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Parker withdrawing

Written By: - Date published: 5:20 pm, December 1st, 2011 - 314 comments
Categories: dpf, labour - Tags: , , ,

David Parker has withdrawn from the leadership race of the Labour party according to Stuff.

Predictably Kiwiblog, Stuff, and probably the other right-wing media fools are using this as an opportunity to hype up David Shearer as an easier opponent for John Key. It is not for nothing that David Farrar has “Fomenting Happy Mischief since 2003” in his masthead.

From the NZ Herald

In a statement, Mr Parker said he remained committed to Labour ideals and would work hard to achieve them for New Zealanders and the country.

“There is growing support for a new face to lead the Labour Party. I intend to support David Shearer in his bid.”

His withdrawal leaves Mr Shearer running against David Cunliffe for the position.

It is understood he is withdrawing because the bloc within the Labour caucus that opposes Mr Cunliffe’s bid was split between Mr Parker and Mr Shearer.

However John Armstrong got that about right this morning in “Shearer’s move all about playing the long game

Throwing his hat into the ring for the job of Labour Party leader is an audacious move on David Shearer’s part.

But it is also a smart one.

His caucus colleagues may well consider it is too soon for someone with less than three years’ parliamentary experience to be catapulted into the party’s No 1 job despite the Mt Albert MP having obvious leadership calibre.

Shearer, however, is more than a wild-card entry in what had been a two-candidate contest and which will go to the vote at a Labour caucus meeting in two weeks.

Shearer, however, has nothing to lose by entering the race. Even if he pulls out of the contest through lack of support, that will not affect his future leadership prospects.

And David Parker just made those choices a lot simpler. As much as I like and respect David Shearer, throwing someone into the leadership role after a such a short time in parliament would be dangerous to his longer term potential. Selecting David Shearer at this point would leave Labour as rudderless at getting effective policy through parliament as John Key has proved to be in the 49th parliament.

John Key simply didn’t have the experience at pushing his parliamentary cabinet and the various institutions of government and that showed in the 49th parliament as the country drifted while the National government tinkered. So far the 50th doesn’t look much better.

And incidentally, the support of the right is probably counter-productive. I don’t think that the people in caucus will see it for anything apart from being tactical malevolence on the part of the National party poodles. I know that I do.

314 comments on “Parker withdrawing ”

  1. jaymam 1

    I am very surprised at the low results that David Parker has got in recent polls (TV1, Herald). All self selected polls however, so maybe right wingers are trying to mislead.

    • SMSD 1.1

      I am a Labour voter/member, and I would have to say I have not been impressed by Parker’s delivery, for instance in the Close Up piece earlier this week, he did not seem assured, charismatic, or convincing.

  2. gingercrush 2

    That Stuff article reads like somone has been to the media and telling half-truths for I honestly can not see Jones in anyway being the Finance spokesperson. Economic Development yes, Finance no.

    • lprent 2.1

      Yeah, looked like a kiwiblog reader was writing it, and then they handed it to a real reporter. It changed a *lot* while I was writing this post

      • Jim Nald 2.1.1

        Donkey thanks the media spotlight on the Davids.

        Amusing to read the media’s fixation about Labour which is all over the news when Key is in the middle of striking deals to keep his small majority alive and trying to remain invisible and mute about the country’s financial future when the global economy is starting to get into big trouble.

  3. Agreed Lprent.

    The stuff report is disturbing. If Jones has been offered finance as part of a deal then it smacks of a grab for power rather than a principled campaign for leadership.

    As a minimum if Shearer won then Cunliffe should be offered finance. If not there is going to be a great deal of angst in the party.

    • lprent 3.1

      Interesting – the report has changed several times while I have been writing this post.. Why do I get the idea that they they’re making half of this crap up as they go.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        It has too.  It previously said Jones as Finance spokesperson.  Even offering it to Parker is wrong.  There are two clear groups and a la Helen Clark they need to be united after this process is finished.

        • Nick C

          I agree mickey there are two clear groups: David Cunliffe and everyone else.

          Its going to be so ammusing when Shearer wins. I wonder if the authors and commentators here will stick to their current view that Shearer is too inexperienced and his appointment is due to Labour falling for a VRWC ploy, or they will fall in behind their (new) working class hero.

          Probably the later.

          • lprent

            Do you need to ask? I suspect it is clear to most people that I decide where I spend my time, and that it takes a hell of a lot of trust before I’ll abrogate my judgement and defer to someone else’s experience. In fact I can only think of a couple of times it has happened. One of those was in the army.

            I’d also point out that I mainly volunteer in David Shearers electorate, and someone has been doing a piss poor job of convincing me that someone isn’t simply hanging him out to fail. Where is the experienced support? Who is the deputy and what do they deliver?

            • vicks

              [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please, I don’t want you giving people the false impression of a consensus with your very narrow understanding of events]

              Really you volunteer in his electorate and you stab him in the back like this. Perhaps he should make you his deputy – as the saying goes ‘keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.”

              [lprent: Don’t be silly. I’ve been in that electorate since I grew up there and eventually joined the party there. I’ve been helping run the campaigns there at a organisational level since the early 90’s. He is just a new MP for both Mt Albert. I’m raising a valid concern because for both the party and his well-being.

              But I guess that you’re too stupid in all of your various aliases to understand someone thinking that politics is about more than just popular support – it is about experience and competence as well. ]

              • vicks

                [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please, I don’t want you giving people the false impression of a consensus with your very narrow understanding of events]

                Oh whatever grumpy ass! He has experience in abundance although I am hoping he has to employ his experience as a team builder and not his experience negotiating with dissidents to keep his “supporters” on task. What do you think LPrent?

            • vicks

              [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please, I don’t want you giving people the false impression of a consensus with your very narrow understanding of events]

              I watched the three of them on Close Up the other night. Cunliffe is a very skilled and experienced politician and as Cullens apprentice he has a more than decent grasp of the finances. Parker is a long time Labour boy who will help bring stability. It is clear by his numbers before he withdrew he certainly had the numbers and they are not all just anti Cunliffe people.

              On the other hand you have Shearer. New, fresh, ambitious, smart, with a wealth of experience in politics as a twice run candidate wannabe before securing Mt Albert in a way that made Clark proud (and possibly a little envious). Most importantly he has a wide cross section of appeal. If you look at Clarks strengths they were around building teams, (Shearer gets a tick for that) and having appeal outside the Labour stallwart circles – well Shearer certainly does that.

              Labour made the best possible decision they could by chosing Shearer in Mt Albert. His selection was a clear no brainer. I hope they do it again and make this man leader. Labour needs to widen its circle of appeal and this man can do it.

      • the sprout 3.1.2

        someone at stuff interviewing their keyboard again.

    • felix 3.2

      Sorry micky, what??!!
      You seriously consider Jones appropriate for WHAT??!!

  4. Mr Magoo 4

    “throwing someone into the leadership role after a such a short time in parliament would be dangerous to his longer term potential.”

    Yeah…because it went really badly for National when they did the same…

    Honestly and no offence, but that is EXACTLY the kind of woolly headed and completely wrong-minded thinking that got labour into this mess in the first place.

    Shearer is the best chance labour has in 2014. It may be a bit of a gamble (I would argue not so much), but then I think it is time for gambles.

    And every straw poll from the public I have seen so far puts shearer well ahead also….regardless of whether you think the public’s opinion counts on this…and if you don’t then please see the comments on woolly headedness…

    • Blue 4.1

      John Key is what you’d call a natural politician. Shearer is not, in any way, shape or form.

      Trying to replicate what Key did is a recipe for disaster if you don’t have the right person.

    • Key was in Parliament for 4 years before becoming leader.
      And it is not a popularity contest now, it is a matter of selecting someone who can grow in the role over the next three years and take the argument to Key now.

      • AnnaLiviaPlurabella 4.2.1

        And there was no alternative to Key. He got it because English and Brash were out of their depth ( and ….,,,,,,,) . And he has many smart attributes…that many find appealing.
        Not analogous to our opportunity. Cunliffe is proven and successful. The issue here is natural: change is difficult for some people. Perhaps now we will have a fair assessment of Candidates? We are one family and should treat each other with the respect we have earner. I worked bloody hard in West Auckland. I did that for ALL of LABOUR. From Cape Reinga to Bluff. It is not acceptable that Left forums are being used to undermine those who have sweated for our cause. Cunliffe delivered on everything asked of him by the party. Phil Goff has made it clear to me and others that David Cunliffe gave him 200% in terms of briefing on the strategies. He says the bad mouthing is Natz/ACT games. Ask Phil and close this nonsense off!

        • seeker

          Agree AnnaL.P.

          I sense dislike of Cunliffe from the right,: this is always always a good sign. Debra Coddington called hom “oleaginous” last Sunday in her weird HoS column and Clare Trevett was trying to insult him badly last Thursday or Friday in the Herald Election 2011 daily stream.
          That the rightwing press is already trying to undermine him says quite a lot I thought. Slight fear perhaps? Thus David C. gets my backing at the mo.

          I think David Shearer needs more time and needs to be heard in Parliamentary debate more ( or perhaps he has contributed much to debate and I have just missed him – in which case I apologise.)

    • lprent 4.3

      As I said.

      The right seem desperate to have a political neophyte in charge of the Labour party. That doesn’t carry any weight with me or from what I have seen with most of the people who I know are in the Labour party.

      John Key is popular but ineffective. He reminds me a lot of David Lange in that respect, especially in being politically manipulated by his ministers and looking steadily less interested in the role. And that did not end well for either the part or the country. I don’t expect that John Keys short reign will be much different.

    • the sprout 4.4

      you can see why the right might have a thing for inexperienced parachute candidates who can’t string a coherent sentence together though

      • vicks 4.4.1

        Why you so nasty?

        [lprent: Because he chooses to be so. Please read the policy, especially the sections about self-martyrdom offences. There are a few things that we don’t tolerate on this site. Tell us directly or indirectly how to run it or moderate it is one of them. ]

      • ropata 4.4.2

        the right also like the idea of someone who could be bullied by the bankster-kleptocrat class. (a la Obama)

  5. Lanthanide 5

    I’m not sure where you guys are seeing Shane Jones as getting finance. The stuff article says this:

    It is understood the Shearer team is looking at a front bench line-up of Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson as deputy, Parker at finance spokesman and with prominent roles for list MP Jacinda Ardern and possibly Shane Jones.

    A comment on stuff also pans Jones at Finance. Last update time is 16:53, earlier than all of these comments here.

  6. bob 6

    @jaymam I disagree, David Parker is unelectable, did you see him on Closeup last night? He came across as bookish and he kept saying he would ‘touch’ people, gross

    • vicks 6.1

      [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please, I don’t want you giving people the false impression of a consensus with your very narrow understanding of events]

      The leadership is about being the face of the party. While Parker may not be the ideal leader he is certainly a competent, intelligent and hardworking MP. He appears to be well liked by his caucus so lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  7. Sanctuary 7

    There is some speculation Parker has pulled out because the HoS has been snooping around asking questions about his private life.

    This post contains some of the most ridiculous statements I have seen in a while. Worrying about what Farrar’s game might be is as profitless as it is pointless. One could equally profitlessly and pointlessly speculate that the author of this post is an EPMU sympathiser who wants Parker or Cunliffe so their man Little can white ant them and then roll them in eighteen months time when Labour is still floundering in the polls, and sees in Shearer someone who is not owned by the union lobby.

    As for Farrar, who cares what the otherside is thinking? The name of the game is to get them dancing to your tune, not the other the way round. Get the right man, get the right poll results and from Farrar up the whole National party will be irrelevant.

    David Shearer is now clearly the front runner and this whole thing will be over by Monday. He represents a clean break from Clarkism, something neither Cunliffe or Parker offered. He is a good friend of Parker, so he has all of Parkers supporters onside.

    But most importantly, he is an Auckland based MP who has a clear groundswell of support from the public. And it is the public who elect governments, not the Labour party courtiers.

    • Are you in the Labour Party Sanctuary?  Talked to any MPs lately?  Remember this is a caucus vote and not an opinion poll.

      • Sanctuary 7.1.1

        Did you miss my last sentence old chap? Sure, the caucus elects the leader. But the public elects the government, and that is one helluva of an opinion poll.

        • mickysavage

          But Shearer does not have  groundswell.  A bunch of RWNJs making multiple texts does not measure a public groundswell.

          • lprent

            Yep – that is what it appears to be. Bullshit twittering…

            Most people prior to them throwing their hats in the ring would have had little or no idea who David Shearer or David Parker are. They’d have been barely aware of David Cunliffe as finance shadow minister

          • Sanctuary

            I just looked at your blog, I assume you are talking about the Close Up text poll? I don’t watch Close Up so I didn’t even know they were on last night. Occam’s razor tells me it is more likely Shearer is just more popular with the public than it is the smoking man is pulling strings in the background.

          • the sprout

            A bunch of RWNJs making multiple texts does not measure a public groundswell.

            and why are the rightwingers so desperate to see Shearer leading the NZLP?
            easy beat.

            • Anthony

              I’m still trying to chart the Cunliffe arrogant meme, he’s barely been in the spot light enough for people to notice.

              Must have been a focus group question: “if you had to think of a negative quality for this man, what would it be?”.

              • lprent

                Well he is. But so were every leader of Labour that I have known back to Rowling, and for that matter every one in National. It is a job requirement, just like being nice in person is for a politician.

              • it has taken off, even my mother thought so on the basis of media chatterage. i think it’s drastically overplayed myself. i have seen some arrogance in the early years but nothing irredeemable. besides, i don’t mind some arrogance in people who have something to be arrogant about.

                but coming into parliament and thinking you’ve learnt enough to be leader of the NZLP after 2 and a half years, now that’s unjustified arrogance.

                • Hehe.  What people do not realise about Cunliffe is that he spent a great deal of time in the US and is very American in his approach to politics.  Some would call this arrogance. 

                  • Anthony

                    Maybe I just hang around a lot of arrogant people in my job, but he seems like a 3 on a scale of 1 – 10.

                    • lprent

                      Remember the basic rule about politicians – they are ALL really really nice in person (and you have something they need). You can read that in any biography of Pol Pot, Stalin, Muldoon, Douglas, etc….

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I spent a full day with Cunliffe a few weeks ago supporting him on campaign. A top man, with unfatiguable energy. Without knowing much about Shearer, I can say confidently that Cunliffe is a top leadership candidate.

                    • i know them both, Cunliffe is the obvious choice for me

                    • Joel Walsham

                      A top leadership candidate not just for Labour but for the country, no less!

