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3 out of 3

Written By: - Date published: 11:24 pm, November 18th, 2012 - 39 comments
Categories: david shearer, election 2014, labour - Tags:

First Gillard, then Miliband, now Shearer – three Labour leaders who in  the past two months have completely turned around their fortunes and those of their party with one speech.

Shearer’s task, like Miliband’s, was to tell the Labour Party and the New Zealand people who he was, what he believed, and where he wanted to take our country and it’s people. Introduction by his wife and fellow New Zealander of the year Anouschka told us who he was. He drew on his upbringing and their work in the world’s most difficult places to spell out his values.

And he was absolutely clear about where he wants to take New Zealand – to make a real difference to people’s lives by hands-on government. Others have spelt out the detail – there is no need to recap it here.

It has been my good fortune to hear two of these three great speeches in person – Miliband in Manchester and Shearer in Auckland. I watched Gillard on the viral You-Tube. Like Gillard, Shearer spoke from the heart, with real conviction; he is not one who has to question himself if he is sincere. Like Miliband, he demonstrated political intelligence and in a particularly Kiwilabour way  - practical, hands-on, real.

I don’t know how many people the Ellerslie Event Centre ballroom holds – 800-1,000 would be my guess. It was packed, and the reception given Shearer inside the room shows that he has achieved the first key objective for a Party leader two years out from an election – a major party organisation that is united, enthused, and ready to work for election victory in 2014.

I think he has also achieved another important objective – giving Kiwis something worthwhile to talk about over the Christmas break. 100,000 new homes is a whole heap of opportunities, jobs and skills from a hands-on government.

Conferences can be turning-points for political parties, either way. I’ve been to many and I’ve seen both turns. Today’s outcome was one of the most positive.

For some, though, the result hasn’t been according to the script – doombloggers, coup plotters, and media splitters. I’ll have more to say about all that in a later post. In the meantime, Smith’s First Law of Politics applies – Don’t panic!

39 comments on “3 out of 3”

  1. lprent 1

    And Snap again. 8 hours recovery time post conference is confirmed.

  2. belladonna 2

    One speech does not a Leader make!

    • Clashman 2.1

      Exactly. Lets forget all the doubts and valid reasons we had for questioning his ability as leader because he has made ONE good speech.
      What happens after the next blunder?

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Shearer’s Conference speech was a solid performance and had the delegates revved up, but it is also something that he has rehearsed and been coached through line by line dozens of times over the last week. That’s worth bearing in mind.

      • Dr Terry 2.1.2

        Sometimes it is as much a BAD speech as a good one that turns things around. Think of all those sensational speeches from dictators, for instance – you may include Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and many others. How readily people are persuaded by clever rhetoric in general. Though it does not apply directly, I am minded of words from Aristotle “One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly one day or brief time does not make a person entirely happy”.

        Allow me to repeat these words from Shakespeare: “And ’tis a kind of good deed to say well:
        And yet words are no deeds”.

        Much the same could be said about Obama’s rhetoric. His words aimed at “deterrence” are so mild as to, in effect, virtually encourage efforts of the government of Israel (the world’s pariahs).

    • Treetop 2.2

      Because Shearer knew his stuff/did his homework for the speech he came across well. I can only conclude that when Shearer is rehearsed he does well.

      Cunliffe handles anything thrown at him.

      • Dr Terry 2.2.1

        Cunliffe REGULARLY makes sensationally good speeches (mostly not reported). Shearer’s is a “one-off” (with assistance of speech-writers and media coverage). Cunliffe does not put one foot wrong in order to be blamed for every imaginable bad thing! He is victim of “the politics of ENVY”.

    • SHG 2.3

      I thought the speech was amateur rubbish. I can’t be the only one who screams “FFS GET SOME SPEECHWRITERS” whenever Shearer opens his mouth?

  3. QoT 3

    First Gillard, then Miliband, now Shearer – three Labour leaders who in the past two months have completely turned around their fortunes and those of their party with one speech.

