A Crisis of Leadership

It is hugely ironic that Labour is making leadership an issue in the lead up to the budget on Thursday.

I say ironic because Labour appears bereft of leadership.

With the Bill Liu/Shane Jones cash for citizenship affair making its way through court and the political beltway it can;t have been a surprise to labour that this was going to cause problems.

Phil Goff certainly has known about it for all the time he was a minister, and leader of the opposition. He would have been hoping and praying it didn;t come to court while he was leader.

Shane Jones has certainly known about it, he was even called to give evidence on Monday. So it is somewhat bemusing to watch Labour, Shearer and Jones claim that they know nothing except what Shane Jones has told us and he has told us he can’t remember much as it was 4 years ago.

Let’s hope he was more forthcoming with evidence in the court room than he has been so far with the general public.

Given that this case can have been no surprise to labour, after all it involves Shane Jones and David Cunliffe but also other Labour names including their fundraisers, you have to wonder why David Shearer has been caught flat-footed and stumble mouthed over the whole issue.

It just shows how politically out of touch Labour’s leadership has been for some time.

Bryce Edwards though sums up Shearer’s dilemma he created for himself:

Quickly accumulating unwanted baggage is a reality for most travellers. On his journey towards the Beehive’s 9th floor David Shearer, the “non-politician” elected with no political baggage, is quickly getting weighed down.

Shearer’s office, along with Government politicians, are no doubt poring over the Labour Leader’s previous statements about political corruption in light of the daily revelations about Shane Jones’ involvement with William Yan (aka Bill Liu), currently on trial in Auckland. Revelations in court yesterday show the link goes further than just Jones, as Shane Phillips (also known as Shane Te Pou), a professional Labour Party fundraiser, had close links with Mr Yan, taking Yan on a trip to Hawke’s Bay which included a visit with then Labour Internal Affairs minister Rick Barker. His brother also worked in Shane Jones’ office.

David Shearer unwisely tied his leadership to a now meaningless statement about avoiding “gotcha” politics. No sooner had he uttered those fateful words, he was jumping in boots and all playing “gotcha” politics like a pro. That lack of political nous and leadership displayed right there will see David Shearer forever marginlised and mumble-mouthed when it comes to ethics. But if you are going to call others to account then you must also hold your own to account.

David Shearer has painted himself into a corner and bizarrely he chose the paint and the brush. He must live with that and start to show some of the reputed leadership skills he was supposed to bring to the job.

If he fails in this most basic of tasks, then he is dog tucker and labour crisi of leadership will continue.


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  • Pete George

    Just as well they have financial leadership then, no one else haas come up with these ideas. They have an innovative alternate approach to economic management, with a green twist – Labour’s alternative economy

    • johnopkb

      I had a look at that, and found half a dozen platitudes and zero alternative ideas. So, your point is what?

      • Notrotsky

        Look up ‘satire’ in the dictionary.

      • Pete George

        My point (with sarcasm) is: same old.

        Same old platitudes, same old tactics, same old leadership wobbles.

        What’s a bit sad is the post I was taking the mickey with was on the pre-eminient Labour Party blog, by a supposed fresh new talent in Labour who happens to be Revenue spokesperson, and so far he doesn’t seem to have noticed that he could stop electioneering 6 months ago.

    • parorchestia

      Fitch rating agency has just downgraded Japan by a few notches.  The result will be far greater hardship than if Japan had done the sensible thing and instituted mild austerity programmes.
      If they unfortunately get into power, Labour and the Greens will be distraught and surprised at how quickly NZ gets downgraded and how much misery is heaped on us and our children.  Growth would be nigh on impossible. The market is inevitable and can be cruel to fools.
      Alternative economic policies – don’t make me laugh.

      • ConwayCaptain

        Japan has the highest debt to GDP ratio but all of its debt is in Yen.  They just borrow from the Japanese Pub;lic savings at almost 0%

  • Blokeintakapuna

    Just wait for the attempts by Labour / left to deflect attention and obfuscate on this issue. Fortunately for NZ and all, bumbling Shearer and “I don’t recall” Jones will keep swapping feet each time they’re asked.

    I can only hope someone can get a photo of them both swapping feet into each other’s mouth, with Ducking and Diving Mallard in the background being served papers by a sweet lil’ ole’ lady… PRICELESS! 

  • Apolonia

    The invisible man will be trying to not be seen.

    • Euan Rt

      apparently he was noticed in Dunedin, in girls student accomodation.

