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Reading the tea-leaves

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 pm, April 19th, 2012 - 69 comments
Categories: accountability, Politics - Tags: ,

Looks like Stuart Nash’s replacement is is almost certain to be Alistair Cameron. As I understand it he’s a nice enough bloke and he’s very much Grant Robertson’s man. As are most of the staff in the leader’s office now.

It’s been no secret around the beltway that Robertson is preparing to make a play for the leadership of the Labour party and, despite my best hopes, it appears the punt taken on David Shearer has failed – a fact shown by the way his speech today has sunk like a stone.

To be fair, apart from Nash, Shearer has had few people around him that weren’t connected to the failed strategy, or rather lack of strategy, that defined Goff’s tenure. I think the lack of focus Shearer has shown has been institutional rather than due to any failing of his own.

My suspicion is that within the very near future, maybe after another flat poll, someone close to Shearer, perhaps Trevor, will have a hard conversation with him that goes something like “you’ve done your best mate but it’s just not worked” and I think that Shearer will step down because he’s the kind of guy that would step down if he believed it was the best thing to do.

This isn’t a prediction I’m happy to make. In fact, I hope I’m wrong. Right now the Nats are on the ropes and the last thing needed is Labour’s internal ructions taking the focus off that. I also still believe Shearer could be a good leader given decent support (I also think Cunliffe would have done well if he’s been chosen by the caucus – which is why I didn’t feel the need to comment on the leadership challenge at the time).

However it’s starting to feel like a leadership challenge is inevitable. If it is I can only hope that the floor’s opened to all contenders and it’s done openly and with the inclusion of the broader party.

The parliamentary arm of the party owes the party members and supporters that much at least.

69 comments on “Reading the tea-leaves”

  1. hush minx 1

    Interesting post, which has an aire of inevitability about it -and it highlights for me the same issue as arose during the leadership contest last year. What’s the job they are there to do, and if it was in a job description how would it be described in terms of skills and experience? Commitment and loyalty surely should score high? Yet not, apparently.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    *****Fraking Face Palm******

  3. bad12 3

    Our thoughts here on David Shearer’s selection as the Labour Leader were that this was a choice that both the left and right blocs in the Parliamentary Caucus could ‘live’ with,

    Had we been asked at the time,(and why would anyone ask us we havn’t been members since 1985), We would have ticked the box for David Cunliff who to us seemed to elucidate Labour’s message with some passion,(described in this household as coming across a bit red),

    Elevation to leadership effects different people in different ways, We all can recall what the power rush did to Nick Smith when He became the deputy to that notorious numb-nuts Brash,(the laughter at Nick’s rise and demise near on gave rise to a coronary or two round here),

    Grant Robertson tho showed,as deputy to Shearer,while Crusher was rattling Her silver spoons over being taken to task by Mallard and Little a couple of glimpses of what we best describe as “it”, He came across via the TV as someone that knows what he was talking about and ‘we’ connected with that,

    Greens co-leader Metiria Turei has “it” by the truckload, When She speaks you are immediately compelled to listen and you immediately ”get” what She is saying,

    Robertson as some of that ”it”,has He enough to move the voters?,especially the registered non-voters?we would dare suggest that He does,

    What we do know is that Robertson connects with people on all sorts of levels even being on good terms with the regulars at Wellington,s ‘soupies’,so if He connects at the gutter level He is likely to carry such connectivity into those areas where Labour need to re-gain its vote from, the highly pissed off registered non-voters who have deserted seeing Labour as the Party of,by and for the middle classes,

    Mind you if the Parliamentary Labour team see themselves as the above, then they might as well stick with Dave Shearer…

    • IrishBill 3.1

      I think Grant could be a good leader but I’d be concerned about anyone that just took over in a quick coup. A new leader would ideally have a strong clear mandate to make the changes that need to be made. I think Shearer had such a mandate but hasn’t capitalised on it very well.

      • Rupert the Beer 3.1.1

        For the next 20 years, there won’t be a Labour Prime Minister who isn’t Auckland-based.

        Discuss.

        • muzza 3.1.1.1

          “For the next 20 years, there won’t be a Labour Prime Minister who isn’t Auckland-based”

          – For as long as the people put up with the crooked political system, there will not be a Labour, National or any other party , who will stop the decline of NZ!

