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Garner sez ‘take the fight to Key’

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, May 13th, 2010 - 15 comments
Categories: accountability, flip-flop, john key, leadership, phil goff - Tags: , ,

Phil Goff has put some good solid (if rather moderate) left-wing substance on the table in his pre-budget speech yesterday.

Duncan Garner says that was the right move, but wonders if Labour now needs to focus on the questions surrounding John Key. Garner says in the wake of several questionable moves Key’s integrity is now on the line and Labour should exploit it.

From his blog:

Goff had to do something pre-budget. The real meat on Labour’s policy bones will come in election year.

Labour needs some kind of policy circuit breaker. It wasn’t in today’s speech, but that wasn’t the plan. Labour needs to show next year – it has some kind of alternative thinking, perhaps a couple of big ideas. Exempting apples from the GST hike and restoring old Labour policies is a start – but it’s not an election winner.

The real problem for a party that loves to spend – is that there is no money.

If Goff really wants to make ground right now – he should pile into John Key. Key has led Tuhoe down the garden path over its treaty settlement. It looks like he has seriously misled them over title to the Ureweras. Now Key’s integrity is being questioned and rightly so. Not just by Tuhoe, but by his coalition partner, the Maori Party. Goff should put policy to one side for now, and use this opportunity to re-engage with the Maori Party and expose Key for the double dealing.

The Maori Party/National relationship is strained. Key’s word, his credibility, his integrity is being questioned.

What an opportunity for Goff.

I don’t want over do the psycho-analysis but a political editor is unlikely to criticise you for taking his advice. He might even praise you for getting it right. Plus, it’s good advice. Key has sold out Maori again and exposed himself as untrustworthy more than ever.

Update: I see Claire Trevett has one of her ‘atmosphere’ pieces on Goff’s speech yesterday:

“I saw ‘Smile and Wave’ on telly tonight,” Mr Goff tells his audience.

“That was a classic example of how the National Party is telling Maori one thing and the rest of the country another thing. When you speak out of both sides of your mouth it will catch up on you.”

So true.

Trevett credits The Standard with being the source of ‘smile and wave’. I’m pretty sure someone else actually came up with it but since we and Red Alert have used it, it’s certainly caught on. Not surprising really. The best nicknames always have that ring of truth.

15 comments on “Garner sez ‘take the fight to Key’ ”

  1. Neil 1

    Goff should put policy to one side for now, and use this opportunity to re-engage with the Maori Party

    there’s been a few people saying this for a while now and the reception such as here at The Standard has been less than enthusiastic.

    Labour have chosen to do the exact opposite. I think it will take a change in leadership before such commonsense prevails.

    • uke 1.1

      “Change in leadership” from who?

      With Clark gone, Labour should have been better able to extend the olive branch. But maybe they’re biding their time for now.

      But then the MP-Labour relationship often seems pretty touchy and “personal” for Turia too (less so for Sharples).

      • Neil 1.1.1

        Labour have hardly been biding their time, they’ve taken every opportunity to burn their bridges with the MP.

        Labour’s leadership either has to change or they have to change their strategy. But treating the MP as the enemy has been a deliberate strategy choice so I tend to think it’s the leadership that will have to change.

        • Lew

          They haven’t taken every opportunity, only some of them. The last two (or three? I forget) speeches from Goff have been very circumspect on the topic, and if the “blue collars, red necks” strategy wer ebeing prosecuted in earnest that would have been where the boot was put in.

          What we’ve seen instead is a sort of ambivalence. I think they are biding their time, waiting for National to screw up the relationship so they can say “I told you so”. It might happen, but once again I think they suffer from a misunderstanding of what the party actually hopes to gain from being in government, and from a misunderestimation of how politically patient the tangata whenua electorate is. Which is ironical, given how much Labour has benefitted from that very patience in the past.


        • uke

          Absolutely agree Lew.

          I think the fact that the Maori electorate predominantly voted for both MP and Labour is their message. And voted for Labour, even after the F & S.

          Now, while Labour has to repair some bridges; it would seem the electorate is signalling it would like to see some building from the other side too.

  2. Bright Red 2

    The first step is for Maori party supporters to acknowledge that the relationship with National isn’t working and start to question why they are propping up a National government.

    I think we are seeing that.

  3. just saying 3

    Why would that be have to be the first step?

    How patronising, – sounds like super-nanny chastising a child on the naughty step.

    Perfect example of the attitude that is causing this problem, and holding Labour back from making any progess in this area.

  4. Alexandra 4

    Its early days for Goff and hes making traction. A change of leadership (here I go again) at this stage of the electoral cycle is a no brainer and will play into the hands of the Nat/Act. Keys integrity is on the line, and voters will look towards policy, having been lied too, one too many times. The change of leadership bullshit is being driven by the nats dog whistlers, its tiresome and boring. I might just repeat this response each time the line is repeated and be tiresome myself, if not already!

  5. CnrJoe 5

    Trevor Mallard coined it

  6. Alexandra 6

    I agree with Garner

  7. MikeE 7

    “Trevett credits The Standard with being the source of ‘smile and wave’. I’m pretty sure someone else actually came up with it but since we and Red Alert have used it, it’s certainly caught on. Not surprising really. The best nicknames always have that ring of truth.”

    I’m pretty sure it was actually whaleoil.


  8. kenny 8

    You’re all assuming Labour want to do a deal with the Maori part….. why should they; the Maori party are a RIGHT WING party and clearly hate Labours guts.

    What Labour have to do is break up the cozy relationship (up to now) between National and the Maori Party. That way the Maori Party will have nowhere to go and Nationals position will be more fragile.

  9. Adrian 9

    Garner is the last person Phil should take advice from. Garner and a lot of others want mudslinging as it sells papers and leaves the news turned on. Policy is king, policy that is well thought out and not airy-fairy bullshit that resonates with people about health, education and jobs. Phil is doing a good job and he’s only just warming up. Forget Key, he is going to sink himself, particularly when the pressure goes on.

  10. Kevin Welsh 10

    This would be the Duncan Garner who generally ends each comment about Labour on 3 News with “if anybodies listening”?

    • Craig Glen Eden 10.1

      Why would Goff or Labour take advice from some second rate journalist, that would be like taking advice from Gingercrush or Whaleoil, bloody poison.

      Steady as she goes Phil watch Smile and Wave continue to smile and wave right out of Government.

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