Dompost says Andrew Little isn’t Labour’s saviour

The Dompost editorial reckons Andrew Little isn’t Labour’s saviour.

It was written yesterday, but after the shellacking he got in parliament from John Key it is obvious they are right.

Andrew Little wanted to clear the decks of old policy and shine a light on the new Labour captain – himself. The result was strangely depressing.

Little had moved long before last weekend’s annual party conference to kill off the remnants of the Leftish policy Labour touted last year.

The capital gains tax and a rise in the pension age were officially dumped at the conference without fuss from delegates.

Also dumped was the power policy, a joint effort with the Greens to tackle the electricity oligopoly that keeps forcing prices up. And much of the conference took place in secret.

This was creating a desert and calling it peace.

Little now stands on a bare platform with no significant policy. The fact that nobody much cared when he threw out the old policies might be taken as a sign of a newly unified Labour Party. Or it might be a sign that Labour is a corpse. It doesn’t have the strength to fight or even to disagree with itself. So the attempt to hide everything behind closed doors wasn’t even needed.

Labour is a spent force, when they resort to backing rapists, murderers and general scumbags in Australian prisons you know they have lost the plot.

Having no policy to sell, Little tried to sell himself. His “impassioned” speech was in fact awkward and unconvincing.

Bellowing about the Kiwi dream and promising “Jobs. Jobs. Jobs” is empty posturing and oddly out of kilter with the national mood. So is the pledge to “turn the page” on the last seven years.

The problem is that 47 per cent of the country is absolutely fine with the reign of King Key and shows no sign of budging.

The other half of the country doesn’t like this Government but their feelings are diffuse and don’t coalesce simply around “jobs” and “poverty”.

Key has always done enough on both those issues to confuse the critics and somehow defuse the passions that normally go with political argument. Little’s blustering speech doesn’t return these causes to Labour ownership.

Trying to be all Norm Kirk, but without the gravitas.

The Labour leader wheels out his minor promise, to use government contracts to encourage companies to create jobs. This is perhaps acceptable as far as it goes, though there’s room to wonder how far his government would go in trading off contract prices against jobs. In any case, this pledge won’t have many dancing in the streets.

Little will claim that it’s too early in the electoral cycle for policy details, and he’s right. But it’s never too early to create a buzz or the impression that the old party is coming back to life.

Labour can’t even take the step of injecting new blood into its leadership with the fresh face of Jacinda Ardern.

Her qualities are modest, but she is a sign of life. Labour has few other such signs.

Little missed an opportunity, instead he chose a bitter old harpy as the counterfoil to his old school unionism.

Little tries to build a personal link with voters by talking about his family. Perhaps he thinks that mentioning his flinty Tory dad will create a sense of paradox or at least a spark of interest.

Neither as a union politician nor as a parliamentarian has Little been a bold or lively reformer. He has little charisma and a lack of new ideas.

It’s hard to believe he will lead Labour out of the wilderness.

He won’t, and after yesterday’s performance is likely to lead them further into it.

 

– Dominion Post


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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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