Garner on Shearer

November 2nd, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

3 News Political Editor blogs:

Labour promised an exciting back story that would impress and a new front man to rival the Prime Minister.

Sadly for Labour – they’re still looking for that person. has failed. Labour’s lucky it’s not getting done under the law for false advertising.

Let’s be honest, Labour leader David Shearer doesn’t have it. He’s a nice, mild mannered, likeable, warm but a stuttering, incoherent mess that is the opposite of what an alternative Prime Minister should look like.

And before you say ‘give him some time’, he’s had a year and I think he’s gone backwards – not forwards.

He has no presence and his television performances are a disaster. That’s where voters make up their minds.

However Labour is up in the polls from the election.

The reason Shearer remains safe is disingenuous and it’s time to call it.

Labour MPs believe is perhaps the next leader, but they don’t believe he’s quite ready – nor do they want to install a gay leader just yet. It shouldn’t be an issue – but it always is.

That’s why he remains the deputy. He knows politics is all about timing. Shearer has become the fall guy. Like Phil Goff was. It’s dishonest.

I think that is basically correct in that Robertson will be the next Leader, beating out Cunliffe and possibly Little. It could be messy though as Auckland Labour people are not that keen on their local guy being passed over in favour.

Duncan then tells a story about how strong the paranoia is about Cunliffe in Labour:

I tried to get a Labour face on TV this week to talk about capital gains taxes. I approached Shearer who was in Hokitika and too far away, David Parker in Dunedin and Cunliffe in Auckland.

Cunliffe was the easiest to get hold of. But, without naming names, the hoopla I was put through before he was ‘allowed’ on TV was fascinating. Even Cunliffe was nervous – but keen.

It took six hours of negotiating to get him on. It was quite simply, outrageous. It took me one text to get Russel Norman on the telly. It took two phone calls to get the Prime Minister to agree to a one-on-one interview.

So just two phone calls to get the Prime Minister of the country on, and six hours of negotiations to get the Opposition Economic Development Spokesperson?

Shearer has been promoted above what he’s capable of in my view.

I’m sure he’s entirely capable behind the scenes – you don’t do what he’s done by being stupid – but I’m just saying he’s not cut out for the hurly-burly, think-on-your-feet world of opposition politics. Robertson and Cunliffe are.

Shearer was handed the benefit of the doubt as pointed out by Gordon Campbell in a column this week and he’s failed to deliver on any of it.

For my 2c I think Shearer’s problem is more than he hasn’t been able to stamp a policy direction on the party. Even his own spokespersons contradict him.

Put simply, Shearer does not look, act or sound like a man ready to take over the Treasury benches and drive New Zealand out of this recession. The voters see it.

They see a Labour Party unconvinced and confused by their own choice. Until that changes, Labour will stay in opposition.

Possibly, but the current Government only has a one seat majority, without the Maori Party. Labour could well end up in Government, even if they are unconvinced and confused.

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40 Responses to “Garner on Shearer”

  1. Lee C (2,720 comments) says:

    Well perhaps unconvinced and confused would most sum up voters’ feelings right now.

    In my sector, (Tertiary education), I might add scared and uncertain.

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  2. Exclamation Mark (81 comments) says:

    Labour, Greens, Mana and NZ First all in Government, running the country as one!

    What an nightmarish shit-fest that would be.

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  3. slightlyrighty (2,096 comments) says:

    6 hours????

    That is the problem with the center left. They are so consumed over the appearance of proper process that they have lost sight of what they want to achieve. Stagnation by Representation.

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  4. RF (1,487 comments) says:

    And Mr. Magoo continues to stumble.. bumble along. A sad confused poor excuse for a potential leader.

