The candidacy of Kris Fa'afoi is a big fat clue to the future direction of the Labour Party under Phil Goff.
Despite all the hype about a change of political direction by Labour, Kris Fa'afoi is actually all we've come to expect from Labour MP's - and less.
Despite Phil's claim that Labour has given up on neoliberalism, I haven't actually heard Kris condemning neoliberalism and the free market. He hasn't been pounding the streets of Porirua declaring his allegiance to the working class while waving a copy of Capital in the air.
While Matt McCarten has been busy exposing the lack of housing available in Porirua. Fa'afoi has been busy remembering his lines and making sure his tie isn't crooked. He's that kind of candidate I'm afraid. I'm sure Fa'afoi would be enjoying the campaign a whole lot more if it wasn't for all the politics getting in the way all the time.
Fa'afoi has yet to offer an original thought or idea. Do you think Kris has pondered on the failure of social democracy? No, neither do I.
Today though Kris had something to say on Radio New Zealand's Morning Report. Unfortunately he just repeated Labour's promise to take the GST off fresh fruit and vegetables. I know that there are even Labour Party members who think this is the kind of policy you have when you don't have any real policies, but Fa'afoi really thinks its a point of difference between Labour and National.
The New Zealand economy is a basket case and in need of major structural reforms that are not beholden to the needs of capital and all Labour and Kris have to offer are slightly cheaper lettuces?
What a nonsense.
But it was a nonsense that Fa'afoi was foisted on the Mana electorate in the first place. He has no history of political activism. No one has seen him out on the streets protesting. As a journalist he's never made any dissenting posts on a blog somewhere.
No, Fa'afoi was selected by Labour HQ because, in the words of Sir Humphrey Appleton, he's 'a sound man'.
Fa'afoi can be counted on to turn up on time, not knock the furniture, say his lines and then go home. In short, he'll always agree with Phil Goff.
If I had any sympathy for Kris Fa'afoi I would say it is tragic that his most signal political achievement ever will be to win the Mana seat which Labour holds with a vast majority. Mana has a larger majority than Lianne Dalziel in Christchurch East, Trevor Mallard in Hutt South and Jim Anderton in Wigram.
But I don't have any sympathy for Fa'afoi so I'll say thst it will, in fact, be a fittingly empty and pathetic achievement. What's more it'll be downright embarrassing for Labour if it sees its majority slashed.
And maybe Matt McCarten could cause a remarkable upset...