Peter Dunne is unlikely to get a place in Cabinet should Labour win the November election, after he last night wrote off the party's chances.
Labour leader Phil Goff returned the sentiment this morning, saying the United Future leader was likely to be "irrelevant" after November 26.
Mr Dunne launched the verbal attack on Labour, who United Future previously supported in Government, last night while speaking at the annual Ohariu electorate meeting, saying Labour was not a viable alternative to National.
And we applaud Peter Dunne for speaking the truth - read on (our emphasis added):
"Events of recent times bring the term 'cot case' to mind," he said.
"With no new faces on their front bench, they are essentially going into this election with the re-heated caucus that New Zealanders threw out three years ago, and as one would expect, they seem bereft of new ideas.
"It is not really possible to generate new ideas when you have yet to accept that your old ideas have been rejected."
Ouch! They're harsh words from Peter Dunne towards the party he served as a Minister in the 1980's, but he's right on the money.
Labour had an opportunity to clear the decks in its third term in government, 2005 to 2008. Instead, it tinkered around the edges. It has had another three years to further clear the decks, but by and large it's the same old same old. Labour's leadership, Phil Goff, Annette King and Trevor Mallard (Shadow Leader of the House) are all relics from the 1980's. Labour cannot reinvent itself whilst MP's who have been around longer than many voters have drawn breath remain.
And Dunne's final word was perhaps his most true:
With regards to Mr Peters, Mr Dunne said he saluted National for ruling out working with the New Zealand First leader.
"The wink, the grin and a good deal of opportunistic fact-free scare-mongering should never again be enough for Winston Peters to re-enter a House that has been more honourable for his absence."
We couldn't agree more!