A reader writes:
Little claims that his smearing of Nick as a ‘right wing’ candidate was justified because Little wants a disciplined party, not a debating society.
He could have just stated ‘Legget is running against an endorsed Labour candidate, so of course we can’t be seen to support him’ He went deliberately a lot further and smeared him intentionally.
Yep, so why did he go further?
But look at the successive posts on the Standard: There is not a single substantive policy critique of Leggett (or anyone else), or a positive platform in support of Lester. It is a series of nasty smears of anyone associated with Leggett. So, for example, someone helps Leggett with fundraising – they get smeared.
Guilt by association!
I wonder if those running the campaign against him by Labour can point to any policies of his they actually object to?
Bear in mind that Leggett is not running as an endorsed or supported candidate of a political party so he has to get his funding, volunteers and backers from somewhere. There is no suggestion of any policy link between support for Leggett from the smeared individuals and some intention Leggett has announced to do something bad, or a link to something bad he did at Porirua – where he has quite a long history of doing stuff.
It’s all just nasty, personal smearing.
What it shows is that the Little comments were not some one-off statement about Nash not attending a dinner and an insistence on discipline, but merely the most public part of a sustained campaign of vilification.
They seem desperate for Lester to win – to the point their parliamentary staff are producing videos for him.
This is revealing in another way – it is identical to the campaign of personal vilification that Labour has run against Key. This is not a by-product, it is strategy. Despite the fact that the strategy has not worked, even slightly, for 10 years. Ten years of doing the same thing with the same result, and now they are doing it to yet another opponent.
A good point. This seems to be what they do best, or do most badly.
It is also revealing that Labour thinks its strongest lines of attack are not substantive but smearing – after 8 years in opposition, it still has no narrative, no policy case to make against the government and no platform of its own it feels confident in.
Ironically, all of this is from the very people who complained loudest about Dirty Politics. It would be very interesting to hear what Hager has to say about the vilification and smearing being practised by Labour, Little and The Standard against Leggett, and the obvious coordination between it all (noting there are clear personnel overlaps between the Little office and Lester campaign as well)
I would be interested to hear how any of them believe it differs qualitatively from the activities retold in the Hagar book – and whether the gallery intend to ask about coordination as they asked Key.
Personally I’m more than a little dismayed – the left is on its knees, tactically this is more than misguided, determined to repudiate any idea or personality who represents an alternative to the current drift and failure.
I won’t hold my breath waiting for a new book!