Somewhere along the line I've managed to hook into the Labour Party's email system, which means that at least once a week I get an email from one or other Labour MP telling me that the naughty National Party isn't doing things properly, and that I should write to the National MP in question and tell him so. And hundreds of others are doing this as well. And we'll make them change their approach/thinking/habits/behaviour...or whatever.
Well, yes, there are some things that the National Government is doing that are definitely not to my taste. All Governments all the time do some things that don't impress their constituents, and it's the right of the people to complain.
However, what concerns me about the Labour Party's emails is the fact that their main approach is to knock the Government. I know that those in Opposition always seem to see this as their main objective in life: "whatever the Government does we'll tell them they're wrong for doing it." It gets tedious and is counterproductive in the end.
Having Andrew Little, the current Leader of the Labour Party, popping up on TV every time there's some sort of political issue, and invariably saying nothing more than that the National Government is doing it wrong, is like having a neighbour poking his head over the fence every time you do something in your backyard and telling you what you should be doing. It's wearying.
The trouble is they almost never say how they would do it right. If the Opposition only opposes, and never proposes, then after a while you switch off and don't want to hear from them anymore.
So here's the Labour Party writing to me by email week after week, and in none of these emails is there anything that suggests how they would do it better. I have to assume that they have some plan up their sleeve, or that they know the proper way to do something, but they don't talk about it.
It's like two gangs in the street: there's the gang that's currently cock of the walk. They pretty much do what they want. The rival gang happens at the moment to be number two and not number one and they resent it. So they spend their time carping at everything gang number one does. It's self-defeating: no one wants to hear a whiner day after day. (I know this from experience because my wife has frequently told me so!)
So, Labour Party emailers, here's a suggestion. Instead of focusing on what the National Government is doing wrong all the time, how about showing me what you will do right when you're next in Government? Because at the moment I wouldn't vote for you as a Party if you paid me. (I have voted for my local Labour MP because I think he's got some nous, but for the Party as a whole? No way.)