Having promoted David Cunliffe as Labour's left wing saviour, Chris Trotter has now rejected him as well.

ONE AFTERNOON  last week I tuned into talkback station Radio Live and stumbled, by chance, into a discussion between commentator Chris Trotter, ex-ACT leader Rodney Hide and host Ali Mau.

The discussion was about David Cunliffe and the Labour Party.

While I, like many others, have become accustomed to Trotter's political gymnastics, it was still a remarkable performance by 'New Zealand's leading left wing commentator' (Paul Henry).

Trotter and Hide just about agreed on everything about David Cunliffe and none of it was complimentary.

Indeed Trotter could be heard agreeing with Hide - or was it the other way round? - that Cunliffe wasn't the genuine article. What does he stand for? asked Trotter. Who is the real David Cunliffe?

The consensus between Trotter and Hide was that the leader of the Labour Party was, well, a bit 'fake'.

This led to Trotter comparing Cunliffe to failed US presidential candidates John Kerry and Michael Dukakis.

How times change. It wasn't so long ago that Trotter was hailing  his man David Cunliffe as Labour's left wing saviour. You can find his blog full of complimentary posts about Dave. He seemed to know who David Cunliffe was then and liked what he saw.

But David  Cunliffe is going the  same way as David Shearer - who Trotter also initially backed and defended only to dump on him just two months after his appointment as Labour leader.

I wrote a post asking how long Trotter would remain loyal to Cunliffe. Not long, seems to be the answer.

But it gets worse. Having constantly argued for a vote for Labour this election,  Trotter could be heard speculating that Labour could fragment if it was heavily defeated in the September election. 'I fear for Labour' said Trotter. I'm sure Rodney  Hide was loving every minute of it.

Talk about putting the boot in when the opinion polls are down.

Ali Mau then asked whether Labour and National could ever go into coalition  to form  a government. If he was being consistent Trotter would have dismissed the idea  out of hand but Trotter's politics are anything but consistent. He agreed that it was  a possibility and said that he  had written about the subject on his blog.

Trotter basically  told Mau that there ain't whole lot of difference between Labour and National these days.

Readers might like to reflect that this is the position that I have been arguing for years - and it is one that Trotter has dismissed every time.  Indeed this  blog  contains many comments from Trotter criticising my views on the Labour Party.

I don't pretend to have any special insight about Labour  because Trotter has also taken to task other people who have had the temerity to say that the Labour Party is politically bankrupt.

Chris Trotter is all over the  mainstream media these days. He writes a copious amount on his own blog as well as on The Daily Blog and he pops up on various radio and television shows. Last week he was not only on  Radio Live but also on 'The Panel' on National Radio. He might have popped up elsewhere as well. He's the 'go to' guy when the corporate media want some 'left wing comment' that doesn't frighten  the horses.

It seems to me though that as Trotter's politics have become increasingly 'flexible' and more conservative, he has become increasingly favoured by a conservative mainstream media.

Trotter thinks he is a playing a positive role in the media but I've also noticed that he often feels obliged to describe himself as 'left wing'  - as if he thinks people might not notice.

But come September you just know Trotter wiIl be calling for a vote for Labour - because having rejected socialist politics he has nowhere else to go. He might not like David Cunliffe but he is stuck with him, in some macabre embrace to the death.


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