The Labour caucus has a reputation for being progressive and very supportive of diversity.
But comments from protesting union members in Auckland show the party hasn’t taken all of its members with it.
Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson was dealt a blow in south Auckland today, when members of the religious and socially conservative faction of the party came out in force to make it clear they don’t like that he is gay and won’t be voting for him.
The unions will play a big part in deciding the next Labour leader, but many in south Auckland have another union – with God. And that wasn’t working well for Mr Robertson.
“I don’t like gay people. I don’t like him,” said one person 3 News spoke to.
“I don’t like gay people. I don’t want to see him as the Prime Minister,” said another. . .
No party has total unity on every issue but this illustrates the gulf between Labour’s liberals and a group of its core supporters.
The party depends on unions for money and people-power.
If it’s leaving a sizeable number of what it would consider its people behind it’s got yet another problem to face in rebuilding.