The little I know about David Shearer

Written By: - Date published: 1:55 pm, December 3rd, 2011 - 134 comments
Categories: by-election, david cunliffe, labour, mt albert - Tags:

I ran David Shearer’s campaign headquarters in the 2009 Mt Albert by-election. That gave me unique perspective to get a good hard look at a man in a pressure cooker environment. David arrived from the middle east literally a few short hours before the candidate selection speeches.  It showed.  He looked tired. But he went on to win the selection and rightly so.  Over the next few frantic  months, surrounded, in the main,  by total strangers and without his family, David won the hearts, admiration and respect of everyone involved in that campaign.

What I saw was a man who was in every respect his own man.  He would listen to advice (often conflicting and from 20 different people), process it and then do what he felt was the right thing to do.  Russell Norman called him  the Grey Candidate; we tried to get him to ditch that that ubiquitous bloody grey jersey but he refused to be ‘made over’.

David didn’t need lines about Labour values; he’s lived them. He didn’t need to tell people he was ‘passionate’; his actions spoke for themselves. He was also funny, wise and kind; three attributes I rate above almost everything else.

I know David Cunliffe as well. I like him, although I’ve never had the opportunity to work quite as closely with him as I did with David S.

I just wanted to put my two cents in about the little I  know and the huge regard I have for David Shearer.

 

134 comments on “The little I know about David Shearer”

  1. Uturn 1

    “He would listen to advice (often conflicting and from 20 different people), process it and then do what he felt was the right thing to do.”

    Do you remember a specific example of him doing this? For example, did he comment on his process of decision making openly in the office (to you or others within earshot)? How did he seem to be under the weight of the process? Twitchy, relaxed, focussed? Can you give an example of how he witheld his own reasoning long enough to consider the various opinions and advice he was bombarded with on a matter?

    • Grassroots 1.1

      There was a question no one actually asked – why and how Shearer was selected for the job from miles away in Middle East? was it for a balance of UN talent pool – give you Clark, we shall get Shearer back?
      2 years later, no one asked the Mt Albert Labour team – how was his effort to rebuild the local Labour organization?  

  2. Jenny Michie 2

    It happened almost daily. There were always many decisions to be made, not always by David but at the end of the day it was his name on the ballot paper. My main impression of him was focussed but fairly relaxed with it. He was respectful of other people’s opinions and I liked that about him.

    And the grey bloody jersey was a good example!

  3. Jenny Michie 3

    It happened almost daily. In an by-election things work fast and there’s always decisions to be made, not always by the candidate but in the end it was his name on the ballot paper, his reputation at stake. My impression was he was focussed but relaxed with it. He was always respectful of other people’s opinions and I really liked that about him.

    The bloody grey jersey was one example!

    • Uturn 3.1

      Thanks. He sounds like an interesting person.

    • My wife and I met David many years ago through Save the Children he was impresive then. However we will attend our local candidates debate and make our minds up,then/ .The fact that we have such top class candidates shows that Labour is very far from out.,After all if Key has a heart attack who really have the Nats got, Oh of course English,! Ha Ha !
      On a personal note Jennie how is mum ?

      • Jenny Michie 3.2.1

        She’s good thanks. Got up at 7am to make herself breakfast…clunk, clunk…pause.clunk, clunk!

  4. ianmac 4

    Actually I like grey jerseys. Much to my wife’s horror! David and I believe that we need neither ornament nor colour in order for our honesty and loyalty and aptitude to shine. Prefer David to dressed to the Key carefully scripted lack of style.
    Would like to see more of David in action.

  5. Anthony 5

    If you do know David and still have contact with him can you pass on to never use the “John Key went overseas to make money, I went to save lives” line or anything like it ever, ever again.

    The unspoken part of that line is an implied question of “what did you do?” to any viewer or listener.

    Also if someone advised him to use that line, tell him to fire them immediately or disregard all of their advice.

    • Uturn 5.1

      The first time I heard that line was on here by a poster casually thinking up lines to fend off the usual Key-bound trolls. AFAIK it is not official.

      Not sure I understand the implication that one may not ask others if they are doing anything to help their fellows though. Bad manners as an opening line, for sure. In the very least, the Right ask everyone all the time what people are doing to make money, and if you aren’t rich, you’re a bludger and all other manner of creep.

      I understand the moral choice involved, and the importance of including everyone in future plans, but since I have personally feilded abuse from narcissitic concieted people who frame humanity in terms of dollar value, I’m really really hard pushed to not take a adversarial response. So the people who daily crush others, under the idea that a person is the contents of their bank account, don’t like being embarrased that they do nothing for the world but endlessly consume? Oh boo fuckin’ hoo.

      Theoretically, if the implication of that line is offensive, it should be used only in response to an open political attack e.g. “David Shearer is a great humanitarian but not financially literate, sneer sneer, don’t vote Labour, sneer sneer, financial losers, sneer sneer…”.

      Whether the LP decide to vote for David Shearer or someone else will reflect how they plan to tackle the contradiction of being a workers party historically and needing middle class support for numbers. The goals of those two groups – and the challenges of the future – do not appear to be, on the surface, compatible. Maybe they’ll need someone who has dealt with tricky situations like that before. Can’t be any more difficult than a Somali Refugee camp.

