Sue Bradford’s Disappointing Departure

by Jake Quinn

Sue Bradford

Sue Bradford

“A vote of no confidence in the new Green Party leadership”. That was what Radio NZ Parliamentary Chief Reporter Jane Paterson labelled Sue Bradford’s somewhat unexpected decision to resign from parliament, announced today (on Facebook and Twitter no less).

Ms Bradford meanwhile, said her relationship with the women that beat her to the top job is “fine”. Anyone else ever had a women say they are ‘fine’? Say, right after an argument? (For any aliens, highly literate infants, or persons for which English is a second oral language, it means they’re not fine, not one bit.) Hell hath no fury like a women’s scorn.

Metiria, who has been described (by Brian Edwards admittedly) as “absolutely brilliant – fiercely intelligent, highly articulate, enormously personable, warm, charming, attractive. She has the gift – for that is what it is – of charisma”, is refusing to fuel speculation of any serious rift between the two, by dishing out plenty of praise for her departing colleague.

The decision to appoint Metiria as co-leader was the right one so it’s a shame for the Greens that Sue wasn’t adequately prepared for this. Ten years is not really that long to be in Parliament and Sue had not come anywhere close to being deadwood. Parties have to rejuvenate sure, but they also have to balance new blood with solid experience and political connections. With the departure of Bradford and soon Fitzsimons, the Greens lose two with plenty of the latter.

Bradford’s exit marks the departure of the strongest and most vocal social leftist from the Green’s parliamentary ranks. With Metiria and Russell in charge the focus will lean towards environmental issues rather than the traditional left wing, social justice stuff that was Sue Bradford’s political bread and butter.

So where does this leave the left left in parliament? With Goff fiercely hunting down the vote of the blue collar Waitakere bloke while strapped to the back of a roaring Triumph (or a horse), one might start to wonder who’s gonna be batting for the truly disaffected – the minimum wage cleaners, the unemployed. Oh well, they’ve always got Darian Fenton.

Go well Sue. I doubt that we’ve seen the end of your advocacy for the downtrodden and disenfranchised.