Labour drops the ball

Written By: - Date published: 4:28 pm, October 13th, 2009 - 78 comments
Categories: labour - Tags: , , , ,

Labour’s pathetic response to Treasury’s flat tax proposal has come in for some well deserved criticism over at No Right Turn, and I have to agree it’s a pretty basic failure on Labour’s part.

Faced with a reactionary and regressive proposal that amounts to a full-frontal attack on their founding values and the people they are supposed to stand for, the only criticism Annette King could muster was that Labour:

“… was opposed to a flat tax because it raised questions about what other taxes would have to be raised to cover expenses.”

As No Right Turn puts it:

Yes, that’s it. They oppose Treasury’s ideas for massive tax cuts for the rich not because it is a direct attack on progressive taxation, the idea that those who can afford it should pay more not because its just bloody unfair, but because it “raises questions” about what other taxes would have to be raised to compensate. If this sort of pallid technocratic managerialism is the best the modern Labour party can bloody do, then I’m left wondering why anyone would bother to vote for them.

Scathing, but true. Labour is not going to lift itself out of its rut unless it picks up its act and gives people a reason to start voting for it. Seriously, why would you bother with this insipid, largely invisible bunch?

But unlike No Right Turn, I don’t put this down to Labour no longer caring about fairness. I think they’re just genuinely a little bit sh1t, and this isn’t the only example.

Take ACC. Nick Smith is busy manufacturing a crisis and Labour is nowhere to be seen. It took David Parker three whole days to even get a press release out, by which time the narrative had already been set. As well as failing the people who rely on them to protect public services, Labour is failing to even counter the brand damage being thrown its way by National. Inexcusable.

As for Phil Goff, I haven’t seen or heard from him in weeks. Apparently he’s in America or something, but who’d know? I talked to my grandparents the other day, they said they’d seen Goff on telly once or twice, “didn’t he have something to do with some Indian woman a while back?”.

What more can I say? It’s no wonder they’re on 28%.

78 comments on “Labour drops the ball”

  1. Herodotus 1

    I thought Roger Douglaus had LEFT the building. Has he returned or been transferred by Act to return like the prodigal son back?

  2. Lew 2

    Take ACC. Nick Smith is busy manufacturing a crisis and Labour is nowhere to be seen. It took David Parker three whole days to even get a press release out, by which time the narrative had already been set.

    It’s not just that — a number of professional psychotherapy bodies have been in near-constant email contact with several senior Labour MPs for at least the past several weeks regarding the Sensitive Claims Unit entitlement cuts. To precious little apparent effect. They’ve got ammunition, they just haven’t been firing it.

    L

  3. George D 3

    Sigh.

  4. Ianmac 4

    During Question time Bill English said that he had said NO to flat tax and they were not even discussing it. Roger Douglas on the other hand questioned WHEN was National going to implement their Flat Tax policy that they have talked about for over 10 Years.

  5. Tim Ellis 5

    That’s a pretty scathing attack on Mr Goff, Eddie.

    • IrishBill 5.1

      So what’s your point?

    • Eddie 5.2

      Tim, you know as well as I do that a leader is only as good as the organisation behind him. It’s nothing personal about Goff, but I do think he and his people need to work on increasing his visibility.

      Nice attempt at the wedge though Tim. Nothing’s changed I see.

    • Eddie 5.3

      ps. That’s Mr Eddie to you.

  6. outofbed 6

    Hmm I guess we follow Gough blindly on till the inevitable defeat in 2011
    What is the cut of point in the polls when the Lab Party springs into action? 25% 20% I need hardly remind you that time is running out
    And Its not like they aren’t getting free hits or anything .
    After the 2005 election the Nats were like terriers from the word go. They didn’t let Lab get away with anything real or imagined
    Compare and contrast Eh ?

  7. Rex Widerstrom 7

    When a party’s communications and tactics are this poor it’s down to one of two possible scenarios:

    1. The leadership is getting good advice from savvy professionals and ignoring it.
    2. The leadership is getting crap advice from clowns and is smart enough to ignore it but is unsure of what to do.

