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Brian Edwards on Shearer

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, January 30th, 2013 - 91 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour - Tags: , ,

The macho posturing we’ve seen from David Shearer since conference never quite gelled with the Shearer I knew. I’d always thought of him as a nice guy out of his depth, so the public defaming of David Cunliffe and the ‘I’m in charge’ theatrics always jarred.

Brian Edwards argues the confusion in the Shearer brand comes from the fact he’s trying to be someone he actually isn’t. He’s basically a nice guy being (poorly) advised to act tough and stamp his authority, but because it’s not who he is it doesn’t work. Good piece. Well worth a read:

Shearer’s media image remains a problem. The blame for that must lie in part with bad advice.

Faced with criticism of his seemingly ineffectual leadership Shearer was advised to talk and act tough. He clearly took that advice. His essential message to the November conference was: I’m running the show, I make the decisions, I’m in charge. That was the talking tough component. His subsequent interviews were notable for the number of times he said ‘I, me, my’, a self-conscious attempt to reassert his personal dominance of the party.

Acting tough, in the theatrical sense of the term, came in the form of the public flogging of David Cunliffe. Cunliffe had declined to give an absolute assurance that he would support Shearer in the February confidence vote. He was not only entitled to do so, but right to do so. Shearer’s demand – by no means, I understand, restricted to Cunliffe – that he not merely reveal his voting intentions for the secret Caucus ballot but guarantee to support the leader in that ballot – was democratically, constitutionally and morally improper.

The show trial of Cunliffe nonetheless proceeded, soon to be followed by the predictable verdict of banishment to the back benches.

At the time, I wrote an open letter to Shearer accusing him of dishonesty and described his bullying treatment of Cunliffe, intended primarily for public consumption, as evidence not of strength in leadership but of weakness.

Nothing since has provided me with any reason to change that opinion. Shearer is still doing most of the talking about himself, still involved in the first-person defence and praise of his own leadership: ‘I, me my…’ And there it was again in his State of the Nation speech: ‘I can tell you that today I’m refreshed. I’m fired up and I’m raring to go.

The somewhat curious thing is that the lines, delivered with almost evangelical fervour, weren’t spontaneous; they were scripted, there word for word in his speech notes. But they cannot disguise the fact that Shearer should not have to ‘tell’ his audience that he’s fired up and raring to go, that it should have been obvious not just on this occasion, but since the day he was elected leader. It hasn’t.

Nonetheless, as it was intended to, the line made it onto both the TVNZ and TV3 news bulletins along with this little piece of stand-up: ‘Two days ago, John Key had an epiphany: We have a youth unemployment problem – we need apprentices. Good on him. I thank the focus group that brought that to his attention.’

Actually it’s a pretty good line. But have another look at Patrick Gower’s TV3 News report on the speech. After both the ‘fired up’ and the ‘focus group’ lines Shearer gives this slightly self-conscious, questioning smile, which seems to say, ‘Did you like that? That was a good one, wasn’t it?’

The simple fact is that Shearer isn’t comfortable in the ’talk and act tough’ role. The best demonstration of this was in his response to the media scrum after Cunliffe had been dismembered in Caucus. He was a stumbling, bumbling, incoherent wreck. I suspect he was deeply upset by the lynch-mob mentality and the savagery that had dominated the previous hour. He eventually walked off, refusing to answer any more journalists’ questions.

Shearer is a reasonable man, a conciliator by nature. He has to stop trying so hard to be something he isn’t. He can’t carry it off and we will see through it. He is a poor actor.

This week John Key gave him a lesson in strength. He sacked two under-performing ministers, in all probability ending their parliamentary careers. Yet he’s taken little or no flack for what seems like a pretty brutal thing to do. Maybe that’s because he didn’t act the strong leader, didn’t say much about it at all, was matter-of-fact about a necessary decision. Maybe that’s the lesson.

91 comments on “Brian Edwards on Shearer”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    I agree Zet, a very good piece by Edwards.

    Pre conference we had Mumblefuck not knowing what he stood for and giving silly soundbites like the bludger on the roof.

    Someone has given him training and he is now staying on message and not straying too far. But the message is I am Mr Tough Guy and I will smash all opposition within the ranks. The message and delivery has changed but it is still very hard to work out what the hell Mumblefuck stands for!

    Contrast with Russel Norman. Enough said.

    I really worry how he will go in debates when there is no teleprompt for him to read the speech written by someone else..

  2. Rhinoviper 2

    It’s good, but it smacks a little of “If only the Tsar knew…”

    Shearer’s not just getting bad advice, he’s choosing to take it.

    Also, I see that down in the comments Edwards gets snippy about anonymous commenters – to paraphrase: “If you’re worried about someone losing their job because something gets attributed to them… well, the bosses should have thicker skins.” Yes, they should – but they don’t and he’s still not getting it.

  3. Bill 3

    Y’know, this ‘but he’s really just a nice guy’ stuff is tiresome. There are probably numerous examples of quite monstrous political or otherwise public figures who were or are ‘quite nice guys’ in private situations.

    David Shearer has no discernable political position to stake out. He’s insincere. He’s wooden. He’s really good at bringing on involuntary cringes. And at the end of the day, for me, rates a big fat zero on the trustworthy stakes.

    Just last night I watched the Sainsbury ‘three David’s’ leadership interview through ‘TV 1 on demand’. And for anyone who has forgotten what was said and how each of the three David’s responded to questioning, then really – go back and watch that 15 minutes worth of TV again.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/election-2011/shearer-wins-battle-three-davids-poll-4583409

    • I was amazed that Shearer won the text in poll. I imagine a number of tories multi texted for Shearer that night!

    • just saying 3.2

      Thanks for that Bill.

      It finished just at the wrong moment as Shearer was about to refuse to acknowledge any personal faults or failings. Some reporters have remembered because he’s been asked again with the same response.

      I think the word is “personable”.

      I’m sure to some my views on him are extreme to some because I don’t like him at all. I certainly don’t see him as being “a nice guy”. From my point of view, I can’t see why it isn’t obvious to everyone that the emperor is stark bollock naked.

      • Colonial Weka 3.2.1

        I thought the ‘what are your faults?’ question was very telling. Sure Cunliffe had more time to prepare an answer, but it’s job interviewing 101 to be able to answer that question well. The other 2 David’s failed miserably, both because they had crap interview technique, but also because they obviously haven’t thought about it enough to be able to answer well. How can you lead a government if you don’t know what your weaknesses are? How can you make up for your weaknesses if you don’t know what they are?

        • mickysavage 3.2.1.1

          I probably should not get on my soapbox but the end of the clip was chilling. The first email read was clearly anti Cunliffe and you wonder why it was chosen. The second one was pro Shearer. I am sure that other choices of emails could have been made.

          You also have to wonder at who texted in support of Shearer at 75c a pop and what motivated them. I doubt there were many young South Aucklanders texting away for what for them was a really important decision.

          I can also clearly recall a wave of “independent commentators” at the time coming out in support of Shearer. I made lists of them and they included David Farrar (National), Cameron Slater (National), Matthew Hooton (National), John Tamihere (National voting), Michelle Boag (National), Deborah Coddington (Act), Chris Trotter (still Alliance), and other names who will be recognisable including Nick C, Mr Magoo and Pete George.

          Trotter apart they all obviously had the best interests of the Labour Party and the desire to create a more egalitarian New Zealand as their foremost consideration.

          /Sarc

          • King Kong 3.2.1.1.1

            Finally you have worked it out. The right rigged your leadership selection and it was easy.

