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Truth no longer matters

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, July 14th, 2013 - 167 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour, making shit up, Media - Tags: , , ,

A significant proportion of the media is now heavily invested in the narrative that David Shearer is about to be rolled as Labour leader. In particular Patrick Gower and Duncan Garner have become so obsessed that they have become the object of regular satire. Matt McCarten’s piece today sums it up well:

This week was even more depressing. Some in the media have become so bored and cynical they now make up political news.

Labour had a conference remit to allow electorates to restrict selections to women. The media scrum screamed that Labour leader David Shearer would be toppled for allowing PC to go viral in his party. Shearer knocked out the remit. The scrum reversed tack, spinning he would now be toppled for interfering in party democracy.

That was bit weak so they invented a story about a letter signed by MPs, calling for his head. Every MP denied it, which only proved, to the scrum anyway, their fiction must be true. For their own credibility, the media now needs to keep the story alive and frame Shearer as a leader under internal attack. Truth no longer matters.

Politics was once about noble ideas. Now it’s about media celebrity and intrigue. No wonder New Zealanders have disengaged. And civil society is poorer for it.

Yes – civil society is poorer for it.

Truth no longer matters, and Shearer is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. Every coup denial is further proof of a coup. Take it away Brian…

167 comments on “Truth no longer matters”

  1. BM 1

    He’s boned, everyone except the most deluded realizes that.

  2. dumrse 2

    Stay in touch with WO, he knows what happening.

    • felix 2.1

      No need to stay in touch. He posts his innermost inanities right here on a regular basis under his various trool handles.

      • Yes 2.1.1

        Here’s some truth not recorded on here. Matt hasn’t paid his employees paye …and you tell him that he knows about the thrift. Good grief..you are really sick audience.

  3. Ed 3

    A good post Anthony, thanks. Mediawatch this morning covered some of the same issues.

  4. North 4

    Yes…….why bother with such a trifle as “truth”.

    The story about the story is far more interesting for the suck-ups. “How well was the lie peddled ?” is the order of the day – mine Potty Gower and the rest of the Dunning-Kruger afflicted narcissists.

    Fourth Estate is trumped by Fart Estate.

    Except as to Campbell whom sadly is in a minority of one !

  5. Appleboy 5

    Can we ban that fucking troll BM – he’s devoid of a single well made point, just coming (oo err) here to get his daily verbal jerk off. Perish that thought, with all that inner frustrated angst. We don’t need it(him?)

    • r0b 5.1

      Agreed on all counts. But he hasn’t attracted lprent’s attention for violating policy.

      • BM 5.1.1

        Just because someone disagrees, that doesn’t make them a troll.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          Disagreements fine it’s just that you invariably have no argument (or, at least, one that stands up to scrutiny) for your position but you keep parroting it anyway.

  6. red blooded 6

    Let’s be honest; Shearer needs to up his game. Having said that, I don’t see much of a media scrum about the inanities, inaccuracies and misleading crap that passes as comment when it issues forth from Gower, Garner or their ilk. They need to learn to make a distinction between analysis and prejudice and between prediction and stirring. Who elected them and bestowed on them the level of political power they assume is their due?

    Mediawatch did explore this issue a bit, but others (Q&A, The Nation etc) have basically just said, “Not yet, but still on the way”. It hasn’t occurred to them to re-examine the veracity of the supposed sources. After all, their darling boys couldn’t possibly be wrong, or stirring…

  7. muzza 7

    r0b – Truth, is a key enabler of so called democracy, and a key criteria for so called, freedom!

    Without, truth, we are slaves, we are in an open air prison, trapped by lies, making decisions without the appropriate information, which is as reprehensible a situation, as one could ever nightmare up!

    Humanity, has not had truth, quite possibly, ever!

    • UglyTruth 7.1

      In commerce, truth is sovereign. Commerce isn’t limited to exchanges involving money, an exchange of valued ideas is a form of commerce. Some of the most valuable truths are the ones which are kept from you by your adversary.

  8. Gower reminds me of the kind of obnoxious pricks I thought I’d finished with when I left high school. First, he spends days scaremongering Slater/Farrar’s “man ban” into a test of Shearer’s leadership; then, when the hapless schmuck Shearer demonstrates this alleged “leadership” and kills the remit, Gower shifts immediately to concern trolling about what a terrible affront this is to the people who submitted the remit. It’s school bully stuff, and a real shame that Shearer plays the role of victim so well.

    • r0b 8.1

      I can’t work you out PM. For a “RWNJ” you’re often remarkably open minded. Most of the righties who comment here are mind-numbingly predicable. You are not. Keep up the good work!

      • ak 8.1.1

        Agreed r0b, forgive the subtle “blame the victim” jibe and another lost sheep is almost home…..

        • Jimmie 8.1.1.1

          I would have thought PM is more of a pinko with occasional flashes of common sense – see his posts at nominister from time to time.

  9. Anne 9

    …they invented a story about a letter signed by MPs, calling for his head.

    I wonder whether Duncan Garner was hoaxed as indeed I wonder if Patrick Gower was hoaxed a couple of weeks previously. A lesson to both of them to check and double check their so-called sources?

    Labour had a conference remit to allow electorates to restrict selections to women.

    That remit was briefly debated at last year’s Annual Conference. While I’m sure all delegates were in complete agreement with the basic premise, the remit was clumsily put together and should have been carefully re-phrased in a more acceptable way. It was an unpleasant surprise when it popped up again in its original form – more or less anyway.

    However it’s unfair to blame Shearer who cannot be expected to have a handle on every proposed remit, and believe me there are hundreds of them at any one time in the Labour Party. That is the job of the remit committees who didn’t have their eye on the ball. Not good enough!

  10. AmaKiwi 10

    Personality politics versus issue politics.

    I do not believe in personality politics. Eventually every personality will disappoint you.

    I believe in principles, ideals, issues.

    How did we get to this sorry state of personality politics? Because the only thing that matters in our vacuous parliamentary debates is what one’s leader demands. I can talk ’til I’m blue in the face to National MPs about the absurdity of charter schools, Sky City pokies, GCSB off the rails. It’s a waste of breath. When the PM (of either party) says, “Jump!” their entire caucus in unison asks, “How high, your majesty?”

    It is a farce to call New Zealand MPs “representatives.” They are vassals of their respective leaders.

    Since we cannot get a change of policy without changing the leader, we are mired in personality contests.

    The system has failed us and the country is the poorer for it.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Excellent comment AmaKiwi.

      Of course the media doesn’t do principles or policies. Doesn’t sell advertising space.

  11. Struth 11

    Shearer is finished. Everyone in the game knows that, including Garner. Talk to MPs, party office holders, union leaders, anyone you like – he is finished. The only support Shearer has is the people in his pay – and even most of them are backing Grant.

    The only thing keeping Shearer in his position now is the division of those who wish to roll him. You seem to expect that the MPs currently negotiating his demise will call up reporters and dob themselves in. Your position is naive in the extreme.

    Quoting Matt McCarten, a man too proud to admit his pro-Shearer hysteria was misguided and has helped condemn his members to three more years of National, doesn’t help your case. He doesn’t know what’s going on – he isn’t involved with Labour and is completely out of the loop.

    What I want to know is why you’re so stridently defending a leader who has no support in caucus, the party or the affiliates. Let it go, man.

    • r0b 11.1

      Who is “stridently defending” Shearer? It’s clear that he has problems as Labour leader, and even he would admit that it’s been a grim week or two. What isn’t clear yet is whether Shearer is terminal, or whether he can turn it around.

      This post is about (some of) the media’s obsession with Shearer, their attempts to write the narrative for him. A separate and valid topic – see e.g. Mediawatch linked above. Unless you’re accusing Mediawatch of stridently defending Shearer?

      • Struth 11.1.1

        You’re clearly trying to pretend – as is the leader’s office – that there’s nothing to see here.

