Vance on Labour

November 11th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

writes:

Here’s not what’s going to happen at Labour’s annual conference later this week. David Cunliffe is not going to rugby tackle to the ground while Grant Robertson sits on his head, with Andrew Little shouting “bags be leader”.

Irritatingly, leadership spills don’t happen that way. If only.

I think having Grant sit on your head is an offence under the Crimes Act :-)

Labour is especially good at the nasty, tortured coups – so if the party is going to roll Shearer, expect it to be beastly. But don’t anticipate blood on the floor of the Ellerslie Racecourse come next Sunday night.

All an opposition party leader has to do at his annual conference is suggest he might do a better job than the bloke presently in charge. Unfortunately in Shearer’s case, it’s not the incumbent prime minister, but himself.

For when he stands up to deliver his keynote speech, the 500-odd delegates will be staring at a bloody great leader-shaped hole. He’s got about 20 minutes to convince a disillusioned party faithful that he’s not invisible, hasn’t got a speech impediment – and that he’s got a cunning plan to convince the voters that Labour can deliver a costed, credible alternative to National-omics.

Of course, while he’s doing it, the commentators and the pundits will have one eye on him and the other scrutinising the wannabes and couldvebeens.

And say Shearer doesn’t give a whizz-bang, tub-thumping speech? His performance this year suggests it’s not going to be a belter. This far out from a election he’s not going to be unleashing any astonishing new policies to distract watchers from the leadership question.

As I said previously, I expect Shearer to give a good speech, His challenge is not delivering speeches, but handling questions.

The risks in rolling him are inherent, but the party appears to have gone past that now. Shearer could give the speech of his life but for many it will be too little, too late. Labour have floundered in opposition, they are impatient for power and can’t afford him any more time.

He’s had more leeway and more time than most would have got (from the media pack and party members) simply because he’s such a nice man.

But, sadly, it seems Labour are facing that awkward conversation: “David, we’re sorry, it’s not us, it’s you.”

Ouch.

Tags: , ,

19 Responses to “Vance on Labour”

  1. alex (304 comments) says:

    Those who decide what becomes the main post of the Standard have clearly decided its time for him to get out. There are two prominently placed articles directly calling for Shearer to resign, as well as another article suggesting both Shearer and Key are in serious trouble maintaining their leadership credibility. For someone on the left, this is just getting ridiculous. There is no way Shearer can win without the support of his base, and its time Cunliffe got the job.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. bhudson (4,738 comments) says:

    Some might argue that it is irrelevant who is leader of the Labour Party as the Labour Party has made itself irrelevant

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    As I said previously, I expect Shearer to give a good speech, His challenge is not delivering speeches, but handling questions.

    Most of the content I’ve seen of Shearer’s speeches is mind numbing inane vague slogan droning.

    Like a driver of a septic tank truck, even if he’s as good at driving as Scott Dixon (he’s not) but the truck is still full of shit.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    There is no way Shearer can win without the support of his base, and its time Cunliffe got the job.

    I don’t think Cunliffe is the answer. Someone just commented on The Standard:

    Imagine and compare two debates – Dunnokeyo/Shearer and Cunliffe/Dunnokeyo.

    Imagine Key versus Cunliffe. Which one would appeal more as an ordinary open and honest punter?

    More pointedly, who would appeal to the ordinary working many and woman? The one from what was once the work man’s party?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Harriet (4,857 comments) says:

    “……More pointedly, who would appeal to the ordinary working many and woman? The one from what was once the work man’s party?…..”

    But being yourself is never going to be enough in the new composite NZ under Labour.

    Take a kiwi female, in fact, she can’t be anything without massive assistance from Labour every step of the way, from their WFF program at age 3 through to their Social Security benefits at the age of 67. Everything good in her life she owes to ‘them’.

    When she writes her memoir, it will be thanks to a subvention from the Ministry of Women’s Publishing Assistance Program for Chronically Dependent Women but you’ll love it: Sweet Dreams From My Rich Prick Sugar Daddies.

    She’s what the lawyers would call “non composite mentis”: She’s not competent to do a single thing for herself – and, from the Shearer/Cunliff point of view, that’s exactly what ‘they’re’ looking for in a woman, if only for a one-night stand on a November day next year. :cool:

    Andrea Vance certainly votes for them. :cool:

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. alex (304 comments) says:

    @PG I don’t think there are many people out there who still consider Key an honest ordinary bloke, he has shown recently how much of an out of touch git he can be. Shearer will be unable to really nail him in a debate though, whereas Cunliffe would be much more forceful and direct, and could easily take Key down. People are struggling in this recession, people don’t need that nice man John or David.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. alex (304 comments) says:

    @Harriet – What a strange use of emoticons. Sunglasses twice? Really?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Harriet (4,857 comments) says:

    alex#

    To be a NZ Labour leader, you must first submit to a lobotomy.

    This will ensure you have no capacity for free thought, and will do exactly what the faceless bosses at the top tell you to do. That way, when you find yourself being a member of the NZL Party with an eye on the leadership , you can safely sit there and drone on about nothing, and everyone in the party can be assured that you will toe the party line and not rock the boat.

