Good coverage for Shearer

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, January 28th, 2013 - 339 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour, leadership, Media - Tags:

David Shearer’s opening speech for the year has received good media coverage. From One News:

Fired up Shearer outlines party agenda

Job creation and housing were big issues in David Shearer’s state of the nation address at a rugby club in Wainuiomata today. …

With his leadership woes a distant memory, Shearer hit the stage saying he felt “refreshed, fired up and rearing to go”.

3 News summarises…

Shearer promises clear policy initiatives

Labour leader David Shearer is promising there will be no airy fairy concepts in policy his party is developing this year ahead of the election in 2014.

He signalled a hands-on approach by a Labour Party preparing to govern in a speech at the Wainuiomata Rugby Football Club today that contained no new policy initiatives.

“Jobs are our number one priority. We have concrete ideas that will help, including creating thousands of jobs and training opportunities through our plan to put 100,000 families into affordable first homes,” he said. …

He said Jacinda Ardern, Labour’s social development spokesperson, would produce an alternative white paper setting out ways to lift children out of poverty.

Stuff’s Vernon Small likewise summarises the main points…

Labour sets scene for 2013

Labour’s top priority would be jobs, boosted by its promise to build 10,000 affordable houses a year, leader David Shearer said today.

In his scene-setting speech for 2013, which contained no major new policy initiatives, Shearer said the country was looking for a government that would roll up its sleeves and back them.

Only The Herald’s Claire Trevett headlines National’s reaction…

English slams Shearer’s speech

… but the coverage of the speech is OK…

The speech was short on actual policy – and instead aimed to set out his reasons for advocating more interventionist policies, saying the market-based approach had failed.

Setting out Labour’s goals for the year ahead, he said its top priority was jobs – including working with local councils on local projects to ensure people did not have to leave their hometowns for work.

All in all a decent reception for what was, without policy to chew on, a slightly risky speech for Shearer. Labour will be pleased with the coverage, and especially so when compared (source by source) with John Key’s hapless effort last week.

339 comments on “Good coverage for Shearer ”

  1. karol 1

    As someone who has currently been looking for rental accommodation in Auckland, the thing that stood out for me in the 6pm 3News report, was that Shearer’s planned new houses would be on the outskirts of Auckland: he mentioned Massey, the outskirts of Mt Roskill (not too bad), Papakura and Manurewa.

    This is worrying and could end up ghetto-ising low income people on the fringes of the city. If there isn’t a related decentralisation process, then low income people will have pretty high travel and time costs in getting to work and around the city.

    I have been thinking that I may need to move to the fringes of Auckland to get some where half decent at an affordable rent – maybe as far out as Kumeu. I wouldn’t mind too much, except the buses don’t travel from there on one of my work days (Sundays). And the train service through there to Helensville has been discontinued.

    I also heard from someone working with low income people that beneficiaries looking for accommodation can find nothing affordable in the inner west of Auckland, and are looking out to the areas like Kumeu (just beyond one of the areas under development at Massey).

    It costs over $5.00 to get from Swanson (nearest to Massey) into Britomart one way.

    I just don’t see anything from Shearer that is tackling the central Auckland (middle and upper class) housing bubble, and the fact that low income people are being driven out of Auckland.

    • CV - Real Labour 1.1

      Shearer conceedes we are looking at $550K KiwiBuild houses for Auckland.

      • bad12 1.1.1

        Dave Sharer should sit down with Green Party Leader Russell Norman for a couple of weeks so that Russell can explain to Him in detail how quantitative easing works,

        That’s a pretty stupid admission to make, what Dave should have been saying is that the build in central Auckland and the closer suburbs will have to by necessity be medium density town-houses or high rise apartments and for those who need their own green space the build on a section of any size will have to be further out in new suburbs…

      • indiana 1.1.2

        It will get worse still when Labour shows you the floor plans of the types of housing they will build. I’m guessing bedrooms you couldn’t out a queen size bed in, back yards enough for a veggie patch only, living rooms where you can enjoy TV dinners like the Simpsons and garaging for the car only, no storage.

        Parts of Australia are building apartments like these and only property investors buy them to rent out as they are not a good start for families.

        The Greens may have more to offer, but will want you to ride a bike to work with houses built in areas where the work isn’t.

        • McFlock

          I’m guessing they’ll probably be simple but liveable homes, albeit without a home cinema room separate from the dining and lounge rooms, and the servants’s quarters will be non-existent. Comfortable for a range of families and lifestyles. Like the previous state housing projects, without the insanely high kitchen cupboards..

      • xtasy 1.1.3

        Shearer was “all fired up” – so he said!

        It must be true then, I suppose, like the initial housing plan has now been “qualified” substantially, I trust Shearer will soon also elaborate and qualify, what “fired up” means.

        I am in a long, dark tunnel, and I see no light at the end of it.

        Sorry, I wish I could also feel “fired up” now.

    • r0b 1.2

      I just don’t see anything from Shearer that is tackling the central Auckland (middle and upper class) housing bubble, and the fact that low income people are being driven out of Auckland.

      Those problems seem to be massively entrenched, it would take something truly radical to tackle them. Not that I’m opposed to radical policy! If you were PM, how would (within the constraints of finite money) you address them?

      • BM 1.2.1

        You do what Key is proposing.
        Force councils to free up land faster and lower consent costs.
        All the cost is in the land.

        • CV - Real Labour

          Then organise a way for the land and the house to be on-sold to first time home buyers at no profit. The only way to do this is for the Government to build the houses itself.

        • the Al1en

          As long as it’s not community facility zoned land, and as long as the RMA isn’t gutted to order.

        • Visubversaviper

          If the cost is in the land, then putting more dwelling units on the land is a sensible idea. We need to make it easier to build medium density (4/5 stories) close to transit points. The only people who benefit from sprawl are the land bankers.

          • Herodotus

            Welcome to being part of the problem
            Who owns the land change the densities allowed then the value increases as the value is based on potential not current use

        • RedLogix

          No. Only about 10-15% of the retail cost of a section is in the raw land price. I know this from direct first hand experience.

          The best analogy I can think of is to say “Cars are made of steel, therefore I can slash the price of cars dramatically by digging up more iron ore.” Nonsense of course.

          BM knows this and is lying in order to spin for his master.

      • King Kong 1.2.2

        Well played r0b.

        This is going to be hilarious.

        • r0b

          It was a genuine question KK, not some kind of point scoring game. Any problem can be solved if we’re bold enough.

          • CV - Real Labour

            Absolutely right r0b. This is a problem made by people, and it can be solved by people. The Greens housing policy is a good start.

            Now Labour can extend the effect further by encouraging economic development and population movement to other centres, tamping down on easy bank issuance of ever increasing mortgages, and taxing the building, buying/selling and owning of large expensive homes to subsidise the building of more social housing by a non-profit Government Housing Works unit. And scrap market rentals.

            This is what hands-on government looks like.

      • karol 1.2.3

        I’d start with the Greens’ policy on affordable housing, which also focuses on state housing and rentals. I’d also be looking to reverse some of Auckland Council’s centralising moves and be trying to locate more jobs and leisure/cultural activities away from central Auckland.

        I’d be improving the public transport system and its reach, and be aiming to make it cheaper.

        I don’t know how it would work, but if it was viable, I’d be looking at rent caps in the Auckland area.

        • r0b

          I’d be looking at rent caps in the Auckland area.

          Ho! Now that would provoke some serious “discussion”!

          • quartz

            You seem to be saying that Labour shouldn’t put forward any meaningful left policy because it might cause a fuss that Labour couldn’t deal with. That’s a quite a vote of no-confidence in Labour’s campaign and media team.

            • r0b

              You seem to be saying that

              Almost any sentence that starts that way is wrong, certainly Labour should put forward meaningful left policy.

              That’s a quite a vote of no-confidence in Labour’s campaign and media team

              With this particular policy they would certainly have their work cut out for them!

        • fatty

          I’d be improving the public transport system and its reach, and be aiming to make it cheaper.

          I agree.
          It amazes me how people can talk of solving our housing greed problem (its as much a greed issue as it is a cost issue) without sorting public transport. Our roading and transport policies have exasperated this problem

        • Dr Terry

          Karol, I do not know where we would be without your perceptive comments.

      • muzza 1.2.4

        Why is money finite R0b?

        And why does Shearer not outline policy which will illustrate , that *money* is, in fact not finite (scarce)!

        • r0b

          Why is money finite R0b?

          I have no expertise in economics muzza, so (unless I find the time to look in to it myself) I have to take some things at their word.So while I understand that quantitative easing has been used in some of the big economies, I am (for the moment) accepting the conventional wisdom that it’s not such a good idea in New Zealand.

          • bad12

            The easiest means of understanding ‘quantitative easing’ is to ask yourself this question,

            What would the difference to our economy be if the present Government instead of borrowing the current 300 million dollars a week it does, simply printed that same amount of money into existence…

            • kenny

              The best detailed explanation I have seen about ‘the money supply’ and all its related consequencies is the book ‘The Grip of Death’ by Michael Rowbotham.

              A mind blowing read.

          • muzza

            Hi R0b – Fair enough, although it has little to do with economics (or QE), other than when it crosses paths with the neoliberal control of economic narratives, including scarcity.

            The primary reason *money* is considered to be finite, revolves around the private central banking systems control of monetary supply, this includes the RBNZ/OoDM. To create *scarcity*, first you have to embed the idea into the minds of individuals, which has been going on for over 50 years now, since at least 1961.

            Imagine if suddenly , healthcare was not played off against education, or childcare played off against elderly care, infrastructure against services, and any other manufactured, *scarcity* driven debate which can be triggered, by the illusion of *finite money*. But that is what has been sold, for so long now, that people have accepted it as fact!

            How could society benefit from not being turned against each other, when the needs off all can be met, not the desires of the elite, who control NZ via the private money system.

            Its not about QE (which is something quite different, although I see Russel Norman is working hard to conflate), its about the issuance of public money, by the *sovereign* government of NZ, to provide the security of people and the country, via systems which will allow NZ to cease the downward slide.

            Why borrow funds from offshore at interest, (the *money* still enters the system) when the *money* can be issued, *freely* onshore, and any excess taken out of the system via taxation, to minimise expansion of the circulating supply (inflation control).

            Until people turn their focus/policy 100% to the lie of *finite money*, then any words from the mouths of politicians, are weasle words, and they are responsible for propagating the breaking down of this country!

            EDIT: B12, yes that is exactly the question which need to be asked, frequently/publically, very soon. The borrowing is killing the future of NZ, and its people, why can’t people understand that the most critical problem NZ faces, is the illusion of scarcity, as it relates to *money*!

          • CV - Real Labour

            As I understand it, the crucial points with regards to QE in NZ are:

            1) Money has to be sourced into the NZ economy. If you look at the Reserve Banks charts of M1 and M2 over the last 10 years you can see a huge growth in the money supply in NZ. As in most western economies, NZ relies on borrowing from the private banking system to get this money. This gives the global bankster cartel an inordinate amount of control over the speed of most every sovereign economy in the world.

            2) We could instead print the money, debt free and interest free into the economy, in quantities suitable to maintain the normal business activities of the people and for commerce.

            3) As with any source of money, whether it is borrowed or printed (and face it, if we borrow money from the US or China or Japan all we are doing is borrowing their printed money) it is crucial that the money be channelled into real productive investments on Main Street, not speculative ponzi financial investments on High St (or indeed, another housing price boom). In the current age, the new money should be invested in our people, in dealing with climate change and preparing for the coming crisis stages of peak oil.

            4) As long as there is plenty of excess productive capacity and competition in an economy, inflation will not be a problem. A shopkeeper doesn’t know (or care) whether the $10 note spent at the till has been borrowed from Japan or whether it has been printed by the Government.

            5) In the event of an unwanted rise in inflation, you simply withdraw money from circulation by implementing higher taxes on the wealthy, making it harder to obtain credit and increasing mandatory savings levels, and continuing to invest in productive capacity improvements and increased competition at the retail and service level.

            • muzza

              Very nice, CV.

              The key message being – As long as the myth of *monetary scarcity* is given credence, and allowed to continue breaking down this country, unchallenged, the *political sell* will always be based on pitting groups of people against one another, this has to stop!

              There are many challenges which NZ faces, but none are more imporant than exposing/destroying the hold of the private central banking system, and removing the foot from the throat, and head of kiwis.

              Most any challenge/issue you can mention, stems from *monetary scarcity*, because the solutions to problems, require money (currently), in order to provide resources to implement solutions, those solutions must be freed from the false constructs of monetary constraint!

              The challenge for sites such as this, must be to assist with exposing the lie, even though the debates here are away from the financial sphere, generally speaking, its difficult to read how badly people want to discuss solutions to benefit NZ, but won’t address the monetary problem. Being the hub of problems, which if we can defeat the *scarity* lie, NZ can begin, heal and become amazing once more!

              • thatviperishguynz

                Muzza/CV, have a look at this article gents. I suspect you may find it very interesting 🙂


                Don’t be alarmed by the fact that it originates at the IMF (as I initially was) – it seems to be contrary to what you may expect. I’d be very interested in your opinions.

                • xtasy

                  Interesting stuff!

                  The consequence of applying the Chicago Plan will be slower growth, but also slower contractions, hence a more stable fiskal and business environment, but that is exactly what the greedy investors in various monetary instruments, and certainly the traders and speculators would NOT want.

                  Why do you think Key is sitting at the helm, why did business and other key stakeholder lobbies put him and his party, where he is?

                  Yes, right, the global financial system is controlled largely by corporate banks, working hand in hand with the governments that work within their admitted boundaries.

                  Countries like Cuba only ended up in a mess, as the same interested players imposed a boycott on that country after 1959, and it survived as a kind of “socialist” state, only with the help of the USSR. Despite of the economic issues the USSR and other countries had, they still managed to create a lifestyle for most, which was better than the populations there had enjoyed before the Tsar and elites were chased out of power.

                  I do not advovate such types of managed economies as that existed there, but that study in the Chicago Plan shows, there are alternatives, which deserve attention.

                  I doubt though, that major changes will be “allowed”, as the ones in control will do all to keep us all in servitude and debt dependence.

            • Tiresias

              If you want to read up on this subject simply Google “trillion dollar coin”.

              It has been suggested by a number of serious economists that the US get out of its present budget woes – and avoid the entire ‘fiscal cliff’ artificial crisis – by minting a platinum coin with a face value of one-trillion dollars.

              The power of minting money rests with the US Teasury which is part of Government, so such a coin could be minted if the Government says mint it. The coin would then be deposited at the Central Bank – which as has been pointed out is a private organisation run by the US Banks (generally on behalf of the US Banks) – which has no power to reject legal US tender.

