The Labour Government is in a spot.
They have released an attack ad aimed at National.
In it is a photo of Chris Luxon and line he used at a speech that says the "cost of living crisis, that’s how we will win this election."
That obviously hit a nerve with Labour, because running ads at this point in the political cycle is a bit wasteful. But Grant Robertson, who authorised the ads, has done a couple of things wrong.
One, he took the bait. Two, it displays the real character of the man. Behind the jolly one liners and earnest socialist disposition is in fact a highly political operator who will do pretty much anything to survive.
The line the cost-of-living crisis is not about politics. If that's his best work, he is done for. The cost-of-living crisis is very much about politics. Robertson wants you to believe that the war has brought about inflation. Robertson wants you to believe the billions he borrowed and spent has had nothing to do with the cost of everything going up.
Robertson wants you to believe that all of this is everyone else's fault.
In other words, Robertson is hoping you are thick.
From the little things like the five big red zeros Waka Kotahi ordered, to their ever-expanding PR department now numbering 88 press secretaries, to the $145 million on consultants, that's just one department.
To the mass growth of workers in the Ministry of Education, another $5 million worth, to what end?
To all the increases in payments that produced not one jot of extra anything, to the closed borders and restricted choked off immigration policy that tapped out the local labour market and led to astonishing wage rises, once again for no extra output, to the tax grab that has us paying an extra $2000 a year on average, to the hundreds of millions on Three Waters, that so far has achieved literally nothing.
To the hundreds of millions on the health centralisation that has produced not one procedure on an operating table. How long do you want the list to be?
Money we never had that was spent to scratch itches, quieten the grumpy, curry favour with the aggrieved, but no that’s all the war's fault. The fiscal chickens are coming home to roost.
Whether it all manifests in a recession is yet to be seen.
But if Robertson does one thing well, he sniffs the political wind. He can read the polls, and most this year has had him behind Luxon and National.
The cost of living is not political, my arse.