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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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  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Whare of Cards – It’s a shame that Shane sold out to keep up with the J...
    I love how the mainstream media claim Cunliffe is a political charlatan who isn’t really left wing, yet the leader of the right wing faction of Labour leaves because Shane knows the change in direction beneath the surface is real....
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Opportunity for new blood in Māori politics
    Labour MP Shane Jones’ news of retirement from Parliament yesterday got some korero happening alright. From his staunch loyal supporters ardently praising his skills to those in fervent opposition and refusing to let his hour of glory go without a...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • We need to protect our rights online
    New Zealanders deserve the right to a thriving, open Internet which supports economic development, innovation and free speech. The Internet over the last twenty five years has changed everything; from how we communicate, how we buy and sell products and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Turning Shane: How Murray McCully deprived Labour of Mr Jones
    THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF TRAITOR. The first is the person who betrays his country for a higher cause. The second betrays his country for money. The third betrays his country for the wrongs it has done him. By far...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Why NZ needs a Digital Bill of Rights
    I’m glad the Greens have taken on board some of my suggestions for a NZ Digital Bill of Rights. October last year I blogged… what should a NZ Digital Bill of Rights look like? -freedom of online expression -freedom of...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • The blue collar cred smoko room mythology of Shane Jones as told by the msm
    So apparently, Shane Jones leaving is the end of the Labour Party. Yawn. Vernon Small screams, “Disarray. There is no other word to describe the mess the Labour Party plunged into last night” while John Armstrong predicts “resignation couldn’t have...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Flockton Floods Again
    Last week the Flockton Basin flooded again – the second time in six weeks.  And not just roads and land, but homes and garages.  Some people have been flooded multiple times since the earthquakes.  One couple, after the March flood...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The PI vote and political stunts
    The mainstream media got quite excited a couple of weeks ago when a number of Pasifika church leaders were photographed at the Manurewa markets wearing blue, Key-people t-shirts. The clergy pictured in those articles said that they had changed allegiance...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • EDUCANZ / EDUCAN’T
    Oh hello, select committee … sorry to interrupt your tea and bickies, but I have something on my mind that I really need to talk to you about. You see, word on the street is that you are planning to...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why Waiariki and Epsom are so important this election
    Two of the lynchpin electorates that need to go the Opposition’s way if there is any chance of a Labour led Government are Waiariki and Epsom. Epsom is the only lifeline for ACT and if the 6000 progressive voters in...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • TV Review: Seven Sharp: third strike lucky
     More prophetic than anyone could imagine – Jesse in a coffin  Jesse Mulligan was the last of the original ill-fated trio to be dumped from Seven Sharp.  This happened last week with little notice given and less notice paid.  His removal was more inevitable than the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The Liberal Agenda 23rd-27th April
    The week is dominated by the launch of the NZ International Comedy Festival – our picks for the week are… WEDNESDAY 23rdSunrise Yoga on Queens Wharf 7am-8.15am Queens Wharf, 89 Quay Street (bottom of Queen Street) Free ********************************************************************* THURSDAY 24th5...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones caption contest
    Shane Jones caption contest...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost
    Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • On climate change denial
    On climate change denial...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Labour on manufacturing
    Labour on manufacturing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager...
    When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager, show them this graph...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Introverts Unite (separately)
    Introverts Unite (separately)...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The problem with food
    The problem with food...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why queues outside synthetic cannabis shop is proof regulation is working
    Latest moral panic on synthetic cannabis is that there were queues waiting for a store to open over Easter. Yawn. Before the Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA), there were up to 6000 venders and hundreds of different brands. Since regulation via the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones resignation: Labour dodge a bullet & the Greens smile
    Best Friends Forever now Thank God Shane Jones is selling out and taking a job for National… Shane Jones to leave Labour, set to work with Murray McCully Shane Jones is quitting Parliament and the Labour Party, and there is...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The only one happy with ACTs new ’3 strikes’ for burglary will be priva...
    The great scholarly Grand Cleric of the libertarian right, Jamie Whyte, has come down from the mount with two stone tablets and sadly all he has is 3 strikes, not 10 commandments… Jail burglars after third offence, says Act Party...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Trade and Investment Agreements: Human Rights For Sale
    On March 29, many New Zealanders took to the streets in defense of democratic rights by opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). A week earlier, delegates from dairy unions from around the world (including the NZ Dairy Workers Union...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting polic...
    Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting police racism and injustice you were undefeated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Maori Party wine and dine invite
    Maori Party wine and dine invite...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget
    For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Never forget the GCSB lies
    Never forget the GCSB lies...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • The Empire strikes back
    The Empire strikes back...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • God bless capitalism
    God bless capitalism...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Drone killings erode social constraint on using violence
    The drone killing of an (unnamed) New Zealander in Yemen should prompt us to look at the ethics of this practice. We’re told from birth that murder is wrong. Yet drone killings (as conducted by the Obama administration) convey the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Labour’s first 100 days – where the messaging needs to be
    ‘The first 100 days’, an expression coined by President Roosevelt in 1933, is generally used to describe the successes and accomplishments of a government at the time when their power is greatest. During the 2008 election campaign, John Key issued...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Pharrell: a new brand of feminism?
    I think most people heard about how the song Blurred Lines featuring and co-written by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke (who has adeptly just been named “Sexist of the Year”) really pissed a lot of people off last year. ...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Evidence lacking for Northland council amalgamation
    The Public Service Association has told a Local Government Commission hearing in Kaikohe that there is a lack of evidence supporting a proposed amalgamation of Northland councils....
    Scoop politics | 24-04
  • Foreign Influence Plays Key Role in Housing Debate
    At his weekly press conference in Wellington last week, Prime Minister John Key was questioned about the idea of reducing or slowing the rate of housing prices by limiting foreign purchases. His response revealed a gap in the New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • iPredict Ltd 2014 Election Update #15
    iPredict’s 7000 registered traders continue to believe Winston Peters’ NZ First party will hold the balance of power after the election and allow National to govern. There has been a small gain to Act and the Conservatives over the last...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Have your say on regional council Draft Annual Plan 2014/15
    Submissions close on Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Draft Annual Plan at 4pm on Monday 28 April, so there are just are five days left to make your voice heard....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Citizens denied access to public space for Hamilton J Day
    The Hamilton branch of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws’ request to use the Hamilton Lake Domain Stage to hold its annual J Day gathering in Hamilton has been denied by the Hamilton City Council....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Progress made to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy
    One year on: progress made to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy An official from one of the two global union bodies that negotiated the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety , currently visiting New Zealand, says that the Accord...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Another hike delivered, with more to come
    The RBNZ increased its cash rate by +25bp to 3.00% today, as expected. The economy is picking up strongly and the RBNZ has continued on a path to return rates to more normal levels, to keep inflation contained. The central...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Focus on housing costs, raise wages not interest rates
    Focus on housing costs, raise wages not interest rates "The increase in the Reserve Bank's interest rate, while expected, shows little imagination and will raise mortgage costs for home owners," says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “The focus...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • ACT fabricates 3 strikes claim
    “Jamie Whyte’s claim the UK 3 strikes legislation in 1999 has reduced burglary by 35% is a fabrication” says Kim Workman, spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment. “Since last Monday, Mr Whyte has constantly claimed a connection between...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Students believe forging links with Australia has benefits
    University of Canterbury history and anthropology second year students mostly believe forging links with Australia has benefits but sharing the same currency was not an option....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Anti Fluoridation Advertisements Rejected
    Over the past week, the Advertising Complaints Authority (ASA) has upheld three complaints made against the anti fluoride group (Fluoride Action Network of NZ) FANNZ. The complaints involved several advertisements authorized by FANNZ and placed in...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • SAFE Slams Lab Animal Cruelty
    SAFE Slams Lab Animal Cruelty On World Day for Laboratory Animals (24 April) animal advocacy group SAFE has slammed the Government for failing to reduce the number of animals being used in experiments....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Dunne Speaks – Anzac Day
    24 April 2014 Tomorrow morning, rain or shine, thousands of New Zealanders will gather at dawn and throughout the morning to commemorate the disastrous Allied landings at ANZAC Cove, on the Gallipoli Peninsula, nearly 100 years ago. They will do...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Visit to New Zealand by Major General David Cullen
    Britain’s Assistant Chief of the General Staff Major General David Cullen will arrive in New Zealand today (April 24) for high level Army-to-Army talks and a number of other military-related engagements....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Shane Jones ‘right to go’ – Labour Rotorua candidate
    The Labour Party’s Rotorua candidate Tamati Coffey says Shane Jones is best off to leave if his heart’s not in the party....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Total figures for campaign against alcohol fuelled violence
    The final total figures for the eighth police led Operation Unite: a Blitz on Drunken Violence was announced today by Jon White, CEO of the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA)....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • ACT’s proposal to further three-strikes policy short-sighted
    JustSpeak is calling out the ACT Party’s extension of the three-strikes policy as knee-jerk punitivism, political populism and based on a culture of fear, rather than evidence....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • InternetNZ pleased Green Party taking issues seriously
