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Your choices for PM: a thinker or a ‘glib performance artist’

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 am, May 29th, 2012 - 96 comments
Categories: david shearer, john key - Tags:

Colin James contrasts Shearer with Key:

At a post-budget standup on Thursday he lacked leader-like fluency, deferring readily – and necessarily – to finance shadow minister David Parker who had his lines off pat.This factor should diminish over time as Shearer settles – though don’t expect him to become the sort of glib performance artist John Key has become. Shearer is too earnest and too aware of complexity.

96 comments on “Your choices for PM: a thinker or a ‘glib performance artist’ ”

  1. Carol 1

    That’s an interesting analysis of the Green-Labour situation – a mixture of contrast, competition and a need for some sort of co-operation by Colin James. The comments about the leadership of Shearer are a bit of a marginal issue in that analysis.

    • ad 1.1

      James could have been a lot more adventurous, and forecast what a Labour-Greens coalition could look like. It is not always inevitable that the Greens as a smaller coalition partner would necessarily shrink in popularity once in power. Norman has been softening up his base for some time to shift into a more mature and grounded party. It would be pretty unlucky to have another Iraq war that split the Alliance as it did a decade ago.

      From what has been observed of the Labour conference on the weekend, the base is itching to take it to this government.

      Certainly from what I have seen of the provinces, this foreign land ownership and foreign-owner anything is electrifyiong major donor bases and making a lot more regional seats possible.

      But if Labour really wanted to assure themselves of government, perhaps they could get Grant or Jacinta to find another seat, get the Greens a constituency to hold in the centre of either Wellington or Auckland. Practise sharing power early.

      • Holding an electorate might be a move backwards and put potential supporters into complacency about the Green vote. Part of the reason the Greens have been so successful is that they’ve abandoned the pattern smaller parties have of having a strong (sometimes dictatorial, even) leader who can deliver an electorate.

  2. TightyRighty 2

    Shearer only thinks about how he can survive to the next election. He’s a place holder for grunt robertson or the cinder astern

    • felix 2.1

      Are you saying it’s “gunna be a long two and a half years”?

    • bbfloyd 2.2

      there is a time and place for that kind of exposure little tight one… this isn’t a porn site, so please keep the exposing of your damp underside to a minimum,…. or better yet, start saying intelligent things that don’t have their basis in your fantasies….

      • TightyRighty 2.2.1

        Do you ever say anything constructive? People who always criticise without adding to the conversation get shunned in real life. No wonder you love hanging out here.

        • McFlock

          You might have pulled that one off better if your previous comment hadn’t been limited to primary-school level wordplay on names and a standard character swipe at Shearer. 

          • TightyRighty

            What you say about my first comment is true, but it’s also pertinent. Lprent is always banging on about banning people who don’t contribute. As long as they are on the right of the spectrum of course.

            Bbfloyd is just unrelentingly negative and boring with their lack of contribution. Belongs on 4chan that kind of troll like behaviour.

            [lprent: 🙂 Just at present I’m more concerned with getting code releases out.

            But there are quite a few lefties that would disagree with you. However I seldom have to ban them. Those that won’t or are unwilling to modify their behaviour usually leave with a sense of high disdain after being warned. I definitely ban a lot more righties than I’d expect even with our biases. Personally I’m always torn for an explanation between the blue-wince explanation “how dare someone presume to tell us how to act!”, and the traditional explanation that “it isn’t required to be stupid to be politically right – but it certainly helps”. Of course one only has to look at Whale for other explanations…. ]

            • McFlock

              Oh bull.
              You’re just pissy that Bbf chooses to render unto you the same behaviour you show towards others (Your initial comment being a case in point), rather than pretending that you want to genuinely discuss issues. Like you really give a shit about improving labour leadership, rather than just undermining it.

            • TightyRighty

              I forgot to mention that it’s your site and you can behave as you please. Bbfloyd is just a negative cock. I would hate to be part of their social circle. Imagine the gameplaying so they didn’t find out about events

  3. David Shearer is just another stooge. Connected to Soros and the International Institute for Strategic Studies he is Bilderberg connected and the perfect “serious” candidate to stand up against our “Smiling Assassin”. Will policies change? Unless Shearer talks about bringing the power of money printing back to the people expect nothing but austerity and more selling of assets. 

