A snapper backfire

August 21st, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

I thought the stunt with he in the House yesterday looked awful for . I’m not against stunts per se, but you need to think about timing. You can pull off a stunt like that if you have been campaigning on an issue relentlessly and have driven the issue from the beginning. But with the exception of , Labour MPs have been almost missing from the campaign and only jumped on board in the last few days. So doing a stunt in Parliament looks like opportunism, not a cunning stunt. Such a stunt would work if it was an issue the Government was refusing to back down on, and had under-estimated the impact of. But to the contrary the PM has already made it clear there will be no major change, and he has been going up and down the country saying this is the issue I hear most about, not the GCSB. In fact the timing of the stunt was atrocious. It was on the day of the final debate on the details or committee stage of the GCSB Bill. By making the stunt the focus of question time, you implicitly are endorsing the PMs view that this is the bigger issue. Isaac Davidson at NZ Herald reports:

A fishy stunt in Parliament by Labour leader David Shearer appeared to backfire after it spawned a round of dead fish jokes. … Mr Key said parading dead fish in Parliament showed Mr Shearer’s PR team was also “dead” before demanding that he table the larger snapper so he could eat it for dinner. As Mr Shearer held up the two fish, Justice Minister Judith Collins shot back on Twitter: “Which of the 3 is likely to last longest?” while Act leader John Banks claimed he was “floundering over snapper

Heh.

Mr Shearer’s fish, which he had brought down from Auckland in his carry-on luggage, were placed back in a bag and ushered out of the debating chamber by deputy leader Grant Robertson.

Gone by lunchtime? The fish that is! On the substance of the issue I must point Labour are wrong when they say the Government has ruled out cuts to commercial quota. Another story quotes the energetic David Cunliffe:

MPI has been criticised for focusing on recreational sector cuts while ignoring commercial quota and wastage. Under Labour’s plan the burden for restoring fish stocks would be shared fairly between all sectors, Mr Cunliffe said. “Would we rule out cuts to commercial quota? No, we absolutely wouldn’t.”

But has MPI ignored commercial quota. Let’s look at Option 3 from the same story:

Option 3 * Reduces the recreational catch to 2370 tonnes and reduces the commercial quota to 4180 tonnes.

So how is that ignoring the commercial quota? I agree the MPI document doesn’t focus enough on it, but neither does it ignore it.

UPDATE: Jane Clifton also thinks the stunt backfired. She writes:

Ever since Don Brash, visiting a boatyard during an election campaign, was filmed “walking the plank”, politicians have been extra careful about avoiding unfortunate symbolism.

Unaccountably, the Opposition leader’s office forgot this wise precaution yesterday.

Either that, or no-one could manage to dissuade David Shearer, seeking to illustrate a point about snapper quota, from producing two of the fish in Parliament yesterday.

It would be interesting to know whose idea it was!

Prime Minister John Key sought leave for Mr Shearer to table the fish so he could get them cooked for his dinner. He had already made a meal of Mr Shearer. In an earlier own-goal, Mr Key had been gifted the opportunity to portray National-Labour discussions about a consensus on the new spying legislation as being akin to Monty Python’s fish-slapping dance.

Mr Shearer had asked Mr Key to confirm whether he or his office had held any meetings with Labour in the run-up to the bill. “I can’t believe he is asking that question,” Mr Key boggled, indicating that he would answer it, but it would not be fun for Mr Shearer if he did.

Mr Shearer said to bring it on – so falling into another question time heffalump pit. 

A heffalump pit – I love it!

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26 Responses to “A snapper backfire”

  1. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Was the smaller snapper even legal size?

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  2. Redbaiter (7,522 comments) says:

    Taxpayers are being looted to pay for all of this infantile crap.

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  3. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Was the smaller snapper even legal size?

    The one in the middle looked a little immature

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  4. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    At least Shearer is the Opposition leader. Heaven help us if he ever becomes PM.

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  5. rangitoto (191 comments) says:

    Doesn’t he know dead fish will attract sharks. They are already circling.

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  6. GPT1 (2,087 comments) says:

    cunning stunt – how many times did you check this before clicking send?!

    Poor sod even looked embarrassed doing it.

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  7. Griff (6,699 comments) says:

    National has egg on its face on how it proposed to treat the recreational fishers.