    My generally low opinion of politicians would usually lead me to posit the first option as the most likely, but there’s enough people in influential spots in Labour with an instinct for the jugular (e.g. Mallard) that I can’t imagine it to be the case.

    So I can only ask those in the know who frequent this blog whether the second scenario applies?

    Or is the malaise deeper than just bad tactics and something more fundamental?

    Reading Lenore Taylor’s summation of the Liberal’s woes in The Weekend Australian (titled in the print edition “The party that stands for nothing will fall for anything” but shortened in the online version) I was put in mind, to some degree, of the NZ Labour Party, in the sense of an organisation confused about its core principles, too close to its major opponent, and crippled as a result.

  8. richard martin 8

    you should give yourselves a group hug for being so brilliant, incisive and knowlegeable.

    • snoozer 8.1

      richard. look around you. This is Labour’s support base talking, pleading with them. Do you think they’re listening?

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    From what I’ve been reading over at Red Alert the Labour party still seems to be wedded to the delusional neo-liberal/classical economics that were implemented by the 4th Labour government that has seen the incomes of the majority of people go down while the rich got richer.

  10. RedLogix 10

    Or maybe they’re just quietly feeding out more rope to the Nats. I dunno, it’s still over two years to the next election, Key is still polling well and a lazy media find it altogether to easy to characterise every attempt by Labour to hold the govt to account as an mean-spirited and unjustified.

    Labour said they were going to spend some time listening and re-connecting with their support base, so why taint that effort with attacks on National that run too high a risk of backfiring at this stage of the electoral cycle?

    As activists it would be far more satisfying to have Labour out on the front foot and firing the ammo; but the electorate as a whole probably isn’t ready for it just yet.

    • outofbed 10.1

      What is going to stop Key polling well though?
      Certainly sitting back and waiting for it to happen

    • Ag 10.2

      They aren’t doing that. They seem to be living in hope that the electorate will want a change back to a Clark style government without the social policy. Unfortunately, that’s not different enough from National to give many voters a reason to switch.

      What is wrong with them?

    • Tim Ellis 10.3

      But Labour are engaging in nothing but attacks on the government and misfiring each time RL. It’s as if they don’t quite understand they’re not in government anymore. I realise it takes a while after being in government for nine years to think about why the public didn’t vote for you (they still seem to think that New Zealanders just made a big mistake in November and will wake up to the error of their ways anytime soon) rather than address the reasons for their non engagement with voters.

      I would have thought that if Mr Goff was going to be rolled before the election it would have been while he was overseas this time. It suggests to me that Labour have at least learned from the mistakes of Mr English and nobody else wants to accept the poisoned chalice of the leadership in the 2011 election.

      I suppose all of this augurs well for Mr Little though. If nobody is tough enough to make the challenge against Mr Goff when he is this weak, then they don’t have a right to the leadership when Labour does have a chance, playing straight into Mr Little’s hands.

  11. Ag 11

    One of the reasons for this is that Goff and the Labour Party have nothing sensible to say against a flat tax.

    They can’t be bothered to make the case (which happens to be a good one) that progressive income taxes are good for pretty much everyone, even those who will end up paying more. Labour can’t even be bothered educating the electorate about why we pay tax, let alone why almost every civilized country has a progressive tax system.

    I’ve said it before. Until Labour bothers to do the hard work educating the public about the benefits of the welfare state and progressive taxation, they will be a nothing party.

    I wonder if any of them know how to do it. Red Alert does not fill me with confidence.

  12. outofbed 12

    Yes National Lite
    I would love to have a Labour party that i could actually vote for

  13. Herodotus 13

    Dont forget the luke warm coments of if Nat are wanting to look into Cap Gains Tax we would be willing to work with them from P.Goff.
    All luke warm fuzzies.
    Agree with AG. All we hear is rorts of the social welfare system, but there is a need to re educate why there is such a system in place, perhaps evan a bit of history being taught!

