Wise advice for Cunliffe, doubt he will listen

I’ve listened to David Cunliffe all day trash talking John Key. Going on about pants around his ankles and getting his measure.

Whatever…very unbecoming behaviour for someone who pretends he will be Prime Minister.

Tim Watkin, hardly a fan of John Key, has some advice for David Cunliffe he would do well to listen to.

Judging by the two interviews I’ve heard today is on the right track – he’s looking at ease being authoritative and stressing the need for unity. Unity has to be the first job.

But he needs to stop talking as if he’s addressing the party faithful. The call for unity now is not so he can lead the party, but so that the party can lead the country. He needs to talk from the voters’ viewpoint and say he understands all New Zealanders won’t put up with squabbles. He also needs to wind down the John Key attacks. 

That work a treat with the base, but Key remains a defiantly popular Prime Minister with most New Zealanders. They don’t want to hear talk of battleground and fights and how he’ll expose and bring down a guy they think isn’t too bad a bloke. Most New Zealanders want to hear about service, solutions and how Labour will prove itself worthy again (a message Goff didn’t want to sell and Shearer couldn’t). A little humility will go a long way; a little name-calling will go a long way too, just in the other direction.

Attacking John Key won’t work, neither will attacking his front bench, except for Hekia Parata.

Trash talking the most popular Prime Minister New Zealand has ever had won;t get him votes, it will just cement in people’s minds that Labour is the Nasty party and are unfit for office.

David Shearer declared that gotcha politics wasn’t for him and yet played it all the way through his short term as leader of Labour. David Cunliffe looks set to repeat that failure.

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