Why Shearer failed

August 23rd, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Back in December 2011 I wrote:

On balance I think Shearer has a greater chance of leading Labour to victory, for reasons I have written about previously. But I will say that Shearer is a somewhat risker option. There is greater potential to wins over the hearts and minds of New Zealanders and get Labour’s party vote back into the mid 30s or highers. But there is also a greater risk that Shearer just can’t hack it, and Labour stays weak or gets weaker.

So why did Shearer fail? I think it is a bit superficial to say it is just because he was a nice man, not hard enough for politics. I think there were a number of factors.

  1. Failed to capitalise on his background to portray himself as an “anti-politician”. The public love outsiders and don’t like insiders when it comes to politics. That is why both Don Brash and John Key did so well in the polls. Shearer needed to focus on being the Michael Joseph Savage type of leader who set out his vision for New Zealand, and didn’t spend every second criticising the Government. A classic example is he said he wanted to avoid “gotcha” politics yet for around 150 question times in a row his question to the PM has been a gotcha “do you stand by all your statements” type question.
  2. Didn’t gather the right staff around him. I’m not blaming the staff, as they are often unfairly blamed for things. But is has been apparent that there were no senior staff with the authority and respect to impose the leader’s decisions on the wider parliamentary team.
  3. The old guard remained in control. Shearer was their candidate to stop Cunliffe, but they remained dominant, which meant the caucus never unified.
  4. No strategy. Labour’s major policies appeared to be focus group driven to respond to concerns about foreigners and the like. There was no over-arching strategy which was about having known for three things he would do differently that could resonate with people.
  5. No political management of the party. The change to the leadership rules, the further entrenching of union power, the man ban proposals all happened on his watch and undermined him. To be fair to him, normally deputy leaders take care of most of the party management issues and one can speculate as to why this didn’t happen in this case!
  6. A lack of confidence with media and speaking. Shearer can be an excellent speaker when he is saying what he really thinks and believes. But too often he was having to promote policies which I think he was half hearted about. When you have to think about what is the correct thing to say – rather than to just speak from instinct, makes the job harder. It is a skill you can learn, and he struggled with. But when speaking more off the cuff to large groups he could be very persuasive.

I regard the first of my points as the most important. Labour should have developed a 33 month strategy around how to position David Shearer as the next Prime Minister, and then developed policies, communication plans and the like which all worked within that strategy. They needed to have major vision and policy announcements far earlier in the piece so the public would want to hear more and more of the man who would be PM.

The Dom Post editorial notes:

However, Mr Shearer’s biggest failing was that he was never able to convey the impression that there was anything he particularly wanted to achieve as prime minister. On his watch Labour responded to public anxiety about the high cost of housing by unveiling proposals for a government home building programme, a capital gains tax and a ban on foreigners investing in the residential property market. The party responded to concerns about the high cost of electricity by promising to scrap the electricity market and put the industry back under the control of Wellington bureaucrats. Housing and electricity costs are both issues that resonate with focus groups but neither are the sort to excite supporters or persuade the politically undecided to get out of their armchairs.

As leader Mr Shearer was a stunt in search of a philosophy. The strategy concocted around him did not wash and, with the help of his colleagues, he rightly came to the conclusion that things were not going to get any better while he remained leader.

I think this is right. Shearer was meant to be a leader who could appeal to centrist voters, but instead his caucus and advisors pushed him to the left, so that Labour was pushing populist and nationalist policies that appeal to hard left and Green voters, and an overall policy agenda well to the left of the Clark/Cullen Government.

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100 Responses to “Why Shearer failed”

  1. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    I liked Shearer when he was first proposed as leader of the Labour party and was pleased when he became so. I was looking forward to two “everyday” people vying to lead NZ as opposed to the boring battles of professional politicians and veteran protestors who have never earned their own money. Where I lost faith in Shearer was in his ability to completely sound like a sock puppet. He never seriously seemed to believe half of the words he was saying and it came across to me that he was more playing the part rather than being the part. I think if he’d been strong enough to be himself and say what he really believed, we’d have a strong credible opposition today.

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  2. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    The truth is the guy was hopeless.

    He failed how many times – three or four?- to get a party nomination, he got the leader’s job because of a squabbling party and he lacked any kind of leadership skills, charisma, decisiveness, even eloquence. Worse, he had no real support or guidance from his senior caucus members.
    He had no political ‘nose’ and his stunts were dire.

    He was a UN bureaucrat and, with any luck, Labour will choose another boring bureaucrat who has never had a proper job, lives a cushy Wellington life and, no doubt, cruises its many gay haunts.

    John Key will have the fun of seeing off his fourth Labour leader!

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  3. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    I’ve moved on.

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  4. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    “advisors pushed him to the left, so that Labour was pushing populist and nationalist policies that appeal to hard left and Green voters”

    With the potential candidates in line to take over and the increasing strength of Unions within Labour, this is not going to change one bit.

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  5. kowtow (8,439 comments) says:

    Helen’s in the country. Too much of a coincidence?

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  6. Redbaiter (8,801 comments) says:

    Shearer was taken down by the far left. People like Chris Trotter continually chipped away at his leadership and they eventually deposed the soft left Shearer, with the intent of installing the extreme left Cunliffe.

    The funny thing is, as with most Labour politicians, Shearer was actually a lot further left than he was portrayed as. He hated capitalism and wanted to bring it down.

    Cunliffe also hates capitalism and wants to bring it down, but he’s a bit more passionate about it than Shearer.

    So the extreme left have got what they wanted. Cunliffe will be leader, the NZ public will be deceived by Cunliffe’s media suckholes, and he could even end up PM.

    I am not worried. Cunliffe or Key, does it really matter? The sooner the socialist train wreck reaches the end of the line the sooner we can rebuild, so let’s get on with it.

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  7. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Shearer needed to focus on being the Michael Joseph Savage type of leader who set out his vision for New Zealand.

    That’s about as realistic as saying he should focus on trying to become heavyweight champion of the world (although NZ might be in reach, since his last fight showed that most people would seem to be able to beat Sonny Bill Williams).

    On the one hand Shearer is a bland McPolitician; on the other hand “vision” in politics has become nothing more than a media slogan. Politicians like Savage, Kennedy and Thatcher had visions. Politicians like Key, Blair and Rudd have only the appearance of visions – hysteria whipped up around remixed versions of more of the same.

    Whatever your opinions of the Cold War, at least it made ideas matter in politics for some of the time.

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  8. Nostalgia-NZ (5,193 comments) says:

    ‘However, Mr Shearer’s biggest failing was that he was never able to convey the impression that there was anything he particularly wanted to achieve as prime minister.’