                    • vicks

                      There is no denying that Cunliffe is a personable competent and intelligent bloke with financial skills that should see him as a Minister of Finance and Deputy PM in the future, but … his skills lay in areas that do not include party leadership plain and simple.

                      The unfortunate fact about Cunliffe is that he seems to polarise people. Lynn you can go on about your disinterest in personalities and factions but the reality is Labour need a leader that can bring everyone to the table. Shearer has those skills in abundance. Yes he is very new in his current role but if it is a fresh approach Labour are looking at to attract people outside the core 27% who voted for them then who better than someone who has come recently from outside the organisation?

                      Labour need to be a party that can collectively pool their wealth of experience and ideas and present them through a leader that encourages reflection and innovation. This party needs to listen to the voters.

                • seeker

                  I met David Cunliffe on the ‘say no to GST’ bus tour. He was really pleasant to me and all those around him, and I was there a while watching and mingling. He shook my hand when I spoke to him and previously he he hadn’t know me from a bar of soap. I saw no sign of arrogance and was really surprised at this description of him. Perhaps he just likes to get things done.

                  • swordfish

                    Yep, I have to say Cunliffe has always seemed like the obvious choice to me, too. Glad to see others agree. I get the impression he may be the preferred choice of Party members and activists (I’m a former member, but just a supporter at the moment).

      • I dreamed a dream 7.1.2

        Reading between the lines, it does seem that the Parker faction of the caucus are joining the Shearer camp to face Cunliffe. I like Parker and I like Shearer and I am glad they are joining forces to face Cunliffe. This may well be the end-game already.

        • mickysavage

          I am not sure there ever was a Shearer faction.  This is like the Parker faction realising they are not going to make it and then adopting Shearer.

          • neoleftie

            or maybe just maybe realising that the labour member and public like shearer….does it matter if hes not polished and pretty poli like – we need freshness to connect and if we connect end game for the tories

            • mickysavage

              Well can someone, anyone point to evidence that the public like Shearer.  My impression is that very few know him.

                • Self selecting polls dominated by right wingers and collated by a Mike Moore supporter.  Very convincing …

                  • Anthony

                    People might want Shearer to be the leader for Labour, but how many of those people would translate that to a vote for Labour in an election?

                    It’s meaningless mouse clicking until that is known.

                    • vicks

                      Correct. But if Labour do what they have always done, they will get what they have always got. Time for a fresh perspective uncluttered by past fears and constraints.

              • Lew

                Here’s a thought: perhaps how much the public know Clark-Goff-era frontbenchers is inversely proportional to how much they like them.


                • Here’s a thought.  Find out what is happening before lecturing Labour on what to do.  And go and talk to ordinary people and find out what affects them.  There is still a considerable residue of good will for Helen and most would not be able to say who was a minister in the last Labour Government.

                  • Lew

                    That’s right. Stay the course! Out of touch, not a chance. Nothing’s the matter; two elections down and the worst result since nineteen-mumble, but it’s just a flesh wound.


                    • Anthony

                      How about just treating the situation with some due diligence, like some proper polling and some consultation with members informing the decision before going off half-cocked.

                    • Lew how many election campaigns have you taken part in and won?  Your comments always presume a sophistication on the part of the electorate that I have not seen. 

                    • Joel Walsham

                      David Cunliffe has never lost an election. He turned a swinging blue electorate into a solid red electorate.

                      He did so as a member of the Clark Government, but also a man who has great standing in the community himself.

                    • Lew

                      To be clear, I don’t think either Cunliffe or Parker would make bad leaders — in fact, I think both would make good leaders. But both are balls-deep in the existing faction politics of the Labour party, which are the root of the paralysis and dysfunction we’ve seen over the past term (and during Clark’s last term).

                      Yeah, yeah, I’m not on the inside, what do I know, and all that.

                      I certainly don’t know who Labour will choose as leader, but it’s my view they *should* choose Shearer, largely because he’s not institutionalised to the extent the alternatives are, and also because he has extensive experience herding egotistical, power-hungry cats in what the PM would call dynamic circumstances. Not only does the party desperately need to reform (as the last three years have exhaustively demonstrated) it needs to be *seen* to reform. Picking Shearer would be a strong signal of institutional reform, and this would help make amends for the failure to do so after the 2008 election.

                      I’m not going off half-anything. I don’t have a vote, all I have is an opinion. It’s the party’s choice to make and they’ll make it — and hang for the wrong decision. Shearer might be crap, or he might be so ideologically different, or whatever that he’s not right. Their call.


                    • lprent []

                      Few of us have the vote in this election ( apart from the usual foot one ).. They are at red alert. But I have to say that it would take some convincing in any way – because in the end for me it becomes a question of if it is worth exerting the effort to help. I am not a real great fan of incompetence in management.

                    • Lew what makes you think that Shearer is not into factional politics?  Why would Mallard swap over and start doing his numbers?  Why would Parker stand down and then endorse him?  He is a mate of Goff’s who has been parachuted in.

                    • indeed, i seem to recall there was some controversy at the time about whether shearer would have won the mt albert selection based on his selection campaign performance, had he not already been pre-ordained by goff

                    • Lew

                      How do I know he’s not a faction darling? He’s 31 on the list and wasn’t given any hope of the leadership until outsiders suggested he might be worth consideration. He’s only been there 2.5 years; that’s not long. And even if he is factionalised to an extent, it is a matter of extent. He might possibly be up to his eyeballs in it, but I am damned sure the other two are. And I’m pretty sure some of those scaremongering about the cabal of concern-trolling righties are too.

                      Seriously, this is probably the one time Sanctuary and I will agree on a major matter of strategy. That has to count for something.


                  • Frida

                    Mickey, I normally rate your comments but I think you’re out of touch on this one. It’s not just a RWNJ thing – New Zealanders for whatever reason are responding to Shearer. Labour has to listen or face political annihilation. I don’t say I agree, I think personally Cunliffe and his experience is the better choice, but I’m a political beast. The majority of Kiwis are not (hence the last 2 election results where they voted for an empty-headed greedy plastic BBQ Dad). So if Labour wants to rescue itself from the brink of disaster I think it has to listen to the groundswell, elect Shearer as leader but have him well-supported with an experienced Deputy and Finance spokesman.

                    I’m just being realistic and reflecting what I see around me in my non-political family, friends and colleagues. They’re “falling” for Shearer like they did for Key. Swallow your pride Labour and go with that….for the sake of the country…..

                    • vicks

                      [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please, I don’t want you giving people the false impression of a consensus with your very narrow understanding of events]

                      Sprout your memory is clouded. Shearer won selection because there were no stand out credible alternatives on offer – and I truly apologise to the other party faithfuls (most of them anyway) who put their hats in the ring. Mt Albert has I believe the largest LEC in the country and as such had enough votes to at least neutralise any party central meddling. This was his third attempt to get selected and it is disappointing to see the bitterness dripping from some of those who were not successful, finding it’s way onto the pages of The Standard.

                    • Steve W

                      [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please, I don’t want you giving people the false impression of a consensus with your very narrow understanding of events]

                      I totally agree with you Vicks. This vitriol is hard to understand except that it’s from some self serving individuals. I also recall the anti Shearer campaign waged for or by one of the candidates in the bi election who was touted as a Helen Clark Clone and the great white hope but she’s disappeared from the scene now. Probably working for the Greens. They were wrong then and I think they’ll be again. What’s with these people!

                      I can’t agree with Joel Walsham re the Melissa Lee comment.

              • Joel Walsham

                Many know him for simply not being Melissa Lee.

                • Meg

                  Hey Steve

                  The only vitriol seems to be coming from you.

                  I went off to have a baby and do my PhD. Is that ok with you? Still two ticks Labour, still worked on the last campaign, still paying my donations.

                  If you want to be nasty about someone try to stay on topic at least. 

                  • Steve W

                    [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please, I don’t want you giving people the false impression of a consensus with your very narrow understanding of events]

                    No vitriol Meg, just reading it as I see it. And this series of posts has some great supporting comments for Shearer but the rest seem just to want to white ant him and not see him for what he could deliver. It’s unbelievable. You’re intelligent enough to read the political wind that says he would have far more electoral appeal than Cunliffe. So it’s all on point.

                    • Meg

                      So what exactly does that have to do with you attacking me?

                    • Steve W

                      [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please, I don’t want you giving people the false impression of a consensus with your very narrow understanding of events]

                      Actually nothing personal – I couldn’t even remember the name just the image that was being portrayed. The fact is that despite the negative campaign run then, the party and the electorate got the best person for the job. I hope we’re not seeing the same happening again with a negative theme attempting to derail a good prospect. The alternative as has been said, is a good candidate as well but not one that will set the electorate alight.

                    • Meg

                      Steve, unlike you I actually fronted up under my own name to be judged by the party. Just like I’m writing under my own name now. I wasn’t nasty at the time and I’m not sure why you are associating people not supporting Shearer for leader with me.

                      But I think it really sucks, and seems ironic to be leveling accusations of nastiness against other people while being nasty yourself. You are not doing your preferred canidate any favours by attacking people he beat in a selection process two and a half years ago to raise him up now. 

                      I don’t know who you are but why don’t you campaign for what you support openly? I’ve noted who I support to my friends on facebook and will wait to see what unfolds over the next two weeks. 

    • lprent 7.2

      The original version of the Stuff article that I saw had the Farrar line in it that it made it sound Shearer was a shoo-in. I wanted something in the post that essentially said that was crap and that was a line that appeared to be being pushed by the wingnuts in the media.

      As much as I like Shearer and for that matter do volunteer work in his electorate (as well as Auckland Central, Epsom, Te Atatu this election) – it is in my view the wrong time to seriously put his name forward. He isn’t ready for the role.

      And incidentally, I have never even been a union member – there are seldom unions in the roles I do. David Cunliffe is an Auckland MP, in fact from one electorate over from David Shearer.

      And you sound like many of the other non-Labour members I’ve heard recently. Silly about a leadership change in a party that you don’t seem to support?

      • Sanctuary 7.2.1

        I never said you were a union member, I was merely illustrating how you make up all sorts of wonderful conspiracies if you try and second guess someones intentions and the best course of action is simply to forget about even reading Farrar’s view on things.

        “…And you sound like many of the other non-Labour members I’ve heard recently. Silly about a leadership change in a party that you don’t seem to support..?”

        Ah, right. Everyone telling you they prefer Shearer is not evidence that he is popular, but of some sort of concerned troll conspiracy – and this elaborate self-deception appears to be grounded in what? Because it conflicts with your personal ownership model of the Labour party where you like someone else?

        I don’t support Labour? Do you live in a bubble? Honestly, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Here is a newsflash sport – you don’t have a mortgage on wisdom or support when it comes to the Labour party. The party is not your effing personal property, and your hyper-patriotic attitude to dissenting opinions from other party loyalists is insulting and ultimately completely self-defeating.

        • I dreamed a dream

          +1 🙂

        • lprent

          Yep, but this is going to be a caucus vote. But it is for a party that I have been working very hard for over decades. Forgive me if I tend to find the claim of those who have not – to claim to speak for those who vote for the party – to be more than a little pretentious….

          • Pete George

            Support is support, votes is votes, newbies or decadies add up the same.

            • lprent

              You are right if you want to experiment and fuck up five times out of six – and the other time find a new idea to work with.

              If you don’t then experience counts for a lot. Amongst other things it allows you figure out if a new Idea has a probability of working without trying it out. This is what I do in real lie…

          • I dreamed a dream

            I think we need to differentiate between the Labour Party president and the Labour Party parliamentary leader.

            For the post of the Labour Party president, I have no problem of her being elected by the party members and activists, and I am sure many like you have worked very hard for the party. The Labour Party president leads the Labour Party primarily and not NZ at large.

            But for the post of the parliamentary Labour leader, the idea is that he aspires to be Prime Minister leading the NZ people. I think that’s where Labour Party supporters who are not members like me ought to be heard also. I am sure there are far more Labour supporters than members. The wider Labour Party supporters like myself need to be taken into consideration because I am interested in someone who can be PM one day, PM for New Zealand.

            I think it is just not fair to claim that any apparent groundwell of support for Shearer is by the right wing. I would think that the support is from the wider Labour party supporters and the public generally.

            • mickysavage

              Havnt you noticed though Slater and Farrar running the lines and all the trolls popping up and saying “support Shearer”?  This ought to be a sure fire giveaway.  They do not want to help the Labour Party.  Their intent is to damage the party and make things worse.  

              Whenever Fisi and Petey are suggesting the same thing you know it is a bad idea.

              • I dreamed a dream

                Sorry I hardly ever read Slater’s and Farrar’s blogs because I find them not to my liking at all for various reasons. The Standard primarily and Red Alert secondarily are virtually the only NZ political blogs I follow.

                Anyway, even if the right wing blogs and trolls are saying “support Labour” with ill intent, consider also the possibility that the majority of left wing supporters (not members and activists) are genuinely interested in David Shearer to succeed, as much as David Parker wants Shearer to succeed. I am a fan of Parker also, so Shearer+Parker is just ideal 🙂

            • lprent

              Ah no. The primary responsibility of the leader of any parliamentary party is to run caucus and the (shadow) cabinet. They are the leader of the parliamentary party. A secondary purpose (very closely related to the first) is to appeal to the public. The reason why it is in that order is because the one thing that really really turns off voters is signs of disunity and extreme factionialism in caucus. Caucus members should get behind the most effective member or team for the job for the benefit of the party, rather than pissing around looking at what benefits they get out of crippling the party

              But that is why they are not elected by the party or the supporters. They have to have the confidence of the caucus (and indirectly the party members via the LEC’s). Requiring the support of supporters who are not active in the party is a minor issue compared to getting the support of activists inside the party. One group talks a lot and helps very little. The other…. Well they are the party.

      • Ed 7.2.2

        Technically at least isn’t Grant Robertson still a candidate for leader as well as deputy leader? I think it is a shame that Parker has withdrawn – all it is doing is feeding the negative media, with (in his view at least) no change to the eventual decision.

        Each of Cunliffe, Parker, Shearer and Robertson would make a good Prime Minister – different talents, different negative perceptions to overcome.

        Whoever is chosen there will be a strong team, and one objective should be to have that reality seen by the public through strong spokespeople being seen to lead in their areas. Labour has a history of being able to seek consensus from those with different views, and from other parties; that needs to be seen as a strength rather than a weakness; it is a lesson that the right have not learned, but increasing diversity makes such accommodation important, and any Labour leader will do better than the current National government at governing for all rather than just for the benefit of a few.

        I have every confidence that the caucus will make a good decision – there are few bad ones with the strength of the candidates they have to choose from.

