John Key is running a line that first emerged in the rightwing blogs a few months ago: ‘Labour doesn’t have any policy, either’. It was a moron’s line when it was on the blogs and Key has only taken it up in a desperate attempt to divert from National’s policy leaks.
It’s meant to be a response to the criticism that National’s ‘policies’ are no more than vague one-page bullet points. But it just doesn’t stack up. Labour has spent the last nine years enacting policies. In just the last week it passed the Biofuels Act, the Police Act, the Kiwisaver amendments, the right to breast-feeding and meal breaks at work, and major legislation to tidy up the real estate industry. This week the Emissions Trading Scheme, which has been described as the most fundamental change to our economy since the 1980s, will pass. Moreover, Labour has an election manifesto to be released. Last election, it stretched to over 200 pages.
No-one doubts what Labour stands for. Whereas no-one can say for sure what National stands for from one day to the next. Ask five people what National would do in government and you’ll get five different answers because National has a policy of strategic vacuousness.
Consider the audacity of Key running a ‘Labour has no policy line’. He has to believe that no interviewer is going to call him out on it. He has to be confident that in a few weeks when Labour’s manifesto comes out no-one is going to remember. And he has to assume that his audience, that’s you, is ignorant enough to fall for it.