    One of the better comments over the last couple of days along with DPF’s view that Shearer failed to grasp the opportunity as being seen as coming from outside politics as both Brash and Key had done. Additionally agree that he didn’t have a Michael Savage type vision for NZers that he was able to set out.

    He seemed to be in low idle, never able to get into gear and capture the public’s enthusiasm on something that he could show mattered and he would deliver on. And unfortunately he broke a pledge not to slip into personal politics, probably the fate of being surrounded by not just a few mercenary hyenas. In his favour he knew when to go.

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  9. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    The sooner the socialist train wreck reaches the end of the line the sooner we can rebuild, so let’s get on with it.

    Taking as our model the glorious state of Singapore, where freedom rings, and it’s against the law to walk around your own home naked.

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  10. smttc (752 comments) says:

    Cunliffe hates capitalism my arse. He is a chardonnay drinking lefty millionaire who lives in a big house in NZ’s most expensive suburb. He is a “do as I say, not as I do” redistributor. In other words, your garden variety hypocritical socialist.

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  11. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    I read somewhere that Shearer was regarded as less than hardworking in getting on top of policy, paperwork etc.

    What we all saw was a man in a job for which he was unsuited in just about every way imaginable.

    Yet Labour kept lying about him and their support for him. How are we meant to believe them?

    And when the media attack John Key for his supposed inability to gain cross-party support for the GCSB bill, perhaps the fact is he faced an impossible job with a dithery, crippled Shearer and a Labour caucus more focused on personal ambitions and political games than the public good.

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  12. Redbaiter (8,801 comments) says:

    “Taking as our model the glorious state of Singapore,”

    Off topic Tom, but you people have never got my single point about Singapore, which is that having no Progressive or Socialist political influence, they have achieved a far greater degree of wealth than countries where wealth generation has been undermined by the left.

    We can argue all day about freedoms etc, but it is not the point. Unless you address the comparison between the economic success of Singapore and the failures of socialist countries like NZ, you’re just blowing smoke.

    All countries could have the economic success of Singapore if they were likewise not plagued by the blight of the left. People like yourself and Helen Klark and David Shearer whose brains were destroyed at university to an extent they will never recover. Spouting idiotic mantras about social justice and equality, and all the while, poisoning the well of economic prosperity. Destroying so much.

    Without you, we would soar.

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  13. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    BeaB – Someone like David Shearer and John Key cannot keep on top of their paperwork by ‘hard work’ – they need to delegate – particularly to the deputy leader and chief of staff. Problem is David Shearer seemed to have a deputy leader imposed on him, and one more intent on when to wield the knife rather than support the leader, and chiefs of staff turning over at an alarming rate (and again probably imposed on him). David had no ‘Heather Simpson’ type to help maintain order. To make matters worse, David was also probably maliciously being snowed under with paperwork.

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  14. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    I think this is right. Shearer was meant to be a leader who could appeal to centrist voters, but instead his caucus and advisors pushed him to the left, so that Labour was pushing populist and nationalist policies that appeal to hard left and Green voters, and an overall policy agenda well to the left of the Clark/Cullen Government.

    I think its more that Key saw weakness in the Labour camp and moved the Nats policy base toward the left to take up more of the center (and 49% approval). Shearer and Goff before him were not good enough to go head to head with Key so Labour were forced to steal the Gweens ideas and look like policy parrots.

    The New Guy will have to go toe to toe with Key to regain the center while protecting his left flank from constant attack from the ginga Dr, this wont be easy to do with Helen Kellys arm shoved up his arse and spouting the brought and paid for union adgenda.

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  15. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Off topic Tom, but you people have never got my single point about Singapore, which is that having no Progressive or Socialist political influence, they have achieved a far greater degree of wealth than countries where wealth generation has been undermined by the left.

    At the expense of democracy, civil liberties, etc.

    Many of our grandfathers fought against your ilk.

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  16. kiwi in america (2,441 comments) says:

    Excellent analysis. Given Labour’s puddle deep talent pool, Shearer was the ABC candidate to a good chunk of caucus. When you select a leader for essentially negative internal party factional distrust reasons, no amount of back story was going to paper over this underlying truth. As you note, if Shearer was ever going to resonate he was going to have to be left to be his own man a la Don Brash. Labour’s strategists saw electoral salvation in staunching the flow of the soft centre left vote to the cool politically virginal Greens by lurching left and co-opting a chunk of Green policy before the Greens launched it. This left an essentially cerebral, deep thinking man with centrist instincts to lead a party trying to resurrect the progressive fervor of Michael Joseph Savage and all he became was a square peg in a round hole without the natural media instincts of say Lange who could manage an ideological chameleon act. When you have to ward off potential internal knifings, psychologically you are concentrating on your back and not the sunny, upbeat big picture vision stuff to inspire middle NZ to give you a go over John Key.

    Labour’s conundrum remains regardless of their leader – National under Key has laid down solid foundations across a swathe of middle New Zealand (much the way Holyoake did) and Key’s superb political instincts, sunny disposition, rags to riches back story and phenomenal attention to the minutiae of governing has enabled his Cabinet and caucus to solidify its grip on the electorally rich centre ground. Labour’s paucity of caucus and activist talent from middle NZ has left them reacting to this political landscape from the narrow partisan lens of unionists, feminists and the rainbow coalition. With the Greens and Cunliffe breathing down his neck from the left and heading a party bereft of people from heartland NZ to argue for truly contesting the centre (or at least to be SEEN to be there – something Clark, Simpson and Cullen well understood), it’s no wonder Shearer succumbed to a strategy of demonizing Key, strident politicization (as opposed to the traditional bi partisan approach) of the GCSB law revision and a potpourri of business-unfriendly, xenophobic, populist economic policies all the while being utterly blind to the electoral poison of his own party’s internal wranglings (the man ban and the constitutional changes giving unions the swing vote in deciding the leadership!)

    The left thinks the only thing that is wrong with their position is they just need someone to explain their policies better and NZ will ‘come home’ and forget John Key. For that reason I predict Cunliffe will prevail because he is the most articulate of the likely contenders. But the political dynamics of Labour in the Key era have not changed. Cunliffe may be able to articulate the policy better but with an increasing head wind of an improving economy, the media obsession of the GCSB now replaced with a juicy leadership stoush and a confident looking Key, Cunliffe will get little more than a new leader bounce.

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  17. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    this wont be easy to do with Helen Kellys arm shoved up his arse.

    No wonder he wants to be Labour leader.

