Gower on Cunliffe (he’s finally coming around)

When, as a leftie politician,  you’ve lost Paddy Gower, you might as well send out invitations to your political funeral.

Labour’s campaign bus is officially called Big Red.

But this week a more appropriate moniker was surely the David Cunliffe Blunder Bus.

The signs were never really that good for the bus from the campaign’s first week, when it had a prang in Tauranga, escaping with scratched paint.

This week it was Labour’s campaign itself that veered seriously off-course when leader Cunliffe botched and bungled his way through a defence of Labour’s capital gains tax policy.

This put a serious dent in Labour’s campaign. It could turn out to be a tragedy for Labour.

The election was there for the taking and suddenly John Key has snatched it back.

Dirty Politics was just what Labour needed – it was like someone hit the reset button.

Finally, Key and National were pulled down a peg or two.

Cunliffe’s past sins looked like they were forgotten. Key was suddenly the sinner.

The poll gap was narrowing and the MMP mathematics made a Labour-Green-NZ First combo possible.

Cunliffe clearly won the first leaders’ debate. Things were looking up. Then came Key’s pre-meditated hit on the capital gains tax at the Christchurch debate.

I had a front-row seat for Show Me The Money II as Cunliffe was left flummoxed and reeling.

He froze in what may be the most crucial moment of his political career.

It could and should have been so different. Key had his facts wrong about Labour’s tax applying to homes in family trusts.

Cunliffe should have known this answer – and hit back on the spot with “John – you are wrong, you are misleading New Zealanders”.

If Cunliffe had done that, the script for Show Me the Money II would have been a desperate Key out to smear Cunliffe.

It could have been spectacular – an assured Labour leader outwitting Key where Phil Goff had failed.

It would have swung the debate Cunliffe’s way giving him a 2-O lead in the debates.

Imagine the narrative – “Cunliffe puts flailing Key on the back foot”.

Oh how the media are feeling let down by David.  AFTER ALL WE DID FOR HIM!   They tried, didn’t they?  My goodness they tried.   I’m the devil incarnate, Labour Party blogs are written by people that help at puppy and kitten shelters, and John Key still eats babies for breakfast.

The problem is, and always has been, that the media’s take on events are so obviously different from reality, that more and more people are seeing the naked emperor.

The media have failed in elevating a Labour Party with a leader that’s simply stumbling from blunder to blunder.

Only when the media do not give David Cunliffe any airtime do his poll ratings recover.


One of our readers commented

Actually Paddy nothing has changed in the last 4 weeks for the general public and their voting intentions as they either ignored the side show, were outraged Hager could use stolen material to make a few bucks or were waiting for the you to show a bit of balance and you to out the Labour staffers who write for The Standard.

What we have learned this week is your predictions and analysis could be a little better.


– Herald on Sunday

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