John Armstrong mocks Lap-Blogs

John Armstrong : Polls put pressure on Goff to performIt takes a lot to stop Phil Goff in his tracks. Labour’s leader was temporarily lost for words, however, when his path crossed with that of a Taranaki local while he and his caucus colleagues were bussing their way from Wellington… [NZ Herald Politics]

Bwahahahaha John Armstrong points out just how deluded the left wingers are especially the paid lap-bloggers.

On becoming leader, Goff was like a sprinter who has turned up for a long-distance race. He seemed to treat every day as if election day was just around the corner.

He showed a frustration and impatience towards National still displayed by some of the shriller Labour-aligned blogs, which find fault with anything and everything the Key Government does while expecting their breathless critiques to somehow bring forward its demise.

That is exactly why they can’t cope with being in opposition. Armstrong also notes the emergence of the Labour MP and some of their more intelligent bloggers.

The kind of revitalised thinking going on within the party was exhibited this week by a post on Red Alert from Rimutaka MP Chris Hipkins.

He noted the ongoing loss of traditional manufacturing and other blue-collar jobs in the Hutt Valley, with the displaced workers ending up in small businesses or becoming independent contractors. Those people were now more worried about filling in their GST returns on time than they were in statutory meal breaks and personal grievance procedures.

Hipkins asked how Labour should respond to such changes in workforce demographics. The answer is “differently” if it wishes to retain and build on its core constituency.

Hipkins’ observations are only the tip of an iceberg. Labour is going to have to respond to a lot of things in a different fashion than it has done in the past. Otherwise the party will be out of touch with mainstream opinion.

And they are still a long from understanding the differene between workers and owners. This is why Labour, as a party of unionists, unionised teachers and ex-State Sector employees will always struggle to understand the value of a dollar and how it is earned rather than spent.

National is already trying to marginalise Labour – for example, by soft-selling much greater use of the private sector to deliver state-funded health, social and other services, plus infrastructure development to what it thinks is a public now more receptive to the proposition.

National has learned to be more subtle in its advocacy, saying private sector involvement will only happen when it is “practical” or “sensible” or “workable” and – as Bill English was keen to stress this week – not for ideological reasons.

Labour’s mindset is still back in the era when “privatisation” just meant selling large state assets – something National has anyway promised not to do in its first term.

And not isn’t that just hurting like a boil on the nuts for Labour. People are actually willing to entertain that there just may be a better way. Perhaps because as Hipkins has surmised a great deal of those people have migrated from employee mentaility to employer mentality. They have realised that the world does not end just because the big factory closed and that there is always a better way to do things if one would just look.

So far though there has been little indication of the direction Goff’s leadership is taking Labour. That should become much more obvious at Labour’s annual conference next month – the first full meeting of the party since the election defeat.

The conference should see Goff really stamp his authority on the party – something that was denied to him by the low-key, seamless change of leaders immediately after the election.

Whether he can reconnect with voters at the same time is a far bigger ask.

The pamphlet dropped into letterboxes nationwide promoting Goff listed two of the leader’s attributes – a belief in hard work and inspiration. Of the first commodity, there is no shortage on Goff’s part. As for the second, we are still waiting.

That lame brochure probably did more damage to Labour and to Goff than anything else, at least until this week when it was revealed that Helen Clark has been trying to strong arm people not to accept their Knighthoods.

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