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  18. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Perhaps one of the biggest ‘problems’ for Shearer was that he had to spend an inordinate amount of time watching his back, when he should have been spending the time promoting Labour policies.

    The Labour party has (again) revealed their true colours – the only question was which faction within Caucus (and the Party) was going to bury the knife the deepest. The glaringly obvious fact that Robertson was nowhere to be seen when Shearer faced the cameras yesterday, confirms which faction led the charge.

    And, like others have already mentioned, I wonder if it’s a coincidence that the Klarkenfuhrer just happened to be in town…

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  19. kowtow (8,439 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson

    If you stood naked at your window here in Aotearoa formerly New Zealand , Constable Plod Person would come a knocking.

    I don’t think my rellies went to war to defend someones civil liberty to wander round his own home naked ,but then you never know.

    Walking around naked is not very civil at all. That’s what curtains are for.

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  20. Ross12 (1,425 comments) says:

    I think DPF’s number 1 above is correct but as others have said Shearer didn’t get the chance to achieve this because of the factions in Labour but I suspect also his staff were not allowed to do their jobs because the interference from others outside the leaders office , hence the high turn over of staff. But if I am right the Shearer was not strong enough to even lead his office.

    I see on the very unscientific poll on the Yahoo News site the current figures show Helen Clarke is not far behind Cunliffe as preferred new leader. Labour really have problems with the public.

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  21. Redbaiter (8,801 comments) says:

    “Many of our grandfathers fought against your ilk.”

    People are free to leave Singapore at their choosing. Just the other day you were saying NZers who leave this country should have their citizenship revoked.

    Don’t try and tell me that the left give a damn about liberty. Unlike the dopey little socialist morons who emerge from that joke you call an education system, I know my history and I therefore know exactly what you and your comrades stand for.

    All power you have ever gained in any so called “social democracy” has been gained by means of deceiving voters as to your real intent. And if you can’t gain it that way, you take it by murder and oppression.

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  22. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    So another Slam Dunk for John Key?

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  23. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    Peterwn Fair points but a leader has to keep on top of what’s going on and that means a lot of midnight oil. John Key doesn’t just stand up and spout.

    Helen Kelly spouting on National Radio when the CTU doesn’t have a vote. But good to remind us that the real power in Labour lies in the unions’ money and muscle.

    I think Cunliffe is a clever man but he should be a National MP.
    His Herne Bay supercilious manner is likely to turn off a lot of Labour voters who will then not vote or vote Green. Russel must be beside himself with glee.

    I also think Maryann Street, Ruth Dyson etc will demand there is a woman as leader or deputy.

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  24. Keeping Stock (10,337 comments) says:

    @ Elaycee – of course it’s not a coincidence; the Herald this morning reported:

    A source said there had been discussions for months, but nobody was willing to force the issue until Ms Street stepped up.

    One Labour source also said former Prime Minister Helen Clark had been “active” on the issue while in New Zealand over the past fortnight, speaking to some MPs about it.

    It is not known if Mr Shearer knew the no-confidence motion was coming, although some MPs close to him had heard rumours of it.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11112967

    Miss Clark may be working far away most of the time, but she has plenty of well-trained minions doing her bidding on the ground here. That includes the bloke known affectionately as H3; a former student politician who went on to work for Helen Clark in Parliament and is now the MP for Wellington Central. His name is Grant Robertson, and until yesterday he was David Shearer’s “loyal” deputy leader.

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  25. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    this has the potential to head into a divisive leadership battle for Labour. It appears that Caucus prefers Robertson and the Unions will probably support Cunliffe so the party choice seems all important here. Labour has been drifting to the left and further away from the voters that can get it back into power and Cunliffe will simply take it further to the left. I agree with KIA that with the GCSB bill passed and the economy starting to improve a messy Labour leadership scrap grabbing the headlines can only be great news for John Key and National.

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  26. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Given the ructions within Labour, Shearers CV seemed ideal at face value..

    In 1989 he was appointed as UN Co-ordinator for Humanitarian Operations in Africa and the Balkans and served as head of the Save the Children Fund in Rwanda, Somalia, Northern Iraq and Sri Lanka. In 1995 he served as the Senior Humanitarian Affairs Adviser in Liberia. From 1999 Shearer served in various UN posts including Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for the United Nations in Rwanda, Senior Humanitarian Adviser in Albania and Chief of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Belgrade. He then left the United Nations to work as an adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Phil Goff for two years.

    In 2002 Shearer returned to the United Nations, serving as a Senior Adviser to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. In February 2003 Shearer was appointed head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Jerusalem. During the conflict in Lebanon in 2006 he served as the Humanitarian Coordinator organising assistance for civilians caught up in the conflict between Israeli and Lebanon.

    Israel, Lebanon, Rwanda, Belgrade, Liberia, Afghanistan. He’s taken on some tough assignments. One would have thought that leading a team of 40 MP’s would be a doddle with that background. The fact that he has failed so totally could well say something about the state of the Labour party.

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  27. Redbaiter (8,801 comments) says:

    “I think Cunliffe is a clever man but he should be a National MP.”

    Yep, his Marxist political views and his social liberalism would make him right at home there.

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  28. Keeping Stock (10,337 comments) says:

    @ slightlyrighty – you got it. Somalian war-lords would be absolute lambs in comparison to the likes of Mallard, Little, Robertson, Fenton, Moroney and co. I’ll bet Shearer slept well last night, and is feeling years younger this morning.

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  29. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    Can’t wait to see Norman and Cunliffe “working together”. Add in Peters and Harawira and it will be the most glorious cock fight.

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  30. Keeping Stock (10,337 comments) says:

    @ Alan Wilkinson – you could say “The egos have landed” :D

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  31. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    Shearer has an impressive UN record but mainly as a member of a vast bureaucracy, very different from having to lead, think on your feet etc etc. In fact, watching his train wreck you have to ask exactly what kind of ragtag wretches those Somali ‘warlords’ actually were.

    UN bureaucrats live a relatively sheltered life even in trouble spots and enjoy the benefits of huge amounts of money. It is the biggest slush fund in the world and I know from first hand experience overseas with UNDP that much of the UN is deeply corrupt.

    I think it was another black mark that he never admitted exactly how much was in his secret bank account and how he got it.

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  32. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Oh well. I look forward to watching all the Cunliffe haters elevate him into the leadership while swearing everlasting loyalty – knowing he will be given the arse after John Key does him over in 2014.

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  33. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @Keeping Stock (10.28am): Agree.