        The media have given Shearer a bloody fair run given his poor performance. I’ve even talked to some journos who’ve admitted they’ve cut him generously because they felt sorry for him. They really tried to give him anothet shot after November. But they can’t ignore the fact he’s now lost support at all levels of the party. The journos know this – they talk to people at all levels of the party, they know who the leakers are (some of the names might surprise you) and they know a dead man walking when they see it.

        I’d suggest the media have a duty to report this stuff. I understand some are cautious about their motives but in this case they’re on the money.

        All this whining about the media does is make you look out of touch and out of the loop.

        • r0b 11.1.1.1

          You’re clearly trying to pretend – as is the leader’s office – that there’s nothing to see here.

          That is what you are reading in to what I wrote. Once again – similar comments were made on Mediawatch – are they trying to pretend about Shearer? Defending Shearer? No – they are examining media behaviour.

          • Struth 11.1.1.1.1

            So, do you think Shearer will survive until the election? Do you think he should?

            • r0b 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Probably (by no means certainly), and yes (as long as the long run polls of polls keep extending the lead of the left block).

          • RedLogix 11.1.1.1.2

            r0b,

            I think Struth is right. And so is Pascal’s Bookie … Shearer survives only as everyone’s second (rapidly becoming third) best choice.

            I’ve done my very best to hold off on the overt Shearer bashing. I think he was very ill-served by those who pushed him into a role he was obviously unprepared for and one that ultimately he’s demonstrated a lack of talent for.

            He would have made a perfectly good Minister of Something Important. Every govt needs people of that calibre and experience.

            The problem for the entire left at the moment is that aside from the somewhat isolated figure of Cunliffe there is no-one in any Party who has the potential to be an inspirational leader.

            In the aftermath of Muldoon (and the comparisons with Key are becoming increasingly apt) Lange was able to claim an extraordinary loyalty from the electorate … despite the havoc being wrought by Douglas. Where is the equivalent figure on the left today?

            For while personality politics is always self-limiting, it is what we are stuck with.

            • Hami Shearlie 11.1.1.1.2.1

              Agreed re Cunliffe – he’s the only person in the Labour Caucus who is both inspirational AND very very intelligent as a politician – I would so love to see him up against Shonkey – I think Shonkey would be chewed up and spat out in quick measure!

              • geoff

                Cunliffe is inspirational to section of Labour but he’s also despised by another section.
                He’s my second choice behind Andrew Little.
                Little would possibly take Labour (and the country) further Left than Cunliffe AND, although some don’t think of him as inspirational, he is absolutely a person of integrity and character and is very well regarded by a big chunk of working class NZ.
                I also think Little is the perfect antithesis of John Key. John Key the flashy surface who is completely absent of an interior vs Little who is like a rough nugget of strong principles.

                • Just do It

                  Little is a list MP.
                  Never won a seat,
                  He has a future… two terms away.
                  Don’t repeat the same mistake as we did with Shearer.

                  I’d leave Labour if we repeated the Goff and Shearer mistake.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I do not understand why Labour people seem determined to send new green recruits up over the trench wall to run at the machine guns. It’s hopeless. Helen Clark had 12 years in Parliament before she became leader, and her political experienced showed every day.

                    • geoff

                      This really smart chap called Geoff explained it to you the other day, CV.
                      In other words, you’re plain wrong. Little isn’t Shearer and he isn’t a noob.
                      Am I right in thinking you are a Cunliffe supporter? I am too but I just think Little would be better and he isn’t considered a divisive figure within Labour.

                  • geoff

                    Your opinion hinges on those two points? If so then you are simply ignorant of Andrew Little and his background.
                    Presume you’d prefer Cunliffe but if you were being truthful you would recognise that he is a very risky candidate for further internal ructions.

                    • Boadicea

                      Cut it Geoff, there is no problem with Cunliffe. Ask the members!

                      A small group arounf Goff and King want their pensions to vest, they knew Cunliffe viewed then as being beyong ther sell-by-date. So they ptcked a patsy. Cunliffe will be a great unifying leader. Stop repeating Mallard/Cosgrove lines.

                      Little has only started into his apprenticeship. Dont wreck him by making him leader too soon.

                      Xxxx love your work. Keep it up.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’ve said it to geoff before – Little has a distinguished 20 year Parliamentary career ahead of him if he wants it, including a good long spell at the top. To want it all, and to want it all now…I believe would be highly ill-advised.

                    • Chooky

                      Little really , really bombed out with his personal vote in the Taranaki electorate ….Say no more!…Why foist another dud on the voting/non-voting Labourite.

                      Why keep ignoring the choice of the grassroots Labour members? … Cunliffe is their vote.!!!. (especially as everyone knows that those who regard him as ” a very risky candidate for further internal ructions “….. are dead wood.)

                    • geoff

                      Boadicea & CV: Well I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.
                      You may be correct about the membership preferring Cunliffe but the reality is that the significant number of caucus members, who are anti-Cunliffe, are not just going to conveniently disappear and that is what would drive further internal ructions.

                      Chooky: It’s not just about the electorate vote. I believe Little could bring in more party vote than Cunliffe could.

                      Anyway, Cunliffe would be a much preferred option to Shearer.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Little would certainly be a preferred choice to Shearer. One thing I would like to see is how Little holds the line on important questions of left wing political economy, when he is tested.

                      As for Cunliffe possibly being in the mix, I know he has been greatly enjoying just focussing on his electorate and portfolio duties. Must be a relief not to be in the firing line of his “colleagues” leaking on each other for once. Seriously, why would he subject himself to the same ongoing caucus BS which hasn’t changed one bit since 2012.

            • r0b 11.1.1.1.2.2

              Agreed, mostly. But I don’t think we get to find out if Shearer is that figure unless / until he fights an election campaign as leader.

              Like the personality politics, the “once in three years” test is a pain in the ass, but we’re stuck with it.

            • Anne 11.1.1.1.2.3

              Agree 100% with Redlogix.

              Right from the start I believed they were doing David Shearer a huge disservice pushing him into the top job without the necessary political experience. What made it worse is that the pushing was coming from senior caucus members – all of whom had years and years of political experience between them, and they must have known how difficult it was going to be for him. They were more interested in maintaining control over the parliamentary party and they saw David Shearer as someone who would be easy to manipulate?

              Perhaps it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty reason why I think David Cunliffe was so badly treated:

              Cunliffe was Helen Clark’s preferred successor. I understand he turned it down because he recognised that the leadership role after the 2008 defeat was going to be a poisoned chalice. It was the wise thing to do and no-one can blame him.

              I suspect the longer standing MPs never forgave Cunliffe for – essentially – being Helen Clark’s favourite, and from that point onwards they perceived everything he did and said as evidence he was plotting against Phil Goff and later… David Shearer. The erroneous assumption that Cunliffe withheld important fiscal information from Goff prior to the final campaign leadership debate is a good case in point.

              Now they’re in the ignominious position that in the event of a leadership contest before the next election, they may have to eat humble pie and go with the best person for the job – David Cunliffe. Can they do it? Have my doubts. Their perceptions are probably too ingrained now.

              • handle

                First time I have heard anybody say “Cunliffe was Helen Clark’s preferred successor.” Any evidence to back that up?

                • Anne

                  Anecdotal evidence from individuals who should know better than most and they’re NOT journalists.

                  Naturally handle there is no ‘evidence’ by way of video or the written word in the public arena.

              • RedLogix

                Interesting Anne.

                In the light of that information (I had imagined that it was Phil Goff who was HC’s preferred successor) it would have been much smarter for Goff to have stayed on after the 2011 election, and then gallantly stood aside around now for Cunliffe to step up in time for 2014. And been well-rewarded with nice job of his choosing.

                Certainly I spoke out here several times that I would have preferred Goff not resign. Here’s a comment I made at the time:

                I think Goff and King standing down is a blunder of historic proportions. Right now I don’t think Labour is going to recover from this….ever.

