More fine examples of the Pundit’s Fallacy in the Herald recently. According to Fran O’Sullivan Labour leader David Shearer needs to ‘cosy up to business bosses‘, while John Armstrong wants him to ‘move to the center’ and:
be more strategic when it comes to picking fights with National. But he needs to pick some fights with the Greens
If you swallowed poison and begged Armstrong for help he’d advise you to move to the right and be mean to the Green Party, while O’Sullivan’s relationship to New Zealand’s CEOs is roughly that of a twelve year old girl to a boy band: it’s impossible for anyone to adore them too much and no problem that can’t be solved by simply loving them more.
Shearer’s (and Labour’s) problems don’t have anything to do with political positioning, or loving CEOs. Poll after poll shows us that the public like Labour’s policies and they don’t like the government’s policies. Why would you want to ‘move to the center’ when you already occupy the center? Shearer’s problem is that he’s not a very good opposition leader, and the public are disinclined to elect someone obviously incompetent to run their country. The solution to that is that Shearer needs to be a good opposition leader. That means NOT looking like a mumbling, stuttering half-wit on the news every night, and it also means having MPs and staff who break good stories and score hits against the government. Ideally it means his party stops inflicting PR disasters on itself every couple of weeks.