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David Shearer

Written By: - Date published: 6:34 pm, December 13th, 2011 - 69 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour - Tags:

69 comments on “David Shearer”

  1. I’ve watched this speech, and I’ve also just watched David Shearer on Campbell and Close-Up. I think the Labour caucus has made a brave choice, and I think the right choice. I really think Shearer gives the party, and if successful at that the country, a chance to look forward and move forward in a positive new way.

    The first major task is to name the shadow cabinet, that will give an idea of how much the talk is going to be walked. There will be some disappointments but I hope that means there is mostly a look of a fresh new direction.

    I fully support Shearer’s request to be on the poverty committee – how we address this issue is too important to get distracted by partisan crap.

    If I was involved with Labour I’d be very hopeful and enthusiastic, in fact I feel that anyway, it’s important Labour recovers well. There’s a lot to be done but this beginning to a new way is refreshing and promising, and David Shearer just may be the person to succeed.

  2. Carol 2

    I’m glad he prioritised doing something about poverty. Otherwise, not a very inspiring speech and Robertson (who I have always liked in the House) looks irritatingly smug.

    Shearer doesn’t really connect with me so far, and going to “the beaches, the clubs and pubs” is not where he will find me.

    However, if he connects with a wide selection of kiwis and gets more support for the Labour Party, that’ll be good for them.

    I’ll continue to look to the Greens or Mana, unless Shearer/Labour surprises me in the next year or so.

    • toad 2.1

      Cheers, Carol. Let’s not forget that MMP is now locked in at least for our lifetimes. As far as I am concerned, a vote for Labour, Green, or Mana are all votes for progressive social and environmental change.

      I am not really too concerned about which of those parties gains or looses, as long as we all collectively gain. If Labour under Shearer shifts a little to the right to pick up the soft National vote, I don’t have a problem. That will probably leak votes to the Greens and Mana on the left. But that is good, rather than bad, in terms of forming a socially and environmentally progressive government in 2014.

      We have to get past the old FPP thinking. It is voting blocs that count now, not the dominance of one of the two old Parties.

      • possum 2.1.1

        Green is the new red , Mr Toad

      • toad 2.1.2

        Ah, and I even got around to blogging something about it.

      • Carol 2.1.3

        I think I was kinda saying that, Toad. If Shearer’s Labour Party works for a lot of people, that’s fine by me. I have other alternatives that connect more with me.

      • Ed 2.1.4

        Under MMP, one thing that everyone should be aware of are wasted votes. By fragmenting, each party wastes a proportion of the votes needed to add an additional MP. All votes for the alliance were wasted for example. By eating its support parties, National minimises wasted votes for the right – except for ACT where they exploited the loophole to get the non-ACT Banks in with fewer votes than an additional list MP would need.

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    “the beaches, the clubs and pubs” more crap publicity bullshit and he is only just started so much for freshness! Shearer should try building a decent LEC before he does anything, and before he try’s connecting with NZ he should connect with Labour Party members. Thats the trouble when you think you can run before you walk, you inevitably end up stumbling and falling flat on your face.

    • The Voice of Reason 3.1

      “the beaches, the clubs and pubs”
       
      Not what he said, Craig. It’s toward the end of the speech. The slice of the sentence you quote gives a false impression of what was a quite inclusive statement.

      • Carol 3.1.1

        The only things we left off were “the Marae, wherever”. The Marae was Maori-inciusive, but the whole, especially the first 3, shows a particular chacterisation indicating Shearer’s (dated) view of “ordinary kiwis”.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Kiwiana from the 1960’s and 1970’s.

          • Rob 3.1.1.1.1

            So in your view New Zealanders now do not go to the beach, do not go to pubs and are not involved in sports clubs, I am really curious here, where do you think they go.

            • Carol 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Some of us don’t really. I usually avoid crowded beaches – prefer them in winter when they are fairly empty. I haven’t been swimming in decades. I don’t know anyone who belongs to clubs very much anymore. I rarely visit pubs. I go to local parks, people’s places, movies, bushy kind of walks, restaurants etc. I really don’t enjoy places full of crowds, although I have been on a demonstration or 2 in recent years.

              I think young people go more to nightclubs and concerts than the kind of clubs my dad used to belong to.

