The Dim-Post

April 10, 2011

But what do I know?

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 4:45 pm

Via Vernon Small, Labour have released their 2011 party list:

The next non-MP is Deborah Mahuta-Coyle, who is a press secretary in Labour’s parliamentary office and a Maori political adviser. She is ranked 26 on the list.

If I were leading a party that was seen as out of touch and unable to communicate with the public I’d try and talent-search my new MPs from somewhere other than my communications staff.


  1. Oh god, are you serious?

    Comment by SHG — April 10, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

  2. There are a number of popular and effective Labour MPs who were previous beehive staffers, think Adern, Robertson and Hipkins – none of them considered ‘out of touch’.

    Comment by Jake Quinn — April 10, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

  3. She has a twitter account, and averages one tweet a week. In election year.

    To be fair, there’s more to communicating than tweeting. There’s also snappy soundbites and speeches and slogans and arresting images and witty one-liners and … I can’t remember a single one from Labour since Michael Cullen left Parliament.

    Comment by sammy — April 10, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

  4. Also Josie Pagani

    Comment by Dr Foster — April 10, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

  5. Tough crowd you lot is all I will say

    Comment by max — April 10, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

  6. Once they get their poll ratings into the high 30s I’ll go easy on them.

    Comment by danylmc — April 10, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

  7. @Jake, I’ve met Grant, and he seemed really smart, and I’ve heard Adern is also pretty great talent. But the fact that they’re well thought of within the party, or even their awesomely non-representational electorates is not an indication that Labour’s professional political class goes down well with the wider public.

    Comment by danylmc — April 10, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

  8. I totally agree Danyl – very odd ranking. I am sure Deb will do a good job, but to put her in ahead of Clare Curran, David Shearer, Brendon Burns and others is strange.

    Comment by Jane — April 10, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

  9. Curran, Shearer and Burns hold elects so their list ranking is nominal only.

    From what I have observed, Mahuta-Coyle will be one of their better MPs if she makes it. She’s smart and feisty and will be good on policy.

    However there is a wider issue around so many of the caucus being former professional parliamentary staffers or unionists. They need more diversity.

    Comment by David Farrar — April 10, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

  10. David, it’s not ‘diversity’ they need. It’s real people. Chris Trotter’s Waitakere men and women. God knows, they’ve got too much ‘diversity’ as it is. All the diverse weirdos in the world.

    Theway they are shaping, you won’t see them even in the hunt until 2017.

    Comment by Adolf Fiinkensein — April 10, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  11. danyl: You seem to be advocating choosing candidates based on their popularity rather than competence. Surely we want competent people running the country, rather than celebrities?

    Comment by wtl — April 10, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

  12. I guess they want to train up high calibre Maori candidates to win back the Maori electorates. Fair enough – I just think there are plenty of those people out in the community: councillors, lawyers etc, iwi leaders etc.

    I also think that Labour REALLY needs strong voices with a new perspective who speaks up in caucus and says things like: ‘why are we doing this?’ or ‘won’t that make us look like idiots?’

    Comment by danylmc — April 10, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

  13. To add to that: You might argue that choosing more popular candidates would increase their chances of being elected. But I for one would rather they weren’t elected than they were elected but proved to be a bunch of fools with no idea of how to run the country, ala the current lot in government.

    Comment by wtl — April 10, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

  14. danyl: You seem to be advocating choosing candidates based on their popularity rather than competence. Surely we want competent people running the country, rather than celebrities?

    That’s right! That’s exactly what I . . . wait a minute! I didn’t say anything even remotely like that! You almost had me there.

    Comment by danylmc — April 10, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

  15. Don’t we already have a Mahuta in Parliament? Also Mackey’s there thru dynastic succession, the same’s planned for Te Tai Tonga and then there’s Nash. I’m noticing another pattern here.

    Comment by Richard — April 10, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

  16. Pretty much the usual suspects. Not sad to see Choudhary get the chop, shame a few others aren’t joining him. What has Rick Barker done this term to deserve a cushy #25 slot (besides be whip for five days)?

