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David Shearer’s 3rd e-newsletter

Written By: - Date published: 7:51 pm, August 24th, 2012 - 30 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Yesterday, we got official confirmation that the gap between the rich and everyone else is wider than ever. The top 10% of households have seen their incomes rise while virtually everyone else has gone backwards. It’s the most vulnerable in our community who are the hardest hit. For example the number of children living in hardship rising from 15% to 21%. This is a bloody disgrace and leaves John Key’s promise of a brighter future in tatters. As David Parker told a large audience in Auckland recently, Labour will build a new economy that shares the gains fairly.

Nowhere does hardship and inequality have more of a profound impact than in education. We need to give all our kids the best start in life and that includes a great education. National can’t fix the problem because they are part of the problem.

Over the coming weeks and months we will be setting out new ideas to ensure every child has nothing less than the best education. We are keen to get feedback from you on those ideas.

This week, we faced the loss of another three young Kiwis serving in Afghanistan. Losing five of our brave soldiers in just two weeks is difficult to bear. We have expressed our sincere condolences to their families and friends.

Labour is calling on the Government set a clear exit date for our troops. The Government first said they’d come home in 2014, then late 2013 and now possibly April 2013. New Zealanders need certainty about when our troops will come home.

We believe our troops should be withdrawn as soon as practicable with an orderly handover to the Afghan National Police. We have done our best over nine years but without a government in Afghanistan that can win the support of its own people, we cannot win the war there.

We look forward to continuing to engage with you on these issues, the work we are doing in Parliament and around the country.

Warm regards


We’ve had a real stoush with the Government over the future of KiwiRail. Rail is a vital part of the new, sustainable economy NZ needs, yet National’s obsession with building new motorways is seeing them downgrade our rail network. Labour’s Phil Twyford obtained a leaked report showing how National intends to run the company into the ground, by sacking 181 workers and cutting $200m from maintenance. National and KiwiRail responded by spending taxpayers’ money on gagging the media from reporting this through a court injunction. Late this afternoon, they abandoned their court action and released the document under pressure from Labour. This is just another example of National’s bullying tactics against anyone who holds them to account. This is your rail company, you deserve to know what’s going on.

David Parker has released a new Economic Road Test detailing National’s long list of broken economic promises, from increasing exports to closing the wage gap with Australia. It also sets out how Labour is developing bold new ideas to grow our economy, create better jobs and grow wages.

30 comments on “David Shearer’s 3rd e-newsletter”

  1. Georgy 1

    Best quote for a long time

    “National can’t fix the problem because they are part of the problem.”

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Yeah, but so are Labour.

      • Mary 1.1.1

        That’s right. If Labour were bright enough they’d seee that going into coalition with National would be a match made in heaven which they’ll no doubt do once the Greens become the main Opposition. Labour = look after workers and fuck everyone else who can’t quite cut it = sell outs.

  2. BernyD 2

    I agree on the stance on Afghanistan.

    And education for those children needs to be pertinent to their situation,
    a “National” curriculum can’t address that.

    And I also agree that taunting our welfare, education and health system with cuts, while spending up on roads in the vain hope that it will encourage the local economy is not a Civilised prioritisation of current budgets.

    They’d be better of subsidising the cost of petrol, than building roads, if they were serious about boosting the local economy.

    And once the petrol runs out the electricity required for transport might have been sold to yet another 3rd party.

    Once again leaving our economy at the mercy of an open market on electricity instead of fossil fuels.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      They’d be better of subsidising the oil majors, than building roads, if they were serious about boosting the local economy.

      Hmmmm I don’t think your suggestion is the best.

      And once the petrol runs out the electricity required for transport might have been sold to yet another 3rd party.

      Very little electricity is required for transport, and it will stay that way unless $10B-$20B is spent on electrified public transport.

  3. quartz 3

    David Shearer says “Nowhere does hardship and inequality have more of a profound impact than in education. ”

    I know he’s looking for a segue into his upcoming education speech but I’d have thought that not having enough food or a bed to sleep in were more immediately profound than education. In fact I don’t reckon there’s a lot you can do to educate poor hungry sick kids until you fix the problem of them being poor hungry and sick. Is this education speech the one Mike Smith was talking about being an attack on teacher unions?

  4. Rhinocrates 4

    Over the coming weeks and months we will be setting out new ideas to ensure every child has nothing less than the best education.

    Etcetera, blah waffle. Gee, thanks Dave, nice to know that you care. God, that’s so much like the form letters that weak, lazy managers have their secretaries send out because someone told them that it builds team spirit or suchlike.

    Does that include the children of beneficiaries? Even those who paint their roofs?