    • the sprout 7.3

      [Shearer, the MP for Mt Albert] “represents a clean break from Clarkism

      😆 😆 😆


  8. anne 8

    There is a good spin on this,as i have eluded to in another post,someone ask Goff to reconsider
    his plan to stand down as leader,he is absolutely needed,he is going to be serving his electorate
    for the next 3yrs anyway,so its not as though he is not going to be in parliament.
    End this circus now,forthwith,put Goff back in,then search for a competent leader over the next 3yrs without the media circus and damaging labour’s image even more than it has.
    There are vast amounts of people out there now that respect Goff for his election work,(even the prized Key), and his genuinely caring about the people,this should not and can not be ignored.
    Those in the know should approach him forthwith,we have got til the 13th everyone.

  9. I dreamed a dream 9

    Shearer! Shearer! Shearer! Go! Go! Go!

    David Parker has done the honorable thing. He’s a good man, but I prefer Shearer. Shearer with Parker in his team would be excellent.

    • vicks 9.1

      [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please, I don’t want you giving people the false impression of a consensus with your very narrow understanding of events]

      Shearer with Parker AND Cunliffe in his team would be even better. Add Adern, Twyford and all the other newbies as well as the oldies and it would be unbeatable!

  10. sdm 10

    Labour need a game changer. As much as its activists,, supporters, writers on this blog cant see – mainstream NZ has stopped listening to you. The last two elections have shown that.

    As someone on the right, Id rather face Cunliffe. But Labour needs someone else – someone from the outside, much like Key was, to win back the middle.

    • Joel Walsham 10.1

      As someone from the right you would rather see the PM go up against a Harvard Graduate, with extensive business experience, real charisma and the ability to articulate a vision? Wow. You really must want Key gone!

  11. I do not like the rush to change leadership and not have a caretaker leader.
    I do not like the implication that this makes them a bunch of pinheads living in some bubble.
    I do not like the way the media have been enabled by Labour to go from one personality election to another.
    I do not like the way Labour, having been killed by the media in the election, are now allowing the media get more ratings by picking over the corpse.
    I do not like the way Wright and the other pinhead journalists think that they can pick winners.
    I don’t like the way Labour leaks like a sieve.
    I don’t like the way Labour is in a rush continually to prove they have no unity.
    The slack jawed bone head media say that Key’s charm is that he doesn’t come across as a politician.
    On that basis they say that Shearer would be a good choice for Labour leader.
    That’s a BS argument. It depends on who Key is talking to. He is every bit a politician – he just knows how to give people what they want. But in the chamber he is every bit a politician.
    Shearer doesn’t have the skills to face Key in the chamber in any way approaching Goff’s skills. Parker could give as good as he gets and Cunnliffe more so.
    All I can see is 3 years of clips from parliament showing Key, Gerry, Joyce etc getting the best over Shearer.

    • dave brown 11.2

      Nice one William, can’t wait for the cartoon.

    • Yep WJ fraud you are right.  And I spent a great deal of time helping get Shearer elected.  Unlike some of the commentators here …

      • Richard 11.4.1

        Many of us here helped out during the bi-election, from hoardings, door knocking and leaf letting. Seen Shearer in action as well, hes OK but sorry he doesn’t instill confidence. I have also met David Cunliffe at meetings and the list selection. A different class of man and one I would be glad to support should he become Leader. I also believe Sua’ William Sio needs to come out of his shell and play more of a role. We need someone who can mobilize his people, he and his LEC did a good job at that (well done Jill Ovens and the servo’s).
        I saw Otahuhu during the world cup, Tongans, Samoans and Fijians going hard out supporting their teams and it was amazing. Hopefully the next three years should give them incentive to put the same energy into getting Labour re-elected.

  12. belladonna 12

    And the left are taking notice of these right wing trolls, why?

    • lprent 12.1

      Mostly because some of the Labour MP’s are still a bit illiterate.

      I’d bet that one starts waving ‘popular opinion’ around from the right blogs and the idiot journos who feed off them. There are many in caucus who wouldn’t know better…

  13. Anthony 13

    Shearer isn’t a game changer, it’s just another inspirational John Key “success” story minus the millions.

  14. Tony 14

    There are plenty of members who are very supportive of Shearer – and were so before the media and right-wing bloggers started talking about him. I would be incredibly surprised if he does not have the numbers to now become the leader.

  15. dazed & confused 15

    Shearer is the sort of man who could rally support from a jaded electorate and one that is sick and tired of anyone from the old regime, and even more sick and tired of the specific flavour Mr”I’m running the show around here” arrogance that Mr Cunliffe brings to the brand.

    • lprent 15.1

      You haven’t exactly struck me as being a person with the NZLP’s best interests at heart in mind in your comments here in the past.Why the change now?

      • dazed & confused 15.1.1

        FYI – I was an active LP member far longer than I have been a Nat. If you guys want to know the things that change people’s affiliations listen up, if not just write us all off as RWNJs.

        I left the LP for a few reasons the least of which was not the “arrogant” aspect of the Clark regime. Many of us like our public servants/MPs/PMs to have the common touch, we like people to represent values that we relate to. I (over 50, middle class professional)would be very much more inclined to listen to/support someone like Shearer. This is a man who gives the appearance of having selflessly worked to advance the welfare of others – and by all accounts was very successful in doing so.

        He is perfect as a foil to counter what is perceived as the top-of-my-potential-pay-scale public servant,career-driven aspect to LP candidates that many feel typified the Clark years.

        • vicks

          I can see you live up to your name Dazed and Confused. Don’t you feel a bit slutty going from being an active Labour supporter to a Nat? Labour to Green or Labour to Mana maybe but National. I think you should change your name to Slutty and Loose.

          • Dazed & confused

            “Slutty” you say!
            Not at all these days.
            I do hope your brand of hyperbole & personal commentary is not indicative of Party culture these days.

    • the sprout 15.2

      yet another RWNJ endorsement of Shearer

    • Anne 15.3

      Oh dear, I was on the cusp of supporting Shearer because he seemed to be the favourite when dazed and confused (formally Deb) declared her support. I will have to do a re-think. Yes, Cunliffe is ‘dynamic’ and am not surprised Key is running scared of facing him in the House.

      • dazed & confused 15.3.1

        Not formerly anything Anne, just following a form that auto-fills. My email address is here for the mods to see. I am simply dazed and confused on one PC and Deb on the iPad – it’s hardly a RWNJ conspiracy! 😉

        Anyone who self-declares as ‘dynamic’ is not my cup of tea or ever likely to be. As for Key being scared of him, you have to be kidding. Cunliffe’s “I’m running the show” approach to matters in ths house, or his sexist remarks about women with regards to their reproductive appeal might amuse his fellow caucus members and Labour stalwarts, it doesn’t endear itself to Joe Public.

  16. tc 16

    Meanwhile that multi billion hole in blinglish’s budget was just ripped a few billion wider on revised growth forecasts……FFS this media circus labours allowing to get wrapped up in shows they haven’t learned much.

    No comment and by the way another broken promise, look at those growth assumptions etc should be what’s coming from them not appearing on celebrity close up I can’t believe it’s a current affair show, play the game on your own terms not the forking MSM.

  17. Jester 17

    Glad to see my txt votes for Shearer wasn’t wasted.

  18. Carol 18

    Well, it sounds to me like Parker et al, would like Shearer to be the public face of the party, while Robertson does all the heavy management lifting behind the scenes and coaches Shearer into the job. They also sound like they aim to wrap a strong team around Shearer.


    But, I think Cunlife could do an excellent job of leader. The Shearer idea is a bit of a gamble, but might work out…. maybe?

    But both candidates are to go around the country to talk to party members. So I’ll be interested to see what the outcome is of that.

  19. Brian 19

    People backing Shearer.

    Have you ever seen him under stress in a public debate or interview?

    He’s got the blink like that minister from The Thick of It

    If you think show me the money was bad, wait until that comes out.

    • SukieDamson 19.1

      Yes, watched the 3 David’s on the pappa smurf show last night. Shearer, totally blink blink un f###ing convincing. Oh, what would you pay for 15 mins of prime time Paxman vs Key. The lion & the sheep. LoL.

  20. Jimmie 20

    My two cents worth – just picking up from the general comment on here I would say that Shearer comes from the more conservative, centrist camp in Labour wheras Cunliffe (see his finance policies at the election) appears to represent the more left camp.

    This perhaps unconsciously colours most commentators on here as most Labour supporters on the Standard are fairly mid to hard left wing in outlook.

    As a Nat supporter I would probably prefer Cunliffe as leader as it will be a lot easier for Key to paint him as another yesterday’s man in 2014. Shearer may come across as more relevant and centrist.

    But on the other hand if there has to be a Labour government in 2014 I would prefer Shearer as PM than Cunliffe so it’s quite a conumdrum – probably why there is a lot of interest in this contest by right wingers.

  21. Blue 21

    Shearer is really tempting when you consider his backstory and the fact that he is a new face. If he was a good speaker he would be perfect for the job.

    But he isn’t. He has no warmth or charisma, he stumbles over his words all the time and he can’t express his ideas clearly.

    He would be a disaster as Labour leader, and I’m seriously concerned about the momentum that seems to have gathered behind him.

    Self-selecting polls that traditionally favour the right-wing viewpoint are all backing Shearer.

    I know if I was John Key I would love to have Shearer as the Labour Party leader. I could put my feet up and look forward to an easy three years as he bumbled and stumbled his way through Question Time, media interviews, speeches and public meetings.

    This is the guy ‘the public’ are supposedly backing for Labour leader:

    Bloody David Parker is getting on my nerves now. His belief that he knows what is best for the party will ruin everything if his fellow MPs take him seriously.

  22. J Mex 22

    I think Shearer would be the better choice. He is miles better than Cunliffe and will connect with voters much better.

    I do hope that Labour picks Cunliffe, however.

    • lprent 22.1

      Briar patch anyone?

      So old it has history dripping off it like lard off an old mountain ewe

      • J Mex 22.1.1

        [Sigh]. Do you really think that I thought I would post on here to put doubt into your mind, thereby causing Labour to somehow pick the candidate preferred by the right?



        I posted it because it is my honestly held belief. And it will turn out to be the correct choice.

        Cunliffe v Parker: Cunliffe all day long

        Cunliffe v Shearer: Shearer. Hands down.

        You see, Shearer is the closest you have to a John Key. Someone who spurns the traditional view of politics. Someone without all the political baggage. A guy you would like to have a beer with. A guy who would drink straight out of the bottle – Something you political animals seem to hate, and one that ‘ordinary kiwi’s’ love. He also has a great backstory. Shearer has actually gone out there to make the world a better place. He hasn’t got a whole lot of political baggage, and has the ability for a fresh start. Cunliffe isn’t fresh. He was one of the main players in a massive defeat. No fresh start there. More infighting. More politicking.

        Gower has a good article: http://www.3news.co.nz/Lack-of-Camp-Shearer-shows-Labours-problems/tabid/419/articleID/234576/Default.aspx

        You don’t have to be Blind Freddy to realise that Shearer could make the break. Everyone knows he has the back story – saving lives all around the world. He is also a normal guy – not that common in politics believe you me.

        Labour’s problem is it needs someone who can handle the political wildebeest that is the Labour Party. Handling the Labour Party is the main job – winning the country comes second.

        If you think I am just mischief making, take a bet with me lprent. You pick the amount and the charity (non political). Loser pays to the charity. I bet on Shearer, you bet on Cunliffe.

        Are you game?

        Shearer will win – For once I think the Labour party might actually make the right choice,

        • the sprout

          you’ve never actually met shearer have you?

        • lprent

          Shearer may win – that is a matter for the caucus to vote on. The question isn’t that. The question is if that is the best thing for him, the party, and the country. If he is put into place is he going to get the trustworthy support inside the caucus to cover his parliamentary and political inexperience so as not to fuck it up for all of those three. There is absolutely no point in having a dream and not having the tools to do anything much to implement it… Just look at Key’s cabinet who only ever tinker around the edges and never actually try to fix anything.

          That is what I haven’t been convinced on and I am worried about. Populist bullshit aside, members of David’s LEC (like myself) are going to be really concerned about simple political mechanics. We’ve seen the stresses of a new party leader first hand and for many years after Helen got the position.

  23. Joel Walsham 23

    When we look at who is going to be the next leader, as members, supporters (and the MP’s themselves), it is vital that we put aside internal party politics and look who who can realistically rebuild the party, engage with the New Zealand public, then have the energy and charisma to not just win an election, but to lead a three term Labour Government after that.

    There is no doubt in my mind that there is now only one candidate who will be up to the task at hand. David Cunliffe. We need a leader, for the sake of the country, who has an impeccable knowledge of the economy and then is able to communicate an economic vision to the country. We need a party that connects with maori, for the interests of those who are being hit so hard by the Nats.

    We need a leader who will keep the parties values in tact, while looking to create a future in a country where smart people want to live. We need to make the Labour Party more green, more pacific, more inclusive and have the ability to reach out to businesses (the support could be there with 2/3 of business thinking that National do not have a plan!).

    The team to lead us forward is David Cunliffe and Nania Mahuta. To shaft these two leaders for the sake of internal party politics would be wrong, a disservice to party members and to those who NEED a Labour Government in 2014.

    People underestimate how hard it is to lead a Parliamentary party. There is a reason that Helen wasn’t leader after only 2 and a half years. Come on Labour, wake up!

    • Grassroot 23.1

      Absolutely, ask any real Labour party member/campaigner/activist you will get a clear answer – Cunliffe is the man with all the qualities and experiences to lead the country.

      • J Mex 23.1.1

        But that ‘s kind of the problem. Cunliffe may appeal to “real” Labour party members/campaigners/activists, but that’s not who Labour needs to connect with in the next three years.

  24. ak 24

    This thread is good example of why one should never visit Sewerblog or its ilk. Even acknowledging the existence of something indicates a certain level of totally underserved respect – let alone the futility of speculating on the motives and machinations of the utterly amoral and Machiavellian. Don’t go there girlfriends.

    Ignore the scuttlebutt, whencever it comes: you can never know its veracity or import.

    Motivation is the prime and enduring factor in a leader or any person in authority – and the only proveable quality. And motives can be gleaned from one thing only: past behaviour.

    The Key of One, for example, couldn’t claim a single jaycee, Lions, boy scout, church, collecting-for-the-blind, school board, PTA, sponsorship, helped-a-mate membership or affirmation despite being for his whole life in a position to do so with no effort on his part whatsoever. Rumours of donations matter not a fig – crumbs from the owner of a bread mountain.

    Shearer, on the other hand, has a documented history of the polar opposite; Russell Brown recently spotted him planting trees on a public reserve alone.

