Lindsay Mitchell on why Labour copped a flogging

Labour copped a flogging in the election.

Despite the obvious, they seem to be unable to understand why.

Lindsay Mitchell has provided a handy post explaining precisely why Labour was unelectable and will remain unelectable.

If I could say it in a sentence – Labour makes us feel bad about ourselves.

We are told we should be ashamed to live in a country that tolerates  inequality and poverty. It’s implied that success is a matter for sheepishness when others are missing out. We are heels for feeling any aversion to taxation, or the idea of increasing it.

They ran what was billed as a positive campaign but talked, almost always, negatively.

I cannot be a surprise to anyone that their disconnected campaign slogan was designed to link to Nick Hager’s Dirty Politics saga. It turned out to be a spectacular failure on their part, and it will be interesting to find out precisely who suggested it. My pick is Matt McCarten had a hand in that. The slogan meant nothing without dirty politics.

If things were really dire it might have worked. Oppositions can run winning campaigns built on bad news if it’s real and pervasive.  But economic and social statistics are nearly all trending in the right direction. There were no traditional battlegrounds on which Labour could build a case for change. Not the economy, health, education or welfare.

They tried to bribe the have-nots and guilt trip the rest. But the working have-nots figured out they would lose other subsidies with any wage increase, and didn’t like the idea of beneficiaries getting the tax credits they’ve been working for.

People saw right through their amateur attempts at bribing the population.

Josie Pagani relates an anecdote about a conversation she had with an ex-Labour voting truck driver who said, “National is for the rich and Labour is for the poor. Who is for me?”

She relates this during her advocacy that Labour needs to return to being a party for workers. “Look at their name, ” she remonstrated. “It’s Labour.”

Josie is right, but anyone in Labour who says that is immediately excommunicated for their treason and heresy.

Trouble is National is now picking up low-wage workers votes. Note the PMs insistence today that a gap must be preserved between income from welfare and income from wages. Another Labour line he now espouses and they stupidly abandoned.

Forget their inward troubles. Their inability to look competent and trustworthy.

And they don’t, not by a long shot.

They have lost a large share of their old constituency by not moving with the times. Clark and Cullen wanted to bed Labour in as the natural party of government by keeping a majority of voters reasonably happy. But the new guard took the party backwards. Now it would have to be conceded that National could fairly hold the same ambition.

Labour still think the voters are wrong…which is why they keep on failing. They treat the voting public with contempt and arrogance.

After 3 election losses you’d think they’d have learned.


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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.

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