                Time could prove me wrong, but while I rather like Cunliffe for his excellent communication skills… I can’t see him doing any better than Goff. Goff at least earned a lot of grudging respect for how he handled this campaign, and now it’s all been squandered.

                http://thestandard.org.nz/two-weeks-to-choose/#comment-409478

                If I can be allowed to qualify this with hindsight a little; I don’t think Cunliffe would have a much better run than Goff at the time. The Key machine was until recently so rampant I don’t think DC would have been any kind of magic wand against that. But Key’s teflon is suddenly showing some patches and for the next 18 months … Leader of the Opposition will no longer be the poisoned chalice it has been until now.

                • Anne

                  In the light of that information (I had imagined that it was Phil Goff who was HC’s preferred successor) it would have been much smarter for Goff to have stayed on after the 2011 election, and then gallantly stood aside around now for Cunliffe to step up in time for 2014. And been well-rewarded with nice job of his choosing.

                  Agreed Redlogix.

                  I was given to understand Phil Goff was Helen’s second choice. I have no proof of course but I had sufficient trust in the integrity of the persons who told me that I believe it. I also think Phil Goff is to be given full credit for standing up to the Nacts and delivering an excellent performance during the 2011 campaign. It didn’t help he only had a shortened campaign period (due to RWC) to prove his worth. I suspect the undermining of Cunliffe came from elsewhere in the caucus, and Goff and King were merely responding to it. But that’s just a hunch on my part.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I was given to understand Phil Goff was Helen’s second choice.

                    +1

                    Also back the statements that Goff should have stayed on, but it became obvious that a great many MPs seemed to have their heart set on a short term change, regardless of what the best strategic move for the party would have been.

              • RedLogix

                And I’d add this … Goff resigning and opening the door to Shearer has essentially created a power vacuum into which various factions and alliances have been striving to fill ever since.

                With no success because Shearer was never in a position to resolve any of it. His one attempt at asserting his authority, lashing out at Cunliffe after the 2012 Convention was a dud because he picked the wrong target.

                • Populuxe1

                  Goff should have stayed as leader to have taken Labour to the election, not limped off just as he’d acquired enough mana to pull it off.

                • hush minx

                  I think if Cunliffe does end up as leader the experiences he’s had, like getting dumped on at conference, will actually make him a better leader. Experiencing tough times is what makes us grow, and I think the DC who would stand now it’s very different to the one before. Let’s hope HC would still approve!

                  • Colonial Viper

                    The chances of the current Labour caucus standing behind any new leader in a consistent way, for any extended duration, is roughly nil. So my advice to Cunliffe remains the same – stay the hell away from the chalice, keep up the good work as an electorate MP, focus on the portfolios he has, and enjoy the extra time with the family.

                    Everyone else in caucus can busy themselves running around counting their numbers and cutting deals behind Shearer’s back.

                    • Boadicea

                      Cunliffe has to accept his fate. He is the only one who can unify the WHOLE party: Caucus, Council, sectoral groups and Members.

                      It is not in a real leader’s make-up to sacrifice his people to three years of deprivation rather than take on a risky fight.

                      Ducking a responsibility to take over the Leadership immediately is the approach of a looser.

                      Cunliffe is a winner.

    • Colonial Viper 11.2

      The only thing keeping Shearer in his position now is the division of those who wish to roll him.

      The other thing is timing. A new Leader would have to be selected by a Membership/unions process. By the time all is said and done we’ll be in an election year. And a Labour loss in election year would likely mean whoever became Leader now would be replaced in Feb ’15.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 11.2.1

        Thats why the story needed Shearer to ‘resign’ after being confronted bynthe so called petition with Mps names on it.

        • Arfamo 11.2.1.1

          Duncan Garner made an assertion and predictions based on an assumed reliable information source. His claim about the letter has been shown to be nonsense and his prediction was wrong. Surely the principal lesson to learn from this is that all future Duncan Garner assertions and predictions should be viewed with the high level of skepticism the evidence shows this one rightly deserved.

      • Boadicea 11.2.2

        CV. I believe that Shearer and Robertson will resign very soon. Weeks.
        We could have a new Leader by Conference in Christchurch.

        The possibility of loosing in 2014 should not be a consideration in fixing the very broken leadership issue.
        Any other approach will definitely lead to an Election loss.

        • Colonial Viper 11.2.2.1

          The possibility of loosing in 2014 should not be a consideration in fixing the very broken leadership issue.

          Indeed, but that is probably not how privileged careerists think.

        • Jackal 11.2.2.2

          Shearer and Robertson will resign very soon? Do you have some evidence to base this belief on Boadicea, or is this simply the wishful thinking of a NActUF voter? Remember, the Duncan Garner coup letter has been proven to be entirely false. It was simply another diversion and attempt by an already discredited right wing hack to cause speculation about David Shearer as leader of the opposition.

          With nobody else in Labour challenging for the role, what people need to ask themselves is do they want another three years of John Key and National…because if Shearer is rolled, that’s exactly what they’ll get. Many voters will think there isn’t a stable alternative to the current government. Your choice is between John Key’s track record or David Shearer’s…and in my opinion the painter on the roof scandal just doesn’t compare.

          The left wing has a good chance to win the next election, but only if these dangerous narratives are curtailed at the earliest opportunity. If they’re allowed to run right up to the next election, you may as well kiss your country goodbye.

          The media simply won’t stop because they get their own way. In fact the MSM has demonstrated that they get even worse after a Labour party compromise. I think what Labour and other left wing party’s need to do is challenge the MSM at every opportunity. Leaving such untruths and manipulations unanswered is clearly not working. If National and their propagandists want a fight without rules, that’s exactly what they should get. Go on the offensive and attack National and their media affiliates at every opportunity.

          People might recall that the right wing spin-doctors did exactly the same thing with Phil Goff when he was Labour leader, and Helen Clark before him for that matter. However the rhetoric seems to be even worse this time, perhaps because the race is a lot closer. It’s unfortunate that the right wings manipulations are getting the attention they clearly don’t deserve.

          I don’t think losing the 2014 election is an option. There won’t be much of New Zealand left to govern if National have another four years at the helm.

          • Boadicea 11.2.2.2.1

            Hi Jackal 11.2.2.2 @5.03pm.
            Why do I say Shearer/Robertson will be gone in weeks?

            Polls: The next polls will have him in the 20s, following the poor handling of the Sky City box and the ManBan affairs.
            Membership: Not even electorate people who used to advocate for him are asserting support. Shearer’s former supporters are either sadly silent or openly despairing at the repeated clumsiness.
            NZ Council and Women’s Council: they are sooo pissed with Shearer’s handling on the ManBan. The relationship between the Caucus and the Council is broken.
            MPs: the ABC core, King, Goff, Jones, Cosgrove, Fa’foi have lost the respect of their middle ground colleagues because of Sky Box and ManBan.
            Many of those MPs and aspiring MP’s see that we cannot get the Party vote into the 30s with Shearer against Key. They are looking around.

            Those factors, and not Garner/Gower, are why Shearer will resign in weeks.Robertson has to resign at the same time as both positions will be up for election.

            • Ad 11.2.2.2.1.1

              Onya Boodicka. With Cunliffe all the way.

              See how long the ABC club can hold out. It’s been 4 years though.

              Here’s hoping for a better Labour Party than the one we get now.

            • Mary 11.2.2.2.1.2

              That there was a “letter” may not have been the truth but Shearer leaving the leadership must surely be true. If it’s not it needs to be.

    • geoff 11.3

      Struth! Nailed it! (and not in a fucked up pintrest project kinda way)

  12. red blooded 12

    Hey, I don’t see any strident defense in this or other postings on this issue by Anthony. What I do see is a critique of the way media histrionics impact on our democracy. I care about this and think it’s a timely thing to be discussing.

    I’ve already said that I think that Shearer needs to lift his game. Whether he’s capable of this and can mature into being an effective leader and spokesperson, I don’t know. Let’s not forget how Clarke was panned and seen as dead in the water during her first term, though. People can build their skills and learn from experience. Either way, the point remains that leadership of the Labour Party is up to members to decide, not attention-seeking political pundits. These guys should report the news, not try to make it.

