Shearer and that dinner

I see that John Drinnan has caught up with my post about Shearer’s dinner with Sky TV’s lobbyist, Tony O’Brien.  Drinnan appears to get the serious perception issues around Shearer meeting with O’Brien in a private setting.

The dinner party was alluded to by the right-wing blogger Whale Oil.

Alluded to? I wrote a full detailed post about it, that said this happened…if that was alluding I wonder what I have to do to be obvious…post a video of Shearer pulling up outside?

Anyway…Does anyone remember ‘Dinnergate’?  Shipley and Saatchi’s Kevin Roberts spent weeks answering questions about the appropriateness of their dinner and what was discussed.  It all came on the back of Saatchi & Saatchi being awarded a $30M account with the Tourism Board.

The difference of course is that Shearer is only Leader of the Opposition.  O’Brien is no mug and will know it is all about positioning… even for the long game.  If Shearer isn’t the next Prime Minister in waiting then I am sure O’Brien will have a new best friend over for dinner, who just so happens to be the next Labour leader.

So, why aren’t the mainstream media asking more questions of Shearer? May be Tracy Watkins could have a go.

Simple stuff like:

  • What was discussed over dinner?  Anything to do with politics, positioning, the work of Sky TV?  Shearer has said “mostly football, US politics, the role of the Citizens Advice Bureau and what my wife and I had done while working overseas for the UN and other humanitarian organisations”.  Really, no mention of NZ politics… none at all?
  • Was Shearer a tad naïve to think as Leader of a major party he can have a private, no strings dinner with one of the most competent lobbyists in New Zealand?  Would he do it again?
  • Does Shearer understand that O’Brien is undertaking good lobbying practice? i.e. get close to those in or likely to be in power, know a bit of personal information, be seen to be a nice guy and develop the relationship all so that when the time is right said lobbyist can have a more specific and direct conversation about what he (and who he represents) needs from Shearer.
  • Would the discussions count as lobbying under Holly Walker’s lobbying disclosures bill?
  • Shearer says broadcasting policy wasn’t talked about… does he mean Labour’s?  What about broadcasting policy in general, perhaps even US broadcasting policy?
  • What would happen if another guest at the dinner party had brought up broadcasting policy, would Shearer leave the room, operate a cone of silence or perhaps hum ‘Country Roads’?

Here’s Shearer’s problem.  He really is that naïve. He really thinks Tony wants to be his friend, to listen to his wonderous UN back story about he fed starving African with just the skins of mangos and laugh at his witty jokes.  Shearer is just as naïve to Robertson’s positioning.  Next he’ll be saying “Oh no, he’s a nice guy, he’d never do anything like that. We speak every day.”


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  • johnbronkhorst

    Not strictly on the subject. But dear old david thinks i’m one of his friends (i think). He sent me anothe rEMail part of which is below with my comments.
    1. Pro-growth tax reform. We need a capital gains tax, savings incentives and we must reward research and development.
    a…Try reading alan reynolds report for the ASX after CGT had been in Aussie for 15 years…….Not pretty reading it DISCOURAGES growth…idiot…other points are typically vague anf almost irrelevant. 
    2. Support our exports. This means fixing the volatility of the dollar and getting the Reserve Bank to look at growth and private debt.
    a…..More vague stupidity, “fixing the dollar has been tried in several ways and always FAILED to achieve what they set out to, due to the factors affecting the dollar are too big for NZ to deal with, we need to ride the wave not attempt to stop the tide.
    3. Affordability of NZ Super. At its current rate, super will cost $100b over 30 years. Imagine how many zero budgets we’d have then! Labour has plans to make Super more affordable, but we must ensure we communicate them properly.
    a…More vague BS…hints at perception again (“communicate”???) Labour speek that means….LIE.
    4. Education and Skills. Get more apprenticeships. Back our scientists. Get kids into jobs, education or training.
    a…more vague nicey nicey statements with no meat. How how and how???are the questions and HOW will you pay for it.???????

  • Jimmie

    One thing I would say for Drinnan is that he actually referenced you Cam. (In a vague way I must admit) Most of the repeaters don’t normally bother. 

  • BJ

    David Shearer is a wanna be in John Keys shoes. I find his presentation weak and everything that he says is generic aspirations and/or someone else’s speak. Labour must be playing with him and he doesn’t seem to mind or be aware

    • Fozzie

      Whew Shearer has to be anything better than ‘ I duno Key’ – wow if that interview tonight on TV 3 does not scare you then nothing will – hands off – not my job – i don’t wanna know – cos i off dining in Hollywood Key ….. his attitude wouldn’t pass first base for the manager of a dairy – let alone CEO  (as he would like to see it) of New Zealand !!

  • Hawker

    Interesting that this was included in the news today as well….

    • Jdrinnan

      He really was quite loose – not much attempt to understand what are murodch interests in this country – he just doesn’t like Fox News.

  • JC

     “Was Shearer a tad naïve to think as Leader of a major party he can have a
    private, no strings dinner with one of the most competent lobbyists in
    New Zealand?  Would he do it again?”

    I hope so. Labour needs to reconnect with the real world asap to ensure they can be credible when the public gets sick of National. I am mightily encouraged by Shearer finally agreeing with National over stopping payments into the Cullen fund till there are surpluses.

    Now he needs to talk to Chinese billionaires about investment in NZ, film moguls.. and he needs to talk to a whole bunch of Asian and African leaders to learn that shoving slops out the back of a UN truck doesn’t cut it with them.. they want *profitable* trade.


    • AnonWgtn

      Shearer is making policy without the Party, and their paymasters the Unions.
      Little Andrew will not accept any policy changes without his permission.
      So obfuscation surrounds – Trevor knows differently, so.

  • Macca

    Remember when Key had that meeting with Lord Monckton when he was still leader of the opposition?  The media were all over it and I think just about every opposition politician was given air time as to what they thought the details of the meeting were and Nationals hidden agenda!  

    Not a mention of Shearer’s liason in the news this week – yet again more hypocricy from the left leaning media.  I speak to more and more people who are commenting on this leaning – something has to give!

  • Adybombs

    “Increasingly TV news networks seeking left-wing comment on a run of government scandals have gone first to the Greens, then sometimes to Winston Peters, with a dozy Shearer sometimes a distant third.”
    This is the best part of the Drinnan story

  • jay cee

     or maybe people other than WO’s backslappers actually like dave shearer and want to talk to him either publicly or privately. 

  • kiwikevNZ

    the left digging shit on the right, the right digging shit on the left, is anyone running the country or is this it, politics at its best, and we wonder why a million ppl did’nt vote, there is nothing to vote for, i agree with rodney hide in another post “the government is irreparably broken”, infact its the whole political system that’s fuked, time for party politics to be gone the left/right thing have well proved they carn’t run a country

    • And they say Dictatorship is the most efficient form of Government

  • Jester

    A night at home with David Shearer and wife? Sure hope O’Brien stocked up on No-Doze!

    • Earbashed

      I met O’brien once and he didn’t stop talking.  THere is no way Shearer got a word in.  Hence I cannot imagine Sky TV not being discussed.

      • Jester

        Somewhere out there is a tree, tirelessly producing oxygen so David can breathe.

        Personally, I think he owes it an apology.

  • John Drinnan

    Jester and Eafrbashed: I’m told now there was another entertaining guest from Sky – yet to confirm though

    • Jester

      Cheers John you little tease :)

      If you tell me it was Dora the Explorer or Joe off Blues Clues I’m gonna wet myself.

    • Jester

      Nice scoop John.