  14. richard martin 14

    why don’t you vote for the alliance? you could then continue to hold your head up high while indulging your ideological fantasies. meanwhile 30 years in opposition later …

    • snoozer 14.1

      why doesn’t Labour do a decent job of standing for leftwing values instead?

      You’re not honestly suggesting that Labour should not reject a flat tax outright are you, richard? Because I would like to see them get approval for that from the membership.

    • Eddie 14.2

      Richard, control your anger and come back when you’re ready to make a coherent argument. What is it that’s got you so personally worked up about this post anyway?

  15. Eddie 15

    To be clear, I’m not accusing them of swinging to the right, if anything they’re inching leftwards. They just seem to be a bit shit at this whole politics thing.

  16. richard martin 16

    ask people in the street — not in ivory towers or each other — what a flat tax is, what a regressive tax is. they don’t know. they just want to pay less of it. time to get real.

    • Eddie 16.1

      I’m struggling to see where you’re coming from richard. Care to explain what your point is, where your ideological sympathies lie, why you’re so personally worked up about this?

    • IrishBill 16.2

      I think that’s the first time anyone has ever accused any Standard writer of coming from an “ivory tower”!

      • lprent 16.2.1

        Yeah. I’d admit to have spent time at the ivory towers. Never liked it. Went back to running private sector organizations as fast as possible.

        There is an interesting mix of writers here these days. But the nearest we have to a ivory tower person is…….. Ah ha – rocky is at uni… Taking a break from being a commercial programmer and animal rights activist to do law, compsci, physics, and anything else interesting.

        This richard guy needs to get out more. Sounds like a bit of a ideological pinhead…

    • lprent 16.3

      Go and also ask them what services that they wish to cut. From memory the majority of the tax money goes into these public services:-

      1. superannuation
      2. health
      3. education

      When they say they’d like to cut taxes, ask them which of these they they want to cut first.

      On local tax take it’d be

      1. roads
      2. rubbish
      3. parks and recreation areas

      Ask which they’d cut first?

      richard, you’re just talking about people wanting something for nothing. It is likely that whoever you’re talking to will want taxcuts AND they’ll want to increase all of the above.

      You’re just too damn lazy to find out.

  17. gobsmacked 17

    National are high in the polls because the public like John Key, based on soft, sycophantic media coverage, New York being the latest example (coinciding with the polling period).

    The idea that Labour could change this by hammering policy issues is classic Standard self-delusion. As if we lived in some political student union, where people just can’t wait to read the latest press release or tune into Parliament.

    We live in New Zealand, with the New Zealand media. A hundred posts in the political blogosphere is worth less than Key getting his photo on the front page, in the All Blacks’ dressing room with McCaw and the Bledisloe Cup.

    Labour do need a smarter PR strategy. But nobody from the Standard should be involved in it. The last election was proof of that.

    I have never seen a post on here saying “The left parties want the voters who switched to National last time. They aren’t idiots. But we lost them. Let’s find out why.”

    That’s step one. I live in hope.

    • IrishBill 17.1

      Oh yeah. It’s the media’s fault. And it’s not about “hammering policy” it’s about framing the debate while maintaining the integrity of your policy. The former is something Labour just doesn’t seem to be able to do.

      For anyone that missed it: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/get-your-house-in-order/

    • Tim Ellis 17.2

      Ouch.

      • Marty G 17.2.1

        Tim. On the left people debate in robust terms and it’s not the end of the world.

        You think you’re going to wedge us with ‘ouch’?

    • Eddie 17.3

      No one’s arguing they should simply “hammer policy issues” and hope people come round. I’m pretty sure no one here has claimed people were stupid for voting National either, or denied that Labour needs to work on winning back the people they lost.

      There has however been plenty on here about how Labour needs to work out how it’s going to frame itself, how it’s going to frame the government, what language it’s going to use etc etc. I haven’t seen any evidence that they’ve done that.

