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What’s new? Shearer retrospective.

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, December 17th, 2012 - 124 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david shearer, greens, housing, labour, mana, nz first, polls, poverty - Tags:

David Shearer was on TV 3 this morning, reflecting on his last year.  He looked calm and quite assured, presenting a friendly and reasonable persona.  He claimed the following: that the Labour leadership contest is settled; that Labour has a new and different direction; that the polls are moving in the right direction for Labour; that Labour has provided a strong opposition to Key’s government; and that Labour has a new leadership and new front bench line up.  However he doesn’t give evidence of any of this.  How accurate are his claims?

Leadership?

david cunliffe and shearer

Certainly the Labour leadership and the main voices in the MSM are claiming the Labour leadership is settled.  However commenters here, as on Open Mike this morning, think differently.

New Labour Direction?

The main area where Labour are claiming a new direction is towards being more interventionist than Key’s government. The affordable housing policy has been the main plank of this alleged new direction.  But one policy does not a direction make.  It is good that they’ve focused on this very crucial issue.  Affordable housing is at crisis level in places like Auckland and Christchurch.  However I agree with Mana that it doesn’t go far enough.  It doesn’t target the immediate crisis for low income people, who are largely renters. And it doesn’t address the issue of the urgent need for more state housing.

Jacinda Ardern has shown more dedication to publicly fronting on issues to do with beneficiaries, such as speaking at the Onehunga Recession Busting Impact rally last week, and foregrounding issues of poverty in her adjournment speech.  However, I haven’t yet seen the focus on poverty in terms of statements from Shearer and proposed policy direction.  I don’t see any new policy direction here.

However, I still don’t see as bolder claim for breaking with the “neoliberal” consensus as we saw druing the last couple of years from David Cunliffe.

The Polls?

The movement is glacial, and hardly a ringing endorsement in the face of a teetering Key government.

Opposition to Key’s Government?

The stand out opponents have been Winston Peters and some Green MPs, such us Russel Norman and Julie Anne Genter.  Grant Robertson is a strong performer for Labour in the House, but Shearer has really yet to make his mark.  Others in Labour have done some solid work, such as Phil Goff, Chris Hipkins, Sue Moroney, and Annette King.

New Leadership and Front Bench Line-up?

It doesn’t seem that new to me. However, newness of faces isn’t as important as the strength of the front bench, and direction it’s taking.

Conclusion

Shearer has improved in his  media and parliamentary performances. I’m still not convinced that Shearer is leading Labour in a new and desirable direction.  I am concerned that they aren’t yet really breaking with the “neoliberal” consensus” and that they are not presenting, as yet, a strong enough opposition to the government. They really do need Cunliffe’s expertise, speaking skills and rough edges on their front bench.

My party vote still leans towards the Greens, and Mana is an important developing force and voice for the left, Maori, Pasifika and all those on low incomes.

124 comments on “What’s new? Shearer retrospective.”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    The main area where Labour are claiming a new direction is towards being more interventionist than Key’s government. The affordable housing policy has been the main plank of this alleged new direction.

    The Kiwibuild policy is Labour’s gift to the banksters. It’s main purpose is to increase borrowing which will show an increase in GDP and thus Labour will be able to say that they’re growing the economy. The problem, of course, is that all that extra economic movement comes bearing interest and so puts us straight back on the path to collapse simply because that interest cannot be repaid.

    However, I haven’t yet seen the focus on poverty in terms of statements from Shearer and proposed policy direction. I don’t see any new policy direction here.

    And you won’t. Shearer, and Labour in general, are only there to prop-up capitalism and the profits of the few.

  2. Bill 2

    What’s new? He’s getting a handle on justifying his own hopelessness alongside excusing or otherwise explaining away/ignoring Labour’s general ineptitude . That’s new.

  3. fender Viper 3

    ” How accurate are his claims?”

    1)Wishful thinking.

    2)Sound knowledge that the caucus will continue to support him due to them being self-serving troughers.

    • Alanz 3.1

      Hi fender Viper
      I say the following as a long-standing supporter of the Labour Party, from my earliest days and through the cycles of ups and downs.
      Fundamentally, there remains questions about David Shearer as leader of the party (cf. leader of caucus) until the membership exercise their votes. The party as a whole will not fully come together as one and apply their whole-hearted support to back the selected leader for the 2014 campaign until after their party constitutional rights are accorded respect with the opportunity to cast their votes.
      That must be kept in mind by caucus members and reinforced by the membership providing their time, funds and efforts in supporting their local Labour parliamentary representatives or candidates.

  4. Te Reo Putake 4

    The leadership question is settled. Shearer will be leading Labour into Government at the next election because the majority of current Labour MP’s either explicitly support Shearer or accept there is no viable alternative. Cunliffe has had two cracks at knocking off Shearer (in caucus and at conference) and has failed both times. He won’t get a third chance.
     
    In the unlikely event that Shearer doesn’t get the 60% plus one vote in caucus, he would still win a party wide ballot, particularly if he shores up the affiliates’ vote. I reckon he’s he’s done just enough this year to convince most members that he’s worth the risk.
     
    And, apropos of nothing, can I point out to the couple of posters over the weekend who said they would be electorate voting Green at the next election, that their vote is worse than wasted? It’s actually a vote to retain a National led Government, muppets.

    • karol 4.1

      I have yet to see evidence that Cunliffe attempted a coup at conference.  Do you have any evidence, TRP?

      • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1

        Yes, Karol. For me, what I saw and heard at conference indicated he had proxies working on his behalf. The practical result of that lobbying was the success in getting the 60% plus one vote confirmed. Sadly for Cunliffe, it now appears that was a pyrrhic victory and won’t be of any use to him, for the reasons I outlined above.
         
        Just to head off the ‘but he said he supported Shearer’ response, public votes of confidence don’t always reflect privately held beliefs. As any sacked football manager will tell you, a vote of confidence from the charman is usually followed shortly afterwards by the order of the boot.

        • karol 4.1.1.1

          So there was no coup attempt at the conference, but an effort by many members to make the vote for leader more democratic? It may have opened the way for Cunliffe to take part in a future leadership contest, but it doesn’t amount to a coup attempt at conference.

          • One Tāne Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            TRP admits that the coup was all in TRP’s mind: “indicated he had proxies”. There are reds under the beds you know!

            • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Unusually thoughtless remark from you OTH. I was there. I was lobbied. I listened to the speeches. I took note of those who didn’t speak, as well. I formed an opinion and I have shared it with you and the other readers. A miserable, ill thought out and ultimately failed coup attempt, but a coup attempt none the less.
               
              Sorry I can’t give you emails, letters, or other forms of proof, but Cunliffe’s leadership ambitions died on the weekend of the conference. And maybe that’s the real coup, eh?

              • One Tāne Viper

                I note Lyn Prentice was also there and reached the opposite conclusion. The existence of the coup that never was relies on your bias interpretation.

                Spinning the desire of membership to control an inept caucus, into a leadership challenge is all you’ve got. Feeble.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  LP was not a voting delegate. Nobody lobbied him*. You weren’t there and your ‘interpretation’ is from a considerable distance. Have a think about what the 60% vote really means. If it was about the ‘desire of membership’, why did it have a caucus veto built in? Answer: because it was reflective of the desire of a caucus member to strengthen his position without having to strengthen his numbers.
                   
