Monday, June 16, 2014

You shouldn't need a focus group to find your spine

On Friday, David Cunliffe was asked about whether he would send combat troops to Iraq. His response? Mush (you can listen to the full quote here). 24 hours later when he's had time to run a focus group and do some polling, his position had changed completely:

The Labour government I lead would not contribute combat troops to Iraq under any foreseeable circumstances.

While Labour's new position is welcome, a leader worthy of the name shouldn't need a focus group to find their spine for them on an issue like this. Helen Clark certainly didn't. And the net effect of Cunliffe's wibbling has been to make him appear untrustworthy to his own potential supporters (who have been sent a clear message that he either can't be trusted on core issues, or can't recognise one to save himself), while making him look weak, contemptible, and incompetent to everyone else.