• The Political Minefield

    Poor Christopher Luxon. His lack of political experience (and judgment) is constantly being highlighted – not least by his recent foray into the treatment of child criminality.

    So keen was he to draw attention to his assertion that “Labour is soft on crime” that he was prepared to run the risk of being disowned by experts in the field. He was unwise enough to resurrect a proposal for “boot camps” for young offenders that has a history of failing and that he should have known would be rejected by those who know more on the subject than he does.

    The episode demonstrates the pressure he is under to score a goal or two. It also shows that he is having to watch more than one competitor.

    It is one thing to contend with Labour for support (especially when the polls suggest that Labour is making ground), but political life is not as simple as that. Luxon has to take account not only of those voters who will stay loyal to Labour; he also has to watch out for his rival to his right. He cannot afford to leak support to Act by being out-flanked on the right.

    He must be thinking, over the last few days, how much simpler it was to run a commercial airline than it is to deal with the constant cross-currents of politics.

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