    • RedLogix 12.2

      Lots of positive integers from me too…

    • Colonial Viper 12.3

      I love the way you use Helen Clark to make a point about Shearer developing over time. Seriously? Remember that Clark had the benefit of several terms experience as an MP, including time in government. She had served 12 years in Parliament including time as a Minister by the time she became Leader. Shearer has none of that going for him, and it shows.

      • Anne 12.3.1

        Appropriate correction CV. Helen had already built her skills and experiences over 10 plus years when she became the leader. rb’s comment is still on the mark though.

      • RedLogix 12.3.2

        What’s more I remember a Kim Hill Checkpoint interview from way back when she was a Minister of Health in the late 80′s and thinking to myself ..”she’s got what it takes to be a Prime Minister”.

        Never once got that sense from the grey man.

    • Struth 12.4

      “I’ve already said that I think that Shearer needs to lift his game. Whether he’s capable of this and can mature into being an effective leader and spokesperson, I don’t know”

      How long do you want to wait to find out?

      We’ve wasted the good part of a term in opposition waiting for the great leader we were promised to emerge. During this time Shearer’s weak leadership and the incompetence of those behind him have allowed National to further eviscerate our welfare state and attack the most vulnerable.

      We owe it to the people Labour represents to get a new leader in there with a good team around them in time to win the 2014 election. We all know deep down that Shearer can’t do it.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.4.1

        Yes. But until the caucus rallies around a replacement; It. Will. Not. Happen.

        • Struth 12.4.1.1

          Yeah, as I said, it’s only the division of Shearer’s opponents that’s keeping him there. But it’s a very fluid situation at the moment and alliances are shifting. It’ll happen, I just hope it doesn’t happen too late for 2014.

          • Pascal's bookie 12.4.1.1.1

            So you’ve got nothing. It’s been a ‘fluid situation’ since before Goff lost the last election, and here we are.

            The only thing that matters is the actual numbers, and a coup wan’t happen without them.

            MPs will leak stories saying it’s on not because it is on, but to try and create the pressure needed to bring it on. The fact those stories are happening, but coups are not happening, shows that Shearer still actually has the numbers.

            • Struth 12.4.1.1.1.1

              It’s a strange thing about coups – you can’t give what you have without revealing your sources. It’s the same problem the media have. But they’ll be talking to the same people I am – hearing publicly pro-Shearer MPs say he has to go, seeing quiet conversations in corridors between people who have recently been seen as enemies, hearing about the events where party members spontaneously toast his demise – and realising that his time is up. The Shearer project has collapsed, the only question is what to do next. You can choose to believe what you like, and I understand if you’re suspicious of the media. I’ll go with the evidence right in front of me.

              • Pascal's bookie

                But you have no credibility Struth.

                that’s the thing with pseudonyms. They are all well and good, (look see, I’ve got one too!) but they do mean that no one knows, and no one will, or should, take your personal claims as having any merit.

                For all we know you are Garner, or his source. Not saying you are, but claims to be talking with so-and-so about such-and-such aren’t worth anything from a pseudonym.

                So best you run along and have a think about how it all works and stop being so naive as to think anyone would take the stuff you are saying seriously from a pseudonym.

                What is ‘in fornt’ of us, is you pretty much engaging in the same thing garner was. Running off at the mouth and looking like a tool. Either name names, or GTFO basically. Either discuss it like a citizen, or act like an operative in the game. But if you do the latter, don’t expect people here not to see the game.

                • Struth

                  Like I say, it’s up to you what you choose to believe, and I can understand why you’d be suspicious of the press gallery and anonymous sources. But the fact is pseudonyms and anonymous sources are all you’re going to get until the moment of the coup. That’s how they game’s played, always has been and always will be. Regardless, I think anyone vaguely plugged into Labour at the moment can see the writing on the wall.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    The writing is always on the wall.

                    Sometimes there are rumours of coups, and they never happen. (cf the last 3 years or so in Labour)

                    Sometimes there are no open rumours of coups, and then there’s open talk of it for 48 hours and then it’s done. (cf most fucking coups that actually happen)

                    Usually that’s how it works. the fact there are rumours being planted with journos, and by people by yourself, tells people who have actually watched politics for a while that they don’t have the numbers and are trying brute force to get them. But they won’t get them unless they can resolve the split in the anti-Shearer camp.

                    Given they appear to hate each other, the chances of that happening via this sort of carry on are slim.

                    If the plotters aren’t at a stage where they are prepared to go even slightly public, getting their names mentioned at least, then the writing is faint indeed.

                    I repeat, you’ve got nothing.

                    • RedLogix

                      The writing is always on the wall.

                      When the leader is competent and popular it’s written in invisible ink.

                    • geoff

                      You’re repeating a pointless assertion PB. Struth isn’t offering evidence, just some tasty gossip. And as someone who is really fed up with the Shearer fiasco, I feel a little hope when I read a convincing sounding tidbit from a claimed insider. Perhaps I’m deluded but I’ll cling to anything if it means I can believe that it will mean the arseholes controlling the Labour caucus get the shove.

                      I don’t actually think I’m deluded though, I attribute that to those who think Shearer should stay on as leader. It also lines up with the information I have been receiving from friends who are political insiders in Wellington. Oops now I sound just like Struth!

            • Colonial Viper 12.4.1.1.1.2

              The fact those stories are happening, but coups are not happening, shows that Shearer still actually has the numbers.

              I don’t think that’s quite the right conclusion, or at least not one which captures the essence of the situation.

              Shearer’s total mishandling of the “manban” (where he basically ignored all the advice he was given by both the caucus and the party) has finally focused very many peoples minds.

              • OneTrack

                Not to mention that the party has basically ignored Shearer as the man ban is still on. In other words, his authority is zero.

  13. Alanz 13

    “Some in the media have become so bored and cynical they now make up political news.”

    The best part of the past week is that Duncan Garner’s credibility has taken a hit and even my workmates who are not very interested in politics can now see he is untrustworthy.

    • Struth 13.1

      Duncan will be proven right, because he has eyes to see what is going on. A coup may not happen tomorrow, but it is inevitable. Politically, Shearer is finished. These potshots at the media only hasten his downfall.

      • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1

        Duncan was proven wrong on Tuesday night. There was no letter, Gower had no letter, there was no vote. That was his story.

        • TightyRighty 13.1.1.1

          Just because there is no letter, doesn’t mean there is no coup. the two aren’t vitally dependent on each other. If i was plotting a coup, the last thing i would do is commit anything to paper. especially in the labour party. remember chris carter? it wasn’t even that long ago

          • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1.1.1

            derp.

            Do *you* remember Chris Carter?

            He tried to launch a coup through destablisation, putting a letter in journo’s inboxes saying it was on.

            The only difference between what we know from Tuesday, and Carter’s fail parade is that this mp is smart enough to get himself source confidentiality. Other than that, there is about as much evidence of an actual coup being in the offing now as there was then.

            Was there a coup back then? No. There wasn’t.

            That doesn’t mean there won’t be one now, but all evidence points to the numbers not being there. If the numbers were there, they’d get it done rather than trying to foster the numbers through plays like this.

      • Arfamo 13.1.2

        Duncan was proven wrong. He cannot now be proven correct. To be proven correct he needs to make another specific assertion and prediction and to be proven right about the next one. Until then, the evidence is that Duncan’s predictions cannot be assumed to be correct. His last one was wrong.

  14. Anne 14

    …even my workmates who are not very interested in politics can now see he is untrustworthy.

    Not according to Fran O’Sullivan who described Garner on Q&A this morning as:

    “One of our most respected journalists”. :roll:

    • BIGDOG 14.1

      Yes Anne,the trouble with the msm is the fact that its a very small pool of National inclined dipshits who cravenly report anything said by JK as if its graven in stone.I gave up reading anything this appalling women says years ago as I already know her stance on everything.In fact if she was run over by a bus I could step into her job and I don’t think anyone would notice!As for this other clown,if he’s reduced to ranting on talkback radio for a crust,can he be taken seriously?

    • David H 14.2

      “One of our most respected journalists”. :roll:

      Yeah had to clean the keyboard and screen after they said that, should have a comedy warning up for those drinking coffee.

