Is the ‘not a leader’ strategy wise?
In his ‘state of the nation’ speech Andrew Little said:
We got a new Prime Minister last year. But we don’t have a leader.
Since taking the reins, Bill English has failed his first tests of leadership.
He should be at Waitangi next weekend, representing all the people of New Zealand on our national day. But he won’t be.
He should be here in Mt Albert, making the case for his government in the by-election. But he isn’t.
He should have fired the failed housing Minister, his friend Nick Smith. But he didn’t.
Bill English is a competent bean counter. But he’s showing he’s not a leader.
This theme was repeated by Labour MPs on Twitter.
Anthony Robins continued the strategy at The Standard: A PM but not a leader.
But it’s a risky line from Little.
Herald editorial: Bill English has 8 months to answer Labour’s challenge
Little’s speech contained a challenging line that the country had a new Prime Minister but not a leader. He cited English’s absence from Waitangi, his ducking the Mt Albert byelection and failure to fire a “failed” housing minister, Nick Smith. But what Little really meant was, English is still following in the footsteps of Key. Little will be hoping English will take the bait and do something to distinguish himself from National’s sure-footed previous leader.
But perhaps it’s a challenge at least as important for little – to look like a leader who could be a Prime Minister.
Audrey Young writes:
Little’s incredible tin-ear on Waitangi has persisted for several weeks. Despite his own MP Kelvin Davis now expounding on the dysfunction at Te Tii Marae, Little is still going on about English not going to Waitangi as a failure of leadership. As English said yesterday: “I hope he keeps on saying it.”