Goff sticks gumbooted foot in mouth

Jamie Mackay dubbed West Coast dairy farmer Andy Thompson a National Party lackey on the farming Show on Wednesday.

But he later went on to speak about Andy’s quest to find a Labour voter at the Fieldays and said it would be difficult.

He was joking but if ever there was a time for farmers and the wider rural community to support the National Party it is now both because of what it has done in government and what Labour is threatening to do should it win the election.

Sadly, from my point of view, not all farmers understand that. Although many are more likely to support National than members of some other groups, not all of them do.

However, Phil Goff would have helped National’s cause and harmed his own when he stuck his gumbooted-foot in his mouth :

Labour leader Phil Goff has angered industry leaders at the National Agricultural Fieldays by suggesting that Federated Farmers were considered the National Party in gumboots.

The comment was in response to being asked how important the agricultural vote was to Labour, in election year, during his Fieldays visit yesterday.

“In financial terms agriculture is hugely important, in political terms someone once said that Federated Farmers is the National Party in gumboots, it’s always been that way and we have to accept that,” Mr Goff told Waikato Times.

Feds took understandable exception to that:

However that comment hasn’t gone down well with Federated Farmers dairy chairman Lachlan McKenzie who said the organisation was staunchly apolitical.

“We have always said that we will work with whoever is in power it’s very simple,” Mr McKenzie said. “I spoke at a Labour Party conference two years ago and held two workshops which were both full.”

Unlike some unions which are affiliated to and have special, undemocratic privileges in, the Labour Party, Feds is an advocacy group which keeps a respectable distance from party politics.

It works to advance the interests of its members in the knowledge that governments come and governments go and its voice is stronger for not favouring or attaching itself to any party.

Goff could have mended a bridge or two with farmers and got some positive publicity at the Fieldays. Instead he gaffed again with a defensive, and ill-judged quip.

6 Responses to Goff sticks gumbooted foot in mouth

  1. Cadwallader says:

    Goff is staggeringly off target…again!
    Is it not now time for Damian O’Connor to become an Independent in Westland? He would certainly scoop the farmers’ votes.
    I do not perceive any other Labour MP being even partly sensitive to the rural communities and industries.

  2. pdm says:

    `Illjudged’ – is a hallmark of Goff’s tenure of the Labour Leadership to date. It is hard to think of one thing he has got right.

    Whale Oils suggestion of Fred Dagg at 1 on the Labour list has increasing merit – at least he will wear the gumboots and give Lockwood nightmares on the dress code – lol.

  3. Judging by some of the commentary from the Feds on ETS, I would expect ACT to have quite a few farmer supporters.
    Certainly, when I had dealings with the Feds and its local rival/offshoot in Northland a while back, its people either fitted in with ACT or were on the right of National.
    No tree hugging BlueGreens there,

  4. Sally says:

    Well said Fairfacts.

    Let’s not forget that National was responsible for the shonky Resource Management Act. Unfortunately there is very little difference between Labour & National!

  5. Freedom @ Last says:

    Actually Goff is not such a bad guy, considering he is leader of the Ratbag Labour Party. He is only trying to appeal to the ignorance & prejudices inherent in Labour supporters. I.E. pushing the right buttons. He knows better than that, but knows what appeals to his base. I will not be voting Labour in any case.
    Just as I will not be voting National. Ever again. These people are the biggest disappointments. Sally is correct. National empowered the RMA. All the National Party-RMA founded Environment Councils have bullies out & about. The enviro-NAZI’s have created a firestorm of urban based, anti-rural hatred that is all but out of control. National stands for BIG GOVERNMENT that is out of control, as is their spending and the consequential exploding indebtedness indicates. National likes farmers only to the extent of the tax that they want to screw out of them. And they work 24/7.
    Concerned voters will not be voting National. It has to be said that voting National just because Labour is worse, is a pathetic reason to vote National. No wonder they are unaccountable & irresponsible.

  6. Cadwallader says:

    Good thought. I had not fully pondered how both National and Labour respond to the prejudices of their constituencies when creating what passes for policies. This approach seems intrinsically pinko in its outlook. Other than the Libertarianz, the Maori Party and (possibly) a reconstituted ACT all parties are tarred with the response mantra rather than the characteristic of leading from a position of principle. Perhaps this is an obvious dividend of universal enfranchisement? I am not a political scientist so am unsure of my ground here. The need to respond to prejudices in our current electoral system is graphically demonstrated as the Libertarianz with their principled policies remain unelectable.

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