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The Standard

Shearer Says

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, November 24th, 2012 - 129 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour - Tags:

A New Direction.

Last weekend I laid out Labour’s new direction for New Zealand. I have been humbled by the feedback I have had from so many of you on my speech to the annual conference. I set out a vision for a fair and prosperous New Zealand. A country where the Government isn’t a spectator, and instead gets stuck in and backs Kiwis to be the best they can be.

The conference also marked historic change for the Labour Party. We have made important and necessary changes to our organisation and how we select our leader that will see us be more open, democratic and membership-driven. I want to thank Party President Moira Coatsworth who, with me, co-sponsored the review that led to these changes. Moira provided excellent leadership through this process that we can all be proud of. It is an exciting time to be in Labour. We are energised and strong.

On Tuesday the Party Caucus met and unanimously endorsed my leadership. I called this meeting to end unhelpful speculation. That has now happened, and we are committed to moving forward to promote our message of hope for New Zealanders.

I have made the difficult decision to demote David Cunliffe. I have not taken this decision lightly, and I know the events of recent days have been distressing for some within the Party.

David Cunliffe is a loss to the Labour frontbench. I hope he will be able to contribute again in the future.

Labour’s focus is on the core values of a fair go and opportunities for all and on change for the better in jobs, education and housing. That was the clear message of the conference.

The Caucus is clear and focused. Our job is to win the confidence of the country to implement Labour’s ideas and values. My commitment to you is to lead our team to victory in 2014.

David Shearer
Labour Leader

PS – This weekend I’m going to be out with the team collecting signatures for the Keep Our Assets coalition “Sign-A-Thon”. I’d like to urge you all to get involved. Click here for more details.

129 comments on “Shearer Says”

  1. fender 1

    David can you please reprimand Chris Hipkins for his outburst on national television about David Cunliffe? Or maybe you could ask Phil Goff to back up the allegations Hipkins has made.

    • hush minx 1.1

      And maybe Shane too for his undermining of Labour relationship with their future coalition partner, the greens.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Also whoever it was who leaking the events of the day to the media, straight after the caucus meeting this week.

  2. QoT 2

    Suddenly it all becomes clear: David Shearer’s been using Glee as his leadership template.

  3. just saying 3

    I pictured a boy’s school principal talking on the stage at assembly as I read.

  4. gobsmacked 4

    Hi David

    It’s been assumed by many that David Cunliffe’s silence was a refusal to endorse your leadership, and therefore a challenge.

    Let’s assume that interpretation is correct. Let’s assume that failing to answer clearly and unequivocally can lead to – in your words – “unhelpful speculation”.

    Today you were interviewed by Rachel Smalley on TV3’s “The Nation”.

    You were asked about being “left” or “right”. You failed to answer. You told the interviewer that “left” and “right” don’t matter. This was a surprise, given the position you hold, and the decisions made by the conference you have just had.

    Could you please clarify your answer? As the leader of the Labour Party, do you see no distinction between “left” and “right”? Or do you believe that the distinction doesn’t matter?

    It would be good if you could answer this question clearly and unequivocally, perhaps in another media interview. Otherwise, there might be more “unhelpful speculation”.

    Thanks.

    • “‘left’ and ‘right’ don’t matter” ?

      I would like to say I’m surprised, or stunned or shocked. But I’m not.

      That comment is right up there with Shearer’s claim that the aftermath of Christchurch’s earthquakes was “way bigger than politics“.

      Politics is the struggle between conflicting interests mediated by the degree of power each interest commands. That struggle is very much in evidence in Christchurch now.

      For me, to be ‘left’ is to side with those who have little or no power when those conflicting interests meet. To be ‘right’ is to believe (genuinely or for convenience) that – at least in our society – there is no such conflict, the distribution of power (and, its common proxy, wealth) is irrelevant and outcomes accrue to individuals dependent on their virtue (e.g., ‘effort’), ‘talent’, wisdom, cleverness, choices and luck (with no explanation for how any of these arise).

      There is also a murky and, so far as I can tell, pretty incoherent path that sees itself as ‘neither left nor right’ and goes under various labels such as ‘pragmatic’, ‘common sense’, ‘solution-focused’, ‘evidence-based’, etc..

      Typically, this ‘third way’ is either simply a trojan horse for right-wing ‘solutions’ or the naive analysis of some liberals who believe  that science, knowledge and technology can – or will one day – trump politics (i.e., the conflict of interests) in human society, rather than simply continue to be used as chips in the political manouvering over interests.

      I have no idea where Shearer sits in this framework but the comment you cite suggests some version of the ‘third way’ just mentioned.

      I understand there’s this belief that New Zealanders don’t like ‘ideology’ in their politicians, but why couldn’t he just say something like “If believing that we’re all in this together and that some shouldn’t suffer just because our economy has thrown them on the scrap heap is called ‘left’ then, ‘yes’ I’m on the left, fair and square.

      Surely the aim is to rehabilitate the values and ideas of the left in the public arena. You don’t do that by appearing ashamed of them.

      I’ll have to watch the programme.

    • felix 4.2

      Something I found interesting is that he’s still talking about what he would do if he were leader of the Labour party, not what he would do if he were PM.

      Does it several times. Bit of a Freudian slip perhaps?

