John Key’s credibility has taken a hammering this week – at least among the 50% of the electorate who have always had doubts about him on that score. The other substantial story of the week has been about Andrew Little’s debut as Labour leader, which has received top marks, especially among the 25% of the electorate still voting Labour. According to some reports, the Labour caucus has been ‘in seventh heaven’ about Little’s success this week in taking it to the government in the House.
This is encouraging news for the centre left, given that Little’s oratorical/debating skills were actually supposed to be his weak link. His strong suit is acknowledged to be his organisational nous, very much in evidence in the way he put together his team. Putting Annette King in the Joe Biden role – as the only possible deputy with no ambition to become leader – was a smart move, and so was offering Finance to Grant Robertson, who is being invited to regard this role as lending gravitas to Robertson’s own ambitions to someday lead the country. What Little did was promote the caucus grandees, while putting them on notice to perform – in that everyone’s role would be re-evaluated in a year’s time. A caucus reshuffle, if needed, had thereby been flagged well in advance. Smart planning in the long term, and short term. Read the rest of this entry »