David Farrar has posted a list of former National policies adopted by the Clark Government -- a list that as we all know complements an equally lengthy list of Clark policies not so quietly adopted by National (a list Bryce Edwards promises to compile and post very shortly). Farrar's list (derived from the Keeping Stock blog) is intended to imply two things to the reader.
The first is that the charge of Labour-Lite directed at Flip Flop Boy and his mates is undeserved, since it's really Clark and her mates that are 'stealing' policy from National, and not the other way around. But it's impossible to ignore National's many retractions from formerly principled policy positions, or the number of policy positions on which both parties now agree, or the frequency with which National politicians opposing a Labour measure go quickly silent when asked if this means they'll repeal the measure when or if they're in power (and if you heard Bill English and John Key yesterday wriggling when asked if they'll repeal Michael Cullen's 'No Bloody Foreigners' legislation, then you heard Labour-Lite warming up for another flip flop).
It's also impossible not to notice that since both parties are so close to each other -- and most of the policies in the list are fairly limp anyway -- there's no way in hell National can honestly represent themselves as a genuine alternative.
The second implication of the list is that National should refrain from releasing too much policy too far out from the election for fear that Labour will continue to take it over.
As I've said before however, what's wrong with having your policies stolen? if John Key's Labour-Lite really represented a genuine alternative,and they genuinely thought their policies were best for the country then rather than wringing their hands every time the Red Team picked up one of their policies and introduced it, they'd be overjoyed that the direction of the country was changing, and that they were helping to bring it about.
That's if they were genuine.
If they really were genuine then they wouldn't worry about their policies being 'stolen' -- in fact they'd want their policies to be stolen, all of them -- because if they are and they really were genuine about changing the country's direction, then they'd know that they'd just done that, even from the opposition benches. They'd cheer every time a policy was stolen, they'd congratulate the Red Team on their good sense, and then they'd get on with releasing their next batch of policies that could now go even further towards the goal of changing the country's direction.
That's what you'd do if you were really genuine -- or if you truly represented a genuine alternative. National are not.