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On David Shearer’s Leadership

Written By: - Date published: 12:17 pm, November 10th, 2012 - 271 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

For the Left to win in 2014, David Shearer has to resign as Labour Leader. This is a big call to make and one that I have agonised over, but the reality has become increasingly clear: under Shearer, Labour is all too likely to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in 2014. He isn’t a credible Prime Minister, and the New Zealand public won’t vote to make him one.

National is having a nightmare year. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Their strongest suit, the economy, is rapidly becoming the millstone around their neck as they fail to create and save jobs. John Key seems increasingly disinterested and spends more and more time with his head on Planet Key – where he’s never accountable, he doesn’t have to remember anything, and he can say whatever childish garbage he likes.

And, yet, National alone is neck and neck, or ahead of a Labour-Green coalition in the polls. Labour is still languishing in the range that it languished in for most of Phil Goff’s tenure. Right now, a National-New Zealand First government is likely after 2014, and even if Labour-Green could establish a solid lead over National in the next two years, no-one would bet against Shearer pulling a Brash and blowing it in the campaign.

David Shearer has simply shown time and again that he is not up for the job. He can’t handle the stress, he can’t think on his feet, and he doesn’t have a solid set of beliefs to give him a firm footing when he stands up on issues. His attempts at gotcha politics have been discrediting failures. If at least two thirds of Labour supporters don’t think he’s the best person to be PM, what hope has he got of retaining and attracting swing votes in a contest for the top job?

The hard-working, faithful activists of the Left deserve better; New Zealand deserves better. We need a credible alternative so that we can vote this crappy, failed government out. If we don’t, it will be three more years of the poor and middle class of this country being ground down, and our country falling into foreign ownership, while the rich get rich.

David Shearer got the leadership because enough of the caucus didn’t like the other guy and he was the only alternative choice. He got a fair chance from everyone once he got the job, but it just hasn’t worked out – he has fluffed it. Making him leader was a childish decision at the time and it has proven to be a disastrous one for Labour and the Left. Again, we deserve better and so does the wider country.

In 2014, Labour needs to be led by a Prime Minister in waiting, and they need to put that person in place as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the person for the job is not David Shearer.

271 comments on “On David Shearer’s Leadership”

  1. Blue 1

    Yeah, Shearer needs to go. Only the most diehard cheerleaders can’t accept that. And the Labour brains trust that put a guy with only two and half years of political experience into the leadership and expected him to do a job far above his capabilities.

    Shearer is widely cried up as a nice guy who can’t communicate to save himself and is utterly uninspiring, being better suited to middle management than leadership.

    And the saga continues…

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      Hardly a “big call” coming from an annonymous blogger. More of a dog whistle in the wind.

      [Strict policy on this site allows people to post their opinions pseudo-anonymously. We attach zero importance to whether someone uses a 'real name' or an obviously 'made up name'. Nor we do allow this distinction to hijack the debate ...RL]

      • Would you prefer this call to be made by non-anonymous bloggers? It can be arranged. :P

        • gobsmacked 1.1.1.1

          Non-anoymous bloggers include Brian Edwards, Danyl McLauchlan, Martyn Bradbury, Scott Yorke, Giovanni Tiso, Gordon Campbell, etc, etc, etc.

          All opposed to this gov’t. All left of centre. All highly critical of Labour’s leader. No, “critical” is too generous. “Despairing” might be closer.

          In fact, it’s hard to find a left-leaning blogger (anonymous or not) who is full of praise for the current (non)-leader of the Labour party. A couple of party hacks, perhaps, but who else?

          • Pete Fraser 1.1.1.1.1

            Brian Edwards, who’s always been in the tank for Cunliffe. McLauchlan, who votes fucking National. Bomber “bugfuck” Bradbury. Scott Yorke who says give him time. Tiso, a Marxist who really just wants a Communist Party. Campbell who is, after all, a Green,

            I mean really, come on.

  2. just saying 2

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/7932988/Shearers-last-chance-to-impress

    Just in case anyone thought either a) Shearer is in touch with reality, or b) Shearer might do the right thing for NZ and resign at the upcoming conference.

    My favourite titbit:

    “Up to now when I have made speeches it’s been sometimes reported on, sometimes not. This is a real opportunity to have it watched, people pick up on it and people will be able to report on it and communicate that to New Zealanders at large.”

    *Bless* David thinks the only problem is that the public hasn’t had the opportunity to hear what he is saying. Once he gets an appropriate amount on attention his popularity will skyrocket I’m sure. God knows those of us that are paying attention adore him.

  3. I totally agree. I looked to Shearer with great interest when he was first put forward but now I view him as completely inept. The left should really be having a field day with Nationals recent blunders but Shearer can barely string a sentence together. If he doesn’t go soon then it’ll be too late.

  4. PlanetOrphan 4

    I disagree, I think the Labour Party is turning into one of the most well defined and powerfull opposition parties Aoteoroa has seen in a long time.

    Read those speeches again people, this time without the “Judgement” hat on perhaps.

    • A good speech is hopeless when you can’t think on your feet and speak clearly and concisely off the cuff.

      • PlanetOrphan 4.1.1

        Absolutely disagree, you can’t beat good thinking bud.

        • TheContrarian 4.1.1.1

          Good thinking or not if you can’t articulate your thoughts when jumped by the media then you lose. Shearer can’t sit in an interview chair and read a fucking script man, he needs to be responsive and have the answers (to everything) when asked (anything) – which he hasn’t been doing.

          • PlanetOrphan 4.1.1.1.1

            Again I disagree, but it is my personal opinion @ the moment.

            It’s up to him to delegate when required, if he stands in front of the media with Cunliffe or another member then he’s directing his party properly.

            If people want to lambast him for that they are simply falling into the “Alpha Leader” bullshit trap that affects the world at the moment.

            • TheContrarian 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I’ll give you an example, every few weeks I go to breakfast events in Wellington with guest speakers. Awhile back it was Shearer and after speaking he took questions from the audience. He couldn’t answer a thing on the fly. Speech was OK, but his responses to questions were hopeless and mainly consisted of “I’ll get back to you”.

              John Key spoke at one of these events recently and his speech was also OK but the difference was the Key had an answer to everything. Whether or not it was a good answer (that’d be a matter of opinion) was irrelevant because he wasn’t tripped up, he was quick, snappy and articulate so he came across as the more believable.

              Not because John Key’s policies are better mind you, what I am trying to impress here is that the Party leader has to be ready to answer questions off the cuff. Shearer failed to do so, and continues to fail.

              • Jackal

                You’re comparing a Prime Minister, John Key, who is currently the butt of the joke and laughing stock (between 4:20 – 6:45) of the entire country because of what he says with David Shearer, who is being careful about what he says? Your belief that Key is a better orator and therefore leader than Shearer clearly shows your true colours TC.

                There are a few dynamics here that I think need to be highlighted.

                Shearer detractors seem to be made up of a few distinctly different types of people: The Cunliffe supporters who believe Shearer is not adequate because they wanted Cunliffe to be Leader of the Opposition, the right wing protagonists who want Labour to fail no matter who is leader and the people who are truly dissatisfied with David Shearer, mainly because Labour isn’t doing as well as it should in the polls.

                There’s another thing that should also be highlighted… If Labour again replaces its leadership, it will send a signal that will be seized upon by the right wing that Labour is unstable. The right wings propaganda cycle will start again to try and discredit the new leader, and no matter his or her qualifications or ability, they will ensure a false picture is painted with all the shit they can muster. This isn’t beneficial for the left wing at all, and will ensure National wins the next election and entrenches their destructive policies that are clearly detrimental to the vast majority of New Zealanders.

                David Shearer has a chance to win the next election for the left wing, but changing leadership now will almost assuredly mean there is no chance that the left wing will save New Zealand from the neo-liberal agenda. The Greens are not currently in a position to increase their support enough to make up the shortfall of votes that will be lost due to yet another Labour leadership change. It’s as simple as that.

                • “Your belief that Key is a better orator and therefore leader than Shearer clearly shows your true colours TC.”

                  Did I say that? No I didn’t. I said nothing about leadership at all.

                  • fender

                    You failed to factor in Keys ability to make shit up, lie and say one thing to a crowd while doing the exact opposite later on.

                  • Jackal

                    The word orator was used in a generalized way to mean how they communicate… Perhaps you need a more thorough explanation:

                    You compared Keys ability to respond off the cuff with flippant remarks that have often landed him in hot water to Shearer’s more careful approach of deferring answers to a later date. The difference is Key the conman has the gift of the gab, while Shearer the statesman likes to contemplate his responses. If he doesn’t have the answer, he doesn’t simply make shit up, which in my opinion is a good thing.

                    Shearer doesn’t always defer answering either, as you’ve implied… He simply likes to give reasoned consideration to what are often complex and difficult topics. Clearly your political beliefs have clouded your ability to see this.

                    • I think you need to reread the thread Jackal. This isn’t about who is a better leader nor is about Key. I’ll use a different example to demonstrate it.

                      Russell Norman is often prepared, can answer questions quickly and I don’t remember ever seeing him get tripped up or surprised. Shearer on the other hand is often unprepared and unable to answer coherently. Norman is also far more effective in the house than Shearer.

                      As this very post states:
                      “He can’t handle the stress, he can’t think on his feet, and he doesn’t have a solid set of beliefs to give him a firm footing when he stands up on issues. His attempts at gotcha politics have been discrediting failures. If at least two thirds of Labour supporters don’t think he’s the best person to be PM, what hope has he got of retaining and attracting swing votes in a contest for the top job?”

                      Which I am in agreement with.

                    • Jackal

                      Just in case it’s skipped your attention, you were the one who started comparing Shearer to Key… That’s what I was replying to. Despite your claims, this comparison does matter, your comparison to Russel Norman less so.

                      Are you advocating for Norman to become the next Labour leader or something? Or are you just trying to discredit Shearer again, while not actually linking to anything that supports your claims. I can on the other hand link to a number of speeches, questioning and debates that disprove them.

                      It’s obvious that you agree with Eddie, you don’t need to regurgitate his post in order to prove it TheContrarian.

                    • I was relaying a personal anecdote in which one person outshone the other when it came to thinking on their feet and in being prepared to answer a range of topics with little pause or prompt. This was to further illustrate the Eddie’s blog posting.

                      Next week I am seeing Helen Clark speak and I am sure she’ll be better prepared and better able to field questions then Shearer also.

                    • Justin H

                      The moment Shearer said “There is a video tape of John Key saying he knew Dotcom” when he didn’t have the tape, he was cooked. It proved he doesn’t have what it takes to play in the big show, as shitty as that big show is. So goodbye Mr Shearer, either now, or the day after the next election. (I’m sure he’s a nice guy who believes all the right things)

                    • Jackal

                      TheContrarian

                      To paraphrase: Answer a range of topics unless they are difficult or paint Key in a bad light. If Key cannot wing it with spurious remarks that often don’t hold any relevance apart from filling space, he cuts and runs, or if there is a bit of pressure, he bumbles his lines like an illiterate fool!

                      But I doubt you’ll agree, because your selective memory has biased your view. I bet the institute you gained your political education from is laughing all the way to the bank TheContrarian, because you’ve clearly been ripped off.

                      Justin H

                      I think the GCSB and SIS should keep in mind that one day a Labour/Greens coalition will be in government. They are therefore shooting themselves in the foot so to speak in terms of not following the law and not divulging information because the minister in charge orders them not to.

                      Believing that there’s no recording because it hasn’t been unearthed is one thing… Believing that John Key has not been truthful throughout the Dotcom affair is another matter entirely. In other words, the absence of proof is not the absence of wrongdoing and the burden of proof lies with Key, nobody else.

                    • Wow, you’re a complete douche. Only a fuck-knuckle like yourself could turn my agreement with the premise of this post into a position that requires a personal attack in response.

                      [Deleted ...play nice. RL]

                    • felix

                      Jackal you’re right, Key is a sloppy communicator by a bunch of measures.

                      But as TC says, he’s still much better at it than Shearer.

                • hush minx

                  I think the problem people like me have with this logic is that a) there is already disunity. The garner blogs blew any chance out of the water courtesy of the abc’s. Secondly it is just this sort of logic that saw Labour limp to the last election with goff. Is changing leader an easy option? No. But after a year Labour is a long way from where it needs to be to win, and we do not have the luxury of time. Most people in a new job have less than a year to prove themselves.i think the members have already been generous.

                • Olwyn

                  “David Shearer has a chance to win the next election for the left wing.”

                  It is quite unclear as to whether David Shearer is meaningfully left wing. I seem to remember an interview with Rachel Smalley in which he said that he found such labels unhelpful.

                  “The right wings propaganda cycle will start again to try and discredit the new leader…”

                  The right’s propaganda cycle didn’t go much on Helen Clark, but she won three terms. They did not go much on Obama either, but he has just won a second term. We should surely be challenging the propaganda of the right, not tailoring ourselves to meet its demands.

                  And by the way, you listed three reasons why people don’t go for Shearer. Here’s a fourth. Because he seems to lack a firm commitment to a left-leaning agenda, I have no idea what a Labour victory under his leadership would mean.

                  • xtasy

                    Olwyn: You are right: Shearer continues to be too vague on too much. He always uses the “I will tell you more soon”, “we are working on it and will soon present a plan”, ” I will be holding a speech soon”, bla, bla, bla. Then comes such a speech, and we get more delay tactics and lots of fluffy verbal diarrhea.

                    As little as the government has a real plan, apart from thrashing welfare and bashing beneficiaries, selling assets and outsourcing and privatising, Labour under Shearer does also not have that much of “a plan”.

                    So summarise all those deficiencies and the conclusion is clear”: Shearer must go NOW. Do NOT delay this any further, or the election 2014 will surely be stuffed up and lost. A change later will not look good. Better go through the pain and re-adjustment in the coming weeks or months!

              • Well Contra you may think Ket has the answer to everything what a joke ,hes a disgrace and an embarrassment to us all,. Perhaps if the Tory press gave David Shearer a fair go we would see a different Shearer,Just remember Helen was called Miss 2% bybthe Nat’s They also told us “we must change our leader.

              • @ The Contrarian,

                re Your comment of 10 November 1.45pm, where you describe your impressions of Mr Shearer’s responses to questions and compare them to Mr Key’s style.

                It appears to me that you were merely sharing your impressions and conclusions, and made it quite clear that you were not making commentary on the quality or substance of the answers or policies involved, merely that Mr Key seemed more believable due to the manner in which he answered.

                Due to the clear way you presented this information I deem that the responses you got to these comments really rather unfair.

                As someone who doesn’t get the opportunity to hear these politicians speak live much at all and certainly not in such circumstances I found your comment of great interest. Thank you.

                • Thanks mate.

