Edwards on Shearer

Brian Edwards has a larrup at David Shearer and his auto-cued, stage-managed key note speech. He is still not happy with the manner in which David Cunliffe was treated:

At the time, I wrote an open letter to Shearer accusing him of dishonesty and described his bullying treatment of Cunliffe, intended primarily for public consumption, as evidence not of strength in leadership but of weakness.

Nothing since has provided me with any reason to change that opinion. Shearer is still doing most of the talking about himself, still involved in the  first-person defence and praise of his own leadership: ‘I, me my…’  And there it was again in his State of the Nation speech: ‘I can tell you that today I’m refreshed. I’m fired up and I’m raring to go.

The somewhat curious thing is that the lines, delivered with almost evangelical fervour, weren’t spontaneous; they were scripted, there word for word in his speech notes. But they  cannot disguise the fact that Shearer should not have to ‘tell’ his audience that he’s fired up and raring to go, that it should have been obvious not just on this occasion, but since the day he was elected leader. It hasn’t.

Nonetheless, as it was intended to, the line made it onto  both the TVNZ and TV3 news bulletins along with this little piece of stand-up: ‘Two days ago, John Key had an epiphany: We have a youth unemployment problem – we need apprentices. Good on him. I thank the focus group that brought that to his attention.’

Actually it’s a pretty good line. But have another  look at Patrick Gower’s TV3 News report on the speech. After both the ‘fired up’ and the ‘focus group’ lines Shearer gives this slightly self-conscious, questioning smile, which seems to say, ‘Did you like that? That was a good one, wasn’t it?’ 

I bet his speech notes had [SMILE] typed in them.

Shearer is still doing most of the talking about himself, still involved in the  first-person defence and praise of his own leadership: ‘I, me my…’  And there it was again in his State of the Nation speech: ‘I can tell you that today I’m refreshed. I’m fired up and I’m raring to go.

The somewhat curious thing is that the lines, delivered with almost evangelical fervour, weren’t spontaneous; they were scripted, there word for word in his speech notes. But they  cannot disguise the fact that Shearer should not have to ‘tell’ his audience that he’s fired up and raring to go, that it should have been obvious not just on this occasion, but since the day he was elected leader. It hasn’t.

Nonetheless, as it was intended to, the line made it onto  both the TVNZ and TV3 news bulletins along with this little piece of stand-up: ‘Two days ago, John Key had an epiphany: We have a youth unemployment problem – we need apprentices. Good on him. I thank the focus group that brought that to his attention.’

David Shearer Nervous SmileActually it’s a pretty good line. But have another  look at Patrick Gower’s TV3 News report on the speech. After both the ‘fired up’ and the ‘focus group’ lines Shearer gives this slightly self-conscious, questioning smile, which seems to say, ‘Did you like that? That was a good one, wasn’t it?’

The simple fact is that Shearer isn’t comfortable in the ’talk and act tough’ role. The best demonstration of this was in his response to the media scrum after Cunliffe had been dismembered in Caucus. He was a stumbling, bumbling, incoherent wreck. I suspect he was deeply upset by the lynch-mob mentality and the savagery that had dominated the previous hour. He eventually walked off, refusing to answer any more journalists’ questions.

Shearer is a reasonable man, a conciliator by nature. He has to stop trying so hard to be something he isn’t. He can’t carry it off and we will see through it. He is a poor actor.

 

  • Phar Lap

    Looked so sheepish today in Parliament,well named.He looked even more sheepish when John Key ran rings around him.To think that NZ voters would even consider him as a future political saviour beats common sense.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    “I am refreshed, I am fired up and I am raring to go” – The words that sunk Naked Emperor. Tories, remember these catch phrases. They will haunt you on 2014 election night.

    • Richard McGrath

      Yeah but it might be Cunliffe or Robertson that leads Labour into the 2014 election.

  • In Vino Veritas

    Refreshed, fired up, raring to go? And he doesn’t believe that Key, who has dominated him utterly in the past, will not be? Shearer (and Labour) should remember the proverb about silk purse and a sow’s ear.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      IVV – Shearer is shaking National’s boat now. My spies tell me that the first opinion poll from TV1 and TV3 will show the gap between National and Labour to be in single digits now and Shearer within few points of toppling Emperor as the preferred PM.

      • Captain Crab

        Quite possibly, but then we don’t see much of Key. He’s too busy working……a bit more exposure will fix the polls. I certainly hope so. A Shearer/ Norman combination is enough to kill oneself!