                  *Well, I did have a chat with Lyn. I found him to be exceedingly good company, of above average intelligence and handsome enough to be mistaken for Justin Beiber’s slightly older brother. Does sucking up to avoid a potential future ban count as lobbying?

                  [lprent: Yes. On reflection I think that it slightly increases the probability of getting holidays. The “slightly older” puts you into the same class as Jonathon Swift’s courtiers and flappers 😈 ]

                  • Te Reo Viper

                    Damn, I knew I should have gone with One D, Beiber is so last year. Nice Swift reference, LP; if I ever think you are about to fall off a cliff, I’ll give you a quick flap about the bonce to alert you to the danger.

              • One Tāne Viper

                PS: you can’t give me proof because there isn’t any, which serves merely to stress the stark unforgiving reality that the coup is all in your mind.

            • Dr Terry 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Thanks Karol and OTV, you have saved me having to say it! TRP seems to have a miraculous way of reading people’s minds (even private thoughts). He is believing exactly what he chooses to believe.

          • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1.1.2

            Wrong, Karol. There was a coup attempt, but a very poor one. It failed to gain any traction and was limited to just one success, which was the frankly weird 60% plus one vote in caucus only, which, by itself, doesn’t make the wider party any more democratic.
             
            Actually, thinking about the limited 60% plus 1 vote, it also confirms that Cunliffe thinks just like any other MP; caucus is all that matters.

            • lprent 4.1.1.1.2.1

              The “leader of the party” is actually the leader of the party in parliament – ie the leader of the caucus. They don’t actually have much of a constitutional role outside of that. 

              The effect of the change was that after each general election, the parliamentary leader must to be confirmed in their position by 60%+1 of caucus. If there is a significiant minority (ie 40%) in caucus, then the leadership of caucus gets detirmined by a wider vote throughout the whole party.

              which, by itself, doesn’t make the wider party any more democratic

              What it does do is to ensure that it makes it a lot more difficult to repeat the kind of divide and rule tactics that were absolutely characteristic of the 4th Labour government.

              If there is any kind of conflict over policy direction inside of the caucus then it effectively opens up a third option for MP’s to push the decision out to the larger party for discussion.

              The 4th Labour government was the main reason that people talking to me about the change were planning on voting for it. In other words it wasn’t about Cunliffe for them.

              The people who were definitely voting against it seemed to be the people raising Cunliffe as the reason mostly in private. When I was pressing them on what other reasons there were to oppose it, what I was getting were some generalities about “stability” of the caucus without any specifics about why.

              The problem I always have with that ‘stability’ argument is that if you have 40% of the caucus opposing the direction set by the caucus leader and have to coerce them with such rules. Then any stability that is forged is just an illusion that had better be resolved sooner rather than later.. It is a ‘stability’ that will eventually cause a revolution that will be a damn sight more traumatic than it is useful.

              But as you know, I detest short-term conservative thinkers. So I do have a bias against such stupid arguments.

              • Anne

                The 4th Labour government was the main reason that people talking to me about the change were planning on voting for it. In other words it wasn’t about Cunliffe for them.

                +1
                As TRP has postulated, I’m sure there were some overly enthusiastic Cunliffe supporters who saw the proposed changes as being ‘helpful’ for a future Cunliffe challenge, but I don’t think the majority of the delegates were voting with Cunliffe particularly in mind. I was also at that conference, and I chatted to a number of delegates (none of whom I had met before) and the consensus of opinion seemed to be:
                We’ve had enough, we want more of a say in our own Party.

                One of the arguments given in favour of the sentiment was the 2011 “LIST” selection which most people agree was less than satisfactory. In other words, what caused the constitutional changes to be voted in… was more to do with an accumulation of dissatisfaction that – as 1prent has suggested – had it’s beginnings with the 4th Labour government.

                • Anne

                  I don’t think the majority of delegates were voting with Cunliffe particularly in mind.

                  And those that were, are far more likely to have been the caucus ABC club (and their acolytes) who seem to have almost a pathological hatred of Cunliffe for… exaggerated transgressions?

                • lprent

                  The list selections generally would have been the number two reason. What goes into the central mediation from the regionals appeared to have little relationship to what comes out over recent cycles.

                  The nett effect has to be to distance the party membership or at least large chunks of it from the caucus. Not something that is healthy.

                  Some pretty promising candidates got dropped well down the list. And that is a problem. But it is a bit dwarfed by 

                  If Labour don’t improve the percentage of the party vote that they get amongst the ever decreasing enrolled who bother to vote, then the party list becomes somewhat meaningless without a wholesale removal of existing MP’s. So either this current caucus improves their performance dramatically or I suspect that they can look forward to getting some involuntary renewals.

                  So far over the last 4 years, Labour has been consistently polling in the Roy Morgan below the ~34% percentage that they got in the 2008 election – which was one of the worst results ever. 

              • karol

                The 4th Labour government was the main reason that people talking to me about the change were planning on voting for it. In other words it wasn’t about Cunliffe for them.
                 
                And clearly this is a deep issue, that surfaced at conference, and can easily be touched off again.  The party caucus leader has become a focal point for this.  My post was focused on the “new” claims from Shearer.  But so far, I’m not seeing a clear new direction in policy or celebrating and owning party democratisation.  
                 
                And the caucus leadership seems afraid of a more democratic membership – hence the attempts to stifle any dissent, and the annoyance of any expressions of any continuing unease or dissent.
                 
                I have only put forward the idea of Cunliffe being needed on the front bench and working on policy. I really don’t know who would be the best caucus leader for the future of a strong, democratic and principled Labour Party; one that reconnects with it’s foundational aims.

                • lprent

                  I really don’t know who would be the best caucus leader for the future of a strong, democratic and principled Labour Party; one that reconnects with it’s foundational aims.


                  Unfortunately nor do I. And I’d settle for a whole lot less. One that looks like competent politician capable of balancing up a wide range of divergent views while being forward looking enough to not keep looking solving issues the way that they have failed in the past (boot camps come to mind) would be acceptable to me. 

          • Wayne 4.1.1.1.3

            Well you know my view on this. DC refused to say whether he would stand in Feb. If it wasnt a coup, at the least it was failure to support the leadership. DC could not then complain that DS would consider he had to deal with the issue there and then. So if there was no coup attempt then DC was inept.

          • marty mars 4.1.1.1.4

            If there was no coup why didn’t cunliffe just say that he supported shearer? I don’t really believe the ‘integrity’ line it seems more like a political blunder. There are many ways of saying you support your leader “now” and still leave plenty of wriggle room to later on, with hand on heart and a tear in the eye, declare your leadership ambitions. That is political honesty.

            edit – I see wayne (above) and i agree.
             

            • vivaciousviper 4.1.1.1.4.1

              Why should Cunliffe say he supports Shearer when it is a ‘secret ballot’ in February,why not ask Robertson,Little,Hipkins,Adern,etc, you can’t ‘pigeon hole’ Cunliffe as a ‘coup master’ when the question has not been asked of all the other crew, the real answer could be found in the very strong resentment by certain caucus players not wanting the members to vote for the way the leadership is chosen, stop throwing arrows at Cunliffe and look at his credentials.

