by Mike Williams

The three candidates for Labour Party leadership are all strong. A voter explains his choice

Agonising about how I’m going to vote is a novel experience for me.

I grew up a tribal Labour voter, “rusted-on” as they say, thanks to my mum, who suffered as the daughter of a deserted wife in the Great Depression and whose situation was vastly improved by the election of the Savage Labour Government in 1935.

Perhaps no-one can own the water, but it certainly has a high value

About a week ago I did an interview for Nine to Noon about the state of the National Government’s privatisation programme in which I stated the obvious; that it was in serious trouble.

As they say, a week is a long time in politics

Last week was a strange one and may just have been one of those tipping points for the Key Government. For me it began with a political corpse and ended with a real one.

With most of the difficult policy changes made, it seems Australian PM Julia Gillard is now tidying house. Opponent Kevin Rudd is being swept to the backbenches to clear the path to the 2013 elections

I worked as a National Organiser for the Australia Labor Party during the Hawke years, when Kevin Rudd was a functionary in the office of the leader of the ALP in Queensland and Julia Gillard was the current or just departed president of the Australian Union of Students and active in the majority socialist left faction of the ALP in Victoria.

Labour failed to learn National's lesson from 2002 and paid the price, so it's now time for the party to get start selling Brand Shearer

A wise old mate once told me that if you want to understand any industry, enterprise or activity, just do the worst job it has to offer. There can't be any worse job in politics than being a scrutineer at a recount where your candidate slowly, vote by miscounted vote, loses a tenuous hold on an electorate.

What if Don Brash had an alternative motive for his tactics since his takeover of ACT? Is it all a cunning plan?

I've met Don Brash twice.

The first time was during the 2005 election campaign when I was in a shopping mall in Henderson. I don't think he recognised me because he thrust some sort of electronic device under my nose and invited me to calculate my tax cut.

With the Rugby World Cup brouhaha you'd be forgiven for forgetting there is an election soon. Mike Williams compares the performance of campaign managers Trevor Mallard and Steven Joyce

With all the attention on this rugby tournament, it's easy to forget that the 2011 general election is just around the corner. The countdown's begun, with the first hoardings going up in Auckland over the weekend.

Looking at the meltdown on the Auckland waterfront on RWC opening night, why didn't National MP's push the alarm button? And why did McCully's own committee predict no more than 50,000 people?

I'm one of the council appointed directors of Auckland Transport and so out of solidarity with its beleaguered officials I attended the Auckland Council Committee meeting which reviewed the disorder surrounding the opening Rugby World Cup game the preceding Friday.

The misuse of Don McKinnon, the road rage of Tau Henare and how the Rugby World Cup train debacle is just a foretaste of things to come for Auckland

The launch of Paul Holmes' book Daughters of Erebus in Parnell last Monday night was, like all of Paul's social events, a great night. I don't know about the wisdom of opening old wounds, but it was a rare opportunity to mix with the maestro's wide and eclectic circle of friends.

Labour was meant to have been caught in a fiscal trap, but with its capital gains tax it has wriggled free and got back on track

It was my intention this week to scribble about the voluntary side of political parties, but that can wait while we look at what might well have been a week when political fortunes turned.