Highlights from The Standard

Not a headline I thought I’d write often. But two items worth a read.

Queen of Thorns has done her own “Shearer Says” template:

This week I’ve been in [ insert location].  The people there are [hard-working/real] New Zealanders with a great sense of [fairness/justice/community/family].  But they’re [having a hard time/losing their jobs/worried] because of [insert recent National policy implementation].

This isn’t [good/just/fair/helpful].  This is [bad/stressful/unjust/unconstructive].   will stand by the people of [insert location] and help them through the tough times ahead.

National was elected on a promise to [insert promise here].  Instead they’ve [insert policy here].  This isn’t [the way forward/the right thing for New Zealand/what they promised].  As the Leader of the Labour Party, I will do something to fix this [optional:  and will shortly be announcing our policy in this area].

Labour knows that [jobs/children/the environment/the economy/the heartland/our communities] are important to New Zealanders.  Under National, [insert previous] is [suffering/in decline/living below the breadline/spiralling out of control/neglected] while they [insert policy implementation].  As Leader of the Labour Party I’m committed to fixing this [optional:  and will shortly be announcing our policy in this area].

Warm regards,

Leader of the Labour Party

The commenters seem to feel that QOT version is better than the actual thing, and that she should be hired as a writer for Labour!

Michael Valley assesses the Labour front bench. He comments:

Comparing them to the winning Labour team in 1999 really hammers home how awful our guys today are. I pitted each of the frontbenchers today against their 1999 equivalents. Out of the 9, only 2 of the 2012 crop come out on top. And only 3 (Parker, Cunliffe, Cosgrove) have done the job they’ve been put there to do.

Some of his assessments:

Leader
David Shearer (2012) vs Helen Clark (1999)

No contest. Whatsoever. None. Clark looked like the next Prime Minister. Shearer’s minders wouldn’t even let him front on Q+A this morning for fear he would be shown up by Norman.

Deputy Leader
Grant Robertson (2012) vs Michael Cullen (1999)

Grant is better than his leader. Without a doubt. But he just doesn’t shape up compared to Cullen. While Cullen gave excellent support to Clark, oversaw a brilliant house strategy, and kept on top of every portfolio he was ever given (finance, tertiary education, attorney-general, acc etc.) Robertson has failed to fire. His strategic genius has put Labour in the shit they’re in now, and Labour are virtually invisible in the Tertiary Education and Environment space. …

Social Welfare

Jacinda Ardern (2012) vs Steve Maharey (1999)

Maharey was a brilliant advocate and really held the government to account. Remember Christine Rankin hiring a plane for WINZ executives to visit an exclusive Taupo resort? Maharey uncovered it. Ardern on the other hand has been invisible, even after being gifted the MSD privacy uncovered by Keith Ng the Greens outshone Labour. She does not deserve the portfolio nor being put at number 4. New Zealand’s most vulnerable deserve better. …

Health

Maryan Street (2012) vs Annette King (1999)

While now past her use-by date, 1999 Annette was a brilliant opposition politician. While no one even knows who Maryan Street is, in 1999 Annette was ripping Wyatt Creech to shreds. Barely a day went by without health making the news and Annette always stood strong against good healthcare for only the rich. Street on the other hand is awful. She must go.

Education
Nanaia Mahuta (2012) vs Trevor Mallard (1999)

Trevor used to be good. Bloody good. This really is no contest. Nanaia hasn’t performed. Putting out a press release after getting hints she might be dumped doesn’t cut it. She ought to be slaying Parata. To be fair she’d probably beat 2012 Mallard. But how hard is that? Yesterday, Mallard thought it would be a good idea for a senior Labour MP, him, to publicly attack the head of Treasury after he made comments widely welcomed as open-minded and turning away from dry neoliberalism. At least Nanaia keeps her mouth shut rather than putting her foot in it.

It’s going to be an interesting Labour Party conference in two weeks time.

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