    Does he believe he will be doing the right thing? Yes, and that should be your real worry.

    • Pete 3.1

      Bart: So finally, we’re all in agreement about what’s going on with the adults. Milhouse?
      Milhouse: [steps up to blackboard] Ahem. OK, here’s what we’ve got: the Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people —
      Bart: Thank you.
      Milhouse: — under the supervision of the reverse vampires —
      Lisa: [sighs]
      Milhouse: — are forcing our parents to go to bed early in a fiendish plot to eliminate the meal of dinner. [sotto voce] We’re through the looking glass, here, people…

      • travellerev 3.1.1

        David Schearer, International Institute for Strategic Studies
        International crisis group,

        Bilderberg group Of which by the way Mike Moore our current Ambassador to the US and a Labourite globalist is a proud member.

        • Te Reo Putake

          A rare moment of self awareness at the end of that comment, Ev. Honesty is an important step on the path to mental health.

          • travellerev

            LOL. Says the man with a single brain cell rolling around in his skull and too dumb to have a look at the links because he believes he knows it all and who still believes three steel framed buildings can implode in freefall speed all because two of them have been doused in Kerosene.

            • Gosman

              How are the crack pot 911 conspiracy theorists going in convincing all the ‘thinkers’ of the world travellerev?

              Got many prominent politicians in NZ or perhaps some place in the Western world jumping on the bandwagon?

              If not, perhaps there is a conspiracy of people stopping you convincing people.

        • muzza

          Ev, of course this is right, that David Shearer is, like the rest just another stooge who has been parachuted into the role he is in.
          Its simply denial of those who deperately can’t accept that their involvement into “democracy” make zero difference, the wheels keep turning. peoples whole life belief systems, and in many cases self worth dicatates that they, will not see what is in front of their faces.

          Simply its needs to be looked at like this:

          With access to all over the research and information which is available, if any given government was bumbling along without a set agenda, they would from time to time be able to inact some “value add” to the country as a whole. What we got is decades of failed (for most), foreign directives carried out by our “local” democratic respresentatives, who then are rewarded with seats at higher entities , having completed their missions.

          Is this all just an “accident”

        • Maui

          There is a ‘Derek Shearer’ listed as an employee on the Bilderberg page .. but no Shearer’s on the IISS or ICG pages.

          • travellerev

            The Wiki page of David Shearer mentions him being engaged in assignments with these entities. I never stated he was on boards or in leadership roles with these organisations.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Oh dear, that admission rather detroys your post, Ev. That’s the problem with making things up; the facts tend to get in the way of the fantasy.

              • McFlock

                Only if you bother checking them.

                • Maui

                  I struggle to find anything sinister in the relevant quote on the page you link to.

                  “Shearer has conducted various assignments with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Save the Children Fund, and the International Crisis Group, and is the author of numerous publications in the areas of humanitarian affairs and conflict resolution.[3]”

              • muzza

                Don’t fret voice, any effort you have put into your life, the community etc is still 100% valid, that does not change. Effort into political space and similar, 100% a complete waste of time! Your effort there makes no difference , what so ever! Your support of it however is endorsement of a systems which kills!

                Events which politically, economically, financially, legally, and any other man-made contruct in that space, which have and are consigning tens of millions of people to death and misery, is all just a load of mistakes by well meaning people, all working their hardest/best, for the betterment of the human species, yeah ok then….

                I want the human race to be as amazing as it can be, but that is not what we have, or will be allowed to have, until people begin to accept that what they take as being their life, is governed by a large number of lies!

                The consequences of denying such control exists, while in the same breath denegrating those who question the climate change, war machine, pharma, oil, banking et al, is to be complicit in the destruction of your own species.

                Mocking anyone who sees this, does not take away the reality of what is happening…It does not mean that people who do understand it, are entirely correct either, but the damage they do, is far less, than those who seem to NEED to believe in denying means its not there!

