There are a couple of rumours running around about who Labour’s new CoS will be, and one of them – Matt McCarten! – is floated in the Dom-Post.
Labour doesn’t seem like a happy place right now. There’s staff turnover. The longest-standing MPs in the party hate the current leader. Every time Cunliffe takes a position on anything related to trade or foreign affairs Phil Goff instantly issues a press release contradicting him. The same faction is briefing people like Duncan Garner, Matthew Hooton and Cameron Slater to undermine Cunliffe.
Can Matt McCarten turn things around? If you’re seeking to unify the party then the answer there would be a massive ‘No.’ The last thing Labour leads is a Chief of Staff with a big personality, big profile, big ego, talent for skullduggery and a strong left-wing political agenda that’s totally at odds with those of his leader’s enemies within the party.
But if you’re Cunliffe and you’re looking at Goff, Mallard, Cosgrove, King et al and coming to the conclusion that unity with them is impossible, war is inevitable and the best thing to do is try and win it then McCarten would be a pretty great choice