Editorial: Labour's spiteful attacks are sign of party feeling the heat

Editorial: Labour's spiteful attacks are sign of party feeling the heatThe epigrammatic observation that a week is a long time in politics is widely attributed to 1960s British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, even though he once said that he could not remember having uttered it. No matter: the point is… [NZ Politics]

The HoS editorial callously lists all of the egregious antics of recent times of a party that is increasingly seen as vindictive and arrogant.

[quote]The political management of the Electoral Finance Bill has been a public-relations disaster. However well-intentioned it may have been, it has looked like – and has been easy for its opponents to depict as – a desperate bid to silence criticism and make incumbency the major qualification for political success. And this week Labour's leading lights really began to look like cornered cats.

Michael Cullen's outburst in the debating chamber, in which he called National leader John Key a "scumbag" and a "rich prick" was extraordinary. This was not the unflappable debater whose command of the astringent and witty rejoinder made him the natural inheritor of David Lange's mantle; it was the act of a man on the ropes, throwing punches that did far more damage to himself than to his target.

The latter comment, in particular, is disturbing: this Labour-led Government has been very keen to depict itself as a friend of business and to have senior ministers photographed alongside very rich entrepreneurial people who, they say, embody the country's spirit and its future. Cullen's spiteful remark may be much more revealing than he would have wished. And it made a sadly fitting sequel to the ill-judged words of Environment Minister Trevor Mallard, whose every minute in politics must seem like a very long time these days.[/quote]

As the Herald concludes, The events of the last month have made the Government look increasingly
aloof and arrogant. This fiasco [Erin Leigh] has simply etched that impression
deeper.

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