  4. Salsy 4

    I have to agree with most of that article. The votes Labour need from National are only going to be won if people have confidence in their economic management. Poll after poll show peoples main concern is the economy. Its incredible that the greens are leading the opposition on this Parker is unconvincing, Shearer is shakey. Until that vulnerability in the party is re-worked, I fear we will be stuck with the glib perfromance artist for a while yet.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      And since “people” have been conned into thinking that neoliberalism is the only competent and confident way to manage the economy, the only way a political party can win votes is by practicing neoliberalism to a larger degree or another.

      • Enough is Enough 4.1.1

        Parker is the weak link here.

        The economy is and will be the battleground issue for at the ext election. Governments are defined by the person in the finance port folio. Roger Douglas, Ruth Richardson, Michael Cullen and now Bill English have all arguably been more influential and left more of a legacy than their respective prime ministers.

        Parkers performace in the past week has been shocking at best. I have listened to him carefully. He has a playbook of slogans but no substance. Contrast with Cunliffe who talks about real iniatives that will bring about changes for working kiwis.

        There is a lot of talk about Shearer being let down by his back room staff. His front bench isn’t exactly helping him either.

        • Fortran

          Perhaps Cunliffe should be shunted into Finance – he appears to be head and shoulders ahead than David Parker, and more plausible.
          It could be a game turner.
          But will Robertson allow this ? Not in his game plan.

        • Carol


          Parker is a light-weight and not up to the job, IMO.

          • gobsmacked

            The Shearer/Parker team looks like two Robins with no Batman.

            Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe should just lock themselves in a room, nut out their differences (personal, not political as far as I can see) then toss a coin to see who’s leader and who’s deputy.

            Labour don’t have enough talent to exclude them both from the top jobs, while keeping the two soggy grey shadows (nominally) in charge.

    • Shona 4.2

      Exactly. Shearer may be a decent bloke, Parker may be able to spit out the numbers cogently BUT neither CONNECT with the audience at large. Labour will not win the next election without a coalition withthe Greens because they are hopelessly out of touch with the shattered remains of the working class. OnlyCunliffe can bridge that chasm.

    • Carol 4.3

      Confidence in the economic management of these blundering cronyist, sycophants?


      The Government blew out a $10 million budget to host VIPs at the Rugby World Cup – even though just a handful of foreign leaders attended.
      In last year’s Budget $9.95m was set aside in a special fund to ensure they had a good time at the tournament. However, documents released this week reveal the final total was $15m.

      Rugby World Cup minister Murray McCully’s office said on Friday the total bill was $3.45m. But his press secretary Stephanie McKay has refused to answer questions about the discrepancy. This morning she said: “We are still looking into the numbers.”

      Documents also show:

      – $6m was shifted from Foreign Affairs budget to pay for the botched handling of the Queen’s Wharf fan zone.

      – An extra $2m was also spent on hosting the Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland, taking the cost from $4.9m to $6.9m.

      – The ministry has set aside an extra $2m in this year’s Budget for consultants fees, taking the spend to $9.5m.

    • Dr Terry 4.4

      Hi Salsy, I’m afraid I do not think anything is “incredible” about the progress of Greens; their policies speak mighty well for them on the economy (about which you are correct), but they also manage to attend to some of the humanitarian concerns. From everything that I hear, the Greens are going from strength to strength. Nevertheless, I think a Greens-Labour coalition could be the best thing.

  5. Shearer was good at the Labour Auckland-Northland Regional Conference at the weekend. He’s a lot more fluent and natural at speaking then he was.

    But still that sense of a thinker comes through – as you say, he’ll never be a glib performance artist.

    • ad 5.1

      It is definitely easier to polish a content-rich dude into something smoother, like Shearer, than trying to broaden out the facile helium-filled wonderland into something with some gravitas, like Key.

      And in the end, New Zealanders really will see through Key’s candyfloss veil, and actually want something for the country with some strength and reality to it. And I think we have still have time for that.

    • Anne 5.2

      Agree Ben. I think the public might come to like Shearer’s more conversational style of speaking. You forget about the delivery (which is getting better anyway) because what he is saying is more interesting than how he’s saying it. He comes across as thoughtful, reflective with some puckish humour added to lighten things up. A refreshing contrast to the hollow one.

    • tc 5.3

      Impressing a room full of Labour party members isn’t anywhere near making the swinging voters think you’ve got what it takes.