              This would result in the instant credit of One Trillion Dollars to the Government’s Account.

              I don’t pretend to understand the small print, but from the arguments I’ve tried to follow I understand this would be perfectly legal and would give the US Government a One-trillion Dollar breathing space from the need to borrow more that it is ‘allowed to’ under its self-imposed ceiling. The reason it hasn’t happened is that the bankers wouldn’t like it one little bit and, of course, President Obama is bought and paid for by the bankers.

              A good explanation can be found at:

          • Pete

            I would suggest you listen to The Invention of Money – an episode of This American Life, particularly the section Weekend at Bernanke’s

            • MrSmith

              A bit off topic sorry Rob, but I think what shearer didn’t say is more important than what he did say.

              When interest is charge on money borrowed it ‘the interest’ has to come from somewhere, (yes thin air) this creates scarcity, also inflation the foundation of the fractional reserve system means you alway need more money, (because of inflation) this also creates scarcity.

              Of course a lot of people make a lot of money because of this system and they are not all filthy rich, so asking these people to give up their golden geese will be very difficult if not impossible!

              The Greens are the only party even questioning the current system, the ‘Right’ and ‘centre’ are laughing and ridiculing them, not because it’s a stupid idea but because they are shit scared people might start asking questions about the current system, the system that they continue to get fat on.

              • mikesh

                If interest charges were fed back into circulation in the form of staff salaries, office expenses, shareholders’ dividends, etc, all would be well. However this doesn’t happen. Banks, like any other business, retain part of their interest earnings, from which they then presumably make further loans. In New Zealand’s case I think the problem is exacerbated by the fact that much of the money which might have been spent locally goes overseas.

                A government owned banking system would ensure that all interest was recirculated.

    • Te Reo Putake 1.3

      Karol, you seem to be assuming that Aucklanders work downtown. The majority don’t, and the daily commute is to south Auckland, Henderson or the growing Albany area. Work is decentralised already, which is one of the reasons the city has such awful transport problems. Sydney and Melbourne are also looking at building suburban ‘new towns’ to take the overflow from the urban area. Melbourne seems to have focussed on building up the corridor to the north and west of the airport (which used to be outside the city limits only 30 years ago!).

      • karol 1.3.1

        The times I’ve taken the train from Auckland’s west to Newmarket and Britomart and back in peak times, I’d say that more people are traveling to work in the city than vice versa.

        Auckland Council’s urban plan says that they aim to put key cultural establishments (museums, significant library collections etc) in the central city to make them more accessible to tourists.

        • Te Reo Putake

          That may well be correct for one rail line, but that’s not most people’s commute. Not sure of Ak’s current population, but lets say 1.5 million. If half are workers that’s 750,000 people. Maybe 100,000 work in or around Queen St, Parnell and Newmarket, the rest are out in the suburbs. Most Aucklanders commute from one suburb to another; cross town rather than to town.

          • karol

            “Cross town” is a real problem because all routes lead to Newmarket/Britomart. It means a lot of people use cars. From where I live, and further out, it costs at least $10.00 return (non-concession) to Britomart. Then some people need to add a feeder bus trip to the trains onto that.

            And some areas further out have limited public transport. And there’s still the issue of other entertainment, leisure, service and commercial/shops that are not equally accessible to all areas.

            • Rob

              This just completely outlines how your “solutions” are completely unintegrated. True manufacturing does not happen in Akl CBD, Parnell , Ponsonby or Westmere (although I am sure someone will tell me about a trendy book binding business doing very well out of a loft in Ponsonbly employing 1 part timer and a glue gun). Manufacturing requires an on time and present work force. The rail loop will solve none of the issues in regards to getting workers better mass transit access to key manufacturing locations.

              I am really pleased that Lens rail loop will help all the bankers, recruitment agents, inner city beneficiaries and other non productives to travel from work to their noice villas in ponsonby and vice versa without getting a sweat up.

              • Um the rail does not go through Ponsonby …

              • Olwyn

                As I understand it, the rail loop will allow the co-ordination and smooth flow of trains to all of these places that you think they should go to. It is not a mere matter of enabling a few luvvies to take the “metro” a few hundred metres or so to “bistro.”

          • QoT

            You’re only including workers; I would merely point out the shitload of kids travelling suburb-to-suburb for school (as one who had to pass through Newmarket with all the other out-of-zone Kings, Grammar, EGGS, St Peter’s, St Kent’s, Dio, and St Cuth’s students).

    • Skinny 1.4

      Karol living in Auckland is unaffordable for people on low incomes. People have to back themselves and move to other parts of the country where they can live a life more rewarding. It would help if Key had created jobs, but still it’s do able if your prepared to make that first step.

      National know their time is over and are reverting to sneering Labour & the Greens. I’d really like to hear Winston Peters slam Key for a laugh!  

      • blue leopard 1.4.1

        …trouble with your theory though, Skinny, is that other parts of the country lack the job opportunities that Auckers does.

        • Skinny

          For low income earners Auckland is the last place in New Zealand you would want to live, rents cost of living is too high. If your a ‘worker’ you will get a job no matter where!

          • blue leopard

            For low income earners NZ “is the last place to be”, thats why so many people are moving to Aussie!

            What do you mean by ‘worker’? The way you put ”s around the word leads me to get the impression there is a meaning over and above someone who has a job….

    • geoff 1.5

      Just relax Karol, the market will provide for you ;P

  2. King Kong 2

    So when do the apologies start coming in from the haters?

    My prediction is alot of those who have been trying to undermine Shearer will now be looking for a way to save face when realising that the game is up.

    For most I reckon it will be in the form of some fake Damascene moment, “Now I see what Shearer has been trying to say all along and he is not a right wing monster and my goodness what excellent well thought out and delivered points. It’s amazing that it only took one year to become so polished as a communicator. For most this is simply a skill that can’t be learnt and this just goes to show what an exceptional chap Shearer is.

    Time to put the coffee on as there is going to be alot of humble pie being eaten around here.

    • fatty 2.1

      lol…have you seen the film Game Change KK?

    • r0b 2.2

      So when do the apologies start coming in from the haters?

      I would never call people who are passionate about the future of our country “haters”, though I agree that much of the criticism of Shearer has been over the top (and I find the whole “mumblefuck” thing truly pathetic).

      I thought there was a real change of mood starting in this weekend post, with several commenters deciding to make the best of (from their point of view) a bad deal.

      • Olwyn 2.2.1

        Deciding that it is counter-productive to keep on carping and deciding to make the best of a bad deal are not equivalents.

      • Bill 2.2.2

        I suspect a few, like me, are just quietly (or less noisily) waiting for the result of February’s vote of confidence r0b.

        • r0b

          Can you not see the writing on the wall Bill? Shearer will not be challenged, the support will likely be unanimous.

          • Bill

            This is the lead in to a fruitless exchange that has led to unfortunate and provocative posts and lose/lose ‘tennis’ arguments. Shearer might have the numbers to secure confidence. Or he might not. And asserting one way or the other goes nowhere. And that is why, like I say, I’m content to await that vote of confidence.

            Does that mean that I’m putting aside my critical faculties and ‘accepting’ this spin or that spin? No.

            And if confidence was to be achieved, would that mean that I was going to any less critical of a Labour Party that, to my way of thinking and understanding, was far too far removed from reasonable core labour values? Of course not.

            But I can’t be bothered with the pointless head butting that follows from what is percieved to be attempts at peddling pre-emptive bald statements or assertions as fact. Maybe you and others will be shown to be correct and confidence will be achieved. Maybe you and others will be shown to be wrong. – Whatever.

            In the meantime there is no fruitful discussion to be had on that front – not by us at any rate.

            • CV - Real Labour

              There’s nothing certain about the future but I think r0b and TRP will be proven correct; there are no credible challengers on the field and there will be no challenge in Feb. And we only have to wait a tiny bit longer for this to be all confirmed.

              Nevertheless I still believe that giving the wider membership a leadership confirmation vote would be a very strategically smart and unifying decision going into 2014. Though this doesn’t look like it will happen now.

              • r0b

                Nevertheless I still believe that giving the wider membership a leadership confirmation vote would be a very strategically smart and unifying decision going into 2014.

                I agree, and I have made that argument to various people. But there is also the counter argument, that a leadership process is potentially divisive and distracting, it turns attention inwards at a time when Labour should be seen as unified and turning attention outwards to the problems of the country, and how to fix them.

                There genuinely are arguments both ways.

              • Mr Burns

                Ah but CV you underestimate the naked self interest that drives MPs. You also misinterpret the vote. It is not a vote requiring an opposing candidate to stand up and say they are standing. It is a vote to see if Shearer is endorsed as leader.

                The vote is secret. All that is needed is for 13 MPs to decide there should be a contest and it will happen.

                These people saying that it is all over may not necessarily be right.

          • Olwyn

            The confidence vote is not the end of the matter, rOb. There is then the matter of whether or not one thinks that the resultant status quo will hold up right through to the election. And the matter as to whether one can still support Labour under the circumstances, for how long and to what degree. If Labour continues to be a further source of fear for those who would normally support them, and a source of delight to those who hope to get paid to promote them, and those who are relieved that the status quo that privileges them will remain untouched, then I will not longer be able to support them, which saddens me. That said, I cannot see much point in rehearsing the same old lines while they continue to fall on deaf ears.

            • r0b

              There is then the matter of whether or not one thinks that the resultant status quo will hold up right through to the election.

              If the February process goes as I expect it is difficult to imagine a challenge for the next election.

              And the matter as to whether one can still support Labour under the circumstances

              That’s a decision for each individual voter of course, as far as I can see (given the broken way that our politics works) voting is always a choice of the least bad option.

              • Olwyn

                “If the February process goes as I expect it is difficult to imagine a challenge for the next election.” This is supposing that the polls do not plummet, and that nothing goes horribly wrong.

                “…as far as I can see (given the broken way that our politics works) voting is always a choice of the least bad option.” Sigh.

        • King Kong

          That is very similar to not believing you have hit the iceberg until you feel the icy water at your ankles.

          By all accounts David Cunliffe has moved on and is shopping his CV around the place.

          • Olwyn

            Why do you think this is solely about David Cunliffe? And do you not see that your own support for the present status quo does them few favours round here, given the range of your opinions in general? You would probably be clapping your feet if Shearer were to reintroduce the workhouse, for “useless people who are not like me.”

            • Jackal

              It’s clearly not just about David Cunliffe. Even though things have settled down a bit, I think it’s beneficial to keep the leader sharp by having other people in the wings who can lead the party, and that currently seems to be a weakness within Labour. No disrespect to Cunliffe, but I think his ship has sailed. I very much doubt that will mean he leaves the Labour party though, so stop shit stirring KK.

              LPrent floated the idea of Jacinda Ardern, but she perhaps needs a bit more time on the front benches and in the media spotlight. Before the leadership debate comes along again, could we have some discussion on who is appropriate and able to replace Shearer? Because without any other candidate currently available, further leadership speculation only benefits the rightwing.

              • King Kong

                What about the deputy leader or as he is more affectionately know by Cunliffe supporters, “Joseph gaybbels”.

                Surely his complete lack of real world experience makes him perfect for a leadership role.

          • Dr Terry

            KK. I hope he is! Time for him to quit the politics which abandoned him. With his great talents he should go to a place where they will be valued and implemented.

            • King Kong

              Maybe we can help him out with some suggestions.

              Let me think;

              Universally hated, check.

              Overwhelming sense of his own importance, check

              Gutless coward, check.

              The only things I can think of is parking warden or reality TV star.

          • Mr Burns

            By all accounts David Cunliffe has moved on and is shopping his CV around the place.

            Oh look a right winger who knows nothing about the Labour Party spreading malicious gossip about a Labour MP. What a surprise!

      • Te Reo Putake 2.2.3

        Cheers, r0b, for bringing up the lameness of the Cap’n MF nickname. It’s the sort of abuse that is best left for the likes of Slater.

        I’ve been puzzling about it since I first saw it used by a commenter here who is usually quick to shoot down people who abuse others on the grounds of gender or race. I guess discrimination on the grounds of poor articulation of the english language is OK with some lefties. No doubt they feel the same nickname or similar should apply to any MP who struggles to speak English perfectly, eg. any Maori, PI, Asian or deaf MP’s.

        • geoff

          No doubt they feel the same nickname or similar should apply to any MP who struggles to speak English perfectly, eg. any Maori, PI, Asian or deaf MP’s.

          What a disingenuous little dipshit you are, TRP.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Such a big word, Geoff, such little understanding of its meaning.

            • geoff


              Not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.
              insincere – false – devious – hollow-hearted

              Nope, I’m pretty happy with my understanding of that word.
              I think calling you a little dipshit was uncalled for, sorry about that.

              • Te Reo Putake

                No offence taken, Geoff. I wasn’t being disingenuous, as you will see from comments below. I genuinely believe it is something worth talking about.

        • mikesh

          When asked on Q&A last year if he would buy back assets sold by the Key government, Cunliffe said that that “could not be ruled out”. Shearer, asked the same question, said that he didn’t think it would be possible. In other words it was pretty clear he had no enthusiasm for repurchasing assets whether it was possible or not.

          That, I guess is what we mean by mumblefuck.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Not even close, mikesh. The chances are the Nats will leave office with NZ close to bankrupt, just as Muldoon did. Shearer, as leader of the LP, is sensible not to make any promises. Me? I’d nationalise without compensation. Thieves don’t deserve to profit on their criminal speculation.

        • QoT


          Naughty-word nicknames are bad, ableist language is awesome!

        • Murray Olsen

          What makes “any Maori, PI, Asian or deaf MP’s” struggle to speak English perfectly? It can’t be the same thing that makes you put apostrophes in the wrong place, so please enlighten us.

        • felixviper

          Lolz TRP. Unlike Key, Shearer speaks English just fine.

          His problem is that unlike Key, he is unable to use English to communicate ideas.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Actually, Felix, it’s not about Shearer, its about language. The abusive nickname is based on a perception of speech difficulties (mumble). It’s childish and intended to be offensive. It’s hypocritical to use it, in my opinion, if the user also calls people out for similar abuse based on race, gender etc.

            You’ll note that QoT has struggled to find an answer to the question I raise. I’m hoping readers and commenters will at least have a think about what I am saying and whether abuse based on a persons perceived ability to communicate at the level we smugly think they should is appropriate.

            Try reading this sentence without cringing: Mojo Mumblefuck Mathers.

