David Shearer

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Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Planned political hit job on cops continues

Labour hate the cops with a passion.

Crime rates are way down – and I’ve warned for a while now that the left will do anything they can to target Police and make them look bad for delivering the goods under National.

At the weekend there was a historical story about some silly cops recording burglaries wrongly.

They were punished – and to be fair the HoS gave some perspective.

“Tims said the analysis since the internal review found that the incorrect coding of burglaries would have “affected less than half of 1 per cent of Counties Manukau’s approximately 150,000 recorded crimes over that time”. “

But here’s the real story.

It was written by Bevan Hurley and regular readers will know that Bevan’s sources for stories are almost always suspect.

This was an inside job designed to destroy colleagues and take out the Commissioner, Mike Bush, the former Manukau district commander.

This information came from an internal police report.   Read more »

That’s nice David but what do the Greens say about it?

David Shearer supports drilling for resources…the only problem is he can’t guarantee any position on this because as Labour sinks in the polls the made green taliban nutters are rising and they will get a say in what really happens if they are in government.

Deep sea drilling would continue under a Labour Government, but with more safety regulations in case it goes “very very wrong”, Labour’s energy and resources spokesman David Shearer said this morning.

Mr Shearer appeared on The Nation this morning to talk about Labour’s oil drilling policy.

“We support oil drilling [and] we have done in the past, there’s no major change there,” he said.

“What we want to see is a regime very much like in Norway where there is good processes of approval, there’s tight regulations … a regime for making sure that money is used well, and at the same time making sure our transition to renewable [energy] goes [ahead].”

Yeah, all good except for the Greens.  Read more »

Is David Cunliffe about to lurch Labour back towards the centre?

Matthew Hooton believes that The Cunliffe may be about to lurch Labour back towards the centre as they attempt to get some traction…any traction at all..in this election campaign.

If that is the case then John Tamihere’s assessment in the Herald this morning is spot on, that “He’s an extraordinarily talented chap but you never get to see the real David. You get to see the David that he thinks you want to see. And that’s his problem.”

Hooton is alluding to that in his column at NBR.

If David Cunliffe becomes prime minister this spring, the origins of his win will be traced to the last week.

This may seem counterintuitive. After all, his highest profile move was his apology for being a man, generally lampooned as absurd. More substantively, though, it revealed a deeply collectivist worldview, where people’s main identity is not as an individual with personal responsibility but where we are primarily members of categories from which we accrue collective guilt and credit.

Such a political philosophy may be abhorrent to anyone who values basic concepts of human autonomy but it was wildly popular among Labour’s Women’s Council, the unions and the far-left activists who back Mr Cunliffe. Some even rang Mr Cunliffe’s office weeping with gratitude.

Intentionally or otherwise, the apology created cover for a repositioning of Mr Cunliffe back to the centre, which would begin at Labour’s conference the following day and is at the heart of Labour’s strategy for the next 10 weeks.

The Cunliffe needs to do this because so far his socialist prescription is failing to resonate.

Mr Cunliffe ran for leader from the far-left, with rhetoric about red roses, the failed neoliberal experiment, the missing million, the misery of 250,000 children living in poverty, and a commitment that his Labour would be “deep red, not pale blue.”

As a strategy to become leader it worked well but it reversed all the progress Labour had made in the wider polls under David Shearer’s more centrist approach.

Talking down New Zealand as a failed state with starving kids wasn’t connecting with voters experiencing economic growth, falling unemployment, rising wages, low inflation, still-modest interest rates and a kiwi dollar enabling them to afford some luxuries after five difficult years.   Read more »

When will we see #bringbackshearer ?

Given Labour’s sinking lid poll ratings and the rolling maul of stupidity from David Cunliffe, might we be seeing a call from within the party for David Shearer to be brought back.

Tracy Watkins looks at his recent performances.

Amid the frenzy over a Malaysian diplomat whipped home after being accused of attempted rape, the performance of Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer has been a revelation.

Shearer has been forceful and effective.

His colleagues must be wondering whether body-snatchers were at play during Shearer’s stint as leader and replaced him with an inarticulate doppelganger.

