Labour soul searching

An unusually frank and honest examination of Labour’s problems from Mike Smith at The Standard – Too many hedgehogs.

Some good comments as well.

Labour and Cunliffe are obviously not getting things right. “Wait until after the voters have had their say” and vague and changing policy positions are the opposite of what Cunliffe should be doing.

Some things are partly outside Labour’s control – Greens, NZ First and possible Internet-MANA look like a very risky combination for government.

Labour have got themselves into a position where they are not seen as a dominant party and are nowhere near competing one on one with National but that seems to be the strategy they are currently running.

Cunliffe somehow has to appear as if he can lead a coalition, one that that would look like a significant shift left.

He can’t even convince he can lead his own caucus let alone a smorgasbord of socialists.

If Cunliffe doesn’t demonstrate some sense and some soul then Labour may end up searching for where to bury the body after the election.

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  1. Goldie

     /  9th June 2014

    Reading your blog, Pete, I suspect you are into the tactics of politics – coalition manoeuvring, personalities, faction fighting, etc. But what really matters (or at least what should matter) is policy. And I am bloody worried because after six years in opposition, Labour have yet to put up credible policies. In the past week we have had the immigration policy (when Labour didn’t understand even basic facts about the current system), the ACE policy, and now the Christchurch “we’ll pay all your legal fees” policy… In fact the only Labour policy with any detail to it, the electricity power policy, was a year ago and wasn’t actually a Labour policy but borrowed from the Greens!
    When MPs are in opposition they are supposed to be researching and developing alternative policy. And an opposition also should have a party research unit dedicated to doing research – in the past party research unit positions were sought after by young Wellington policy wonks, as they gave good networks and experience. When Labour were in opposition up to 1999, it was basically non-stop dredging through official documents and research papers. And in addition to the hard work put in by MPs and the party research unit, there was also the parliamentary library. So there is no excuse for an opposition to release such laughably badly prepared policies.
    So for the current Labour Party to put out three policies over a week in which it is apparent that they have done no research at all on them is a disgrace.
    Can you imagine Helen Clark (or Heather Simpson) letting her MPs and party employees getting away with this lazy rubbish?
    It isn’t that Labour are unprepared to be government. It is that Labour are unprepared to be the opposition.

    • Labour’s incessant negativity is hurting their chances, but yes also the sloppy half cocked part policy releases that have been a feature of the Labour approach this year are also accumulating a perception of incompetence and unpreparedness.

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