    It is a public resource that has been given to fisheries that are not adding value to the product or adding as much value to our economy as a vibrant recreational and charter fishing industry’s do.

    Taking quota of the commercial industry and placing it into the recreational sector would give us a far better return on the resource.
    http://www.ozcoasts.gov.au/indicators/econ_cons_rec_fisheries.jsp

    One of the most important target fish for recreational fishers in North Queensland is the Barramundi fishery. Of the estimated 867 tonnes of Barramundi caught by commercial fishers in 2000, an additional 289 tonnes is likely to have been caught by recreational fishers [3]. According to Rutledge et al. (1990), fillets of Barramundi are worth considerably more to a recreational fisher than to a commercial fisher. Estimates of the direct cost or expenditure for recreational fishers targeting Barramundi, including travel costs, suggest a value of approximately $51 per recreational fish and approximately $19 per commercial fish (assuming the fish weigh approximately 3kg). The study goes further, and estimates the flow-on or multiplier effects to the state and regional economies in Queensland from recreational Barramundi fishers to be approximately three. According to Rutledge et al. (1990), a single Barramundi caught by a recreational fisher could be worth $153 to the economy of Queensland

    http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2013/03/07_noaa_report_finds_commercial_and_recreational.html

    The annual report also breaks down the sales impacts, income impacts and job figures for each coastal state. The five states that generated the most jobs from fishing in 2011 were California, Massachusetts, Florida, Washington, and Alaska. The states with the most growth in the number of commercial fishing jobs compared to 2010 were Alabama (76 percent, net increase of 4,743 jobs), Mississippi (45 percent, net increase of 1,722 jobs), Oregon (32 percent, net increase of 4,483 jobs), Louisiana (29 percent, net increase of 7,272 jobs), and Alaska (17 percent, net increase of 9,288 jobs).

    The greatest portion of the nation’s landings revenue generated by the commercial fishing industry was in Alaska ($1.9 billion), followed by Massachusetts ($433 million), and Maine ($381 million).

    Saltwater recreational fishing generated its highest economic effect in sales impacts and jobs in West Florida ($4.9 billion sales, 47,000 jobs) East Florida ($3.3 billion sales, 29,000 jobs); Louisiana ($2 billion sales, 18,000 jobs); North Carolina ($2 billion sales, 18,000 jobs); Texas ($1.9 billion sales, 15,000 jobs); and New Jersey (1.7 billion sales, 10,000 jobs).

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  8. rangitoto (191 comments) says:

    National hasn’t proposed anything yet. The proposal came from the ministry.

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  9. iMP (2,231 comments) says:

    I would say on a Scale of one to ten, this Floundering for the Sole of the Labour Shoal is the last Straw (a Ten Pointer to finish on, to quote Lockwood Smith) for the Shearer Camel’s back, to mix our menagerie metaphors. And I didn’t wangle a Mallard in there once…dang.

    If Shearer wants to survive, he’ll have to play a different Tuna.

    Oh this is gonna be great fun for cartoonists…

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  10. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    And this loser is going to try and run the nation! Not only does he look and sound like a Basin Reserve derelict, he is now behaving as one . . . at the expense of poor taxpayers.

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  11. BeaB (2,056 comments) says:

    After shooting himself in both feet yesterday, I wonder how Shearer explained himself to his BFF Russel Norman. “Sorry we left you out, mate. It was that nasty John Key. I begged him to include you but he swept me off my feet.”

    But the worst part was the way he turned off the spotlight on the GCSB after all the work his colleagues had put into question time etc. I bet they are still seething. Idiot.

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  12. Tinshed (77 comments) says:

    Just like the snapper, David Shearer is a fish out of water.

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  13. Scott Chris (5,870 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock posted this Python skit earlier on GD. Very apt:

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  14. Cunningham (811 comments) says:

    How can anyone with such poor judgement hope to run a country? Time and time again he just shows he doesn’t have it. In fact I don’t think he even has the skills to be an MP let alone leader of the main opposition party. When are they going to put him out of his misery? As humourous as it is watching him shoot himself in the foot all the time, we seriously need a better effort from our opposition then this guy is able to provide. In fact it is actually embarassing for NZ. At least we don’t have Rudd I suppose

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  15. thedavincimode (6,519 comments) says:

    which he had brought down from Auckland in his carry-on luggage

    Oh dear. Let’s just sum up.