    By the way, Dave, my friend, my so friendly, so accessible generally nice guy and all that, how do you feel about Trevor Mallard posting images from white supremacists’ websites to his facebook page?

    a bloody disgrace and leaves John Key’s promise of a brighter future in tatters

    Yes, it is a bloody disgrace… so what will you do?

    As David Parker told a large audience in Auckland recently, Labour will build a new economy that shares the gains fairly.

    Lovely! Now, how will you do that?

    We believe our blah waffle

    So what are you going to do? I’m sick of you saying what you believe and what you’d like. What are you actually going to do? What are you going to do now?

    and released the document under pressure from Labour

    Really? I gather Radio NZ took rather an active role too. How about credit given where credit is due? Come to think of it, what do you think of the value of public broadcasting and what will you do to protect it and its independence, which is threatened?

    This is your rail company, you deserve to know what’s going on.

    Nice! I’m glad that you acknowledge that we deserve something. So what will you do?

    We are keen to get feedback from you on those ideas.

    RESIGN. That’s my feedback. Any idiot can have “ideas” and many do, including you. I want to see principles and a plan – and one that you’ll stick to. Otherwise, leave the job to someone who actually cares.

    Warm regards

    Patronising much?

    Look, get this straight: you’re not my friend, I don’t like you, I don’t respect you and I shouldn’t have to. However, I do expect you to provide me with a service. If you can’t do that, then I won’t give you my vote. Simple as that. WORK, and make sure that your “team” does too as they say in managerese, or just fuck off.

    The problem is, Shearer thinks that he’s sending messages out to boost the spirits of underlings who work for him – he’s not. He’s a servant himself, working for us, someone who has to earn our confidence. The sooner he realises that, the better.

    • David H 4.1

      Excellent straight from the hip. Shearer is a bloody liability and until he is gone (and takes Mallard and co with him) Parker loses Finance to anyone because at the moment, the fluffy blue monkey that my 15mth plays with could make more sense than he does. Robertson should just go because the only thing he is doing is trying to expand his waist line as fast as Brownlee is doing, and nothing else. Nope I’ll stick with my original premise I had when they picked Shearer. I’ll vote Greens this time.

  5. QoT 5

    +10 points for “This is a bloody disgrace”, -15 for once again trotting out that fucking “oh, we don’t have any actual policy now, but just you wait, children, Santa Claus will be here soon!” argument.

    We heard it for years prior to the 2011 election. We heard it at the very start of Shearer’s leadership (the single time it’s ever held any water). And yet here we fucking are, eight fucking months later, and still expected to sit on our hands and wait for policy to magically form itself like manna from heaven.

    • Bill 5.1

      Happily, the great man addresses that very concern in e-newsletter number 4, QoT

      Over the coming weeks and months we will be setting out new ideas to wait for policy to magically form itself like manna from heaven. We are keen to get feedback from you on those ideas

      See? No suggestion of sitting on hands.

  6. Rhinocrates 6

    Sorry, but the implicit arrogance of his “newsletters” really pisses me off. We are not his team, we’re not working for him. That’s how it was when he was commanding underlings in the UN, but we’re not lesser functionaries – we’re citizens, we’re voters. He’s not the great white god come to save us; he’s our representative and he works for us. This bullshit is straight out of Dilbert but I will not be patronised by this idiot.

    • Jimmie 6.1

      Cmon Rhino don’t beat around the bush. Tell us what you really think of Shearer lol

      I’m no Labour supporter but I agree with your sentiment.

      To be honest having a background of working for the discredited UN is not terribly relevant to turning the fortunes of an ageing political party in NZ.

      I await with interest whether Cunliffe will have a go at taking over prior to November – I don’t care for him much but at least he calls a spade a spade and has ideas which aren’t a littany of fluff words.

      • Rhinocrates 6.1.1

        Cmon Rhino don’t beat around the bush. Tell us what you really think of Shearer lol

        Heh 🙂

        I’m sure he’s a “nice guy”,however Helen Clark was – I am told – nice in person, but she knew that that fake bonhomie is simply bullshit and everyone sees through it. Shearer’s not a bastard… well, perhaps… his clearly calculated attempt at wedge politics suggests that he might be someone who really doesn’t care about real people, instead he just cares about being seen to be the saviour. Whatever the case, he is committing the cardinal sin of politics, which is being stupid. He has to stop thinking that he’s managing us and getting us behind him and start championing us. I really don’t think that he comprehends that. All that touring the provinces and the dog whistling seems to suggest that he thinks that he’s the one orchestrating things. He’s simply not listening.

        I’d hate to be so shallow as to think that one saviour will automatically replace another, but Cunliffe at least has courage and intelligence, both of which are obviously lacking in Shearer.