    His history’s good enough for me. And, I suspect, the wider community: they’re sick of salesmen, and rapidly learning that money can’t buy them love.

    • Anthony 24.1

      The problem is that the wider community is more like John Key than David Shearer in aspiration and motivation, if they were like David Shearer NZ would be 1000 times better to live in.

      John Key will just say we can’t all go help in Africa, but we can be good dads, good neighbors, good employees, good tax payers and good citizens and people will lap that shit up.

      He will then say how New Zealanders contribute to x amount to charity voluntarily and through aid contributions – he will probably up the NZ AID budget 2012 to preempt this – and say how ALL New Zealanders contribute to these projects whether they be in Afghanistan or in Christchurch.

      And it will work because this is the mechanism we use to ignore problems already.

      That is David Shearer’s history countered.

      • ak 24.1.1

        Not suggesting that his history could be used like an armful of scout badges, Anthony. You’re quite right, the Right can counter that easily.

        Rather, it’s what his history tells us about him: i.e. that he cares more about justice and other people than money, career or “winning”. More importantly, it tells the same story to the swinging voter: ironically, the same story Key used, (“doesn’t need the money, only doing it out of the goodness of his heart”) only this time with proof. His past “shows them the money”, if you will.

        The non-political have a very good nose for veracity: it’s why poor old Phil could never really ring true to Jo Middle after his part in the fourth lab treason and decades of political slipdickery – the latter, also poor old Cunny’s albatross.

        • the sprout

          i don’t doubt Shearer is a good person as his history attests.

          but honestly, have you ever heard him speak in public? he simply doesn’t have the skills to speak like a leader needs to be able to speak. he’s shown no evidence of any improvement whatsoever in the last 2.5 years he’s been in parliament – he doesn’t have the necessary prerequisites. 

          seriously, have a look at his performance on close-up last night. that was shearer’s top game, he wasn’t having a bad night. once you’ve done that, ask yourself again if you really think he’s capable of leading Labour to victory in 2014, 2017, ever.

          • Puddleglum

            I hadn’t seen that Close Up interview (no tv).

            Cunliffe was very good. Relaxed, assured, clear in his answers, a good strong, genuine smile and sense of humour, no hesitation, clarity about his own position on the political spectrum.

            I thought Parker came across well too, though not as self-assured. He had thought about his ‘pitch’ (e.g., the bit about beneficiaries have ‘obligations’ – no guess as to the vote he wants to (re)capture for Labour).

            Shearer raised more questions for me than providing answers. He evaded the question about whether Labour was ‘left’ – interestingly, he said “There’s no doubt Labour came out of the left …”. He kept repeating that he was a ‘fresh face’ and he provides ‘freshness’. I wasn’t convinced. Marketing yourself as ‘not-X’ can only take you so far.

            Cunliffe wore a red tie, Parker black and white and Shearer a black-purpley thing.

            I have to admit I was a bit wary of Cunliffe prior to seeing that interview (though I was impressed with a Radio Live live chat he did during the campaign that was on the internet). I think I now have his measure and I would trust him as Labour leader – I also think he would make Key look quite shallow.

            As I said, Parker would have been ok but not quite ‘there’.

            I was not impressed with Shearer – which surprised me. 

            Sure, Shearer might be seen as ‘non-political’, ‘centrist’ and so appeal to some ‘swingers’ but the job description is leader of the Labour Party and he did not seem particularly committed to that ‘brand’ (but I might be overstating it on this limited evidence).

    • the sprout 24.2

      Motivation is the prime and enduring factor in a leader

      i agree. an a tv1 interview yesterday, when asked “do you really want to be leader” Shearer said “yes of course, that’s why i got into politics”.

      really? you got into politics so you could be leader, after two and a half years? i would have hoped for more altruistic, or at least other-oriented motivations than to be leader. especially after all of two and a half years in the job.

      • ak 24.2.1

        Agreed, sprout, dopey answer. Funny innnit though, I sorta got the impression that even he knew it was dopey – which impressed me somehow…..guess it all comes down to “the vibe”….the vibe of the swingers, who don’t seem to like poor old cunners unfortunately… (but lurrve Jacinda, let’s not forget)

        • the sprout

          well i beg to differ that voters will be more attracted to shearer over cunliffe 3 years from now. i don’t think voters will find bumbling and goofy very endearing when they’re unemployed and scared, but they will be attracted to strength and competence.

          but i agree ardern would be a major vote magnet as deputy. 

        • Joel Walsham

          Where is the evidence that swinging voters don’t like David Cunliffe?

          Oh thats right, it is just another smear that is being run from those on the right who would begin to fear each and every Question Time.

  25. If_you_see_Kay 25

    I am disappointed. All the talk for a day about a decent opportunity to debate the ideas that a new candidate would offer, then Phil Goff gives the Caucus only two weeks to decide on a new leader, thereby throwing out he window any such fanciful notions as a transparent decision.

    Way to anoint your successor. Not a hint in such a rapid resignation that the historical mission of a major social democratic party needs to be considered. In fact, a way to make sure it is not.

    All I know as a (socialist) member of the public is that some person or persons is spreading negative rumours about David Cunliffe while the old boys’ network in the Labour Party and the media seems to be hell-bent on installing David Shearer.

    The process is totally opaque. Which one one of these candidates is going to be better for the future of New Zealand, how are we going to know?

    Other countries are introducing open primaries. That’s three steps beyond what the NZLP does. It doesn’t even involve ordinary members in such decisions at all, let alone in a meaningful way.

    MPs stuck with this dubious honour should be looking at trying to rise above the politicking and egos and try to see who will be actually better for the working people in the long term, rather than succumbing to inducements, PR, and the old boys’ network. The decision is bigger than any one of them.

    • Agreed iysk (he!)

      A member initiated primary would be a good idea (hat tip Bunji) but the way this is happening the membership has only two weeks to do this.

      And I agree that the beat up on Cunliffe is startling.  I am not seeing anything of the sort happen to Shearer.  It makes you think that the right want Shearer not Cunliffe to be the leader of the Labour Party.  I wonder why? 

  26. Afewknowthetruth 26

    Shearer does have the advantage of not being scientifically illiterate.

    Parker was so useless the last time he held a position of responsiblity he was referred to as ‘Parkbench’. So it will be no loss to Labour of NZ if he has withdrawn.

  27. David 27

    What about Cunliffe Robertson? Robertson Cunliffe? Only if about half the rump caucus can swallow their distaste for Cunliffe (but are they big enough to acknowledge the strengths??). Cunliffe runs rings around English, and has Key scared in close debate on the economy. Cunliffe’s strengths on the economy and with business are MILES ahead of the next contenders (though also different: David Parker has some brilliant insights and cut through eg around small business).

    Robertson is as smart (and that’s smart), though in a more immediate, EQ way. He approaches big issues and small issues (and the differences between them) with an ease and immediacy that is, let me say, like Helen Clark at her very best. He works as hard as Phil Goff. As sure footed as Michael Cullen (and with a twinkle in his eye). Over the next three years, he would drive the party processes at all levels down quality lines. He would make Key look shallow (something not everyone else has or could manage) again and again and again. Maybe he needs the leaders role to do that now. Or maybe we save him for after 2014. But maybe he’s the only one who could knock Key off his spot, and mean we dont lose the next election.

    Meanwhile, things are moving fast, maybe too fast: we are in the midst of the David Shearer phenomenon (having just seen Greens and Winston ride reactionary bubbles against Labour as we have known it). These bubbles are a sign of something important, to be sure: but also a sign of short term impulse. This is not a good environment for making these kinds of decisions. I want to see Shearer tested more, over a longer time frame. I want to see substantive debate between these guys. I want to see how he goes on issues in the media, and in something resembling question time. I want to hear him on the economy, on social policy, on green issues. I want to see what Grant Robertson looks like with/ against these two. I want to know we have the strongest guy, because I want to win the next election, because I am scared shitless of what 9 years of Key and Co will do to this place. .

    So: I only want David Shearer to win this, if he does, having shown more convincingly he’s a better leader than either of the other two. I’m not convinced yet.

    So: Please let’s see the strengths of all these guys over a slightly longer period!! Annette, take us through Xmas, please!!

  28. odysseus 28

    I can’t pretend to know the candidtaes very well. But I saw the 3Ds on Close Up the other night and well, I though it was obvious.
    DP – just bland.
    DS – pleasant but stumbling, didn’t say anything at all beyond the fact that he was ” new”.
    DC – strong answers, particulary liked the bit about work always has to pay better than benefit and related WFF to beneficiaries in the context of the $ 15 minimum wage. Never heard anyone else in the whole camapaign explain it as simply as that. Knew his stuff ie credible PM.

    So DC for me…

  29. Cannot think of a clever name 29

    Sadly one element of Democracy is about popularity

    Ignoring that element is self defeating.

    It is also fair to say that what Labour successfully represented for nine years is no longer acceptable to the majoritory of the electorate.

    Common sense anyone?

    • Afewknowthetruth 29.1


      If you have not yet watched them do watch :

      Albert Bartlett’s Aritmetic, Population and Energy


      Blind Spot.

      They will demonstrate how completely lacking in common sense our society is.

      In ‘End of Suburbia’ (2004) one of the guest speakers (Richard Heinberg, I think) commented that as Peak Oil begins to bite and economic conditions worsen people are likely to vote for whoever promises to maintian unsustainable living arrangements [the longest] … even to the point of allowing a fascism to rise if that proplonged perceived entitlement just a bit longer.

      That seems to be pretty much the point we have reached, just as predicted.

    • Joel Walsham 29.2

      Why is it that National were then working so hard to swallow the dead rats this term, then?

      Policies of the Clark-era labour party were and still are very popular. This is not to say that we should keep this model in it entirety, however there is a reason that Helen won three elections. We need to learn about what went wrong in the last one, a perception of being ‘nanny-state’.

      Labour needs to be a very progressive party. It needs to have vision. All of these people are jumping up and down to support Shearer and yet we do not know a thing about what direction he would lead the party in. Scary.

      • Draco T Bastard 29.2.1

        We need to learn about what went wrong in the last one, a perception of being ‘nanny-state’.

        Yep, the false perception spread by National and their mates in the MSM. Follow that up with the Democracy Under Attack BS from the Granny and other MSM outlets and by the time 2k8 rolled around Labour had a fairly bad rep – none of which was on account of anything that they themselves did but the lies from National and the MSM.

        • Spratwax

          Completely agree Draco. We keep underestimating the influence the corporate media has had on the Kiwi psyche over the last 10-15 years. I would suggest that they are now in a position in which they can influence election results and the public perception of individual politicians. Witness the way David Shearer has suddenly become a central figure in leadership race but wasn’t even a real contender on Monday. This is wholly due to the right wing media, who do not want Cunliffe as he has superior credentials to Key, is articulate and experienced, but crucially defines what the public expect from a Labour leader- clearly from the left and a toughness reflected in their style of oratory. Shearer has a humanitarian background but is centrist, and we are rapidly moving into an economic period which will require a clearly defined political stance as unemployment increases and much of the middle class become casualties of the ‘free market’. The media will continue to sabotage the opposition with untruths, media black-outs, spin etc, so Labour could learn a thing or two from Winston and begin informing people around the country through the old-fashioned way. The message won’t get through via the corporate media and there are still not enough people aware of the alternative media.

          • Pete George

            This is wholly due to the right wing media,

            If you believe that, and Labour believes that and decides it’s new leadership and direction based on that, I think Labour is doomed.

            Regardless of who Labour chooses they need to look at what is best to excite and unite their caucus and party, and regain support from the wider voting public.

            • Spratwax

              Fact: Since Key has been in power Labour, in opposition, got zero oxygen from the corporate media resulting in the perception that they were a lame opposition.

              Fact: In any other country the media would have published the content of the Epsom tea tape regardless, particularly when the tea party was held in front of a media frenzy. But not in NZ-why? Because it would have seriously damaged Keys credibility and image which the media spent 3 years cultivating.

              As an aside, the credibility of the ombudsman (ex-corporate) also went down the toilet when she refused to release treasury papers on the asset sales pre-election when a similar event occured in 2005 and the ombudsman ruled the release of treasury papers on the student loan scheme before the election.

              If you think the corporate media (and other forces) have little or no influence you are either in la la land or you rae a Nat and stubbornly refuse to admit it (and quite possibly brain-washed)

              • I’m well aware how much influence the media have and have written and commented on it.

                I’m also realistic and aware enough to understand it isn’t ‘them against us’, it’s trvilialisation and sensationalisation against substance, and everyone but the celebrity rubber neckers suffers.

                The most visible media works against our whole democractic process, not just against the party looking at who to blame for their own faults.

                • Spratwax

                  So you admit that the corporate media is against Labour and democratic processes (the ‘faults’ are evident in all parties, but it is how they are presented by the corporate media that counts). If the media is all about ‘trivialisation and sensationalisation against substance’ then, I reiterate, why didn’t they publish the content of the tapes? Talk about a sensational story!! But alas, that’s not what they are entirely about-admit it!

                  The corporate media also revealed its true colours on their electoral system stance too- not unlike Key and his gNats who were encouraging SM (FPP in drag-sort of like ‘49% partial sale’). Talk about supporting undemocratic processess

  30. Afewknowthetruth 30


    Don’t forget that anything that is presenterd on mainstream television is normally completely detached from reality.

    The last thing NZ needs is a yet another blind economist with economic vision that is completely detached from reality.

    The fact is, the ecocomy and economic growth are the problem, not the solution.

    It’s about time people woke up and stopped parrotting the mantra of the banksters.

    The selection of Cunliffe would be a clear indication Labour is still stuck in suicide mode.

    • odysseus 30.1

      Way overehgged afk, especially with the reality detachment – twice in 2 paragraphs. In any case, who are the other blind economists who have lead the country?

      I am talking from the POV of winning, and in that DC appeared by far the strongest candidate to me. So to say that that is ” suicide mode” is nonsensical. Au contraire.

      • the sprout 30.1.1

        agreed odysseus

      • Draco T Bastard 30.1.2

        In any case, who are the other blind economists who have lead the country?

        Treasury, Blinglish, Cullen, Douglass, Muldoon (Yes, I’m as much against Keynes as I am against Friedman)…

        Capitalism itself doesn’t work as it’s not connected to reality.

        I am talking from the POV of winning, and in that DC appeared by far the strongest candidate to me.

        He probably is but that doesn’t mean that he’s promoting sustainable practices.