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  5. BillODrees (94 comments) says:

    The Labour Party comes together for its Annual Conference in Auckland in a couple of weeks. The concerns of the members will be aired then. The members will fight the attempt by Robertson’s clique to push through rule changes that centralises power in a small group in Wellington. Robertson and Ardern were trained in politics in the Beehive back-rooms and have a natural preference for tight authoritarian control at the centre. The members will push for a more democratic and transparent culture.
    Cunliffe is seen by the members as a break from the past. A very welcome break.

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  6. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Heh what a joke. Liarbors a joke. Still in confusion, bumbling along , no policy , no direction , leaderless. I love it.

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  7. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    Labour’s disarray, perversely, is weakening National as well, allowing them to sleepwalk.

    Cunliffe, for all his occasional abrasiveness, is highly intelligent, competent, results-focused and articulate. He has a good track record in challenging portfolios. People trust him as a safe pair of hands.

    Its a sad commentary on the drivers of modern politics that seldom do we see Cunliffe criticised for his level of competence – only for personality and style. Yet that seems enough to disqualify him.

    Shearer out, Cunliffe in. Otherwise Labour should take a back seat for a period and concede the role to the effective current opposition leader, Russell Norman!

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  8. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Garner – A Nat in Nats’ clothing.

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  9. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    Robertson is a Wellington insider’s insider and I just hope you are correct he will be Labour’s next Leader but somehow I don’t think so if Labour is serious about putting up an alternative Prime Minister. All that first gay leader stuff might work in central metropolitan seats but it will not wash is South Auckland or Waitakere or elsewhere where Labour needs to win support.

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  10. RF (1,487 comments) says:

    Cunliffe on Utube electioneering from a bus. In some false mumbo jumbo accent Calling Key a greasy little fella in a blue suit. What a charming person to be leader in waiting. Is that the best Labour can dredge up.

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  11. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    Criticism is expected from DPF and Whale, but Garner giving up on Shearer so scathingly is a bigger problem for Labour.

    But there’s more, far more – from the left. The posts are scathing enough, but the comments are a litany of Labour lambasting and lament.

    Shearer keeps bumbling along under poor advice. But it’s not his fault there’s no one better to lead the party.

    David Shearer is just a symptom of much bigger problems in Labour. Labour – more than a lost leader

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  12. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I think you Neolibs should be more interested in who National’s coalition partners will be after the next election.

    National gets 42% – where do you look?

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  13. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    Hamnida – my biggest concern is that a severely dysfunctional party might end up being the lead party in the next government. And that they may be pushed into supporting awful Green and Mana policies. I don’t really care about National’s future.

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  14. hmmokrightitis (1,596 comments) says:

    hambusted: “Garner – A Nat in Nats’ clothing.”

    You didnt have a cup of the real world for breakfast this morning did you?

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  15. Manolo (14,161 comments) says:

    My biggest concern is that a severely dysfunctional party might end up being the lead party in the next government. And that they may be pushed into supporting awful Green and Mana policies. I don’t really care about National’s future.

    Exactly. For once, I agree 100% with P.G.

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  16. hj (7,142 comments) says:

    Cunliffe, for all his occasional abrasiveness, is highly intelligent, competent, results-focused and articulate. He has a good track record in challenging portfolios. People trust him as a safe pair of hands.

    Yeah Right :wink:

    January 2011
    “The big adverse gap in productivity between New Zealand and other countries opened up from the 1970s to the early 1990s. The policy choice that increased immigration – given the number of employers increasingly unable to pay First-World wages to the existing population and all the capital requirements that increasing populations involve – looks likely to have worked almost directly against the adjustment New Zealand needed to make and it might have been better off with a lower rate of net immigration. This adjustment would have involved a lower real interest rate (and cost of capital) and a lower real exchange rate, meaning a more favourable environment for raising the low level of productive capital per worker and labour productivity. The low level of capital per worker is a striking symptom of New Zealand’s economic challenge.

