On The Curious Situation Of Business As Usual In Last Night’s Labour Party – The Latest Sharma Gauntlets


The latest round of Sharma disclosures are, sorry to say, “politics as usual” on pretty much all fronts.

It doesn’t look good. And that’s why it’s specifically supposed to not happen where anyone outside of politics can see it.

There is nothing especially unusual about MPs and Candidates being “coached” on how to keep information out of the public eye.

I also don’t think there’s anything particularly unusual about a party’s internal disciplinary processes turning out to be (or, at least, being presented as seeming to be) conducted on something decidedly lesser than a “Blind Justice” (or, for that matter, ‘Natural Justice’) basis – and instead being a strategic exercise first and foremost.

But then – I’m rather biased on that front.

Now I am not, for a moment, seeking to suggest that this kind of thing is ‘just how it is’ and shouldn’t be challenged nor criticized.

On the contrary. As a point of general (and genuine) principle – a certain distaste for top-down and seemingly cabalist party management was partially how we wound up with MMP.

Because people decided – by and large – that they’d finally had enough of Government by fish-and-chip club. If only because said small coteries with control appeared to have a rather nasty habit of springing unpopular and unwelcome initiatives upon an unsuspecting body-politic in a fashion that, with deference to the circumstances of Ruthanasia relative to National’s 1990 Election Campaign, say, appeared to have more than a ‘hint’ of “predetermination” there to them.

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Lest I be misconstrued upon this point – I am absolutely NOT seeking to suggest that the Parliamentary Labour Party purportedly convening a pseudo-‘Star Chamber’ meeting the night before a disciplinary proceeding for a ‘rogue MP’ … is somehow tantamount to a re-run of the Neoliberal vandalism efforts of the 1980s and 90s.

As I think I may have intimated above – all of this that’s currently happening is just “business as usual”. There’s nothing out of the ordinary here. The only “crime” one could feasibly make out is that it’s been done in such a fashion that various details and various elements to it are being conducted in something closer to public view than usual.

And this is absolutely, most definitely NOT a “Labour issue”. It’s not even a “National” issue or a “Party of Governance” issue. It is – put quite simply – a Politics and Political Party issue. I can start going through and citing examples running right the way back to Ancient Athens and Republic-era Rome to further furnish the point there if it is absolutely necessary.

Some parties, to be sure, are almost certainly markedly less prone to this kind of shenaniganry … and other parties are probably markedly less prone to getting ‘caught out’ in what can be made to look like an unfair gambit.

All in all, about the only thing I happen to think’s a bit peculiar here is that Sharma has found himself in this state – on grounds that he’s clearly a very bright guy.

Who must surely, surely have had at least some inkling as to the nature of the iniquitous blood team sport that he was about to get himself up and embroiled within when he signed up for candidacy however many moons ago now.

I’m not taking a position in who’s right or wrong in all of this. I don’t have the facts with which to do so.

It’s even vaguely possible that neither (major) side is actually ‘in the wrong’, really – and that some nefarious third party (within the party) has been winding up Sharma with a view to ‘setting him off’ in order to accomplish some particular, pertinent aim. Stranger things have most certainly happened in party politics over and down through the years. Who knows.

Yet I can’t help but feel that, whatever the ins and outs and rights and wrongs and timelines and white-board chicanery involved … it’s all a bit of a waste, really.

The only figures who’ll come out of this ahead are the (metaphorical) vultures.

Or the Press Gallery.


  1. Not looking good for PM, her quotes are being dismantled as lies and the good Dr is taking her apart one drip at a time.
    Must be time for her to ‘suddenly’ have an important meeting overseas so she is not tainted any more by the ‘liar’ allegations.

    • A column writer says he doesn’t have the facts (enough to make a conclusion).

      And you accept that Sharma is presenting the facts and make conclusions from there.

      According to you Ardern is lying. Sharma is right to pitch things as he is doing. He reckons there’ll be those who’ll accept anything he says and attack Ardern.
      The covid and vaccination things showed there are plenty so stupid they’d believe anything.

      Sharma could come out with, “Ardern has had electronics installed in the Caucus room emitting rays which control people and get them to think in certain ways,” and he would be believed.

  2. Sharma’s got his own agenda. Best he goes back to doctoring. He’s out of his league and definitely out of his comfort zone

  3. Looks like the usual distraction and making a mountain out of a mole hole.

    Pretty sure that Sharma has been bullied under woke definitions, and also should have been invited to his own disciplinarian meeting about himself.

    Not sure why Labour can’t listen to his concerns and do something about them within a reasonable timeframe starting from years ago when he made them. You know, ‘be kind’.

    Saying that Sharma comes across as a bit of a whiner.

    Nobody gains from this, and any normal attempt at conflict resolution earlier by Labour would have contained it.

    (Don’t forget Greens, co-leader coup against James, where there was no other candidates, toxic enough to vote for a coup, but too lazy to create an alternative candidate, sums up where parliament seems to be, toxic laziness and incompetence).

    Not just Labeen, across all political parties.

    More on parliament from Finlayson.

    “National ‘nincompoops’: Chris Finlayson on co-governance, ‘frankly hopeless’ MPs”

    “paints a picture of an almost zombified political system, which he blames on complacency.”

    Identity politics is, to him, nothing short of a pestilence.”

    “I would never subscribe to identity politics. It’s just so shallow.”

    “Some MPs, he says, were not team players. “They were there, but were they working? Too many of them didn’t give a stuff about the party, and had had no experience of it and no loyalty to anyone but themselves.”

    “He was especially disgusted at the number of times MPs, including senior ministers, did not read, understand or even seem to care about the policies and laws they were enacting.”

    “This wasn’t just a National Party problem, he adds. Parties have increasingly tended to select careerist candidates without expecting most of them to think and act as serious legislators, he says.”

    “He allows that much of the heavy lifting is done by a kitchen cabinet of the most competent MPs, and acknowledges that not every MP can be a polymath dynamo. But he maintains that most MPs are “journeymen” or “frankly hopeless” and contribute very little.”

    “That will have been colleagues who simply didn’t read their papers,” he retorts. “It was all there, I wasn’t trying to hide anything. They were too lazy to read.”

    “Or perhaps, he adds, they were simply too limited in their ability to understand. “Some of my colleagues made no attempt to understand the issues and thought making slogans was good enough.”

    “Finlayson worries that too few MPs have actual goals – ideas they pursue to improve people’s lives.”

    “His book rejoices in the judicial lions of his earlier career, who would hear a case and frequently give a judgment right away. “Mercantilisation” of the profession has incentivised everyone, from the bench downward, to draw things out as long as possible, he says. “We once had a very good system. We seem to have lost it.”


  4. The Dr is a new starter to the job, new starters usually keep a low profile while learning the ropes he wanted to be a star performer. Who said that new members should breathe through their noses, was it Holyoake?

  5. Like a lot of people, journalists included, I can’t make head nor tail of this Dr Sharma issue, mainly because we have only heard from his side.

    IMO I feel that being a surgeon/GP, Dr Sharma had people kowtowing to him, praising him on their knees, treating him as a God figuratively speaking that is. As a result, he has become disillusioned with politics and perhaps considers himself above being guided and advised in his present role as a rookie MP. But that is only my opinion for all it’s worth.

    More to come from this I think.


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