Andrew Little's startling confession that he has discussed stepping aside as Labour Party leader has probably confirmed Labour's fourth straight election defeat.
IF LABOUR'S chances of winning the general election were problematic, leader Andrew Little's startling confession that he has considered stepping aside has probably consigned his party to a fourth straight election defeat. Little will be henceforth viewed as a terminally weak and uncertain leader leading a party struggling to connect with the electorate.
It wasn't so long ago, In September last year, that Little was disputing the credibility of a TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll that had Labour languishing at some 26 percent. It's not so much that Labour has now plummeted to 24 percent - and Little himself is in danger of not being elected - but that this is a catastrophic poll result in a long line of catastrophic poll results.
Even with the commencement of its election campaign and the roll out of policy, Labour is still failing to attract the interest of a disenchanted electorate.
The obvious question that Andrew Little should be answering, remains unasked. That may because the corporate media is up to its neck in protecting the so-called "neoliberal consensus" but, so far, Little has yet to be asked whether he thinks that the cautious centrism of his Labour Party has failed - both as a political strategy and a political philosophy.
With the collapse of centrism globally and with the desire for real change evident in New Zealand too, the cautious 'business as usual' corporate-driven centrism of Little's Labour Party has always had zero chance of succeeding. And I'm not being wise after the event. Anyone who has read this blog over the years will know that I've always opposed the political direction of this Labour Party and have been chastised by Labour supporters for being "ultra leftist" or failing to recognise the nuanced political "sophistication" of "lesser evilism".
The policies being promoted by parties such as UK Labour and other western European left parties remain an anathema to New Zealand Labour. Policies that include the expansion and improvement of welfare, taxing the rich, making education free and nationalising the commanding heights of the economy while devolving power to local communities, cuts right across the market driven polices of Andrew Little and co.
Instead Labour is puffing out its chest about being "fiscally responsible' - as if that's what voters are clamouring for.
Rather than engaging with the fact that the ideas promoted by the Left are actually what voters want, Andrew Little can be heard grumbling on Morning Report about the Green Party's progressive welfare policy stealing the spotlight from Labour. And, of course, there's a little matter of the fact that the Green's have risen four percent in the polls.
In 2016, Bernie Sanders attracted over 13 million voters by running openly as a democratic socialist candidate in the Democratic primary on an unapologetically left agenda, opposed to the decades-long reign of neoliberal Democratic politics. Andrew Little's response was to praise "the steady hands" of Hillary Clinton.
The wind of change is sweeping around the world but all Andrew Little's response has been to close his eyes and stick his fingers In his ears and proceed to charge down a centrist path that can only lead to political defeat - and maybe even oblivion for Labour as a major political party.
Andrew Little says that his parliamentary colleagues want him to carry on as leader but, in football terms, Labour are 4-0 down with ten minutes to go. Andrew Little would have to possess the skills of both Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win this one.