    • tc 14.3

      Fran O’Sullivan/Garner/Gower/Armstrong/Young etc all have little credibility as proper journalists with balance and intellect but they have soapboxes and self importance so they equate that to respect. .

      she meant one of our most egotistical/arrogant, delusional shills all of them.

  15. infused 15

    Garner wouldn’t have made that shit up. He has nothing to gain by doing it. Truth about the matter will eventually come out.

    Patrick Gower is such a fucking douche though.

    • Arfamo 15.1

      Garner wouldn’t have made that shit up. He has nothing to gain by doing it.

      He didn’t. His overestimation of his own intelligence made him gullible and he was played by someone who did have something to gain by his doing it. Have fun working out who.

    • Struth 15.2

      Exactly right. He knows as well as everyone else who’s in the loop that Shearer is finished. MPs are running the numbers as I type. This whining about the media looks pathetic to anyone on the inside.

      • Arfamo 15.2.1

        MPs are running the numbers as I type.

        Fair enough. You must be in the know somehow. How are the numbers looking at the moment? I don’t mind waiting while you check with your impeccable source. Shouldn’t take you longer than an hour I imagine.

        • David H 15.2.1.1

          What numbers??? As far as i can remember it’s 50% to trigger a voting system, that includes Members, Unions, and Politicians. Sorry if I got it wrong. So from what I see, Shearer can’t be ‘rolled’ like they did in Aussie, he has to be voted out .

          • Struth 15.2.1.1.1

            You’re talking about the electoral college after a spill. The trigger is a 50% vote of no confidence by caucus. Unfortunately there is no mechanism for the membership to trigger a spill.

      • Pascal's bookie 15.2.2

        hahahahaha:

        The only thing keeping Shearer in his position now is the division of those who wish to roll him.

        Any sign of that being resolved? No?

        Struth, you’re an idiot who read an espiner blogpost and thinks he knows stuff

        Ancient saying that a week is a long time in politics. In this day and age it’s an eon. It’s been nearly a week since Garner got captured by his source and there still has been nothing happen. He was wrong, and was used, and it hasn’t worked out for either his source or himself.

        When the coup didn’t happen on Tues, big time punter idiots were saying ‘it’ll be over the weekend then, that’ll be the timing because xyz’. Clocks ticking on that one too.

        So come on Struth. Put a timeframe on it. If it’s on, then that shouldn’t be hard.

        If it’s not on, then it’s not on.

        All political careers end in failure, as they say, so just saying that he will be rolled is pointless know-nothing fake wisdom. they will all be betrayed and rolled in one way or another. Today, a month, a year. It’s not a prediction that makes you look good unless you put a time on it.

        So step up. When?

        • Struth 15.2.2.1

          As we all know, the only person who has the numbers in caucus for a spill is Grant Robertson, and he doesn’t want one until after the election. But something major has changed over the last couple of weeks. The alliances (I wouldn’t call them factions) are starting to break down and people are having the conversations and working out the maths. I’ve had calls from many senior sources at all levels of the party over the last week saying the leadership is terminal. All agree Shearer is finished – he might still be the titular leader but he has no authority and no support.

          The mood on the third floor of Parliament is completely different – the place is in lockdown and a sense of panic is starting to take hold. Caucus has accepted that Shearer isn’t up to it and they’re worried if they don’t act now they’ll be forced to later and it’ll be too late to pull it back by 2014.

          So, division may be resolved by fear of a collapse and by internal pressure from the party (the number of angry letters from members is starting to rattle even the ABCs). They don’t have to actually agree on a leader, there just need to be enough of them worried enough about the leadership for 50% to trigger an election. That’s what these leaks are all about – the note to Gower, the man ban leak to Slater, the MP who came to Garner with the letter of no confidence story.

          Timing is the next question. What I’m hearing is it’ll be in the next couple of months so there’s a new leader for conference and doesn’t interfere with Chch East. If it’s not soon it’ll have to be after the by-election, which means a coup very late in the year.

          It’s not an exact science – you couldn’t say ‘there’ll be a coup next tuesday at the recess caucus’. Hell, this lot left Phil Goff in charge even after he covered up the Darren Hughes fiasco. What I can tell you is this – Shearer has no support and he’s reviled across the party, caucus are running numbers and it’s likely to happen before the end of the year. No amount of blog posts whining about the media reporting what they see is going to change this.

          • Macro 15.2.2.1.1

            “As we all know, the only person who has the numbers in caucus for a spill is Grant Robertson, and he doesn’t want one until after the election.”

            OMG! Labour is truly fucked!

            If what you say is anywhere close to the matter, the Labour caucus are a truly sad lot. I can see support for Labour going down the plug hole as I type…..
            Not that I have anything against Grant – but he is NOT the man any more than Shearer was.

            The commentators here – who are all passionate about promoting the ideals of left wing policies – have been calling here for months for someone to espouse true ideals and policies which incorporate the whole of society, not the top 20%. Some inkling that those in Parliament who supposedly represent the majority – not the well to do – are actually understanding of the state of our society as it has become. But their cry falls on deaf ears.. There is a massive disconnect between the so-called leaders, and those who want to follow.

          • Anne 15.2.2.1.2

            – Shearer has no support and he’s reviled across the party,…

            You’ve given yourself away Struth. That is garbage. David Shearer is not reviled. Many may not see him as the best person to be leader, but no-one reviles him. Don’t think I’ll bother to read any more of your ravings.

  16. Rajiv 16

    I think what is tearing Left apart in New Zealand is not lack of direction but inability to come to a consensus as to what common direction to take.

    Labour Party needs to move to center of the political spectrum for a broader support. But, as far as I can see, powerful Unions want to inject their agenda into the Labour Party. I’m not link whoring but I find this “policy” of Unite as crazy and everyone needs to read this and the comments below on this Kiwiblog post:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/07/unite_complains_mcdonalds_hires_too_many_indians.html

    In my opinion, this Unite demand to dictate hiring of certain workers reflects one of the worst, bullying and manipulative side of the so called “Unions”.

    My own connections with New Zealand working-class, especially White working class are covered in this post:

    http://nzpolemicist.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/make-way-for-white-nz-political-party/

    Still, after this disclosure, I ask you, is a country made up of only the working class and the Labour Unions? Surely, there are many other classes and interest groups.

    Any sane political party, while supporting all classes, should target expanding the middle-class. Only then maximum number of citizens can have a better quality of life.

    Sooner the Labour Party realizes it the better.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      The greatest expansion of the middle class was in the 50′s and 60′s when unions were strong. The middle class has been decimated over the last 20 years as unions have also been decimated.

      And McDonalds jobs are not going to build a middle class, unions or no unions.

      As for Labour moving into the “centre”: a resource depletion debt fuelled global economic meltdown is underway. Our politics, centrist or not, currently has no answers for it.

    • Te Reo Putake 16.2

      Unite is not affiliated to the NZ Labour Party, Rajiv. And trying to appeal only to the centre is why Labour can’t get above the low thirties in polling. Unite does seem to have exposed a racist hiring policy at that Maccas branch, so good on them for exposing it. I hope the manager sees the error of his way and starts hiring from the wider community.

  17. Rajiv 17

    Please note in the comments section of the post, that I never said McDonalds jobs will build middle-class. In fact I said, anyone who would do those jobs at minimum wage for the rest of their life is to be pitied.

    First, my point was, what business is it of Unite to lay down the law–for an independent business– as to which workers should be hired?

    Furthermore, as I asked in the comments section, how can hiring a bunch of “New Zealanders” by firing another bunch “New Zealanders” solve the problem of unemployment?

    As the saying goes– a government (or Union) that robs Peter to pay Paul, can always depend on the support of Paul. Unite’s action stinks of political kickback.

    Labour Party needs to steer clear of that kind of divisive and partisan politics.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      From my perspective, I believe that workers should have a strong voice in how a business is run. On a larger scale, labour should also have a strong voice in how the economy is run.

      Currently, capital has by far the dominant voice in directing the economy. No surprise then that it has created an economy friendly to capital and unfriendly to labour.

