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Gordon Campbell on Labour

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, November 1st, 2012 - 151 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour - Tags:

It looks like Gordon Campbell has picked up on Irish’s piece on what Labour needs to do and added a few thoughts of his own.

What the polls indicate is that most New Zealanders appear to want John Key as Prime Minister. However, they would narrowly prefer his current opponents to be running the country, while leaving the ultimate decision on that score to New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. Strange, but true.

As things stand, Peters would be able to either install Labour leader David Shearer as the next Prime Minister – or alternatively, he could choose to keep the current government in power. He could virtually name his own price either way.

There would be very few New Zealanders (beyond the former member for Tauranga and his fan club) overjoyed at that prospect, but it is what the polls are currently projecting.

More than anything, the latest Morgan poll is bad news for Labour, and its leader.

All year, David Shearer’s strategists have been claiming that as New Zealanders gradually get to know him, they will come to like what they see.

Instead, what seems to be happening is that voters are going through periodic fits of disenchantment with the government and then looking more closely at the alternative, only to rebound in alarm.

So far, Shearer has simply failed to make the case that he could lead a credible alternative government.

I think Campbell has a point here and it troubles me deeply. My fear is that the having been handed the benefit of the doubt for nearly a year Shearer hasn’t managed to rein in the rogue elements in his party and communicate a coherent vision. If there’s not a big change in how things are being done before election year there’s a real chance any polling gains made won’t withstand the pressure of the election campaign. The last thing we need is for Labour’s vote to collapse in election year the same way Bill English’s did in 2002, or for the campaign to be derailed by faux pas like Brash in 2005.

151 comments on “Gordon Campbell on Labour”

  1. Colonial Viper 2

    Slowly but surely, the Shearer Bearers are starting to realise that they’ve played this very very wrong, with someone who is a good guy but simply too inexperienced to go toe to toe with Key and English. Of course, Labour might have become a minor party by the time anything productive gets done about it.

    • AmaKiwi 2.1

      Absolutely correct.

      Shearer was THE most inexperienced MP, having won Helen Clark’s seat a year or two before.

      Cunliffe has been in Parliament since 1999, held major portfolios (Health), and passed major legislation (unbundled Telecom).

      Mr. Shearer, please bow out gracefully and give the party an opportunity to win.

      • Rodel 2.1.1

        If it were Cunliffe as leader and Shearer as deputy I would be re energised to start working for Labour again.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Fuck it, at this stage I’ll settle for Robertson as Leader and Cunliffe as Deputy. Not ideal sure, but politics is about pragmatism and compromise. If this combo happens I’m gonna get stuck into campaigning for 2014 for Labour tomorrow.

  2. felix 3

    “If there’s not a big change in how things are being done before election year…”

    And there you go giving him the benefit of the doubt again.

    The plain awful truth is that he’s had plenty of time already. If he can’t make major headway in the recent political environment – and he’s proved he can’t – then he can’t make it anytime.

    He has to go.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      He hasn’t significantly improved his media performances. They’re better, but not by enough, and he can still be caught off guard.

  3. Blue 4

    Sadly, if Labour were going to do anything about the leadership they’d simply roll Shearer and replace him with Robertson. And since Robertson is already leader by default, because Shearer is too inexperienced to do the job himself, that wouldn’t help.

    If Labour think that anti-National sentiment is strong enough to get them over the line in 2014 they are dead wrong. People will vote for the lesser of two evils, and they see National as the lesser.

    The cleanup that Labour needs is enormous, and probably can’t be done until after another resounding election defeat when the caucus finally realises that major change is necessary, even if it means getting rid of a substantial chunk of itself.

    • Bill 4.1

      As (accurately imo) said in Campbell’s piece – and somewhat in concert with your comment ‘Blue’

      Robertson and his electorate team are already well represented among Shearer’s advisers, and thus seem more part of the problem than the solution.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Robertson/Adern! Yay! That’ll show the NATs whose boss ’round here.

    • thatguynz 4.3

      And without fear of being too overly dramatic about it – another “National led” term would likely quite successfully ensure that there is little left for Labour to be able to save.

      • fisiani 4.3.1

        I agree that if Labour lose badly in 2014 they could be out for a very long time. I do so because 2014- 2024 the predicted continual economic growth in NZ and the benefits of the infrastructure spending and balanced budget and the improvements in health, education and transport as well as new oil and mineral finds and the resurgence of Christchurch plus the wealth of political talent to take over from John Key will mean that it is far too big a gamble to risk a flaky coalition. I would even go as far as to see the Greens be invited into a majority National government in 2014 and the Greens accept.

  4. Red Rosa 5

    Me too.

    David Shearer may have some sterling qualities, but they are not those of ‘a leader of men’ in the old and now dated phrase. But the shorthand for ‘all of us kiwis’ is handy.

    Drawing $250k+ per year for playing the Invisible Man! A godsend to the National Party for months now.

    Let’s see a nice dignified exit at the Labour conference. Get someone effective installed as Leader of the Opposition before the Greens take the job by default.

    • Shane Gallagher 5.1

      The Greens won’t have taken it “by default”, but because the Green MPs put in huge amounts of work compared to the Labour MPs. It is also really helpful for them that they know what they stand for and what their principles are. If the Labour MPs were working as hard and as effectively then they would be all over the Nact party. It is not just Shearer that is the problem here.

      • Enough is Enough 5.1.1

        Agreed

        The Greens have a sense of purpose and are all singing off the same hymn sheet. Love or hate them you know what their position is on almost all policies. A small but disciplined caucus who are effectivley working together.

        Labour. WTF do they stand for. Parker’s constant waffle about the Reserve Bank Act is a case in point. It is unclear what Labour will do to the Act.

        Mahuta has the easiest job in the world which is pulling up Parata. Yet does Joe average even know what she looks or sounds like. The list goes on and on…

        Labour is the only party that can lead the next government. But they need to dump their Lange/Clark allegiance to the neo liberal dream and work together to articulate how they will create a fairer New Zealand.

      • Red Rosa 5.1.2

        Agreed, SG. Well put.

    • Dr Terry 5.2

      Well then, how about letting the Greens take the job by default? They could only do better!

      • Please see 5.1. If the Greens end up heading the government next time the Left wins the benches, it will be because they’ve worked hard, convinced people, and earned their place. The Greens never got anything by default and have had to work many times as hard as Labour or National for a smaller amount of votes.

      • OneTrack 5.2.2

        They could trash the economy faster. Is that what you mean? I can see a mass of jobs that will quickly cease to exist if the Greens come to power (dairy, mining, forestry, roads, etc.). I dont see any practical replacements for those jobs or that overseas revenue, apart from some wooley platitudes around “green tech” which nobody gets as far as explaining exactly what that means in actual products, actual jobs and actual revenue. “if we can get 1% of the market….” Talk about Hope and Change. Those printing presses are going to be going double time.

