Grant Robertson reckons he never became Labour leader because of homophobia. Worse still he fingers (excuse the pun) the unions as pooftah haters. Now you may not believe me, but check out what he said in media over the weekend:

Senior Labour MP Grant Robertson says being gay was “a factor” but not the only thing to blame for his unsuccessful Labour leadership runs about a decade ago.

In 2013 and 2014 Robertson ran for the Labour leadership but lost – only just.

“It was a factor. I know that. But I’m not sure it was everything,” he told TVNZ’s Q+A on Sunday morning when asked if his sexuality affected the outcomes.

The senior MP said being gay was an issue in the campaign within the Labour Party in 2013.

Despite support from his fellow caucus members, he lost when additional votes from wider party’s [Labour] membership and union affiliates were taken into account.

“I do think it probably affected that. Although whether I would have been able to win, even without that [his sexuality]. I’m not sure.

“By the time we got to 2014, it was less of an issue the second time around.

“But it continued to be there.”

In 2008, Robertson spoke about his sexuality in his first speech in the parliament.

“Being gay is part of who I am… my political view is defined by my sexuality only in as much as it has given me an insight into how people can be marginalised and discriminated against, and how much I abhor that.”

Robertson said after losing leadership run twice, he decided not to run again.


Dead set, I thought it was because he reminded everyone of a cardie-wearing civil servant straight off the set of Gliding On.

Jim from Gliding On.

However, what Grant Robertson is doing here is trying to say Kiwis are homophobic. But you have to understand that Robertson was never appealing to Kiwi voters as he sought the leadership of the Labour Party: he was appealing to his caucus colleagues, members and affiliated unions.

And because Robertson won the plurality of the caucus and member votes, the only conclusion anyone with a half a brain can make is that Grant Robertson is saying the unions are homophobic.

Someone needs to ask the heads of the following Labour Party affiliated unions if they agree with Grant Robertson that their union is homophobic:

  • E Tu Union
  • New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
  • NZ Dairy Workers Union
  • Maritime Union of New Zealand
  • New Zealand Meat & Related Trades Workers Union
  • Rail & Maritime Transport Union

I’d be really interested in seeing what they think about Grant Robertson’s claims.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news,...