And the winner is David ……. Shearer

December 13th, 2011 at 11:08 am by David Farrar

And news just broken that the 34 Labour MPs have elected as the 13th Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party. Grant Robertson is his Deputy Leader.

Commiserations go out to David Cunliffe, who ran a strong campaign. I hope Shearer retains him in Finance (or better).

I think this is a good decision for Labour. Shearer gives them an opportunity to make a clean break from their past. The challenge will be for that break to be substantive, not just symbolic, so I await his announcement of shadow cabinet and portfolios with interest.

If I was advising Shearer, I would have him read up on the leadership style of Michael Joseph Savage when Opposition Leader. Savage did not spend all his time attacking the Government and blaming them for everything from the weather to global crises, but went up and down NZ speaking of his vision for a better New Zealand.

I think David Shearer is a very decent man. I probably won’t agree with most of his policies (but possibly more than I have with Labour in the past), but I think and hope he will run a clean campaign to be Prime Minister and give New Zealanders a good choice.

UPDATE: Chris Hipkins has been elected Senior Whip, which I suggested was likely a few days ago. Darien Fenton is the Junior Whip. I presume Ross Robertson will be their nominee for Assistant Speaker.

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75 Responses to “And the winner is David ……. Shearer”

  1. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Congratulations David Shearer. Probably a sensible option. Cunliffe has too much baggage.

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  2. big bruv (13,227 comments) says:

    Bugger, I was hoping it might be Cunnlife thus ensuring another term for the National government.

    Not sure why Shearer would want to emulate Micheal Savage who was another Labour leader who was too afraid to be honest about his sexuality.

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  3. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    So we have a new temporary Labour leader; (do not worry – no one else cares either)

    Now would be the perfect opportunity for John Key to nip Shearer in the bud before he even gets started by going on the news tonight saying “David who? never heard of him” ha ha

    Even better would be “never heard of this David bloke; I consider Winston Peters to be Leader of the Opposition”

    He should then get Winston allocated the Leader of the Opposition seat in the chamber, further squashing Shearer.

    ie: get Shearer having to stamp his feet to be recognised as opposition leader thereby belittling himself into irrelevancy.

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  4. lofty (1,303 comments) says:

    Lets hope that he has the guts to clean out the cupboard, if he wants names of who to sweep out, I would be happy to oblige.

    There are plenty of voters out here in the real world that are waiting for the big direction change.

    Not sure that I could ever return to the labour fold now though, I think that the rainbow faction and general nasties have done too much damage.

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  5. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    Congratulations must now also go out to John Key for securing a 3rd term in the next elections.

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  6. Cunningham (811 comments) says:

    Well time will tell. I am undecided whether this is a good thing for Labour. By all acccounts he was pretty aweful in all the meetings and on TV his performance was terrible. Goff was lambasted for not knowing numbers but Shearer couldn’t even say who was Labours environment spokesman when asked on Q&A. This should have rung alarm bells. His answers were so woffly and unconvincing he will need a hell of a lot of work and coaching to become a threat. Looking forward to seeing JK against Shearer though. Should be a fascinating contest.

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  7. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Nice to see the lefties sharpening their knives for the new leader already.

    Or in your case, spear, pollywog. :)

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  8. Manolo (13,339 comments) says:

    Now wait for Robertson to stage a coup against Shearer a year out the 2014 election or even earlier. Sure as day follows night.

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  9. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    pity i can’t say the same about your wit JB…

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  10. big bruv (13,227 comments) says:

    Now watch all the pinko’s over at the EPMU and Labour party funded Standard fall right in behind Shearer and deny they ever supported Cunliffe.

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  11. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    And the winner is … The Greens!

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  12. lofty (1,303 comments) says:

    Ah well the mad butchers best mate, Darien Fenton was on my list of candidates for the “new” leader to sweep away…looks like no change at planet labour!

