What ails the left? They lack puff and policy.
They were once vibrant, challenging and full of ideas. The right were the dreary, backward-looking ones.
The left now suffer from closed minds and moral smugness. They are moribund and backward-looking.
They run from ideas. Opposing philosophies distress them.
They pillory dissenters as stupid or immoral and often both. There's no debating or explaining, just abuse for those who step outside received wisdom.
The left have taken to social media with gusto. It only takes 140 characters to abuse and attack.
They fill Twitter and blogs with their righteousness and smugness, puffed up by their own perceived moral and intellectual superiority.
There's no allowance that a person with a differing view might offer an opportunity to learn and to strengthen your ideas and perhaps, just perhaps, to change them.
That's never allowed as a possibility.
Their minds are closed and they gasp and take offence at any idea or opinion different to their own.
Indeed, ganging up against dissenters on social media is what binds them. Their attacks on others proves to them their correctness and superiority.
The left are puzzled about why they're politically marginalised but never trouble themselves to listen to those who have turned away from them. They look down on them and despise them.
The left view their political failure as the fault of voters who must be hoodwinked, stupid, selfish, or suffering some other ethical or intellectual shortcoming. Why else would they not be supporting the left when they are so good and true?
The problem is never with the left or their doctrine.
They are a self-reinforcing sect who in their wretchedness and anger are becoming ever smaller. Their narrow and insular outlook prevents them reaching out. Little wonder it's not attractive to new recruits.
It's astonishing that National is now the vibrant party looking to the future and open to diverse views.
Labour is the narrow party that has shut itself off from the great bulk of New Zealanders.