          Better!

        • Mickey 3.1.1.2

          Just remove the last 4 words.

      • bad12 3.1.2

        Perhaps as others have suggested Dave Shearer has been put in place as the Leader by the Labour Parliamentary Caucus to cement Labour into the position of ‘business as usual’,

        Labour might see itself now as not the ‘broad church’ of political opinion that it once was willing to leave the Green’s and Mana to be the electoral home of those whose politics lie far to the left of center,

        I would tend to suggest that the middle ground in New Zealand politics is far too crowded by other Party,s and Labour in such a situation is in direct competition with National for a small slice, (2%),of this middle ground in the electoral cycle,

        obviously,IF, Labour is reliant upon securing this small slice of those who in the past 2 elections have voted National then Labour will in effect be captured by this small slice of the electorate into Governing with ‘business as usual’ in mind,

        Meanwhile back in the jungle there is some 1 million voters who appear to all extents and purposes to be disinterested in what Labour has had to say for the past 4 odd years and I cannot see Dave Shearer having reached many,(any?), of them with either of His major speeches so far,

        You are right tho about the Leadership issue, it aint a good look to play musical chairs over such, and as an ex-Labour Party member its not really my place to say,but, if change has to happen, better that change now than giving the sense of panic to the electorate by changing 6 months out from the 2014 election…

        • Fortran 3.1.2.1

          Are you saying that a Gillard backstab at Shearer would enhance the Labour Party in favour of Robertson and his ilk ?
          Those middle ex Labourites, wavering now Nat voters, would not be amused, and would stay with the Nats.
          Shearer shows a good moderate side to Labour.
          Middle New Zealand are not ready for an openly homosexual Prime Minister, along with all his cohorts in high places.

      • Luka 3.1.3

        Mr Robertson is not well known,and NZ is conservative, I don’t think they are ready for a gay leader (don’t shoot the messenger). I could be wrong, but I think Sharer is the man for 2014. If not, Cunliffe should have been second in charge, he would be like English. Know his place (since no one in the caucus will elect him), he is good with numbers and detail.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.2

      You often make good points B12.

      Now this has been said before, and I know you don’t want to back down on it and what have you, but I’m just going to add my voice to those that have suggested you drop the firrst person plural usage. It’s fucking distracting when reading your comments to read the ‘we’s and ‘us’s.

      I’ve read your arguments for why you use it, collectives and what not, so I’m not asking you to defend it again, nor will I be entering into any debate about it, or even reading a reply. I’m just making a suggestion, so please don’t feel the need to do anything other than think about it.

      The reason it’s distracting, is that ‘B12′ is who you are commenting as, but no one knows who or what B12 is.

      That’s fine, I comment here as P’s b.

      I’m totally down with pseudonyms.

      Who I am isn’t important, and it’s not impossible to figure out who I am (no one significant, just a man in the stands throwing batteries, as it happens). But I speak for myself.

      Not knowing who B12 represents means the plural is distracting,; you are claiming to speak for who, exactly, other than the writer of B12′s comments? Without knowing that, the plural comes across, to me at least, as a pompous affectation.

      There’s a tory blogger that does the same thing on his ‘Keeping stock’ blog, and it comes across as a just a load of self indulgent faux editorial style wanking. I don’t care about that, and wouldn’t suggest he changes it, but that’s because having tories look like toss-pots doesn’t bother me ;)

      Just a suggestion, that I’m asking you to think about, as others on the left have.

      pax,

      Pascal’s bookie, speaking for his own self.

      • Te Reo Putake 3.2.1

        Agreed, Bookie. Bad12 does have interesting things to say, but the weirdness ruins the reading experience. If Bad12 wants to be part of ‘the collective’, then Bad12 should write in a way that is inclusive. Deliberately alienating readers is not helpful in making points, as James 111 can confirm.

        • Carol 3.2.1.1

          I also need to read some of B12′s sentences twice, because I read it first instinctively thinking he is ACTUALLY talking for a group of people eg who may have discussed this amongst themselves and have some inside info, or specific evidence on the ground, on the subject.