              • McFliper

                I disagree. You cannot treat all MPs as having an equal possibility of challenging for the leadership when only one of them competed with the incumbent the last time the job was open. Oh, and has a vocal fan club amongst some party activists who enjoy slagging off the current leadership.
                        
                Hiding behind “secret ballot” is disingenuous. When you are the main challenger for a position, refusal to rule out another attempt is almost as good as publicly announcing it. Almost as good, because it makes you look untrustworthy and smug when you refuse to say either way.

            • Benghazi 4.1.1.1.4.2

              Actually MM and Wayne – Cunliffe said exactly what you are claiming he did not.  He said he supported Shearer.
              Gower conveniently deleted out Cunliffe’s full responses so you only heard truncated clips. What Cunliffe was not prepared to answer was how he would vote in February in a secret ballot. No doubt if he had said how he would have voted, King/Mallard would have balled him out for breaching caucus rules about secret ballots.  Yes that’s how it works when a group with no ethics holds the numbers in caucus.

              • Anne

                My God, how many times do you have to tell them.
                I heard David Cunliffe reiterate his total support for Shearer half a dozen times (on TV and elsewhere) in the weeks leading up to the Conference – and at the Conference.

                Gower had another agenda. He didn’t want to hear it. He wanted a dramatic “exclusive”. Something for the folks out there to salivate on and up the TV3 ratings. It so happened to suit the ABC club who were after Cunliffe’s blood because he was seen as a threat to their position and power within the Party and Caucus in particular.

                • McFliper

                  and yet he never said whether he was going to challenge for the leadership or not…

                  • Anne

                    NO politician has ever… said whether they were going challenge for the leadership or not. That would be the silliest thing any politician could do. It doesn’t mean that Cunliffe, or anyone else for that matter, is not going to be loyal to Shearer. What about David Parker or Andrew Little or at some future date, Jacinda Ardern? If you are going to apply that argument to Cunliffe, then you have to apply the same argument to them. They have never ruled out a challenge either.

                    • McFliper

                      But at issue wasn’t “some future date”. There was a very specific window that he should have been open about. And as the primary challenger for the role, the onus was on Cunliffe to make clear comments about party stability and, if necessary, take himself out of the contest. Or be clear about the challenge he will make within a few months. Either way shows loyalty to the party by minimising the disruption of a leadership challenge or false rumours of a challenge. 
                          
                      I can’t believe that some people are still having difficulty with this concept. 

                    • McFliper

                      Oh, and you’ll probably find loads of MPs who announced they wouldn’t challenge their leader. Cullen probably did it (or by his demeanour rumours of a challenge were quickly quashed), but there will probably be others, too.

        • Benghazi 4.1.1.2

          Cunliffe and his proxies lobbied strongly for the 60% plus 1.  But hey, that’s the constitutional process and it is OK to do that. Nothing disloyal in it either. But lobbying for constitutional change does not equal a leadership coup and TRP you seem unable or unwilling to distringuish the two. However, you have a very long history on this site of anti-Cunliffe comments so its no surprise you would take this stance.  
          But come on TRP, no one disputes Cunliffe’s intelligence.  Why would he attempt a coup in November when a 50% threshold in caucus was needed?  Far better to keep his powder dry and wait till February when only a 40% threshold was needed.
          No the truth is the King/Mallard leadership team started formenting a leadership coup three weeks before conference – they were the senior MPs briefing the media.  It was them that precipitated the so called coup so they could kill off Cunliffe.  That leaves the way clear to install Robertson closer to the lection when it suits then (but unikely to help Labour).
          Ultimately though if Shearer is so confident he is the best leader then HE SHOULD PUT IT TO THE TEST AND LET THE MEMBERSHIP ENDORSE HIM IN FEBRUARY.
           

          • Te Reo Viper 4.1.1.2.1

            “However, you have a very long history on this site of anti-Cunliffe comments …”.
             
            He he! Knew it wouldn’t be long before someone made that claim. Care to provide the evidence? Time saving tip: I’m a Cunliffe supporter … but one who realises it’s over for him.

      • King Kong 4.1.2

        You can’t still be trotting out the see no evil defence.

        If this was the terrible injustice you think it was then Cunliffe would have walked out of the party and Parliament. Nobody with any principles would accept that situation if they were innocent.

        The fact he is still lurking around is because he had a go at the crown and had his head taken off legitimately.

        • Olwyn 4.1.2.1

          People do not necessarily walk when subjected to injustices; there are many possible responses one may have. You are grasping at straws KK. And TRP, members trying to garner support for their favoured candidate off their own bats does not mean an attempted coup. I myself like Cunliffe, but I have only met the guy once or twice and am certainly not part of an organised and strategic pro-Cunliffe team. Furthermore, Chris Trotter claims evidence that Robertson’s supporters were doing the numbers in the weeks leading up to the conference. 
          http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/islands-in-mainstream.html  Does this mean yet another attempted coup, that mysteriously went unnoticed? 
           
           
           

        • Dr Terry 4.1.2.2

          Exactly what I was expecting from you KK. Have you heard of “lurking with intent”? Should Cunliffe wanted a top job abroad it would be his for the taking. He is simply biding his time, but you choose to call that “lurking around”, as offensive as ever.

    • Just on the point of leadership of labour – surely shearer has shown he has got what it takes by taking out the legs of his apparent opponent cunliffe. Even if cunliffe was not making a true bid for the job, shearer sorted him, so as TRP says he’s unlikely to get another go for a while and shearer will likely lead towards the election. Political operators can be effective with different approaches to it – on the results in maintaining his position as leader of labour shearer must be considered an effective political operator. This seems very hard for some to accept.
       

      • Dr Terry 4.2.1

        mm. Sorry to tell you that “some of us” consider Shearer’s tactics at Conference as deplorable. May I suggest that you allow yourself to “wait and see” – nothing is altogether decided yet, by a long way.

      • karol 4.2.2

        For me it’s not so much about who is the leader, or just replacing the Key government.  It’s about what sort of government would replace the Key government.  A softer version of Key’s “neoliberal” policies, will not help NZ in the long term.  It certainly won’t help those in most need of a change of government direction – those on the lowest incomes.
         
        We need a fairer more equal society, based on using local resources for the local people.  I’m not seeing that from Shearer.  He just seems to be using the old neoliberal marketing strategy of branding over substance.  The approach from today’s interview seems to be to say”new” as often as possible, to sell the idea of the idea that Shearer’s Labour is about renewal – but I’m not seeing any substantial change of direction.
         
        And I don’t see a strong front bench mounting a significant opposition to the Key government. There is some opposition, some policies I like, but not enough for a credible and necessary change of direction.

      • Benghazi 4.2.3

        MM you think taking out an apparent opponent is good Leadership?  
        What about embracing an opponent and harnessing his talents? Labout actually hasn’t got a lot of talent to waste.  What this shows is faction play at its nastiest and most vile. Shearer was supposed to be above all that.  What he showed in November is not that he is a good and strong leader, but rather that he is now compromised and beholden to King/Mallard. 
         

