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Jacinda Has Not Put A Foot Wrong!

Yes, that is the consensus amongst nearly all the pundits whom I follow on a daily basis.

It shows a remarkable, and thus far unexpected perspicacity in this young woman who appears to have taken total control of the manner in which Labour has presented itself to the public of this country over the last few weeks since her unexpected elevation to the role of Leader.

Dammit, I am a male, and my immediate reaction is to seek out the Svengali behind the scenes who is responsible for this turnaround. And I mean both in her, and the fortunes of Labour as revealed in the Cheshire cat smiles on the faces of those who habitually take up the background space in an obvious effort to acquire reflected glory - 'no names. no packdrill!'

There is one of course whose skill in this area has been long recognised, but ignored despite his undoubted role in devising the successful strategy of Helen Clark. He is of course Mike Munro - the essential 'back-room' operator who was brought on by Jacinda at exactly the right moment, and who  has remained faceless in direct contrast to his predecessor - Matt McCarten.

I am certain that Jacinda has developed her own unflappable personal persona, but there is something uncanny about that manner she manages to sidestep the issues that she is not entirely sure about, and on which she wants guidance. The tax issue earlier this week was a perfect example - "no comment until the books are opened tomorrow, and then I will consider the issue of tax increases" - note - increases - no mention of decreases - that was already ruled out.

Then, on the day when $2b was revealed to be the entire kitty for two years out, she wasted no time in announcing "No increases at this time." - a perfect and timely response, and she leaves open the possibility of capital gains, "on all but the family home," until a later date, thus reversing her predecessors gutless reaction to contrary polls during the previous election. It is al least now back on the table, and if Labour really want it, they will have to exercise restraint in other directions - it is that simple.

I resist the use of the faintly sexist description "Jacinderella" by those who have thus described her as a policy vacuum. This is far from the case, and it is just as well that she takes time and space to develop and announce where she is heading. There is I am sure not a single person in her caucus who is now waiting on the sidelines to challenge her - on the contrary, they all appear completely mesmerised by her performance.

And that is entirely hers, but Mike Munro is surely exercising a guiding hand on strategy in the background - something about which I believe we can all be extremely grateful. Timing is everything!




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