Labour’s Strategic Stupidity

Since Helen Clark lost Mike Munro from her office the Labour party has been strategically stupid.

Stupider than National in the short term, and trying to be stupider than National in the long term.

The latest tactic Labour have undertaken is attacking individual National MPs on issues saying they are the swing voter. They are doing this with Sam Lotu-Iiga over the casino which will win them no votes or no seats.

As a National party supporter Labour being strategically stupid is to be encouraged except that fighting the handicapped is not fair and no fun. Labour need to be strong to be a fair opponent and they need to sort out their strategy.

In opposition strategy is very, very simple. You need to make the government look bad by delivering heads of ministers. You never attack the leader directly unless they lie or get a major issue wrong. You undermine the leader by taking ministers heads. Unfortunately even Shane Jones has missed that point, he thinks the key to Labour victory is attacking John Key.

Jones’ speech mostly focused on regional development – which he has made a theme of his campaign.

But he veered into an attack on Key – who he called a “mercenary of capitalism” and a “snake-oil salesman”.

Jones launched his bid to be leader last week calling Key a “$50m gorilla”, referring to the former currency trader’s personal wealth. 

“I’m going to tie a bungy chord around a sensitive spot and then I’m going to get those callipers and cut them and then the mercenary of capitalism can suffer what he deserves – a dead cat bounce.”

A “dead cat bounce” is Wall Street slang for a short-lived recovery in the price of falling stock. It’s derived from the notion that even a dead cat will bounce if dropped from a great height.

His comments were reportedly met with nervous laughter from the crowd.

Speaking from the Marshall Islands this morning, Key said Jones’ intentions towards him “sounds painful”.

“If they want to spend their time taking about parts of my anatomy or my personality they are free to do so. I don’t think it will win them a lot of votes,” he added.

This term Labour haven’t delivered a single minister’s head, let alone got close to delivering Key’s head.

The only minister’s head was delivered by Michelle Boag when she took out Nick Smith. Labour have no heads, no scandals and have not dented John Key’s credibility by forcing the resignation of a minister.

The strategy is as inept as Trevor Mallard’s underpants stealing strategy, and doom the the same fate.


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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.

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