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It’s time to go

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, November 11th, 2012 - 170 comments
Categories: labour, leadership - Tags:

I think Eddie is right. David Shearer needs to go if Labour is to stand a chance in 2014 and he needs to go as soon as possible.

I was agnostic about the leadership challenge nearly a year ago. I figured that either candidate had what it took or they wouldn’t have had the support of the caucus. After all, the list-heavy caucus relies on the political success of their leader for their own well-being. Which is to say I thought that their self-interest and their desire to make the right decision would be aligned.

When I saw Shearer on the TV I was underwhelmed but I convinced myself he’d get better. I should have listened to Brian Edwards and to that little voice inside that was telling me Shearer was unsalvageable as talent.

I was taken aback by the Pagani-driven third-way triangulation but was assured by Shearer supporters that he was a real left candidate and this was just some bad advice, a speed-bump. They insisted they were getting rid of Pagani and all would be well. They did. It wasn’t. In fact Shearer was quoted in the dom-post just yesterday saying his government would be interventionist “but not big government and spending more”. A typical third-way blairite statement and one that is badly pitched and defensive sounding.

And I think for me it is that hamfistedness that has finally been the deal breaker for me. I just can’t imagine how David Shearer could survive an election campaign with his meagre polling gains intact when, in a honeymoon media environment, he has fallen to pieces repeatedly. Watching him on the Nation a few weeks ago and seeing how he got flummoxed and angry over a patsy question from Alex Tarrant made me realise just how bad he will be when he comes under the pressure of an election campaign.

And that’s something neither Labour or the left can afford right now. There have been minor poll gains (which now look like they’re reversing) but it’s neck and neck stuff. With Shearer at the helm I’m almost certain we’d see a sudden collapse of the vote as we did when National was led by English in 2002. And I don’t want another term of National.

So I’m going to fall in with Eddie on this one. And with Brian Edwards, and Gordon Campbell, andChris Trotter, and Danyl McLachlan, and Martyn Bradbury, and Scott Yorke, and with the countless other commentators, and commenters, and labour supporters, and supporters of the left that realised this before I did.

David Shearer needs to step down.

170 comments on “It’s time to go”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Shearer stood up and took on the job well before he was ready for it. And a year later he’s still not ready for it. None of it makes any sense to me – where was the instinct for self preservation, let alone self interest, from caucus and from the informal leadership in caucus.

    • Bill 1.1

      Shearer would never have been ready for the job. He, and the current clique that dominate the Labour Party are, at very best, neo-liberal apologists. And that is something we need like the proverbial hole in the head. I just wish people would stop being so nice to the fuckers.

    • SpaceMonkey 1.2

      Labour saw the success that National had with John Key based on a decent backstory, and they have simply tried to ape it, ignoring the fact that John Key’s backstory was heavily airbrushed with omissions and lies. It’s a poor approach and it highlights just how the current Labour Party is lacking any ideas and isn’t different from National.

      • BM 1.2.1

        So why did it work for National and not for Labour.?

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1

          Why is that important?

        • bbfloyd 1.2.1.2

          Because the news media reported it as gospel, and did their damdest best to promote it in the best possible light…

          Sheareers “story” was largely ignored by the same people, and treated like just more propaganda…

          But CV is correct…. It really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things…

          If David Shearer had the knuckles, he would have made inroads regardless of how the barking dogs howled…..

          • xtasy 1.2.1.2.1

            bbfloyd: The news media loved the John Key “story”, him coming from a “poor” Housing NZ home, being child of a struggling sole parent, him having worked his way up kind of story from the start. It is also, because the key stake-holding persons in the mainstream media (and that is what we are talking about) are these days very firmly leaning to the right, and as they saw Key as being the ideal opposition leader bringing perceived “over-due change” after 3 terms of a Labour led, Helen Clark led government.

            The story was “enhanced” to appeal to the public.

            If the media was neutral and fair, they would have given Shearer the same chance, but the MSM is NOT fair, follows commercial interests, wants things to stay as they are, and they are ultimately business focused, in the hands of corporations that have NO interest in a more interventionist Labour led government.

            No matter what Shearer would try, he would not convince them anyway. His poor performance in interviews and during speeches in Parliament are though on top of that the last nails in the coffin. He gets labeled as incompetent already, even though they do not openly report it like that. Well, do they need more than show him stutter, getting stuck and getting frustrated anyway? No, of course not. And then there are the ever so self fulfilling polls. To lead Labour the person must know how to deal with these media bastards, that are just after faults to uncover. Shearer made it very easy for them. It is a sad story, but Labour must learn from this!

        • fatty 1.2.1.3

          “So why did it work for National and not for Labour.?”

          Back in 07/08 at the end of the Clark era we were apparently living in a nanny state. Shower head and lightbulb headlines from our b-grade journalists painted Clark as some sort of socialist. NZ had gone through a period of reasonable economic growth and Kiwis couldn’t see the economic storm that was about to shit all over us. Remember people complaining about the Govt’s economic surplus?…along comes Mr Laid-Back with a few tax cuts and promises to end the nanny state and he rolled Clark at the election.
          Now, in 2012, after a sustained period of living with a shitty economy from a Government that is all about being ‘hands off’, Labour put forward a laid-back nice guy, and in doing so they completely misread the socio-political environment. NZ needs and wants a determined focused leader…even the mythical nanny state would not be a problem right now (as evident by the nanny/nazi state being introduced on Labour voters).
          So 5 years ago NZ wanted a laid back guy because our economy was (considered) fine…today the last thing NZ want is a laid back leader. NZ doesn’t give a shit about a ‘backstory’ right now. We don’t care if a leader can strum a few tunes on his guitar. NZ wants a leader…at best its too late to re-brand Shearer, at worst Shearer is just not capable of being a leader.
          The choice of leader for Labour is pretty fuckin obvious.

          • xtasy 1.2.1.3.1

            fatty: Some good points you make.

            Yes, the people felt like a change, but the Nats were inundating the public with propaganda, misleading and exaggerating about “shower-head” controls, “nanny state” here and there. Those were actually side issues, but the media were on the side of National. They also largely were giving the Nats better coverage and more forgiveness during the last election campaign. The media is mainly MSM, and they are biased. Just look at the NZ Herald, SST, and other publications.

            The stories that matter are now far and between. Instead it is all the usual superficial, misinformative crap, lots about crime, accidents, freak weather, sexual predators, new gadgets, business confidence, the stock index trends, what happens about Obama and in the US, about these geriatric royals and what else.

            Do much of that matter to everyday NZers lives? Mostly NOT!

            That serves Key and NatACT. Labour must be AGRESSIVE, at the same time convincing, fact focused and robustly convincing. There is ample stuff to hammer Key and the government with now. It is all delivered on a silver platter. But Shearer cannot do this. So bring out a replacement now, rather than have leisurely backroom meeting 3 months before the next election.

        • Jimmie 1.2.1.4

          Probably because at the same time National bought in a lot of new MP’s and a lot of the old has beens retired.

          Labour hasn’t done this.

          • felix 1.2.1.4.1

            People say that, but look at Murray McCully, Maurice Williamson, Tony Ryall, Nick Smith, Eric Roy, David Carter, Gerry Brownlee, Shane Ardern, and his Salubrious Highness The Reverend Doctor the Right Honourable Sir Lockwood Smith Esquire.

            These people were all members of the National government in the 1990s, several of them were members of parliament in the 1980s.

            There’s also a whole bunch of National’s “class of ’99” who are still warming seats in the house.

  2. Sunny 2

    Not just Shearer needs to go…his deputy, who looks like he thinks the leadership is his for the doddling into, he needs to go as well! Give the obvious candidate, the one the members wanted, the one kept under wraps, the one allowed one word on TVNZ to react to the shameful unemployment surge (“fail”) give Cunliffe the job. Now. No more excuses. no more waffling. no more whistling in the wind. Gone burger.

    I would bet the farm there will be a ‘crisis’ and a snap election well before 2014. There is no time to faff around.

  3. Socialist Paddy 3

    The ABC crew is spinning the line that there has been an improvement in the polls because Labour is polling over the election night figure of 27%.

