The Labour Party released its list today. In my opinion the list is thoroughly underwhelming – it gives me no reason to vote Labour. Nanaia Mahuta retains a high placing, unjustifiably so in my opinion, and the invisible and undistinguished Sue Moroney comes in at number 10 – ahead of far more talented and promising members such Grant Robertson.
Jacinda Ardern comes in at 13. Jacinda is a fairly prominent MP and one of the more talented MP’s of the 2008 intake.
Andrew Little comes in at 15. This was hardly unexpected, but unjustified nonetheless. Little has done nothing to deserve the leadership speculation that surrounds him. He has no parliamentary experience, no notable achievements outside of the union movement and he is not blessed with character or even a striking intellect. Having the Andrew Little leadership speculation suits the National Party. The Nats can run the “big bad union man coming to a workplace near you” narrative.
Darien Fenton and Moana Mackey are placed at 18 and 19 respectively. I do not know what they did to deserve such high a placing. Blog posts on Red Alert maybe? I do not recall them doing much else.
Kelvin Davis comes in at 23. Kelvin Davis is the future face of the Maori caucus and has managed to sting the Maori Party on more than a few occasions. Davis is not a one trick pony either. As a former school principal he enjoys a deep understanding of education policy.
In perhaps the most controversial move Deborah Mahuta-Coyle is placed at 26. I echo Danyl’s sentiment:
If I were leading a party that was seen as out of touch and unable to communicate with the public I’d try and talent-search my new MPs from somewhere other than my communications staff.
Mahuta is one of Goff’s press secretaries. One would think association with the incompetent Goffice would be a liability. It really is indicative of the poisonous patronage that pervades the Labour Party. Around a month ago I attended one of the local list selections here in Wellington. Obviously Mahuta was speaking. My impressions of her were less than flattering. Her speech was not notable in any way, she displayed no great insight, the speech itself was hardly rhetorically remarkable and I sensed an air of arrogance about her. In my opinion Josie Pagani, Michael Bott, Jordan Carter and Rino Tirikatene were far superior. According to the local members Mahuta, despite possessing no qualifications like intellect or character, was guaranteed a high placing by virtue of her position in the party.
It seems utterly non-sensical to have Phil Twyford ranked at 33. Twyford has proven his ability as Auckland issues spokesperson and he is, in my opinion, a future leader or deputy leader.
Steve Chadwick, junior whip, is placed surprisingly low considering she is a sitting MP.
Overall, a pretty shitty list in my opinion. The Labour Party needs to stop rewarding service with political patronage. Internal politics is always at play with this sort of thing. That’s the game I guess.
DISCLAIMER: I am in no way associated with the Labour Party. I attended the list selection out of interest. As some of you may know I am hardly enamoured with the Labour Party.