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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Elections 2017: Who is Andrew Little's secret admirer?

So Andrew Little has dodged a bullet ... for now.

In the wake of him not getting sued into financial oblivion for defamation it looks like the Hagmans are going to go again, because if your rich why not, you can afford the lawyers.

So while the editorial in the Press (and others) was of the view that Democracy was the winner on the day what about next week, next month or next year?

And amid all of this you would think that National would be rooting for the Hgaman's and laughing as Little was broken on the financial wheel but you would be wrong because there is an unwanted outcome of Little loosing that National definitely does not want to happen.

I caught up with my contact in the National Party this week (who we shall call T) and after telling me that National is already fully prepping for the coming election they dropped the following bombshell which I shall paraphrase here.

Me: I guess you would be happy if Little looses this court case.

T: Oh no actually that would be very bad.

Me: What! Why would that be bad?

T: Because if Little looses he is dead as leader and that might see Jacinda become leader.

Me: And...

T: And ... Labour would get a lot more popular and be a lot harder to beat in the coming election.

Me: Hmmmmm....

Now two points need be mentioned here.

The first is that T is very high up in the National party, has dined with the current and past PM on more than one occasion, has both their phone numbers on his speed dial, knows who is who and what is what inside the party so I feel very confident in taking what he says as unofficial and unspoken yet accurate views of the party.

The second is T does not know I write a blog (we know each other through work and several common interests) and while he does know I am not a big fan of National he is more than intelligent enough to be able to discuss the fortunes of the party with me over a drink (or two) without having an ideological argument or trying to glass me in the face.

So he was not echoing any views I have previously made about Andrew Little when he said National wants him as leader rather than Ardern, as we mostly discuss work when we meet or the other things we have in common (and not surprisingly politics would be one of them but which party we like would not).

So this bit of information from T lends a rather strange tinge to my previous post about getting rid of Andrew Little as it appears that National is aware of what a liability Little is to the party but would rather have him as leader so that any debilitating effect he has on the parties fortunes come the election continues rather than Little leave the top job and have to face a vibrant and politically energizing Jacinda Ardern.

Think about that for a minute because if ever there was an endorsement for getting ride of Andrew Little that is it right there, because when the National party feels that they have a better chance against Andrew Little come polling day than inexperienced and untested Jacinda Ardern then you know he is a political liability.

It also, just a bit, makes me feel vindicated for having taken such a harsh stand against him in my previous post because as the saying goes "sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few".

And if I might hand my push the analogy a bit further (as well as expose my Trekkie background) under normal circumstances Andrew Little would be a fine leader but the circumstances are not normal and if Labour is to win the election then National endorsing Little as leader as a foil to Ardern is more than enough to convince me that my instincts on this matter have been right.

And like Spock in the scenes linked above the decision is one made with logic not emotion, as a person I bear no ill will to Andrew Little but he is the primary catalyst for failure come September; not bad policy, not electoral defeats, not party scandal but him, pure and simple.

Removing him gives Labour a real chance and yes Ardren could still lead the party to failure in the polls but as Guyon Espiner's piece with Mike Moore on former PMs shows its not about winning or loosing in that situation but setting up for the future; and Andrew Little is not the future that Labour wants or needs.

I'm not a big Labour supporter but another three years of National and their unholy antics will be another three years which will need to be undone at some point in the future and NZ is ready for a change.

Finally, as part of our discussion about the situation, I asked T about what it was that National actually feared about Jacinda.

His answer was a bit coy* but I think sums it up best: "I don't know but she has it and Andrew Little does not".

*-Which I think was his way of saying that he might have more of an idea but was not going to tell me.

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