    I seem to recall a number of people including posters in this blogsite deciding just before the last election to support Peters so that Labour had an option. The real vote would have been 30% I am pretty sure.

    That Labour is going backwards while this Government is in so much shyte speaks volumes. 

  4. tc 4

    Does the gutless caucus and especially those who ignored LEC directives and put DS in have the courage to do what it takes to win and put DC in charge now is the big issue.

    These labour MP’s appear to be more about self interest than what needs to be done to wrest power back and stop the shonkey hollowmen sellout. If they do go with DC I do hope the deputy leader is equally effective unlike so many of the likely starters including the current one.

    The performance so far of DS and crew given everything that’s happened is a display of ineptitude, incompetence and no further proof is needed that he is clearly not fit to lead labour back in.

    Are these turkeys interested in the treasury benches or the christmas they voted for appears to be the issue, my money’s on Christmas with hacks like mallard, king etc still hanging on.

  5. Bearded Git 5

    Shearer is not only poor on TV but has no presence in parliament too.

  6. North 6

    Is there anything out there to powerfully answer the posts by CV, Bill, Sunny, SP ?

    We know the amoral Dunnokeyo and his upper echelon are alien committed and will do whatever it takes to advance that alien commitment.

    I truly fear that these traitors will hoist a snap election in a manufactured “crisis”, just as Sunny suggests.

    Any bets on the outcome ?

    In contrast refreshing to see Cunliffe go right to the heart of the matter on unemployment. Failure !
    No buggering around……no burbly thematic stuff.

    Failure !

    • idegus 6.1

      absolutely! ‘FAILURE!’, was a great word, summed up the message, sounded good on tv, still resonates.

  7. AsleepWhileWalking 7

    I like Shearer, and I hope he hangs on. He does need to hone his skills….quickly. Reading some leftie blogs would be a good start (or at least get them paraphrased by an assistant).

    He can lead Labour to victory if he uses the skills he already has to adapt. Probably overwhelmed with trying to please to many people instead of disagreeing with some of them to draw those who do agree with him closer. Overall a good man.

    • Bill 7.1

      How does being a ‘good man’ square with being an apologist for neo-liberalism?

      ‘Idiot’ squares. ‘Bastard’ squares. But not (in my book at least) ‘good man’.

      And so, as Fatty(?) commented on the ‘On David Shearer’s Leadership’ thread, if he ‘got his shit together’ with regards presentation, delivery etc – then so fucking what? Where would that leave us? Bitterly saying ‘thankyou’ as the crutches are handed out after the leg breakings?

      I can’t be fucked with that as a prospect. This country and the people of this country have been subjected to a vile form of economic dogma by both the parliamentary right and left for over 25 years. And when it began, the story was that a bit of short term pain was required in order to reap the long term gains. Hasn’t happened. Was never going to happen.

      And 25 years on down the track, we have a fucking Labour Party blaming people for the failure of an economic paradigm and suggesting or supporting policies that will hurt and damage people even more (raising the retirement age, work for the dole[employer subsidies], benefit cuts etc) in order to ‘save’ a dysfunctional economic idea.

      Enough’s enough. The Labour Party has drop all that shit in the dirt. Let others pick it up and run with it if they want to. The Labour Party needs to break for the future. People need a parliamentary left that will promise to deliver a death blow to an inexcusable economic past and that is capable of projecting a somewhat coherent and socially centered vision for the future.

      • weka 7.1.1

        +1
         

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        The Labour Party has drop all that shit in the dirt. Let others pick it up and run with it if they want to. The Labour Party needs to break for the future.

        That’s what you’d expect from a real Labour party but it’s not going to happen with this one as they still believe the ‘free-market’ works. So what they’ll do is fritter about the edges trying to make it work the way that the theory says it does rather than accepting that the theory itself is wrong.

    • weka 7.2

      Asleep, the ‘Shearer is a nice man who needs time to sort his skills out’ argument lacks rationale. It’s not enough to want Shearer, people have to say why. I’m not seeing that happen in this latest round of debate about the Labour leadership.

  8. Ad 8

    Isn’t Robertson, Parker, Ardern, and Parker the best Labour will muster as a leadership team? So Labour supporters may as well get used to them in some form.

    Perhaps Cunliffe is the only caucus thing propping Shearer against Robertson at the moment, but everyone props everyone else in politics surely? Why change, really?

    Would the internal damage of a leadership change – and the laying public of one faction over another – be worth it by 2014? seriously.

    Could Robertson and Cunliffe work together as a pairing? Surely the factions need to unite a little if Labour is to survive as a government particularly in coalition? That famous description of Labour as ‘a gaggle of gays and self serving unionists’ is harsh shorthand, is illustration of famine balance assuring mutually assured destruction if destabilised. Surely.

    Will be an interesting conference, where all of this is amplified to camera.

    • Bill 8.1

      Isn’t Robertson, Parker, Ardern, and Parker the best Labour will muster as a leadership team?

      No. Two of them are far too comfortable with neo-liberal dogma and affecting a ‘no change, steady as she goes’ managerial position on politics while one is (apparently) twice as comfortable as the other two with all that.

  9. Ad 9

    Sorry ‘the fine balance…’ editing off iPad wonky. Apologies.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      You have to wonder how Labour selection processes came up with this team as the absolute best out of 4.4M people. (And well over 5M NZers if you count overseas recruitment of Kiwis like was done with Shearer).

      Mind you, looking at the US Congress, they have 300M people to choose from and look what they end up with.

      • Robert Atack 9.1.1

        Humans are humans, and politicians reflect that, regardless of the size of the pool it is always garbage in garbage out.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2

        Mind you, looking at the US Congress, they have 300M people to choose from and look what they end up with.

        And yet, only rich people get chosen to run as candidates – often from the same family that ran previously. Methinks that there’s a built in bias somewhere within the selection process that prevents selection of any one not rich.

  10. Ad 10

    Politics, inevitably, consists of who turns up.

    Unless there are unheralded superstars in Cunliffe’s “permanent B Team” of supporters, ready to jump into their super-tights and support him, Cunliffe will stay about where he is. Or leave, which would be preferable.

    Join Simon Power and have some real policy fun with the capital that chooses to stay, David. Run and don’t look back.

    After 12 years, it’s just not worth it compared to the fun and change you could really have. Run.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Cunliffe getting out of the Labour sharkpond may certainly improve his personal life, but its certanly not going to be an improvement to the prospects of the country.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        Imagine what would happen if he joined the Alliance say, or Mana or the Greens.

        I don’t think he would though – he’s still a believer in the free-market which is a pity.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Which is to say I thought that their self-interest and their desire to make the right decision would be aligned.

    Relying on the self-interest of a few at the top will always get you shafted.

  12. PlanetOrphan 12

    Hmmmmm,

    I’ve said it before and you guys don’t agree.
    But throwing away knowledge of a person hard earned and carefully analysed is in my opinion simply stupid.

    A new leader now would mean another 8-12 months of getting too know someone.

    Almost guaranteed to end up at this exact same point with them, and then what?

    Demand yet another leader?, yet more thought space requiring explanation and interpretation?

    You all want Labour in power NOW, but of course that is not going to happen for another 2 years.

    Everytime National gets into power this happens, don’t rip apart something out of frustration people, think about it some more I implore you.

    PS:
    Please stop harping on about him being a closet right winger as well, this’ll hurt, but ur killing people.

    PPS: Great post Irish and all the others as well, this stuff really needed to be aired.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      A new leader now would mean another 8-12 months of getting too know someone.

      Re: Cunliffe, we’ve already seen how he performs as a senior Opposition spokes person over many years. As a Minister in major portfolios over many years.

      And members up and down the country have got to know him and worked with him over many years.

      Of course, why not choose the 2 year MP for the position instead and 11-12 months later how much more do we really know of him?

      • PlanetOrphan 12.1.1

        And why can’t the experienced Cunliffe give advice and direction of speaking to Shearer?

        I put it too you that he does, and the end result would be the same regardless of the Orator.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          A topgun fighter pilot could give pointers to a learner who is clumsy on the stick and can’t read their instruments…but when you are in a nose dive, just put the fighter pilot in charge OK.

          I put it too you that he does, and the end result would be the same regardless of the Orator.