        • bad12 3.2.1.2

          ”If Bad12 wants to be part of the ‘collective’, then Bad12 should write in a way that is inclusive”,

          Sez it all really,while denying that ‘I’,as in Bad12 can be part of any collective voice the author is then claiming to represent ‘a collective’,

          Just to cease the whining over the use of the collective ‘we’ all ‘our’ comments will get the edit and have the egotistical and possessive ‘I’ and ‘My’ inserted,

          ‘I’ would have much preferred a debate on the issues, and, the quote from above which makes up the first line of this comment sez it all really…

          • Carol 3.2.1.2.1

            “egotistical” means too much ego. A certain amount of ego is a necessity of human existence in a social and co-operative world. There are times when I need to indicate that I am expressing my own perceptions. It’s part of the God-trick of the old western-European, objectivist/enlightenment, patriarchal approach to avoid using the “I”.

            In my younger days I was quite into some Eastern philosophies that aimed to kill the ego. I came to the conclusions this was a patriarchal “ego”. Many women in the past have been schooled in denying their ego, in deference to the masculine collective “we” and “I”….. these two first person positions all being part of the patriarchal ego-struggle.

          • Te Reo Putake 3.2.1.2.2

            Cheers, Bad12. While you have completely misunderstood my comment, I will now be able to look forward to your contributions because the strength of the ideas you present will not be diluted by your stylistic affectations.
             
            I think thats a win/win for the collective ;)

    • Bad12

      You have obviously never seen David Cunliffe on TV.

      And you have no idea of the dynamics to the Labour Party Caucus. 

  4. Where oh where are women occupying senior positions.  Apart from Party President Moira Coatesworth the party is male led.

  5. I thought Shearer should be given a year to prove if he has the right stuff to turn Labour around but early indications are very disappointing. It may well be that his lacking of lustre and nous precipitates an early demise.

    But just plonking another plonker as leader does not look like it will address the bigger problems going by the failing strategies that keep being concocted behind the scenes.

    Maybe Labour should just merge with the Greens, they have a few leaders and woment to fill in Labours gaps.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      I could see a merger taking place in 2020+, but not till then.

    • Gee I hate it when this happens but I agree with Petey that Shearer needs to be given a chance.  If there is a move against him now it makes the party look amateurish and desperate.  

      Labour had a similar experience in the late 1980s were Geoffrey Palmer took over from Lange and was then himself rolled by Mike Moore shortly before the election.  It is very destabilizing.  Members will insist that Shearer be given a chance to show his ability. 

      • Doug 5.2.1

        “it makes the party look amateurish and desperate” That boat sir, has well and truly sailed.

      • lprent 5.2.2

        Yep. That is always my view as well. There is exactly three times when I think that a leadership challenge is effective.

        One is immediately after an lost election. It allows time for the new leader to get on their feet, consolidate and get ready for the next election. It also allows time for those disaffected by the result to get either get over it, go passive or leave. We have had that…

        Two is where there is a planned known succession.

        Three is if the leader was caught screwing pigs or other similar activities like taking bribes, being caught knowingly lying about something important etc.

  6. Wobble 6

    If there is a new contest, I want an actual say this time.

    And yes, the men thing.

    The current leadership seem to have written the guide on how to get out of touch with yet more women.

  7. Sanctuary 7

    The writers of this blog have never come to terms with Shearer’s elevation leadership. I suppose this sort of disloyal white anting by the disaffected is to be expected, but it is still disappointing.

    • IrishBill 7.1

      You’re wrong. I had/have no problem with Shearer and I still think Labour are better sticking with him. With a decent strategy he’d do well as he’s personable, ethical and genuine. I suggest you look elsewhere for white-anting. Also, you should consider that the “writers of this blog” are different people with different opinions.

      • ad 7.1.1

        Well I would confess not to being a Shearer supporter, but I was grinding my teeth towards giving him a break, partiuclarly after launching that anti-SkyCity deal website.

        I truly wanted that first major speech to have real cut-through into the media and into public discourse, perhaps with an idea or two that would roll around in people’s mouths for a while. And I truly wanted it for the second speech. Bad luck.