              • Rob

                LOL, you avoid crowded beaches in summer, is that because there are people there? Maybe that is the rather obtuse (to you) point he was making. Many people go the beach, many people are involved in clubs and a lot of people go to pubs. Just beacuse you dont Carol does not mean this is a bad ideaif he does want to connect with people that have not voted or who have voted blue.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Campaiging advice from a right winger how sweet.

                  • Rob

                    Oh well what ever, just keep assuming that they are not there and are not worth talking to. Also CV nice label, again great assumption . Noob.

                    • Rob

                      By the way, have you ever been to Piha Beach on a summers day. It is NZ in all its multicultural glory.

                      The mind boggling thing about this whole post is that you dont even know that.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey mate, just calling what I’ve seen in your previous posts.

                • Carol

                  My mistake, Rob. I answered where I go, not where I think other people go.

                  Actually, I think maybe Shearer could take a tip from Len Brown as to where he goes to talk to people for his Mayor in the Chair sessions, in order to try to engage with a cross section of the (admitttedly urban) public. I believe his first session was in Aotea Square, and I know he’s done sessions in local libraries. It wouldn’t surprise me if he also did sessions in public spaces in shopping centres and in community centres.

                  Shearer, as I understand it, is all about building a narrative and image that connects with Kiwis. Yet the first places he talks about engaging with them conjures for me an image of 50s-60s NZ, rather than Len Brown’s more contemporary public and community spaces. I understand community centres attract people from diverse kinds of local communities. And Brown has spent some time on Auckland trains where he talks to commuters. Much more creative than Shearer’s stodgy old image of Kiwis.

                  • Rob

                    Look hoenstly I appreciate your comments, I just feel that he (Shearer) is on the right track trying to connect with people in places where people are..

                    Also I would like to say that I dont like comming over as being overtly agressive.

      • Craig Glen Eden 3.1.2

        Your talking crap Voice of Reason he was talking about connecting with NZ. It was the same rhetoric that he gave in Auckland my comment stands which is in context. I have listen three times to his speech, the more I listen to him try and speak the more I realize its Phil Goff with a new face, but its the same shit.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    “…Shearer doesn’t really connect with me so far, and going to “the beaches, the clubs and pubs” is not where he will find me…”

    and

    “…“the beaches, the clubs and pubs” more crap publicity bullshit and he is only just started so much for freshness! Shearer should try building a decent LEC…”

    So, can one of you two pretentious tossers explain to me again why only one in five kiwis voted for us not three weeks ago?

    • Carol 4.1

      So, can one of you two pretentious tossers explain to me again why only one in five kiwis voted for us not three weeks ago?

      Who is “us”? I voted Green as I have done the last 2-3 elections. Labour lost me a while back after it turned it’s back on Maori. Pretentious? Does wanting party leadership that reflects, connects with, and generally shows some understanding of issues for women in their diversity make me pretentious? Greens have more to offer here, as does Mana.

      Pubs, clubs and beaches reminds me of my parents, back in the days when my dad belonged to a load of clubs. Shearer’s looking a lot like my dad’s generation. Can he connect with diverse people much younger than both of us?

      • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1

        That’s not what he said, Carol. Let’s leave the muckraking and meme making to the righties, eh?

        • Carol 4.1.1.1

          VOR. I tell it as it strikes me. Shearer doesn’t connect with me. And it seems to me a very dated, and masculinist, view of Kiwis. Should I lie about my perceptions?

          • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1.1.1

            I’m not asking you to lie. Just the opposite, in fact. So why do you think marae are dated and masculinist?

            • Craig Glen Eden 4.1.1.1.1.1

              That is what he said its exactly what he said! Further more its just lines, its tired and its old. This is the guy who said to get more woman into Parliament we should give them more training. His lines and his thinking is totally bloody patronizing.

            • Carol 4.1.1.1.1.2

              I don’t think that Marae are dated and masculinist. It’s the other things Shearer listed. But ignoring multicultual NZ in his attempt to be inclusive, is a bit dated too.

              • The Voice of Reason

                Really? I’m pretty sure you can find examples of multicultural NZ in pubs, clubs, beaches and marae. The point I’m making is that you and Craig misrepresented what Shearer said. That’s usually the kind of crap I associate with Cameron Slater. If you don’t like Shearer, that’s fine. But deliberately twisting his words in lieu of an intelligent argument is pretty low, in my opinion.
                 
