Monday, 11 August 2014

The joke is on us

One debate and two political party campaign launches over the weekend, and this is supposed to be a political blog.

So I’ll try not to yawn.

Labour’s campaign launch at the Auckland Viaduct, an easy walk from David Cunliffe’s house, was overshadowed in news headlines by the antique joke of his near-neighbour Winston Peters, and in campaign strategy by National’s announcement they will launch in South Auckland.

Of the joke, not much can be said. It was funny once, but that once was very long ago. In the context of calling for bans on land sales to Chinese, it was hardly funny at all. Not that it would bother Peters: its job was to earn him a Monday-morning headline, which it did, about which he would be be having a good laugh.

Not so funny was Labour’s plan to allow taxpayers to fund GP visits for over-65s. A sort of Gold Card Plus costing a big minus to taxpayers. If you’ve any doubt about which two words to use to describe it, Danyl has them.

So while Team Red was being outflanked by Team Blue in their campaign launches, Team Red was trying to outflank Team Winston in trying to buy the votes of the country’s biggest voting base. And Team Winston was doing its best to keep ahead of Team Green in their hatred of foreigners exporting our land.

Team Green, earlier on the weekend, was struggling to stay ahead of the six other parties in the minor leaders debate, in which Metiria Turei’s hand was raised more than any matters of substance. Headmistress Turei had as much success in holding back the flood tide of effluent generated with seven party leaders in a room as Colin Craig had in distinguishing himself from Winston Peters, and Jamie Whyte did in distinguishing his flagship policies from association with his party’s disgraced former leader, this conflation of two policies and former leader presumably being Lisa Owen’s prepared question to Whyte about his one law for all policy:

Mr Whyte, you said that Maori are privileged before law; we should all be equal. So can you guarantee that a burglar on a third strike going into court is going to have the privilege of the same defence that your former leader, Mr Banks, did when he went to court?

Whyte looked as quizzical hearing that as you probably did reading it.

An interesting few weeks it won’t be.

1 comment:

  1. I thought Jamie Whyte did okay; his comment that everyone else was a Communist was quite funny.

    The main thing I would warn Whyte and ACT about is spending cuts.

    You can talk about abolishing corporate welfare, various Government departments, subsidies to the film industry etc - and that is all well and good - but the problem with a confidence and supply agreement with National is that pesky little thing called 'Budget 2015' (containing spending on: corporate welfare, subsidies to the film industry, funding for nonsense government departments etc etc etc)

    In the debate Whyte mentioned two things he is against, but come June he will be voting for them in the Budget and may end up looking like an idiot.

    Oddly, the leader who impressed me the most in the debate was Peter Dunne.


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