        But the real hits being made against this government are little to do with how Labour in opposition are performing: they broke none of ACC, Ports of Auckland, Sky City, Crafar Farms, Christchurch Rebuild, or Public Sector restructuring issues. They are all issues that National has mishandled, and the mainstream media have made a meal of it, rather than the Labour leadership breaking and attacking.

        Trying to take the political attack out of parliamentary politics is like trying to take the money out of capitalism. It just doesn’t work.

        It really is lack of attack that makes it look as if the Labour bench just can’t front it against these National Ministers, and yet there’s plenty to go for. There are real and notable exceptions including Little and Dalziell, and increasingly Parker.

        I guess attack is what I need the most from Labour’s leader, and Shearer palpably doesn’t have that attack, or want it.

        It may well be that National will get to a tipping point in public opinion where their downfall is inevitable, and all the total Opposition has to do is wait and not do anything stupid to win in 2014. I just expect more than that from Labour, and I would prefer the Greens not to get to 20%. 15% feels about right.

        I accept that no-one will be perfect, and after a botched leadership selection process it’s harder to be generous than it should be, but there’s no place in politics for Shearer’s weakness, anywhere.

    • QoT 7.2

      white anting

      After Clare Curran’s turn with this phrase, Sanc, I have to say in the context of NZ leftwing politics it just screams “Shut up or I’ll call you a splitter!!!”

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    As a Mana supporter I don’t need to comment, but I will in the interests of left co-operation.

    • why drop your bundle so soon Labourites? David Shearer has only been in the job for a dog’s watch, he surely should get at least one party conference and parliamentary cycle before this type of speculation.

    • the downfall of Labour through my political lifetime (early 70s to now) has always been the subjugation of the ordinary member, party conferences and sector groups to the parliamentary wing, almost to the point of extinction by the early 90s with the ‘backbone boys’ etc. It works the other way round to a large extent in the Greens and totally in Te Mana.

    • Labour’s social democratic (or democratic socialist, as Chris Trotter and other oldies put it) “all class” political philosophy makes it difficult to have ‘firebrand’ agitational leaders in the modern era due to the inevitable necessary policy compromises.

    Give David a year fer crissakes.

    • alex 8.1

      Interesting point, he has only been in the job a short amount of time, but the rumour mill needs to begin early or else when the challenge does come it will seem too sudden.

  9. Te Reo Putake 9

    How about these quotes, eh?
     
    “… (a) believer in consensus politics, who aides say never loses his rag and who so hates fights that he was once nicknamed “the marshmallow” within his own party”
     
    “… one MP in his party warned he looked “more like a pizza delivery man”
     
    “He has always been underestimated. He’s affable, nice, close to ordinary people and very urbane. Some say he’s too nice, but behind that nice side, there’s a redoubtable political animal.”
     
    Yep, anyone that wussy shouldn’t be leading his party, eh? But then, Francois Hollande is still about to hand Nicolas Sarkosy a thrashing in the French presidential elections despite the naysayers. It won’t be long before David Shearer does the equivalent thing here, folks. Harden up, IB, the only thing that can stop the left here is a failure of nerve.

    • muzza 9.1

      “The only thing that can stop the left is failure of nerve”

      – Voice whatever you think left is, it will not involve Labour again, EVER! Sure Labour might be part of the government again, but the living conditions of the average kiwi are forever in decline! More and more will be dropped into the mire as the trickle up effect continues, and becomes the torrant!

      – And failure of the nerve , by that you mean, failure of the people to take back control of the political system !

      Labour are part of the problem, they WILL NOT be part of the solution!

      • Te Reo Putake 9.1.1

        All Power to the People! Freedom for Tooting!

        • Tiger Mountain 9.1.1.1

          Bring back Wolfie!

          • Te Reo Putake 9.1.1.1.1

            I’m always looking for the DVD, TM, but I’ve never spotted it anywhere. If UKTV was any good that have on non stop. Wikipedia entry here, for all those wondering what we’re on about!
             
            Favourite quote: “That’s it mate. Come the revolution, you’ll be first against the wall bop-bop-bop!”

