I've got an idea for a comedy drama with a political twist. I envisage it appearing on TV1 on a Sunday night, filling in the spaces between the lengthy commercial breaks and the promos for whatever show Gordon Ramsay is in that week.

It's all about this group of Labour MPs, most of them former university lecturers, teachers, lawyers and the like, who head off to the working class communities of the West Coast - the region that gave birth to the labour movement many decades ago.

These well-heeled politicians - who these days talk about 'best business practice' rather than the 'means of production', want to reconnect with the local people - the very same people they bashed with their economic policies while they were in government.

Ah yes, imagine the comedic tension as the Labour MP's try to explain themselves - if they can find anyone to explain themselves to, that is.

Yes, there will be farce as leader Phil Goff and his merry band of MP's turn out at empty halls and are shunned by the local shoppers.

Imagine the political poignancy; Labour returns 'home', only to find they're about as welcome as a dose of diarrhoea.

But, of course, all this did happen to Labour a few days ago, when Labour leader Phil Goff and his MP's plus dreary president Andrew Little paid a three day visit to the West Coast for some 'caring and sharing'.

The West Coast went National for only the second time in 140 years at the last election, the last time being the rout Labour suffered in 1990.

Since Labour are planning more of these regional visits this year, they may have to bus in the uncritical faithful in order to provide an audience for Goff and co.

It's little wonder the Labour Party Travellin' Medicine Show was about as popular as someone farting in a crowed elevator - all they had to offer was the same neoliberal snake oil they've been peddling for the last decade.

Phil - a word to the wise - people have worked out it doesn't do what it says it does, in fact it made a whole lot of people very sick. Changing the label is fooling no-one.

I've read some commentators speculating on who could take over from Goff, as if all it will take to revive Labour's fortunes is a change in personnel. Amazingly, I've even heard Maryan Street mentioned as a possible leader - she's about as pleasant a prospect as 'business friendly' Andrew Little getting the job.

You get a strong clue as to the sterility of Labour's politics from reading various pro-Labour blogs.

Labour's has got serious problems but all these bloggers can do is fire criticisms at the Key government, day after day. Don't they know that they are defending a party that everyone else thinks sucks?

When it comes to Labour, bloggers on, for example, The Standard and Tumeke! are both intellectually and politically dishonest. If they can't say anything good about Labour, they say nothing. They purport to be politically progressive but they are nothing of the sort. They are intellectually lazy and political opportunists.

Commentator Chris Trotter, whose attitude toward Labour tends to be a bit of a moving feast these days, seems to have worked out that just criticising your political opponents day after day is a futile exercise if you cannot offer an alternative.

But what if you don't have the political will to come up with such an alternative? What if Labour is an 'idea-free zone'.

Chris Trotter's solution? It's sad.

In a column he wrote for the right wing business paper The Independent, he suggested that National was just a conservative and neo-liberal party that has been pretending to be social democratic and that the mask is gradually peeling away to reveal National's true reactionary face.

Chris so desperately wants there to be a real difference between National and Labour he's making things up now. When did Labour turn into a 'social democratic party' ? I don't recall Phil Goff rejecting free market economics. Chris seems to be suggesting that social democracy can be anything he wants it to be, so there!

John Key is the bogeyman because Chris said so!

Watching Labour perform in Parliament underlines just what a political basketcase Labour are. They have no economic alternative to offer the electorate nor do they appear inclined to provide one. Instead they nitpick and jeer National and resort to that familiar dreary refrain of 'National are worse than us'.

This might convince the declining number of Labour faithful but it's not going to impress anyone else.


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