Phil Quin on Little’s problem with Tame questions

Phil Quin’s latest post lays the blame for the current electoral predicament of Labour at the feet of people other than Andrew Little.

But he does say this about Andrew Little and his recent poor performance with Jack Tame.

[D]on’t blame Little for more then his share of a mess a decade in the making. Nobody expected Little to radically transform the party in new and unexpected ways. He was never going to reveal hitherto concealed reserves of charisma or intellectual originality. He was party president, and boss of the biggest affiliated union, circulating in Wellington Labour circles, creating few ripples of admiration, for decades. Little is the leader he was always going to be. He’s a journeyman: a middle order batsman who rarely sizzles but never skips training. A political Chris Kuggelijn, if you will. If Labour were in better shape, he’d hit the winning runs — but expecting him to blast the Nats out of the park from this far behind flies in the face everything we know about his range of shots.   

Let Little be Little, in other words. If he plays outside his comfort zone, the risks are far greater than in a plodding performance in line with his meagre gifts. This kind of thing happens: 

Jack Tame is no Kim Hill, and the question he asked about the GDP impacts of Labour’s immigration policy wasn’t just perfectly fair, it was the most obvious first question imaginable. That Little hadn’t been prepared with a succinct and credible response is baffling, and suggests there are severe shortcomings in his office. Whenever you prep politicians for media interviews, especially those coinciding with major election announcements, the fiscal questions should be at the top of the list. This is especially true for Labour, who must be careful to project seriousness and restraint when it comes to economic management.

Labour’s bandwagon jumping on immigration is craven enough without their leader, a would be Prime Minister no less, describing as “silly” a question about the downstream economic effects of his plan.

It strongly indicates Little’s office isn’t smart enough to furnish him with answers to basic questions; and, worse, that Little isn’t curious enough to demand them.

Spot on Phil.

Little is unready to lead a tiddlywinks club let alone the country.

Jack Tame exposed his shallowness and it also exposed his nasty again.


-Phil Quin

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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.

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