The Press on Shearer

July 1st, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

editorial:

Shearer’s concerns are the more immediate. An opinion poll last week delivering a dismal ranking for both the party and Shearer personally was devastating to Labour. With National halfway into a less than easy second term, Labour was hoping that by now it would be shaping up much better. Shearer is not helped by his backers saying that if the poll results were converted to seats the party would be doing a little better than it had at the last election, because, as the critics point out, that election was a catastrophe for Labour.

Inspired by the brutal rolling of Julia Gillard across the Tasman, and keenly aware that the procedure here for Labour to remove its leader is much more drawn out and cumbersome, some in the party are saying that Shearer must start to do better by spring or be replaced.

We know this because one or more Labour MPs has spoken to both the One News and 3 News political editors. In fact it looks like more than one MP according to Q+A:

JESSICA Some of the MPs that we’ve been talking to behind the scenes this week have said two months is-

DAVID Well, nobody’s spoken to me about it, and I can tell you, I’d like to know who the MP is.

Not a good look to have to ask a reporter who is briefing against you!

JESSICA Is it hard not having the support completely of your caucus?

DAVID Look, I have the support of my caucus. I mean, the fact that you’ve spoken to one anonymous person, and I haven’t heard of any-

JESSICA I’ve actually spoken to several people.

That should ring some alarm bells. However I think Shearer will remain safe, so long as the ABC faction thinks there is a chance Cunliffe could win a ballot in case of a vacancy.

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21 Responses to “The Press on Shearer”

  1. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    The raw reality for Labour is this guy is not going to get better; he simply doesn’t have it. And as Brian Edwards has said, some polis are simply uncoachable, and he is one. Politically it’s great fun to watch. On a human level it is like being forced to watch a bear being baited.

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  2. Longknives (4,876 comments) says:

    The guy is an absolute dud- It staggers me that Labour don’t seem to realise it…

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  3. David Garrett (7,544 comments) says:

    They must realise it Knives…it is just a measure of how faction ridden they are that this poor bastard is the best alternative they have…he surely must watch himself on the TV – all polis do – and cringe as he stumbles and bumbles, and has journos barely out of puberty showing him up.

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  4. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    Longknives – many in Labour realise it. I haven’t seen any support of Shearer (and have seen much criticism and despair) over the past few days on the major leftie blogs.

    It’s obvious some in caucus realise it. And probably there are others who don’t want to admit to a monumental mistake.

    But there is no obvious alternative, and there is no one with the gumption to even try and go for the leadership. It’s like having a box of dud firecrackers, one has fizzled and the rest have got no spark to light.

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  5. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    I guess the problem for Labour is that you can’t make a case for anyone else but Dave C to be better, and the MPs hate him.

    The problems we have here go back to 2008 and the failure to renew after Clark’s defeat.

    There needed to be wholesale changes in list placing them to nurture new talent, instead the old stagers kept on going. In 2008 in was obvious that they were out of office for 6 years minimum, maybe 9. That was the time to make the change

    Seriously with people from history like King, Mallard and Goff taking up valuable places in the house they aren’t helping themselves.

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  6. Colville (2,300 comments) says:

    I see the problems Liarbor are having now as Hulluns greatest legacy. She was such a control freak and terrified of anyone with leadership potential so she kneecapped those around her and just had dullards like Mallard filling the benches.
    If She had cared about the Party then about 10 senior pollies would have been given marching orders in very early ’09 and they would not be in the shit they are now, or at least much shallower shit ;-)

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  7. Redbaiter (9,604 comments) says:

    Not interested.

    Shearer Cunliffe Key Collins— blah blah blah

    Who cares? Same old socialist shit.

    Bring on something/ someone new.

    I need relief from this suffocating socialist mire.

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  8. hmmokrightitis (1,595 comments) says:

    Plenty of cheap flights to Singapore at the moment so I hear :)

    As much as I like seeing the train wreck that is labour, this is actually getting to be almost an embarrasing joke. Im sure Shearer is a really nice bloke, but without the ability to cut some throats in that truly awful caucus of his, he is utterly screwed – its not if, but when. And I suspect when it does happen he will have a huge sense of releif to be done with the shit that he has to deal with now.

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  9. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    “Seriously with people from history like King, Mallard and Goff taking up valuable places in the house they aren’t helping themselves.”

    It’s not just that they are taking up space, there are claims that all of them are playing internal politics behind the scene, especially of the undermining type. The only thing that changes is who they undermine.

    The worst of the three from Labour’s point of view must be Mallard. He keeps repeating that he is mid career, he keeps saying he has no intent to be in the spotlight as leader, and he has virtually no rank to be demoted from.

    But he wants to run everything, from Parliament to election campaigns to leaders. He is the one that most wants a proxy leader into the future – he wants the power without the scrutiny.

