Who’s leading the Opposition?

Last year the Green Party had a higher profile than Labour.

This year, as Lew at Kiwipolitico points out,  Winston Peters is leading the charge:

David Shearer says he won’t rule out buying back shares in state-owned power companies sold by the government. He won’t rule it in, either. Why? Does he need to consult his leader?

There’s so much wrong with this that I scarcely know where to start. This buyback agenda has been set by Winston Peters; it’s now two years since the 2011 election campaign kicked off with a pledge to sell these assets, and it’s like the boffins in Labour haven’t yet had an original idea about it. The problem with old generals is supposed to be that they fight today’s war with the strategies of yesterday’s war, but this is worse — it’s fighting yesterday’s war with the strategies that lost the one before that. . .

Peters will never be in a position to act on his threat to renationalise any energy companies which are partially sold.

He’s not stupid enough to make it a bottom line in a coalition or confidence deal. He’s just whistling to his dogs.

But he’s also showing up David Shearer and Labour who are in a no-win position.

They’re not stupid enough to promise to renationalise the companies, that would really scare the business horses and push moderate, wavering voters to towards national. But that just makes Labour’s continuing campaign against the policy redundant.

If they’re not going to change the policy they are neutering their opposition.

The party and its leader need to find another policy to help them make some traction because until they show they can lead the Opposition they’re not going to be able to convince enough voters they could lead a government.

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