        • blue leopard 5.2.2.1

          @ One Track

          Its funny how different ones perceptions can be. I would have thought the opposite re the Greens and jobs. It appeared to me at election-time that the Greens were speaking the clearest on creating new jobs that would be winners for lots of people and the country as a whole and see us through for many many years and did not see these as woolly platitudes at all. Comments such as “brighter future” and sweeping utterings such as “we will create 170 000 jobs” without any detailed explanations on how come across as far more “woolly” than a description of the what, why and how that the Greens provided. I fail to see how you came to the opposite conclusion. You appear to have fallen for right-wing spin on the matter.

        • fatty 5.2.2.2

          Our over reliance on primary industries is not our current strength, its our weakness. We are moving towards a similar position we were in during the 1970s. The greens want to stimulate secondary industries to ensure risk is spread, and they want to do this by focusing on green technology. I’m not convinced on a green economy, but our current positioning needs changing

  5. Socialist Paddy 6

    Shearer really needs lessons on how to be interviewed on TV. He needs to be sharp, think on his feet, express himself simply and be engaging.

    I have a couple of training videos for him to try and emulate.  Part one is here and part two is here

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Touché.

    • Kevin Welsh 6.2

      Would be nice Paddy, but I do not think it wold make any difference. Shearer comes across as a nice guy, but not a leader. I think he would be incredibly valuable in a major portfolio as a minister, just not as leader.

      Cunliffe is the ONLY Labour MP who has the chops to foot it with Key and the rest of his cronies. He is an excellent public speaker, thinks well on his feet and has passion and most importantly has the backing of the rank and file.

      I wish Shearer would face the inevitable and do the right thing by the party, resign and give his backing to Cunliffe. This is the only way they will regain the lost support.

    • Dr Terry 6.3

      First, he needs to be CAPABLE of learning!!

    • ad 6.4

      Wow. Took the time to re-look through these clips.

      Would encourage others to do so as well.

      A coherent, smart, Labour spokesperson on the economy. Who’d a thunkit.

      I passed out thinking I was looking at some parallel universe.

      And then woke up and realised I was.

      Cunliffe for Prime Minister.

      Cunliffe would take Key apart.

      • Tombstone 6.4.1

        I couldn’t agree more. He was articulate, delivered his answers confidently and with genuine conviction rather than an underlying element of smugness as is so often seen from Key and I think you’re right – I think he would tear Key apart. Shearer, as much as I like and respect the man is failing to gain any real traction and Labour can ill afford to ignore such a stark reality when there is so much to attack the current government on and people are crying out for Labour to show some real back bone and take the fight to Key and his cronies as they are desperate to know what exactly it is that Labour stands for. If Cunliffe were elected as the new leader of Labour I would feel a great deal better for it because I think he has what it takes to bring Key down once and for all. Even listening to him debate in the parliament he comes across as a man who is there to do a job and is serious about his position unlike Blinglish and Key who often come across like a couple of smug little school boys. Sorry but I just don’t see Shearer as a leader. JMO

  6. King Kong 7

    So how cross would you lot be if Cunliffe had been made leader, had no real bounce in the polls and there was a concerted effort by a few loudmouths from within the party to white ant him after only a year in the chair and two years out from the election (a time when the public aren’t paying any attention to politics).

    What those who so desperately want to fellate Cunliffe don’t realise, is that he is detestable to the public and detestable to most who work with him. There is every chance that Labour would have been in a worse position if he had been made leader. A more left policy base… maybe, but there would have been a civil war in the party with the public looking on and thinking “who is this smarmy twat”

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Well if a Leader got the job and proved to every one around that they didn’t have the right stuff and could not Lead, then out they goes.

      • King Kong 7.1.1

        Are you basing that opinion on polls and personal predjudice?

        • AmaKiwi 7.1.1.1

          It must be personal prejudice because Cunliffe was VERY popular with the members during the series of debates around the country prior to the caucus installing Shearer.

          Robertson lacks the intellect and experience.

          • King Kong 7.1.1.1.1

            “Robertson lacks the intellect and experience.”

            The hilarious thing is that if there is a leadership challenge you guys are going to have your “liberal guilt speech” tactic used against you. If you spout something of this nature you will be accused of it being just a euphemism for Homophobia.

            The politically correct fear of being labelled a bigot means that Gays can’t lose in the Labour party.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Interesting that you are the first to hoist the Homophobia flag, King Kong.

            • karol 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Lesbian here, and for Cunliffe.  Happy to see a demotion for the MOR and ineffectual party manager Robertson.

              • King Kong

                But of course you are allowed to descent Karol for the same reason black people get away with using the N word.

                The liberal guilt thing will only work on the straights.

                • karol

                  Huh?  A gay not supporting Robertson is like an African-American using the N-word?
                   
                  Amazing.  Robertson does not stand on a gay platform, but a specific kind of Labour one.

                  And us gayz can do without you using your faux support of our cause to support your agenda.

                  • King Kong

                    Robertson is a closed minded biggot then.

                    He should stand on any kind of platform be it gay, straight or transgender.

                    Though it has got me wondering what a gay platform and a homophobia flag would look like.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Though it has got me wondering what a gay platform and a homophobia flag would look like.

                      I’m thinking that you wonder a bit about these things in your own time.

                    • karol

                      KK, I’m having difficulty following your logic.  Just looks like diversions.
                       
                      And what CV said @10.47am

            • felix 7.1.1.1.1.3

              What kind of moron thinks “lacks the intellect and experience” is a euphemism for gay?

              • King Kong

                Not for gay you dickhead, but for “we dont think he will win for us because he is a poof but we can’t say that so we will call it lacking in intellect and experience”.

                • felix

                  Ok, then please read my question as “What kind of moron thinks” followed by all that crap you wrote.

                  Thanks.

                  • King Kong

                    Wet politically correct lefties who are shit scared of offending Homo’s can be told that anything they say is anti gay and they will recoil in horror. Thus my original statement that Gay’s cant lose in Labour.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “homo’s”???

                      Back to primary school now are we???

                    • McFlock

                      kk was held back in J2 for 30 years straight.

                    • King Kong

                      One hell of a finger painter though

                    • felix

                      It’s always funny to see a bigot who can’t believe that everyone else doesn’t share their stupidity.

                      And as for your finger painting, nah. You’ve totally failed to paint the picture you wanted to. Don’t even get me started on how shit you are at drawing conclusions.

                    • King Kong

                      Fine. But you tell me if you would want to be the Labour spokesman telling the media that the reason Robertson, the current deputy leader, lost the leadership battle wasn’t because the party was too scared to put a gay man up for Prime Minister due to the voting population being to backward to accept it.

                    • felix

                      Why would I? It’s entirely your fantasy.

