LABOUR LEFT WINGERS CLOSE BRANCH IN PROTEST
By Richard Harman (author)
The Labour party leadership is shrugging off a move by a Dunedin branch of the party to go into recess because it says it is not left wing enough.
The Anderson’s bay branch of the party has said it is going into recess.
Its organiser, Tat Loo, who writes under the pseudonym “Colonel Viper’ on the left wing blog site, “The Standard”. Said “Labour as an organization is failing ordinary Kiwis both locally in Dunedin and centrally in Wellington on many different levels and it shows every sign of continuing on that track.
“We want no part of propping up the Thorndon Bubble careerist ‘pretend and extend’ set any further and will be moving on to new political projects.”
But party president, Nigel Haworth, said the move was “really quite inconsequential”.
He said it was a minor perturbation.
“It’s certainly nothing to lose any sleep over at all.”
In fact Mr Haworth and leader, Andrew Little, night well regard the move as a minor victory in their quest to make the party more relevant to mainstream New Zealand.
Anderson’s Bay was exactly the kind of left wing Labour branch which enabled Jeremy Corbyn to become leader of the British Labour party, a move which now threatens that party with divisiveness and possible electoral ostracism.
Mr Loo said on “The Standard” that Labour’s inability to be consistent in opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement; the softening of the stance against the 90-day right to fire, “the ethnically divisive and ineffective tactics against Chinese property buyers in Auckland”, the voting for National’s social welfare reform legislation, and the support of National’s spying and anti-terrorism bill, “all point to a Labour Party which is now lost at sea but does not appear to recognise that fact.”
But there may be less to Anderson’s bay than Mr Loo’s rhetoric.
POLITIK understands it had only 10 members and sent no delegates to the party’s annual conference three weeks ago.
And it appears that one of the main reasons for the branch’s re- establishment was to oppose Dunedin South MP, Clare Curran.
When the branch was re-established last October, MS Curran said it was reconstituted without official approval, with the aim of undermining her bid to be re-elected.
''This is dirty tricks and dirty politics in Dunedin South,'' she said.
This may all sound like petty politics. And in many ways it is.
But is also important because it is the first indication that the kind of extremist infiltration which has been the cause of so much trouble in Britain and at times here ion Labour parties may be failing.
It is for that reason that the Labour leadership are appearing so unconcerned in public.
In private they well be celebrating.