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The Standard

Shearer Says

Written By: - Date published: 4:18 pm, November 9th, 2012 - 63 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour - Tags:

Unemployment – a National disgrace

They say there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

Well, sometimes statistics tell the truth. And sometimes that truth is damning.

There are now 175,000 people unemployed in New Zealand. The unemployment rate is 7.3%. That’s the highest it has been for 13 years – since the last time National was in Government.

Long-term joblessness is rising steadily. One in four young Kiwis aged 15-19 is unemployed. The Maori unemployment rate has topped 15%.

But these statistics – as ugly as they are – only tell half the story.  For every job lost there is a real person and a real family that has the ground cut out from under them.

Jobs matter, but this government doesn’t seem to care. How many more people will need to lose their jobs before John Key and Bill English admit their hands-off and hope economic policies are failing?

Every week I travel round the country and talk to people who are struggling to make ends meet. Every week more and more jobs are cut as manufacturers lose the battle with the high Kiwi dollar. Every week another thousand people give up on building a future in New Zealand and move across the Tasman.

New Zealanders deserve more from their government.  It is time for fresh ideas and real action. You can read my recent speech about Labour’s plan for jobs here.

Next weekend at Labour’s Annual Conference I will outline my vision for a very different type of government – a hands-on government that supports workers, families and businesses.

All the best,
David Shearer
Leader of the Labour Party

News in Brief

The report of the Royal Commission into the Pike River tragedy was hard-hitting and sobering.  It told a tale of failure across the board – from the company to the Department of Labour, and many others in-between.

But it also highlights more broadly the issue of worker safety.  New Zealand’s record of workplace accidents and deaths is shocking.  Kiwi workers are twice as likely to be injured on the job as they are in Australia, and six times as likely as those in the UK. The Government is simply not addressing this woeful record. Labour will fight to keep workers safe on the job, so they can return home to their families at the end of the day.

63 comments on “Shearer Says”

  1. fisiani 1

    Please Please Don’t ask him to read it aloud! It would take ages.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    Snapshot of New Zealand politics today …

    – Unemployment is higher than it ever was under Helen Clark

    – The Labour leader posts a message about this on the most visited left-leaning blog

    – In two hours, this attracts exactly one comment, from a John Key fan.

    – In those two hours, there have been nearly 100 comments on various other discussions, especially the thread about unemployment

    People care very much about unemployment. They don’t care at all what Shearer says. It really is that simple.

    The leader’s total irrelevance is no longer a joke. It’s pitiful. It’s painful.

    Please do the right thing, Labour, and do it soon. Please give us hope.

    • felix 2.1

      “People care very much about unemployment. They don’t care at all what Shearer says. It really is that simple.”

      In a nutshell, yep.

      I haven’t bothered to read this one. Is he using QoT’s template?

    • Without wanting to be thought of expressing a view one way or the other how do people think the leader should engage with readers of this blog?

      My impression is that the favoritism shown to David Cunliffe dates back to his guest post during the leadership campaign.  Being willing to get down and dirty and engaging in a real debate is something that lefties prefer.

      And it helps to strip out the PR content of statements and say what you think, a la Jed Bartlett in series 2 episode 1 of the west wing.  Thoughts?

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Watching season 1 episode 16 right now :)

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.2

        Without wanting to be thought of expressing a view one way or the other how do people think the leader should engage with readers of this blog?

        To answer you specifically, Shearer should deliver a knock out Conference address and surprise us all with some sharp strong Lefty policy measures, particularly in the refutation of neoliberalism.

        That’ll bring people in behind Shearer double quick.

        On the other hand, a Tony Blair third way delivery with pandering to the free market “centre”,…

        • gobsmacked 2.2.2.1

          Shearer should march to the podium, tear up his speech, ignore the autocue, and say …

          “Fuck it, let’s tell the truth. We’ve failed you for four years, and you’re frustrated with that failure, and so am I, and it’s time we faced up to it. I’m tired of trying to say what somebody else in the caucus wants me to say, and then saying something different later, and ending up saying nothing and going nowhere, that’s not why I returned to this country and got into politics, so here’s what I really feel, and you can decide if you want to hear it, and if you don’t, get somebody else – but at least you’ll know where I stand …”

          Obviously none of this will happen, because it would be bold and honest and make the best headlines Labour have had in years, and it would transform Shearer – and Labour – overnight.

      • felix 2.2.3

        “Without wanting to be thought of expressing a view one way or the other how do people think the leader should engage with readers of this blog?”

        If it were in his nature to engage with people on this blog he’d already be doing so.

        If it’s not genuinely in his nature he shouldn’t bother. It doesn’t suit everyone.

      • David H 2.2.4

        Considering that he does NOT read the blogs, there would be a good place to start, it might just ginger him up if he actually knew what we think of him and his useless caucus!

        But then again Not reading also seems to be something else learnt from Our moron in chief Key.

        • Rhinocrates 2.2.4.1

          IMO, either he reads the blogs or his close advisors do. I find it inconceivable that the latter at least aren’t keeping tabs on blogs. Admitting that he or his advisors do when asked by an interviewer would mean addressing the largely indifferent-to-negative response he is getting there, so he shut down that line of questioning as quickly as he could.

      • David H 2.2.5

        NO Mickey the Favortism shown to Cunliffe is You really want me to go there??