                    • I would like to say that as a bi man I am perfectly fine with people thinking Robertson is stupid or inexperienced without it being homophobic, especially if those people have some cred in not being homophobes themselves, like Felix does.

                      I would be quite happy with him being knocked down from the deputy spot, although I do think it’d probably be stupid for Labour’s next leader to not keep him in the senior leadership team. Personally speaking I’d only entertain one of those two labels.

                      Despite your infantile suggestions, King Kong, there isn’t some sort of guilt-driven gay mafia in the Labour Party. Just some solid respect for how politically active various parts of the Queer community are in New Zealand.

                      Oh, and if you think you don’t sound like a bigoted idiot calling people homos, I’d suggest you think again.

                • Lanthanide

                  Well I would have reservations about a gay man winning the PM spot. Just like I have reservations about someone who can’t do a media interview without stammering and stuttering winning the PM spot.

                  There was enough hate directed at Helen for being a lesbian when she clearly wasn’t, Labour wouldn’t be well-served by the hate machine getting up in gear again (just look at the nutties protesting the gay marriage bill).

                  • felix

                    Fuck ’em, Lanth. The hate machine only works when it can operate under the cover of whispers and innuendo.

                    Make the bastards say it out loud. Make them stand up and be counted.

                    That’s how you deal with bigots, not by playing along with their secret whispering games.

                  • Actually an out gay or lesbian PM is easier to manage than one people incorrectly perceive as closeted. They can just hit them over the head with the fact they’re out if the opposition starts making insinuations, and suddenly we have the PM going viral on YouTube… or am I confusing New Zealand with Australia and queer rights with feminism? 😛

                    Give them a real dichotomy for a change: Either you get used to queers in positions of power, or we go back in the closet. And that dichotomy is a winner, because straight people overwhelming prefer us to be out of the closet.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      ^^ That’s a RWNJ trying to undermine the left again. Don’t listen to him, the right do not want Cunliffe as leader of Labour but they do want Shearer.

      • McFlock 7.2.1

        🙄
        What they really want is continued infighting, plotting and bickering amongst their opponents. 

        • felix 7.2.1.1

          Exactly. Don’t give a moment’s thought to second-guessing what they want, it’s a mug’s game.

    • kousei 7.3

      A good leader has honesty and courage which I think Cunliffe may have. Cunliffe has a long ways to go in the “smarmy twat” stakes to catch up with John Key.

  7. KhandallaMan 8

    A sad aspect of Gordon Campbell’s and Bomber’s analysis is that it was all predicted quite explicitly back in late November/early December 2011 during the leadership selection “process”.

    Putting a returned emigrant with two years Parliamentary experience into the leadership role was recklessness in the extreme.

    Have a read of the blogs of that time…and get depressed.

    • higherstandard 8.1

      “Putting a returned emigrant with two years Parliamentary experience into the leadership role was recklessness in the extreme.”

      True, with Key the Nats at least went for a safe seat for a couple of terms then elevated him to the top spot, it would have been better for Goff to stay on for another term to let Shearer learn the ropes and see if he had what it takes.

  8. coolas 9

    ‘So far, Shearer has simply failed to make the case that he could lead a credible alternative government.’

    Spot on. Nearly a year and Shearer hasn’t made in impact. His performance over the GCSB video that didn’t exist was pathetic. Worst of all his unsubstantiated claim moved the focus away from Key. Such political incompetence is fateful for Labour.

    What really pisses me, is National might win a 3rd term. Shearer v’s Key will be like Rowling v’s Muldoon. Leadership – the PM – is a big consideration for swing voters, and Shearer is already seen as dithering and weak. Maybe he’s not, but perception is everything is politics. Rowling was leader of the Labour party for three elections, which speaks for his leadership credentials, but he lost all three to a sociopath who wrecked the country.

    History never repeats. Yeah right!

    • alwyn 9.1

      If Shearer does as badly against Key as Rowling did against Muldoon it won’t be a third term but three more terms.
      Muldoon beat Rowling in 1975, 1978 and 1981, before he was dumped for Lange.
      Does that mean that Key will beat Shearer in 2014, 2017 AND 2020 before Shearer gets the push?

    • Billy Fish 9.2

      History does not repeat.. but some times it rhymes
      Mark Twain

  9. Leopold 10

    I think that Helen Clark set this whole mess off by resigning on election night and appointing a successor in the same breath. If she had stayed on as a caretaker leader for, say half a year, we would have had a better idea of the best successor. The same with Phil Goff. If he had agreed to stay on for another 6 months before announcing a leadership spill, we’d have better idea of who has leadership material and who’s just piss and wind. Hell, after Goff’s lifting of his game during the election, we could have stayed on with him if he had kept it up…

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Yeah quite possibly. Labour just doesn’t do this stuff well.

    • Rhinocrates 10.2

      Damned right. Helen Clark had a bad case of Third-Term-itis, but was always a capable manager. Her fault was failing to promote real potential successors, both in leadership and in the front bench. In opposition for a few months, she might have done that, but the UN beckoned.

      • OneTrack 10.2.1

        The parachute was already unfurled and ready to go by election night. I wonder what would have happened if she had won. How long would she have stayed on, if at all?

    • Redbaron77 10.3

      +1. Fully agree. Goff earned his spurs during the 2011 election and the chance to oversee the transition to a new leadership team.

  10. The Baron 11

    LOL-ing hard out at all of the postings from Eddie et al on here about the trend in the Roy Morgans that showed inevitable victory.

    Lesson in credibility – wait til it happens before you claim it, huh.

    What I don’t understand is that the Labour Caucus is filled with a whole pile of either dead or frankly stupid/useless wood. And then they pick a leader beholden to that wood; AND THEN the members entrench that leader through constitutional changes.

    Really, this couldn’t be funnier/sadder if it was made up.

    Vote Greens, people. At least they’re good at their jobs.

    • fatty 11.1

      well said, when I look at Labour I laugh, then I look at National and cry

      • Rhinocrates 11.1.1

        For me, it’s this: If you want to know why Wall Street fucked the global economy, look at John Key. If you want to know why the UN is so ineffective, look at David Shearer.

        • fatty 11.1.1.1

          haha….too true

        • sarrbo 11.1.1.2

          I think you might be onto something here Rhinocrates.

        • thatguynz 11.1.1.3

          +1

        • blue leopard 11.1.1.4

          @ Rhinocrates

          “If you want to know why Wall Street fucked the global economy, look at John Key. If you want to know why the UN is so ineffective, look at David Shearer.”

          Brilliant! I think this comment should be put up as a main article; its completely quotable and perfect!

          • Galeandra 11.1.1.4.1

            AND it’s complete tosh. Very clever, but a superficial observation best forgotten.