    Labour’s main sickness is a Mallardy.

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  10. david (2,563 comments) says:

    How long is Cunnliffe likely to hang around malodorous-like on an opposition back-bencher’s salary do you reckon?

    I always took him for a go-getter type, more “wham, bam, thank you maam now who is next?” than ‘let’s sit around, form, a committee and have a cup-o-char while we count the numbers” kinda guy.

    How then is he comfortable with lets just give David another 60 days?

    Time must be pressing heavily on his ambitions and it would be my pick that unless he can feed his ego something substantial fairly soon he will be out of there.

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  11. BeaB (2,148 comments) says:

    If Shearer had any self-respect or even self-knowledge, he would step aside voluntarily instead of twitching and stumbling his way through interviews. It’s a sad spectacle even for those of us who hold little brief for the Labour. But it’s getting to the stage when saying he is a nice guy isn’t enough. He must have the hide of a rhino or be a bit dumb.

    But the Left is always fatally factionalised and, unless they have someone in charge like Helen Clark who scares the poop out of them, they will keep choosing the least threatening leader and spend more time arguing among themselves than trying to win an election. Long may it last!

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  12. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    “How long is Cunnliffe likely to hang around malodorous-like on an opposition back-bencher’s salary do you reckon? ”

    My pick is 90 days after the next election. At this point if he’s not leader of the opposition or a senior cabinet minister than he’ll decide the game isn’t worth playing and go overseas and earn a 7 figure salary.

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  13. dishy (248 comments) says:

    Shearer kept telling Jessica Mutch yesterday that Key’s harbour crossing works are 17 years out; that they won’t start until 2020. If that’s his grip on numbers, no wonder he doesn’t seem bothered by the polls.

    He also reckons that “everybody knows” that National won’t be the government in 2020. How can he be certain? Because he can, that’s how. Well, that’s what he’d say.

    His capacity to be a twat knows no bounds.

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  14. lastmanstanding (1,302 comments) says:

    Please don’t let them get rid of Mr Mumblef…. Hes the best chance of the Nats winning next year. What with the Maori Party about to implode and be absorbed by Hones Mana Party the Socialist Party has got to be kept under the 30% mark if the Nats are to win. IMHO Banks and Dunne will stand down so the Nats will get 2 more seats but that wont help them if they cant win at least close to 50% of the party vote as they will have no coalition partners.
    I don’t believe Luigi will go with them. He will want to be Deputy PM and either Treasurer or Min of Foreign Affairs and no way will Key English or McCully allow that to happen.

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  15. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    “I don’t believe Luigi will go with them. He will want to be Deputy PM and either Treasurer or Min of Foreign Affairs and no way will Key English or McCully allow that to happen.”

    If the choice is giving WRP what he wants or walking to the opposition benches do you seriously think they’ll pick opposition ?

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  16. thaksinsproposal (40 comments) says:

    I think I agree with Alan Johnstone (425) 12.29 immediately above. That is if it comes to the crunch would the NZ Nat party seriously confine themselves to opposition rather than give Luigi a high ranking position. After all what damage came of his Foreign affairs work with Helegrand.
    But the difficulty for conservative NZ First voters is that we can not be sure, and NZ First can never indicate because probably 60% of support is from centre left. In the end if this thing is too close our votes should probably go back to safe camp NZ Nat.

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  17. OneTrack (3,228 comments) says:

    “If the choice is giving WRP what he wants or walking to the opposition benches do you seriously think they’ll pick opposition ?”

    – I am not sure Key would agree to it. Vote Winston, get Red and Mana. That’s going to be one bloody expensive gold card. I hope it will be worth it to the old dears.

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  18. RF (1,452 comments) says:

    I always believed that the good guys “came last”. Shearer has blown this out of the water as although he is coming last in the polls he is not a good guy. Dead man walking would describe him. For Christs sake someone put him out of his misery as its too painful to watch.

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  19. RF (1,452 comments) says:

    Just had a phone call from a usually reliable source within Labours ranks. Recent Internal polling has put them in the high 20s and this is causing problems for Shearer who is in denial. In spite of him claiming that his caucus is happy with him. Bull shit.

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  20. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    RF – there have been a few stories about Labour internal polling have dropped to something starting with 2, which will understandably have a few of them worried. And despite what Shearer has said recently his body language has betrayed him. He may be denying on the outside, but I suspect he feels his predicament. He just hasn’t yet come to terms with dealing with it.

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  21. RF (1,452 comments) says:

    PG 9.38pm. Wellington is a hot bed of gossip most times however some stories are very consistent. The Labour one is causing serious concerns in caucus as several want to dump him now and others want to hold off and will be watching polls due out soon. It’s not if he goes but when.

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