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.”
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.