            • blue leopard 11.1.1.4.1.1

              I would change the “why” to a “how” and get plenty out of that pithy comment provided by Rhinocrates

              How wall street fucked over the global economy was through a smoke and mirrors approach such as the one Mr Key has; keep your eye on the agenda, ensure those who would object do not see it and say anything as long as you can get away with it…and you can. These qualities mixed with large doses of appeal to authority=selling snow to Eskimos successfully.

              Mr Shearer: a person too influenced by others walks into positions he should stay away from and compromised by conflicting agendas, some of which are entirely self-serving and shouldn’t be given the time of day.

              Swap Key for Wall Street
              Shearer for UN

              and I don’t think you are far from the truth of the two matters.

              + its humorous; always a good thing

    • OneTrack 11.2

      Well they look good when their left-wing media fan bois ( rachel and john ) are giving them a free ride without any questioning any of their policies. Oh for a competent fourth estate. But that was the “old” days.

  11. kousei 12

    ‘When the right-wing party says that it’s going to cut your leg off, voters want the left-wing party to say that it’s not going to cut your leg off. Voters don’t want to be told that the left-wing party is also going to cut your leg off, but cut it off a bit lower down and give you some anesthetic’

    Listening to Shearer is like a dose of anesthetic. Cunfliffe has made a couple of memorable speeches in the last 6 months so whether he is right or wrong we know what he stands for.

    I can’t recall anything memorable about Shearer except maybe his use of a anecdote about someone he knew virtually nothing about. And that he can’t make a point publicly with any conviction.

    Shearer has to go. The sooner the better. Cunliffe needs his chance and so do we.

  12. sarrbo 13

    National are implementing some really ugly policies at the moment and the Polls arn’t being affected, so they are laughing in our face. The reason is clear, people dont see Shearer as an alternative governement…even staunch Labour supporters have their doubts, nice guy but lacks experience. The poor bugger was set up.

    If National get another term, I can see New Zealand really going backwards in every area for the years to come: education, welfare, worker rights, export and manufacturing sectors…you name it this governement will wreck it. Cunliffe needs to be made Leader not only for the sake of Labour but also for the future of NZ!

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      he reason is clear, people dont see Shearer as an alternative governement…even staunch Labour supporters have their doubts, nice guy but lacks experience.

      It’s more than Shearer, IMO, it’s that nobody can tell the difference between Labour and National any more.

      If National get another term, I can see New Zealand really going backwards in every area for the years to come: education, welfare, worker rights, export and manufacturing sectors…you name it this governement will wreck it.

      Yep, and people actually see the same thing with Labour.

      • sarrbo 13.1.1

        You are probably right DTB, that is the way people are seeing it. Certainly the message from Shearer hasn’t been clear. I feel confident that Cunliffe will bring clarity, but we will need to some some real maturity and leadership from the so called ABC brigade. If Cunliffe is made Leader he needs to get rid of a couple of the ABC protagonists, but I suspect that is why they are prepared to go to such Labour damaging lengths to stick with the status quo.

      • just saying 13.1.2

        Yeah, too true Draco.

  13. gobsmacked 14

    Shearer’s critics are caricatured as being Cunliffe-worshippers.

    Well, I’m not. I can see Cunliffe’s flaws. But in the end, you pick the best candidate. That was Helen Clark (flawed) not Mike Moore, and now it’s Cunliffe not Shearer.

    In an election campaign, the leader of the opposition has three “settings” – positive, negative, neutral.

    “Positive” would probably be Lange 1984, Key and Obama 2008. They probably added votes to the party.

    “Neutral” would be Clark 1999 (she only became a positive asset when she was Prime Minister). Probably Bolger 1990. In other words, the voters wanted the government out, and the leader of the opposition was acceptable without being inspiring.

    “Negative” would be Don Brash 2005, and – I hope – Romney 2012. The voters were ready for change, but the alternative just looked worse. So the incumbents held on.

    If Cunliffe is leader, and not undermined by his own caucus (a big “if”) he would most likely be a “neutral” influence … voters saying “Don’t love him, but he could do the job. He could run a government.”

    Shearer would be Brash. Super-sized.

    • Olwyn 14.1

      It is better that people who want to see Cunliffe leading the party are not his worshippers. In fact there is a danger of people going too far in seeing him as a saviour, due to their desperation for change. Whoever leads the party is going to have some serious challenges to face, and will not be able to inflict the NACTs with a plague of boils by striking the ground with his staff, or similar.

    • just saying 14.2

      I agree with your analysis Gobsmacked. I neither like nor dislike Cunliffe. He’s far too much of a politician for me to trust him. But he has an identifiable postion (when he’s let off the ABC choker) and is able to stand his ground. He doesn’t seem to prefer crouching awkwardly on the fence, swaying in the wind like many of the caucus turkeys.

      He’d probably do okay for the meantime, and hold his own against Key.
      I can’t see anyone else who is capable of building and defending a reasonably credible narrative at the moment. And Labour has now had four years of the current leadership team*, and it’s just getting worse…..

      * Yeah I know they’ve changed the front person.

    • PlanetOrphan 14.3

      Finally forced to agree with u GobSmacked ….

      They need a defined leader, a “Director” one with ground under their thinking.

      They can’t keep speaking “Broken Ground”

  14. JonL 15

    While Shearer and the clique who put him in are in charge, Labour will never win! My mates and myself, whilst recognising that Shearer is a nice chap, will not vote for Labour under the current regime – as posted by others – they come across as national lite – no co-ordinated attacks on the easy target that national is! Policies – what policies other than “Ooooh, we don’t think national should do that…we would do things slightly different”……FFS!

    There are Labour MPs that have some fire and Cunliffe is one of them – but ………to most of my stupid relations, who voted for “that nice man Mr Key”, even though they are now regretting their choice and hate what is happening in the country, Labour hardly registers on their radar! To the poorer rellies, Mana is the one that has captured their notice – Hone actually gets out there – has policies they can relate to, appears to be trying to do something for the poor working ,(if they can find a job), stiff! They even forgive him (sic) for being a “radical Maori”!!! The Greens are working hard with a vision, putting in the work. Gareth Hughes is impressive.

    If Labour carry on with “business as usual”, on the same tired old path, only a miracle will see them voted in!

    • Rhinocrates 15.1

      It’s amusing to see the Right weighing in so transparently. Matthew Hooton, the Actoid who never emitted a fart that wasn’t disingenuous or paid for (really, if disingenuousness were an Olympic sport, we could have sent the prick to London and tripled our medal count) is Shearer’s biggest online fan, Richard Long writes a column in the Dompost a couple of months back advising Shearer not to reshuffle his front bench. Now do you ever wonder why they might be so keen to tell us this?

      Considering their viciousness and fuckups, David Shearer is National’s only hope of a victory in 2014… unless it’s Winston.