        • Hazards001

          If Key doesn’t start spending some time in the country instead of “working” and shaking hands with penguins we will, definitely be seeing that combo.

          He needs to stop his world tours and show some real leadership. He has shaken his core constituency with the Hekia Parata bullshit cabinet re shuffle and we have yet to see some genuine effort put in to rebutting the ludicrous proposals of the red/greens including the affordable housing debacle.

          When exactly is Key going to man up and start shouting some of this bullshit down?

          To tell you the truth his commendably chivalrous say nothing to blarney attitude is going to see us led by the left wing media to the all the way up the garden path to the Red/Green coalition you so rightly fear!

          • GeorgeRomero

            Right on Hazards

        • Mr_V4

          Just check that Shearer is offering a “working for dead people” policy first before doing the deed OK.

      • Mr_V4

        Shearer looks less authentic than a can of spray on cheese at the moment.

  • toby_toby

    Of course the bloody speech was scripted and not spontaneous. Edwards is a silly, complaining old goat.

    • Mr_V4

      Ah because um if he er had ah spoken um off the er ah cuff, then er ah people um probably ah would er have ah criticised ah him for um that ah too.

  • Lion_ess

    Refreshed? Raring to Go?
    Shearer succeeded in making a dick of himself last year, this must mean he’s ready to make a double-dick of himself this year?
    Bring out the guitar (and the knives), bring on the umms and let’s see some more cringey photo-ops – I need a good laugh.

    • Mr_V4

      You forgot mango skins.

  • Morrissey

    Edwards claims that “Shearer’s media image remains a problem. The blame for that must lie in part with bad advice.”

    Did anybody else detect a slight hint of self-interest in that statement?

  • TANSTAAFL

    I am so looking forward to the Leaders Debate – instead of a worm we can have an “Ummeter” which flashes the ever increasing number on the screen

    • Mr_V4

      The computer doing the count will probably suffer a memory overflow error, a 64-bit computer can only hold 2^64 values, in this case “Ums”.

  • cows4me

    “fired up and raring to go”, want to keep off the chilly Shagger, burn your ring gear out.

  • Lion_ess

    A good sledge from today’s parliamentary session, reported on Stuff. Funnily, the Herald doesn’t include this comment in their report – only the opposition’s sledging of the Prime Minister.

    ….Key then turned to Labour.

    “David Cunliffe [he staged leadership coup last year] remains as popular in the Labour caucus as a pussy cat at Gareth Morgan’s house.”

    He suggested Labour leader David Shearer get Cunliffe a bell so that “at least next time” he would see him coming.

    • Hazards001

      Bit less sledging and some fundamental policy plus a bit of rebuttal to the socialist BS would be helpful about now. Seriously a re election on his smile and personality is not going to happen!

  • Whafe

    Sherker thinks he is hot shit, he is not even a cold fart warming up. The sooner the pinko brigade accept and own this, they can move ahead…

    Labour, the gift that keeps giving…

    The Watermelons are our worry, not Sherker….

  • Middleagedwhiteguy

    David Shearerpisos, dodgy property developer with Greek economic principles.

  • http://twitter.com/Orcs2Elves Monique Angel

    Robertson is eight years away. Shearer is fine. He just nasnt learned to purr up to media pussy in the way that Clark mastered: http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2013/01/edwards-on-shearer.html

  • Lily

    Key might be tweedle dee but Shearer is most certainly tweedle dum(b)

  • Robert M

    Actually I think Shearer is improving and gave a competent speech on Parliaments opening. Key was tired, Maggie Barry embarrassing. It was impossible to believe she believes the right wing crap she sprouts that we should minimise the number of BA students and create 4000 apprenticeships. I’m sure its not what North Shore parents want. The only strategy Key , English and Smith is more milk, more effluent, higher exchange, price out of existence other types of farming and industry and defer to the fundamentalists and mom and pop type operators by closing down any type of exciting tourism that and its patrons offends the sacred masses.
    Brian Edwards is yesterdays geriatric like Perigo. One of Helens little helpers. The only reservation about Shearer is the suspicion he is just a ventroquilist for Goff.
    In terms of Maggie and her BAs- its what English teachers have and many Economists. Literarcy in languages might help people know the world and communicate with Asians and Europeans. Stupid Maggie you should not have listened to Matthew.

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