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Tories fearing Goff

Written By: - Date published: 3:54 pm, June 30th, 2009 - 38 comments
Categories: national, Parliament, phil goff - Tags:

The last few Question Times, the Tories have been whipping out old Goff quotes. Patsies are set to bring them out. Key goes off on wild side-tracks as an excuse to use them. Labour asks serious questions like ‘what are you doing about jobs’ and get back:

Shows a lot of digging is going on. Pity for the Tories is it’s pathetically weak stuff. Trying to paint Goff as insincere in his opposition to the Tories’ rightwing policies. Using 25 year old quotes out of context isn’t going to work. The journalists know Goff, the public know him. He’s been a senior minister for 9 years. Most of all, people know him as sincere and straight up.

Says something about where the Tories’ heads are at. Why do they suddenly feel the need to smear Goff, take him down a peg? Why are the PM and deputy spending half their answers talking about Goff?

You don’t throw such weak, weak material as this unless you’re desperate (and haven’t found anything better). You don’t waste your time on non-entities. Talk about your own achievements instead. Except we know the Tories doesn’t have any. Instead, Labour have exposed them as a useless bunch of twits. Fiddling while the economy burns.

No wonder, the Tories don’t regard Goff as a non-entity. No wonder they think he’s a threat.

The Tories are afraid already. Their response shows they’ve got nothing up their sleeves. No wonder Goff is smiling every time they draw out some ancient quote.

38 comments on “Tories fearing Goff ”

  1. Pat 1

    Yes Key is shaking in his boots at the thought of going head to head with Phil Goff in a leaders debate in 2011. Once Goff starts on one of his monologues, Key will never get a word in.

    The next preferred PM polls will show Zeletic is a visionary political soothsayer.

    • gobsmacked 1.1

      Pat / Infused

      Your comments on the blog today are irrelevant. We want to know what you said in a letter to the editor in 1985.

      Please stay on topic.

  2. infused 2

    haha. Nice spin buddy… I don’t think anyone is scared of Goff. What he said in regards to state housing really shows who he is.

    So no, no ones afraid. Just showing how much of a douche he is.

    • Zetetic 2.1

      Who gives a crap that he supported sales as long as overall numbers weren’t cut like 20 years ago. Shows how scared of the present you are that you would rather talk about the distant past.

      Let me know when you’re ready to join the 21st century.

  3. gingercrush 3

    What you’re seeing are two strategies from both sides of the house. Labour is putting more and more questions to Key rather than his ministers. Whereas, National are attempting to undermine Goff. Labour’s strategy is far smarter. Key doesn’t have the grasp of policy Clark had. That was evident during the debates. Thus in putting more and more questions to Key. That will overtime lead to be mistakes by Key. Its also far more likely to get media exposure if questions are targeted towards Key than his ministers.

    National is seeking to undermine Goff. Nothing wrong with that. But the attack lines National are running simply won’t work, and arguably there are far better ways to do it. National is trying to show that Goff is always changing his mind about issues. Not only that but his opinions of policies now are vastly different to what they were when he was a minister. The obvious problem is that many of those attacks are based on his time as a minister in the Rogernomic years. The public simply won’t care nor should they care about what Goff was doing during that era in politics. Secondly, Labour can just point to National’s time in government from 1990-1999. A much better narrative for National to paint would be how quickly Labour have changed from their time in government to some of the things they’re saying now. Labour is arguably more pro-worker than they ever were in government. National could run those lines. There is a slight danger in that because the public may well like Labour actually being pro-Labour. But their current tactics as you suggest are crap.

    • jarbury 3.1

      Good analysis GC. Yes Labour are definitely aiming more questions at John Key – which is a good tactic. Bill English is pretty competent at answering questions, as is Nick Smith, so it’s a tad silly going there.

      Regarding Goff, I can’t quite see what National are trying to achieve. At best all that will come out is that Phil Goff is on the centre-side of Labour, potentially well positioned to steal back the centre that was lost to National last year.

      It is good to finally see a bit of strategy from Labour. I still maintain that they need to offer more in terms of an alternative. Not promoting an alternative budget I think was a big mistake.

      • funkster 3.1.1

        Not outlining any alternative policy seemed to work pretty well for the Nats in the run up to the election…. just sayin’

    • craig 3.2

      I have to agree with GC, heck twice in two weeks. While Goff may not be A Bill Clinton he definitely has Key worried I say Key as apposed to National. English will be loving this and I suspect he is not surprised by Keys lack of ability.
      Two weeks ago the Nats were saying “Oh we are over this Worth thing Key and his Ministers have so much more important things to do”.

      Yep looks like they do flying all round the place clocking up costs for the tax payer, sacking public servants and attacking Goff. Glade to see the Born to rule old boys are back in business doing what they always do, looking after their old school mates and screwing the Tax payer. Nothing changes with this lot they are always bad for the country its just the degree that varies.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        Yep looks like they do flying all round the place clocking up costs for the tax payer, sacking public servants and attacking Goff.

        You forgot Increasing the tax on alcohol to pay for the tax cuts that the rich got.