      [dramatic organ chord]…

      You really can’t take his support for granted! So what if he has reasons for vengeance against National? Vengeance for him might mean keeping them out of government, but it also might mean granting him baubles in government. All this wishful thinking of a Labour/Green/Winston First coalition is just that – wishful thinking. The Greens at least are principled, consistent and articulate and could make reliable supporters outside a minority government or partners in government, but you can’t trust Winston, and if you’re really concerned about progressive issues, then remember that he’s consistently voted for the most reactionary position.

      As for those advocating Grant Fucking Robertson. No. Just NO. Sorry, I’m a Wellington Central resident but I have to say that the man is a fucking waste of skin. He took Labour to THIRD place in the party vote in 2011 behind National and the Greens, an electorate that Labour “should” have owned. He’s a weasel of a party apparatchik who’s cemented his own position by surrounding himself (and the clueless Shearer) with his own supporters but never puts the effort in to help his constituents. At meetings, he finds reasons to slip out the door when it comes times to make a real commitment to anything (“I have another meeting scheduled – but good luck!” is the usual one) and responds with eye-rolling condescension to any criticism of his performance. Also, his own electorate office is right across the road from a WINZ office, but of course he never spends any time there seeing the people who come and go because he’s too busy stuffing himself with pies at Bellamy’s.

      He’s an utter mediocrity; a self-serving hypocrite and dullard who won’t do anything for the party’s vote in the wider world. His ability to advance his own cause is no indicator at all of his ability – or intention – to advance the left. He wouldn’t be out of place in Leonid Brezhnev’s Politburo – that’s how capable he is a manipulator but otherwise useless and out of touch elsewhere.

      • Rogue Trooper 15.1.1

        unsurprising appraisal

      • fisiani 15.1.2

        Every time I think of Grant Robertson a tune comes to my mind from HMS Pinafore

        When I was a lad I served a term
        As office boy to an attorney’s firm
        I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor
        And I polished up the handle of the big front door
        He polished up the handle of the big front door
        I polished up that handle so carefully
        That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
        He polished up that handle so carefully
        That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy

      • KhandallaMan 15.1.3

        ” if disingenuousness were an Olympic sport, we could have sent the prick [Grant Robertson] to London and tripled our medal count”.
        LOVE IT!
        The winner of the slag of the week awards!

        • Rhinocrates 15.1.3.1

          Actually I was referring to Hooters. If it had been Robertson, the judges would have all been asleep, too busy on facebook or making wanking gestures to give a score.

          • s y d 15.1.3.1.1

            im LOL ing IRL…best comments in ages, rhino, kandallah and fisi…keep up the good work

  15. Socialist Paddy 16

    Duncan Garner has weighed into the debate with some seriously concerning comments, like

    “Let’s be honest, Labour leader David Shearer doesn’t have it. He’s a nice, mild mannered, likeable, warm but a stuttering, incoherent mess that is the opposite of what an alternative Prime Minister should look like.
    And before you say ‘give him some time’, he’s had a year and I think he’s gone backwards – not forwards.
    He has no presence and his television performances are a disaster. That’s where voters make up their minds.”

    He has some disturbing comments on the treatment they are giving Cunliffe.

    “I tried to get a Labour face on TV this week to talk about capital gains taxes. I approached Shearer who was in Hokitika and too far away, David Parker in Dunedin and Cunliffe in Auckland.

    Cunliffe was the easiest to get hold of. But, without naming names, the hoopla I was put through before he was ‘allowed’ on TV was fascinating. Even Cunliffe was nervous – but keen.

    It took six hours of negotiating to get him on. It was quite simply, outrageous. It took me one text to get Russel Norman on the telly. It took two phone calls
    to get the Prime Minister to agree to a one-on-one interview.

    Labour needs to look at itself. If reporters want to interview Cunliffe – they should be allowed to. I believe Labour is blocking his appearances or at least trying to limit them. Certainly on TV anyway. Although I notice Guyon Espiner exposed Cunliffe in the Listener like few others could do.”

    And to cap things off …

    “Put simply, Shearer does not look, act or sound like a man ready to take over the Treasury benches and drive New Zealand out of this recession. The voters see it.

    They see a Labour Party unconvinced and confused by their own choice. Until that changes, Labour will stay in opposition.”

    There is something seriously wrong here.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Snatching defeat from the Jaws of Victory. The Labour Story.

    • Rhinocrates 16.2

      Mere rhetoric sure counts. Here’s Ian McKellan explaining how to change a flat tyre. I’d follow him.

      It’s certainly not “Um, well, there is a view that, No… ah… well, someone has said that the tyre is flat. They might have. It could be pressurised. Ah… Labour will ensure all tyres are full. I’m… ah… giving a speech… someone might have said that I’m giving a speech on tyres…” and so on, ad infinitum.

    • Colonial Viper 16.3

      Probably easier to get an interview with Julia Gillard than with David Cunliffe.

    • KhandallaMan 16.4



      “It took six hours of negotiating to get him [David Cunliffe] on. It was quite simply, outrageous. It took me one text to get Russel Norman on the telly. It took two phone calls to get the Prime Minister to agree to a one-on-one interview.”

      We are going backwards in the polls and the Robertson’s appointees in Shearer’s office get away with this self-destructive behaviour?  This is un-tenable. We need a Spill NOW. 

  16. redfred 17

    How does “Citizen Public” form an opinion about a party so they can say one wy or the other whether they will vote for them? Found some guff in the UK that suggests it is about:

    Competent…. start at the top, unfortunately Uncle Shearer can’t seem to string a sentence together
    without stammering and struggles to keep the message clear and simple. I’m often left
    wondering what he actually said and why. Not all the blame is with him though, not
    many if any in the top 10 Labour parliamentarians should stay; where are they and
    what have they been saying?

    Trustworthy…. what a fuck up that GCSB secret recording was; it blew the one place Labour was
    probably leading National in

    In-touch….. Problem is we never hear any policy to form an opinion on this, National-lite seems to
    be the direction.

    Unified……. Labour’s MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio was the first to really fuck this up, closely
    followed by master de-masturbater Shane Jones sorting out his post parliamentary
    employment with Sealords… and lets not forget the ABCs likely chief cheerleader Trevor Mallard.

    The National Party is brand Key and those four attributes probably make up the core of his spin machine touch stones in their PR strategy. The brands Competence and Trustworthiness has taken a battering but the in-touch “have a beer at the bbq” PR Stratagem is still working and National are still Unified.

    Greens probably outscore both National and Labour on 3-4 but have an inherent in-touch problem with a significant part of NZ society.

  17. A: Does Labour belong to the politicians or the voters ?
    B: Should they work in the interest of the labour voters ?

    A : It seems that labour voters have been ignored since the Goff leadership
    issues,even a drop in labour support last election has not had any impact
    on how certain politicians view labour voters and their concerns..

    B : The Labour Party was built on a caring platform that looked out for
    people and their wellbeing,original policies covered a range of issues
    from employment to welfare to health to housing,respect for the labour
    voter was paramount.

