Tuesday, August 30, 2011

When did it start to unravel for Labour?

Phil Goff reckon's that Labour's poor polling is because people aren't focusing on the issues.  But Labour's been on the ropes in terms of polling for over five years now.  

Even if Phil Goff is right & the public have been distracted for over half a decade then surely Labour must take some of the blame for this.

In my opinion the real reason Labour are in the doldrums is because of failed dirty attacks.  

It started off with Clark & Clayton Cosgrove's attempt to link John Key to the leaky homes fiasco.  It flopped big time.  I recall John Key ripping into Clayton on live radio.  

Then there was the Labour Party President Mike William's much hyped 'H-bomb' attack.  With help from William's contacts in Aussie Labor he brought back 24kg of documents from Australia but failed to incriminate John Key.  Massive, massive fail. 

Then Phil Goff himself continued the meme with his failed attempt to trap John Key over the Richard Worth affair. 

The only thing worse than Machiavellian political games is fouling them up.

Perhaps if Labour focused on the issues they'd be in a strong position today. 

I watched David Cunliffe face-off against Dr Brash on TVNZ Q&A. 

I thought Guyon summed up Mr Cunliffe's performance pretty well with the following quote:

"OK, David Cunliffe, this isn't a Labour Party speech."

Mr Cunliffe had the easy sell - playing on the emotion of keeping the assets state owned.  Yet he over egged it & sounded like a Party Political Broadcast - hence Guyon's comment. 

Dr Brash delivered a fairly solid performance. 

I think Mr Cunliffe would make a fairly good Labour Party leader if he managed to dial back his ego.  But based on David's performance on Q&A, John Key is as safe as houses. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

An unparliamentary comment on Red Alert

My reply: "I appreciate that you publicly advocate the payment of taxes, but I do take exception to the Kiwiblog comment.
Many ordinary New Zealanders read Kiwiblog & your comments could sting anyone of us (including your own supporters).
Perhaps you could be more specific about who you were referring to. "

Hopefully my comment makes it through moderation.

TVNZ vs 3News

Nats 56% - 54%
Lab 30% - 28.8%
Greens 6% - 9.3%
NZ 1st 2.3% - 2.2%
Act 1.7% - 2.2%
Maori 1.4% - 1.5%
Mana 0.9% - 0.9%
UF 0.5% - 0.0%

As we get closer to the election, political journalists become more important. On that note:

Guyon vs Duncan

+1 for Guyon. I preferred his style & his story.

In spite of both Guyon & Duncan's tendency to sensationalise the gap between Labour & National, the polls haven't moved much sense the last 2008 election. The Clark govt. had a brief 'winter of discontent' in their first term. Nation has had nothing like that.

Another observation - since when did both networks start ignoring Jim Anderton's Progressive party? Is Peter Dunne next? Given how low they both poll, they get a disproportionate amount of air-time relative to their support. Kind of ridiculous really.

A poll that has surprised me recently is Kiwiblog's "Which Left-Wing Blogs do you read regularly"? I always assumed The Standard was the number one leftie blog, but it barely makes it to third place! With this in mind I'll attach even less significance to their smear enriched blog posts than I did before.

I really need to check out the other leftie blogs more often. I like trying to see issues from another perspective.

In my RSS reader every now and then I mistakenly read a leftie blog post thinking it's Kiwiblog. With in a couple of sentences I wonder 'what's up with Farrar today' before realising the error.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Table: Nats vs. Lab

Further to Whale Oil's Post titled "Can National win 50% of the Vote?", I was curious about the percentage difference between the two main parties for each election victory.
Ignoring 2002, which I consider the public's experiment with MMP, at the last election National defeated the Clark Labour govt by a huge 10.9%. That is only second to Jim Bolger's 'landslide' victory in 1990.

From about 2004 to 2005 Labour were level pegging with National in the opinion polls. After John Key become leader in 2006 Labour were consistently behind. In fact, it's probably been over five year since they were anywhere near being ahead in the opinion polls.

If that's not a rejection of the Clark'n Cullen brand of politics, then I don't what is.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Carmel Sepuloni

Carmel is new to the house, but that's no excuse really. After all as a back bench MP she earns
over $120,000 a year. How depressing is that.

This really calls into question the caliber of some of Labour MPs.

When Phil Goff was minister for foreign affairs, one of his most memorable & brazen attacks on Dr Brash (then leader of the opposition) was the release of confidential MFAT minutes.  The minutes were from a meeting between Dr Brash, Lockwood Smith, & a prominent US senator.  This is when the so-called 'gone by lunchtime' phrase was uttered.  Dr Brash didn't recall saying the phrase and it may have been Dr Smith, or the MFAT official may have been in error.Regardless, the minutes should never have been released for a political attack & Mr Goff set a very bad precedent. 
So just like with the Darren Hughes/Richard Worth affairs where Mr Goff was caught out saying one thing and doing another, Goff is again reaping what he sowed.  But the key difference with Goff's dispute with SIS officials is that it's all of his own making. 
The statement from Goff below is particularly ironic when contrasted with Goff's political attack on Dr Brash. 
"In future, I will only meet with Warren Tucker or representatives of the SIS if there is someone independent in the room to keep a true and accurate record of what is discussed."

Goff is really on the back-foot over the SIS dispute.  For one thing John Key brought it up in the house and The Standard have been usually quiet on this issue (whenever they're quiet it means Labour are in trouble). 

Darien Fenton is a Labour MP.  
Lockwood Smith is the Speaker of the House.
I was particularly annoyed to hear her give him cheek during Tuesday's question time.  
Lockwood is a great Speaker.  He's absolutely neutral & fair.  He is light years ahead of the last speaker Margaret Wilson.  Lockwood actullay makes government ministers answer questions (even kicked out Bill English on Wednesday).  What more could an opposition want.  What I would've given to have him as speaker during the Clark government.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Labour's bossy boots persona

"Put a camera on him or a microphone and you get the lecture from the old party machine man, or the university man. And people don't want to be lectured. They had a decade of it and they don't want it again."

Good column by Paul Holmes in the Herald.  He pretty much hits the nail on the head with his description of the problem with Phil Goff.  

When Goff speaks he does remind me a lot of Helen Clark - no doubt a consequence of sitting around the cabinet table with her for so long. 

It's amazing that Labour has retained it's 'bossy boots' persona in site of being in opposition.  National with John Key at the helm seems relaxed & happy to let New Zealander's run their own affairs.  A fact Bill English often reminds the house during Question Time (which starts up again tomorrow at 2pm).  

 The only Labour MP I reckon could sell their meddling policies without sounding bossy is Shane Jones.