Rumours just the usual mischief

Written By: - Date published: 1:08 pm, April 28th, 2012 - 38 comments
Categories: labour - Tags: , , ,

It’s understandable that the right wingers, feeling a bit punch drunk from the factional succession squabble going on in National, would try and distract attention by spreading some mischievous rumours. Hence we’ve had a week or so of speculation about chaos in David Shearer’s office. Nice to see those officially laid to rest today:

Rumours of office rift rile Shearer

Labour leader David Shearer reacted angrily yesterday to reports that his office was in turmoil, that two key advisers were leaving, and that his deputy Grant Robertson could be preparing for a challenge.

Suggestions that his chief press secretary Fran Mold and political adviser John Pagani were leaving were wrong, he told the Weekend Herald. That was backed up by both advisers.

No doubt the word of Pagani and Mold won’t be good enough for the right wing rumour mill, but there they are on record.

Suggestions that his new chief of staff, Alistair Cameron, was Mr Robertson’s man were also wrong.

And suggestions that Ms Mold had fallen out with his former chief of staff, Stuart Nash, over his leadership style were wrong.

It did not bear any resemblance to fact or truth.

“Do we have debates within the Labour Party? Damned right we do but it doesn’t lead to the sort of thing that everybody seems to be reporting on at the moment,” he said.

We here at The Standard get a special telling off:

Mr Shearer said he was surprised that speculation from blogs was also appearing in mainstream media. He appeared most irritated at suggestions [on The Standard] that Mr Cameron had been installed in advance of a leadership takeover by Mr Robertson.

Rumours once again to the contrary, we’re in no way a Labour blog, and the authors here have wide range of opinions. I wouldn’t have it any other way! Speaking for myself, however, I’m glad to see these rumours laid to rest.

38 comments on “Rumours just the usual mischief”

  1. chris73 1

    Yes absolutely, those rumours have been laid to rest. Totally, no really they have been. Nothing more to see here at all.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      The ‘national sport ‘ of Parliament is gossip.

      Its long way ahead of the government which excells at ‘sweeping it under the rug’ or the opposition parties and ‘point of order’

  2. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2

    Yes. This is almost certainly the last we will ever hear of Shearer’s leadership being insecure.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      The point being of course… this is NOT a Labour party blog. Anything said here is NOT representative of nor has any official Labour party backing.

      The opinions expressed here are those of the various authors and commentors. We will go on expressing those opinions as WE see fit.

    • bbfloyd 2.2

      earth to trolls 1&2… being reduced to being smug isn’t something you should be proud of…. yes, we all know that the tories, and their poodles, won’t give it up,, and why they can’t do anything else…

      they ain’t reasons “grownups” should be proud of…

  3. bad12 3

    OK, Ok, I plead guilty to being a mischievous ex-Labour voter wanting to see Labour with a leader that has some ability to inspire at least 2% of those who are enrolled to vote but for whatever reason do not, return to the voting fold and hopefully vote Labour,

    If Labour see themselves as the left party of the middle class who must in effect to govern gain 2% of the current National party vote then that’s fair enough,(some clear indication either way might go some way to stopping at least my mischievous comments),

    Its all about concentrating on the message and not the messenger(s) tho isn’t it???…

    • bbfloyd 3.1

      only when there is a message to send…. which explains the cocktail circuit gossip coming from the tories at the moment(when hasn’t it, i ask myself)…

      i’m hoping the house of cards that is our current administration doesn’t collapse too quickly, as i think what david shearer is doing may take at least 4-6 months to start sinking in.. but when it does, my instinct tells me that we may well be looking at the modern day equivalent of the savage govt….

      it’s a dramatic statement to make, i know… but i see very strong parallels between the approach, and style of the two leaders….i sincerely hope i’m right….

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.1.1

        cocktail circuit gossip coming from the tories

        Tories like Irishbill and Chris Trotter you mean?

      • just saying 3.1.2

        but i see very strong parallels between the approach, and style of the two leaders

        I’m starting to worry about those who don’t seem to think that substance (as opposed to style) is even an issue any more. Seems like winning the election in the manner of winning a beauty contest, has become the only goal, while what Labour intends to do is some minor “we’ll cross that bridge” detail.

