Rugby League has always been seen as the game of the working-class man, and as such, the Labour Party has a long involvement with the game. Helen Clark was a vociferous league supporter, as was David Lange before her. And we suspect that Chris Trotter's mythical Waitakere Man likes the 13-man game as well.
So why has Labour fallen out of love with league. Last year it was Darien Fenton and others having a go at Sir Peter "The Mad Butcher" Leitch, who in many ways IS rugby league in New Zealand. Leitch's "crime" was to publicly endorse John Key.
It's impossible to quantify how badly Fenton's widely reported SMOG hurt Labour, but given Labour's worst election result in over 60 years followed this outburst, it clearly didn't help. Labour should have heeded the warnings that we gave them!
Instead, they inflict Phil Twyford and his band of travelling activists on the league public; check out Twyford's tweet from last night:
Is nothing sacred? When Waitakere Man takes his wife and kids to Mt Smart for a night of league, the last thing he wants is to have politicians getting in his way.
PS: Did Labour also fail to notice that their former corporate donor Owen Glenn, who they also managed to ostracise, is now a part-owner of the Warriors? The irony of that is simply delectable!