    For 20 months, Shearer was a dead man walking. The factions within the Labour Caucus were hell bent (excuse the pun) on pursuing their own agendas and for many of them, that agenda did not include supporting their leader. And it seems the tentacles of Head Grinch still manage to pull levers within the Labour caucus – long after she had packed her bongos and headed off to New York.

    The glaring absence of ‘deputy leader’ Grant Robertson when Shearer fronted to pull the plug yesterday, says it all.

    The factions in the Labour Caucus are alive and well and I doubt any one person in Labour will be able to bring about unity – not until they have a massive clean out.

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  34. tvb (4,417 comments) says:

    It is obvious the old guard are still pulling strings namely King Goff and Mallard. They have been around for over 20 years and it is time they shoved off. Cunliffe is the person they should elect because he will dispose of them. But until Labour looks forward they will languish in the polls.

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  35. flipper (4,051 comments) says:

    Keeping says…

    *** That includes the bloke known affectionately as H3; a former student politician who went on to work for Helen Clark in Parliament and is now the MP for Wellington Central. His name is Grant Robertson, and until yesterday he was David Shearer’s “loyal” deputy leader. ****

    Surely you cannot be referring to the tubby rainbow?

    So, now let me see, the rainbow mob constitutes about 2, no let’s say 3 % of the population.
    I suspect that the % among pointy head effete snobs, the MSM and the trade union elite is somewhat higher. The student % would also be higher.

    But out in “Westie” land, outside the beltway, among the tradesmen/women and labourers, the farming and rural workers, the percentage would be close to zero.

    Whatever the percentage, they mostly vote labour or Commissar red melon now. Few will switch from Maori, Petersparty2, and none from the Craig party. I don’t know about the thing called Mana. They do not know what they are , or what they believe.

    Bring on the tubby rainbow, Crown rainbow Robertson, king(?) of Queens, and the labour red melons – sooner the better. (I wish!) :)

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  36. Keeping Stock (10,337 comments) says:

    @ Elaycee – I wondered this morning on my blog whether Shearer himself told Robertson not to bother pretending to be loyal any more and fronting the media. If that is the case, David Shearer has risen significantly in my estimation.

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  37. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    @DPF: I know you’re appealing to your audience, but several of your points have little evidence.

    1. “The public love outsiders and don’t like insiders when it comes to politics. That is why both Don Brash and John Key did so well in the polls.”

    This is not supported by the facts. For a start, Brash hardly did well in the polls. Did he ever get anywhere close to Clark in preferred prime minister polls? Further, both Key and Brash have little “real world experience” in terms of central NZ: Both have experience primarily as managers in big finance and that’s about it. Not something that centrist NZ relates to at all.

    2. “Labour’s major policies appeared to be focus group driven to respond to concerns about foreigners and the like.”

    Let’s relate this to Nationals handling of various things. Aaron Gilmore for instance. Nothing was done until Key saw the internal polling numbers. Within a day he was gone. Focus group/internal polling driven.

    If you want to critique Labour’s policy development, then point out that all they do is look at the work the Green’s have done, and adopt it as their own, possibly with alterations that make the policy less effective.

    3. “The change to the leadership rules, the further entrenching of union power”.

    Yes, I agree that union power *might* be an issue, if those in the unions allow it to be. If those in unions allow them to vote as a block, rather than voting individually, then this could be important as to who will become the next leader.

    But I don’t agree that this was the further entrenching of union power. Before this, said power was entrenched within caucas anyway – at least now the membership gets some input.

    4. “I think this is right. Shearer was meant to be a leader who could appeal to centrist voters, but instead his caucus and advisors pushed him to the left, so that Labour was pushing populist and nationalist policies that appeal to hard left and Green voters, and an overall policy agenda well to the left of the Clark/Cullen Government.”

    Ah, the line the Nats are running is being pushed nicely here: The comparison of the “centre right” to the “hard left”.

    I see little evidence that the introduction of a CGT, building more housing, or a national power retailer is particularly to the left of the Clark government that gave us interest free student loans, working for families, increased tax on the wealthy and so on.

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  38. flipper (4,051 comments) says:

    Elaycee…
    Your point of the tubby rainbow says it all!
    Say, I wonder whether he cooks well?????

    (Just to clarify…
    I am quite happy to apply live and let live to homosexuals. But I have become heartily sick of having the sexual preferences of 2% shoved down my throat – as, I suspect, are most others. )

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  39. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    I have become heartily sick of having the sexual preferences of 2% shoved down my throat

    Care to re-phrase that?

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  40. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    @TDM – snap!

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  41. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (888 comments) says:

    Look guys, why do we care. Let the tax and spend party crash and burn. That has to be good for NZ.

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  42. flipper (4,051 comments) says:

    thedavincimode (5,232) Says:
    August 23rd, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I have become heartily sick of having the sexual preferences of 2% shoved down my throat

    Care to re-phrase that
    *****

    Remove the sexual innuendo, and let it stand :)
    Well noticed.

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  43. david (2,557 comments) says:

    It would be timely and quite interesting sometime to have a bit of a discussion around the role of an opposition in modern politics.

    Since the early 90’s (possibly since the rise and rise of Helen Clark but I might be wrong) it seems to have developed into having a prime purpose of weakening the incumbent Government. More often than not that turns into constant attempts at kneecapping individuals and we can look at Lockwood Smith vs Philip Field and the incessant attempts to personally denigrate John Key as examples.

    Personally, I would rather that a “strong opposition” was defined as one which argued for improvement of Government Policy or suggested alternatives and forced the Government to justify it’s policies on the grounds of logic, science and commonsense. It fact David Parker has been about the only Opposition MP who has consistently taken this approach. It doesn’t seem to have earned him any Brownie points however.

    Meanwhile the mindset that Labour needs a leader who can destroy John Key and in some way show him up is a continuation of the same lowest common denominator approach. It would be nice to see a shift to “credible alternative government” instead of “pack of rabid attack dogs in a blood lust” that we currently see.

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  44. Nookin (3,341 comments) says:

    “I am quite happy to apply live and let live to homosexuals. But I have become heartily sick of having the sexual preferences of 2% shoved down my throat – as, I suspect, are most others. )”

    Then why do you raise it and call him the “tubby rainbow”?
    You are the one that seems to have an issue with that. I have not yet seen Robertson try and thrust his sexuality anywhere.

