There were few Valentine’s Day sentiments for Labour in John Armstrong’s column today:
It is difficult to put a finger on it, but something does not feel quite right about Labour’s approach to being in Opposition…Labour is exhibiting a self-righteousness which grates when placed against the backdrop of its rejection by voters….
We have yet to be presented with any picture of how a Goff-led Labour Party will be different from Clark’s model – if at all. Meanwhile, Key keeps eating into Labour territory by demonstrating his centrist credentials, for example, by increasing the minimum wage and offering to fly a Maori flag on public buildings next Waitangi Day…
In marked contrast to Key’s reaching out across political divides, Labour cannot decide whether to destroy the Maori Party or work with it.
Meanwhile, Labour’s new leadership makes noises about “reconnecting” with voters, but so far seems to be paying only lip-service to the notion.
I hope that the Labour caucus reads such comments with an open mind. Armstrong isn’t the only one to turn the spotlight on Labour. Earlier this week Gordon Campbell also raised questions over Labour’s performance. It seems timely to remind Labour that:
“To do good to one’s enemies is love’s labours lost.”
By not yet performing to their potential Labour are indeed “doing good” to their political opponents. It appears that they have yet to show that they know how to promote their message – and there’s little sign of how they plan to go about undermining a popular PM. Shakespeare’s play may be a comedy, but I have no desire to see Labour fall into farce (unlike Mr Brownlee who’s already there). Labour need to prove themselves and their worth afresh. To do any less will see National sitting in the director’s seat past 2011.