            You forgot the other people that supported Shearer;

            Grant Robertson, David Parker,Jacinda Ardern,Maryan Street,Clayton Cosgrove,Phil Twyford, Ruth Dyson,Trevor Mallard, Kris Faafoi, Iain Lees-Galloway, Damien O’Connor,
            Darien Fenton, Clare Curran, Phil Goff, Chris Hipkins, Annette King, David Clark, Andrew Little, Megan Woods

            Obviously all evil agents of the right.

            • mickysavage 3.2.1.1.1.1

              I knew it at the time Kong but thanks for the reinforcement.

            • felixviper 3.2.1.1.1.2

              Can you think of another example of a party leadership contest where one candidate was overwhelmingly and publicly endorsed by the hierarchy/members/activists/employees/operatives of the opposing party?

              • fatty

                bill english

              • Te Reo Putake

                Ignore the righties, felix, they don’t understand the question. The correct answer is, of course, United Future … every time an election brings a change of Government and Peter Dulle needs his ministerial warrant renewed he seems to magically and retrospectively endorse the new PM.

              • King Kong

                To be fair, I can’t remember a leadership selection for either party that was quite so public and out in the open and which allowed people to pick a dog and tell others why.

                There was televised debate, public meetings, the whole nine yards.

                Alot of the time this stuff is done and dusted before it becomes public debate.

    • Dr Terry 3.3

      Bill – extremely well spoken, thank you. More than time New Zealanders got over the absurd and meaningless “just a nice guy” shit – we do not need these gormless asses in parliament. I have never understood why it is that anyone should consider Shearer a nice guy anyway, please someone explain to me his great qualities of character (other than what he has told us about himself!)

  4. ad 4

    He was always going to need all the help his caucus could give him. So far I don’t yet see them appearing united and pushing strong policy hits out there, thereby compensating Shearer for his deficiencies.

    And the way to do that is not yet another reshuffle. It’s by re-uniting the Labour Party – caucus, members and affiliates – together. IMHO that requires a full vote. It needs the whole of Labour to supprot the leader and defeat the Government. A full vote, for full unity, and full compensatory support for him.

    • AmaKiwi 4.1

      @ ad, what a beautiful dream. A full election like we used to have in the USSR.

      Team ABC generated irrational hatred of their opponent so they can never backtrack and compromise.

      @ ad, I have a dream, too. I will be working to help the Greens take 5 to 10 seats off Team Mumblefuck at the next election.

      • bad12 4.1.1

        Nah, i am a realist, i want the Green Party to add 2-3 seats in 2014 and i want the votes FOR those seats to come from the ranks of the ‘registered but did not vote bloc’,

        That’s how i see ‘the left’ winning in 2014…

  5. KhandallaViper 5

    I don’t feel comfortable with the use of pejorative terms in reference to Shearer.
    Unnecessary.

    There many many solid words to describe the screw up that was the past 14 months.
    This mess was anticipate last year by many on these pages.

    Putting a novice unforged backbencher in the leadership role was an act of phenomenal stupidity.

    The mess has to be fixed immediately.

    • AmaKiwi 5.1

      For 3 years Goff was happy with Cunliffe as his Finance Spokesperson. If he wasn’t, he could have sacked him at any time. When Goff loses the election he unleashes a hate campaign on the most qualified potential leader. That was the stupid decision.

      Tall poppy.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.2

      On one level “Mumblefuck” is a fine if derogatory description.

      Parker would have lost to Cunliffe so “someone” (use your imagination) came up with the bright idea of David Shearer, who had been touch and go to even get selected as an electorate MP. Lamingtons all-round?

      Labour members and commenters here seem to have got all revved up over the long overdue party democracy review so there is some level of transference to David Shearer. Labour was a positive social democratic party that went neo lib and still substantially is, despite what the many sincere members work for.

      Will a leadership replacement change that?

      • Bill 5.2.1

        Will a leadership replacement change that?

        More or less that same question was put in that Sainsbury interview. As Cunliffe pointed out, the leadership matters because the leader sets the tone and brings an entire team to bear on any direction set by that tone.

        And again from that interview – when they were each asked, David Shearer couldn’t even state that he was left wing. From my ‘shot to pieces’ short term memory, Parker hedged his bets and only David Cunliffe was unequivocal in stating his position as being a social democrat of the center left within the Labour caucus.

        Does ‘center left within the Labour caucus’ constitute a break from neo-liberalism? Well obviously that depends on how left the left of the caucus is. But when compared to the two others who appeared to think that ‘left’ was a dirty word that shouldn’t be mentioned in polite company….

        • Tiger Mountain 5.2.1.1

          Well exactly Bill, not to get too dramatic but I met David Cunliffe unexpectedly in person prior to xmas at a partners function. We were introduced and had a chat during which I said “I am a bit to the left of Labour… etc” and he replied “I am too it seems at the moment…” with a grin.

    • Dr Terry 5.3

      KH – I see little that is pejorative. It was stupidity to put him up for leadership, and it was through stupidity that he accepted that position.

  6. debatewatcher viper 6

    The focus group line is funny when you first hear it, except when you consider that Labour’s housing policy was probably derived in the same way.

  7. delia 7

    Sorry, Brian, I liked David’s speech. After listening to a self important guy crack stupid jokes about cat bells and such nonsense, David’s speech that followed at least talked about working New Zealanders. John Key would ask who are they.

    • Enough is Enough 7.1

      Yes, but we all know Key is a fuckwit so we shouldn’t be comparing him to that Neo Liberal right wing lunatic.

      But how does his speech, his vison, his ideas, initiatives and leadership compare to Russell Norman. A true left wing leader who this country so desperatley needs. If we are stuck with Mumblefuck as a PM, how long will it be until we have a true left wing Prime Minister.

      • King Kong 7.1.1

        Vote for Norman then. If he is as shit hot as you reckon then so will alot of other people.

        If you have an alternative then why do you care about Shearer, unless you are here simply wailing on him for sport.

        • fatty 7.1.1.1

          If you have an alternative then why do you care about Shearer, unless you are here simply wailing on him for sport.

          Jeeze ding dong…that’s a stupid statement even by your moronic standard.
          Yes, there are many Green voters here…but a vote for Green in 2014 means that all Green voters will be hoping that the leader of Labour will be the PM.
          Its called MMP…you know those big people that do up your shoelaces? -ask one of them about MMP

          • bad12 7.1.1.1.1

            Buckle up His straight-jacket you mean…

          • King Kong 7.1.1.1.2

            Hang on a tick. If the Greens are so fucking fantastic why can they not be the main party that makes up a Government. Your argument sort of acknowledges that the Greens are a bit shit so you have to hijack Labours train.

            • mike 7.1.1.1.2.1

              “Your argument sort of acknowledges that the Greens are a bit shit so you have to hijack Labours train.”

              It acknowledges the political reality that for the Greens to get the most votes of any party in 2014 there would have to be some unprecedented, massive, and rapid change to long entrench voting patterns. It’s just not very likely.

              If someone here posted, “Hey us Green supporters don’t even need to worry about who the Labour Party leader is if we can get more votes than any other party,” you’d be be laughing your pants off at them.

              But none of this is news to you is it ding dong. Why do you do it? Why tr0ll with such pointless, boring, distracting arguments? I know many teenagers go through a “it’s fun to draw outraged responses on the net” phase, but you’ve been doing this for some time. What’s your excuse?