      • Anthony 5.1.1

        He said words to that effect on the Close Up debate – it’s a pretty close paraphrase.

        If you watch John Key, he is very careful to never really qualify his story against others in that way because he wants it to be “I’m just like you, I’m not better”. In other words he doesn’t want to foster resentment.

        The moment Shearer wades into I’m better because of my worthy acts debate, he is asking for the Nats to exploit a pretty classic wedge.

        It’s a good story but he and his team have to be less clumsy with it.

        • Uturn 5.1.1.1

          The Left attack Team Key for their class all the time. Class suggests attitude and attitude has consequences. It’s unavoidable (so far) and basic political traction. If Shearer knows how to eliminate that approach in our environment and move constructively forwards, that will be an achievement. I’m sure it won’t stop attacks on him though.

          It may not be possible to compare Key with Shearer at all. To my memory I also have not seen Key openly refer to his upbringing with the statement that everyone can and will be successful if only they’d be like him. The McGehan Close and Porriua antics of the last election crossed the line in all but word. Media discussions – the stuff that form the general public perceptions – have embraced the slogans wholeheartedly. The most recent statements from MP Bennet suggest slavery is ok (any job a good job), so possibly Key simultaneously believes the underclass cannot rise at all, but is also concerned about the underclass being left behind, yet his policies do not help. That is the style of National.

          Shearer is skilled enough to control the conclusions on his past. In the event he or his team lets slip and the response is more damning than if it happened to Key and his, then it just shows that Shearer is the better man and expected to be so. Both Key and Shearer’s past are the essence of what they represent. In the very least, Shearer’s inclusion in Labour party leadership offers the alternative for more options in life than staying at home and consuming things you like.

          • Anthony 5.1.1.1.1

            It doesn’t matter what Key believes it matters what he projects and what the people identify with – that’s identity politics, the “better” man is decided by the electorate based on how they feel.

            In the absence of Young Nat vids attacking Shearer in any meaningful sense, I’m betting National are far more comfortable if the race is around identity, on their track and with their proven horse.

            If you automatically think just because Shearer’s story is worthier it will win, you’ll be in for a surprise, ask any New Zealander which life they would rather have and I bet the overwhelming majority will choose the one with 50 million dollars.

            • Uturn 5.1.1.1.1.1

              When I said Shearer may be the better man, it didn’t mean I thought he could win an election on that premise – it was about what a certain predictable media argument could prove.

              The choice of National to go the identity politics way does not need to dictate where Labour, or our collective political expectation, will go. To some extent people knew who Phil Goff was, but the presentation wasn’t, “Hi I’m Goff, watch me wave, kiss babies, go to the rugby and laugh it up on Letterman.”. Labour’s better result this election (compared to last) was despite not having a rock star. They had been an intermittant opposition and the less flattering aspects of Clark regime were still remembered. They really had pooped in their own nest.

              Any proof that the reason people didn’t vote Labour is because there was no rock star would be anectodal at best. If Labour goes that way, and the prototype (Key) crashes and burns publicly during the next three years, voters will be wary of the next NZ Idol – whoever presents one. Labour do have policy to back up a loss of leader (I think they learned that by the loss of Clark) and, depending on their choice of leader, they can influence how NZ views future PMs. From a party perspective, it does seem a large risk basing an election on one person.

              As for asking any NZder which life they’d choose, I think if we use the election results (excluding non voters) that roughly 40% would choose the 50 million lifestyle. It isn’t a majority at all, which I find encouraging.

  6. Good luck to the both of them I say they both have excellent credentials, David C equals Key with his knowledge within the financial sector, while David S’s credentials of bringing broken countries together.

    below is link for petition to demand a referendum before our assets are sold.

    http://www.averagekiwi.com/?p=674

  7. Conditional 7

    This post tells me that Shearer may make an outstanding and capable Cabinet Minister. A role which would enable him to prove much more than an ability to lead an electorate campaign under pressure.

    • Grassroot 7.1

      Actually he was not leading an electorate campaign last time, he was the chosen man who was anointed by the leadership team not by the electorate!  this time is the same, he was once again got anointed by the now outgoing leadership as their puppet who would allow Goff and King to pull the strings behind! 

  8. randal 8

    You should have listened to the bile Leighton Smith was pouring out last week.
    You would think that DS was satan incarnate from listening to that slimeball.

    • stanedwils 8.1

      Good I hope LS didnt endorse Shearer. It would be the kiss of death coming from him.

    • indeed, LS would be the first rightwinger i’ve heard that isn’t singing shearer’s praises. he can’t have got the email.

      • Vicks 8.2.1

        [sprout: one pseudonym at at a time please ‘vicks’]

        Really? You think? I am certainly no right winger having been a paid up member of NZLP for the last 35 years and I back Shearer over Cunliffe because he has what it takes to increase our voter base. Cunliffe is good at what he does there is no doubting his ability with his portfolios and his constituents but he doesn’t have wider appeal and I don’t think he can bring the teams together after the leadership issue is settled.

        • the sprout 8.2.1.1

          i said almost all the rightwingers back shearer, i didn’t say only rightwingers back shearer.
          see the difference?

