And as for Labour’s fortunes “going forward” Grant Robertson will never be Prime Minister of this country. With him as leader, Labour will not be elected into Government. This too is known.
Known by the same people who said nobody was every going to put a party lead by some arty-farty intellectual Dorkland bluestocking into government?
Telling people that their short-term feelgood doesn’t address long-term challenges is never going to be easy, but it’s intellectually honest. It’s not expecting the “peasants” to come to Jesus.
No, but I think it's simply shitty -- and counter-productive -- for any politician (or political activist) to treat voters like they're selfish rubes and gullible idiots. To be blunt, I think there's way too may media-political types who should look hard in the mirror when they're wringing their hands about why people don't engage with politics.
Of course it's bloody hard to get people who are focused on things as immediate on paying the bills this month (and whether they'll still have a job this time next year) to think deeply about long-term structural issues. Tell me when it was ever otherwise. But you make the investment in making the argument, and convincing people who aren't malignant idiots for need to be convinced in the first place. And you better be ready to play the long game. Totally agree with you that the Fabians do that in a constructive and useful way, but too many don't.
The moment Cunliffe won the leadership, Labour’s support soared to 37/38%
I don’t mean to be a wet blanket, but if Labour wasn’t polling well after weeks of blanket and largely uncritical media coverage, the party has much bigger and deeper problems than the leadership.
I do think that NZers will reevaluate their feelings about the economy when the housing bubble deflates and dairy prices regress to the mean.
Well, probably. But if the great strategy is "wait until the peasants come to Jesus after everything turns to shit custard" then Labour doesn't deserve to govern.
There was a good call on this by someone on Twitter yesterday about this. It said that the supposedly homophobic West Auckland and socially-conservative South Auckland didn’t have any qualms electing Chris Carter or Louisa Walls.
And didn't have any problems electing the rampantly heterosexual David Lange months, despite his support of Homosexual Law Reform through all its stages. Remember when it was the conventional wisdom that if Fran Wilde didn't withdraw that private member's bill, she would cost Labour the '87 election? How did that work out again?
The economy’s not going that well.
No, it's not but there's also a good number of people, I suggest, for whom it's not going badly enough to overcome a small-c conservative aversion to radical change. (And before anyone bursts a blood vessel, I'm not using "radical" as a pejorative.) It wasn't exactly days of wine and roses for the Fifth Labour Government, but "don't put it all at risk" messaging seemed to hit the target.
I don't mean to kick Cunliffe in the slats while he's on the floor, but he kept say Labour was hearing a "mood for change" out there in the electorate. I think someone needs to be asking some hard questions about where the hell that perception was coming from, because it sure wasn't reflected in the only poll that counts.
Gower is of course a synecdoche for the media pack. In Lincoln’s day the telegraph was barely a thing.
Another useful thing history does for the attentive mind is to disabuse us of the delusion that we're doing anything for the first time -- and you might want to brush up on your history there, because while the mass media as we understand it certainly didn't exist "the media pack" (and radical new technologies like the telegraph and the railways) did have an influence on opinion of not only Lincoln but the conduct of the American Civil War.
Abraham Lincoln didn’t have to deal with Paddy Gower demanding he account for every piss splatter in the urinal.
No, he went into a bear bit of a convention as a rank outsider, a bitterly divided party, and a nation lurching towards civil war and still managed to not only win the election but convinced his three rivals to join the Cabinet in critical posts. So, you know… I really think we all need to reduce Gower to his proper place in the scheme of things. One useful result of reading history is getting some perspective on contemporary bullshit.
It would be nice to think that there is more to Labour’s leadership contest than whether Trevor likes David or Grant likes Jacinda or another David likes some other David. Is there?
Well, yes... especially when there's plenty of precedent for perfectly functional political entities being lead by people who very publicly didn't like each other very much at all. Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln is well worth a look for a masterclass in that art.
I’d totally disagree with you there
Oh, bum. I’d totally disagree with that, because I agree with Russell’s original sentiment.
But the beltway frenzy is outrunning the number of things to actually report, and resulting in Patrick Gower’s ridiculous series of tweets about Chris Hipkins this morning.
Exactly -- there's about as much news value here as various commentators drawing up fantasy Cabinets a week before the return of the writ.