              • King Kong

                Fair enough. But sneaking around on online forums putting your two cents in on Labours leadership as if you care about the Labour party when it is really the Green agenda you are serving is very dirty pool.

                If this kind of thing keeps happening there is going to a massive punch up before the next election that will be incredibly destabilizing for the left. Yay.

                • mike

                  “Fair enough. But sneaking around on online forums putting your two cents in on Labours leadership as if you care about the Labour party when it is really the Green agenda you are serving is very dirty pool.”

                  Citation please.

                  I guess you mean a bit like Matthew Hooten coming here and giving hand-claps to Shearer? Wait, I don’t think he’s a Green Party voter…

                  “If this kind of thing keeps happening there is going to a massive punch up before the next election that will be incredibly destabilizing for the left.”

                  I’ll admit there’s interesting and challenging times ahead for the left side of the house. Who knows how it will pan out. At least they are helped by the fact that it’s only a matter of time before people realize that John Key is just a tape recording – “brighter future… jobs focus… there is no crisis… it’s Labour’s fault…” Sweet Jesus.

                  “Yay.”

                  Yeah NZ politics. Yippee.

            • fatty 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Your argument sort of acknowledges that the Greens are a bit shit so you have to hijack Labours train.

              No and yes.
              No, the Greens are not “a bit shit”, but yes, the Greens have to “hijack Labours train”.

              The reason the Greens have to hijack Labour’s train is because people still see politics as red vs blue. Way too many people don’t understand MMP.
              Ding dong, you have responded to a statement with a question, but your question is already answered by the statement you are questioning.

              Don’t worry, as stupid as that makes you sound, its quite a common occurrence. Reminds me of the people who complain that driving somewhere takes too long because of the traffic…they fail to realise that when they drive, they are the traffic.

              • BM

                So Green party supporters will keep undermining Shearer because he’s not the guy the greens want.

                Explains a lot.

                • fatty

                  yeah, it explains MMP.
                  What is fuckin wrong with you morons.

                  • BM

                    I thought MMP was about similar parties working together not undermining each other to get a bigger slice of the pie.

                    • fatty

                      I thought MMP was about similar parties working together

                      Yes, it is. That is why left voters are questioning Shearers ‘direction’. They need to be similar to work together.

                      not undermining each other to get a bigger slice of the pie.

                      The critique of Labour from Greens supporters is not done to get a bigger slice, it is done in the hope that Labour will come to their senses and move Left…then together Labour and the Greens can share a bigger piece of the pie.

                      Same thing happened when ACT were criticising National’s third way policies from 2008-2011. ACT didn’t want a ‘bigger slice of the pie’…it wanted National to move to the Right so that the process of shifting resources from the needy to the greedy could begin.

                    • BM

                      Yeah and look what happen to act.

                    • fatty

                      can you expand on that…it appears as though you are predicting the Greens will dissolve into nothing? Is that what you really think?

                    • BM

                      Just pointing out it’s a dangerous game the greens are playing.
                      The dog may decide to chew on its tail.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Lol BM.

                      How many mates have the National party got? (none)
                      What does their slowly shrinking popularity rely on? (Key)

                      Good strategy.

                    • felixviper

                      “Yeah and look what happen to act”

                      Err, they had so little support that they only existed in parliament at all by National’s request? And the only mechanism for keeping them there was the single seat of Epsom? And when the member to whom National gifted that seat got caught with his snout in the trough and fucked it all up National replaced him with the corpse of John Banks whose ghost haunts them to this day?

                      Yeah, that’s totally relevant to the Greens’ situation, genius.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      The Greens are no longer the tail, more like the whole hind quarters. The media already treat them like the head. What does that leave Labour?

                      btw, the GP policy at the last election was to go for every party vote they could get. I don’t imagine it will be different next time, despite my hope that the left uses accommodations again.

                      However the Green supporters on ts generally are critical of (a) Shearer, and (b) the ABC’s focus on neoliberalism, rather than Labour itself. Personally, when Shearer gets replaced with someone who can lead, and when Labour starts to move back to the left, I’ll be less critical of them and talk more about co-operative politics.

        • Colonial Weka 7.1.1.2

          “Vote for Norman then”

          You can’t vote for Norman, unless you are part of the GP that chooses the leadership or party list. Do keep up.

  8. crying man 8

    I hope mps just give me the chance to have my say on the substance of the speech. When that’s done I’ll throw my support behind whoever leads labour into the next election.

  9. Yes I have faith that there are 13 MPs who think its important after all this disunity and infighting to give us a vote. Its the only way for Labour to get itself quickly into shape to win in 2014.

    I want to see the talent in the team and a fulsome Leadership campaign would demonstrate what we’ve got. Such campaigns are healthy for organisations. Backroom deals done by a few are not.

    Come on MPs – do the right thing on 4 February and let us unite to fight in 2014.

  10. Scintilla 10

    The point is that Key was always going to go for the throat of any Labour leader. Ergo, the Labour leader HAS to be a seasoned, articulate, quick-draw debater, with all the relevant data to hand. Someone who can give as good as they get – better, in fact. It makes not one jot of difference whether posters on the Standard or anywhere else point out perceived shortcomings in Shearer. Key can see it all by himself and has no qualms in dealing to Shearer – despite the fact that Key himself is a lispy stumbler! He’s made it work for him by playing at being just an ordinary kiwi bloke:

    He always looks confident and relaxed even when he’s being a tit.

  11. BeeDee 11

    Shearer is a new kind of leader and one who is needed in these dire times. We have the threat of extreme changes to our habitat evident even to the loudest sceptics and we have an economic crash that will roll on and on. We need a compassionate and knowledgeable leader like Shearer who can see that it’s not possible to continue with growth and business as usual.
    And his little smile after his staking a position as the future Prime Minister? Can’t you recognise the sense of irony he was conveying!

    • Daveo 11.1

      “Shearer is a new kind of leader and one who is needed in these dire times”

      Dire times indeed.

    • Elizabeth Bourchier Real Labour 11.2

      BeeDee, oh pleeeeeeease
      Shearer has NOT demonstrated being “knowledgeable” at any time.
      Shearer “compassionate”? Frankly there are toooooo many questions about his back-story. His inability to unite the Causic and lead a willing Party suggests many personal traits are deficient .

  12. fatty 12

    I agree with Brian Edwards that Shearer is straining to present himself as a tough leader…but I don’t think Brian’s analysis went deep enough.
    I’d say there have been 3 key moments that have led to Labour being stuck with a leader who has failed time and time again.
    The first moment was when he was chosen as the Labour leader, the second was his ‘tour’ of NZ where he strummed his way around the country with his guitar, the third moment was the Labour conference.
    All 3 of these moments have led us to Shearers current problem, all were major mistakes, all are irreversible and the reason why Shearer will struggle in 2014.

    1 – Shearer chosen as leader:

    I think its fair to view Shearer as a victim, as much as he is a perpetrator, of a monumental political fuck up. Shearer’s problems first began when people started to back him as a leader to keep out Cunliffe. Shearer is a puppet and I’m not sure if he even wanted to be leader…I’m sure he didn’t want to be leader so soon. Shearer was chosen to protect the career of *insert neolib rogernomic dinosaur here*. However, beyond protecting paychecks, there was an underlying assumption held by those in the Labour Party – ‘Doesn’t matter who is leader, NZ will wake up and they will hate Key by 2014′ …it was this assumption that made Shearer an option as leader. It is becoming clearer by the day that this assumption was, and is wrong.
    Although I see Shearer as a victim, I also balance that by what Rhinoviper stated above Shearer’s not just getting bad advice, he’s choosing to take it. So, although Shearer is a victim, he is also leader and possesses the opportunity and power to override his puppet masters.

