Felix Marwick not impressed

Felix Marwick outlines Phil Goff’s embarrassing empty campaign:

But Friday’s follow up was, to put it bluntly, not that impressive. It started with Phil Goff visiting students at Auckland’s Wesley Intermediate School. There he discussed at length the importance of savings, the dangers of loan sharks, and why it is important to plan for the future.

Now maybe I’m out of touch, but to see a politician explaining savings policy to 11 and 12-year-olds just seemed a bit strange. Let’s set aside for a moment that they’re not of voting age (though obviously their parents are). Pushing political policy to pre-teens seems, I don’t know, like a waste of time? It also seems a bit cruel. From my recollections of my school days I would have found having a politician explain savings initiatives to me as something that would be a detention style punishment.

Phil Goff’s next gig of the day was a public meeting with senior citizens in Henderson. It was a chance for him to explain Labour’s policies and a chance for them to quiz him about them. That’s actually a good thing. Despite the way he may appear to many on TV, Phil Goff is actually very good at engaging with people in this sort of forum. He’s a strong debater and can make good connections when he engages with the public directly rather than via media.

The problem was only around two dozen people were there to hear him speak.

It was a huge waste of an opportunity. The meeting should have been stacked with people, even if the party had to bus their own supporters in to make up the numbers. It does not speak well of local list MPs Carmel Sepuloni and Lynne Pillay that the attendance was so woeful.

The day after what was supposed one of Labour’s major policy releases, the party’s leader should have been pushing it to the biggest audience possible, or at the very least be seen to be doing so. This definitively did not happen. What was flagged as a bold idea on Thursday got a feeble follow up on Friday.

To put it in perspective; while the Prime Minister was playing with Hobbits and Hollywood, Phil Goff was auditioning to be the Invisible Man.

Labour says it wants to make this election a battle of ideas. For this to work it needs to be presenting its ideas directly to as many people as it possibly can. A battle based on ideas cannot be won if people aren’t aware of the ideas you have.

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