The Dim-Post

November 4, 2011

Damage done

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 10:37 am

It really doesn’t matter if Labour’s books balance or not. When you’re opposition leader, an election campaign is a job interview to be Prime Minister, and the public are judging you on how you’ll perform under pressure, how you’ll represent when speaking for the nation, or negotiating with other national, political or business interests. If you’re not up to the job then the public doesn’t want you, no matter how well your staff follow up on your behalf.

Goff’s credibility-damaging poor performance in Christchurch and lack of support in the polls aren’ t new developments. The public has disliked him consistently for two years now, for the excellent reason that he doesn’t seem like he’d be a very good head of government. For some reasons the Philosopher-Kings running the Labour Party decided to keep him on in spite of this, with awesomely predictable results.

In a related note, Tim Watkin at Pundit writes about Labour’s inability to win popularity:

But it’s not looking like it’s been able to break the circuit yet for this race. Thing is people don’t vote for tough decisions, unless they think there’s no alternative. They vote for rainbows and puppies and interest-free student loans.

This is the same media pundit cynicism-posing-as-wisdom I complained about last week. Isn’t this exactly the opposite of what’s happening in this election? Labour are promising almost every voter a tax break and more money into their KiwiSaver accounts, while National is promising to sell state assets, which the public is strongly opposed to. But 56% of the country prefers National and Key, simply because they just seem a whole lot more competent.

54 Comments »

  1. And Labour is the party thats going to give the rich pricks a tax break on the first $5000 of income plus GST off their veges. Thats hardly consistent with hard choices and fairness.

    JC

    Comment by JC — November 4, 2011 @ 10:49 am

  2. This is everything that is wrong with New Zealand politics. It does not matter what impact these policies will have on the lives of New Zealanders. It only matters how they play to the Victoria Street Amateur Drama Club.

    The church of the damned savvy, and nothing else.

    Comment by George D — November 4, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  3. Usually I agree with you but in this instance I think (maybe naively so) that if Goff/Labour does produce a balanced budget then this could turn into a major win – Key seems to have staked quite a lot on Labour not being able to afford its policies, if they can and suddenly present a credible alternative to asset sales then they could their numbers up.

    Having said that, they have almost a 0 chance of winning the election (unless they pull a Sideshow Bob and get the dead to vote for them…)

    Comment by David C — November 4, 2011 @ 10:54 am

  4. “But 56% of the country prefers National and Key, simply because they just seem a whole lot more competent.”

    If it turns out that Key’s costings of Labour’s policies are blatantly wrong, wouldn’t that just mean that they are a whole lot more competent at lying?

    Comment by wtl — November 4, 2011 @ 10:58 am

  5. Phil Goff said yesterday that the deficit under Labout will be about $15.6 billion, so clearly the books won’t balance. But they won’t balance under National either.

    I’m not sure that Labour’s low poll rating is because Goff “doesn’t seem like he’d be a very good head of government.” That of course may be part of it, but I suspect that it’s more a result of Labour’s nine years in office. It was always going to be unlikely that National would do only one term, whoever the new Labour leader was.

    Comment by Ross — November 4, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  6. I’ve said it before, Labour doesn’t need to win the election to win the election. They need to bring the Nats down to Ca 45% and into minority government or coalition with someone other than Act to scupper plans for asset sales etc. Goff can then be superannuated back to Mt Roskill and the party can begin to rebuild, while allowing the Govt to tie itself in knots over the fact that it can’t do the more extreme things it campaigned on.

    Comment by Paul Rowe — November 4, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  7. David C.:

    But when you’ve had three days of your major attack line (“National are a pack of borrow-and-spend do nothings lead by a incompetent pathological liar”) turn into a flashing question mark over your own credibility, I’m not sure mere internal consistency is good enough.

    Labour can’t afford another round of that well-known Rogernome Brian Easton saying “nice policy, but there’s a hole in your costings”.🙂 And frankly, I think those who are calling bullshit on either party’s confident assertions we’ll be back in black by 2014 are right.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — November 4, 2011 @ 11:02 am

  8. “And Labour is the party thats going to give the rich pricks a tax break on the first $5000 of income plus GST off their veges.”

    I think you’ll find these policies also apply to the low paid and will have a greater effect on the purchasing power of the low paid vis-a-vis the well off.