          • Vicks 8.2.1.1.1

            I have only one name Sprout and that is the one I was given at birth. If someone else is using my IP address it may be because I am not the only person to use either this computer or this location to post to The Standard. Now tell us about Sprout – was your mother a radish?

            [lprent: The system is case sensitive so “vicks” does not equal “Vicks”. We have to pull peoples comments out of moderation because the first time the server sees a new person they go into auto-moderation. This prevents some of the more obnoxious people from creeping back under different names.

            The problem is of course that we have to release the fumble fingered and indecisive as well. So we tend to tell them on the general idea that if they don’t know then they won’t fix it.

            Of course we could (and have) just thrown their comments in the trash as a even faster method. But the plaintive bleating from the e-mails is so so annoying. Easier to make them auto-spam so we don’t have to see them……

            In other words don’t piss off the moderators – they’re volunteers and usually nice people. But even we have bad days. Or you might meet Irish on a good day when he “helps out” by making the rest of us look restrained. But hey, we won’t stop anyone from finding out if there is a bullet in the sprout. 😈 ]

        • Grassroots 8.2.1.2

          You just need to figure out whether DS has the basic ability to be the leader not being pulled by others in the back scene. 

    • Hami Shearlie 8.3

      Leighton Smith is vile! Very, very boring, says the same thing every morning. Hosking, Holmes, in fact most of the hosts on ZB are all handmaidens of the House of Key! Sort of like gentleman of the “Privy” chamber!

  9. Hi Jenny I agree with you entirely about David Shearer.  If this was a “is he a decent person” test he would pass hands down.
     
    This campaign is much more complex and important than that.  It is about the future of the labour party.
     
    To my way of thinking the following qualities for the successful candidate are important.
     
    1.  Intelligence, the more of it the better.  Because the world finance crisis is going to be a significant issue this term a strength in economics will be especially important.
    2.  The ability to express complex ideas and propositions simply.  There is no greater way to ensure support.
    3.  An ability to perform well in Parliament is a prerequisite.  Key may actually talk a load of crap but he has such inner confidence that few people realise that what he is saying is ridiculous and the successful candidate needs to be able to pull him up on this when he tries it on.
    4.  You need to be able to process large amounts of information.
    5.  Like it or not you need to be able to stand up to tv interviewers and express an opinion even when they are doing their best to say something else.
    6.  And especially given the vunerable state the party is currently in you need a history with the party and an understanding of its character.
    7.  You need to be able to draw both groups together after this contest is finished.
    8.  Last but not least you need to be able to debate with Key and to know your stuff well enough that when he sprouts his crap you can pull him up on it.
     

    • Craig Glen Eden 9.1

      Exactly Mickey no one is saying that both Davids are not decent blokes Phil Goff is a really nice guy, see Phil one on one and he is really good but you have to have more than that. Like it or not you have to have X factor as a leader and David S does not have that, I listened to his winning speech on election night in the by- election and I was less than impressed, again to day on the Nation same bumbling. Thats not good enough for the Leader of the Labour Party, we have to get our message across David Cunliffe has that ability, I like David Shearer I like Phil Goff neither was/is going to beat Key and National and thats what we HAVE to do we have to get rid of Key and National and Cunliffe and Mahuta can and will do it.

      Last point we need a leader who is not afraid to have his cabinet shine around him, to front on issues and show National up for what a poor sorry arse bunch that they are, so the leader has to be self confident so he can let others do their job without being insecure about it.That was Goff’s problem Imo!

    • stanedwils 9.2

      The Party President must appeal to the party faithful. The leader of the party needs to have wider appeal. No point in preaching to the converted they need a leader that will bring in more votes. Cunliffe is pretty much all you described above. But he does not have that something that will bring people from outside the core party faithful into Labour. He would have made a great Party President.

      • Craig Glen Eden 9.2.1

        You have no idea standwils Cunliffe just increased his majority the other thing Cunliffe is able to generate is funds for the Party and if you think that is not an issue try taking on National with no funds. A Labour Party with no funds is stuffed and thats what we will be if we dont have a leader that can generate money from business what business is going to give Shearer money, no money seriously Labour faithful no campaign.

        Dead in the water thats what we will be if Shearer and Mallard are at the helm.

  10. Olwyn 10

    It is all too confusing! To begin with, no one who has put their hat into the ring left me thinking, oh no, not him. I like all of them. I was at first persuaded that Shearer would be the best one for the job because, although he is new to politics, he cannot be accused of failing to walk the talk, or dismissed as an academic who “knows nothing about the real world.” However, the right wing attempts to smear Cunliffe, along with the strong arguments here pointing to his skill and experience have left me thinking that perhaps my first response was wrong. I do not see a great difference between them with regard to left/centre allegiance, but here too I may be mistaken. Now my hope is that whoever ends up leader does not sideline those with obvious talent, does not radically change the left-leaning direction indicated in the election campaign, and manages to unify the party behind them.

  11. Julia 11

    Hmmm for what its worth I think id go for Shearer. Im on the right wing for sure, but im taking a pretty dispassionate view of the Labour selection, so the right wing plot to nominate Shearer thing is laughable to me.