        • McFliper 4.2.3.1

          It takes two to tango. 
          Easiest way not to be regarded as an apparent opponent is to not appear to be an opponent.

          • Benghazi 4.2.3.1.1

            Disagreeing with King/Mallard on the thresholds for Leadership votes does not make someone an opponent.
            Or do you not support the process of constitutional reform McFlipper?

            • McFliper 4.2.3.1.1.1

              What’s constitutional reform got to do with it? 
                    
              I was just thinking of refusing to say whether he’d be challenging for the leadership in a few months. That seemed to indicate a certain level of … negotiability in his loyalty.

              • Benghazi

                I think you are equating loyalty to the leader now for loyalty to the leader forever. What Cunliffe answered was the same as other MPs who were later asked – they would need to decide at the time, and some wished to consult their LECs etc.  That is the correct answer to a future vote of confidence.

                • McFliper

                  4 months is much closer to “now” than it is “forever”.
                        
                  And the point is that other MPs hadn’t narrowly and controversially missed out on the leadership in favour of Shearer
                       
                  A correct answer is “I will run”, or another correct answer is “I won’t run”. Not playing coy.

                  • felixviper

                    What do you imagine might have been the response to either “I will run”
                     or “I won’t run”??

                    • McFliper

                      “I will not run” removes the controversy. A categorical denial means that he can’t run without backtracking and breaking his word.
                           
                      “I will run” means Gower starts vote-counting, but as long as caucus adopts a universal line of not commenting on their votes, fair enough. Not as big a story as speculating on the existence of a cabal.
                          
                      Either way is much more stable than this “will he won’t he” BS at conference.

                    • felixviper

                      Hilarious that you think “I will run” would not be much of a story,
                       
                      What do you think Shearer’s response would have been?

                    • McFliper

                      “Not as big a story”. Not “not much of a story”.
                      Learn to read. 
                            
                      Shearer would probably have done much the same, but it would all have been done prior to the conference. There would have been “challenger in waiting” report, but not the same level of “ignore everything else at the conference while Cunliffe dances on a pin”. And the entire thing would have looked so much more civilized than the internecine sniping that’s been going on for months.

                    • felixviper

                      I think that’s extremely optomistic. What you desribe here is just as big a clusterfuck with much the same result.

                    • McFliper

                      Lucky that Cunliffe’s complete loyalty lasts longer than 4 months then. /sarc

                  • Benghazi

                    Actually, the vote of confience in the leader to be held in February is not the same as an MP making a leadership challenge.  It is entirely plausible that MPs could vote no confidence in Shearer, and that several MPs including Shearer then put their name forward for the resulting membership vote. You have merged what is two steps.

                    • Te Reo Viper

                      You may be right in terms of defining the process, Benghazi, but I think you are missing the bigger picture.
                       
                      Cunliffe probably has less support in caucus than he had a year ago.The few Shearer doubters who aren’t Cunliffe fans aren’t going to switch to him unless it’s clear he would run in the second vote.
                       
                      His own supporters in caucus aren’t going to vote for him either unless its crystal clear that he will run because Shearer has done nothing to warrant losing their confidence since the unanimous vote just after conference. It would be hypocritical for them to vote against Shearer only a few months later, unless Cunliffe was definitely running. And any chance of a cabinet post in the next Government would go down the gurgler.
                       
                      If anything, Shearer has strengthened his position, post conference. As I said earlier, that may be the real coup; Team Cunliffe may have lost the fight without throwing a punch.

                    • McFliper

                      Oh, okay then. So he says “I will be voting confidence in Shearer and if caucus has no confidence in shearer I will not put my name forward for the job”.

        • marty mars 4.2.3.2

          There is a time for embracing and I’m all for it but it must be sincere, like when the other person has dropped the knife.
           
          I think the underestimation of key by his opponents was, and still is, real. The opponents of shearer should learn from that IMO.
           
          If cunliffe can get the support and get up there good on him.

    • Colonial Weka 4.3

      And, apropos of nothing, can I point out to the couple of posters over the weekend who said they would be electorate voting Green at the next election, that their vote is worse than wasted? It’s actually a vote to retain a National led Government, muppets.
       

      Depends on the electorate. I voted in Waitaki last time. Here are the results
       
      http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2011/electorate-58.html
       
      The GP candidate doing so well reflects the calibre of the candidate, encouraging her to pursue politics and the GP to support her. She’s never going to beat whoever National put up, but there are other uses to her geting lots of votes now. I gave my electorate vote to her and my party vote to the GP. Had the left electoral vote been close to National I would have made different choices.
       
      But if I had lived in Waitakere, I would be seriously pissed at GP voters giving their electoral vote to the GP rather than Sepuloni. The GP need a telling off. So do Mana.
       
      We really do need to up our game in NZ with regards to the intricacies of MMP voting choices.

    • QoTViper 4.4

      Shearer will be leading Labour into Government at the next election because the majority of current Labour MP’s either explicitly support Shearer
       
      *Logical fallacy detected* … *processing* …
       
      Um, TRP, you do realise that Labour MPs don’t get to determine who forms the next government, right?  There’s this “general election” thing where lots of other people get a say, too.  And they may not be so keen on Captain Mumblefuck.

      • Te Reo Viper 4.4.1

        But they are keen enough already, oh prickly one. Even at this underachieving, slacker level of engagement with the voting public, Shearer’s already in the box seat. Which means, literally, that Labour MP’s do decide the next government. Just like they did under HC. That’s what being the biggest party of a potential bloc means; you get to try to form a Government.
         
        Key won’t be able to because he’ll only have a couple of outliers this time, unless Winnie goes dolalley. So Labour it is. Hopefully, it’ll be a partnership with the Greens, but if it has to be Winston, well, he’s a cheap date, policy wise.

        • QoTViper 4.4.1.1

          Labour MPs being “keen enough” =/= people on the Left lining up dutifully at the polls if there’s nothing in it for them.  Citation:  the last election.  Have you forgotten already?

          • Te Reo Viper 4.4.1.1.1

            I certainly haven’t forgotten that the even less popular leader Phil Goff came within a couple of seats of becoming PM! Shearer’s already at better than that level of support and has, ahem, room to improve. A few more vote winners like the housing policy, apprenticeships, building a choo choo set for Len brown, that sort of thing … he’ll be quids in.

            • QoTViper 4.4.1.1.1.1

              Look, mate, clearly you’re happy in your beliefs, even if it means pretending that the Labour Party has ever shown any inclination for comprehending how MMP works.  Carry on.

              • Te Reo Viper

                Did I not refer to the Clark years? Labour stitched up 3 very different coalitions under MMP. Same thing will happen at the next election. I’m a great believer in forming pre-election blocs, btw. Actually showing the electorate what the next goverment might look like. I want to see the Greens and Labour do joint policy launches on issues they (and we) agree on before the election. A vote for either would then be a vote for a progressive Government. Done cleverly, it could help the GP party vote, while delivering a few urban and provincial electorates back to Labour.
                 
