Given an open brief, Michael Cullen went back to his roots. He talked about social democracy and what it stands for; what that meant growing up in a working class family and why he stays true to those values. I would like to see Cullen talk from those values more often. He then brought that into the world of politics and compromise he now deals in and answered one of the toughest questions for a Labour politician, ‘why so moderate?’, quite well.
I didn’t think he provided a good answer as to how Labour can get across its values and long-term vision message across to beat Key’s ‘tax cuts and hollow platitudes for all’ line but he was very impressive when answering a range of questions from political narrative to inflation-targeting in Keynesian economics to the long-term place for Maori. His answers didn’t please everyone, naturally, but they were all well-informed and thought-out. The enormous breadth and depth of knowledge, on policy and other matters, that both Cullen and Clark possess is something we’ve almost come to take for granted; except, when you look at what the other side has to offer, you’re reminded it’s quite extraordinary.
So, cheers for another great event, Drinking Liberally. Looking forward to the next one.