The Dom Post editorial:
Little had moved long before last weekend’s annual party conference to kill off the remnants of the Leftish policy Labour touted last year.
The capital gains tax and a rise in the pension age were officially dumped at the conference without fuss from delegates.
Also dumped was the power policy, a joint effort with the Greens to tackle the electricity oligopoly that keeps forcing prices up. And much of the conference took place in secret.
This was creating a desert and calling it peace.
Little now stands on a bare platform with no significant policy. The fact that nobody much cared when he threw out the old policies might be taken as a sign of a newly unified Labour Party. Or it might be a sign that Labour is a corpse. It doesn’t have the strength to fight or even to disagree with itself. So the attempt to hide everything behind closed doors wasn’t even needed.
Having no policy to sell, Little tried to sell himself. His “impassioned” speech was in fact awkward and unconvincing.
Labour’s strategy appears to be to have no actual policy and try to convince people they are both for and against the TPP!
Labour can’t even take the step of injecting new blood into its leadership with the fresh face of Jacinda Ardern.
Her qualities are modest, but she is a sign of life. Labour has few other such signs.
Little tries to build a personal link with voters by talking about his family. Perhaps he thinks that mentioning his flinty Tory dad will create a sense of paradox or at least a spark of interest.
Neither as a union politician nor as a parliamentarian has Little been a bold or lively reformer. He has little charisma and a lack of new ideas.
It’s hard to believe he will lead Labour out of the wilderness.
As far as I can tell their plan seems to be to aspire to get 34% of the vote (which is what they got when they lost in 2008) and hope Winston can do well enough to put them into Government along with the Greens.