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  45. backster (2,171 comments) says:

    I think he was set up by Robertson in respect to ‘ The Question John Key couldn’t believe he asked’ Key gave him an out which he was too stupid to take because Roberston beside him was leading the barracking for Key to answer the question. I think Key knew what was going on but had to answer it and Shearer was so humiliated that it became clear even to him that the time had come. Clark no doubt has offered him a job when he quietly exits at the next election……Its hard to believe he has any ability at hard nosed negotiating.
    Cindy was leading the ‘Stuff’ poll for new leader but she won’t get it, not ugly enough, and needs a civil union of convenience to appeal to Labour elite.

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  46. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    Oh what a lovely thought. Our first openly gay PM having a wedding!

    That would put NZ on the map!

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  47. thedavincimode (6,759 comments) says:

    I have not yet seen Robertson try and thrust his sexuality anywhere.

    What can I say? :)

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  48. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    backster
    It seemed to me when I was watching it that Shearer walked into that secret meeting question all by himself.

    Love the commentators who seem to think John Key will be scared of debating Cunliffe. Have they forgotten he saw off Helen Clark and Phil Goff?

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  49. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    The Labour leader is simply a frontman for particular special-interest groups conspiring to plunder the workers.

    To be successful he or she needs to be good at selling huge, Goebbels-size lies about how the party is actually there to help the very workers they are exploiting.

    Clark was great at this. Shearer was rubbish.

    Oh he was happy to lie to your face. He just wasn’t any good at it.

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  50. flipper (4,051 comments) says:

    ***Then why do you raise it and call him the “tubby rainbow”?
    You are the one that seems to have an issue with that. I have not yet seen Robertson try and thrust his sexuality anywhere.” ***
    ……

    Because, Nookin, in case you had not noticed he is part of the rainbow cabal that pushed the “man ban”, and pushes beyond the 2% they represent. And he does flaunt his “sexuality”. Just check around inside the Beltway.
    But did I strike a nerve Nookie?

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  51. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    @flipper: I’m intrigued as to why sexuality is required to be in scare quotes.

    One presumes you have evidence of his flaunting thereof, inside this Beltway you speak of.

    Is inside the beltway neither below nor above the belt?

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  52. kowtow (8,439 comments) says:

    A queer PM putting NZ on the map?

    Iceland got there first and has been transformed into a progressive paradise by having a lezzer PM.

    They are actually a secular feminist Taliban.Control freaks that the lefty MSM adore.

    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/mar/25/iceland-most-feminist-country

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  53. Nookin (3,341 comments) says:

    Bigots always strike a nerve with me Floppy!
    Why don’t you flag the ad hom crap?

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  54. Mobile Michael (451 comments) says:

    I’d go more basic. Shearer was suggested as a leader who would be outside the Clark years, had a good backstory of achievement on par with John Key, able to present a moderate face to voters. At no point did anybody say, “Shearer will be a natural fit for Labour.”

    Not sure Cunliffe or Robertson fit that description either – out of the two, Cunliffe will be better.

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  55. Yoza (1,872 comments) says:

    The old guard remained in control. Shearer was their candidate to stop Cunliffe, but they remained dominant, which meant the caucus never unified.

    This is the only point that seems relevant. Shearer was imposed on the membership by caucus and ever since a significant enough portion of that membership has mounted a determined campaign to get rid of him. If I was a part of that campaign I would now be turning my attention to those ‘old guard’ apparatchiks to see how they could be most efficiently retired.

    The Shearer debacle was a caucus gamble that failed miserably and those responsible for orchestrating such a failure should fall on their swords.

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  56. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    The Shearer debacle was a caucus gamble that failed miserably and those responsible for orchestrating such a failure should fall on their swords

    care to list them for us Yoza?

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  57. tas (625 comments) says:

    Labour failed because they kept copying policies from a party that just broke double digits.

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  58. Fisiani (1,039 comments) says:

    Whenever I think of Grant Robertson -student union leader, political activist, Helen Clark ‘s office boy I hear a tune in my head,
    ARTIST: Gilbert and Sullivan
    TITLE: The First Lord’s Song
    Lyrics and Chords

    [HMS Pinafore]

    [Capo 3]

    When I was a lad I served a term
    As office boy to an attorney’s firm
    I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor
    And I polished up the handle of the big front door
    He polished up the handle of the big front door
    I polished up that handle so carefully
    That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
    He polished up that handle so carefully
    That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy

    / G Bm / C D / G Bm / C D / D – /
    / G – / C G / G – / CD G /

    As office boy I made such a mark
    That they gave me the post of a junior clerk
    I served the writs with a smile so bland
    And I copied all the letters in a big round hand
    He copied all the letters in a big round hand
    I copied all the letters in a hand so free
    That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
    He copied all the letters in a hand so free
    That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy

    In serving writs I made such a name
    That an articled clerk I soon became
    I wore clean collars and a brand-new suit
    For the Pass Examination at the Institute
    For the Pass Examination at the Institute
    And that Pass Examination did so well for me
    That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
    That Pass Examination did so well for he
    That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy

    Of legal knowledge I acquired such a grip
    That they took me into the partnership
    And that junior partnership I ween
    Was the only ship that I ever had seen
    Was the only ship that he ever had seen
    But that kind of ship so suited me
    That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
    But that kind of ship so suited he
    That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy

    I grew so rich that I was sent
    By a pocket borough into Parliament
    I always voted at my party’s call
    And I never thought of thinking for myself at all
    No, he never thought of thinking for himself at all
    I thought so little, they rewarded me
    By making me the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
    He thought so little, they rewarded he
    By making him the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy

    Now, landsmen all, whoever you may be
    If you want to rise to the top of the tree
    If your soul isn’t fettered to an office stool
    Be careful to be guided by this golden rule
    Be careful to be guided by this golden rule
    Stick close to your desks and never go to sea
    And you all may be Rulers of the Queen’s Navy
    Stick close to your desks and never go to sea
    And you all may be Rulers of the Queen’s Navy

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  59. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    But I have become heartily sick of having the sexual preferences of 2% shoved down my throat

    Why do conservatives inevitably use fellatio metaphors in this context? (the other one is complaining that gays are “waving it in our faces”).

    Why don’t you guys just give in to your cravings and smoke some dick?

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  60. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Unlike the dopey little socialist morons who emerge from that joke you call an education system, I know my history.

    I nevar went t’ skewl, but I knoes more than all youse who did dat commie book larnin’.

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  61. iMP (2,384 comments) says:

    So Fisiani, what you’re saying, rather lyrically, is that the Lab caucus is now called “the Queen’s Na-vy”?

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  62. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Love the commentators who seem to think John Key will be scared of debating Cunliffe. Have they forgotten he saw off Helen Clark and Phil Goff?

    Yep, if Cunliffe becomes leader, JK will roast Cunliffe like a pig on a spit, can’t wait to see.