                 
                 

            • lprent 4.4.1.1.1.2

              Shearer’s already at better than that level of support and has, ahem, room to improve.

              If so then I wish he’d move a damn sight faster. Bearing in mind that Labour managed to suffer nearly a 5% dip between the polls mid-2011 and the election in November 2011, the current level of fat between the two blocks looks like that on the back of a sheep with long term tick problem. Not to mention that Labour was consistently higher than now throughout 2010. I think that you’re being a trifle optimistic. See http://www.roymorgan.com/roymorgan/library/x29661_8.jpg

              The history over the last 4 years has been that whenever Labour starts making some traction, there is always another idiot in the Labour caucus that pipes up or does something to kill the momentum. So far I haven’t seen any observable change in the level of discipline in caucus this year (which is what a party leader is meant to lead). In fact the best you can say is that National’s ministers are helping to distract attention more than they were in 2010-2011.

              I find it rather ummm irritating…

        • Blue Viper 4.4.1.2

          Yeah, Don Brash thought he had it all sewn up too.

  5. alwyn 5

    I think one thing Shearer might consider is killing off the Red Alert blog.
    I had a look today at the number of comments they get. The postings are so mind-boggling dull that the postings in the last week attracted these number of comments
    1. No Comments
    2. 1 Comment
    3. No Comments
    4. 4 Connents
    5. 4 Comments
    6. 4 Comments
    7. No Comments
    There may of course be another option. Trevor and Mallard were so free with their “Banned for life” mantra that there are only four people in New Zealand who haven’t been banned.

    • One Tāne Viper 5.1

      He cannot kill it off without the tactic admission of failure, and he cannot allow some members of caucus to continue commenting there without providing the evidence.
       
      Perhaps Labour needs a communications strategy.

      • Benghazi 5.1.1

        Labour Communications Strategy:
        Get King and Mallard to leak to the MSM who have become so dependent on spoon feeding to stay afloat in the fast news cycles.

    • George D 5.2

      It could also be that noboby, Labour or otherwise, wants the risk of having their opinions correlated with their email addresses and held against them for future use.

      • alwyn 5.2.1

        True. I hadn’t thought of that for the Labour Party members who would be vulnerable to this.
        Combining that with those, like me, who have been banned doesn’t leave a lot of people to comment.

    • Fortran 5.3

      alwyn

      Did not know that Red Alert was still alive ???

  6. dan1 6

    I used to enjoy The Standard postings but so much over the last while have been unhappy Cunliffites bagging Shearer, or tory trolls. Instead of being a daily read, I drop by occasionally, which is a sad, as I am sure others feel the same way.

    I would agree that Labour has not front footed on a range of issues, but now is the time for unity against the worst administration I can remember. David Cunliffe may get his time in the future. He and his supporters should get behind the current leadership, carve out a niche, and push their views within the caucus and within the party.

    The ongoing moan from the disaffected surely helps Key remain.

    • odysseus 6.1

      Yes Dan1, agree, further it is odd how BOTH The Std AND Red Alert have gone downhill recently. Do they bring each other down?

    • mac1 6.2

      Yes, dan 1, I am also getting tired of the bagging. Maybe over Christmas people might move on. I’ve said my bit on this whole thing, and having already said it, I don’t feel compelled to restate my view. The repetition has become tiresome. Merry Christmas, everyone. 

      • ak 6.2.1

        Tautoko, Dan, Oddy and Mac.

        One of life’s bitter little lessons is that for those who feel life’s injustices with the greatest intensity, perceived treachery, or injury from supposed friends, hurts most of all.

        And is thus hardest to forgive. We’ll forgive our mugger, but never our wandering spouse. Bolger, but never Douglas.

        Most forgive over time; but the harm done in the interim can be immense. To oneself.

        Some never forgive, and either never get out of bed or pick up a gun.

        Others just nip over to the Huffington Post with a shandy and wait for humour titillation and the caption contest to eventually come home.

        It will; but it’s a pity so much time and energy is wasted.

      • Benghazi 6.2.2

        Easy way to end the bagging and have the members unite behind the leader:
         
        PUT IT TO THE TEST IN FEBRUARY.
         
        What has happened to Cunliffe is deeply, deeply unjust. That’s why many comment on The Standard about what has happened. But also, there is much disaffection with the policy direction of current faction controlling the caucus.

        • Saarbo 6.2.2.1

          +1

          • Rhinoviper 6.2.2.1.1

            DNFTT… or rather, do not feed the sockpuppets.  “Dan1″, ‘Odysseus” and “Mac1”, carefully mentioning each other’s handles and so carefully agreeing with each other?
             
            If the caucus mini-mes are themselves so lazy, never having been seen before and not following up, then things must surely be in a dire state.
             
            Come on!  Get with it you guys!  You should be running a consistent, concerted campaign!  Every day you should post,  “Shearer is a genius!  Shearer invented cats!  Cunliffe is Emanuel Goldstein, Cunliffe created navel lint and gangrene!”  Every day!  Every.  Fucking.  Day.
             
            The Standard has to be “brought into line”, as Curran demanded, ordered, no less, remember?
             
            Work at it!
             
            You lazy bastards!

            • mac1 6.2.2.1.1.1

              Rhinoviper, apologies for carefully mentioning your handle but actually it’s useful when using the search facility on The Standard to have accuracy. Sorry to have to actually give you a commonsense reason when you obviously prefer conspiracy.

              I just want to challenge your assertion that happening to agree with someone makes them a sock puppet. That appellation tries to belittle me, but fails. It does belittle yourself, though, as your anger and frustration have overcome a sense of proportion and a sense of decent argument- what is fair, reasonable and not descending into name-calling. Your ranting does you or your cause no good.

              I’m just off to an end of year BBQ with fellow Labour party members. There the year will be reviewed and I am sure differing views will be expressed- with due respect to each other. I shall enjoy that debate.

              • Napkins

                “There the year will be reviewed and I am sure differing views will be expressed- with due respect to each other.”

                In that case, perhaps you need to teach the Labour caucus a thing or two.

                • mac1

                  I need to do nothing, Napkins. All I am responsible for is my own behaviour. If they read my words and see their own behaviour in my words, then they can take the actions required.

                  I have acted honourably and selflessly for the party in the past. That was recognised through what I did and was acknowledged. If members can acknowledge when another member has acted correctly, then members can also see where and when they ‘need teaching’, if they do.

    • karol 6.3

      There are far more posts on TS on the government and other issues.  Key and his ministers get far more bagging than does Labour.  
       
      I see part of the roles of blogs as holding both the politicians and the MSM to account.  These days the MSM focus on the middle classes, and the Labour leadership have followed that line for far too long. Both have consistently misrepresented what happened at the Labour Party conference.  If the MSM, and the parliamentary Labour leadership keep misrepresenting such things, I will continue to hold them to account.  
       
      They are operating on the principle if you say something often enough, people will accept it as truth, even if there is no truth to support it. Overall, my main problem is more with the MSM, and it’s misrepresentations, on this issue.

    • RedBlooded 6.4

      Well said dan1, completely agree. Finding myself less inclined to drop by these days. Cheers to all though for the holiday season, whether we agree or disagree.