    • Te Reo Putake 17.2

      It’s not Unite ‘laying down the law’. Discriminatory hiring practices are illegal in NZ full stop. And Unite is doing its best to lift Maccas workers income well above the minimum wage. That’s why they were at that store in the first place.

      http://www.unite.org.nz/

      • Rajiv 17.2.1

        I ask you, in all sincerity: Is it illegal to discriminate on grounds of merit and skill-level? Businesses will only hire people who do the job most efficiently, turn up every day and on time, work hard.

        What if one were to complain that it is discriminatory that All Blacks are made up of only THREE racial/Ethnic groups: Whites, Maori and Pacific Islanders??

        Would you say it’s discrimination that only these three groups get to represent New Zealand in All Blacks? No, you wouldn’t. So why should businesses not be free to hire whoever they think can do the job best.

        And I have seen plenty of manufacturing places where workers are mostly Pacific Islanders and Maori. But that’s probably because they can do it better than any others. I would NEVER say that it is discriminatory to hire only Maori and Pacific Islanders. It’s up to the business/ Employer to decide who can do the job best.

        • Te Reo Putake 17.2.1.1

          Rajiv, you seem confused. On one hand you laud selection on merit, then contradict yourself by accepting race based selection as legitimate. It’s not. We do not allow people to employ based on a racial bias. If you don’t like it, lobby to get our discrimination laws weakened.

          • Rajiv 17.2.1.1.1

            No Sir,

            I’m not confused, nor do I contradict myself.

            To remove any confusion I may have caused, let me repeat for the last time: I only support hiring on grounds of merit and skill. Furthermore, I believe that an employer or business must have sole discretion as to which workers best fit the job and will perform best. Period.

            • Te Reo Putake 17.2.1.1.1.1

              Care to elaborate? Do you find it acceptable for an employer to hire on a racial basis? I think you do, which would be a contradiction of your statement that selection should be merit based.

              • Rajiv

                Employers will hire only those they think will perform best. If there are workplaces places full of Pacific Islanders and Maori (these workplaces do exist, by the way), I personally don’t think it’s racial discrimination against other races. Maybe employers think those PI’s and Maori workers can do the job better than other available job-applicants. Moreover, sometimes it helps the business if workers have a strong sense of community which would lead to better team work and greater productivity.

                I don’t see the need to throw a hissy fit when I see workplaces dominated by Pacific Islander workers, for example. So, why should Unite throw a hissy fit when they see a small workplace where workers from an ethnic group predominate– they may be Indians, Chinese, Filipinos, or indeed Maori. It is not a Union’s job to decide who gets hired or fired.

                At last, if you still disagree with me. Then will you and Unite also go to all the workplaces where Pacific Islanders and Maori (for example) predominate the workforce and ask the employer to hire people from other races and ethnic backgrounds– more White people and Chinese people, for example? Would you support such a move? Just asking ;-)

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Just asking? Are you that thick or just putting it on? Either you support race based employment ot you don’t. Yes or no will be fine, ta.

                  • Rajiv

                    Now you’re either being childish or putting it on. Let’s cut to the chase.

                    NO, I do not support race based employment. But YOU certainly do.

                    I support ONLY merit and skill based hiring.

                    I hope it wasn’t too much reading for you.

                    Enjoy your Maccas,
                    McDonald’s Global Team.

                    http://mcdonalds.co.nz/

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Google “maccas”, doofus.

                      So you’re a paragon of anti racist virtue who approves of race base bigotry in employment. Gotcha. What a douche.

        • Bill 17.2.1.2

          Businesses will only hire people who do the job most efficiently, turn up every day and on time, work hard.

          Erm, no. Not only You’re forgetting to include:

          Easily intimidated.
          Preferably non-union or anti-union (eg, many Chinese workers are very suspicious of unions given the nature of unions in China),
          Temporary as in, for example, a student who knows it’s not ‘forever’ and who will therefore put up with far more shit.
          Desperate and therefore possibly willing to work in more onerous conditions for less pay.

          And that list goes on to include such discriminatory practices as employing only married men or fathers of young children and on and on and on. Call it employers looking for ‘bang for buck’ or somesuch…

      • KJT 17.2.2

        Interesting that one of the most successful OECD countries, by almost all measures, including right wing ones, is 75 to 80% Unionised.

        And by the way has one of the highest proportions of Government involvement in the economy, by GDP.

        Finland.

        It must be depressing to be a right wing apologist and watch all the countries adopting right wing solutions, such as austerity, tax cuts for the rich, stiffing workers, and less Government involvement, going down the tubes.

        • Rajiv 17.2.2.1

          I’m not a right wing apologist but a Libertarian. The problem is not with Trade Unionism but the corrupt and manipulative practices of Trade Unions.

          Finland’s example is irrelevant to the topic of Unite’s promotion of race quotas. Finland is–mostly– a racially and ethnically homogenized society. New Zealand is racially and ethnically diverse. But for a Union to play race-politics is unbecoming. That was my only point.

          That said, I am all for workers’ rights. But Unions cannot ask or force businesses/ employers as to WHICH workers to hire and WHICH ones to fire. This is unheard of and absurd.

          • Te Reo Putake 17.2.2.1.1

            “I’m not a right wing apologist but a Libertarian. ”

            Yeah, not mutually exclusive concepts.

            “But Unions cannot ask or force businesses/ employers as to WHICH workers to hire and WHICH ones to fire. This is unheard of and absurd.”

            Good thing nobody’s suggesting that then. ‘cept you.

            • Rajiv 17.2.2.1.1.1

              Many Libertarian principles are opposed to Right wing and conservative ideologies, on civil liberties for example.

              Actually, I would say, on matters of civil liberties Libertarians may well be a lot closer to Left than many would like to admit.

          • richard 17.2.2.1.2

            I’m not a right wing apologist but a Libertarian.

            Here’s a question. If Libertarianism is so good, why has it never been adopted by a single country in the whole world?

            • Rajiv 17.2.2.1.2.1

              I’ll tell you why Richard.

              Because Libertarianism is too good and too honest for majority of corrupt, tribalistic and cowardly humanity to accept. lol.. (Okay that was half-a-joke).

              On a serious note, I think one manifestation of Libertarian principles is a liberal democracy. Here’s a definition from Wikipedia:

              “Liberal democracy is a form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of liberalism. It is characterized by fair, free, and competitive elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties, and political freedoms for all persons.”

              I am pleased to inform you that at least in most Western countries we do have political systems largely based on liberal democratic principles, including New Zealand. And thank heavens for that!

          • KJT 17.2.2.1.3

            As I have said before, scratch a self styled libertarian and you find a nasty little authoritarian fascist trying to escape.

            Funny how Libertarians are always in favour of restricting workers rights, increasing police powers, State surveillance, removing welfare and unfettered capitalism/license to steal.

            Libertarianism works so well, In one of the few counties where it is practiced, Somalia.

      • Rajiv 17.2.3

        Maccas…. What a charming nickname you have for an American multinational fast food joint.

        Yes, please keep supporting Maccas, and Capitalism is safe in your hands, hearts and minds.

        Thank you so much,
        Maccas’ Global Management.

        • Te Reo Putake 17.2.3.1

          You really need to get out more.

        • framu 17.2.3.2

          i think youll find that “Maccas” is a highly common abbreviation both here and in australia used mostly by those who go there -

          just how high is your horse?

  18. Pascal's bookie 18

    I don’t think garner ‘made it up’. But what he didn’t do was verify what he was told.

    The C.Espiner piece, and other bits of mansplaining bullshit that is surfacing all over the place, (some of it not a million miles from this thread), act is if the point of the criticism of Garner is that Shearer is safe or that there isn’t trouble in caucus and the Garner’s critics are naive and that you’ll see, you’ll see, Shearer will be rolled and know-nothing critics just don’t understand destabilisation maaann.

    What a load of horseshit.

    Of course there are murmurings in caucus. Of course destabilisation campaigns happen over a period of time, and of course Shearer will eventually be rolled in one way or another.

