Pete George is a Dunedin-based blogger. But he also stood against Dr David Clark in last year's General Election, so he knows the numberless Labour MP better than most.
Pete is also a bit bemused by Dr Clark's TV appearance yesterday, and opines thus:
Shades of Phil Goff’s election campaign embarrassment with “show me the money”.Clark is a first term MP, have to cut him some slack. But he has work experience at Treasury, and is Labour’s shadow spokesperson for Revenue. He should be able to manage some numbers.He’ll have to take this on the chin and hopefully learn from it. But it’s symptomatic of a much bigger problem. A Labour problem.Labour selected Clark as candidate for a safe Labour seat, everyone expected he only needed to turn up to win Dunedin North after Pete Hodgson’s retirement.I campaigned against Clark. He repeated carefully learnt lines at every meeting. He was elected. In Labour’s ledership contest after the election I heard David Parker recite some of the exact same lines Clark had been using.Eight months later, on Q+A this morning and in his press release, Clark is still repeating the same lines. What’s going on going on here? He’s been an MP now for more than half a year.It’s not entirely Clark’s fault. He seems to be doing what’s been asked of him by his party. He’s a reliable repeater.And Labour are still running their election campaign. They put a lot into opposing asset sales during the campaign, it was their main election focus. They are still campaigning against asset sales. They are promoting anti asset sale petition. Labour MPs still use No Asset Sales avatars in social media.And at the same time Clark’s minimum wage bill was drawn from the ballot Clayton Cosgrove had his anti asset sale bill drawn. That bill is designed to fail, it’s simply another campaign continuation.Clark was lucky having his Monday-ising bill drawn from the ballot several months ago. He was lucky it got automatic support from Peter Dunne as it fitted with United Future policy.Clark was lucky having his minimum wage bill drawn from the ballot this week.Clark was unlucky that Labour handed him a lemon bill without checking the juice.
Pete George is right on the money here. Like asset sales, Labour campaigned hard for a $15 minimum wage. Along with the No Asset Sales billboards, Most Labour candidates also erected billboards calling for an arbitrary increase to the minimum wage.
And what happened? Labour sunk to its worst result in six MMP elections, and its lowest share of the popular vote in over 60 years. Its two key policy planks were rejected by almost three quarters of all voters.