            • CV - Real Labour

              Are we sure it’s an actual mumble? Or does he just stumble? Maybe it’s a tendency to bumble. Or perhaps some excusable fumble? Surely no reason to rumble.

              Stupid rhymes aside, I still hope – pretty much in vain at the moment, I admit – that caucus will finally choose to give the membership their democratic confirmation of the Leadership. It’s the right thing to do. Prove TRP wrong 😛

              Try reading this sentence without cringing: Mojo Mumblefuck Mathers.

              I really don’t think you should have gone there.

              • Rhinoviper

                Try reading this sentence without cringing: Mojo Mumblefuck Mathers.

                I really don’t think you should have gone there.

                I agree. That was really a low, though to be generous, probably an inadvertent blow against Mojo Mathers.

                Mojo Mathers has a disability – she is deaf. That is not her fault. David Shearer is incoherent and that is his fault – not because he has a disability, but because the thought behind his speech is incoherent and that’s due to inadequate reflection.

                I’ve spent years working with disabled and “uneducated” people trying to make their way into the university system where they’re expected to present themselves clearly and logically and I don’t “make allowances” for their disabilities because I don’t have to; I can see how focussed their thinking is. Every day I deal with people for whom English is a second language and every day I see how smart they are and how devoted they are to real principles. Just this week, I reviewed work by a guy who was from Somalia who is really smart and couldn’t construct a paragraph, but could be taught – and the showed that he could learn to write as coherently as he could speak, I gave feedback to a Chinese speaker who only knew English first-hand for a year, and produced a brilliant essay on Plato’s analogy of the cave. I had a Hungarian student who made sophisticated jokes referring to Little Britain, saying that her “England is very bad” but had won awards in writing in her native language and wrote brilliantly in English – and hilariously too – and there was another with a mild speech impediment who could educate me about the Trojan Wars. God knows how many people with dyslexia I’ve had…

                And all of them know what they believe.

                So spare me this bullshit on “disabilities” or the insinuation that those who criticise Shearer for being incoherent are those who attack people who aren’t coherent because they aren’t approved by Henry Higgins.*

                People can tell the difference between incoherence and inarticulacy.

                David Shearer can’t make a clear statement of principle not because he is inarticulate, but because he is incoherent; because either he has no clear principles, or he is as scared of presenting one as he is of running naked down Queen Street or Lambton Quay at noon in day-glo body paint.

                My lesson: if you have a clear idea and you’re committed to it, then if you’re honest, it will get through.

                Mojo Mathers has a disability and that’s a distraction. Patronising her is insulting her, reinforcing the prejudices against the disabled. David Shearer is incoherent in speech because he’s incoherent in thought, and that’s intrinsic. Shirley, if I may call you that, he is not inexperienced in English, so any attempt to make a link with disability is stupid at best, or… (the completion of this sentence is left as an exercise for the reader.)

                *My Fair Lady/Pygmalion, if you must know.

                • geoff

                  Well to be fair (and I really don’t like defending David Shearer), the mumble part could be that he’s just a bit nervous in front of the cameras.
                  If his politics were good then I could forgive him that, in fact I’m sure i would defend him. But it is his politics (or lack thereof) and the politics of his caucus supporters that is the problem.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Nicely put, Rhinoviper. Like you, I’ve worked with the disabled, though not to the extent you have. My point is that using an apparent disability as a put down is abuse. And that applies whether the person you are abusing is deaf, Samoan, shy or whatever. I could have used another lefty example instead of Mathers. There is a well known commentater with a stutter. If I disagree with him, should he be mumblefuck, too? I ask that because the major difference between Mathers and Shearer is that the abusers like Mathers.

                  Shearer may not be particularly good in front of a camera, but whatever the defects in his speech he should not be subject to abuse based on that defect. Calling Shearer mumblefuck is an insult to Mathers too. Or anyone who has struggled to make their voice heard. (voice in the wider sense of the word)

                  And yes, I know who Henry Higgins is – good reference!

                  • Rhinoviper

                    I do appreciate your intentions – and don’t mean to patronise you by saying that either, since you’ve copped a lot of flack already. I coined the term “Mumblefuck” as a one-off throwaway and never expected it to catch on. It’s inelegant at best, but I do believe that his apparent inarticulateness represents a deeper incoherence.

                    I do believe that any link with Mojo Mathers, for any reason or purpose, is inappropriate.

                    In the end, Shearer needs to say what he believes, honestly, without focus groups, without any staged barbecues with postmodern aprons or “Shearer Sayszzzzzz…” e-newsletters, without vindictive backstabbing, staged votes or show trials and without perpetuating the sinecures of the same old Politburo cronies, without thinking that Matthew Hooton and Fran O’Sullivan are oracles.

                    I didn’t “like” Helen Clark, but I knew that she was competent, hard-working, knew what she wanted to achieve and was enough of a pragmatist to recognise ability in her enemies or at least the need to get everyone on board, so I voted for her.

                    Shearer shows none of these abilities or intentions and his backers – to be blunt – the would-be Svengali Robertson, the has-been Rogernomes King, Goff, Mallard and his Mini-Me, Hipkins, are totally inadequate, immature, incompetent and shamelessly venal.

                    Hundreds of thousands people stayed at home and didn’t vote for them. They should start asking themselves why instead of pursuing a tiny percentage of NAct voters if they care about something else than their cheap meals at Bellamys.

                    • Rhinoviper


                      I don’t think that Shearer is the Antichrist (though I do think that he is irredeemably banal). By his history at least, he shows the potential for competence… but his handling of the Labour Party has been unutterably atrocious, and his presentation has been not merely misrepresented, but frankly incompetent.

                      He needs the humility to learn that managing a political party, and being a leader of a democracy is not the same as being the commandant of a concentration camp (I could have nicknamed him “Colonel Klink”, I suppose, that would have made him seem far too interesting).

                      He may have the intellect. Possibly, hidden deep down, he may even have the heart. I hope that he will be able to show it. However, he doesn’t have much time, because he needs the people and he must persuade them rather than order them, because that’s just not working.

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      Captain Mumblefuck

                      I personally wouldn’t ever call David Shearer by this nickname. It’s unnecessary and unproductive and he does have a real name.

                      However, I always understood the “fuck” part of the nickname as being short for what the fuck.

                      As in a left wing audiences natural reaction to the roof painter bene-basher anecdote, the atrociously inelegant $550K is fairly close to $300K housing plan for the top 10% of earners, and the inability to give a clear principled answer which sounds like it is from his own heart, not from a paid focus group.

                  • geoff

                    Whoa whoa whoa, back the truck up!

                    Where’s the defense of Key’s speech ‘defect’?

                    Here’s what’s really happened on this post:
                    TRP has attempted to reframe the Mumblefuck thing as immoral by disingenuously trying to link it to insulting disabled people.

                    Shearer doesn’t have a speech defect for fuck’s sake, he’s just nervous in front of the cameras.

                    It’d really make your life a lot simpler, TRP, if you just admitted that you’re pro-shearer and that you want to stomp this Mumblefuck meme out on the standard because you think it will be destructive for his election campaign.

                    So in light of that, I say: Mumblefuck, mumblefuck………….. mumblefuck!

                • Jackal

                  David Shearer is not incoherent at all… In fact he speaks very well indeed and is infinitely more understandable than John Key.

                  The problem is that some people have attributed too much attention to what is an insignificant issue, an issue that in my opinion has been blown out of all proportion. That disproportionate criticism of David Shearer can only be viewed as abuse.

                  Let’s put it this way, is such a thing going to inhibit Shearer from doing his job properly? The answer to that can only be no! Even if it did inhibit his capacity as leader of the opposition because people judged him harshly for such a minor affliction (or whatever you want to diagnose it as Rhinoviper), that’s not grounds for dismissal or abuse, as such things are clearly discriminatory.

                  TRP makes another good point… Should people like Mojo Mathers and Matt McCarten have their beliefs and what they say ridiculed just because of a slight speech impediment? Even most right wingers would agree that the answer once again is no!

                  Claiming that because David Shearer sometimes starts a word using the wrong letter and then quickly corrects himself is a sign that he’s unprincipled and doesn’t believe in what he’s saying is entirely illogical… In fact it’s bordering on the insane!

                  It’s an unconvincing argument from you Rhinoviper, and clearly displays your intolerance and juvenility.

                  • Olwyn

                    Forgive me for butting into your argument Rhino, but why Jackal, must you pepper so many of your arguments with personal insults? You should think about changing your pen name to ad hominem man. Rhinoviper was pointing out, as others have before him, that David Shearer is not frank about his beliefs, and that this makes some of his speech come across as incoherent, in the sense of its lacking a clear contextual framework.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      Olwyn: Forgive me for butting into your argument Rhino

                      No problem! You make good points.

                      Jackal: In fact he speaks very well indeed and is infinitely more understandable than John Key.

                      I’m not sure about “infinitely”, “better” or even “very well indeed”… and is John Key the standard? Really?

                      sometimes starts a word using the wrong letter

                      I don’t say that. Indeed, you’re trying to divert from my point about the specific case of his apparent inarticulacy being indicative of deeper incoherence to being about superficial inarticulacy. That might indicate that you are unintelligent, that you are disingenuous or… well, I don’t really care.

                      In fact it’s bordering on the insane!

                      Could I be bothered looking for the emoticon that indicates an eye roll? No.

                      Can you possibly present an argument without saying that your opponent is not insane, evil, scrofulous, a witch, “ginga” or whatever? Just once?

                      A word of advice: hyperbole, when used clearly as such, can be entertaining; George Carlin was always brilliant at staged overreactions to what he saw as absurdities and Harlan Ellison is an unrivalled master of the technique, but otherwise, like counterfeiting, it dilutes the currency.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      “not insane”… Ugh. I got lost in the double negatives. Delete the “not” to make the sentence clear if you must. 🙂

                    • Jackal


                      The insults I use are not ad hominem, they are statements of fact. You’ll find that the amount of factual statements I make concerning another persons argument is related to how virtuous or dishonest they’re being.

                      Rhinoviper was pointing out, as others have before him, that David Shearer is not frank about his beliefs, and that this makes some of his speech come across as incoherent, in the sense of its lacking a clear contextual framework.

                      What beliefs exactly is David Shearer not frank about and why does this relate to you not being able to understand what he’s saying? You wouldn’t be describing some sort of prejudiced reasoning for why you don’t like David Shearer would you?


                      I don’t say that. Indeed, you’re trying to divert from my point about the specific case of his apparent inarticulacy being indicative of deeper incoherence to being about superficial inarticulacy. That might indicate that you are unintelligent, that you are disingenuous or… well, I don’t really care.

                      If you didn’t care you wouldn’t have replied Rhinoviper.

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      The insults I use are not ad hominem, they are statements of fact.

                      Must be good to be the ultimate arbiter of reality.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      If you didn’t care you wouldn’t have replied Rhinoviper.

                      I don’t care about your motives, fool. I find your lack of mental discipline and precision annoying nonetheless.

                      You really have quite limited comprehension and no sense of detail.

                      The fact is that you are being very silly. Hyperbolic psychobabble, name-calling and suchlike may satisfy you, but it is irrelevant.

                      Indeed, I can offer other insults that you may use against me, and these ones will be accurate:







                      I’m also (high-functioning) autistic I have terrible dress sense and I’m prone to anxiety-related disorders.

                      You can say all of these things, but I have never been diagnosed as “delusional”, so unless you are a medical professional, that epithet means nothing. Nor, I think, have I “screamed”.

                    • Jackal

                      CV – UnReal Labour …

                      Must be good to be the ultimate arbiter of reality.

                      It’s not good it’s great fuck head! Why not try it yourself sometime?


                      so unless you are a medical professional, that epithet means nothing.

                      …And yet you argue that “Mumblefuck” means something… Delusional!

                    • Rhinoviper

                      …And yet you argue that “Mumblefuck” means something… Delusional!

                      I didn’t say that that label means anything. In fact I said that it was a facile throwaway.

                      I see that you chose to focus on that particular mirage and avoid anything else.

                      It’s quite clear now that you’re simply talking to cartoon representations… straw men met with ad hominem arguments, as has already been said more than once by more than one correspondent.

                      Do try to put together a coherent sentence, or embed a sentence fragment within a comprehensible passage.

                      By the way, here are some other sins of mine:

                      Vanity, lust, smugness, avarice, narcissism.

                      I’ll happily admit to all of those too.

                      Anyway, purely for my amusement, “fuck head” is not an ad hominem argument and claiming that your are the ultimate arbiter of reality is not delusional?

                    • Jackal


                      I didn’t say that that label means anything. In fact I said that it was a facile throwaway.

                      I see that you chose to focus on that particular mirage and avoid anything else.

                      You should probably go see an optometrist then.

                      You’ve been arguing that the insult is valid and justified, particularly the claim that David Shearer mumbles.

                      You’ve even said that his slight diction issue means that he’s insincere and cannot be trusted. Reading people and what their mannerisms mean is clearly not your strong point.

                      To be fair, it was CV who has tried to justify the ‘fuck’ part of the insult. In my opinion tagging the word fuck onto mumble is indeed facile, so I can see why you would now want to distance yourself from your own juvenile tendencies.

                      Do try to put together a coherent sentence, or embed a sentence fragment within a comprehensible passage.

                      So now I’m incoherent? A delusion that somewhat puts your accusation that Shearer is also incoherent into perspective.

                      Anyway, purely for my amusement, “fuck head” is not an ad hominem argument and claiming that your are the ultimate arbiter of reality is not delusional?

                      It was a comment directed at CV based on his previous responses… It doesn’t surprise me that you don’t comprehend its meaning Rhinoviper.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      You should probably go see an optometrist then.

                      Oscar Wilde is turning in his grave.

                      Reading people and what their mannerisms mean is clearly not your strong point.

                      Once again, coherence is the problem. “To cohere” means “to hold together.” To lack coherence means that ones thoughts are inconsistent, disordered and do not hold together.

                      Olwyn understands perfectly:

                      incoherent, in the sense of its lacking a clear contextual framework

                      The fact that Shearer can’t put together a sentence is amusing as he has no actual impediment but his inability to put together an idea is worrying. The recent muddle on housing, which promises to be Labour’s flagship policy (now it’s a PPT, now its just apartments, now there won’t that many after all… and the poor could never get into them anyway), is a case in point.

                      Your continual return to Shearer’s diction seems to indicate that you lack basic comprehension. Here’s something that may help you: languages have different words for different concepts because the are different concepts. Try to keep that in mind.

                      So now I’m incoherent? A delusion that somewhat puts your accusation that Shearer is also incoherent into perspective.