      • Afewknowthetruth 30.1.3


        I spent the period 2000 to 2011 ‘arguing’ with people who insisted that:

        1. peak oil was a myth and that economic growth would go on forever

        2. debts and deficts didn’t matter

        3. there was no such thing as climate change

        Now that peak oil has been confirmed, the world economy is mired in debt that is bringing down the system, and climate change takes an ever greater toll every year, people argue [with me] that humanity is not on a path to self annihilation, that we don’t need to worry about acidification of the oceans, and that humanity is not causing the Sixth Great Extinction Event. (That’s where he word suicidal fits in, but also applies to Labour’s election chances if it continues on the same path it has been on.)

        Facts do not go away just because people refuse to accept them.

        Whoever becomes leader of Labour will be completely irrelevant unless he/she is connected with reality and is prepared to do something about the crucial issues of the times.

        I’m not holding my breath for such a person to emerge.

        Derrick Jensen put it this way: people living on Earth 50 years from now (if there are any) won’t care which party you voted for. They will just say: “I’m starving to death [because of your inaction] ….God damn you!”


    • Draco T Bastard 30.2

      …would be a clear indication Labour is still stuck in suicide mode.

      That’s been obvious for awhile. They’ve been promoting BaU just as much as National and Act have.

    • Joel Walsham 30.3

      I suspect that a Cunliffe/Mahuta combo would have a lot closer relationship with the Greens than any other Labour Leader. This points to Cunliffe not just being a “blind” economist, but a man who knows the importance of a progressive and sustainable Government.

  31. Rain33 31

    Experience is the most over-rated badge a political contender can carry. Just ask a certain Senator from Illinois.

    Seriously, don’t confuse yourselves by believing that the majority of the voting public are going to be won over by degrees of political experience. The public are won over when they feel someone is trustworthy and honest, someone they can relate to and someone they believe they could rely on in a crisis.

    I was in the States during the Al Gore/George Bush election campaign. The debate that changed the direction of the whole campaign was the one when Al Gore, with all the knowledge in the world, irritated people with his sighing and posturing during the debate. Bush really didn’t have a clue, but in the end it didn’t matter. They turned off Al Gore.

    David Shearer has plenty of time to get himself ready to foot it with John Key.
    If people don’t warm to Cunliffe (and I expect they wont) it wont matter how much experience he has, or how knowledgeable he is, it will all count for nothing.

    David Shearer said last night on Closeup words to this effect…While John Key was away making money, I was away saving peoples lives. Game over.

    • Joel Walsham 31.1

      Why do you not think people will warm to Cunliffe? Have you seen him in his electorate, not just campaigning but when he is out and about. I have been with him when people have pulled over their car just to shake his hand.

      Some people are just ‘people people’ and Cunliffe is one of them.

      • Draco T Bastard 31.1.1

        Have you seen him in his electorate…

        No I haven’t and I’m in his electorate.

        • Joel Walsham

          He had been holding public meetings on (I think) a bi-monthly basis (or there abouts), he is often around the electorate, at the Avondale Markets or the likes, so it is very surprising that you haven’t seen him!

      • Albie Chase 31.1.2

        [lprent: A wellington political astroturfer – now blacklisted. ]

        He doesn’t even live in his electorate Joel. Last time I saw footage of him in his electorate he was outside the Avondale markets bleating about millionaires living in their mansions, before hopping back into his car to drive back to his mansion in Herne Bay. If Cunliffe becomes leader then that youtube clip will get many, many more hits. I fear that Cunliffe would become the Mark Latham of the NZ Labour Party.

        • the sprout

          weren’t you only just preaching about how cunliffe supporters oughtn’t be so nasty to poor old shearer?
          would you like gloves on or off albie?

        • Anthony

          If that footage is the best you’ve got against Cunliffe then LOL.

          He’s completely on message.

          • Joel Walsham

            A passionate outburst that represents the views of the electorate he is elected to represent is nothing to be afraid of!

            I agree Anthony. If that is the BEST the right have against Cunliffe after 12 years then he has done a bloody good job!

        • lprent

          Ignorant as well. Avondale including the racecourse where the markets are is in Mt Albert Electorate not New Lynn.

          Ummm. The tenor of your comments is looking more and more like political astroturfing concern troll and less and less like someone with the interests of the left at heart. Which appears to the impression you are trying to leave without ever quite stating it.

          And yes, that is what you appear to be.

          Downtown wellington IP and looks to be static. On that IP, there are different pseudonyms over a period of time arguing quite different viewpoints – but with the same overall ‘tone’. With a lot of insider level knowledge pushing a memes that either attack a policy from the right or try to push a ‘concern’ from the left. IP is either in parliament or offices associated with it – but political in either case.

          Looks like that machine (maybe office) has been deliberately used for astroturfing the debate with seeded PR memes. That isn’t what this comment section is for.

          Blacklisted and I’ve noted on all messages with this identity to make it clear what the purpose of the comments appears to be.

          • Seti

            Ignorant as well. Avondale including the racecourse where the markets are is in Mt Albert Electorate not New Lynn.

            Um, according to the electorate map Avondale racecourse is in the New Lynn electorate.

      • Muzza 31.1.3

        Most people could not tell a genuine people’s person if it hit them in the head.

        let’s just ignore the serious issues, and you all just hope for another nice chap.

        We really have got no chance, if the blog sites are any indicator

  32. Anne 32

    I’ve met Cunliffe twice now and he came across as warm, friendly and approachable. He has a formidable brain and I have to wonder whether some of his colleagues are a bit jealous.

    • Rain33 32.1

      I would not base too much on a couple of public encounters. I get the sense that some of his colleagues feel his public face is slightly different to his private face. I don’t know I have no connection to the inner circle. However, perception is everything.

    • Afewknowthetruth 32.2

      comment deleted

  33. Albie Chase 33

    [lprent: A wellington political astroturfer – now blacklisted. ]

    Some things that Cunliffe’s supporters might want to think about.

    1. It’s not in anybody’s interests except the Nats if there’s a shit-fight. Talking contenders down doesn’t do your future any good when your identity in the Party is well known, and the person you’re talking down loses. Yes, I DO mean you mickeysavage.

    2. Just because you might be close to one of the contenders, and it might be in your personal interests for one of them to win, doesn’t mean it’s in the Party’s interests for you to talk down your opponent.

    3. Shearer fumbles a little bit in his speech. So? He hasn’t had media training. Parker and Cunliffe have. Shearer was consistently on message in the heat of the Mt Albert election when he had a minder and was in a white hot environment for five weeks. Can he be trained not to fumble? I think so. Does he have time to train? Of course, the next election is three years away.

    4. What is surprising is the speculation now about the front line-up of Shearer’s. It doesn’t include Cunliffe. If Cunliffe isn’t careful about how he and his supporters conduct themselves over the next few weeks then he could be on the outer when Shearer wins. Is a protracted civil war inside the Labour Party the best thing for Labour?

    5. There’s also no women named so far in Shearer’s line-up. That’s a concern. There was early talk of Ardern, but puh-lease. She hasn’t proven herself in any shape or form. She’s the party darling and she looks good on TV, but she has never done anything of note either in Parliament or before Parliament and she couldn’t even knock Nikki Kaye off when she had everything handed to her on a plate. Shearer needs some serious, established and proven female firepower in his front line-up. I don’t think Maryan Street is that firepower either. Dalziel and Dyson are, but big progress needs to be made to bring them back into the fold.

    • the sprout 33.1

      talk of Ardern, but puh-lease. She hasn’t proven herself in any shape or form

      where as Shearer has? how would that be exactly? please point to any evidence (note being given the mt albert selection in spite of himself does not constitute any proof of competence)

      shearer doesn’t just ‘fumble a little in his speech’, he’s simply not quick enough on his feet to debate a sharp opponent, and he hasn’t any charisma to paper over the cracks in his performance with. take a look at last night’s close up for evidence of his weakness. i’ve said many times already that i think he’s a good person, but he just doesn’t have the prerequisites for the leadership job. that, and as a first term MP he’s lacking about 10 years on the job experience.

      note too that cunliffe does not know who the sprout is and i’m not acting on his behalf, i’m acting in what i believe are the long term interests of the NZLP

      • Albie Chase 33.1.1

        [lprent: A wellington political astroturfer – now blacklisted. ]

        Sorry Sprout I was probably not very precise with my wording, and I didn’t mean you.

        Yes Shearer has done things. He went to Afghanistan and Iraq and ran multi-billion dollar aid missions in war zones. That requires somebody with impeccable political management and leadership and negotiation skills and being able to literally work under fire. Shearer has the most impressive pre-parliamentary experience of anybody in caucus by a considerable margin.

        Getting the Mt Albert selection wasn’t a cake-walk. He went into the fire as an unknown largely, a last minute ring-in against some pretty high calibre opponents. Like I say he’s not a natural orator, but neither is Key, and Key has improved markedly with media training.

        I don’t think we’ve seen Shearer at the top of his game yet. His line about Key going overseas to make money, he went overseas to save lives, was awesome. Five or six lines like that repeated over and over and it’s game on. Cunliffe can’t bring any of those out.

        You don’t feel the warmth factor for Shearer, that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. There’s something about Shearer that I can’t put my finger on yet, but he’s got a basic modesty and self-effacing decency which makes him a bit of an anti-politician in the way Key has managed to get huge popularity numbers as an anti-politician. That’s a lot to work with in my view.

        • the sprout

          can’t deny Shearer is excellent on paper.
          can’t deny he’s a good person.
          can’t deny he has appeal to people who take little interest in politics.

          but i also can’t deny the mt albert selection was a cake walk for shearer, he lost the contest hands down but was given the seat by goff anyway.

          and i can deny that he will improve sufficiently to give Key any major problems; he needs 20 years’ practice to lift his game to do that, not 2, and so far in the last 3 years he hasn’t improved at all. good person, but just doesn’t have the necessary skill set.

        • SHG

          His line about Key going overseas to make money, he went overseas to save lives, was awesome.

          Everyone knew it was coming though, and Shearer didn’t really express it that well. He should have stuck with DPF’s version from earlier:


        • Puddleglum

          He went to Afghanistan and Iraq and ran multi-billion dollar aid missions in war zones.

          That experience also represents a risk.

          If I were WhaleOil, at the moment I would be dredging through those “mulit-billion dollar aid missions” to find if there was any whiff of corruption, misappropriated funds, questionable behaviour, etc..

          Given the kerfuffle in recent years over just such UN missions I’d be surprised if some smelly affair couldn’t be found, especially in Iraq where massive amounts of money seem to have vanished into thin air. (I am not, of course, saying that Shearer would have had anything to do with any scuttlebuck that was found – but the point would be to tarnish the saintly halo that comes from that experience. Without the halo, what else does he have going for him?).

          The UN and other aid organisations are hardly unimpeachable – they have been attacked repeatedly for corruption and worse (especially by the right).

          Under attack in that way, does Shearer have the skills to avoid the mud?

    • Grassroot 33.2

      Good points, however cannot agree all of that. 

      Point 3 – if you have already got a well trained guy, why need to wait another 3 years to train someone who is not guaranteed to come out as good as the one you already got?

      Totally agree with your last point – leadership team needs to be male n female, cannot see Shearer n Parker as a team or Shearer n Robertson.  

    • lprent 33.3

      Idiot. You are making stupid presumptions

      My party membership is in Mt Albert and I have sat on that LEC for decades. My concern is that tossing a newbie MP into the leadership without sufficient support is likely to be a bad thing for him and the party.

      You have to understand that I am extremely orientated towards functionality and operations of the party rather than any party politics. I pretty much look at politicians as to how effective they are at their work and what the party needs to do its work. Their egos and spin is something that is only of interest to me in terms of how effective it is at doing the task required.

      I’m a political mechanic and don’t really have much interest in factions, interest groups, or even politicians. What I am interested in is the party as an institution for politics and what it needs to function effectively.

      Consequently I don’t have any particular support for Cunliffe apart from his evident competences and weaknesses. I do support Shearer because he is the MP for my local party organization.

      But I have a problem with the whole concept of putting a newbie politician that I do work for in a position where he doesn’t have caucus support to make effective. That is what I see right now. It is like some Labour MP’s have forgotten their history yet again….

      • vicks 33.3.1

        What makes you think he doesn’t have caucus support now?

      • Steve W 33.3.2

        You know, Lprent, you’re trying desperately hard to appear caring and looking to the good of the Labour Party but man your bias against Shearer is starting to shine through. Why do you do this if you’re supposed to be on his electorate team? Are you fronting for Slater or Farar?

  34. ieuan 34

    There is something very, very wrong with The Standard when they don’t support the candidate who will give Labour the best chance of winning the next election.

    Honestly LPrent (and others here) whatever high horse you are prancing around on, it is time to climb off.

    • the sprout 34.1

      The Standard comprises a range of authors with diverse views. i am sure other authors have quite different views to lprent and i. you would be unwise to assume the standard is a monolithic entity.
      see the About section

      i suggest also that you try engaging with the arguments so that you might be able to test and inform your assumptions

    • lprent 34.2

      “the standard” is a machine. What you are looking at is a few authors with their opinions, and most of the others who haven’t stated theirs.

      What I am saying is that I do not think that a MP who has been in the house for under 3 years has the abilities to run the caucus and shadow cabinet – which is the main job of the parliamentary leader.

      John Key is an excellent example of political inexperience. His cabinet drifts and never does much. So was David Lange also being popular, manipulated by colleagues and eventually crashing cabinet into a belated shuddering cup of tea

      in those two cases of inadequetely prepared leaders there are a number of people in cabinet who were doing the heavy lifting. In John Keys case it appears to mostly be Joyce, English, Collins, with Brownlee screwing up. Lange had Douglas, Prebble, Palmer, Moore, and others. I do not see those experienced crutches for Shearer.

      I really can’t help you if you fail to understand the basics of a parliamentary democracy’s political mechanics. But suffice it to say that winning elections is merel part of the issue. You have to be able to implement changes as well.

      Now I am actually a member of Shearers electorate party, and was one of Helen Clark’s. We’ve seen what party leaders at like. I’m worried about putting our quite inexperienced MP into that role without even seeing some bloody caucus support beyond “let’s keep Cunliffe out”

      • Ieuan 34.2.1

        Your main argument for Cunliffe seems to be he has the experience and Shearer does not. Goff had the experience and look how that went. People want someone new and fresh, someone who isn’t tainted by the last years of the Clark administration.

        I’m a Labour supporter, I gave my two ticks to Labour in CHCH central. I want the Labour party to be an effective and bold opposition I want them to be in a very strong position come the next election and I think Shearer will give us the best chance of that happening.

        • lprent

          Not quite. My main argument is that I don’t think Shearer has the experience AND I can’t see anyone sticking up their hand in caucus to help provide the required skills as a team to cover his back. That is a hell of an exposed position and not one that is likely to provide an experience that is worth knowing (or get a good result).

