Here comes the nasty

Tracy Watkins has worked it out. Labour have nothing left to talk about except the nasty:

Remember the American bag man? The H-bomb? Labour has so far tried shock jock policy (raising the retirement age); taking the moral high ground in the policy debate (a capital gains tax), and gone back to tried and true policies with sweeteners in the form of generous welfare payments, union-friendly law changes and a rise in the minimum wage. But with the polls still showing Labour adrift at below 30 per cent, expect the campaign to turn personal in the final two weeks. Phil Goff has already signalled that is the direction Labour is headed by labelling Mr Key a liar over GST, attacking him over his Hawaiian holiday home, capitalising on his perceived weakness – which is to appear smug – and attacking his credibility.

Since Mr Key became National leader, Labour has also sought to get up various stories, including that Mr Key’s blind trust was a sham; questioning whether he made a false declaration in relation to his electoral address; seeking to link the Government’s BMW contract to National Party donations and a Parnell neighbour of Mr Key’s; and accusing him of mis-stating the number of TranzRail shares he owned.

Last, but not least, was the H-bomb in the 2008 campaign – Labour’s attempt to link Mr Key to a 1980s financial scandal, which exploded in its face after it emerged that it had mistaken someone else’s signature for Mr Key’s. So far this campaign, Mr Goff has tried to avoid a full-frontal personal attack, but the closer to the election we get, the more direct we can expect the attacks to be.

The burning question is whether Labour will follow past form and try to drop a bomb in the final week of the campaign. The advantage of doing it that close to the election date, of course, is you don’t have to prove it till after the polls have closed. The disadvantage is that voters punish negative campaigns.

Ever since Phil Goff declared that the election was going to be policy over personality they have studiously ignored the policy and instead focussed in the nasty. Trevor Mallard blogs almost everyday about something other than policy, mostly with personal attacks against John key or John Banks.

Labour continues to cement their reputation of the being the nasty party. But the worst is yet to come I suspect.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.