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David Shearer – The Backstory

Written By: - Date published: 7:19 pm, December 14th, 2011 - 44 comments


One of David Shearer’s campaign volunteers organised this video as a surprise for David on the night of the Mt Albert By-Election in 2009. We played it to David and the Labour Party activists during the election night celebrations and I’ve had it sitting on my computer ever since. After re-watching it with my partner […]

Selections I have known

Written By: - Date published: 5:18 pm, December 13th, 2011 - 37 comments


I’ve now seen David Shearer in three Labour selection contests – I was on the panel in Waitakere in 2002 and Mt Albert in 2009, and I was in Wesley Church last Wednesday in Wellington. He’s won two out of three, and been most impressive every time. Had I been a caucus member today, he would have had my vote. This is why.

The little I know about David Shearer

Written By: - Date published: 1:55 pm, December 3rd, 2011 - 134 comments

david shearer

I ran David Shearer’s campaign headquarters in the 2009 Mt Albert by-election. That gave me unique perspective to get a good hard look at a man in a pressure cooker environment. David arrived from the middle east literally a few short hours before the candidate selection speeches.  It showed.  He looked tired. But he went […]

Alternate forms of protest

Written By: - Date published: 5:41 pm, March 4th, 2010 - 27 comments


Now this is pretty damn funny and just adds to todays absurdities over the waste of money on rugby world cup TV in 2011. Veteran Springbok Tour protester John Minto has found himself at the centre of a new Eden Park storm, with a controversial plan to name a nearby $3 million road after him.

Will the supercity transition authority now want to stop community boards from naming streets?

Bugger the polls

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, June 29th, 2009 - 34 comments

With every new cock-up or dereliction of duty from this Key government, righties point to the Roy Morgan polls and say ‘seems the voters don’t care’. It’s true that National is still polling around 50% in the Roy Morgan and parties’ internal polls. Yet the old hands in the Left aren’t too worried. Short of […]

Lessons unlearnt

Written By: - Date published: 6:04 am, June 22nd, 2009 - 12 comments

Matt McCarten, who has managed more than a few election campaigns, does a good post facto analysis of where National went wrong in Mt Albert: Despite what the Nats said after the by-election, their internal polls (and Labour’s) at the start of the campaign showed they had a chance of winning. At the very least, […]

With friends like these…

Written By: - Date published: 2:29 pm, June 17th, 2009 - 13 comments

Judy Kirk claims she didn’t show at Lee’s election night gathering because Coleman had told there was ‘plenty of support’. John Key didn’t show because of the proverbial “long-standing family engagement” and he’s passing the buck on the distinct lack of senior National figures present, saying pointedly that he didn’t organise the event. So now Party […]

Nice touch

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, June 16th, 2009 - 4 comments

Stolen from the Grassroots Labour site.

Hooton’s bizarro world strikes again

Written By: - Date published: 4:16 pm, June 15th, 2009 - 52 comments

I think it’s fair to say that David Shearer’s thumping victory in Mt Albert has been widely viewed as securing Phil Goff’s leadership over the Labour Party. Any sane observer will recognise that Goff’s position has been strengthened by the victory, that the party has gained a huge boost in confidence and that Shearer will […]

Know when to fold ’em

Written By: - Date published: 2:11 pm, June 15th, 2009 - 40 comments

A string of high-profile stuff-ups. You were too smug and incompetent to deal with them. A disappointment to your boss. Key put a lot of faith in you. He defended you at first before cutting you loose to protect his brand. A devastating public humiliation. After which it is clear you have no political future. […]

Political capital

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, June 14th, 2009 - 61 comments

John Key invested a lot of political capital in Melissa Lee. She was his hand picked candidate for the showcase Mt Albert by-election (unceremoniously pushing aside local veteran Ravi Musuku). Winning Helen Clark’s old electorate would have been a hugely symbolic victory for National, and for a while they and their pundits thought it was […]

Ralston vs Ralston

Written By: - Date published: 12:16 pm, June 14th, 2009 - 16 comments

Two of New Zealand’s top political commentators (it pains me to write that) have gone head to head over the Mt Albert result: April Bill Ralston: Some who voted Labour might now feel that National has not turned out to be as bad as they expected and either withhold their vote or actively support the […]

Get ready for the spin

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, June 14th, 2009 - 64 comments

63% to 17%. That’s not a defeat. That’s a slaughter. An utter humiliation for the Tories. How will the Tories and their fanboys (Armstrong, Ralston, Laws, Farrar etc) spin it? Pretty obvious: It was Lee’s fault for the gaffes. It was Worth’s fault for the past fortnight. Mt Albert people are dole-bludging darkies (see Kiwiblog […]

Mt Albert results – Shearer in a landslide

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 pm, June 13th, 2009 - 66 comments

David Shearer has won a bigger share of the vote in Mt Albert than even the great Helen Clark did just 7 months ago. That’s a great win for him and a huge victory for Labour over National. It shows, incontrovertibly, that the salad days are over for this Key government. It’s all downhill from […]

Dragging myself to the party

Written By: - Date published: 7:52 pm, June 13th, 2009 - 7 comments

The by-election is over apart from finding out the result. So I’m dragging my tired and abused body to the party to find out the result. It was a long day and night. This is the second time I’ve been struck down with a cold, or in this case, some obnoxious common (not swine) flu […]

