by Daphna Whitmore
Shearer holding two dead fish aloft in parliament.
Not quite up there with being crucified between two thieves.
His resignation as party leader came within 48 hours.
Who will be Labour’s next leader? It won’t be officially announced until September but Labour Party sources close to Redline have coughed.
They inform us that,
He or she is middle-class, well mannered, a professional, who knows which fork to pick up and how business runs.
A peculiar inhuman creature, evolved to possess an oily brain, a malleable spine, soft hands and a petrified heart.
The new leader understands that the employment laws may need adjusting; nothing radical like the freedom to strike, but smoothing over some of National’s rough edges could be politically expedient.
The new leader is not silly and knows that a tiny concession, a bit of a gesture here and there, is all it takes to keep most of those union leaders sweet. Helen Kelly has said the CTU wants someone who can win the election. Let’s not get too worked up about workers’ rights then. The CTU was happy enough with the wee changes made to employment law when Labour was last in government. As long as the new leader makes some of the right noises the CTU leaders will get out and campaign for more of the same. Let’s be clear, this leader in waiting has lied to workers and will continue to do so; it’s the name of the game, but the new leader is confident the heads of the CTU can be relied upon to stay cheering Labour on.
The CTU well understand and entirely accept that the surplus-value is spoken for.
The new leader is dedicated to managing the capitalist system. Here the leader is very firm.
For instance, some state assets may get sold if there’s a business case for it. After all, no party has more experience than Labour in selling state assets. Jobs will be lost, sure, but it’s about doing things smarter, right. Probably best to stick to National’s model of partial privatisations if selling looks expedient; though Labour’s corporatisation model has lasted well so it’s not too big an issue either way. The new leader is rather glad there was no call by the Stop the Asset Sale campaigners to get rid of the corporate model.
The new leader understands the need of the state to maintain control and manage dissent, and is committed to running the GCSB, the SIS and all the other spy agencies. This leader won’t be doing away with the spooks, or shutting down Waihopai. Like Shearer and Clark who had secret meetings with National’s leaders on how to extend spying laws, this leader has a good grip on the synergistic dynamic of National and Labour. The leader will be relieved to be able to to have a bit of a chuckle about how under Labour Waihopai was set up and the GCSB law was introduced, but without all the flak that National is now facing.
When it comes to waging wars the Labour leader prefers New Zealand to have a foot in several camps. Of course the SAS will be deployed alongside the US and British in their military adventures; but they understand and act on the growing power of China, New Zealand ‘s second largest trading partner which is also growing into the biggest power rival to the USA. There’s also plenty of scope for good old humanitarian imperialism. Where invading troops are called Peace Keepers and held up to school kids as almost up there with the All Blacks to emulate. That’s why this next Labour leader will continue Clark’s tradition of keeping in good with the European powers too and will do a bit of “peace keeping” in areas of mutual interest. It’s a bit smarter than National which tends to put too many eggs in the US basket.
Who is this person? Let’s not get hung up on a name. Fido or Rover will, if you let them, bite you just the same.
What they stand for and what they do is what matters. Sniffing out the next Labour leader is not hard. Shearer’s rotting fish is not the only odour in the Beehive corridors.