    2 – Shearer’s guitar strumming tour:

    This is the moment we should look at as being when Shearer lost any chance of becoming PM. You only get one opportunity to make a first impression and Shearer fucked up. Team Shearer had two options when he became leader…either present Shearer as a nice guy, or as a leader. They chose the nice guy. The reason for this was, again, was that they considered Key’s popularity as temporary, that NZ would see through him very soon, and that the NZ public would want another nice guy to take over.
    The reason they misread the needs of voters was because Team Shearer ignored our past:
    post-depression, NZ needed a tough Labour leader with a coherent persuasive narrative – Savage 1935;
    post-1980s/1990s, NZ needed a tough Labour leader with a coherent persuasive narrative – Clark 1999;
    post-GFC, NZ needed a tough Labour leader with a coherent persuasive narrative – we got Shearer strumming his guitar and faffing about as a nice guy. That was a major blunder.
    We wanted a leader who would show signs of a political vision, but instead Team Shearer thought they could replicate Key’s depoliticisation and the tide would turn. Shearer ‘did well’ to depoliticise himself as a leader, but it is this image that he is now desperately trying to reverse. The continued rise of the Greens is evidence of Shearer’s image failure.
    Who would have guessed that NZ wanted a tough coherent leader during an economic crash?…anyone with a brain, that’s who.

    3 – The conference and Shearer’s image makeover:

    This is where I have a problem with Brian Edward’s analysis. I don’t see the problem as being that Shearer is not a tough guy, but rather that Shearer is attempting the almost impossible task of reversing his first impression. Shearer should have presented himself as a tough Labour leader with a coherent persuasive narrative when he first became leader, not now. To do so now, Shearer had to sacrifice Cunliffe. On the one hand, hacking Cunliffe has presented Shearer as tough to NZ voters, but it has failed to address his poorly planned first impression. The outcome is that it has muddled his first impression and leaves Shearer looking incoherent and way out of his depth. Is Shearer the nice guy? Or is Shearer the tough leader NZ needs? …your guess is as good as mine.
    Edwards claims Shearer’s nature is not suited to being a tough leader, but I am not convinced by this. A Prime Minister’s nature is irrelevant, what is important is how the public views them. After all, Key’s nature is to deceive and he has very selfish tendencies…but his image is one of a nice guy.

    Shearer’s problems began with the career MPs thinking that it would be their turn in 2014. His guitar strumming, nice guy image left him in a lose-lose situation. At least he has realised his initial image was a mistake and he is trying to reverse it, unfortunately he does not possess the skills to reverse his image. He will do well to rebrand himself to the NZ public without being viewed as a bumbling opportunist – Key avoids that by having a coherent image since he began.

    • Olwyn 12.1

      So you think he should have followed the “new teacher” trick of putting his foot down hard at the outset, then softening, thus giving the impression of firmness modified by depth and dimension.

      I think that whatever toughness was involved in knee-capping Cunliffe was not of the kind that you associate with ” a tough leader with a cohesive, persuasive narrative,” especially with Cunliffe being the only one among them who is willing and able to produce such a narrative. Instead it came across as spiteful, panicked and despotic. The people who rejoiced in this new toughness were those on Mickey Savage’s list, plus a few more of like mind, and the poll that bumped up a couple of points as a result was a Herald poll.

      • fatty 12.1.1

        So you think he should have followed the “new teacher” trick of putting his foot down hard at the outset, then softening, thus giving the impression of firmness modified by depth and dimension.

        Not really.
        You have used the terms ‘tough’ and ‘firm’ …I should have done this, because I think there is a difference between the two. Firm is desirable and that is the way Shearer should have been projected from the outset. Tough can be a problematic image to present because it can be controlling and we live in a world today where we all want agency (or at least believe we have agency, Clark discovered that the hard way).

        I think because Shearer never presented himself as firm, coherent and with a vision, he has now reacted by presenting himself as tough. This is done in the hope that he can present a coherent narrative.
        So I think he should have presented a coherent narrative from the beginning, which required him to be firm (or tough to a degree). Ironically, for Shearer to present himself as firm, coherent and with a vision, Shearer needed to dispose of the old rogernomic crew from the begining…but that meant using his power to dispose of people who supply his power.

        I think that whatever toughness was involved in knee-capping Cunliffe was not of the kind that you associate with ” a tough leader with a cohesive, persuasive narrative,”

        Yes, Shearer is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Shearer is trying to balance reversing his original image, and the best way to do this is cut out old useless MPs, but he’d be biting the hands that feed him. So as a result, Cunliffe was crucified. Labour is sick on so many levels right now. I ain’t a supporter of Shearer, he fucks up on a weekly basis…I just think he has been, and continues to be used. In a way I feel sorry for him

  13. gobsmacked 13

    Shearer’s job today was to read out some prepared questions in Parliament. He struggled to reach the end of a sentence.

    Nothing has changed. The Nacts are giving this guy all the ammo he could ask for, and he can’t even load the gun, never mind hit the target.

    • Enough is Enough 13.1

      Dead right!!! Nothing has changed. He has to fucking go.

      All you pointy heads in the Labour Research Unit reading this. Let your leaders know. He can not win the next election and he has to go. And if he does happen to win he will not bring the change this country needs.

      February is two days away. Let the beltway know what democracy sounds like. Call your local Labour MP now.

      • gobsmacked 13.1.1

        By the end of Question Time, the government was floundering. Whenever the opposition is led (sic) by somebody else, Key’s emptiness is exposed. The Greens can do it. Other Labour MPs can do it. Winston can do it. Anyone can do it. Except the guy whose job it is to do it.

        So there’s one glaring problem. We can spend the next two years pretending it isn’t there, week after week after frustrating week … or we can solve it.

        As dilemmas go, this is about as tough as “Should I insert the fork into my spaghetti or my eyeballs?”. (No clues, you have to work the answer out for yourselves).

  14. BillODrees 14

    Bryce Edwards has his weekly resume of media things political (MSM & BLOG) in the NBR.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nz-politics-daily-boring-boring-boring-ck-135074

    Under the heading of Boring, Boring, Boring he castigates both Shearer and Key for their State of teh Nation speeches.

    The quote below from Chris Trotter aligns with Fatty’s points above in 12.

    “The Labour Leader’s inner circle of advisors is distinguished neither by intellectual creativity nor operational dynamism.
    Far from reaching-out to activists and supporters outside the party’s structures, most of the Shearer Camp’s energies appear to be devoted to finding new ways of insulting and excluding them from policy-making”.

    • Elizabeth Bourchier Real Labour 14.1

      Bill
      If there is any truth in that comment of Trotter, it is a bad indictment on both Shearer and his backers.
      It does explain many things.
      Shearer was a virgin to party and parliament ripe for grooming.
      People got into his office who needed a strong direction but met a vaccume instead.
      Result: dysfunction.
      Solution: new leadership vote

    • Rogue Trooper 14.2

      interesting Bod

  15. Polish Pride 15

    I’m all for continuing the status quo for a while – The worse things get for peoplethe more likely a change to the entire system will become….

    • Enough is Enough 15.1

      I fall into your camp a little bit.

      A Shearer led Labour/Green government will not deliver any real substantial change. They will tinker and talk about real change but the same system wwill continue.

      I would rather see Shearer lose in 2014 so that he is dumped and restored with a real reformer who will come back in 2017 and defeat neo liberalism for ever.

