From the Government’s point of view, it might be a good idea to stop talking about the National Party.
The uproar stoked up over the secret tapes, claimed by Labour as evidence of National’s secret agenda, doesn’t seem to have registered with voters.
… National’s leader, John Key, thinks there might have been a negative reaction to Labour’s strategy of using the tapes to attack his party.
And he could be right when he says it might have been perceived as a piece of parliamentary theatre, with no direct impact on anyone outside it.
“It doesn’t affect their daily lives…the economy is still front and centre stage,” said Key.
He has said that before, pushing the message that voters aren’t interested in sideshows and would like politicians to get on with debating issues that do affect their daily lives.
Like interest rates, the rising level of unemployment and the economic slowdown.
If the secret agenda assault really isn’t working, Labour is going to lose one of its main campaign weapons – persuading voters that they can’t trust National in government because it might inflict on them the sort of drastic and unpopular changes that marked the early 1990s.
Key is acutely aware of this tactic, to the extent that he has vowed to resign as Prime Minister and quit Parliament if superannuation is tampered with under his watch.
And in another counter move last week, he said National would legislate to ensure benefits increased in line with inflation.
They do now, but there isn’t a law that says they have to.
Key is trying to neutralise Labour’s “you can’t trust National” strategy, which worked in 2005 when it came out with its “don’t risk throwing it all away” slogan.
The way things are going, it won’t work twice. Voters don’t seem to be taking any notice of Labour’s warnings, they might be waiting to hear something real about how the Government is going to help them through the hard times many are experiencing.
When you are interested in politics it’s easy to think it matters. And while it does it most people have real lives with day to day conerns which matter far more to them.
Mud sticks to the hand that throws it and people worried about making ends meet aren’t impressed that playing if Labour is more concerned about playing in the dirt than working on running the country.