    Nothing to entice me to change my view and he has held the reins for a whole 30 minutes :-(

    The same old hacks are obviously still calling the shots.

    edit..or they are so bereft of talent that spiteful piece of work is one of the best that they have got…dreadful state of affairs.

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  13. lofty (1,303 comments) says:

    As much as it makes my butt cheeks clench..I have to kind of agree with toad.

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  14. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    Here’s a potential recruit for you toad.

    No one should put a Green party membership form in front of me for a while though …

    http://thestandard.org.nz/good-luck-david/#comment-416489

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  15. Grendel (950 comments) says:

    how can the greens win? they don’t like to have competition as its too like capitalism and not about the collective or some other rot.

    Isn’t it enough to just participate? its surely how you end up with your list as there are no winners on there, just participants.

    the greens are the least successful political party to have made it into parliament, that must sting a bit!

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  16. Chuck Bird (4,668 comments) says:

    “Now wait for Robertson to stage a coup against Shearer a year out the 2014 election or even earlier. Sure as day follows night.”

    Yeah. Shearer must watch his back.

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  17. Other_Andy (2,268 comments) says:

    toad

    “And the winner is … The Greens!”

    They might be.
    But how long can you keep Delahunty quiet?

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  18. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    This is hilarious. I bet Cunny wishes he had owned the stones to roll Goff when he had the chance during the Hughes scandel.

    Instead he hung Goff out to dry during the campaign and arogantly thought he would take the chair after Labour got pounded in the election.

    That flushing sound you hear is Cunliffes political career going down the toilet. Lucky for him he can always find work as a Beaker look alike for childrens parties.

    p.s. Key is going to own Shearer

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  19. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Labour people are so shallow aren’t they? by lunchtime EVERYBODY in Labour will be saying they always supported Shearer.

    This is a major difference between the two parties; National leaders who stuff things up get ‘disinvented’ very quickly in ways that impress even the old style Soviets – no current or former National MP ever admits to having voted for Jim McClay, Bill English or Don Brash.

    However vast numbers of elderly ex Labour MPs will openly admit their strong support for Bill Rowling and Geoff Palmer! (any genuinely unsure why that causes people to start sniggering)

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  20. Paul Williams (876 comments) says:

    This is a positive outcome for the Party. Shearer, by his recent conduct and past deeds, has shown himself to be a decent, direct leader.

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  21. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    JamesS @ 11.14 – thats what they did when Key got the job – and it really worked didnt it?

    I expect that Shearer will be a big success – not that labour is in any way my cup of tea. But a country needs two strong parties wirth different views for a decent democracy.

    I expect that if Shearer leaves Parliament to the attack dogs (cunliffe etc) and he does what Key does – and spend lots of time out of the place – then we will have reason to see that National will actually start to do some good things. At the moment they are sitting on their arse.

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  22. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Johnboy said:- “Nice to see the lefties sharpening their knives for the new leader already. Or in your case, spear, pollywog.”

    pollywog rejoined:- “pity i can’t say the same about your wit JB…”

    lmao! Speared you with that one Johnboy! Great comeback.

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  23. Ross Miller (1,661 comments) says:

    Congrats to Shearer … inevitably there will be a bounce in the polls through until he opens his mouth in the House.

    The Rainbow caucus would have to be happy with Robertson but Darien Fenton as Junior Whip???? … although on reflection I guess it helps to have a real nasty there to knock heads together when the troops start getting restless (just after Key flattens Shearer at the first Question Time).

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  24. Ross12 (1,147 comments) says:

    From the Labour Party point of view Shearer was probably the best choice. But if he doesn’t have a clean out , push for a change the way the candidates are chosen etc he will be accused ( rightly or wrongly) of being a Helen Clark puppet. Robertson is in the same position.
    But I still think the bigger problem for Labour is how to “control” the other opposition parties ( and egos !!) so they are still seen as the major left wing / opposition party.