      Labour also needs to pick up on issues and run with them. I’m not suggesting press releases and speeches in the house are going to turn the tide (particularly the house, what a waste of time) but Labour should be coming out strongly on issues like ACC, both to show that they’re relevant and to protect progressive instutions. David Parker’s simply been missing in action.

      I mean, I’m not expecting miracles, I realise the media is giving John and his crew an easy ride and it’s not a level playing field but when I see Labour simply ceding the argument to National it does annoy me.

      And when I see Phil Goff hasn’t been in the media in nearly three weeks apart from token comments on the tsunami and the death of Howard Morrison I start to wonder what the hell is going on.

      Are you happy with their performance gobsmacked?

      [ps, weird stuff about the election campaign, last I heard that was run by the Labour Party, not the loose collective of authors on The Standard.]

    • bobo 17.4

      Yeah I saw that pic and thought Helen wasn’t allowed inside the changing rooms to crack open a beer with Richie.

  18. richard martin 18

    hear hear.

    • gobsmacked 18.1

      So you’re not misled, Richard: I’m a labour-voting leftie.

      But most of the public aren’t. Clark understood this, and kept winning, until the end.

      It’s not about how “left” we are. It’s about how well we relate to ordinary people’s lives. Key gets this (even if he is a shallow charlatan). But too many on the left don’t. They just want the stupid public to wake up.

      • George D 18.1.1

        This is right. Labour failed to bring the issues home – show how they relate to you and the ones you love. And it hasn’t really done it since the election either.

        • George D 18.1.1.1

          Of course, the Greens are usually even worse at connecting bread and butter issues with voters.

      • Eddie 18.1.2

        Who is this you’re talking about, gobsmacked? Once again, I think you’ve misunderstood the point of the post. It’s not about Labour needing to show how left it is, it’s about Labour just failing at the business of politics and failing in its responsibility to stand up for progressive values.

  19. ak 19

    Spot – friggin – on, Rex. Dunno about the “confused about its core principles” bit but: more like “burying its core principles since 2004″.

    When we rely on the Keyster to kick Treasury to touch, it’s painfully obvious the left hand doesn’t know what the left hand’s doing. Compared to Hels’ “death by a thousand paper cuts”, the tories are being massaged with a barbed-wire weed-eater – and Labour’s standing by with a tissue. Release the hounds Phil, or shut the gate and go home.

  20. richard martin 20

    “So you’re not misled, Richard: I’m a labour-voting leftie”

    me too, gobsmacked, me too.

    • Eddie 20.1

      Ah, so you’re a Labour-voting leftie. I’ll reply to your earlier comment then.

      You’re right that people might not know what “flat tax” is or what it means. That’s why a Labour politician needs to explain it in a clear, simple fashion and point out why it would be a bad thing for ordinary people.

      It doesn’t need to be a complex ivory tower argument, just something like “We oppose this because it would mean taking money out of the pockets of working Kiwis in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest ten percent. We don’t think that’s fair.”

      Simple. Progressive. People know where you stand.

      Of course this isn’t a defining issue, in fact it’s already been sunk by John Key (who came out stronger against the unfairness of flat tax than Labour did).

      The point is Labour can’t even get the basic stuff right. Why do you think that is Richard?

      • Rob 20.1.1

        Why does lowering taxes result in “taking money out of the pockets of working Kiwis in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest ten percent”.

        Arn’t working kiwi’s paying taxes as well, I certainly am.