                Me, I wanted Cunliffe to win. But I’m prepared to give Shearer a go, because the people I helped elect to Parliament believe he can lead them to a victory in the next election. I trust them, I’m prepared to give Shearer my support and I will work hard to see Labour head the next Government, whoever the leader is.
                 

                • the people I helped elect to Parliament believe he can lead them to a victory in the next election.

                  That’s a telling point – alongside the fact that the Labour caucus didn’t have sufficient confidence that Cunliffe could achieve that. Everyone in caucus seems to have accepted the result after an unusually thorough consultation with the wider party.

                  Some Cunliffe supporters sound bitter, but there are likely to be more in the party who are quietly pleased and hopeful.

                  • The Voice of Reason

                    Dead right, Pete. And over the next few months there will be opportunities to suggest changes to internal party workings. If members want to change the way we elect our Parliamentary leaders, then that’s the forum for presenting alternatives.
                     
                    Perhaps there are better ways, but I’m not sure if the way we do it now is any different to most parties of any stripe in Western democracies. But maybe we should adapt the local electorate candidate process and have the views of the members represented by a vote or votes in the caucus ballot, perhaps cast by the President on our behalf?
                     
                     

                • Carol

                  VOR. We’ll have to agree to disagree. I have told it as I see it – beaches, clubs and pubs, along with Shearers comments elsewhere about connecting with people while raising a few beers around the barbie, and his other reported patronising comments about women in politics, points to a dated, and usually masculinist view of NZ culture. And this is one of the main reasons I prefr the Greens and Mana.

                  Resorting to aggressive ad hominems by equating me with the oily one is below the belt and a diversion – it doesn’t contribute anything of relevance to the debate.

                  I’ve stated my case. Clearly you don’t agree. I stand by what I said. To me it’s you that’s twisting my words. Enough of this. I’m out of this little debate.

                  Meanwhile you’ve ignored the fact that I have commended Shearer for his focus on poverty. If his Labour Party contributes something significant in tackling poverty, I’ll be very happy to praise them.

                • Craig Glen Eden

                  Where have we ( myself or Carol) twisted or taken anything out of context.He was talking about reconnecting with NZers, he lists a bunch of places. Im saying its bullshit its just lines. You dont agree, fine but dont try and say we have taken what he said out of context when clearly anyone with year 6 comprehension can see we haven’t.

                  You want to pretend its all good in the Labour hood and that Shearer has got what it takes when he clearly hasn’t, thats your call. This is the same call the Labour MP’s would have us swallow, unlike you I don’t have confidence in them I have way more confidence in the collective wisdom of hard working activist many who post on this site and attended the membership meetings were Shearer spoke. It was not just his delivery that is a major concern its his content he is a complete bloody novices.

                  • The Voice of Reason

                    You have taken Shearer’s words out of context by extracting part of the phrase he used and claiming that the segment accurately represents his position. Comprende?
                     
                    By the way, here’s me doing it back to you from your comment:
                     
                    Craig Glen Eden:

                    “Im saying bullshit. Its just lines. we have year 6 comprehension. I don’t have what it takes, that is a major concern. I have way more confidence in the hard working novices. I swallow.”

                    (Hat tip to Burroughs and Gysin)
                     
                     
                     

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Lets see if you put your money on the right stock.

                      We’ll know in just 5 or 6 months.

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      Don’t have to wait that long, CV. I backed Cunliffe, so those stocks are shot already.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah the Cunliffe bonds I bought are junk rated by many right now, but there’s always a chance for a bailout, front bench roles for both him and Mahuta is what is needed here.

  5. geoff 5

    I think that for a lot of Labour supporters there will be a sense of relief that we have at least got to this point. There were a few persistent political memes that have been whirling around for the last 3 years, the combination of which meant that basically Labour just had to, painfully, wait it out. Those were:

    1. Key is really popular and shit doesn’t seem to stick to him (teflon john)

    2. Goff was unpopular and never had the ‘P.M quality’ (whatever that is)

    3. It has been a very long time since any government in NZ has lasted only a single term. (I haven’t seen this one mentioned much and I think it is one of the most important factors. Something in the Kiwi psyche about giving a party a ‘fair go’ maybe?)

