An opposition party desperate for publicity would normally be pleased that three of the country’s biggest papers devoted their editorials to it.
But Labour wouldn’t be celebrating the editorial round ups they were given last week.
The ODT editorial was headlined Earning Trust:
It damns Phil Goff with faint praise, says the team he leads is shy on talent then gets to the nub of the matter:
One reason delaying its return is the question of trust.
There were sufficient numbers of dodgy practices by Labour when in government to help speed the party’s exit from power; any attempted repetition of that behaviour so early in its term of Opposition should be a dominating concern of Mr Goff and his colleagues.
The Dominion Post’s editorial was headed No shortcuts for labour’s sinners.
The party’s MPs have lost touch with the voters who elected three straight Labour-led governments.
If they were doing their jobs, the MPs would know, from their daily contact with constituents and interest groups, what the pressing issues are.
Labour’s MPs resemble grumpy, disinherited members of the landed gentry who have been turfed out of their comfy gentlemen’s club for not paying their subscriptions and are trying to fast talk their way back in past the doorman.
But there are no shortcuts. If Labour’s MPs want to regain the good opinion of the public, they will have to earn it.
Voters are drawn to politicians who seek to serve their (voters’) interests. They are repelled by politicians who seek to serve their own interests.
The Herald on Sunday editorial was headlined Labour lose moral compass:
Barker has acted dishonestly.
Hughes has sacrificed principle for patsy-ism.
Goff has just cowered and, when confronted by political reporters outside the Labour Caucus room with nowhere to hide, obfuscated.
Labour’s leader must now stand up and take responsibility for the deception that was conducted with funds entrusted to him by Parliament.
Barker should be sacked from all his Caucus responsibilities. Hughes, too, must be left in no doubt about how repugnant his rationalisations are.
These, then, are the simple truths that are demanded of Labour’s tarnished leadership.
And these are the truths Labour has forgotten.
Using public money for party polling was wrong, but it’s Labour’s response to it which has kept the issue live and raised issues about integrity which won’t be countered easily.
Parties have to earn public trust before they win votes and Labour spent last week showing once again why it can’t be trusted.
As Meat Loaf might have sung: We don’t like them, we don’t trust them, we don’t want them and three out of three’s not good.