  • Le Sphincter

    THis is the best you can do …pleeese

    Then again when L’epaulard swings into action and whips the WA into a frenzy  the only outcome is a win for Labour or the unions.

    Proof: POAL v MU- defeat
             Talleys v MWU-defeat
             The Goffice-   now Shearer who has increased labours polling

    As the saying goes, someone is paying the wrong people

    • Wayne

      Your’e living in “la la” land if you really believe the unions won those two disputes, both at best were compromises by the unions. And it isn’t over yet, just wait and watch. 

      Another prediction, dollars to doughnuts your’e beloved messiah “Shearer” won’t be leading Labour into the next ellection.

      • Le Sphincter

        They were locked out and now they are back at work. 
        How did  THAT work out ?

        Labours polling higher under Shearer than Goff- thanks  for all that .

        And yes please tell the world about Shearers voice stumbles….. same old story about Key when in opposition,  we all thought he had air for brains.

        How did THAT work out

      • Euan Rt

        You seem to be on level ground – you seem to crap out both ends. Would you like to give a poll prediction for say, next weeks poll?

      • Euan Rt

        Sorry for any confusion Wayne. Previous comment was to poohole.

    • Markm

      Your a total fuckwit the man with an unhealthy interest in bums
      POAL is far from finished
      MWU have agreed to terms , do you know what they are.? and will the workers get back the lost pay .?

      I think not , and as for Um Shearer , he Ums because he’s not a fast enough thinker to answer a question.
      Hes not a fast enough thinker to answer written questions , presented weeks in advance , either.

      On the other hand he’s one of the brighter socialists around

      • Actually I think he uhms because his brain works too fast…and he jumbles all his thoughts up and they pile on top of each other resulting in uhms.

      • BJ

        I still think that Shearer doesn’t believe in what he is saying and that all the ‘umms’ are his brain trying to stop him from saying it.

    • Notrotsky

      Hello it’s VoR aka Te Reo Putake ! Labour and union lickspittle and regular felcher at the Stranded.

      Over for a troll are you old boy ?

    • BJ

      Sphincters prove effective in the mediation of the entrance or release of solids, liquids and fluids.Control your solids Spincter – you are propagating verbal inexactitudes with your verbal diarrhea 

    • Gazzaw

      This is Phil Ure, serial beneficiary, reincarnated. Old posters know to ignore him. Doesn’t matter how much you insult him he will just continue his pointless posts until Cam awards him the DCM.

      • Joe Bloggs

        Oh shit we’re being haunted!

        At least he’s learned to control his mis-use of ellipsis. I was tempted to suggest he seek counselling at Capri Trust for that particular habit…

      • Pukakidon

         Now he misuses the french language.

    • In Vino Veritas

      You are quite funny Sphinc. As I said the other day, stay away from legal stuff. Your understanding is limited and you are doing yourself no favours.
      I’d point out that POAL v MU is still in train, just unfortunate that the hearing set down for early May has been delayed due to the untimely passing of John Haigh, QC, who was representing POAL.

      • Le Sphincter

        POAL is ‘in train’ because they have been losing. 
        Haigh might have gone , but even his talent couldnt help the inept management- who lost in court -so far-, lost in public opinion and lost support of their only shareholder which will mean eventually the board and management will lose THEIR jobs

      • Le Poohole…I think you will find that a meddling Judge with a point to prove thought he was bigger than the law in POAL…he basically told POAL that he didn’t give a tinkers cuss about the legal precedents that they were relying on, that he didn’t agree with those cases and he was going to prove it with this case.

        When faced with a judge on a mission it is better to withdraw and try again later…hoping the lottery of Employment Court judges hands up a fair one.

      • In Vino Veritas

        Sphinc, you are watching a different game. Public opinion was tested when the union marched, they got at best, 2000 (and I spoke to a police mate who was there, he said you could have swung a dead cat in the middle of the march and hit no-one). About 25000 went to the viaduct to look at some boats from memory. Thats public opinion.
        On the support of the only shareholder, at last vote, I believe the Council stood behind the management, since it was them that demanded a better return (since the return on investment has been crap since the port was bought back by the council).
        And in terms of the hearing in train, it was bought by the union to dispute the legality of the redundancies that the port was proposing. POAL have lost nothing, all MUNZ have done is have the court apply an injunction preventing POAL from contracting out until the substantive hearing.

    • Richard B.

      Le Poohole, you don’t have a good track record for being correct.