            • Tiger Mountain 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Classic. Of course there have been many real life NZ “Wolfies” over the years, one in particular comes to mind courtesy of ACT’s (ex?) Trev Louden and his SIS feed. If you need to ask…

              Anyway back to post, let the dust settle a bit. Several of us regulars here mostly refrained from commenting through the Labour Party leadership change, but it is interesting again the non labourites who are putting their five cents worth in.

  10. paulbd 10

    I agree that it seems too early for David Shearer to go. While he may not be sparkling in the media, Labour is seeming to be a bit more solid than last year. It is only a few months since the election. Labour may need more time to get its new direction going, which better connects with what ordinary people want from a government, as opposed to special interests like the unions.

    Why is it that some people are still fixated on gender? I would have thought that nowadays people need to be promoted on merit and what they bring, instead of meeting some gender quota. If there are lacking women in the top benches of the Labour Party, some effort should be made on recruiting and building the skills of women to become MPs. Isn’t one of Labour’s problems the dominance of dead wood in the MPs because of the representational thing?

  11. higherstandard 11

    The best thing Labour could do is march Trevor Mallard out onto the steps of parliament and get him to perform sepuku.

    Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get worse than the Bill English opposition last decade up pops this shit.

  12. Carol 12

    I see a problem with the supporting TEAM as much as with Shearer. Unbelievably male-dominated for the 21st century. And too riddled with neoliberal ideology, albeit more watered down than the NActs.

    The way it’s going, Mana and the Greens look far more on the ball and relevant, with their policies, approach and senior teams.

    • Bored 12.1

      Thanks Carol, your one line stands out to me too riddled with neoliberal ideology, albeit more watered down than the NActs.

      To put this in context a little history from the Archdruidreport this week….. talking about the great Depression.

      Then as now, politicians used the shibboleth of a balanced budget to demand austerity for everybody but the rich, and cut exactly those programs which could have helped families caught by hard times. Then as now, things got worse while the media insisted that they were getting better, and the mounting evidence that policies weren’t working was treated as proof that the same policies had to be pursued even more forcefully.

      In many countries, this sort of thinking drove the collapse of democratic governments and the rise of dictators who won absolute power by doing what everyone outside the political establishment knew had to be done. In the United States, that didn’t quite happen. What happened instead was that a faction of dissident Democrats and former Republicans managed to seize control of the Democratic party, which hadn’t won a presidential race since 1916, and put Franklin D. Roosevelt into office in 1932. Roosevelt, like the dictators, was willing to do what the masses demanded: use public funds to provide jobs for the jobless, keep families from losing their homes to foreclosure, and reinvest in the nation’s dilapidated infrastructure.

      Those of you who cannot see the parallels between then and now must be firmly asleep at the wheel as the Titanic that is our economy heads toward the iceberg. And there is a very prescient warning in the above passage: where democratic systems failed to raise and commit to a policy direction to help the people, the people turned to dictators.

      Labour and its leader (whoever) need to be bold and commit to radical change. I don’t see a bar of commitment to a viable alternative from Labour at present. Any bugger can steer a ship toward the iceberg straighter than National (everything they do is crooked), it takes real vision to navigate out of the icefield.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        I don’t see a bar of commitment to radical change from any of the parties although I do see more and more authoritarianism coming through.

  13. PunditX 13

    One of the reasons the Greens are on 17% is that Labour’s caucus chose Cunliffe. This anybody but Cunliffe stance by the old guard in caucus is leading Labour into political oblivion. Russel Norman can’t believe his luck..

  14. Rosie 14

    I’d like to see Grant Robertson being leader – one day. In time, once Labour are back in their stride and showing their strength again.

    He seems to have a very genuine and sincere connection to regular people and always comes across smart and thoughtful. He used to have a good radio interview every Monday on Radio Active and luckily at that time he had a politically and socially aware host so discussion between them was sometimes quite enlightening. Gosh, I just had a vague feeling of hope shiver through me………I’d love to see Labour and Green working together and suceeding……..imagine that!

  15. Blue 15

    Now that Labour has elected Shearer they are stuck with him. Getting into leadership fights and coups at this stage is political suicide. That’s exactly why the party needed to get it right first time with this, and why we all laid into them when they got it wrong.

    Shearer is a lame duck, but getting rid of him isn’t going to help. Especially if the replacement is Robertson.