  21. My god, what has gone wrong with the political minds in this country. What Labour needs to get back to is a combination of the presentation of alternative ideas while undermining national government credibility (different from smearing and scandal). There are numerous simple public relations solutions that could be used if Labour are willing to take advice. I am not going to go into that now, I don’t work for free 🙂
    So far they seem deaf to political advice and hard of hearing when it comes to community involvement (though on this front they are doing better). Right now they are better off talking to a few dozen people (encouraging them to talk to a few dozen more people), there is far too much community support currently taken for granted by the Labour Parliamentary wing. This is more important right now than trying to control the media agenda (which will fail), that is a slower and more complex strategy that must be organised over a longer time-scale but it needs to be done correct right from the start in order to have any chance. (this is where opportunities are incorporated into an overall strategy, rather than willy-nilly attacks and splurges of policy)

    Oh man, the term splurges should really not be used too often 🙂

  22. Zaphod Beeblebrox 22

    it just a Treasury scoping paper, National are never going to take it up- Labour are smart not to jump at shadows.

    Getting foamy at the mouth about every little issue jsut makes you look desperate and unbalanced- taking a low key approach and developing considered responses are the way to win public respect.

    I know travelling to Washington and developiong a bilateral foreign policy sounds boring, but little things like that do build long term respect and support

    • Eddie 22.1

      Like I say, the flat tax proposals are not an election-defining issue. I’m not suggesting getting foamy about it. Just state clearly and simply, based on your principles, why you think it’s a bad idea. It’s not that hard.

      • Tim Ellis 22.1.1

        It would help to articulate those policies Eddie if the finance spokesman was actually interested in finance issues rather than sideshows like a wannabe banking inquiry.

        • mickysavage 22.1.1.1

          Tim

          Control of our monetary and banking system is actually essential if NZ wants to get back its economic sovereignty.

          Would you prefer for overseas interests to continue to control our monetary system?

          • Tim Ellis 22.1.1.1.1

            Interesting point Micky except Mr Cunliffe’s pseudo inquiry was never going to achieve anything. It was a sideshow and a not very good one. The point that Mr Cunliffe couldn’t even encourage any respected New Zealand banking experts to advise the “inquiry” says nobody was ever going to take it seriously.

            • mickysavage 22.1.1.1.1.1

              “The point that Mr Cunliffe couldn’t even encourage any respected New Zealand banking experts to advise the “inquiry’ says nobody was ever going to take it seriously.”

              You mean the economists employed by ASB, Westpac, ANZ, National Bank …

              Are you being serious?

              Why do I get the impression you are just running attack lines?

            • Tim Ellis 22.1.1.1.1.2

              It’s not really an attack line micky since the banking “inquiry” is so inconsequential and will make so little difference that it’s hardly an attack line to mention its existence.

              I didn’t mean the economists employed by the major trading banks. I meant none of the expert advisers to the inquiry are New Zealand banking experts.

            • mickysavage 22.1.1.1.1.3

              Tim

              “I meant none of the expert advisers to the inquiry are New Zealand banking experts.”

              OK

              Name the advisers to the inquiry and the NZ Banking experts.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 22.1.2

        I/S’s complaint seems to be that Labour didn’t present it as an attack on the concept of a Progressive Taxation system. fair enough, I guess. But who would they really be attacking? ACT (Roger Douglas specifically) are the only party lunatic enough to back such a concept, which condemns the idea by mere association- so what’s the point?

        Annette King made a really good second point, which goes to the heart how well National are governing. Why are we paying Treasury people large amounts of money to come up with such loopy ideas? Has Bill English such little control of Treasury that he can’t stop them making embarrrassing proposals? What happened to public service accountability to spend our money wisely? Isn’t a modernisation of Treasury in order?

  23. Labour needs to ask itself some questions before it can really engage in the political sphere successfully again.

  24. Tim Ellis 24

    I don’t think Mr Goff is up to the job. At its heart it’s not about his ideology and it’s not about how hard he works, because he certainly works hard and historically he’s shown he can flip flop in the wind with the best of them.

    I don’t think he’s got the killer instinct. Ms Clark certainly did and knew when to go for the jugular. Mr Goff seems to go for the soft options choosing mini scandals that his own party have largely manufactured (as with Mrs Choudhary) rather than take the Left where it needs to go.

    • lprent 24.1

      Umm yep sounds like John Key – everyones friend and ditherer…

      I don’t think it is a viable strategy long-term for either National or Labour. Probably gets a term every now and then.