        To forestall any of the usual critics who’ll say that I’m helping Crosby-whatsit. The parliamentary wing of the Labour party is their best ally right now. I want to vote Labour, I really do. I and my family always did. As a child, I wept when I heard that Norman Kirk had died. However, we’ve all drifted away, or rather as the second officer of the Titanic Charles Lightoller said, the ship left him.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      …but we’re not lesser functionaries – we’re the fucken government.

  7. Hami Shearlie 7

    David Shearer – yawn!! And he never explained re the “sickness beneficiary painting his roof”, what the man’s alternatives were? He had no money (par for the course on a benefit) so he couldn’t pay someone else to do the work, “tax-payers” would be up in arms if he borrowed it from Winz, he wouldn’t be able to borrow from a bank being a “bennie”!!. So the alternatives were, let the roof deteriorate and leak and ruin the entire house, or do the work himself despite being sick!!! I’m always amazed at the great intellect the Shearers and Mallards and Keys etc of this world show regarding beneficiaries. They condemn them as malingerers or slackers, but they never have any witty reply when you ask them what brilliant alternatives they have come up with to solve the beneficiaries problems which caused them to become beneficiaries in the first place!!! I’d love to see how they would cope with the same problems!!

    • xtasy 7.1

      I got really furious two days ago, where Bennett even referred to his comments in his “ground breaking” Nelson speech to Grey Power, which was so controversial in this forum. Bennett used that quote from Shearer’s speech to “justify” the harsh line benefit reforms National is following!!!

      Now how does that go down, dear folk. It stinks, and Shearer has not HIT back at her, as he should have.

      This whole welfare bashing is so sickening, I ask Labour and Shearer to bloody well steer well clear of this debate, yes to take a deep breath, accept “positive” reforms that actually “assist” beneficiaries, but that do NOT bash and persecute.

      Also to note is: Where are National’s bene reforms heading now? They were supposed to be announced by now, within August, it appears that some “stumbling blocks” have hit the agenda. Now does that perhaps have something to do with legal issues about medical examinations of sickness and invalid’s beneficiaries?

      I know a bit about the subject and developments, but I can divulge that the NZ Herald has as of recent blocked many comments I tried to post re that and legal questions about it. They are CENSORING their opinion columns solidly now, I wonder why. A bit of criticism was given today about ACC and so, by even Armstrong, but not much else is “allowed”.

      May I just remind and offer some insight of what has been going on at MSD and WiNZ since 2007 and 2008: They have introduced a paralled system to “manage” medical exams, reviews and so forth, by employing external staff, who are at least partly very biased. Have you thought that ACC is maybe using biased medical experts to “assess” claimants, see the following for WINZ:



      The very “teacher” of the doctors that WiNZ and MSD use to examine medically applicants and beneficiaries to/of the sickness and invalid’s benefits is Dr David Bratt, and that is his view, as displayed.

      See especially pages 3, 16 and 33 of the PDF presentation, making very clear, where this man comes from. So he compares benefit dependency with DRUG dependency! That is what other media are refusing to publicise. But that is the truth of how WINZ views the beneficiaries and treats you if you want to apply for a health related benefit! So NO bias? That man has been “teaching” their “designated doctors” they use for examining persons.

      How “independent” is that under to be expected law and natural justice? I see real issues here, but NOBODY in the MSM is prepared to raise or address it. BE real afraid about what is going on. ACC is just a distraction. What goes on at WINZ is even more extreme!

      So Labour introduced this system in 2007/2008, no wonder they are so quiet and even go on about supposed sickness beneficiaries painting their roofs.

      • Carol 7.1.1

        Thank-you for the link:

        The benefit is a dependency-inducing drug…. disgraceful.

        So a demoralised person, experiencing a performance-diminishing injury or illness is better off working…. any work will do, including working for a booze-baron’s corporation that is damaging to the health and well-being of society?!

        Let’s look to the real underlying causes that are undermining the health and well-being of the country.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 7.1.2

        “Bennett used that quote…”

        This from Real Climate’s review of Joe Romm’s Language Intelligence:

        Romm’s key lessons to would-be communicators, in short, are:

        1. Use short, simple words.
        2. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Repetition is the essential element of all persuasion.
        3. Master irony and foreshadowing. They are central elements of popular culture, modern politics, and mass media for a reason—they help us make sense of the stories of our lives and other people’s lives.
        4. Use metaphors to paint a picture, to connect what your listeners already know to what you want them to know. Metaphors may be the most important figure as well as the most underused and misused.
        5. Create an extended metaphor when you have a big task at hand, like framing a picture-perfect speech or launching a major campaign.
        6. If you want to avoid being seduced, learn the figures of seduction. If you want to debunk a myth, do not repeat that myth.

