Will Labour's dog whistle be a dog horn?
The oracles have opened their goat livers and see a Labour leaning to the right with David Shearer's new repositioning speeches about to grab mainstream media attention. What many in the NZ mainstream political media did not get (until Fran O'Sullivan pointed it out after the now infamous iPredict election party) was that the right wing faction of old Labour cemented Shearer into his leadership position. Combine that influence with the Wellington bloke aesthetic leftism of John Pagani and for those with progressive aspirations for NZ, Shearer's leadership is looking more and more like the lead taste of status quo that buggered the lost decade of Labour's last term in office.
I've always been amused that stuff put Pagani up as a counter to David Farrar. The only difference between Farrar and Pagani is that Farrar is more left wing than Pagani.
So the National Party soft vote are turning their backs on Key over the Crafar farms, but it's not certain that Labour is redneck enough to tickle these disaffected punters.
Enter the looming Labour Party dog whistle. Instead of appealing to the passions of the one million enrolled voters who didn't bother voting, Shearer is going to grow his pie by slicing off National's piece of it by whistling to their darker angels.
With Labour about to make a large step to the right, Shearer risks bleeding off left votes to the Greens and MANA, but that's a game he can play if he takes the center ground because he can counter Green and MANA influence by leveraging in NZ First.
The danger is that Labour over cook their dog whistle and make it a horn. To let that fine line be decided by the current shallow pool of advisers seems like criminal negligence.