Dear Andrew Little
The commentariat is running hot over your narrow victory in the Labour leadership contest. Bryce Edwards in a most comprehensive piece with many links gives a good summery. And there is the NZ Herald editorial under the headline: Daring policies will be axed under Little. And these seem to be the daring policies it (Labour) has taken to the past two elections on capital gains tax and the superannuation age. It really speaks for itself if the editorial of the biggest – of course owned by an international corporation – newspaper calls policies, which generally have been supported by most independent mainstream economic and social commentators, “daring“. These days anything not out of the National Party manifesto seems to be ‘daring’ to its print media mouthpiece.
Unfortunately you have given raise to the expectation that perfectly sensible policies will be dumped because they were hard to sell to a deliberately confused public. If I would put myself into the shoes of a CEO of a company with a perfectly good even superior product, which has been hard to sell, would I go to the engineers and tell them to make a product of lesser quality ? No, I would go to the sales and advertising people to do a better job of selling my superior product.
Now I hear you saying that the customer in this case the voter is always right. However they are led and often misled by advertising and spin doctors and not by rational assessment of the quality of the product. And where is the proof that the election outcome would have been different if these and other policies would not have been on Labour’s agenda ?
We all have been watching Mr Key cutting a fine figure at recent important international meetings. He has amiable rounds of golf with the leader of the “free world”. Royalty enjoys barbecues and beer with him. He might not always be telling the truth but that is what we expect of our politicians.
Why would we vote for anyone else if not for some “daring policies”. Because it is the policies of the present government, which are destroying the future of this country and the planet for that matter. Examples like selling instead of building houses to tackle the housing crises, like pouring money into for profit charter schools instead of supporting good public education, surrendering our sovereignty to foreign corporation through the secretly negotiated TPP, opening up our oceans to deep sea oil drilling instead of weaning us of fossil fuel to keep climate change in check, building roads instead of public transport and so the list goes on. This is where the focus should be and not to find the magical centre where allegedly the votes are.
If you just try to present a lighter shade of blue and hope to win the next election you are badly mistaken.
Be yourself, stick to your roots, do the right thing with your policies and sell them honestly and truthfully to New Zealand and you will have a chance.