        Cunliffe Shearer

        Can string a sentence Y N
        together coherently

        Can ask the Hard
        Questions Y N

        Has Experience Y N

        Stutters and Stammers N Y

        Is competent in picking winners Y N

        Is well Liked by voters Y N

        Is well liked by Caucus N Y

        Is well liked by John Key
        and National N Y

        And on those few alone makes me wonder why Shearer was ever considered for leader over Cunliffe. SO I am right there is some excessive Trough feeding and wallet Filling at the expense of the election and the wishes of the electorate.

        And people wonder why Labour will be a sad 3rd in the next Election.
        The Answer: Shearer, Mallard, Goff, Dyson, King, and all the other over the hill senile dinosaurs.

    • McFlock 2.3

      well, I just couldn’t be bothered getting into another fucking argument over it.
         
      The links to relevant Labour speeches and policy pages are newish and a good addition, slightly more concrete info for people who really get worked up about that. 
         
      I mean the thing about these emails is that they’re missives to the converted just to keep people included, not major electioneering bumf.
          
      whatever. 

  3. Jim Nald 3

    ho hum

  4. Anne 4

    I think some of you are being a bit unfair on Shearer. And this is coming from someone who was/is a Cunliffe supporter.

    He’s only doing what all Labour leaders have done in the past 25 odd years. He’s sending out a regular newsletter. Up until some 5 to 10 years ago, those newsletters were sent by post. Now, almost everyone has a home computer (at the least) so the newsletter goes out via email. I remember receiving many newsletters from Helen Clark through the 1980s/1990s. There was not much difference in the content, or how it was presented. Yet she became one of the best PMs this country has seen.

  5. Anne 5

    There’s 5 mins to go and I’m not allowed to edit:

    I wanted to point out these letters are to members and supporters – not the general public.

    What I’m saying: don’t try to judge someone on the basis of a handful of newsletters.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Hi Anne, the issue is that the comfy newsletters would be completely fine IF Shearer was well defined, his positions well known, and his leadership of caucus was clear and direct. Like Helen in Opposition.

      As it is, the emails are practically all that the Labour membership have to go on.

    • gobsmacked 5.2

      Fair enough, Anne, but the newsletters aren’t really the issue, they’re only a minor symptom. OK, they’re boilerplate, neither terrible nor inspiring, ticking some boxes.

      The real point is that if you search for Shearer on Google news, or anywhere (not just MSM), he’s hard to find. He congratulated Obama (well, yes) and attacked National on unemployment. That would have taken about half an hour out of his day.

      Now, a simple test is to reverse the roles. Imagine something bad hits a 13 year high, under a Labour government. The latest crime stats or inflation or whatever.

      Then imagine the Right’s response. A press release? Hardly. They’d be tearing the government limb from limb, attacking on overdrive.

      Labour barely show up. And that’s not just this week. It’s last week. And the week before, and the week before.

      Remember the education speech? It was two months ago. Then there was another one, in Christchurch, on jobs. That’s about it.

      It’s not an accident, it’s a strategy. Labour hides their leader. He says little, so he can say little wrong. That’s just not good enough.

  6. the sprout 6

    This item certainly gets consistently hammered every week, predominantly with valid criticisms.

    Anne’s probably right that we are a bit harsh and the newsletter is really business as usual for NZLP leadership (but that was in addition to other more substantive action).

    The problem is Shearer needs to do something a bit more special, given his performance and popularity to date.

    When this sort of material is the primary means of communicating with members and supporters you are going to open yourself up for a flogging.

  7. Anne 7

    CV and gobsmacked:

    Good points I know. Trying to be positive. And I agree with your last point gobsmacked. It almost seems like a strategy. If so, the stupid… or the conniving bastards. Don’t know which yet.

  8. Rhinocrates 8

    They say there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

    NO, you twit, not some amorphous “They”. Benjamin Disraeli! Let me say this through gritted teeth in my best impression of John Cleese playing an exasperated schoolmaster: Ben-ja-min Dis-rae-li. A great statesman and speaker who could teach you a thing or two, you bloody ignoramus.

    And also, this week, dismissing statisticians looks pretty silly after Nate Silver’s achievement.

    As for the rest, I couldn’t make it past the first sentence. Banal, ignorant, uninspiring, insipid, witless… Nah, I can’t even be bothered mocking him.

    Gobsmacked sez: People care very much about unemployment. They don’t care at all what Shearer says. It really is that simple.

    Exactafrakkinglutely.

    • Jackal 8.1

      You say that like you knew Benjamin Disraeli personally Rhinocrates. It would also appear that you’re wrong, with the saying being incorrectly attributed to Disraeli by Mark Twain. There’s in fact no clear evidence to show who the saying comes from, so ‘they’ would appear to be the correct term to use.

      You claim to not have read past the first few sentences, but then give an opinion on the entire news letter. Talk about a half arsed effort Rhinocrates, which makes your opinion largely worthless. If you actually don’t like something, why not give us some reasons? Instead we just have variances of “I don’t like it” over and over again.

      Wanting Shearer to apologise for failing over the past four years is particularly moronic! When exactly did he become Leader of the opposition? It’s National who has been the government for the last four years btw, just incase you weren’t aware… Why the fuck are you blaming Labour when National and John Key in particular is flushing NZ down the toilet?

      Gobsmacked says that nobody cares about what Shearer says, but he/she obviously doesn’t speak for everybody… Talk about an overinflated ego. It’s tedious mendacious bullshit without substance Rhinocrates.

