Yes, it’s been a while between posts. Not so much because of the novel (thanks again to everyone who came to the party and/or bought the book. Sales have been brisk. Reviews have been great.) but because I’ve been reading Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise and one of the comments in it – about the surfeit of information about the political process means that political commentators tend to just pick the datapoints that confirm their pre-existing biases – hit close to home. That’s me! And most everyone else on the blogosphere. I’d like to do more OIA based stories, more data analysis and more satire, but I really don’t have time for any of that stuff. So maybe I should just shut the fuck up?
(This chart corrects for poll bias – just like Nate Silver! – the code to generate it was writter by Peter Green. You can see a non bias corrected chart here. Note how the aggregated curves for National and NZ First are miles away from the actual election results?)
Labour are losing votes to National, and they’ve lost them during the period of time in which the GCSB bill was introduced and the Sky-City deal signed off. They should be winning, not losing. Shearer has responded by replacing his Chief of Staff with Fran Mold, his former press secretary, and Labour’s MPs are leaking to the gallery that his leadership is under threat if he doesn’t reverse this downward trend.
I don’t have any close contacts within Labour these days, but the second-hand gossip I hear is that staff morale is very low, there’s no longer any expectation they’ll be in government next term and there’s very little respect for the senior MPs currently dominating the party, who are seen as chronic underperformers (Annette King – elected to Parliament thirty years ago – was billed as a superstar Health opposition spokesperson when Shearer reshuffled at the start of the year. How’s that working out?)
Changing the CoS doesn’t seem likely to fix the party’s problems, but neither does changing the leader, unless its accompanied by more drastic change.