Jan 21, 2008

Last Few Days Of The Phoney War

Sir Ed's death and State Funeral mean that today, Wellington anniversary day isn't going to be the last day of the summer truce, as it would usually be in election year. We doubt too much is going to be said before Wednesday's Cabinet meeting, the first for the year. The Government will have to do something to try and turn things around. The news for the year has been almost uniformly negative.

We are not sure how National intends to play things, will they come on all guns blazing on Wednesday or will they wait for John Key's 29 January speech?

The Greens chose a meeting on Waiheke Island yesterday to begin the process of independent branding. We agree fully that the Labour-led Government has failed to deliver concrete policy outcomes on the environment. We are pleased that the Greens are prepared to look at detailed policy with other parties, including National. The reality is that on climate change National could actually bee closer to the Greens than current Government policy. If only the Greens were willing to stay focused on the environment and dump their radical economic agenda, they could start making real traction. It was interesting that Nandor was not at yesterday's gathering.

There are tow other big questions. When will Winston Peters start his distancing from Labour and how? He is in even deeper trouble than the Greens as far as the 5% threshold is concerned. We can't see him waiting too much longer before choosing his vehicle. Will it be migrants? Foreign investment? Or will he just focus on taking some votes away from National by intensifying the current war of words?