    Cunliffe has been quiet of late (very wise move on his behalf IMO because he’s not been tainted with the Shearer leadership/Robertson undermining DS debacle) ie since the leadership stoush a couple of years ago. But two problems for Cunliffe:

    1. If he assumes leadership, people will be reminded of his arrogant and slippery demeanour (which was so obvious a few years ago even journalists were talking down to him to shut him up).

    2. Whilst Cunliffe may have the smarts compared to the rest of the Labour MP’s, unless he decides to steer Labour to the centre/right to take votes of National (against the will of his activist supporters including those at the Standard ie to his peril), then he will be nothing but another labour leader appearing two-faced to the electorate if he maintains Labour’s strategy of cuddling up to the Greens. For example will he be on the one hand be promising jobs for workers & economy but at the same time side with the Greens and be anti-mining, anti-oil and gas exploration etc?

    I see in today’s DomPost their bets are on Robertson. Interesting articles on page 2 about the other old guards – Dyson and Street undermining Shearer (Dyson and Street may be old Labour hands but their resonance with the public is zilch, silly old backstabbing fools).

    On the same page I see also John Key believes Robertson undermined Shearer during his tenure.

    I really can’t see Labour getting much traction once the leadership change media honeymoon is over because the same issues are there including the same factions and lack of vision of its MP’s etc.

    Is it time for Labour to accept they (because of their factional differences) are to be forever a minority party, albeit a bigger minority party compared to the Greens, and work to go into coalition with National at future elections (and ditch the Greens)?

    I say in this in light of critics here of National (saying they are Labour-Lite) and critics of Labour sometimes saying they can be National-Lite. Perhaps Labour need to rethink all this especially if they want to get their hands on the power levers for many elections – not a potential one-off (future possible) win with a Lab/Green/Mana/NZF Coalition that will fall apart once the parties have a sook about not compromising and getting their own way. The public will see this never happens again.

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  63. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Edit: I see in today’s DomPost their bets are on Robertson (he must have the H1 and H2 smarts of feeding to the media off the record over the years and has the advantage of being near the Press Gallery journos 24/7 …. unlike the likes of Cunliffe who would retire to Auckland for the weekend etc). Heh perhaps Robertson could drip feed to Fairfax and Cunliffe drip feed to the NZ Herald to get their messages across! Kinda would liven up the MSM if they were to compete with each other for political influence!

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  64. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    kowtow
    It’s the wedding that would do it.

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  65. kiwi in america (2,441 comments) says:

    niggly
    You are right. A Cunliffe led Labour Party removes none of the inherent liabilities and built in tensions of modern Labour. All he’ll do is articulate their policies more clearly. To get elected under the current rules he HAS to win the wider party membership. The party membership is well left of the centre of NZ politics. He will have to enthusiastically support the current suite of Green-lite policies already announced and likely offer more lefty progressive policies that the party will love and middle NZ will dislike or be indifferent to. A Cunliffe led Labour Party will not change the following facts – facts that the Nats will ruthlessly pound home:
    * Kiwipower was categorically rejected by the very academic they cited as inspiration for the policy
    * You can’t build homes in Auckland for $300,000
    * Raising taxes like a CGT has always been electoral poison no matter how many of the commentariat support it
    * Opposing all of National’s policies that create jobs – Cunliffe will be just as shrill in opposing National’s policies as Shearer was if anything even more so. As economic growth accelerates in 2014 and unemployment drops further, Labour’s dogged opposition to any and all of the Nats policies will be seen by voters as a clear contrast no matter eloquently Cunliffe phrases the opposition.
    * The party and caucus will still be dominated by “a gaggle of trade unionists and gays” i.e. be out of touch with heartland NZ.
    * Labour will still bring rule changes like the man ban to the table because political correctness and gender politics is what exercises their base – will Cunliffe risk another intra-party backlash if he quashes a re-emergence of the man ban prior to the November Conference.
    * Unions, whose influence and penetration is waning in wider NZ society and who are generally not popular outside of progressive circles, have just had their influence on Labour INCREASED against the trend. Cunliffe cannot and will not reverse this.
    * The factions inside Labour remain the same – now instead of the Cunliffe and Robertson supporters white anting Shearer over his failure to best Key, the ABC block and Robertson supporters will do the same to Cunliffe once his honeymoon wears off.
    * The policies, party rules and positioning under Cunliffe will do nothing to attract Waitakere Man to Labour – Cunliffe is even more beholden to the progressives and lefties in the party who will put him there. The best he can hope for is to poach left leaning votes off the Greens

    A belligerent, populist, strident Cunliffe giving full throated and unequivocal support to left leaning policies will have even less of a chance of chipping away soft National support in the centre than Shearer. Cunliffe will be trapped – any move to the centre will see the left wing of the party revolt and talk of betrayal.

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  66. kiwi in america (2,441 comments) says:

    Oh and I forgot to add – alienating the highly motivated legal resident Asian vote by the chan ban. Cunliffe will not reverse that policy.

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  67. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    Labour have already ceded the hard left to the greens. The battle is for the centre and thats where Cunliffe will win over Key.

    See the thing with Key being at the peak of his powers, means there’s only one way to go from there…down!

    Cunliffe will bring out the smarmy spiteful jilted schoolboy look Key is famous for on the regular and which the public find so unattractive, then Key’s own words as a habitual liar will trip him up and thats where Cunliffe won’t hesitate to put the boot in where others wouldn’t.

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  68. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    Nice hypothesis there NWA, real intellectual rigour and deep thinking. It falls down though at the first step – namely David Cun(t)liffe is by far the most smarmy spiteful man out of the two of them.

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  69. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    @Black, self delusion is a wondrous thing. The more the public see of Cunliffe the less they will like him. What is left of Labour’s centrist vote will desert and the loony Left will have full control of the party, its policies and its caucus after the next election. Their losing strategy will be to make the Greens look too moderate.

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  70. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Good points KIA – the modern Labour Party is a train wreck in motion and whoever takes charge of the wheel, has to contend with unruly passengers (MPs) pulling it apart at high speed. For example, not sure if you could hear the 3pm RNZ news bulletin but Ms Street was quoted as being someone who had a word with Shearer to tell him he wasn’t up to it and would be having further words with him next week if he hadn’t resigned (or to that effect). I’m sorry, but who are all these faceless people pulling strings behind the scenes that finally come out of the woodwork when Shearer was knifed? (Rhetorical question – of course Street/Dyson etc are part of Helen’s old guard who cemented their positions in Labour in the 70’s/80’s etc. I guess until these power hungry old timers retire Labour will be screwed for another 10 or so years).