    Comment by Ross — November 4, 2011 @ 11:03 am

  9. It pains me to say this, but Key is very good at pre-empting typical left-wing arguments and making it seem like all the unpopular policies he’s trying to ram through are reasonable (people just have been “led astray by the silly media/loony lefties”). Even if his reasoning is often laughable, very few people will actually catch him out on it (Goff did pretty well in the TVNZ debate I think, but still let Key get away with a lot too). Key’s whole “situations change” excuse for breaking his promise about GST could have been picked up by Goff as a defence for not having a clue about his numbers: “as the Prime Minister said about GST, situations change, so there’s no point in spending time producing exact figures when these figures will be different in a few years time.” Or (insert more witty response here). Instead of brushing Key off (like Key brushed off Goff), he seemed really ill prepared argument- and confidence- wise.

    Anyway, what that has to do with his post is: That is how I *specifically* think Key is better at campaigns and public appearances. Appearance wise I don’t know why everyone is so smitten with him. Both major party leaders just look like typical slightly balding white men😛

    Comment by Zo — November 4, 2011 @ 11:06 am

  10. But they won’t balance under National either.

    No they won’t Ross, but Goff was forced to admit last night that a Labour government would actually borrow more than National – you know, those rich pricks who are selling our children’s ladders to China, or something.

    Contrary to popular wisdom among the media-political complex, I actually believe voters can handle being treated like adults with an attention span. What they don’t like, and shouldn’t, is the sense that they’re being played for fools.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — November 4, 2011 @ 11:06 am

  11. The church of the damned savvy, and nothing else.

    People take this ‘cult of savvy’ critique too far. We’re allowed to want our top politicians to be politically adept.

    Comment by danylmc — November 4, 2011 @ 11:10 am

  12. George D, I think the problem you speak of is representational democracy being at the behest of commercial media, rather than New Zealand. The problems you point out are not unique to New Zealand (Jay Rosen is not commenting on New Zealand in the article you linked to, for example).

    You are right in that bloggers should technically fill that gap rather than follow that style of reporting though, but actually they are often even more ill-placed to do so if their blog is a part-time venture.

    Comment by Zo — November 4, 2011 @ 11:15 am

  13. Tomorrow has arrived, and the farce has finally come to this: Thanks to the Espiners and the Garners and their masters, TV news and current affairs has reduced our political process to something akin to a schoolyard popularity contest.

    All the kids who want to be that joker Key’s friend (he has got a cool downtown house with a pool and everything) agree he kicks boring old Goff (he lives on farm! shame!) into touch everytime. That, ladies and gentle, is NZ democracy in 2011.

    If six months ago Lucy lawless had decided to lead the Green Party and instead of doing the voice over for Labour’s launch Tandi Wright and Goff had swopped jobs those two parties would be ten points higher in the polls, regardless of policy.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 4, 2011 @ 11:20 am

  14. We’re allowed to want our top politicians to be politically adept.

    The horse you ride has more dignity than you.

    Comment by George D — November 4, 2011 @ 11:21 am

  15. I don’t think Goff’s media coaching is working out that well. he’s not sure who he is anymore. i doubt he’s the sort of person who goes about calling people liars.

    I think he sould stop calling Key “john”, it’s unpleasantly passive-aggressive and no one believes what is obviously false familiarity. call him the prime minister, pay respect to the office and remind people what’s at stake.

    Comment by NeilM — November 4, 2011 @ 11:22 am

  16. It was always going to be unlikely that National would do only one term, whoever the new Labour leader was.

    @ Ross – this is something that doesn’t really get talked about too much.

    I think you’re dead right. Almost irrespective how shitty the government of the day is, NZers seem to like to give the ruling party two spins of the wheel.
    Maybe it has more to do with our ridiculously short electoral cycle more than anything else.
    One year not rocking the boat and blaming everything on the other team, one year tinkering and one year gearing up for the next election.

    For the NZLP it must be about limiting the electoral damage in 2011 as described by P Rowe (which looks to be a big ask with Mallard in charge) and get their goddamned act together for 2014.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 4, 2011 @ 11:28 am

  17. The money is shown: http://labour.org.nz/news/keeping-our-assets-and-building-the-economy

    Comment by Ben Wilson — November 4, 2011 @ 11:33 am

  18. Goff lost the election when he turned up to the debate on Wednesday night with incomplete costings. How he could have thought he’d get away with that I just can’t fathom. “Show me the money” was cheesy but it has stuck and will stay stuck until Nov 26. Their only hope is some absolutely brutal and clever negative advertising and frankly, I don’t think they have it in them.

