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More on Labour’s problem – XVIII: The Tribal Left and their nonsense

16/09/2019

In my earlier post – More on Labour’s problem XVII: Who is this Labour Party, Batman? – I commented on certain characteristics of activists, members and supporters

Their membership and activism suggests they have a predisposition in many instances to consider the needs of the party before anything else.

This is a truism that applies to many people with strong beliefs across the political spectrum and beyond.

However, in this instance I would suggest Labour’s members and supporters remember Jacinda Ardern’s UN Speech in 2018 – #MeToo is #WeToo

Additionally they would do well to take on board these words from Tracy Watkins SST Editorial of 15 September 2019 – Labour’s House of Pain

Many of the party faithful will find it hard to swallow that Labour has failed to walk the talk on an issue so core to its – and Ardern’s identity.

But the only place they should be pointing the finger is at themselves.

There is the nub, it is the members both rank and file that are the Labour Party. To effect change, they must themselves change. But,do they have the will to do that?

Lo and behold my point was proved very rapidly when I came across this tweet from Hamish Keith, a well known figure in the NZ art scene and clearly an Ardern luvvie, who posted this

Mr Keith was referring to Heather du Plessis-Allan’s column in NZ Herald on Sunday – 15092019 – Ardern’s damaged brand will hurt Labour.

In the article, which I read yesterday and set aside for further consideration, HDPA made various comments, now I suspect that this first paragraph set Mr Keith off

Like bruises after a beating, Labour is going to feel the effects of this week for a while. Possibly even at next year’s election. Most obviously, that’s because of the brand damage the Prime Minister has suffered. It’s impossible to believe that she only learned the sex crime allegations details this week. She looks untrustworthy. That’s got to hurt. She is the Labour Party’s election strategy. Ardern is their MVP

Yet various commentators from across the spectrum have made similar comments. No doubt these people are equally guilty of vile comments.

Further, I would imagine that this later paragraph just poured petrol onto Mr Keith’s bonfire of indignation

The most damaging is that the PM is shallow. She’s all talk, no action. Ardern’s pitched herself as a champion of the disadvantaged: women, Ma¯ ori, the homeless, children in poverty, first-home buyers struggling to get into a house. “Me too”, she told the UN, must become “we too”. But when Me Too came to her party and she could only muster enough concern to ask colleagues if it was true.

Yet there were two front page articles in the Dominion Post last week which effectively said much the same.

Plus John Armstrong’s comment from his August 30 column for One News where he wrote:

Ardern is vulnerable to the charge that a fair chunk of what she utters is political flannel. She is exceptionally good at making the meaningless sound meaningful.

Finally, I would hazard a guess that these ending paragraphs from HDPA caused the Twitter eruption shown above

And then there’s the celebrity PM tag. This one is lurking around the corner. It’s already a National Party favourite, thanks to Vogue covers, prioritising interviews with international media, and highpowered global hui over international efforts like the Christchurch Call. This narrative might get fresh wind this week. In the worst case of bad timing, Ardern is off to the UN on Thursday. It’s a terrible look to have Labour in disarray back home while the PM jets off to international adulation.

The last thing Ardern needs now is a fawning interview from an international media outlet, praising her progressive credentials.

Now, right on cue we got this Washington Post interview with Lally Weymouth, reprinted at Stuff, and described by Henry Cooke, a Senior Political Reporter for Stuff, as

the fawning Washington Post interview released this week

I would point out that in the past HDPA has had very pro Ardern articles published.

In addition Andrea Vance, hardly of a right wing persuasion had this in her most recent SST column

Ardern’s answers – beyond saying she was assured the allegations weren’t serious – have been unsatisfactory and thin.

and this on the Labour Party

the party betrayed them, and it’s now not on these women to sort it out, just in order to get Labour out of this mess.

It seems to me that the mote is very much in Hamish Keith’s eye.

I return to the comment I made earlier about Tracy Watkins SST Editorial

Many of the party faithful will find it hard to swallow that Labour has failed to walk the talk on an issue so core to its – and Ardern’s identity.

But the only place they should be pointing the finger is at themselves.

It seems to me that Hamish Keith is one of many who cannot bring themselves to face reality.

As an aside I point out Tracy Watkins has frequently praised Jacinda Ardern.

Indeed, as I wrote at length the other day, in my post  – Ardern’s star has come to earth with an almighty bump – which was built around Tracy Watkins editorial; the real problem is that Ardern’s huge lack of leadership and her essential shallowness have been exposed.

People like Mr Keith and many others are not facing the reality that the shining star in their political firmament has fallen to earth and been found wanting. Until they can come to terms with that and the toxic culture which appears to exist within their party and the related hypocrisy then the situation will not improve.

The issue is not with commentators, but with the Labour Party and it’s members, enablers and supporters.

As I have written elsewhere Labour should be saying to itself

We have met the enemy, it is us

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