      Surely Shearer’s detractors can do better than the baseless drivel that often passes for commentary in places like Kiwibog? It’s a shame to see similar petulant sentiments repeated here, especially when they are so obviously flawed.

  9. Rhinocrates 9

    “You say that like you knew Benjamin Disraeli personally Rhinocrates.”

    Don’t be childish.

    “why not give us some reasons?”

    I have already. I’m am now at the point of expressing my ennui. I have no desire to repeat myself especially when all Shearer does is repeat himself.

    “It’s National who has been the government for the last four years btw, just incase you weren’t aware… Why the fuck are you blaming Labour when National and John Key in particular is flushing NZ down the toilet”

    The essence of my attitude is this: I don’t blame rabies or cancer for being rabies or cancer. I blame doctors if they fail to treat them.

    “‘they’ would appear to be the correct term to use.”

    My point is that Shearer is being – as usual – lazy, vague and waffly and shows no sense of political rhetoric or commitment. If it had been either Twain or Disraeli is irrelevant (but the statement is generally attributed to Disraeli nonetheless) – the real matter is whether Shearer had some sense of the verve and wit that either had and some sense of history, the imbecile might actually have some impact.

    ” doesn’t speak for everybody…”

    Gobsmacked is making the entirely reasonable observation that Shearer is being treated with general indifference or derision and concluding, also reasonably, that this indicates that on the whole, people don’t appreciate him. Probably some do, but the preponderance of evidence is that a large majority doesn’t give a hoot about him. Splitting hairs in this case is pointless.

    As for the rest, grow a skin, or if you genuinely believe that criticism of Shearer is so obviously flawed, the polls are fabrications and Shearer is the leader who will make all well and good and ensure that the sun shines every day, then produce the evidence that he is brilliant, effective and loved by all. Emphasis on the last. The polls say that he’s failed.

    • Jackal 9.1

      Rhinocrates

      “why not give us some reasons?”

      I have already. I’m am now at the point of expressing my ennui. I have no desire to repeat myself especially when all Shearer does is repeat himself.

      No you haven’t… You’ve agreed with some other people’s comments and tossed a number of insults around, but as yet have failed to make a single valid point about where Shearer is going wrong as Leader of the opposition.

      The essence of my attitude is this: I don’t blame rabies or cancer for being rabies or cancer. I blame doctors if they fail to treat them.

      So no blame for John Key for the mess that New Zealand is in because of Nationals fucked policy’s, or lack thereof… Just a transference of blame to the opposition who doesn’t currently control things.

      How exactly is Shearer meant to stop National getting its policy’s through when they have a majority in the house, albeit slim? What kind of prescription do you propose, considering the doctoring of various information by National that ensures economic, environmental and social dysfunction?

      Your example is both childish and inane Rhinocrates! You want Shearer (the Doctor) to fix things but fail to see that the right wing hold most of the cards. They have control of the MSM, yet you jump up and down screaming that Labour isn’t being heard. They control funding and have extensively used it to promote their own interests while ensuring Labour and their supporters are impeded at every turn.

      Blaming Shearer for how the system is currently operating is particularly obtuse Rhinocrates. Sure the last Labour government could have done better, but that was four bloody years ago. Was Shearer even in the country then?

      But the statement is generally attributed to Disraeli nonetheless.

      Then those attributions would be wrong! The saying is not attributed, therefore your point that Shearer is being lazy, vague and waffly is entirely incorrect. Saying that Shearer is always lazy, vague and waffly simply shows that you’re ignorant about his achievements, skills and work ethic. But don’t let the truth get in the way of your propaganda Rhinocrates, there’s at least a few idiots out there that might believe it.

      Gobsmacked is making the entirely reasonable observation that Shearer is being treated with general indifference or derision and concluding, also reasonably, that this indicates that on the whole, people don’t appreciate him.

      You mean there’s no fanfare for David Shearer or people throwing flowers for him in the streets… Well thank god for that. Appreciation of Shearer will grow in time. Saying that he isn’t as popular as your preferred Prime Minister is particularly boring!

      Probably some do, but the preponderance of evidence is that a large majority doesn’t give a hoot about him. Splitting hairs in this case is pointless.

      What do you mean probably some people do care about what Shearer says? Gobsmacked said that nobody cares, and yet here we are late on a Friday night arguing about a post specifically concerned with what he Shearer says. In fact the right wing care so much about what Shearer says, that they spend a huge amount of time and effort trying to discredit him and undermine Labour in similar fashion to your feckless blathering here. That would indicate to me that he’s on the right track.

      As for the rest, grow a skin.

      Yawn!

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        You want Shearer (the Doctor) to fix things but fail to see that the right wing hold most of the cards.

        Bullshit. Does Labour represent the interests of the whole nation, yes or no?

        If it doesn’t its let off the hook, nothing much expected from it.

        If it does…then what the fuck is it doing. It should be motivating tens of thousands of people into action.

        • Jackal 9.1.1.1

          So you’re saying that Labour should represent the interests of all New Zealanders. That’s better than the usual “tax the rich into oblivion” argument CV. I agree, Labour should represent the interests of the whole national. No particular sector should gain unfair advantage through governmental interference.