    Comment by bradluen — April 10, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

  17. I like the euphemisms for being an immature bully. Let’s see them make it through the next seven months.

    Comment by Margaret — April 10, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

  18. Well, today’s a pretty good test of the quality of Labour communications … seeing how they communicate the launch of the party list. An opportunity for positive media coverage.

    So you’d expect a TV-friendly photo-op with the leader, surrounded by bright new faces, eye-catching backdrop, etc. Repeat line of the day five times. Not hard to work this out, is it?

    But none of this has happened. Eventually, there’s a post on Red Alert (an hour after Kiwiblog). And that is pretty much it. On a slow news day.

    Quite simply, if Labour’s “communications” team had spent the last two years at the beach, it would have made no difference at all to their polling. I have no idea what they do all day, but it isn’t communicating.

    Comment by sammy — April 10, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

  19. @danyl But the MPs you mention are also well thought of in their electorates and by the media (generally), by their colleagues and even across other parties… The point you seem to make, that having at some point worked in the building means you lack some common touch required to be an effective MP and engage with the wider public is false (I believe). There is a wider issue at play which you often blog about – and are probably right about – that the parliamentary Labour party has at times over the last few years missed some opportunities and on occasion failed to build rapport with the public in a way that they ought to have, or that you would like to have seen them do – as someone who’s been calling for a stronger opposition to this lousy government we have. I don’t think that having Adern or Robertson as MPs exacerbates this problem (I’d place the blame elsewhere), in fact I’d go as far as saying their presence lessens the disconnect. Similarly, I don’t think Labour’s problems will be enhanced by electing a sharp young Maori battler, in Mahuta-Coyle. If anything, she’s (as are the likes of Wood and Sutton) got the fight in her required – as you note – to say to her colleagues “hey, wtf, lets not do that”.

    Comment by Jake Quinn — April 10, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

  20. ‘this lousy government’ thats a darn sight less lousy than the lousy opposition.

    Comment by will — April 10, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

  21. I’m still amazed at Rajen Prasad making the top 20. He was gifted #12 last election as a list-only candidate. How many people here have even heard of him, let alone know what he’s been up to for the last 30 months?

    He’d better be damn good at getting the community vote out to be gifted another chance like this.

    Comment by Simon Poole — April 10, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

  22. It used to be that national was made up of farmers and Labour of school teachers and unionists. National has diversified greatly. You can hardly find a farmer amongst tham now.
    I guess you can say that Labour are diversifying also. They are now made up of school teachers, unionists and parliamentary staffers. If they really want to rule the country it would be nice if they had a few more that actually knew how the real world works.

    Comment by Bob — April 10, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

  23. …so many of the caucus being former professional parliamentary staffers or unionists.

    OK, I’ll grant you the parliamentary staffers, that’s just plain depressing. But “unionists?” That’s like complaining that the National Party caucus is full of “businesspeople” – ie, a statement of the obvious that indicates only that the party is serving its intended purpose. In other words: what’s your point?

    Comment by Psycho Milt — April 10, 2011 @ 8:55 pm

  24. …how the real world works.

    I love the way wingnuts always think of the private sector as “the real world.” This would be a pretty cool if it represented self-deprecating humour, but… yeah, well, apparently self-deprecating humour is not part of “the real world.”

    Comment by Psycho Milt — April 10, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

  25. Milt denegrating with the old ‘wingnut’ slur so loved by Lynn from The Standard.

    Comment by will — April 10, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

  26. Labour should live in the “real world”, and not pick candidates who have been politicians all their adult lives, or public servants who live off the taxpayer.

    Otherwise they might end up with JamiLee Ross or Hekia Parata.

    Comment by sammy — April 10, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

  27. Milt denegrating…

    Far as I’m concerned, any dumbass who comes out with “the real world” to describe the tiny bit of it that he’s familiar with is shouting “denigrate me” from the rooftops. Happy to oblige…

    Comment by Psycho Milt — April 10, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

  28. yeah but ‘wingnuts’ y’all unnerstund aint no classy riposte.