                  I am seeing Helen Clark speak this week if you wanna hear about it afterwards.

                  • Helen Clark in NZ? I had to google that one, thought you must be being sarky; it seems she is going to be speaking soon, so of course I would like to hear about it :)

                    You might want to draw a comparison between her and Mr Key. Which one appears to be more competent to run a country? And which one would you only put up with long enough to have a beer with? ( …and even then only because you like hearing tall stories whilst drinking)

        • mike e 4.1.1.2

          Sorry planet orphan but you are totally wrong on this one !
          Today its all about media and sound bites if you waffle on to much the media make up their own sound bites less is more by sticking to the point and only giving the media what you want your message to be they have no choice!
          Shearer takes far to long body language is poor and by the time he’s mumbled his way through his long winded reply the media usually pick the worst parts and he looks incompetent!
          He’s had time to shape up its time to ship out!
          If not he is going to have to learn to say alot less articulately!

          • PlanetOrphan 4.1.1.2.1

            I agree with you on this one mike e.
            DS/Labour should be speaking the direction of Labour and where they stand.

            We’d all like too know what we are in for from the Gnats’ as well.
            Which is probably the only real lacking in DS’s speeches so far.

            To digress into ShonKeys’ rabbit holes is to allow them the firepower of bullshit they currently wield.

      • bbfloyd 4.1.2

        As we already have a prime minister who show exactly those “weaknesses” , then replacing him wih another bumbling fool would be jumping from the frypan, into the fire……as this time, the pm won’t have the blanket protection the fourth estate has extended to johnny sparkles…..

        the horrific way they treated the last, truly competent leader we had (Helen Clarke) simply because she came from the wrong party is proof that the next Labour pm will have to be capable of putting the barking dogs of neo capitalism in their proper place…

        I think that David Shearer has an important role to play in the recovery that now is an inevitable necessity… whether he is capable of silencing the traitors voices, I am unsure…

        • hush minx 4.1.2.1

          The problem with this logic is that a) there is already disunity. The garner blogs blew any chance of sweeping today under the carpet, courtesy of the abc’s. Secondly it is just the same scenario as we had with goff. A year in a new job is more than most of us get to prove ourselves. Labour is not where it needs to be and we do not have the luxury of time if we want to win 2014. It’s not ready to farewell a leader, it is a big call.but that is the mayor of leadership, and politics.

          • bbfloyd 4.1.2.1.1

            My point, if there was one to make, is that whether the labour party chooses a leader who espouses policy, and deals with the barking dogs effectively, or not….. the job being handed to whoever gets it next is going to be akin to pushing fresh dung up a smooth sided hill, with a two pronged pitchfork….

            I don’t doubt that David shearer has a great contribution to make… just that he’s in the right job to do it…. on current evidence….but I’m prepared to be surprised(hell, I even gave key his chance to surprise… before he didn’t)

            The way people react to Dunkin garnishes words give them substance….. He will make a great pr consultant once his current job has been completed……

  5. hush minx 5

    You’re right.This is a hard call so well done for standing up and saying it. I know there will few of those who say this is how the left always tears itself apart, but at the same time if don’t honestly face serious issues head on, how can we hope to prove Labour is ready to govern (along with the Greens of course). Conference is clearly shaping up to be a key event in charting the future for Labour. For those of us unable to attend I’d really appreciate it if those who comment here, and who are able to attend could give us some insight into the dynamics of how it goes. I feel nervous, but probably for very different reasons to David Shearer.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Caucus chose to make a two year MP the Leader of the Labour Party. Someone with no idea of the breadth of policy nor of policy making, and who of course has never been a Minister let alone a spokesperson for any portfolio of signficance.

    And against what I believe to have been a fairly clear feeling from ordinary party members after the “leadership primaries” tour that Cunliffe was the more capable.

    The bad judgement involved right through was substantial, to say the least.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Caucus chose to make a two year MP the Leader of the Labour Party.

      I keep hearing this and, to be honest, it’s BS. I’m sure the first Labour leaders didn’t have a hell of a lot of experience as an MP either.

      • J. Andals 6.1.1

        They did have leadership experience, however. David Shearer behaves like someone who does not know what they are doing because of inexperience, with tentative and slow movements politically, always ready to pull his head back in.
        Those are not qualities in a leader. He will never be an effective MP, let alone PM with those traits.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1

          They did have leadership experience, however.

          Yes but so did Shearer – it’s why he made New Zealander of the Year by the New Zealand Herald after running one of the biggest aid camps in Somalia.

          Those are not qualities in a leader. He will never be an effective MP, let alone PM with those traits.

          Agreed but, IMO, it’s not due to lack of experience as just having the wrong personality for the particular arena.

          • J. Andals 6.1.1.1.1

            What do you sum his personality up as? I think pretty much any person can adapt to any task, given enough time and by starting at the shallow end of the pool.
            Unfortunately for Shearer he dived straight in the deep end, and his coaches were so worthless they didn’t even tell him he should have taken his shoes off.
            I am not envious of the man whatsoever, in fact I do feel a little empathy for him, however that he thought it was a good idea to run for leader (or accepting being pushed into that role) proves that he overestimated his own abilities.

      • Luva 6.1.2

        How can it be BS? It is a statement of fact.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.1

          It is a statement of fact, just not valid one. If he’d been capable of leading Labour he would have stepped into the role and led Labour rather than this wishy washy quagmire that we’ve been getting.

  7. QoT 7

    he can’t think on his feet

    So much THIS. You know, I still think there’s some good arguments to be made that our media are biased in favour of John Key, and don’t pick up a lot of the stories which would highlight the differences between Labour and National.

    On the other hand, every single time Shearer is given the opportunity to comment on a burning issue of the day – an issue he and his advisors should already have known was going to be topical and could require a comment – he’s come across as so fucking uncertain, so fucking muddled, and so fucking boring that inevitably Russel Norman’s soundbite gets screened/printed first.

  8. Peter Martin 8

    ‘For the Left to win in 2014′ :

    Vote Green.

    There is no reason why Labour shouldn’t be the minor coalition Party. It isn’t as if their policies don’t seem to eventually mirror that of the Greens. :)

    • PlanetOrphan 8.1

      A Virtual coalition party, defined on paper and sold to the public alongside their own policy?

      If it wins they can “Govern” the next day.

      A small “Leadership” that controls the “coalition” PR and party interaction perhaps.

      Why not have a standing coalition agreement ?

    • xtasy 8.2

      Daring, but interesting and maybe a justified question, or rather point of argument. The political landscape has changed in NZ history, same as in other countries, so this may well happen soon again.

      The Greens have a fair few competent potential candidates and MPs lined up, and once they get the votes, those will be available to form a more competent opposition than we presently get from Labour.

  9. My feeling has always been that Labour picked him up because they thought his background and outsider status would lead him to be viewed as a Obama like figure. New, fresh, young and hopeful with a back story of helping others and involved in grass-roots projects.

    Unfortunately Shearer is no orator. Nor does he seem to have a coherent vision outside of not being National.

    • QoT 9.1

      Unfortunately, Contrarian, I think your theory just makes Labour look even worse. I mean, did they seriously just go “well he’s worked overseas and he’s not a career politician, so let’s just roll with that without actually figuring out if he’s got any instincts, charisma, political leadership skill or even an ability to use his background without sounding like a fucking colonial oppressor.”?

    • No TC the motivation was solely ABC.  

      • Yeah sure but they didn’t have to pick Shearer.

        • dancerwaitakere 9.2.1.1

          Well they had to pick somebody who was a blank slate for them to project their ABC fantasies onto.

          2 year MP Shearer was perfect.

        • quartz 9.2.1.2

          They didn’t pick Shearer to start with. They picked Parker and then realized he couldn’t make it across the line.

      • Pete Fraser 9.2.2

        And your motivation, [Deleted. Yes lots of people here know mickey's real name, but so long as he posts under mickeysavage then that's how it will be. ..RL], was a seat in Parliament, wasn’t it?

        • Pete Fraser 9.2.2.1

          Context for those not up on the inside baseball: mickeysavage was Auckland Regional Chair and a prominent and early backer of Cunliffe who it is widely thought was promised a quick march up the ranks by Cunliffe. When it all went sour and the rest of the Party didn’t want a patronage dispensing, ideologically opportunistic careerist as leader, he threw a tantrum and has spent the rest of the year going off the rails, desperately trying to smear Robertson (often in what have seemed to me to be eerily homophobic ways) and generally carrying water for Cunliffe.

          Cunliffe, of course, has spent most of this year, as he spent most of last year, doing the numbers on a possible leadership coup. The numbers have never quite added up, and the Cunliffe camp (i.e. a coterie of Auckland based activists who feel that Shearer fails to show sufficient deference) have been getting more and more panicked. The way they see it, if Cunliffe isn’t leader Real Soon Now, he never will be. So they need to roll Shearer, and quick. (It is felt that (a) Shearer is starting to look worryingly likely to become PM, and (b) that Little or Robertson (or another) will build up sufficient support if the decision happens much later than this February.)

          So that’s the game here. Cunliffe wants to roll Shearer right now. If that happened mickey would be back on the winning team, as would many (but not all) of the other front-page posters here. I don’t really care about [his] name, but that’s the story.

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.2.1.1

            Nice fiction writing; more Labour Beltway Branch smears perhaps?

            • McFlock 9.2.2.1.1.1

              Great. North Islanders fuckng it up again for the Mainand again :)

              • Colonial Viper

                The Labour Beltway Branch is a nationwide branch with members across the country. Albeit a concentration in Wellington.

            • Pete Fraser 9.2.2.1.1.2

              No it is not fiction. It is a reality-based account of the internal politics of the Labour Party. I’m not particularly Beltway (in fact I live in the South Island) but I am someone who is interested in how the Party actually works.

              It’s actually really fucking important that people understand just *why* mickeysavage is so bitter about Cunliffe’s loss, *why* he’s so intent on pushing the ABC meme, *why* many of the authors here are stridently anti-Shearer. If you don’t get it, you’re going to get played like a cheap piano by Cunliffe, or Robertson, or Little, or the next slick candidate with a message aimed at making you feel good.

              • fatty

                ” If you don’t get it, you’re going to get played like a cheap piano by Cunliffe, or Robertson, or Little, or the next slick candidate with a message aimed at making you feel good.”

                Jeeze that’s an arse of a thing to say. There are a lot of people here who have given up on Labour being a party that is going to create a decent NZ. Nothing anyone in Labour says can make me feel good, all I want is National out, and out for a long time. I don’t care if Labour has a monkey as their leader. I just want someone who will get elected for at least 2 terms. That’ll give NZ a chance to catch their breath. Helen Clark gave us 9 years of inequality, high child poverty, and a housing bubble…I doubt anyone in Labour at the moment can do better than she did. Just get an electable leader, FFS.
                Labour does need a slick leader, cause their policies ain’t gonna attract much

                • Colonial Viper

                  Pete Fraser is an example of the thinking and attitude dominating the beltway, internal poll driven Labour decision making hierarchy at the moment.

                  Basically they’ve started to see their own membership as expendable, and anyone who doesn’t drink the beltway Kool-Aid is in the firing line next.

                  We’re in for a very interesting 12 months.

                  • Pete Fraser

                    Yeah, imagine having the temerity to be interested in the way the party actually works, as opposed to fantasies where David Cunliffe, who happily served as Health Minister under Clark, is going to lead us all to the promised land of socialism.

              • Bill

                Pete. Your infernal focus on the kind of navel gazing self serving b/s that marks the current Labour Party leaders kind of gives you away son.

                mickeysavage may well have motivations along the lines you claim. I don’t care. It’s not important. What’s important is that the Labour Party is taken away from self serving wankers and set on a course that would see it reflecting and representing the concerns of ordinary people to some degree or other.

                Neither Shearer nor the current coterie of carreerists and ‘has beens’ who dominate Labour are capable of that. They are way out of touch. They are way too wrapped up in their own nonsense.

                And so are you, if you think the Labour Party is or should be all about musical fucking chairs and self serving twats rushing their bums to the most cumfy cushion in the room.

                Neo-liberalism needs to be finished off. We, people, need that to happen. Now. And that requires the Labour Party breaking for the future while, if necessary, trailing the bloody drips from its deservedly murdered past. Do you get it? The past is a dead place. Currently, Labour is dominated by un-deads who would project that past into the future. That can’t happen. That mustn’t happen.

              • QoT

                It’s actually really fucking important that people understand just … *why* many of the authors here are stridently anti-Shearer

                Okay, team, I’ll fess up.

                I’m stridently anti-Shearer because I think he’s a bit shit.

                I’m pro-Cunliffe because I think he’d be a fantastic Labour leader and I don’t think the party really has many other good options.

                I understand if admitting my true biases in this way gets me chucked out of the conspiracy … :roll:

          • fatty 9.2.2.1.2

            Cheers for the gossip-fest Pete Fraser, but most of us don’t give a shit about who thinks who is cute. None of this changes the fact that Shearer gets owned in front of a camera

          • mickysavage 9.2.2.1.3

            Um Pete I was never promised anything by anyone. And I have no expectations of anything. I have kept out of these debates because some think that my comments and my blog are controlled by sinister powers intent on taking over the party and I want to dispel that notion. The ABC was but a short statement of the bleeding obvious.

            I have given a huge amount of time and resources to the party with no expectation of any return. All that I want is a better New Zealand.

            I have not gone off the rails. I stood down as chair in part because I was not interested in power.

            Yet you allege something that there is clearly no proof of and yet you deny the existence of something (ABC) that clearly does exist. Why is that?

            • Pete Fraser 9.2.2.1.3.1

              What, clearly no proof that you’re in the tank for Cunliffe? Come off it, we all know you are.

              Clearly no proof Cunliffe’s been doing the numbers all year? Well ok, and what’s Moana Mackey doing at the weekend?

            • mickysavage 9.2.2.1.3.2

              Looks like I have an internet stalker.  PF popped up about a week ago and has since then been making more and more extreme allegations against me.

              So Pete you alleged that I was promised a rise up the ranks.  I replied by saying that I was promised not a thing, nada, zip.  You have not come up with a skerret of proof but you now allege something else.  

              You also say I tried to smear Robertson.  I dare you to find one comment where I have said this.  I have deliberately refrained from commenting on the leadership battle because some, obviously including you, would say it was evidence of undermining the party.

              The only thing I want is a properly functioning party that is able to take the fight to National, win the election and change the country for the better.  If this means Cunliffe is Minister of Finance or whatever then so be it. 

              • Pete Fraser

                To start, with I just said it was widely believed there was a deal done. Short of actually stalking you, there’s no way to know if deals were done, or as good as done. And it doesn’t really matter if they were explicit or not, you tied yourself so tightly to Cunliffe that of course when he failed to be hailed as the messiah you were kinda fucked.

