I think we are starting to see the reality of life in Labour. One former leader is telling another to quit politics. The Herald reports:
Mr Shearer said he would have preferred it for the new leader’s sake if Mr Cunliffe had stayed in the race and lost.
“I think it would have been easier for whoever wins if he had stood and lost. It would be a cleaner break for whoever takes over. His followers undermined Phil Goff and myself and I think he continues to be a presence that will make it difficult for a new leader.”
He said if Mr Cunliffe had lost this would have sent a clear message to his supporters, rather than let them have the impression he could have won if he hadn’t withdrawn. He was also disappointed with Mr Cunliffe’s decision to stay on as an MP. “It would be easier for the new leader if he decided to move on.”
It was a sentiment echoed by several other MPs, although none would be named.
To quote Lady Macbeth – Out, damn’d spot! out, I say!
Cunliffe has pointed out:
Mr Cunliffe pointed out Mr Shearer was also a former leader.
“I think that’s an unfortunate thing for him to say and it belies my long-term loyalty to the party and caucus.”
But Shearer has only been an MP for one and a bit terms. Cunliffe has had five full terms. And I think Phil Goff and David Shearer have a different idea of what loyalty looks like.
“It’s about making sure we set ourselves up for the future so the new leader doesn’t have the same experience I had.”
He had been white-anted by Cunliffe’s supporters when he was leader and did not want the same thing to happen to the new leader.
If Parker or Robertson wins, it is inevitable I’d say that they will also face undermining.
“The people who had attacked himself and Mr Goff were mostly anonymous, Mr Shearer said.
“There are certainly some who’s names I think I know, but these are people who sit behind darkened screens and blog and undermine people.
And several of them now work in the Labour Leader’s office – which explains why so many are so unhappy.