November 06, 2015
All over for Len
All over for Len
News that Labour Party MP Phil Goff will run for Auckland mayor has unfortunately all but signed Len Brown’s mayoralty death warrant.
With Goff’s endorsement from not only his own political people but also with blessings from National party stalwart Michelle Boag, Brown’s days of leading the Queen City for another term – his third – are numbered.
This was further highlighted when it was also leaked that David Lewis, Brown’s former spin doctor, was also joining team Goff. Lewis was part of the old Labour Party brigade under Helen Clark and an astute doctor of spin. In fact he has a Master’s degree in that area.
It will be a sad time for Brown, who has done well to control an at-times dysfunctional council, made up of all colours of the rainbow. Though Brown won’t go down as the best mayor Auckland has had, his claim to fame is that he managed to merge the have and have nots for the good of the Super City.
Of course we all know now how he got into trouble and the reality for Len is from the day he admitted his infidelity he effectively became dead man walking.
Unlike America whose people seemingly embrace unfaithful leaders’ kiwis won’t give you a second chance. Of course they may well have given Len another opportunity if he had of declared his unfaithfulness before the last election but finding out a week or so after he was elected for another term was always going to count against him.
Phil Goff is however one of the real gentlemen of New Zealand politics. He is well-liked by both Labour and National, and I suspect even Winston doesn’t mind him, and is the right man at this time to advance the interests of Auckland and Aucklanders at this time of unparalleled growth.
It’s a pity that Goff will have to leave the Labour Party to advance himself because back in the day, he should have been groomed better to take over from Clark.
When Clark did eventually step down, after being beaten at the polling booth, she left behind a shell for others to pick up.
Some commentators believed that Clark’s succession plan was for those who proved real threats to her reign were appointed as Foreign Minister. That portfolio would keep any real danger overseas.
Phil Goff is an example of that.
Last month Auckland Futures (AF) announced that they don’t like Brown and AF chair Joe Davis said they would mount a formidable challenge. He said AF had the National Party support.
As the National Party Northern Region deputy chair for the past four years, Davis would have assumed full support from the big boys. But now with Goff entering the race that is not as clear cut.
Goff has also been a sitting Mt Roskill electorate Auckland MP since 1999, so is no stranger to voters.
I can see Goff finally uniting a dysfunctional region, the political landscape for the betterment of citizens and ratepayers of Auckland.
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