    The great appeal of Key is the “ordinary guy just like us”, persona. That he makes mistakes and appears not to be a slick politician only enhances this positive image to kiwis. Shearer, to me, and to a degree, shares that persona.

    Cunliffe seems bright, media savvy and slick…just another politician in other words.

    • felix 11.1

      Key is a politician you moron. His slick tent-show schtick just won him his second term as PM.

      He’s also not an ordinary guy in any sense, and he’s not one of “us” unless “us” means multimillionaire Wall St bankers who live in Parnell mansions.

      • Julia 11.1.1

        Thank you for the charmless “moron” comment.

        I never said he was an ordinary person…thats his public persona, manufactured or real, it is probably irrelevant. Obviously hes a talented politician, he wiped with the floor with both clarke and goff and pulled off the “ordinary”guy to boot.

        • seeker 11.1.1.1

          He certainly did not wipe the floor with Goff, Julia. The only thing that was on the floor in the last debate was Key’s shifty, eyes glancing downwards in and ‘ordinary bloke caught out’ kind of way. The coward could not look at Goff and own up to his horrible activities over the last three years. You must know some pretty rum, ordinary blokes to liken Key to them , and I should not liken David Shearer to them either. He really is no ordinary bloke, he is an extra ordinary bloke. Wise up will you.

        • felix 11.1.1.2

          Guess what Julia, I expect people to present themselves as they are. If they don’t that’s not my problem, I don’t have to make special allowances for duplicity.

          You can judge Key twice and separately on the basis of his holding two distinct persona if you like but don’t expect everyone else to grant the two-faced prick such dual humanship.

          And seeker is quite right, he hasn’t wiped the floor with anyone. He’s PM by the slimmest possible margin and getting over the line nearly killed the soft sack of shite.

          ps you don’t get to lecture anyone on “charm” either you graceless harlot, you’re well short of graduating from finishing school judging by your comments to date.

    • lprent 11.2

      David Shearer did and does what he thinks needs to be done for everyone. He might be wrong. Might be short of skills to do the job. But it is hard to doubt his motivations.

      I instinctively find comparing him to Key quite offensive. Key does things for himself and for his own benefit. Always has, always will.

      The kid he dragged to for the media is instructive. I guess after being close to Key she is full of hope?

      She went to Austrailia for a better life.

    • mike 11.3

      “The great appeal of Key is the “ordinary guy just like us”, persona. That he makes mistakes and appears not to be a slick politician only enhances this positive image to kiwis. Shearer, to me, and to a degree, shares that persona.”

      Yeah, except with Shearer, you get the feeling it’s not really just a persona, he really is like that, i.e. genuine. Why would anyone find a persona appealing? Too me Key’s just seems so obviously fake. Don’t you see the Tranzrail eyes Julia? The S&P email-from-a-mate-told-me-so eyes? The “not bothered” about the teapot tapes even though I got the police to seize them from the media like a 3rd world dictator days before the election eyes? The don’t want to talk about my meeting with Lord Achcroft eyes?

      • Julia 11.3.1

        That really was my point hon, Shearer really does have the appearance of being genuine, and no, I dont think its forced.

    • AnnaLiviaPlurabella 11.4

      Good lord Julia, we definitely cannot have a leader who comes across intelligent, capable, savvy and proven in cabinet. That would not do at all,at all,at all. GOD FORBID! Let us opt for Shearer, or Annette, or Trevor.

      • Grassroots 11.4.1

        Agree. 
        Some people just cannot see through the truth – Shearer is just a new face of an old machine. Vote for Shearer, you will get Trevor, King, Goff and Parker etc…  

  12. it’s already been decided who will be selected.
    the ‘meet the candidates’ panto will have no bearing on what’s already been decided but it will serve to hightlight how glaringly insignificant a role talent plays in NZLP selections.
    i’ll also put 50 cents on the new leader not lasting till the 2014 election.

    • stanedwils 12.1

      [sprout: one pseudonym at a time please]

      The most damaging thing for Labour throughout this whole process is that dissident members with an axe to grind will fracture the party. Let us hope that any self serving motives do not get in the way of what is important and that is to get in behind whoever becomes leader for a good result in 2014 rather than hoping for a bad result to prove your point whatever that is.

      • the sprout 12.1.1

        for a first time commenter you’ve certainly made copious partisan contributions to this post – 7 in 90mins, very unusual for a first time commenter that isn’t a troll – i hope you’re not grinding any axes or talking out of a hole in your arse because of some self serving motive.

        expressing an opinion about a candidacy during a discussion about the relative merits of candidates probably won’t be fatal for the NZLP and probably won’t be the cause of anyone’s defeat or demise, although clearly your belief in what you’re selling is so brittle that you can’t really handle your lines being challenged.

        Let us hope…

        perhaps instead you should try to get a grip.

  13. Leck 13

    What’s Shearer’s relationship with the unions like these days? Didn’t they oppose him in the two selections he lost before being given Mt Albert?

    • lprent 13.1

      It isn’t that directly relevant at caucus level – which is where this plays out. Otherwise Goff would have been toast a long time ago.

      I suspect it was less of an antipathy of the unions to Shearer than wanting to get their preferred candidate in.

