Monday, October 17, 2005

Clear as mud

Patrick Crewdson in the Sunday Herald reckons Helen Clark and Tariana Turua buried the hatchet the day after the election. But he sounds unconvinced, and turns to Matt McCarten for clarification - who dumps on the Labour leader.

"Clark's a self-confessed control freak - she'd feel very miffed that Tariana Turia didn't do what she was told. And then she not only didn't do what she was told, she actually went out, left, survived, and came back with numbers... Clark would find that very hard to stomach," McCarten said.

More light from unnamed Labour sources, who say Turia's behaviour in caucus was septic, with Clark repeatedly having to intervene. "Clark tried to accommodate her every step of the way," one source told Crewdson.

His sources suggest two strategies. Labour could tolerate the Maori Party as an ally and not go hard out to destroy it next election, or sideline it and hope it withers or disintegrates before 2008.

"Strategy" is not the right word for the current state of NZ politics, in any camp. It's all tactics.

The Sunday Herald Sunday Star Times said it conducted a poll which showed voters want Labour to form a coalition with the Greens and NZ First. However, the figures it reported left me scratching my head as to what the poll actually asked or found. What is this supposed to mean?: "Of the parties Labour is negotiating with, voters' preferred coalition partners are the Greens (35 per cent), followed by NZ First (29 per cent), the Progressives (26 per cent) United Future (21 per cent) and the Maori Party (17 per cent)."

Meanwhile, Russell Brown has some good points to make on why the prospect of a National-led government can't be taken seriously yet.


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