                      “Delusion(al)” again. I’m reminded of an adolescent. People of that age, when learning a new word, use it over and over again without necessarily understanding its meaning. It’s all part of the learning process and incidentally the reason why words like “awesome” become embedded in teenage slang, I suppose, but it does look rather silly.

                    • Jackal

                      …And now you have reduced the debate to one concerning the meaning of words. Yawn!

                    • Rhinoviper

                      It always was. It matters if words are true or not. Aah-Choo!

            • the Al1en

              “The abusive nickname is based on a perception of speech difficulties (mumble).”

              I disagree with you, based solely on my own interpretation and use of.
              When I watch DS answer a question on the hoof, as he mumbles an answer, it’s not because of a speech defect. It’s because at best he doesn’t want to give the wrong answer and wreck the ‘revival’, or at worse because he doesn’t know or can’t think on his feet.

              “It’s childish and intended to be offensive.”

              Can’t argue too much against that, but I’d put a lot less emphasis on offensive and throw in a Dr Strangelove like black comedy and just enjoy the political roller coaster.

            • QoT

              I didn’t “struggle”, TRP. I just don’t actually spend every waking minute refreshing 200+ comment threads where I think little original discussion is going to take place. But I’m glad I popped back in here so I could see you compare the stumbling, incoherent bullshit of not-actually-disabled David Shearer to the clear, precise diction of Mojo Mathers, who just happens to be profoundly deaf, as though they’re equivalent in any way.

              • Te Reo Putake

                You’re still struggling, QoT. How about you tell my why its not abuse? If it is for Mathers, why isn’t it for Shearer?

                • Rhinoviper

                  Inarticulacy is one thing, incoherence is another. Most people can tell the difference. Don’t use Mojo Mathers as a shield for Shearer. She stands up for herself so don’t denigrate her by implying – however subtly, however inadvertently – by implying that her problems with speech are equivalent to having no essential principles or the courage to express them without reflexive ums, ahs and backtracking.

                  Shearer’s fault is that he could say what he believes if he believed anything but can’t or won’t.

                  Mojo Mather’s virtue is that she can say what she believes – and does (despite Lackwit Smirk’s efforts to use the rules to silence her).

                  • Jackal

                    So Matt McCarten for instance could convey his message without a speech impediment if only he believed in what he was saying? “BELIEVE, BELIEVE” screams Rhinoviper, who should really just get off the grass.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      I never said he didn’t. If I were on the grass, I would have an excuse. Why the fantastic attribution and hysteria?

                    • Jackal

                      The fact that you think I’m hysterical puts your argument into perspective Rhinoviper… Delusional!

            • felixviper

              Weak TRP.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Nope, see my question above. Abuse based on an apparent or alleged speech disorder is still abuse.

                • Rhinoviper

                  It’s not a speech disorder, or even a cognitive disorder. It’s a moral disorder. Why can’t he come out and say what his essential principles are and then in all his subsequent speeches, show how his policies depend on those principles?

                  • Colonial Weka

                    Cognitive disorders are a disability. They probably preclude one from being the leader of a major political party or attempting to be PM, but I do tend to agree that the term mumblefuck is abusive.

                    I’ve not met Shearer, or seen him speak on other contexts, so I don’t know if his mumbling is something he could change.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      Sorry, misread your comment. Still, is the issue whether Shearer has some choice in the matter?

                    • Rhinoviper

                      Good point CW… yes, there are cognitive disorders. IMO, perhaps he mumbles because of some impediment, but the people I know with speech disorders show different symptoms, even when capably compensating. The mumbling is really more in the nature of a reflexive vacillating rather than a speech impediment, like Key’s bullshitting followed by his teeth-sucking and that’s what I have a problem with.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      Hi CW.

                      Shearer’s choice? I don’t know how much “choice” he has, rather I mean to point out that he appears to have shown neither any essential and unalterable core principles nor taken the effort to reflect on them so that he can state what they are. The apparent result is that when pushed, he is unable to articulate an answer to a question and becomes lost in ums and ahs and then backtracks when he actually realises what he has said.

                      So, I don’t think that he has essential beliefs that he has confidence in, and won’t defend them. Instead, if there’s the slightest sign of a challenge to those beliefs – whatever they may be – he runs away. If that’s what he does now, before he is even campaigning, what will he do when in government, assuming that he finds himself in that office? Apart from his appalling and stupid reactions to dissent, that’s why I have no confidence in him.

                      (I’m really struggling with the autocorrect here, dammit)

                • felixviper

                  TRP, waffling isn’t a disorder.

                  Failing to make coherent points is not a disability.

                  Saying stupid things to the media isn’t a medical condition.

                  The insinuations you’re making here are quite offensive.

            • blue leopard

              …but TRP, abusive nicknames aside, doesn’t parliament channel more closely resemble a crazy version of loony tunes (c), where it becomes about trying to decipher a barely coherent conversation between daffy-duck and porky pig, these days when Key and Shearer are on question-time?

              Be nice to have some politicians who could we could actually understand.

    • bad12 2.3

      Actually those who have been hammering Dave Shearer here on the Standard should be giving themselves a quiet pat on the back for a job well done,

      Shearer in one of His first major speeches,(obviously set up horribly by someone with a name beginning with P), took to beneficiaries with His now infamous ‘roof-painter’ speech,

      So, in the short space of time which has transpired between that speech and yesterdays we have seen the rhetoric from Shearer change 100% from that of bash a Bene to one of hands on with the economy and building 100,000 affordable houses along with tasking Jacinda Adhern to produce, (an eagerly awaited), white paper on the options for ending poverty among beneficiaries and in particular the dependent children of those beneficiaries,

      That to me is a 100% resiling from Shearer of His previous speech about beneficiaries and a 100% clarification of what the broad shape of Labour’s economic policy will be and i give Him a pass++ for having that content in the latest speeches,

      On delivery tho, i mark Mr Shearer down a little with a comment: Dave’s delivery needs a little more work around TV cameras and perhaps the training should be to have cameras at times rolling and at others not in His face for a week or two as He goes about His biz so as He can become relaxed around the fact that the things are there,

      As i point out above, i think those Standard authors who have both castigated and complimented David Shearer over the previous months should all give themselves a pat on the back,

      Someone, i think RL or CV commented to me that they could see a change coming and i agreed that i could smell the same on the wind, i think that that change has occurred right befor our eyes and my view is that such a change may not have occurred without the contribution of those who oppose Dave Shearer here on the Standard,

      I give Shearer a basic pass++ with the comment that the delivery needs more work, i give the Standard and those who author and comment here one huge UP’s….

      • King Kong 2.3.1


        How could I have been so stupid to expect some humility of course it had to be “Shearer is the guy now because we have made him that way through our own brilliant efforts”.

        • bad12

          Humble you piece of s**t, i spit on anyone who thinks i need doff my cap to anyone anywhere at any time,

          Know this KK the only thing of value you have added at any time here at the Standard is the truth behind the name which indicates a genetic throwback in human evolution on your part and of course you being a mere spitoon for our more unsavory oral ablutions…

          • King Kong

            I would reconsider your philosophy if I was you. You will certainly find that your approach might make gainfull employment hard to come by.

            By not spitting in peoples faces and making a contribution to society you might find the kind of self confidence that would allow you to throw away the failed political ideologies that you use as a crutch.

      • Bill 2.3.2

        Omission does not equal a change in perspective. Although there was no explicit mention of beneficiaries, it takes a minimal effort to percieve the big bloody stick lying in such lines as:

        “A Government that says: you do your bit, we’ll do ours. That’s what a Labour Government will do”


        “Kiwis across the country are working harder than ever. They’re doing their fair share. Playing their part. We all have that responsibility. But they feel let down. My promise to you as Prime Minister is that I will always stand up for the hardworking, forgotten New Zealanders. You’re doing your bit, it’s time you had a Government that did its bit too.”

        Fair share – doing your bit…that was the basis of the whole attack line on sickness beneficiaries. nothing has changed Bad12.

        • bad12

          Nope i can’t buy into that, ‘the sickness bene on the roof speech’ was a ‘direct’ attack on beneficiaries which simply reinforced the wing-nuts narrative,

          Doing a ‘fair share’ tho is reasonable rhetoric as far as pushing the heavy wheel of capitalism goes, i can relate to contributing a ‘fair share’ which to me personally is to contribute where you can when given an opportunity to do so,(which in my previous working life as a labourer i happily did),

          What i see as missing from the speech was the piece where Dave Shearer takes the specific responsibility for creating those opportunities so as that ‘fair share’ can be contributed and the lack of Him citing Governments and Himself as being personally responsible for creating such opportunities shows that He still has a bit to learn in the speech-making arena, (or shows His speechwriters are mere simpletons),

          A lot of what you are saying seems to me to be from a standpoint of what you ‘want’ the Labour Party to be, where i comment from is where i ‘see’ the Labour Party to be,

          • karol

            And nothing from Shearer about returning to social security as it was intended originally by the 1st Labour government, or about acknowledging the needs of those unable to do paid work.

            • King Kong

              Well maybe your Green party can campaign on that.

            • bad12

              Not sure on the time-frame karol, but Jacinda Adhern is producing a ‘white-paper’ on welfare at some stage, (hopefully sooner rather than later), so we at the Standard hopefully will get the chance to provide a modicum of corrections to any mis-conceptions Labour may hold in that area bearing in mind that these are middle class people…

              • CV - Real Labour

                Labour wrote up a tonne of paper covering plans, policies and evidence for lifting children out of poverty, leading up to Nov 2011. Leading NZ academics contributed their thoughts, the whole thing went through Policy Council and Annette King did a great job guiding it through and launching it.

                So what the hell do we need yet another ‘white paper’ rewrite for. It’s frakin nuts. Labour’s non-action action.

                • muzza

                  To hoodwink the public perpetually, while no meaningful action is ever taken!

                • bad12

                  Yeah true CV, but the supposed powerful people must play their little games of power,

                  Doesn’t take a intellectual giant to produce a simple plan for stamping out child poverty right???,

                  (1), a comprehensive food in schools program starting within the low decile schools 1-3, a simple breakfast along with a full meal at lunch, school gardens to engage the kids and maybe the addition of Jamie Oliver to milk the political capital and give the kids an extra buzz would be my first,

                  (2), the inclusion in Working for Families of benefit dependent children, or (my fall-back position), the removal of income from the benefits of those with dependent children,

                  (3), the provision through WINZ non-recoverable grant as of right for 2 pair of shoes a year for each child dependent upon a benefit along with 1 weather resistant coat/jacket a year for all of those children,

                  Pretty simple right, but ‘white-papers’ we must await as those who have spent a few years gaining another piece of paper have to be given their say…

                  • bad12

                    LOLZ, i just realized that my little list above includes at (2) the removal of income from the benefits of those with dependent children,

                    lolz, a Freudian slip???, a sentence showing my adherence to the tenets contained in the little black book of the thoughts of Montgomery Burns???

                    Befor i am lynched at dawn from the yardarm the sentence at (2) in my previous comment should read, the removal of taking income tax from the benefits of those with dependent children….

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      🙂 income tax should come off virtually all benefits…

                    • Jackal

                      I disagree! Beneficiaries should be treated just like any other citizen in terms of their finances. A benefit is an income and should be taxed accordingly. That’s not to say benefits shouldn’t be increase to meet the huge inflation to the cost of living.

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      They’re not “just like” any other citizen though Jackal. Quit with the money go-rounds eh, and go back to the time benefits weren’t taxed. It wasnt that long ago.

                    • Jackal

                      Why are they different then CV? Beneficiaries in my opinion should be viewed just the same as any other New Zealand citizen. They have a vested interest in their communities and the country, and their finances should be treated just the same.

                      Your argument seems to be that you want beneficiaries to not pay income tax because it will give them more money? That’s totally wrong, because if the government stopped beneficiaries paying income tax, benefits would not increase.

                      You also call taxing beneficiaries a money go round when it’s not, it’s a reallocation of money for use on other things. It goes back into the pot to be allocated to things like building roads and schools. In this way every beneficiary contributes to society.

                      There are only two certainties in life… Death and taxes. That’s not likely to change anytime soon.

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      Just go back to the first 60 years of the social security system when benefits weren’t taxed. Its not brain science Jackal.

                • Jackal


                  So what the hell do we need yet another ‘white paper’ rewrite for.

                  So on one hand you criticize Labour for not reiterating all their policy in their 2011 manifesto claiming that it’s all changed and Labour are therefore moving to the right under David Shearer.

                  …And on the other hand you criticize Labour for reconfirming their 2011 policy on child poverty with a white paper to show that Labour has the solutions available to remedy the problem of impoverished children.

                  Also what action do you think is available to Labour while they’re in opposition? One gets the impression you’re simply hell bent on criticizing Labour no matter what they do CV… Dick!

                  • CV - Real Labour


                    I’m looking for forward and leftward evolution in Labour thinking. Not seeing it.

                    • Jackal

                      So in other words unless Labour moves to the left you won’t be happy?

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      Yep, and I don’t think thatI’m the only one.

                    • Jackal

                      Interesting! However if Labour moves further left they will be competing more for the Green vote, which as a Green party supporter I don’t want to happen.

                      My perception is that there’s not much room to move between the left wing parties, whereas the space left from Act’s demise and potentially the Maori party as well combined with National’s lackluster performance means there’s a huge amount of votes to be picked up on the right.

                      So I think Labour should stay the centrist party it is, because without middle class support, they will not win the next election.

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      Sure you can pick up votes from the Right if you move to the Right. Is your analysis the Beltway Labour analysis?

                    • Jackal

                      I’m not sure what the beltway Labour analysis is to be able to agree or disagree CV. I was pointing out what the dynamic would be if you got what you want. I don’t think Labour and the Greens competing for the same votes is very beneficial… There does however need to be some policy middle ground and unity there to show they can work together.

                      Wanting Labour to morph into the Greens is not beneficial to the left wing, and if you want to support Green policy as you so often claim CV, why not just vote for the Greens? Continually criticizing Labour for not being more left wing is also not beneficial, especially when many of your criticisms are unjustified!

                      I’m also not saying Labour should become more right leaning in order to pick up some right wing votes… All they need to do is remain the centrist political party they are. National has failed the right wing voter just as much as the people their policies targeted… It’s just taking them a bit longer to realise it because they’re thick!

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      I’m also not saying Labour should become more right leaning in order to pick up some right wing votes…All they need to do is remain the centrist political party they are.

                      Yeah this describes things perfectly.

                    • Jackal

                      Is that because Labour is a centre party that needs to appeal to the largest public group there is, the middle class? You also haven’t explained yet what the beltway Labour analysis is? Being that you’re a self proclaimed Labour member, does the beltway perhaps include you CV – UnReal Labour?