          Perhaps…but this goes down the road of anyone who can warm a seat will do because no one can beat Key in debates and interviews.

          • PlanetOrphan 12.1.1.1.1

            Not true, ShonKeys hasn’t “Won” any debate in recent history.
            (It’s the bloody MSM continually “Scoring” these debates/exchanges that are the problem)

            ShonKey is using the “Water off a Ducks Back” approach.
            Virtually every fact that we have about ShonKeys’ incompetence came from David Shearer.
            The rest from the Media.

            What more can we ask for?

            Do we really want him to become a BullTerrior?

            • felix 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Shonkey hasn’t had to “win” a debate in recent history because no-one’s taken the fight to him.

              He wins by default.

              • PlanetOrphan

                Cunliffe could release statements to the press every day, if he wanted too ….

                • Ad

                  Have you tracked the amount of internal censorship Cunliffe has been under for the last 2 years?

                  Missed the stories where tv journalists complain about how hard Shearer makes it to get to Cunliffe?

                  Forgotten the bullying he gets from caucus every time he makes a straight talking speech?

                  Trying to blame Cunliffe for Shearer’s incompetence is utterly pathetic.

    • weka 12.2

      “You all want Labour in power NOW,”
       
      I don’t. I want Labour to get its shit together NOW, so it can form a useful coalition with the Greens when the time comes. I don’t see them doing that.

      • PlanetOrphan 12.2.1

        @ the moment I agree with you on this, but don’t discount the coalition just yet either.

        • weka 12.2.1.1

          I’m not discounting the coalition, that’s the whole point. I want the coalition to work and it won’t if Labour doesn’t sort its shit out. We don’t have time to dither.

  13. North 13

    Bill Rowling was a good man too, palpably so. But in the crucible of the political theatre of the day Muldoon ate him up. It’s not about “good man” stuff.

    It’s actually about “bad man” stuff and the bad man getting away with it. Isn’t it obviously more likely that with Cunliffe facing him down across the House Dunnokeyo would be denied the scoffing schoolboy crap which serves him up the unaccountability he relies on. Dunnokeyo is useless under pressure yet bugger all pressure is being applied.

    There’s no outrage at what is outrageous on so many fronts. Any surprise then that an astounding percentage of the voting public still say they want him as PM.

    Cunliffe has what it takes to demand attention and reporting. If you want prime ministerial gravitas he has it. Imagine Dunnokeyo jumping up yelling out “rhubarb” opposite Cunliffe.

    Imagine and compare two debates – Dunnokeyo/Shearer and Cunliffe/Dunnokeyo.

    Keep it simple. Front a disastrous, division racked Labour Party Conference if that’s the only way, then get on with it. C’mon !

    • PlanetOrphan 13.1

      I think u r underestimating ShonKeys’ power of bullshit,
      Cunliffe would be facing the same “No Answers here M8!” crap that Shearer is facing.

      • North 13.1.1

        So you think Cunliffe’s response to that sort of contemptuous rubbish would be as Shearer’s has been to date ? Looking uncertain, backing off, muttering away in too many words.

        “I appreciate that Mr Key will disagree with me but…….”.

        The aspirational wannabee multi-millionaires were with Dunnokeyo from day one and will probably remain there true to their thicko, selfish, antisocial form. That’s a market National identified. That’s why he was imported into the country. Don’t worry about them. Appeal to the people whose interests the Left is meant to have at heart. Enliven them by showing the contrast.

        Dunnokeyo gets away with it when he isn’t called to account. When he is called to account the dead eyes come up and he looks either dodgy……hiding something, or out of his depth.

        Picture the “Failure !” charge from Cunliffe re unemployment. No way without looking ridiculous could Dunnokeyo schoolboy wank his way out of that when levelled at him by a Cunliffe possessed of the authority attaching to being the leader of the Labour Party…….PM in waiting sort of thing, champing at the bit to DO it.

        For those whom it’s sought to enliven it’s all there right in their faces. Clear choice. We’re just not getting that.

        I’m always reminded of Mike Williams on election night on 2005. “South Auckland’s not in yet…….”.

        So many, many, many more are really, really hurting now. The votes are there. Enliven those who possess them and Dunnokeyo is stuffed.

        • PlanetOrphan 13.1.1.1

          Yes, I think Cunliffe would be having just as hard a time with the Gnats’ spin @ the moment.

          But I agree with everything else you r saying here.

          • Ad 13.1.1.1.1

            If Labour’s leadership had courage they would let Cunliffe off the chain and we would all find out.

            So far Shearer prefers to lose in the polla than unleash Cunliffe against Key.

      • Anne 13.1.2

        I think u r underestimating ShonKeys’ power of bullshit,
        Cunliffe would be facing the same…… crap that Shearer is facing

        Actually I think it would be worse and not confined just to ShonKey.

        There’s a fat dossier on Cunliffe locked in a cupboard somewhere. The Nats have had some 10 to 15 years to put it together. It will be full of crap – just like the dossier they put together on Helen Clark – but the MSM and their acolytes will happily talk it up big time because they don’t like Cunliffe. He won’t play ball with their cosy you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours game. Neither did Helen Clark and they turned on her big time.

        There’s an interesting parallel between Clark and Cunliffe. In Clark’s case the rumour and innuendo was originally started by former Labour parliamentary colleagues (and their supporters) and the same has happened to Cunliffe.

        You can dissect it as much as you like, but it all comes down to one simple fact:

        Tall poppy syndrome.

        • One Tāne Huna 13.1.2.1

          If the media treat Cunliffe like they treated HC, does that mean he’ll lead a Labour led government for nine years? Bring it on!

        • PlanetOrphan 13.1.2.2

          True, they can’t get over their own historical conclusions.

          “Alpha” syndrome run amok.

        • North 13.1.2.3

          Some people are talking here as though Dunnokeyo lives in the very fibre of our national being. Like his spin machine is omnipresent and everpowerful. Like the sow’s ear that is Dunnokeyo has actually become the silk purse – forever. Like there’s no one can put him in his place……show him up for the callow, and once the smile’s put away, actually nasty little crud he is.

          It’s as though deep down they actually believe the dumbing down rubbish and lies we were fed from the outset.

          What the hell is going on here ? If you were down the bottom of the heap, hurting like hell, demonised and pariahed, living in bloody poverty, who’d you pick to articulate your pain, who’d you pick as your champion ?

          Take your pick folks. Cunliffe or Shearer ?

    • mike e 13.2

      Bill rowling in real life was nothing like his tv persona.
      If he could have transfered that to television muldoon would have been a 1 term PM!
      Shearer looks like he has stage fright as well!??

  14. alex 14

    Time to show some bravery Labour, or at the very least some self interest. If they don’t get Shearer and (more to the point) his advice team cleaned out soon they will be wiped out.

  15. mike e 15

    I said when shrearer got the job that if he didn’t make a difference by xmas this year he should go.
    Cunliffe was my first choice and still is his media savy and ability to think on his feet are the 2 things shearer doesn’t possese .A quick and painless change is needed so labour can get stuck into nactuf Cunliffe has the added skill of economic matters and won’t stuggle in interviews and putting shonkey and
    Dipstick on the spot where shearer is all lost at sea!

  16. Policy Parrot 16

    A genuine question goes out there for all…

    Why Cunliffe? Are we going to be correct in assuming that he is the second coming of MJS, as some seem to believe? Where is the concrete evidence that he is a social democrat, rather than a Blairite, or simply posturing? Some people never gave Shearer a chance, and are we just going to be back in the same position in a years time, with the other faction calling for his head?

    I’m not a Shearer booster, but I genuinely do want to know, why I should be supporting this potential leadership change. I’m clear on the inexperience and media relations angles btw.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Only 34 names in caucus to choose from…

      • gobsmacked 16.1.1

        Only 34 names in caucus to choose from…

        Exactly. I’m really tired of this. No, I don’t think Cunliffe’s the Messiah. No, I don’t think he’s going to transform the party and the country into a socialist paradise.

        Helen Clark was the leader at her time because she was the best of the bunch. Cunliffe should be leader now, for the same reason. Sainthood is not a job requirement. Nelson Mandela is not available.