    Comment by Chris Werry (@chriswerry) — November 4, 2011 @ 11:36 am

  19. This is the same media pundit cynicism-posing-as-wisdom I complained about last week. Isn’t this exactly the opposite of what’s happening in this election? Labour are promising almost every voter a tax break and more money into their KiwiSaver accounts, while National is promising to sell state assets, which the public is strongly opposed to. But 56% of the country prefers National and Key, simply because they just seem a whole lot more competent.

    No, it’s not the opposite. They prefer Key and National (which actually is ‘Key’ because the party carries his branding everywhere – ‘Key-led government’ anyone?) because Key’s a likeable chap, who is folksy and you could have a good ol’ chin wag with. It’s the same Presidential-style campaign that saw Dubbya through against Kerry for a second term, because people thought ‘he’s just like me!’.

    Nevermind his use of ‘son’ and other condescensions during the debates.

    Things like selling state assets don’t really matter when the leader appears (as you’ve said Danyl ‘seems’) to be ‘good’ and ‘competent’ despite the reality of the economic situation, encroaching Nanny-statism (by another name) and reduction in work/civil rights etc – which most of the population dismiss as being caused by the GFE/Earthquake/Pike River etc, and not by any lack of management, incompetence or ideology in practice.

    That’s why the uncharismatic Goff doesn’t get much play – because people can’t relate to him, and are thereby comfortable dismissing everything he says and stands for on the basis of a simple lack of dollar-based costings at a single event (even though I agree this was incredibly important, and was a significant failure for Goff/Labour).

    Comment by Pete — November 4, 2011 @ 11:48 am

  20. We’re allowed to want our top politicians to be politically adept.

    Dismiss as a concern-troll if you like, but I think Labour’s candidates, flaxroots members/activists and donors are entitled to competence from their top-tier leadership and campaign strategists.

    Sanctuary:

    Yeah, blame the media (and the ignorant peasantry) seems to be your default setting and you’re entitled to it. But Goff could actually have competently responded to a bleeding obvious attack line. Clark and Cullen didn’t seem to have any great difficulty doing so in 1999 when accused of having a secret, unaffordable “tax and spend” agenda for the Fifth Labour Government.

    Shall I spell it out for you –
    1) When you release policy, have the costings attached instead of saying “they’re in the mail”.

    2) Pardon the management-speak, but have clear and explicit benchmarks. And make sure everyone is briefed to send out a clear, simple and consistent message.

    3) Oh, and walk into media stand-ups and blithely admit you’re going to do what you’ve been attacking those other bastards for – and more of it.

    And another little hint from the 2002 snapper which saw National get the lowest vote share in the party’s history.

    1) If the Opposition leader obligingly digs a hole and throws himself into it, it would be churlish to intervene.

    Not rocket science, Sanc.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — November 4, 2011 @ 11:58 am

  21. > No they won’t Ross, but Goff was forced to admit last night that a Labour government would actually borrow more than National

    I suggested that in my comment, Craig. I said Labour planned to borrow $15.6 billion.

    Comment by Ross — November 4, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  22. This quote is an example of the malaise of many. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/campaign-trail/5905897/Keys-latte-set-gets-spoonfuls-of-sugar

    “Former aged care nurse Pauline Mortimer had him up about the health system. “It’s all gone to s…, mate.” But even she admitted: “I’m voting for John Key because I think he’s a positive person. I think he’ll do something about it.”

    Comment by max — November 4, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

  23. “Goff lost the election when he turned up to the debate on Wednesday night with incomplete costings.”

    That’s plain silly. Labour were well behind before Wednesday night…they needed a minor miracle and on the score nothing has changed.

    Comment by Ross — November 4, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

  24. “…Yeah, blame the media (and the ignorant peasantry) seems to be your default setting and you’re entitled to it…”

    Look, Labour would have found it a lot harder to win in 1935 with Harry Holland in charge – Micky Savage was the face the public wanted in charge, and the leader that allowed the enacting of the policy. I am not saying that politics has ever been or ever should be just a technocratic exercise in policy analysis, or we’ve drifted away from a time when it was just that. Politicians are by definition leaders, not technocrats and definitely not clowns like Key. I think Labour’s parliamentary team has failed utterly to acknowledge the importance of Goff’s lack of leadership appeal, for reasons that mostly do not reflect well on them.