          The last person who tried that unsupported trick was Norman Kirk, who got steadily more paranoid about the knives in his back before dying – many say from overworking.

  35. …it’s the economy stupid !!!

    Cunliffe is the only one who can walk the talk, show Key the money, rip English a new one and swing right wingers to the left of centre.

    That he supposedly isn’t popular with the Labour caucus would be enough for the average nutjob to consider voting for him.

    Dunno about Mahuta though. Sure Labour need someone to shore up the wimmins vote but Ardern could do that way more attractively.

    That Cactus Kate has the knives out for her speaks volumes about what a danger she could be to the right.

    I’d go with Cunliffe and Mahuta in the meantime and let Helloooo Jacinda prove her mettle in the next 18 months for a shadow cabinet reshuffle on to the Cunliffe ticket as Deputy for a run in 2014.

    • Muzza 35.1

      No actually he can’t because like the posters on here cunliffe does not understand simple mathematics or the fact Nz does not control it’s own monetary supply.
      Key is basically an insider and as such is 1 step in front of the others in parliament, nit that many of them actually understand.
      I know cunliffe is not aware of our sovereignty money issue because I met with him a while back to talk about it. In That meeting the person I met was standard politician fare. He is no more a leader than JK or any others.

      Wakey Wakey

      • pollywog 35.1.1

        No actually he can’t …

        can’t what ?

        • muzza

          Cunliffe – Can’t “walk the walk” as someone above stated..

          If by that it means he can become Labour leader, and fool the Red Brigade for a few years that he is in any way capable, then I guess he can “walk the walk”

          I said , “no he cant” because he is a lighteight who does not have the balls to deal the monetary realities of where NZ is at,

          Although he did mumble something about, well if the “shit really does hit the fan I guess we can print our own money” – No, we cant, not presently, it is not under our control David!

          He is a lightweight, they all are…the only one who is not a Financial or Monetary ligtweight is J Key, because he is 100% in the loop, which as I have previouslt stated, makes him the most treacherous PM in recent history!

          • pollywog

            Key and English talk the walk.

            You sound like another one of those wank the bank apologists

            • muzza

              You dont read very well do you Pollywog – Look though at what I have said in regards to Key also.

              Unlike the party stooges, who are frankly a liability to the thinking people in this country, I am not a party voter, because I do not buy into party politics. It is a disgrace..

              Buying into party politics, is for sheep who cant think for themselves..

              PS – Nice use of foul language above at me Polly – Please do not comment on issues when you are so clearly uninformed, (you are not alone there) and refrain from making insults based on what you percieve to be reality on bloggs!

    • vicks 35.2

      I absolutely agree that Cunliffe is a financial master that can rip English a new one. Distracting him with leadership issues will only ensure he tickles English’s current one!

  36. Cactus Kate 36

    I still think you should consider Don Brash.
    Free to a good home.

  37. swordfish 37

    Some very good comments, here.

    Cunliffe has the charisma, economic nous, and the experience to destroy Key.

    It is a little concerning that Parker’s now backing Shearer. I bloody well hope it’s not all over, bar the counting. The last thing we need is for Labour to go through a series of ineffectual leaders (like Shearer) as the British Tories did.

    I just don’t get the rationale behind this ‘let’s all elect the most inexperienced candidate because voters don’t like politicians’ bullshit. The same old mistake of trying to out-Key Key. It won’t work.

  38. sooty 38

    this whole leadership thing is bullshit. I have voted labour since i was eligible to vote. some thirty years now. The last two elections have seen party leaders drop their lip and run away sulking. Phil Goff should have grown some balls, retained his leadership. and marched Dunn and Banks into his office and dangled the super big carrot. The maori party would follow suit by just telling them anything they want to hear. (Key has been doing that for the last three years ) The end result would be goodbye to Key and his kronies.

  39. neoleftie 39

    my gosh – just been watching a few clips of shearer speak in public…
    this guy is so fresh and non poli tainted that IMO he will get huge long term resonance with the voting public that labour needs to recapture.
    50% of voters are not aligned or can identify with any party…unsatisfied punters.
    WHY – mostly either apathy, turned off by poli speak and MSM spin, have a wrong image of the party…labour – gays, unions and femanists, Helen Clark legacy as presented to them by the media etc and or damien oconnor.

    Shearer cuts through the poli speak / party line crap and IMO allow people to TRUST him cause he is simple one of us, not a party self serving hack ( peoples perception )
    His language is so simple, brutally fresh and honest, the centre and non aligned voter will love him.

    1) Labour needs to shed or hide its old image, reconnect to the electrorate by hard hard ground work.
    2) control or negate the spin from msm and the tories by use of other communication channels.
    3) create the situation where the public can trust both the leader and thru him / her the party.
    4) stay the course – this next leader must be supported / molded looking at the next 10 years or so.
    5) Reorganise and reengergise the party membership, activists and organisation.
    6) create a long term directional platform – save our Assets, save NZ, save our future, keep nz safe – go nationalistic…people want to trust a centralist protrayed party. Labour by its very nature take care of the underclass, the poor and those who lack opportunity but what percentage vote or are non core labour supports…why tailor the message to the hard core labour 27-30% of the elctrorate who are always locked in…
    7) promote policies, image and message that will connect more voter blocks to the party.
    8) as trotter has stated its about message, image and trust and not policy – what were national policies and did any care about them…

    • Blue 39.1

      The ‘non-politician’ thing only works if it’s a ruse, and the person in question is actually a very smart politician who can appear to be ‘non-political’.

      If said person really is just the ordinary person with no political nous then it will fail miserably.

    • pollywog 39.2

      just been watching a few clips of shearer speak in public…this guy is so fresh and non poli tainted that IMO he will get huge long term resonance with the voting public that labour needs to recapture.

      Labour ‘need’ to recapture the swinging nutjob and they won’t get that with a blokey John Key Labour clone with no finance experience.

      Labour also ‘needs’ to connect with youth, mobilise them to vote and Helloooo Jacinda could do that. Shes like the student teacher everyone wants to snog. But then even the oldies would love her, being like the nice granddaughter everyone wishes they had.

      Wouldn’t hurt if she dated someone like Jerome Kaino or Sonny Bill either 🙂

      She could sell the soft but hard welfare polices. Leaving Cunliffe to stick it to Key and English on the economy.

      • ak 39.2.1

        Now you’re talking Polly. Shearer leader, Cunners deputy and finance, Jacinda social d, Parker health, Robertson education, Goffy local gummint.

        With a serious blood-brothers promise to re-assess after a year and anyone cocking-up or failing to get traction falling on their sword and getting fully behind the final selection. As Phil should have.

        That would mean all players having to put the good of the party and the welfare of those suffering above personal ambition. Now and forever. Y’know, like true socialists.

        • pollywog

          Shearer will get pwnd by Key and Cunners as deputy won’t bring the laydeez in.

          Cunners leader and finance.

          Go with the rest except Goff in housing sticking it to that heatly twat. Shearer in economic D and Robertson campaign manager.

      • Steve W 39.2.2

        A little vacuous there don’t you think Pollywog? Bet you voted for the best looking candidate on Granny Herald’s site too!

        • pollywog

          Don’t vote for silly shit online.

          And vacuous wrapped up in bullshit economic soundbites is how you appeal to the swinging nutjob. It explains Key’s appeal and how they’re still in gov’t.

          explaining is losing.

      • muzza 39.2.3

        Yes a rather honest reply, illustrating nicely what jo public thinks, and how deeply they think.

        Terrible, but there you go, that is about all most people are capable of.

        • pollywog

          Go fuck yourself you condescending prick.

          [lprent: pointless insult. Count restarting… ]

          • muzza

            Polly – Have you ever thought to leave your own predjudices out of a decision as important as who to vote for?

            How long have you been following politics? Because if its been a about 20 years or more, you should have noticed that there are patterns which contine regardless of who is in charge…its called continuity of agenda, and it is not bothered who the governmmnt is.

            The government is not in control of this country to the extent that we would want it to be – we owe alot of money, and so those who we owe the money to, are in effect in control of NZ.

            We are also being dictated to by global entities – The UN, WTO etc and we have legislation written which is directed by such entities, does that sound like NZ is in control of itself as a sovereign nation? and who is in control of those Global Entities? – Think about it!
            We are also being signed into treaties such as the TPPA – which WILL remove even more legislative authority from NZ..

            So while people who get stuck on who the leader of “their team” is, there are others who take time to understand what the real issues are and why NZ seems to become a worse place to be, instead of the great country it should be!

            So instead of nit picking over irrelevant issues, try read into some real stuff that is going on in the wider world, as it impacts our beloved country…

            How does that sound?

  40. The best thing about the Cunliffe/Shearer choice is it is going to force the Labour party to examine two distinctly different approaches to their rebuilding. Nearly two weeks should be plenty of time to debate and decide their future.

    It’s a fascinating choice for Labour.

  41. dazed & confused 41

    Another negative re Cunliffe.

    Anyone who describes themselves as ‘dynamic’ has to be a worry 😉

  42. g says 42

    just to try something slightly left field: how about phil goff standing again as leader?
    i can understand standing down as leader after a defeat but does that preclude him from having another go?
    his performance on the campaign trail seemed good.
    he will be better for the experience.
    i am all for replacing someone but only if the replacement is better than the incumbent.

  43. Steve W 43

    Hey, LPRENT, John Key’s “short reign” is now into its third term! Not bad for someone who is “manipulated”. Seems the country likes him too. Sorry but if you want to sit on the opposition benches for the three years after 2014 then keep up this negative debate on Shearer. You only seem to look at “parliamentary” experience. You say he has no political experience. Jeez I’d say debating with gun totting terrorists and Mujahadine requires a certain amount of political not to mention persuasive skills. In 48 hours this man appears to have pulled together sufficient support to show he will easily find the “heavy Lifters” required to help move the campaign for govt forward in 2014.
    And if I had you on my team as you seem to be saying you are in Mt Albert, then I’d be thinking of resigning mate! With friends like this…. you know how the saying goes!

    • lprent 43.1

      Umm. The comparision was with David Lange who was in parliament from 1977 to 1996, but who became leader in Feb 1982 and stepped down/was pushed in in August 1989.

      3 terms sounds a lot until you realize that it consists starting as leader of the opposition in November 2006 to the present – ie 5 years. Give him time…

  44. nadis 44

    At the end of the day isn’t this kind of debate irrelevant? Isn’t the decision made by the votes of the 34 Labour MP’s?

    Personally (and I’m certainly right leaning) what labour doesnt need to do is exactly what they are doing now – go through a horse trading/faction feeding process. I’m sure every party does the same thing but generally not so publicly.

    IMO Cunliffe is the most unlikeable public persona but would probably be the most effective, would struggle for a year or two but in the same way Helen Clark was generally disliked by most but respected by all for her ability to get shit done.

    Shearer would be easier in a PR sense “look we have changed”, but I’d question whether he has the cold hard killer eyes to reshape labour. But he would be popular with his backstory. As others have commented, don’t try and out-key Key. Labour has tried that now for 6 years with negative return. Get policy right, forget social policy initiatives where they dont impact on peoples finances or safety and do what the nats did in the last Clark term which was make most ministers look incompetent or guilty of condoning poor departmental behaviour. It eventually happens to every government after 2 or 3 terms.

    Labour has to control its factionalism – I guess than means having one faction come out on top in a mediaeval contest – just dont let it be the trade union or rainbow factions – NZ doesnt care any more.

    And I don’t get Mahuta as deputy – as someone who follows politics I am yet to see any evidence of ambition, skill, gravitas or intellect from her. But she ticks the Maori, Female boxes. Excellent – clearly a choice made for the right reasons.

    If I had a vote – and genuinely who I think would be the most fearsome combination – Cunliffe as leader, Grant Robertson as deputy. Not sure who could be finance spokesperson if not Cunliffe, but that is the most critical appointment and where labour has to get traction to have any chance in 2014. I think Cunliffe is the best choice for both roles.

    At the end of the day we don’t need to “love” the public persona of our leaders. Most people will vote for competence a la Helen. I know every lefty will present John Key as the counter factuial there – but in the eyes of the 95% of peopel wo only zone in to politics for 3 weeks every 3 years, he does appear competent. I can’t see I’d ever warm to Cunliffe as a personality, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t screw up the message and lose sight of the end game.

    I guess the fact that I have argued as a righty for Cunliffe will now see many commentators (lprent etc) claiming right wing conspiracy to hobble Shearer as that is who the right fears the most etc etc…….

    • lprent 44.1

      Isn’t the decision made by the votes of the 34 Labour MP’s?

      Yes. That is why it has been so astonishing seeing so much passion in public about so many people who I don’t think are Labour members or voters. It seems almost orchestrated ?

      Personally (and I’m certainly right leaning) what labour doesnt need to do is exactly what they are doing now – go through a horse trading/faction feeding process. I’m sure every party does the same thing but generally not so publicly.

      You are and I’d agree. (I really don’t care if you write readable comments like this – it is the bloody trolling you indulge in sometimes that is irritating)

      And if I find who out who has been feeding the media, I’m inclined to go for a public genital excision – or failing that a post on the subject of their deficiencies.

      Don’t these idiots even remember history?

      • Pete George 44.1.1

        Don’t these idiots even remember history?

        Do you mean recent history? Like about six days ago?

        It seems almost orchestrated ?

        Is spontaneous support that foreign to Labourites these days?

        • Anne

          You have a dead mind sometimes Pete George. A whole bunch of right wingers up and down the country – on blog sites, in the newspapers, on radio, stacking the on-line polls – all singing from roughly the same song sheet? That’s an orchestrated attempt to derail Labour’s attempt to open up the debate to it’s members and supporters. Of course there is spontaneous support out there, but if you are so politically stupid you can’t see the right are also trying to undermine the process then you should give politics up mate.

          Mind you, Labour should have seen it coming. What the two contestants need to do now is shut up and refuse to talk to media. Keep it within the ranks of the party from now on.

      • DavidW 44.1.2

        Nothing like a good conspiracy theory to keep things bubbling along Lyn. Keep looking over your shoulder and you will lose sight of the ball.

        Everyone is convinced that theyu have “the answer” but no-one can agree on “the question”.

        There is obviously quite a way to go.

        • Spratwax

          Here we go again- when its close to the bone we call it a conspiracy theory! Classic right wing retort when you know you have hit a soft spot.

      • nadis 44.1.3

        you say trolling, i say sense of humour…….

        • Rob

          Exactly, a lot of us get a whole lot of chuckle’s from this, especially when CV, Felix et al get really wound up.

          • felix

            Can’t recall having much to do with you Rob. Do you mean under one of your other troll names?