        Shearer is very, very poor at his job. Robertson would be better. Cunlffe would be better than Robertson. (Tamihere would be worse than Shearer).

        Some people never gave Shearer a chance.

        Including Phil Goff. Why didn’t he give this “leader in waiting” a prominent position in the 2011 campaign? Because he wanted to win.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1

          Some people never gave Shearer a chance.

          It’s a year down the track. Do you think that he needs one more year to win us doubters over?

    • Bill 16.2

      Do you support 3rd way Blairite neo-liberal apologisism? If no, then you can’t be rationally or logically supporting Shearer and those who stand at his shoulder.

      Much more importantly, how the fuck did it ever come to be that basic social democratic values were merely espoused by a faction or a tendency within the Labour Party? And how can that situation be rectified through support for a Shearer or a Robertson?

      • Policy Parrot 16.2.1

        Bill, you still aren’t answering the question. I’m not going to not support someone because I don’t like where they are going (to this extent at least). Why would the alternative be better, and how? Give me some examples.

        • gobsmacked 16.2.1.1

          The next gov’t should be Labour-Green.

          If Labour perform poorly, it might be Labour-Green-Winston. Or … National-Winston.

          Even if you don’t think Cunliffe is more “left”, he makes a more “left” gov’t more likely.

          • Policy Parrot 16.2.1.1.1

            “Even if you don’t think Cunliffe is more “left”, he makes a more “left” gov’t more likely.”

            So, what you are saying is that Cunliffe will be better able to bring over soft National/NZ First voters? Or more able to be convincing to those who didn’t bother to vote last time? I’m not convinced as you said that he is more left, so I can’t automatically back a change, considering they are risky (and potentially damaging – look at the last change for example).

            • gobsmacked 16.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes, and yes.

              Politics junkies (i.e. us!) often think it’s only about a left/right scale. But to many uncommitted voters, it’s about competence. A PM in waiting.

              Shearer oozes incompetence. That may not be fair, but it’s painfully true.

            • David H 16.2.1.1.1.2

              Let me put it this way for you. People will not vote when there is nothing to vote for. And Shearer is nothing. Now Put Cunliffe in as leader and Finance spokesman, and the Nats will shit bricks. If you have a good leader, then you also have an excellent caucus, which will take the Nats to task for everything that’s wrong. Not the wet bus ticket they are getting at the moment. I watch Question time and cringe at the apathy and bullshit that goes on on the chamber. And I have thought about not voting next time, for the first time in 40 odd years of voting.

        • Colonial Viper 16.2.1.2

          I’m not going to not support someone because I don’t like where they are going

          Dude…this is straight out of a Shearer speech

          • Policy Parrot 16.2.1.2.1

            Its simply the truth – its objective – change needs a reason, we cant just change on a whim, we need serious positive reasons for doing so – otherwise how will rationalise it to our voters?

            • s y d 16.2.1.2.1.1

              rationalise it like this…..

              shearer treats the nats like they’re ‘meanies’….cunliffe treats em like the cunts they are.
              visceral, emotional, gut feeling.

        • Bill 16.2.1.3

          Fair enough. Why Cunliffe?

          Because from the little I do hear from him he sounds broadly articulate, knowledgable and ‘on to it’ (within the parameters of his chosen political environment). And he’s certainly ‘nobody’s fool’. And that’s very bad news for national and their spin doctors.

          It’s not as though I’d agree with everything he said if he was leader and setting policy. In fact, I’d probably disagree with a fuck of a lot of what he had to say or propose.

          But then, I’m no fan of parliamentary democracy or markets, so that’s to be expected.

          But that said, I understand that in a country where most people are happy enough with parliamentary democracy, the best I can hope for is a left presence that at least casts its gaze in the direction of something better – even if it refuses to move that way due to whatever so-called pragmatic reasons. (Because just that in itself can open up opportunities for non-parliamentary politics)

          And that is most assuredly not ever going to happen with the current Nat-lite Labour leadership and the current powers behind the Nat-lite Labour throne.

          So that’s my broad take.

          But if you want specifics of details on what Cunliffe has said, then you’re going to have to rely on somebody other than me to provide examples. Or read his blog/speeches.

          I tend to focus on the bigger picture and the possibilities that parliamenatry politics might present to my political endeavours are a small part of that picture. So I don’t tend to focus too intensely on any details that come from that quarter – just the broader brush strokes do me.

    • Ad 16.3

      Look to the results of his 13 years in politics. Measure them up against his contemporaries.

      Both as Minister and electorate MP.

  17. freedom 17

    Like many who are not members of Labour, or have not voted for them in the last couple of elections, I still want to see Labour return to the job and help fix the damage. From what i have witnessed of late in various places from various people, keeping Shearer will never achieve this. They also have to acknowledge they are no longer alone in opposition to the right.

    When it comes to the politcal needs of NZ lefties, Labour really need to learn to play well with others. Labour need to accept they are no longer alone. Labour need to understand that many NZ voters have not forgiven them for their part in the destruction of our Country’s unique potential. They need to understand they do not have all the answers.

    Labour is broken. It has too strong a hangover from its role in the thirty year spin cycle of privatization and deregulation that has battered NZ. The many strong steps taken towards true Democracy and greater awareness of the spectacular opportunities in NZ are constantly overshadowed by the willingness to appeal to the latest pollster. Stand on the porch and look at the trash strewn back yard that we call a country and admit that Labour is not without fault. I strongly believe, despite the funhouse mirrors Labour’s leaders are using to identify their strengths and weaknesses, collective guilt has created a dysmorphia, exposing shame and self protection as the raw wounds they are.

    The fastest path back to trust is admitting mistakes. Labour must promise to do what it takes to rectify them and follow through regardless of what the pollsters magick up. The easiest way to achieve that is get rid of the PR plants and HR specialists. Return power to on the ground front line experience. Experience that I suspect still beats strongly in the heart of the Labour Party.

    A Cunliffe/Little partnership appears to be a logical team that can reasonably be expected to turn up to the job, sleeves rolled tools cleaned and an understanding of the people they are trying to help. I don’t know Cunliffe but remember Andrew Little from his Student exec days and he still seems to have the same messasge he did then, people matter. These two battlers gave an impression over the years that they actually want to listen to the residents of the home that was wrecked. They seem open to the necessary toil ahead and appear willing to clean up the yard properly, not just throw a few empty bottles under the back steps and move a few potplants over the bloodstains.

    • starlight 17.1

      @ Freedom,Excellent,you are quite, Roger Douglas done so much damage to the brand labour,
      that era has not been forgotten and never will be,our heads are bowed.
      Cunliffe and Little would make a great team and bring the party where it needs to be
      and that is looking out for the people it is supposed to represent.
      Clark was a good manager of everything political but she forgot what the party was
      about and continued along the lines of the neo-lib thinking,a sound message was sent
      to her in 08 that the labour party faithfull will not put up with half arse representation
      anymore.
      Shearer says he does not read blogs,that in itself is dismissive of the people he should
      be interested in and want to know what they are thinking,Cunliffe engages with the
      people via blogs etc,that is the stark difference,he also has a post on the labour party site.
      Shearer does not cut the mustard,simple,no matter how much sugar coating,how
      many sweetners, he is not political leadership material.

  18. Peter 18

    Well, the reality about Shearer has been clear for some months, some would say years. It was clear for me from the beginning, when he literally told me that he was surprised at all the fuss over proposed mining in Mt Aspiring National Park (Brownlee’s botched Schedule 4 issue). It was everything I could do at that time not to get angry at him and remain polite. You literally can’t get more out of touch. Why I didn’t jump to the Greens then and there remains a mystery to myself and my friends. Perhaps its loyalty.

    So, is it misplaced loyalty that is seeing all those in the ABC faction continue to support Shearer, or is it more just fear that a new leadership will demand better performance.