                “Same mastermind” mickey? We all know what you are doing there. (The shadowy gaggle…)

                By the way, do note the lack of any denial of Cunliffe’s ongoing attempts to roll Shearer.

                • Colonial Viper

                  To start, with I just said it was widely believed there was a deal done. Short of actually stalking you, there’s no way to know if deals were done

                  So instead of asking MS directly, you just decided to spread muck around. Fuck mate you’re full of it. Typical beltway bullshit.

                  By the way, do note the lack of any denial of Cunliffe’s ongoing attempts to roll Shearer.

                  Shearer has been installed and set up to fail from day one. And the plan is working brilliantly.

                • I presume by saying “same mastermind” you are referring to this post.

                  For the record I was not referring to Robertson.  If you read the post this should be abundantly clear.  And there is not the slightest hint of homophobia, pillock.

                  And if you read my earlier comments I suggested that you have no proof of anything.  I am sure you have as much evidence of Cunliffe planning as you do of me being promised something. 

          • David H 9.2.2.1.4

            And those who try to out him should be (as they are) dealt with by the moderators. I also don’t give a rats as to who Mickey is in real life His last name could be Mouse I DON’T care and I do wish that people would stop with this most petty of trolling.

            Mickey Keep up the Good work. And Yes Cunliffe was, is, and will always be, a better candidate than Captain Stutterbum and his merry bunch of incompetents.

  10. Good to see the Standard not sitting idly by like they did when Goff needed to go.

    And it doesn’t matter right now who the replacement should be. What matters is that the failure that is David Shearer’s leadership becomes a footnote of history.

    [lprent: "The Standard" doesn't hold opinions. Eddie does, and so does r0b - contrary ones. Read the about and the policy before I have to ban you for being stupid enough to think that machines have opinions. ]

    • Lynn – Of course I mean the Standard in terms of its authors. I understand your policy.

      My point was that last time not a single author stood up to call for Goff to go. Eddie has, and is a credit to his integrity.

      [lprent: So don't get careless with the language. I land on anyone who treats the site as some kind of intelligent entity (which as a programmer I find personal offense in being subhumed to a dumb computer).

      Especially after Vernon Small starts getting so damn lazy and does the same thing. Umm a post is forming where I personally blame Vernon Small for agreeing with every nutbar they have ever allowed to write on those hallowed pages. ]

  11. IrishBill 11

    You’re right, Eddie. This is a big call.

  12. the sprout 12

    Well said eddie.
    Good on you for saying so, agree with every word.

  13. Olwyn 13

    It would be very hard for David Shearer to gain credibility for me now, even if he arrives at the conference perched on a cloud, bathed in supernatural light. I would merely think, “His advisers have certainly pulled out all the stops this time.” His problem is not just his inexperience, but the fact that what he and his supporters want to offer is not what the time requires. They do not seem to want to face the fact that to make the slightest real difference at this time is to have a fight on your hands. The people who have been spoiled by National want to continue to be spoiled, and will not simply lie down and take what comes. But to continue to spoil those people at the expense of the rest is to abandon most of Labour’s actual constituency.

    • just saying 13.1

      Exactly Olwyn.

      Someone I love killed himself yesterday. He was unlucky enough to be a member of some of the groups that Shearer continues to disdain and deny in pursuit of pampering entitled pricks like himself.

      Being too sick to work, unable to financially support his whanau or to work his guts out looking after the most needy in his iwi,- the things he devoted his life to – made him feel like he was a hopeless failure. There were no awards, no lavish UN-funded retirement waiting for him, yet he gave more to his fellow people than the like of Shearer could ever dream of.

      I read the supercilious, vainglorious Shearer and I feel rage.

      • TheContrarian 13.1.1

        I am very sorry to hear that.

      • gobsmacked 13.1.2

        God, that’s horrible news.

        I can’t think of anything to say that would make a scrap of difference right now. I hope you have places/people to grieve with and be supportive, it is a pain that many of us have known.

      • deuto 13.1.3

        My thoughts are with you, just saying.

        I have had little time to read TS over the last 2 – 3 weeks as I am dealing with the aftermath of a similar event on behalf of the person’s only child – supporting them, dealing with the various authorities, administering the estate what little there is. No work was a major contributing factor in this case.

        Hang in there – a day at a time is currently my motto.

      • Rhinocrates 13.1.4

        You have my deepest sympathy.

        I know a little of where you are. Someone I love almost killed themselves (not by intent, but because of what the voices were saying), but fortunately got help. Ironically, they’d a decade of aid work in Africa before and that contributed to their breakdown. I have a brother with bipolar disorder who nearly died in an accident associated with it. They’re both scraping by on sickness benefits. I was on one years ago. Now Shearer shits on us from a great height and thinks that we’ll vote for him because his ideas haven’t been “communicated” to us.

        Oh no, what he thinks about us is the one clear thing that he has communicated.

      • Olwyn 13.1.5

        I am so sorry to hear about your loved one; what a sad time for you. And I agree that this bogus “centrism” shows a disregard for the reality of many people’s lives, including the real and unsung goodness they contain. If you have a grain of intelligence and maturity it is just vulgar to allow wealth and status to play a fundamental role in your judgement of another’s value.

      • RedLogix 13.1.6

        Sorry …I only just read this. Like everyone here I wish there was more we could do than just type words. But that sounds horrible and I certainly feel for you.

        And I echo heartily what others have said above.

      • xtasy 13.1.7

        just saying: Absolutely SHOCKING!!!

        I totally understand though, and like you and many others – I am in rage almost every day also.

        How do desperate people get hope and a purpose to fight on when such gutless “leaders” hold such contempt for unfortunate, sick and disabled and label them as “leisure lifestyle choosing” “bene roof-painters”, more or less “defrauding” other NZers who work and pay taxes.

        Someone up there should feel damned ashamed for not bringing any hope and support to people in desperation. FAIL, Mr Shearer!

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.8

        All the best to your departed loved one, their family, and to you.

      • McFlock 13.1.9

        I wish you all the strength you and your loved ones need at this time.

    • Jenny 13.2

      His problem is not just his inexperience, but the fact that what he and his supporters want to offer is not what the time requires. They do not seem to want to face the fact that to make the slightest real difference at this time is to have a fight on your hands.

      Olwyn

      You’re on to it Olwyn. The “brutal” struggle that the Democrats are having right now with the Republicans over tax cuts for the rich vs. social provision for everyone else, is a sure sign of what a Labour Government would face in their run up to government and in power. It will need someone other than Shearer to front this fight. Cunliffe is the obvious front runner.

  14. Fisiani 14

    Dead man walking. Big call to make just before his leadership speech. Oh well. Might as well rearrange the deckchairs. It does not matter who the Captain is if the ship is sinking. Labour has to go back to trying to bribe voters using other voters money. They just have to fool enough people in 2014. Please please replace him with Grant (I polished up the handles so carefully) Robertson. His ego is bigger than Cunliffe’s and he has been a wonderful Deputy.

    [Last spray and run troll you ever get here. Anything even remotely similar to this will result in a permanent ban. Last warning ...RL]

  15. McFlock 15

    For the “Left” to win != Labour polling above 40%. In fact, the “Left” are now pretty consistently out-polling the tories.

    That having been said, you have pointed out some of Shearer’s weaknesses. But then those can be worked around – and it necessitates getting away from presidential politics. Those stupid two-leader debates should go for a start.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      The Leader of the Opposition must be seen as solid, credible Prime Ministerial material. That’s the point Shearer needs to get to, fast.

      • McFlock 15.1.1

        Agreed with the first sentence.

        I just think it would be sad if the only style of leadership we rewarded (or even could envisage) was the type that played to crowded pubs.

        • You don’t need to appeal to the pub crowd, but the majority of the country needs to, correctly or incorrectly, think you’re confident of and capable of leading the country. I don’t get that impression from Shearer, and I don’t know anyone who does. It’s possible I’m just living in a bubble, but I can definitely assure you it’s not only the drinkers that think that Shearer isn’t an ideal replacement for Key.

          It’s possible we could win with him, but we’d have a much better chance if Labour ignored their own internal politics for once and actually picked a leader that related well with the public and was clearly competent. I gave Shearer his chance, and he hasn’t delivered.

  16. outofbed 16

    not so much a good call, but stating the bleeding obvious.
    Cheers anyway for posting this
    Will Shearer go?
    Probably not

  17. Chalupa Batman 17

    I disagree, all that needs to be done is Labour MPs to work together as a team and stop undermining Shearer.

    Nationals under the gun at the moment but I fully expect (based on prior experience) some Labour MP to open their gob and take the heat off.

    • The Nats aren’t “under the gun” you silly lad. They’re off the hook until Shearer is gone. Shearer is the only the reason they’re getting away with blue murder.

      We need someone to stand up for the people of New Zealand.

      Eddie has just laid that out very well.

    • David H 17.2

      Bullshit.. You have heard of the ship of fools?? Well Shearer is the captain.

  18. gobsmacked 18

    Well said, Eddie.

    Let’s cut to the chase. Can anybody please finish this sentence?

    “David Shearer is the best person to lead Labour because …”

    Now, there are many ways to avoid that statement. We’ve seen them all on here often enough (“don’t talk about it, just accept, just give him time, just pretend there’s no problem, he leads Labour because he leads Labour, you’re a Tory troll”, etc, etc).

    So yes, it’s easy NOT to finish that sentence.

    But would anybody like to?

    • McFlock 18.1

      Apparently (if the ABC rumours are true), he is less polarizing with his caucus colleagues than Cunliffe.
      He is more diplomatic than Shane Jones.
      He has more gravitas (at this stage) than Robertson/Adern/other young guns.
      He is not tarred by being in Lab4.
      His main “fault” seems to be considering questions and what he says rather than delivering sound bites.

      • RedLogix 18.1.1

        And McFlock I have to note you did NOT say;

        “Because in the next campaign he will wipe the floor with John Key in the Leaders Debate”….

        • McFlock 18.1.1.1

          indeed.
          But Cunliffe will? A standard two-style presidential debate rewards the braggart who can yell the loudest, as demonstrated in 2011.
               
          And a true multi-leader debate would reward the Labour leader who adopts dignified restraint while NZ1 and the greens eviscerate Dunnokeyo (which is why the nats refused that format last time). 

          • RedLogix 18.1.1.1.1

            But Cunliffe will?

            Betting man much McFlock?

            the braggart who can yell the loudest, as demonstrated in 2011.

            The point is that the 2014 Leaders Debate is going to happen. And on the Nat team will be “show me the money” John Key.

            Or do you propose taking a knife to a gun-fight?

            • McFlock 18.1.1.1.1.1

              I’d much rather have a knife than a gun I’m not sure will fire. 
                     
              But then I’m also all for planning the fight so it favours what I have in my hand, not what I hope to have if everything in magicland goes well.

              • felix

                Not a knife, a spoon. A fork n spoon.

                • McFlock

                  Well then, you use the spoon as a distraction device. Better than no spoon, which is what you have if the replacement turns out to be more other peoples’ hype and hope than reality.

                  • I am going to sharpen one side of a fork so it can be dual use.
                    One hand for eating, other hand for drinking. I’ll save oodles of time.

                    Shearer needs someone with my efficiency on his team

                  • felix

                    McF, is that really the role of a party leader? To act as a distraction?

                    As for “more other peoples’ hype and hope than reality.“, this isn’t hypothetical. We know, in reality, that Shearer can’t communicate Labour philosophy and policy for shite.

                    We also know there are others who are bloody good at it.

                    • McFlock

                      My point was to use the part according to its strengths, not that Shearer is literally a spoon.

                      We know Shearer isn’t an orator. Fine. I do’t recall Bolger being especially brilliant at it, either. But that isn’t the only skill a leader can bring to the table, and it isn’t indispensable if they bring something else.

                      And the very crowd that argues Shearer only got into the job by virtue of an alleged “ABC” faction by definition are claiming that Cunliffe is at the same time “best for the job” while polarizing and alienating the very people he would be supposed to lead. Which in my mind is a much greater shortcoming for a leader than a nasty habit of thinking about what he says before he says it.

                    • felix

                      Goodo, if you ever find out what any of these hidden talents might be then perhaps you could get someone from Labour to describe them to us – not Shearer though, obviously that won’t work.

                      As it happens I saw Bolger speaking a few weeks ago. You’re right, he was never that flash but compared to Shearer he’s Churchill fighting them on the beaches.

                      Your last para surely applies to Shearer too, doesn’t it?

                    • McFlock

                      That’s pretty typical of what I see as the real problem: Shearer isn’t the guy you want, so he must have no evident strengths.

                      More people in caucus voted Shearer than cunliffe, so Shearer alienates fewer of his colleagues.

                      So basically on the one hand there is a leader who alienates most of his colleagues, on the other there is one who can’t do soundbites. And you prefer soundbites over working with people.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not a knife, a spoon. A fork n spoon.

                      Dammit felix, you’re good.

                      Cunliffe is at the same time “best for the job” while polarizing and alienating the very people he would be supposed to lead. Which in my mind is a much greater shortcoming for a leader than a nasty habit of thinking about what he says before he says it.

                      yeah Cunliffe is experienced enough that he’s not going to be easily manipulated by the old hands in caucus, and he also has strong views and experience in Ministerial portfolios.

                      Maybe that’s enough to alienate and polarise?

                      Also on TV interviews and in debate, Shearer won’t get time to think about his answers before he has to give them.

                    • felix

                      Sorry, is it just “soundbites” he doesn’t do now?

                      That doesn’t bother me all that much as long as he can motivate the faithful with powerful speeches, hold the govt to account effectively with probing parliamentary questioning, and explain it all clearly to the public in riveting and engaging long-form interviews on current affairs shows.

                      He’s still going to start doing all that stuff sometime, right?

                    • McFlock

                      I assume he does some of that when he’s visiting around the country. You know, the activities he includes in his weekly emails.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Perhaps his speeches are motivational, powerful and probing; unfortunately that does not seem to come through in the emails at all.

          • felix 18.1.1.1.2

            Key will be beaten in either style of debate by the person who articulates the folly and vacuousness of Key’s National Government, and articulates a credible alternative approach, and does both with clarity, focus, detailed knowledge of the issues, and passion.

            It’s that simple, and it’s not Shearer.

            • McFlock 18.1.1.1.2.1

              Like Key did in 2011? Oh, no, he just knew nothing but made shit up and played to the audience.    
                      
              Let’s say that between now and 2014 Shearer doesn’t get better at throwaway lines and barrack-room braggadocio. Then refuse to debate unless it’s a multiparty format. In that format everyone wants to shoot Key, and Shearer can “articulate” positively for the party. 
               

              • gobsmacked

                McFlock, that’s a good example of what Shearer could do differently.