        The Savage government stood for something. That something was several standard deviations to the left of what Labour is now. I’d love to know what you see Shearer standing for. Even Shearer himself might be interested to know cos his PR team don’t seem to have told him yet and it’s getting embarrassing.

      • Anne 3.1.3

        instinct tells me that we may well be looking at the modern day equivalent of the savage govt….

        I’ve been thinking along roughly the same lines bbfloyd. As a modern day equivalent Shearer won’t seem anything like Savage on the surface, but he certainly has some of the same qualities as Savage. That is, an ability to rise above the small minded, petty and vindictive and paint a better picture – one that takes longer to be assimilated by the average voter, but once it does there will (I hope) be no stopping him.

        I was (and still am) a strong Cunliffe supporter, but I can see great things coming from a Shearer/Cunliffe/Robertson/Mahuta/Parker/Twyford/Ardern partnership in whatever order is eventually deemed as appropriate. I suspect there are some very good newcomers too but they need a term on the back-benches to bed in.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2

      Good to hear from B12 or [Deleted….no speculation on real-life identities permitted in any shape or form. We take the privacy policy very seriously. Normally if I believed this was malicious attempt at ‘outing’ someone it would result in a permanent ban. ..>RL]

  4. Jimmie 4

    If there was no friction/tension in Shearer’s team, why did Nash leave his job in a rush, when he could have seen his term out (only 6 weeks to go)

    There has to be tension in Labour – if there wasn’t there would be something seriously wrong.

    Think: Labour has been heading South in the polls, Shearer’s major speeches have turned out to be duds, loyal Labour supports (think Trotter) are calling for Shearer’s head, and the rise of the Greens mean that Labour falling into irrelevance is a distinct possibility.

    I hope there are questions being asked as to go along thinking everything is a bunch of fluffy ducks is exactly what Labour did under Goff and we all know how that ended up.

    The question I think needs to be asked of every Labour caucus member is this:

    Are you in Parliament primarily to further your own career or to help promote and build the Labour party/movement.

    Anyone that hesitates or says they are in there for themselves needs to be performance managed out of there as they are acting as a cancer on the team.

    If this doesn’t happen how long until the greens hit 20% in the polls? How bad does it have to get before Labour folk do something about this mess?

    • chris73 4.1

      Thats a worry, I’d vote Labour to give them majority over the greens any day of the week

  5. Blue 5

    Frankly, if Labour isn’t in turmoil right now I may as well contemplate voting Green for the first time ever.

    If there is not one solitary person in that unholy mess of a party who is willing to stand up and admit that the situation is more dire than it has been at any point since the 2008 election then what the hell are we even doing here?

    Shearer is a puppet. And everybody knows it. Walking around trying to pretend you can see the Emperor’s clothes is not going to make things better.

    • chris73 5.1

      I don’t think Shearer needs to go. In the run up to the last election Phil Goff was about as popular as a fart in an elevator and running against one the most popular and liked PMs this country has ever had yet the majority in the house is not much.

      Personally I think you lefties are just panicking over nothing, let the guy continue and he’ll be the next PM (or is that the real issue here…)

      oh and tell T. Mallard to resign as well

      • Chris 5.1.1

        The majority of the right over the left was not much but the difference between National and Labour was a lot.

        Seems odd to give Phil Goff credit for the Green’s great showing – although potentially makes sense with ex-Labour voters going for Greens. But I don’t think that is what you were trying to say.

      • Ianupnorth 5.1.2

        You must be Jay (off the Inbetweeners) – full of bullshit!

        • chris73 5.1.2.1

          I consider myself to be mostly a combination of Neil and Will with smaller contributions from Jay and Simon

    • fatty 5.2

      “the situation is more dire than it has been at any point since the 2008 election”