  45. BlueSilver 45

    First time on this site. It is hilarious. Has someone worked out how old Shearer or Cunliffe will be in 2020 (when Labour perhaps finally returns to the treasury benches) – you guys should just cut to the chase and put Ardern in now.

    That’s all I have time to post right now – have to get back to that orchestrated right wing attempt to derail this Labour process….

  46. millsy 46

    I find myself supporting Shearer. Reason being that if Parker or Cunliffe became leader, they might as well ring Key and concede the 2014, 2017 and 2020 elections right now. Plus the LP have nothing to lose by choosing him as leader.

    National supporters should be be watchful of glass shards when throwing stones as well. If Key fell under a bus tomorrow, I think the blue team would struggle to find a replacement in their caucus.

  47. Jeff 47

    Why does a conspiracy seem so hard to believe? Cameron Slater and DPF along with several prominent National party strategists communicated daily during the campaign and I’m sure are still in very regular contact. They created the Tizard ‘fear’ that saw Twyford out, built up the framing of Clark as a dictator with the hundreds of thousands spent on billboards around the country and Cameron Slater prides himself on ‘harpooning’ people for a job. These guys have the time, money and inclination to fuck with the left. It seems pretty natural to me that they would turn their hand to the Labour leadership. 

    • Spratwax 47.1

      The propaganda arm of the National Party. Politics just isn’t as straightforward as it used to be and Labour and the other opposition parties (excluding Winston) should be aware of it by now, in spite of the usual conspiracy theory/ laugh it off rhetoric coming from the Key party people.

  48. Tim O'H 48

    [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please, I don’t want you giving people the false impression of a consensus with your very narrow understanding of events]

    You’re all beating your brains against one another on conspiracies, right wingers, Slater and Farrar…Who the hell cares really?
    The debate is going to be held with the branch members and that will go back to the caucus for the final vote as mentioned above. Both candidates are excellent. However when you put them in the balance it does seem as though Shearer is head and shoulders above Cunliffe in terms of acceptance by the electorate. And at the end of the day that’s a huge hurdle Labour has been unable to overcome since pre Nov 2008. The huge talent that supports Shearer can easily overcome the objections highlighted by Lprent. This is more than National is able to present man for man. Key made a lot of play that the Labour campaign focused away from Goff because he was unpopular. However that’s exactly what National did by fronting Key on every billboard. What I’m saying is that without Key, National is unelectable. However with Shearer, you don’t see the personality cult that is “Key Jong-Il” because David Shearer will be able to bring a competent team with him. And David Cunliffe will support him too if that’s the way Caucus votes.

    You might not like it but if Shearer is the front runner by a long way let’s see DC withdraw as well and t\give it to DS and let’s get on with getting the Nacts voted out…Stop wasting time – the job begins now!

    • Jeff 48.1

      UMMMM Where is this evidence that he is head and shoulders above Cunliffe in the electorate? This has to be the dumbest comment ever to make if you are also turning around and dismissing claims that the right may be stirring the pot.

      Shearer has been endorsed by Key loving John Armstrong, shit stirrer Patrick Gower, ex National Party President Michelle Boag, strategist and pollster for the Nats David Farrar and National party bulldog Cameron Slater. Oddly enough there have been all these comments popping up supporting these right wing opinions that Shearer is the best man for the job.

      Show me any actual evidence for Shearer’s support from the electorate (and actually any evidence of Shearer’s talent as a politician) and your comment may be a little more credible. 

      • Tim O'H 48.1.1

        [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please, I don’t want you giving people the false impression of a consensus with your very narrow understanding of events]

        Well Jeff, unlike you I guess I’m obviously watching and reading what’s going on… What was his TV poll the other night on Close up? 40 something %, online polls, 40 something else % support. Before you start claiming others are making dumb comments take your dumb ass out of this blog and go read some other commentators. You’ve obviously had your head stuck somewhere the sun don’t shine if you think that Shearer shows no political acumen. You don’t run UN programmes in Somalia or Iraq and walk out alive if you don’t have some political strengths. Tell you what, get yourself over there too and see how long you last with your own dumb comments!

        • Jeff

          Oh yeah, good point Tim. Online polls. Excellent evidence. That is actually why we conduct elections using the Herald and Close up text polls. Idiot. 

          • Tim O'H

            [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please, I don’t want you giving people the false impression of a consensus with your very narrow understanding of events]

            Jeff, Take a look in the mirror before you start suggesting who is the idiot…there is a general mood which is hard to reject that Shearer is the candidate to take the party where Cunliffe might not be able. Cunliffe has some great skills and he has a compassionate side which doesn’t often come across, but as everyone says, he polarises people as has been reported. Shearer seems to be able to cross the barriers. I’ve seen that working too where he’s actually wooed rabid National voters and I’d not be surprised if they actually voted for him. So cut the “idiot” calling crap and let’s get in behind the one who appears to have the public with him and give that message to our MPs to take to caucus. If Shearer carries the day then for sure there are very capable people to step up and support him. And Labour has that capability in spades.Whatever your/my views let’s for God’s sake get behind whoever becomes the leader.

            • Jeff

              Yeah, it’s just the vibe of the thing eh Tim?

              So excited about next election now!!! Can’t wait to be out door knocking with Cameron Slater and I think Michelle Boag would be fierce on the phones. Maybe we could even get Dpf along to the polls for the photo of shearer voting?

              • Tim O'H

                [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please, I don’t want you giving people the false impression of a consensus with your very narrow understanding of events]

                I enjoyed that film too! Victory for the underdog. Signing off…..

  49. belladonna 49

    And what’s more the Nats had 9 years to plan every eventuality including the bid for Labour leadership.

    • Yes, if I remember correctly the plan to promote Shearer’s chances when Goff resigned in 2011 was first suggested in about 2004.

      • BlueSilver 49.1.1

        I remember this plan being discussed when I joined the party as a young Nat in 1990. We’ve been quietly biding our time since then to spring it upon an unsuspecting Labour Party…..

  50. Brett 50

    The media likes David Shearer, hates David Cunliffe.

    Hows this for a conspiracy theory, the media representing big business likes the look of Shearer and can see him as a credible alternative to John Key.
    Why?,Shearer will drag the party more centrist(where it should be), then big business would then feel comfortable operating under a Shearer lead Labour government.
    A Cunliffe lead government in their eyes would be bloody awful so the media would shit upon Labour from a great height until he is replaced.

    Cunliffe doesn’t stand a chance.

    • Colonial Viper 50.1

      Brett the Fuckwit

      His only conclusion: The Media shall be left to decide who the Labour Leader shall be

  51. Intheologus 51

    This is Survivor: Labour Caucus, isn’t it?

    David Parker, the tribe has spoken! You have been voted off the island!

    Who’s going to find the secret treasure first?

  52. Lisa 52

    I’m not a party member however I am a committed Labour voter – I believe I was likely born ideologically opposed to the political/economic right and I’m likely to die that way. I’m very sad to see Phil Goff step down. I think he’d have made a good PM and his increased exposure was slowly shifting negative (undeserved) public perception of him.

    Given my interest in Labour’s leadership contest (I believe the country needs Labour to win the next election – in fact we really needed Labour to win this one), I’ve been scouring the web for all video of the candidates rather than reading the politically motivated rubbish in both the mainstream and alternative media. It is easier to let the candidates speak for themselves (in both current video and video prior to the leadership contest) than take the opinion of this or that journalist/blogger. So here goes with my opinion.

    Cunliffe is formidable. I’d love to see him debate Key (or anyone else for that matter). I’m fairly confident, whoever his opponent is, they’d come off looking incompetent long before he would. He’s exceptionally quick thinking, intelligent (including financially and socially intelligent), articulate, personable/charismatic and passionate/compassionate. He’s an impressive thinker and speaker – he seems to have a clarity about his thinking that enables him to thoughtfully answer questions without hesitation and to quickly challenge misinformation. While he does appear dismissive of fools, I don’t blame him for that – fools bring ridicule on themselves.

    It also occurs to me that we should resist the temptation to play by National’s rules – we don’t need a celebrity PM with a popularity addiction and a penchant for PR spin, we’ve had formidable PMs in the past – to engage with the current fashion seems to me to be a political ‘race to the bottom’. Personally I like formidable leaders. Cunliffe would certainly counter the “Labour is economically incompetent” meme, though I imagine it may be replaced by something along the lines of a “condescending Nanny State” one (at least by tribal right voters). This is probably the biggest risk Cunliffe presents to Labour election success, but the tribal right will always attempt to generate a narrative around Labour and its leader, this is inevitable. National and Labour exist juxtiposed, one against the other. What matters is whose narrative captures the media’s interest. If Cunliffe succeeds Labour must somehow engage the media in creating a complimentary persona around him – like the media have with Key. Everyone has their strengths and weakenesses and sometimes characters traits are both – we need to emphasise his character traits as strengths. I do not think it needs to be a “John Key” persona – in fact I think this would be a mistake – I believe in time there will be a backlash against this type of celebrity persona. But then I’m biased, I personally prefer a formidable PM with an equitable agenda than a “likeable” PM with an inequitable agenda. Indeed I believe a likeable PM with an inequitable agenda is downright dangerous.

    With regard to Shearer, he is also really impressive – his backstory is definitely inspiring, he is really quite likeable and he does offer a fresh face, which has a definite appeal and could be an easy sell. But, from what I’ve seen, I don’t think that will be enough to win the next election against John Key’s heavy PR machine, which appears to be currently basking in the favours of the press. I loved Shearer’s maiden speech in Parliament, very good indeed. But his non-scripted responses are not quick enough, too often he doesn’t clearly articulate answers and he misses too many opportunities to counter misinformation. He appears to be still formulating his thoughts on a lot of issues and although there is something endearing about watching him do it in response to questions from journalists or on panels, I think Key would annihilate him in debates with his off-the-cuff stats and one-liners, and the media would get away with all sorts of misinformation. As we saw recently in the debates, it is not good enough to counter a stupid argument with a logical but late response. I believe at this point in time, Shearer’s inexperience would reinforce the unfortunately popular, current public perception of Labour as incompetent.

    Based on what I’ve seen I would like to see Cunliffe as leader with Shearer groomed to take over when the right times comes. Cunliffe, Shearer, Parker, Robertson etc the loss or sidelining of any one of them due to petty internal politics around choosing a new leader would be a terrible loss to the party and to NZ. Actually, I’d really love to see a shared leadership – Cunliffe, where an articulate, charismatic and quick thinking speaker were needed and Shearer for his likeability factor and inspirational story – but this is probably just politically naive wishful thinking. It is worth keeping in mind that we are all on the same team here and we are very fortunate to have an exceptionally talented group of Labour politicians at present – we just need to put them in the right places to win the next and future elections. They need to ensure they’re prioritising their best and most useful skills for the party in pursuit of election success, over their egos and jockeying for position. Many NZers are depending on them to do so.

    One more point, in a long and rambling post, it is also imperative that Labour somehow woo the mainstream media – if the information isn’t getting airtime, or worse still the airtime they do get is inaccurate or downright uncomplimentary, it doesn’t matter how good the team is. As wonderful as it is to have access to alternative news, unfortunately most NZers still rely heavily on the mainstream media – and we need their votes. We are preaching here to the converted.

    • Kia ora Lisa.  Great comment.

    • Puddleglum 52.2

      A very well articulated comment, Lisa. 

    • Lisa 52.3

      Kia ora koutou,

      I’ve been watching conversations for a while – creepy I know. It’s nice to finally step out of the shadows. Thank you for the kind reception and sorry for the overly long post, it’s been brewing for a bit. You’ve done a good deed, posting means my family don’t have to listen to my political rants. They’re relieved.

      • seeker 52.3.1

        Articulate and comprehensive exposition on important facets of the Labour leadership ‘contest’.
        So interesting to read – thanks Lisa. Have you thought of posting this on Red Alert. co.nz, Labour’s blog site? I think it would be really welcome on one of their leadership posts; it would add substance.

        • Lisa

          Hi seeker,

          I’m ashamed to say I don’t know Red Alert but I will have a look. Mine is only one voters opinion. I’ve only recently discovered this place out of complete frustration with the mainstream media. Please excuse my totally unqualified voice but if I don’t put it somewhere I harrass my kids and partner and friends with it. As I said, they’re relieved I’ve decided to type rather than cornering them.

          • seeker

            Hey Lisa, thought you might not know Red Alert as you seem to have only just started posting comments. Remember the feeling. Anyhoo, knowing it to be the Labour Party blog site where the wider public (us) have been invited to express their views, I thought you might be interested. They were hoping for fresh ,well reasoned views, and I certainly think your comment more than ‘cuts the mustard’ and would be a really valuable contribution to the opining. Here is the link, visit, and see what you think. I think you have a great ‘voice’ and the more it can be heard, the better.

            • LynW

              Hi Lisa, I found this sight after my despair following the previous election results! So welcome, I know how you feel. It is a great place to find kindred spirits! Ditto re family and political rants!

    • David 52.4

      The best contribution so far Lisa: to any of the debate. DONT STOP, this is clarity and cut through!! Watching these guys on the Nation this morning was another revelation: Cunliffe so good: made me wonder why we havent heard more from him these past years, but I guess he never got on the podium at conferences etc. We have never heard him full throat and strong like this: you had the sense he was always stuck in first gear with a jerky throttle, when we really needed him doing 300kph in top gear! Forgive the masculinist imagery……. Now: how about Cunliffe Roberston, or Cunliffe Shearer?

    • the sprout 52.5

      great comment Lisa

      • seeker 52.5.1

        Glad to see you found Red Alert Lisa . Thanks for posting your comment. It really sat well there with its crystal clear thinking and well articulated points- just what was asked for – reasoning that is fresh. As LynW.said this site is a great place to find kindred spirits and I am very glad you have launched forth.

  53. Cactus Kate 53

    Lisa is correct. Cunliffe is a far superior debater than Shearer. He was better on Close-up when Shearer stammered his way through proceedings. Cunliffe is also smarter and far better on the finance side.
    I was also pleased today to see Mahuta grow a pair and give JT a whack back. She’s got to step up and show some spark.

    Shearer exhibits smile and wave tendencies. But modern politics requires that.

    Will be interesting to see who caucus choose. I can’t help commenting though how insane it is that the Party have opened the situation up to wide public debate.

    Still hoping you take Dr Brash.