                The problem is, he keeps taking advice from people who believe in doing things they way they always have.

                There’s any number of ways Shearer could LEAD a change. He could take a totally different approach to Parliament, to the media, to the use of new technology, to grass-roots campaigning, and to the election campaign itself. What’s stopping him?

                But he has shown little sign of wanting to do anything that says “Why play by the old rules?”.

                Would he refuse to face Key one-on-one? No. He would ask Robertson/Mallard/Pagani /whoever what the leaders usually do. Then he would do it.

              • felix

                “Like Key did in 2011?”

                No, Key didn’t need to. He got away with making shit up and being a braggart precisely because there was no-one doing the stuff I mentioned.

                And against Shearer he’ll get away with it again.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Then refuse to debate unless it’s a multiparty format.

                Not gonna happen.

                1) The media orgs get a say in how the deabtes are run (rightly enough), and the more people there are, the worse it is in terms of running them.

                2) More importantly, there is no way in hell Labour should agree to that. Right off the bat it would be seen as Shearer not being up to facing Key one-on-one, and it would put Shearer in competition not only with Key to his right, but with Russel and/or Turei.

                It might be nice it the Greens and Labour tactically ganged up on Key, but it really isn’t in either of their interests to do so in a debate, especially when the obvious tactical move from Key would be to attack each of the Labour and Green leaders by referencing the other.

      • gobsmacked 18.1.2

        Thanks for replying, McFlock. Let’s go through them …

        “he is less polarizing with his caucus colleagues than Cunliffe.”

        But at the cost of poor discipline? In recent weeks, MPs going rogue include Sio, Jones, Mallard, Mahuta, and (not an MP) Nash. That’s just the ones going public.

        If Cunliffe offends the self-indulgent and lightweight, all power to him.

        He is more diplomatic than Shane Jones.

        Amusing, but irrelevant. That’s a pretty low bar!

        He has more gravitas (at this stage) than Robertson/Adern/other young guns.

        “Gravitas” is in the eye of the beholder, so we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that. I haven’t seen any gravitas at all from Shearer. He may have it, but he’s been listening to advisers telling him to “go Key”, so we’ve had guitar man instead. Maybe he had depth, but he has to show it.

        He is not tarred by being in Lab4.

        Nor are Robertson, Ardern, Little, and more. But is it “tarred”? Clark was tarred, and won three elections. (Do you mean Lab4 or 5?)

        His main “fault” seems to be considering questions and what he says rather than delivering sound bites.

        I actually think that Shearer genuinely wanted to do this. To change the tone and style of opposition leader. To be “himself”, thoughtful and reasonable. IF he had stuck to that he could have made an impression. But he has gone Mallard (GCSB) and if he’s going to do that, he undermines himself.

        If Shearer had said to the caucus “The public hates politics as usual, they hate the antics in Parliament, let’s be different, let’s be mature and take the higher ground” then he might have won kudos. But if you’ve ever followed Question Time, you’ll know nothing has changed. It’s still “Gotcha” politics, still playground yelling. So he’s either been institutionalised, or he’s just not in charge.

        Shearer the Outsider COULD have made a difference. He could have been a different kind of politician. But he’s wasted his greatest asset. The public haven’t see “New Politics”, they’ve seen “Old politics done unconvincingly”. That suggests poor judgement, and lack of leadership.

        • RedLogix 18.1.2.1

          The public haven’t see “New Politics”, they’ve seen “Old politics done unconvincingly”.

          Or more accurately perhaps; a man personally convinced of his desire to do a ‘newer, better politics’, but nonetheless unable to resist the forces of gravity pulling him back into the old.

          And thus failing at both.

          • Jackal 18.1.2.1.1

            So let me get this right Redlogix, Shearer isn’t appropriate because in your opinion he hasn’t got the political experience, but he’s also not appropriate because he follows an old style of politics. This seems like a contradiction in terms to me.

            Here are a few more contradictions:

            Apparently Shearers back story is no longer compelling, while the history of an investment banker who is somewhat responsible for the gfc goes unpublished in the MSM. In fact the Herald had a large spread today on just how wonderful Key is. It’s of course all Shearers fault he will not have a similar article. Shearer is also not appropriate because apparently he cannot articulate his arguments properly, while nobody has actually linked to anything that supports this claim? Am I being pedantic in wanting some proof of these claims? Meanwhile I’ve linked to a number of examples that show (using the same criteria) Key is highly inappropriate as Prime Minister. Perhaps people are confusing Key with Shearer? I’ve also linked to some recordings of Shearer where he is performing well. Yet the claims that he is entirely incompetent continue. Apparently Shearer is also not appropriate because nobody cares at all what Shearer says or does, yet they spend extensive energy and time commenting on this. Shearer is also not appropriate because he’s apparently not like Barack Obama, but was picked because they thought he was like Obama. WTF? Shearer is also not appropriate because he isn’t going to rip up his speech notes, but he apparently can’t wing it like Key does. That makes Shearer doubly not appropriate to lead New Zealand. Shearer is also not appropriate because he puts out a newsletter… How dare he do that. Meanwhile it’s all his fault that he doesn’t have enough of a public presence. How dare he not have enough of a public presence. Everybody is also sick of him, and don’t want to know what he says. Apparently he’s also meant to answer everybody’s comments on The Standard as well. Because a newsletter is not enough… We want to give Shearer shit personally. Because abuse might just be ignored on a blog. Shearer is also not appropriate because he’s not left wing enough, but should be more like the right wing John Key because he’s popular. Perhaps somebody should define what left wing is, because the so-called faithful activists and Shearer detractors don’t sound particularly cohesive to me. In fact the arguments against Shearer as leader of the opposition are looking decidedly schizophrenic!

            I’ve left the best contradiction to last though… So far within the various comments on David Shearer is the claim that the current state of the nation is somehow Shearers (and Labours) fault. Newsflash! National is in power and John Key is the current incompetent Prime Minister in charge. Only an election will change that, and in my opinion Shearer is best placed to ensure National lose. Any minor problems with Shearers personality pale in comparison to this most pressing issue. The left wing must win the next election, or New Zealand will be in a financial and social mess for a very long time.

            • RedLogix 18.1.2.1.1.1

              Apparently Shearers back story is no longer compelling, while the history of an investment banker who is somewhat responsible for the gfc goes unpublished in the MSM.

              Which I guess only tells us that it is the msm who control the value of the backstory. It can be an asset or liability but it’s not really in your control.

              Shearer is also not appropriate because apparently he cannot articulate his arguments properly, while nobody has actually linked to anything that supports this claim? Am I being pedantic in wanting some proof of these claims?

              In writing, or with a pre-written speech, he’s fine. But it’s obvious he struggles with live questioning and ‘thinking on his feet’? I’m not passing judgement on him for this.. I’m pretty much in the same boat myself …but it’s a fail for a man hoping to be PM. And I’m not the only one to have observed this. (I’d suggest that it’s a consequence of Shearer’s thinking processes being more heavily weighted to the abstract, rather than the emotional and instinctive…which is a perfectly normal thing.)

              We want to give Shearer shit personally.

              Actually no. I think you’ll find I’ve consistently tried to avoid that, and so’ve most other commenters. Most of us would rather hope he would remain in some senior role within the Party, he’s clearly a capable man.

              Shearer is also not appropriate because he’s not left wing enough, but should be more like the right wing John Key because he’s popular.

              I’m must have missed that one. The biggest issue Shearer has for me is that far too often he’s ambiguous about his position, while there is little mistaking where Cunliffe stands. Not just intellectually, but emotionally as well.

              The left wing must win the next election, or New Zealand will be in a financial and social mess for a very long time.

              Yes. Now how do you propose maximising the chances?

              • Jackal

                I’m not passing judgement on him for this.

                But this appears to be the main argument against him, that you seem to agree with RedLogix? There are two distinctly different things here. One is important and the other is in my opinion not very important in comparison. It’s important for a PM to be able to respond quickly in a crisis situation, where time is often of the essence and split second decisions can make all the difference to lots of people. The other is how a PM responds to media asking largely trivial and leading questions. The answers to these are then manipulated in order to often give the wrong impression.

                Thinking on your feet, which Shearer is adequate at but needs to improve upon, is not that important in terms of biased media that will largely report what they want to anyway. Thinking on your feet in terms of a crisis is entirely different. We’ve seen Keys absolute failure in his response to crisis situations, particularly when that guy tried to throw himself off the public gallery… Key totally wigged out. Shearer, not so much.

                I’m pretty much in the same boat myself …but it’s a fail for a man hoping to be PM. And I’m not the only one to have observed this. (I’d suggest that it’s a consequence of Shearer’s thinking processes being more heavily weighted to the abstract, rather than the emotional and instinctive…which is a perfectly normal thing.)

                Personally I place a lot more importance on what a political party will achieve than how a Prime Minister responds in the media spotlight. In fact Shearer can speak baby language to get a few more right wing votes for all I care, as long as policy that helps New Zealand is implemented by Labour. I don’t think Shearer thinks more in the abstract, I think he likes to contemplate questions. This is not slow as in stupid, this is slow as in taking ones time to give the proper answer.

                To recap: Shearer reacts better in a crisis situation than the current PM and takes his time to contemplate serious issues properly before responding. That’s a best of both worlds situation if you ask me.

                Actually no. I think you’ll find I’ve consistently tried to avoid that, and so’ve most other commenters. Most of us would rather hope he would remain in some senior role within the Party, he’s clearly a capable man.

                I was using the royal we there RedLogix, and taking some of the worst examples and contradictions to make a point that much of the criticism is entirely unfounded.

                The biggest issue Shearer has for me is that far too often he’s ambiguous about his position, while there is little mistaking where Cunliffe stands. Not just intellectually, but emotionally as well.

                I think we need to accept that Cunliffe is a lot like Phil Goff, in that they’re both forthright and don’t leave much up to the imagination. That’s my personal preference as well because I’m like that, but unfortunately the public doesn’t always respond well to having all the cards laid out on the table. I think Shearer is far more cunning (in a good way) than most people give him credit for. I think the choice is between a more confrontational or reserved leader. Labour held power for nine years under Helen Clark, who was largely reserved on most issues.

                Yes. Now how do you propose maximising the chances?

                Well firstly I would attribute Labours problems to where they actually are, and remove some dead wood. Just in case you’re wondering, this doesn’t include anybody currently on the front benches or David Shearer. I would draw a line in the sand with well defined policy that tells all Labour MPs where the party stands. Anybody who did not agree or set out to undermine that direction would be removed. Anybody who did not manage to achieve the requirements in accordance with their respective jobs and policy criteria would be removed. I would ensure a vibrant and dynamic party to contrast Nationals old hacks. My media campaigns would specifically target this difference between the two party’s.

                I would ensure that there are more opportunities to show the public a cooperating and cohesive potential left wing coalition, that is already working towards the betterment of New Zealand. They need to do the hard work now to ensure a coalition between all left wing party’s, including the Maori party, is workable and has a set of defined goals that are clearly achievable. These goals or policy if you like would be released strategically to media in a way that they could not manipulate or undermine. There are a number of issues that could potentially be difficult to negotiate during the heat of a campaign, and resolving these now will give breathing room to concentrate on countering Nationals propaganda. There would be a set of policy to counter any National party releases, or claims that Labour has no policy on certain issues. How best to ensure the media pick up on this and run with it I am not so sure about, but it could be that they simply need to be bribed. That’s after all what National has been doing.

                Unfortunately I have to say that playing National at their own game is also somewhat needed… Creating small scale controversies that don’t really matter but keep the left wing in the media is required to ensure Nationals media manipulations are not all pervasive. The sad fact of the matter is that media time equals votes. Despite this conformity to the system, I would market Labour as the middle left party it is, and ignore cries from activists that they must move further left in order to counter Nationals neo-liberal agenda. I would also ignore calls that Labour should move to the right because they need to be like National to win, amongst other similarly idiotic claims. I would increase the interaction with organizations that can help to achieve the common goals shared by the entire party.

                Now I must do something about my sunburn.

                • RedLogix

                  Personally I place a lot more importance on what a political party will achieve than how a Prime Minister responds in the media spotlight.

                  I’m inclined to agree with you, there are some situations where it works … but not in the heat of a Press Conference, a sharp exchange in the House, a probing interview .. or live debate. I’ve been there myself. In order to be convincing you have to KNOW exactly what you are going to say the moment the question or challenge is put. Cunliffe can do it reliably, Shearer doesn’t.

                  I don’t think Shearer thinks more in the abstract, I think he likes to contemplate questions. This is not slow as in stupid, this is slow as in taking ones time to give the proper answer.

                  I wasn’t saying stupid at all. In New Caledonia the indigenous Kanuk people traditionally thought it a bit shallow and insulting to respond to a serious question in anytime much less than a fortnight. But that is not our culture.

                  In our society we judge someone by the congruence between their words and emotional message. The limbic or reptillian reflex brain responds within milliseconds; the mammalian, emotional and instinctive brain responds within a second or so. But the abstract neo-cortal mind often needs up to five to ten seconds to contemplate a response.

                  To cover the delay Shearer fluffs or stumbles for a few moments while he’s intellectually assembling an answer. Now I think you and I are used to people like this and can decode what is goiing on ok. But lots of other people percieve this as an incongruence between what they hear Shearer saying and what he is feeling.

                  They perceive it as the exact opposite of what Shearer intends ….ambigous at best, insincere at worst.

                  Much of the rest of what you say I agree with. It’s the kind of coalition building strategy that Shearer is good at and should be part of.

        • McFlock 18.1.2.2

          Could Cunliffe really keep Jones in check? The guy is obviously prepping for future positions on the board of Sealords and Iwi corporations. You can’t restrain someone who has nothing to lose. Similarly Sio playing to his own electorate is the result of electorate politics, not Shearer’s leadership.
               
          The poor discipline would still happen under Cunliffe, simply because of his reputed relationship skills. The misbehaving players would just be different – it would be the alleged “ABC” crowd.
                 
          I meant Lab4 – my feeling is that part of the reason labour only came close to victory in 2011 was because their repudiation of rogernomics looked like an election ploy, not a true retraction.
              
          Yes I think Shearer has made errors, particularly in the GCSB/recording debacle. The trouble is that it was an issue so important that the leader had to handle it, not leave it to Mallard. But while Cunliffe might not have made that mistake, he would have made some. 
                
          But I do see a number of positives beginning to emerge:
          Shearer is travelling the country, which suggests a removal from the “Wellington, except for campaign season” mentality;
          His missives to members are being more widely distributed (i.e., here);
          The last few missives have included links to relevant policy, which was a big bugbear for some folk;
          They seem to be trying different tactics/behaviours for him (some more successful than others);
          The polls have gone up since he came in, not down (that depends on Sunday’s Roy Morgan, though, to see if the last result was a blip or a bloop).
                 