    Um … yes, I’m a Shearer-skeptic, but surely it’s far too early to actually say this? No new polling out, haven’t had the February leadership vote … just because you like Shearer and liked the speech != a change in Labour’s fortunes, Mike.

    • muzza 3.1

      Agreed, it does make me wonder if Mike has been around the traps too long now, and can’t actually see the system for what it is…One giant fraud!

      This makes no difference to Labour or NZ, stop bloody kidding yourselves, and talking such naive crap!

  4. The sprout 4

    A bit of a long bow to draw.

  5. irascible 5

    The reaction of those present at conference for its duration and for the closing speeches certainly gave the lie to the two dimensional create a conflict reporting the press gallery seagulls had pre-written before the conference and, as todays RNZ interview with Cunliffe demonstrated, struggling to maintain.

  6. Te Reo Putake 6

    Good summary, Mike. My feeling is that Shearer will see off Cunliffe, either in caucus or if it goes to the wider party. He did more than enough in the conference to show that he has what it takes to lead Labour and to lead the country. The speech was excellent, even if it was a bit clunky in places, presumably because of hasty rewrites overnight.
     
    My gut feeling is that Shearer will ultimately be strengthened by the changes to the constitution. As I see it, the leader now needs to take an MMP approach within the party, building a coalition of support from caucus, affiliates and members. That’s not a bad thing at all.

    • Craig Glen Eden 6.1

      One speech off an Auto Cue and Shearers weaknesses which continue today are meant to be forgotten, bloody hell.

    • KhandallaMan 6.2

      TRP
      I would have agreed with you immediately after the speech….until Shearer showed his real feelings under pressure.  He saw the members vote as a threat, linked that with Cunliffe, and went sour/macho on front of the cameras. 

      This is about Shearer/Robertson not wanting ANY change. Whatsover.
      Shearer/Robertson has set themselves against the membership.

      It is all about me: that is how Shearer came across on TV One this morning.  

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        It is all about me: that is how Shearer came across on TV One this morning.

        That’s probably the media strategy he has been recommended: strong leader, unflinching, presidential.

    • muzza 6.3

      Given your record , you stating Shearer has the ability to lead the country is frankly an insult!

      You have invested too much of yourself into Labour to see how own#d they are, and its people like yourself who simply go along, hoping one day they might be proven to have not wasted their time supporting what they have been trying to prevent!

      Are you a Kiwi, becuase I am beginning to suspect that your actually a pome!

      Clueless does not do borders I guess, so in reality is makes no differnce!

      [lprent: Banned for a week to provide time to think on what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour here. I'll give you a hint. Don't just attack people when you have nothing to say. Think about why you disagree first. And I'd have to say that I found your third paragraph ironic when I looked at your details. ]

  7. karol 7

    It’s just not great news for the poor and beneficiaries – the real strugglers.  They seem to have disappeared off the Labour Party landscape completely.  All good for the middle-classes, though.

    Still, it emphatically narrows my voting choice more Mana and the Greens.  Glad you all had a good weekend – me, not so much. 

    • Te Reo Putake 7.1

      Yeah, the commiment to work to end poverty definitely won’t help the poor … oh, wait.

      • karol 7.1.1

        A general statement of commitment does not a policy make, TRP.  I didn’t see it in any of the remits or policies outlined. In practice it just does not seem to be a priority.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        Agreement to lift the minimum wage up to 2/3 the average wage is a great start. But what about the 85,000 kids not in work or education?

        • Te Reo Putake 7.1.2.1

          Some of them will be learning how to build the houses their parents will now be able to afford to buy. That’s a win/win.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.2.1.1

            IMO people who can afford a deposit for a $300,000 house and subsequent mortgage servicing are not in “poverty”, they are in what is called “the aspiring middle class”.