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  25. Other_Andy (2,268 comments) says:

    Ross Miller

    “The Rainbow cauc us would have to be happy…”

    Yep, and the union faction has lost this time around.

    “…but Darien Fenton as Junior Whip?…”

    As a gesture they have made Darien Fenton, from the Labour/Unions Caucus, Junior whip.

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  26. david (2,535 comments) says:

    What is really missing is Shearer’s equivalent of H2 and Robertson has yet to prove he can be a Michael Cullen. H2 – The strong invisible assassin who is always there to bang heads and dispose of unwanted bodies. Cullen – the faithful retainer who can swallow his own desires for the top job, has an instinct for when interference is required and can run it and who is willing to publicly take hits that might damage the boss if he/she was to be left exposed.

    That was Mrs Helen Clark’s secret weapons package – it was never all about her although to all intents and purposes that is how it looked.

    Is Shearer ruthless enough and devious enough to re-establish Labour as credible managers of the country in the minds of enough voters? ……………. Only time will tell and it will be entertaining to watch.

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  27. Nookin (3,034 comments) says:

    “As a gesture they have made Darien Fenton, from the Labour/Unions Caucus, Junior whip.”

    Why do they need a junior whip and a chief whip? It cannot be because of the numbers – there are not too many of them. Must be a reflection of their unruly behaviour

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  28. big bruv (13,227 comments) says:

    Toad

    “And the winner is … The Greens!”

    Oh man are you wrong. Shearer will grab back most of the votes you guys won by default this time around. The best result for the Greens would have been Cunliffe.

    I am seriously worried about Shearer, he can win in 2014.

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  29. big bruv (13,227 comments) says:

    Anybody know if Fran Mould is out of work?…..I do hope so.

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  30. Paul Williams (876 comments) says:

    Big Bruv is right. This is a team that can win the election; something the smarter people around here recognise and some even think is good for a healthy democracy.

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  31. lofty (1,303 comments) says:

    Early days Paul & BB, we will see if he has the goods or not over the next few months, not hours.

    If the same old rainbow, & bully boy hacks are still pulling the strings, and the nasty party continue with personal attacks, and slander, over policy and connection, they are destined to remain in opposition.

    He has a lot of bridges to mend, and friends to make, and I am not sure yet if he has the managerial skills to do that.

    A very inauspicious start with Fenton being one of his 1st appointments within 30 minutes, tells me volumes about who is really in charge there.

    I would have preferred to see Cunliffe win, it would have been a lot easier to lift a scab off him.

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  32. Roflcopter (422 comments) says:

    Shearer doesn’t have to “win” in 2014, he only has to do a few % points better than Goff and the left takes it.

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  33. Peter (1,578 comments) says:

    Shearer is already talking about a greener, “smarter” approach.

    Not so subtle code for “we’re going to steal votes back from the Greens by adopting the less loopy policies, thus pushing the Greens out to the hard loopy left”.

    The sideline them like Clark did.

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  34. Paul Williams (876 comments) says:

    lofty, certainly it is early days and my hope is that everyone in the Party or interested in the Party supports this team!

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  35. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    @big bruv 12:06 pm

    Cunliffe was on record as talking about clawing back the soft Green vote to Labour. That approach is never going to get Labour back into Government. I think Shearer recognises that and knows that Labour and the Greens both need to be strong to govern together. I expect he will focus on clawing back the soft National vote, even if doing so result in some further leakage of left-leaning Labour votes to the Greens. Just stealing Green policy didn’t do Labour any good in the recent election. Voters see through that and give credit where it is due – Labour’s vote went down while the Greens’ went up.

    And, yes, I think you are right to be worried if that is the strategy.