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      The middle class the largest group in NZ society. Pull the other one.

                      The largest group in NZ society, by far, are those earning under $45K pa. At a guess they form 2/3 of eligible voters. And they have scanty political representation thanks to your “centrist” middle class Labour Party.

                    • Jackal

                      According to 2006 Census data, the middle class makes up around 48% of the population (55% of New Zealanders consider themselves middle class), with the upper class consisting of around 13% and the lower class (people earning $37,000 or less per year) consisting of approximately 39% in New Zealand. This may have worsened recently, but the middle class is assuredly still the largest group in NZ society.

                      Now could you explain what your beltway Labour analysis is that you’re always on about CV – UnReal Labour?

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      Like Americans who consider themselves middle class even though they’ve been made unemployed from their management position, have had their house foreclosed upon and are relying on foodstamps?

                      Sure I guess if they call them that.

                      However, I’;d say that roughly 2/3 of NZers earn less than $45K pa. You can call $45K pa middle class if you like, but really, its barely enough to keep a family afloat.

                    • Jackal

                      Accounting for inflation, mean incomes of around $42,000 to $58,000 indicates a middle class of 48%.

                      However $30,000-$120,000 a year is what most accedemics consider a middle class income. If I used those figures, the middle class in New Zealand would consist of well over 73% of the population.

                      Being that a percentage of the population also believes they’re middle class when they’re not, then it’s safe to say that Labour developing policy that appeals to at least 55% of the population is not a bad idea.

                      I’m referencing actual data CV, where are you gaining your information from?

                    • 65% earn $40 000 and under according to the 2012 Nz Govt Budget Summary.


                    • Jackal

                      Are you including people who pay no income tax blue leopard? These people will likely not be voters. It’s better to only include people who are paying income tax because they’re the ones who usually vote.

                      As I said before my figures are from 2006, with the current stats you’ve provided clearly showing a huge decline in middle class incomes. So CV does have a point after all.

                      However my assertion stands… The survey that showed 55% think they’re middle class is current and the fact that the poor are less likely to vote also needs to be considered.

                    • Guess its a pretty good thing to have people believing that they fall within the middle-class, even when they don’t….well its a good thing for the real middle class anyway…..

                      People who are not paying income tax could be not earning income, they are more likely to be in a relationship with someone who is earning, or they could be tax-avoiders, no?

                    • Jackal

                      True! But then there was nearly a million people who didn’t bother to vote at all at the last election (consisting of 26.5% of registered voters). You can guarantee they would mainly be from the 1.5 million or so who are low income earners ie low class… God I hate all this class distinction bullshit!

                      I guess CV could argue that if Labours policies were more beneficial to low income earners, then they would be more likely to vote. But then you only need to ask the Greens about how well that works.

                      Getting the non-voter to vote is going to be harder than just developing good policy.

                    • QoT

                      Hahahaha Jackal uses mean income. Says it all.

                    • Jackal

                      ? The stats are in mean income QoT… Why shouldn’t mean income be used to show the percentage of the population earning each wage group?

                      If you have nothing constructive to add QoT, could you please just fuck off?

                    • felixviper

                      Jackal, one person earning a million a year and nine people each earning one dollar a year equals a mean income of a hundred grand each.

                      Are you taking the piss or do you really not get this?

                    • Jackal

                      You’ve just generally explained mean incomes felixviper when we’re talking about upper, middle and low incomes as related to class. The graph doesn’t confuse high incomes with low incomes. You can use mean incomes to show what percentage of the population earns within a particularly wage bracket.

                      It doesn’t matter that one person is earning a million because they will be within the upper class wage bracket… The nine people earning a dollar will automatically be in the lower class wage bracket. It’s how many people are within each wage bracket or social class that matters.

                      Why am I fucking wasting time explaining this?

                  • Olwyn

                    Jackal, in reply to your claim that 73% consider themselves middle class, so Labour has to appeal to the middle class. It is neither necessary nor good, however, to appeal to the most venal features associated with the middle class; graspingness and contempt for those lower on the pecking order. There is also middle class decency, middle class long term thinking, and middle class willingness to contribute, as is shown by the manufacturers trying desperately to stay manufacturers in this country. The wedge politics, so readily employed, appeal to what is worst, not best, about the middle class.

                    • Jackal

                      55% consider themselves middle class, 73% were middle class earners in 2006 of between (inflation adjusted for 2013) $30,000 – $120,000 mean income per year.

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      So earning 10% more than the minimum wage classifies you as “middle class” 😀

                      Fcuking stupid definition

                    • Jackal

                      I tend to agree… However $30,000 per year is between 54% and 284% more than your average unemployed persons gross income… It’s even worse after taxes.

                      Kind of puts into perspective the right wings claim that the govt is paying beneficiaries or low waged people too much eh!

                  • @ Jackal 6:32pm
                    I try to avoid assumptions, yet tend to agree with you on that one Jackal, re the lower income earners not voting. I am very interested to know if there is [ever] any research done on who isn’t voting…(I keep asking, yet so far no takers!).

                    I wouldn’t speak for CV, yet I would have thought that if policies were directed toward low-income earners they may vote, however I noted (with surprise) the low numbers who voted for Mana after election-time; which tallies with what you say re Greens….no conclusions here in my comments, only paradox….

          • Bill

            What i see as missing from the speech was the piece where Dave Shearer takes the specific responsibility for creating those opportunities so as that ‘fair share’ can be contributed and…

            Well yeah, see – from my way of thinking that’s not ‘missing’ as in some unfortunate oversight by his speech writers. The current Labour Party basically embraces the concept of individual responsibility as though the economic environment and whatever was neutral. Only when a person has shown the ‘correct’ level of personal responsibility – by ‘doing their bit’; by contributing their ‘fair share’…that’s when the hands on stuff comes in. The fact that capitalism generates massive inequality and the notion that government should redress that through comprehensive or universal social welfare policy has no place in the current Labour Party’s expressed world view.

            So if you don’t ‘make it’ to a level where you get to be considered as a ‘deserving’ poor person – where the social welfare net sits below you rather than above you, well…tough – you’re going to be ‘on your own’ and subjected to onerous systems of ‘checks and balances’ and general villification. And that’s just a continuation of the past 30 odd years that have overseen a dismantling of the welfare state and witnessed consecutive governments shed their responsibilities within a market economy and unfairly and ridiculously shove their former responsibilities onto the head of the individual.

            • bad12

              Yup, so my thought while agreeing with your comment is that we as in the we of the Standard need now put ‘pressure’ on Shearer or whomever pulls the strings to correct this anomaly,

              What i would like to hear as part of the Labour Leaders speeches is a frank admission that ‘the market’ even where Government has it’s ‘hands on’ is not going to provide the opportunity for everyone who is able to be able to contribute that ‘fair share’,

              Along with of course the other admission that it is He, Shearer who must take the responsibility for the provision of the opportunity to contribute or where He cannot He must provide to those who miss out a reasonable standard of living and an affordable means of housing…

      • Te Reo Putake 2.3.3

        “Shearer in one of His first major speeches,(obviously set up horribly by someone with a name beginning with P), took to beneficiaries with His now infamous ‘roof-painter’ speech,”

        All his own work, Bad. I’m told that DS wrote that speech himself and the ‘P’ you refer to had already gone or was going by then.

        • Mr Burns

          I am relieved to hear this. You mean that Shearer’s natural inclination is to bash beneficiaries? Excellent!

          • blue leopard

            lol, yes, Mr Burns, what a relief!


          • Te Reo Putake

            Well, I’m not sure that anyone has put up a convincing argument that the ‘roof painter’ anecdote was intended to be bene bashing, or that Shearer personally supports that approach, but yes, there is humour to be found in his rather wooden attempt to ingratiate himself with Waitakere Man.

            He may well have learned a valuable lesson from the experience; the safest place to be when Mr Burns releases the hounds is up on a roof 🙂

            • blue leopard

              “Well, I’m not sure that anyone has put up a convincing argument that the ‘roof painter’ anecdote was intended to be bene bashing…” ~TRP

              After 100s of posts, looking at the issue from every possible angle, TRP, you have just proven yourself to be entirely closed to the opinions of others by this sentence. i.e. What would it take??

              The “roof painter” was clearly deeply offensive, not only to those who let readers know they were on the sickness benefit, yet also to many others who hold respectful and genuine traditional Labour movement values and whom are in better circumstances, who wrote in also over the matter. If whoever thought up that little number didn’t intend it to be bene bashing, then they didn’t take enough time to think of the implications of what they said, thus, should take a good hard look at themselves and question whether they are in the right job for their skill set.

              This issue was a serious blunder, I suggest you stop trying to ameliorate it by fudging the matter. Own up, learn and move on is the best approach for mistakes; not denial.

              • geoff

                TRP specialises in finding interpretations that are obviously wrong and doggedly sticks to them until the opposition is bored to death.
                He’s essentially a troll.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Always nice to hear from the newbies. They’re so cute when they’re young.

                  • lol

                    I was going to agree with geoff here and then read your comment below, and see you are being reasonable on the subject. However geoff makes a good point regarding some of your recent comments TRP, a quick learner perhaps? 😉

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Cheers, blue. As I noted in an exchange with IB the other day, I’m pretty bull headed, particularly when I’m right 😉 I’m not big on weasel words; if I believe it to be true, I will argue my corner without compromise.

                      But, if I get it wrong, I’ll say so. I’ve done so here at TS on occasion and no doubt I’ll get it wrong in the future and I will cop it sweet when I do. And if somebody else’s opinion or provable fact changes my thinking, I’ll shift position to take that into account. But, fundamentally, I believe in the scientific method and the usual rules of debate. State your opinion, give your reasoning, present the facts that back your position and then see if anyone can counter them.

                      I know I wind people up from time to time, but most of the frutration comes from not being able to prove me wrong. That’s certainly been the case since conference with the wistful promoters of David ‘coulda bin a contender’ Cunliffe.

                      And if Geoff thinks he can prove David Shearer is a bene basher, then let him put up the evidence. Hint: multiple examples would be useful to prove a trend.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Where’s the apology for that stuff up then?

                      there’s been silence, the frame was reinforced, ‘battlers vs bludgers’, and then what? Nothing. He moved on to stuffing up the dotcom thing.

                    • Mr Burns

                      Do you mean Te Reo that Shearer is willing to invent imaginary sickness benefit receiving roof painters so that he can get some support from the red neck part of the population?

                      Shearer is growing on me already!

                    • Lol! Pascal’s bookie & Mr Burns …&TRP too!

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      As if, bookie! Nah, I know you’re just kidding, you were being post modern for the kids, right?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Nope. Where’s the bit where he walks back his stuff up?

                      His framing remains; ‘working poor should be concerned about ‘bludgers’ stealing their hard earned taxes’, rather than y’know, be concerned about their low wages and the shitty safety net.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Workers are concerned about bludgers, P’s B. They tend to hate them. Doing actual work for shit wages while people rip off the system pisses working people off. Why shouldn’t it?

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      TRP to quote Bill:

                      And then, despite numerous opportunities to do so, David Shearer never ‘recanted’ on his ‘mistake’ but instead went to great pains to explain it away as perfectly reasonable.

                      As you are doing.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      And by ‘bludgers’ you mean any anecdotal bene that floats past the leader of the Labour Party.

                      Why do the working poor not identify with those they are one bit of bad luck away from joining TRP? Anything to do with a few decades of divide and rule wedge politics perhaps?

                      You admitted before that the framing was shit, and that he had clarified it. Now you’re saying that he, and you, endorse it.

                      Be honest, read that clarification and explain to me how Paula Bennett, Jenny Shipley, Don Brash, or Rodney Hide would would say it differently.

                    • geoff

                      Yes, well said, Pascal’s Bookie.

                      Shearer could have picked any number of injustices in NZ to talk about, many more which are far worse in terms of economic cost and morality than ‘bene bludgers’. He didn’t though, he chose to paint beneficiaries as scumbags. It’s blatantly dog-whistle politics.

                      If, as TRP argues, Shearer wrote it himself without consciously meaning it to come across that way then that can only suggest that Shearer himself unconsciously believes it and that he is the type of person that is usually targeted by dog-whistle politics.

                      Either way, he’s not someone I want as the leader of the Labour party.

              • Te Reo Putake

                What it would take is a convincing argument that it was deliberate bene bashing. So far, I haven’t seen one. You, though, you come as close as anyone with this sentence:

                “If whoever thought up that little number didn’t intend it to be bene bashing, then they didn’t take enough time to think of the implications of what they said … ”

                That exactly fits my feeling on the matter. DS was trying align himself with the average kiwi battler, but he unintentially slighted kiwis who are really doing it tough.

                • CV - Real Labour

                  Would love Shearer to make a speech where he said that our benefits system was a critical part of NZ society, that Labour would increase payments to a livable level, and that most people on the unemployment benefit would pick up decent work right away, if it were available in the economy.

                  A simple statement like that would erase all doubts.

                  • McFlock

                    A simple statement like that would erase all doubts.

                    much laughter.

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      Yeah I read what I wrote, and also realised how ridiculous it was to even imagine it happening.

                    • Rogue Trooper


                    • McFlock

                      Just to clarify, Shearer making the speech wasn’t what I was laughing at.

                      More the pretence that he can say anything that would not immediately be pounced on, dissected within an inch of its life, and dramatic shortcomings imagined.

                      Even beyond the internal bickering, we can safely assume that Jenny will be outraged that a statement on the right to (and dignity of) liveable benefits did not adequately address climate change.

                  • Lol thats quite funny what you say McFlock!

                • Pascal's bookie

                  “If whoever thought up that little number didn’t intend it to be bene bashing, then they didn’t take enough time to think of the implications of what they said … ”

                  That exactly fits my feeling on the matter. DS was trying align himself with the average kiwi battler, but he unintentially slighted kiwis who are really doing it tough

                  If they didn’t intend it to be bene bashing then they are incompetent at crafting messages, which would be their job.

                  align himself with the average kiwi battler

                  Against who? Those people he unintentially slighted?

                  That framing is classic wedge politics. The whole point is to pit the working poor against the non-working poor. He waded right into that.

                  It was a bad move, and not one that can be brushed off as a bit of slip of the tongue. It wasn’t the wording that was wrong, it was the logic.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    I agree with most of your summary, bookie. I certainly don’t think it was a slip of the tongue – but it was a clunker. I believe he hadn’t thought it through and didn’t get the implication for beneficiaries at all. The absence of similar anecdotes from his speeches since then suggests he may have learned from his mistake.