  14. Blue 14

    Having some knowledge of Shearer gives you a heads up on the rest of us, Jenny.

    I can’t say I’m much heartened by what you wrote, however.

    If Shearer wins, the first thing I would want him to do is get some media training. From what you said about the jersey it sounds like he would resist that.

    If he’s had designs on leading the party for a while, he should probably already have been working on his public presentation.

    That he hasn’t been suggests an unfortunate belief on his part that he doesn’t need it, and on that point I would totally disagree.

    • Jenny Michie 14.1

      I think allpoliticians need media training, it just comes with the turf these days. The point I was making is that he is his own man and won’t be swayed into doing things that don’t sit comfortably with him or are just stupid and light weight.

      I bet Helen Clark dearly regretted allowing her teeth to be airbrushed in those election billboards. That became a process story, detracting from the message and showing her to be a bit vain and callow – two things she patently isn’t.

    • lprent 14.2

      It sounds like the decision was somewhat more spontaneous than planned or orchestrated.

      But don’t worry too much. I know that if the caucus does anoint him, then his LEC will be pushing him to frigging learn how to deal with media. After all we have been through all of this before.

      Note that I am on the Mt Albert LEC

      • Colonial Viper 14.2.1

        No time for Shearer to learn on the job as Leader.

        He’s an excellent electorate MP and spokesperson, but he’s not ready to go toe to toe with Key on TV.

      • Grassroots 14.2.2

        Lprent – why would you chose someone who is not yet ready for the job?

        • lprent 14.2.2.1

          Sigh. First I get chastised for not being supportive enough after my post thursday last week because I said I was concerned about his experience. Of course it could have been the strange sensation of all of the people who weren’t even Labour supporters supporting him – Hooten, Trotter, Farrar, McCarten, and a whole chorus line on this site. In fact there were 300 odd comments chewing over the news and what I had said.

          Now I get chastised for not preventing him from standing. I can’t win. 

          I’m not his damn keeper. I give advice when asked, and give advice here when I feel like it. I don’t even have a position on the LEC and never have done since I started avoiding being a branch anything 15 or so years ago. However I’m on the sheet of people for the LEC because I’ve been working for Mt Albert for a *long* time

          I provide campaigning and computer support for my ‘home’ electorate. These days I also provide it for several others. I often wander along to LEC’s and meetings for several electorates if I feel it is worth my time. Meetings held in pubs tend to get my attention more than others 🙂

  15. If Goff anointed Shearer then I’d go with the other guy. I mean look at the last plonker Goff installed in Porirua ?

    Kris Faafoi anyone ?..nah didn’t think so !

  16. Frida 16

    Does anyone know yet when the Meet the Candidate meetings are? I’m a member but haven’t received notification yet of the date of the Wellington one.

    Cheers

  17. Frida 17

    Cheers Mickey

  18. chris73 18

    I’d comment about Shearer but the left may think I’m trying to influence the selection process so I won’t

  19. jaymam 19

    As someone outside the Labour party, I think Shearer is looking good. Perhaps Cunliffe could be given a senior role such as finance. And Parker in a senior position also. They would look a capable team, especially compared with National’s lineup of pollys that have been around for ever and are old and tired..
    I’d rather not see the Labour leadership issue discussed quite so much in public, and can someone please tell me why Helen Clark has anything to do with the leadership decision?

    • Craig Glen Eden 19.1

      She dosn’t.

      • jaymam 19.1.1

        Well it was just reported, on TV3 news I think, that Cunliffe has discussed his leadership with Helen Clark and he thinks he will win. Can someone find a link to that because I can’t. (It was possibly Plunket’s interview that was being referred to, but TV3’s crap website doesn’t work with any of my browsers).
        Trust me, if Clark is involved that will look very bad to the voters.

        • mickysavage 19.1.1.1

          No it was reported that Clark had been in touch with Cunliffe and why would it look so bad to the voters Jaymam?  Helen was elected as prime minister of the country for three terms and now has a prestigious role with the UN.  You make it sound like she has scabies or something.

          • vto 19.1.1.1.1

            I was impresseed in the wideness of manwoman by the fact that people chose her as flavoured PM in the polls pre-thiselection..

          • jaymam 19.1.1.1.2

            I was impressed by Helen Clark, but she’s not the leader now. It would be better to not remind potential Labour voters about former policies that they didn’t like, and which are now too late to change..

        • Blue 19.1.1.2

          You mean the same Helen Clark who was voted Greatest Living New Zealander by readers of the Herald, despite the Herald’s very determined attempts to keep her off the list of nominees?

          I’m getting a bit sick of the meme that’s going around where people try to label Helen as poison and anyone associated with her as tainted.

          She may have lost an election, but that doesn’t mean that she is hated by the populace at large. It’s still only the RWNJs that froth at the mouth at the mention of her name.

          She served three terms as Prime Minister, and it would be pretty damn stupid if the candidates didn’t seek her advice if they can get it. Shearer said in the same interview that he has contacted her too.

    • stanedwils 19.2

      Which is exactly why Shearer should be leader. Appeal outside the party!

      • mickysavage 19.2.1

        Yep I can sense all of those tribal National activists will flood over to Labour if David Shearer becomes leader.

