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Open mike 13/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 13th, 2010 - 72 comments
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Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

72 comments on “Open mike 13/12/2010 ”

  1. millsy 1

    Another week, another poll. This time a TV3 poll showing National at 55% and Labour still stuck at 31%.

    It has been the general policy of the Labour caucus (and this blog, who are spinning this like there is no tomorrow) not to panic, but I really think the time has come to indeed panic. The fact is, that come next term, New Zealand will see National erode the last few fragments of the social security system, and will turn NZ into a social darwinist nightmare, and Labour seems to be sitting on its hands just waiting for it to happen.

    Goff is yesterday’s man, no matter what he does, he will never be able to capture the imagination of the public – and in any case, a few clicks to the right on this page and you will see footage a young nerdy looking Goff defend the monetarist policies of the 4th Labour government. Footage that National will no doubt be using over and over come election time.

    With an election only 11 months out (maybe less), I think the left needs to start realising that a second National term is quite likely, and start planning accordingly.

    • You may recall back in 2002 Labour was riding high in the polls heading into the election, then was ankle tapped, shed ten percentage points and received 42% of the vote.

      Part of the cause of this is that kiwis do not want to give too much power to any single party. As the election approaches and if National are still polling well expect to see support seep to the other parties.

      As for Goff he is dedicated bright and determined. The media and the right wing are doing a good hatchet job on him but part of me thinks bugger them, we let the right determine the agenda for public debates far too often.

      Labour needs to get the grassroots activated. This is our strength and National’s weakness.

      If you are looking for a historical precedent the 1993 election springs to mind. The polls predicted that it would be an easy win for National, the actual result went down to the wire.

      • Marty G 1.1.1

        It would be interesting if Mike would write a post about how it felt to be in the Labour leadership during the 2002 campaign. They sunk from 55% to 40% in a matter of weeks, and weren’t lightyears away from a National/NZF/UF coalition, despite the weakness of National’s vote… lot of parallels there.

        • luva

          Marty, are you making things up again???

          “They sunk from 55% to 40% in a matter of weeks”

          in a matter of which weeks are you talking about?

      • felix 1.1.2

        Mickey I admire you optimism but neither of those examples help your case. The incumbent wins in both of them.

      • Bored 1.1.3

        Mickey, I am aware from this blog that you are a loyal Labour man to the core and strongly support the decision of caucus to back Goff. You know my opinion. Seems to me that Labour and its loyal cadres like yourself just dont want to admit what is strikingly obvious to all and sundry (as reflected by the polls). Goff is a loser.

      • pollywog 1.1.4

        Labour needs to get the grassroots activated. This is our strength and National’s weakness.

        What grassroots are these and how does one activate them ?

        truth is, Goff couldn’t activate a loaf of bread if he were yeast personified let alone a poor and needy underclass who see all politicians as self serving and corrupt.

        for the sake of the Labour party he needs to realise he hasn’t got a shit show of winning an election as leader and step aside to promote someone who might

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.5

        we let the right determine the agenda for public debates far too often.

        And a lot of that is because the right own the MSM. Labour can barely get a word in edgewise due to that particular editorial censorship.

        Labour needs to get the grassroots activated.

        It needs to get the word out both through the grass roots and through the MSM.

        The polls predicted that it would be an easy win for National, the actual result went down to the wire.

        And although Labour got the most votes, due to the vagaries of FPP, National “won”.

        Generally speaking, I think Goff is the wrong man for the job. He’s not aggressive or charismatic enough.

      • prism 1.1.6

        “As for Goff he is dedicated bright and determined”

        Could you advise what policy he is determined about Msavage?

        captcha – facts

        • pollywog

          you can’t just toss off a throwawa line like “activate the grassroots” without saying how ?

          i’d like to think i’m a grass roots kind of guy but it’s gonna take a bit more than verbal fertilizer and a promise of better weather in a drought to activate my roots

          you sure you’re not smoking the grass instead ?

          • Bored

            Grass roots in my book is the guys and girls who actually vote for you, out of instinct and loyalty. Hmmmm, see any?