    • Jenny K 4.3

      Gobsmacked – you are going to have to actually phone up David Shearer and ask him these questions. Didn’t you hear him say he doesn’t read any blogs. That these are anonymous people and he doesn’t know them, and he listens only to his trusted advisors !!
      By the way – have any of you seen/met David Shearer when he’s been out and about listening and talking to people as he says he has been doing ? We haven’t seen a skerrick of him in the north since he became leader, although he did spend three weeks surfing somewhere private up here over last summer. I tried contacting him then, but didn’t get an answer : just like none of us up here who’ve written to him have had an answer.
      But he did say on The Nation that people could phone him …. so please, give it a go, and see how you get on !

      • Jenny K 4.3.1

        Forgot to mention – because it was such a non-event for Labour members up here – that yes, there WAS a Labour caucus meeting at Waitangi sometime earlier this year, and we were invited to dinner, but the leader made no effort to engage with any of the Labour activists up here. At the dinner, not not many of us could get close to Shearer, and he didn’t speak except to say a brief hullo type comment to his welcome. When I, myself, tried to talk to him, I got shunted aside by his minder Cosgrove !

  5. Who wrote this ? ‘Important and necessary changes to our organisation and how we
    select our leader,that will see us be more open and democratic and membership driven’

    Mr Shearer if you support more openess and democracy for the members, then put
    it to the vote in feb,tell the people you will abide by their wishes as per the vote at the
    conference, your ‘selected’ ministers argued strongly against that democratic way.

    David Cunliffe will contribute to the front bench,yes, as Leader, that is the membership
    wishes,also the fact that he won 9 out of the 10 member’s meetings held in the run-up
    to the election of leader, for some reason you, Mr Shearer, were made leader,against the
    memberships wishes,so how was that anything that resembles democracy,the membership
    want’s the person who won, not the caucus substitute.

    Mr Shearer, you have also said blogs are a ‘nonsense’ but on tv3,the nation,did you slip
    and say you ‘do’ read them, ? Hope you read this one then.

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    Mathew Hootens one of Shearers strongest supporters so that sorts out the question of just where Shearer stands.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Perhaps you missed the remit vote? Hooten and the NBR gets a constitutional veto on who becomes Labour leader nowadays.

  7. QoT 7

    David Cunliffe is a loss to the Labour frontbench. I hope he will be able to contribute again in the future.

    God, the parental passive-aggressive tone is just … gross. “I hope you will be able to join us at the zoo, little Timmy, but that will rather depend on whether you’ve tidied your room!”

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      +1

      I have made the difficult decision to demote David Cunliffe.

      Was it really DS or was it the ABCs?

  8. Bill 8

    I want to thank Party President Moira Coatsworth who, with me, co-sponsored the review that led to these changes.

    Not an overly humble type me…but I would have almost naturally worded that as “I want to thank Party President Moira Coatsworth, who I supported in co-sponsoring the review that led to these changes.”

    I mean, it’s not just me that’s seeing Shearer’s phrasing there – especially when set against the claim of being “humbled by the feedback I have had from so many of you on my speech to the annual conference” – as a deliberate and distasteful ‘elevation of self’. Is it?

    Give me a thousand years and I won’t be able to make the contradictory projections contained in those two statements stack up.

    And I really should stop reading/commenting on Shearer. His words, messages and justifications are, quite seriously, tending to leave me feeling sick, angry and depressed all at the same time.

    • Rhinocrates 8.1

      Yes, the last paragraph especially. The man’s just nauseating.

    • QoT 8.2

      It’s the kind of language which has been putting me off the current Labour lineup for … well, years at this point. See also Labour welcoming Child Poverty Action Group’s “support” and Moana Mackey thanking the Greens for “joining” Labour in … a policy Labour stole from the Greens.

      • Rhinocrates 8.2.1

        “I would like to thank all balding middle-aged white men for expressing their admiration for me by joining with me in being balding middle-aged white men. This sign of support and solidarity is a demonstration of the sense of unity and getting behind the leader that so typifies the Labour Party as it proceeds to its inevitable victory in 2014.”*

        *Disclaimer: I’m a balding middle-aged white guy.

    • Red Rosa 8.3

      Got it. The guy is hopeless. What a rallying cry – ‘mumblers of the world, unite!’

  9. Rhinocrates 9

    Does the hack who ghostwrites* this gruel honestly think that it convinces anyone, or is it just ticking boxes, along the lines of “the Five Year Plan has been a glorious success thanks to the inspiration, wisdom and guidance of the Dear Leader, whom we all adore and whose example of selfless devotion to the Party we follow”?

    On the other hand, it’s so detached from reality, I wonder if is it intended to be “enabling” so that some spin doctor (such as Hooters) can quote this? “Of course he regretted it, he said so!” It’s cognitive dissonance used as a bludgeon on others.

    And then as QoT says, it’s passive-aggressive manipulation. “Distressing for some”? Shit, Belittling both the outrage and the numbers, with an implied belittling of those outraged as children who “Might be perhaps just a wee bit justifiably upset, but they’ll get over it… won’t you? You will, you know!”

    Patronising prick.

    *I don’t think for a moment that Captain Mumblefuck writes this crap himself – for one, the sentences have logical syntax. Some people who can’t express themselves clearly in speech write well, but Shearer can’t even construct a logical thought, let alone write it down.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Shearer is right though…the membership is definitely “energised and strong”.

      • Rhinocrates 9.1.1

        “The support of the people continues to amaze me. Just this morning I was progressing down the street and cow manure was thrown at me. I was deeply touched by this show of generosity, as this was just what the rose bushes need. I am truly touched by the consideration of my supporters that they will freely donate to my garden.”