          My point is that most of the media, one of the main tools to reach and influence people, is controlled by the right wing and the interests they represent. You’re blaming Labour for there being corruption that’s very difficult to legislate against. And while Labour is not the government, they have no effective way of changing the unfair advantage National has through a biased media.

          Labour does motivate people. It just so happens that National and their propagandists also demotivate people against Labour. Whether Labour is doing enough to motivate people against the current dysfunctional regime is debatable, but it seems the anger is about Shearer not playing gotcha politics, something that I think he should be commended for.

          Clearly attack politics are not overly beneficial in the long run. People who say Shearer should always be on the attack means that they effectively want him to be more like National, who have failed to answer nearly every question in parliament without abusing Labour in some way. This lowers the standard and means a lack of credibility turns people off from listening to politicians. Wanting Labour MP’s to be more like National MP’s is one of the dumbest arguments I’ve heard in a long time.

          Shearer can mobilize people without engaging in attack politics. People will also be engaged because National is causing NZ to go down the drain. Labour could do more, and there are a number of MP’s who are clearly dragging their heals. But to say Shearer is not working hard enough to mobilize people to ensure New Zealand gets the governance it deserves is wrong! It shows a level of arrogance and ignorance that is entirely beneath the intelligence of many commentators making these claims.

          • Rhinocrates 9.1.1.1.1

            “Shearer not playing gotcha politics,”

            Well he tried, actually. I have a tape of it somewhere. He’s also tried some nasty beneficiary bashing, so the man’s hardly a saint.

            “Wanting Labour MP’s to be more like National MP’s is one of the dumbest arguments I’ve heard in a long time.”

            Who said that? You’re using a straw man.

            I’d like them to be like Green MPs: accessible, fresh, on-message, disciplined and clear. It’s been noted elsewhere by Duncan Garner that it took one tweet to get Russel Norman to agree to an interview while the Labour MPs (including Shearer) were inaccessible and while Cunliffe was keen, the party hierarchy forced Garner through six hours of negotiations before he could talk to him. The Greens may not be the biggest party in parliament, but they punch well above their weight in the media – especially compared to Labour.

            “National and their propagandists”

            Call the whaaaambulance. They exist, there’re not going to go away, so excuse-making is pointless. Time to get creative and competent. Again – the Greens, Hone and Winston all play the game better. I want Labour to be heroes, not martyrs.

            OK, Shearer might be working hard. He might be running very very fast… in ever-diminishing circles (and tripping over his untied shoelaces while he’s doing it).

            As for the Shane Jones circus…

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.2

            That’s better than the usual “tax the rich into oblivion” argument CV.

            Which argument is that mate? I never heard it before.

            You think that someone earning $2M pa will starve because you income tax 50% of that last million dollars?

            You think that someone buying a Porsche 911 from the showroom for $250K is going to be unable to pay an extra $12.5K in luxury taxes?

            You think that someone who owns a $4M house on one of the North Shore bays can’t afford a land tax of $8K a year?

            You think that an Australian owned bank who makes $1B in profit is going to pull out of the country because you make them pay an extra $50M in taxes?

      • Rhinocrates 9.1.2

        “No you haven’t… ”

        Elsewhere, as everyone here has commented elsewhere on other “Shearer Snores” newsletters. I am not obliged to give recaps in each and every one of my posts.

        “Just a transference of blame”

        No transference. Hatred of Key and co in the sense that I hate cancer. They are what they are, a disease to be extirpated. I stand by my analogy. The current leadership has as its mission to both opposition and the preparation of the next administration. They are too lazy, too undisciplined and simply too incompetent… and my taxes pay their salaries. I have a right to be annoyed.

        [various claims about the complete primacy of parliament, complaints about media etc]

        A political party does not exist only during a vote in parliament. Its members can be campaigning, they can be organising people, they can be staging rallies, they can be available for interviews (instead of blocking their most effective communicator from speaking to reporters), it can produce policies, they can inspire… they can be coherent, inspiring, disciplined government-in-waiting. Members can help their constituents individually as groups, helping them make submissions, forge bonds with their local communities and so on and so on. Now some individual MPs who are poor performers in the house, I am told, like Nanaia Mahuta, are excellent local MPs.

        As for complaints about the MSM? So what? You don’t not complain about the rain, you get a raincoat. Are you Labour and the newspapers, telegraph and pony express are against you? Then get a grip on social media (that means you, Mallard and Curran). Have a look at how Obama used new media for starters. Fortunately the party sent an observer to monitor his campaign. Unfortunately that monitor is the dullard Robertson.

        “Then those attributions would be wrong! ”

        Get a grip. This is the sort of hysteria and pedantry I expect from a Trekkie. Good speech writing and rhetoric must have a personal touch to establish a connection with the audience. “They” is dull and verges on the passive voice (which would go, “It is said that…”). Shearer, or rather the poor party hack who ghostwrote the newsletter could begin, “Benjamin Disraeli is often quoted as saying that…” Immediately the spirit of a revered statesman is invoked and associated with the present one. A personality is made apparent, ideas are denoted, qualities of leadership connoted. Overall, it helps establish a brand. Edward Milliband did exactly that in a speech a few months ago that is regarding as marking the turn of the tide for both his leadership and for the UK Labour Party and it matters not a whit that he didn’t exactly quote Disraeli word for word and hold up a placard with a citation in full and correct Modern Language Association style.

