WHY, OH WHY didn’t Andrew Little keep his mouth shut? Or, when asked by a journalist to respond to the political observations of his party’s former leader, just stick to the time-honoured current leader’s script?
“I’ve enormous respect for the wisdom of Helen Clark. Her record of winning three elections on the trot speaks for itself. Her political observations are informed by the experience and achievement of many years. Only a fool wouldn’t listen very carefully to her advice.”
If that wasn’t sufficient, then Clark’s remark about Labour needing to “command the centre” should simply have been endorsed. Something along the lines of:
“She’s quite right about that. When questioned, the overwhelming majority of people position themselves between the extremes of left and right. And if you don’t secure the votes of a very big chunk of these centrist voters, then your party’s chances of being elected to govern are next to zero.”
A statement of the bleeding-bloody-obvious, of course, but sometimes the bleeding-bloody obvious is what people need to hear. It reassures them that you, and the party you lead, are in tune with their own general view of the world. Nobody gets to become Prime Minister by making voters feel that the Leader of the Opposition is out-of-tune with their general view of the world.
And yet, that’s exactly what Little did. He described Clark’s bog-standard pol-sci observation – that, to win, his party must “command the centre ground” – as “pretty hollow”.
Yeah, Angry Andy really doesn’t do surprise questions very well. Read more »