Where will you move the deck chairs to?
The change to Jacinda Arden in the leadership of the Labour Party reminded me of a story of life. In an office where I worked was an attractive, dynamic young woman. Day after day she looked promising, and then I heard her speak. Her attraction disappeared immediately. Ever since that time, I've been alert to the fact that it's not the packaging that's important, but the substance in it.
Jacinda has to convince people that her party's substance is different from the others and can deliver what they seek. She has little time to convince her own party to leave the neo-liberal economic agenda they have followed for years and years. Of course, she might not want to. Or, more likely, she has no idea that there is another way.
So Jacinda and the Labour Party may remain like the others, National, the Greens, NZ First, TOP, Act - stuck with the status quo getting the same results. Mike Hosking in a broadcast believed Jacinda had a credibility gap in that she had had no government experience. I don't accept that for a moment. History shows that in 1935 in the Alberta province of Canada, its provincial parliament elected 56 newcomers with no legislative or government experience at all to run the place with 7 only in opposition. Their party ruled for 40 years continuously guiding the province from poverty to prosperity.
Labour won't be able to do that - not even with Jacinda. So where will Jacinda lead Labour? It will still follow its beloved neo liberal economic agenda and ignore the icebergs of growing debt as the NZ ship sails steadily towards financial disaster. So, where will you move the deck chairs to, Jacinda?
Michael Clatford, Wellington
Published: August 2017