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/pdfs/swg-report-jan11.pdf

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  17. Lloyd (125 comments) says:

    When the Greens get in, there will always be sunshine. Everything will be equitable, just, fair and happy. There will be full employment, no child abuse and at every lunchtime, bosses will be seen cleaning the toilets of their employees, just to show their equality. Every Friday, the entire economy will pause for a mass hug and the compulsory singing of ‘Kumbaya’ outside each workplace. Schools will be places of wonderment and learning, when all children pass with Excellence grades and each will raise organic vegetables in their own plot (on the now-disused rugby and netball areas, since such horrible ‘competitive’ behaviour is banned). We will welcome fellow world travellers to our peace-loving, vegan paradise, running tours to look at the now defunct old dairy farm regions and shudder at how horrible those quaint old days were. We will celebrate as we adopt the same suits and Australian accents as Saint Russel, the holy deity of New Peaceland (as our country will henceforth be known).
    Ah, a Green world. ’twill be a heaven on earth.

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  18. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Shearer reminds me of Bill Rowling – a hell of a nice guy by all accounts but, rightly or wrongly, not suited to politics.

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  19. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > my biggest concern is that a severely dysfunctional party might end up being the lead party in the next government

    So obviously no concern that a severely dysfunctional party is currently in power…I guess it’s different when the Right are in charge.

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  20. bringbackdemocracy (429 comments) says:

    Haminda
    The Conservative party will be a potential support party for National in 2014. They are already polling higher now than they were at the time of the last election. They will continue to grow their support from dissatisfied National voters, NZ First voters who don’t want a Gween Government and socially conservative Labour voters (especially pasifika voters who feel ignored over gay-marriage).

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  21. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Conservative Party gets 5%, I doubt it. If they do, National will still be short.

    Possibly National 42%, Conservative 5%, Maori 3 electorate seats might just get there.

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  22. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    ross69 – there’s some National dysfunction but overall they are competently running the country, in particular they are competently running the economy through very challenging times. I’d grizzle about some things but I have confidence a National led government from 2014 wouldn’t be too bad.

    But I have major concerns about a Labour/Green/NZF/ and possibly Maori and/or Mana government. And comments and polls suggest a lot of people have similar concerns.

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  23. tedbear (153 comments) says:

    How could anyone suggest Little? I had dealings with this waste of space when he was head man of the union. Then again, he would totally fit in, just another incompetent, dishonest, not to be taken seriously.

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  24. backster (2,194 comments) says:

    I think the left wing media are deliberately softening up the electorate to accept the inevitability of a putsch against Shearer.

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  25. Manolo (14,161 comments) says:

    I think the left wing media are deliberately softening up the electorate to accept the inevitability of a putsch against Shearer.

    Are you refering to DPF’s long-standing and relentless pro-Robertson campaign? :-)

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  26. Key is our man (899 comments) says:

    We are wasting time here. Latest Roy Morgan poll very clearly shows Labour-Greens-NZ First-Mana party combo will be in power in 2014. This will have Shearer as PM, Norman as Deputy PM and Finance Minister, Winston as Foreign Minister, Hone as Maori Affairs Minister, John Minto as Education Minister, Andrew Williams as Local Government Minister…..NZ will become the Greece of the South Pacific.

    But Kiwis think of the positive!! You will be able to take home your salary in huge trucks!!! Norman will be printing money left, right and centre….any body for a cup of coffee at 100,000 NZD???

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  27. Barnsley Bill (848 comments) says:

    A couple of points.
    The 6 hour wait speaks volumes about the terror that exit mold must be living with knowing the dole queue is screaming down the track at her.
    Garner attacking Labour/ Shearer in this way should be looked at while recalling his weird fevered love affair with the photo shopped version of Clark. For years every time he did a political story we would see the Angelina Jolie pic instead of the actual Haloween gurn that led many of us to believe that Garner had lost his cherry to a fugly spinster teacher during his intermediate schooling and never quite let go of the memory.
    That he has let this fanboi persona for all things Labour go means one of two things. Either the therapy has worked or Shearer really is dog tucker.