          It seems to me that Labour, and Shearer, are learning. And I’m also not so sure that Cunliffe would have gained more traction. He might not have made the same mistakes Shearer has, but different ones.

           

          • RedLogix 18.1.2.2.1

            But I do see a number of positives beginning to emerge:

            All worth-while things that ANY new leader needed to do. But do you truly believe that what you have seen so far is sufficient?

            Do you see the ‘real’ Shearer emerging anytime soon, articulate, confident, passionate and able to expose Key for the vaucous shark-in-a-suit he is?

            Because I agree it could go either way. Maybe this transformation will indeed happen at Conference. Maybe he will galvanise the Labour Party and inspire the activists and it’s wider support base into comprehensively winning an election. If that happens I’d be more than delighted to one huge helping of humble pie.

            Or it could go the the other grey way, with more of the stumbling, incoherent inability to express himself that we have seen so far.

            OK …so how long are you prepared to wait? What would change your mind, and do you think waiting patiently or cutting your losses is going to be the smarter strategey?

            • McFlock 18.1.2.2.1.1

              I’d say a consistent drop in the polls in the next 3 months, say when  Roy Morgan averages below 30% or 3 samples in the 20s in that period, would be a point where it’s obvious he’s going nowhere.
                   
              Longer term I’d probably look at say June or August with only 1 or 2 Roy Morgan hits above 35%, and/or a 3 month average of less than say 33/34% to demonstrate stagnation and need for a change.
                       
              If I were Labour I’d actually happy with a post election gain of 5% a year – remember National have no friends but Labour does. That would take them to ~40%, and allied (and maybe even farther left) parties can make up the difference. 
                 
              If National can fuck the country on 49%, the left can rebuild it on 52%. 

              • RedLogix

                If National can fuck the country on 49%, the left can rebuild it on 52%.

                Actually no. Building and destroying are not symmetric acts. It’s more than mere numbers the left will need.

                But otherwise a fair answer.

    • Jenny 18.2

      “David Shearer is the best person to lead Labour because …”

      Now, there are many ways to avoid that statement. We’ve seen them all on here often enough (“don’t talk about it, just accept, just give him time, just pretend there’s no problem, he leads Labour because he leads Labour, you’re a Tory troll”, etc, etc).

      So yes, it’s easy NOT to finish that sentence.

      But would anybody like to?

      gobsmacked

      Here is a rather sookie attempt from someone who aptly enough calls themselves Sookie.

      27

      Shearer is a nice guy and the public already like him better than Goff.

      Sookie http://thestandard.org.nz/on-david-shearers-leadership/comment-page-1/#comment-545788'>10 November 2012 at 5:44 pm

      • Jenny 18.2.1

        Unsurprisingly, the sookie attempt to answer gobsmacked’s question is supported by Shearer fan, the Jackal.

        I think the Jackal needs to give a much better ending to gobsmacked’s question than the Sookie one.

        • Jackal 18.2.1.1

          What makes you think I’m a David Shearer fan Jenny? The fact that I’ve highlighted a number of contradictions within the I hate Shearer throngs arguments? In fact I’m more concerned with a reasoned debate on the issues than protecting Shearer, and I must say that when I look into some of these allegations against him, they come up seriously short.

          I’m more concerned with the left wing looking unstable because of infighting than I am with protecting any single politician. If Shearer cannot look after himself and answer the valid critics by upping his game, then he should go. But unless people can identify the main problems (like RedLogix has done), instead of just throwing a bunch of unfounded insults around, how exactly are solutions to be found? It’s a similar mentality to punishing a child but not telling them what the punishment is for. In other words much of what has been written against Shearer is entirely wrong! But I doubt you’ll agree Jenny.

          Besides, I’ve more than adequately responded to gobsmacked’s feckless drivel Jenny. I could have simply written rhubarb in order to adequately respond to his/her feeble machinations of a deluded mind. Sookie is also more than adequately responded by giving his/her opinion. You obviously don’t like it, but that doesn’t make it inadequate. It just means opinions vary. Who is right or wrong in this debate can ultimately only be answered after the next election… Bring on 2014.

          • Jenny 18.2.1.1.1

            I think it is a very risky strategy to just leave it up to the election and let the voters decide on the quality of Labour’s leadership. Labour need to have the best leadership possible long before they go into election.

            Maybe you should list the allegations that have been made against Shearer that you think have come up short?

            That he is politically conservative there is little doubt. The more than one occasion where he has repeated the right wing mantra that as leader he is not “about re-dividing the pie, but growing the pie”.

            This trite right wing world view is wrong. In fact it is down right evil.

            The world is in a major recession and the pie is not growing it is shrinking. If the same proportions are kept those with the smallest share will suffer the most. Ironically and unfairly those with the smallest share “of the pie”, as Shearer crudely puts it, are the ones least responsible for the crisis. Repeating this mantra about pie, put about by the rich and powerful is to ensure that those less well off will suffer proportionately more during this crisis than those responsible for it.

            Dishonestly Shearer’s claim that Labour should not be about redividing the pie to protect the less well off, deliberately ignores and covers for the fact that as the pie shrinks the right are all for redividing the pie so that the rich get an even bigger share than the hugely disproportionate share they get now.

            You might argue that he said he wants to grow the pie. He may want it, but It ain’t gonna happen, anyone with any brains knows it, Shearer knows it.

            If he has any magical solutions let’s hear them.

            The fact that he is so silent is evidence enough that he doesn’t.

  19. Shearer is doing the nacts work for them,in providing an ineffective opposition.
    There has been an absolute feast of topics that should have been jumped on, but
    no reaction that is worth anything,then, when one was possible,re the tape,it went
    out like a cracker without enough gunpowder and left the holder with dust on his face.
    Shearer says that when people get to hear him and he gets seen,then they will appreciate
    him as leader,he has been heard and seen and it’s a nervous watch and listen for many
    labour members,voters and followers.
    Shearer needs to do the decent thing and stand aside himself,for the good of the party
    and the people who support Labour.

  20. weka 20

    If Shearer is to go, then who replaces him? Who else is there in addition to Cunliffe? A serious exploration of the options would be a good next step.
     
    It does beg the question of how political parties train leaders. Is it simply a matter of waiting until the cream rises to the top (although I’m sure there is a more vicious analogy that might be more apt), or do parties take a proactive position on making sure that when one leader is ready to go there are options in the wings?

  21. kiwi_prometheus 21

    Labour’s inability to pick a winner and gain traction against that drop kick Shonkey, is just an epiphenomenon.

    All I see on here is a ragtag bunch of intellectual light weights and policy wonk wannabes gossiping in the dress room about how to get back onto the stage of power.

    The heart of the Left is rotten. Where is the philosophical foundation/vision?

    Looking around at the Standard’s windswept jejune intellectual landscape :

    Some flakes peddling piecemeal ‘scientific’ Marxist derivations, looking about as appetizing as that last measly slice of cold pizza still in the box.

    Feminist ‘rape culture’ fantasists – apparently Newton’s laws of motion are to be understood as “Newton’s rape manual.” Crazy!

    Deconstructionist mumbo jumbo.

    All of them displaying antiscience or utilizing pseudoscience as befits any ideology grounded in Irrationalism eg Nazism.

    The Left needs to articulate a coherent humanist vision if it is to defeat the religion of economic determinism manifested in the current failed neoliberal ideology.

    [lprent: I think that you forgot to include yourself - a whistling vacant hole where an intelligence should be. ]

    • “[lprent: I think that you forgot to include yourself - a whistling vacant hole where an intelligence should be. ]”

      Nice moderating.

      • fatty 21.1.1

        Quite generous moderating really, considering the pointlessness of the post

        • TheContrarian 21.1.1.1

          I meant it was nice to see a moderator lay down a pointless insult.

          That winning lprent attitude on show

          [lprent: It conformed exactly to the style that KP was using (reread his comment). I tailor responses to act as mirrors for people who reinvent old styles - it isn't hard they have all been done before. I'm uninterested in people's opinions of me. I am interested in them shifting their behaviour from a pattern that will eventually start flames in the same way it has done for generations of online dialogue. It is less work for me overall to reflect in the end point of the particular style than banning and it probably assists in people's socialization on the net.

          BTW: You ever wonder why you got so wound up when your turn happened? I was using your style except that I explicitly said what you tried merely to imply. Your reaction suggests it had the desired effect. ]

          • fatty 21.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, I got that it was an insult, but I don’t think it was pointless.

            kiwi_prometheus’s post was illogical…she/he asked this question: “The heart of the Left is rotten. Where is the philosophical foundation/vision?”

            And then went on a rant claiming this:

            “Looking around at the Standard’s windswept jejune intellectual landscape: Some flakes peddling piecemeal ‘scientific’ Marxist derivations, looking about as appetizing as that last measly slice of cold pizza still in the box…Feminist ‘rape culture’ fantasists – apparently Newton’s laws of motion are to be understood as “Newton’s rape manual.” Crazy!…Deconstructionist mumbo jumbo.”

            So, kiwi_prometheus asks where is the philosophical vision?..and then makes some misguided insults at the posts on here for philosophically based arguments, positions and visions.
            The only reasonable response to kiwi_prometheus’s post is to laugh, and then shake your head in disbelief…or respond with an insult

            • TheContrarian 21.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s not a good look to have a moderator insulting people.

              ‘The only reasonable response to kiwi_prometheus’s post is to laugh, and then shake your head in disbelief…or respond with an insult”

              Indeed, but as a moderator as opposed to a user?

              • McFlock

                thx 4 ur cncrn

                • Just calling it like I see it, big guy.

                  [Trust me, telling lprent how to run his site is unlikely to have a happy ending. Come to think of it, I've rarely seen it work anywhere. ... RL]

                  • [Trust me, telling lprent how to run his site is unlikely to have a happy ending. Come to think of it, I've rarely seen it work anywhere. ... RL]

                    So Iprent gets carte blance while the rest abide the rules of his making?

                    [lprent: The policies about moderation were hammered out years ago amongst the group who were moderating then. Initially there were radically different approaches, but they have settled to something that the moderators (and authors) can live with. We tweak them occasionally (which is why you can now say nazi on the site without being auto moderated).

                    Moderators always enforce with different styles. They're unsupervised volunteers FFS, what do you expect? We rely on their experience and judgement for what approach they think will work and they feel comfortable with. With an ecosystem of different moderators, there is always one to suit every case.

                    And yes, the editorial moderators have carte blance across all posts. We are careful who we upgrade to the role. My personal style often defaults to simply being nasty because I find that strategy usually saves my precious time by abbreviating the boring sequence of inevitable events (after decades online you really do see the same social patterns repeating endlessly). Other moderators have different styles.

                    I don't care if you think it is unfair. You use the site but do not do the endless hours of work required to keep it running or the contet that keeps people coming in to read and comment. If you don't like the rules, then read the last section of the about again. I will often provide the incentive if I have to repeat too many notes like this. ]

                    • weka

                      As far as I can tell the authors here have the freedom to moderate as they see fit. Lynn just has a particular style that stands out. I can’t see a problem with him insulting a complete idiot, unless you want all insults on the site banned.

                      [lprent: Pretty much. Each of the moderators differs in style on how they enforce the policy guidelines. Irish for instance on the odd occasion just hands out very long bans. While I'd have problems recalling r0b ever handing out a ban. Etc etc. I specialize in fast education which sometimes cod be any combintion of gentle warning, being outright nasty, immediate banning, or even just entering the conversation and tying someone up like a pretzel whilst raising their loos pressure. As far as I'm concerned I use what I think will work on the target. The idea is that they don't forget - so I shouldn't have to repeat it. ]

    • QoT 21.2

      Jesus, k_p, your MRA handlers are really letting you down. Got nothing better to try to beat feminism with than a retracted comment from a book published in 1986? (Which was, in fact, referring to Principia Mathematica, not “Newton’s laws of motion”.)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandra_Harding

    • Colonial Viper 21.3

      Not that I have a huge amount of time for K_P, but this remark is spot on:

      Labour’s inability to pick a winner and gain traction against that drop kick Shonkey, is just an epiphenomenon.

    • Jenny 21.4

      Wow! What a grandiose nom de plume. And the ego to match.

      From every category of left commenter you have defamed I can tell you are an avid reader of this site. Sorry that you find us all so lacking.

      You have said: The Left needs to articulate a coherent humanist vision if it is to defeat the religion of economic determinism manifested in the current failed neoliberal ideology.

      Could I humbly invite you to do so?

      I would love to hear it.

      By the way what the hell is an “epiphenomenon”? Just because you have a huge ego, do you have to use such big words. It sort of spoils the affect.

  22. Why 22

    What don’t they like about Cunliffe ?
    I see comments regarding the ABC faction, but what’s that all about ?
    Is it an old guard, new guard thing?

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      part tall poppy syndrome, part not wanting someone in the position who is difficult to control, part not wanting to hand the reins of power to someone whose politics is significantly to the Left of where they stand.

      And no doubt, some personality clashes too.

      • McFlock 22.1.1

        Wow, why not just say “too cool for school”?

        If he was better, brighter and more left wing than everyone else in caucus, he should go lead the Alliance rather than a centrist/right leaning party that has a legacy name from the days it really was left wing.

        • Colonial Viper 22.1.1.1

          The alliance has been dead a long time.

          • McFlock 22.1.1.1.1

            Nope, still around. All it needs is a good leader who might be able to provide some kickstart election funding.

            Interesting that he joined a party that doesn’t conform to his personal principles in exchange for a better chance of electoral success. I’m surprised he meets your uncompromising demands.

            • Colonial Viper 22.1.1.1.1.1

              Interesting that he joined a party that doesn’t conform to his personal principles in exchange for a better chance of electoral success. I’m surprised he meets your uncompromising demands.

              He joined the same socialist and workers’ political party that his father, the Red Reverend, supported and believed in.

              Sadly, that party doesn’t exist in reality or in principle any more.

              • McFlock

                Maybe so.

                But there are more worker-friendly parties out there than Labour, so the point still stands. If he’s such a red terror, how can he stand to be in Labour?

                I think that the Nobody Except Cunliffe crowd around here have done as much inflating of Cunliffe as they have done knocking of Shearer. It’s an image of saviour he cannot live up to.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Cunliffe has got a long track record in Labour Opposition and in Labour Government. He is not an unknown. Few people are putting him on a performance pedestal unrealistically beyond what we have seen from him during that time, or beyond his level of performance in front of the House and the MSM today.

                  • McFlock

                    Apart from the fact that you seem to be expecting game-changing left wing policies from someone who’s been happy to stay in Labour for so long.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      True, in the final analysis Cunliffe may or may not have the guts/political capital to deliver on ‘game-changing left wing policies’. But I do believe that he will try. Shearer on the other hand…

                    • McFlock

                      funny.