      • Te Reo Putake 15.1.1

        What a twit you are, EIE. So you’d damn NZ to another 3 years of the Tories just to see a spurious sectarian point made, eh? No empathy, no understanding, no political thinking at all. Are you King Kong in disguise?

        • Enough is Enough 15.1.1.1

          what will change under Shearer led govenment?

          I see no evidence that any meaningful reform will take place with him at the helm.

          My preference is for him to be gone tomorrow and a true Labour party representing the workers of this country wins next year election.

          If he wins though the current system will continue throughout the next Labour Government and throughout the next National Government. It that scenario it would be 15 years before we see a government for the workers of this country in charge.

          Three more years of the Staus Quo with a left wing light at the end of that tunnel sure beats decades of this bullshit continuing which it will if Shearer ( the man who ave the bludger on the roof speech) wins the next election.

        • geoff 15.1.1.2

          So you’d damn NZ to another 9 years of muddling through? People’s perspective on this will reflect their personal circumstances. If you’re already at the bottom of the heap and making do with tories in power then you’ve little left to lose. what you want is a new system instead of tweaking the existing corrupt one. Increasingly people are finding themselves in this position and so for them, the half-arsed Blairite politics of Shearer have no appeal.

      • KhandallaViper 15.1.2

        The 1,000 a week that has to emigrate cannot wait that long.
        The 250,000 children that go to bed hungry cannot wait that long.

        The Greens, who do not have Labour values, will not wait that long to pick up many of our frustrated activists and disappointed supporters.

        The Nats backers, monopoly asset lovers, will not be waiting.

        We waited, sitting on our hands, booting our tongues, while we watched Phil headed to the 2011 loss. We knew it was happening. We did not act.

        We cannot not act again.

        Now is the time to eyeball YOUR MP and senior party officers.
        The MPs cannot vote confidence in the current leadership set-up. To do so is a lie.

        All we need is 13 MPs to with-hold their confidence, forcing Shearer to go into Q&A sessions with the members around the country.
        If you want change, call your MP.

  16. hush minx 16

    Like many of the commentators here I really hope that mps listen to members and activists and vote to let us have our say (yes, it’s enough to make me renew my membership!). But we should also prepare ourselves, should such a wondrous event occur, for TS commentors, authors, other opinion leaders and those mps who supported the vote to be attacked and vilified by the incumbents. We might want it to happen, but it won’t be pretty to watch!

  17. gobsmacked 17

    Shearer tries to talk housing on 3 News tonight: he’s floundering, as usual.

    There is no way Labour can survive two more years of this. Please make it stop.

  18. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 18

    It would be good to know that a leader has beliefs as to suitable policies and commitment to them, from the heart and mind, not from advisors. While clear communication that reaches the voters, and perception of them and the politician enunciating them is helped by advice, it doesn’t meam that we should get a cardboard character or one like the Wizard of Oz, making announcements followed by a cloud of smoke. Advisors who are informed on the subject are necessary and watching Sir Humphrey and PM Jim is amusing but leaves one uneasy.

  19. xtasy 19

    NOT FROM A CUNLIFFE FAN: Tonight I watched and heard on live Parliament TV the speech of David Cunliffe, now merely “MP” for New Lynn, on the Prime Minister’s Statement.

    Well, I was surprised, and that was pleasantly. Now why is he sent to the backbenches, while Labour have a leader that struggles to pull his foot out of his mouth, whenever he faces the media?

    Maybe Cunliffe is not the right leader as such, but he must be part of the team, at the front bench.

    Shearer has shot himself in the foot with condemning him for just refraining from giving full open allegiance to Shearer. Do we live in a dictatorship???

    I agree with Edwards, and I wrote so somewhere else. It is time for some stern, sombre thinking in the stubburn head of Shearer and those supporting him.

    Do they want Labour to have a real chance, a real competent team, perhaps a chance to win in 2014???

    At present I only see and hear the opposite.

    The speech from Cunliffe today convinced me, he must be part of the top team, and one day perhaps even LEADER of Labour.

    Otherwise, I will do ALL, to support a NEW LEFT PARTY to be founded and formed.

    • the Al1en 19.1

      “The speech from Cunliffe today convinced me, he must be part of the top team, and one day perhaps even LEADER of Labour.”

      “Otherwise, I will do ALL, to support a NEW LEFT PARTY to be founded and formed.”

      Read between those lines and introduce one to the other.
      Like it? Email D C and tell him. Address on the labour party page.
      Tell him the Al1en said hello.

      “You can’t always get what you want
      But if you try sometimes you just might find
      You just might find
      You get what you need”

    • benghazi 19.2

      Nope just watch the reshuffle. Shearer is going to shuffle in Shane Jones and shuffle out most of the women. Pity Marayan Street sold her soul to the wrong faction. Now let’s see how she likes it with no Mallard mentor.

      And as for promoting Cunliffe back to the front bench, I doubt it. When you do what Shearer did in November manufacturing a coup that never was, and breaching natural justice in the way he did, he won’t be bringing Cunliffe back.

      Guess what – Labour can go screw itself. They do not deserve Cunliffe! Shearer’s moral compass is every bit as twisted as Mallard and King.

    • JK 19.3

      Xtasy – The Allen – or anyone – Do you have a link to the Cunliffe speech in Parliament yesterday please ?

  20. Socialist Paddy 20

    Amen to that.

  21. Jim 21

    The ipredict website is calling a 52% chance of a National Prime Minister after the 2014 election. I think the odds of that happening are somewhat higher. The Labour leader and deputy seem quite unaware of just how unattractive is the proposition they present. We don’t just give those jobs to anyone who wants them.

    https://www.ipredict.co.nz/app.php?do=browse&cat=319

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 21.1

      The Labour leader and deputy seem quite unaware of just how unattractive is the proposition they present. We don’t just give those jobs to anyone who wants them.

      No they have to pass the smile and blarney test to a high level.

  22. CrosbyTextor 22

    Thanks ZETETIC, you’re doing a wonderful job.

  23. hush minx 23

    Actually Crosby, I think you should be directing your comments to the Labour leadership….national couldn’t pay you enough for the job that the old guard are doing on Labour.