Cunliffe will be under huge pressure at this weekend’s Congress to show he’s capable of turning around his poor poll ratings and public image. Privately some of his colleagues must be wondering if they should have held their nerve on Shearer and given him time to grow into the role.

David Shearer is actually a good bloke, one you can have a beer with happily. Whereas David Cunliffe is just an unpleasant, awkward, narcissist.  Read more »

John Allen and the other weasels in MFaT should be sacked

Murray McCully has received an apology from the head of MFaT for the stuff up of his weasels inside the ministry who stuffed up.

Bizarrely McCully didn’t accept his resignation. He should have.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs head John Allen offered to resign over his ministry’s mishandling of the case of a Malaysian diplomat who left the country after an alleged attempt to rape a Wellington woman.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully declined the offer from Mr Allen but said he was angry about his officials’ mistakes, which led to public embarrassment for the minister and Prime Minister John Key.

The debacle had undermined his confidence in the ministry’s ability to carry out its duties.

The extent of the miscommunication within the ministry became apparent yesterday as Mr Allen revealed he knew nothing about the charges against Malaysian diplomat Muhammed Rizalman Bin Ismail until Friday – seven weeks after police arrested him.

Mr McCully did not know Ismail had left the country with diplomatic immunity until this date, when the Herald on Sunday began asking questions about it.

Malaysian officials were also given mixed messages by ministry officials which led them to believe New Zealand agreed to his repatriation in Malaysia. Read more »

Same problem here for Labour

Labour in the UK is in dreadful trouble with a lacklustre leader who is highly rated, by himself mostly.

Last Friday, Ed Miliband’s team assembled to review the previous day’s launch of the “Condition of Britain” report from the IPPR think tank, which Miliband had enthusiastically embraced. The morning papers were dominated by England’s World Cup defeat at the hands of Uruguay, but what coverage there was gave the Labour leader’s aides cause for concern. “No one’s out there backing us up,” observed one of his press advisers sombrely.

Although the speech had been heavily trailed in advance, the rest of the shadow cabinet were conspicuous by their absence. With the exception of Rachel Reeves, who holds the welfare brief, few of Miliband’s colleagues appeared keen publicly to endorse his tough new line on benefits.

“Well, what did they expect,” one bemused shadow cabinet member told me. “He’s spent the past four years telling everyone: ‘I’m going to stand up to the Tories on welfare.’ Then he suddenly says: ‘Actually, you know what, I’m not.’ And he expects everyone to come running?”

As Ed Miliband is painfully aware, no one is planning to do so. Which is why his office had to spend the rest of Friday ringing round, drumming up support for their beleaguered boss in the weekend papers. Reeves, Chuka Umunna and Tristram Hunt duly emerged to issue supportive statements, along with Neil Kinnock, who was – bizarrely – sent out to rebut the charge that Miliband was turning into… Neil Kinnock.

One person who did not issue a supportive statement, of course, was the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls. Indeed, over the past few weeks, rumours have started to circulate in the corridors of Westminster that Balls is “on manoeuvres”. “He’s up to something,” MPs have been whispering to one another, in conspiratorial tones.

Read more »

HoS editorial – Labour in disarray

The Herald on Sunday editorial is damning of Labour and David Cunliffe:

What would John Key have done in David Cunliffe’s position this week? Labour Party members must be asking themselves that question and they probably know the answer. Facing persistent questions on something he had denied, a more cautious leader would have suspected he might be wrong. Cunliffe could have said something such as, “I don’t recall ever assisting a residency application for Donghua Liu but in view of these questions I will check my records”.

That is not Cunliffe’s style, it sounds more like … David Shearer. Less than a year after Shearer relinquished the leadership, Labour’s prospects have gone from bad to worse. This week a Herald-DigiPoll survey found the party on 30 per cent, 20 points behind National. Polls the previous week for One News and 3 News had almost exactly the same figures. A fourth poll, published on Thursday, was worse. Labour had dropped to just over 23 per cent.

This is abysmal for a major party just three months out from an election.

Cunliffe was caught out and what is most galling for many in his team is that they didn;t see the stiff arm tackle coming, one that has been hanging out there for months.