            • pollywog

              ahhhh….so it’s about getting the loyal labourites, who would vote red even were nosferatu leader, out in the streets trying to swing the undecided and first time voters

              didn’t do much good in Mana, doesn’t bode well for the generals

              i’m as keen to see the arse end of Key and English as anyone but Goff just doesn’t seem the one to do it and i dunno who is either…

              • Bored

                Sort of like what yoou say BUT there was a time long ago in a galaxy far far away that people actually knew which side their bread was buttered on. Whole generations knew that the peasants were revolting or that the bosses / owners were a pack of untrustworthy theives….they all sort of understood which side of the fence they were on. They should still, but as I said it was a long time ago far far away……

                • Herododus

                  Back then Lab stood for a certain group and Nat another group. Now who knows who either represents. But under both we know that there is a large group in the middle who get shafted (and we call these people the swing voters). You remember these are the ones who pay 5+% above the OCR in morgages, get a pay rise just below the inflation rate and pay for everything they need. And I am sure in Belamys both the Nats and Lab have a subsidised drink out our expense and toast to those “the middle people” who pay for all our rorts. It is a bit like WWE when the perceived goodies and the badies after a days work eat and drink together behind closed doors.

                  • Bored

                    I think in that case the guys in the middle might just want to drop their pretensions and see for themselves what they really are, exactly what they were before they became the middle, just workers, certainly not owners. Oh I forgot, they dont mind “paying” because it is the cost of “aspiring”….yeah right.

                    • pollywog

                      yup…Goff doesn’t come across as one of us (workers), more as one of them (owners) and he can’t even pull off representing for us convincingly

                      I’m hoping Andrew Little is working to unseat Goff and assume the leadership cos he seems to be the only one not tainted by governmental careerist politics with the mana to rep for the working man, due to his union ties, plus give Key what for in the everyman stakes

                      and with Cunliffe offsiding him he could give English some much deserved intellectual stick

        • Salsy

          Its true, but we can at least point to rising star David Cunliffe as bright and determined – He is totally opposite to Key – Grounded, consice, clear and passionate, fearless and above all highly intelligent . The opportunity of a lifetime for Labour may be in the detail of tomorrows unveiling of the dire – fiscal situation . Use the opportunity to put a “money man” in the lead role for Labour, have Goff as his right hand blinglish.. i.e out of the picture. No divisions there..

      • oftenpuzzled 1.1.7

        Maybe if the media especially TV gave a little more air time to Labour spokespersons and Labour ideas and opinions then polls could be different. At the time of the Labour Conference when the media took some notice polls went up. I am aware that the Labour MP’s and their media people have comments submitted to media and spokepersons ready and waiting but oh no not interested only if the leader makes a ‘gaff’ do Labour get headlines. Its ‘sort of ‘ funny when the PM calls somebody President out of turn but not so when an opposition member does a similar thing. Really this country’s media is right wing national supporting biased and boring to be polite. We need an independent media willing to to ask the insightful questions, challenge the government, seriously research and investigate the issues that confront us, so we can see what is truly happening. Not this wishy-washy half baked rubbish they call journalism.

    • Interesting 1.2

      I wouldnt be panicking. Once the new year starts all Labour needs to do is ask New Zealanders, ” Are you really better off after a term of National/”

      If Labour can stir discontent up amongst voters and make them think about the answer to that question they will start aroding Nationals support. Then they just need to start putting their policies out as a genuine alternative and they can take the victory.

      Replacing leaders now would only give the Nats ammuntion and they will use it to cause doubt amongst voters.

      Labour need to stay the course.

    • Bill 1.3

      “I think the left needs to start realising that a second National term is quite likely, and start planning accordingly.”

      I think the Labour Party is already planning for that. Contenders for the post Goff leadership are ticking the boxes and lining up their troops…in time for after the election. It’s called political expediency, I guess. I think it’s fucking shameful. The next potential Labour Party leader(s) might want to reflect that there are bigger issues, beyond them and their ego(s) and the internal politics of the Labour Party. It’s about 5 million people about to be sunk in the mire.

      And if somebody is sitting out there being ‘pragmatic’, then what bloody good are they going to be when they do assume the leadership and (let’s say) win the following election? We don’t need timorous pragmatists. We need boldness and vision. We need somebody who is prepared to grab this shambolic situation by the scruff of the neck and give it a good bloody shake.

      • mickysavage 1.3.1

        I think the Labour Party is already planning for that. Contenders for the post Goff leadership are ticking the boxes and lining up their troops…in time for after the election.