        • Anita

          At some point increasing the tax on alcohol actually reduces the tax take, I don’t think we’re there yet but I can’t remember where to find the modelling :-/ I don’t suppose anyone happens to know where it is?

        • Tim Ellis

          You forgot Increasing the tax on alcohol to pay for the tax cuts that the rich got.

          Nice scaremongering DT, but not true. Alcohol tax is adjusted every year with the rate of inflation, and has done for many years.

    • Ianmac 3.3

      Gingercrush: Well said. A credible response!

  4. The journalists know Goff, the public know him

    The journalists know him, sure – but most of the public has no idea who he is or what he stands for.

  5. Funniest post ever here especially given the line r0b is taking.

    The Nat’s best hope for 2011 is with Goff leading.

  6. Zaphod Beeblebrox 6

    Didn’t Kiwiblog try that same attack with Shearer during Mt Albert?

  7. QoT 7

    All I can think in response to some of those was that anything a politician said before I was even in fracking primary school is hardly relevant.

    (As opposed to Key’s bullshitting around his opinion of the Springbok tour – who cares what side he was on, but pretending he was both (a) really interested in politics AND (b) had no opinion? PULL THE OTHER ONE, IT’S GOT BELLS ON.)

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Hmmmm National scared of Goff…

    Reminds me of a study that actually appeared in a psychology textbook where a researcher claimed that cats are actually scared of mice. Thats why they appear to be playing with them…

  9. Anita 9

    I think it may well be an effective strategy, many left wingers about my age remember what Goff did it us when we were at University.

    Like many left wingers I saw Labour’s election of Goff as (yet another) shift to the right.

    Like many left wingers I find a Goff led Labour party a far less comfortable option than a Clark led one.

    National do their homework, they wouldn’t be running these lines if they weren’t striking a nerve.

    • Hi Anita

      Shift to the right?

      Or peaceful transition?

      The way I see it the only two candidates were Goff and Cunliffe.

      Goff had seniority and experience and reliability, Cunliffe has arguably greater charisma and intellect but less caucus support.

      The party needed a peaceful transition and during the day after the election calls were made and a resolution reached.

      It was not a calculated decision to move to the right or away from the left, it was a decision calculated to keep things united and calm.

      Goff has been through a couple of transformations. He has been around longer than most so this is not surprising. He has also been energetic and focused and his performance as opposition leader cannot be faulted. Wingnuts will say “Choudery” but they should get a life and learn to shout “Worth” with as much venom.

      Helen’s effect on the party continues. The activists are generally left wing and determined that Helen’s world view is respected and continues. The new MPs are a good bunch. Goff is sophisticated enough to realise this and to understand that the party has to match its philosophy to its members’ world view.

      A change of leader should not be taken as marking a change of direction.

      • Anita 9.1.1

        Whether it was a pragmatic smooth transition decision or an ideological decision, it was IMO a shift to the right.

        Are you arguing that a Goff/King led Labour is not to the right of the (already pretty centrist) Clark/Cullen Labour?

        • gobsmacked

          But the caucus hasn’t shifted to the right. It’s nothing like the caucus of 84-90, or even when Clark took over in 93.

          Goff may make some tactical moves to win back lost voters, but that is very different from an ideological move.

          In any case, a party’s theoretical stance in opposition is of little consequence. Labour will not be governing with NZ First or United Future, only with the Greens (and possibly the Maori Party). So a Goff-led government is potentially more like Clark’s first term than her third, or even second.

          And a good deal more ‘left’ than a Key second term. They’re already preparing the ground for that one …

        • mickysavage

          Yes, sort of …

          Most of the philosophical beliefs remain intact. There has been some “mea culpa” about issues like electoral finance, and climate change but broadly most of the philosophies remain.

          Goff and King already had significant roles in the last Government. An exchange of Goff for Helen and King for Cullen does not involve a great deal of philosophical shift. Cunliffe is arguably more to the left of Phil or Annette and so there may be a balancing out by his promotion.

          The only way to measure this is to track the change in policies and approaches. Do you detect any significant shifts?

      • mike 9.1.2

        “Helen’s effect on the party continues”
        Lets hope this continues for another few terms at least…

        “determined that Helen’s world view is respected and continues.”
        Um – it stopped when she got a hiding in the last election mickey..

        “to match its philosophy to its members’ world view”
        Whats this world view crap mickey are you the New World Order?

    • indiana 9.2

      were you there when Andrew Little led protests against Goff?

      • Anita 9.2.1

        I am slightly too young, I didn’t start at VUW until after Little stopped being VUWSA president.

        But, to your actual point, yes absolutely!!! The question is: who has changed? Goff or Little?

  10. mike 10

    “Why do they suddenly feel the need to smear Goff”

    Because they are worried about him climbing over 5% in the preferred PM stakes!

    How ridiculous suggesting the Nats fear phil. Their main fear is probably that he is not leader in 2011.

    JK does probably needs some practice with detail though so good on labour for honing his skills before the next campaign starts and the the other 98% of people give a toss

  11. Adrian 11

    Key won’t be there in 2011, he already doesn’t like the job, it’s too hard,and look at him, he’s a man on the verge. Watch for a big MIA in Hawaii.

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