Labour ponders whether country is ready for white, male Prime Minister

Grant Robertson, David Cunliffe and Shane Jones will face off in a leadership contest over the next few weeks, but many are already wondering whether the country is ready to listen to any of them speak.

Grant Robertson, David Cunliffe and Shane Jones will face off in a leadership contest over the next few weeks, but many are already wondering whether the country is ready to listen to any of them speak.

As the Labour Party prepares to engage in a lengthy election process to determine who will be its next leader, members and MPs alike are contemplating the wisdom of giving their vote to Deputy Leader Grant Robertson, with some wondering whether the country is ready for a white, male Prime Minister with parliamentary experience in a major political party.

Robertson’s sceptics, while paying tribute to him as a brave and competent leader, have wondered whether now is the time to elect a standard-bearer who shares so little in common with Prime Ministers past.

“I think that’s the thing about Robertson,” said former Labour Party President Mike Williams on TV3’s The Nation. “When you look at him from a distance, or, perhaps, you squint a little, he appears to have all the things a leader would want. He’s clever, articulate, a forceful advocate for our movement, and he knows the ins and outs of the game. But I think the question does remain – and ugly as it is, it does need to be asked – is this country ready for a white man to be Prime Minister?”

“Is the country ready for a sentient Prime Minister at all?” he added. “Who knows?”

Concerns about Robertson’s gender and whiteness have come after another series of misgivings that occurred when it was revealed to Fairfax news reporters last week that Robertson was “exceptionally fond” of penises, and likely fantasized at one point or another about having them inside of him.

This conflicts with the preference of previous Prime Ministers, who have generally preferred fantasizing about vaginas and being inside of them.

Many constituents worry that Robertson’s apparent homosexuality could greatly interfere with the Prime Minister’s duty to have sex with countless women.

“Most men like vaginas,” said former Labour politician Stuart Nash. “Some men like breasts. Some men like buttocks. Some men like pubic hair. Some men don’t. Some men like skinny girls. Other men like curvy girls. And that’s all fine, but if you like men, you really start to wonder how that might interfere with your ability to do your job.”

Another of those expressing scepticism about Robertson is Labour list MP Shane Jones, who formally announced his own candidacy for the leadership this morning after a friend told him to. Jones says that he “[doesn’t] have a problem” with Robertson being “pansy or what-not,” but that Labour has lost touch with its traditional voting base, who don’t want the country to be led by “hoo-hahs and whatevers.”

“I mean, back in my day, we used to joke about burning them,” he added.

When pressed on this statement, Jones said the only people who would be offended by it would be “men and women.” He said he wasn’t “campaigning to be Pope,” and that he was just trying to lose.

Meanwhile, Robertson’s other rival in the leadership race, David Cunliffe, has all but ignored him, holding a triumphant press conference this afternoon to announce his candidacy.

“Today on the steps of Parliament,” began Cunliffe, before quickly withdrawing upon realising that he was sitting in a room, “I pledge to you that I am here to help move New Zealand forward to a new beginning, and a more hopeful future with a fairer system for all.”

His announcement was greeted with enthusiasm and rapturous applause, and he made sure to pay tribute to those who he believed had helped him most in his political career.

“I just want to take a moment to thank the people, all of them me, who worked so very hard over the last year to get me to this place. I am honoured and humbled to have deliberately come here today.”

Robertson and Cunliffe will both be touring the country in the coming weeks to rally support behind their candidacies, while Jones intends to wear track pants and wander into peoples’ homes asking where they keep the beer.