Thursday, August 6, 2020

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Labour's hiding away this election

Labour’s election strategy is becoming obvious: they’re going to try to do a Joe Biden.

If you’ve been following what’s going on in the US, you’ll know what I mean. Joe Biden seems to poll better when he’s invisible. The idea of him is better than the reality of him. The less he’s in the media, the better he does.

It’s looking like Labour might try to pull the same thing here. They’re running an invisible campaign: hardly any policy, hardly any typical campaign media stuff, almost trying to pretend the campaign isn’t happening.
There have been hints of this for a few weeks now, but an admission from the PM this morning was surprisingly frank.

She watered down any expectations we might have of significant policy announcements: “I would flag to voters not to expect to see large scale manifestos that are a significant departure from what we’re doing.”

But what are they doing? Spraying money everywhere. Keeping borders largely closed. Avoiding decisions. That is not a recipe for an economic recovery.

If you’re hoping to get an idea of how they’re going to get us out of this economic hole before you vote, judging by that comment, you’re going to be disappointed.

Furthermore, the PM’s not participating in the regular media interviews you’d expect during a campaign. If you were following the Herald’s Leaders’ Unplugged series last week, you might have noticed only one leader refused to be interviewed: Labour leader Jacinda Ardern.

Clearly the PM’s team prefer that she’s attached to the PM brand, rather than the Labour leader brand.

Instead, what Labour is going to give us is Covid Covid Covid. Take today’s post-cabinet press conference. No policy announcement. Just a Covid update.

Take this weekend’s paper. Big full page Covid ad again, warning us to ‘be ready’.

That seems a pretty good summary of labour’s plan for this election. Hide mostly everyone away, hide away the policy, hide away the Labour Party brand.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.


Doug Longmire said...

Using the State of Fear policy. Keep the people scared. Ashley Bloomfield appears to be singing from the same sheet, telling us that a second wave is likely.

Ray S said...

Ardern and the rest are not trying too hard for re-election, If National, by some miracle, get in, Labour are let off the hook and any thing that happens after that to get get back on track is not their fault. Cynical maybe.

Ross said...

Agree Doug. They are talking about wearing masks now --go out and stock on masks! Even during level 4 lock down that was not part of the fear mongering so why the change now? To achieve what you say Doug.

I know WHO have changed their mind on masks but this is for exactly the same reason but to "effect" US politics.

All I hope for is that history will reflect very badly on these stunts.