    • Agree Dan1 and thank you for saying you are sure others feel the same way as certainly I do.  I’m not a party member, but long time Labout voter so still stopping by everyday but have had little desire to contribute anything lately.   

      • karol 6.5.1

        I haven’t noticed any increase in trolling or criticism of the Labour Caucus lately.  If anything it’s diminished as people go on holiday, a nd some LP members have been silenced.
         
        It’s interesting that I don’t get such responses when I’m critical of the Greens – I have frequently been critical of the way Russel Norman is often now seen as the de facto leader of the Greens, and that I think he is dragging the party to the centre.  I do not like the way Turei, with her strong focus on decreasing income inequalities and poverty, has been marginalised.
         
        I am seriously concerned about the way democracy is being undermined by the 2 main parties, partly enabled/reinforced by an inadequate mainstream media coverage of politics.
         
        Open discussion and criticism should be a cornerstone of a democracy.  No one’s really commented on the positive things I said about some of the Labour front bench.  Many just respond negatively to any criticism and ignore the positives.

  7. geoff 7

    Shearer says he doesn’t really ‘buy into that whole left/right thing’ (yeah cos that’s just for dorks who follow politics eh Davy, and you’re more of a play-the-guitar-at-the-beach-barbie type dude ay?)

    Has the word ‘neo-liberal’ ever been uttered in public by Shearer? Is that one of those danger words that focus groups have shown can make an audience feel dumb AND set yourself up for being painted as ‘far-left extremists’ by your opposition?

  8. bad12 8

    My Christmas wish must be that the Labour Caucus cause the leadership question to be put to the numbers and affiliates in February,

    My belief is that for the best chance to unify Labour and it’s supporters and dispose of the ugly Slippery National Government is for that full vote to take place befor the 2014 election,

    The view here is that Labour would do itself the most favor by running a Robertson/Cunliffe ticket at the 2014 election,

    As far as ‘a new direction’ goes for Labour, Shearer must be attempting humor, the bloke reminds me of someone who during the 70’s indulged in one two many acid trips, He always has that slightly fried look about Him,

    Which new direction is this???, i suppose it is pretty novel to have the Leader of Parliamentary Labour publicly and openly bagging beneficiaries, but, it’s hardly new for Labour to be pandering to the middle class, Working for Families and interest Free Student Loans being the Clark Labour Governments well worked pitch for the middle class vote,

    The KiwiBuild ‘flagship’ policy in it’s announced form is simply a pitch for the votes of the middle class and their children, that same middle class being the very people who created the need for such a policy in the first place by playing Monopoly with New Zealand’s housing stock for the past 15 years will now have their children rewarded by Labour shoe-horning any of them who can service a 300+ grand mortgage onto the ‘property ladder’,

    Couple Labour’s latest gimmie with the tax cuts and buy into State Owned Assetsof the Slippery National Government and the Clark Governments Working for Families and Interest Free Student Loans and the current middle class can only be seen as the most pandered to section of New Zealand society ever,

    Labour having left the beneficiaries out in the political wilderness, a luxury of the MMP system, have now to all extents and purposes signaled the abandonment of those who toil daily in the hard end of the economy at or just above the minimum wage,

    My view is that the democratization of the Party signaled at the just passed conference did not go quite far enough, it should in fact be the card carrying members on the floor of the annual Labour Party conference who have ‘the say’ in if and when a leadership contest is triggered and it should be by the same voting system the Party recently installed that the Leader, the Cabinet, and, the relevant Ministerial Portfolios are all voted upon…

    • karol 8.1

      Very good summation of the issues, bad.  My post was focused on this marketing of Labour now as “new”: in direction, leadership, and in terms of the front bench.  To me what I most want to see from Labour is a new direction and a clean break from Rogernomics, plus a strong front bench team to deliver it.  They have some good MPs, but I’m not seeing them acting as a very strong front bench, either.

      • Alanz 8.1.1

        Leadership is not something to be taken as granted, settled, anointed or uncontested, but must be regarded as being in a state of flux and so need to be earned, demonstrated and put to the membership to confirm and provide their mandate.

      • bad12 8.1.2

        There was a story going round not long after Bwana Dave became the Labour Parliamentary Leader that while a UN worker Dave had written a rather famous treastise in which He is said to openly favor the establishment of ‘private armies’,(perhaps He had seen those that operate in Iraq and was enamored of the way they could kill with impunity and their murderous rampages could not be sleeted home to any particular country),
         
        I am afraid your wish for Labour to disavow it’self of ‘Rogernomics’ is forlorn,there are still a rump number of senior Labour MP’s who served in the Lange Government who will never let Parliamentary Labour resile from the pathetic ‘reforms’ of Sir(spit), Roger Douglas, whether from over-blown political ego’s or just sheer bloody minded-ness they still beleive and are heard occassionally to say that the Douglas ‘reforms’ were neccessary and ‘had’ to happen,
         
        If the Labour Party membership ever want to rein in the Parliamentary Labour MP’s and have them do the bidding of the members instead of what now appears to be the opposite the Party it’self must again bite the bullet and go further,(as i suggest above), in democratizing itself, only when the Leader, the Cabinet, and the MP’s are answerable to the floor of the annual Labour Party Conference will the Labour Caucus do the bidding of the Labour Party itself, until such occurs it looks like it’s ‘business as usual’ for the next Labour lead Government even tho all around the world, for Governments from the US,to the EU, Brittain and Japan, it is definitely not business as usual…

        • McFliper 8.1.2.1

          While I agree with moves to further democratise Labour, I can’t help thinking that Shearer’s “treatise” might be taken just a touch out of context.
                  
          Unless you have a link…

  9. Rob 9

    Labour’s new direction? Back to the same old failed policies of the 1980s from the biggest roger nomes there ar !

  10. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 10

    Great discussion. And interesting how the same thing can be interpreted in multiple ways. Often there are two or more things that are being dealt to by one thrust for action. In the Conference it might be said that it was first, more say for the rank and file, and second, which could help Cunliffe too.

  11. He looked calm and quite assured, presenting a friendly and reasonable persona.

    I’ll be honest, I thought he looked robotic, up to the point of imagining Fran Mold behind the camera holding up a “smile” sign at necessary moments.

  12. Tim 12

    Indeed David Shearer WAS on TV3 this morning, and came across all swee and dandy…….albeit interviewd by an “up and coming Matilda Headroom” and classmate of a daughter (No prizes for what side of he fence she sits although employers – should they know – would leave her jibbering – Not yet JC status)
    Still………..all that said – NOT a great deal to convince me (and almost an ENTIRE immediate family) to continue with an electorate/party vote that = Labour.
    Far from it in fact!!! Far far far far far far from it. I speak of whanau. I should also have mentioned immediate frenz and whoopsie does.
    Indeed half of a comfortably off mUddle class supping cheap white wines in Courtenay Place of an evening and pretending to be…………, well, when all cashed up – in negative territory and living and hoping and ASPIRING on credit…………. they’re STARTING to realise this is all total SHITE.
    I’m not sure any are willing to string a Joyce or a Paratered from a Chinese owned lampost crossmember yet – perhaps even save a lumbering Oxen claiming a surname of Bennett from being crushed beneath such lampost falling during a tornado – but I think they’re getting close to turning the blind eye when it inevitably happens.
    For me……I hope the bugger keep it up and carry on just as they are:
    Hekia…credibility already lost (nova nova nova never and all that preceded)
    Bennett…….hypocracy et al (and desperately hoping certain past remains certain passed)
    Joyce……. (the rat that’s learned the way up a drain pipe is to have a Key)
    Key……(used car sales and Proim Minstashup en…….. well – lets jiss smoilin wave aye)

    Actually this is a turing point for this country.
    It’s a shame the sleepy hobbits haven’t yet woken up to the fact

    [Karol: the two posts looked totally the same to me so I moved one to the trash. My apologies if they weren’t the same]

  13. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 13

    Are both these the same Tim? How did that happen 15 minutes apart?

