All things to all people?

March 12th, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Derek Cheng at NZ Herald reports:

Labour leader says he has taken a consistent position on the industrial dispute, even though he marched with the workers on Saturday and earlier described the issue as “not about taking sides”.

Perhaps David was marching with the two counter-protesters, if he was not taking sides?

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12 Responses to “All things to all people?”

  1. Cunningham (836 comments) says:

    He was definitely much improved on Q&A but I think John Key will fancy his chances of exposing Shearer as weak. He seems like a nice guy but politics can be brutal and unless you are incredibly strong and decisive in your views, you will be chewed up and spat out. I am not sure David is the right man to survive in his current position. I think his personality will resonate with the public but that is different from people seeing you as capable of running the country. Time will tell…

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  2. Peter (1,684 comments) says:

    He seems like a good guy, but the main problem is his party. It’s going to require an iron fist to sort that lot out….

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  3. Cunningham (836 comments) says:

    Peter (709) that is the other thing he may struggle with. His party of full of some extreme personalities and the reason HK did so well was because she was ruthless. Is he prepared to be the same? I mean you would have to be a hard ass to keep people like Fenton in line.

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  4. Nostalgia-NZ (5,079 comments) says:

    Maybe marched right in the middle of both flanks. But despite whatever he says he may have come across as a ‘bob each way’ rather than Len’s ‘a bob no way.’

    He’s been measured so far, feeling his way, not such a bad thing when we presume he has been ‘team building’ behind the scenes. Eventually he’ll face what will be for him another high noon but to his credit he hasn’t rushed to the confrontation in spite of an expectation that he would, or needed to.

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

    I wish our arse reporters would provide some light and some criticism of these moves by the Labour leader and his colleagues.

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  6. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    He’s chicken. I doubt if he wasn’t influenced by far left tossers in his party, union thugs that hand the party cash out he wouldn’t want any of this. The public are not behind the POA strikers, I’m sure Shearer would know this. Quite frankly he looks weak and easily lead by stronger members of the far left. Presumably he wishes to lead, I doubt if this includes marches that the general public couldn’t give a flying fuck about, the general public are the ones that will make him number one.

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  7. davidp (3,570 comments) says:

    Shearer wants to side with the Port company. He knows that Labour can’t be seen to side with racists and violent thugs, and he probably also realises that you can’t run a modern economy with the working practices of the 1950s.

    But on the other hand he doesn’t want Darien Fenton to piss in his barbecue.

    Labour is going to struggle to get anywhere until they can clear out their ugly bully wing.

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  8. Bed Rater (239 comments) says:

    East Wellington Superhero – Was Derek Cheng too subtle?

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  9. Pete George (23,415 comments) says:

    He’s been measured so far, feeling his way, not such a bad thing when we presume he has been ‘team building’ behind the scenes.

    He may have been trying that, he does keep mentioning ‘listening to the people”, but I don’t know if his party has been listening much to him.

    He gets scant support from The Standard (who seem to be more behind the union faction), as illustrated by a promotional post on Shearer today that so far has no support from the regulars.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/shearer-taking-shape/

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  10. Peter Freedman (127 comments) says:

    As you read this remember I am a unionist to the core. I have been “just” a member (the most important person in any union) an elected official, a national leader and a paid official. Belief in unionism is at the very core of my ideology.

    But I also believe trade unions play far too great a role in the Labour Party (and if you think it is bad in NZ, then just look at Australia).

    Labour/Labor parties will always have a strong union influence and so they should. The unions gave them birth after all. But their dominance is dangerous and defeating and needs to be curbed.

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  11. Peter (1,684 comments) says:

    But on the other hand he doesn’t want Darien Fenton to piss in his barbecue.

    It’s going to take a long time to scrub that terrifying image from my mind……

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  12. Nostalgia-NZ (5,079 comments) says:

    Pete George
    4.16

    Yes. I agree that the party might not be listening to him. Seems a mixed message from him. He has a good opportunity to call on POAL to re-enter negotiations, call for them to seek mediation even with Len or some other nominated person, he can argue, rightly, that is in the interests of all parties (primarily rate-payers, users and providers) to keep the port working while the differences are look further into. It’s actually the message I’d like to hear from some of the political leaders because this dispute is getting stepped around too gingerly. If munz turn their nose up at the call they risk alienation from moderates some of whom now are worrying about the economy and more industrial disputes, they would also open themselves up to tougher calls of action against them for being seen as unreasonable in not wanting to settle.

    Another view, not directly so much with the Ports, but with Shearer – he’s seen what support JK has pulled away from labour through the Maori party but I wonder if he’s hesitating, or is unaware he could gain popularity and establish himself as a leader, least by marching, but rather by calling for a return to work. Since writing this I wonder if he doesn’t realise he’s being seen as perhaps timid or too much a bob each way. He’s also to some degree letting Key off the hook by not calling for Key to involve himself when there is potentially little cost to himself but obvious gains.

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