ETA: Clare Curran has apologised, hat-tip to NRT. Of course, interestingly it’s about her intentions, which are of course magical, doesn’t refute the idea that Labour does feel entitled to votes (only that she didn’t want to make that argument) and would prefer to bag the Greens than do something about it, and provides a nice platform for people to continue rolling out the “who cares about stupid armchair bloggers anyway???” barrel. Oh, and no mention of referring to critics as “feral”. But one supposes it’s a start.
… and that’s only slightly hyperbolic and somewhat metaphorical.
Recent polls have put Labour in the mid-20s. Which is obviously bad. It probably means you’re down to the absolute core of people whom you could wheel semi-comatose into a voting booth and they’d manage to tick the red box through sheer force of will.
And I totally understand that as a geeky politically-sarcastic blogger, I am by no means the “middle New Zealand” or the “swing” vote that Labour has lost along with the large proportion of lefties who would honestly rather risk a second NACT term than return the current pack to the Beehive.
But seriously. How long has Labour, and some of its supporters in the blogosphere, been trying this fucking pathetic “OMG HDU VOTE 4 SUM 1 ELS????” line? How has it not yet sunk in that you are not our dad, we don’t have to listen to you, and your entitled fucking attitude might just have the tiniest bit to do with our continued lack of interest?
It’s certainly not just Clare Curran, though she’s got the best online history of this, including awesome posts about how everyone should just shut up and pitch in, as though we’re still in a two-party FPP system where there are no alternatives for an angry leftie/progressive. And it’s really awesome to see a party’s technology spokesperson, the one who’s meant to be all internet-savvy, resort to tired old cliches about how anyone who comments on a blog must by default be a reclusive shut-in with no life and no real friends who never does anything.
It’s also the awesome hypocrisy. Attacking other members of the left for nicking your rightful votes, while releasing those parties’ decade-old policies as your own with a wide-eyed, “Oh look! A completely original and earthshaking idea which surely shows how brilliant we are!” Attacking Idiot/Savant (you know, that guy whose spreadsheets of currently-lodged, previously-lodged and to-be-lodged-in-future-depending-on-results-of-currently-lodged OIA requests could, I assume, save any Excel nerd from ever needing aphrodisiacs) for doing nothing while your own campaign manager has spent a hard day out-cycling a pondscum blogger whose irrelevancy would be a lot easier to throw in the media’s face if only you’d stop fucking dignifying him.
And as always, it’s the amazing ability I have to predict the future. To know with absolute certainty that when Labour don’t roll Goff, don’t shake up their front bench, don’t make any effort to bring back the alienated left,* they will be on Red Alert the next day having a whinge because why don’t we stupid people realise that our votes are theirs out of manifest destiny.
The 2000 US election was a key part of my teenaged political development. I could sympathise, a little, with Democrats’ anger at Ralph Nader’s temerity, “stealing” rightful D votes in an entrenched two-party system. You don’t have that excuse, Labour. This is New Zealand’s sixth MMP election. We have options, and you really have to stop acting surprised when we use them.
ETA: This just in: I am part of National’s “cadre of attack bloggers”, apparently along with Lew, Danyl, and Russell Brown.
*I assume that unless John Key’s mansion is discovered to have a basement corpse collection rivalling that of John Wayne Gacy, the centre will quite happily remain National’s.