                    • Be nice to think what you said is true, however what about this interview on 30 September in response to questioning the issue? He doesn’t sound very apologetic (this depends on the calibre of the reporting; how accurate it is).

                      “That’s the social contract, now if that is broken at either end, somebody avoiding paying their taxes, or somebody bludging or doing whatever they’re doing at the other end, then that’s an issue of fairness,..”

                      Note how the word “bludging” is used for the person “breaking the social contract at one end of the socio-economic scale and no such word is used for the wealthy rip-off bludger….

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      The full quote is:

                      “You know you work, you pay your taxes, and then when you need it you lose your job, you have an accident, the State looks after you. As soon as you’re able to get back onto your feet again, the expectation is that you go back and you start paying your way again.

                      That’s the social contract, now if that is broken at either end, somebody avoiding paying their taxes, or somebody bludging or doing whatever they’re doing at the other end, then that’s an issue of fairness, and New Zealanders are very concerned about fairness, and we need to make sure that that system works.”

                      OK, it’s not as pithy as “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”, but its not a million miles away either.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Except there was no evidence of anyone ‘bludging’, that was just taken as read. Guy was fixing his roof, therefore ‘bludger.’

                    • Anne

                      That’s 100% on the button TRP. Shearer showed his political inexperience. It was naive and he clearly didn’t think it through. I’m glad he made the ‘serious mistake’ when he did, and not in 12 months time.

                      I hope he has recognised his other serious mistake – throwing Cunliffe on to the back bench at the behest of some jealous colleagues. I look forward to seeing him amend that one in the very near future.

                    • Te Reo,

                      I provided that link in response to your: “The absence of similar anecdotes from his speeches since then suggests he may have learned from his mistake.”~ TRP

                      The link shows he unapologetically repeated the message. There was no need to provide the full quote; the point being that the word “bludger” was used, a pejorative word, and if he wanted to be fair he could have used it for the wealthy tax-dodging bludgers too or, better yet, not at all

                      In a global financial crisis there really are more pressing problems than slagging off the least priviledged people in our society, it would be nice to see politicians showing a healthy example on this.

                    • Bill

                      It wasn’t the first time he’d used the anecdote trp. But before you go demanding I find sources for that, know that I’m not going to go the trouble. On other blog writings at the time (ie, not ‘ts’) it was certainly mentioned that it was recycled from previous occasions. And I’m sure if you look you’ll find it. It was no one off ‘slip of the tongue’ or mistake.

                      Also, neither he nor Robertson nor Pagani answered any of the quite reasonable if robust questions I put to them in my post at that time although Robertson fully acknowledged having read it. (Pagani was under a ban from ts at the time).

                      And then, despite numerous opportunities to do so, David Shearer never ‘recanted’ on his ‘mistake’ but instead went to great pains to explain it away as perfectly reasonable.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Cheers, Bill, generally happy to take your word for things, but your second sentence suggest I shouldn’t.

                    • “…but instead went to great pains to explain it away as perfectly reasonable.” ~Bill

                      ….Kind of like TRP is attempting to do today.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Blue leopard: read the full quote again. If there’s something in it objectionable other than your narrow interpretaion of ‘bludger’, let me know. If you’re not comfortable with the shortened version (from each etc.) you’re on the wrong website.

                    • Bill

                      I’m not asking you to take my word for it. That’s why I’ve given you an indication of where to search. (Thinking it might have been Chris Trotter heard him use the same anecdote on the campaign trail or some such, but could be wrong with regards the source)

                    • Te Reo,

                      I do not understand your last sentence? It makes no sense. Shortened version? What?

                      The point we were talking about was about a poor attitude shown toward those on a benefit, the word bludger is pivotal to that point. Now you appear to want to remove the word from the full quote…I’ll bet that’s what Shearer’s strategists started wishing they’d done after they (finally) realised their error!

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Fair enough, Bill. Perhaps he thought it was a useful anecdote, way back then. But he got nailed for it and he hasn’t used it since. I see learning on the job as a good thing, don’t you?

                    • “But he got nailed for it and he hasn’t used it since. I see learning on the job as a good thing, don’t you?” ~TRP

                      …What a pity his acolytes didn’t do the same aye? Instead they waste everyone’s time attempting to justify the unjustifiable.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Sorry. Blue. The full quote is from Marx (Critique of the Gotha Program).

                      “From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”.

                      Marx was proposing a social contract under socialism. In simple terms, he said that, ideally, workers would work to the level of their potential and society would reward them by covering their day to day needs.

                    • TRP,

                      What the? “If you’re not comfortable with the shortened version (from each etc.) you’re on the wrong website.” ~TRP is what I wasn’t understanding. I believe there is no Marx contained in that. One helluva distraction technique you got going there.

                    • Bill

                      I’ll agree that learning on the job can be a good thing. But has he learned to go beyond the attitude and mentality that drove the anecdote, or has he merely learned to not express that attitude and mentality so openly? Well, it’s the latter, isn’t it? So, good thing he learned that on the job? Not really.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      “It’s the latter, isn’t it?”

                      Who knows, Bill! Get back to me in a couple of years when he’s PM and we’ll see.

                      Edit: For Blue leopard: Marx is the bit in parentheses (from each etc).

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Oh, so Shearer was saying ‘From and each and to each’. I assume he offered the guy on the roof a paid job that he can do then right? Must’ve done if that was his point.

                      Fuck, he should have put that in the fucking speech.

                      Fucking. Useless.

                    • Bill

                      No need for me to get back to you in a couple of years. Just read his speeches and note that the same soundbites that underpinned or ‘justified’ the attack on beneficiaries are peppered thoughout (as commented previously by me further up the thread at 2.3.2)


                  • NoseViper (The Nose knows)

                    Yes the logic of Shearer. And that is his basic logic expressed in a paragraph about the man on the roof, it wasn’t just a short soundbite that slipped out.

                    It was mean, it was judgmental, it was unrealistic (the poorer you are the more you need to repair things yourself) unlike the wealthy middle class who call in a plumber at up to $90 an hour.

                    It was prejudiced, it wasn’t giving the man the benefit of the doubt. If Labour gets in are they going to start treating people with respect? That in itself would be a big benefit to people in difficulties. Could and would Labour change the ingrained cold charity and benefit-denying culture that is presently prevailing. Are they going to return the right for tenants of NZ Housing to call in at a local office if they need to?

                    Questions! Doubts – telling phrases about bludgers up roofs doesn’t bode well for the mindset of this new Labour leader.

              • just saying

                From Gordon Campbell Blog: August 9 2012


                I was chatting to a guy in my electorate who had just got home from work. In the middle of the conversation, he stopped and pointed across the road to his neighbour. He said: “see that guy over there, he’s on a sickness benefit, yet he’s up there painting the roof of his house. That’s not bloody fair. Do you guys support him?”

                From what he told me, he was right, it wasn’t bloody fair, and I said so. I have little tolerance for people who don’t pull their weight.

                That ‘guy in my electorate’ must be quite some guy. Because when I interviewed him back in March, Shearer told me the exact same anecdote.

                emboldening mine.

                • QoT

                  Look, js, clearly Shearer … and his speechwriters … and his media team … just “hadn’t thought it through”. Twice.

        • KhandallaViper

          31% for the last four years and there was nothing in that speech that is going to change it.


          The Labour Party needs to get out of the doldrums. The members and half of the cabinet are worried that IF (a VERY BIG IF) they win that the Greens will have 40% of he power in Cabinet.
          A leader in Shearer’s position should be fighting for his survival and using all th help available.

          I’m infuriated that what you say ” DS wrote the speech himself” might be true.

          That is extreme negligence.
          He does not have the experience or skills to do so.
          Whereas before he badly delivered passable speeches written by others, he is now badly delivering speeches baldly written by himself?

          We are f*#cked.

          • Te Reo Putake

            He’s not doing it now, KV, possibly as a result of the backlash to that very speech. If he’s learned from it, great.

            Not sure how the Greens are going to get 40% of the cabinet places. Even if they improve to a solid 15% in the election, that would only ‘entitle’ them to between a quarter and a third, I would have thought. Less if Winnie, Hone or the MP have to be factored in.

        • bad12

          Hmmm, wrote it all by Hisself you reckon, not knowing the niceties of such things i will take your word for it…

    • One Tāne Huna 2.4

      One speech (a set piece) doesn’t help in off-the-cuff or interview situations, which is where Shearer falls over. There was a similar speech a little while ago that met with similar approval, and look what happened directly after that – he fell over there too.

      A newly appointed strategist seems to take the view that the best thing to do with dissent is to exile the dissenters. I would say the problems are far from over.

      That won’t stop people shifting their focus to policy as the 2014 election gets nearer, nor will it prevent King Kong from making up things to fap over.

      • KhandallaViper 2.4.1

        31% for he last four years and there was nothing in that speech that is going to change it.

        31% for he last four years and there was nothing in that speech that is going to change it.

        • Jackal

          Being that Labour is polling between 31.5% and 35%, you might want to reassess your negative affirmation there KhandallaViper.

          • CV - Real Labour

            Or not.

            Roy Morgan maximum for the Labour Party in the last 12 months has been 33.5%. Labour managed to get that high figure, twice.

            Labour polled under 30% four times in that same time period.

            • Jackal

              The Current One News Colmar Brunton Poll has Labour at 35%, and as we all know these polls usually have Labour and other left wing parties polling lower than they do on election night.

              But whatever CV… Clearly your belief that only the Roy Morgan is relevant in order to paint your blinkered viewpoint is totally justified. /sarc

              • CV - Real Labour

                and as we all know these polls usually have Labour and other left wing parties polling lower than they do on election night.

                The average of the 4 Roy Morgan polls taken immediately before the Nov 2011 General Election predicted Labour’s final result to within approx 0.5% of the Party Vote.

                Pretty damn good if you ask me.

            • McFlock

              Labour polled under 30% four times in that same time period.

              Only one of those occurrences was in the last seven or eight months, of course. But don’t let that spoil your rabid hatred of shearer.

              Both occurrences of the 33.5% high point were in the last four or five months.

              Shearer’s had 12 months in the job.
              Keep rolling that CZ in horseshit, CV.

    • King Kong,

      Your comment is saturated with a complete misunderstanding as to why people on this site are criticising Labour/Shearer, understandable with the right-wing spin encouraging those of weak characters to look at things this way.

      With respect, I acknowledge I can’t speak for everyone, however my intentions when expressing any criticism (and I believe the intentions of [most] others who have expressed criticism on this site) is out of a desire for Labour/Left wing to succeed. This will be a hard concept for those of a right-wing inclined mindset to grasp. If you can, you will see, it is not a matter for apology, it is a matter for celebration when Labour/the Left makes inroads and scores points.

    • Skinny 2.6

      I know a lot on the Labour council think Shearer is ‘suspect’ and after the turn  Rodger Douglas took Labour on who can blame them! They are doing their job as gatekeepers to protect the Party.   

    • mikesh 2.7

      I guess you are right. We will just have to be content with not voting Labour come November next year.

  3. Bill 3

    David Shearer basically played it safe and said nothing that hadn’t been said before. In that respect it was a non-speech speech. And the subtext (as ‘just saying’ has pointed out elsewhere), of a government being hands on/up for percieved winners and (presumably) hands off for percieved losers, (we’ll do our bit for those who do theirs) – while playing well with a msm audience is, quite frankly, bloody disturbing.

    And One News claiming or reporting that his leadership woes are a distant memory? Well…even if he has the numbers to secure a vote of confidence from caucus (and nothing indicates that to be the case) his leadership will continue to be a point of woe for many New Zealanders – though not, of course, for msm commentators/reporters.

    So in conclusion, the msm gives favourable coverage to the leader of a party who gives every indication of being ‘in the fold’ and bolsters his legitimacy on the basis of mere say so. That’s not something I can enthuse over.

    • King Kong 3.1

      The amount of New Zealanders who will actively be feeling woe at the thought of contined Shearer leadership would struggle to fill my lounge.

      It is easy to become self absorbed and believe that the universe operates in a 10 foot bubble around you.

      The reality is that more people will suffer mild burns when putting on polyester tops whilst having a lit cigerette in their mouth than care about who leads Labour.

      • rosy 3.1.1

        “more people will suffer mild burns when putting on polyester tops whilst having a lit cigerette [sic] in their mouth “

        Interesting picture there KK, do you have personal experience of that?

        • mike e vipe e

          so thats what they made the gorilla suit out of it also acts as a 10ft bubble for a primitive primate!

      • Bill 3.1.2

        It is easy to become self absorbed and believe that the universe operates in a 10 foot bubble around you.

        That’s quite true. But no more so than the ease with which one can be absorbed by the media’s incandescent 10 foot bubble and come to believe that it’s that which comprises the universe of credible political knowledge. And, on balance, while both situations are potentially misleading, the fact that the media broadcasts a fairly predictable line of orthodoxy would suggest the latter bubble is more likely to be more misleading more of the time than the former.

      • fatty 3.1.3

        The reality is that more people will suffer mild burns when putting on polyester tops whilst having a lit cigerette in their mouth than care about who leads Labour.

        I’m not sure how stupid the people are who live in the ’10 foot bubble around you’, but my friends and family have the foresight to put their cigarette down before they begin getting dressed.
        How else do your friends injure themselves on a daily basis? Do you get them to wear helmets?

  4. Reading this article I can see that the media have reported the bare minimum of what was possible regarding Labour’s speech at Ratana.

    Correct that no new policy was mentioned, yet one of the heartening points that I picked up in the speech and was missed by the media is that Labour intends to gather information this year in which to base their approach on, that is RESEARCH, something sorely lacking in this useless governments approach (who are well known for basing their approach on sweet f* all, and even when research is done, they ignore it).

    It was stated that research would be conducted in the areas of: diversifying the economy, manufacturing, clean green approaches, and improving the transitions from school to further training leading to high-skill jobs, and with regard to the Kiwibuild (urban design and energy efficiency) and finding out what Christchurch people wish for the rebuild.

    • CV - Real Labour 4.1

      yet one of the heartening points that I picked up in the speech and was missed by the media is that Labour intends to gather information this year in which to base their approach on, that is RESEARCH,

      How can this be heartening to you? Surely we all know what needs to be done and we all know what the problem areas are. Designing the plans, building cross-sectional support and finding the budget for swift implementation and execution is what is required. Not more poring over of the “evidence” of what the problems are: kids are hungry, the unemployed despondant, career professionals leaving the country, and the institutional knowledge of our public sector has been gutted, just to name a few.

      and finding out what Christchurch people wish for the rebuild.

