David Shearer

Labour: Desolate, deluded and desperate

The Dance of the Desperates is about to begin, yet another leadership primary to decide who will replace the now drowned captain of the sinking ship Labour.

The desolation of the Labour party shows in the potential contenders for the race.

Speculation is now mounting that the contest won’t just be a race between the cardy wearing, beltway candidate , Grant Robertson and the narcissism of David Cunliffe.

First there are the truly deluded.

Andrew Little thinks the special votes will get him over the line in New Plymouth:

Former union boss Andrew Little did not rule out a tilt at the leadership, but pointed out that his return to the New Plymouth seat was still up in the air – it depends on special votes.

Yeah, that’s a nah for Little Andy. The election night results for New Plymouth show that he was spanked by more than 9000 votes by Jonathan Young. On top of that Labour lost the party vote by more than 12,000 votes. There is no way the specials can save Andrew Little and his claims of returning to a seat he has never held are simply deluded.

It is true that the specials might cost him his list spot in Labour though…perhaps that is what he meant.

From the deluded we get to the desperates:

Other names in the mix include former leader David Shearer, who regrets standing down a year ago and may have another shot.

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Has the NZ Herald never heard of Jenny Shipley?

The NZ Herald had a piece yesterday about all of Labour leaders in the past 6 years.

I thought the piece might be interesting until I saw the first line.

2008

11 November: Resignation of Helen Clark, after serving three consecutive terms since being elected as New Zealand’s first woman Prime Minister in 1999.

If they can’t get basic facts right in the first line then that doesn’t hold much confidence for the accuracy of the rest of the article.

Jenny Shipley was New Zealands first woman Prime Minister and no amount of re-writing history or weasel words can take that away from her. Oh sure the media and their pals in Labour like to say Helen Clark was the first “elected” Prime Minister but that is just pathetic semantics. We don’t elect our Prime Ministers in New Zealand, we never have and never will. There is no separate ballot for Prime Minister.

The rest of the article looks at the lengthening list of Labour’s failed leaders from Clark to Cunliffe, all slain in battle by Phil Goff, with the only exception being David Shearer, who nicked himself to death before finally falling on his dropped sword.

On present performance and the fact that Labour’s talent pool is as shallow as a car-park puddle expect the list of lonesome losers to grow.

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Armstrong on Labour’s little shop of horrors

John Armstrong examines why it is that Labour is so out of touch.

Is brand “Labour” depreciating so rapidly in electoral value that the party’s long-term future is now in serious jeopardy? This week’s hostilities both outside and inside the Labour caucus weren’t just about the post-election future of David Cunliffe or, to be exact, the lack thereof.

It was another exchange of volleys from Labour’s parliamentary wing fired in the direction of the wider party’s left faction, who take very strong exception to the caucus pressuring Cunliffe to give up the leadership.

But Labour’s really serious underlying problems run a lot deeper than that. A decade or so ago, Labour was still seemingly indestructible. Over preceding years, Labour regularly suffered from mass desertion by voters and was consequently written off, only to recover Phoenix-like within a relatively short period of time, such was the two-party monopoly under a first-past-the-post electoral system.

Labour’s present parlous state is unprecedented, however. Much has been made of last Saturday’s capture by the party of a paltry 24.7 per cent of the party vote as being Labour’s worst result since 1922.

Indeed, that is the case. But it’s only half the story. In 1922, Labour was a new political movement on the way up, not a tiring one with distinct signs of being on the way down.

Labour have forgotten their brand.

Josie Pagani regularly points out that Labour used to support the working voter.

article-2295194-18C0EFD7000005DC-459_634x410

 

Now it seems they support the luvvies, the indigent and the criminal classes.

Labour ever more resembles a classic 1950s-style department store selling a broad range of general merchandise, but not stocking the specialist goods its declining number of customers actually want to buy.

In trying to satisfy everyone, the store is pleasing no one. Shoppers are instead getting what they want from smaller, more flexible competitors enjoying a deregulated market.

To make matters worse, the store’s staff keep ordering outdated or hard-to-sell items liked by only a few very elderly browsers and people from ethnic groups. Meanwhile, faulty market research has the store’s management targeting a clientele which no longer exists.

