I was intrigued by some quotes I saw on Keeping Stock from a six page Listener article on Phil Goff, so I got a copy.
Now it is sensible for Goff to be doing these big profile pieces. In fact that is exactly what I suggested a couple of months ago.
However a few Labour MPs may have said more than they intended in the profile. Items of interest are:
- Helen Clark still regularly e-mails and texts caucus members. This reinforces the view I have that the party is still very much Clark’s, not Goff’s. I’ve still yet to hear a Labourite get passionate about Goff, but they’ll jump in to defend Helen at all costs.
- Andrew Little says party membership has dropped from almost 50,000 in 2005 to under 10,000. That 50,000 figure I am sure would include union affiliate nominal members rather than individual who actually choose to join a party.
- At the post-election Cabinet meeting it was decided Goff and King would be Leader and Deputy, and all agreed neither would be challenged before the 2011 election. They have a pact. This is useful knowledge for National as some Nats were getting worried if Goff sinks too low in the polls he may be rolled – which is the last thing they want. There was talk of going easy. But now they know there is a pact to keep him on regardless of how he performs, there is no need to hold back.
- David Cunliffe was considered for the leadership but the consensus was “Look, mate, you’re not ready”. I understand gleeful National MPs yell this out everytime DC speaks in the House now!
- Goff talks of how he was kicked out of home at 16 by his father. A former MP has e-mailed me to suggest that what Phil did not mention is the same father paid for the residence Goff moved into.
- Goff and King are looking at first three years in a child’s life as area for greater intervention with troubled families. On that issue I’d support them 100%. Please stop campaigning for free silk scarf painting courses and focus more resources on those first few years.
- They acknowledge not doing well with the male vote. I would go further and say they have a major disconnect.
- Hilariously some of the Caucus think the nanny state backlash was not genuine and all whipped up by Crosby Textor. I’m glad I don’t have to buy Mark Textor or Lynton Crosby a beer for every time the left credit them for some nefarious deed. I am sure they will be blamed for global warming soon.
- Usefully the article reveals that many in Caucus would push in Government the exact same nanny state policies, just with more listening!!!
- Maryan Street reveals she is investigating ways to control the exchange rate. Superb. This will allow international currency dealers to make a killing as a Labour Government tries to set the exchange rate. And who the hell put Maryan Street in charge of monetary policy!
- Annette King is thinking of extending the full Working for Families tax credits to beneficiaries removing one of the few incentives to be in work. This would be an extra $450 million a year of welfare.
- Clare Curran on Phil Goff “He’s a real man. And we need that”. Words fail me.
- Phil Twyford, Labour’s Auckland spokesperson admits that under Labour “the city wasn’t working properly, with traffic problems, crappy infrastructure, and a downtown that looks like a bomb site. He concludes “I think our Government was very late in coming to the party and doing something about that. Every National MP in Auckland is thanking Twyford for his quotes to be used in their 2011 campaign literature!
- Andrew Little sagely concludes on the Electoral Finance Act that “there was a sense the Government was taking revenge and shutting down otherwise legitimate avenues of expression”. Of course that is because they were!
As I said, a very interesting article.