      I feel this is just madness, a full 2 years after the earthquakes. Can we start with running water and working toilets? And houses which don’t have soaking rain gusts going through them. Sorting out the insurance industry might be a good move to. Time for a government owned insurer, once again.

      • blue leopard 4.1.1

        From the way Labour have been coming across, like that they are vey busy with their fingers stuck up their own bottoms (and others with their fingers stuck up their colleagues bottoms), it has given me the impression that they were too busy with this unbecoming and ineffective behaviour to be doing anything as useful as opposing this government or research.

        To me, the speech indicates a moving forward from this sad state of affairs.

        The only real thing an opposition can do is invest the money they have in research, so that they are ready to hit the decks running when they get into power, so taking these two above-mentioned factors into account this is how I can find this heartening.

        It has been very clear this research-based approach is what the Greens have been doing and it is heartening to see that Labour, who must have a larger budget being a larger party, is planning to engage with their duty too now.

        • CV - Real Labour

          I guess I simply want to make sure that a focus on “research” and “evidence” doesn’t end up replacing the beating heart and soul of the party. In some ways I reckon it already has.

          • blue leopard

            I think I get what you mean, although am surprised about your comment re research. Do you think they have been doing research?

            ‘Cos my impression is that the Greens have and Labour hasn’t. (I thought that Labour C were too busy squabbling and narking on their colleagues to the media, and ignoring their members to have time to pursue or achieve anything very productive at all last year and thought that was the cause of the damage to “heart and soul”)

  5. gobsmacked 5

    Bad 12 wrote:

    Actually those who have been hammering Dave Shearer here on the Standard should be giving themselves a quiet pat on the back for a job well done

    Quite right.

    Two months ago Zetetic on the Standard (and many others) pointed out that Shearer should be talking about apartments and terraced housing, especially in Auckland, to make his Kiwibuild promises credible.

    Yesterday Shearer did just that. It’s been well covered in the media today. Unfortunately, he has had to do it in response to questions and criticism, so now it comes across as a grudging admission instead of a bold vision. Shearer oversold the quarter-acre Kiwi dream, now he is retreating, and so the political points gained are in danger of being lost again.

    Again, this is Politics 101. Anticipate the questions, get out in front of them.

    If Labour “strategists” can’t see where issues/debates are going to go, they should spend more time on here (and less time shooting messengers who predict what turns out to be true).

    • gobsmacked 5.1

      The evidence …

      But hey, it was on the Standard, so it can’t be made true until Shearer finally catches up with it. Which he has now done …

      • bad12 5.1.1

        My view is that the cost of the houses at present being built in Auckland relates as much to the actual amount of waste that is being designed into many of these icons to over-consumption as well as the market produced propensity for ‘developers’ to build the most expensive piece of grandeur on the piece of land available,

        Starting at the ground, what really drives the modern technique of building the whole property over one giant concrete slab, the monopolistic owners of the producers of concrete perhaps,

        Houses quite happily ‘sit’ upon as few as 20 concrete piles sunk a couple of feet into the ground for decade after decade, and thus the ‘need’ for concrete in a house build considering that an outer foundation made of concrete is also not a necessity is really only a meter of concrete necessary for the piles and not the 20 or so meters currently being poured as foundations by a fleet of concrete coming from the monopolistic suppliers of such ready mix concrete,

        i also note that much of the roof trussing of these modern edifices to mans propensity to overindulge for the simple act of inflating profits are now constructed of 3 layers of 150×50 timber where previously a single layer truss of 100×50 timber was deemed to suffice,

        The house i live in was built such, roof trusses of a single layer as described above,it has been sitting here snuggly attached to it’s neighbour for the past 72 years, and my bet is it will be here doing the same long after i have departed from the mortal coil,

        Cannot mass produce decent warm housing for 300,000 bucks??? i call bullshit on that,ok maybe not in central Auckland, but on the out-skirts, a modest 2 or 3 bedroom house for 300 grand, cut out the bullshit over-consumption inherent in the current designs and sure you can…

    • bad12 5.2

      Aha, if Dave Shearer is all that Labour has got in the way of a Leader and it’s increasingly looking like the Caucus vote will not trigger the Party wide vote,(tho i still live in hope that it does), then the next best means of extracting ‘change’ is via a loud stream of criticism emanating from the Standard,

      By extracting change i mean of course in the policy areas and it is those alternatives in my opinion that have a greater chance of success than simply attacking the Labour Caucus over it’s choice of Leader,

      Speaking from the luxury of having already departed from Labour for Greener Pastures after the Clark Government’s refusal to allow benefit dependent families access to Working for Families my view is that Labour are now a middle class political party and no longer the broad church of the left that it once was…

  6. KhandallaViper 6

    I cannot get past the fact that Shearer has the exact same team around him who have been running the same ineffective show using the same blunt instruments since 2008.
    These people, including Trevor the host today, got angry when some criticised the Party’s stance in the ’80s.
    These people are paying Mike Williams to accuse non-lovers of being Nutters and Alliance infiltrators. Shearer needs to listen, not make staged media set pieces that fall flat.

    There is nothing in that speech that will get us over the 31%.

    • +1 (minus the last sentence – which I haven’t developed an opinion either way on yet)

      Does anyone know who “the strategists” are? They are never listed, always a name here or there; is there anywhere that one can find that information out? I don’t know they have had the same strategists since 2008, yet it seems very much that way. There is very little shift in approach. I understand there was one change, Pagani; who replaced him?

      • CV - Real Labour 6.1.1

        The key with the strategists is not that they are the same person, its that they are from the same beltway clique and hence the same beltway mindset and attitude to the electorate.

        Find a copy of The West Wing season 7 episode 2 “The Mommy Problem” for more inisght.

  7. Jimmie 7

    This is a bit left field – if some adventuresome urban folks want to get off the urban rat race treadmill of high rent/transport costs, and cost of living then I would suggest that they think about looking at dairy farming as a career option.

    For a lot of farm employees the following is fairly common for working conditions:

    1 Provision of (almost) rent free accommodation. (The only rent deducted is the tax on the rent value – around $20-40/week.)

    2 No transport costs to go to work – you live and work on farm.

    3 Often quantities of free/cheap homekill meat are provided along with a daily allowance of raw milk.

    4 Great rural environment for bringing up kids – animals, space, freedom, paddocks, rivers etc.

    5 No water costs – usually provide free to all houses from the farm.

    6 Regular salaried work – On top of all of the above a new farm employee will likely get paid between $35-40K per year. If their partner wants there is often additional part time work available.

    With time and experience the employee can expect annual pay increases of around 7% – if they wish to progress up the employment ladder into farm management over time they can end up on salaries in the range of $45-75K per year.

    7 Some farmers often will give their staff stock which they can sell as an additional bonus.

    8 Family life – Can have meals together 3 times a day – kids and parents.

    9 Vege gardens – Most rural sections have plenty of space in order to grow your own veges.

    All you need to do is be prepared to work out doors in all kinds of weather and not be afraid to get your hands dirty and learn about nature and animal husbandry.

    I speak as someone who has worked in the dairy industry for 11+ years but has also worked in urban centres for some 6- 7 years as well (Tauranga/Gisborne/Wellington/Levin)

    There aren’t enough rural jobs for everyone but there may be a few who think that for them it would be a great change – would help some farmers who have been forced to import labour from overseas to fill their positions.

    • CV - Real Labour 7.1

      yeah it can be pretty good, but some people find the isolation and the very long hours daunting after a while. If you hit a good farm with a good farmer though, it’s gold.

  8. Elizabeth Bourchier Real Labour 8

    Girls, ive read most of the reports on the speech and frankly it gets a 4 /10 for content and a 2/10 for confirming Shearer as undisputed leader.
    I can’t see 60% of Caucus feeling CONFIDENCE after that.
    Members need to be heard by MPs.

  9. Coronial Typer 9

    The poll last week that put Labour around 30% was, one hopes, the worst of it. If Labour does not get a lift in the polls after a speech like that, and after a year of promises that he will get better and Labour really will lift, then we should stop deluding ourselves that we have nothing but Phil Goff and Bill Rowling, again.

    His speechwriter has definitely improved, but you can’t make an Alsatian out of a Spaniel.

    There are plenty along the political spectrum who will want us all to agree he’s the one, there’s no need for our opinion, we can all go home now. Plenty who will settle for about 30% of mediocrity, because that’s the way to keep the almighty peace, keep the course steady, etc etc, and plenty who will say “don’t let perfection become the enemy of the good”.

    Labour has been down this road too many times. Keep calm, and lose again. I don’t want superman. Not even a guy who can clear the back fence with good runup and a favourable wind. I want the leader who who propel Labour win. He hasn’t arrived yet.

    • Tim 9.1

      His speech writer improved?????!!! Well maybe he/she dd. Actually yea they did. I’m just left in dispair at the bullet-point-ism. Maybe that’s all peopl are capable of these days – As I’ve said before tho’ (note the abbreviation)…..after the third betrayal…. me and (actually a shitload of people of voting age) will have to be sure that you’ve ditched your past associations and dalliance with neo-liberalism and bullshit. Right now – NOT (as in no-no-no) N.O.T the case.
      All those trendy little burbya subs – loik Ponceby- Mearn’t Vuk et al – believe me (if that’s the lingo you understand) ARE in agreement.
      For most, the biggest dilemna they have is whether or not to vote Labour, Greens, or NOT at all.

      AS I’ve said before, the best ever form of protest would be to register with Labour – then vote Green (or Mana- or ANYTHING ELSE). Doubt people will tho’- but then I’m not so sure I’d like to have Mike Smith or Mike Williams’ legacy when we’re 20 years on – looking back.

      Looking back – I have images of the slaughtered hanging from cross-members of lamposts – I once lifted a TOYOTA engine out of a fucked rust bucket body – How appropriate is that FFS.

      No – DS – after the latest – you’re beginning to turn in the correct direction, but for me (and as I said – A SHITLOAD of others in that Robertson electorate) it’ll take till AFTER the next election to convince me. Once- twice bitten – Thrice shy. Don’t give up on trying though cos if you do then Labour will be entirely irrelevant and I’ll see you when you pop up in some party of the future – maybe you’ll call it “REFORM” or some such other crap.
      Right now though – the best you fellas deserve is a cudda shudda wudda

  10. Tim 10

    Hey @ King Kong:
    You’re not a Mathew Hooten protoge or alter ego by any chance are you? I haven’t yet seen any hissy fits but other than that – you seem remarkably similar to Mathew H in so many ways.
    I have this horror vision of a King Kong in drag trampling thru’ Wellington City. In any event – you’re a bit of a fuckwit aye!, and I’m wondering WHY you feel the need to trawl thru’ OBVIOUSLY left-wing sites trying to challenge and convert. Obviously people such as yourself (and Mathew, and……for THAT matter the likes of Mike and Mike) like pushing shit uphill

  11. Green machine UpandComer 11

    I was amused today to see that Shearer’s costing of the housing has increased by 83%. Sure, he can say he was referring to boxes piled on top of each other a la the projects in Chicago, but everyone knows everyone was thinking it was for an actual house. Wow, what can we look forward to when they actually go to Fletcher’s and the actual costings come forward? I know a guy in DN who got much more then half a million just for a small lot near the stadium but vital for the connecting road – multiply that by hundreds of other landlords whom the govt will have to purchase land off. I’m sure those landlords will oblige Labour and take an arbitrary price floored purchase price. I’m sure none of them will take top dollar. After all, these homes are going to be built for $300,000, opps, $550000, opps that will be much more pretty soon for anywhere anyone wants to live. Imagine if this was the promise that people voted for, then you get an increase of 83% after the election. That doesn’t seem that far-fetched now. David Cunliffe wouldn’t make such bad statements.

  12. Te Reo Putake 12

    As that thread above is getting tangled, I thought it might be sensible to start again.

    From P’s B:

    “And by ‘bludgers’ you mean any anecdotal bene that floats past the leader of the Labour Party.”

    Nope, I mean people who game the system at either end of the income scale.

    “Why do the working poor not identify with those they are one bit of bad luck away from joining TRP? Anything to do with a few decades of divide and rule wedge politics perhaps?”


    “You admitted before that the framing was shit, and that he had clarified it. Now you’re saying that he, and you, endorse it.”

    Nope, see the first reply above.

    “Be honest, read that clarification and explain to me how Paula Bennett, Jenny Shipley, Don Brash, or Rodney Hide would would say it differently.”

    Two of them would say it in a slightly higher pitch. But then, they wouldn’t say it all, because they’re Tories and they are all in favour of bludging when it’s their mates doing it.

    • Tim 12.1

      Nice side-swipe TRP

      • Tim 12.1.1

        I mean as in “as the thread is getting tangeld”.

        If I were not merely an interloper watching the proceedings and an avid commenter – I’d have to remember that.

        Personally (not being the multitasker apparently once was), I didn’t see any tangling – merely different people pushing different subjects and agendas

        • Te Reo Putake

          Cheers, Tim. As the person multiple people were responding to, I was trying to keep up with a fast evolving discussion (cf. the confusion around radio vs grey power – I was talking about Holmes, others thought I was talking about Shearer). It seemed easier just to start a fresh thread.

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    Nope, I mean people who game the system at either end of the income scale.

    In this case, some anecdotal guy that he didn’t claim to know the first thing about. So ‘yep’ actually. Where is the evidence that this guy, the guy he talked about in his speech, is a ‘bludger’?

    Without that, none of the rest of your responses follow.

    What happened was: he ran off at the mouth endorsing the right wing wedge in order to, as you put it, ‘align himself with the average kiwi battler’ against a beneficiary.

    That’s the wedge, right there. You can’t just turn around and claim that when he was talking about that beneficiary he was also talking about tax dodgers.

    The fact is, that our economy is quite willing to throw people onto the scrap heap. In such an economy you can’t say that the social contract is ‘From each & to each’. That type of social contract has a right to work in it. There is no ‘scrap heap’ in an economy that says we will pay you for *whatever* it is you can do.

    • Te Reo Putake 13.1

      You appear confused, bookie. When I use the personal pronoun I am speaking for myself. The Marx phrase is a description of socialism, not capitalism.

      Shearer woodenly tried to suck up to working kiwis. He got it wrong because his anecdote was pisspoor. If the bloke on the roof was ripping off the system, then it would have made sense (and would be in line with Labour values, which are derived from the Marx quote). But (assuming there really was a guy on a roof – I’m not convinced there was), then he should have tried to acertain the facts before mouthing off.

      He clumsily tried to make a point and failed. There is no evidence that he intends, as PM, to do anything nasty to beneficiaries.