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    Labour | 26-08
  • Skills shortage a result of National’s complacency
    The fact that there is still a severe shortage of skilled tradespeople, despite a growth in the number of apprentices, is a result of National’s failure to plan and develop the workforce, Grant Robertson, Labour Employment, Skills and TrainingSpokesperson says."The...
    Labour | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker?? – Mint...
    MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage worker pays a ten times higher tax rate than the Prime Minister. o Minimum wage...
    Mana | 25-08
  • Labour’s culture of science and innovation
    Labour will create a culture of science and innovation in New Zealand that will be the envy of the world, says Labour’s Innovation, Research and Development spokesperson Megan Woods. “Labour believes that good science lies at the heart of a...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Improving life for our new New Zealanders
    New Zealand’s international standing as a community that encourages and fosters all cultures will be bolstered under a Labour Government with an upgrade of the present Office of Ethnic Affairs to a Ministry. Releasing Labour’s Ethnic Affairs policy, spokesperson Phil...
    Labour | 25-08
  • South Auckland housing crisis
    National’s HomeStart package is nothing more than a political stunt designed to beguile South Auckland voters, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Few working Pasifika and Maori workers in South Auckland will be able to buy their own...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Home buyer subsidy discredited in Oz
    Treasury advised against National’s policy of ramping up home buyer subsidies after it was discredited in Australia because it pushed house prices even higher, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Documents released under the OIA (attached) show Treasury advised the...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Nursing hours explain turnover and high-stress culture
    A staff survey supports concerns nursing staff at Dunedin Hospital are under increasing pressure and that the emergency department is in a critical state, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark.  “An ED nursing survey at Dunedin found that 80...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Underhand tactics prove case for axing donations
    Revelations that schools are using underhand tactics to coerce donations from cash-strapped parents further highlights the need for Labour's plan to increase funding so they aren't dependent on contributions from parents, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “By law New...
    Labour | 24-08
  • National applies band-aid to housing crisis
    The Government’s flagship housing announcement is a band-aid approach that will push up prices rather than solve the housing crisis, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “House sales to first home buyers have collapsed as a direct result of the Government’s...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Climate change focus on the now for the future
    A Labour Governmentwill put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on bothmitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission andimplement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson MoanaMackey."This is about future-proofing our economy. Making the transition to alow-carbon...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Labour’s 21st century transport pledge
    The next Labour-led Government will create a 21st century transport system for New Zealand that promotes the most efficient and sustainable combination of transport options, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour will rebalance the Government's transport spending away from...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Petition for Governor General of New Zealand to Investigate all the allegat...
      Now we see the inquiry will be a whitewash, that is secret, won’t be consulted with the Opposition, will have limited scope and will ignore Nicky Hager’s book, we must demand the Governor General step in and demand an...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Ashburton, 1 September 2014
    I NEVER WENT BACK to Aramoana after the killing. I had been a frequent visitor to the tiny seaside village back in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s. Its tall cliffs and broad beaches providing a colourful backdrop to...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Checkmate in 1 move – how could Slater have known what was in OIA request...
    And now we get down to the final few moves before checkmate. If the following investigation is right, how could Slater and Collins have known what was in the Secret Intelligence Service Official Information Act request that hadn’t been released...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence Without Consent
    Today the Edge website – owned by Media Works – published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent. It is not OK to publish naked media of any woman without her consent, full stop. It is absolutely disgusting...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate ...
    Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, how good was I i...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Maggie Barry slags Laila Harre & blogger, audience erupt
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting held their public meeting in Auckland last night and it became a fiery shouting match when Maggie Barry decided to slag Laila Harre and me off. 250 people packed into the Pioneer Hall off High...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • It has to be a full independent public inquiry and Key MUST front
      You know things are bad when images like this start appearing in the media.  It isn’t a ‘left wing conspiracy’ to point out the over whelming evidence of what is clearly a right wing conspiracy! If it looks like a conspiracy, sounds like a conspiracy...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Political Party social media stats – National playing Dirty Politics on s...
    Interesting data from friend of the blog, Marty Stewart, on social media likes and it shows an interesting question that post Dirty Politics should probably get asked…   …it’s interesting that Key has so many personal followers.  One wonders if...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • The depth of the National rot and the compliance of our news media
    I’m so tired. Aren’t you? I don’t want to read the news anymore. It’s awful and I feel ashamed of it. We live in a country that people all over the world would give an arm, a leg; their life...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Conservative Party candidate links smacking ban with suicide, sexually tran...
    If Chemtrails, faked moon landings and climate change denial weren’t enough, welcome to your new Minister for Spanking,  Edward Saafi... The anti-smacking law is to blame for youth suicide, youth prostitution and even sexually-transmitted infections, a leading Conservative party candidate...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on the canonisation of Matthew Hooton
    Before we all start the canonisation of Matthew Hooton, let’s consider some home truths here shall we? While the Wellington Ruminator Blog, the blog who was previously mates with Judith Collins, now seems to have a crush on Matthew Hooton… …I...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on undercover cops in bars
    Dunedin police booze operation labelled ‘creepy’ Undercover police officers drank in Dunedin bars as part of an operation targeting liquor licensing offences. While police said the inaugural operation was a success — with most bars found compliant — the Hospitality...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Judith Collins press conference
    Judith Collins press conference...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Angry Lawyer – Collins, Odgers, Williams and legal ethics
    We deserve better lawyers than Judith Collins Three of the worst offenders exposed in Dirty Politics are lawyers: Judith Collins, Cathy Odgers, and Jordan Williams. What Nicky Hager exposed them doing would be out of line for anyone, but from...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Necessary Defence
    Increasingly climate change is becoming the main fracture line between political parties. Where political parties stand on climate change defines political parties and movements like no other issue. The Mana Movement like the Maori Party it sprang from, came out...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Why it is all over for John Key
    Image: Melanie D I’ve been confident that National will lose this election and that our focus should be on what a progressive Government needs to establish as its agenda in the first 100 days. Past that point, the establishment pushes back...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word to everyone who voted National in 2011
    I received this interesting email from a National Party supporter today… …let me say this to anyone who voted National last election – you should be ashamed by what has been revealed and what your vote ended up enabling but...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Déjà Vu All Over Again: John Ansell confirms his participation...
      THE MAN BEHIND the Iwi-Kiwi billboards that very nearly won the 2005 election for Don Brash and the National Party has confirmed his involvement in businessman John Third’s and former Act MP Owen Jennings’ campaign to drive down the...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Public Broadcasting Auckland debate 6.30pm tonight now with Colin Craig &am...
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting debate on public broadcasting happens tonight at 6.30pm in Auckland at the Pioneer Women’s Hall, High Street, Auckland City.  In the light of Dirty Politics and the manipulation of the media, public broadcasting is more important for...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Winners & Losers in Collins sacking plus what’s the latest on Slater...
      Make no mistake, there was no way this was a resignation, it’s a face saving way out for Collins, she was sacked.  My understanding is that National internal polls are haemorrhaging and that the powers that be within National...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Third party propaganda attacks incoming Labour-led government
    . . Further to a report by Daily Blogger, Chris Trotter, on receiving information regarding planned attack-billboards, the following billboard is highly visible to traffic on the southbound lane of the Wellington motorway, just prior to the Murphy St turn-off....
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Labour wins the Internet
    I’m sure I’m not the only one who tried to vote online for the leaders debate and couldn’t because the website was down. The next option was the txt vote, 75c a pop of course. So I’m not surprised that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Rotherham and the need to challenge willful bl...
    I haven’t been following the events in Rotterham too closely.  I’ve read about the basic issues and the culture of silence that stopped action been taken even after complaints were made.  That culture of silence is incredibly familiar, and described...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Review: Hairspray