      The parliamentary focus of Labour is a bit daft. It isn’t where they will win. There are probably less than 10k people who are interested enough in politics to know what in the hell is happening there. The road trips are useful (albeit satirical). But the best one is using recesses to actually get into their electorates and communities. They should be going back to parliament for a holiday rather than the other way around.

      • Galeandra 24.1.1

        Think you’re right. I dropped a comment on Mallard’s supremely interesting Fonterra trip posting with query about its relevance and a reference to this post. Predictably got deleted for irrelevance so guess I’ll drop Red Alert from my blog list for the same reason- irrelevance. As you say, I think that probably leaves 10K-1.

      • gingercrush 24.1.2

        Isn’t that difficult to do when you’ve just lost several electorates whilst your remaining electorates are in the cities or on the periphery? It doesn’t help that in the provinces Labour puts up some weak people. Labour’s organisation outside the big cities appear to have huge problems. Additionally, Labour is more dependent on turn-out and in 2008 that ability to get people out and vote disappeared.

        Also while people here point to the Mt. Albert by-election as a success (which it was). I’m not sure that can extend into a General Election. A by-election is very focused, it’s concentrated on just one electorate. That electorate already had good organisation as for nine years it was held by a Prime Minister. National were well awful with a candidate that is still giving National problems and they created problems such as the motorway issue etc that didn’t help. In the General Election organisation is really stretched particularly in the provinces. National’s organisation has improved sharply since the 2002 election. In particular, they’re strong north of Auckland bridge and in the South Island outside the two cities. Auckland itself looked much better in 2008 for National and I’m not sure Goff is going to inspire the people of South Auckland to get out and vote.

        Lastly, there is still the huge problem of vote-splitting on the electorate vote that gives National candidates an advantage in several electorates. Labour needs to organise more readily with Greens to ensure Greens get over 5% (unlike National, Labour really can’t afford to swallow up minor party votes) and to get Green voters to vote for Labour candidates. And Labour need to continue renewing the party.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 24.2

      How did he choose to create the Worth scandal? It was Key who brought it up publicly. The woman came to him and he passed it on to Key.

      If you mean he’s not a political animal who spends his day dreaming up short term poll driven points, maybe you’re right, but judging by his performance in Mt Albert (and Key’s non performance), I wouldn’t be writing him off yet. Just because he doesn’t shoot his mouth of with talking points every second day- doesn’t mean he won’t be an effective leader when the time comes.

      • Tim Ellis 24.2.1

        Not quite Mr Beeblebrox. Mr Goff leaked to the media that there was another issue around Mrs Choudhary so the media brought it up with Mr Key. That point has been confirmed by a number of media in the press gallery. The Labour Party, particularly Mr Goff awkwardly tried a lot of panty sniffing. It wasn’t Mr Goff’s finest hour.

        I think Mr Goff is a political animal, but he’s not one who can connect with the public on a serious level. He seems more interested in cheap shots than providing substance.

        As for not shooting his mouth off, you might recall Mr Goff making policy on the hoof over the (again) Labour Party inspired shot that didn’t quite land its target with its call for welfare for wealthy people by using Mr Burgess as the poster boy for taxpayer subsidies.

        Ms Clark worked hard to connect with the public as a serious political heavyweight. By comparison Mr Goff is a lightweight. It’s hard to see anybody in Labour’s caucus now who comes close to Ms Clark, and I expect until Mr Little enters Parliament whoever is leader of the Labour Party will continue to be in Ms Clark’s shadow.

        • mickysavage 24.2.1.1

          Tim

          You seem to be pushing the boundaries a little bit. You are accepting completely the statements of fact of some and totally ignoring the counter statements.

          Phil Goff was very civilised about Worth. For quite a while he tried to keep it quiet. He even approached Key privately to try and sort it out civilly.

          The Wingnuts went on the attack. It was all Goff’s fault and he tried to make political capital out of it. Choudharey was a “honey pot”. The use of a phrase apparently decides the issue. All you need is a really clever slogan and reality then does not matter.