    Even on RNZ Nine-To-Noon today we have Parker saying Shearer wasn’t up to it and was a mistake as leader. I’m sorry but hello Parker, I thought Shearer was still in charge for another 3-4 weeks so shut-up man and Labour’s poor polling is much to do with the abilities and agendas of Shearer’s MP’s as well, perhaps Parker could collectively blame himself too? I guess in reality Parker is letting out the fact that even now, Shearer isn’t really in charge (and kind of never was)?

    Oh and my bit above about Labour cuddling up to the Nats was somewhat satirical, I should have added a wink or similey (or made it separate comment), of course Labour wouldn’t entertain cuddling up to the Nats (and frankly why would the Nats want a bunch of Labourites in Coalition that have never had real jobs nor mostly understood the aspirations of everyday working NZers)? It wouldn’t work and even if it were attempted, Labour would be undermining National behind the scenes a la Shearer (and Goff beforehand). Silly me I won’t suggest that again!

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  71. KapitiCoast (114 comments) says:

    Shearer was parachuted into the role as a ‘fuck you’ to the rest who could not decide due to own agendas/egos, basically ‘He is new leader, get used to it’. But too many noses out of joint because of it and the old guard still running Labour by de facto (Mallard/King/Goff et al). The best thing for Labour is if Cunliffe gets the vote as he will retire/demote the old guard into submission. You may think this is a bad thing for National but think again as labour are bereft of any new ‘talent’ and thrusting these newbies into the spotlight will just ensure the new leader has surrounded himself with MP’s with no life/work skills outside tax paying jobs (teachers) and money suckers (unionists) and this is where he will fail. Key has competent ministers abound and are his right/left hand, Cunliffe will have none of that….watch the polls rise for labour, then fall as gaffe after gaffe from HIS ministers (and himself) sees the walls come tumbling down. Greens will be NZ’s #1 opposition party as the unions will be sinking after backing Cunliffe.

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  72. Richard Hurst (855 comments) says:

    Shearer had the enemy in front of him, to the side of him and most importantly behind him. There was no way that poor sod was going to succeed. A decent fella trying to lead a pack of back stabbing, disloyal gollums and the worst of them is Cunliffe. This should show voters the type of people who make up the Labour bench these days.

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  73. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    The fact that he has failed so totally could well say something about the state of the Labour party.

    It could be argued that is says a great deal about the UN also.

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  74. kiwi in america (2,441 comments) says:

    niggly
    Shearer’s resignation under the new Labour rules is going to break new territory. Previously a knifed leader was replaced in the same caucus meeting and the new leader would emerge to announce the results of the coup/leadership ballot. The deposed leader either announces retirement (Brash, Shipley, Palmer and Clark) and clears off the stage or they pronounce lifetime loyalty to the new leader and either take a front bench role (English) or retreat sulking to the backbenches (Cunliffe and Muldoon). Shearer is still the LOO and will remain so for the next 4 – 6 weeks. Will he stay on the front bench alongside his treacherous deputy? Will Shearer still be asking Key questions during PQ or will he stay absent like he did yesterday (once he returns from his holiday)? What happens to all the LOO office staff? They’ve resigned as per normal convention but do they stay on serving the lame duck leader strategizing, working out PQs? Do the Labour spokespeople stay on in their roles unsure as to what they might end up being assigned by the successful leader.

    Did the Labour Party in its flush of democratic enthusiasm think of any of these practical matters? National will have a field day in Parliament taunting the various candidates prolonging the agony of the leadership spill through the entire voting period.

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  75. OneTrack (3,089 comments) says:

    niggly – “Is it time for Labour to accept they (because of their factional differences) are to be forever a minority party,”

    Yes, it is. If they knew what they were doing they would simply break into their component parts then the individuals concerned could focus on what they wanted to instead of pushing against each over.

    Not sure how many would be in the old Labour, working man, section though. I can think of one….

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  76. KapitiCoast (114 comments) says:

    Can anyone tell us what The Stranded is theming?…yes I could go in and look but ‘My eyes..my eyes’…lets face it they had a faction (what is it with the left and factions?) that hated Shearer and wanted Cunliffe, and others who hated Cunliffe but were getting frustrated with Shearer! so I guess ‘the king is dead, long live the king’ scenario is it Cunliffe or Robinson?…being the Stranded a few commies for Little and a ‘union man’? LOL I’d love Little to be nominated and get the leadership as his absolute hatred of business would put Labour back well to ummm 2011…worst defeat in 75yrs :)

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  77. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Opposing all of National’s policies that create jobs

    So you’re wanting whoever it is to tilt at unicorns?

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  78. Nostalgia-NZ (5,193 comments) says:

    Despite KS and some others long ago ‘determining’ their belief that I am a leftie in an increasingly left leaning country, what I’m interested in is the distinct ‘backward’ look of a political party effectively taking a month to determine a leader. Looking at the surface of what might have gone wrong in Labour – that’s a clear example of a multi headed monster that doesn’t know whether to chew it’s own entrails during a shark like feeding frenzy.

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  79. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    Nice hypothesis there NWA, real intellectual rigour and deep thinking. It falls down though at the first step – namely David Cun(t)liffe is by far the most smarmy spiteful man out of the two of them.

    You will never appreciate the effort i put in to dumb things down so you knuckle dragging, mentally challenged nutjobs can see the bigger picture.

    If there was one thing i learnt stage managing big acts at festivals and keeping things running on schedule it was, it pays to have the biggest ego in the room.

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  80. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    You are a groupie? It figures.

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  81. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    Nah…I ran the fucking show!!!

    Remember how Key scored points off Campbell the other night cos he had the bigger ego? Well imagine what Cunliffe will do to Key.

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  82. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    Good has only one enemy, Evil. Evil has two, Good and Evil.

    :twisted:

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  83. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    Yea NWA, just imagine. Bro. Hur hur hur. Cheer boy, get the greezee little fulla in the blue suit. Chaa-hooo. They guna cut our bennie’s

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  84. hj (6,991 comments) says:

    No strategy. Labour’s major policies appeared to be focus group driven to respond to concerns about foreigners and the like.
    …………………………
    As an example what is their response to the housing crisis? Last night they were attacking the government for being fixated on supply. They claimed that they would attack demand and supply with a capital gains tax. They weren’t “anti-foreigner” enough to (even) mention immigration despite ground having been broken for them by the Government’s own Savings Working Group . So their “anti-foreigner” behaviour is timid at best and no doubt reflects the preponderance of “leftists of the internationalist tradition” who have captured left and Green politics.

