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Another Labour Spokesman Bungles

Tony Ryall
Minister for State Owned Enterprises

14 July 1999

Pete Hodgson's flip-flop stopping lower electricity line charges is Labour's fourth bungle in as many spokespeople. Helen Clark will be taking over the public handling of these issues again. She thought she'd let some of her attack team off the leash, but all they have done is charged all over the beach like excited puppies.

First there was accident-prone Ruth Dyson. Her promise to buy back ACC has been ridiculed by commentators up and down the country. On Holmes, she was savaged by a member of the public and made to look quite flustered.

Second came Labour's disappointing agriculture speaker Jim Sutton. He told President Clinton to stay away from APEC. Within hours, Helen Clark had distanced herself from him and his comments. Mr Sutton was done like a dinner in a television interview where he said the US lamb decision was worse than the killing of a man in the Rainbow Warrior bombing!

Third came smart-alec finance spokesman Dr Cullen and his weird position on National's tax relief for middle income families. He proudly said he'd scrap these changes, taking up to $10 a week out of a Kiwi family's budget. He said $5 a week was "nothing". Well, it may only be a sliver of smoked salmon for him and Helen Clark, but it's two loaves of bread for an ordinary person.

And now the short-tempered Mr Hodgson has flip-flopped on lower line charges for ordinary families. What incentives Labour had for doing this, one will never know.

Labour Leader Helen Clark seems to front on every issue. She let four spokespeople out these past seven days. She'll be regretting it. All four have bungled.

National would love the rest of Labour's Slack Pack to put their heads up too!

ENDS

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