        • the sprout 19.2.1.1

          😆 yeah totally. he is after all, the prefered Labour leader of nine out of ten rightwingers

        • rosy 19.2.1.2

          “Yep I can sense all of those tribal National activists will flood over to Labour if David Shearer becomes leader”

          No, but floating women voters just might.

      • Puddleglum 19.2.2

        I’m also outside the Labour Party, but I’m more and more convinced that Shearer would be the wrong choice.

        Here’s a number of reasons why, in no particular order.

        He may have exemplary motives but I have heard absolutely nothing from him about how he would address the social, economic and environmental issues we are facing. (Occasionally, he just says that we should face them. What does that mean?? Talk about motherhood and apple pie. How should we ‘face them’?)

        I thought it revealing that in the Close Up interview, when asked about whether Labour was ‘left’ he said “Well, it came out of the Left …” That reluctance has a scarily Tony Blair feel to it for me.

        His maiden speech was good in a ‘nice words’ sense but I got the distinct impression that he had no economic  or political understanding underpinning his values and beliefs.

        Wars and famines just ‘happened’ (presumably). Humanitarian aid workers, therefore, had to come in and clean it up. The virtue was to be one of the one’s who came in for the clean up.

        That is a virtue, but it’s not a political analysis. Why didn’t he share the political understandings and insights he gained from his work in aid missions? Did he get any? 

        Also, I learnt a lot about his time in aid missions from his speech but nothing about his origins.

        What is his background? Where did he grow up? What occupations did his parents have? What socioeconomic experiences did he have when young? How come a number of his family members are not Labour supporters? Have they ever been? (This is from the news report about the debate on The Nation).

        Closer to home, he was, he claims, politically ignited by the anti-nuclear ship controversy. Fine. But why wasn’t he also motivated by the ripping apart of New Zealand that went on in the 80s? No mention of that in his maiden speech.

        

I’m about as liberal (with a small ‘l’) as it’s possible to get without becoming a libertarian, but there’s something really disturbing about people who think the world can be made better in toto via good intentions, ‘a change in attitudes’, etc. and absent a coherent understanding of what’s going on, at least in a broad brush sense. 

        Consider this (I hope Shearer has): The number and scale of the aid missions Shearer was part of are, in themselves, testimony to the fact that simply ‘aiding’ does not change the harmful dynamics in the world.

        Once again, on the evidence I’ve managed to view and read so far, he seems to lack a framework for understanding the social and economic world, let alone how that interacts with the natural environment. If he did become leader, I fear he’d be a figurehead just waiting to be ideologically hijacked by whomever gained his ear.

        In many ways this is my main concern (now) with Shearer: he appears to have no analysis of our situation – just that some things are ‘bad’ and we need to do something about them.

        Before voting for a Labour Party led by him, I would want to know where his instincts lie. Does he think markets need to be curbed? Which ones? In what circumstances? Does he think taxation just burdens the economy or is it the ‘entry fee’ for a just, fair and equitable society? Etc., etc.. (I actually can’t believe I would need to ask these questions of an aspiring leader of the Labour Party but these are the kinds of questions I feel I need to be reassured about.)

        I think this lack of a framework also helps explain his inarticulateness in interviews. To me that is a real indication of the woolliness of his thinking at the political/structural level.He seems to flounder to locate his moral and intellectual compass amidst the flux of issues. Very worrying in an aspiring leader.
        
I would be extremely happy to be proven wrong – especially if he does win the contest.

        I just haven’t seen evidence that I am wrong.     

        • the sprout 19.2.2.1

          well put.

          he’d be a figurehead just waiting to be ideologically hijacked by whomever gained his ear

          that’s always been my understanding of what will happen, particularly for one with all of 2.5 years of parliamentary experience, regardless of how ideologically anomic they are

          • Puddleglum 19.2.2.1.1

            I’ve also read (in today’s Press) that he is being supported by the ‘Old Guard’ – yet his main ‘selling point’ is that he is a ‘fresh face’ (on the ‘Old Guard’??) and a ‘break with the past’ and the best way to ‘reconnect’ with an electorate that has rejected the ‘Old Guard’.

            I don’t get it. 

            • the sprout 19.2.2.1.1.1

              😆 yeah the ‘fresh’ babyboomer MP for Mt Albert installed by Goff.
              very fresh, very break with the old 

              • pollywog

                If Mallard is supporting Shearer, that in itself is the biggest reason why everybody else shouldn’t.

                Mallard has the reverse midas touch .Everything he touches turns to shit.

                Robertson needs to grow a pair and support Cunliffe as strategist.

                • agree re Robertson

                  • pollywog

                    disagree re Mallard though ?

                  • i think you’re entirely right about mallard too, but the robertson aspect is more important to me

                    • pollywog

                      eh !… if Robertson doesn’t pull his head out of his arse and get with the fucking programme i’m gonna label him a generation traitor.

                      siding with the crusty old boomers is unforgiveable. He should know better.

                    • i do believe his behaviour is unbecoming and unless he rethinks his plan soon, could turn out much less helpful to his ambitions than he was anticipating

                    • pollywog

                      If Cunliffe doesn’t get the nod i’m pickin he’ll bail on the party and then Labour will be well and truly fucked !!!