  19. hush minx 19

    Excellent post IB, and interesting comments from readers. I think this is a real challenge for the caucus and the party leadership – how to they respond to this grass-roots commentary? From a more academic perspective, there’s a really interesting change occurring. Those of us who immerse ourselves in this online political world have a voice here that the Labour leadership/caucus/party echelons has never had to confront before. This could end up being the first leadership change with it’s origins in the social media space. Perhaps the leadership (Shearer/Robertson), if they are serious about wanting to engage, and actually wanting to be the democratic organisation that they say Labour should be, then they should post on here and convince us that they do have a plan to win, which goes beyond platitudes. Having Shearer tell me he doesn’t read to blogs says all sorts of (bad) things to me. Until I am convinced otherwise, I think the sorts of views around the leadership that are reflected here in recent posts, will continue. Labour – the ball is in your court.

  20. Wendigo Jane 20

    Annecdotally there are many left-leaning people, not currently politically active, quietly waiting for Shearer to go so they can get behind a Cunliffe-led refreshed, distinctive Labour Party, take the fight to NACT and win in 2014. Whyyyy are we waiting…

  21. ak 21

    We forget at our peril:

    – that it’s the sound-bite-ruled 10% who determine the fate of our least well-off.

    – that the Left’s ahead at the mo, due to several effective Winnie/Norman soundbites.

    – that dumping Shearer now guarantees soundbite heaven to NACT, leading into the hols.

    – that Cunners presents a large sound-bite target to the enemy.

    – that Shearer’s about three effective soundbites from poll heaven.

    But dump him.

    Because the aftermath might at least convince a few more that infighting and disunity is, and has always been, the only hindrance to Progression.

    And if the lesson’s learned, allows a year to apply it.

    IF.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      - that it’s the sound-bite-ruled 10% who determine the fate of our least well-off.

      has everyone given up on the 800,000 working class and underclass who didn’t bother to vote in 2011?

      If just 1 in 10 of those people had come out to vote for Labour, Key would have been out on his ass, and Goff/King/Cunliffe would be sorting this country out now.

  22. coolas 22

    Yep, if Labour doesn’t sort this shit out, National could win in 2014, or sooner, for sure, all because Labour didn’t wake up and see that David Shearer is Bill Rowling with better looks.

    Tough for Shearer, but if he really cares about the country being shafted by a three-term National led Government, he must resign.

    He’s obviously a good and decent man, but he doesn’t have the public communication skills needed for the job; answering questions he waffles, and dithers, instead of being prepared and articulate. If he hasn’t shown those qualities by now, chances are he never will.

    And Shearer’s last blip of media exposure was such poor political savvy, I cringed, for him. All that blathering about the recording that didn’t exist. Took the focus off Key’s duplicity, and the media dropped the story. Why? Because Shearer couldn’t produce the juice. Pathetic.

    Two years is plenty of time to bed in a new leader, and Cunliffe is the obvious choice. He’s got the Ministerial experience. He’s quick witted, and like Clarke, he’s well informed on every aspect of Government.

    Labour caucus need their heads banged. It’s not about them. It’s about saving the county from a National third term.

  23. Adrian 23

    BM a 9.57 ” So why did it work for National…..”. Because Key is a nasty bastard who makes shit up. DS is too nice which is why he survived all those years in his previous job, Key on the other hand would have been shot within weeks for being a duplicitous arsehole.

  24. db.. 24

    Why blame Shearer alone when Caucus is also at fault?

    Impose a 12 year maximum for Elected and List members and require all outgoing MP’s to identify, sponsor, coach, test and direct their likely replacements.

    Personal self interest rather than “NZ” representation is a major fault.

  25. ak 25

    has everyone given up on the 800,000……?

    Now you’re talking Colly.

    Mining, Mt Albert, and most emphatically Obamarama showed us the route, and hint hint it involved ignoring the inevitable shortfalls in individuals and working buttocks off on the ground and keyboard for a shared goal. Still plenty of time, if the spirit is willing, but relying on fair media treatment of Cunners is a touch naive after what happened to Hels.

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      And you believe that we should rely on fair media treatment of Shearer when he’s on the election trail up against Key?

      • ak 25.1.1

        Defintitely not. That’s the point – after the Hels experience, JC Himself Mother Theresa or even Cunners is not the answer. But Obama’s campaign is. Current Shearer is like the first debate.

        • Colonial Viper 25.1.1.1

          Yeah I can see the merit in that.

          Next question then: who as Labour Leader can rev up the hardcore frontline activist base to make on Obama-style ground campaign happen.

          • ak 25.1.1.1.1

            Good question. I’d say no single “leader”: rather a committed and above all unified team comprising MPs and any others that goes back and watches last year’s campaign video at least 27 times, makes some bold and deliberate policy changes (such as your good self and others have suggested right here) and then gets off the couch, ignores parliament and the msm, and gives their all to kanohi ki kanohi meetings with the Lynn Prentices and lefty IT apprentices, greens, manas big-and-small farmers, the MP, marae, that nek minnit guy, artists, performers, youtubers, Winnie swooners, baby boomers, dog groomers, disaffected activists, activated fetishists, works smokos, grey power snoozos, union bozos, colonial vipers, window wipers, uncle tom cobbley’s second cousin’s wife and all. Ring Obama’s bloke then hit the streets and lead by example or disappear down a festering Wellington plughole and leave a clown at the wheel.

            • gobsmacked 25.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, Ak.

              That’s what the new leader should have done, from day one.

              Instead, he went to Trevor Mallard and John Pagani and said “Tell me how this political game works.”

              Trevor said: “Let’s score points of order with Lockwood Smith! That’s why we’re here!”

              Shearer said: “Sure, Trev. You know best!”

              The self-serving, self-absorbed Labour caucus is the OPPOSITE of the Obama campaign. And they need to change. The leader had the perfect chance to tell them to.

              He failed. He hasn’t talked to us. He’s listened to them. He has become part of the problem. So, he has to go.

              • Jackal

                Your political commentary is more comedic than AK’s Gobsmacked, but for all the wrong reasons. Firstly the similarities with United States’ political process is largely irrelevant. Yes! Shearer is not Obama, now get over it.

                What I’m seeing here is a lot of negativity, without any real solutions being proposed. If not Shearer then who? Back up your convictions by promoting somebody else who is not all those things you acuse Shearer of being. If you cannot backup your accusations with a likely candidate, and show that he does not have similar foibles, then your claims (and these posts) are largely pointless!

                Shearer will win by default unless his valid left wing detractors can show that there’s somebody else available that’s better qualified, can counter right wing propaganda, can rouse Labour, is more respected and capable of leading Labour to victory at the next election.

                I predict you’ll fail to advocate for anybody gobsmacked, but be just as dismissive of whomever somebody else might attempt to promote.

                So is there any point to your criticism apart from trying to undermine Labour? I await your response with not very much baited breath at all.

                • gobsmacked

                  You’re becoming obsessed. It’s getting sad.

                  Let’s make it easy for you. Delete “Gobsmacked”. Ignore. OK? Pretend I’ve fallen under a bus.

                  Now you just have two comprehensive, cogent summaries by Eddie and Irish Bill, and dozens of others adding their agreement and reasons.

                  But if you need to harangue one messenger to save you from addressing all the points made by others, and facing up to the reality staring us all in the face, hey, I’m here for you.

                  • Jackal

                    You’re hiding behind the arguments made by other people, when it is your comment I’m responding to. Do I need to debate all of them before you feel obliged to respond gobsmacked?

                    I’m asking for you to show the conviction of your beliefs, and you are completely failing with pointless claims that I’m somehow obsessed. You are in fact the perfect example of why many arguments against Shearer are pathetic! I’m right because I’m following the crowd… Yeah right!

  26. One Tāne Huna 26

    Clark should never have resigned when she did. Goff ditto. Shearer should never have been put in this position in the first place. I think Labour can still form the next government with him at the helm. but a Cunliffe-led Labour Party will wipe the floor with the Nats, as opposed to simply watching while they clusterfuck themselves to defeat.

    • Olwyn 26.1

      The big question, however, is what difference it would make if he did lead the next government? If he is still saying that “his government would be interventionist “but not big government and spending more””, while allowing Shane Jones to throw his weight about and at the same time placing constraints on Cunliffe, then the best he is aiming for is some version of Nat Lite. This in turn undermines one’s confidence in the good work being done toward reviving manufacturing; it could just as easily go the way of Key’s jobs summit, while BAU reigns. A win under these conditions would be worse than a loss, since our two main parties would in this way be reduced to Nat 1 and Nat 2, which seems to be the aim of some of his right wing cheer leaders.