      Labour seems to be trying to convince itself it’s choice of Shearer/GR was the right one…..good luck with that minor party status he’s driving you toward in the clusterf&*k middle ground of nowhere politics.

      Much like a board that’s appointed the wrong CEO/CFO, toughing it out is brave but ultimately probably fatal.

      • ad 5.3.1

        Party poll tracking currently suggests otherwise. National are gone. Key with them.

      • Anne 5.3.2

        Labour party activists can be the most critical of all tc.

        I gather you havn’t been on the inside of the Labour tent – or maybe not for a long time. Most of the audience would have been Cunliffe supporters at the time of the leadership contest. But the impression I get is that is well behind them now and they are working togther as a team – an impressive team too.

        • Olwyn

          I am a party member and I am still uneasy I’m afraid. Nothing has arisen since the leadership change that has caused me to trust the present team, and I was very angry when Cunliffe gave a heartening speech that according to a leak was dismissed by the “top team” as “naive and stupid”

          As far as I am concerned, when you gain the leadership under the conditions that Shearer did, it is over to you to win people’s trust. He may have done that for others, but it has not worked for me; I still do not know from anything he says the form his “centrism” takes, for example, and the recent claim that he “would reverse classroom sizes” looked to me like fake boldness. I do not expect a Labour leader in NZ to be Chavez, but I do expect real commitment to the half of centre-left that says left, and I am not seeing it. I want a Labour Party that offers hope and not just better management than National’s.

          • Anne

            I don’t know the full story Olwyn, but I suspect that ‘leak’ didn’t come direct from a current Labour caucus member and was a misrepresentation of fact.

          • Tiger Mountain

            Greens and Mana will continue to grow in all the usual ways while silent T’s and laid back Dave’s fates are decided, Labour members with some politicial understanding need to reclaim control of their party from the parliamentary wing.

  6. Blue 6

    Colin James seems to be under the impression that John Key has just all of a sudden ‘become’ a glib performance artist. He has been one all along, but Colin just didn’t notice.

    • ianmac 6.1

      More visible glibness? Key’s Budget reply after Shearer was the finest example of glib froth. Clips of Key at Post Cabinet media yesterday, showed Mr Australia’s glib disdain to questions about Super. Surely the highly trained Media will begin to notice.

  7. Roy 7

    I think ‘glib performance artist’ is too a high a compliment for Key’s behaviour. More like “smart-mouthed brat” IMHO.

  8. fatty 8

    Key and Shearer are pretty much the same, a couple of popularity seekers.
    ‘Dumb & stummer’ are a pathetic example of liberal democracy in action.
    If Shearer does get in and wins the next two elections, then from 2008-2020 we will have had centrist leaders with a slight shade of left or right…The result of this centrist stupidity is Peter Dunne policy aimed at the ignorant.
    This centrism is actually far right economics in its true sense. Our choice is either a right wing Labour, or a right wing National. The last thing we should be thinking is that Shearer/Labour are the answer…Shearer is, and Labour has been, the problem because they normalise right wing economics.
    Do we still believe in an alternative?…or do we accept that Thatcher was right?
    How long are we going to keep pretending we believe in this ‘capitalism with a human face’?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      If Shearer does get in and wins the next two elections, then from 2008-2020 we will have had centrist leaders with a slight shade of left or right

      No we wouldn’t, we would’ve had 12 years of hard right and slightly less right leaders. Nothing I’ve seen from Shearer would indicate that he’s left.

      • Carol 8.1.1


      • Again with this “they are hard-right/right” gibberish from you Draco. You are so far left that Mao would be hard right to you. 

      • ad 8.1.3

        So I just want to check, Draco, if you were say Minister of Finance, what would a Left Government look like?

        • Draco T Bastard

          One that recognised that the purpose of the economy is to support society, ensuring that nobody is in poverty, and that the base of the economy (hard physical resources) isn’t overused. That it’s not there to make a profit for a few.

          • TheContrarian

            The left/right dichotomy is based upon more than one aspect dear Draco. Your economy example above may be a facet of a left wing government but not having a government that supports the view you have expressed does not make it hard-right or right wing.  

            • Draco T Bastard

              No, what makes a government right-wing is the support of profit while allowing the continuance of poverty.