    • RedBaron 9.2

      +1 Passive aggressive and patronising all in one page plus trying the guilt trip scenario where we are invited to feel sorry for him because he has to make a “difficult decision” when he created the situation.
      Who wrote this corporate b**s*t. I suppose we should be grateful that in this instance they only “implied” but didn’t say they “welcomed” membership input. The minute somebody’s input is “welcomed” the correct interpretation is ” Thanks for dumping that on me . I can’t think of anything I
      want less, [up to and including a dead fish] I will do anything I can to backstab you over your stance but I’ll pretend to be nice for a moment” .

  10. maffoo 10

    David Cunliffe WAS the only positive on the Labour frontbench. Seriously I am at a loss to explain this man. How can he be so blind? Shearer, dude., get your shit together. Also, discipline Mallard, hes a leak & the judas in your ranks.

  11. Dr Terry 11

    I am weeping tears of pity for Shearer’s having to make “the difficult decision to demote David Cunliffe”. What Shearer did, in fact, was to gag and humiliate a feared and gifted opponent. This is not a “loss to the Labour frontbench”, it is a calamitous event for the frontbench. You bet, Mr Shearer, he will contribute again in the future, so just try to be a brave boy about it !

    The (gagged and obedient) Caucus is “clear and focussed” just as you so desperately desired and ensured. So “Caucus will implement Labour’s ideas and values” – well, it had better, or else! Imagine all the possible punishments! I wonder exactly what these are supposed to be, in your mind, anyway?

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      You still have Ardern, Cosgrove, Jones…they gotta count for something, right? Right?

  12. geo 12

    “Caucus will implement Labour’s ideas and values.”
    If this is the case stand aside and allow what the MEMBERSHIP have voted for.
    A REAL LEADERSHIP ELECTION!
    Keep your name in the hunt and if you win you will unite the party and have a mandate,
    not some backroom deal to keep the old guard in power.
    I am not just a hidden face but a PROUD member of the labour party.
    regards
    George Goldsmith

  13. Murray Olsen 13

    If he doesn’t think left and right have any significance, he might as well just start recycling Tony Blair’s speeches. I’m pretty sure they’d be a better fit to the policies the present frontbench will want to introduce.

  14. Left,Right to Shearer means people marching to his damn drum.
    We refuse to comply.
    Until he has the guts to call an election for the leadership,our determination will be
    continuous, we are not about to lay down and play dead, we will not go away,we
    will not accept the inevitable loss of the 2014 election, if he remains leader.
    Shearer is destroying Labour’s mana in his denial of reality.

  15. I love this part:

    how we select our leader that will see us be more open, democratic and membership-driven

    It’s like Shearer’s channeling John Banks 😆

  16. tc 16

    zzzzzzzzzz. Gosh what just happened, oh another term for the hollow men, carry on Trevor.

  17. lurgee 17

    Ho hum, obviously some people aren’t ready to move on. This isn’t Bush vs Gore in 2000. You’ve got a mandatory leadership vote in February, can you please just Get Over It until then?

    • Matthew Hooton 17.1

      lurgee, they can’t get over it because they know there probably won’t be a leadership vote in February because cunliffe won’t have the 14 caucus votes to force one. that is what is so pissing them off.

      • mickysavage 17.1.1

        Hey Matthew.  How about I go over to Kiwiblog and tell them who the next National leader should be.  

        Can you see how weird your engagement in labour’s leadership debate is?  The only thoughts going through peoples minds are either you are talking a load of toss and we should do the opposite or you are talking a load of toss and it is calculated so maybe we should do what you are saying.

        Either way the left wing do not trust you.  So what motivates you to give us the benefit of your expertise on left wing politics? 

        • felix 17.1.1.1

          “either you are talking a load of toss and we should do the opposite or you are talking a load of toss and it is calculated so maybe we should do what you are saying”

          I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: The only correct response to these shills and phoneys is to completely disregard their helpful advice.

          Don’t try to figure out their motives and definitely don’t waste your energy trying to discern between bluff and doublebluff and reverse reverse reverse psychology. You’ve lost the game as soon as you go down that track.

          Just treat them like any other weirdo standing in the street yelling at passers by and carry on with your life.

        • geoff 17.1.1.2

          +1 mickey

        • geoff 17.1.1.3

          I think Hooton comments on The Standard because it is the most popular and influential blog on the left. Not only that, since the conference, The Standard has proven to have real political influence.

          The likes of him, John Armstrong etc and their usual forums on NZherald, NBR etc are increasingly becoming irrelevant, and they know it.

          Remember, they need us waaaay more than we need them.

        • tc 17.1.1.4

          It’s what he gets paid to do MS, money motivates the right to do pretty much anything if the price is right. Hoots has plenty of soapboxes to push his masters messages from, this being one.

        • David H 17.1.1.5

          Because like All psychopaths he believes that if he says something ofter enough it will come true. Just like Key, but he can’t remember what HE believes in.

      • quartz 17.1.2

        You’re like a slimmer but less successful Cameron Slater, Hooton. I can see how Brash lost with you on the team. And why the incumbents like to keep you at arm’s length.

        • Rhinocrates 17.1.2.2

          What an odd, confused little man Hooters is. He has never expressed an opinion that wasn’t paid for or given in the expectation of pay and everyone knows that – but yet he tries to market himself as an independent commentator and shaper of opinion. However, his behaviour lately seems to be going beyond the merely punch-clock professional into the hysterical and showing that he’s loosing it a bit. I don’t think that if I was one of his usual clients I’d be wanting to waste much more money on him. Still, considering the quality of most lobbyists around…

          I wonder if he’ll bring up a dead baby joke to show how witty he is next? Would that square with his attempts to present himself as a “reasonable” analyst?

