While National's Steven Joyce has been bouncing around in the Theatre of the Absurd, babbling about New Zealand turning into one gigantic North Korean shipyard under Labour, the chatter from the deluded ranks of Labour supporters has been equally ridiculous
Labour and the Green's proposal to regulate electricity power pricing was met with daft talk about Labour changing the political conversation and Labour rolling back the decades of neoliberalism. They had travelled to the mountain top and found... David Shearer.
Excitable commentators like Chris Trotter suddenly discovered new hidden depths in Dave. Trotter declared a new found love for the man he had previously endlessly berated for not being David Cunliffe.
But some of us thought that one mild policy (that doesn't go far enough) was hardly the beginnings of a counter revolution and we were right.
Just a few days after the big policy announcement Labour's deputy leader Grant Robertson issued a press statement reassuring the political establishment that it was still committed to neoliberalism and there would definitely be no rocking of the capitalist boat:
"Labour makes no apology for stepping in to fix problems in the electricity sector. But this is not a signal that Labour is going to intervene elsewhere in the economy. As we said on the day we launched NZ Power, we have no plans to intervene in any other markets."
Here we have yet more evidence of Labour's inability, or even desire to do much at all that might seem radical in a leftist direction. On the contrary the party remains locked well on the economic right, espousing the same neoliberal polices and ideas we're all so painfully familiar with.
This is all that is left of Labour - a party beholden and committed to the power brokers of capitalism and to the forces of neoliberalism
Which leaves people like Chris Trotter looking even more absurd and tragic. All Trotter could do was attack Robertson for 'unforgivably surrendering all the gains his party had made.' He huffed and puffed:
'High power prices aren’t the only thing hurting New Zealand families, Grant. By ruling out intervention “elsewhere in the economy”, you have betrayed not only your party and its supporters, but the electoral victory which, thanks to the political energy unleashed by Energising New Zealand, had been yours for the taking.'
It can't be too long before Trotter will be attacking David Shearer again and it will achieve nothing other than help to foster the illusion that there is still something to fight for in Labour. But it is just an increasingly pantomine of a squabble over a politically bankrupt party.