    InternetNZ is pleased to see the Green Party join Labour in having a serious discussion about online rights....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Age Concern calls for building accessibility for elderly
    Age Concern has made a submission strongly opposing the clause within the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill that exempts building owners from providing or improving building accessibility. The current Building Act 2004 clearly acknowledges...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Internet Rights & Principles Coalition: Internet Rights Bill
    The Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRP Coalition) of the UN Internet Governance Forum applaud the release of the NZ Green Party’s Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill for public consultation. The IRF Bill is a pioneering project for the internet...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Gender quotas should be a last resort
    The Institute of Directors in New Zealand (IoD), says introducing gender quotas is not the best solution to increase the number of women directors on New Zealand boards....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Taika Waititi lends support to #BeefWithBullies campaign
    Even if Chardonnay doesn’t like your Michael Jackson dance moves, that’s no reason for you to be made fun of. Renowned Kiwi director, Taika Waititi has pledged his support to the Mad Butcher’s anti-bullying campaign #BeefWithBullies. With...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Commissioner proposes limit on credit reporting charges
    The Privacy Commissioner, John Edwards, is proposing an amendment to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code that would limit what credit reporters can charge individuals wanting immediate access to their credit information....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Does ACC system provide access to justice asks UN
    The United Nations Committee responsible for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ("CRPD") has formally raised access to justice and other issues with the New Zealand Government. The Committee considered a report submitted...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Iwi concerned over future of country’s oldest wharenui
    An East Coast iwi says they are concerned the Crown has not made good on its promise to return their wharenui – the oldest meeting house in the country. “The Government promised to return our wharenui, now they are reneging,”...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • NZDF-Supported Anzac Day Commemorations in France, Belgium
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will be increasing its support for official and locally-run Anzac Day commemorations in France and Belgium this year with a 10 person contingent, including a Māori cultural element, from New Zealand as well...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Third National Māori Housing Conference set to take place
    Success stories in Māori Housing developments from around Aotearoa will be shared at a National Māori Housing Conference, to be held in Whanganui from May 1-3. Conference hosts the Whanganui Iwi Housing Forum and national umbrella organization Te Matapihi...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads
    Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads Tourism New Zealand, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Air New Zealand have joined forces to target Chinese tourists with important road safety messages before they get behind the wheel. A...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Renewable energy in the Pacific under EU-NZ Partnership
    European Commissioner Piebalgs and New Zealand Foreign Minister McCully depart on 23-27 April on a joint mission to the Pacific to see EU-NZ renewable energy and energy efficiency projects....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Bill
    Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Building Amendment Bill for Earthquake Prone Buildings to the Building Act....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years
    Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years as interest rates and house prices rise...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • ACT should abandon Three Strikes
    Rethinking Crime and Punishment is urging right wing politicians to do their homework before coming up with one-off “tough on crime – high on vengeance’ sentencing policies for which there is no evidence of success. He was responding to the...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Noho Hewa’: Visit of Native Hawaiian filmmaker
    Native Hawaiian filmmaker, Anne Keala Kelly, will be in Aotearoa New Zealand for two screenings of the award winning documentary 'Noho Hewa: the wrongful occupation of Hawai'i', a powerful portrayal of the multiple links between militarisation and...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Rural Contractors NZ hits the road during May
    Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) will be updating its members on the latest changes in health and safety, transport and employment laws – as well as other topics – in a series of roadshows being held around the country during...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill
    Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill Landlords and tenants should be alarmed at Labour MP Phil Twyford’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill that would immediately impose stringent requirements upon rental properties without defining those requirements,...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years
    US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years. NZ well qualified for UN Security Council seat...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oxford University study says large dams are uneconomical
    Just in time for this week’s ASEAN Renewable Energy Week, new scientific results have questioned the economic viability of large dams. Calculations by the Bruno Manser Fund show that the Malaysian Bakun Dam scores even worse than the average large...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • ACT Speech: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail
    Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10 reported burglaries, there are another 12 that go unreported. This means there were more than 120,000 burglaries last year – or over 2000 a...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Derek Leask: Media Advisory Re: Nigel Fyfe MOJ Appointment
    Derek Leask yesterday 20 April 2014 made the following observations in response to a media enquiry about the recently announced appointment of Mr Nigel Fyfe, currently Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (Legal and Operational Services and Legal...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oceans In The Spotlight At Election Year Oceans Forum
    The marine environment will be in the spotlight at an ‘Election Year Oceans Forum’ at Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium on April 27 from 10.30-12.30. A panel of non-governmental advocates and scientists will outline challenges facing our seas, and MPs from...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
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