Knock me down with a feather, Soper gets something right

More evidence has emerged that the Media party have had enough of Andrew Little.

Barry Soper, who lives in a world with pink skies and goes through life wearing red tinted glasses is the latest to “turn” on Little.

Being in political opposition isn’t where anyone wants to be. It has often been said that being the opposition leader in New Zealand politics is the toughest job on the block.

Certainly that was the view of Helen Clark, who on a trip back from the Big Apple a couple of years back, lamented she was on the outside looking in for six years before the Beehive’s ninth floor door opened to her.

By contrast, John Key had just two years banging his head against a brick wall before assuming the top political job. Andrew Little’s hoping to pull it off after three years of tyre kicking.

And that’s what being in opposition is, kicking tyres, hoping they’re attached to a vehicle that the public feels comfortable going along for the ride in. But if Little thinks there’ll be a warrant of fitness for the current housing woes in this Thursday’s Budget – which he believes there should be otherwise it’s a failure – then he’s on a road to nowhere.

Here’s Labour’s problem, in words even Barry can understand. The people in cars and bludgers and prisoners don’t vote, yet that is who they are pandering to. It is a fool’s errand chasing votes down that particular cul-de-sac.

While the salesmen for this year’s Budget, Key and Bill English, speak to swanky luncheons full of suits, Labour has to make do with breweries and polo fleeces on a bleak Sunday afternoon and Monday breakfasts in accountancy offices with a few dozen people who’d probably prefer to be elsewhere.

And proposing tax increases for those few people who do listen is going to make those audiences even smaller.

Labour’s carrot to the hungry electorate is to immediately establish a Tax Working Group to figure out who’s paying their fair share and who’s not – which is hardly a vote catcher.

It’s a bit like John Key’s jobs summit that he established on taking office and the nine-day working fortnight he said would be a priority. We’re still waiting and unemployment’s still with us.

Yeah but unemployment is amongst the lowest in the OECD and a rate at which Australia is envious…and certainly much lower than unemployment under his favourite Helen Clark.

The fact is, when you’ve got a growing job market you’re always going to have unemployment as business plays catch-up, and while you’ve got tax accountants you’ll always have avoidance.

There’s no easy answer, but being in Government at least gives you a greater opportunity to come up with one.

And Labour, by inference, doesn’t have any answers.



– NZ Herald

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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.