          So when do we actually debate “Honeypotgate” rather than have it hurled in our face as a defence against what frankly is undefensible?

        • The Voice of Reason 24.2.1.2

          Good on you for backing Andrew Little, Tim. Can you explain how he is going to take over the leadership of the parliamentary Labour party from the defeated Phil Goff in what will be his very first caucus meeting, having just been elected an MP a few days before?

          I can’t recall a brand new MP ever being invited to take the reigns of leadership. Can you?

          • mickysavage 24.2.1.2.1

            More right wing spin.

            I will go out onto a limb and say that David Shearer and Andrew Little will not be the next Parliamentary Labour leaders. This is pure spin. It will never happen, at least in the next 6 years.

            It is a diversion to stop us from debating the really important issues like climate change, superannuation, education, sustainability, representation …

            • Daveo 24.2.1.2.1.1

              Micky

              Tim’s not wrong that if Goff loses the next election then Little is odds on to be the next leader of the Labour Party.

              Tim is however trying to use this as a way to spin and wedge, like he always does. Don’t engage him, just let him fly his kites and we can get on with discussing the issues.

          • Tim Ellis 24.2.1.2.2

            No I can’t recall it TVOR but Mr Little would not just be a brand new MP. He is the president of the labour party who runs the largest union. Not a political novice.

            Dr Brash took the national party leadership in his first term and almost won the election for national in 2005.

            I wouldn’t rule Mr Little out, even assuming he enters parliament in 2011. A by election in a safe Labour seat isn’t out of the question before then, still a long way to go before the election. I don’t think Mr Little will be the Labour leader in the 2011 election but looking around I can’t see anybody else who will pip him to the post immediately after. Especially if Labour continue to hit rock bottom in the polls.

            • mickysavage 24.2.1.2.2.1

              Tim you are talking a load of shit.

              I never presume to comment about what will happen within the National Party basically because it is such a strange weird thing that I cannot even start to understand what will happen.

              Why do you wingnuts think that you should be able to comment on Labour leadership issues? And why is it that you do so because you think it will somehow weaken the left?

              You should be honest and say that you post comments because you hope to weaken the left. Then we can have a good laugh and get on with the campaign to replace the current incompetents at the next election.

            • Tim Ellis 24.2.1.2.2.2

              Well you’re probably the only one putting money on Mr Goff either winning the election in 2011 Micky or Mr Goff surviving much longer afterwards when he loses.

            • r0b 24.2.1.2.2.3

              Then allow me to step up with a virtual quid on Goff / Labour to lead the next government. It most certainly could happen, especially if National keep trampling all over the Maori Party like this.

              Though I do agree that if Labour don’t win it is likely that Goff would step down as leader.

            • gingercrush 24.2.1.2.2.4

              So r0b yours and Mickey’s solution for Labour to win 2011 is for National to muck up? Isn’t that the same silly idea that lost you 2008? Clearly there is little confidence in Goff’s leadership if you’re reliant on the government stuffing things up. Anyway according to you lot National has already stuffed up. You believe them to have done more corrupt things in less than a year than Labour did in nine. You say they’ve backtracked on half the things they campaigned for in 2008. You are always criticising them. Thus surely, National have stuffed it up. So shouldn’t people be looking at Labour as an alternative government and Goff as a future Prime Minister?

              It isn’t happening is it?

              Oh and Mickey you bullshit. Are you trying to tell me you don’t talk about National MP’s and what is happening within their caucus? Also what the fuck is the point in blogs if you can’t dicuss politics. Leadership is very important. It seems stupid to me if left-wing people can’t discuss Key’s leadership or if the right can’t discuss Goff’s leadership.

            • r0b 24.2.1.2.2.5

              So r0b yours and Mickey’s solution for Labour to win 2011 is for National to muck up?

              National are mucking up GC, or haven’t you been paying attention?

