Chris Trotter wonders why Labour constantly goes round and round in circles.
WHY DOES LABOUR do it? Why is it forever tying itself up in ethical knots and programmatic contradictions? Its policy-making does not seem to proceed from any discernible core of political principle. On the contrary, it comes across as the sort of haphazard collection of fleeting public obsessions a party guided exclusively by opinion polls and focus groups might present to the electorate.
Voters are prepared to forgive National for this sort “suck it and see” approach to policy-making. Most of us understand that the only principle that National will never abandon is the one commanding it to remain in office for as long as possible. Everything else is negotiable – as the Government’s recent swag of policy tweaks and re-adjustments makes abundantly clear.
Nor can the voters object too strenuously to National’s governing style. After all, it is their own likes and dislikes that are being so assiduously fed back to them by the party’s pollsters and marketing specialists.
If democracy is about giving the people what they want, then John Key’s preternatural sensitivity to the slightest change of pitch in the vox populi makes him a democratic leader of no mean ability.