          Does he know what his brand really is? Is it the Farrar/Slater demagogue or the “calm and reasonable” (haha) John Armstrong/Fran O’Sullivan type?

          • lurgee 17.1.2.2.1

            You must admit, for anyone on the right, watching the left eviscerate itself must be hilarious. Especially since it is happening at precisely the time that the National Party is coming unstuck through its own uselessness.

            I tend to take Hooten’s comments at face value – I think he genuinely likes to feel he is above it all, surveying the battlefield and offering insightful comments on the deployment of the troops. Though I suspect he has more faith in his wisdom than others – even his supposed allies – do. He’s more a political gadfly than the ‘national party operative’ than the lunatic fringe here like to present him as. After all, any man who was hard out for Brash back in 2005 doesn’t really have much political savvy, does he?

            Still, I appreciate his comments here, and he’s no more crazed than some on the left.

            • geoff 17.1.2.2.1.1

              Nope, Hooton probably can see the writing on the wall. The country doesn’t need him and the shitty ideas he has historically supported.
              That’s the reason he’s shifting his position to the centre, he’s trying to stay relevant and protect his patch and that’s probably why you perceive him as a ‘gadfly’.
              Remember he makes money by being paid for his opinion. If that opinion is increasingly being rejected then he changes that opinion so he can still get work.

              Also, it’s worth noting that the comments from the ‘crazed left’ here, as you put it, are usually the result of genuine emotion, often anger, at the economic and political situation of the country. Sometimes it isn’t expressed particularly elegantly but I have no doubt that it is genuine.
              Matthew Hooton’s comments, on the other hand, are always motivated in the interests of maintaining his career. I am sure that expressing genuine emotion is something he actively tries to supress (If indeed he is capable of feeling genuine emotion, hee hee!)
              Sure, he can dress up right-wing analysis so that it’s palatable to the general public. That’s called sophistry and that’s what he gets paid for by wealthy interests.
              If you have read his comments and concluded that; ‘yeah he is a bit right-wing but a lot of what he says sounds sensible’, then he really has pulled the wool over your eyes.

              • Rogue Trooper

                AGREE :)

              • lurgee

                Oh, I didn’t say I think a lot of what he says sound sensible. But I don’t attribute the sort of motives to him that some do. Some of the posters ranting about barbeques and Shearer as a puppet of the right sound truly mental. they’ll say pretty much anything to besmirch Shearer, and seem as resistant to evidence as Global Warming ‘Sceptics’. It is so doolally I suspect they actually want more factionalism and infighting, in the hope of eventually splitting the party in two, so they can take control over the ‘ideologically pure’ part. Obviously, the experience of the Alliance (for whom I voted, incidentally, back in the Good Old Days) hasn’t taught them anything.

              • felix

                Hmm.

                The trouble with both of your analyses is that you both seem to think Matthyawn’s day job is the writing and commentary stuff.

            • geoff 17.1.2.2.1.2

              I also disagree that the left is eviscerating itself. In the long term the democratisation of the party will make Labour, and therefore the left, much stronger than it is now.

            • Rhinocrates 17.1.2.2.1.3

              I tend to take Hooten’s comments at face value

              Sorry Lurgee, I am not attacking you, but I do think that you are being very naive however.

              Matthew Hooton is a professional lobbyist. That is how he “earns” his “living” (I’m not sure that what he does, existentially is “living”, exactly). Never forget that. Even he does not conceal this fact. Literally, everything he says or has published under his name is devoted to that aim as a professional. He’s too vain to submerge his personality in astroturfing, so instead he tries to appear as a “wise” independent commentator.

              I think he genuinely likes to feel he is above it all

              That is certainly how he wants to be seen. It helps his brand, but he’s not above it all by any means – he’s paid to be in it (I’m going to dispense with quote marks, mostly, because I’d have to use them with every word relating to someone so thoroughly fake).

              he has more faith in his wisdom than others

              Infamously, he was described by his own clients in The Hollow Men as “thick and full of himself.” The only claim that he has to independence is that even his own paymasters patronise him. In any case, his vanity is obvious.

              He’s more a political gadfly

              “Butterfly” might be more accurate… or “leech.”

              Still, I appreciate his comments here

              So do I. First for amusement, and second as an indicator of what his masters want us to think.

              Do not be naive, Lurgee. Democracy is a well, and there are people paid to piss in it and some, like Hooters, Glenn Innwood (shill for the Japanese whaling industry), Wosshisname Unsworth and John Pagani (shills for the polluters) are paid to do it and they do their very best to get their pay.

              As I said, there are people paid to corrupt debate and Hooters openly confesses that this is his job. He’d be unprofessional if he undermined himself with personal principled (hahahahaha) comments that were contrary to the views of his employers using his own stage name.

              That is why I consider him such a vile, despicable individual* – not just because he is a liar, not just because he is soulless, not just because he is a whore – but because he is actually proud of the fact that he sets out to corrupt the democratic process and congratulates himself for it.

              *My guess is that at one stage he had ambitions to be a lawyer, but turned out to be too dim for the job, so lobbyist was his default choice.

              • David H

                So in simpler terms, he’s nothing but a professional bullshit artist!

                • Rhinocrates

                  Yeah, but I’m an academic and therefore incapable of putting things in simple terms.

                  And I wouldn’t call him an “artist”. It demeans artists.