    • rosy 7.2

      Although not referred to in the speech, I thought the remit on education provided the best indication of Labour values and commitment to a more equitable society. Along with this is the commitment to a living wage. These policies, along with a more interventionist State in the economy, reassure me that the direction of Labour is largely ‘left’ I think the housing policy is aimed at workers on so-called ‘struggle street’ with conservative values who might, all things considered vote National. Having said that I also think the housing policy is beneficial in terms of jobs, training and meeting housing needs for many. I do have reservations about how they plan to do this. More sprawl or medium-density housing that is still properly suitable for families? .

      The education, housing , the living wage and employment relations policies are all forward-looking and if successful they will make a difference to societal divisions, I applaud that.

      However, what is missing is addressing the current issues that make the lives of the poor, especially the beneficiary poor extraordinarily difficult now. I’m hoping all it is is that they didn’t want to create headlines by mentioning any plans (sort of like Key not mentioning his neo-liberal agenda before he gained office). The other option is they just don’t care, but that seems unlikely if the tone of the speech is genuine.

      State housing and an adequate income are desperately needed and need to be addressed. The other missing piece is health, apart from a mention of ensuring transport for those with vouchers, there was no mention about dealing with access issues for the poorest, and improving services.

      • karol 7.2.1

        Some very good points there, rosy.  And this bit is important:

        State housing and an adequate income are desperately needed and need to be addressed. The other missing piece is health, apart from a mention of ensuring transport for those with vouchers, there was no mention about dealing with access issues for the poorest, and improving services.

    • Dr Terry 7.3

      Right on, Karol!

  8. prism 8

    Old saying. One swallow doesn’t make a summer. Be wary of what you swallow.

  9. KhandallaMan 9

    Why did Shearer go and spoil his successful positive speech with his negative approach to the Members Vote? 
    Shearer snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

    He allowed a second string journo to manipulate him into a silly position regarding Cunliffe.  NOT Prime Ministerial material.

    Un-believable.  If Shearer continues down this anti-membership power road I’ll cancel my monthly VFL. 

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Just as long as you don’t cancel your membership mate. Labour needs good members like you more than ever, and now, the membership has the tools to take back the heart and soul of this great political party from the neoliberals and the careerists.

      Sign more members up!!!

  10. Mike Smith 10

    @ belladonna & prism – one speech can however reveal to a wider world why a leader was chosen by their caucus. In Gillard’s case, we all saw a woman of considerable steel; in Miliband’s case, we saw a180 degree shift in Conservative strategy; in Shearer’s case, we saw a high- achiever with vision and passion who will make a difference.
    @QoT – the first signs will be a shift in the narrative away from the clutter. There are some whose minds may be slow to change, but when the National Party resorts to criticising the housing policy as “massively hopeful” one has to think we are on the right track.

    • muzza 10.1

      Mike – What outcomes are going to change from speached made by the Snake Gillard, or the opposition Labour Parties..

      Show me where either the UK, Aus or NZ has actually made progress for the most vulnerable in the countries, over the past 40 odd years, in real terms..

      The repeated messages are simply not backed up by evidence, so making statements referring to the latest garbage to come from the mouths of the “selected, trained. liers”, is a sick joke!

      You’re old enough to have noticed the trends and patters by now, or has it all gone right by you!

      Same applies to others on here, blind optimism is helping create a deeper mess!

      [lprent: see the ban at http://thestandard.org.nz/3-out-of-3-2/comment-page-1/#comment-550147 ]

    • Dr Terry 10.2

      Shearer will make what kind of difference (for better or worse?)

  11. Craig Glen Eden 11

    Poor Mike Smith, if only being a good leader was all about reading a well rehearsed speech off an Auto Q. sadly for Mike, Shearer then has to do radio interviews and TV interviews and as soon as that happens the cringe factor returns!

  12. Murray Olsen 12

    Lange was one of the best speakers we’ve had and let Douglas and co. run riot, ending up directly in the mess we have today. Blair made speeches which left listeners filled with socialist fervour, and then cheer his latest imperial adventure. I am not impressed by speeches. I want firm policy and a commitment to party democracy, including an acknowledgment of the mistakes made by the first ACT government under Lange. Until then, I’m firmly in the Mana/Greens camp.

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