Duncan Garner: Narcissistic Labour proves voters were bang on

01/10/2014

I’m going to keep this short and sweet: Labour has fallen apart and it ain’t over yet.

The party is proving to voters why they got just 24.6 percent; it proves they would never have been able to govern. They are tearing themselves apart. They look like narcissists. This is civilian war. This is a fight for control of the party.

Annette King once told me there were no factions in the Labour Party – they were just social groupings, she said. I’m sorry that’s bull-dust. These factions are alive and well and have been since the 1980s. It's publicly tearing Labour apart and I imagine voters are completely turned off.

I can actually understand why David Cunliffe’s wife wanted to support her bloke on Twitter – my wife has threatened to offer me similar support. I have, for the time being, counselled her out of it. She has a sharp tongue and is far from diplomatic – best she stay clear of Twitter.

But, Karen Price is actually right: The ABC club never died when Cunliffe became leader – they just retired to the corner and got more bitter and twisted. It’s no secret who they are: Trevor Mallard is the life president, Clayton Cosgrove, chief plotter, David Shearer, general-secretary, Stuart Nash, head of communications, Annette King, camp mother, Grant Robertson the uncle, Phil Goff, kaumatua, and the errant ABC kids are Jacinda Ardern, Chris Hipkins and Kris Faafoi.

I believe many of this crew ran electorate campaigns, so they could get back in and nail Cunliffe should he lose. They wanted to stack the caucus with ABCers, that’s also why they were desperate for Kelvin Davis to win in the north. He’s no fan of Cunliffe either.

I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again: Labour has been heading this way for some time. The powder keg has blown. Cunliffe does not have the support of his caucus. They do not want him; neither do Kiwi voters.

He should have seen all this last week and gone quietly for the good of the party, and the cause, but he has chosen to hit the nuclear option. It is his own personal revenge at the ABCers. It’s breathtakingly arrogant. Which part of election spanking does he not understand?

Labour talks about renewal, but it’s stuck with 1980s politicians pulling the strings. They don’t even look like a viable opposition, let alone a party ready to govern.

In 2005, National, after a messy six years in opposition, got 39 percent of the vote under Don Brash. They had won supporters back and had John Key waiting in the wings. Labour is in no such state after six years in opposition. They are weaker than ever, more divided than ever and they’re openly knifing each other in the heart.

John Key must be licking his lips at the thought of four terms. If that happens, Labour only has itself to blame.

Duncan Garner hosts RadioLIVE Drive, weekdays from 3pm. Tune in for the most comprehensive post-election coverage

source: data archive