        David Shearer – please pay attention to point 6. Oh, and if you could possibly manage to cut off Trevor Mallard’s…internet access.

        • xtasy

          Kotahi Tane Hua:

          Excellent that you mention this!

          Yes, I have witnessed this over the years, especially in advertising AND politics: Tell a lie a thosand times, and it becomes the perceived truth! (e.g. repetitive statements and comments – used so often by senior government ministers).

        • blue leopard

          @ Kotahi Tāne Huna

          I gather these are the type of techniques that spin doctors use for mass opinion manipulation. Think the more people who are aware of these “tricks of the trade” the less we are prone to being so unthinkingly swept along by them.

          Great article thank you.

  8. BLiP 8



  9. Rusty Hellback 9

    jeez…tough crowd 🙂

  10. xtasy 10

    1. Get an ECONOMIC plan of action worked out, David, fast please, but with expert advice, to create a NEW economy, that is not just based on yet more volumes of primary product exports like raw logs, raw fish, milk powder, simple dairy baby formula, tons of kiwi fruit, apples and the likes;
    2. do the up-skilling and educating in a new approach, by setting up option plans for especially science grads and so, to enter into contracts to keep them here, as long as jobs are available over a course of acceptable times;
    3. offer incentives to business investors that want to invest in value added production and services, give them limited tax breaks to establish themselves, offer co-operation with research institutes here, enter into positive joint ventures with leading international companies engaged in alternative energy and smart tech industry, to set up an innovation and development base in the South Pacific, to cater for the whole Pacific Rim countries;
    4. offer student loans under conditions that tertiary students using them will commit to do all reasonable to seek employment first in NZ, before being allowed to head overseas;
    5. introduce a solid regime of capital gains taxes on property investments, only exempting a private home to live in under a reasonable limit of value or cost;
    6. solidly rejig the whole tax regime, to reward low income earners, by exempting essential products and services from GST, or offer at least a lower rate, like in many countries, yet increase income taxes for high earners earning well over 70 k per annum, and put at least 45 per cent income tax on incomes above a 100 k p.a.;
    7. Consider negiotiating bilateral trade and development agreements with advanced economies that share the labour, social and general environmental aspirations that a modern NZ has, to develop NZ into a progressive direction;
    8. invest into alternative energy, more public transport (effectively, smartly and energy efficiently), promote alternative energy generation and modern, high quality construction of energy neutral, well insulated, healthy and cost effective housing, that is needed urgently in NZ.

    These are just some ideas that David should take on board, and then he may even be able to sit down with Russel Norman and the Greens an think about forming a pro-active, positive, future focused political alternative alliance government for this country. I wish David well for learning yet more, as what I read above is still too shallow, weak, and not convincing enough, although some good intentions are showing.

  11. Dr Terry 11

    “Ä bloody disgrace” – wow, what earth shattering words!! Shearer must be on the verge of taking drastic action! Well, in time he might get around to feeding our starving kids, but first he hopes to get around to educating them! Little will they learn at school on top of empty bellies. All they are likely to learn about is his ineptitude in opposition, and they might never forget. I am utterly sick of Shearer’s platitudinous words. For reassurance I refer to Cunliffe’s recent speeches, by favour of Google.

  12. gobsmacked 12

    David Shearer’s other newsletter, courtesy of Steve Braunias …


    • hush minx 12.1

      and comments from clifton: Admittedly, the blogosphere is just a tiny proportion of voterdom. But it has become, like Parliament’s debating chamber, a potent crucible for mood-setting. As with those incessant online and text polls the media runs, there is no maths, or science, or, very often, even logic involved in what comes out of it, but there is definitely influence. The message you have to take from the week’s blog storm is that some – possibly quite a few – Labour supporters are impatient with Shearer’s low-impact approach…

      seems like the msm have actually noticed not all is well in the House of Labour….

      • fnjckg 12.1.1

        yes, sorry for the own goal, but the L leader appears to be a very weak cup a tea on the political sideboard

    • deuto 12.2

      Thanks for that – brilliant! Always like Steve’s Diary of …., but that one is worth an award.

  13. xtasy 13

    “Over the coming weeks and months we will be setting out new ideas to ensure every child has nothing less than the best education. We are keen to get feedback from you on those ideas.”

    Maybe read this thread, David Shearer, and read a few other ones in ‘The Standard’, maybe less so on ‘KiwiBlog’ and similar forums, that is my suggestion. If you are so “keen” on feedback, look above, here is some!

    And this “coming weeks and months” sounds so familiar and seems to be so repetitive in David’s newsletters and speeches, it is a “broken record” line to me. Soon it will be one year since the last election, and we still get this vague talk about bla, bla, bla. I respect that Parker stated some interesting things in his speech in Auckland, but more is needed, something more substantial.

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