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  36. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    ‘Smarter’ has to be one of the dumbest, and arrogant, things that I hear politicians say. It assumes that business leaders are idiots and needs the help of career public servants to be more successful. Labour has been saying ‘smart/innovate/value-add, blah blah blah since Helen Clark first got elected. It’s a nothing statement that sounds clever but has no substance. Of course there is a place for the public service, of course you need a Min Health, Min Ed, Min Def, etc. But to use the word ‘smart’, as though business is doing it stupidly now, is dumb and shows the disconnect that Labour has with how to create wealth.

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  37. MikeMan (171 comments) says:

    If the new Labour leader is serious about winning back the house in 2014 then some people need to go in the next 3-6 months and Mallard has to be at the top of that list IMHO.

    Then all of the 1990 and before crew need to be shown the door ASAP and the cream of the 1993-1999 crew need to be shuffled to near the middle of the pack to provide some experience for the new blood and a stabilising influence for those elected in the last 10 years.

    A major shake-up top to bottom is the only thing that can work IMHO.

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  38. big bruv (13,227 comments) says:

    Toad

    You seriously over rate the importance of the Greens.

    Again this time around you polled higher than you did on election day and even then a lot of the vote you received was because there were so many people who could not bring themselves to vote for Labour.

    Yes Shearer will bring back some of the middle vote (where all elections are decided) but those votes will not just come from the Nat’s, far more of them will come from the Greens.

    What you have over looked (and is another example of you acting like the Greens are relevant) is that Labour ‘stealing’ your policy did not work for them at all, if anything it drove the voters away or kept them at home. Nobody wants to give more money to parasites and DPB slappers, the idea of giving the lazy WFF payments was roundly rejected by the public yet you seem to be suggesting that it was some kind of victory.

    Labour will gain support under Shearer as long as he takes the party toward the middle and does not let the stupid social justice crap get out of hand, he also has to ensure that the union influence is reduced, if he does that he will not only be a threat to the Nat’s but he will be a massive threat to the Greens as well.

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  39. RRM (9,434 comments) says:

    I dunno EWS,

    If out of a whole speech you latch onto one throwaway word, and assume it to have all sorts of deep significance that it may – or may not – have had in the mind of the man actually speaking, maybe you do need a bit of help to work smarter instead of angrier?

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  40. Tookinator (204 comments) says:

    “That flushing sound you hear is Cunliffes political career going down the toilet. Lucky for him he can always find work as a Beaker look alike for childrens parties.”

    “p.s. Key is going to own Shearer”

    Maybe Key will refer to him in future as “My Bitch.”

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  41. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ RRM

    What are they going to do?

    After singing kumbya and bringing the Labour Party together, what are they going to do to make NZ perform better? All they seem to say is ‘make the economy smarter’.

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  42. RRM (9,434 comments) says:

    @ EWS

    Meanwhile, Team Smile & Wave remain “Ambitious for New Zealand” and “fairly relaxed” about the ongoing borrowing, and the country continues to just float along…

    I notice all the cheap talk about “catching Australia” has been dropped, presumably it became too embarrassing once team Smile & Wave got into Govt and we didn’t, in fact, Catch Australia after all?

    I guess if you throw a beneficiary to the lions every few months, people won’t catch on to this?

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  43. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    Toad: if Labour steal the bits of Green policies that many people like (the sensible environmental bits), but leave behind the hard left bits, they could do real damage. Stealing the environmental bits is not at all conflicting with stealing National votes in the centre. It’s only if they try to chase the Greens into mad lefty stuff that they’ll have a mess – I agree with you there that doing so would stop them grabbing the centre.

    I doubt that Shearer has the horsepower to do this, but he might at least give it a try – I doubt Cunliffe would have.

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  44. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Congrats to Shearer … inevitably there will be a bounce in the polls through until he opens his mouth in the House.

    Does anyone really care what happens in the House?

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  45. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Shearer is going to be monstered by Key. He’s terrible to listen too and looks like he’s half asleep. Even with coaching I cannot see him coming close to threatening Key. Cripes, Goff did a better job then Shearer will.

    And Robertson? A smarmy, overweight homosexual?

