COMMENT:

Labour is in a mess.

This time last week Clare Curran was being dealt to for repeated offending.

The fallout from that has lasted most of the week, given the Prime Minister failed herself badly by not taking the sort of steps she should have - and that was sacking Curran properly.

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High standards are the watchword of good leaders. And it was ironic that just before the second Labour Minister in a week to be stood down was announced, Helen Clark weighed in over the other major Labour cock-up.

That was the summer camp report and she said, in that way only Clark can, I would have done it differently. Which means properly. Heads would have rolled.

And say whatever you like about Clark, she was a tough, disciplined, and well respected leader who didn't take crap and it served her well.

Ardern's approach is different and already it is haunting her.

After Clark's observation, came the Meka Whaitiri bomb shell.
Although we don't know the fine detail, we do know there is violence involved, and her staff turnover is requiring a revolving door. She is clearly trouble.

And just for fun, to cap a fairly miserable week, the latest business confidence numbers are out. They're down again and the bank says the danger is real.

So all of that spade work Ardern put in on Tuesday resetting business ties has at least partially been undone, with not just more poor numbers but a stark warning.

So what do we have? We have a genuine indisputable mess, a mess from which once again advice will be offered to the Prime Minister.

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She has to harden up and start actually being a proper leader.

The honeymoon is over. All that charm, smiles, and gushing that so transfixed the media into the opening months of "gooey could do no wrong" headlines are gone.

Charm takes you only so far, the rest is discipline, focus, and a backbone.

James Shaw and Winston Peters have every right to be asking questions. So far, despite all
the predictions, the coalition has held together well.

Policy differences have been smoothed over, calamity within the grouping has been avoided.

The weak link is Labour. They look ill-disciplined, sloppy, incoherent, and led by a woman who doesn't want to be tough.

What Curran did was sackable, full stop. If Whaitiri shoved staff, that's sackable.

It's a two-fold problem: One is the crime.

Two is the lack of decisive action to deal with the crime and as a result the ongoing fallout.

Labour can't run a summer camp, they can't control ministers, they've got a former leader barking advice and the economy is in trouble.

It's time to step up and get their act together.