Looks like Stuart Nash’s replacement is is almost certain to be Alistair Cameron. As I understand it he’s a nice enough bloke and he’s very much Grant Robertson’s man. As are most of the staff in the leader’s office now.
It’s been no secret around the beltway that Robertson is preparing to make a play for the leadership of the Labour party and, despite my best hopes, it appears the punt taken on David Shearer has failed – a fact shown by the way his speech today has sunk like a stone.
To be fair, apart from Nash, Shearer has had few people around him that weren’t connected to the failed strategy, or rather lack of strategy, that defined Goff’s tenure. I think the lack of focus Shearer has shown has been institutional rather than due to any failing of his own.
My suspicion is that within the very near future, maybe after another flat poll, someone close to Shearer, perhaps Trevor, will have a hard conversation with him that goes something like “you’ve done your best mate but it’s just not worked” and I think that Shearer will step down because he’s the kind of guy that would step down if he believed it was the best thing to do.
This isn’t a prediction I’m happy to make. In fact, I hope I’m wrong. Right now the Nats are on the ropes and the last thing needed is Labour’s internal ructions taking the focus off that. I also still believe Shearer could be a good leader given decent support (I also think Cunliffe would have done well if he’s been chosen by the caucus – which is why I didn’t feel the need to comment on the leadership challenge at the time).
However it’s starting to feel like a leadership challenge is inevitable. If it is I can only hope that the floor’s opened to all contenders and it’s done openly and with the inclusion of the broader party.
The parliamentary arm of the party owes the party members and supporters that much at least.