      BTW, I also think Paul Holmes was hard done by when he tried to make an anti-racist statement and got it wrong. But Holmes had been in broadcasting for decades. Shearer had only been in the job a short while and he appears to have learned from the experience.

      • handle 13.1.1

        Holmes made an innocent little mistake, you reckon? Remember this?

      • handle 13.1.2

        “He clumsily tried to make a point and failed”

        It was a prepared speech.

        • Te Reo Putake

          No, it was on the radio. Off the cuff as far as I know.

          • Pascal's bookie

            Speech to Grey Power.

          • just saying


            It led a prepared speech. It was not off the cuff, nor was it the first time he’d used that particular bene bash.

            And you still haven’t explained why he has continued to stand by it since. You’d expect him to apologise for an innocent mistake that hurt a whole lot of people. Wouldn’t you?

            • Te Reo Putake

              I was talking about Holmes being on the radio, js and mistook your comment as being about that. Apologies. I know Shearer used his anecdote in a prepared speech and at least one other time (according to Gordon Campbell).

            • Bill

              Thanks for that js. And just quickly scanning through that Gordon Campbell piece there was this wee bit that instantly brought a portion of Shearer’s speech to mind. It’s worth comparing and contrasting as it shows Shearer is still very much on the ‘roof painter’ track of thought.

              So Campbell wrote – as ‘advice’ to Shearer on what he might say about beneficiaries

              She tries hard to budget, but there’s just not enough to put food on the table, pay the bills and the school fees – but she’s always there when the kids get sick or have problems with their friends, or struggle with their homework. She does all that, alone. It feels lonely at times sitting in the kitchen at night, thinking how life has worked out. And who does this government blame? Whose life does Paula Bennett want to make even harder? That woman in my electorate. It isn’t bloody fair.

              But what Shearer continues to say is that the woman must do more …

              People overcoming adversity, dreaming of something better. When I see a single mum put herself through polytech to build a better future for her kids, I’m inspired.

              So his thoughts for the woman not going to polytech amount to zero and, worse, the implication of what he says is that the woman not going to polytech is undeserving…she’s not ‘doing her bit’. She’s not being ambitious. She’s one of the undeserving poor; a bludger. And so given her undeserving status, Shearer would (I suspect) quite happily ‘do a Bennett’ on her.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Crikey, Bill! You could find negativity reading the numbers on a winning lotto ticket.

                In the first place, it’s hardly fair to conflate Campbell’s ‘woman’ with Shearer’s.

                Secondly ….

                “People overcoming adversity, dreaming of something better. When I see a single mum put herself through polytech to build a better future for her kids, I’m inspired.”

                That is brilliant. It could be from Clinton, Obama, Clark, Kirk, Bradford or any left politician worth a damn. But you seem to think (much like Jenny and climate change) that if it doesn’t touch on the point you want to make, it’s shit.

                • Bill

                  The woman bringing up her children on her own isn’t, in Shearer’s view ‘doing her fair share’ or ‘playing her part’. By not enrolling at Polytech shes ‘asking for an esay ride or a hand out’ – ‘making excuses’ and saying ‘it’s too hard’ instead of saying “to hell with it, I’m going to do it anyway”. And that means she isn’t one of ‘the hardworking, forgotten New Zealanders’ that ‘as Prime Minister’ he ‘will always stand up for.’

                  And in case you’ve forgotten, Shearer has “little tolerance for people who don’t pull their weight.” Where, of course, ‘pulling their weight’ is determined by his subjectivity. And that subjectiveity is informed by the dishonest and cruel notion of personal responsibility.

                  I mean, fuck it TRP, do you think Shearer felt in any way inspired when he read how I – a sickness beneficiary – was managing to paint my house? I guess he didn’t, seeing as how he obviously wasn’t inspired when he saw a person paint their roof in spite of being a sickness beneficiary.

                  The guy on the roof – and me too – and I’ll say – the woman on dpb, will not be seen by Shearer to be ‘doing our bit’ or ‘pulling our weight’. We fall squarely into the category of people he states he has “little tolerence for”. And we fall into that category simply because we are not involved in activities that he deems worthy (ie, paid employment, the ‘correct’ voluntary work or studying with a view to ‘get ahead’)

                  And if you honestly can’t percieve that fairly obvious message from his speech, then maybe just reflect on the staunch rear-guard action Labour didn’t fight on National’s benefit reforms.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Nicely put, Bill, and I find it hard to disagree. As I’ve said a few times, Shearer failed with that anecdote. You’ve just articulated why.

                    • Bill

                      Thing is, I’m making no attempt to articulate why the anecdote failed. I don’t think it did. Shearer used it and it expressed or encapsulted his attitude pretty well. And all he has learned is that it’s probably better for him not to put that attitude out there in such an obvious ‘stage front and center’ fashion. But he obviously still cleaves to it and it permeates that speech of the other day.

                      In short, what I’m articulating (and if you look at my posts you’ll see this pre-dates all the conference brouhaha by quite a long way) is that Shearer and the attitudes espoused by the Labour Party he leads is a long way away from what New Zealanders need and deserve from a left wing parliamentary party.

                      Any continuation of the past 30 odd years – of what is generally referred to as neo-liberalism – would constitute a monstrous and unjust imposition for many, many new Zealanders.

                      See, we deserve much, much better.

                      But unfortunately, the NZLP, as it is configured at present, just simply won’t deliver us our just desserts. And that’s where the little bit of democratisation of the party and the potential follow up to a February vote of confidence kicks in.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      ” Shearer used it and it expressed or encapsulted his attitude pretty well. And all he has learned is that it’s probably better for him not to put that attitude out there in such an obvious ‘stage front and center’ fashion. But he obviously still cleaves to it and it permeates that speech of the other day.”

                      Precisely. Shearer may not have been able to apologise because of political expediency, but he could still have made amends in some other way. The fact that he has done absolutely nothing to redress the damage done tells us he doesn’t regret his stance, he just regrets the fall out it caused him.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      That statement, like Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat brioche”, is going to haunt him. He could have made amends, but he hasn’t, even by the most subtle means. Since he likes to talk about jobs, then perhaps he could talk about beneficiaries who would like jobs… but he won’t. The dog whistle has just been shifted to a higher pitch.

                  • geoff

                    Come on Bill, raising kids isn’t real work.

              • Murray Olsen

                Exactly, Bill. All that polytech stuff could have been stolen from a Paula Bennett speech. The division of Kiwis into hardworkers and (while not explicitly stated) slackers also comes directly from the Tory songbook, and just goes to show how far Labour have moved since the days of Norman Kirk, let alone the founding of the party.
                I’m just waiting for Jacinda’s white paper, which I expect to focus heavily on benefit fraud (more effective targetting of taxpayer monies) and killing beneficiaries with stress (getting them work ready without actually doing anything about the lack of paid work). In short, something written by Blairite third wayers rather than the naked Tories Bennett uses.
                The fact that someone who was put forward as the leader of a “left” party made the roof speech is absolutely appalling, , no matter what his motivations. If he wrote it himself and hadn’t thought through what he was saying, how the hell does he have the ego to think he can be leader of a Labour Party? I sometimes wonder if he thinks that real poverty and oppression only happens overseas, where he helicoptered in as a great white saviour, and that we should confine ourselves to singing about how lucky we are.

      • Pascal's bookie 13.1.3

        Well, no.

        We are agreed that the anecdote was shit at least.

        But he did use it and he meant something by it.

        As you said, he meant to align himself with the ‘battler’ and against the beneficiary.

        You can’t just wish that away.

        You tried to by saying that in his clarification he was espousing marxist maxims, albeit poorly.

        But look at what he said, he said that this is the social contract we actually have; but it isn’t. We do not have a right to work. We have a scrapheap sitting there to threaten workers with. And many politicians use that scrapheap to divide the working and non-working poor.

        And now you’re turning around and saying that he wasn’t espousing the marxism, that was you. Or something.

        I’m not seeing the defence of him to be honest.

        Aside from the claim that ‘oh well, he hasn’t said it again’.

        Fucking up because he’s a n00b isn’t really good enough for the major opposition party. Maybe putting a n00b in charge was a bit of a booboo too. Oh well never mind. Line up and vote, hope for the best, maybe he didn’t mean it!

        • Te Reo Putake

          “As you said, he meant to align himself with the ‘battler’ and against the beneficiary. ”

          I didn’t say that. I said the opposite, pretty much. I said he didn’t get that his anecdote could be taken by some people as an implied criticism of beneficiaries.

          I also didn’t say he was quoting Marx, but that Marx quote is central to what a socialist or social democratic party is about.

          And, again, socialism is not capitalism.

          • CV - Real Labour

            socialism? where? All I see are the remnants of what was put in place 40+ years ago.

            • blue leopard

              “But look at what he said, he said that this is the social contract we actually have; but it isn’t. We do not have a right to work. We have a scrapheap sitting there to threaten workers with. And many politicians use that scrapheap to divide the working and non-working poor.” ~ Pascal’s bookie

              Well said, Pascal’s bookie, Well said

          • Pascal's bookie

            Anyone can scroll up and see what you’ve been saying.

            You’ve been pretending to know what he was trying to say, and failing to find a convincing way of putting it.

            You didn’t say he was quoting marx, but you said he what he said was basically the same.

            What he said was that’this is our social contract’.

            Are saying Shearer is confused about whether or not we live in something close to marxism?

            Is Shearer aware of the scrapheap, or does his framing assume that anyone who can be seen at some point on a roof will have a job to walk into?

            • Te Reo Putake

              No, what I’m saying is that Shearer was trying to say something that lined up with Labour’s values and cocked it up.

              • geoff

                lol you’ve been working hard on this post TRP, fighting fires all over the place.
                I hope DS appreciates it!

              • …and didn’t apologize…

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Indeed. I would have, but then I’m not a polly. I believe ‘never explain, never apologise’ is printed on the beer mats in Bellamy’s.

                  • …guess they would probably have no time for anything else if they went by a policy of apologizing for their mistakes….

                  • …it is interesting though, now that it is widely known that the world’s biggest global banking corps have been continuously ignoring the law and rigging the game to increase their profits; LIBOR/mis-selling ‘investments’/laundering Drug cartel money etc and NOBODY is even prosecuted let alone sent to prison. You know, the global financial system collapsing and no taxes being collected for the financial gambling the big boys do; Yet social security benefit fraud, remains such a fixation and apparent priority, here. I guess they have to save every dollar they can, seeing as the very wealthy won’t pay their taxes aye?

                    Still, to me seems kinda…er… “rich” to talk about “Social contract” while all this is going on unaddressed.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Good points, Blue. But I’m this game for the social contract. If we are stuck with capitalism, then some version of that social contract needs to be there for the people who make this country great.

                      Part of Labour’s problem is that a whole generation has grown up without knowing this stuff. That’s Rodger “I’m entitled” Douglas’s evil legacy.

                    • just saying


                      Whose fault is it that a whole generation has grown up “without knowing this stuff”? Indeed Labour is still determined to follow the narrative of the right – maybe they will never hear any different from labour.

                      Secondly, are you seriously trying to suggest that if Shearer had “accidentally” said something very offensive about the elderly, for instance, that an emphatic apology would not have been issued immediately?

                      I can’t help thinking you have been being disingenuous throughout this particular discussion.

                    • geoff

                      I can’t help thinking you have been being disingenuous throughout this particular discussion.

                      There’s that word again, TRP! Probably just saying is as ignorant as me, right?

                    • It is unfair to demand that those least privileged stick tightly to the social contract, whilst those best placed in society break it.

                      Those best placed in society appear to have clout on Governments and therefore they are not asked or required by the Government to take part in the social contract, Governments response to this seems to be one of misinforming their constituents as to what the pressing requirements are with regard to the social contract issue, sadly this approach appears to fall on fertile ears, and thus there is no improvement because the real problem is not being addressed.

                      Any talk of the social contract without addressing this unfairness, simply causes more pressure on those least able to absorb anymore. The belief that the least well-placed people in society are the cause of the most pressing ills is entirely misguided. Those people can do little about the problems societies are facing, they are not the ones that can effect change, because they are not the cause of the problems. If anything, unemployed people/ low wage earners are the visible results of those at the top not sticking to their obligations. And people just don’t want to know this.

                      The social contract is effectively defunct until the misconduct of those in the upper echelons of society are addressed. And who is going to do that?

  14. Don't worry be happy 14

    There is a housing crisis in Auckland partially because jobs have been shifted there away from where people would rather live…. where they used to live, and own a perfectly good house in small towns or cities where their families also live….shift the damn jobs back, build up a rail and coastal shipping infrastructure..

    Oh and elect a leadership for the Labour Party that can actually win an election or the next Party conference can be held in a telephone box. Forgot…they’re vanishing as well…oh well, before the next Labour Party Conference can be held in a lift.

    • Colonial Weka 14.1

      “shift the damn jobs back, build up a rail and coastal shipping infrastructure.. ”


  15. ad 15

    Brian Edwards has caught up with the difference between Shearer’s new speechwriter, and the actual guy giving the speech. This time with a mote of emotional intelligence as well. Whaleoil the all-seeing Sauron sees it too.

  16. Yes I think the Brian Edward’s blog is insightful. What it comes down to is that Shearer needs to be ‘real’, true to himself. At the moment he is wooden and bumbling trying to be someone he is not.

    In my view no amount of media training will ever make him quick and sharp like King and Mallard. So he’s never going to be able to effectively deliver their strategies. And then there is the fear about what will happen if they decide to change horses for Robertson.

    IF Shearer had taken the gamble to put himself up for a wider vote and been endorsed, he’d have felt more confident in his own skin, empowered to set his agenda and be true to himself. And the naturalness would follow appealing to the wider electorate.

    I still want a vote, I want 13 MPs to give us that voice, I want a campaign so we can see the full line up of aspirants and ultimately I want us to unit behind the Leader we have chosen. I don’t want Mike Smith, Mike Williams, TRP or any other King/Mallard loud speakers trying to shut us down.

    • xtasy 17.1

      Hah, that is the reality in some caravan parks down in South Auckland and elsewhere, under National’s great “housing policy” (headed by the now sacked minister Phil Heatley)! Yeah Right!

  17. KhandallaViper 18

    Much of the Shearer failure was forecast when Shearer was shoe-horned in to replace the hapless Mr Parker. Have a look at The Standard postings from Nov Dec if you have an idle moment.

    I’d love to hear Mr Parker’s account of the calls he got from Wellington after Cunliffe wiped him on he first Mark Sainsbury “debate”. Parker would have done a much better job that Shearer.

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