Opinion: If Luxon's a chicken, Labour are turkeys

Photo: NZME
Photo: NZME
The feathers are flying with Labour accusing Christopher Luxon of being too chicken to front up to a leaders debate here in Christchurch.

And I mean, literally, too chicken. Because it’s going nuts on social media saying Luxon’s running scared with a photo of him in a chicken suit. 

And I reckon National will be quietly loving it. Because how desperate does Labour look? How desperate? Very desperate. 

So a bit of background. Chris Hipkins has got Covid, he’s isolating in a hotel and so can’t make it tonight - which is when the debate was going to be held in the Christchurch Town Hall in front of a couple of thousand people and beamed out online, as well. 

It seems that Labour has been bending over backwards to try and re-schedule. But National isn’t quite so forthcoming with alternative dates. 

Which is a bit of an understatement, actually. What National is saying is that Christopher Luxon is booked-up every night between now and the election and ‘no can do’. 

It has suggested that perhaps the deputy leaders of Labour and National could have a debate instead. But we know why it’s suggesting that, don’t we? National’s Nicola Willis would wipe the floor with Labour’s Kelvin Davis. So, of course, Labour would never go for that.     

So Labour is saying National is taking advantage of Hipkins being crook and it is running scared.  

I read something where Megan Woods was saying something along the lines of Christopher Luxon being spooked by Chris Hipkins’ strong performance in the second televised leaders debate last week, and so he’s taking any chance he can get to avoid the Christchurch debate.    

The National Party says that's nonsense. Which I agree with, by the way. Because Luxon hasn’t pulled out at all. Hipkins has pulled out because he’s stuck in a hotel room with COVID. So no-one’s to blame. 

Hipkins has pulled-out - for perfectly good reasons. He’s got the Covid. And Luxon can’t re-schedule because he’s got other stuff on. 

Although, I thought that National’s campaign boss Chris Bishop was a bit over-the-top yesterday when he said “guess what, people in the South Island have TV” - saying we’re not missing out at all, because we can still watch next week's debate on the telly. 

If there’s any legitimate question to ask National about this, is how committed it really is to the South Island. And I’ll be asking Christopher Luxon that, when he’s here between 10 and 10:30. 

Because, even though ‘yes, we do have TVs here in the South Island’ - as Chris Bishop said yesterday. Even though we can watch the debate next week from a TV studio in Auckland, there is nothing like locals having the chance to see the leaders of the two main parties in the flesh. 

And having the chance to raise local issues with the two guys who want to be leading the next government after the election in just under two weeks. 

But, as they say, it is what it is. And not much can be done about it. In fact, nothing can be done about it. Hipkins can’t make it tonight and Luxon is busy every other night. 

And Labour just needs to get over it. It needs to drop the stupid ads on social media. Can you believe that this close to the election, it’s put thought, time and energy into making ads with Christopher Luxon dressed-up in a chicken suit? 

Not to mention the fact that it is just so child-ish. And this is where a very clear distinction is starting to emerge between the two main parties. And it’s why - whether you like him or not - Christopher Luxon is looking more and more like a Prime Minister. 

And, because of Labour’s stupid antics - especially this stuff with Luxon dressed as a chicken - because of this stuff, Chris Hipkins is looking less-and-less like a Prime Minister. 

Thanks to some turkeys behind the scenes at Labour thinking it looks really clever. 

Well it doesn’t. It’s the complete opposite. It looks desperate. And has egg all over its face.

By John McDonald, NewstalkZB Canterbury Mornings host