Yet, another far more modern department store across the road is raking in the cash like never before. That is because John Key and National know what their market likes. Labour believes in supplying goods that its customers ought to like for their own good – and is then surprised when they reject them.

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Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Can Captain Mumble…. Lead Labour Again?

David Shearer - Dead Fish

David Shearer is a good man. He is a bloke who you wouldn’t mind having a beer with, even though he seems to think that looking after misbegotten people all over the world makes him the perfect choice to run our country.

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Things are pretty bad for Cunliffe & Labour when Brian Rudman attacks

Brian Rudman usually saves his columns in the Herald to call for subsidies for the arts or the building and/or restoration of his favourite theatre.

A dyed int he wool cloth cap socialist spending his last days in print typing away interviewing his keyboard he sometimes comes up with a ripper.

Yesterday he excoriated David Cunliffe and Labour:

Late Saturday night, while Labour Party workers were still cleaning up the blood from the worst electoral thrashing the party had received since 1922, leader David Cunliffe was busy on his computer trying to save his skin. In a mass mailing to members and supporters he said, “Let’s congratulate ourselves” on “a campaign well-fought” and declared his intention to stay on as leader.

Just how he can declare himself “immensely proud” of a campaign that resulted in Labour receiving 22,353 fewer election night votes than in 2011 against a two-term National Government is a mystery. Only measured against the 2011 election night calamity when Labour lost 165,000 votes on its 2008 result, does Saturday’s result start to look less than a total disaster.

After the 2008 debacle, leader Phil Goff immediately fell on his sword, to be replaced first by David Shearer, and then when he was judged to be under-performing, by Cunliffe. Now it’s Cunliffe’s turn. His departure seems inevitable.

It was a disaster. Nowhere int eh world, generally, does a government win a third term on an increased vote, and certainly not ever before under the mMP system, let alone majority. The scale of the disaster for the left has yet to be realised.

It took National two election to recover from Bill English’s disastrous 2002 election campaign. I suspect it will take Labour much longer. Especially as their fool leader won’t quit.

Whether kicking and screaming or gracefully is over to him. The problem for Labour is, who next? The retread, David Shearer; the steady back room policy wonk, David Parker; or the new generation team of Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern?

Labour’s challenge is not just solving its leadership problems. It also has to decide whether it wants, in two years’ time, to celebrate its 100th birthday celebrations as the generally accepted, centre-left “broad church” alternative to the National Party. Under MMP, this is no longer a given. Since the election, both Green co-leader Russel Norman and New Zealand First’s Winston Peters have made claims to the leadership of the Opposition. A try-on for sure, but with Labour stuck in its present doldrums, is it any wonder the mice are playing?

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Labour should do this with its leadership contenders

After the Democrats were trounced in the 1994 midterms, Barbara A. Bardes and Robert W. Oldenick claimed in their book Public Opinion: Measuring the American Mind, Bill Clinton employed the firm Penn and Schoen to conduct a poll a day dissecting his language, mannerisms and the nuances of his policy proposals. Heading into the 1996 election, on discovering that swing voters preferred outdoorsy vacations, the Clintons decided to summer in Wyoming.

Will New Zealand ever listen to Captain Mumblef*ck? They didn’t for the two years he lead Labour last.

Or vote for a double chinned, bespectacled, cardy wearing civil servant from the set of Gliding On who has his own set of skeletons lurking?   Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

myturn2

Credit: SonovaMin

Labour’s leadership battle will look like 300

300-soldier-blood

Labour’s leadership battle is shaping up to be an epic re-run of the battle scenes in 300.

Blood and guts everywhere.

It’s going to be awesome.

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Good call by Shearer, let’s see the numbers

David Shearer has made a good call, for Labour and David Cunliffe to release the internal polling numbers to caucus so they can see what the truth of the campaign looks like.

The party leader, David Cunliffe, meets the Labour caucus at Parliament today, three days after delivering the party’s worst election result for 90 years in which Labour pulled in just 24.7 percent of the party vote.

Mr Cunliffe said he would he will ask the caucus to trigger a leadership primary as he wants to refresh his mandate.

David Shearer told Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report programme a leadership race now would be a distraction and a forensic analysis of the election campaign was needed first.

“We need to know behind the scenes what our polling suggested, where our vote went,” Mr Shearer said. An independent review should be carried out by someone independent and not active in the party at present.    Read more »