      • One Tāne Huna 26.1.1

        +1

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.2

        “but not big government and spending more”

        This is transplanted straight out of US politics and is BULLSHIT

        NO ONE in NZ talks about “Big government” versus “Small government”, that’s simply copying stock PR phrases from the Republicrats and Demoblicans.

        Grow some balls NZ (and Labour speech writers) set your own path.

        • QoT 26.1.2.1

          I can hear the whinging already: “But … but OBAMA said he didn’t like big government and everyone loooooooooves Obama!!!”

  27. gobsmacked 27

    David Shearer interview: in a few minutes on 106.2 Humm FM (Indian radio station)

    (Auckland, but online too?)

    I recommend people listen.

    • Bill 27.1

      link is http://tunein.com/radio/HUMM-FM-1062-s108804/

      But all I is getting is painful Indian pop and really bad ads….

      • Colonial Viper 27.2.1

        Funky Indian pop music…lol

        • gobsmacked 27.2.1.1

          He was supposed to be on after 12.30. Maybe pushed back to after 1 pm.

          I love this radio station. 50% English, different languages mixed in the same sentence. The sound of 21st century Auckland.

          • Colonial Viper 27.2.1.1.1

            It’s mainly Hindi I presume? I’m still listening to it but its doing weird things to my brain…the ads are hilarious…

            • Bill 27.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m thinking ‘gobsmacked’ owns an Auckland supermarket/minimart ;-)

            • gobsmacked 27.2.1.1.1.2

              Shearer on now …

              Conference will make Labour “more transparent”. Hmmm.

              Very short, not worth waiting for, sorry about that. Usually it’s longer.

              • felix

                At least he’s there. That’s something I suppose…

                Is it a regular slot?

                • gobsmacked

                  Yes, around 12.30 each week.

                  I discovered it by accident a while back. It’s one example of the non-MSM interviews that Shearer/Key give, and it’s the kind of thing that gets no coverage until there’s a foot in mouth (like “gay red shirt”). If Shearer was doing these interviews in election year, the NAct machine – blogs and all – would be all ears. He’d deliver – for them.

                  Bfm tomorrow morning is another one.

  28. kiwi_prometheus 28

    Lots of complaining about Shearer being neoliberal. What choice has he got?

    Is the Academic Left offering an alternative coherent philosophy to build a winning political platform on?

    Deconstructionism?

    Feminist ‘Theory’?

    Warmed over Marxism?

    No wonder the Left keeps getting a hiding.

    • Colonial Viper 28.1

      Lots of complaining about Shearer being neoliberal. What choice has he got?

      Shit mate back to rehashing Thatcher’s “THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE” line???

      Dude that’s 30 years old now, move on.

      • kiwi_prometheus 28.1.1

        “Dude that’s 30 years old now, move on.”

        A ) Neoliberalism took center stage 30 years ago and is still there.

        B ) Move on to what?

        I’m no supporter of neoliberalism. I’ve described it as failed on here only yesterday.

        It still holds its grip on politics however. Why? Like I say what alternative Left philosophical options could a politician ‘move on’ to?

        • Colonial Viper 28.1.1.1

          B ) Move on to what?

          Get with the bloody programme. For starters:

          Marx
          Keynes
          Schumpeter
          Minsky
          Heinemann
          Keen
          Fisher

      • Jenny 28.1.2

        You again. I thought I warned you about the big words.

  29. Fisiani 29

    I reckon the Cunliffe supporters here are clearly representative of the voting public and so Cunliffe as Leader could easily outpoll National in 2014. Cunliffe is a really likeable and modest guy who oozes sincerity.

    • One Tāne Huna 29.1

      :roll:

    • Ad 29.2

      I detect on this site a tsunami of Robertson support, an avalanche of Shearer acolytes, a sea of generous souls appreciating fuzzy incoherence, an eruption of Key supporters willing him into the next election, and in fact I see this whole site as representative of New Zealand, swelling into an orchestrated orgasm of indiffference to poll stats,, within a massed resounding choreographed endorsement of trolls who escaped from Carl Rove’s asshole.

  30. Ad 30

    Having said all of that, if there is no change in leadership by February 2013, then the whole of this site’s commentariat, together with every blogger in the country, will have been proven so utterly wrong that the sight of Fox News having to eat its own hand up to the elbow after Obama’swin will look quite reasonable.

    That is, 85% of Standard commentators are now so biased against Shearer that if he stays after Feb 2013, we should all permanently shut up, or get behind the team.

    If this site can claim to be a collective with democratic force, it will be shown at the Labour Partyy conference next weekend. If it cant, shut up.

    Labour has to agree on its leader and stop cannibalising itself like this.

    You guys ramped it up, you better be able to pull it off.

    • Bill 30.1

      Ad. The prospect of a Shearer led anything is one very shite prospect. The prospect of anything being led by the clowns and fuckwits who cynically propelled him into the position is equally shite. That’s not ‘wrong’. It’s my opinion – and it’s a fairly considered one.

      Now why should I shut up after Feb 13th if those shitey prospects look like they will be materialising? Not going to be happening.

      • Ad 30.1.1

        Depends if this site wants to actively destabilise the Labour Party caucus forever or not. If this site spent 25% more time debating what it wants the next progressive government to do, instead of perpetually eating its young, it would be a better digital opposition.

        Currently The Standard is nowhere near the default Digital Opposition it should be.

        At some point closer to the election there will have to be the come to Jesus discussin abut “this is the best policy anyone will ever get, so let’s go and get it.”

        Same for leader.

        Month after month of posts about how crap Labour’s leadership is, well that’s fine for a while. Then We have to buckle in and face the real enemy.. Last week, the Democrats saw that the enemy wasn’t Obama. It was Romney.

        • Colonial Viper 30.1.1.1

          Currently The Standard is nowhere near the default Digital Opposition it should be.

          Actually, I think you meant to say that Labour is nowhere near the default Opposition that it should be.

          Depends if this site wants to actively destabilise the Labour Party caucus forever or not.

          Is it really that much to wish for a caucus which listens to its membership base. Besides, the leaks to Duncan Garner etc came from inside caucus itself, not from The Standard.

          • Ad 30.1.1.1.1

            No I phrased it correctly. The Standard does not speak solely for Labour or about Labour. Though you would hardly credit that this weekend.

            This site does have media power, and would have the self respect to see that. it just doesn’t have political power.

            This site needs to grow up into the political game, and own its own muscle, better than it is showing this weekend, or remain a kind of political New Idea for junkies.

            [lprent: Read the about. Where does it say that this site speaks “for Labour or about Labour”. The NZLP is just a small part of the general labour movement. What you do have here are quite a few NZLP activists like myself as a minority. But that definitly isn’t a criteria for becoming an author – ask QoT or Bill or… well most of them..

            And the authors here are rather uninterested in political power in my experience and definitely uninterested in the pursuit of it. We’re interested in writing opinions on politics without fear or favour. If politicians and their supporters don’t like that then they can write comments or on their own blogs. ]

        • Bill 30.1.1.2

          I’m just one person Ad with a passing interest in the Labour Party. I normally wouldn’t pay too much attention to their internal stuff on the grounds that it’s mostly ‘soap’…as is most parliamentary politics. But the depth and the potentially serious consequences of the Labour Party’s current woefulness has kind of demanded my attention.

          And ‘the standard’ encompasses a far broader left spectrum than you seem to give it credit for. Anyway….

          • Ad 30.1.1.2.1

            Fair enough.

            Policy debate anyone? Anything? Open the remit book, any page, put your dukes up,

            Wak wak wak I am beginning to sound like Daffy Duck.

            • s y d 30.1.1.2.1.1

              yeah cos policy wins elections, just ask the nats….holy shit you are living in some fantasy land pal

    • RedLogix 30.2

      Which is fair enough Ad.

      If DS proves us all wrong and steps up, then one mega-calorie slab of humble pie is in order. I will for one will be delighted to smother it with craw-cream and scoff the lot.