    Roll on to the mid 80’s to now and Labour have lost their way,with successive
    leaderships ruining the very foundation the Labour Party was built on, those
    ex leaders that have decimated the Labour Party and taken it on a journey
    to the right of politics, should be ashamed.
    Shearer if he has any dignity and if he has a genuine concern for those core
    Labour voters, should step down.

  18. Rhinocrates 19

    The problem of Labour’s parliamentary wing is that it has become decadent and solipsistic. The overriding concern of its MPs is their position in the pecking order and a conviction that they’re right and it’s everyone else’s – including the voters’ – fault… though in public they’ll blame the media (or MSM).

    In my opinion, it might be the media’s fault, but that is utterly, utterly irrelevant. So what if the hacks are arseholes? Expecting them to be otherwise won’t make them stop being arseholes, so you work with the conditions that exist – and if you’re really creative, you work past them.

    So what if Robertson has made a nice cushy place for himself in the party? That still doesn’t count in the electorate… who voted your party THIRD, you useless fuckwit.

    Meanwhile, Louisa Wall, with a Private Member’s Bill that was virtually disowned by the party succeeds magnificently and gets shat on from a great height by the likes of Stuart Nash because it “distracts” from “the issues that really matter” which Labour’s presiding corpses can’t get any traction on.

    Jesus H fucking Cthulhu in a sidecar. Give me some cake, and meanwhile, which way is Versailles circa 1788 or the Kremlin in the mid 70s? They must be great places to be, so comfortable, so secure, so assured that history will play its course as predicted.

  19. Fortran 20

    I am not sure that New Zealand is ready yet for a homosexual Prime Minister
    Small minded – maybe yes, but……………….
    He, and his underground cohorts, are still able to run Parliamentary Labour from his present role though.

    • ad 20.1

      If Carterton can elect a transsexual, you’ve probably seen everything.

      We are just not in the same era as the Homosexual Law Reform petition, thankfully.

    • McFlock 20.2

         
      So if someone’s out of the closet orientation-wise they need to be in the closet as leader? 🙂
             
      I reckon that overall NZ could take it – the only risk would be an underlining of the liberal:bullshit mountain divide in NZ, a bit like what the lightbulb fiasco did. But I don’t think NZ’s a big enough population or geography to maintain that divide except in short spurts. 

    • mike e 20.3

      fartrain who said we haven’t already had a gay PM!
      Nationals gays have stayed firmly closeted and are happy to reap the political capital of bigoted prejudice!
      Even openly gay national mp’s have voted against gay marriage!

  20. lurgee 21

    Does anyone actually think Labour would be polling any better under Cunliffe?

    That would only be the case if he – and his supporters – were massively underperforming at the moment, and had The Solution To All Labour’s Problems worked out, and were just keeping quiet about it for their own benefit. Which would make them sum and unworthy of leading a Scout troop, far less the political arm of the labour movement.

    If Cunliffe was leader, we’d be in exactly the same situation.

    Why are people attaching so much importance to a brace of journalists who are paid to say things that get people excited? Campbell and Garner are hacks, they need to be vaguely controversial to put food on their table. They can be ignored.

    • Rhinocrates 21.1

      It would do better if it elected a sack of potatoes as leader, but lacking that, it elected a pile of mango rinds.

    • Colonial Viper 21.2

      If Cunliffe was leader, we’d be in exactly the same situation.

      Except Key and English would actually be sweating, the Left would be firing on all cylinders, and Norman would have to work damn harder to get Greens visibility above a resurgent Labour.

      But apart from that yeah.

      • McFlock 21.2.1

        I refer you to

        That would only be the case if he – and his supporters – were massively underperforming at the moment, and had The Solution To All Labour’s Problems worked out, and were just keeping quiet about it for their own benefit. Which would make them sum and unworthy of leading a Scout troop, far less the political arm of the labour movement.

        • Colonial Viper 21.2.1.1

          I see. Someone who was to be a better Leader for Labour would need to have all the answers ready for Labour, but if they had all the answers ready for Labour, they wouldn’t be fit to lead.

          • McFlock 21.2.1.1.1

            Pretty much.
                   
            What would you call it if the people who supposedly would perform magnificently as part of a leadership team are only performing on par with the rest of caucus when they aren’t part of the leadership team?
                   
            It’s not like Shearer and the supposed ABC crowd are the only ones not turning up to house eviction protests, skewering their opposite numbers in Question Time, or getting regular pithy soundbites on the news.

            • Puddleglum 21.2.1.1.1.1

              I don’t hold any torch for Cunliffe but I don’t think this analysis holds water.

              I don’t see what evidence there is for Cunliffe underperforming, or only performing ‘on a par’ with other shadow ministers (let alone other MPs).

              First, Cunliffe has an astounding number of Parliamentary questions to his credit (519) in the last quarter, according to Farrar. That’s almost twice as many as Darien Fenton, who comes in second. Shearer had 0 in that quarter.

              I suppose you could argue, along with Farrar, that such questioning is ‘excessive’:

              While PQs are a good resource that MPs should use, I think 519 over 90 days is getting excessive. Each PQ can cost $100 or so of staff time answering it, so $50,000 worth in a quarter is a bit over the top.

              but as a measure of performance (and of the interrogation of the government) that surely has to count for something (and that Farrar felt the need to find something to criticise about it also counts for something).

              Second, he has made some very clear and powerful speeches – far more memorable, and noted, than any other shadow minister’s speeches – and what media appearances he has made seem very effective to me (irrespective of whether or not I agree with all the rhetorical and policy content in them). Once again, such effectiveness has not been consistently shown by other Labour shadow ministers (or other MPs).

              Additionally, Cunliffe has apparently been constrained in his media appearances, having to ask permission and be ‘cleared’, according to Garner. 

              The argument that if he and his supporters were so marvellous how come he hasn’t used that capacity to make Labour marvellous is simplistic. It assumes that any MP can, through sheer force of ‘magnificence’, pull a party out of the polling doldrums no matter what else is going on in the caucus.

              That ignores how voters assess a party – increasingly in terms of the leader and any media muck-ups associated with a party.

              It also ignores the obvious fact that some of the things Cunliffe – or any other MP – may wish the party to do will not happen if the leadership don’t agree. That means that any ‘magnificence’ cannot be given its full head.

              For all we know, Cunliffe and his supporters may indeed have “The Solution To All Labour’s Problems worked out” and are not keeping quiet about it within the caucus at all but, for reasons other than what is best for the party or its supposed political commitments, those with the decision making power may not wish those solutions to be enacted (e.g., demoting various people).

              The analysis that lurgee and yourself seem to support is just full of holes. It assumes Cunliffe (and his supporters) are ‘under-performing’ by virtue of the fact that Labour isn’t polling well under its current leadership.

