They certainly won’t be lauding it as a huge success, that is unless they are following National’s playbook on leadership minimisation that they last used when Don Brash was their leader.
Back then, after he rolled Bill English, National’s brains trust thought up a way to protect the thoroughly intelligent policy wonk who was in reality politically dim.
Their method was a couple of tame questions focussing on areas of Don’s expertise and then more questions by other “stars” of the caucus would enable them to avoid the inevitable scrutiny that would eventually trip up the affable leader.
It didn’t work because back then Labour just ignored him and waited, and waited until the inevitable lack of traction and then pounced, bashing him up one side and down the other in the house. Don Brash had to change, he was forced into it by Labour.
Then came Orewa.
I don’t think David Shearer has got an Orewa speech in him. I just don’t see it. But right now he is being protected, or is it perhaps ignored by his caucus. The questions he asked in the house this week were tame, weak actually, ineptly delivered and ineffectual. Even Trevor Mallard refused to call him his leader instead preferring the term “colleague” in what can only been a calculated slight against the leader.
Labour’s caucus isn’t united. They simply weren’t cleaned out as badly as National was in 2002. The factions still exist. Now there is the oldies faction. You know they still have control because Annette King is still fronting against Steven Joyce on NewstalkZB. Trevor Mallard struggles to his feet to defend the young ones and Winston and Phil Goff is sitting there looking over Shearer’s shoulder with Darien Fenton scowling at us all as though we were the enemy.
Right along the opposition benches too is Winston Peters who after this week can claim the title of Leader of the Opposition, not because of his performance, which was dreadful but simply because Shearer ceded control of the opposition benches to Winston and his motley crue by being missing in action.
About the only things that David Shearer hasn’t done which Don Brash did is work his way through the skirt relentlessly, described his favourite dishes made with corned beef or washed his undies in motel sinks. Things are going to have to change otherwise Labour is ceding their role as opposition to the fools of NZ First.
Right now from where I am looking at it, David Shearer and Labour certainly look like Don Brash and National prior to Orewa.