It took just a week for Len Brown to crack from the pressure, but David Shearer has so far remained silent on the Ports issue.
Perhaps he is just relaxing with the phone off the hook, either that or Labour’s polling company hasn’t yet managed to focus group the issue. Worse though is that they have and told Labour to STFU on the issue.
I don’t know why the political left is silent on this issue – but I’ll throw a cynical idea out there. Maybe Shearer, Brown et al haven’t spoken out on this issue because it happened over the summer holidays, when everyone’s away and all the polling companies are closed down. They don’t know what the public thinks about the issue and they can’t find out for another week or so – so they don’t know whether defending the union is a good idea or not.
Eventually they’ll have some meaningful data, and if enough people side with the wharfies then our politicians can show courage and leadership and side with them too.
Chris Trotter has now joined the chorus of those wondering where David Shearer is:
WHY SO SILENT, Mr Shearer? Why has the Labour Party not voiced its solidarity with the Maritime Unions of New Zealand? Why have you not spoken out against the Ports of Auckland CEO’s outrageous threat to sack his entire workforce? What’s the matter with you, man?
The white sands and Pohutukawa blooms of Northland are beautiful at this time of year, and God knows you’ve earned a break, but you must know a politician is never truly on holiday. Time and the twenty-four-hour news cycle wait for no man.
Trotter is right, the hard left of Labour, including Darien Fenton will be wondering just what they did in supporting Shearer for the leadership. Silence is no longer an option for David Shearer or Labour. At some point they are going to have to go with a gut decision and not some focus grouped nuance.