    Thanks Labour, for giving National a third term :)

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  46. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,790 comments) says:

    The first question for me is “Will Cunliffe be loyal to the leader and the party or will his ambitions get the better of him?”

    And yes, I think this is a good decision for Labour. If they are really smart, they will keep Shearer away from Question Time for the first year. Let him do the real job which is out in the electorates, rebuilding membership, not in the house. Leave Cunliffe and Mallard to do Question Time. They both consider themselves very good at it.

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  47. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ RRM

    I didn’t mention National. My point was the smart-economies is stupid emperor-is-wearing-no-clothes idea that means nothing.

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  48. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    This is going to be great to watch.
    as someone said, “pass the popcorn.”

    One of Shearers first moves is to elevate Darien Fenton. Why would he do that ?
    What does that tell you ?
    Don’t hold your breath for a rejuvenated parliamentary Labour Party.

    Shearer was supported by, Trevor Mallard, Annette King, Phil Goff et al, and obviously Fenton also.
    These ‘old guarders’ are not turkeys voting for an early Christmas for themselves. No way is Mallard or any of the old guard going anywhere. For one thing, who else is there?

    Watch for Winston to usurp Shearers position in the very first question time.
    Brian Edwards changed to backing silent T because he new he would have an impossible job to
    try and train Shearer to perform in front of cameras or in the house.

    i could bre wrong, but Shearer is a very nice bloke who has now risen to his level of incompetence.
    He wont take too long to be found out.

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  49. sandfly (2 comments) says:

    Shearer’s view of life is wider than Key’s, and while he needs some media training let’s remember Key was a mumbling goofball for quite a while in front of the cameras (and often still is). With the right team behind him, he could definitely shake things up. Good luck to him – after another 3 years of this lot, NZ will need a positive alternative.

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  50. Mark (1,360 comments) says:

    One suspects Labour may have just elected the next prime minister. National now totally reliant on keeping ACT and United future on life support and a Maori party that once Tariana Turia and Peta Sharples retire is unlikely to survive so short of getting a majority to govern alone they need to find some friends. I am not particularly optimistic

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  51. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Ther’ll be no poll bounce, no one seriously gives a fuck , its ten days to Xmas the fools can’t even time this right and maintain a headline.
    David who?
    Not even the 28 percent that voted for them care. Labour Party equals total irrelevance

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  52. rouppe (914 comments) says:

    I probably won’t agree with most of his policies…

    His policies….?

    I thought Labour was all about “the people”, not just one person…

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  53. RRM (9,434 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay –

    If Shearer intends to make himself known by his deeds, then somehow I don’t think it matters how long this headline is maintained… :-P

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  54. XChequer (350 comments) says:

    Fenton – ugh

    What a throwback to the Ancien Regime.

    And such a nasty person too!

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  55. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I thought Labour was all about “the people”, not just one person…

    He has to front the policies they come up with.

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  56. sweetd (124 comments) says:

    hmmm, so all these so called ‘in the know’ authors on the standard actually know stuff all. Secondly, have the Nats taken over another party; first ACT with the Brash takeover now Labour with the VRWC’s choice making leader?

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  57. sweetd (124 comments) says:

    FFS, I was just given a warning on red blert for daring to ask if Trev’s man was elected?

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  58. XChequer (350 comments) says:

    Gosh, the boys at the Standard are foamimg at the mouth! Lynn Prentice is positively catatonic

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  59. Minnie (96 comments) says:

    How long will it take for the first story about Robertson plotting a coup to emerge?

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  60. RRM (9,434 comments) says:

    @ EWS

    Fair enough. My point was that Shearer’s Emperor-is-wearing-no-clothes ideas that mean nothing, only have to start looking bit better looking than National’s equivalent ideas that mean nothing, and he’ll be on a roll…

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  61. graham (2,214 comments) says:

    sweetd: “FFS, I was just given a warning on red blert for daring to ask if Trev’s man was elected?” So I guess th answer to that question, is “No” :)

    Oh, I see Clare warned you. So maybe she was supporting Cunliffe.

