Less clever from Labour

I praised Labour yesterday for their campaign of insulating houses as being a good issue to campaign on. I thought it showed a sign of getting more clever about opposition.

But then Phil Goff attacks John Key for saying those who can afford to do so, should donate their to , spewing forward class hatred:

“It smacks of the old aristocracy to say ‘we will make things worse for the low-income people and then, out of the generosity of my heart, I will call on other well-heeled people to donate theirs to charity’.”

First of all Goff is factually wrong. No one is worse off due to the 1 April tax cuts. A worker (without kids) on $20,000 gets $10 a week more. A worker on just above the average wage gets $18 a week more. Even pensioners get an increase.

But this is not a debate about tax cuts. It is about perceptions. 90% of NZers will cheer the PM saying donate more to charity if you can afford to do so. And Goff attacks the idea as “old aristocracy” or no doubt Tory charity. Stupid stupid stupid.

What Goff should have done is something like:

“I absolutely support the call for New Zealanders who can do so, to donate more to charity to help those who are struggling. But we should not just rely on philanthropic individuals, and the Givernment needs to be doing more to help those struggling such as adopting our plan to insulate every household in NZ to lower power bills and reduce ill health”.

This would have meant Goff doesn’t look to be sneering at those who do donate. It would have not looked like a petty swipe at a hugely popular PM (you do those when he is less popular!) and it would have looked constructive.

Most of all it would have reinforced the insulation campaign. You need to do more than just have a website. If Labour want it to be effective, they have to repeat it as often as possible so every NZer knows Labour wants to insulate every home in NZ. People only remember something after they have heard it close to a dozen times.

I wish I could invoice someone for this free advice 🙂

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