              • Rhinocrates

                As an addendum, I use a pseudonym and “Matthew Hooton” presumably uses a name that perhaps coincidentally matches that on his birth certificate and some moron (such as Hooters) might think that significant. However, in his using of a “real” name, I’m reminded of something attributed to a critic of Brendan Bracken:

                “Everything about you is phoney – even your hair. It looks like a wig and isn’t”

      • nz politics 17.1.3

        hey Matthew Who Town, what did national do about their leadership battle?…ohh thats right Pill English was made deputy leader and finance minister. John Key is Brash in drag (I mean in a red shirt) and heads the Anyone but English faction.

        Pill English is getting ready for a go at the leadership again aye?

  18. fustercluck 18

    Rather than pillory Shearer, no matter how much he seems to demand it, and given his inability to make good decisions, i.e., the GCSB tape bluff fiasco, it is reasonable to presume that he is not the master of his own destiny and is being used to benefit others.

    What should be watched for is not a gambit to preserve the intellectually and morally bankrupt Shearer leadership tenure. Instead what should be guarded against is a blindside wherein Cunliffe is somehow kept in check while Shearer is thrown to the wolves with an end result being the retention of one of the neo-liberal careerists in leadership by default.

    The problem is not Shearer. He is merely the symptom of a bunch of self-entitled stooges that have enjoyed slops at the public trough for far too long.

    Perhaps the correct strategy is to focus on a deeper solution than just a change of Leader. The whole Labor list needs a good purge of sell-out careerist Rogergnomes.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Perhaps the correct strategy is to focus on a deeper solution than just a change of Leader. The whole Labor list needs a good purge of sell-out careerist Rogergnomes.

      And their Parliamentary-staffer based progeny.

    • David H 18.2

      Damn right they need a complete clean out, and it will be bloody. Because they have their hooks in deep and they will fight with every dirty trick there is.

      • seeker 18.2.1

        I think you Fuster and CV are correct David H. Have been thinking this myself over the last couple of days.

        Especially when questioning my irritation with Robinson who is like the pink batts advert, pinkily on Shearer’s shoulder seemingly at all times; smirking away, as if saying “Here’s one I made earlier, enjoy! And watch out if you don’t.”!!! Almost spooky, but certainly nauseating.

        And as for Peter Pan Hipkins …..don’t get me started. He’s definitely lost it, and if it’s his shadow we’re talking about, then perhaps he could borrow Shearer’s and allow Shearer to think independently again, he might be wise after all.

  19. Murray Olsen 19

    My considered view on all this is that, even though I am a Mana supporter and want to see Mana and the Greens have a large degree of influence in our next government, this relies on elected Labour MPs who are at least vaguely of the left. Whether I like it or not, it is the Labour leader who will have the opportunity to be effective leader or co-leader of a broader left coalition government.
    If this leader is Shearer, besides the strong possibillity of not articulating a vision that will interest people in voting, the ABC front bench will do their darndest to marginalise Mana/Greens to something like what we see with the Maori Party and Peter Dunne, while they continue 90% of Key’s policies.
    On the other hand, a strong and visionary Labour leader, for which I see Cunliffe as the only present option, would mould a team of the wider left. Even though he was involved with Rogernomics, he has demonstrated the intelectual firepower to see that it will not lead anywhere good. I haven’t seen that turnabout from anyone else in a position to challenge. Hence I strongly feel that Shearer/ABC are not just attacking Labour traditions, but are a real danger for the wider left and progressive forces. The only Labour person I would vote happily for would be Cunliffe, if I were in his electorate, although I would consider Jacinda Ardern in Auckland Central. They will not be getting my party vote.

  20. xtasy 20

    David Cunliffe, admittedly not always an easy guy to work with in a team, as I have heard, but being put on the very back-bench, now merely as “MP for New Lynn”, that surely was a “master stroke” of a “demotion”?!

    A well articulated, smart and educated MP with good economic and other knowledge and understanding, now not even a spokesperson for anything anymore!

    Surely, I see your “winning team” on the front bench now. And on ‘The Nation’ you said that you are not in a rush for a re-shuffle, do not want an “endorsement” from Helen Clark and just gave more of the usual, general talk, with “no rush” for more policy announcements (apart on housing), as the next election is “still 2 years away”.

    “Easy does it, I suppose.”

    See where Cunliffe is put now, dear folks:

    http://www.labour.org.nz/mps

    I can see Labour’s support in the polls “robustly stabilise” between 20 to 25 per cent very soon!

    Thanks, you are a really “smart” and “competent” leader now, also kept well clear from unplanned media encounters, strength is being radiated from your personality all over now.

    • QoT 20.1

      See where Cunliffe is put now, dear folks:

      See, this just increases another minor annoyance I’ve had with Labour’s website. So they actually can, with minimal difficulty/delay, manage to change Cunliffe’s descriptor and position on the MPs list without breaking the whole system …

      And Shane fucking Jones is still on the first page. So clearly, murmurings of a leadership coup which no one can provide concrete evidence for = demoted to page 3, consistently making comments to media as the Spokesperson for Sealord and trampling over colleagues’ portfolios = no problem, nothing happening.

  21. Jenny 21

    David Shearer is either a remarkable and unique individual, or a clumsy liar. In that he can write for a blog but claims never to read them.

  22. Saarbo 22

    Captain Mumblefuck (thanks Rhinocrates!) actually pulled of an ok interview  on the Nation. I guess he is going to focus on getting through to Feb without choking…we will see.

    • Saarbo 22.1

      Hell, he was ok on Q&A as well. I wonder if when he emphasises “I AM LEADER” he is giving a message to Mallard and co as well. This  allows him to be more confident in himself instead of second guessing what his controllers want him to say…just a thought. 
       