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  85. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    NWA, the problem you have is that after 9 years of sleaze such as allegations of ministers shagging young girls, ministers urinating in hotels, ministers drink-driving, ministers being bribed and using slave labour for immigration favours, ministers lying to media, ministers falsifying company records, ministers fraudulently passing off paintings as their own, ministers corruptly exercising their immigration powers, ministers setting up slush funds for all manner of shady donations to roll around in, ministers causing fights in the halls of Parliament, ministers being accused off abusing pupils and taping tennis balls in their mouths, ministers sacking, character assassinating and defaming senior public servants for their own political ends, ministers introducing the EFA described as a “dramatic assault” on freedom of expression, ministers having naked young men run from their homes in the middle of the night, ministers being ineligible for parliament so having the law changed to fix it, ministers rorting taxpayer funding for political campaigns……..that is before we even start on the decades of infighting….

    none of the “swing” voters think Labour have any credibility, which is why they will lose again in 2014.

    They simply have no economic credibility, no integrity, and no vision. They are just a bunch of lifetime politicians who have never had a real job outside of a union or academia, and have much less of an idea of the important issues facing kiwis then even the multi-millionaires in National do, which I find highly ironic.

    I strongly detest National and John Key but even I think they are simply a far more credible alternative than the corrupt and amoral dirtbags and swindlers in the red.

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  86. Redbaiter (8,801 comments) says:

    “I nevar went t’ skewl, but I knoes more than all youse who did dat commie book larnin’.”

    Always the smug superiority.

    You commies have reduced our school system to a farce, and university graduates these days barely have the skills of someone who left school at standard three back when we had a real education system.

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  87. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    They simply have no economic credibility, no integrity, and no vision.They are just a bunch of lifetime politicians who have never had a real job outside of a union or academia, and have much less of an idea of the important issues facing kiwis then even the multi-millionaires in National do, which I find highly ironic.

    Which is why only Cunliffe will clean sweep the stale leftovers from the Clark years. He’s got more economic cred than English, more integrity than Key and greater vision than Joyce. His track record and qualifications witness that.

    And no. Labour had the better policies last election to deal with some of the important long term issues facing an aging population and a dumbed down youth. Even so, Goff didn’t deserve to be PM.

    and lets not even get into how qualified some Nats are to govern, suffice to say UHHH…PAULA BENNETT, ANNE TOLLEY, GERRY BROWNLEE anyone ?

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  88. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Did the Labour Party in its flush of democratic enthusiasm think of any of these practical matters? National will have a field day in Parliament taunting the various candidates prolonging the agony of the leadership spill through the entire voting period.”

    Might be time to stock up the cupboards with cartons of popcorn before the supermarkets start running out!

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  89. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    OK NWA. You win. Amusing you are so confident of DC’s abilities. I will piss my pants if H3 gets the nod instead. A fat gay career politician who has never had a real job will have even less appeal to the Waitakere Man. Either way Liarbore is fucked.

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  90. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Yes, it is. If they knew what they were doing they would simply break into their component parts then the individuals concerned could focus on what they wanted to instead of pushing against each over.

    They’ve been doing that in the past and perhaps that’s why we have the Greens but for some reason there are still a few factions remaining wishing to stay part of the Labour (TM) brand. Why is that especially when most of the remaining factions have little in common to the original premise of looking after the “worker”? Maybe the Unions should own the brand and the rest including the cabel that took over the reins some 30 or so years ago should also leave and be remembered as the one that destroyed the true brand Labour for generations to come lol.

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  91. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    “none of the “swing” voters think Labour have any credibility, which is why they will lose again in 2014. ”

    Swing voters are very overrated, what matters is turnout and ground operations. The 2012 US election is a classic example of this.

    To win Labour doesn’t need to convince 2011 National voters, it needs to convince 2005 Labour voters that stayed at home in 2011

    The only question Labour should be asking is, who can motivate the membership to go out on election day, to knock on doors and drive people to polling stations ?

    The answer to this is fairly obvious; the members want Cunliffe, so they’ll get him.

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  92. duggledog (1,555 comments) says:

    The worst thing for Labour is that Key (the same one they said was a lightweight and would never last) is getting better and better

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  93. Reid (16,442 comments) says:

    The only question Labour should be asking is, who can motivate the membership to go out on election day, to knock on doors and drive people to polling stations ?

    The only question Liarbore should be asking is, how can we stop looking like a bunch of factional infighting inbred idiots who can’t even run ourselves for 5 minutes without firing our latest leader?

    You’d think if anyone could slap enough lipstick on them to fool some of the public that they’re capable of running the country, it’d be a Silent-T wouldn’t you. Sadly however, I suspect he’s going to have to bring back not just pretend but actual execution if he’s to control those feral arrogant self-righteous braying fools that call themselves the Liarbore Caucus and I’m not sure even he would go that far, although he might pretend it once or twice just to see what happens, as yet again, even his leadership founders through lack of ability to herd this bunch of truculent irascible particularly stupid circus animals.

    Key (the same one they said was a lightweight and would never last) is getting better and better

    At being popular or at being a good PM?

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  94. RF (1,396 comments) says:

    I have a real problem picturing Grant Robertson representing NZ on the world stage attending functions with Alf the bus driver as his wife.

    I actually wake up screaming when I think of them.

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  95. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Always the smug superiority

    You make the average chimpanzee feel clever.

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  96. KevinH (1,227 comments) says:

    It would be fair to say that when Shearer walked, the middle ground went with him leaving Labour with just one direction: left.
    Question is can the left make a difference? Or more precisely can the left get up?
    Secondly and more importantly, Labour has now stripped itself down to it’s bare bones , left only, therefore this challenge is a do or die affair where reputations and ambitions will be laid bare for all to see.

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  97. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    How is a CGT a left wing policy? Treasury support it, the IMF support it, nearly right wing government in the OECD has one and none have proposed any change.

    A ban on foreigners owning property is a quite common policy with right wing governments around the OECD.

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  98. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Another inconvenient truth embarrassing to Kiwiblog hive mind?

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  99. Scott1 (549 comments) says:

    Shearer was just not a memorable person. You could try to use all the political tools at your disposal to make him more electable but in the end you are running the race with a mill stone around your neck.

    “Who is your prefered leader?”
    “um that guy on those red posters… um er.. nevermind – winston peters.”

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  100. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    It is apparent “The Dyke’s” perverted lackeys are still in control of the deviant Labour Party. Till such time as they have a purge and remove these reprobates they will remain also starteds.

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