    The point I was trying to make is if the Greens and labour had replaced their leadership with two attractive female actors they’d have gone up in the polls irrespecvtive of their actual abilities. We have been now reduced to witnessing the political equivalent of an empty Frosties box winning a popular vote. imagine if we take that to it’s logical conclusion and Labour parachuted in tandi Wright. “Looks like people love Tandi!” Wendy would gush approvingly out from the TV set, before crossing to a beaming Guyon to approvingly explain labour’s rise in the polls.

    The point of my post is at the moment our trivialised media has got things completely out of whack, and we need to do something about it because it has reduced our politics to celebri-mush and it is destroying our ability to function as an adult democracy.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 4, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

  25. @Zo #9 ” …. Key’s whole “situations change” excuse for breaking his promise about GST could have been … ” Wrong. The “situations change” response was to a totally different question. One which Phil, by the way, declined to answer and fudged badly.

    John Key has never conceded that he broke a promise about GST. He has put the statement in context and stands by it which is more than we can say about others and their changing stances. I imagine that a lot of reasonable people are getting more than a bit fed up with some of the attack lines of the Left which are patently untrue and acan be categorised as personal attacks and gutter politics. It blew back in Labour’s face and is in the process of doing so again and really puts thye biggest lie as coming from the bloke who has tried to claim that it is all about policy.

    Even Trevor Mallard can’t keep that one up without conceding that it is a popularity contest.

    Not a dig at you personally Zo, just trying to keep the record straight.

    Comment by DavidW — November 4, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

  26. Danyl has it the wrong way round, I reckon. It’s not “leader lets down his team”, it’s “leader let down by his team”. By any reasonable measure, Goff would be a competent and diligent PM. If you’re concerned about “negotiating with other national, political or business interests”, there’s a stack of positive reports from his time as foreign, defence and trade minister (the China FTA for one).

    But as an opposition campaigner, he is relying on his political team. Whereas in government you rely on your official team, and they are a damn sight more professional than whoever has been running Labour’s alleged “strategy”.

    Ultimately that’s his responsibility, of course. But there are no “Goff-ites” in caucus, so hs leadership has been passively accepted, not enthusiastically supported. I wish he’d done a “back me or sack me” move a few months ago, but I guess he feared the answer.

    Still, it’s hard to believe that a bunch of Labour “strategists” can’t come up with any lines to trump Steven Joyce’s “Show me the money” (let’s not pretend it was Key’s). I suppose they could, if they cared enough. But they don’t.

    Comment by sammy — November 4, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

  27. @7 Since when has Brian Easton been a Rogernome? He supports free trade (but then, most economists do), but what else is Rogernomish about him? That he likes to see costings?

    Comment by MeToo — November 4, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

  28. MeToo,

    Yes I seem to recall Easton was quite a strong critic of Rogernomics, at least various aspects of it. Indeed, in his response to Debra Coddington recently, he made it clear that he is and was no fan of Roger Douglas.

    http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/?p=1531

    Comment by Ross — November 4, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

  29. MeToo/Ross:

    Craig was being facetious in calling Easton a rogernome, and using it as an example that sometimes even people on the left want to see costings.

    Was that really so hard to pick up from the text? Maybe you need to read more of Ranapia’s postings.

    Comment by Simon Poole — November 4, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

  30. This was the article which Coddington was complaining about.

    http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/?p=1522

    Comment by Ross — November 4, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

  31. I don’t think people have a false consciousness. Most people have a clear, even acute, sense of their own wellbeing. They also generally tend to understand their own direct relationships with government, business, and other sectors of society. Where most people do have difficulty is in relating these to the wider social structures in which they live. It is this they depend on interpreters for – academics, credible journalists, and others who have been designated by society as truth tellers. We’re being failed here.

    Is Phil Goff competent? He was a minister for 9 years, holding Foreign Affairs, Trade, Justice, Associate Finance. I heard a lot of good things about his handling of these, and he managed to avoid scandals or major problems. By most standards, he left those ministries in a very healthy position. That speaks sufficiently to me about his abilities as a leader and manager, and as a potential PM. But his abilities as a leader who is able to play the psuedo-communication press game? Well, there is only one judge of that, and that is the media themselves.

    Comment by George D — November 4, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

  32. Brian Edwards, expounding on the subject Either he and I are sore whingers, or he and I are at least partly correct.

    Comment by George D — November 4, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

  33. Reading some of the US polisci lit, it seems a new President wants his first year to be as bad as possible, since he won’t get blamed for it. Then he should work towards growth in the fourth years and say “Hey! Look how much things have improved!”

