Win or lose the election, the hard left will maintain an iron grip on the Labour Party.
Talk of comparitive moderate Phil Goff taking over the reins of power from Helen Clark is mere wishful thinking.
Here’s Scoop’s take
Publicly and within the media, Phil Goff is seen as Helen Clark’s most likely successor.
Clearly he has prime ministerial and leadership qualities. Politically, he’s savvy. He’s young enough to progress the country forward to a new level. He is more of a pragmatist than most National MPs, but sounder on human rights and justice. Once free to display to the public the leadership talents that he currently keeps clothed, Phil Goff would likely counter the populist lures of National’s leader John Key. Surely, Labourites would fall in behind to assure a chance at challenging National’s rise – albeit post-election and after Helen Clark…
But the factional whispers talk of a different future for Labour. Sources suggest earlier this year the feminists and unionists forged a pact. Scenarios were shaped. The rainbow block was pulled in close. The word was: Helen Clark would be secure until she chose to leave – irrespective of whether Labour was in government or opposition. Seems fair and only right considering the talent she offers.
But a plan was sprung.
First off, the unionists moved to have Mark Gosche become Labour Party president after Mike Williams departs after the election. After-Clark, the unionists and feminists and the rainbows will move to block the Goff-camp from taking leadership. They will shuffle David Cunliffe as a contender. The feminists move Maryan Street forward as a contender for deputy leadership. Ruth Dyson and Street will be the powerbrokers and the unionists will want to fast-track Andrew Little into parliament and then through the ranks. Phil Twyford would be a front runner for the Mt Albert electorate – again should Helen Clark eventually step down.
Sounds pretty plausible to me.