Brian Edwards is playing a version of “the little engine that could” and has now changed his tune to “I think he can, I think he can” with regards to David Shearer’s leadership.
His advice to David Shearer though, complete with a beast graphic is for him to channel his inner beast and consult with Helen Clark who is gracing the country with herÂ presenceÂ at the moment:
Itâ€™s traditional for low-polling party leaders to say they donâ€™t care about the polls, â€˜the only poll that matters is the poll on election dayâ€™. Shearer would be wise to care about the polls and to recognise the corrosive influence on voter perception of sustained low polling for himself or the Labour Party. He must get his poll ratings up and he cannot wait much longer to do it.
But can it be done? Well, he might look to Helen Clark for inspiration. In June 1996, not long after an abortive attempt to persuade her to step down as leader, Helenâ€™s rating as preferred prime minister was around 3%. Her partyâ€™s support was around 14%. In November of that year she came close to winning the election and would have done so had it not been for the treachery of Winston Peters â€“ a blessing in disguise as it turned out. She went on to win three terms as Prime Minister.
So if he can ignore the nonsense from the right that Helen is the Machiavellian force behind left-wing criticisms of his leadership, my advice to the present Member for Mount Albert is that he could probably do no better than to consult the former Member for Mount Albert for a little advice. And that at the risk of my looking â€˜a right charlieâ€™ if the advice works.