There is rarely any danger of overestimating Labour Party stupidity. Having described myself recently as ‘a sentimental socialist’, I’m inclined to think that sentiment may be the main, and possibly the only reason for my ongoing belief in an organism genetically predisposed to push the self-destruct button when faced with the slightest glimmer of electoral success. With David Shearer’s resignation as Leader, something more than a glimmer of electoral success in 2014 now exists in the form of a Cunliffe/Robertson leadership with Cunliffe at the helm. This is the dream team. There will be an Opposition. A Labour/Green coalition will win the election. So let’s get the ball moving. With only 14 months to go, time is of the essence. Agreed? Well no. Not until we’ve canvassed the stuff-up option. Under the stuff-up option we’ll reduce a barely adequate 14 months to an unlucky-13 months of uncertainly, argy-bargy and free home-runs for John Key.
Why? Because, according to Party President Moira Coatsworth, ‘grassroots members will not accept a deal over the leadership done behind closed doors’. You can see Ms Coatsworth’s dilemma, can’t you – fast, negotiated, peaceful transition or drawn-out bloodbath? It’s a tricky one all right. Better sleep on it for a month! That will give you lots of time to dwell on your earlier mistakes and learn from them. Like the mistake you made on unlucky- when you opted for David Shearer over David Cunliffe. That’s the mistake that got you where you are today, hovering around 30% in the polls. And why? Because you thought David Shearer was nice and David Cunliffe wasn’t. Better a nice loser than a nasty winner. Yah, boo, sucks, Cunliffe! We won’t play with you! Well, the same numbskulls who were unable to set aside their personal prejudices against Cunliffe in 2011 are still there, so Ms Coatsworth may well be insisting on the wiser option. A ‘fast, negotiated, peaceful transition’ might not have been possible in a deeply divided caucus. Pity! But then, there’s rarely any danger of overestimating Labour Party stupidity or its capacity for self-destruction. I’d just forgotten that for a moment.