Patrice Gaffaney Heather du Plessis-Allen writes the NZ Herald:
If there was a prize for sounding like the biggest pack of sad sacks, the Labour Party would win it.
He cites three things. First:
Our biggest rivals had just been told by their new Prime Minister that the leader he’d most like to emulate is the guy running New Zealand.
Malcolm Turnbull had the whole world to pick from: Obama, Cameron, Merkel. …
Andrew Little told Australians he pitied them if that’s what their new leader wants.
That was the third time he missed the chance to display a little magnanimity or leadership in the past fortnight. If he carries on like this, it will be as hard to vote for his party in 2017 as it was in the last election a year and a week ago.
The second is the flag:
Possibly his biggest mistake though was playing politics with the flag referendum. Forget what Labour was saying publicly about wanting to get Red Peak on the ballot. They didn’t want that. …
That’s why Labour mucked around and that’s why the Greens and National outmanoeuvered it. Labour was more interested in embarrassing the Prime Minister than making sure we hand the right flag on to our grandkids.
Yep. And the third:
How do you turn a story about panda bears into something negative? Here’s how.
It sounds increasingly like our biggest trading partner might hook us up with a couple of cute – but admittedly expensive to keep – YouTube favourites.
If you’re Little, you don’t use this as a chance to show your sense of humour and crack a few panda puns or display your understanding of the tourism the bears generate.
Instead, you say there are better things to spend money on. There are always better things.
Little will have done his research. He’ll know about panda diplomacy. He’ll know getting pandas from China is the equivalent of a diplomatic BFF note.
Overall Labour and Little has just come across as relentlessly negative on everything.