If you were bored enough to read the Herald today you may very well have read this "peach" of a quote said by David Cunliffe about Finance Minister Bill English's handling of the economy, "He's a little bit like a fullback taking a high ball and he's frozen to the spot rather than making a decision whether to kick it, pass it or run it, and the forward pack is coming at him. The flankers are there already. That's the global financial crisis."
Really? I mean really? The Labour party is using Rugby analogies to describe Bill English's lack-lustre performance with the economy, I mean, why? And secondly if you're going to use sports analogies surely you could find better ones, or perhaps even get the analogy correct in the first place.
Obviously the analogy denotes the indecision of Bill English; however I'm not sure English's performance so far can be described as indecisive, I think by in large his performance has been anything but indecisive, it's just been, well, poor. So let's take the Rugby analogy for the sake of... fun. If the National government and Bill English have done anything with the economy that can be translated to Rugby terminology, it's kicking for touch; however the kick was just outside the 22, went out on the full, so play had to come back to where the ball was kicked and there was a three man overlap when English went to kick. Now whilst my analogy could have the occasional person scratching their head, at least it's a lot less confused then Cunliffe's attempt, "The flankers are there already," whose Flankers, your team's, or the opposition's team?
"That's the global financial crisis." What is? The Flankers? The whole inept analogy? I'm confused and I shouldn't be, especially not in an election year, albeit one with the Rugby World Cup looming.
The point that I'm trying to make here is that the message of Cunliffe gets muddled because of the reliance on a simple analogy that doesn't fully describe the breadth of the financial crisis and National's reaction to it. Eventually Cunliffe becomes understandable when he uses real terms and not the Rugby-centric terms, "the Government has unimaginatively tried to "cut its way out" of the problem by reducing spending, shrinking the size of government and "so the neoliberal theory goes ... the private sector bursts forth and makes up the difference". See, clear and concise, the government tried to "cut its way out," like, kicking for touch and the result was meant to be, "the private sector makes up the difference," but, "The problem with that, of course, is in the short term you shrink demand and make more people unemployed and end up paying more unemployment benefit," like, the ball going out on the full and retreating backwards. Of course, "Labour favours trying to "basically grow our way out," like, taking advantage of the overlap.
I know Labour's PR team must be saying, try to relate to the ordinary person, try to use things that people like, Rugby, prosperity, vision, innovation, cuddly toys and so on, but what Labour really needs is to get traction, the kind of traction that National got with their, short shower energy efficient light bulb scare, and if they muddy things with lazy sport analogies, they are not going to get it. There's enough for Labour to attack: gst rises, tax cuts for the rich, rising unemployment, a failing retail sector due to Gst rises, a huge deficit, why not just stick to the facts and not get all cute because we've got a World Cup on the way.