              • Colonial Viper

                No, what makes a government neoliberal is the support of profit in narrow sectors while allowing the continuance of widespread poverty.

                My p.o.v.

                Right wing and left wing is pretty irrelevant these days when all the parties seem to be neoliberal.

              • “No, what makes a government right-wing is the support of profit while allowing the continuance of poverty.”

                Interesting but completely unsupported. If that were true there has never been a modern left-wing government and I would like you to provide an example or citation if you disagree.

                Colonel Viper is on the right track though.

                • McFlock

                  “If that were true there has never been a modern left-wing government and I would like you to provide an example or citation if you disagree.”
                  Define “modern”. Definitely nothing in NZ in the last 30 years or so.
                  Prior- and post-WW2 many governments did seek to eradicate poverty, in NZ and overseas. Then the pendulum stalled, and swung away again.

                  • Modern as in the ideas of modernity and post-modernity. Our modern era. Broad, yet specific enough to be relevant.

                    I believe Draco is saying that a left-wing society wouldn’t abide by poverty in some of its populace and would seek to ensure there was never a member who was lesser or greater in wealth than the next. If that were the case I would argue there has never been a left-wing government, as Draco defines it, it our modern era. This is a response to you, McFlock, and my original comment of 9:18pm still stands open to Draco to respond which is as follow:

                    “No, what makes a government right-wing is the support of profit while allowing the continuance of poverty.”

                    Interesting but completely unsupported. If that were true there has never been a modern left-wing government and I would like you to provide an example or citation if you disagree.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Income ratios of 15:1 between the highest paid in society and the lowest paid are very sustainable and just.

                      150:1 less so.

                    • McFlock

                      Any government that sought to eradicate (incrementally or in one big push) poverty, rather than increasing it would be an example. E.g. the governments led by:
                      Not to mention some of the north European countries.
                      Do any of those count as “modernist” or “post-modernist”?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I believe Draco is saying that a left-wing society wouldn’t abide by poverty in some of its populace and would seek to ensure there was never a member who was lesser or greater in wealth than the next.

                      Didn’t say that at all.

                      Profit is a dead-weight loss is thus unsustainable and so needs to be removed. Poverty is also unsustainable but for different reasons but mostly because it is immoral.

                      The removal of both profit and poverty still leaves room for a difference in income – just not the massive inequality that we see today.

                      If that were the case I would argue there has never been a left-wing government, as Draco defines it, it our modern era.

                      I would say that the Labour governments made a serious attempt at it between WWII and the 1970s but capitalism fell, again, to the declining rate of profit due to over production which resulted in a massive shift to the right bringing about the increase in poverty and inequality that we’ve seen over the last three decades.

                    • So, from what I gather, you are defining “right-wing” as those who do less about poverty and increase the inequalities against those who make a serious push towards closing the gap.

                      Is that a fair assessment?  

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It’s not so much that they do less about poverty as that they put in place policies that increase poverty by transferring the communities wealth to a few.

                    • While its an interesting perspective (and I don’t necessarily disagree) it still seems to be your personal opinion of what determines right vs. left and is one of many metrics used to determine which side a party leans towards. That said, Labours CGT, increase in min. wage, dropping of GST on fruit/veg and its traditional economic policies put them to the right of you but not to the right of centre as you claim

          • Enough is Enough

            Draco, that is a Parkerism. Every lefty wants to support society and ensure the end of poverty. But how is that achieved from the capitalist base we have now

            What specifically would you do. Ie what happens on Day 1 in Dracos socialist paradise

            • Colonial Viper

              On day 1 all banks and banking infrastructure are partially nationalised. A 20% share with two government appointed members on each board of directors.

              On day 1 a monthly $100 payment is instituted for every citizen 16 years old and above. Funds are printed.

              On day 1 a $250M co-operatives fund is started up; businesses which restructure as worker co-ops will get cheap funding for development and expansion. The budget for the fund is printed.

              On day 1 your first $7,500 of income is completely income tax free.

              On day 1 a 15% CGT is instituted.

              On day 1 a 0.25% annual asset wealth tax is instituted.

              On day 1 GST is reduced to 10%, and a new top tier income tax of 51% is brought in.