Now that they are inside the three months, Labour MPs can change their leader if necessary without reference to the wider membership and affiliated unions whose votes put Cunliffe into the leadership last year. This week, Cunliffe said the Labour movement had a word for any such move against him. The caucus would have recognised that veiled reference to “scabs” as a rallying call to the unions and left-wing members. When its leader has to resort to that sort of talk, Labour is in disarray.   Read more »

Garner knifes Cunliffe

Duncan Garner in the Dominion Post yesterday slit Cunliffe from scrotum to sternum:

Labour ditched former leader David Shearer because he struggled to string two sentences together on a good day. So surely it couldn’t have got any worse, right? Wrong.

It’s a train wreck under David Cunliffe and Labour’s MPs are grumpy, nervous and wondering what they may be doing for a crust after September 20. The prospect of losing your job and the $150,000 salary always focuses the mind.

This week Labour slumped to 23 per cent in Fairfax’s stuff/Ipsos poll – under Shearer it was in the low 30s when he was dumped.

Cunliffe has taken the party backwards when he promised to take it forward. Could Labour be on track to record its worst-ever election defeat? Yes.

When Cunliffe utters a word or two these days the collective intake of breath among his MPs is simply frightening.

Listening to David Cunliffe this week was very enlightening, he gave away all his tells, and was dreadful under pressure. And this was hardly a big test…but the issues are there, every policy has been destroyed hours after release and then he and Labour are back pedalling.

He’s had a host of gaffes this year – and the best he’s looked was when he shut up and stood in the background while his wife, Karen Price, talked about the birds (chickens) and the bees in an interview at their home.

Cunliffe was parachuted into the job of leader, not because his MPs really wanted him – most dislike him – but because Labour Party members and union affiliates were desperate for someone to articulate their values.

To say he’s been a disappointment is an understatement. After this week’s horrors he looks unelectable as the next prime minister. He’s genuinely gone from bad to worse.

Read more »

Labour’s 30% doctrine dooming it to electoral disaster

Phil Quin, a longtime Labour party insider continues to snipe at Labour’s inept strategy.

In the NBR he strikes out against their abiding belief that they would somehow have the moral mandate to government despite hovering around 30% in current polling.

Delusions have consequences. If Labour persists in the belief it can somehow stitch together a governing coalition with a fraction over 30% of the vote, and that this is possible through a deft combination of coattail trickery and unprecedented turnout among non-voters, what can possibly persuade them to change course?

The problem with redefining defeat as almost-victory is that you deny yourself the urgency that comes with the prospect of imminent humiliation; you eschew bold risk taking for careful equivocation when the former is badly needed; and you end up with a great deal more bathwater than baby.

Labour needs to act like a party that knows it’s losing, starting with an acknowledgement it as failed as yet to make the case that National under John Key has run its course. There’s no point blaming David Cunliffe, even if it’s true he has proven no more capable than his predecessors of denting the PM’s formidable popularity.

No traction, no dents, despite attempts to portray National as crony capitalists, crooked and corrupt. The plan has failed but they persist with it.

During the race to replace David Shearer, Mr Cunliffe’s supporters made much of his superior debating skills and media polish. But the notion that sharper presentation alone could rescue Labour’s fortunes was always far-fetched. As excuses for losing go, it’s a fallacy as pernicious and commonplace as that which holds voters to blame for refusing to know what’s good for them.

Among rivals for the Labour leadership, only Shane Jones seemed to understand the gravity of Labour’s predicament, or sense a way out. Before making a credible claim on the Treasury benches, Mr Jones argued that Labour would need to set the bar at 40%, not 30%. Mr Jones, admittedly a flawed candidate in many respects, attracted close to no support among party and union elites who saw his call for a broader church as more evidence of unreliability.

Populism has no home in today’s Labour Party, a proposition Mr Jones made sure to test one last time before quitting Parliament altogether. His departure was calamitous for Labour for two reasons: it looked like a vote of no confidence in Labour’s chances and, just as importantly, reinforced a growing perception the party has become inhospitable for a Greens-baiting, unashamedly pro-growth populist.

And yet, the activist clique which governs Labour and adheres most stringently to the Thirty Percent Doctrine couldn’t have been happier with Mr Jones’ exit if they had overseen the purge themselves.

Read more »