        I am not so sure about that and I have seen no overt evidence of any sort of threat to Phil’s leadership.

        If you contrast Labour now to National in 1999-2002 there are major differences. The nats fell apart after losing power, their 2002 election result was appalling. Labour in contrast have held together and have worked hard on the issues. They have been chipping away at the formidable PR construct that is John Key and the chinks are showing. Despite the continuous barbs thrown at him Goff has led well.

        Their process of renewal has worked well. I have been very impressed by the influx of newcomers. Grant Robertson, Hipkins, Lees-Galloway, Shearer and Sepuloni have really impressed me. The standout however is Jacinda Ardern. If she wins Auckland Central there should be consideration of her as a future deputy leader.

        1993 and 2002 are occasions where apparently formidable governments were given big scares. 2005 was an occaion where the grassroots work turned around what appeared to be a significant opposition lead in the polls.

        The fat opera singer has not sang yet …

        • felix

          A “big scare” ? What happened to actually beating them ffs?

          • mickysavage

            Like I said the fat opera singer has not sang yet.

            2005 was an example of where despite polls predicting a comfortable win Labour came through.

            And if we had MMP in 1993 there would have been a Labour/Allinace government.

        • Lanthanide

          I think 2005 was more about the 11th hour Interest-Free Student Loan bribe more than anything else.

          • mickysavage

            Actually it was Brash’s offensive talk just before the election about “mainstream kiwis” which excluded Tangata Whenua, immigrants, women, and gays amongst others that lost it for National.

            He broke the number one CT commandment of never getting off script and under no circumstances saying what he was thinking.

            I witnessed a rush of support back to Labour after his outburst. And the ethnic turnout in the big booths of South and West Auckland got Labour over the line.

            National learned from that. They went to nice Mr Key as leader and put Bhakshi, Lee, Lotu-Iiga and Parata in winning places of the list. They ended up looing superficially similar to Labour and the “labour lite” theme took over.

            • Lanthanide

              So actually Labour won the 2005 election because of Brash putting his foot in it?

              I don’t think these comparisons are really helping your argument.

              captcha: comparison (no joke)

          • felix

            There were also those three pesky little words Brash let slip: “gone by lunchtime”.

        • Bill

          Mickey, if there are moves afoot to unseat Goff post election, then you wouldn’t be seeing any overt evidence of it, would you?

          Meanwhile, I don’t believe that the left leaning/right leaning policy debates that occur here aren’t also happening in the party. And the ‘more to the left’ push within the party believes it has to gain an assured ascendency over the established conservative core of the party that prefers Goff and the continuity he offers. And that all plays out as a waiting game and a numbers game and pushing this policy or that policy further left on a case by case basis. The pragmatic politics of parliament that fails to take ‘us’ into account.

          Far better than playing exclusively internal politics, would be to offer a left leaning articulation for the broad sentiments held by the population at large and use that as leverage to shift and then sideline the conservatism evident in the Labour Party leadership.

          My argument is that such internal politicking is selling us short. All the circumstantial evidence I witnessed in the run up to the last election was ‘of a type’. Labour voters, where they were still going to vote Labour, were doing so because they felt they had no option. They wanted to keep National out rather than put Labour in. In other words, they didn’t feel particularly enthused by Labour.

          And Goff represents ‘more of the same.’ And surprisingly, no-body is enthused. Running on the reasonable premise that the mind set of parliamentary parties lags behind that of the general populace, the ‘playing of the cards close to the chest’ mind set of contenders is a wrong and unnecessary tactic. I’d suggest they are running such a strategy because they are overly focussed on the party (navel gazing) and aren’t confident of the sentiments in the populace or are out of touch with those sentiments altogether.

          Which goes back to my question above; What bloody good are they going to be when they do assume leadership?

          • just saying

            I’m repeating an old reply by Rex W. because (strange imagery aside) it sums up some of what i feel about what is going on here:

            “… if everyone is serving slight variations on tasteless blancmange and more people eat your blancmange than do the oppositions that neither means your product is good nor that they wouldn’t respond well if someone had the foresight and guts to start offering chilli.

            Tortured metaphor aside, the same applies here. Being in Opposition is about having time to advance brave, visionary plans and win people over to them, perhsaps making slight adjustments on the way. It’s not – though it has become so – about “waiting your turn” while cleaving your policies as close as possible to those of your opponents on the basis that “they won last time, so if we do more of what they’re doing, we’ll win next time”.