    It has been painful to watch as Shearer has failed to achieve any cut through with voters or the media, and everything that ‘he’ supposedly does you know has actually been done by others, because Shearer is too new to know what he’s doing.

    If Robertson wanted to be leader, he should have thrown his hat in the ring for leader, not deputy leader with the intention to knife the leader later.

    If an internal shitfight should occur, however, at least it will see Labour get back to normal politics, where you have to prove yourself before you become leader, not just basically get handed the job by the outgoing leader as Phil Goff and Shearer did.

    And Tiger Mountain, the big problem with Shearer is that he is not a ‘political animal’ as one of those quotes says. He has no interest in playing politics, he is a natural bureaucrat, not a natural politician.

    A politician’s eyes light up when they play the game, because they’re good at it and they love it. Shearer loathes it and he is pretty useless at it.

  16. canterbury4life 16

    Grant should not be in the Labour Party especially leader. Are Labour not for the team anymore?

    Grant was like officially campaign spokesperson in the campaign where the party had a worse result ever.

    He backstabbed Phil Gof all the time. Dont believe me? Look at his many treaty comments that he said to Vernon Small.

    When Grant was state service spokes man he just went on and on and on about his precious Wellington Central public servants. He made people down here really angry and he didn’t care and I know other Christchurch MPs said to him to be careful and now we have Nickie Wagner.

    He put on heaps and heaps of weight when he had health portfolio. Sorry to say but this it matters. People down here in Canterbury dont even have places to cook in or fridges some of us!!!

    In leadership campaign he was only for himself really. Hello? How can he be for Parker one day and Shearer the next then Parker again and all around – just so he was important.

    Now its the Grant show again? Crazy.

    Hes done nothing in parl but drag the Labour Party down.

    I hate to say it but I think if Grant was not gay he would be a selfish Nact. Just sayin.

  17. Olwyn 17

    Blue, you are saying two things that contradict each other; that Labour should stick with Shearer, and that Labour would be better off with a leader that emerged from a shit fight, as opposed to being handed the job.

    The strategies associated with the choice of Shearer have not succeeded, and if they were going to they would have shown some sign of bearing fruit by now. Someone or other thought the way to go was to copy Key’s strategy, after all, didn’t he get the top job by copying Helen? However, they overlooked the fact that Key had the advantage of not being Don Brash, alongside whom Attila the Hun could stake his claim as a centrist. Then they seemed to think that he would have time to grow into the job, and that didn’t happen either, since National and its supporters decided that now is the time to rip shit and bust. Then, after trailing the candidates around the country, they rejected the potential leader that the members had for the most part endorsed, and rather than trying to win them over to their way of thinking, disdainfully implied that they were far less important than the middle class voters that they intended to woo. Finally, New Zealanders have learned to be deeply suspicious of feel-good suggestion in lieu of real policy: it does not make them feel good, it just makes them wonder what is not being said. This is exacerbated by not knowing Shearer well enough to know whether or not they trust him.

    Something does need to change soon, whether the strategy or the leader.

    • Something does need to change soon, whether the strategy or the leader.

      Yes, the leader has to change the strategy, or the strategy needs to change the leader – and then change the strategy.

    • Blue 17.2

      It might seem contradictory – it’s actually my frustration at the fact that Labour are in a no-win situation. 2014 is basically down the gurgler already.

      If Labour get caught up in infighting, they will tarnish the party in the public eye by making themselves look unstable, disorganised and disloyal. The party might be better for it in the long run, but it will mean three terms of Nact before they sort themselves out.

      If they stick with Shearer, they will go into 2014 with a lame duck leader. And that could go either way – Labour could squeak over the line into Government, or people could do what they did in 2011 and decide that anything is better than an unappealing Labour leader.

      There are no good options here.

      • Olwyn 17.2.1

        On the one hand, if a change of leadership is to take place, it should be soon. Don Brash replaced English and would have likely have won the subsequent election, had he not got embroiled with the brethren. On the other hand, Irish thinks that Shearer has the capacity to be a good leader, but a number of people are still not convinced, and this shows in the polls. In which case, the strategy perhaps needs revisiting. Voters do not know Shearer, and do not seem able to get to know him, while the BAU tone of his speeches breeds mistrust from the left without commensurate support from the centre. For myself, I do want Labour to win the next election but I do not want it to win as National Lite, and I am not at all sure as to what it presently stands for. I know there are some great left wingers in its number, but I do not know how much sway they have over the party’s direction. Doing something on one of these fronts (leadership or strategy) is urgent, in my opinion, because I think this present government could possibly be brought down before its tenure is up.