Mount Albert by-election

Written By: - Date published: 6:02 pm, June 12th, 2009 - 26 comments

Today all of the hoardings in Mount Albert go down. Tommorrow the many volunteers from all major and few minor parties will assemble to help get voters to go to the polling booths. For people in Mount Albert who are unsure if they can vote in that electorate because you just moved there. You can. […]

Richard Worth has resigned as MP

Written By: - Date published: 4:24 pm, June 12th, 2009 - 74 comments

Breaking news from Stuff / DomPost LATEST Richard Worth has resigned as an MP with immediate effect. Dr Worth, who entered Parliament in 1999, said he had gone for the good of the National Party. “Since I resigned as a Cabinet Minister earlier this month, I have been considering my personal options, and also the […]

Poor Melissa, well, not so poor

Written By: - Date published: 5:38 am, June 12th, 2009 - 12 comments

She’s really trying her best. Even with only one news cycle to go, Melissa Lee is still out there, working hard to get herself into third place. From NZPA: Appearing in a candidate’s debate in front of members of the Unite union, Ms Lee was asked how she would survive on the minimum wage of […]

Live blogging from Backbenchers

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 pm, June 10th, 2009 - 30 comments

Jarbury is live blogging from backbenchers tonight 🙂


Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, June 9th, 2009 - 11 comments

Until now, Melissa Lee’s only remaining selling point in this train wreck of a campaign has been that the party she’s standing for is currently in Government. As she said in her press release yesterday: ‘I am the only candidate that Mt Albert voters can vote for that will be inside John Key’s Government.’ Unfortunate […]

The Tory nose-dive roundup

Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, June 9th, 2009 - 34 comments

I never seen a government crash so quickly, so hard. The Standard was saying before the election that Key was a two-faced facade and his government would push a rightwing agenda. The media chose to ignore the signs. Too caught up in the fun of getting their boy elected to care about what would happen […]

History repeats for Mark Thomas

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, May 27th, 2009 - 18 comments

The irony is that Melissa Lee’s campaign manager, Mark Thomas, is no stranger to campaigns that start off with a hiss and a roar only to collapse when abandoned by National’s leadership. Thomas was National’s candidate for Wellington Central in 1996, the first MMP election, in a three way contest with Act’s Richard Prebble and […]

Fair weather friends

Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, May 26th, 2009 - 32 comments

Watch as the Tories try to distance Key from Lee. Remember that Lee was Key’s personal choice. Young, pretty, smiley, not too sharp on the detail – he must have seen a lot of himself in her. He believed that she would win on the back of his popularity. In Key’s mind this would be […]

More Mt Albert silliness

Written By: - Date published: 1:18 pm, May 26th, 2009 - 1 comment

Nothing tops a lamington on the head, but still, here’s Mt Albert candidate Jackson Wood pounding the streets of Wellington to drum up support:

Any comment would be superfluous

Written By: - Date published: 7:48 pm, May 25th, 2009 - 62 comments

Melissa Lee concedes in Mt Albert

Written By: - Date published: 1:53 pm, May 22nd, 2009 - 29 comments

A full 3 weeks before the vote, National candidate Melissa Lee has publicly accepted that she is not going win the Mt Albert by-election. In yet another astonishing media gaffe Lee has told Morning Reports’ Sean Plunket (link to audio) that she hopes to come second. The interview started well for Lee as she spoke about the one […]

“Confusing and might be taken the wrong way by some”

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 pm, May 21st, 2009 - 49 comments

Duncan Garner had to do a balance piece against David Shearer because he has been at the forefront of covering the implosion of Melissa Lee’s campaign. Garner says someone “deep within” Lee’s campaign pointed him to an interview where Shearer says keeping employment high, particularly among migrant communities is important because when people don’t have […]

Starting early

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, May 21st, 2009 - 67 comments

I’m starting to feel a little sorry for Melissa Lee given the punching bag she’s become. True, she’s brought it on herself, but even I felt a little queasy watching the events at Auckland University yesterday. But for anyone who looked behind the “rising star” brand National was trying to sell us the warning signs […]

Why Lee is banned from interviews

Written By: - Date published: 7:23 pm, May 19th, 2009 - 121 comments

Rumour has it Melissa has been banned from giving formal interviews by National’s leadership but what’s the harm in answering a few questions from a reporter? Let’s see: Garner tries to tempt her into repeating her motorway comments but she doesn’t need the help. She is totally self-centred. Notice how all her stories are about […]

Direct action against SH20 motorway begins

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 pm, May 17th, 2009 - 32 comments

Protesters calling for the Government to abandon its plans to drive an above-ground motorway through the middle of Mt Albert disrupted the opening of an adjacent stretch of motorway by Transport Minister Steven Joyce on Friday. Socialist Aotearoa has the footage:


Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, May 14th, 2009 - 2 comments

From the Herald’s Your Views on Waterview: HammerHead (Wellington City): No they should replace it with a cycleway. This would prevent criminals coming from South Auckland, as most don’t have bikes. This would also reduce the crime rate in the area. Have you ever tried to carry a 50″ plasma on a bike?

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