Nov 11, 2008

Can't Believe The Pace Of Change

This is so like 1984. The end of a totally domineering regime. Generational shift, and an economic crisis to boot.

What is different is Helen Clark. She did the honourable thing for her party and country, unlike Muldoon who refused to cooperate during the changeover and who stayed on to be a disruptive influence within his part for far too long.

The front page of the NZ herald today reminds us all how much things have changed in just three days. Three days ago it was possible for vested interests to pay large sums of money to Labour and NZ First, knowing that there would be policy favours in return and knowing that there would be support at the highest level to keep the secrets buried.

While we don't want to dwell in the past we think it essential that we learn from what has taken place in the last 10 years. We need some form of commission to investigate corruption. We need to know what really went on in the Ministry of Fisheries over hoki and scampi quota allocation. we need to know why NZ First kicked up such a fuss, and then went totally silent, indeed made it their task to neuter an enquiry that they had fought hard to have set up. And we need to have a full investigation into the funding of the racing industry, and the impact that the policies that Winston Peters forced through had on horse valuations .

If the Helen Clark led hydra had won this election and if Winston peters had been returned to Parliament we would have seen many of our best and brightest packing their bags and heading for Auckland Airport.

Now we will see a much smaller exodus. There will be a few Winston funders heading to joining Ross Meurant offshore, and we suspect that Helen Clark and Heather Simpson will be offshore pretty fast also. Helen might be sponsored by the Government to depart. Heather will be off to the ILO or some other job within months. Indeed we don't rule out a reunion of H1 and H2 in Geneva sometime within the next 12 months. Watch this space.

When the histories are written one theme will be the tragedy of this last 3 years for the Labour Party. We believe that Helen Clark has been in active negotiation over a job outside New Zealand for over a year and that it was never her intention to see the next three years out. If Clark had stood down a year and a half ago and handed over to Goff and King, Labour would have been competitive at the election. People wanted change, but if this had been delivered before the election, they might have been willing to look more at the issues. Goff and King would have been able to have some say over who was selected to run this election also. Now they have inherited a caucus full of Clark sycophants. There are some excellent people - such as Grant Robertson, but they could have done much better. As the Herald Editorial notes today, Goff has no obvious successor in the current caucus. Some speculate that Andrew Little might be the man of the future, but he is showing some reluctance to associate with the mess that is now Labour. Moreover, with Annette King staying on, the obvious Parliamentary entry point for Andrew (Rongotai) is closed off. We can't see him wanting to move to Mt Eden.

We will post further on some of these themes, but felt the need to get them out of our system!