    • Tim 13.1

      I think I tried to correct a spelling mistake at some point whilst using a very creaky system (old keyboard and intermittent internet connection). In any event – would have been a single attempt at a post

  14. xtasy 14

    Labour as it is now will only “survive”, if Shearer can find the gratitude and humility, to sit down with Cunliffe, and perhaps also Robertson, to make peace, mend the divisions, acknowledge the past mistakes, seek agreement on a solution for the common good of the party and supporters, and that is the ONLY solution Labour have left!

    Return Cunliffe to a meaningful role, as part of the front bench, re shuffle that front bench in part, bring in more promising players, listen to the base membership and that is the only sensible approach to be taken before the February vote.

    If Shearer cannot humble himself and his “team” (being his largely caucus based serfs) to come to such a constructive solution, Labour will NOT win 2014 and will go into the political wilderness for many years to come.

    So David, and that is the Shearer, listen to this well-meant advice, otherwise you will go, you will drag Labour down into many years of opposition, and you will NEVER be Prime Minister. I actually suggest you take an even bigger step, and realise that you may not be the best leader, and open up the challenge to a more suited candidate by February. That is your LAST chance from my point of view.

    Thanks Xtasy

  15. KhandallaMan-an Absolutely Fabulous QC & Viper 15

    You have highlighted a critical point, Xtasy.
     
    if Shearer wants to be confirmed by the Caucus in February, avoid a membership selection proceess and then lead a genuinly united party he needs take a few significant  steps.
    The endorsement by the Caucus must be genuine for the members to accept it: Shearer has to come to a pact with Cunliffe and his supporters to achieve this.
    Should Shearer get such a genuine confirmation from a newly united Caucus, he then needs to address the alienation of many of the members.
    Many members have been offended and alienated a by
    a) the white-anting ABC activity of Mallard & co
    b) the parachuting of party apperchnicks into electorate: e.g Faafoi, Hipkins, Ardern, etc.
    c) the framing of the 40%/60% trigger as anti-Shearer. This was a disingenuous    short term tactic to wrong foot Cunliffe but it actually insulted the majority of the members. 
    d) the tacid encouragement of the white-anting of bloggers. The Internet has arrived: develop positive policies towards it for the benefit of the party. The current approach is Luddite and will alienate most voters under 50. 
    e) …..and each member will have a few more points like these.
    Mr Shearer came in on the promise of being a calm team building leader. For whatever reason the party has now become more split since the 80’s.
    Mr Shearer needs to swallow a few rats and take significant steps to re-unite the party. 
     
     

  16. Craig Glen viper 16

    Shearer wont and cant win in 2014, we can all join hands and say how wonderful he is just like the brilliant Goff and we will get the same result. I notice now Shearers supporters trying to sow the seed that any poor performance by him will be because of disunity.PPPPPFFFT.

    Shearers a idiot nothing more than a sock puppet for Mallard and King.

  17. Treetop 17

    There is nothing wrong with having a queue for Labour leader proving the leader is elected democratically using party rules. A coup is unstabilising. What also is unstabilising is when the leader throws a hissy fit about being challenged and they send their best finance spokesperson to the back bench.

    Shearer demoting Cunliffe is as unstabilising as Cunliffe mounting a coup. Shearer has to ponder who the enemy is and it is not Cunliffe. Shearer knows that he has a year at the max to lift his profile to the point of a Labour lead coalition win in 2014.

    My message to Shearer is either Cunliffe or Shearer will be leader this time next year and Shearer needs to be appointed as finance minister ASAP. It will not be Cunliffe or the caucus who outs Shearer, it will be the Labour Party membership.

  18. Anne 18

    What also is unstabilising is when the leader throws a hissy fit about being challenged and they send their best finance spokesperson to the back bench.

    The problem with that is: he wasn’t being challenged and I’m damm sure Shearer will know that now. Sure, if the cents (pennies) had kept falling in Cunliffes favour there might have been a challenge come February, but there was no challenge – or coup as some in the MSM called it – at the L.P. Conference. Some over-excited Cunliffe supporters may well have done some lobbying but if anyone thinks ‘the other side’ hadn’t been hard at it for weeks – if not months – then they need their head read.

    I saw a good example of it inside my own Labour electorate organisation. Six weeks or so in advance of the conference proposed changes to the electoral rules covering List and leadership selections involving greater membership participation were happily accepted as being appropriate. No-one that I recall expressed any major concern. A bit of tweaking was suggested but that was all. Suddenly (or so it seemed) a few days before the conference, emails started flying (admit slight exaggeration here to make a point) expressing deep concern about the proposals and recommending we vote for… what were essentially the amendments put up by Caucus, for Caucus and to the sole advantage of Caucus.

    I was amused!

    • Treetop 18.1

      There was insecurity by Shearer and his caucus backers re a perceived challenge or a coup. Gower created the twitch and Cunliffe was collateral damage.

      Hissy fit by Shearer was unneccessary and Cunliffe may have been collateral damage to change in Labour Party membership re electing the leader when caucus loses the control.

      Cunliffe took a battering he did not deserve.

  19. Anne 19

    Put in a nutshell that’s exactly what happened Treetop. It was mind boggling sitting on the sidelines watching it play out. If Shearer is intelligent he will reinstate Cunliffe to the Front Bench early next year, and he will tell the Mallarfia to pull their horns in or else they’re on their way out.

    • Olwyn 19.1

      Reading this thread makes me so exasperated I could weep, and paranoia that drove the attack on Cunliffe seems to be ongoing. It has since been suggested that criticising this spectacular display of bad faith may count as “bringing the party into disrepute.” It is as if the caucus is telling the members “you can have any colour you like so long as it’s blue.” The leadership team now seem to regard right wing journalists and PR trouts as their friends and the members as their enemies. 
      I am sorry, people who are sick of this conversation, but the Labour Party has been hijacked before, and no serious member wants to see it hijacked again. 
      In fact I would very much like to see the concept of “bringing the party to disrepute” applied to the lack of adherence to Labour Party principles. 

      • Rhinoviper 19.1.1

        The leadership team now seem to regard right wing journalists and PR trouts as their friends and the members as their enemies.
         
        I was actually quite depressed listening to the pitiful Nine to Noon show on Nat Rad the other day with Mike Williams so arduously sucking Matthew Hooton’s dick.
         