              On day 1 primary and secondary schools become fully funded.

              On day 1 we make dental care free for all those under 25.

              On day 1 forex transactions unrelated to export/import trade is taxed at 0.09%

              On day 1 petrol taxes go up 15c per litre with every cent going into public transport and rail.

              I can keep going if you like.

              • Gosman

                On day 100 Money is redenominated as it now costs 100,000,000 To buy a drink of coke.

                • Colonial Viper

                  If there is excess inflation simply take excess money out of the system by taxing the rich more and supporting many more SMEs to enter the market to ensure price competition and prevent eye gouging.

                  Voila no more inflation.

                  • Gosman

                    I love how leftist think economic works. This is really why you should study places like Zimbabwe to see what happens in such scenarios.

                    • McFlock

                      But we must never look at Europe. Ever. 
                      Hey, do we still want to be like Eire? 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What as opposed to successful capitalist countries like the USA? Or Ireland? Or the UK?

                    • KJT

                      Watching a series on the Altiplano tonight reminded me that societies organized on communist lines have been successful for many thousands of years more than capitalist ones.
                      There are many around the world that still are, from Samoan villages to Israeli Kibbutz.
                      They seem to fall over only when they start to collide with the glorification of greed and the consumerism endemic in capitalist societies.

                      Zimbabwe is no more communist than national socialists were socialist.

                      Unlike the ultimate libertarian right wing society. Somalia.

                      By the way. How well are the last centuries poster children of capitalism doing now? Ireland, the USA, UK etc. Since they abandoned socialist redistribution in the 70’s.

                      Funny, the socialists in Argentina, Brazil, Iceland, Switzerland and Norway seem to be doing rather well.

                • McFlock

                  That’s what your priests and soothsayers tell you.
                  Gotta love your religious faith.
                  [edit – to goosebrain, btw]

            • Draco T Bastard

              1.) Start inventorying all physical resources within NZ territory
              2.) Put that in a database so the actual economy can be tracked in real time
              3.) Set up a democratic system to determine how those resources are to be used with specific constitutional requirements covering such necessities as housing, food, power, internet (ie, everybody must be housed, fed and clothed to an adequate standard). This is the removal of the last dictatorship in our society.
              4.) Natural monopolies would be nationalised
              5.) Ban fractional reserve banking
              6.) Make government the only entity that can print/create NZ money
              7.) Banking would become a state monopoly, private banks would become financial institutions, deposits to private financial institutions would legally be an unsecured loan which cannot be withdrawn once that loan is then on-loaned (no fractional reserve banking), money in the national bank would be a government guaranteed deposit which pays no interest. National bank provides basic banking services such as monetary storage and EFT-POS.
              8.) Ban foreign ownership
              9.) A Universal Income.

              The way I’m thinking ATM is that 3 is the macro system while the monetary system becomes the micro which is why I have 3 and 9. International trade would be part of the macro economy and not the micro. The community decides what’s on the shelves, you decide when to buy it.

              Please not: This is still unfinished and fragmented.

              • ad

                You are being more honest and upfront than most on this site about what they want, and what success would look like.

                Keep going.

              • Can people still vote against these changes? i.e what if polls showed people didn’t want these changes by a majority margin? Would you still implement these radical measures?

                • McFlock

                  ooooo subtle. /sarc

                • Colonial Viper

                  I dunno, if people vote against asset sales in the referendum, will the Key Government still implement them?

                  • “if people vote against asset sales in the referendum, will the Key Government still implement them?”

                    This is exactly the point I am trying to elicit from Draco. These “first day policies” you (Viper and Draco) mention – would you still enact them if in power even if the populace disagreed? By bringing up that the Key government goes ahead even when the populace is against is irrelevant…would YOU go ahead?

                    • McFlock

                      So where did Draco say he was anti-democracy?
                      Was that even the question?
                      Or is it character assassination by irrelevant questioning?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      By bringing up that the Key government goes ahead even when the populace is against is irrelevant…would YOU go ahead?

                      Given a strong electoral mandate won just a week before, and a strong majority in Parliament, it would be full steam ahead. Hold on to your hats!!!

                      Of course John Key can lose a huge chunk out of his coalition majority and still try and claim a “mandate”.

