David Shearer

The problem with St Helen…she isn’t

Helen Clark wants the top UN job

I’ve noticed a few things about Labour, but the one thing that sticks out is the absolute deference they all hold towards Helen Clark.

I despise her politics, but am mature enough to recognise a superb politician.

Helen Clark took over the labour party when it was in disarray, she withstood a coup attempt and ruled the party with an iron fist for 15 years.

She moulded the party into her likeness and the two became synonymous.

The labour party was Helen Clark and Helen Clark was the Labour party.

That was Labour’s strength and it was also its Achilles heel.

Eventually the voters tired of her and Labour lost to John Key’s National party.

Now this is where it gets interesting.  Read more »

Three years or six? Or more?

Tim Watkin has an interesting post at Pundit about the task ahead for Labour’s new leader.

He wonders whether or not they have a three year project or a six year project in front of them.

Whoever wins, Labour won’t be a charismatic party that voters will turn to as an exciting alternative to National. Instead, whoever wins will have to win back voters’ trust through being dependable, decent and speaking to the interests of the many.

‘Decent’ recalls Jim Bolger’s ‘decent society’ slogan, and Bolger would be a pretty good role model for any winner. Not a flamboyant or visionary politician, but one who knew how to win elections.

So who to vote for? For me Labour Party members will need to start by asking themselves this question: Can Labour win in 2017?

Essentially, is this a three year or six year project? Is one of those four the next Labour Prime Minister? Because that answer suggests different people.

Read more »

Trotter asks if Labour really can be rebuilt

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Chris Trotter wonders whether Labour can put its troubles behind them and start to recover relevancy with the voting public.

THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is all over bar the voting.

The contrast between the road-show just concluded and what was, effectively, the David Cunliffe Coronation Tour of 2013 could hardly be starker. Then, it was the rank-and-files’ and the affiliates’ moment to deliver a very emphatic one-fingered message to a caucus it had grown to despise – and they delivered it with both hands. This time, it’s been the Labour Caucus’s Victory Tour.

In both 2012 and 2013, Labour’s MPs had warned the party’s members and affiliates that Cunliffe was unacceptable – but they refused to listen. Now they know what happens when a leader lacks the fulsome support of his caucus colleagues. No one’s saying it out loud, but the most important single feature of this year’s leadership contest is David Cunliffe’s absence. No matter which of the four grey eminences emerges from the complicated processes of preferential voting as Labour’s new leader – Caucus has won.

Yes, they will have slayed the Cunliffe dragon…sort of…for one of the contenders has cut a secret deal to help rehabilitate the man with the brain as big as a planet. Trotter thinks that had Cunliffe stood things may have been a bit different.

Had Cunliffe’s name been on the ballot paper, he would, almost certainly, have triumphed again. I don’t think it’s stretching the truth to say that among Labour’s staunchest supporters – Maori and Pasifika – the Member for New Lynn is loved. When informed that their champion had withdrawn from the race, a hall packed with Maori and Pasifika trade union delegates audibly groaned and tears flowed. Only when told that Nanaia Mahuta had entered the fray did their spirits noisily recover.

But, no matter how strong the loyalty shown to Cunliffe by the true believers who give Labour two ticks, it was made abundantly clear to the party membership just how ugly things would get if he insisted, once again, on soliciting their support.

The embittered David Shearer may have led the charge, but every political journalist in the country knew that his acidic tongue was just the poisoned point of a much larger spear. Shearer’s mission was to demonstrate to the rank-and-file and affiliates that the longer Cunliffe persisted in his fantasy of continuing to lead the party the worse things would get. They had to know that Caucus was perfectly willing to destroy the Labour Party in order to save it.

Rather than unleash a no-holds-barred civil war at every level of his Party; one from which it would likely not recover; Cunliffe bowed to the inevitable and withdrew from the contest.

From that point on, the outcome of the 2014 Leadership Contest ceased to matter very much.     Read more »

David Shearer part of Rainbow faction?

David Shearer’s office in Mt Albert this morning

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Just go now you fool

David Cunliffe continues to fail the no dickheads rule.

Labour’s former leader David Cunliffe says he will never run to be leader again and has not decided whether he will stand for Parliament in 2017.

Mr Cunliffe told the Herald that speculation he had not completely given up on his leadership ambitions despite pulling out of the leadership contest was misplaced. “I’m out. Otherwise I would still be running. I’m not running, I have no intention of ever being leader again. I’m out.”

While he intended to stay in Parliament this term, he was yet to decide whether to stand again in 2017.   Read more »

NZ wins Security Council Seat

All the bribes and threats and whatever else is needed inside the morally corrupt United Nations and despite the best efforts of our media and opposition to poofinger the bid has paid off, NZ has won its seat on the Security Council.

