The Dim-Post

June 25, 2009

Goff interrupted

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 4:32 pm

DPF links to a Weekend Herald interview with Phil Goff, bafflingly conducted by the newspaper’s TV reviewer instead of someone on the political desk. The article is so poorly written it is virtually incomprehensible:

We were in his electorate office and I mentioned the Ranfurly Veterans’ Home just up the road, because I know he pops in all the time to say hello. So it was my fault, but he said, “I grew up on Warren Ave [around the corner] and it was just a dirt road … The last survivors of the Boer War and a lot of the World War I vets were there then …”

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Having raised the home, I’m really not being rude about his reminiscences, but I know better than to let him go on with them.

One thing he is known for is giving horribly long answers to questions, even to questions that haven’t been asked. There is an old joke about him in the Radio New Zealand newsroom which goes like this: Phil Goff has never missed a deadline. “Ha, ha, I haven’t heard that one. I’ve always fronted up to media.”

He has always been tremendously good at what he calls “staying relentlessly on message”. At one point he says “now, where was I?” and I say “that’s not like you, Phil, to lose track”.

“I’m trying to escape from elements of being too on track.” And how successful has that been? “I’m joking,” he said, but he shouldn’t have been.

It it goes on like this. David somehow managed to wade through all this inane gibberish and has advice for Goff, much of which I think is very sound:

If Goff wants to become PM one day, he should do the following:

  1. Do a series of puff pieces in the women’s mags etc. Have us learn more about Phil Goff. Do some extended interviews with the weekly newspapers.
  2. Dampen down the negative tactics. The handling of the Choudary allegations was clumsy at best.  Labour is far too focused on “beltway” issues and not issues that matter to voters.
  3. Start outlining what Goff believes in, and how it differs from both Helen Clark and John Key.  This will not be without risk but is necessary.
  4. Do a reshuffle within 12 months and promote some of the Class of 2008 to more senior positions, and go into the next election with a shadow cabinet that doesn’t look like the one thrown out three years earlier.

As I said before, Goff at the moment is a enigma. And people don’t vote for enigmas. Being a competent Foreign and Trade Minister doesn’t impress a lot of voters. They want to know more than that.

I suspect that Labour’s brain trust are plotting some kind of Orewaesque speech early next year and plan to ‘launch’ Goff as a product then. Of course these are the same wunderkind who gave us the Labour 2008 campaign, so it could be their plan is to give Goff a helmet and a spade, send him down a mineshaft and tell him to tunnel his way to victory in ’11.

More damning I think, than the lack of knowledge about Goff, or even his low polling is the lack of vandalism on his Wikipedia page. We will know Phil Goff has arrived as a political leader when his wiki page goes into protected mode.

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21 Comments »

  1. What do you think Goff could do an Orewa-esque speech about though? I can’t think of another nerve that is quite as raw as the history of settlement in New Zealand.

    Comment by Jake — June 25, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  2. Legalise Cannabis

    Comment by nommopilot — June 25, 2009 @ 6:21 pm

  3. New Zealand jobs for New Zealand workers?

    Weeelll, votes is votes, and the unions won’t mind.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 25, 2009 @ 6:30 pm

  4. He could do a whistle stop tour on the Kiwi Express and speak from the back of the carriage.

    Worked for Lincoln.

    JC

    Comment by JC — June 25, 2009 @ 10:06 pm

  5. “Of course these are the same wunderkind who gave us the Labour 2008 campaign”

    There will be a co-operative of lesbian policy wonks plotting your disembowelling as we speak Danyl

    Comment by expat — June 25, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

  6. What do you think Goff could do an Orewa-esque speech about though? I can’t think of another nerve that is quite as raw as the history of settlement in New Zealand.

    I’ve been thinking recently that the great untapped anger in politics at the moment is anti-corpratism, Goff could come out swinging against Banks, power companies, finance companies etc and propose sweeping new laws – windfall taxes, corporate social responsibility legislation etc to stop these companies from ‘profiteering’.
    The public would love it and National could never agree to it in a million years so it represents a classic wedge opportunity.

    Comment by Danyl Mclauchlan — June 26, 2009 @ 6:39 am

  7. Because homophobia is always funny.

    Comment by Eddie Clark — June 26, 2009 @ 8:38 am

  8. Nice idea in theory Danyl however Goff is far too right for that sort of malarkey. I think he should claim to be Norm Kirk’s love child and be done with it.

    Comment by david c — June 26, 2009 @ 8:56 am

  9. better yet, in this day and age, claim to be Norm Kirk’s ex lover

    Comment by david c — June 26, 2009 @ 9:04 am

  10. Suggest he throws away his contacts, gets Jemaine Clement type specs, or even better, an eye patch, and grows a beard – he just looks too bland
    To make him sound less bland is another matter…

    Comment by Leopold — June 26, 2009 @ 9:26 am

  11. …come to think of it, have him get one leg amputated, acquire a parrot for his shoulder, and larn him to give all speeches in fluent Pirate.
    Still does nothing for the content of the speeches tho’.

    Comment by Leopold — June 26, 2009 @ 10:10 am

  12. Phil Goff is National lite. Lets face it. The guy is dead boring.

    Comment by Captain Crab — June 26, 2009 @ 10:22 am

  13. “…come to think of it, have him get one leg amputated, acquire a parrot for his shoulder, and larn him to give all speeches in fluent Pirate.”

    He could make a speech “Michael Jackson is dead…the king is dead” then put on a glove, moonwalk his way around the stage and announce “long live the King”

    Comment by david c — June 26, 2009 @ 10:40 am

  14. I think he should assume the recently vacated King of Pop role.

    Comment by david c — June 26, 2009 @ 10:43 am

  15. apologies for the double post of the same lame joke…our IT system is cr@pping out fiercely

    Comment by david c — June 26, 2009 @ 11:43 am

  16. Your thinking of how the Pirate Parties got so many votes in the euro election! Now if he could just make the speech on “International Talk Like a Pirate Day”…

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 26, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  17. Danyl – the only thing I disagree with in respect of your post is that the same people who ran the 2008 campaign will be running the 2011 one. Nothing could be further from the truth (which is a very good thing imo).

    Comment by Jordan Carter — June 26, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

  18. I see, so Jordan Carter doesn’t like lesbians, either. What a homophobe…
    ;^)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 26, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

  19. God you’re funny, Mr Fist.

    Comment by George D — June 27, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

  20. A good start would be some rival policy, rather than the constant line ‘the government is not doing enough and not showing leadership’ blah blah blah. No huge details needed just an idea to the electorate where Goff is leading the party.

    Mind you i’m not going to complain and will happily sit back and watch the labour bumble about.

    Comment by Twocan — June 28, 2009 @ 11:04 am

  21. Eye thunku!

    Comment by Clunking Fist — July 1, 2009 @ 7:18 pm


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