Not a bad weekend for Labour in the papers. John Armstrong coined a memorable headline:
Make no mistake. That isn’t lipstick adorning the face of Jacinda Ardern. It’s war paint.
Woe betide anyone who gets in the way of Labour’s Warrior Queen and the sharpened blades on the wheels of her chariot.
Morgan’s “lipstick on a pig” jibe was deserving of reward. … His imperious insistence that Ardern show she amounts to more than just lipstick on the Labour pig was astonishing in its ignorance of what is actually happening.
His insult is part of the lexicon utilised by Ardern’s detractors to denigrate her rapid ascent to Labour’s leadership as a victory of style over substance.
The accusation that Ardern is suffering from a substance deficiency is a very cheap shot. It is being fired in her direction to hide a very uncomfortable home truth – namely that Labour’s rivals seem to have little idea how to counter her extraordinary appeal. …
Jo Moir was with Ardern in South Auckland:
There was only one word to sum up Saturday on the campaign trail with Jacinda Ardern in South Auckland – loud. The Pacific Island community does noise better than most and it’s the colourful version – song, dance and prayer.
Everyone wants to touch her, get a photo with her, speak to her, ask a question of her – you name it, they want a piece of it.
Two weeks ago political commentators were questioning how long the so-called Jacinda Effect would last.
Four weeks out from the election and the ‘Effect’ has become a ‘Tsunami’ and doesn’t show any signs of steering off course.
As if Otara hadn’t been enough of a buzz, Mangere MP Su’a William Sio seemed to have put a call out to his entire electorate to descend on the Mangere markets on Saturday and they answered that call, plus some.
The crowd roared to lines like, “if you feel like you’re going backwards it’s because collectively we are – but it doesn’t have to be that way”. …
And Liam Dann gives Labour the economic thumbs up:
This election now looks like being a close run thing. Even a week ago I’d have put the odds firmly with National, albeit relying on a deal with NZ First. Now I think it’s too close to call.
Clearly Jacinda Ardern’s charisma has been the catalyst for the change in Labour’s fortunes. We all knew she was nice, but in a short space of time she has also managed to stamp strength and authority on Labour’s campaign in a way that has reassured about her leadership skills.
It seems evident now that the electorate’s traditional three term appetite for change was there all along. It was just swamped beneath a view that Labour couldn’t win with Andrew Little.
Robertson is a smart economic observer. He reads widely and is thoroughly up to date with the nuances of the deep problems plaguing the world.
He has correctly identified low productivity growth and lack of wage inflation as key targets for his economic campaign.
He’s also an evolution not revolution kind of reformer. He is the kind of guy who will give Reserve Bank and Treasury officials a fair hearing.
His accusations that the economy is treading water under National are backed up by many economists and market commentators.
This election looks like it will be decided on issues of social vision and national identity. And it could go either way. I’m okay with that.
As always, please read the original pieces for plenty more. Not a bad weekend for Jacinda Ardern’s Labour!