              Clearly there is little confidence in Goff’s leadership if you’re reliant on the government stuffing things up.

              Blah blah blah. In general oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them. To acknowledge the truth of this old saying is not to disparage Goff, it is just to be realistic.

              Anyway according to you lot National has already stuffed up. You believe them to have done more corrupt things in less than a year than Labour did in nine. You say they’ve backtracked on half the things they campaigned for in 2008. You are always criticising them. Thus surely, National have stuffed it up.

              Yup.

              So shouldn’t people be looking at Labour as an alternative government and Goff as a future Prime Minister? It isn’t happening is it?

              Not yet GC. It’s just a year since the election, these things take time. Patience little buddy, it won’t happen over night, but it will happen.

            • Tim Ellis 24.2.1.2.2.6

              Good on you r0b for having the courage to put your virtual money where your mouth is.

              I agree that it wasn’t going to happen overnight, but Mr Goff has been leader for a year and he is still going backwards. He has made no impact at all. The National government is the most popular government in Roy Morgan’s history.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 24.2.1.3

          Political lightweights have no interest in policy and so pander to popularism and publicity stunts. Haven’t heard many people accuse him of that.

          You might want to read his speech to parliament on the SAS deployment to Afghanistan or read up about his recent efforts with McCully in Washington (where he DOESN’T talk about the Afganistanian people) before you start making accusations.

  25. gingercrush 25

    Goff needs to be doing the soft interviews. We need to see him on the Women’s Day, the Next magazine etc. We need him on things like Good Morning and he needs more than the occasional spot on things like Q & A. TVNZ have been treating Q&A as a news source for Sunday news and it works well. Yet Goff isn’t on it that much. Key has had at least three spots on the show. Goff maybe one or two.

    If they Labour can’t even get basic PR right then how the hell are they going to be capable of anything else. And you lot have to stop blaming the media. Goff doesn’t even seem to want to be in the media. Do you really think Obama’s speeches got him into office? I’m not saying they weren’t inspiring or whatever other adjectives you’d give them. But what got Obama elected was a very slick PR machine. He was everywhere. Labour needs to do the same.

    If they get that right then we can talk about policies etc.

    • felix 25.1

      If they Labour can’t even get basic PR right then how the hell are they going to be capable of anything else.

      Isn’t this a bit backwards, ginge?

      Do you really truly believe that good PR is the basis of good government?

      • gingercrush 25.1.1

        No good PR is not the basis of good government. Something that could well get National into problems in the future. But good PR is crucial in getting elected again as the government. That’s the key. Labour is opposition now they need to get back into government. However good their policies are etc they count for little if they don’t have the PR to back it. How are you going to get elected if your Leader is seemingly missing-in-action?

        Goff isn’t a fumbling idiot like Brash nor as boring as English. Both of them actually got decent exposure they just tended to create problems for themselves. But neither is he as friendly as Key is or as policy-detailed as Clark was. Also if you contrast Clark prior to 1996 and Clark after 1996 there is a clear difference. Post-196 she used PR much more. Got herself into soft-media and became someone people could actually vote for. Unlike Clark, Goff can’t afford to lose an election to learn such lessons.

    • sk 25.2

      Tim,

      Populism and the National Party is always a two edged sword. Among the business / finance community you can already detect rising disillusionment with Mr Key. It is very early, but there are signs it is there. He is just not prepared to engage in serious policy debates, preferring populist gestures.

      Like Muldoon, Key taps into the ‘Rob’s mob’, (which is still alive and well when you look at Kiwiblog). Rowling looked like Goff in 1976, but nearly won in 1978. Key is very popular, but there are long term risks with Key’s approach to governance. The problem for Labour is that they have not devised a way exploit these weakness – in part because the Clark / Cullen admin was very stand-offish from the business community. Your points on the Banking Inquiry are fair enough .. .

  26. rOb -“Blah blah blah. In general oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them”

    Bollocks, this is a poor generalisation and ignores the vast array of variables inherent in the political environment.

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