      But at this point my waistline looks safe …

    • Colonial Viper 30.3

      Having said all of that, if there is no change in leadership by February 2013, then the whole of this site’s commentariat, together with every blogger in the country, will have been proven so utterly wrong

      The February leadership vote is a caucus only vote. As far as I am aware, commentators on The Standard will not get a vote.

      That is, 85% of Standard commentators are now so biased against Shearer

      Bias suggests an irrational or unfair dislike. In contrast, I think that most of the criticism of Shearer voiced on The Standard has been reasonably rational and fair minded.

      You guys ramped it up, you better be able to pull it off.

      We’re trying to send a message to the Labour Party and to the Labour caucus. That sleep walking to victory as a centrist neoliberal-light party just will not do.

      Key and National must be OPPOSED at every turn, every day.

      • Ad 30.3.1

        Better read those proposed trigger mechanisms coming up at Conference more carefully CV.

        Honestly too many on this weekends set of strings sound like the leftie versions of Carl Rove. Bubbles of disbelief of reality.

        Sending a message through a site that few in caucus read won’t work. Unless The Standard seeks to become an Affiliate. Then it will be a part of the 40 40 20 split.

        Try that.

        If it doesn’t do something concrete like Affiiate, its pretty limited in effect on caucus. in fact it will just continue to be loathed by the caucus parliamentary staff forced to pay attention to it.

    • gobsmacked 30.4

      Ad

      What should we do if the team doesn’t get behind the team?

      e.g. Jones, Sio, Mallard, Nash, Tamihere, and anyone else who is cavalier about Labour unity.

      If Shearer gives them a free pass, do we have to give him one?

    • Olwyn 30.5

      “…if there is no change in leadership by February 2013, then the whole of this site’s commentariat, together with every blogger in the country, will have been proven so utterly wrong that the sight of Fox News having to eat its own hand up to the elbow after Obama’s win will look quite reasonable.”

      No they will not be proved wrong, they will simply be proved to have had little or no effect on the make up and direction of the parliamentary Labour Party.

      This debate, which has been going on since the 2011 election, has two main facets; whether the LP can win an election under David Shearer’s leadership, and whether the unannounced but furtively revealed move to the right under his leadership is what Labour should be doing right now.

      I emphatically do not think that this is what Labour should be doing right now, and will not “get in behind” if that is the best that Labour can offer.

      • QoT 30.5.1

        No they will not be proved wrong, they will simply be proved to have had little or no effect on the make up and direction of the parliamentary Labour Party.

        Exactly, Olwyn. And I think another point is being missed here – yes, probably the majority of Standard authors are Labour voters (of one stripe or another, given the joys of MMP). But some of us are openly Green voters, too.

        We don’t actually have to suck it up and go along with the crowd just because “any” Labour government is better than “any” National government.

        I’ve been hoping since 2008 that Labour would take its lumps and figure out what kind of party it wants to be, and what it really wants to stand for, and rejuvenate itself into something I can give a shit about. Hasn’t happened yet. Maybe three defeats in a row will do it.

        National is fucking up our country, but I am honestly concerned with how much more they would fuck up our country if a weak, directionless Labour got in for one term of backstabbing Shane-Jones-fuckups Shearer-waffling failure, allowing National to sweep in on a far more radical rightwing platform sold to the nation as “at least we know what the fuck we’re doing”.

        • Ad 30.5.1.1

          If you are a Green voter, why not open up a thread on the Green leadership? And Green direction and policy? Or indeed what a coalition with Greens and Labour might achieve?

          So far this weekend this site has chosen Labour’s leadership as a topic. Why not go through any one of the hundreds of topics in the Conference remit book in which the Greens had commonality with Labour? So far, silence on that, 7 days out from the Labour conference.

          Instead we have this. This whole tenor of conversation needs to change.

          • QoT 30.5.1.1.1

            Ad, lprent is pretty clear about how he feels about people referring to The Standard like it’s an autonomous being with an agenda, so first off I’d caution against that kind of argument.

            Second, like you say, it’s the Labour Conference next week, so the Labour leadership is pretty topical.

            Third, the Greens didn’t get fucking shafted last election and are still doing pretty well in the polls, and haven’t had high-profile media coverage of any pathetic infighting they may be going through. They are clearly not the problem the NZ left has at the moment.

            • Ad 30.5.1.1.1.1

              This site chooses its posts and is not of course neutral. And it’s not rude to point out a hive mind in effect. And has been for months, not because a Conference is due.

              Turn your mind to the content, that is the end game.

              Third, if that is the best the Greens can do after that many elections, perhaps they need some actual debating lessons on their policy. Here on The Standard. And what it would look like with Labour’s proposed policy within its remots. Which I again invite you to do.

              [lprent: The site is a machine and has no mind. We aren’t “neutral” and have never had any expectation that we would be. However we also don’t have an editorial policy.

              The about states why we select the authors that we do. But the authors can then put up whatever they like. The only times I or the other editors will interfere is if they try to put up something that puts the site at risk legally or actively drives away readers. We expect the authors to disagree with each other and the commentators to disagree with them and each other. Expecting a coherent policy out of that is ridiculous and belongs to a conspiracy fantasy land.

              What we don’t want is idiots like yourself working off your frustrations inventing conspiracy theories about us. That is defined as being an attempt at self-martyrdom and is rewarded with banning. This is your warning – read the links. ]

              [Bill: Already gone for a week after ignoring two polite warnings Lynn.]

              [lprent: I was reading backwards. Came to the same conclusion. ]

              • PlanetOrphan

                Would that come with an Educational budget allocation Babe? :-P

                Good old “Pub” debate @ the Standard M8’s :-)

              • Bill

                This site chooses its posts…

                No. No it doesn’t. And QoT has just given you fair warning about peddling that kind of crap. Authors choose what they want to write on, write it and then post it.

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                  Well I am giving theses column this weekend fair warning right back that this site must do better, if it really wants to change politics, not just vent about personalities. Eddie and Irish Bill have pulled in the wrong direction at the wrong time.

                  Let’s say you all get what you want; a live leadership spill at Conference. Woo-hoo great tv.

                  Spell out who will win and why. Of that winner, spell out the policy consequences of that for tv, for National, for New Zealand. Don’t be all Rove about it. Hold the mirror close and tell the cold truth.

                  Ask yourself if that would stop the bloodsport.

                  Or what policy was improved.

                  Spell out where National would be in November 2014.

                  Repeat.

                  [Bill: Bugger it. You were warned twice. Take a week off.]

                  [lprent: you beat me to it. He seems to need time to read the about and the policy because so far almost every one of his delusions about this site is answered in there. ]

                  • PlanetOrphan

                    Damn .. thought I’d landed a job there …. sorry ….. More booze for the Orphanarium M8!
                    All I have too do is “Educate” someone ….. :-)
                    Had my “Personal” details ready and everything!.

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                Also I forgot, the Greens were “fucking shafted” three times in a row, by Labour, in no small part because the Greens were self righteous enough to believe that th virtue of their policy platform would shine through the clouds like receiving the Ten Commandments. Time for hard debate about coalition policy.

                Change this discourse or watch the progressives eat more of their own organs.

                If Green voters can’t debate what a coalition would do before the Labour conference, not only will the MSM do it for them, the Greens will also consign themselves to getting “fucking shafted” like the last three times.

          • Saarbo 30.5.1.1.2

            “So far this weekend this site has chosen Labour’s leadership as a topic.”

             That’s because the current leadership is woeful and Leadership is critical if Labour is to succeed in 2014. Cunliffe is an outstanding MP/Leader but the Labour MP’s on the “right” side of the spectrum are blocking him (They view Cunliffe as being too Left). In my view these Right Labour people are only a chromosome away from being National supporters, I cant understand what keeps them in Labour? 

      • Ad 30.5.2

        They will certainly have been proven both ineffectual and wrong, Olwyn.

        Either way, The Standard would need to rethink how to be more effective considering how much time it spends on Labour’s leadership.

        [lprent: “The Standard” doesn’t. However individual authors do. There are just over 11 thousand posts on this site covering more than 5 years. My guess is that less than a hundred of those posts are on the leadership of the NZLP parliamentary caucus either directly or indirectly. There are many times that on questions about leadership of the National party.