                      I have no basis for judging on over the other.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I have no basis for judging on over the other.

                      You’ve had a year observing Shearer. What more would you like?

                    • McFlock

                      He seems what I’d expect from a Labour leader.
                      Cunliffe seems marginally more to the left, but is still typical Labour.

                      I just don’t see the difference that you do. To me it comes down to “nice but not mediagenic” vs “polarising but possibly good”.

                      And thee’s always the chance that he would be happy being a Cullen to Shearer, but the media/bloggy rumourmill is sapping the time and attention of folk who would rather be attacking Key. Or actually are, but aren’t getting any feedback from it.

                • Jenny

                  Every political party will be changed by the coming crisis.

                • QoT

                  the Nobody Except Cunliffe crowd

                  Ooooh, nice counter-spin. Except that in order to prove said crowd is as irrational in their stance as the ABCs, you’d need to establish who else would actually be a good leader and then prove that the “NECs” are only rejecting them on bitchy partisan grounds.

                  • Pete Fraser

                    Can I just say that we do have evidence that the NEC lot are motivated largely by patronage considerations? Keith Ng asserts this pretty strongly, and I see no reason to doubt him.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Patronage? Labour can’t offer fuck all to anyone within it. A $60K pa Parliamentary Services job maybe lol wooo-hooo made it!

                    • And I am apparently top of the line.  Come on Pete, come up with some proof.  Just a bit of proof, a single skerret, a chocolate thin wafer of proof …

                      You are counter spinning by trying to suggest that anyone concerned at the direction of the party is doing so for personal considerations.  Apparently QoT is also motivated by patronage considerations.  I wonder what position she is lining up?  As if …

                      Good try, Pete whoever you are. 

                    • QoT

                      Keith Ng asserts this pretty strongly

                      Links or it didn’t happen, bub.

                    • Bill

                      FFS! Is there a Cunliffe faction within caucus? yup. Is there a Robertson faction? yup. Does that in any way encompass and account for the sheer numbers of left leaning people who want Shearer to fuck off? No. Because in spite of your comments to the contrary, we ain’t fucking pianos (or alternatively) self serving pricks.

                      Don’t know who you are. Don’t care. But you really should withdraw your head from that caucus arse world and take a look at the bigger real world where real people live and think and form opinions.

                    • QoT

                      Oh, I’m going for Cabinet Secretary, personally. Or Chief of Defence Force.

                    • Pete Fraser

                      http://publicaddress.net/onpoint/dear-labour-caucus/ — for QoT.

                      Mick, of course there’s no proof (skerrick, by the way). That’s why I said “widely believed”. It’s not really that important if there was a deal, or if it was just the natural partisanship. And, hate to break it to you pal, but you’re not a very big fish. So what if you were going to be given Waitakere? I don’t really give a fuck. But lots of people do think there were deals done, here and elsewhere, getting backing for Cunliffe.

                      And it’s definitely true a lot of people here were tied to Cunliffe very closely, and felt it pretty personally when he lost.

                    • QoT

                      Oh, wow, Pete. That sure is some staggering proof there. Notice how in the next paragraph he says

                      This is not new. Labour has been rewarding time-servers and party hacks over actual talent for as long as I can remember.

                      And doesn’t actually provide any actual evidence of anything?

                      I realise you may have just been hoping we’d all go “wow, Keith Ng, he’s definitely a trustworthy source because of his great investigative work” but sadly, reading the actual source … I am left unimpressed.

                    • QoT

                      *sigh* Really, Pete? You want to spin this as being about me not trusting Keith Ng?

                      There’s a world of difference between delivering an argument with evidence to back it – something Keith’s great at – and just stating “Cunliffe must have offered patronage to people, all Labour leaders do” with nothing to back that up.

                      That’s what we adults like to call “an opinion”, and every blogger has one.

                      You, however, want to accord Keith’s opinion weight because it aligns with what you’re saying, and because you want to use Keith’s awesomeness as an investigative blogger (i.e. someone who provides PROOF of things) to add weight to your statements.

                      But it doesn’t. It’s an unverified statement of opinion, backed up by “everyone does it”.

                      So unless you’re going to also start accusing every Shearer supporter in these comments of expecting favours … well, you’re just going to look like a sad little smear-artist, and not a good one at that.

                    • Pete Fraser

                      QoT — come off it.

                      “Let’s face it, if Cunliffe didn’t offer his supporters portfolios and positions, there wouldn’t even be a contest.”

                      “But his leadership bid has come to embody the very things which have poisoned Labour.”

                      Stop being cute. Ng’s making specific factual allegations about Cunliffe’s behaviour. He isn’t backing them up with evidence other than his own word, but they are still specific claims about the state of the world.

                  • hate to break it to you pal, but you’re not a very big fish.
                     
                    I agree entirely Petey which is why I am surprised that you are stalking me and alleging all sorts of crap.  You are the one that kept raising my background and making all sorts of stuff up.

                    So what if you were going to be given Waitakere?

                    Um, never.  I did not even seek nomination for the seat and I backed and will continue to back Carmel to the hilt.

                    So explain to me your obsession with me and your continuous stream of allegations which are not, well, reality based. 

                    And your comment about Keith Ng’s column is weird.  He was talking about MPs, not people outside of the party.

                    • Pete Fraser

                      Good grief, worryingly specific denials of hypotheticals there. Like I said, I don’t know, I have no proof, and I don’t care too much. But that is what was said.

                      Why? Mostly because it is quite funny watching you guys squirm when someone actually puts the hard questions to you.

                      (QoT: hey, if you don’t take Keith’s word for it, fine by me. I do trust him, and he has generally proved to be pretty reliably trustworthy.)

                    • Bill

                      Please correct me if I’m wrong. But didn’t Keith Ng have some connection to Phil Goff? And wouldn’t that potentially somewhat colour his piece on Cunliffe given that Goff is very much a part of the, hopefully soon to be departed, ABC club?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Pete Fraser = Fox News “we’re just asking the questions, YOU decide (what’s bullshit)!”

        • weka 22.1.1.2

          If he was better, brighter and more left wing than everyone else in caucus, he should go lead the Alliance rather than a centrist/right leaning party that has a legacy name from the days it really was left wing.
           

          Are you saying that the Labour party should be surrendered to the centre? That left wing activists and party supporters should step away unless they agree that the Labour party should be moving to the right?

          • McFlock 22.1.1.2.1

            There are more left wing parties than Labour (in both senses – other parties and parties that are more left wing).

            I’m simply suggesting that people should join a party because it matches their policies, rather than simply because its name is a vestigal remnant of policies it once had, or their parents were members of it.

            • weka 22.1.1.2.1.1

              So that would also apply to people who have joined Labour since Cunliffe did who are more to the right? Your argument doesn’t really work. There will always be a range of people in any party, and that’s a good thing.
               
              I don’t think the Labour party moving right is a good thing for NZ. We need a strong stance against neoliberalism, and Labour has to be part of that.

              • McFlock

                I was more doing a thing against CV, who has abhorred the concept of expedient compromise in the past.

                Why has labour moved to the right? Because it’s after “centrist” voters it might lose, maybe 20% or so.

                If Labour was at risk of losing the left vote that is largely guaranteed by party faithful who lament the current weak policies but will never leave Labour – another 20% at my guess – then its strategists might see more value in actually being a left wing party.

                Labour can compromise to the right because they believe they lose little. I’m intrigued to see what comes out at the upcoming conference.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Why has labour moved to the right? Because it’s after “centrist” voters it might lose, maybe 20% or so.

                  It’s a shame that they decided not to pursue the massive Left non-vote. Talk about confirming abandoning your traditional underclass and working class vote, and instead choosing the middle class centre whom we all know tend to be disloyal swingers.

                • weka

                  There is a point where expedient compromise becomes selling one’s soul. Besides, the Greens are moving to the centre, in order to gain power. They haven’t moved so far as to wreck their integrity yet, but it makes it damn hard if Labour are moving right at the same time – see how that shifts everything to accommodate the neoliberals? Better for Labour to move left and met the Greens midway, then the Greens will have less pressure/incentive to sell out, and the left can have a strong, more representative government.
                   

                  • McFlock

                    Yes.
                    But if Labour move right and lose none of their left members and activists (let alone voters), there’s no impulse of self preservation to stop them.

                    Much better that the farther they move right, more of their support base evaporates. The wost case is that the Greens, mana or another party will fill the vacuum in the left, and eventually the remnants of labour will change their name to something more suitable.

                    Or Labour brains figure out that they’re turning their backs on solid supporters and return to their roots.

                    • weka

                      Still not following that McFock. Are you saying that the left should abandon Labour?

                    • McFlock

                      The “left” should have left Labour 25 years ago, when Labour left the Left.

                      Frankly, anyone thinking that Labour will return to its radical left routes is dreaming. So yeah, people who want anything more than a moderate party should go find a really left wing party to pull the moderate to the left.

                      And Labour should rebrand itself as the Liberal party.

            • Jenny 22.1.1.2.1.2

              The coming crises will change all political parties, National and Labour included.

      • Luke 22.1.2

        Well they can piss off.  I am sick of that lot thinking they are bigger than the party.  If they stop their pathetic and belligerent mentality, they could win 2014.  I think if I see that lot take over the leadership, I’ll go join the Greens, they seems to be more structured, organised and not full of fuckwits.

    • Jenny 22.2

      What don’t they like about Cunliffe ?
      I see comments regarding the ABC faction, but what’s that all about ?
      Is it an old guard, new guard thing?

      Why

      Why, the answer is no, it is not an old guard, new guard thing. It is also not a personality thing. It is not even really a performance thing. Just like all political questions, it is a Right, Left thing.

      The right wing of the Labour Party have gathered around Shearer and the left has gathered around Cunliffe. Underneath it all is a fight for the political direction of the party. The actual individuals don’t matter that much really other than that each leader represents a political position.

  23. RedLogix 23

    Personally I agree with Eddie.

    Not because I do not like David Shearer. But because I do not think he will win the next election convincingly enough in order to achieve what the next Labour/Green/xxx coalition govt will need to do.

    By 2014 the world will have changed again. The debates we are having today will have been forgotten, and the urgent issues of the day will be far more dire than we are even imagining now. Decisive and dramatic action will be needed to slice away from the left the neo-liberal cancer it still harbours. Dramatic legislative and fiscal policy change will be needed … mild and middle of the road will not cut it.

    It needs a leader capable of not only getting a coalition over the line, but of inspiring New Zealand with his or her vision, and winning back confidence in politics to achieve things of economic, social and environmental value to us as a nation. To let us believe in our ‘better selves’ again.

    I personally cannot see Shearer winning that sort of government for New Zealand.

  24. pete 24

    Before I go, back all Labour leaders songs, or forever gather on Labours doorstep.

  25. asd 25

    Have to agree with Eddie and a couple of others that Shearer’s gotta go if Labour has a chance at the next election. He comes across as unassertive and stumbles with his words on the sound bites which is where most NZer’s will make a judgement about him via the news. And again its very difficult to know what he stands for on the left/centre/right policy spectrum.
    I would plump for Andrew Little but as he too is very new to politics he’s best kept on the shelf for a later date. They say Cunliffe is ‘smarmy’ and unpopular among the caucus but he comes across well on the TV sound bites and has a lot of experience so I would give him my vote as leader despite not being sure of his policy leanings at this stage. Robertson is unassuming and characterless on the soundbites and I can’t think of anyone else with a bit of punch to sock it to Key except perhaps Shane Jones.

  26. Jenny 26

    Shane Jones makes a tool of himself in public again.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10846365

    As far as I know, Shane Jones has been given no role as Labour Party spokesperson on anything. Let alone the environment, unemployment, or relations with potential coalition partners.

    Maybe a real leader of the Labour Party would be distancing the Party from the statements of the Party’s self appointed unofficial spokesperson.

    Either that, or endorsing him.

    Doing neither, can only be seen as a complete dereliction of duty as leader.

    • Jenny 26.1

      Is Shearer’s silence on Jones outbursts more than a lack of leadership, or something more sinister?

      Shane Jones is the un-acknowledged spokesperson for the right leaning, neo-liberal faction in Labour’s caucus.

      Does Shearer identify himself with this faction?

      Is this why Shearer is silent on Jones sectarian outbursts and tolerant of Jones trampling over of other more left caucus member’s portfolios?

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10840561

      • Olwyn 26.1.1

        Not to mention Shane Jones’s outbursts coinciding with John Tamihere’s suggesting that he might return to the fold to contest the Waitakere seat.

    • RedLogix 26.2

      Contrast with the hoops Cunliffe seems to have to leap through in order to say anything….

      • McFlock 26.2.1

        Jones reminds me of Anderton just before he left the Alliance, but wanted to keep his leadership position as long as possible. 

  27. Sookie 27

    The main thing which is going to make the Left lose the next election and stick us with another 3 years of those incompetent Tory scumbags is Labour party self sabotage like this. I grow weary of reading this back biting crap on The Standard. Shearer is a nice guy and the public already like him better than Goff. He’s not even been leader for a year, give him more of a chance. What is the goddamn hurry, there’s another 2 years of Smug Git Key to get through.

    • mac1 27.1

      +1, Sookie.

    • gobsmacked 27.2

      I grow weary of reading this back biting crap on The Standard.

      Are there any left-wing blogs saying good things about Shearer? Who?

      OK … Messenger shot, problem solved?

      This isn’t about “The Standard”.

      • Jackal 27.2.1

        +1 Sookie

        @ gobsmacked. At least the hit counter will be going up. Anything remotely anti Labour gets hammered by largely non-commenting right wingers. They love the sort of infighting posts like Eddie’s instigate, mainly because it undermines Labour. Such things have very little to do with what’s best for the Labour party, or the country for that matter. They have much more to do with venting frustrations. In my opinion, the frustrations are justified, who they’re currently being directed at is not.

        • RedLogix 27.2.1.1

          So for this reason we have to give any left-wing party a free pass?

          • Jackal 27.2.1.1.1

            Not really. It all depends on if you think being a bit biased in favour of left wing party’s is better than a strict neutral point of view. It’s my observation that there are no political blogs from New Zealand that are not biased in some way, including The Jackal.

            In fact the further politically right you go, the more biased you get. The two most read blogs in New Zealand are on the right wing and are so biased its not funny. I’m not saying that left wing party’s should get a free pass on left wing blogs, but justifiable claims should be an integral part of all left blogs, no matter who is in the gun.

            Left blogs can balance the bias of right wing blogs, but not if they shoot Labour in the foot by publishing similar attack lines as the clearly biased right wing blogs. In a fair fight I would say that all commentary should be politically neutral, but this isn’t a fair is it? The bias of the right wing blogs makes sure of that.