    Espiner says that Garner only got the timing wrong. The timing was the story however. So Espiner is the naive fool here, (or a bullshit artist sticking up for his useless tool of a mate who failed, for whatever reason, to follow basic journalistic practice).

    Garner said that the coup was on on Tuesday night and that there was a letter circulating. He got that from one source who came to him. It wasn’t a scoop, it wasn’t something he found out, it was something one mp wanted him to say. And he said it without even bothering to check with Gower who his source told him also had the letter. Well played by the source on that one.

    My guess is that Garner didn’t clear it with Gower because he wanted to be first on the twitter with it, and the source guessing as much, chose Garner for that reason.

    So the ‘story’ Garner told was that there was a coup on. The only confirmed story he actually had is that one mp was running a destabilising campaign. He then acted in away that served only that campaign. He became captured by his source. His source now has him in the position that if Garner joins the destabilisation campaign, he can credibly (to idiots) claim that he was right. Now that is a type of journalism, but hahahaha. Player got played.

    So, what should of Garner done?

    The source told him Gower had the letter. That needed confirming. One phone call would have told garner that i) his source was lying to him, and ii) that therefore the coup wasn’t on that night. He could have then put the whole thing in his background knowledge box with confirmed knowledge of an mp who was destabilising and that they didn’t have the numbers yet.

    When you don’t have the numbers, the leader isn’t finished. That’s as obvious as bullets, but morons seem to think it’s not relevant. Folks can bleat all they like about Garner’s critics being naive, but they always have to account for the fact that Shearer still has the numbers. And until caucus can decide on a replacement, he will remain leader. That’s not guaranteed. It’s quite possible for a guy everyone in caucus hates and thinks sux to remain leader if they can’t agree on who should replace him. As long as Shearer remains the second best choice of everyone, and they can’t agree on a best choice, he stays.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      The one extra wrinkle is that caucus no longer has the full and final say on a replacement for Shearer.

      That will make doing the sums waaaaay more complicated.

      • Pascal's bookie 18.1.1

        But don’t they need a caucus vote to kick it off at this stage of proceedings?

        It complicates it in so far that it makes Shearer safer right now, as I understand it.

        ie, Caucus will have to unite behind someone they want, and be sure that the Party as a whole will not reject their candidate in favour of another.

        eg, If Robertson or Little have the numbers for the caucus vote , but fear that the Party would bring in Cunliffe, then Shearer stays.

    • Matthew Hooton 18.2

      The old rule used to be two sources not one. So you had to talk to, say, Creech and Brownlee to report, as news, that Shipley was doing the numbers against Bolger.

      • handle 18.2.1

        Garner said two sources on Radio Live.

        • Pascal's bookie 18.2.1.1

          The second source was hearsay. Someone outside caucus who reported hearing rumours, probably from source A.

        • Aotearoean 18.2.1.2

          The strange thing is that there is a coup going on. You just have to see the number of leaks to reporters that is going on to realise this. The behaviour is straight out of the Oxford History of the Popes. The difference between here and Australia is that Gillard was competent and will be remembered as such.

          • felix 18.2.1.2.1

            What’s strange about that?

            The point is, as Pb so carefully laid out, that of course shit is going down – but Garner’s big story was that it was going down on tuesday night and that his mate had the dox.

            He was totally and utterly wrong about all of that, and he’s a greedy little piggy.

  19. QoT 19

    The thing that actually pisses me off the most is that it takes no special expertise to see that there’s internal shit going down in Labour and has been since before Shearer became leader.

    So it takes no special expertise to surmise that at some point, maybe next week, maybe at Christmas, maybe after the 2014 election, whenever, Shearer could be rolled. Certainly, because time is linear, there will be a point when he is no longer leader.

    But what’s going to happen, whenever it happens, is that Garner and Gower and the Espiners of the world will jump up and down declaring victory.

    And it won’t matter how many times they’ve called it wrong, or how often they’ve made grandiose, inaccurate statements about “textbook coups”, or how generally shit their journalistic efforts have been. Because inevitably, one day Shearer won’t be leader of Labour, and inevitably, the stories will be spun so that they were right all along.

    • Arfamo 19.1

      Exactly. They are following the same line as old earth creationists who argue that the bible must be true because prophecies made in it that there would be wars, famine, plague, earthquakes and strange events were correct. Predicting inevitabilities is a sure sign of false prophets claiming special knowledge whose opinions are worthless.

    • Blue 19.2

      Yeah, you only have to look at Australia and how Julia Gillard’s leadership was undermined by sources within her own party constantly leaking to journalists that a coup was imminent, that Rudd had the numbers and she was all but gone. It used to happen every other month, and nothing ever came of it.

      When she was finally rolled they all trumpeted, as expected, as if that made up for them spending an entire year being played by sources with their own motives who were full of shit.

      The journos whined that they ‘couldn’t ignore’ coup rumours if they were around and ‘had a duty to the public’ to report them. The fact that they were reporting unsubstantiated rumours as fact and being used as tools to serve someone else’s purpose seemed to go right over their heads.

      If only the useless idiots had the sense to keep their powder dry until they can be sure it’s a real coup and whoever is running it has the numbers before they open their traps. Unfortunately they all want to be first with ‘the scoop’ and don’t bother checking.

      • Matthew Hooton 19.2.1

        I agree with your general sentiment but say McCully started telling journalists that there was a move against Key, would reporting that be passing on an unsubstantiated rumour? Or is McCully saying it itself evidence that something is happening?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 19.2.1.1

          *Helps kill truth for a living*

          *comments among people who know what he does for a living*

        • Tim 19.2.1.2

          Well the thing to do would be (Mathew), as Kerry-Anne suggests is to say (in the case you mention):
          “Murray McCully says there is a move on against John Key”.

          If Murray McCully is not prepared to put his money where his mouth is (i.e. it’s “off-the-record), THEN report it as AN UNSUBSTANTIATED RUMOUR instead of trying to report what he says as fact.

          Garner, Gower, Espiner, yourself would rather go for the “reliable sources tell me” line and forget all about the “unsubstantiated” bits. It’s nothing more than an exercise in ego building.

          All this “off-the-record”, “reliable sources tell me” shit is why journalism has descended into what it has.
          It’s one thing to use the “off-the-records” and “reliable sources tell me” tips to point you in a certain direction, quite another to report them as substantiated facts.

        • Aotearoean 19.2.1.3

          Matthew didn’t you back Shearer for leadership of the Labour Party. Be honest, was it because he would win and lead New Zealand to a socialist nirvana or was it because you thought that he would lose and give Key more chance to sell everything off?

    • Matthew Hooton 19.3

      Of course one day Shearer will not be leader but if he becomes prime minister all those who predicted his demise will have been wrong and will not be able to declare victory the way you suggest.

      • RedLogix 19.3.1

        Matt,

        Well yes. But what are the chances of that happening? My reading is that come 2014 the electorate will look at the the uninspiring, grey muddle that would be a Shearer-led govt … hold their collective noses … and either stay at home or vote for Key again.

      • QoT 19.3.2

        What utter tosh, Hooton, and given your profession, you know it.

        Here’s the narrative for a Shearer PMship right off the top of my head:

        “Shearer only became PM because of [failure of National]/[machinations of Winston Peters] despite the lack of support within his own party.”
        “Gaining the Beehive only made things worse as anti-Shearer MPs were able to use their ministerial powers to conspire even more against him.”
        “Shearer’s resignation today thus signals the climax of a slow-burning campaign which this reporter has been tracking closely since 2013, when efforts to get off the ground were stymied by a lack of will among the anti-Shearer factions to unite.”

        And if I can bullshit it, professional journalists who’ve staked their credibility on an anti-Shearer coup can bullshit it.

  20. Colonial Viper 20

    Absolutely none of this says that Labour is a fit and ready government in waiting.

    Significant elements of the Labour caucus showed pitiful judgement in selecting Shearer for Leader, and again for keeping him there. The caucus can’t even govern themselves, let alone the nation.

    Voters will give 2014 to National on that basis alone.

    edit – I see RL has made essentially the same point.