        “You mean there’s no fanfare for David Shearer or people throwing flowers for him in the streets…”

        Disingenuous use of the argument of the excluded middle. He is not worshipped as a god, but neither is he held in wide public esteem. In fact he lags far, far behind the unctuous, vain and bungling Key and that is cause for genuine concern.

        “Appreciation of Shearer will grow in time.”

        Now where have I heard that before? Oh yes, that’s right, some commentators spent three years saying that about Goff. There is a polling trend of a gradual rise that now seems stalled for Labour and the opposition in general and appreciation for Shearer that is actually dipping. I find your faith disturbing.

        “Saying that he isn’t as popular as your preferred Prime Minister is particularly boring!”

        I didn’t say who my preferred Prime Minister is and I don’t see it as my job to excite you. The first point is incoherent and as for the latter, try amphetamines or LSD. They could make me seem very exciting indeed.

        You then make an absurdly pedantic interpretation of the colloquial use of “nobody” followed by the claim that the right attack Shearer, so he must be right. Look Gobsmacked, I assume, meant “virtually nobody”, or “almost nobody” or something like that. He perhaps should have said “three point eight seven people care what Shearer says”? Would you be satisfied with that trivial precision? This is rather strange as you vaguely wave your arms over issues of logic and fact above, completely ignore real polling numbers and make statements based on blind faith.

        Yes, the right spend a lot of time attacking Shearer, as they do, because Labour and the other parties are the opposition. Is that hard to understand? They also get downright hysterical about Cunliffe while Hooton claims that he wants Shearer to stay as leader and Richard Long advises Shearer not to reshuffle his front bench. Do you wonder why they say that?

        “Yawn!”

        Amphetamines, I think.

        • Rhinocrates 9.1.2.1

          Come to think of it, it’s a contradiction to add an exclamation mark to a yawn. It would be far more appropriate for a sneeze.

        • Jackal 9.1.2.2

          Rhinocrates

          instead of blocking their most effective communicator from speaking to reporters

          A clear indication that you believe the right wing propaganda that’s often promoted by media hacks like Duncan Garner. You refer to a certain MP who Shearer supposedly said could not give interviews or make media statements. This appears to be a complete fabrication Rhinocrates. You believing it is a good example of the right wings manipulation I was talking about. If I’m wrong, please entertain me with a link that substantiates such claims? KB and WO will not suffice.

          Get a grip. This is the sort of hysteria and pedantry I expect from a Trekkie.

          You claimed that Shearer is “Banal, ignorant, uninspiring, insipid and witless” because he didn’t attribute a saying to a largely unknown british politician from the 1800’s… Get a grip yourself.

          Immediately the spirit of a revered statesman is invoked and associated with the present one. A personality is made apparent, ideas are denoted, qualities of leadership connoted.

          Or people could just think who the fuck is Benjamin Disraeli? And switch off. I suspect you would complain then as well Rhinocrates.

          He is not worshipped as a god, but neither is he held in wide public esteem. In fact he lags far, far behind the unctuous, vain and bungling Key and that is cause for genuine concern.

          Here you’re saying that the polling that shows John Key is as popular as sliced cheese, and National hasn’t shed any support despite multiple fuck ups that the media have managed to report on, is correct. Then you take that obviously flawed mechanism, that is in fact a tool used by the right wing to manipulate people, and try to bash Shearer over the head with it. Could you be any more blinded by the right wings propaganda and your own ignorance Rhinocrates?

          There is a polling trend of a gradual rise that now seems stalled for Labour and the opposition in general and appreciation for Shearer that is actually dipping. I find your faith disturbing.

          A polling trend that is inexorably linked to the right wings increased campaign to discredit Shearer and undermine Labour at every turn. Have you not noticed an increase in their propaganda to this effect Rhinocrates? They are even trying to blame Pike River entirely on Labour FFS! You might dismiss the medias reach in terms of promoting Nationals negative politicking against Labour, but I don’t. I also don’t blame Labour for something National and their propagandists undertake.

          I didn’t say who my preferred Prime Minister is and I don’t see it as my job to excite you. The first point is incoherent and as for the latter, try amphetamines or LSD. They could make me seem very exciting indeed.

          So who is your preferred PM then, because you inferred that Key is on the right track politically because he’s more preferred as PM in defunct polling? Why exactly you think I would find this exciting, or need drugs to increase my excitement, is beyond me?

          You then make an absurdly pedantic interpretation of the colloquial use of “nobody” followed by the claim that the right attack Shearer, so he must be right. Look Gobsmacked, I assume, meant “virtually nobody”, or “almost nobody” or something like that.

          Nobody usually means NOBODY Rhinocrates, or are you trying to rewrite the english language? What is pedantic about interpreting what somebody writes in accordance with the english language? Your argument is reminiscent of one particular Prime Minister who also has a weak grasp on the english language and what words mean?

          It appears that because the right wing spend a lot of time, effort and resources on attacking Shearer with fabrications, he is in fact on the right track. If they didn’t think he was a threat to their regime, they wouldn’t bother.

          He perhaps should have said “three point eight seven people care what Shearer says”? Would you be satisfied with that trivial precision?

          No! Because it would also be wrong. You seem to have completely ignored my argument that many people on the right also care about what Shearer says. They obviously don’t like it, but they do care because they spend a lot of time and effort trying to pick it apart. Much like yourself Rhinocrates. In fact the similarities are uncanny.

