It’s just a step to the right

NZ Herald

John Armstrong comments about David Shearer’s timewarp…just a step to the right:

Scanning the packed upstairs function room in Wellington’s Wellesley Hotel on Thursday morning, a newspaper photographer with long experience of the habits of politicians summed up what was going on with a pithy observation: this was not your typical Labour Party audience.

Indeed. If you were looking for symbolism surrounding David Shearer’s first really significant speech since becoming Labour’s leader, you did not have to look far.

Entry to the breakfast-time meeting brought a choice between mini-croissants stuffed with Camembert cheese and small glasses of muesli mixed with yoghurt.

In the midst of one of the most bitter industrial disputes in recent history, here was the leader of the Labour Party addressing the employer clients of a Wellington lawyer in a hotel which not that long ago was home to one of the capital’s more refined gentlemen’s clubs.

That will not go unnoticed in some quarters of the party, especially given the time Shearer took to come off the fence with regard to the protracted battle over union rights at the Ports of Auckland.

But what better way to underline the message that Phil Goff’s excursion into territory on Labour’s left is over and the party is shifting back to the centre.

The speech did not even bother to pay homage to Labour’s past – something every other Labour leader has felt constantly obliged to do.

That itself was confirmation that Shearer-led Labour is going to be a very different beast from its most recent incarnations


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  • ConwayCaptain

    Best advice to DS now is to have a “Night of the Long Knives” and get rid of the dead wood and dross.

    Start with all the Union nominated list MPs, get rid of Kim Kardashian and the Duck.

    • Gazzaw

      Good idea but I don’t think that H1 & H2 would give their approval & Shearer can’t move until he has that.

      • ConwayCaptain

        Well Gazzaw yesterday was the “Ides of March”  maybe they should tell H1 and H2 to take a running jump as they are no longer inNZ

      • Gazzaw

        I’ll buy that CC but has the labour party got the balls or even the will to do it? And then there’s the media who hail each return home from NYC as the second coming of Christ.

  • Fergus

      I believe shaearer will not be PM, or
    the Labour party voted in next term…Because Shearer, their leader,
    made a “follow me” speech as he looked to head to the centre left
    ground, while stating… sorry should have posted this here not on “shearers tall task.”

  • Fergus

    ar left policy of more and new Tax..CGT and doing away with any tax
    cuts, $5000 threshhold. Also while the rest of his party was marching
    with the far left MUNZ etc at the waterfront. So shearer while SAYING he
    is moving to the centre is not, and his party are moving further lerft
    than he is. A leader needs people to inspire his team to follow. Seems
    he is in a queue by himself!
    ..the rest of it!!