Has Labour and the Greens stealing underpants strategy created political homelessness?

Back when Phil Goff (remember him) was leader of Labour I talked about how it seems that Labour’s strategy was the same as the underpants gnomes in South Park.

There are many synergies with the gnomes and the Labour Party’s 2012 election campaign. Their campaign strategy of stealing underpants was:

Phase 1:   Steal Underpants (an euphemism for some stupid policy that has no chance of winning any votes)
Phase 2:   ???
Phase 3:  Win votes

Trevor Mallard was the crippled genius who had to implement the plan, but he spent more of the election campaigning training for a cycle race against a fat blogger who annoyed him.  

Now it seems that the plan has been dragged out of the bottom drawer with the Green/Labour Memorandum of Understanding. It is from the same policy idea bank as stealing underpants. It certainly has the same level of deep thought.

Phase 1: Announce Memorandum of Understanding
Phase 2: ???
Phase 3: Win votes

Unfortunately I don’t think that is going to happen.

What is going to happen is the Greens and Labour are going to fight over the votes they already have, but now it is overt that these two parties are going to work together there really can’t be any sort of equivocation. If you vote for Labour you WILL get the Greens.

The sensible left (yes, there are some) will simply shuffle off to NZ First or to National. When you think about it National has delivered all of Labour’s policies anyway without having to have idiots like Andrew Little in charge. John Key has failed to roll back a single Helen Clark policy. So it is safe to vote National and the MOU has provided voters with a guarantee that Labour and the Greens are a thing.

Of course for those who still can’t bring themselves to vote National there is still the silver fox Winston Peters. He will croon sweet nothings into any voter’s ear.

But I think there is another group of voters out there that this MOU has now created. Forget the missing million…they simply don’t exist and don’t vote. There are now the Political Homeless.

Their parties have abandoned them. There are plenty of them too. The Act Party probably created the first political homeless, then the Maori party, but now it is the turn of Labour and the Greens to create a much larger group of people who simply no longer have a home.

Labour used to reflect its name…the party of working people. Somewhere along the way they have suffered from political dementia and it is understandable as the party is nearly 100 years old. But they have lost their way, forgotten their roots and ignored the working voter. They have become the party of narrow special interests, whinging Maori, bludgers and criminals. In short Labour now represents the non-productive sectors of society…those who suck from society instead of giving.

Even their traditional support from the unions has waned considerably…most unions now seeking amalgamation into larger unions where the sum of the parts is still less than the individual unions once were.

What we have seen in the union movement is now being visited upon the political landscape of the left-wing. Amalgamation is really the only chance they now have. Labour has bled members, they are now down to under 1500 real people as members. They are broke and they can’t find a donor to save themselves. The Greens on the other hand have many more members, have plenty of money and have a vision. The vision may well be weird, but it is at least a vision. Labour has to go into this marriage because they are the proverbial solo mother with a crack habit who needs support…and the Greens are there to provide…and consume them.

All this has served to do is create a new class of voter…the political homeless. Like real homelessness this will be temporary as they cast about for a party that resonates with them, but in the meantime they know that Labour left them in the lurch.


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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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