in Britain and Bernie Sanders is doing in America.
The deep desire for some within Labour to simply be a neoliberal management team to take over when the electorate gets tired of National rather than being a force for progressive reform suggests that all the friction within Labour has simply been hidden from view rather than cauterised by Little’s leadership.
During the election it was obvious there was undermining of Cunliffe, the move to kill off Hone in Te Tai Tokerau rather than work with the Left was a very clear example of that. The Caucus don’t want to listen to what the Labour membership wants, and the moves to democratise and modernise the Party will just amount to another whitewash if Labour fold on the TPPA.
This is why it’s so difficult for Little to choose Jacinda over Annette as Deputy, because the caucus is still as divided as it ever has been and Little needs Annette to keep the right wing faction in line, something Jacinda simply doesn’t have the ability to do.
This move by 5 MPs to destabilise the Party could erode all the good work Little has done to date, it would also mean Phil Goff has damaged his chances of an outright run at the Auckland Mayoralty.
At stake is the very idealogical direction of the Labour Party – a debate they’ve avoided for almost 3 decades. With the Greens working with National recently and with 5 Labour MPs threatening to cross the aisle to vote with Key, the only thing guaranteed by all this is further disillusionment of voters opposed to National and a surge in the no votes come 2017.