Who is Andrew Little? – Can Andrew Little Compete with John Key?

Labour have been confident that they finally have a leader that can compete with John Key.

They were stoked when he said “cut the crap”. They liked his no nonsense, straight talking style, not realising that he would have to actually compete in likability stakes with John Key, as well as competence stakes.

Little’s first head to head confrontation, yesterday’s state of the nation speeches, did not go well for Little.

He ducked and weaved and delivered a speech that was pedestrian at best, and “very flat” or “Even if his delivery and presence at the podium still needs a lot of work” according to whichever left wing pundit you choose to follow.

Whats worse is todays usually reliable Dominion Post has a headline “Key trumps Little on speech day”.

The even more reliable Vernon Small had to point out the obvious, a big win for John Key.

The battle of the speeches has delivered a clear victory to Prime Minister John Key, who set out headline-grabbing plans to revamp social housing, including a potentially unpopular sell-down of thousands of state owned houses.   

By contrast, new Labour leader Andrew Little opted for a more general approach, as he tries to reposition the party on the centre ground, with a pitch to small business and a promise to cut unemployment to the lowest level in the developed world.

But he stumbled when he failed to recall the current lowest rate – about 3.5 per cent against 5.4 in New Zealand now.

The problem for Labour and Little is that people don’t usually change their minds after the first impression.

They were waiting to see if Little was anything different from the previous Labour leaders.

So far Little hasn’t done anything to make them think they should look again at him, and Labour.

On the other side John Key delivered a well crafted speech that had real solutions to real issues, at the same time as trapping Labour into fighting for state house tenants, a policy that will never win over middle New Zealand, especially when the house they use in their advertising is a holiday bach not a state house.


– Fairfax



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  • The2Game

    And the people, knowing now that ‘Cut the crap’ wasn’t the brilliant off-the-cuff bit of repartee that we all thought it was at the time (but rather had been drafted some time earlier and ‘kept’ for a good moment), will be rather loath to be ‘impressed’ by any Little sayings for a while…

    • Melissa

      I didn’t know that!

      • stanman

        Yip it was scripted….

        Same old same old huh

  • Day Day

    John Key has a sense of humour.

    • Monito

      And he delights in making a joke of himself.. he a great sense of humour and huge charisma. Exactly what little ole New Zealand needs our Prime Minister to have.

  • Pluto

    If “cut the crap” is his crowning achievement since becoming leader it’s probably best if he just shuts up and hopes JK gets caught beating up grannies.

  • Rex

    Angry Andy’s problem is,he is,devoid of a sense of humour AND personality. This is why the people of New Plymouth did not want him. Amongst other reasons of course. Like being a union boss. I think Shearer is their only hope.

  • Mav E Rick

    If saying “Cut the crap” is all it takes for the lefties to think their new leader has the means of overcoming the presidential qualities that John Key has demonstrated then they are a deluded bunch. Unfortunately for them – saying “Cut the Crap” is not a phrase that can be repeatedly uttered as it will show that the person saying it does not possess a big enough vocabulary to adequately express himself and has to revert to childish taunts used in the play ground. Fine to use it once, but if brought out again and again it will show Angry Little for what he really is. A lot of noise and little substance!

    • Captain Darling

      All talk and no trousers.

  • Saggy

    To achieve the lowest unemployment in the OECD would be a commendable achievement but at 5.4 we’re not miles from the ball park. My guess is that somewhere between these figures there is a level at which an employer would be doing themselves a disservice by engaging more unemployed. At this level you meet people who have no interest in being employed or have characteristics which render them unfit for the workforce.

  • HunuaRanger

    For Little to compete with he would have to understand the rules of the game Key is playing, Sadly the Political Noughts and Crosses that Little is attempting to master is no match for the Governmental Brinkmanship Chess that Key is an adept at.

    So, Little has about as much chance of defeating Key as a snowballs chance in a Supernova.

  • James M

    The saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” comes to mind.

    Are his policies not just read off the same paperwork he had on his union desk?

  • Genevieve

    Little is a dour and boring man who gives the impression of having been born middle-aged.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      He has the personality of a cardboard cut out…..

      • benniedawg

        He is a grocer, fishmonger or butcher. Picture him in these roles? You would be happy to deal with him in the time it took to purchase what you needed but be equally happy to leave his premises. Sorry but there is simply no way this guy is PM material.

      • Steve

        I prefer the concrete block analogy

  • SVlover

    I was more than surprised to hear Gloomy, Grumpy Gower on Radio Live yesterday admitting that John Key made a much better speech than Angry Little. What nearly threw me off my perch was when GGG mentioned that John Banks was on a winner and that he was an honest man that needed to clear his name. Has GGG had en encounter of the 3rd. kind whilst on holiday??

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Too much exposure to the summer sun. Never forget the fact that Paddy is a de facto Labour list candidate along with resident communist Corrin Dan.

  • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

    Saw today in the Herald (no, I do NOT buy it) some assessment of Little and Key – – possibly the State of Nation speeches.
    Key got 7, 8 and 8 against straight fours for Little, and that was obviously from a biased “analyst”, it being a Herald article. So, anyway, 23 points to 12.
    Pretty much the same ratio of National votes to Labour votes in the last elections.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      That spells doom for Labour….

  • Mick Ie

    Labour was scraping the bottom of the barrel when they presented their prospective candidates. Then for the Unions to go and select the most unpalatable of them all, leaves little doubt, he’ll continuously struggle against NZs most popular PM ever.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Well if Labour cheer leader Vernon Small declares victory for John Key, Labour may as well shut the shop and go home. I can’t wait for the election Leaders’ debate between Handy Andy and Key….that is assuming he survives that long….Robo must be sharpening his knives by now….

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Bros – the real danger now is Key getting bored with life and calling it a day…..so well wishers need to keep energising uncle Key….