    Since we have a short cycle, first-term governments don’t even need to get around to the improvement part. There’s a risk if you inflict too much pain — recall that Bolger would have lost in 1993 if seats were allocated via MMP. Bad as things are, that was a whole other level of hurt.

    Comment by bradluen — November 4, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

  34. Danyl, you talk like all New Zealanders saw Goff squirming embarrassingly about the 14Billion: it was watched by 25,000 people, or less than 1% of the electorate. My sense of it is that “The News” stories the next day were moderately critical of Goff, but also kept “Goff’s spreadsheet” in the news. Now that the spreadsheet is out, people seem to be saying that it has some credibility, and moreover its getting quite wide media coverage. For a leader as maligned as Goff, its not turning out that badly.

    Comment by brouhaha — November 4, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

  35. Key’s popularity: Fairfax investigates.

    I really do believe in democracy, warts and all (insert Churchill quote here), but sometimes the faith does waver:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5909259/Leaders-take-the-bloke-test

    Warning: Do not read the comments thread if you’re having a bad day and there’s a noose nearby …

    Comment by sammy — November 4, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

  36. Is Phil Goff competent? He was a minister for 9 years, holding Foreign Affairs, Trade, Justice, Associate Finance. I heard a lot of good things about his handling of these

    When he was Minister of Justice our incarceration rate increased to point where we now have one of the highest rates in the OECD and it was from legislative changes brought in by the Labour government not higher crime rates. See Phil Goff championing this record here. Now some may argue that was handling it well many others will find it appalling including many in the Labour party given their comments since being out of government. A moral and fiscal failure one might say.

    Comment by Quoth the Raven — November 4, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  37. When he was Minister of Justice our incarceration rate increased to point where we now have one of the highest rates in the OECD and it was from legislative changes brought in by the Labour government not higher crime rates. See Phil Goff championing this record here. Now some may argue that was handling it well many others will find it appalling including many in the Labour party given their comments since being out of government. A moral and fiscal failure one might say.

    Of course. I don’t disagree. Among other things he also signed free trade agreements with conditions that hurt workers badly, was happy to maintain cordial relations with human rights abusers, and was one of the major architects of New Zealand’s shift away from an independent foreign policy back towards the US. I find much of his policy record abhorrent, and believe that he was constrained by his party on the left.

    But those were deliberate decisions. Little happened by accident. Unless you consider that these judgements make him less qualified to be PM than Key, then I think this doesn’t strike against him on a measure of managerial capability – which is what is in question. He won’t be a PM I like, but his caucus and coalition parties will set the direction sufficiently that it won’t be a disaster for the left. The alternative will be a disaster for everyone.

    Comment by George D — November 4, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  38. He won’t be a PM I like, but his caucus and coalition parties will set the direction sufficiently that it won’t be a disaster for the left. The alternative will be a disaster for everyone.

    Jesus, George; that’s a grim assessment.
    The second statement isn’t quite true however; the next National led government will be an absolute boon for a small number of already wealthy individuals.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 4, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  39. I like Goff better than Key because he doesn’t make the whole thing into a ridiculous circus game, he has ideas and philosophy which are practical and make sense.

    Labour won’t punish people for their social status/financial status/age/race/orientation. National does, and will continue to do so.

    Comment by Betty — November 4, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

  40. The money is shown: http://labour.org.nz/news/keeping-our-assets-and-building-the-economy
    Some really good lines in there, would have been excellent if Goff had been able to use them to combat Key a couple of days ago though

    Comment by garethw — November 4, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

  41. I support the “Left” strongly because I fear the excesses that the Key lead Government will action when given the dreaded”Mandate.” In Education, Public Service, Foreign Affairs, Welfare, Asset Sales they will action their real aims because of that mandate. Fearful.
    And I like Phil Goff. As politicians go he seems straight up to me, and he has a sense of humour that doesn’t giggle at the butt as Key does.

    Comment by ianmac — November 4, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

  42. Danyl you are usually quite wise, but this blog is really fucking dim. You seem to be buying the master narrative that has been set up. I don’t think people think that Goff is ‘incompetent’ (this just doesn’t fit with the huge number of folios he has handled as a minister and his general demeanor), what they do feel is that he is not ‘fun’, ‘blokey’, a ‘nice guy’ and someone that gives you warm fuzzies. Competence and general popularity are two totally different issues.

    How competent is a man that believes that the superannuation is sustainable? How competent is a man who thinks that selling profit-generating essential services is a good idea? How competent is a man who has actually achieved NOTHING over the past three years?