    1. Shearer has Sunday night brain wave.
    2. Monday, Shearer buys fish. Hopefully has sense to put in fridge overnight rather than straight into luggage.
    3. Tuesday am early, Shearer feigns the usual sickie to try and get out of heading off to Parliament. Mrs S throws him into the shower telling him it’s his own stupid fault and that he ignored her when she told him he was too stupid to be an MP, let alone labour leader, and that he was going to damn well go to Wellington and face the consequences.
    4. Shearer tosses snapper into carry on luggage.
    5. Shearer cabs to airport.
    6. Shearer waits for plane. Fellow passengers look at him strangely with a combination of sniffing and grimacing (the ‘who farted’ look).
    7. Shearer boards plane leaving magic trail of snapper juice trailing from carry on luggage. Random cat sightings.
    8. Shearer places fish luggage in the overhead locker next to a $5,000 cashmere coat (to the subsequent consternation of it’s owner). Flight crew now join in with the nose wrinkling and ‘who farted’ type grimaces.
    9. Shearer disembarks at Wellington leaving another trail of magic snapper juice. More random cat sightings (different cats).
    10. Shearer cabs to Parliament. Wrinkled nose/who farted grimace from cab driver.
    11. Shearer unpacks fish and heads to chamber anticipating that finally, after all the trials and tribulations, the back-stabbing and the ridicule, the day will produce a magnificent triumph with him being acclaimed the natural leader of the land.

    Now, the truly remarkable thing about this chain of events is after his Sunday night brainwave, with two days to plan and consider this theatrical masterpiece, Shearer still thought it would be a good idea. This was not a spur of the moment thing. It was a calculated and premeditated act of stupidity. Cunners couldn’t have produced a better result if he’d scripted and directed it himself.

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  16. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    Even worse, Shearer had absolutely zero interest in this issue until Key told Campbell that there was more interest in snapper than in GCSB. It’s like Labour have left Key in charge of Labour’s election campaign, but they receive Key’s campaign advice by watching Campbell Live and making notes.

    What if Key had told Campbell Live that more people were interested in pursuing transvesticism than GCSB? Would Shearer have turned up in parliament wearing a dress and lipstick?

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  17. thedavincimode (6,519 comments) says:

    What if Key had told Campbell Live that more people were interested in pursuing transvesticism than GCSB? Would Shearer have turned up in parliament wearing a dress and lipstick?

    I’m sure you already know the answer to that. The real difficulty is in deciding whether it would have been funnier. Either way, Shearer has ensured that his political future sleeps with the fishes.

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  18. dad4justice (7,725 comments) says:

    Pathetic antic’s from pathetic socialist parasites. The poor kiwi taxpayer must be truly pissed off with the wasted spaces that inhabit that cauldron of madness they call the beehive.

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  19. OneTrack (2,564 comments) says:

    “And this loser is going to try and run the nation”

    If Shearer gets in, Norman and Turei will be running the nation. They will just be running over him.

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  20. queenstfarmer (742 comments) says:

    “If Shearer gets in, Norman and Turei will be running the nation. They will just be running over him.”

    Aye. And the rest of his caucus. Shearer is a nice guy, but just a weak, weak leader.

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  21. s.russell (1,559 comments) says:

    “that inhabit that cauldron of madness they call the beehive”
    Actually, the Beehive is the executive arm. Labour MPs might want to occupy it, but fortunately, they don’t. and hopefully won’t, for a long time to come.

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  22. dubya (214 comments) says:

    I think the collective term ‘Heffalump Pit’ has already been taken by the VUWSA Feminist Branch Executive Committee.

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  23. Mark (1,356 comments) says:

    All a side issue to the point that recreational fishers are being shafted by the ministry here. What Shearer has or hasn’t done is largely irrelevant.

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  24. Mark (1,356 comments) says:

    It was a bit of a dick head stunt by Shearer but on the other side it certainly has got a bunch of National Party supporters on this blog frothing at the keyboard :)

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  25. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    Don’t forget Cunliffe, aka “Tojo”, was the greaser that told Japan, two years ago in a Dominion article, “allies should have been prepared to lose thousands more soldiers, in preference to dropping the bombs” ending World War II. He can never be forgiven for this piece of political crawling to the left.

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  26. RandySavage (196 comments) says:

    he did it for the halibut

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