Chris Trotter has delivered a scathing review of Labour. It is to Jordan and Tony’s credit that they’re willing to link to and quote from this. This is them saying to their Caucus that they need to pick their game up.
Some key aspects of Trotter’s critue:
* Labour politicians seemed incapable of displaying any form of empathy, or even sympathy, with the plight of grieving or angry citizens.
* The Labour-led government gave every impression of being unfamiliar with the notion of personal accountability and seemed strangely reluctant to acknowledge the state agencies for which its ministers were responsible could even make mistakes.
* On matters pertaining to race, however, Labour was anything but bold. One by one, it picked up National’s policies and made them their own. This moral abdication left the field clear for the Maori Party, its legions of willing workers more than compensating for a chronic lack of funds.
* Seldom has a Finance Minister so misread the electorate and seldom has the electorate felt so disappointed by a Budget.
* The state of disconnect between Clark’s cobbled-together government and the people persists – indeed, it shows every sign of getting worse.
* Labour’s leaders seem tired and empty of ideas. The political initiative has passed, quite decisively, to the Right. Those with an eye to the future direction of New Zealand politics now look toward National. In spite of losing the election, it is miles ahead of Labour when it comes to political rejuvenation.
* Many had pointed to Shane Jones as a possible breaker of moulds, but his chairing of the select committee of inquiry into TVNZ suggests he is just another ambitious Labour politician.
* A party with a hunger to govern fairly and well does not defend the indefensible nor refuse to take on board reasonable criticism.
* Labour in its first term had the sharp tang of new fruit and the refreshing coolness of a summer breeze. Today it has the rancid, decaying smell of something that has been kept for far too long.
A harsh but not inaccurate analysis, from the left.