            Labour is terrified to even suggest policy which is significantly different to National’s on the grounds that National is popular. So, Labour is stuck in a quicksand in which the overriding desire is to be popular and that trumps any and all genuine vision for New Zealand and Jo Public sees right through them, and Labour continues to sink…

            It’s ironic that being all about winning the prize is a large part of what is keeping that prize out of reach.

        • lprent

          I am not so sure about that and I have seen no overt evidence of any sort of threat to Phil’s leadership.

          Nor have I. I’m sure there will be a leadership challenge if we don’t gain the treasury benches – it is kind of required (ie like after 1996). But I haven’t seen any of the typical pre-election shenanigans of the 80’s and early 90’s showing up either.

          Of course that being said, the post 1993 election leadership change wasn’t preceded with many of those signals either. I was standing next to Helen watching Mike Moore making a bit of a fool of himself on his election night winning speech on TV, and I think that was when she made the decision that he had to go. The speech was so embarrassing, especially after a campaign that was marred with so many abrupt shifts in direction – poll following and directionless.

          I don’t see the latter in Goff’s direction. It has a direction – just not one that everyone agrees with. Which is why these forums are important because it provides a place to voice those disagreements.

          • Bored

            Seems to me that Bill has it right, Labour dont really think they can, or plan to win. Looks truly like that to me.

            Be very certain, there is only one goal in opposition: to win the election. If you dont you are nowhere, and Labour seem to me just like the ABs at the World Cup: chokers. The captain is wrong, key team members are over the hill or just not up to it. Lets face it, Goff is there by exception, there is sweet f.a in the way of talent to make his life miserable.

      • Jenny 1.3.2


        “We don’t need timorous pragmatists. We need boldness and vision. We need somebody who is prepared to grab this shambolic situation by the scruff of the neck and give it a good bloody shake.”


        Hear, hear. Could Goff be that guy?

    • jcuknz 1.4

      I have faith in National being a conservative party while John Key leads it and don’t see a second term by National as being that much to be feared.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1

        If National gets back in power they’ll sell everything that’s left off – they’ve already promised this. That will leave us a renters in our own country and that is to be feared.

        • Bored

          Too right Draco, but to tell the truth I suspect Goff and his neo lib hangovers would find an excuse to try the same. It is our biggest threat as the citizenry, the attempt by the rich to entrap us in serfdom, financial or otherwise.

  2. Carol 2

    Interesting that ,i>Wellington Chamber of Commerce chief executive, diplomat and Government adviser Charles Finny says he’s not a spy.


    But the Wikileaks cables, and this Stuff article, just highlight how much corporate interests are powerful and influential participants in international politics.

    • Bill 2.1

      He might as well said that he wasn’t a sheep shagger. There was no question of him being a spy.

      The US nurtures ‘fellow travellers’. According to Red Lobster (a UK publication) the politicians in the Social Democratic Party in the UK (a breakaway from Labour) were ‘hosted’ in the US. That was years ago. And it’s been reported that NZ journalists… and there are probably Uni lecturers and all sorts too…. were guests of the US because their views are are seen as complimenting US policy aims.

      It’s called networking. And while it’s interesting to know who the US consider as ‘friendly’ in order that their actions or pronouncements can be seen in light of that ‘friendship’, there’s noting much else to it. It’s not as though they are ‘being run’ from Washington.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    of course Finny is a spy. The only debate is if he is actually had the opportunity to carry through on his commitment to treason.

  4. SukieDamson 4

    Kal’s cartoon: Debt and tax cuts for the wealthy http://econ.st/haL3Jo #economist #cartoon http://twitpic.com/3epmqv

  5. gingercrush 5

    Goff is doing two things right. His party on the whole is stable with no deep divisions. The one side note is Chris Carter but he’s just a fool. At the same time their policy platform is more coherent and change is actually taking place. While some still seem to believe they did noting wrong from 1999-2008. On the whole MPs within Labour seem to recognise they need to make some changes. They’ve made real changes early instead of what National did and keep much of the old guard around. Though Labour still need some further changes.

    Their support hasn’t actually collapsed. Yes Labour are currently polling under their party vote of 2008 but its not dire. And on some of the Roy Morgan polls their support is actually higher. That collapse can potentially happen and mickeysavage should be reminded thatin 2002 when Labour’s polling fell the opposition National fell even further.

