David Farrrar

Russell Brown on Labour’s propensity to aim for their feet

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Pots, pans and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown blogs about Labour’s dreadful week last week, almost entirely self inflicted.

I really don?t think Labour leader David Cunliffe had a cunning plan to hide the fine print print of his party?s Best Start policy from the public last week. Because, frankly, making a statement about how many families would be covered by the baby bonus that is contradicted by the policy paper you?ve posted on the internet is just too?dumb?to be a cunning plan.

Even Patrick Gower, who kicked off the story with?a blog post?declaring that Labour had been ?deliberately misleading? and ?dishonest? in not being clear that families already in receipt of paid parental leave (which Labour is promising to extend to six months) would not be eligible for the newborn payment of $60 a week subsequently started referring to it as a mistake. (After all, if you?re going to perform a bait-and-switch, it?s customary to wait until you?re safely elected, not do it on the same day.)

Allowing double-dipping would have have been inappropriate ? indeed, that was the first criticism aired about the new policy by David Farrrar, when he thought that?s what the policy said. But although the URL for the full policy document had been noted in the material given out to journalists, the limit on eligibility wasn?t mentioned in the printed material or Cunliffe?s speech.

Thus, John Key and his ministers have had a week to smugly declare that Cunliffe couldn?t be taken at his word.? Read more »