The hollow silence

At first with the Ports crisis it was Mayor Len Brown that was scared of his own voice. Eventually he found it and spoke out, backing the board.

But what of Labour and David Shearer. Has anyone heard from them. Trevor Mallard found time in the professional cycling calendar to retweet Helen Kelly’s tl;dr rebuttal of the numbers that Cactus Kate published, which was in turn superceded by the POAL confirming the details Cactus released.

Darien Fenton, normally one to speak at every opportunity is, apart from one link at Red Alert to Helen Kelly’s tl;dr now discredited discourse, remaining silent on the biggest industrial action issue in many years.

Denis Welch has noticed the silence too:

I don’t know if anyone has approached Shearer for comment or asked, um, wait a minute, who is Labour’s spokesperson on labour issues? I just looked it up: it’s Darien Fenton. Who knew? She may well be intensely credible on industrial relations but I don’t believe we’ve heard from her yet on the ports dispute. The only Labourish public figure to even put a fingertip over the trenches so far is Auckland mayor Len Brown, and he has come down on the woolly side of woofterish by declaring resoundingly that he supports both sides.

There is an unhappy echo there of Walter Nash’s infamous response to the 1951 waterfront dispute when he was Labour’s leader: asked whether he supported the watersiders he said he was neither for nor against them. I have a horrible feeling that Shearer, if he ever does comment, will say much the same thing. Yet, thanks to some useful reporting by Bernard Orsman of the New Zealand Herald, there is much in this dispute that ought to concern a party with the very word ‘labour’ in its title.

Where are the press releases from Fenton or Shearer? Are they missing in action too like Len Brown was for a time, too busy sunning themselves and forgeting why they were elected, or in Fenton;s case picked by the union heavies for Labour’s list?

Labour is missing in action over this. Their proxies at The Standard was bashed into submission yesterday. I doubt we will be hearing from “James Henderson” again anytime soon.

Will Labour find their voice before the weekend?

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