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  28. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “Winston as Foreign Minister, Hone as Maori Affairs Minister, John Minto as Education Minister, Andrew Williams as Local Government Minister…..”

    Did you forget to take your medication? :)

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  29. Redbaiter (10,361 comments) says:

    Labour need to escape the clutches of the queers and the latte sipping liberals.

    Andrew Little and Damien O’Conner are the team they need.

    Traditional Labour not narcissistic progressives.

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  30. Chi Hsu (103 comments) says:

    Cunliffe is clearly the man for the job – intelligent, reasonable, and confident. What exactly has Robertson achieved during his time in Parliament?

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  31. Key is our man (899 comments) says:

    ross69 – The very thought of this coalition makes me look for a different kind of “medication”
    Redbaiter – Andrew Litte and Damien O’Conner???? They are tall people I agree….but imagine them as PM and Deputy PM….may be I could accept Uncle Goff and aunty King….

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  32. s.russell (1,649 comments) says:

    I suspect Shearer would LIKE to lead Labour in a more sensible direction. But he can’t. These days Labour is almost hermetically sealed against “ïmpure thoughts”.

    Having come in from outside just a few years ago Shearer simply has no traction within the party – no leverage to move it anywhere. His failure is more realistically seen as the party’s failure to move toward the middle. So, he is pushing all the hot-buttons (bloody foreigners taking our land and jobs etc etc) he can reach in a desperate sttempt to create some leverage.

    Replacing him with someone who doesn’t even WANT to be sensible isn’t (or at least shouldn’t) be a recipe for success.

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  33. David Garrett (7,698 comments) says:

    Lloyd: Very good sir…but you know what they say, many a true word spoken in jest!

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  34. Peter (1,694 comments) says:

    Perhaps I’m being naive here, but can’t Shearer just say I need to do X, Y and Z, and if I don’t have your support, find someone else?

    The guy wants to be leader this bad?

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  35. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    Why else would you allow all the people who supposedly support you make you look like a complete pillock (when you aren’t doing it to yourself)?

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  36. Bob R (1,419 comments) says:

    Strange that National hasn’t done more to get back to First Past the Post, given MMP seems to give them less chance of winning.

    Also, what would have happened if the Maori seats had been removed as was their policy IIRC?

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  37. RRM (10,097 comments) says:

    Redbaiter (1,299) Says:
    November 2nd, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Labour need to escape the clutches of the queers and the latte sipping liberals.

    Andrew Little and Damien O’Conner are the team they need.

    Traditional Labour not narcissistic progressives.

    I hear you, Comrade!

    I wouldn’t have picked you as a brother of the struggle against capitalism. Well well well…

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  38. Paulus (2,707 comments) says:

    I believe that the New Zealand voting public will get a Green/Labour Government led with Winston as the deciding factor.
    God Defend New Zealand because nobody else will.
    Money will flow like water out of the country within hours of such a position, BUT the Greens will print more to replace it.
    So long live the one eyed man – who is the king.

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  39. RF (1,487 comments) says:

    The madness of King Winston who will not wear a crown as he refuses the baubles of office. Jesus H Christ.

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  40. Left Right and Centre (3,007 comments) says:

    Davy boy is rubbish. I had high hopes for him but to twist a Cactus Kate quote he’s as boring as a flat chest. All the charisma of a used tampon.

    He looked good on paper but as they say, you don’t play the game on paper.

    John Key might have to retire before he loses the PM job at this rate. Labour could try kidnapping him and replaying Shearer speeches to him until he dies of boredom. Should take about three hours. I know he makes me slip into a mild coma after about fifteen seconds.

    I’m not bloody surprised Labour are doing better in the polls. They could only get better after the last outing. There’s only one way to go from rock bottom. They could’ve chosen Quade Cooper as leader and still gone up in the polls.

    But they’ve still just got nothing. Losers.

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