Stuff reports on the National Party's Epsom candidate selection last night. Author and former Auckland City councillor Paul Goldsmith was chosen to contest the electorate, although Goldfinch has suggested that he will be campaigning for Party Votes.
That has led to an expression of derision from Grant Robertson - read on:
Labour's campaign spokesman Grant Robertson said the selection of Goldsmith was "a laughable stitch-up".
"The people of Epsom deserve better than a faux battle between the biographer and his subject," he said.
"It's becoming hard to see where the National Party ends and ACT starts."
Labour would choose its candidate on Friday in the same blue seat and would offer a real choice.
Grant Robertson may refer to "a faux battle", but his utterings are very much of the faux outrage variety. After all, it was only 20 September 2010 when we blogged this:
There can be no doubt whatsoever that Labour's head office and leader's office engineered the Mana selection, against the will of Labour Party members in the electorate. We will treat any future protestations by the Labour Party over perceived abuses of the democratic process with the contempt that they deserve.
That's right; turn your mind back less than one year. There was a candidate selection for a by-election in Mana. Josie Pagani was the preferred candidate of the Local Electorate Committee, but the Goffice trucked in Labour Party staffers and union members to ensure that Goff's former press secretary Kris Fa'afoi won the nomination. That WAS a stitch-up!
Grant Robertson can bleat all he likes about stitch-ups in electorates where Labour has no chance whatsoever of winning. His own party is just as bad, and its cavalier treatment of the Mana LEC almost led to Labour losing one of its safest seats, a defeat which would have been without parallel in recent history.
We realise that rewriting history is Labour's default setting. But the Mana candidate selection wrangle is barely even history yet, having taken place only 10 months ago. All we can say to Grant Robertson is this; pot; meet kettle!