      • Saarbo 22.1.1

        Shit…just watched Key. He is in a different Class, I just remembered why we MUST get Cunliffe back again!!!!

        • xtasy 22.1.1.1

          Thanks for getting back down to earth, Saarbo, you started to get me worrying a bit!

          Shearer’s interview on ‘The Nation’ was PRE RECORDED, and I am not quite sure, but it seemed as if the one on Q+A may also have been.

          Key was facing a barrage of hard hitting questions by Shane, while Shane did give Shearer a bit of breathing-space during his interview with the Labour leader.

          So while Shearer largely managed to not mumble too much during either interview, having been given a 100 per cent caucus vote, and having “managed” to hold his first fairly good speech at the conference, now going on about that all the time, Key had to defend a weak, poor government and his own dodgey previous comments on unemployment.

          Key clearly came out on top, being virtually “in a corner”, but Shearer was NO match, being at the top of his ability and support (for now, by the CAUCUS, that is).

          So I have NO hope for Labour to win the 2014 election, should Shearer stay there as leader. It is a real let-down by the Labour leadership and caucus, to not look after the interests and concerns of negatively affected people on low incomes, struggling on low pay, on benefits and so forth, while the Nats will hammer through the most disgusting “welfare reforms” in a generation. Also Shearer wants to take “HIS time” with an overdue re-shuffle.

          Apart from a housing plan, there is too little else to see yet.

          I am disappointed and FURIOUS!

          • Saarbo 22.1.1.1.1

            yep, good points xtasy. Adding to that Shearer gets tangled on explaining numbers, not analytical enough perhaps, like Goff. Key is, Key will attack shearer’s weakness here. 

          • Bill 22.1.1.1.2

            I wonder if, when Robertson make his move, those who castigate Shearer will be mollified? Or whether the anger will boil over as the manipulative game of the ‘ABCer’s enters it’s final chapter?

            • just saying 22.1.1.1.2.1

              I won’t be mollified, but I’m starting to see Robertson as a grim fact of life (see my comment on open-mike)

              I note he has already linked to and praised the Standard in his latest post on RA. He is moving already. Reckon they’ve got a plan hatched for February.
              Reckon Shearer doesn’t know about it.

              • Colonial Viper

                If only Shearer read The Standard… 😉

              • Bill

                Oh, I’d say he knows…ie, he’s been told. Whether he believes it or reckons he can win the confidence of people with…well, I don’t know what, is another question. And even if he does recognise it, what is he meant to do? Maybe it’s simply a case of his ideas being more aligned with those who threw him up as Robertson’s foil and so he’s kind of stuck.

                And in the time before now and Feb, who get’s all the oxygen and attention? Maybe it’ll work for them. I have my doubts and hopes… 😉

                edit. Of course, they might well follow their ‘me first’ mentality and leave him in place until after the election. Better to rule the roost….any roost…than support what people actually seem to want if what people would want would effectively rob them of prestige or whatever.

              • Rhinocrates

                Beige Alert, I call it. Yeah, “grim fact of life” is the best euphemism I can think of for Robertson, as a Wellington Central resident.

      • David H 22.1.2

        Yeah what next? A big roar, and chest beating, A,K,A Tarzan screaming I aaam LLLLeader!!!

        And Mallard and Jones ain’t listening.

  23. CG 23

    Here is the required MAIN line up with some portfolios :
    [1] David Shearer-Leader
    [2] David Cunliffe-Deputy leader-Minister of Finance
    [3] Grant Robertson-Whip,Minority interests & Spokesperson
    [4] David Parker-Economic Developmnt/Justice
    [5] Andrew Little-Labour
    [6] Phil Goff-Foreign Affairs
    [7] Annette King-Health
    [8] Charles Chauvel-Attorney General
    [9] Sue Morony-Education
    [10] Lees Galloway- Defense
    [11] Mallard-Sports,Transport.Leader of House
    [12] Horomia-Maori Affairs
    [13] Cosgrove- SOE,Trade
    [14] Shane Jones-Fisheries
    [15] Lianne Dalziel-Civil Defence.
    [16] Su’a William SioSio-Pacific issues
    [17] Arden-Women’s affairs
    [18] Clare Curren-Media and Technology
    [19] Phil Twyford-Environment & City issues
    [20] Nanaia Mahuta-Associate Education,Maori Affairs
    [21] Chris Hipkins-State Services.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      😯 this would kill National. Labour back at 36%-37% within 6 months.

      edit – one issue, top 6 positions all men, Labour won’t run with a set up like this.

      • CG 23.1.1

        In my opinion, all selections/portfolios/jobs should be based purely on merit and ability and never based on sex, race, age, colour or any other artificial consideration. But I take your point that the line up should get the best possible general support. In that case, just shuffle King, Marony, Dalziel, Curran a little higher. In any case, my list’s importance was in the portfolios and not just the seniority positions. That aspect is flexible. Appreciate your input. I am sure Mr Shearer will have an entirely a different idea to yours and mine! Cheers!

        • Colonial Viper 23.1.1.1

          In my opinion, all selections/portfolios/jobs should be based purely on merit and ability

          Yep. And NZ voters will massively reward this approach.

          Robertson will get, and deserves, his shot at the top job but being well younger than Cunliffe and Shearer, he has time to wait, gain more experience and pick the right moment, if he can keep his impatience in check. That 1-2-3 team is well picked and would bring the caucus together very, very quickly.

          We can see it. Why can’t they. The strategic input of a Heather Simpson type role is clearly missing.

        • David H 23.1.1.2

          “In my opinion, all selections/portfolios/jobs should be based purely on merit and ability and never based on sex, race, age, colour or any other artificial consideration.”