        Pause.  OK, ewww…
         
        Sorry.
         
        It just shows how cosy the two main parties have got with the same set of stale ideas, how cosy hacks like Armstrong are with them, how they are all part of the “centrist” club and fear change to the stays quo, the predictable alternation of slightly relatively left with slightly relatively right and the constant of safe seats of lists positions and meals at Bellamy’s.
         
        That might be depressing, but the anger with which these… um… people react to the blogs is a sign that a profound change is under way, so I expect that while there may be setbacks in the short term, and serious defeats even, the tide of media and politics has turned and those hacks in the press and parliament will be shown to be irrelevant as a new generation takes over.

  20. Rhinoviper 20

    <i>If Shearer is intelligent</i>
    Well, I’m basing my opinion of the fact that on the rare instances when he can actually put a sentence together and almost seem like he means it, it’s some dull platitude without any substance or sophistication.  So here goes: 
     
    He’s not at the Parata level of stupid, but he’s weak, profoundly unimaginative and while he vaguely and complacently believes in “nice stuff” and “doing good work”, he’s without any confidence in core principles that he can articulate to himself, let alone anyone else… so, nah, he won’t.  
     
    He’ll decide that its those has-beens and troughers that he really depends on and tell himself that he’s being realistic as well as telling himself that all those new-fangled fads are going to pass… you know… I mean, ah… like gramophones, motor-cars, wireless and… inter… intra… the inter tubes… are er, uh… I mean… ah… it looks like a television with a typewriter in front of it and… ah… something when you write a memo, you put an “e-” in front of it… uh, Clare, Trevor, do you know?!

    • just saying 20.1

      It is really disturbing just how dull this man is.  And that his lack of wit is one of the main reasons he is in the position he is.  I was bemused when his right-wing supporters in the msm used to say that the reason he couldn’t put a sentence together was because he was “too intelligent” and, allegedly he could see so many alternative postions that he found it difficult to choose one train of thought.  Jesus they must have laughed at the thought of that flying.  They obviously assumed that most of us have never met anyone of the intellectual calibre of David Shearer.  (cue cynical laughter)  Really intelligent people can’t communicate huh?  Maybe that is true of some kind of idiot-savant a long way along the autism scale, in some instances – but somehow I don’t think that was the picture they were trying to paint.

      His education, his careers, were all in the broad field of communication – from teaching, to (cue more cynical laughter) negotiating with war lords, to management/’adminstration at the UN – all primarily fields of communication.  In fact, I suspect “english” was his strongest subject at school.  In fact he simply doesn’t know what to say without cue cards and doesn’t have a fucking clue.   Hubris and outrageous vanity have already got him into positions way above his capabilities.  We all know of other cases where this particular “skill set” has had this result.  The consequences are often disastrous, which is why. against my better judgement, I am responding to your comment, Rhinoviper, albeit with a deep sense of futility.

      • Rhinoviper 20.1.1

        I know you’re not being malicious and this isn’t Public Address, so I’m not going to say “I take offence at your assault on my identity!” – this comment is just an exercise in pedantry 🙂
         
        idiot savant a long way along the autism spectrum
         
        I’m on the autism spectrum (I have what is called Asperger’s Syndrome, but which apparently won’t be for much longer once the DSM V comes out), and I really, really don’t want to be associated with someone so numbingly dull.  We Aspies actually have empathy and emotional understanding – we just have to work hard at it because it’s all manual rather than automatic. We understand what someone’s feeling and we really do feel very strongly for other people when we learn to decode the subtleties of facial expression and whatnot.  We develop strong facilities with particular channels of communication, but they tend to be rather narrow – music, but not language; mathematics, but not language; language but not… whatever.
         
        Most of all, we’re geeky – we develop passionate interests in something, assemble vast stores of knowledge about whatever it might be and arrange it into very precise patterns and sets of categories because otherwise the world is a barrage of chaotic data fragments all competing for attention.
         
        Autism, by the way, is not always (or even often) savantism.
         
        Shearer?  Average IQ at best, no facility with language, no particular skill at anything.  No sense of system in his thinking.  It’s his intellectual and moral shallowness that really gets me: he hasn’t thought about things, he hasn’t ordered his ideas, he hasn’t identified the fundamental pattern of things.  He’s a competent manager of refugee camps, or so I’m told, but that’s not outstanding and he’s on his own as far as autism goes – it’s is neither his “excuse” nor his virtue.  He’s just a dull, limited man, an escapee from the walkshorts and sandals over socks culture of the 1970s.
         
        Anyway, as I said, I’m not criticising you – just taking the opportunity to remark on a point that you briefly mentioned in passing for a wider audience.
        Off my soapbox now…
         

        • Rhinoviper 20.1.1.1

          … anyway, people on the autism spectrum tend to be passionate, even if it’s about navel lint.  The pointy-haired boss is anything but.

        • just saying 20.1.1.2

          I’m not unfamiliar with Aspergers.   I wasn’t taking about Aspergers.  I said a “long way” along the spectrum.  I said it in sarcasm I didn’t mean it to be taken literally.  And needless to say, I shouldn’t have said it.  Please accept my apology.
           
          I knew you had Aspergers, your own quirky genius shines through and I enjoy reading it.  Now if Shearer had your ability to communicate…..

        • Treetop 20.1.1.3

          Keep going on your soapbox, don’t get off, I’m laughing so much about some of your comments in the second to last paragraph.

          • Rhinoviper 20.1.1.3.1

            second to last paragraph
             
            Oh God, you remember the 70s too?  You poor bastard.  There’s treatment for that you know: Johnnie Walker, and lots of it.

            • Treetop 20.1.1.3.1.1

              Now days we got Johnnie Key, in the 70s there was Muldoon, I always remember a guy on a march with a sign “Join the pig hunt” when Muldoon was PM.

  21. Yes Shearer couldn’t even come out with a clear line about the proposed MPs pay rise tonight on TV3 news. Simple enough question and sandwiched between Hone and Key who both had clear albeit different lines he just looked like Mr Mumbles again. Guess what – this is the easy stuff – its not hard. Campaigning close to an election is hard, debates are hard……Shearer will be a lamb to the slaughter and that is just what the Nats and their right wing mates in the MSM/blogs have been wanting. It also suits the old guard of the caucus who are less concerned about Labour governing and more interested in preserving their positions.

  22. Rhinoviper 22

    <i>that is just what the Nats and their right wing mates in the MSM/blogs have been wanting</i>
     
    I know… some, like Armstrong, are so narrow and yet thick* think that they like Shearer because he’s one of their own, while others with rather more intellectual pretensions, like Farrar and Hooters, think “Let’s see if they fall for it!”
     
    And the troughers think, trying to justify themselves, read Farrar and Hooters and say, “See?!  We’re wining them over!  That National Lite strategy worked!”
     
    And the stay-at-homes and the people who think, “Hmmm, that roof needs painting…” multiplies.
     
    But the troughers don’t care, ‘cos they’re high on the list.  Oh man, the list, it’s like Olympus and crack all at once, man…
     
    *See?  Irony!  That’s what you get when you use metaphors!

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