I fear however that John Key and Murray McCully have simply had an Underpants Stealing strategy.

1. Win seat on Security Council
2. ???
3. Finish up two years and move back to obscurity.

In a vote at the UN’s New York headquarters on Thursday local time (Friday morning NZT), New Zealand picked up 145 votes, claiming one of the “Western Europe and other nations” seats – ahead of Turkey and Spain – in the first round of voting.

New Zealand will take its seat on the council for two years, starting on January 1, 2015. The last time New Zealand sat on the council was 1993-94. It had earlier stints in 1953/54 and 1966.

It has been hailed a victory for small states by Prime Minister John Key, who said it came after hard work over a decade lobbying for the seat.

“We have worked very hard on the bid for close to a decade because we believe that New Zealand can make a positive difference to world affairs and provide a unique and independent voice at the world’s top table.

“It has been more than 20 years since New Zealand was last on the Council and we are ready to contribute again.   Read more »

Hosking on why it is so important to Chillax

One of the repeated bits of feedback I had during the Dirty Politics affair is that I seemed to be so relaxed about it.  Sure, I was trying to limit the damage that was caused by media having a party with my private communications, but I didn’t flip out.   Not much point to it.  Hosking is onto it as well

And in creative pursuits enjoying the ride is the key.

Because people can see and feel when you’re enjoying the ride, and having them see and feel that, is the key to success, or at least part of it.

I tell you this because I see it these days in David Shearer, which is why I am sad he’s not running for the big job.

I saw it in David Shearer before he got the big job last time, and that’s why I backed him. When you listen to Shearer you hear a likeable, intelligent bloke who’s done a lot of amazing things.

But after he got the job, all that seemed to vanish, he coiled into a spring and started stuttering.

He started mincing and mixing his words. He started sounding like he was on medication and couldn’t remember what he was saying or what day it was.

The joy had gone and the spin doctors had invaded his brain.

Leadership is as much a creative pursuit as painting a picture or writing lyrics.

You have to be at one with yourself, you have to be at peace. Your life has to have solid foundations, you have to have a life outside what it is you’re doing creatively.

When you have that, you are free. When you are free, and you have a vision and a goal, you are unstoppable … until you start second guessing yourself and letting it all get on top of you.

Once David lost the job, he vanished for a while … but has now re-emerged the old David.

And in talking to him on Tuesday on Newstalk ZB about why he wasn’t running this time, there he was, old David, carefree David. Articulate, thoughtful intelligent David.

If only he could have taken old David with him into that job and stayed that way, it might have been so different.

In a party full of contenders that really only have a passing acquaintance with the real world, a dose of normality is desperately required.

And David Shearer could have been that dose.

Read more »

Circus? More like a party of clowns

Labour's leadership contest has become a Carnival of CLowns

Labour’s leadership contest has become a Carnival of Clowns

Vernon Small chokes down a bite of dead rat and writes about the state of his beloved Labour party that in his mind at least has become like a circus.

By rights the political debate should be focused on the Government’s handling of two things.

How does it meet its self- imposed need to do something alongside traditional allies and friends in Iraq and Syria without getting too deeply embroiled in the war against Islamic State?

And how will John Key make a dent in the number of children in poverty, given the Government’s pre-eminent focus on work as the best route out of poverty?

That begs the obvious question: what about the large number of working poor? And how out of tune was Bill English with his view that planning laws and local government rules were the main cause of poverty because they drive up house prices?

But then along came Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Shearer and the whole Labour three-ringed circus to demand its place in the limelight.

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Ask them anything…hmm..OK, how about these questions?

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The Labour Party is running an Ask Them Anything question session of the four leadership contenders.

Labour have been deadset useless for way to long which makes politics boring. We need Labour to muscle up and start being more fun as they are handicapped at the moment. So lets help them by asking some sensible questions. Feel free to submit any of these yourself.

Q. Why hasn’t Labour been able to raise any money since Mike “Fat Tony” Williams retired?

Q. What do the internal polls say about whether New Zealand will vote for a gay party leader?

Q. Where do you stand on corporate welfare?

Q.  Where do you stand on middle class welfare? Read more »

Now where was THIS David Shearer when the Labour party needed him?

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“It’s really important that Labour is seen to be a party that is diverse in all its mixes, and what the front bench looks like is up to the leader,” says Ms Mahuta. “Right now I’m saying, I’m putting my hand up.”

All three leadership contenders are white men – Grant Robertson, David Parker and Andrew Little. Mr Little has been saying he wants a female deputy, effectively a man ban, though he doesn’t like that term.

But former leader David Shearer says male voters are king. Read more »