Saturday, November 28, 2015


Stuart Nash, MP for Napier and grandson of the late Sir Walter Nash who was a member of the first Labour government that swept to power in 1935 and Prime minister of the Second in 1956, has organised a dinner to celebrate the eighty years since Savage became the first NZLP Prime Minister.

This will be an interesting event as there will undoubtedly be a bunch of the survivors of the Lange outfit who had the cojones to set about remedying the disaster Muldoon created with his centrally controlled policies, who will join the leaderless rabble that remain after the Clark mob were dispatched, and possibly the more interesting moments will be; where do King, Mallard, Dunne and Goff stand as the remnants still in the parliament while Prebble, Douglas, Bassett, Palmer Moore and the others who have managed to move on, all of whom were  'me to' supporters of what are now widely referred to as the Douglas reforms.
Except of course for  old style  socialists led by the troughmaster general James Patrick Anderton who splintered Labour, who have never grasped just how forward thinking and economically successful  those necessary and correct moves  actually were.
Poor old Jim, he never really recovered from some simple stringer journo who in a feature for Time Magazine gave him a poisoned chalice and he could not resist having just one more sip from it regularly for the next four decades.

Next year is the one hundredth birthday since the formation of the NZLP with the coming together of  socialists of all hues under Harry Holland but sadly after four disasters as leader in the last five years and the next lurch only a few poll points away from a fifth, with only greater possible calamitous candidates waiting in the wings for their "turn", it has, in all probability a very low key look about it, one year out.

In 1916 when Labour united under Holland, along with Paddy Webb, Peter Frazer (who succeeded Savage on his death in 1941) and Robert Semple, all who opposed WW1 conscription, getting  expelled from parliament and imprisoned for sedition for their efforts.
 However in an example of true Labour policy flexibility, in WW2 as leading members of the government at war, they had no such scruples and introduced conscription.

In eighty years having produced Savage, Frazer, Kirk, Lange and Clark as leaders, with Goff, Shearer, Cunliffe and now possibly the worst in Angry Andy as abject failures, a complicit media is already bypassing Robbo and adopting My little Pony, another who cannot even win a seat as the next great thing.
It is not that hopeful for  another Hundy, in fact it  is looking a distant  impossible dream, maybe a mirage even.

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