Of course I’d say that.
But Rob Hosking has too and backs it up with reason:
Helen Clark was a disastrous leader for Labour and until the party realises this it will remain mired in low polling nostalgia-land.
The most significant political event of Clark’s time leading Labour was the party’s loss of the Maori vote. A large chunk of it vamoosed to New Zealand First in the first election Clark fought as Labour leader.
Labour had been able to count on that vote since the early 1930s. Although it came back in 1999 and 2002, the bond was broken.
Her successors will eventually be able to put most of the other black marks against her leadership behind them: lack of integrity over the pledge card, the Electoral Finance Act, and her support of Phillip Field and Winston Peters; turning middle and upper income families into beneficiaries . . .
However, the loss of Maori support is more serious and John Key made it even more so by including the Maori Party in his coalition.
That established it as the only party which stands for something in the political centre, able to move left or right. It gave the party more power than it could have hoped for based on the number of votes or members it attracted and showed Maori that they can achieve more away from Labour than with them.