While Labour leaders are in the spotlight, a good piece by Audrey Young in the weekend:
No bubbly but Little is lifting Labour’s game
Given the party’s record, Andrew Little has already been a successful leader. The party is functioning more like a competent Opposition than it has for some time. Little has a strong sense of himself and his party and his own leadership. He takes on John Key with confidence.
He does long-form television interviews on any subject with no notes. He has no fear of his own performance. When asked by a disapproving TV3 reporter whether he thought having a glass of beer at 5am while watching the All Blacks was a good example, he said he would have two glasses if they lost.
He is authentic, and that is harder than it looks when you have a team of advisers telling you what they think you should do. Little has made the odd slip-up but most people – party members, the media, the public – are in a forgiving frame of mind.
Most importantly for Labour’s stability is the fact it is having some political successes and that is down to simplification of their role. Instead of trying to do everything at once, putting pressure on the Government and coming up with new policies, the caucus has adopted a cricketing approach. National is batting and Labour is concentrating on bowling, namely putting pressure on the Government to make mistakes, to over-reach, to divert its attentions, to weaken its top order.
Labour’s poll results do not reflect the effort going on under Little to lift its game. They are creeping up slowly or are standing still. It may not be worth celebrating but, compared to a year ago, that is success.
Some Standardistas aren’t going to agree with everything in Young’s piece, but on the whole I (r0b) think it’s a pretty fair account of Little’s progress.