          They also get downright hysterical about Cunliffe while Hooton claims that he wants Shearer to stay as leader and Richard Long advises Shearer not to reshuffle his front bench. Do you wonder why they say that?

          To be honest, I don’t usually let what people I don’t respect say take up much of my time. However let me explain… They get hysterical about Cunliffe because he contested the leadership. By claiming that Cunliffe is this or that, they hope to discredit Shearer, and thus undermine Labour. Personally I believe Cunliffe when he says he supports Shearer whole heartedly. I don’t believe hacks like Duncan Garner, Cameron Slater and David Farrar when they make unsubstantiated claims that you appear to believe, and fornicate over.

          Come to think of it, it’s a contradiction to add an exclamation mark to a yawn.

          You really are a dullard Rhinocrates.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.2.1

            You seem to have completely ignored my argument that many people on the right also care about what Shearer says. They obviously don’t like it, but they do care because they spend a lot of time and effort trying to pick it apart.

            uh…what has Shearer said recently that the Right cared about enough to spend a lot of time and effort trying to pick apart?

            I suppose Labour can just sit tight and wait for the electoral tide to go out on National, as it gradually seems to be doing anyways.

            • Jackal 9.1.2.2.1.1

              I disagree. Labour shouldn’t just wait for National to implode from a thousand cuts, they need to be proactive. There have been a number of things that have worked well… The Job Summit being one of them.

              • Colonial Viper

                The job summit wasn’t a Labour Party initiative.

                • Jackal

                  So you don’t think the job summit was good for Labour and more importantly good for the left. Fair enough CV. What do you suggest then?

                  • xtasy

                    Jackal: I presume you are talking about the “manufacturing crisis” meeting that was attended to by unions, employers, the Greens, NZ First AND Labour. CV is confusing it with the “job summit” Key and consorts had set up at the beginning of their first NatACT term, to address the likely problems as a fall-out and consequences of the Global Financial Crisis impacting on NZ. Those are different “meetings’ or “summits” that were held.

          • Rhinocrates 9.1.2.2.2

            This is really getting overlong, and it’s very hard to pick apart your tangled syntax and cluttered paragraph construction.

            ““Banal, ignorant, uninspiring, insipid and witless” because he didn’t attribute a saying to a largely unknown british politician from the 1800′s…”

            No, I call him banal etc for everything else as well.

            “Largely unknown”? Allusions to him are useful enough for Milliband. Are you saying that Shearer should appeal to the lowest common denominator, that New Zealanders are largely ignorant and uneducated?

            “I suspect you…” Your mind-reading abilities are on a par with Shearer’s ability to make a medical diagnosis.

            “So who is your preferred PM then, because you inferred that Key is on the right track politically because he’s more preferred as PM in defunct polling? Why exactly you think I would find this exciting, or need drugs to increase my excitement, is beyond me?”

            Okay, I think that you lack some fundamental comprehension skills. My point, which I made explicit, not implicit, is that I do not consider it necessary for me to excite you. My suggestion that you take drugs was sarcasm

            “Nobody usually means NOBODY Rhinocrates, or are you trying to rewrite the english language?”

            As I said, there’s a comprehension problem apparent. Colloquial use of language is often inaccurate on the surface while the implicit meaning is well-understood. This is a colloquial forum, not a trial. Now stop shouting.

            “I also don’t blame Labour for something National and their propagandists undertake.”

            Neither do I, but I do blame them for failing to deal with it. I don’t attribute evil intent, but I do see incompetence.

            ” In fact the similarities are uncanny.”

            And so on. Lots of unsubstantiated projection, insinuations and rhetorical questions are not an argument.

            Your belief in the awesome pervading power of right wing propagandists to befuddle the minds of the populace is drifting into tinfoil hat territory.

            ” believe, and fornicate over.”

            WTF? (Pun intended) Are you trying to rewrite the english language?

            • Rhinocrates 9.1.2.2.2.1

              Appendix:

              http://www.3news.co.nz/Opinion-David-Shearer-has-failed/tabid/1135/articleID/275026/Default.aspx

              Cunliffe was the easiest to get hold of. But, without naming names, the hoopla I was put through before he was ‘allowed’ on TV was fascinating. Even Cunliffe was nervous – but keen.

              It took six hours of negotiating to get him on. It was quite simply, outrageous. It took me one text to get Russel Norman on the telly. It took two phone calls to get the Prime Minister to agree to a one-on-one interview.

              Of course Garner is one of those Right Wing Sith Propagandists and therefore he must have made it up.

            • Jackal 9.1.2.2.2.2

              No, I call him banal etc for everything else as well.

              Everything else? You said you only read the first sentences Rhinocrates. Contradict yourself much with your own ignorance?

              Are you saying that Shearer should appeal to the lowest common denominator, that New Zealanders are largely ignorant and uneducated?

              Of course not. What makes you think that? In fact I think Shearer, and the entire left wing for that matter, should appeal to peoples higher intellects. The public is not as stupid as the media and their masters treat them.

              As I said, there’s a comprehension problem apparent. Colloquial use of language is often inaccurate on the surface while the implicit meaning is well-understood. This is a colloquial forum, not a trial. Now stop shouting.

              There’s no comprehension problem on my part Rhinocrates, no matter how often you repeat yourself. The implicit meaning behind Gobsmacked statement was that nobody cared about what Shearer says. This is clearly wrong, and designed to try and make people believe nobody cares so they won’t either. A manipulation of the truth is always a lie, and Gobsmacked lied. Its as simple as that.