                • KJT

                  Research shows that 80%, if given policies only to vote on, without being told where they come from, prefer left wing socialist policy.

                  I would be happy to have the right put forward the evidence for their policies, if they can find any, and we put forward ours, without any bullshit, lies or spin allowed, and allow a majority vote to decide.

                  You would have to have publicly owned media, and an educated population, though to stop those who want to keep their winning ticket from undue influence.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Well, they’d be set up under the present system but if a referendum were held that demanded that the changes be reversed taking us back to the elected dictatorship that we have now then I would do so.

                  That said, I don’t think the majority of people would want to once they realised that they would have more say in their own governance. I could be wrong on that score, some people do seem to like to be led.

      • fatty 8.1.4

        “If Shearer does get in and wins the next two elections, then from 2008-2020 we will have had centrist leaders with a slight shade of left or right

        No we wouldn’t, we would’ve had 12 years of hard right and slightly less right leaders. Nothing I’ve seen from Shearer would indicate that he’s left.”

        I agree DTB, but I thought I’d made that clear with my next paragraph where I situated what centrism really means…”This centrism is actually far right economics in its true sense.”

        Shearer will do little more than cement the majority Key’s current policies, in the same way aunty Helen cemented neoliberal ideology.
        The greedy far right would be better off if Shearer won the next election, rather than Key winning again, because Shearer will do nothing more than validate National’s policies and shoulder half the blame for the ongoing economic crisis.
        The last thing the greedy far right wants is an alternative.
        I’d rather a proper Labour party that loses the next election. Let National drive us down the road to the dead end of destruction…why have Labour take us on a different track to the same destination?

        • KJT

          I liked David Cunliff’s thoughts on the matter.

          When National proposes to remove your leg, people do not want to hear that Labour is also going to remove your leg, but only with anesthetic. Not sure if it is an exact quote, but you get the gist.

          Nothing Shearer has said so far, shows that he is not going to remove the other leg.

  9. prism 9

    The description of Jokey Hen as being ‘glib’ is perfect. He has an interesting delivery – a litttle rushed, a little breathless, a little glib and signifying ..nothing useful.

    Hey isn’t it good that we can still send an embassy guy from Saudi Arabia to Qatar, thought that might have been lost in the government cuts. Looks like you always have to do the safety thinking for yourself, can’t rely on businesses or the authorities, especially when your little treasures are concerned.

  10. gobsmacked 10

    No, Shearer isn’t a stooge, he isn’t right-wing, he isn’t Key-lite, or any of that nonsense.

    He’s just very, very poor at communicating, through the media. And he has to get much better.

    It’s no good saying he’s great in person, or at a Labour conference when people have the time and desire to listen to a long speech. Irrelevant.

    Simple maths: if David Shearer spent only one minute with one voter, and impressed that voter, and then kept doing that, one by one, and didn’t spend any time at all on sleeping, eating, or anything else, he would reach about half a million people in a year. That’s the same as one TV news bulletin.

    Communication is an integral part of the job. He should get this BASIC skill right, or quit. Sorry, but that’s how it is. Simply saying “he’s not John Key” don’t cut it.

    • Anne 10.1

      It’s no good saying he’s great in person, or at a Labour conference when people have the time and desire to listen to a long speech.

      Actually it was a short speech (about 15 mins. but unlike Key it was substantive) followed by questions. There was no grand entrance… no orchestrated stand up clapping performance. He just hopped onto the stage and started chatting pretty much off the cuff as far as I could see. True, he was among friends so was able to relax, but I hope he adopts much the same style of speaking to the voting public because it does come across as a nice change.

  11. Carol 11

    Shearer has improved his delivery, but he’s still not an option I would choose for PM. If he’s the best that the ABC group could come up with, they should step back and give some others in the party a chance.

    Norman performs better, but I am also not enamoured of his seemingly de facto leadership of the Greens (as the party is reported in the media). He is also taking the party more to the right/centre. This leaves only Mana as a possible party to vote for in the next election. And I still haven’t seen enough of them to be confident in them….. the left is in a sorry state.

  12. LoveIT 12

    Alas, they are both immoral advocates for the use of force, and are not representative of a civil society.

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