        • the sprout 27.2.1.2

          It’s Shearer and his merry ABCers that are undermining labour, not blogs

    • Jenny 27.3

      Shearer is a nice guy and the public already like him better than Goff.

      Sookie

      Talk about damning with faint praise.

      Sookie, your objection to a leadership change makes no sense. Saying it is bad for Labour’s image to get rid of Shearer now, but then saying that with two years to go there is no hurry.

      If it is bad for Labour’s image to remove Shearer now, then surely it will be even worse nearer the election?

    • RedLogix 27.4

      I grow weary of reading this back biting crap on The Standard.

      This IS an open pan-left political site; it is NOT a Labour Party blog. We are not subject to the internal discipline of any party.

      I agree with you that Shearer is a nice guy. So were Bill Rowling and Geoffrey Palmer.

      But if you think Shearer is capable of winning (as contrast to merely not loosing) the 2014 election, and more than this, winning the hearts and minds of New Zealanders … then now would be a good time for you to tell us why.

      • the sprout 27.4.1

        It’s only the deluded and the deeply cynical who still support Shearer’s leadership of the nzlp

    • QoT 27.5

      He’s not even been leader for a year, give him more of a chance.

      Ah, the familiar refrain. Anyone want to dance? I hope they play “Wait for the leader debates, then you’ll see the real Phil Goff” next.

      • Bill 27.5.1

        You up for a dance to that old Mike Williams refrain QoT? You know the one…”Keep Your Powder Dry And Wait ‘Til You See The Whites of Their Eyes” ;-)

    • xtasy 27.6

      Sookie:

      So are you saying we should prohibit debate and fall into party line, like they do in Mainland China?

      There have been many commenting here in this thread and others, who months ago still gave Shearer credit, at least wanted to give him more time to get the ropes and learn how to deliver, I see almost all of them now decidedly agreeing with me and others, namely, that it would be best for Labour to have Shearer resign from his leadership post, as he is just not made to perform well enough as leader.

      He has other qualities and has a place in a prospective cabinet, but not as leader or PM!

      Actually it would be in the best interest for Labour MPs and senior members to now start listening to criticism from the lower ranks and support base. Better it is to take action now, rather than drag this all out, until it is too lake to correct the course on a kind of “Titanic” type party – adrift with no strong leadership.

    • felix 27.7

      “What is the goddamn hurry, there’s another 2 years of Smug Git Key to get through.”

      The goddamn hurry is that in two years it’ll be far too late to do anything about it. Just like it was last time. Labour needs to start fighting now.

      • TheContrarian 27.7.1

        What he (felix) said

      • Colonial Viper 27.7.2

        Labour needs to start fighting now.

        Ideally it would have come out fighting 1-2 months after Shearer’s ascension to the Leadership, once initial Opposition strategy had been developed and Year One tactics decided on.

        • felix 27.7.2.1

          Well yeah. But seeing as how none of that seems to have happened, next best thing would be to start now.

  28. karol 28

    It’s the leadership team in Labour that’s the problem, as much as the leader. But I am one that now thinks it’s time for Shearer to go.  He may be a nice guy in person, but he just not engage me at all.  In fact, I find him a bit of a turn-off.
     
    I think Cunliffe should be in the main leadership team, either as finance spokesperson, leader or deputy leader.  If Labour go for a fairly centrist, or right wing leader, Robertson would be better.  Sue Moroney should be in there with the main leadership team too – maybe even deputy. 
     
    But the parliamentary left need to follow Cunliffe’s lead in looking for a change from neoliberalism – it needs to be a clear change.  And they need to follow Mana’s example of getting alongside the grassroots, actively campaigning for change.
     
    With such changes I might begin to think of voting for Labour again.

  29. ochocinco 29

    Here’s the problem: the selection process

    What Labour needs to do is identify selection criteria for a leader, then pick someone on them.

    My views, based entirely on trying to win an election from a disadvantaged position, are:

    A photogenic, tall man and/or woman, with excellent public speaking skills, fairly good education, who is aged 40-45.

    Find someone like that. Train them. Unleash them.

    Done.

    • karol 29.1

      Rachel Smalley?

      • TheContrarian 29.1.1

        She’d be good but I don’t see her as a politician.

        How about Samantha Hayes (for no other reason than I think she is smoking hot)

        • karol 29.1.1.1

          She’d be good but I don’t see her as a politician.
           
          Agreed.  It takes more than personality and televisual appeal to be a leader or PM.  It requires being politically astute, and able to preceive what’s likely to happen next – being able to be proactive etc.  And it also requires the skills to manage a caucus. TV journalists are getting more into personality politics.
           
          I don’t think they need to have sex appeal – just have charisma. But I also think there’s been too much emphasis on the eladder in an election campaign these days – Americanisation.  We are not electing a president.  We need a strong leadership team in the caucus.

      • Luke 29.1.2

        Leave Rach out of this, she is too good for politics!

        • Colonial Viper 29.1.2.1

          She needs to continue developing her skills as a top notch political interviewer and analyst. I still reckon she’s going to be picked up my a major international network…

  30. lefty 30

    Just suppose for a moment Shearer suddenly became an articulate, confident, competent and combative leader who was capable of leading Labour to a Labour /Greens victory at the next election.

    I would still have a problem with him because he is a right winger in charge of a party that is supposed to represent the workers.

    • McFlock 30.1

      Supposed to represent the workers?
             
      Not for a few decades.
             
      That’s why they need smaller, more “left” parties in with them – to push them to where they should go. 

  31. xtasy 31

    EDDIE: A big call indeed, but absolutely the RIGHT CALL!

    It is better to be addressed as soon as possible, and Labour members and supporters, especially MPs in Parliament better take this message bloody seriously!

    I am sure some of them read the Standard, at least occasionally, and some will have their staff keep an eye on the thermometer or gauge of the mood amongst activists and supporters commenting here.

    The best time could be just before Christmas, sometime in early December, to put up the numbers and decisive challenge, ending in a sudden, pressured vote and change of leadership. That would take the heat out of it for the NatACT and biased MSD, as the holiday period will largely be the usual unpolitical period.

    But I fear it will not happen until early next year, which would not be so good.

    The longer Labour drags its feet on this, the messier it will get, and denial is the worst way to react. It is so damned obvious now, that Shearer is not up to talking confidently to the media, does not have ready answers, is insecure and does at times stutter a bit. That is a bad look. He has other competencies, and he may be good as minister for education or so.

    The longer this nonsense and weak performance continues, the more likely it is that Key and Nats will get their act together a bit more again, and then it will be opportunities lost.

    Take resolute and swift action now, dear Labour folks!

  32. xtasy 32

    My hope is actually, that Shearer will start getting the message, finally so to say! He must be told by every person caring and being Labour member or supporter. Send him emails, tell him in person, try to explain your concerns, and tell him, to take the hard and painful final step, to step down or aside, by his own choice, for “personal reasons” or whatever. Tell him that he must do it for the good and for the future not just for the party, but for the country! If he does take the honourable step, then this will be quite easy to resolve by having a vote between Robertson and Cunliffe. I cannot see any other strong and experienced enough person in their ranks, who could do the job at present.

  33. Luke 33

    If Shearer has to go, then who else? Surely not Grant Robinson… Grant who? He has less chance of winning the 2014 election than Shearer does. He lacks credibility, and has been a lacklustre deputy. I saw him talk at Auckland University — when he was trying to sweet talk the caucus into electing him. Both he and Shearer were shocking speakers; no heart, just speaking from a list of idealisms. However, Cunliffe impressed me. He had passion when he spoke, he had a vision; he spoke like a proper Labour leader contender of the same ilk as big Norm. He spoke about the left, and changing the course of the Labour party back to what it was. He was quite inspirational. As for the ABC, they can go jump. If they do not like the only person credible enough to get them across the line, then perhaps they need to start a Champagne Socialist Yuppie party? And leave the Labour party to what it is meant to be, a party for the workers. In addition, it is a real shame that Annette King does not want to be leader, she is well respected, intelligent and hard working. I feel that she is very likeable, and very good debater in parliament. If Robertson were (heaven forbid) to become leader, I would like to see Jacinda his deputy. That would be a nice balance, promote Little to Social development/ ACC, Shearer in Education and Cunliffe in Health. Somehting to think about…

  34. asd 34

    Chris Faafoi struck me as highly intelligent, articulate and a good speaker (and good comedian) and yet he’s never mentioned as a potential leadership challenger. Anybody else agree?

  35. Saarbo 35

    Good post Eddie. I dont get the feeling that things are going to change next week (at the conference), but they should. The sooner the better. If there was a clean out of some of the old heads in labour our chances of success in 2014 would improve dramatically. I have seen this work on BOD’s, I’m sure it would work in Labour.

  36. Logie97 36

    Why did Andrew Little enter parliament?
    I thought, a couple of years ago, he was being groomed to lead…

    • xtasy 36.1

      Logie97: In all honesty – have you ever heard him hold a speech in Parliament? I know he is rather solid a character and towards the left within the lot of MPs they have, but regrettable dear Andrew is may be passionate, but it is not at all that charismatic or convincing, whenever I hear him talk.

      He does some good questioning at times, when asking re ACC issues and the likes, but that is about it. Maybe well placed in the back rows, somehow, I feel.

  37. Luke 37

    He will get there, I think they need to put him in  seat that he can win.  How about Waitakere?  As for Chris Fafoi, hmmmm, he is a Goff man.  Haven’t seen much of him yet… Would like to though, nows your chance!

    • Fortran 37.1

      Think Helen Kelly has more offer than Little – he is devicive, and has not come forward with positive strength. Nor is he popular as you aware, in caucus.
      A disappointment.
      Kelly will make good leader in time when Annette goes.

  38. JonL 38

    I just wish labour stopped it’s childish, destructive infighting, got itself organized and put up a raft of decent policies which it will fight tooth and nail for! Something that actually resounds with the large numbers out there who are begging for an effective major opposition party, but are wary of the Greens. Currently, Labour is missing in action!

    • xtasy 38.1

      Labour needs ANOTHER leader, who has competence and can talk and answer questions convincingly, AND it needs a sound, solid set of policies that need to be presented in a plan. We have neither, I am afraid!

  39. Chalupa Batman 39

    I think its worth pointing out to all those who think Key can be beaten by someone who can articulate policies that hes seen off Helen Clark and Phil Goff

    Stop underestimating the guy, just because you don’t like him doesn’t mean hes not very good at what he does

    • IrishBill 39.1

      I do like him. He’s a personable guy. But he’s just not doing the job. In fact he’s not doing any better than Goff was. Certainly not in terms of caucus discipline as shown by the way Shane Jones has twice been allowed to go on national TV to effectively set the policy he wants. That wouldn’t have happened under Goff and it certainly wouldn’t have happened under Clark. 

      • Chalupa Batman 39.1.1

        All Labour needs to do is be cohesive and supportive. Thats it, thats all they need to do and they’ll win the next election. They could have done it last election but for whatever reason they (and it was they no one else) self destructed.

        As an example I think National and Key is under the gun at the moment but based on recent history I fully expect a Labour MP will open their gob and take the focus away.

        Oh and remove Mallard and replace him with JT

  40. Descendant Of Smith 40

    If there’s change at the conference I hope it’s some decent policy.

    I care much, much less about who the leader is.

    I can only repeat what I’ve been saying for several years now:

    To be fair they have put some policy on their website.

    Some of it I can relate to e.g. ensuring more contracts go to NZ companies.

    What I want to know however and what will get my vote will be increasing benefit rates, the minimum wage and tax rates for people like me who didn’t need tax cuts in order to help those who need help more than I do.

    Re-introducing penal rates and state housing for life, increasing the ability of unions to fight for better wages and working conditions and ideally since the state has passed legislation restricting the strength of workers to fight for themselves to pick up this responsibilty by ensuring a manadatory pay increase for all workers every year (on Labour Day maybe) of say 2% that at least ensures wages don’t remain static for many many people.

    Moving the benefit to employers is just another subsidy to employers – that doesn’t inspire me.

    By far the majority of employers employ someone because they have work to do that can make a profit – no work to do no job. Subsidy may influence the choice of who but very rarely does it increase jobs unless the business has cashflow issues. Did all those wage subsidies to McDonalds for instance actually create more jobs at McDonalds?

    And no it’s not unrealistic to know this far out what they believe in and stand for – you build a brand and a connection with people over time – and that’s why I don’t particularly care who is leader.

    And here’s the other thing if I as a voter can’t figure out what they stand for is it any wonder those within seem disconnected and rudderless and disloyal.

    It seems to me they don’t know either – you can’t have a group of people consistently articulate a vision if the vision is a secret.

  41. Chi Hsu 41

    I was volunteering for John Boscawen at the time when Shearer first came out as a candidate for the Mt Albert by-election. I remember door-knocking with John and thinking, although this guy has his heart in the right place, Richard Prebble was far better at connecting with the voters and John doesn’t really know how to pull off confidence. A great person whom I definitely respected, just not ‘forward’ enough to be convincing.

    When the first public debate between the candidates came up, however, and I saw all the candidates for the first time, I was absolutely shocked at how abysmal Shearer’s performance was in comparison to everyone else. I suddenly believed (even though I knew it wasn’t realistic) that Boscawen had a chance at winning the by-election. I was like: “Really? This is the guy they put up to replace Clark?”

    When one of ACT’s more weaker speakers in the past was stronger than the current Labour leader (on a purely vocal performance basis), it really says a lot.

    No disrespect to Shearer personally as I admire his work experience, but being a team leader is a lot different from being a keep-your-head-down hard worker. As an avid guitarist, I also came across this video… The fact that the luthier presents himself as the more ‘dominant’ person in the video just goes to show that Shearer is not someone you would want negotiating with international leaders if he was the Prime Minister:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RahyecpTT_A

    FWIW I will be attending Sunday’s conference and I would like to be proven wrong by the leader’s speech, but I won’t be betting any money on it.

    • Te Reo Putake 41.1

      Crikey, Chi Hsu!bOn what basis is an Actoid attending a LP conference*? Or have you had a moment of clarity in the last couple of years?

      *No jokes about the Labour front bench, please!

      • Chi Hsu 41.1.1

        I wouldn’t say moment of clarity – rather disillusionment with the ACT Party since the Banks takeover. As I am more liberal than conservative, I’ve decided to hop over to Labour for now rather than go with National.

  42. Centre Leftist 42

    I think the best person for this job could be Rajen Prasad

  43. Antony Cotton 43

    I believe that Shearer must go he is weak and Labour is living in the past under his Leadership give a Foreign Affairs Spokerperson and 9. They Must Pick Cunliffe as Leader he is fighting chance against Key and Twyford for Deputy Here is my Frontbench Cunliffe Twyford Local Government and Transport Parker Finance Mackey Education and Maori Affairs Chauvel Law and Order Street Social Development Little Labour and Acc O Connor Health and Agriculture. Drop Cosgrove he lost his seat drop him to backbench.

