Shearer’s tall task

NZ Herald

Fran O’Sullivan explains why David Shearer will never deliver on his aspiration to be a one term PM:

Shearer will find it a tall task to persuade his comfortable colleagues that “doing the right thing for New Zealand” is worth sacrificing the amount of time their butts will be attached to the backseats of swish ministerial BMWs.

Let’s face it, the bevy of powerful Labour politicians that orchestrated Shearer’s leadership grab – the “anyone but Cunliffe” clique – have long held an attachment to power.

MPs such as Trevor Mallard, Phil Goff, and Annette King were also within the core group at the centre of the second-term Helen Clark Government that shamelessly dished out voter bribes to get back into power at the 2005 election.

Those bribes – expanding Working for Families and making student loans interest free – were always going to be fiscally unsustainable. Then-Finance Minister Michael Cullen knew this. But they got Clark her third term.

A leader who was prepared to go over the top in New Zealand’s best interests would also take an axe to this huge expansion of state munificence. But neither Shearer – nor John Key – will do this. Each man believes that stripping these bribes out would cost them the next election.

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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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