    Shearer, Cunliff, Robertson?…….the choice doesn’t really matter, for the doctors anyway, the hardest part is first finding the brain in order to carry out the lobotomy. :cool:

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. niggly (820 comments) says:

    Good points Harriet & thoroughly agree with them, although from the looks of things alex wouldn’t get them – he wouldn’t be out of place writing at the Standard from the looks of things and thinks a change to Cunliffe will somehow solve all of Labour’s woes with the voters … cue Tui billboard!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    alex 10:42 am

    @PG I don’t think there are many people out there who still consider Key an honest ordinary bloke, he has shown recently how much of an out of touch git he can be.

    alex, I think you’re misjudging how the wider public sees things. Not everyone sees Key from the perspective of the ever hopeful left, who I think are out of touch with the mainstream world. The left of Labour who are supporting Cunliffe are dreaming if they think he would have wide appeal, especially compared to Key.

    People see Key saying some dicky things sometimes, that’s for sure, but it’s normal world dicky, jovial jousting.

    But I’m not surprised if Greens don’t see this, they tend to live in their own world and don’t see well outside that.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Yoza (1,816 comments) says:

    All Shearer need do to be Prime Minister after the 2014 election is hang on for grim death to the Labour party leadership.

    Realistically, the only hope National have is John Key. Without John Key the National party would not have had a hope in hell of winning the last two elections and by 2014 people could be getting a little bored with the Key ‘aw gee shucks ordinary bloke’ routine.

    Shearer’s biggest threat must surely be David Cunliffe – Grant Robertson and Andrew Little just do not measure up to Cunliffe’s capacity for appearing prime ministerial (for want of a better expression). Like Key for National, Cunliffe looks to be the only candidate who would fit the role of party leader.

    Either way – Shearer or Cunliffe – I will not be voting for Labour.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Paulus (2,608 comments) says:

    Think they should appoint Dr Russel Norman to head the party.
    He is making a better job of opposition than any of them can do.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. OneTrack (3,024 comments) says:

    Paulus, but, hopefully, eventually the msm will start asking Norman what his policies would actually look like in real life, not just fuzzy buzzwords. Unfortunately I suspect they wont ask those questions until after the election, when they will be accompanied by plantiff cries of “i didn’t think they would do that”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. duggledog (1,528 comments) says:

    Yoza I’m picking Key will abdicate after he wins the next election (just). Bronagh will be just about over it by then. Steven Joyce will be next, he’s got a great ability to tear even people like Mary Wilson a new one with his simple, logical arguments.

    Agree with you about Cunliffe though

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. alex (304 comments) says:

    @PG If we are quoting the Standard comments section, then how about this from Gobsmacked:

    “Politics junkies (i.e. us!) often think it’s only about a left/right scale. But to many uncommitted voters, it’s about competence. A PM in waiting.

    Shearer oozes incompetence. That may not be fair, but it’s painfully true.”

    Cunliffe, on the other hand, is a competent speaker. Far more so than Key. That is undeniable.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. s.russell (1,620 comments) says:

    As Pete and Harriet both point out, it does not matter much how good a race driver you are if you are driving a septic tank truck.

    In reaction to Rogernomics Labour has driven itself into an ideological corner, and has no interest in coming out of it. Rational thinking has been almost entirely purged (a bit like the US Republicans). What the party wants is someone who can take their loopy policies and sell them. They are still far from even thinking that maybe they need to be more mainstream and abandon loopiness.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. RF (1,380 comments) says:

    According to the sub standard Labour are drawing straws to see who replaces Shearer. Nothing like your party and followers supporting you.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    alex, I think you’re misjudging how the wider public sees things. Not everyone sees Key from the perspective of the ever hopeful left, who I think are out of touch with the mainstream world. The left of Labour who are supporting Cunliffe are dreaming if they think he would have wide appeal, especially compared to Key.

    You don’t get it.

    New Zealand is the same as the other western democracies in that the last 5 years has seen a general failure of political leadership. It’s evident to any observant person that the previous political settlement (inaugurated in NZ in 1984 and in other countries a few years earlier) is a dead duck. Most of the electorate still hasn’t woken up to that, and many of them live in hope that we can go back to the way things were, but that is not an option.

    In short: the “wider public” are currently deluded. But what they think hardly matters until after the fact.

    What will happen is what usually happens in these circumstances. Things will reach a tipping point, new political leaders will drag the country in a new direction, and the sheeple will line up behind them like always. There will be winners and losers, but a new equilibrium will replace the old one. It’s about time. These things last 30 years or so.

    Soon it will be the time for genuine leadership, not smile and wave, poll driven, social consensus politics.

    The first party to realise this and to install leader(s) capable of doing something about it, wins. Problem is that all the parties are moribund. Cunliffe is one of the few people in parliament with an original thought. National doesn’t have anyone. Winston is fun, but too old and set in his ways, and the Greens are the sort of whining, effete liberals who are incapable of accomplishing anything.

    Cunliffe would tear Key limb from limb because all he has to do to win is point out that the emperor has no clothes. He would be right to do so, because the political leaders of all the western nations have become nothing more than pointless windbags.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    Cunliffe would tear Key limb from limb because all he has to do to win is point out that the emperor has no clothes.

    I see that sentiment amongst activists on the left who think Cunliffe is the man. But there’s a major problem with what you say Tom – Key is seen as more genuine than Cunliffe, who comes across as a calculating chameleon who can’t be trusted.

    Sure Key makes a few tongue-ups, but that’s after four years of exposure and increasing scrutiny.

    Cunliffe can’t even get the Labour caucus to kick off his ambitions. They’d rather install and cling to a fumbling Shearer.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.