    Labour need to keep focusing on policy over scandals as attempt to scandalise the government generally only works when that government in tired. Goff needs better communications advice as his personal appearances and speeches on the whole look entirely fake. Labour on the whole need better communication. Many of its members like Clare Curran and Carmel Sepuloni in particular are a mess. 2011 like 2002 could be a low turnout election. If that is the case it will be problematic for Labour and as in 2005 need to ensure their base gets out and vote. Lastly, there will be no new leader because anyone that attempts to roll Goff will be tainted.It will open divisions within Labour. Labour has too much talent and too many ambitious people. You do not want a new leader because the solidarity that has been on display so far will not be there any longer. And nothing is nastier than when Labour’s divisions open up.

    Oh and the President of the Labour Party Andrew Little needs to depart from the EPMU. Not only because Labour needs to be the focus because its election year. But EMPU’s focus has to be on the Pike River Mine and the investigations that will be taking place soon.

    • The Voice of Reason 5.1

      That’s not a bad summary, GC. Are you sure you aren’t a lefty in disguise?

      Re: Little/EPMU, he already stated that he will begin campaigning in the seat he’s going to win from early next year and will take leave from the union once the election is called, with a resignation to follow after he is confirmed as an MP.

      The EPMU is already representing the miners at the DOL/Police enquiry that has been underway for a week, having seen off the attempts of Pike River to sabotage the process. The companies own investigation will follow that and then the Government enquiry will begin.

      TV3’s 60 minutes show on Weds will be doing an item on safety at the mine, which could be very interesting viewing.

      And just a little PS on Pike’s heroic attitude to the surviving miners. I’m told that the company is refusing to pay redundancy compensation to the majority of the miners it intends to layoff. But that couldn’t possibly be true, could it?

    • Bored 5.2

      Ging, I think the Labour has too much talent line a little exagerated. By 180 degrees.

  6. Tigger 6

    Air NZ pulls a ‘gay rebuke’ from their safety video and Farrar blames political correctness.

    Interesting how under Labour this would have been the government’s fault. So clearly, following that logic, it’s the fault of the gay government MPs. Chris Finlayson, this is on you!

    Personally I watched this scene about thirty times in the past few months and didn’t even get the ‘joke’. And now that I’ve seen it, and as a gay man, it’s hardly offensive to me. Lame. Total fail. But hardly offensive. Those new female attendant uniforms on the other hand are utterly offensive…

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      I haven’t actually seen it, but from reading about it, I don’t find it particularly offensive. It’s really stupid and a dumb thing to put in their ad – it would’ve been funnier if he let the guy kiss him, for example.

  7. ZeeBop 7

    Violence begets violence. National follow the thugs in investing in a police armed society. Nobody
    dares ask why two young people put hatchets on a traffic cop! More gun crime will result.

    Sweden embarrassed by the rape allegations against WikiLeaks founder sudden hit by terror
    distracting public hardening policy that is known to favor government incumbents.

    Future King swings by Piccadilly, right into the middle of the most thuggest part of the student
    body, who just happen not to be in the center of the protests but on the fringe (and had paint to hand!).

    It must be me because the way it looks, that governments globally, are in full Nazi propaganda
    flourish. Man the markets must be about to crash globally, if governments are this desperate to stay

    • Bored 8.1

      In normal recieverships the employees have to await in line behind the IRD and secured creditors which usually means there goes the redundancy pay. Not sure what this means for insurance provisions for all parties, such as the families of the deceased, but it does not sound good.

    • Bill 8.2

      And that does what, in the event of PRM being found liable?

      • Bored 8.2.1

        Over to the liability insurance etc, the lawyers will get a fat cut no doubt which means hell of a lot less for pay outs. I dont know what arrangements were made for employees but I suspect if it is the usual for employers (remember I am one) it will be the absolute minimum (anything more versus employers who make no provisions make you uncompetitive: which incidently is why we need enforced legislation and unions to protect workers rights).

      • Bored 8.2.2

        If Pike are liable becomes extremely interesting now that they are in recievership. They are not wound up, merely in the hands of stauatory management. They will have to ascertain what liabilities there are and go through the court process if necessary.