              It’s a very confused and incompletely thought through argument.

              Personally, I think gobsmacked’s analysis of what Labour needs is pretty accurate. So far as public appearances go, it looks to me like Cunliffe, at the very least, has the best chance among the current crop of potential Labour Party leaders to be ‘neutral’ in electorial terms, and so – at the very least – he has the best chance to hoover up those whose support for National is wavering.

              He comes across as calm, with clearly-reasoned positions, a reasonable manner and immensely competent. For the large, ideologically-apolitical proportion of the population, that’s probably reassuring enough to ‘give him a go’.

              His politics are, of course, another matter – but he does seem to have a clearly articulated political position, which I would see as progress in itself. That position also seems more appealing to me than the ambivalent signals coming from the Shearer camp.

              • McFlock

                The analysis that lurgee and yourself seem to support is just full of holes. It assumes Cunliffe (and his supporters) are ‘under-performing’ by virtue of the fact that Labour isn’t polling well under its current leadership.

                Hey, I’m just basing it on what I see at the arse-end of the country. People claim that Shearer is largely invisible and not active enough, well excuse me but PQs aren’t exactly the path to an additional 20% support. 
                         
                As an example, I tend to hear more from individual Green MPs on the news, out and about, at events and somehow I’ve even ended up on their email list (probly from Occupy or drinking liberally – and no, I’m still not going to vote for ’em). And actually, it goes beyond caucus – the general membership is hard at work, too.
                       
                You can blame the captain for a lot, but at some point the crew also need to take responsibility for any part they played in the sinking (assuming one dip is a leak and not just an abnormally high wave). Labour is more than its leadership. 
                   
                Let me put it this way: would YOU vote for a party where a bunch of members were loudly and repeatedly throwing more bile at their parliamentary leader than they threw at opponents or indeed spoke in favour of their party’s policy and principles?
                        

                • karol

                  As an example, I tend to hear more from individual Green MPs on the news, out and about, at events and somehow I’ve even ended up on their email list (probly from Occupy or drinking liberally – and no, I’m still not going to vote for ‘em). And actually, it goes beyond caucus – the general membership is hard at work, too.
                   
                  Maybe that depends on the part of the country you’re in and whether it’s covered by regional or national news.  Here in Auckland, I was talking to a likely Nat suporter recently who follows the MSM news.  This person reckoned they hadn’t heard anything much from the Greens for a while.
                   
                  I’m not enamoured of the white anting in Labour, but I don’t see anything much of that coming from the Cunliffe camp.  And the media is sure making the most of it.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    I can’t speak to what this person watches obviously, but norman has been on the TV news a lot. He often as not gets the first speaking spot out of the oppostion parties.

                    Reasons for that? Partly I suspect it’s that the Greens seem to be quicker off the mark in formulating reponses, their releases are on scoop before Labour’s, and they tend to be more aggressive.

                    Other than that, he’s just better on TV than Shearer. Crisper.

                    Cunliffe has that about him as well. Confident, and he smiles while he’s talking. Do that while you brush off the bullshit narratives and ut stays brushed off, fail to look comfortable, and you only feed the narrative. At this point, I fear, Shearer is screwed. Everything he says is interpreted by the narrative of his performance, not the subject.

                    that sux, and it’s not fair, and blah blah, but that’s the environment we live in.

                    The other thing that Cunliffe does, and Norman does, and Turei (in a different way does) is make the government ( and it’s proxies) spit.

                    Shearer makes them laugh and mock and roll their eyes. That’s tactics on their part to feed the narrative. They say that Shearer is a nice bloke, but a bit hopeless and out of control and he has to watch his back and all that stuff. Those are designed to make him look weak for sure, but they are not inherently nasty things. They don’t look bad for saying it. It’s subtle stuff and it works.

                    Read what farrar et al have to say about the Greens and Cunliffe though. They get nasty. They spit, because they have a visceral reaction to them. they don’t have a nice thing to say about them much at all. Much as they didn’t about Clark or Cullen. Neither of whom feared what the right had to say about them.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Everything (Shearer) says is interpreted by the narrative of his performance, not the subject.

                      If Shearer gave us some actual subject content in what he said, it might help in this regard.

      • lurgee 21.2.2

        As I said, if Cunliffe and co are under-performing now, then the Hell with them. They can piss off and form a vanity party of their own.

        ‘Resurgent Labour’? If you say so. More like, a Labour Party still stuck around 30% and we’d be wondering why we didn’t go for the cheerfully bloke with the amazing back story. The problem is not the leader but the talent pool the leader is drawn from – selecting one facile right wing idiot over another is not going to lead to a resurgence of anything. And the talent pool is the result of Labour becoming completely disconnected from it’s support base – the long suffering left gets offered a choice between a bunch of near identical professional politicians mouthing vacuous shibboleths and scheming against each other instead of the plutocratic toerags of the right.

        • Colonial Viper 21.2.2.1

          Cunliffe is pretty good stuff mate, he’d wipe the floor with English and Key easy as, dunno what more you want, maybe a Roosevelt or Savage?

          Dunno why you’d try and frame Cunliffe as being “near identical” to Shearer, that’s sorta dumb analogy since Cunliffe has been a senior Minister previously and is a very experienced Labour electorate MP.

          • lurgee 21.2.2.1.1

            I’d have thought my meaning was clear. ‘Near identical’ in terms out outlook and ideology, not of experience. You were playing dumb there, right?

            • Colonial Viper 21.2.2.1.1.1

              Shearer and Cunliffe don’t share a common political economic ideology! Shearer’s got no idea of economics, to start with, and as for politics, Shearer’s a pretty fresh new Labour Party member, whereas Cunliffe’s Dad was known as the ‘Red Reverend’!

              Personally I think you are making shit up trying to frame Cunliffe and Shearer as being somehow the same. Dumbass

    • Blue 21.3

      If Cunliffe were in charge, I can think of three things that would massively improve Labour’s performance:

      1. The leader would be able to present well, in clear and concise sentences without stuttering or waffling.

      2. Cunliffe promised a cleanout of Labour’s dead wood during the leadership campaign. If he cleaned house and got a decent team onside, Labour would begin firing on all cylinders again.

      3. I can’t imagine Cunliffe tolerating a lack of discipline in his caucus. If someone started white-anting crap or destablising the party with stupid antics, then I get the impression that person would be goneburger under DC.

      Competence and discipline may not be The Solution to All Labour’s Problems, but they are a damn good start.

      • Rhinocrates 21.3.1

        I can’t imagine Cunliffe tolerating a lack of discipline in his caucus

        Frankly, if the Labour Party leader weren’t making balloon animals with Shane Jones’ intestines right now because of his recent behaviour, I’d seriously doubt that he or she were the leader… oh… right.. sorry…

  21. bomber 22

    Citizen A 7pm Triangle TV tonight with Chris Trotter & Claudette Hauiti: Affordable housing, pakeha vote Maori Party? How safe is Shearer?

