Labour and the leftwing lap-bloggers thought there was a civil war on inside National. There wasn’t because if there was I’d have been right in the middle of it spilling blood and guts all over the place.
However it is becoming clearer and clearer that there is a factional war going on inside Labour.
They are leaking like a sieve with reports of arguments, dummy spitting, and factional number counting.
Grant Robertson has been in charge of the hiring for the Leader’s Office and has largely finished his job in filling the office with loyal adherents to himself. He was even heard to boast to staffers the day after he was made Deputy Leader that everything was brilliant…”Shearer is going to stuff it up…and I will be the next leader and Prime Minister”.
The last piece of the puzzle appears to be falling into place with Stuart Nash’s expected replacement to be Alistair Cameron, a Robertson loyalist.
That has got open discussion happening now on Labour supporting blogs that Shearer’s time is up. The word from various Labour spies is they have taken to calling the Shearer leadership “The Unfortunate Experiment“. This is a particularly nasty epitet to give David Shearer but sadly that is modern Labour…nasty to the core. David Shearer unfortunately didn’t fit that mold.
Veteran Labour party watcher and somewhat of a fan-boi, Vernon Small has noticed:
Consensus, he said, was his first instinct.
It is a style Mr Shearer is making his brand; a reasonable man talking in a measured tone that rejects the politics of charisma.
To the political media present – and in a warning to Labour, only three reporters made the short hop from Wellington – it was about as dull as a leader’s speech can get.
With the Government on the ropes over issues from the pokies deal with SkyCity to Crafar farm sales and asset sales, the soft-shoe approach is not without its critics.
There is no crisis yet, but there has been some internal arm-wrestling.
Small repeats the gossip fo the nasties suggesting that Nash and Fran Mold clashed over strategy…this adds to the leaking of his leaving suggesting that all is not well as the factions start eyeing each other up across the political corpse of David Shearer.
It is notable too that the lap-bloggers at The Standard are now openly talking of the ending of “The Unfortunate Experiment“:
My suspicion is that within the very near future, maybe after another flat poll, someone close to Shearer, perhaps Trevor, will have a hard conversation with him that goes something like “you’ve done your best mate but it’s just not worked” and I think that Shearer will step down because he’s the kind of guy that would step down if he believed it was the best thing to do.
This is insider code for if you don;t go soon Shearer, Trev will be sent to plunge the knife in.
It is clear that the strategy from Mallard and others was to push Shearer forward on silly issues so that he was able to be easily blamed when the polls failed to turn.Meanwhile to hide the internal ructions in labour Trevor Mallard manufactured an alleged crisis within national that simply didn’t exist which a compliant media dutifully ran with. It is telling that the ones pushing the story the hardest are also the one seen int he company of Trevor Mallard more often than not.
Unfortunately the end of Shearer’s time as leader is no longer an ‘if’ question, rather it has become a ‘when’ question. I’d suggest it will be fore Labour Weekend now.