The Shearer defence

Fran O’Sullivan backs David Shearer:

But unlike Cunliffe and Robertson he is not hostage to Labour’s past policy positions. He wasn’t an active player in policy formation for the 2011 general election. This has proved to be a strength – not a weakness – as he quickly jettisoned one of Labour’s more wacky election policies, wiping GST on fruit and vegetables. He followed through yesterday by abandoning another ill-considered Labour policy to support Government borrowing offshore to top up the Super Fund.

Shearer’s moves display political courage. He is not afraid to upset grassroot Labour Party members. By adopting a classically rational approach he will increase Labour’s appeal to centrist voters from across the voting spectrum.

I agree, so long as he can carry his party with him. Trevor Mallard was attacking National’s suspensions of contributions to the NZ Super Fund just two days before Shearer announced he is adopting National’s policy.

Also John Roughan writes:

Shearer seemed a normal guy who is not a natural at the arts of politics. For that reason I’d like to see him succeed.

Not too soon, of course. John Key is doing good things and if he continues the way he is going he will deserve the three terms New Zealand voters usually give a government. But Labour’s turn will come and when it does I hope Shearer is still there.

I think that is being optimistics. If Shearer doesn’t win in 2014, I find it hard to imagine he will be there in 2017.

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