Labour candidate Michael Wood called for an end to the Epsom circus – and then went on to pull a stunt. There is scant sign of the “dignified and honourable representation” he says voters want.
Epsom candidates were interviewed on The Nation.
Michael Wood: Look the people of Epsom have been embarrassed again by the Act party. It comes after the shenanigans around Rodney Hide and his perks, it comes after the dead baby scandal, it comes after the new leader’s comments around incest.
And I hear from the people of Epsom that they actually want some dignified and honourable representation and an end to this circus.
That in itself is not a very dignified or honourable statement.
Lisa Owen: So Michael Wood, when you go door knocking in Epsom do people care about the Banks issue or what is the single biggest thing they are telling you they care about?
Wood: Absolutely. This is the single biggest issue for people in Epsom. I talk to Labour voters, I talk to National voters and across the board people are absolutely sick and tired of this. I just want to respond to that point. The idea of the Act party accusing other people of manipulating the electoral system is like Dad farting and then blaming the family dog.
David Seymour: And you’re campaigning for dignified representation.
Wood: This is the party whose only lifeline is through a deal with the National party…
Seymour: Here’s the deal with you Michael, are you campaigning to win the seat or are you going to endorse Paul Goldsmith?
Wood: If I could finish thank you David. The fact that Paul Goldsmith is not here today speaks for itself. It speaks to the fact that a dirty deal has been conjured up.
“A dirty deal has been conjured up” is not a fact.
Wood: And I’ve got something with me actually. There was a famous case in the early 1980s where Roy Hattersley the deputy leader of the British Labour party refused to appear in interviews and refused to front up and he was replaced by a bag of lard.
I’m not so unkind, but every time that Paul Goldsmith fails to front in this campaign we are going to remind people about the dirty deal with his bag of wholemeal flour. And this is going to sit in place of Paul Goldsmith who is not fronting and is facilitating a deal with the Act party to get them in when they don’t deserve it.
A not very dignified stunt. And whether the Act party ‘deserve’ anything is up to the voters.
So I’m wondering if National and Act are going to buddy up, why don’t you guys buddy up?
Wood: We are running a principled campaign. We want. -
Seymour: Encouraging Labour voters to vote for Paul Goldsmith.
Wood: I’ve just been asked a question and I’ll answer it thanks David. We’re running a principled campaign. We want this to be a straight out contest of ideas and of parties. But we have a situation in which the National party and the Act party are manipulating the system. And of course Labour voters and Green voters in the electorate will think about their options as the campaign goes on.
Seymour: So you also are running a strategic campaign.
Wood: No we are not. I have not had a single conversation with the Green party about this issue. I have not seen Julie Anne before today.
Seymour: Julie will you be encouraging Green party voters to vote strategically for Paul Goldsmith?
Genter: No, we have always…
Seymour: So will we not, so you say then.
Direct question [to Wood], are you? Paul Goldsmith, should they vote for Paul Goldsmith?
Wood: We are not running a campaign with that message at this point. But we are…
Seymour: At this point. So strategic voting is ok
Wood: No listen. We will not be tied down in to a position on this issue given that there is so much uncertainty and so much frittering.
“So much uncertainty and so much frittering” now Wood is questioned on his and Labour’s intent, he was just saying “a dirty deal has been conjured up”.
So you want him to front up and say what his deal is but you won’t come out and say –
Wood: Absolutely. We are calling for a straight contest and an end to the dodgy deals…
Seymour: So are you running to win the seat or you are endorsing Labour party voters to vote for Paul Goldsmith? It’s a simple enough question Michael.
One at a time.
Wood: We are calling for a straight contest and an end to the dodgy deals.
Seymour: But you are going to advocate for Labour voters to vote for Paul Goldsmith.
Wood: It is not for the Labour party or the Green party to defend the position that comes from a situation not created by the Labour party or the Green party.
The interview didn’t give the impression of “we’re running a principled campaign” and there was scant sign of “a straight out contest of ideas and of parties”. Perhaps he does that in social media. His Twitter profile:
@michaelwoodnz Labour candidate for Epsom. Campaigning to end the ACT Party rort.
Tweets around and after The Nation interview:
Lost & Found: National MP for Epsom
@PaulGoldsmithMP. Friendly character, missed by constituents, answers (terrified) to name “who, me”
@EpsomFlour I think you are getting ideas above your station. I’m still going to make you into a batch of scones on 21 September.
Targeting an opponent and no sign of contest of ideas and of parties. There was at least one similar tweet yesterday which has been deleted, but there’s one on another party candidate.
On the weird Coling Craig poster: there is a pitch and language that we church goers recognise, but few will respond to it. Weird & clumsy.
That’s a weird comment.
His Facebook timeline targets John Banks and Act prior to the interview. Someone else posted about Goldsmith’s no show and Wood responded:
Michael Wood Thanks Karl. Hard to debate with a candidate who doesn’t front.
It’s obvious what Wood is campaigning against but what does he stand for? I can’t see anywhere in the interview or his social media where he promotes Labour or his party’s policies, and he doesn’t address any other party policies.
Wood is viewed by a good prospect as an MP. He was placed at 32 on the Labour list in 2011 (one lower than David Shearer) but failed to get in due to six lower placed candidates winning electorates.
He stood in the Botany by-election in 2011 but not in the general election. He was elected on to the Puketapapa Local Board in Auckland last year.
It’s yet to be seen whether he can run a dignified and honourable campaign but so far he looks like he wants to clown around in the Epsom circus.
So far his efforts have got him attention but not respect.