    This election is not about competence.

    Comment by Tim — November 4, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

  43. And let’s remember the PM who said earlier this year that there would be no Partial Asset Sales unless the people supported it. Support about 14%. But of course should National be re-elected it will mean that the people DO support Asset Sales. So obvious i’nnt?

    Comment by ianmac — November 4, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

  44. When I watched the debate I was watching someone do a job interview for a job he knew how to do: Goff as has been pointed out was at number 3 in cabinet for 9 years filling various portfolios. Goff doesn’t need to make BS claims about how much like Obama he is, he has represented NZ at the highest level and has respect overseas. He’s also served his constituency faithfully for a long time and even in the MMP era this resonates with me.

    Key didn’t give me any sense of that. He makes ridiculous comments like the drunken sailor one, and has run from any meaningful debate for 3 years. You don’t get the feeling service is why he took the job. And after photo op in khaki, at the RWC, with the Queen, on Letterman and so on…he still feels like a tourist who is trying to get some work to justify his tourism! Big call I know, and simply my opinion, but that is how it feels to me.

    Comment by sheesh — November 4, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

  45. Simon Poole @ 29

    Well D’Oh! by me. Obvious facetiousness noted on re-reading.

    Comment by MeToo — November 4, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

  46. I think you’re strongly contradicting yourself in this post Danyl (not the first time). On one hand you’re saying public are judging the opposition leader on how he handles himself in pressure or “how you’ll represent when speaking for the nation, or negotiating with other national, political or business interests” and on the other hand you’re saying that yourself and the public view Phil Goff as incompetent to the the task of head of govt. That is strange considering he used to hold senior foreign affairs, trade and business portfolios that actually required him to negotiate with other national, political or business interests. If anyone has experience in these areas it’s Phil Goff. I don’t like the guy and view as right wing former rogernome but to call him incompetent is so far off the mark. Public have hated Goff for a long time but if it is due to a perceived lack of competency well that’s a real worry.

    Comment by K2 — November 4, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

  47. “Labour won’t punish people for their social status/financial status/age/race/orientation. National does, and will continue to do so.”

    Oh really Betty, they seem to be prepared to give farmers, “rich pricks” and any civil servant who doesn’t agree with them 100%, a pretty good booting anytime they get the chance

    Comment by Raymond A Francis — November 4, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

  48. Thank you, RAF, for saying what I was thinking, but said it better than I would have.

    Comment by David in Chch — November 4, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

  49. Well done Danyl! You’ve flushed the Labour activists out of the bushes/cupboard with this post!

    I agree with you, Labour do seem to be run by hybrid =strich-L Ron Hubbard people, hard core Labour supporters such as that Pundit chap must be on drugs and as I was musing to a colleague yesterday why didn’t Labour have a massive clean after 2008 and present a new young and dynamic party to the public.

    Philosopher Kings indeed.

    Comment by fil — November 5, 2011 @ 6:25 am

  50. That Pundit seems to censor.

    Someone commented there: “I’m a little surpirsed the likes of United Future and the Maori Party haven’t campaigned on their ability to moderate a National government by setting no Asset sales as a bottom line.”

    I responded that UF are campaigning on exactly that but moderate gets little attention in the media.

    The post was there last night but this morning it has disappeared.

    Comment by Pete George — November 5, 2011 @ 8:46 am

  51. “I responded that UF are campaigning on exactly that”

    UF is saying that if National needs them for C&S then Nationals plan to list a bunch of SOEs on the stock market and sell 49% will not go ahead?

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — November 5, 2011 @ 10:24 am

  52. That Pundit seems to censor.

    The site’s been slowly drowning in comment-spam for some time now.
    Deleting legit comments is probably a side-effect of their losing battle to deal with the problem.

    Comment by Joe W — November 5, 2011 @ 10:47 am

  53. what person could possibly look good to the public after the sort of sustained character-assassination Goff has endured for the last 3 years?
    And if Labour had changed leader, it woud have been spun as weakness and division – they can’t win.

    Comment by deemac — November 5, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

  54. PS re RAF and similar comments: when farmers start paying taxes like the rest of us I’ll believe any govt has ever put the boot in – their conscientious objection to paying their dues is one of the reasons the NZ economy is flatlining.
    Kindly list said “bootings” as I can’t recall them.

    Comment by deemac — November 5, 2011 @ 12:44 pm


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