Smart. It serves the dual function of engaging with National in an area where they are vulnerable – daft policies, ambitious, egomaniacal Minister – but also sells Shearer to core Labour voters and party members after a pretty terrible six months that left his future as Party leader in doubt.
It’s absurd that education is a ‘battleground issue’ – our education system is basically fine, or at least it was until National started fiddling with it. But middle-class swing voters are anxious about their children, so here we are. At least Labour’s policies will probably make a positive difference, and the core of the plan – state-funded meals for low decile schools – is a really a welfare policy targeting child poverty.