Cunliffe's 3rd speech - Labour out apocalypse the Greens
The tension has been building between the Greens and Labour for the last couple of months, and boiled over this week by the Greens success over ACC and Grant and Kennedy's rumble over trips to Rio.
At some point Labour was going to have to address the plucky new Green challenger, and what they've managed to come up with is pure political ballet at it's most chess like.
Cunliffe's third True Labour speech has gone far further than the Greens have in highlighting the looming environmental crises of living beyond our biospheres ability. Cunliffe was far more environmentally apocalyptic than the Greens, he accepts the problems are dire and fundamental changes need to occur.
Labour are appealing to those voters who didn't vote and whom were flirting with the Greens. Labour are reasserting a social justice agenda onto environmentalism in a move that is framed within a looming crises narrative.
Welcome to life raft NZ.
It will take some time to resonate, but this speech will be well received for those looking for an adult debate that acknowledges the realities within which we need to work.
If Cunliffe takes this speech on the road, it will create a life of its own.
Climate change and resource depletion were Green mantra until the suburban make over, now they don't mention it for fear of invoking images of stoned fringe hippies. Labour can pick up the issue and have a far wider debate without any of those traps.
These speeches for Labour by Cunliffe are some of the best political speeches this year.
This speech manages to out apocalypse the Greens - their strategists will find this very difficult to counter without risking the conservative veneer. Very clever tactics by Labour.