Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest

labour bannerValues schmalues

I am quite possibly going to stab in the face the next candidate who talks about “Labour values”. What the heck are Labour values? I don’t think I can recall John Key ever talking about National values, and I’m pretty sure it’s not because National has none. I suspect the answer is National realised long ago that navel gazing gets you nowhere.

So be warned, candidates. Let’s not hear any more about Labour values. Do you want to be stabbed in the face? I don’t want you to be, because it would probably mean jailtime for me, unless I did a John Key and subtly persuaded some pet blogger to do my dirty work in a way that never came back to me. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pet bloggers willing to do my bidding, although I hear that the guy from the Ruminator blog is up for pretty much anything.

Don’t fret

It’s a tough choice for those of us Labour Party members and affiliates who get to have a say in the contest. Each of the four candidates has a lot going for them, and while I currently have a favourite, I’m still not sure how I’ll rank numbers 2 to 4.

But there’s no need to panic if I get it hopelessly wrong, because I will probably get another go at it within the year.


Everyone in the party wants unity, and members want to know that whoever wins, the caucus and membership unite behind them.

I agree. We must all put this division, dissension and wrangling behind us, because it puts voters off.

Accordingly, I pledge my absolute and unwavering support to whoever wins this contest, unless the person I rank number one doesn’t win.

My endorsement

I have no confidence whatsoever that the person I most prefer as leader will work out well if he/she is elected. It’s not because I doubt his/her abilities, because I don’t really. I’m just not convinced that the disunity will end once we have gone through this process. If we elected Jesus Christ to lead us and he turned water into wine and brought the dead back to life, some disgruntled caucus member would still end up anonymously briefing the media against him.

I certainly won’t be forcefully endorsing or advocating for any particular candidate, because I wouldn’t want the embarrassment of having to explain in 12 months why I chose someone who failed terribly. I already have form for terrible picks. I thought David Cunliffe would be a good leader for Labour and voted accordingly, and look how that turned out. So there will be no “you should vote for x because” endorsements.

And as for putting my money on a candidate, I would want to see the returns policy first. For instance, can I get a refund if after buying I realise that the goods are defective?

My choice

Although I won’t be endorsing anyone, it is probably okay to drop sneaky clues about who my preferred candidate is. So here is a photo of my first choice.


Another clue: their surname rhymes with Flobertson. But that’s all I’m saying. I don’t want to make it too easy for you.

Two words

No matter how messy this contest appears, it could always be worse. I have two words for those who reckon Labour’s leadership primary process is a disaster that breeds discord and disunity, and that the party’s caucus should be left to elect the party leader. Two words:

David Shearer.

How did that work out?

Two things

Since we’re on the subject of things two, there are two things I don’t understand about the modern Labour Party. Two things I don’t get at all.

What are these two things, you ask? Let me tell you what they are. They are: Clayton. Cosgrove.