Labour MPs not happy with Mana-Internet

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 19:07 02/06/2014

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Senior Labour Party MPs have used social media to attack the alliance struck between Mana and the Internet Party.

Former leaders Phil Goff and David Shearer, and Rimutaka MP Chris Hipkins, are among those who have objected to the deal. It could see MPs from Kim Dotcom’s fledging political vehicle enter Parliament on the ‘‘coat-tails’’ of a victory for Hone Harawira in Te Tai Tokerau.

The strong opposition from within Labour could make post-election coalition talks tricky.

Goff says he feel strongly about Dotcom’s ‘‘pure political opportunism’’, citing his previous donations to ACT MP John Banks, now the subject of a court case. ‘‘He wants to be able to influence and control politicians.’’

Goff says he was previously ‘‘very critical’’ of National for exploiting MMP and failing to implement recommendations from the Electoral Commission to abolish the provision.

‘‘I’m scarcely likely to endorse another rort ...I’m being entirely consistent,’’ he said.

Goff says he made his feelings clear to the Labour caucus. ‘‘It will be the decision of the party leadership...but I see problems in creating a coalition where the philosophies and principle of people that you are trying to enter into a coalition with is unclear because they seem to be coming from diametrically opposed positions.’’

Those  views were also reflected in a passionate Facebook post at the weekend. Shearer also used the social media site to write that although he wished the Internet-Mana ‘‘marriage’’ well, he knew ‘‘it’s going to end badly.’’

And on Twitter last week, Hipkins posted: ‘‘The good old days, when political parties formed from movements. Now all it takes is a couple of million and some unprincipled sellouts.’’

All three MPs were linked to the Anyone But Cunliffe [ABC] faction - who were opposed to David Cunliffe assuming leadership of the party. However, a Labour source played down talk of more division, saying all three were close to Te Tai Tokerau candidate Kelvin Davis.

Davis himself posted on Twitter: ‘‘Bro, I think of the people of Te Tai Tokerau, not Sergeant Shultz.’’  He was referring to Dotcom’s German origins.

A spokesman for Labour said Cunliffe was ‘‘off the grid’’ and not available for comment.

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Earlier he told TVNZ’s Q & A, the party might consider scrapping coat-tailing.

‘‘National did not do that.  One might suggest because they wanted to keep ACT and the Conservatives and United Future in play.  And it's just possible that that might go down in history as one of the worst decisions that my opponent has made.”


- Stuff

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