Lame Duck Puppet Leader of a Lame Duck

David Shearer has graced us with his presence after a holiday surfing and staying off line and out of touch. Nothing shows just how out of touch he is than the first news article showing him racing to Christchurch to cover a story that is weeks old. Like Phil Goff he is more interested in disaster porn than saving his ailing party.

Or is he just out of touch in his quaint way of appearing out of touch.

It also shows the folly of keeping new Chief of Staff, Stuart Nash, on gardening leave till February while Trevor Mallard sits in the office pulling the strings. While Stuart Nash has been busy with his newborn, Trevor Mallard, the old soldier is giving birth of his own to new plans…..he wouldn’t go on holiday, so fearful he is of losing the mechanisms of control within the party. Word has it that his lights have been burning bright in the parliamentary precinct during the break.

One thing for sure though is that the party is getting antsy. We have seen the hard left Labour local board members come out in support of the wharfies. Chris Trotter, ever the loyal servant of the party has expressed his disappointment through an open letter to Shearer and Denis Welch is openly disdainful of the “New ” Labour party lead by David Shearer.

Wise head John Pagani thinks, like David Farrar, that Labour should stay silent, but in doing so they are ceding the moral high ground on the issue to the Greens. They aren’t afraid to comment and are increasingly being seen as the go to guys for comment in the media. They are big fans of coastal shipping. Their credentials are much stronger than Labour’s which right now doesn’t even include platitudes for their long suffering funders.

Enter Helen Kelly, long time friend of hard core unionists like Trevor Mallard and Darien Fenton. Mallard has been furiously re-tweeting her assistance for MUNZ.

If the CTU can change Shearer’s mind it will prove once and for all that Labour is STILL in the pockets of their funders – the Unions…and Labour is no different than the one that polled its lowest in 80 years in November. Labour would have learned nothing from its electoral defeat.

David Shearer has to do something. It is clear that Labour hasn’t focus grouped this, otherwise we would have had some sort of pronouncement from the spokespeople concerned. So the old warhorses like Mallard have been quietly txting Shearer to stay tight and at the same time keeping a muzzle on Fenton because she is feral and can’t help herself saying something nasty.

Is it a slight on the confidence in Darien Fenton that she has been muzzled by the men from becoming the fourth woman on the wharf?

However in doing so Shearer now stands charged with becoming the puppet, albeit a silent puppet of Trevor Mallard. You have to wonder why he didn’t put his name forward for the leadership.

It might be his first week back but David Shearer can’t sit tight any longer. The test of his leadership will be the day of the strike. If Fenton shows up and says or does anything to show support for the striking unionists then it shows his control over the party caucus is tenuous. Shearer will have to act to exert caucus discipline otherwise he will be a lame duck leader, the puppet of Mallard.

Time and pressure will tell…sometimes it makes diamonds but most times dirty coal.


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  • Agent BallSack

    I remember Mallard basically asserting he didnt want to be in Labour after this election, unless he was leader on his live interview last year. Must be finding it hard to get his nose out of the trough….Either that or Shearer is gonna get is nuts trimmed in the next couple of years.

  • Hakim of Phut

    The obvious answer is that Shearer is “relaxed” about the situation.
    Why not its worked before ….
    SCF goes under and the taxpayer pays out $1.6bill- relaxed
    Finlayson lies in his register of pecuniary interests- relaxed

    need I go on ?

  • Kosh103

    You know, I have yet to see John Key on our tellys commenting on the PoA situation. Why is David coping it all from the right when the actual PM has been absent?

    • Anonymous

      The issue is that Labour and the Unions have a very close-knit relationship. The public silence from Labour speaks volumes as to the damage they think this dispute could do to them. 

      In a very clear cut world, Labour would come out on the side of the Union and National would come out on the side of POAL. Perhaps National know this one is in the bank and they don’t need to say anything. 

      • Maybe in the 1950’s mate – but not now..

      • Anonymous

        Agree Sarrs, this ones in the bank -Why would Key want to get involved?

        Everyone knows what the outcome is going to be, even the Labour Party – must be gutting for the diehards not to have the support of the party that hashad strong historical ties with them.

  • Jam_Sammie

    I am 99% sure I saw Helen Kelly yesterday evening around 5:15pm being driven around in a white Toyota Corolla clearly marked Labour and thier logo. It is clear she is being supported by Labour but not publicly.

  • Than

    Not just the right – he’s been coping it from the left too.

    And the reason he’s coping it (and John Key isn’t) is that this sort of labour dispute is (supposedly) the core of what the Labour Party is about. The Unions are some Labour’s biggest backers, the party was formed by disgruntled workers. You would expect Labour to have come out strongly in support of MUNZ, and the fact that they haven’t is significant.

    • Kosh103

      Well given that Key is ment to be the leader of the country, perhaps he needs to come back from his rich mans holiday and do some actual leading on this if it is so important. As opposed to leaving it to the opposition to fix.

      If he cannot be bothered, then I am sure Labour would happily step into the role of Govt.

      • monique

        You’re dumb. 

      • Gazzaw

        The difference is that the PM has some able Ministers to look after the shop while he’s away which they have done so apropos ‘Rena’, Christchurch, Nelson etc.

        I wouldn’t go on too much about the rich mans holiday Kosh. Seem to recall quite a few shots of Helen and Mrs Clark perched on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro or an Andean peak or two. She in fact went on better than JK – he is at least contactable in the event of a real crisis.

      • Kosh103

        My goodness Monique such a stunning comeback, wow you could be a Minster in the National Govt with smarts like that.

      • Kosh103

        Well Gaz, good to know the PoA situation isnt a real crisis. Cool, the country can pop it aside and forget about it now.

    • Hakim of Phut

      The union represents the workers interest, the labour party  doesnt necessarily have a narrow perspective  such as this dispute represents. 
      Strategically  they are best to stay quiet. 
      Just like Key is quiet on the Crafar farms  who a  front organisation from China wants to buy.  The Farmers, nationals constituency   want to say No, the government doesnt want to offend the Chinese. Result  , say nothing

  • Its the 18th of January and all of us have been back working for at least two weeks – some o/k right through – but where is John Key – don’t seem to have seen his pretty face since the election – whats going on?

    • Steve (North Shore)

      You mean some of us have been back at work for two weeks and not working for the last two weeks Neil? John Key is not working? With communications in 2012 how do you know, or are you full of shit?
      I will take my holidays when the Schoolteachers are back at work and not polluting the blogs

      • Kosh103

        My my such slander.

    • Anonymous

      Neil – how do you know hes not working? just because hes not making cheap meaningless headlines doesn’t mean anything.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    The reply was to Neil, not you Kosh.
    Anyway, where is the slander? did I tell a lie?
    Schoolteachers polluting blogs, did that hit a RAW nerve?

    • Kosh103

      You hit nothing steve, but your comment was rather nasty and slanderous.

  • Macooki

    Kosh go back to Strandard, you’re boring and like labour negative 

    • Anonymous

      The irony of kosh103:

      An empty vessel, yet so full of bile and excrement.

      • Kosh103

        Oh trav, thats a very good description of the National govt. Well done.

    • Kosh103

      Yes, I know, the right wing dont like the truth. Too bad.