Goff compared to Bill English and Jim McLay

Poor old Phil Goff, the Herald compared him to Bill English and Jim McLay.

Mr Goff is far from alone in his misfortune. In the New Zealand context, he might be compared with Bill English or Jim McLay. The former, a leading minister in a recently defeated Administration, failed to get anywhere near to leading National back to office. The latter had the unenviable task of pitting himself against a rampant David Lange. The electorate had declared itself firmly in favour of something new. Anything worthwhile that Mr McLay brought to the leadership of the National Party and offered the country, particularly in comparison to his predecessor, Sir Robert Muldoon, was almost irrelevant.

The only questions remaining to be answered are:

How low can Phil Goff take Labour? and

Will he beat Bill English?


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  • Goff won’t do worse than English. National voters in 2002 had options: New Zealand First, and Dunne. Labour voters don’t really have these this time. It’s vote Labour, or stay home.

  • jabba

    fair call really .. add in Bill Rowling maybe

  • I’m sure Labour will gain 5% on election day as the KFC get-out-and-vote machine hits town. It’ll save a few jobs. After that, another three years of a National government that’s intent on not rocking the boat.

    National must move further left for its own survival, for permanently marginalising Labour, and to open up breathing room for on-its-right coalition partners.

    Of course, not doing so this election cycle will mean Winston Peters is denied the oxygen he craves. But doing so next election cycle will eventually be the only way for this to work out for a longer time.

  • peterwn

    Diamond Jim Mclay had two major political enemies – Rob Muldoon and David Lange. After the 1984 election, Rob Muldoon rampaged around the place like a wounded bull, in particular, the Nationa Party organization especially the then President Sue Wood. The Party lost a multitude of members and is still recovering from that debacle.

  • thor42

    I agree with Graeme Edgeler. Goof, abysmal though he is, will still do better than the Dipton Dipstick. I think the Nats should be urgently looking around for a new finance minister. Dipstick is just too much of a boofhead and a reminder of the 90s and early 00s. He needs to be heaved aside, just as the deadwood in Labour does.
    If I were advising Key, I’d advise him to make STV the Nat’s preferred electoral system, and if it were chosen in the referendum, I’d try to bring it in in the 2014 election – not 2017 as the preferred system is currently scheduled for (IIRC).