        You are delusional. ]

    • Blue 30.6

      Not really. Last year’s leadership race showed how utterly powerless the Labour Party membership is. If you expect that to change by February, then you have found yourself some really potent hallucinogenic drugs, Ad.

      We have no power to vote on these matters, and our darling MPs didn’t give a shit about our opinions when we voiced them then. I highly doubt they give a shit now.

      Pretty much every leftie blog has been saying that Shearer is not the right man for the job for at least six months now, and neither David Shearer nor the Labour Party MPs has shown any sign that they give a rat’s arse.

      Shearer was not put into power by the members and he will not be removed by them either. He’ll go out the same way he went in – by the scheming of the self-interested losers in caucus. Or when he loses the 2014 election.

      As for the laughable comments about the need for unity, it takes two to tango. After a leadership fight, it is the duty of the winner to unify the party and win over the supporters of the other candidate. Shearer has never felt any need to do this. He ignored this blog when the invitation was extended to put his case on here during the leadership contest. All the other candidates did, but he wouldn’t.

      He and the other MPs that catapulted him into the top job have never seen fit to explain themselves, to make their case, to win anyone over. They just take it for granted that they have spoken and we must support blindly while they screw up Labour’s chances at 2014.

      They don’t talk to us, and they ignore us when we try to talk to them. Party unity at its finest.

      • ak 30.6.1

        Kia ora Blue, but

        … it takes two to tango. … it is the duty of the winner…

        Spot the inconsistency? And more importantly, the way forward?

        Forgive friends. Or foster foes.

    • David H 30.7

      You bet I’m Biased. On one hand you have a stuttering, bumbling, caught in the headlights, promoted before his time, David Shearer.
      On the other hand you have. articulate, educated, on top of his game, fully informed, unfairly sabotaged by the ABC morons, David Cunliffe.

      Yep roll up roll up take your pick. But we really need to get a message to the ABC morons. Shut the fuck up!

  31. Fortran 31

    Talk Russel Norman into taking over – he will shake the system well !

  32. kea 32

    Shearer worked for the International Crisis Group.

    Have a look at their Board of Trustees.

    http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/about/board.aspx

  33. xtasy 33

    From my view there is only one chance left for Labour to sort itself out, if it wants to be leading the opposition more effectively, regain support and manage to hammer out a proper alternative plan early enough before the next election.

    Change the leadership, and as the debate shows, it is no easy task, as the number of potential contenders is limited.

    Continuing with Shearer will leave those supporting Cunliffe seriously disgruntled. Officially Cunliffe supports Shearer, but it appears, there are internal rivalries, there is much distrust, and a weak leadership and support members struggling to contain Cunliffe (i.e. media publicity restricted).

    Robertson plays his agenda, and some sit between the chairs.

    Others are old and gone byes, as they had their times and chances.

    It would be a lower risk for having Shearer replaced now, and have some get disgruntled, but at least it would be a chance to rebuild a team, to re-shuffle the front bench after that, and to give it a new shot.

    If all this fails and does not work out, Labour will not recover withing 2 to 3 terms, if ever.

    Then the only solution would be: A NEW centre-left political movement and party, starting with some totally new faces and personalities, joined by defectors, using resources to create a forceful new power to be reckoned with. Some within unions should seriously consider this, and they and other networks could reach out and create new, larger networks, getting membership and supporters. That would be a fresh start, without the baggage of what Labour still carries around (past privatisation, outsourcing, neo liberal economic approaches and marginalisation of poor and beneficiaries).

    At times it seems to me, that the latter option may need to be looked at soon, if no change will happen.

    • Colonial Viper 33.1

      At times it seems to me, that the latter option may need to be looked at soon, if no change will happen.

      People. It’s far easier, cheaper, faster and will be more effective to gain positions on individual Labour branches and LECs on a nationwide scale.

      • saarbo 33.1.1

        There is alot of truth to your post Blue, the Shearer brigade have been amazingly obstinate and pig headed given how hopeless their man has been and Shearer must understand how off the mark he is. but CV is right, get in behind Labour and make the changes, it will consume alot less energy than starting something else.

      • aspasia 33.1.2

        True. But some of us have done this for years….and years. I’m not letter boxing pamphlets, renewing memberships, stuffing envelopes, selling raffle tickets, phone banking and door knocking etc etc as I have always done while we have this inept and pathetic leadership. Shearer is only there because Robertson wasn’t ready to make a move and Parker clearly wasn’t going to edge out Cunliffe. Well Cunliffe isn’t perfect either but he is capable and ready to go now. He seems to be the best shot we have at getting rid of Key and the Nacts and setting up a credible alternative government. So let’s see a bit of old fashioned thinking about what is best for the party and best for the country! I’m more than happy to work hard but not when I can’t see any point to it. Shearer should do the honourable thing and step aside now while there is still time to mount a credible campaign for 2014.

  34. I’m sorry to see Labour in the state that it is in. As I mentioned to Draco a few days back, it is important that a government, any government (left or right), has adequate opposition. The Greens are doing a good job but Labour should be taking the lead as the bigger party however Shearer has misfired over and over again which destroys his credibility and the credibility of the Labour Party.

    A shame really.

  35. the sprout 35

    Good call IB.
    Shearer has been an unmitigated disaster.

  36. pete 36

    Cometh the hour. Cometh the man. Cometh David C.

    It’s “balls to the wall” time.

  37. prism 37

    Nutty it will sound but it could pay the Labour leader pickers to approach Winston Peters and somehow absorb NZ First. He’s fairly right wing but then Labour doesn’t have much aspiration to support the ‘Working People’ except with anodyne statements that pay lip service. And he is great at making points, holding onto them with his teeth like a dog I know, and never letting the other win.

    • Prism – trust me, you do not want to go there.

      The Alliance flirted with the idea of inviting Peters to be the new leader. Anderton was all set to stand aside. This was around 1995, just prior to the firsty mMMP election a year later.

      The reason it never took off the ground was Winston playing “silly buggers” and engaging in negotiations through LAWYERS. I kid you not. I was on a short-term contract at the time with the Alliance Parliamentary Office and what I saw was pure Winston Peters.

      • weka 37.1.1

        It’s beyond me to understand why people still trust the man after all this time.
         
        I’m still waiting to hear a left wing explanation of how a L/G/NZF government would work.

        • Frank Macskasy 37.1.1.1

          Probably no worse than a N/A/UF/MP hodge-podge?

          National has had four years, and their sole policy for job creation resides in,

          (a) anti-worker policies

          (b) reliance on the “marketplace” to deliver.

          Well, the marketplace ain’t delivering.

          Unemployment was previously 6.8%. It’s now at 7.3%. Would you care to nominate a number where it becomes unacceptable to you, Weka? Or is your quasi-religious faith in neo-liberalism like that of early Christians, who thought Christ’s return was imminent…?

      • prism 37.1.2

        Frank M 37.1
        Yeah the idea had rough edges! And pure WP wouldn’t be pure and simple as the saying goes.
        I guess he pops up ‘like jacky’ as the type of dish that Labour needs, with an enveloping hard nous sauce of political integrity and an ‘aspirational’ vision for all NZ. We would all be working flat out, then having lovely discretionary time for our own lives with enough money to allow wellbeing and enjoyment. Wouldn’t that be nice.

        And we would also be set to sail the stormy seas of our size, location, trade and political relations with a better result than the recent little yacht rescue. This is a good analogy for NZ at present, grimly holding on, being battered unconscious, people and boat popping up again. And then lucky to get rescued by those who follow old rules of the sea, and also not to be subject to discrimination like those in the Tampa. All sing – God defend NZ

  38. Greg Meylan 38

    Jacinda Adern.
    She is the one.

  39. Extra sensory perception anybody? If an alternative Labour leader isn’t able to wipe the smirk off John Key’s face, what then? Labour and it’s supporters are hungry for a win at the next election so for goodness sake, tread carefully.

    • David H 39.1

      Cunliffe would not only wipe the smirk off, you would smell the shite running down Key & co’s legs

  40. Ben 40

    It doesn’t matter if Bill Clinton was running, Labour will have to wait 9 years to get back into power.  Besides, a smarm and a gay are waiting in the wings, Sheaer is safe!

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