  18. Darien Fenton 18

    Irish : this kind of speculative comment is just bullshit on so many fronts. And I’m sure you know it.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 18.1

      C’mon, Irish. It’s just hanging out there. The suspense is killing me.

  19. Herodotus 19

    Labour and Shearer seem to me to be scared of not losing the mass appeal instead of attempting to win it. To win you need to have a pre determined destination and direction to take and constructive ideas, to achieve or get to the destination.
    To me currently we have 1 plan and both Nat and Lab giving their interpretations on this one plan. the plan is crap be it dressed in blue or red.
    And these passive statements out of Shearer do nothing to give the impression that Lab is any different. 3 years ago when their was a desire for something substantial to come out of Lab we were told to wait (Labour was keeping its powder dry). We waited and waited yet nothing came out, and Labour achived it’s worst ever election result. This cannot happen in 2014, but there is a similarity already appearing in the Lab 2012 as to the 2009 version.

  20. captain hook 20

    this countyry is run by and for accountants so it is no wonder that the national ethos is one of venality, anal retention and insatiable greed.
    something needs to change.

  21. captain hook 21

    this country is run by and for accountants which explains the venality, anal retentiveness and insatiable greed exhibited by the politicians.
    something has to change.
    and soon

  22. Sitiveni 22

    It’s four months since Shearer was elected leader, 2 months since Parliament has come back after the holidays – for chrisake give the man a chance! He’s been up and down the country doing a good job of connecting with people, he’s shown he trusts his team to get on with it so hence hearing the relevant spokespeople popping up and he’s coming across well in taking on Key on this bribery charade with Sky City.

    But if you’re concerned about getting Shearer in front of the media why have you not asked the question of his PR team….or does he have one….?? Whoever is heading that section up needs to expect a damn good boot in the bum for not frontfooting it and getting either SHearer on the front pages or attacking, for example, granny Herald for constantly banging away at the leader. And there’s never a dickey bird out of his press team countering them. Stuart Nash might have gone to prepare for his return to parliament but that press team needs to go too and be replaced by something that at least acts like a political press team instead of securing the leader spots on useless TV shows with Paul Henry.

    Parliament is back next week and you’d have to expect to see some ferocious questioning of Key on the Casino debacle. The second term is starting and there are some good targets up for attention. Up until now people have not been that interested in politics when they’ve still got nice weather out there to keep their BBQs fired up and the beaches full. But now we’re heading into the cooler months of discontent. This is when the polls will start to shape up with sides being taken. It’s too early for another leadership challenge but let’s watch this space.

  23. Matthew Hooton 23

    Shearer looks perfectly safe for at least the next two months: https://www.ipredict.co.nz/app.php?do=browse&cat=708

    And if anyone knows or thinks differently, they could make a fortune.

  24. Jimmie 24

    Well perhaps the latest Roy Morgan Poll may be the next twist of the knife in Shearer;s back

    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2012/4764/

    All the buzz about the decline in National’s fortunes from the last one are all gone, now its Labour dropping to 26.5%

    Thats a 4.5% drop from the last poll – slightly more than National’s drop in the previous one which set up a lot of hopeful chirping amongst the left.

    You would have thought if Shearer had some spark he would be sneaking the poll results up bit by bit not dropping like a stone – perhaps Cunliffe or Robertson will be warming up the phone tonight.

  25. Sitiveni 25

    So let’s see how the so-called PR team take the bull by the horns and neutralise this poll by pulling out some decent attacking lines. And if they can’t then I’d be kicking them for touch and getting in someone with real balls to get the job done!

  26. AJ 26

    Leave Shearer in place. He is a nice chap and Labour have no show in 2014. Might as well save good canidates until that election is over. Anything else would be jumping the gun and a waste of effort. Shearer is the man for today

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