                      Wheres the incentive to stick around if Robertson is running game for Shearer knowing he’s next in line for a shot at the title?

                      At least Cunliffe has some real world skills that would hold him in good stead in the private sector.

                    • agree on all counts.
                      and he won’t be the only one to bail, what would a shearer win say to those who’ve stuck around, working loyally for years, only to discover it means nothing and a newbie can be parachuted into the top job in under 3 years of mediocre performance

            • Grassroots 19.2.2.1.1.2

              You should also try to find out how and why he was selected as the candidate for the Mt Albert by-election, you will then understand why how on earth a first term MP (also a confused MP who has no clue how to reorganize his own local electorate) put his hat in the ring for a leadership role when Labour is at the historical low… 

              • lprent

                I see that you’re sprouting quite a lot of bullshit about his selection in various comments. Basically you’re either confused or you are lying. Given the tone of your comments I suspect the latter.

                Candidates come from both locally and from anywhere around the country. In this case, David Shearer has owned a house in Kingsland in the electorate for quite a long time. However he spent most of his time working offshore. It is pretty much what you wind up doing if you work for the UN.

                He isn’t exactly a novice around the party having thrown his hat in the ring several times previously. He got knocked out of Waitakere by the Lynne Pillay in 99, and he stood in Whangarei in 2002 – from memory at the request of the party because there wasn’t a candidate.

                The voting in Mt Albert was nothing unusual. He stood along with the other candidates. He was clearly one of the better candidates and he won. I’m not worried about it and I supported Meg Bates.

                He is a good MP. The only quibbles I have about him standing for leader is

                – That he lacks parliamentary and ministerial and political media experience
                – I’m worried about what kind of support he has behind him to compensate (so far what I have heard hasn’t been enthralling me)
                – The potential damage that of crash and burn would have on the party.
                – I’m also kind of worried about the electorate. We’d just gotten over having the PM as our MP. It is exhausting…

                I have similar quibbles in different directions for David Cunliffe standing as leader.

                He doesn’t need to reorganize his electorate particularly. he has probably the most experienced team outside of Rongatai or Dunedin North running most of it for him (who are about as good). I pointed this out in this post the record of Mt Albert just on the preliminary figures show that it was one of the few electorates in the country that won its party vote. I’d bet that your electorate cannot say the same.

                But making crap up in the way you have been doing is annoying me. Frankly you could go to learn something about him rather than lying – it’d look a lot less like you’re deliberately lying

        • Lew 19.2.2.2

          PG, this is the only (literally, the only) cohesive critique Shearer’s candidacy I’ve seen. I don’t think it’s a gamechanger, but I think we’re entitled to some answers to some of those questions.Cheers.

          L

  20. vto 20

    Go Andrew!

  21. Anne 21

    Trust me, if Clark is involved that will look very bad to the voters.

    This National Party/ MSM meme is getting beyond disgusting. I can see the history books now…

    “Helen Elizabeth Clark is now regarded as one of the most outstanding prime ministers New Zealand has had for nearly a century. She oversaw much needed monetary and social changes which became the basis of our present economic and social structure. At the time it was never properly understood by the populace at large – and in particular the male dominated news media of the day – largely because of a continuation of 20th century ignorance and prejudice. It is difficult to believe that such views still existed, but it needs to be remembered that many men (and some women too) during the early years of this century were still prisoner to the deeply held fear of strong and intelligent women.”

    • Craig Glen Eden 21.1

      So true Anne.

    • I agree entirely Anne.  The suggestion seems to be that if kiwis will ever allow Labour to be in Government again it has to admit that all of the members of the fifth labour government were trash and did huge damage to the contrary.

      Well feck that.  It is not true.  It is a stupid CT attack line that does your head in because it is so stupid.  And having to actually debate it is weird to put it mildly.

      And if that is the price of power, that we have to trash the reputation of one of the most outstanding PMs this country has ever seen then I may as well emigrate now.

    • LynW 21.3

      +1 Well said!

    • Frida 21.5

      +1.

      Awesome Anne

    • VB 21.6

      Agree 100%, Anne 🙂

  22. felix 23

    Nope.

    Hey wha haappen?

  23. RedLogix 24

    Frankly this whole ‘leadership’ change crap leaves me cold.

    I just see Labour being played like a fiddle by a right wing media intent on destroying it.

    • Blue 24.1

      There’s an element of that RL. Unfortunately, the media calls the shots. One of the first things the new Labour leader will have to do is short-circuit the media bullshit machine which is incapable of mentioning Labour without painting them as losers who cannot and will not win anything, ever again.

      And what the media wants from Labour is bloodshed. They are still sore that they didn’t get their bloody, dirty fight after the 2008 election. They wanted to watch Labour rip itself apart in penance for the ‘sin’ of losing the election and when they didn’t get it they held a grudge against Phil Goff for three years.

      Giving them their pound of flesh is basically the only way to ensure that Labour will ever be presented by them as a party of any value.

      • felix 24.1.1

        “One of the first things the new Labour leader will have to do is short-circuit the media bullshit machine…”

        Yeah and they’re both doing a bang up job of that so far, eh?

