Shearer said the people who walked away from Labour were middle New Zealand – “white blokes” – and Labour needed to win them back.
He also believed every worker in the unions should vote for the leadership rather than delegates casting affiliated unions’ votes, which count for 20 per cent of the vote deciding the leader.
“If we are going to have affiliates contributing to the leadership it should be one person one vote,” he said.
“That’s democracy … not two dozen people voting on behalf of 4000.”
The most powerful delegates are the EPMU ones. Only 35 of them voted on behalf of probably 30,000 or so affiliate members.
In the last leadership election only 149 delegates over five unions decided the votes for the union. Only the SFWU gave all members a vote.
If the Labour Party itself decided that all members should vote, rather than just the caucus bosses, then why not apply the same to the unions?