National custard and Labour jelly

The National led Government may be showing signs of turning to custard but who wants warmed up Labour jelly?

Rob Salmond posted about a dire time for the Government at Public Address.


These last few weeks have been dire for the government, across housing, crime, employment, and caring for kids. Yes, I’m biased, but I haven’t seen National have this bad of a stretch for a long while.


He details a number of things that have been going wrong for National – fair enough – and concludes:

This whole period has been very messy, possibly worse than they’ve had. And at the moment it’s not easy to see where the next big win for National is coming from, unless they massively reverse course on a house building programme, something 75% of the public wants but the government has spent years saying is insane.

There’s an old idea in politics that people aren’t willing to consider switching teams until they get sick of the incumbent, in just the same way most people don’t buy a new car until the old one starts giving them problems.

The last three weeks show a government car that’s starting to cough and splutter, spewing out noxious gas but not going anywhere fast.

The next fifteen months are going to be fascinating.

The Government car has certainly looked more dented recently. But Labourites have been predicting that the Key wheels are about to fall off for years.

It seems to have been Labour’s main strategy – wait until it’s their turn.

So the Government has looked a bit like lumpy custard lately – but tellingly on a Labour leaning blog the comments quickly turned to the lack of solidity in the presumptive alternative, Labour.


Trouble is Labour for what ever reason as still so unlikeable I wonder how much difference it will make.


What am I supposed to think after reading this? If the point is meant to be that a Labour-led alternative would be better, then I wish there were more in here about what Labour would be doing, why Labour’s people are superior, would make highly competent and better Ministers who are less prone to screwing up, and how it’d overall be better.

Otherwise it’s just asking people to vote for the least worst instead of the best.

Joe Wylie:

It’s like we’ve internalized the right wing talking points.

When Rob Salmond offers nothing beyond passively spectating while National deliver a series of own goals, yes, you could be forgiven for thinking that.


Meanwhile Labour is still shooting itself in the foot with unwanted headlines like Andrew Little: ‘I was wrong’.

Labour still looks too wobbly to look like a credible alternative.

Salmond tries to defend his post and strategy:

I agree that there’s a two-fold challenge for parties of the left – to show their promise as well as the incumbent’s shortcomings – and they need to meet both challenges to win the right to govern. Commenters are entirely right about that.

The only thing I’d say is that not every blog post is about every aspect of politics.

Put another way, a *blog post* that concentrates solely on National’s shortcomings does not mean the left’s *electoral strategy* is to concentrate solely on shortcomings. There are many other blog posts and other media that do different things to this post. Indeed, in many other forums Labour and the Greens are already rolling out their positive vision for New Zealand, promoting alternative policies on housing, jobs, kids, and so on. It’s the combination of all of those posts that make up the strategy, not this post alone.

Salmond admits that his post is a party of ‘the strategy’.

There is not much sign of Labour “rolling out their positive vision for New Zealand”, and even those who would like a decent alternative to vote for are not seeing it.

Labour is currently better known for ruling out policy positions and having a jelly-like policy strategy.

And Labour and Andrew Little have become likened to ‘barking at every passing car’ – which is what Salmond’s post appears to be encapsulating.

That’s the vision we feel New Zealanders will warm to come election day, and that people will go the booth next year voting for a great progressive vision as well as to get rid of the current crowd.


There you have Labour on a plate. Warmed up jelly is not very appealing to voters.

When will we see a substantial main course on offer?

Leave a comment


  1. PDB

     /  22nd June 2016

    Labour’s lack of backbone was again ruthlessly exposed with Andrew Little’s ‘yeah, nah’ on bringing our troops home.

    The 2017 election may be a case of whoever wins actually ends up being the long time loser if having to rely on the charlatan Winston to prop them up.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  22nd June 2016

    Labour’s vision is to own the keys to the taxpayers’ wallets and party, party. They just haven’t managed to sell it yet.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  22nd June 2016

      Nobody warms up jelly, surely. Warm jelly would be disgusting-I can’t decide whether this metaphor is a good one or not.

      • Gezza

         /  22nd June 2016

        Warmed up jelly is not very appealing to voters.

        It looks like a good metaphor to me. Are you a voter? Haven’t you just said warmed up jelly isn’t appealing to you Kitty? o_O

  3. What does Labour stand for? Here is a hint from their Constitution:
    2) The Party accepts the following democratic socialist principles –
    g. All political authority comes from the people by democratic means, including universal suffrage,
    regular and free elections with a secret ballot.
    h. The natural resources of New Zealand belong to all the people and these resources, and in particular
    non-renewable resources, should be managed for the benefit of all, including future generations.
    i. All people should have equal access to all social, economic, cultural, political and legal spheres,
    regardless of wealth or social position, and continuing participation in the democratic process.
    j. Co-operation, rather than competition, should be the main governing factor in economic relations, in
    order that a greater amount and a just distribution of wealth can be ensured.
    k. All people are entitled to dignity, self-respect and the opportunity to work.
    l. All people, either individually or in groups, may own wealth or property for their own use, but in any
    conflict of interest people are always more important than property, and the state must ensure a
    just distribution of wealth.
    m. Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand, and that the
    Treaty should be honoured in the Party, government, society and the whanau.
    n. Peace and social justice should be promoted throughout the world by international co-operation and
    mutual respect.
    o. The same basic human rights, protected by the State, apply to all people, regardless of race, sex,
    marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religious faith, political belief or disability.
    3) The Objectives of the Party are based on the above principles. These Objectives are –
    a. To elect competent men and women to Parliament and local authorities through free elections for the purpose of giving effect to Party policy and principles.
    b. To build and sustain an economy which can attract and retain the intelligence, skills and efforts of all citizens.
    c. To ensure the just distribution of the production and services of the nation for the benefit of all the people.
    d. To promote and protect the freedoms and welfare of all New Zealand citizens.
    e. To educate the public in the principles and objectives of democratic socialism and economic and social co-operation.”

    I don’t know about you, but it looks like something out of the classic Marxist-Socialist handbook for the implementation of Socialism. I note the absence of “All power grows out of the barrel of a gun” and “China is the Leader of the World” as sung by consecutive classes of Royal Military College, Duntroon, Australia in the early1960’s ! Its true! Or NODUF as in the military jargon.


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