      I doubt it…from a Labour perspective things are not looking that bad. Key is at a stage where he has eaten up his coalition and he will be doing well to find a partner in 2014. Things were looking way worse for Labour a couple of years ago. The Labour coalition is looking strong and that is where Labour’s strength is.
      I dunno if Shearer is a ‘puppet’…but I do think he is a pathetic leader and he was always a stupid choice (I would fire him now without a second thought)
      However, in the long run Shearer might be exactly what we need from a Labour leader. Ironically we need an incompetent Labour leader who will posture in the middle and pretty much be a useless sack of shit. They will collect more of the middle/swing votes (I call them the idiot votes), policy does not get these votes (policy turns off these voters), its all about personality, image, personal history and a positive demeanour. While Shearer collects the idiot votes, the Greens grow to become almost as big as the reds and the Labour/Green coalition becomes strong. In addition the many people who don’t vote due to apathy (there are a lot of people, most of them Green voters) finally feel that the Greens have a real voice, and therefore their vote is worth the effort.
      I think if the Greens keep polling high, then we could get a good voter turnout in 2014.
      So, although Shearer looks like a Key wannabe, he might be giving room to the Greens to strengthen his own hand (remember, it still looks like he would welcome Mana into a coalition).
      This is what John Key did to the National Party…move to the centre, act like the likeable guy, then use the smaller party on your flank to push through the policies that you really want.
      So is Shearer just playing it cool, looking to pick up the idiot votes and attempt to ‘out-popular’ Donkey?
      I believe this is Shearer’s plan…I certainly hope it is. It will mean that the Labour becomes more centrist (don’t laugh) and the Greens rise to an almost equal footing. I think that is what Labour should do…after all, Labour has been a useless party for almost 3 decades, they should stop pretending they care for poor people.
      Having said that, I do agree with your sentiment Blue…Shearer was an average choice, but then again, Labour is an average party.

      • bad12 5.2.1

        One could only wish that your analysis on who the registered to vote non-voters actually are were correct,

        It appears that there are about 1 million of them and IF the vast majority of them were Green Party supporters we could be disseminating ‘Green Party govern alone stories’ like the mass media do on behalf of the National Party instead of speculating on the durability of the Shearer leadership..

        • fatty 5.2.1.1

          Its getting them informed and getting them to vote that is the problem.
          The mentality of voters who have been marginalised from our political system is so difficult to change.
          A free chocolate bar when you tick a box would get the wake’n’bake crowd motivated…must be at least 500,000 of them in NZ

  6. Salsy 6

    To be honest, I think we need another left party. Cunliffe should branch off now and start his own, they should be able to at least reach 5% by 2014. For some reason the thing people want above anything else is ecomonic security. Key can lie steal and cheat the folk of this country, yet he is still seen as a better manager of the economy over Shearer/ Labour. Cunliffe in my view is the only man in parliament who can wipe the floor with Blinglish and Key in an economic debate and that is what is needed. If Labour had replaced Goff with Shearer – there would have never been a ‘show us the money’ headline, and perhaps not a second term for national.

    • Hami Shearlie 6.1

      Agreed re Cunliffe! Streets ahead of any other labour MP regarding economics, great in Parliament, confident, self-assured.

  7. Kevin Welsh 7

    The rumours may be laid to rest, but it does not change the fact that Shearer is not the right person for the job.

  8. Ianupnorth 8

    Any sensible debate on this blog should be around the current shit government, their dreadful policies and how we can get rid of them; pandering to the likes of Chris73 and give them space to gloat achieves nothing.

  9. joe90 9

    In memoriam: After years of health problems, Facts has finally died.

    Facts is survived by two brothers, Rumor and Innuendo, and a sister, Emphatic Assertion. Services are alleged to be private.

  10. The best way to put these rumours to rest is for Shearer to step up and demonstrate leadership, make it clear he is setting his own agenda within Labour and is not just following the same old failed advice, and for Labour MPs to actually look like they are working with him and for a united party rather than all doing their own thing.

    It’s really up to Shearer to cement his position – that needs something concrete, soon – or he’ll slide down an increasingly slippery slope, soaped by his own.

    And coincidentally:

    Shearer must act now

    The odds on David Shearer leading Labour into the next election must be getting longer.

    Mr Shearer is now in that place with voters where they are rapidly losing interest, but still prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. He can’t afford to give that away as cheaply as he gave away the honeymoon period.

    Because the next place looming over the horizon is the one where voters decide he’s just not up to it. Some have already got there.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6821564/Shearer-must-act-now

  11. Fortran 11

    Shearer does not have to really do anything, but be nice, and stay out of trouble. And sack Trevor.
    It is inevitable that in 2014 the Nats will have the most seats, BUT not enough to govern against the Labour led Green coalition. We must get closer to the Greens as they will have the real power.
    Winston does not feature, other than as a MSM abberation, without whom he would not be in Parliament

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