The Labour Party under David Cunliffe already looks sharper than the David Shearer version when it comes to picking up on business and economic issues and turning them into ammunition for political attack.
A lot of these issues are complex and Labour seems happy to grab headlines with half-baked ideas that don’t bear serious scrutiny.
Their policy on over-riding the Reserve Bank being a prime example.
But that doesn’t really matter in the rough and tumble world of political point-scoring. Shearer’s more considered and generally more intelligent approach was getting the party nowhere. It is a shame that one of Shearer’s biggest flaws was his tendency to think before he spoke.
Why waste time thinking – all that ever did was give the Greens a chance to get in first with a snappy soundbite? Cunliffe’s Labour Party certainly doesn’t.
Making policy up on the hoof may backfire.
Last week we saw Clayton Cosgrove taking a blunt stick to the Mighty River Power board over the timing of the now-listed company’s share buy-back.
Cosgrove was quite explicit in his accusation that the Mighty River board of directors had made the move to pump the share price so the upcoming Meridian float would go better for the Government.
There is no evidence for this and the suggestion that a highly respected director like Mighty River chairperson Joan Withers would breach the Companies Act and put the interests of a political party ahead of the best interests of shareholders seems quite defamatory. Not to mention stupid.
Stupid and defamatory – a good description of the MP 🙂
A week or so earlier Cunliffe got good mileage by attacking the Government and the Reserve Bank over the new lending restrictions regime.
The restrictions are designed to prevent banks lending too much money on too little equity. They are primarily about preventing property market bubbles, ensuring the safety of the economy in the event of another financial crisis like – I don’t know – a US debt default or something.
That’s something even the Greens have been supportive of.
Cunliffe’s stance on loan to value ratio (LVR ) restrictions puts him in bed with the Bankers’ Association, all the big Aussie banks and most of the property and real estate industry. These are not exactly mates he’ll be shouting about at the next CTU rally.
Labour is campaigning for the right of 23 year old property investors to buy half million houses with less than 10% deposits. You can’t make this shit up.