PM takes on the taggers down in the Hood

01:28, Dec 15 2009

Yo, taggers, watch out 'cos Helen is in da House! Her and Phat Phil are gonna be illin' on your chillin' and easin' the squeeze on your paint bombs, you takin' my words white boy?

Ok, the PM didn't quite put it like that but she did get down to the Hood today along with Goff to waterblast away the remnants of "street art'' on a skate park in South Auckland.

Good job, I say. I loathe tagging. It's right up there with a tomcat's relationship with a fence as far as I'm concerned, with the artistic merit of 1950s Soviet architecture. At least graffiti used to be funny. These days it's just sheer vandalism of public spaces.

While Labour's plans to stamp out this blight on our urban communities won't stop the problem altogether ($2000 fines and a ban on the sale of spraypaint cans to under-18s) it's certainly better than simply tut-tutting about the problem. And Goff was prepared to ham it up for a photo opportunity, although personally I would have liked to see the PM have a crack with the water blaster.

I reckon it's been a pretty good week for Labour. They've made all the running, with a series of announcements on social service agency funding, housing affordability, and youth crime. It's part of Labour's new strategy of rolling out policy on a slow but steady basis, while continually reminding voters that it's governing while National is prancing about campaigning.

Yo, taggers, watch out 'cos Helen is in da House! Her and Phat Phil are gonna be illin' on your chillin' and easin' the squeeze on your paint bombs, you takin' my words white boy?

Ok, the PM didn't quite put it like that but she did get down to the Hood today along with Goff to waterblast away the remnants of "street art'' on a skate park in South Auckland.

Good job, I say. I loathe tagging. It's right up there with a tomcat's relationship with a fence as far as I'm concerned, with the artistic merit of 1950s Soviet architecture. At least graffiti used to be funny. These days it's just sheer vandalism of public spaces.

While Labour's plans to stamp out this blight on our urban communities won't stop the problem altogether ($2000 fines and a ban on the sale of spraypaint cans to under-18s) it's certainly better than simply tut-tutting about the problem. And Goff was prepared to ham it up for a photo opportunity, although personally I would have liked to see the PM have a crack with the water blaster.

I reckon it's been a pretty good week for Labour. They've made all the running, with a series of announcements on social service agency funding, housing affordability, and youth crime. It's part of Labour's new strategy of rolling out policy on a slow but steady basis, while continually reminding voters that it's governing while National is prancing about campaigning.

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Clark beat John Key in the House on successive days, in my opinion, giving a better speech at the opening of Parliament and following that up with a cracker display on the Wednesday.

She'd done her research, and came to Question Time armed with transcripts of Key's about-face that morning on his opposition to the Hobsonville housing development, which she flapped in his face while accusing the National leader of yet another flip-flop.

Key might be the country's preferred prime minister but he's still no match for Clark in the Debating Chamber.

The question is whether that matters outside of the Beltway, though. Has anyone else taken note of what Labour's said and done this week? Probably I'm asking the wrong crowd. I just sense that in wider New Zealand, the phone's still off the hook as far as voters are concerned.

It was a good week for Labour, but it's small beer at the end of the day. What the Government needs to arrest its poll ratings is a major circuit-breaker, and while it's still early days I haven't seen any sign of it yet. The next few polls should tell us more, but in the meantime, give me your views. Go on, you know you want to.