The Labour Party could learn a thing or two from the Coptic Christians in Egypt about picking a new leader.
Just throw everyone’s name into a hat, then get some blind bugger to pull one of them out.
Whoever it is will become the new leader.
And because every member of the Labour Party caucus can boast the brainpower of a David Beckham, but not the income, it doesn’t much matter which one takes over the leadership.
But clearly it is time for a change, because (as you will see here) –
No matter how many hits the government takes, the Labour Party and leader David Shearer are still failing to gain any ground – and they are, in fact, slipping backwards in a new poll.
A One News-Colmar Brunton poll, released on Sunday, shows National unchanged on 45 per cent support, but Labour has fallen back two points to 32 per cent.
While Prime Minister John Key has slid back two points to 42 per cent support as preferred prime minister, Mr Shearer has also dropped back a point, to just 11 per cent.
The poll shows Mr Shearer and Labour have failed to capitalise on the ongoing Kim Dotcom scandal, despite revelations since the last One News poll in September that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) carried out illegal surveillance on Dotcom ahead of his arrest in January.
And there you have it.
Alf’s constituents will recall that Shearer kept banging on about a recording of The Boss’s visit to the GCSB’s headquarters in February, and how this recording would prove he had lied about his knowledge of the agency’s involvement with Dotcom.
The GCSB insisted no recording existed (and it would would investigate whether one of its staff was leaking information to Labour).
But nor has Labour scored any political points out of the major privacy breach involving Work and Income’s public computer kiosks.
Instead, it appears NZ First is capitalising on the scandals – up 2.9 points to 4.9 per cent since the last poll – while leader Winston Peters has risen two points to six per cent support.
The Green Party remains unchanged on 12 per cent support while the Maori Party has dropped back 0.8 points to 2.2 per cent.
So how should Labour find its new leader?
As you will see here, they should do what the Coptic Christians do in Egypt.
Yeah, prayer doubtless is part of the ritual.
But much more important is the bit that – when you think of it – should be blindingly obvious to Labour supporters.
Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church have chosen a new pope, Tawadros II, in a sumptuous service and Christians hope he will lead them through an Islamist-dominated landscape and protect what is the Middle East’s biggest Christian community.
Christians, who make up about a tenth of Egypt’s 83 million population, worry about political gains made by Islamists since Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year. Radical Islamists have been blamed for attacks on churches several times since, but Copts have long complained of discrimination in Muslim-majority Egypt.
In a ritual steeped in tradition and filled with prayer, chants and incense at Abbasiya cathedral in Cairo, the names of three papal candidates chosen in an earlier vote were placed in a wax-sealed bowl before a blindfolded boy picked out one name.
Dunno if you need to blind-fold anyone to pick a new Labour leader.
Just whistle in an ardent Labour supporter.
Typical of all Labour supporters, they are sadly lacking in the vision department.