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Mike Moore - The Labour Party And Winston Peters

The Labour Party And Winston Peters

By Mike Moore

August 29, 2008 The next 48 hours could be a game-changer for Labour. Three big and hard decisions need to be made and they will put Labour back in the game, and the public will reward Labour if they are made.

Helen Clark is the smartest political manager in the business, possibly the best Labour has ever produced. She understands MMP, and no leader in New Zealand’s history has ever sacked so many Ministers with such skill and with so little fallout.

Tomorrow is an important day in Labour history because tomorrow our List MPs are chosen. This is the time to refresh the Labour Caucus and retire some very tired Ministers and MPs.

There are reasons why few Governments do three terms, Ministers get tired, and the public gets tired of them.

If Helen decides to:

- Stand down Winston Peters and end the fiction that he’s not a member of the Government.

- Select fresh faces, who represent a wider view of NZ, who share the values of regional NZ, and retire some old faces and old friends.

- Announce the Election Day for November.

All this is hard and tough. Putting old and loyal friends out to pasture is the toughest decision of any leader.
In any other country Winston would have been gone by now.

Announcing the Election Day is necessary anyway. The Government needs no important votes in Parliament over the next 3 weeks before Parliament is adjourned, so the capacity for the disappointed to cause mischief is minimal.

The public, and history, will reward Labour if they spat the dummy out and took bold decisions

Mike Moore
former Prime Minister of New Zealand
former Director-General of the World Trade Organisation

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