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  62. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    “Not even the 28 percent that voted for them care. Labour Party equals total irrelevance”

    Nowhere near the 22% that National plummeted to under English. Are National irrelevant now a mere decade later?

    Who knows what Shearer may turn out to be, but only a fool would write him off.

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  63. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    “Gosh, the boys at the Standard are foamimg at the mouth! Lynn Prentice is positively catatonic”

    I have spoken to quite a few Labour insiders who have told be that Lynn Prentice is held in as much regard in the party as a dried glob of Roger Douglas’s spunk.

    Apparently if he didn’t do alot of their boring computer work for free they would firmly ask him to take a step back and stop embarrasing them. It is incredibly sad to watch people who have absolutely no self awareness acting out.

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  64. dime (9,392 comments) says:

    hopefully shearer will be smart enough not to say “i saved 50 million lives while john key made 50 million dollars”.

    effective if others say it. if he says it himself he sounds like a douche bag.

    he should do ok for labour. first time they have had a bloke as leader since clarke

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  65. XChequer (350 comments) says:

    Huge Cheesal,

    I guess your “Labour insiders” are still “Labour Insiders” given Lprents “Labour Insiders” will now be “outsiders” today given the vote?

    What?

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  66. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    So Labour have been led by an MP from either Mt Albert or the immediately adjacent Mt Roskill electorates continuously since 1993. It’s no wonder most of NZ is coloured blue.

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  67. big bruv (13,227 comments) says:

    La Grand

    I think you are being hard on Sir Roger. :)

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  68. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    Anyone care to opine upon why the first thing Shearer does as leader is to elevate
    Darien Fenton ?

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  69. thedavincimode (6,530 comments) says:

    Commiserations go out to David Cunliffe

    pppfffftt. Maybe the Cunnie bro’ should have rolled out his new voice for this battle of the titans.

    On a more serious and VERY concerning note, no amount of hoopla will be able to disguise the fact that given Cunnie bro’s running mate, this vote is clearly anti-Maori and Liebore diehards were simply not prepared to accept a tangata whenua deputy leader. “The brown faces work for the white faces around here mate!” Feral, vindictive, spiteful and rascist. Most unpleasant.

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  70. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    Anyone care to opine upon why the first thing Shearer does as leader is to elevate Darien Fenton ?

    He may not have had much if anything to do with that. Aren’t the whips voted in by the caucus, same as deputy?

    And aren’t the whip positions regarded as stepping stones? More of a caucus internal position? That may keep them away from spokes-positions. But I’m only guessing how that works in opposition.

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  71. Paulus (2,496 comments) says:

    Halleluyah a new political leader has arisen. He will be exalted by the media as the new Messiah – like Obama.
    Watch this space – like Obama.

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  72. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    OK Pete,
    Is this a stepping stone for Darien to, say, finance shadow minister ?
    If the caucas elevates Darien, what chance does Shearer have to rejuvenate ?
    He is obviously controlled by union hacks and a gaggle of gays.
    Labour are so sick.
    This poor sod is too weak to change anything.

    i really do hope he proves me wrong.
    For the sake of New Zealand.

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  73. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    Be interesting to see how Shearer, a baby boomer, expects to woo the gen xers and the slackers to vote for Labour…or maybe thats Robertson’s gig ?

    The left didn’t gain a new leader with Shearer. The centre just got a new co-leader.

    go the Greens !!!

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  74. Roflcopter (422 comments) says:

    Ouch…. on Red Ablert

    Trevor Mallard: I might do a more considered post at some stage about the process but that requires more thought.

    Chris Trotter: No, please, Trevor – don’t. Just make like a good old soldier – and fade away.

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  75. 103PapPap (125 comments) says:

    Again, Labour elect a leader who has never had a REAL job.

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