A week or so ago I wrote a blogpost claiming that the Andrew Little experiment had failed.
But of course it hasn’t failed. It has been a roaring success. So far. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. He’s only been in the job a couple of weeks.
Little has been straightforward and clear in pretty much all his dealings with the media so far. Contrast this with John Key, whose overall performance in the last week can best be described as cynical. Key has lied, and then he has lied about his lies, to the point where I doubt anyone can keep track of his ever changing stories. I pity Key’s comms advisers and strategists. How can these people hope to do their jobs when their boss’s recollections are like shifting sands?
But Andrew Little’s success presents me with a real problem. I genuinely thought he would be a turn-off for voters. I was worried he would be seen as overly dour and negative, and I feared he would be viewed as a hardline unionist. As far as I know no opinion polls have come out since Little took over as leader, so it’s hard to know how the voting public will react to him. But he is certainly getting plenty of positive coverage in the media, and that is something we haven’t seen in a Labour leader for a number of years.
I didn’t pick this, and now I have egg on my face. I told various people during the election for Labour’s leader that I had ranked Little fourth out of four. If the person I ranked last turns out to be the best person for the job, then that would render my opinions on all things political highly suspect. If Andrew Little turns out to be Labour’s saviour, and I didn’t pick it, then I really have no business opining on anything political.
I don’t want to be known as the guy whose predictions are almost always disastrously wrong. I don’t want to become the butt of people’s jokes. If it turns out that my opinions have become so unreliable as to become entirely reliable, then I may as well shut down this site and go write on The Daily Blog. I’m sure my good friend Martyn Bradbury would be delighted to have me there.
So I can’t afford for Andrew Little to succeed. This is why I will be a relentless opponent of everything Andrew Little does during this parliamentary term.
I’m not going to worry too much yet, because I’m fully expecting someone in Labour’s caucus to make a dick of him/herself within the next few weeks. It seems to happen whenever it looks as if Labour might be making gains. But if Little succeeds in spite of my best efforts and the efforts of his caucus, then Plan B is to claim that my opinions on Little were misunderstood. “When I said fourth out of four I was ranking the candidates on reverse alphabetical order by first name. Of course Andrew Little was fourth! Don’t you even know the alphabet?”
Yes, I know it’s a bit weak. But if John Key can get away with all his brazen lies, then surely you can let me have this one little fib.