          Then why do you have Shearer at No1? I am sorry but even based on your list above then Cunliffe is a shoo in for No1 spot, Shearer should be something like a minister for children. Because if he can’t think on his feet for press conferences then whats the point?? Whats the point if he is really good at everything else, but still can’t string a sentence together on the fly!

          • Jim Nald 23.1.1.2.1

            “In my opinion, all selections/portfolios/jobs should be based purely on merit and ability and never based on sex, race, age, colour or any other artificial consideration.
            …..
            Then why do you have Shearer at No1? …..”

            Has anyone considered that the list ranking is now in reverse order, ie in increasing merit and ability?

    • QoT 23.2

      Get Clare Curran the fuck away from technology, she’s a muppet.

      Take Sports off Mallard and give it to Wall. Add in Mackey for Research/Science/Technology.

      You’ve also missed Social Development which could stay with Ardern or be split between King/Ardern and get some more women higher on the list.

      • CG 23.2.1

        Ok, will do!!

      • David H 23.2.2

        None of them knows diddly about computers and technology. The bonus is that Other side know about as much!!

        • QoT 23.2.2.1

          Ah, but I’d much rather have a Minister who knows they need to ask experts for advice than a Minister who thinks she knows everything just because she can use a hashtag and type. In a very stream of consciousness. Way.

    • just saying 23.3

      My compromise:

      1 Robertson, – secret squirrel stuff
      2Cunliffe – finance
      3 Shearer with the or arts or racing portfolio (but not both)

      Give Parker conservation/climate change. I believe it is something he is genuinely passionate and extremely knowledgable about. Dalziel – econ dvpt. Little – education. Moroney for health. David Clark – social development Wall and Mackey as per QoT, Mahuta – Maori economic development

      • Colonial Viper 23.3.1

        Chippy’s fair minded, level headed approach is perfect for the State Services portfolio, right?

    • xtasy 23.4

      Impressive – apart from Shearer as “leader”!

      But where are welfare and housing?

      Why are you not up there “advising” the lot?

    • CG 23.5

      Adding two more:
      Arden-Social Welfare, Women’s affairs
      Dalziel-Housing, Civil defense

    • Blue 23.6

      I like to think big. My list goes like this:

      [1] David Cunliffe-Leader, Economic Development
      [2] David Parker-Deputy Leader, Finance
      [3] Grant Robertson-Leader of the House, Justice
      [4] Lianne Dalziel-Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
      [5] Carmel Sepuloni – Social Development
      [6] Andrew Little – Education
      [7] Annette King-Health
      [8] Jacinda Ardern-Housing, Labour
      [9] Nanaia Mahuta-Maori Affairs
      [10] Clayton Cosgrove- SOEs, Trade
      [11] Charles Chauvel-Attorney General
      [12] Iain Lees Galloway- Defence, Associate Health
      [13] Phil Goff-Foreign Affairs
      [14] Phil Twyford-Environment, Local Government
      [15] Su’a William Sio-Pacific Affairs
      [16] Moana Mackey – Climate Change Issues, Conservation
      [17] David Shearer – Science and Innovation
      [18] Louisa Wall – Sport, Women’s Affairs
      [19] David Clark- Revenue, Associate Economic Development
      [20] Chris Hipkins-Arts, Culture and Heritage

      Naturally, Carmel would have to be parachuted into Parliament somehow for this to work. Quite a few other people would have to go. And those left would have to learn to play nice with each other.

      • karol 23.6.1

        Moroney – education.

      • seeker 23.6.2

        I like it Blue. But I wish Kelvin Davis could return for Education, although Moroney would be ok.

      • David H 23.6.3

        Looking at that list, and don’t forget you would have add Russel Norman as deputy Leader. So that boots Parker. And I think Norman & Cunliffe could be an interesting combination. Then you could not overlook the Excellent work Julie Anne Genter has done in keeping Brownlee on his toes. So should get transport and roading, or what ever Brownlee calls it. Also there’s Metiria Turei to consider as well. Could be an interesting time in Caucus.

    • weka 23.7

      What about Russell Norman and Meteria Turei?

      • Jenny 23.7.1

        Norman has been angling for the Finance Portfolio and may be gifted it by the ABCs on the condition that the Green Party caucus agree to keep their mouths shut over coal mining and deep sea oil drilling and other climate destroying activities generally. Personally he should be given some part of the climate portfolio to concentrate his mind and as punishment for his opportunist behaviour. No way should Norman be let near finance as it would be a death sentence for the Greens. I believe that his management of this portfolio would turn out to be so conservative as to collapse the Green Party vote.

    • Jenny 23.8

      This is beautiful. (And very close to my dream line up).
      I love the idea that Shearer could be this inclusive, (instead of the insecure power mad harpy he seems to have morphed into) Such a line up would achieve what he said he wants, put a line under any challenge to his leadership. I would like however to suggest that Cunliffe at number [2] be given the climate portfolio as well as finance. For three reasons: #1 I think this would be a good fit. Because as well as being strong on finance, climate is also one of his strongest suites. And believe me this will be a major issue. #2 two do anything worthwhile for the environment will require control of the budget. #3 having these two portfolios would give Cunliffe the ammunition for many good speeches to forcefully expose the current government’s woeful failings in both these policy areas.

      [2] David Cunliffe-Deputy leader-Minister of Finance, Environment Minister

      As well as this and because I think that this will be a major issue Phil Twyford should become the Deputy Environment Minister. Keeping City issues. Again both these portfolios are a good fit.