    4. Helen Clark hangover (the corollary of 3.  ie ‘ We’re all still sick of the last lot and we don’t want to see them back just yet’)
     
    If you believe these kinds of ideas, and I think a lot of people did, then it is an
    incredibly frustrating pyschological state for Labour party supporters because it implies any efforts to help Labour win will probably be a waste of time.
     
    But now basically none of those memes carries much weight:
    Key has definitely lost some cred, Phil is gone and National are on their second term.
    So potentially there will be lots of pent-up optimism that can now be put to good use.
    SO LET”S KICK SOME TORY ARSE! (er,.. see what I mean?)
    YMMV
     

  6. I would go much further than that Carol.

    Ive never been a member of the Labour Party so can pass judgement on them without fear or favour.

    This is a defeat for the left of Labour and all the left forces in society that have to work with Labour supporters. The old guard behind Shearer have no capacity to fight the NACTs they are tainted and demoralised by their complicity in Labour’s record. They are using him to put a new coat of high gloss dulux on the shabby centrist project of the past. Labour used Lange to front its attacks on workers in the 80s until he could no longer stomach the attacks.

    The old guard around Clark and Goff never undid the major damage they did then to the working class constituency. They couldnt because they bought into the parameters of neo-liberalism. The leaders of the unions are complicit in this betrayal too because they still pretend that they can build unions when the share of workers income has been falling significantly despite their increasing productivity (and therefore exploitation). That has led the unions to near extinction.

    Now as the crisis worsens and Labour has suffered two defeats because a big group of its supporters did not turn out, the reality that Labour has abandoned large elements of its natural constituency is blindingly obvious.

    Cunliffe and Mahuta drew that conclusion and made it clear that they wanted to reconnect with these alienated voters. They were articulating policies to make this happen. More than that they said that these voters should elect the leaders of their party. So their defeat is a defeat for those workers.

    Shearer will dumb down any serious attempt to re-connect with the roots and pull Labour further to the centre. When he talks about renewing Labour its like Blair ‘renewed’ British Labour away from the unions towards the middle class.

    Labour’s rightward trajectory is the blind leading the dumb. Competing for the middle ground is the road to oblivion. The middle class is being squeezed downwards. the ‘self employed’ and small business people will be squeezed out of existence as the depression deepens.

    This is creating a dangerous layer of combustible people who will find themselves downwardly mobile and see the working class either as their allies or their enemies. The Labour Party cannot reach out to them with a centrist program because it cannot counter the forces that are destroying the middle classes. It can win them over however with a radical program that promises jobs, living wages and economic security for all workers including the self-employed. Failing that, these layers will become fascist fodder as the NACT regime moves further to the right.

    There aint no middle ground where the UN can rush in with the peacekeeping forces. Shearer’s expertise is irrelevant when you have to fight a class war. And there is a class war and the bosses are winning. Either Labour goes back to its working class roots or it will find itself cannibalised by the petty bourgeois NZF, Greens, and National lite at the centre and Mana and other forces on the left.

    This is probably inevitable looking at the fate of Social Democracy in Southern Europe as it is replaced by the direct rule by Goldman Sachs veterans. But unless those in the Labour tribe want to go down with a whimper they should put up a fight. Instead of this mantra of a ‘caucus’ united behind a mindless centrism those on the left need to take a stand and fight for their ideas and the people behind them to regain the leadership of the Labour Party.

    • s y d 6.1

      fucking A

    • I think this old class war rhetoric is outdated. I see the extremes lamenting lack of progress for their ideologies, both here and on KB. The simple fact is that most people don’t care for it and won’t buy into the “them bad, us perfect” meme.

      Trying to incite a divide is selfish. The best way forward is to work together more.

      • RedLogix 6.2.1

        Trying to incite a divide is selfish. The best way forward is to work together more.

        The divide has already been incited… not by Dave Brown… but by the extreme 0.1% who have exploited their privileges to capture an immensely outsized portion of wealth. They started the class war, and pretty much they have been winning it every inch of the way.

        And yes ‘working together more’ is a nice sentiment. But to what ends? We’ve been ‘working together’ quite nicely as a nation for much of the last 30 years… but look at the dark corner we have been led down.

        Dave hits an exceedingly pertinent note; Failing that, these layers will become fascist fodder as the NACT regime moves further to the right. . The disspossed and alienated will eventually get angry. I’ve seen it here in NZ upfront and personal in the 80’s amongst Maori. It’s ugly and very unpredictable.

