But I can barely listen to or read a thing Phil Goff says without groaning. He really needs to be taken aside and given the hard word about gun safety. How can anyone shoot themselves in the foot so many times?
The gruesome impact of today's self-inflicted wound is graphically documented here.
Labour leader Phil Goff has ruled out a deal with Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira or any party he leads.
''I don't believe he would be a suitable coalition partner,'' Goff said.But Goff's happy to work with Winston Peters, despite Peters being at least as widely reviled as Harawira. The main difference between the two is that Harawira speaks from the heart. He may be unreliable and unstable, but you know where you stand with Hone.
He said Harawira was not reliable and had expressed some extreme policies that Goff found personally offensive.
"I don't believe you could form a stable government on a relationship with Hone Harawira."
Does anyone remember how Goff reacted when John Key ruled out working with Winston Peters? I recall accusations of hubris and arrogance. Goff in turn said that he was prepared to work with anyone.
To me this demonstrates a crisis in confidence within the leadership of Labour. There is no consistency in the messages they are sending to the electorate, because they are floundering and bereft of ideas. Nothing they do seems to impress the voters. So they keep trying new things. Goff's "me too" approach to politicking just shows him to be weak and lacking a firm vision for the country. His comments about Liz Hurley, and suggestions that extrajudicial means should be used to deal with looters, all indicate Goff may be more reactionary than visionary. They also piss off a lot of people who should be falling over to vote Labour.
There are plenty of good people within Labour, but I can't see them flourishing while the party retains a leader who doesn't seem to know what to say or do in response to the John Key phenomenon. Key oozes charm and relaxed good humour, while Goff just looks uptight whenever he is interviewed. Goff's predecessor was also criticised for never looking relaxed, but that is about the only thing they had in common. Clark could usually dispose easily of anyone who challenged her, while Goff just comes across as indecisive and insincere.
Goff could still become PM if things turn out well in November, even if Labour comes a comfortable second to National in the party vote. For example, ACT is likely to disappear from Parliament unless Key decides to run a chimpanzee as the National candidate for Epsom. And Winston could sneak in with 5% of the vote (though, ironically, ACT's latest appeal to racists may be an attempt to steal votes from NZ First).
But I personally don't like his chances. And if someone like me, who should be a natural Labour voter, is seriously wondering why he should bother voting for them, how many others are there in the same situation?