  44. Trevor 44

    Jacinda Adern is the obvious choice for leader of the Labour party ……she would have SO much wide appeal :)

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  • National Makes Jokes About Domestic Violence, and Now Unemployment
    How far we have fallen in NZ that our current Government spends much of it’s time in Parliament making jokes about domestic violence, and today – unemployment. Key and some of his dishonest thieving Ministers have in the past few...
    An average kiwi | 29-07
  • Guest post at the Standard: Walking through the wrong door is the least of ...
    I have a guest post over at the Standard right now – Walking through the wrong door is the least of Gerry’s problems. Jump over there and read it in full! What we need in Christchurch is more houses, now....
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 29-07
  • Minor Party pre-campaign pontifications
    A look at the tracking polls for small parties helps explain what’s been happening over the last few days (larger interactive version here); The Conservatives are only slightly higher than they were last election suggesting they’ll get 2.6% max. Probably...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • Minor Party pre-campaign pontifications
    A look at the tracking polls for small parties helps explain what’s been happening over the last few days (larger interactive version here); The Conservatives are only slightly higher than they were last election suggesting they’ll get 2.6% max. Probably...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • An abhorrent innovation
    The Rt. Hon. Humphrey Horswell, QSM gives his opinion on the recently-released National Party list...
    Imperator Fish | 29-07
  • Stuart’s 100: #2 Whitcoulls Queen Street
    Urban designer Stuart Houghton has set himself a personal project of coming up with 100 ideas for improving Auckland at the rate of one a day. He is Tweeting them here: @HoughtonSd  Discussing this project with Stuart he said that “I see the city is...
    Transport Blog | 29-07
  • The OIA and the Statutes Amendment Bill
    Back in February the government introduced a Statutes Amendment Bill to make numerous "technical, short, and non-controversial" amendments to legislation. The bill included several amendments to the OIA and LGOIMA which I thought fell into that category. The bill was...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • How We Solve The Income Inequality Problem
    click here for some very good ideas from the New Economics Foundation...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • How to make farmers clean up their act
    Order them to stop milking until they've fixed their effluent problems:A Thames farming company has been hit with a $47,000 fine and ordered to stop milking until it fixed the overflowing effluent system at its Kopu farm. The order came...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • The Truth About What Keeps People In Poverty From Those Who Live It
    Click here to read this report from the Family 100 Research Project July 2014...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • Eye Candy, Window Dressing and Deep Pockets.
    I came back from six weeks abroad to see the beginning of the Internet Party’s “party party” launches. It leaves me with some questions. It seems that what the Internet Party has done is this. Using Kim Dotcom’s wallet as...
    Kiwipolitico | 29-07
  • Wealth, Income and Inequality in Australia.
    worth a read click here...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • World News Brief, Tuesday July 29
    Top of the AgendaLull in Gaza as Pressure for Cease-Fire Mounts...
    Pundit | 29-07
  • National’s roads are pure pork
    Last month the government announced it would be spending $212 million on regional roads. Every single one of the priority projects (and eight of nine lower priority projects) is in a National-held electorate, which suggested immediately that this was pre-election...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh
    Declan Waugh is a self-proclaimed “scientist and fluoride researcher” who seems to spend all his time misrepresenting and distorting  scientific literature and health data to promote his anti-fluoride cause. Waugh has an avid following, among fellow anti-fluoride activists and propagandists. The...
    Open Parachute | 29-07
  • Whyte supremacy
    Emphatically, he says, an ACT party led by Whyte would not go to war on Treaty issues. “I’ve got no interest in Maori-bashing as a political game.” Dr Jamie Whyte back in January when he assumed leadership of ACT.  The...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • Whyte supremacy
    Emphatically, he says, an ACT party led by Whyte would not go to war on Treaty issues. “I’ve got no interest in Maori-bashing as a political game.” Dr Jamie Whyte back in January when he assumed leadership of ACT.  The...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • New Fisk
    It's not just radicalised Islamists - what about foreign fighters who flock to the other side?...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • How we should deal with rorting MPs
    Prosecute them for theft:Former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper tried three times to have criminal charges thrown out of court following claims he misused his travel entitlements during several trips to some of the Canberra region's most prestigious wineries. But three...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • July 14 AT Board Meeting
    The Auckland Transport Board is meeting today and as usual I’ve had a look through the papers to see if there is anything interesting. Below is the collection of items or comments that caught my eye. The rest of this...
    Transport Blog | 29-07
  • Powerful and Cold-hearted
    click here to read this compelling article ...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • Wilkinson and Picket Lectures in New Zealand
    Click here to get these lectures. Folks who missed the Douglas Robb lectures last month can view them here l...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • The Changing Priorities Of Protest
    The Changing Face Of Protest: In marked contrast to the theologically- and ideologically-driven protest movements of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, contemporary protest, like this demonstration against the latest Israeli assault on Gaza, tends to be led by those whose stake in...
    Bowalley Road | 29-07
  • Why Voters Aren’t Angrier About Economic Inequality
    This is the USA but there are strong parallels here in New zealand ...
    Closing the Gap | 28-07
  • Goodbye Nick Smith
    On the back of recently trying to silence DOC over their concerns about the impact of the Ruataniwha irrigation project on water quality in central Hawke's Bay, Nick Smith is once again bullying a statuary body with threats that clearly...
    The Jackal | 28-07
  • Minister for Conservation of What?
    Attendees at the Fish and Game council’s hui earlier this month raised concerns over Conservation Minister Nick Smith’s attempt to reduce their ability to advocate for freshwater quality. The Minister is said to have implied that he would restructure the...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 28-07
  • Lorde on Voting
    The Electoral Commission is doing some great work this year in an effort to raise youth turnout. Their latest video features Lorde. At 17, she’s still too young to vote herself but lends her weight to the importance of having...
    Labour campaign | 28-07
  • New Zealand’s Southern Alps have lost a third of their ice
    This article by Jim Salinger, University of Auckland; Blair Fitzharris, University of Otago, and Trevor Chinn, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, was first published at The Conversation. The photo at left shows the calving face of the Tasman...
    Hot Topic | 28-07
  • Speaker: Jim’s Festival
    As he did last year, Jimmy Rae Brown has been ushering and assisting at the New Zealand International Film Festival. This means he gets to see quite a few films -- the ones he works at and the ones he...
    Public Address | 28-07
  • Labour’s TV ad – Behind the Scenes! Day 2!
    We followed up a great day’s shooting at the Marae with filming for the general broadcast ads. The scenes in these mirror what we’ve done on the hoardings and speak to the importance of good work, affordable homes, and the...
    Labour campaign | 28-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . .   .   References Radio NZ:  Deals show contempt,...
    Frankly Speaking | 28-07
  • Hard News: Media Take: In the Eye of the Storm
    I'm flying solo on this week's Media Take -- for a very good reason. My colleague and co-host Toi Iti had an engagement in the Urewera on Sunday. He was present when Police Commissioner Mike Bush visited six whanau --...
    Public Address | 28-07
  • COLOURFUL PROTEST CAPTURES DISGUST AT ISRAEL GOVT
    Gaza Massacre draws thousands to protest in Auckland, New Zealand. Snoopman, July 29 2014 Spirited DissentBetween 3000-5000 humans blocked Auckland’s Queen St on Saturday July 26 to protest the Zionist Israeli government’s bombing of Gaza. Organizers called for an end...
    Snoopman News | 28-07
  • Clash of opinion
    Here's Andrea Vance talking sensibly about the Conservative no-deal yesterday: Prime Minister John Key used his own code yesterday to kill off the Conservatives' chances of getting into Parliament. There will be no cup-of-tea deal for Colin Craig in East...
    Polity | 28-07
  • A musical interlude
    Every couple of months a bunch of my friends meet up for an ‘under-appreciated music appreciation society’ in which we play each other songs based on a theme. On Sunday we covered ‘covers that are better than the original’ and...
    DimPost | 28-07
  • A musical interlude
    Every couple of months a bunch of my friends meet up for an ‘under-appreciated music appreciation society’ in which we play each other songs based on a theme. On Sunday we covered ‘covers that are better than the original’ and...
    DimPost | 28-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    Frankly Speaking | 28-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    Frankly Speaking | 28-07
  • Environmental effects of an Additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing
    The additional Waitemata Harbour crossing is a crazy project for a variety of reasons. The blog has noted before that the project is both completely unaffordable and totally unnecessary because of the lack of the actual benefits when you look...
    Transport Blog | 28-07
  • Harré: It’s Game on in Helensville
    Press Release – Internet Party Harr: Its Game on in Helensville Internet Party Leader Laila Harr will stand in John Keys Helensville electorate because the Prime Minister has some explaining to do. Ms Harr wants to debate Mr Key at...
    Its our future | 28-07
  • Guy: Speech to Red Meat Sector conference
    Speech – New Zealand Government Following some challenging years, there are strong indications of improved results for many companies in the sector this year.Nathan Guy 28 JULY, 2014 Speech to Red Meat Sector conference Good evening and thank you for...
    Its our future | 28-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media rele...
    The government is fudging the figures over Wellington road project, Transmission Gully, the Green Party said today.The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said today it had let the contract to a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for "a net present cost...
    Greens | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    New Zealand needs to listen to Pacific Island leaders when it comes to climate change action, said the Green Party today. Discontent with New Zealand and Australia is rife at the 2014 Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit which commenced today...
    Greens | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government's attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows National will stop at nothing to open up our coastlines to deep sea oil, the Green Party said today.The article outlines...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Gerry Brownlee today tried to poor cold water on the...
    Labour | 29-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    At midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch her campaign to win the Waiariki electorate seat for MANA in the upcoming general election. “A key goal for MANA this election is to mobilise our people to vote, especially rangatahi, and...
    Mana | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    It seems that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has again been caught out interfering to allow more pollution in our rivers, the Green Party said today. Last year the Department of Conservation submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was suppressed after...
    Greens | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    National's deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says."These parties have no electoral mandate and will return to Parliament only...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove....
    Labour | 28-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce's heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several...
    Greens | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Of course CERA officials do need to...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “Nick Smith...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    “It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP.  ”She’s strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven’t had any – and won.  That...
    Mana | 27-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect New Zealand beaches from oil spills. The plan is the second component of the Party's environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil...
    Greens | 26-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The Government needs to come clean. In fact, the cost is $125 million per...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “John Key and his government need to step up and take climate change seriously.” New Zealand needs to...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • So where are the Taxpayer’s Union on Simon Bridges luxury oil dinners?
    So where is David Farrar’s astroturf fake union, the Taxpayer’s Union, to criticise the quarter of a million spent on luxury wine and food to woo the oil industry then? Luxury oil summit during Rugby Cup was an ‘investment’Energy Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • ACT show their true racist colours
    ACT Party conference in Epsom last week At some point ACTs low poll ratings were going to have to force ACT to stop pretending to be some free market under grad fantasy and get them back to their true purpose...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Broken English, broken government, broken climate
    Bill English’s unguarded statements on climate change demonstrate just how out of touch the National Party leadership really is, and how important it is that they should be forced to face facts. A couple of weeks ago finance minister Bill...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Privilege Lost
    Elton John didn’t get it wrong when said that sorry was the hardest word. It’s a word whose mere utterance can be seized upon as a sign of weakness and topic of ridicule, while simultaneously expressing understanding and opening the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST POST: Curwen Rolinson – A Vote For NZF Is A Vote For NZF – For Na...
    I’m loving this “Duelling Banjos” thing me and Bomber have got going on at the moment - he writes a piece castigating NZF for imminent existential failure due to Cons, I write a refutation setting out why we’ll be back. He writes a...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, holidays
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | Press Release Our Solar in Schools policy will allow them to save money on electricity – money which can be...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds 24 July 2014 Free doctor’s visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • 3 reasons why I can’t care about Gerry Brownlee’s airport security fias...
    I find it very difficult to get upset about Gerry Brownlee barging through airport security for 3 simple reasons. Firstly I think airport security in this country is a total farce. Why we need to be conditioned to security searches...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • How the Opposition win Epsom now Key has cemented Goldsmith into place
    One fear I had this election would be that National listened to Matthew Hooton and removed Goldsmith from the ballot box to leave the race open enough for David Seymour to ensure an ACT Party victory. Thankfully National Party hubris...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Now Conservative Party has been killed off, is a vote for NZ First a vote f...
    Are Winston and John Key new Best Friends Forever?   Colin Craig and his Conservative Party have been cleverly played and tricked and trapped by National. Whatever promises and flirtations Key made with Craig last year have eventuated into nothing....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away ...
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Best National Party Billboard
    Best National Party Billboard...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Posted on July 28, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press ReleasesAt midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game.
    NICK SMITH’S crude intimidation of the Fish and Game Council points to the bleakest of environmental futures should National be re-elected on 20 September. It is now considerably clearer than 60 percent of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams that...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release Fish and Game is supposed to advocate for clean and healthy rivers, it’s the law. It...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Key’s odd personal hypocrisy in Epsom, his kiss of death to the Maori Par...
    Aside from tricking Colin Craig into running in an electorate National can crush him in, John Key has announced three things in his election deals that are ill thought out. The first is his deal with the Maori Party. At a time...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Public deserves electoral integrity National’s deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing? Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned A publicly disgraced Auckland hotel is still not paying their workers the minimum wage, according to the Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG). Last week the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again Workers at Brambles-owned CHEP Christchurch have walked off the job again today to protest the employer’s refusal to negotiate an improved pay offer, according...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The heavy hand of Steven Joyce is destroying New Zealand’s innovation economy.” The National Government should allow scientists and businesses...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced 27 July...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry. Maritime Union of New...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Māori Privilege
    Contrary to what some may believe, Māori aren't privileged citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand. Dr (yes this guy is learned) Jamie Whyte and Winston Peters would obviously beg to differ, as their recent remarks clearly propagate a narrative that belongs...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • We need a civilised discussion about racial law
    Yesterday I published the speech that I gave to the ACT Party Waikato Conference on Saturday. It concerned a fundamental principle of Western civilisation....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Returns Not Royal Treatment Will Lead to Investment
    Reacting to the NZ Herald’s reporting of a $240,000 bill for taxpayers to wine and dine eleven oil executives - including four nights' luxury accommodation, a sailing trip, and two Rugby World Cup games, Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • SFO Must Examine Disappearance of Tuwharetoa’s $20m
    Reacting to the NZ Herald’s report into suspected financial irregularities at Tuwharetoa since its Treaty Settlement in 2008, Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union , says:...