      • RedLogix 24.1.2

        You are right blue. But giving them their pound of flesh will never satiate them either.

        It’s too late at night for blogging.. I’m only having dark thoughts.

      • Anthony 24.1.3

        They wanted Goff rolled in a bloody fashion, no matter what the result of the leadership debate there will still be stories of the loser plotting and biding their time, based on “inside sources” of course.

      • Anne 24.1.4

        One of the first things the new Labour leader will have to do is short-circuit the media bullshit machine which is incapable of mentioning Labour without painting them as losers who cannot and will not win anything, ever again.

        Based on that criteria then the next leader has to be David Cunliffe.

        And what the media wants from Labour is bloodshed

        Cunliffe will give it to them but they are the ones who will be bleeding!

        • M 24.1.4.1

          Agreed Anne. I like Cunliffe because he has firm opinions and is not afraid to voice them to dickhead sockpuppet reporters.

          Could be wrong but I think that Cunliffe has the necessary velcro to engage and beat down the Nact machine plus more experience of the rough and tumble of parliament and if he succeeds I will look forward to him needling Key because that worm has had a total Disney ride these last three years.

          I thought Cunliffe did well on Q + A this morning and he did not rule out working with NZF which I think is smart even though some of Winston’s antics give me pause. Cunliffe and Winston tag teaming against Key ought to have Johnny shopping for some Depends.

          • Colonial Viper 24.1.4.1.1

            Cunliffe voices possible re-nationalisation of energy assets. Expect the Neoliberal free market types to have a hernia.

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10770808

            • Matthew Hooton 24.1.4.1.1.1

              That’s not much of a big deal really. The way the Mixed Ownership Model will work, any future govt could easily take a stand in the market and buy back the 49% of the companies they don’t already own, and when they get to a certain percentage (90% I think, but stand to be corrected) they can then compulsorarily aquire the remainder. The only question would be whether or not this was a good idea at the time, and I seriously doubt any sane future government would decide that was the best use of a few billion dollars of taxpayers’ funds (after all, the Clark Government never tried to buy back Contact Energy and they sold some of their shares they ended up owning in Air Zealand).

              • Yep 90% shareholding holding required so that you can then compulsorily purchase the rest but you would have to pay a king’s random to do so.  It makes the original decision to sell rather stupid, doncha think?

                • Matthew Hooton

                  If it was going to cost a “king’s ransom” to buy the 39% of shares needed to get to the 90% threshold (assuming you define a “king’s ranson” as much more than the original issue price, then that would imply the Government would have made a huge capital gain on its other 51% in the meantime, and an increased divident stream and forecast divident stream, which implies the company’s performance would have improved as a result of the introduction of minority shareholders, which is probably right.

                  • AnnaLiviaPlurabella

                    You are making it too complicated lads and lassies.
                    The Hydro Dams and the Grid, the Jewels in the crown of assets, are a uniquely un-replicable and extremely profitable asset: Input = Rain, Output = Electricity. The Nation Grid in inherently a Monopoly. Given their strategic importance they should not be sold: therefore, if stupidly sold, they should be bought back when sanity prevails.
                    Before the Natz get to sell them (I doubt they will get the numbers) Labour should make the terms of the buy-back very clear to all potential bidders. Put a fair but not attractive “collar” around the buyback pricing model and no-one will have a surprise or a gripe. If they become owned by the Cullen Fund or Iwi then that can be handled on a case by case basis. Simple

  24. anne 26

    After watching Q & A ,i felt that Shearer still has a wee way to go before he would be the leader labour needs right now, dont get me wrong, he is a fine man and a man with an experiance in humanity behind him,he would make a superb deputy leader, this would give him a parliamentry
    term to settle in and find his feet, Cunliffe on the other hand in parliament, has taken the argument
    to key and english and came out blowing his smoking gun,he is quick on his feet,seems well
    rehersed in the finer details of policy and has quick answers,labour really needs this in parliament
    now if it is going to have a face at all,winston will be right in there doing what he does well,so
    labour need to match him,or labour would drown in the wake,labour need to be strategicly placed
    this term to capitalise on any argument any mistakes that key and national make, Shearer is not yet ready to be that person,his time will come.
    I sincerely hope that labour dont drop the ball on this one,this term is going to be so important
    and will map the future of the labour party.
    Who knows though what might happen,240.000 special votes to be counted,including 5 seats up
    for grabs, the playing field may change,fingers crossed.

  25. Rosie 27

    I gave up on Labour when they axed the special benefit in 2002. It’s was probably the most important part of our social welfare law we’ve ever had, and Labour ditched it, under urgency. In 1995 Labour strenuously defended attempts by the nats to destroy the special benefit. This is just one example of Labour’s hypocrisy. I’m sure Shearer’s a nice guy and that his children love him, but if Labour make him its leader then it’s clear they’ve learned nothing while in Opposition. It’ll be more of the same, more competing with Key on who can be the nastiest to the poor and vulnerable.

  26. Reality Bytes 28

    gl Shearer, Cunliffe, whoever, don’t let anyone else over-think things or discourage you!

    The more talented candidates that put their name in the ring the better quality choices we have available to us imo. We are lucky to have so many talented folks trying to sell their unique vision.

    May the best candidate win.

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