      Oh Hairspray! What fun! Somehow I managed to miss the movie when it came out, I had no idea really what it was about though I felt it had a vague relation to High School Musical. In retrospect, that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Mounting global pressure against Timor-Leste’s ‘death sentence’ media...
    East Timor’s José Belo … courageous fight against ‘unconstitutional’ media law.Image: © Ted McDonnell 2014 CAFÉ PACIFIC and the Pacific Media Centre Online posted challenges to the controversial ‘press law’ nine months ago when it emerged how dangerous this draft...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Spies, Lies and When Campaigns Are Fried
    Like most of the rest of the nation’s political classes, I was eagerly affixed to TV One from 12:30 on Saturday afternoon to witness the downfall of Judith Collins.Whenever we witness the crumbling of a titan of the political landscape...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Whaleoil crushes Crusher
    Judith ends up shooting herself A new email has been released suggesting that Collins was attempting to undermine the head of Serious Fraud Office with the help of far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater. Unbelievable!   She has been forced...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Rumours Judith Collins gone at lunchtime
    Brook Sabin first of the mark with rumours Judith Collins is about to resign – PM announcing a statement at 12.30pm… …Paddy follows… …Vance confirms..   …if Collins is gone by lunchtime, it will be because the PM understands the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • BREAKING: UPDATE on DIRT ALERT!
    Thanks to the information passed to Chris Trotter by “Idiot/Savant” from No Right Turn it is now possible to identify at least some of the persons involved in this latest example of attack politics. What follows is Chris’s response to Idiot/Savant’s timely assistance: Well done...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Comparing burning puppets, hip hop lyrics and drunk student chants to black...
    Watching the mainstream media try and obscure Cunliffe’s surprise win in the leaders debate  is a reminder the Press Gallery is in depressed shock. The current spin line from the Wellington bubble media in the wake of Dirty Politics is that...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Why has it all gone quiet on Charter Schools?
    They’re one of ACT’s flagship policies and the National Party have been gung ho in supporting them. So how come we’re not hearing Hekia Parata, Jamie Whyte, Catherine Isaac, et al singing from the rafters about what a resounding success charter...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall
    Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Dirt Alert! Are the Greens and Labour about to become the target...
    WE’VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE. In 2005 pamphlets began appearing all over New Zealand attacking Labour and the Greens. For a couple of days both the parties targeted and the news media were flummoxed. Who was behind such an obviously...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: the Press Council’s decision
    . . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The difference between Cunliffe & Key in the debate
    It was with much interest that I watched the leaders debate on Thursday night.  I watched with an open mind, always happy to have my opinion changed.  Maybe John Key is all the wonderful things that many say about him,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – When Did We Agree To Our Data Being Shared with ...
    New shocking evidence has emerged from Edward Snowden’s trove of documents about a program called ICREACH under which data collected by the GCSB is shared with 23 US spy agencies. Under new sharing agreements which appear to have commenced immediately after...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Why Internet MANA are the best political friends the Greens could ever get
    Metiria at last nights #GreenRoomNZ: standing on the shoulders and camera cases of giants  NZers, regardless of political spectrum or apathy level, have a wonderful beach cricket egalitarianism about us. If we can objectively conclude a winner, then that person...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Sick of the Sleaze? Protest against National’s dirty politics THIS SATURD...
    Sick of the Sleaze? Protest now dammit! Three weeks before the election, action is being taken across the country voicing a rejection of the National Government’s track record and direction. Rallies are being held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Sir Edmund Thomas – Address at Nicky Hager public meeting
    I regard it as privilege to chair this public meeting. I have long had the greatest admiration for Nicky Hager’s work, and nothing I have read or heard in the media over the past week or so has caused me...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Labour and New Zealand Superannuation
    The kerfuffle in the wake of Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics has had a detrimental impact on our discussion of economic policies. Signs are that the main beneficiaries of the dirty politics revelations will be Winston Peters and Colin Craig; certainly National suffered...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Mike Hosking and the Leader’s Debat...
    A few weeks ago I blogged that Mike Hosking was a terrible choice as moderator for the TV One Party Leader’s Debate, because he is so embarrassingly biased in favour of John Key. So I watched the show with curiosity,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Democracy and Cancer: A critical analysis of Dirty Politics
    Twenty years ago, England’s renowned television playwright Denis Potter died of pancreatic cancer.  Readers may recall his two masterpieces ‘Pennies from Heaven’ and ‘The Singing Detective’.  During a final television interview with Melvyn Bragg, Potter declared that he had named...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Cunliffe beats Key in First Leaders debate
    I watched the First Leaders debate at the Green Party #GreenRoomNZ, they were very kind to include me and the atmosphere was great. The debate was a resounding victory to Cunliffe. He won Round 1, Round 2, Round 3 and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • LIVE STREAM: The Green Room Leader’s Debate from 6:30pm
    The Green Room will be hosted by media commentator Russel Brown, and will feature Green Co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman responding to the debate live, along with comment from thought leaders and commentators. ‘The Green Room’ 6pm – 8.30pm...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • How many taxpayer funded staff does John Key need to prepare for a Leaders ...
    John Key is currently at the Auckland Stamford Plaza with 40 staff, 4 undercover police cars and an entire floor booked out in preparation for tonights Leader’s debate. Isn’t 40 staff including coms, flown up to Auckland for a debate...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • A brief word on National Party Rodney MP, Mark Mitchell
    MP considers legal action against Nicky HagerThe National MP says he is considering taking a defamation case after the September 20 election.“Someone needs to be held accountable,” he said. Oh really champ? Brothers and sisters, there is a long way...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Greens advertise on Whaleoil – but not on The Daily Blog?
    PaknSave have shown ethical compass and blocked adverts on Whaleoil, yet the Greens are advertising on Whaleoil, and not The Daily Blog? I would imagine there are far more potential Green voters on The Daily Blog then ever are on...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • It’s about the stupid economy stupid
    In focus group meetings, the sleepy hobbits of NZ by a staggering amount all believe that National are better economic stewards of the country than Labour, that’s why, instead of answering questions about blackmailing MPs, trawling brothels for dirt on...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Labour Policy vs National Policy
    John Key’s favourite defence spin at the moment is people want to talk about policy and not hear answers on the ethics of trawling brothels, why Slater was given SIS information, blackmailing MPs into standing down, rigging candidate elections and hacking...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton
    Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton 1 September 2014 For Immediate Release “This morning I made comments on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme about an attempt by staff in the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the appointment...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Worm turns down for John Key
    John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s Reactor, the original Worm. John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Without Consent
    The Edge website, owned by Media Works have published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Statement from the Governor-General on Ashburton Shootings
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has expressed his deep shock following the shooting of three people in Ashburton today....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Update on IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information
    In recognition of the public interest, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, took the unusual step of providing an update during the course of an inquiry and confirmed today that she would be summoning a number of individuals...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • An Open Government Plan developed in secrecy
    The State Services Commission sent NZ’s Open Government Action Plan to the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) Secretariat on 31 July. The countries involved in the OGP since its inception - from the UK and US to Indonesia and Brazil...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • KiwiRail; another year older and deeper in debt
    That is a lot of money and there are lessons that need to be learnt before we pour in another $1 billion....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Fonterra China Deal Demands Safe Supply Chain
    The future success of Fonterra’s deal to sell infant formula in China [1] requires all milk it uses be safe and for Fonterra to secure its supply chain from contamination by GE DNA and pesticide residues. There is now significant...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • HRC praises Auckland mum for speaking out
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has praised an Auckland mother of four who went public after humiliating treatment by staff at The Warehouse....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Southern DHB refers disputed issue to Serious Fraud Office
    Following advice from forensic investigation firm Beattie Varley Limited, Southern District Health Board has referred the expenditure at the centre of its long running dispute with South Link Health to the Serious Fraud Office. The parties have been...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Letter 1 September 2014
    Last night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts the left and right 60 MPs each. United and the Maori Party say they will go with the side that gets to 61 MPs. ACT just needs just 1.3% or 28 thousand Party...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Shopping Giveaway Harmless Fun For Kids
