Labour Leader Phil Goff is refusing to accept his party’s poor popularity saying its bad polling is because people aren’t focused on the issues.
He continued to deny rumours he asked his colleagues whether he should stand down as leader.
“People aren’t focused on the issues at the moment and we need to focus on the electorate, on those issues, once the world cup is behind us and the election campaign is underway.”
Meanwhile, in totally unrelated news, Shane Jones was on The Nation last weekend implying that David Cunliffe was behind the recent caucus leaks, and today Trevor Mallard has hinted to gallery journalists that Shane Jones was the culprit*.
Anyway, leadership spat aside, I was more intrigued by these comments made by Jones during his interview with Garner:
Duncan So if you win the seat you have said that you want to play a bigger role in the party?
Duncan What sort of role?
Shane Oh no I think that – there’s a couple of things that I’d like to think we can do going forward etc. Number one is never ever be afraid to project why we really exist, but secondly is, there has been a misapprehension grow that we the Labour Party or parties of the left, are parties of big government, and the country doesn’t have an appetite for big government.
Maybe it’s just rhetoric, but I have heard from my own leakers in the Labour Party that Jones is ‘to the right of ACT’, as well as being socially conservative.
The other question to ponder here is why someone – Cunliffe, Jones, whoever – is leaking to undermine their own leader prior to the election. Goff will announce his resignation on election night or a couple of days later – why stab him in the back now?
Is it possible that some of the MPs lower down on the list are in a rival camp to whoever leaked, and that while losing those MPs (Nash, Sepuloni, Davis) might be bad for the party, it’d be highly advantageous for someone with leadership ambitions who doesn’t enjoy their support? Is anyone that devious?
Update: Trevor Mallard insists he was pointing to the men’s room, not Mr Jones’ office as the place where the leak occurred.