Personal, vicious and negative

Matt McCarten predicts “politics in New Zealand is going to be personal, vicious and negative over the next 12 months”.

I am tempted to joke and that will just be the internal leadership battle within Labour 🙂

Matthew Hooton writes in the SST that John Key once told him that Phil Goff was the Labour politician he feared was most capable of stopping him becoming prime minister.

Goff is obviously starting to position himself with his antics on the Air New Zealand fiasco being clearly directed at shoring up support from the left of the party.

He would never ever challenge Clark for the leadership, but as with 1990 if a victory looks impossible, he might be promoted to help minimise the losses.  Nothing focuses MPs more than a risk to their personal seat.

Hooton looks at the past week:

On Tuesday, Clark was still defending her government’s attempt to stifle democracy with its Electoral Finance Bill. On Wednesday, she indicated she might be prepared to establish multi-party talks to develop a more sensible proposal, but only if Key would first agree not to criticise the original. On Thursday, Labour used its majority on a select committee over the objections of the opposition to appoint Sir Geoffrey Palmer to rewrite the bill.

Only people who are completely out of touch with reality could believe that a former Labour prime minister, a major party donor and the prime minister’s personal legal adviser is the right person for that particular job.

Elsewhere, Labour looked vindictive and mad, with Clark’s election strategist, Pete Hodgson, taking a week out from running the health system to dig around the Companies Office and Truth looking for dirt on Key. His allegations were all comical, but how long will it be before Clark, Cullen and Hodgson justify a search of Key’s rubbish bins or his emails and faxes, in their hunt for a decent smear?

My personal highlight this week was Cullen falsely accusing me in parliament of being the owner of Truth. Keep this up, and it’ll be time for the men in white coats.

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