"We cannot afford civil war," he told The Independent. "Both those on the old Left and some of my old colleagues who are described as Blairites, must not look backwards. Those are in the past and we must make our own way. After the last couple of weeks, we need to regroup and have a vision. We cannot afford to wait until after the summer elections. The public are still not convinced by the Tories."It's brown trousers time for the Gordfather.
Although Helen Clark mined the Third Way media mantra from Blair, Clark remained a steadfast Social small d democrat at heart. But only a fool walks away from power, and neither Blair nor Clark are fools. Blair's footprints are all over the Labour Brits, just as Clark's keystrokes continue to fiddle with Labour NZ here.
Blair the pragmatist knows there'll be no pennies from the trenches in an economy as bad as Britain's. Only the wealthy have the funds to spare, but their purses are firmly squeezed enough from the financial collapses without doling out some dosh to a bunch of income strippers in Westminster. They can't sell peerages like last time. That scam's been done in.
Clark the pragmatist made clear what direction she intends Labour to follow, and she's learning from Britain's harsh lessons. If Labour had got in last year, I can guarantee you the budget would not only have cancelled future tax cuts. There would have been another top tax bracket added, with a rise in GST as a possible side order.
Unlike Brit Labour, Clark was not looking for private funders for Labour. She burnt off future donors with the Owen Glenn crucifixion. Whipping the well-off wouldn't hurt the vote she would have been aiming at. The money can come from the unions.
The party list had embedded Clark's Wish List of future leaders and favourites, an albatross which caused all sorts of strife for a certain by-election. Clark's quickie resignation on election night knee-capped Goff from the get-go. By installing an outward bound Annette King as deputy, Labour all but stamped a Best Before date on Goff's centre-left leadership.
2011 will be unto Labour what 2002 was unto National unless something happens soon. Inventory2 at Keeping Stock makes an interesting observation on who has been sizing up the Leader of the Opposition's seat:
After Phil Goff led off Labour's contribution to the debate, he left the House, followed by many of his caucus. A few remained, mainly those who were speaking in the debate. But Goff's seat did not remain vacant for long.So which is it? A Goff cough in 2011 or a genuine reboot in time for a fight? Shane Jones makes a credible alternative, and he's dry enough for the crucial middle vote. H1 and H2 aren't getting any younger either.
Yes indeed dear readers, Shane Jones delivered HIS speech in the General Debate (Labour's second speech) from the Leader of the Opposition's seat. And we have to say; he looked very pleased with himself.