              Making excuses about the meaning because of colloquialisms is particularly disingenuous. This is not a conversation in a pub. You are correct though, it’s also not a trial, it’s a debate… And you just lost.

              Neither do I, but I do blame them for failing to deal with it. I don’t attribute evil intent, but I do see incompetence.

              Finally! Some substance to your argument. Labour is failing to deal with Nationals propaganda, however they are not to blame for that propaganda. That’s the point I was making. In order to deal with Nationals propaganda, they would have to in some way engage in attack politics, which I think in the long run would be detrimental to Shearers standing. Does New Zealand want a PM who is a nasty, or do they want somebody who is nice?

              You could continue to claim that my comprehension skills are lacking and to call Shearer names, or we could look at ways to limit the effect of Nationals propaganda. Somehow I think you’ll choose the former, and that’s why I’ve likened your argument to those promoted by the right wing. You are not giving constructive criticism, you’re just criticizing using the same propaganda techniques the right wing use.

              And so on. Lots of unsubstantiated projection, insinuations and rhetorical questions are not an argument.

              The similarities with many so-called left wing commentators with their right wing counterparts is often uncanny. You seem to be in a similar category Rhinocrates. Agreeing with what the right wing propagandists say and repeating their attacks on Labour pretty much verbatim is a clear indication that you’re not actually interested in what’s best for Labour and the left wing.

              It’s a classic if you’re not with them you are against them thing, which National has down to a fine art. All their propagandists sing in unison, with Key calling the tune. The left wing is more diverse, and with many undertaking attacks on National, Shearer doesn’t actually need to diminish his standing to score points. He does however need to be topical, forthright and comunicate with the public. As far as I can see, that’s exactly what his newsletter does.

              I also notice that you haven’t managed to provide a valid link to support your beliefs re Shearer closing down Cunliffe… I wonder why? You are correct, Duncan Garner is a right wing propagandist, or hadn’t you noticed?

              Your belief in the awesome pervading power of right wing propagandists to befuddle the minds of the populace is drifting into tinfoil hat territory.

              How else do you explain the fact the New Zealand is going down the drain while National holds steady in the polls?

              I believe propaganda is a powerful tool… That’s why National is spending a lot of money on it. There’s also a large amount of research that supports the belief that propaganda can manipulate people into doing things not in their best interests.

              Tinfoil hat territory? Next you’ll be calling me a watermelon etc, and thus supporting my argument that the right wing propagandists are influencing your cognition. How else to explain your brainfart of a comment?

              • Rhinocrates

                “Everything else? You said you only read the first sentences Rhinocrates. Contradict yourself much with your own ignorance?”

                Every other “e-newsletter” For God’s sake.

                “should appeal to peoples higher intellects”

                Yes, that part familiar with political history. Which you dismissed previously.

                “I also notice that you haven’t managed to provide the link I requested… I wonder why?”

                Insinuation again. And untrue. See above.

                “Gobsmacked lied”

                I get the feeling that if you overhead someone say that the sky is blue, you’d run up to them, grab their lapels and spraying spittle in their face, scream “NO! At night it is BLACK! If it is overcast it is grey! You are a LIAR!”

                “This is not a conversation in a pub.”

                It is the equivalent of a conversation in a pub. Noisy, sometimes (or often) vulgar and people make generalisations and sweeping remarks. Most participants understand this tacitly. Your behaviour over this single word is appearing to be obsessive.

                “”You are correct though, it’s also not a trial, it’s a debate… And you just lost.”

                I’m the King of France, a title I earned by right of conquest. I just thought that you should know that. Because I said I conquered France, I am its King. Also, I have X-ray vision.

                “It’s a classic if you’re not with them you are against them thing,” Ahem, have a look in a mirror.

                “Agreeing with what the right wing propagandists”

                You know what, I might well agree with a “Right Wing Propagandist” if they made an astute observation. I might well be critical of the Left from time to time. It is not for you to tell me what I am thinking, what I should be thinking and what I must say at all times. I have my own conscience thank you very much.

                “How else do you explain the fact the New Zealand is going down the drain while National holds steady in the polls?”

                Propaganda can be powerful, but other parties are demonstrably playing the media game far better than Labour, but that’s not the only or complete explanation. This piece by that well-known Right-Wing Sith Lord, Gordon Campbell, is nicely succinct.

                http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/local-papers/the-wellingtonian/opinion/7876654/Grim-news-for-Labour-leader

                Instead, what seems to be happening is that voters are going through periodic fits of disenchantment with the government and then looking more closely at the alternative, only to rebound in alarm

                It’s not just Shearer of course, it’s the front bench and the rest of the caucus that is sub-par and uncoordinated, a dismal media strategy and practice meaning that Labour simply does not look like a government in waiting or an activist presence now.

                I like Labour’s ideas, I used to vote for them, but right now I wouldn’t trust them to organise a piss-up in a brewery.

                Notes on rhetorical questions: First, you overuse them, and that looks rather silly, like a petulant child and it dilutes their effectiveness; second, the answer you want will of course immediately pop into your mind is not guaranteed to pop into anyone else’s. To use them well, you have to make sure that the desired answer is inescapable by laying the groundwork carefully first, or you go ahead and answer it ourself immediately and be sure that you have justification. So sorry, I wasn’t thinking of calling you a watermelon or any other kind of vegetable or fruit. I wasn’t thinking of any agricultural or dairy produce.