      How heavy was that digger again?

      • Le Sphincter

        a missed decimal pt. But my memory is still better than Banks

  • AngryTory

    What would “leadership” have looked like?

    Standing down Little, Kelly, Goff, King, Jones, Cuntliffe, Cosgrove; suspending them from the party; and insisting they plead guilt to corruption and bribery charges

    14 years inside each.

    Oh and the same for H2, H1, Carter, and most of the rest of Labour’s “Leadership” and their EMPU/ CTU mates.

    In short, he may as well have closed down the party and their union mates in NZ

  • Allyson

    The biggest “leadership crisis” labor suffers is trying to get a leader who is not a snivelling little shit. The talent pool appears very shallow to the left

    • Agent BallSack

      You have to be a certain kind of Nasty. Helen had it. Shearer doesn’t. And its hard to foster the right talent when you have union members on list seats in caucus simply by reason of being a union member.

      • Blokeintakapuna

        Yes – achieving a position, any position, by reason of longevity rather than ability is a flawed system/thinking/process – and results in this exact quagmire of inept and shallow talent pool for Labour…

        on the positive side though – it will ensure another 2 or 3 terms for National, which is a huge win for NZ altogether, so it can’t all be bad!

    • Dave

      Precisely Alison.  I don’t believe there are any true Leaders in the Labour party.  Plenty of wannabe twisted muck racking back stabbers looking for an opportunity, but no one that is a standout leader.   

  • Wayne

    Euan RT, thank you for those eloquent words of compliment. I can only assume you were dragged up through a yard of cow shit, not brought up as most of us were?

    As a “world authority” please share your thoughts with us for next weeks poll, we await your learned views with anticipation. 

    • Euan Rt

      sorry Wayne – see above

      • Wayne

        Thank you Euan RT – always thought you were a decent sort really!!!

  • Cullen’s Sidekick

    You all underestimate David Shearer at your peril. He is slowly winning the hearts and minds of Kiwis with his leadership skills and laid back style. Prepare for a landslide win in 2014

    • Wayne

      What leadership skills -as has been seen by all and sundry he’s been an abject failure so far – you and Le Poohole are definately blinkered.

    • Apolonia

       Landslide for who?

    • BD

      Thats the problem, slowly, he won’t be around come the end of this year let alone 2014.

    • Patriot

      Yea  Cullen sider  —  Goff predicted a Labour win too

      We saw Goff was useless as a PM , just like Helen Clark — hopeless .
      Shearer is even worse .

  • Kosh103

    LOL – I find thses threads amusing at the moment. More than one poll has showed National losing ground, and one of the latest ones have Labour able to take over as Govt. Once this weeks budget is in, and the dammaging effects of it are felt watch National drop further.

    Yes, this whole Shane Jones thing has been mishandled, but it still will not save National.

    • In Vino Veritas

      “Curia’s Polling Newsletter – Issue 56, April 2012
      April saw four political polls published – two Roy Morgan polls a 3 News Reid Research poll and a Herald Digipoll.
      The average of the public polls has National 19% ahead of Labour, up from 18% in March. The centre-right has 63 out of 121 seats on the April average.”

      So Kosh, lets wait and see what Issue 57 has to say shall we, then you can be amused again, since it seems it is only the very simple things that keep you amused.
      Oh, you do understand the above dont you? If you need an explanation, let me know.

      • Kosh103

        Im fine Vino, and I understand youd distress. Its ok, Labour will make things all better after.

      • In Vino Veritas

        hah! You are trying to have a sense of humour Kosh! Don’t worry, distress is not something I suffer from. I’m sure you really believe that Labour will make it all better. The good news is that they are not proposing currency controls, so since capital is mobile (as socialists world wide are finding out), I’ll just take mine away again. My kids quite like the Isle of Man.

    • Patriot

      Kosh – Paul Ruddell ,
      You have Fairydreams of Labour winning the next election — but Shearer is more ineffectual than Goff .  

      Shearer cant even get a statement out without ummm ahhhh and falling over himself — He aint PM material .

      Winston is the real Opposition , not Shearer.

    • Pukakidon

       It does not matter Kosh because the election is very far away.  You and your criminal element can sit and watch and attend all the legal proceedings building up against your buddies.


  • AnonWgtn

    We all know that Dr Norman is Leader of the Opposition, along with Winnie the pooh.
    And that’s frightening as Greenpeace could get more seats than Labour in 2014.