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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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.