Yesterday Annette King started talking with Standard commenters on a couple of threads. As I understand it this is part of a move to engage with the Standard.
While I can’t speak for other authors I welcome this as a good sign there’s a real desire to grow some trust and unity and I think MPs who post here should be made to feel welcome.
Unfortunately there have also been less heartening signs in the last day. The first was the call from Josie Pagani for the Labour party to shift to the right on crime and punishment. The second was the claim by the Dominion Post that Labour is thinking about “a tougher welfare policy”.
Now I know that Josie has her own opinions but my concern is that she has been close to the leadership team and may well be softening the ground for Labour. And I know that the Dom Post editorial is notoriously right wing but it is considered the political paper of record and I would hope they wouldn’t make a claim that specific without good reason.
So I guess what I’m asking, in the name of developing engagement, is whether anyone for Labour wants to come on and assure readers there will be no “tough on welfare” or “tough on crims” stuff under a Shearer-led Labour party. At the very least it would be good to debate the issues with you and I’m sure it would be appreciated by the thousands of people who read the Standard.
Update: As I feared I’ve already had to give two commenters a wee break so let me make the ground rules to this post explicit: I expect this thread to be a model of polite engagement and I will be heavily moderating for language and tone.