    • just saying 22.1

      What channel is Triangle, Bomber?

      • fatty 22.1.1

        I think it might be an Auckland only channel? Or on sky?
        Citizen A and the Union Report (last show for the year was the 22nd) can be viewed on the Citizen A youtube channel here. The show usually gets posted 1-2 days after the broadcast. Beats the Q+A / The Nation dribble easily

        • just saying 22.1.1.1

          Damn, I’ve got a little wait then.

          Btw Bomber, no offense, but TUMEKE takes longer to load than my computer takes to wake up in the morning.

  22. There is no need for this excitement. The forthcoming LP conference is not going to trigger any leadership race. Party members should not be under the illusion that there is a vote coming in 2013 they can participate in under the new 40:40:20 rules.

    The trigger threshold for the new constitution, even if lowered to 50% , is not low enough to allow anyone except Grant Robertson to trigger a spill. And he knows he hasn’t sufficiently broad party support to win the wider vote YET. So he must bide his time.

    The ABC’s need to keep Shearer installed long enough to allow Robertson to build within the party hierarchy, rank and file. And only then will GR and the ABCs pull the caucus trigger.

    Pity is Labour needs a new leader installed in early 2013 if it is to have a coordinated fighting chance of winning in 2014. Unfortunately that is not the priority for the ABCs.

  23. mac1 24

    Yeah, well, comrades, after reading 130 comments on this latest post; today I saw Shearer address a public meeting and the previous night have a chat with the local party. What I saw was pretty good. He connected with humour and with good argument with mostly older provincial New Zealanders at the meetings. He’ll do me- because I know also that behind him is some pretty good talent, too.

    Which for various reasons is why these attacks upon him. Firstly, the Left does know how to feed on its own flesh at times and the Right are very happy to foment discord and scratch a wound or two to get the blood showing for the sharks to smell and frenzy over.

    There are some serious problems with this country- they result from the actions by and large of the other side of the divide. We know who they are and what the problems are.

    I am not persuaded by much of what I have read here. I do value honesty and loyalty, and my political and personal instincts were satisfied these past two days. I have been reading the ‘debates’ over Shearer’s leadership from the provincial backwaters. These two days have been my chance to do my own assessment, for what it is worth.

    • Good to hear a positive take on it mac1.

    • Rhinocrates 24.2

      Very well, but this is a man who’s happy to make up stories dog-whistling about beneficiaries painting roofs and immigrants stealing jobs for cheap political gain. That’s not a man I think is a “nice guy” at all, not someone I can trust to keep from throwing me under the bus when he finds it politically convenient… and not even someone I expect to do it competently if he were to do so.

      I really don’t get the “Shearer’s a nice guy” stuff at all. He’s not. He’s not a well-meaning bumbler – that’s just an excuse, grasping at straws. The bumbling, because it is so pitiable and inviting of pity, is an inadvertent disguise for the sad fact is that he’s not only fundamentally incompetent, he’s also a backstabbing, lying, opportunist prick.

    • Descendant Of Smith 24.3

      The difficulty I have is that I don’t actually care that much about who the leader is but ant to know that Labour is going to put in place some left wing policies in order to help the most vulnerable and workers.

      And by help I mean seriously help by increasing benefits, minimum wage, etc.

      The leadership issue is therefore a distraction and irrelevant.

      Without some decent policy and a commitment to implement it tbh I don’t care.

      I’ve voted Labour since I was old enough to vote and there’s little in their current state that interests me though I wish it did.

      The Clark Labour Government putting back the $20-00 benefit cuts on NZS but not on the even more vulnerable benefits was the last straw for me.

      I might have thought losing would have strengthened their desire to help those at the bottom but their absence of policy that resonates with my core values of no fault help for those at the bottom, support for trade unionism, taxation to pay for things, a commitment to state housing, universal FB instead of making people unnecessarily supply the state with financial information (classic divide and conquer), etc leaves me voting for Mana or Greens.

      There’s still time to save my vote but I don’t think they particularly care about saving it. Nothing any of them say gives me any sense of a reversion to left wing egalatarian values.

      • Olwyn 24.3.1

        Who the leader is would very much matter in that case too, since they would have to be capable of achieving those things in the face of fierce opposition from very powerful people.

        • Colonial Viper 24.3.1.1

          Hey more good news. Talking to Green Party staffers, it seems that Labour in Parliament is being very disorganised and unco-operative with them at the moment on a wide range of policy and political issues. They’re pretty incredulous at Labour’s performance in the capital so far this year.

          So much so that the wider Green organisation is facing up to the possibility that it will have to do a lot of the heavy lifting itself during the upcoming election campaign, to ensure the NATs don’t get back in.

  24. xtasy 25

    Hey, I have for the last year “gradually got used to” David Shearer. He is an excellent man, I like him in many respects. He is calm, friendly, not dumb, he is surely educated, he has skills, knowledge, makes a lot of common sense, comes across to may as warm and friendly, so he is NOT a bad person!’

    David though is NOT the LEADER that Labour or rather the OPPOSITION in this country need right now!

    That is the bloody problem. He would make an excellent minister for education, science or whatever, but he is NOT LEADER material. Get it???

    I have been raising this since he was appointed. I was rubbished, I was told to be patient, I was told and lectured, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla.

    Honestly, I had the gutsful! Get moving, Labour, or are your dinosaurs running the show like an old mafia generation telling the young to shut up, put up and face the music?

    I once voted Labour. I will NEVER again, after what I saw the last few years!

    I am like many totally furious, disillusioned and look for alternative, but even the Greens do in some areas not make me feel great. This is a total crap situation! Labour, wake bloody up, get moving and sort this nonsense out in the next few months, or you will end up like the Labour Party in Israel. Now there is a challenge, perhaps have a read about them?

    We need a NEW LEFT party, that brings the whole left of centre together!

  25. JonL 26

    Policy wise, it’s called Mana.

  26. Pat 27

    Shearer must go before February. Nice man, but inept. At the moment he is the puppet to Mallard who forgets he stuffed up the election campaign so badly and who still hides his right wing views as Labours version of Machiavelli, or should I say McCully…..

    He controls which MP’s get prominence in the house to ask questions via being Leader of the House etc. Do an analysis and see how many times Mallards cronies get to ask questions versus those who disagree. The word is out the Sherarer is looking at holding the Education Portfolio. God help education as all we will get is a rehash of Trevor’s failed concepts that nearly cost Labour the previous election. Trevor obviously knows NZ and Labour would never support him so next best thing is to be the puppet master…

    Its time for the Party to revisit the founding principles and stop MP’ going their own merry way thumbing their noses at the party. After all they are paid for what they do, whilst we do it for nothing, and do all the ground work to provide their employment!!!!!

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