    • Saarbo 20.1

      Yes, Matt Mc Carten is equally as self serving as Garner. In November he was adamant that Cunliffe was arranging a coup and now regarding another Coup against Shearer “That was bit weak so they invented a story about a letter signed by MPs…”

      I think McCarten is anti Cunliffe, aware that Cunliffe will attract potential Left voters that would otherwise possibly vote Mana Party, who he advises. Shearer, a weak Labour Leader who is obsessed with the Centre instead of the Left…good for Mana.

      McCarten has sympathy for Shearer….mmm, I wonder why.

      In saying that, Garner is a cowboy Journo, no doubt about that…a professional would have had more sources and been more certain before spouting off.

      • Olwyn 20.1.1

        Around the time that Shearer became LP leader, Matt McCarten expressed the view that it was better if Labour aimed for the middle class, leaving the left to the smaller parties. Chris Trotter wrote a piece in disagreement with him, pointing out that a centrist or right-leaning Labour would rob the left of conceptual space, and that this would have a bad effect on Mana as well. That is to say, if the main traditional party of the left abandoned its post, the core political dialogue would change accordingly, turning serious left-wing concerns into mere side-issues. Which would not in the end be of much help to Mana.

        • Saarbo 20.1.1.1

          Yes thanks Olwyn, Chris Trotter’s theory makes absolute sense. Matt McCarten and all other media should make clear disclosures on their contributions to any political partys…clarifies things.

  21. Sable 21

    The people who own the media are corporations who of course have a vested interest in Keys success as a corporate “poodle”. Spreading lies and half truths furthers this end. History is written by the victors or journalistic hacks, take your pick.

  22. Santi 22

    David Shearer MUST remain leader. He’s the only way to victory next year.
    Stand firm, David.

    • bad12 22.1

      i wouldn’t go so far as to say Shearer was Labour’s only hope of ‘winning’ the 2014 election, putting aside what is the obvious acidity of you comment for the moment,

      i would think that in order of ‘marketability’ Labour could be governing after the next election with either Cunliffe, Robertson, or, Shearer as the Prime Minister,

      2014, in my opinion, will not deliver a Government that ‘has won’ the election, it will be the variables of MMP which will decide which, left or right forms the Government,

      The question is will NZFirst gain the 5% of the vote necessary, will any of the Maori Party MP’s survive and will Mana take the seat currently held by Te Ururoa Flavell, and to throw acid into the pool would Labour’s Trevor Mallard take the Speakers seat if that enabled National a one seat majority instead of a tied Parliament…

      • Matthew Hooton 22.1.1

        Mallard becoming Speaker would make no difference because speakers now get to vote. (Unless he gave his vote to the national rather than labour whips)

      • felix 22.1.2

        “2014, in my opinion, will not deliver a Government that ‘has won’ the election, it will be the variables of MMP which will decide which, left or right forms the Government”

        As it should be. The gladatorial win/lose paradigm of politics is well past its use-by date.

  23. bad12 23

    From where i sit the whole thing was just Duncan Garner talking Absolute Bullshit, Gower the Alfred E. Nuemann of political reporting had as much information about this current supposed coup as He had about the supposed coup at the Labour Party Conference, None, Nada, Zip,

    Neither Gower nor Garner saw this supposed ‘letter’ circulating among the Labour Party Caucus and who really believes that ‘coup plotters’ are so stupid to (a) circulate a letter, and (b), put their names to it, and the reason that neither journalist were shown this ‘letter’ is because it does not exist and never did,

    Gower well known for making it up as He goes along seems to have passed this particular predilection onto His mate Garner who i must assume gets His thrills from watching the comments on the various blogs light up from such rumor-mongering,

    There is a difference between wishing Dave Shearer to be gone as Labour Leader and the Parliamentary wing of Labour actually mounting a coup and the commenter above who claims ‘inside knowledge’ whilst claiming that the coup attempt is on the go as we type is using exactly the same source in my opinion as what Duncan Garner used to suggest that ‘a letter’ was circulating….

  24. Treetop 24

    Labour’s biggest enemy is the person who fails to vote, (National voters tend to be more organised, look further down the line and want to retain all the benefits they have). Labour needs to get those who would vote Labour to understand that the party is reliant on them voting and to have a clear mandate for the first term.

    A minister for children.
    No asset sales.
    Review into the GCSB.
    10,000 low income homes built annually.
    A single power provider.
    Capital gains tax.
    Overhaul of the EQC.
    Fast track rail in Auckland.
    Tightening of biosecurity.
    Manslaughter charge when a company causes a death due to unsafe working conditions.

    Are there polls which ask why a person did not vote and had they voted who would they vote for?

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      You forgot about approving the TPPA (which Labour will do) and raising the Super age. A real vote winner that one. No asset sales and CGT are old policies and ones that Labour lost on.

      A single power provider is an excellent initiative but Labour has already promised it will not intervene in any more free markets.

      And no one believes that a $400K to $500K house is a “low income home”.

      Are there polls which ask why a person did not vote and had they voted who would they vote for?

      Labour seems determined in their conviction that the ‘middle class swing voter’ is who they need to target.

      Further, just like in 2011, policy is not going to be the major factor in winning.

      • Treetop 24.1.1

        You have just answered my question why a person on a low income would not vote for Labour.

        They are not a middle class swing voter.
        They do not have $400K – $500K for a first home.

        Labour need to work out whose vote they can count on and start selling them a mandate to get their vote. The Greens do this very well.

    • Chooky 24.2

      The Labour non voters…..To get them to the polls …they need someone who has been brought up without much money…like David Cunliffe…they need someone who can articulate for them….David Cunliffe ( no one else in Labour is capable) someone who can inspire them….someone who is young and dynamic….Cunliffe…..I feel I am stating and restating and shouting the obvious….but then again I dont vote Labour any more !

      …but I know people ( family members) who do and I know people who didnt vote for them last time who normally would ….I also know young people who would NOT vote for the present leadership.

      The first $10, 000 income earned should be tax free for everyone, to undo the regressive nature of GST..(In particular this would help the young and the lowly paid)

      Treetop, Labour needs the polls you suggest !…and the advice of a good advertising agency.

    • Lefty 24.3

      Beneficiaries are being attacked big time by National and Labour is not promising to reverse the evil shit Paula Bennett is doing.

      Nor did they do so last time they were in government.

      Yet working class people tend to go on and off benefits at various times in their lives and have family and friends on benefits.

      The bottom earning 20% of New Zealanders have been hated and despised by Labour just as much as they have by National for the last few decades.

      It is probably this more than anything else that has caught up with Labour and will continue to hurt them.

      Basically Labour has destroyed the very idea of voting changing anything for the better by their prolonged and serial betrayal of large sections of the working class. So the participation rate in voting by traditional Labour voters has plummeted.

      The Labour Party does have a role in the future; as a small rump party providing a political voice for middle class technocrats who don’t have much important to say or contribute but, like every other group in a democratic society, deserves a voice simply because they exist.

      Providing a voice and policies for the working class will require a new political vehicle that I don’t think has been born yet.

      • Chooky 24.3.1

        I am told as a bottom line….a minimum basic living allowance ( Gareth Morgan apparently has been going on about this for years) would help …..this even before one gets a working wage, if one is lucky enough to have a job….This would mean there is no one financially desperate and the money wheels would keep going around enabling the market place to continue.

        I am no economist ( they have F….d up anyway) , but sounds sensible.

  25. Neoleftie 25

    Interestingly my local labour LEC have emailed, on Friday at late notice, to announce a combined branch meeting to discuss the selection remit…strange that shearer has kicked it out but the members and local organisation, in true democratic fashion, are still wanting to discuss it.

  26. gobsmacked 26

    Of course Shearer is being undermined by Garner & Gower and the rest. And guess what? The next Labour leader will also be undermined by the usual suspects. So was the last one, and the one before that, and so on. It’s what the self-interested media do. Always have.

    The difference is, the current leader doesn’t need the media to do it. He’s even better at undermining Labour than they are.

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