                I really should be doing something else. Perhaps fornication.

                • Jackal

                  Every other “e-newsletter” For God’s sake.

                  So you don’t like the newsletters. What a revelation! No specifics, just I don’t like newsletters, and that makes David Shearer (insert a number of insults here).

                  I get the feeling that if you overhead someone say that the sky is blue, you’d run up to them, grab their lapels and spraying spittle in their face, scream “NO! At night it is BLACK! If it is overcast it is grey! You are a LIAR!”

                  Actually I can’t be bothered with your rubbish… The beach is calling.

  10. IrishBill 10

    As a general rule you don’t start out rhetorical piece with a quote conveying the antithesis of your message unless you’ve got a really smart way of flipping it (and/or an audience that knows you, likes you, and will give you the benefit of the doubt). 

  11. xtasy 11

    David Shearer has long disqualified himself, not just by stumbling across words, he also used cheap scate tacticts to appeal to dog whistle and red-neck sentiment by portraying beneficiaries as “suspicious leisure time roof painters”, kind of.

    Sorry, David, this call comes too late for me!

    You should ask, how do Key, Joyce and other Natzies dare to claim that the figures of higher unemployment do not correspond with figures for those claiming and getting the unemployment benefit!?

    Why the hell is this, perhaps? Because of “dog whistle politics” already put into practice and enshrined in the law by way of ‘Future Focus’!

    Wait until the next welfare reforms get passed, it will get much, much worse.

    NO entitlement, even if you live under the bridge! They have already tightened up so much, that many unemployed do not qualify for any benefit support, if they have savings, have redundancy payments, have a stand down period of up to 13 weeks, if the partner is working, and the list goes on.

    In future, if you earn a certain amount in the 52 week year, and once that is more than an annual entitlement for prospective benefit, you will get ZILCH!

    Read the bloody bill, you idiots, to get the true picture, too many do NOT understand and get what is at stake and will come!

    This government is a grave digger government. The well heeled migrants are welcomed, but if you are a born and bred Kiwi, or a poor migrant ending up in a mess, YOU are SCREWED!

  12. xtasy 12

    If we get Labour under Shearer in the next government, there will be NO unemployment, as all (including sick and invalids) will be forced into “apprenticeships” for the “dole” they get, if that makes any sense at all, or NOT!

    He has not contradicted Bennett in anything, as far as I can recall, even Ardern is mostly “soft” on her, apart from media exciting stuff about “privacy leaks” and why 1 year non-performing CEO import “Grossman” (from the UK) got paid off.

    When has Ardern ever raised real issues about the poor treatment of sick and disabled? NEVER!

    She also indulges, like Bennett, at times on the poor lot of neglected or abused little children, which is fair enough to raise, but I do NEVER get any REAL criticism from ARDERN about the bulk of proposed welfare reforms. SO Labour is not convincing, Shearer should go back to his shed and “shear” sheeples or whatever, he is in the bloody WRONG PLACE, the man!

  13. xtasy 13

    The biggest treason ever that was committed to the “labour movement” was NOT committed by conservatives and liberals, it was committed from “within”, the Labour Party of past years, namely people like Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble and a few hangers on.

    It is still the fall out effect of those times and decisions made in the late 1980s and early 1990s that hamper a rediscovery, revival and re-invention of “the left” in NZ politics. All what happened since has been ongoing betrayal or at least endless compromises to the capitalist laissez faire ideology, even by Helen Clark and her government, although she made some “re-arrangements” to “soften” the effect of laws like the ‘Employment Contracts Act’.

    NZ is still largely de-unionised, now severely divided, class focussed, incapacitated in regards to common focused political steps to move the country ahead.

    It is all about side-shows, what Key may utter in silly remarks, but now there is a new focus by the opposition on what matters. I ask though, what is your plan, what have you got up your sleeve. Shearer has none, Cunliffe is a big mouth but also dodgey, only Robertson can deliver a united front on that side, I believe. But my faith is not at all with Labour, nor with NZ First, not even the Greens, NZ needs a totally NEW Party, a NEW movement, a reunited left of centre, common movement, that brings the bulk of the various interest TOGETHER. We get no TOGETHER, it is too much competition and DIVISION. So wake up, all you, take a stand, raise your voices and let your supposed “leaders’, “wannabe leaders” and representatives get the bloody message. NatACT will still rule after 2014 if this shit continues!

    • karol 13.1

      Much food for thought, xtasy, and a lot I agree with.  But this:  don’t you think Robertson is as much a soft neoliberal as Shearer?  Cunliffe is not very radical, but in my view, he is a little further left than those other two, and explicitly articulating a change of direction from the old, third way, neoliberal compromise.

      • David H 13.1.1

        And when he opens his mouth to speak, People will be able to understand him, and they will listen because he has something to say. Unlike Captain Stutterbum and his merry band of incompetents.

        Now all I need is an E-fire to burn this silly E Letter.

    • kiwicommie 13.2

      NZ won’t change immediately, it is going to take a while yet for the Chicago Boy’s trash to be discredited and kicked out of the system. National is out of date and out of touch even with the latest neoliberal economics i.e. bringing down wages and attacking workers rights is just a Thatcher copy cat policy.

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