    • Puddleglum 53.1

      Of course, Don might already be eyeing up the ALCP so Labour’s overtures might come too late. 🙂

    • mik e 53.2

      CK You must be the only right wing women he hasn’t shagged but has probably hit on you aye but you must be a bigger prick than he is.He’d make a good minister of internal affairs.
      Brash the kiss of death to any political party

  54. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 54

    Let us put aside what the Natz/Act Right bloggers and media are doing for a moment and look at what some Labour factions are doing.
    We have a slightly younger David who did everything the party asked from him over the past 12 years: as an electorate MP taking a Nat seat; as a minister transforming the policy in diverse portfolios.; as a finance lead developing a major new policy platform. Then we have a slightly older David with no senior parliamentary or policy experience, or real exposure to the membership.
    Yet some of our people are bad mouthing Cunliffe. That’s appalling is it not? That would really upset the membership. What do you advise we do to put a stop to this?

    • Puddleglum 54.1

      Why is Shearer so impatient?

      Does he not personally have a sense that he still has much to learn before stepping up? (I know I would, in his position.)

      Is it a cohort effect? – i.e., the sense that if Cunliffe is leader he could be leader for some time, making it too late for Shearer? If so, that’s not a good reason to challenge now.

      I thought Shearer was not meant to be ambitious like other politicians.

      Personally, I think he could be a good leader one day (though he needs considerable coaching).

      His heart appears to be ‘good’. But he needs to have a better ideological framework to understand the political and economic world (or, if he does have one, have the confidence to articulate it). 

      I realise that having an ‘ideology’ is a politically incorrect notion (e.g., Roger Douglas, Ruth Richardson, etc. are accused of being ‘ideological’ – actually I’d accuse them of having a ‘flawed ideology’), but all it really means is that one has some sense of how the world hangs together. It makes one’s behaviour predictable, rather than capricious – like Winston Peters’, for example.

      It also means that you have a sense of what you might do, specifically, were you to have a position of power (e.g., be PM).

      • Pete George 54.1.1

        He may not have been ‘impatient’, he may have put himself forward with the main ambition of preparing for a future bid. It’s possible that popular support has taken him by surprise as much as anyone.

        But would that be a reason for pulling back and resisting the momentum? If he was seen to do that and lost the bid it may put doubts on his future prospects.

        • AnnaLiviaPlurabella

          Valid point PeteGeorge, but Cunliffe is above playing that type of game. Cunliffe could have played that game when Helen stepped down: but didn’t. He knew he was not fully ready and therefore would not insult people by asking for their support. Shearer, who is six years older than Cunliffe, has realised that hit biological clock is ticking. He knows that Cunliffe has all of what it takes to win in 2014 and to go three terms. At that point in time, Shearer will be 67. Shearer has previously stated that being PM is the reason he entered Parliament. Cunliffe entered politics to be part of a Labour party that makes a radical change.

      • Lisa 54.1.2

        Watching this play out in the media, I have been really puzzled by Shearer’s haste – and troubled by it too – I can’t help but feel it’s a bit naive or arrogant. It seems clear to me that he has potential on paper but when I’ve watched him he really isn’t ready yet. I do think he would enjoy a honeymoon period with the press and public, however I do not believe he can win Labour the next election. We need someone who can strongly counter National’s spin within the general public’s unfortunately limited attention span – what a society we’ve become! Shearer’s thinking and delivery is not quick enough to take this fight to National and I’m sure National proponents and Key know this. The public like Shearer at the moment because he’s obviously a nice guy, a new face, he has an appealing story – we can see him slowly tasting ideas and thinking things through. But this is not enough to win the next election. Shearers answers are thoughtful but too slow and not articulated clearly – the media and other politicians won’t wait that long. In more recent interviews someone must have coached Shearer around delivering faster but the result is he’s now spouting glib lines which are quicker but they’ve lost their thoughtfulness. That not the desired result! For some reason National’s glib lines are more popular with the public and press – we will not beat them with this. I’ve watched Cunliffe, and his answers are thoughtful AND quick.

        Unfortunately Cunliffe is unlikely to enjoy a honeymoon period – particularly after this very public popularity contest – however he has substance, presence and intelligence enough that I believe he could turn that around. Cunliffe is really impressive – right now – and watching him perform, I believe he has the strength to take Labour to a win in 2014. This is important because an election is not won 3 weeks out from voting – it is won over 3 years. I do not think Shearer will be a strong enough leader of the opposition right now to hold the government to account and give Labour enough exposure over the next 3 years to win. He might have a public groundswell of support at the moment but he needs to see that for what it is – he has novelty value, which will wear off. He also needs to see himself and what he offers clearly – he has potential but he is too inexperienced at the moment for this role. I’m sure he has significant transferable skills but he cannot think fast enough and communicate with enough clarity to be effective as leader of the opposition and as PM. We cannot afford for him to grow into the role while we watch, we cannot afford the mistakes he will inevitably make in the process, not now. We also really need other MPs free to do their jobs to the best of their ability rather than having to support an inexperienced leader.

        I’ve often thought that people who are unqualified for a job believe they can do it just because they don’t know what they don’t know. Inevitably its becomes apparent and undermines peoples’ confidence in that person. NZers won’t shift their vote for what they see as a weak opposition leader and potentially weak PM. Shifting ones vote is always a risk – a person considering it needs to feel confident in their new choice.

        On that basis I really wish, whatever Shearer’s intentions are, that he would step out of the leadership contest and allow the party to move forward together, growing his own potential, but for now in support of a really strong option as leader. Not only do I believe he cannot win the next election for us, I also believe his running is hurting our chance to win under Cunliffe. Shearer needs to keep his eye on our shared goal and help repair the damage that’s been done. If he’s supposed to be Labour’s leader, his time will come. It is not about egos but election success.

        This is a war – we need a strong, articulate/eloquent, politically and economically capable leader – not a popular experiment. NZ needs Labour to win the next election!

        • Pete George

          NZ does not ‘need Labour to win the next election’. The ‘we deserve it’ approach has wasted the lasty three years.

          If Labour wants to earn a win in 2014 it has to demonstrate it has learnt from it’s mistakes and looks like it would be able to manage a capable government.

          • Lisa

            Hi Pete,

            I make no apologies for my left-leaning tendancies and I wouldn’t assume you should apologise for yours either – whichever direction you lean. We probably agree that most NZers want our nation and NZers to be prosperous. We simply disagree on the definition of prosperous and the process by which we believe we can achieve it. If your leanings run as deeply as mine, we’re unlikely to sway each other either way. I support Labour and their policies so I believe NZ needs Labour to win the next election and I believe it’s in NZs interest for Labour to win. It’s simple really. If you don’t agree with this, I was probably not talking to you, and I’m a little puzzled about your interest in this topic at all, but you of course have every right to show interest wherever you please.

            There is no point in us arguing about this issue. You disagreeing with my statement simply illustrates our different perspectives. We’d probably also disagree about why Labour lost the last election, again there’s likely to be little point in us engaging over this issue. Let’s agree to disagree and save each other some time and effort.

            • Pete George

              “We simply disagree on the definition of prosperous”

              I didn’t refer to ‘prosperous’ at all.

              I agree mostly with most of your post but mentioned something I didn’t agree with, that’s what tends to happen on blogs.

              You said NZ needs Labour to win the next election, I disagree with that. I think NZ would benefit from a stronger Labour party in opposition, and Labour can then try and win an election on merit. Most voters decided last week Labour didn’t deserve to lead the country, they have to rebuild quite a bit of support.

              Next election NZ needs the best on offer, and we have no idea yet what that will be.

              • Lisa

                Pete, I’m loathe to engage with you because I’m sure we could spend many hours arguing backwards and forwards about this or that particular point and have neither of us give any ground. I was simply saving myself some time and energy because I do not think us engaging in this way will achieve anything worthwhile. Furthermore, it would simply be a distraction for me from issues that are important to me. Rather than engage with your point, which would be a long unproductive conversation, I was simply pointing out I am unlikely to agree with you.

                In short, I did not say NZers deserve Labour and I would be unlikely to say such a thing. But I do believe NZ would be more prosperous (according to my definition) under a Labour government – and that includes what would have been Phil Goff’s Labour government. I believe this for a number of reasons but at its core it comes down to fundamental ideology. Hence my “prosperous NZ” and “process for achieving it” comments. These ideologies do not belong to NZ politics but are much older – they’re simply playing out on our particular stage.

                I believe elections are complicated processes that involve many players not just political parties – the winners and losers fortunes are the product of many things. I think many things were at play in Labours election loss this time. We at least can agree that Labour lost this election and that National won. But, I do not agree with you that Labour needs some deep soul searching (ideological shift) in order to be re-elected. My concern at present is that I believe Cunliffe is more likely to lead Labour to re-election than Shearer is. I really do not want to get into what would be a protracted discussion with you about the pros and cons of Labour ideology. I think we’re unlikely to agree.

          • felix

            “If Labour wants to earn a win in 2014 it has to demonstrate it has learnt from it’s mistakes and looks like it would be able to manage a capable government.”

            lolz Pete, I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention but NZ just voted in a govt who spent three years proving they can’t organise a piss-up in a brewery and have learned nothing since the 1990s.

            • Pete George

              The election result suggests a lot more people disagree with you than agree.

              Or at least think that National are less froth and are more barley than Labour.

              • felix

                The election result suggests that a lot more people agree with me than with you actually Pete.

                Not that that proves anything in and of itself of course.

                • Actually no it doesn’t. Those who didn’t vote may not have given a toss, or may have been as fed up by Labour than National, or more fed up etc etc.

                  • felix

                    You misinterpret me Pete.

                    The election result puts you in no position to claim to speak for anyone.

                    • I think like anyone I’m able to speak for myself.

                      And I don’t see how the election shows a lot more people agree with you than National or me.

        • Colonial Viper

          Lisa – pretty much spot on. Shearer would be cut to shreds in a one on one TV debate with John Key, if it were held this week. He is not quite ready for the prime time yet and why he is rushing to pretend he is, is beyond me.

          PG of course backs National’s sell off of our country (just watch Peter Dunne vote in favour of it in the next couple of months).

        • Deuto

          Kia ora Lisa

          I just wanted to say that I agree totally with your comments @52 and this one – and want to thank you for articulating these so well. Like you I am not a Labour member (- considering it depending upon what happens in the next few weeks) but have voted Labour for most but not all of my voting history. Almost gave my party vote to NZF last week, but in the end it was 2 ticks Labour.

          Please post the above comments on Red Alert; they need to hear such views.

          Like you (@52.3) I was a reader of TS for about 4 years before starting to comment etc only recently but have yet to really express my views on here. There seems to be a growing number of people like you and I slowly coming out of the woodwork!

        • AnnaLiviaPlurabella

          Excellent commentary, Lisa.

        • David

          Lots to think about here Lisa: born to be a political analyst? New columnist for the Standard?

  55. muzza 55

    People can’t even see that issues such as a leadership change, turn them on eachother…

    Your own party are laughing at you people…Red or Blue, it matters not, they are all part of the same programme, and this little distraction is exactly that…


  56. Pundit X 56

    The problem with all of this is that its not ‘Celebrity Chef’ or ‘America’s Got Talent’. Its the election of someone who can lead Labour to victory in three years. As beguiling as Shearer’s backstory is he has singularly failed to shine in the area in which he now works, parliament. Cunliffe on the other hand has. I’m sure Shearer is a decent man who has done an enormous amount of ‘good’ in the world but as we have seen the skillsets are not necessarily transferable. The media may be disingenuously backing Shearer for the moment but as soon as the party elects him it will change the script at his first falter from humanitarian hero to Forest Gump. The slack that has been extended to Key will not be afforded to a Labour leader.

  57. stanedwils 57

    You guys need to get your shit together. If you are Labour supporters you are going to have to back whoever is chosen. The worse thing for the party is petty bitching and point scoring. Both Davids are strong contenders. However it seems that Sprout believes in particular that there is only one person who disagrees with him/her just using different aliases. Well call me “Seven of Nine” Sprout because based on your argument alone I would back Shearer all the way.

    • the sprout 57.1

      no you seem to be commenting from a different IP to those noted above. perhaps you’re working from home this weekend?
      but feel free to keep up the sanctimonious wankery and see what happens.
      last warning.

      • muzza 57.1.1

        Sprout some of your posts such as this one I am replying to indicate that you enjoy your position of power on this site, and like to remind bloggers of it…

        Still waiting for any poster here to answer this question…

        ” How will NZ ever mathematically pay off its Foreign Debt, and how will whomever the new leader becomes, ensure that NZ does not beceome bankrupt, and lose sovereign control over our natural resources”?

        We know JK is looking to sell out whats left of the assets to his mates, and this will be followed by the natural resources….

        I am neither red nor blue, in i just like to see real questions discussed, and apparantly this is not what most people like, rather they blather on about who they like and try to back a winner.

        So please feel free to have a crack at answering the question…

        • Pete George

          “We know JK is looking to sell out whats left of the assets to his mates”

          Not true. National have made it clear what assets they intend to sell parts of this term, whjich is only a small proportion of total assets. They haven’t indicated what they will propose to sell if they get a third term, but unless the global economic situation picks up markedly they may struggle to sell all of the current half handfuls on the list.

          You might be right about ‘his mates’ if you mean those with investments in Kiwisaver accounts.

      • stanedwils 57.1.2

        OK let me try that again then. You guys need to get your shit together. If you are Labour supporters you are going to have to back whoever is chosen. The worse thing for the party is petty bitching and point scoring. Both Davids are strong contenders. I back Shearer all the way…

        PS – and no doubt that’s goodbye from me!!

      • stanedwils 57.1.3

        Oh and btw to my knowledge I only have one IP address.

    • The worse thing for the party is petty bitching and point scoring

      Tell that to the duck. 

  58. muzza 58

    Pete do you understand that they will not be able to conrol the other 49%, and do you know the legal ramifications over holdings, as hey apply to the control of company boards etc?

    The GFC bailouts in the USA began with the 700bn, which has been shown to be just the start of the bailouts, now into the trillions…

    There will be no improvement int he global economy anytime soon, there has been almost zero reform other than to consolidate the power bases into hands of the Super Congress in USA, and an unelected takeover in the EU.

    My prediction is this – The asset sales will not end up in the hands of those mum and dads it has been sold as, because there may nt be the take up, and believe me there will be no shortage of foreign entities more than happy to buy profitiable strategic assets, not least because it will give them access to the underlying natural resources…

    Then when the country slips further into debt, there will be a proposition to float the remains of those companies, because like Hank Paulson, who also lied, the baliouts and selloffs will have to keep coming. IMO NZ will go under IMF control (inside 5-10 years) following further downgrades, and this attack on our rating will in turn trigger more asset sales, if there is anything left, followed by the sell off of OUR natural resources to the mining companies at firesale prices as directed by the IMF..

    That will then be job done JK

    Feel free to have a go answering the question in my previous email George!

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