A Standard strategy

I was fascinated to see commenting on several times, in different threads. In one comment she said:

I hope more colleagues engage on the Standard, a must read for me. Constructive comment and exchange of ideas would be of two way benefit.

This is quite remarkable considering David Shearer has said how he never reads the blogs, and his caucus and office have tried to poo-poo any influence they have.

I joked on Twitter:

The really impt vote in caucus was to select who would be sacrificial MP to post on The Standard. Annette got short straw 🙂

But I think there is substance behind the joke. Smart people in Labour know they can not afford to have the most read blog on the left remain a cesspit of anti-Shearer hatred. So they obviously decided on a strategy of waiting until Shearer wins the leadership vote and then do two things.

  1. Have Labour-friendly authors post how it is time for people to accept the leadership is settled, and that it is time to focus on defeating National
  2. Send caucus members into The Standard to make them feel less alienated and constructively engaged

It’s a pretty smart strategy. I could guess who came up with it. It won’t be a silver bullet as the depth of ill-well runs very deep. It isn’t just against Shearer, but also Mallard, Curran and more generally the old guard (which makes the choice of Annette to engage with them a very smart one). But I do think it will work in reducing the level of hostility and bile.

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