  8. just saying 9


    Truly chilling words from Sue Bradford.
    Be prepared for the nastiest election campaign in living memory. Key is betting on New Zealanders hatred and fear, knowing that such an appeal will meet little public challenge.
    Divide and conquer.
    Winners take all.

    • ak 9.1

      “If we cancelled welfare to 330,000 people currently on welfare, how many would starve to death? Bugger all.”

      Simply breathtaking. Along with “breeding for a business” perhaps the most sinister statement from a national leader since the 1930s.

      Time to get angry.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Well, we know for a fact that National are just a bunch of psychopaths and really will deliver us to this which is, after all, the natural result of Individualism.

  9. Sean Brooks 10

    Well Sue Bradford knows all about playing the fear side of politics.

    • just saying 10.1

      “Well Sue Bradford knows all about playing the fear side of politics”.

      Care to elaborate Sean brooks?

      Key has already said that welfare reform will be one of the three biggest election issues.

  10. belladonna 11

    Labour need to find a backbone and do something, anything, about leadership instead of crossing their fingers and hoping National will slip from grace. They havent in the past 2 years and without credible leadership in Labour they will rule for another 3 years. I for one will find it very hard to forgive Labour in that case. Goff needs to do the right thing for the country and resign.

  11. Draco T Bastard 12


    Today’s announcement that Telecom will get the bulk of the $1.5 billion ultrafast broadband contract entrenches fears of a commercial monopoly stranglehold on our newest infrastructure network, Labour’s communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

    The answer is the same one as back in 1987 through to 1990 when the 4th Labour government sold Telecom – no we damn well can’t. This is proven by the fact that we’re having to pay out even more to private providers of what should be a state infrastructure that we’ve already paid for through our monthly phone bills.

  12. Deadly_NZ 13

    “If we cancelled welfare to 330,000 people currently on welfare, how many would starve to death? Bugger all.”

    The Teflon John strikes again

  13. Sean Brooks 14

    I dont think nothing happening that is going to make people who voted for national swing back to labour, national don’t look like a one time government.

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      So how about all the people who stayed home and didn’t vote Labour. What if they come out and vote Labour again?

  14. Sean Brooks 15

    Those people who stayed home and didnt vote are going vote for all sort of parties, there is no way national can lose this election, labours goal will be to keep it close for 2014.

    • The Voice of Reason 15.1

      Not so fast, Mystic Meg. The Labour vote in urban areas, particularly South Auckland, stayed at home in significant numbers. There are 9 National held marginals that only need a lift in the Labour vote to come into play, let alone what happens if there is a softening of the National vote. Nine! That’s your majority gone and Labour in the driver’s seat. That’s the real target, Sean, not 2014.

    • Lanthanide 15.2

      From wikipedia:
      “The rolls listed almost 3 million people registered to vote in the election, a record number representing 95.3% of the estimated eligible voting population.[6] In contrast, voter turnout of 79.5% of enrolled voters came in lower than in most previous elections, the second-lowest since 1978 (when a large number of outdated and duplicate enrolments deflated the figure) and third-lowest since 1902.[7][8] Political scientist Stephen Levine from Victoria University speculated that the low turnout may have resulted from the National Party’s large lead over Labour in opinion polls running up to the election.[9] Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples expressed concern that only 55% of those on the Maori roll had voted.[10]”

      I would suggest that those who failed to vote in 2008, are more likely to vote for Labour than any other party.

  15. john 16

    Some humour:
    an Irishman explains what went wrong with the Celtic Tiger:

  16. Zeroque 17

    Labour continue to remain too similar looking National and are not seen as a credible alternative at the moment. If remarkably different and credible policies do exist, they are not seeing the light of day. The deteriorating economic situation provides a great opportunity for Labour to tout policy which is different and will appeal to voters as a fix to lowering living standards, a contraction of public services and increasing inequality and public debt. GST free food just doesnt do it and lost an opportunity to resolve to reverse the GST changes. Even a remarkably different approach to state asset sales looks like its moving away from Labours grasp and I fear the debate on this topic may well turn out to be who should stand to own them and what should be for sale.

    The area of leadership is probably the only one where the difference is noticable and this doesnt favour Labour at the moment. Fresh ideas that are in keeping with Labour values will be needed as will vibrant leadership. Steady as she goes wont do it and may well see two more terms of National pass.

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