        That anger is inevitable… the question is … who will harness it and to what ends?

        • Pete George 6.2.1.1

          If you keep talking it up you might get your wish. But I doubt most New Zealanders will buy into revolt as a means of achieving anything positive.

          • Anthony 6.2.1.1.1

            Trying to incite a divide is selfish. The best way forward is to work together more.

            What? the kind of “forward” where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?

            I just don’t think you understand that one groups default position is that for them to “go forward” others get left behind, there is no together in that situation.

          • RedLogix 6.2.1.1.2

            Pay attention Pete. Your failure to comprehend what people say is very, very irritating. Nowhere did I say, imply or even hint faintly that it was my wish to see violent revolt in this country. Nowhere.

            In fact the complete opposite. Such events are brutal, vile and usually wholly counter-productive. It’s the last thing any sane person would wish for.

            But wishes are for childrens fairy tales Pete. Just wishing won’t stop angry alienated people from being manipulated into action. And when that happens all the pleasant sentiments in the world will mean less than nothing to the armed mob heading up your driveway….

            • Pete George 6.2.1.1.2.1

              And talking it up may encourage it.

              • RedLogix

                And sticking your head up your arse will prevent it?

                Besides you’ve missed the essential point.. anger can go two ways… destructive and constructive. It’s just an emotion, a motivation, but the act that follows it is what matters.

                • No, but working more positively and co-operatively may.

                  • RedLogix

                    Again… we’ve been a peaceful co-operative nation since at least the 1980’s.

                    But that co-operation has been hi-jacked to serve the ends of a very wealthy minority. How long should we keep ‘co-operating’ with them Pete?

                    Until they own 80% of everything, or 90%?

                    • We can choose not to do business with a lot of them. Tobacco. Alcohol. Fast food. ‘Entertainment’. Gadgets. Plastic mountains for kids. We all feed the machine, and much of it far from essential.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Peter Dunne chooses to do business with them, it seems.

                      By the way, you still don’t seem to understand the underlying psychological, oxymoronic, human reality of ‘free choice’.

                    • RedLogix

                      Well yes I’m with you on that Pete… but I note that you left the banks off that list.

                      Lets see how ‘not doing business’ with them works out.

                    • I also left pharmaceuticals off the list. Like banks they are essential, but they can be (and are) used far more than is good for us.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Pete George you really did get the number of votes you deserved. The Dunedin North electorate proved itself very generous in fact.

          • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.3

            But I doubt most New Zealanders will buy into revolt as a means of achieving anything positive.

            I agree. 800,000 of them have simply chosen to walk away instead.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.2

          You’re quite correct to identify the top 0.1% as the core culprits. Potentially even just the top 0.01%. In New Zealand that would equate to just a few hundred people. All very wealthy, company directors, partners of large firms, extremely well connected, able to direct the activity of thousands of others by simply signing an agreement, providing capital etc.

          And the remainder of the top 1% are also highly complicit. The well paid henchmen and lieutenants, as it were, each benefitting from the equivalent of $150K pa of income or more.

          • OnTheSidelines 6.2.1.2.1

            “And the remainder of the top 1% are also highly complicit. The well paid henchmen and lieutenants, as it were, each benefitting from the equivalent of $150K pa of income or more.”

            That would include all the politicians then?

            • Rob 6.2.1.2.1.1

              and some union officials

            • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.2.1.2

              That would include all the politicians then?

              Its pretty obvious that in many countries around the world, boundaries between banks, corporates and governments have blurred to the extent that they are hard to see.

              A revolving door of senior officials between corporates, banks and governments worsens the situation.

              Not all politicians, but many of those who seem to be in the UK, Italy and Greece, and certainly the ones who continue to work hard at enriching the already rich.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.2

        I think this old class war rhetoric is outdated.

        Is it as outdated as some people in our society earning 150 times more than other people for their working day?

        No Pete, class war is not ‘outdated’, just as in NZ rheumatic fever is not ‘outdated’. Its very current indeed.

  7. chris73 7

    This was a good choice for Labour so I’m surprised they went for it (Labour recently have been expert at the art of shooting ones self in the foot)

    However it will only work if everyone in Labour gets behind Shearer and supports him unlike what happened to Goff

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