    Family First NZ is rubbishing claims by critics including Gareth Morgan that the New World ‘Little Shop’ promotion is harmful for kids, and says that kids should be allowed to be kids. “Children love acting like their parents and pretending...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Red Cross launches employment service for former refugees
    New Zealand Red Cross is encouraging employers to give refugees a fresh startwith the launch of Pathways to Employment, a nationwide work assistance service....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • EDS welcomes Labour’s Conservation Policy
    The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed Labour’s Conservation Policy including the key objective of halting the current pattern of indigenous biodiversity decline within ten years....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising
    “A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Rotary NZ responding to Fiji water and sanitation issues
    Clean water and sanitation are vital to health. In Fiji Rotary New Zealand have been targeting 22 communities that are experiencing severe hardship mainly because they don’t have access to clean water for their drinking, cleaning and cooking needs....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Work & Income shooting a Tragedy
    Kay Brereton speaking on behalf of the National Beneficiary Advocacy Consultancy group says; “Two people shot and another wounded, this is a tragedy and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and whanau of the victims, as well as...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • 1080 Poison Deer Repellent not Effective – Farmers
    Four deer have been found dead within a farmer's bush block, after an aerial 1080 poison drop applied with deer repellent. The drop was part of a 30,000 hectare drop across the Northern Pureora Forest Park....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Employment Charter will strengthen migrants’ rights
    Establishing an Employment Charter for construction companies is a critical step to strengthening the rights of migrant workers that are fast becoming the face of the Christchurch rebuild, according to an alliance of union groups. The charter has...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Global March For Elephants and Rhino
    It’s a trans-national business that funds terrorist organisations, fuels conflict in Africa, and poses environmental, development and security challenges. The illegal wildlife trade is also a lucrative business, generating an estimated USD$20 billion...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • New series of videos aimed at disengaged youth
    From the people who brought you 'NZ Idle' (NZ's favourite web series about an artist on the dole) comes a new series about election time: Choice Lolz....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Picket Of Leaders Christchurch Debate
    KEEP OUR ASSETS PICKET OF LEADERS CHRISTCHURCH DEBATE TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd, 6 p.m. ST MARGARETS COLLEGE, SHREWSBURY STREET, MERIVALE...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Vega Auriga should be detained in NZ until problems fixed
    Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says that the ship Vega Auriga should be detained in a New Zealand port until it is deemed seaworthy and crew issues have been fixed....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Minor Parties Added to Election ‘Bribe-O-Meter’
    The Taxpayers’ Union have added the Green, ACT, United Future and Conservative Parties to the ‘ Bribe-O-Meter ’ hosted at taxpayers.org.nz . Excluding ACT and New Zealand First, the total election ‘bribes’ - that is new spending not already...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Fiery Broadcasting Debate in Auckland
    Over 250 people turned out for the Auckland Broadcasting and Media Debate in Auckland City last night to hear politicians give their solutions to NZ’s media and broadcasting woes....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Independent Epsom Candidate: Adam Holland
    Today I am very proud to have been nominated to run as an independent candidate by the people of Epsom in order to work hard for the people of Epsom, Mount Eden, Newmarket and Remuera....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Voters favour parties with factory farming policies
    A Horizon Research poll shows that 64.7% of adults are more likely to vote for a political party with a policy against factory farming....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Collins And Dirty Politics Drive The #nzpol Wordcloud
    After Judith Collins' resignation as Minister from Cabinet on Saturday, the data insight organisation Qrious collected all tweets that used the hashtag #nzpol and for approximately the 24 hours since the announcement to produced this wordcloud....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Bill English: allegations against Judith Collins are serious
    Deputy Prime Minister Bill English told TV1’s Q+A programme that the allegations against Judith Collins are serious and that’s why an inquiry is needed....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Culture Change Required
    "There are serious issues raised in an Employment Relations Authority judgement released this week. The culture within the Whangarei District Council (WDC) organisation must change. The culture of any organisation is defined by its leadership starting...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Reducing Reoffending Statistic Challenged
    In Rethinking’s latest blog, http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/08/th-bps-reducing-crime-and-reoffending.html it closely examines the current claim that reoffending in New Zealand has reduced by 12.5% since June 2011, and reveals how that figure has been achieved. It argues...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • University economics team studying workers’ comparing wages
    A University of Canterbury economics research team is looking at fairness of the job assignments and whether workers are sensitive to the wages of their co-workers....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Statement by State Services Commissioner
    30 August 2014 "The State Services Commission was contacted by the Prime Minister's Office over the last 24 hours on this issue." “Any activity that undermines, or has the potential to undermine, the trust and confidence in the public service...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Christchurch Council Circus … Continued
    In 2010 the UK Daily Mail investigated the antics of a major bureaucratically bloated London Local Authority and reported with THE GREAT INERTIA SECTOR ....
    Scoop politics | 30-08
  • The Nation Housing Debate
    Patrick It's the great Kiwi dream, but is owning the roof over your head now just a pipe dream for many Kiwis? Homeownership is at the lowest level in half a century. National's answer is to double subsidies to first-home...
    Scoop politics | 30-08
  • Time to Shine Light on Shadowy Spies
    Internet MANA has promised to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into New Zealand’s intelligence agencies, with a view to transferring oversight of spying operations to a new, independent authority....
    Scoop politics | 30-08
  • New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues
    New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues (41%) while the World’s most important problems are War & Terrorism (35%) just three weeks before NZ Election...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • NZ 2014 Leaders Index – week ending 29 August
    Below is iSentia’s first weekly Leaders’ Index, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will produce these reports for the next three...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Judgment in Paki v Attorney General
    Tamaiti Cairns said that today’s Supreme Court decision is complicated, but, in essence opens the door for Maori people to go forward with their essential claims to water. Further work is required and Pouakani Trust will continue to pursue its...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Supreme Court Decision on Maori Water Rights
    “ … the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead. The Appellants had argued that the Crown’s ownership of the River was as a fiduciary for...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Leaders Dinner with Campbell Live, Dessert with RadioLIVE
    John Campbell is hosting Colin Craig, Winston Peters, Laila Harre, Metiria Turei, Peter Dunne, Jamie Whyte and Te Ururoa Flavell LIVE from Auckland’s Grand Harbour Restaurant on Wednesday 3 September at 7pm....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Credit unions in the political spotlight
    Dirty politics was put aside last night as senior politicians outlined their universal support for growing the cooperatively owned credit union and mutual building society sector in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Maryan Street on issues of importance to older people
    Liam Butler interviews Hon Maryan Street MP on issues of importance to older New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • John Hanita Paki and others v The Attorney-General
    JOHN HANITA PAKI, TORIWAI ROTARANGI, TAUHOPA TE WANO HEPI, MATIU MAMAE PITIROI AND GEORGE MONGAMONGA RAWHITI v THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF NEW ZEALAND FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE CROWN (“THE CROWN”) (SC 7/2010)...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Last Nights Leaders Debate Drives The #nzpol Wordcloud
    Following last nights leaders debate on TV One between John Key and David Cunliffe, the data insight organisation Qrious collected all tweets that used the hashtag #nzpol from approximately the last 24 hours to produce this wordcloud....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Campaign suggests reason behind suicide gender statistics
    An online campaign about meaning and belonging has revealed an interesting connection with the difference in suicide rates between men and women....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Act Policy Vindicated by Sensible Sentencing Data
    ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte says the Sensible Sentencing Trust's just released analysis of 3 Strikes legislation "proves ACT was right to promote the policy and that it has made New Zealand a much safer country. The figures show beyond...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • “Robin Hood tax and other clever ways to help our kids”
    It’s time to talk about tax. Not just income tax but other kinds of tax too....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Cannabis Laws Breach Treaty – ALCP
    Cannabis prohibition is neo-colonial oppression resulting in the disproportionate imprisonment of Maori, the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party says....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • 2014 Variation Broadcasting Allocation Decision Released
    The Electoral Commission has released a variation decision on the amount of time and money allocated to political parties for the broadcasting of election programmes for the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
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