Ex-Goff adviser lambasts Labour attacks

By Audrey Young

Phil Goff. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Phil Goff. Photo / Sarah Ivey

One of Labour leader Phil Goff's former senior advisers, John Pagani, has publicly criticised his party's approach to the National-led Government.

He suggests that Labour is too indiscriminate in its criticism of National and that when it attacks things that most people support, it is alienating itself from voters.

Mr Pagani, until recently Mr Goff's communications director, disputes the call by some commentators for Labour to "leap to the left" to win back voters.

"They're [voters] waiting for Labour to demonstrate it genuinely understands their needs - and that means endorsing more of what National is doing - the things the voting public approves of," he posted on his blog site with the headline: "Problems, we got problems, but they're not the problems you think."

"Every time Labour attacks policies and a government that voters generally approve of, they alienate themselves further from potential supporters who are swinging between Labour and National," he said.

"Take those calls by critics on the left that Labour should tell thousands of people in Christchurch, who are using buckets for their ablutions, that politicking over the CERA [Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority] law is more important than actually getting things fixed for them as fast as possible.

"Insisting the public is wrong is a recipe for even more disaster. Attacking constructive things the Government is doing is exactly the wrong option," he said.

"If anything, Labour should be pursuing more of a consensus approach, so that it can own more of the right direction."

Mr Pagani's blog was written after the TV3 Reid poll which put Labour's support at 27 per cent and National's at 57 per cent.

Mr Goff declined to comment last night.

- NZ Herald

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