A Labour hiss, a National roar

The start to the new political year couldn’t be much more of a contrast between Labour and National.

Vernon Small states a fairly obvious reality: National draws first blood

Chalk up the first round of the political year to National.

Not just because John Key’s “state of the nation” speech delivered some actual news, in the shape of a revamped apprenticeship scheme (albeit using recycled money), against a rhetoric-heavy but news-lite offering from David Shearer.

More to the point National has grasped the early initiative by revamping the warrant of fitness regime and signalling an end to daily postal deliveries, two decisions that take another step into the 21st century.

They’ve done more than that, as listed in a Standard comment by ‘Coronial Typer‘:

Key has come back knowing he has to fire on all cylinders to get a chance at a third term. He is doing everything right to do that:

  • A major reshuffle
  • Taking it to Shearer’s housing policy, offloading blame onto Councils (who everyone hates)
  • A popular/ist prisons work policy
  • A small but agreeable apprenticeships policy that flat-footed everyone
  • A Novopay Ministerial inquiry with the potential to dump the whole thing
  • Going hard on Bain (bread and circuses entertainment)
  • A major media capture in Antarctica
  • Securing the Speaker and hence his own internal succession
  • Actively destroying unions and urban councils as the last bastions of progressive resistance

And that’s all before the House legislative agenda really starts.

In comparison Small does mention Labour’s housing policy…

Where Labour does have momentum is over their popular housing policy, although Shearer missed a trick by not using his keynote speech last Sunday to flesh out more detail.

…but that has been a very mixed and muddly bag of tricks, with much controversy over actual costs and types of housing. Colonial Typer is less complementary:

Shearer has countered with no new policy, no reshuffle, and simply letting National stake out the entire years’ agenda. Good God this joint needs some leadership.

Comparisons between the National and Labour starts (on a Labour orientated blog):

“It’s like the All blacks vs Iceland.”

“.. played on hot sand in the middle of a New Zealand summer.”

“With the Icelandians all hungover because our alcohol is so bloody cheap here.”

And since then there has been a ludicrous stunt by Labour to try and install Trevor Mallard as speaker by sleight of hand. Apparently. See Foolish games.

The levels of frustration and despair in Labour ranks just keeps growing. With no sign of any significant change for the better – in fact little sign of any chance of a change for the better under the current leadership and strategic blunders.

Labour keep hissing and missing while National have roared into the new year with a strong plan that contrasts glaringly with Labour and is also a significant step up from National’s muddly mediocrity last year..

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