Whale interviews Trotter

An interesting interview with Chris Trotter by Whale Oil.

His thoughts on Labour are especially insightful:

On Labours “Get John Key” campaign:

“Com­pletely mis­taken, did not read the man at all well”

“One sus­pects that they despair of find­ing some other way through.”

On how mod­ern Labour can become more appealing:

“It does very well when it plays to the best, in New Zealan­ders, when it booths artic­u­lates and asks peo­ple to respond to the bright side rather than the dark side of the NZ way of doing things.”

“When they find some­one who can artic­u­late them, as they did with Michael Joseph Sav­age  as they did with Nor­man Kirk, as they cer­tainly did with David Lange, then they are very hard to beat, but if those two things are lack­ing, if they lack some­one who is able to artic­u­late that appeal to New Zealand’s bet­ter angels, to bor­row Abra­ham Lincoln’s famous phrase and if they aren’t dri­ven in a sense by adverse eco­nomic winds then Labour does find it dif­fi­cult his­tor­i­cally to win.”

On Phil Goff:

“He hasn’t demon­strated to date, either the rhetor­i­cal skills nec­es­sary to make that appeal, and cer­tainly to date he hasn’t been able to emote in a way that New Zealan­ders can believe.”

On Labour entic­ing bet­ter candidates:

[They need] “life expe­ri­ence which you cer­tainly don’t get in any great breadth on the ninth floor of the beehive”


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