      Now this line up would really scare the Nacks.

      And with Cunliffe in a leading position able to land powerful blows on the government’s performance in these two portfolios, put Labour up to 40% (or more).

      Hooray!

    • Murray Olsen 23.9

      Leader and Finance: David Cunliffe
      Deputy Leader and Maori Affairs: Metira Turei
      Justice: Hone Harawira
      Fisheries: Russel Norman
      David Shearer: Agriculture, with special responsibility for mangoes.
      Chris Hipkins, Trevor Mallard, Sua William SioSio, Shane Jones – non-selection and forcible retirement, with possible takeup by ACT or Colin Craig’s Conservatives

  24. Craig Glen Eden 24

    Sadly even though Keys Government is doing a shit job Key is still able to deliver with absolute confidence that he is is got it under control and that he is doing a good job not a bad one. The strategy they have adopted with brand Key is working very well for them. Shearer on the other hand with a good performance by his poor standards this morning, looks all very Naff and try hard.

    • Bill 24.1

      Yup. He’s a confident bullshit artist. And it seems that the bullshitting is going to revolve around economic indicators more and more. And it’s not enough to know he’s spinning, he needs to be nailed by somebody. Journalists ain’t going to do it in the space of a 10 minute interview and (cutting them some slack here), it’s not as though they have a counter argument circling within the public arena to come back at him with.

      Now who could generate that counter argument in the public arena as well as cut through his spin in two seconds flat if confronted with it in an interview? My money’s on a gagged backbench Labour mp.

  25. Ms X 25

    Why not insert Arden in at No 7 for Social Development? King is a bit long in the tooth for Health again, could we not do better? We want someone angry if possible.

    • gobsmacked 25.1

      Hi David

      It’s me again. I note that the “left/right” question came up again on Q & A – if obliquely. Again you failed to clarify. As usual.

      Here is some more helpful advice – and let’s be honest, you’ve taken a lot of our advice so far … we told you to stop talking about roof-painters (check), get media training ASAP (check), discover some passion (check – albeit only for keeping your job) … so keep listening to us, instead of the sycophants, and you might yet make it (well, a man can dream!).

      So, that advice … this “left/right thing”. It matters. Especially to people who think they want a more left government. Some of those people are in your party. They gave you a standing ovation, remember?

      So, next time you’re asked about that “left/right thing”, have an answer. A firm, clear answer.

      Now, I can’t tell you what that answer should be, because I don’t know what you really believe. But here are some options …

      “I’m left-of-centre / centre-left”
      “I’m a socialist”
      “I’m a social democrat”
      “I’m a liberal”
      “I’m a Revolutionary Communist, and you are going up against the wall, bloodsucker!” (this one would at least get headlines, worth considering, talk to Fran)
      “I’m a Keynesian”
      “I’m in the Labour tradition of … (insert previous leader’s name here. Maybe not Palmer)”
      “I’m a conservative”

      There’s plenty more, Wikipedia will help you out.

      But please answer, sometime in the next two years. This “left/right thing” you casually dismiss, it kind of comes with the territory. It’s called politics.

      • Red Rosa 25.1.1

        +1

        http://garethsworld.com/blog/uncategorized/does-labour-have-a-hobbit-as-leader/

        Maybe a Hobbit, certainly a fair imitation of The Invisible Man.

        Could only handle about 5 minutes of Q&A Shearer this morning. By the fourth ‘move on’ I was moving on myself. He should study Key and see how it can be done, even on a very sticky wicket.

      • Neoleftie 25.1.2

        Trouble is its only those in labour or on the left who identify calling themselves left, the small minority of the elecorate whereas shearer is trying o capture a shifting position where the potential voter is turned off by traditional labels such as left or indeed labour. A new direction and a reconnect to the wider elecorate is needed.

  26. kiwi_prometheus 26

    John Armstrong has made some good points this weekend:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10849586

    “When they were not naively setting things up to the advantage of the old enemy, delegates occupied themselves with such pressing matters as lowering the voting age to 16 – something for which there is absolutely no demand – and ordering school boards of trustees to let same-sex couples attend school balls.

    Then there was the remit requiring 50 per cent gender equality among officials on the party’s electorate committees.

    When it was pointed out that most committees had three officials, the conference determined that an extra position such as an assistant treasurer could be created.

    This kind of nonsense shows that political correctness is alive and well in Labour.

    It speaks of a party that is out of touch with mainstream New Zealand.And it speaks of a leader who has no control over his party.”

    No wonder Labour cant get ahead with this self sabotaging circus performance from team PC.

    [QoT: This comment has fuck-all to do with the post. Future offtopic bullshit to Open Mike post please, that’s what it’s for.]

    [lprent: moved ]

  27. xtasy 27

    How entertaining and uplifting –

    a thread about “Shearer Says” has turned out into a major discussion forum for alternative leadership appointments, how to arrange the best fitting re-shuffle and how to get a GOOD, or say at least much better, more convincing and powerful team together, to pose a REAL challenge to the government.

    There are so many reasonable and good suggestions, it shows, many Standardistas would make for a better team-builder than the ones that are sitting at or near the helm at present!

    TS is setting the pace again – for February 2013!

    I am starting to dream and hope again, is this real???

    • felix 27.1

      “a thread about “Shearer Says” has turned out into a major discussion forum for alternative leadership appointments”

      Well yeah. Whenever “Shearer says” anything he inspires that response.

      (Except from National of course – they like him even more now that he’s revealed himself as an wannabe authoritarian as well as the lightweight they already knew and loved.)

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