Unfortunately, this gaffe by Charles Chauvel doesn't qualify as a SMOG (Social Media Own Goal), but it's an own goal nonetheless; check out this letter (apologies for the quality - there's a better version here, but we can't get it to upload):
Now for those who weren't around in 1984, or at least those who weren't politically aware, sit down while we give you a history lesson. Sir Robert Muldoon famously called a snap election, using Marilyn Waring as a scapegoat. Sir Robert Jones formed the New Zealand Party, split the National vote, and David Lange was swept to power.
There was a big line-up of new Labour MP's in 1984. Peter Dunne was one of the; so was Annette King, and so was Trevor Mallard. They joined Labour's current leader Phil Goff, who had entered Parliament three years previously. Jim Anderton was another of Labour's class of '84, but he has at last retired.
Faced with a currency crisis and an economy in deep decline after nine years of Muldoonism, Labour embarked on an agenda of reform. A key plank in this agenda, never run by the voters was the sale of 17 state assets during the 1984-1990 period, for a sum of $9.49 billion; about $17b in today's dollar terms. Phil Goff was in Cabinet throughout the period, and Annette King joined him after the 1987 election.
So when Charles Chauvel condemns Peter Dunne as a relic of the Cold War, he's tarring his leader, his deputy leader and his erstwhile campaign manager with the same brush. Sure; Phil Goff has tried to rewrite history, and now claims to oppose asset sales, but it is an historical fact that he was a part of a Cabinet that sold more state assets than any Cabinet before, and any Cabinet since.
We know that Labour is very sensitive about Phil Goff's asset sales history; it's just a couple of months ago that Clare Curran banned us from Red Alert for daring to mention it, even in a lighthearted manner. That's because Labour wants people to forget that Phil Goff is the most prolific asset-seller in the recently-dissolved Parliament.
So thanks Charles; in trying to discredit your opponent in Ohariu, you've given the voters a timely reminder of just how dated the upper echelons of the Labour caucus is; unless that was your intention all along, with a leadership challenge planned for soon after election day!