I’ve been thinking about the reaction Phil Goff has had to his Nationhood speech, and whether Team Labour would be happy with the way it’s rolled out. Got headlines, tick, got commentators to notice, tick, appealed to demographic ‘non-Labour voting male’, tick, made some positioning statements on policy, tick. But what about the down side?
Allowed commentators to speculate on future of leadership, tick, annoyed grassroots lefties who actually do the work on the ground, possible tick, widened the disconnect with Maori voters, tick:
Two commentators I thought summed this up nicely:
Tapu Misa: Goff can be forgiven his frustration, having emerged from the shadow of one strong leader only to languish in the shadow of another…Goff says that revisiting the foreshore and seabed issue will reopen old wounds; that it will set Maori against Pakeha – as if it will have nothing to do with him. He’s wrong. Just how divisive it proves to be will depend in large part on the kind of leader he wants to be.
Colin Espiner: Nurse, the defibrillator please. A nationhood speech by Labour leader Phil Goff has applied the paddles to the nearly lifeless corpse that is his 2011 prime ministerial leadership ambitions. Now it’s time to search for a pulse…The speech has caused much angst in Labour. If it ends up winning votes, all may be forgiven. If it doesn’t, the rumblings of discontent at the leadership will grow.
Timeframes before the pressure for results really starts to show? Early into the New Year will see commentators start to follow up on these initial speculations…..