    Comment by will — April 10, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

  29. I count six Labour MPs who are former Beehive staffers – Burns, Cosgrove, Robertson, Ardern, Fa’afoi, and Hipkins. Pagani and Mahuta-Coyle would bring it to 8. While all can make individual cases as to why they are there the trend is puzzling. As a new backbencher having been a staffer will give you a head start on your peers and it would help you adjust to a relatively small part of your job as a Minister but it does also mean you have been prematurely isolated from the wider world in the airless confines of politics 24/7. It looks like a less extreme version of a trend affecting the Australian Parliament, especially the Labour Party. Looking at the National side of the House none appear to be former Beehive workers. So far lots of staffers in the House does not seem to have been an advantage for Labour.

    Comment by Tinakori — April 10, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

  30. Milt denegrating with the old ‘wingnut’ slur so loved by Lynn from The Standard.

    Stop being so PC!!!1!!!

    Comment by andy (the other one) — April 10, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

  31. Well thankfully those traits of having a ‘real world’ jobs – being at the mercy of the market – will soon be visited upon a multitude of public servants soon when departmental budgets are implemented so I suppose they can be described as living in the real world.

    Comment by JD — April 10, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

  32. Worth noting Mallard was an EA for three years when he got kicked out of his electorate in 1990.

    Comment by townbelt — April 11, 2011 @ 12:20 am

  33. Michael Wood? I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but help us if he gets into parliament. I’ve seen nothing in his political career – running a disastrous campaign in Botany and calling for the banning of penis-lollies – that would warrant him a place in Parliament. I’m sure he’s put out press releases calling for Good Things, and these have been unreported by the media. But I don’t know it, ergo he’s a bad politician. Also, I don’t trust his hair or love of huge white collars on open shirts. If we’re going to have party hacks, can we at least have hacks who dress well?

    Sutton, on the other hand I’ve been very impressed with. I hope her progression is a matter of when, rather than if.

    Comment by George D — April 11, 2011 @ 9:10 am

  34. On the other hand I’m very glad to see Su’a William Sio move up the ranks. A strong local MP and outstanding representative – those who’ve had things to do with him speak very highly of him.

    Comment by George D — April 11, 2011 @ 9:50 am

  35. It’s time for Phil Goff to resign- this list sucks.
    The shocker is Sue Moroney. An MP who has achieved nothing (including an electorate) effectively ranked three. She’s a union hack with no background in education, and very unimpressive according to good education sources. The bizarre thing is Labour have several people who’d be very good education ministers:
    Davis (would also help on Maori front), Shearer and Twyford.

    Comment by lenny — April 11, 2011 @ 11:09 am

  36. Tinakori – pretty sure Moana Mackey was also an ex-ministerial advisor, possibly in Goff’s office

    Comment by Manumera — April 11, 2011 @ 11:12 am

  37. Cosgrove at number 8? He’s just another troll. The only difference between him and all the other trolls is his willingless at times to more or less say that he doesn’t care about the voters. He wants their votes, sure, he just doesn’t want to use his power to help anybody except himself.

    Comment by Betty — April 11, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  38. Don’t see the problem with Moroney. Landed some solid shots on early childhood. Has the potential to get better, unlike many of those in front of her.

    Comment by bradluen — April 11, 2011 @ 11:42 am

  39. “Has the potential to get better” is polite shorthand for “is crap”.

    Comment by SHG — April 11, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

  40. Moroney: (Anglo-saxon) Derived from the word moron, that is:

    1. To be incapacitated in terms of mental ability and/or actual brain matter and/or a part of the brain needed in order for the mental process to function properly in a person;

    2. A person in the habit of saying and doing things of a silly manner that are ill thought out and/or unconforming to social norms and niceties

    Does this fit the bill?

    Comment by Betty — April 11, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

  41. Danyl stop bitching. Get yourself on the selection panel.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — April 11, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

  42. So Labour’s turned their list into the world’s most effective recycling scheme — nothing new and hardly peculiar to Labour. The best time to take a chance is when you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose, but I can understand why some rather twitchy incumbents and sector groups would beg to differ.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — April 12, 2011 @ 12:36 am

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