Trotter on Heroes

Bowalley Road

Chris Trotter seems totally fed up with David Shearer. He thinks Labour needs another hero. Is a coup brewing?

 It is difficult to imagine a “hero” better suited to the needs of twenty-first century New Zealand. John Key’s very ordinariness confirms his “Everyman” status, and amplifies the potency of his success. The power he wields is not his own, but a weapon forged from the capacities inherent in every Kiwi: those mysterious qualities that allow New Zealanders to “punch above their weight”; that national essence which sanctions John Key’s followers’ vicarious participation in his personal and political success. He is Us, and We are Him. It’s why, until an even more emblematic hero comes along, John Key will remain invincible.

For a while, it looked as though Labour had found just such an emblem. David Shearer’s story, like John Key’s, begins with an ordinary bloke setting forth on a journey, during which he encounters all manner of monsters – from Somali warlords to murderous Israeli settlers – learning in the process the magic spells for opening the human heart to compassion, justice and reconciliation. He, too, returns to his people and, at the crucial moment, steps forward from the shadows to declare that he is the one destined to lay low the National Party usurper.

Except he hadn’t learned the spells, or, if he had, he could no longer remember them.

It’s as if Arthur stepped up to the sword in the stone, gave it a confident tug – and nothing happened. Instead of a sword flashing in the sunlight above his head, proof positive that he was “rightwise King born of all England”, the weapon stays exactly where it is, and the hero, with an embarrassed shrug, picks up a guitar instead.

There are, of course, many variations on the classic hero tale. Instead of acquiring forbidden knowledge and inheriting mysterious powers, the hero is often required to overcome a series of obstacles and/or eliminate a host of adversaries before completing his quest. In doing so he blazes a trail and lays a path for those who follow after him. Think of the Labours of Heracles, or Theseus’s struggle with the Minotaur, or Luke Skywalker’s destruction of the Death Star in Star Wars.

Does Labour have another hero? And, if it does, can we assume that the first obstacles and adversaries he must overcome are all inside his own party?


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  • Pete George

    Labour needed much more than a magic wand wave and a new face. Their last hero took a lot longer than a few months to become heroic

    Trotter has been sucked in to the quick fix society. Remember the cheese, good things take time – although of course time doesn’t guarantee quality, especially if failed ingredients aren’t changed.

  • le sphincter

    This is priceless-
    “Labours of Heracles, or Theseus’s struggle with the Minotaur, or Luke Skywalker’s destruction of the Death Star in Star Wars”

    And hes the voice of Waitakere man ? Referring to the ancients , that must go down well at the RSA.  Any new Oxford First would rip him up,…. like Cameron.
    Trotters idea of a ‘refugee camp’ is Club Med

    • Hawk

      Your the priceless one.

      Are you not aware of the ” Hero Journey” ? . Which are stories of like nature that appear in many cultures and in contempory literature as well..

      Google maybe your friend unless you enjoy showing time and time gain the level of yoru ignorance.

      • le sphincter

        So he gets his inspiration from google ?

        That goes down well …nowhere. 

  • Meg

    Whale do you ever get fed up being wrong? Every other week it seems you get yourself all wound up over a possible, maybe, could be about to happen any nanosecond now Labour leader coup.

    Give it up, it aint happening.

  • Hagar

    To be a leader one has to have that undefinable X factor, like Muldoon, Kirk, Lange , Key. They either have it or they dont, they cant manufacture it or learn it, its there or not there, Shearer doesnt have it.

    • Mr Sackunkrak

      Hagar, you are right about the missing X, and I’m beginning to think he’s missing the Y as well.

    • Meg

      I see you left out Helen in your little X factor list.

      • Mr Sackunkrak

        The beast had no redeeming features whatsoever.  Never mind an “X factor”.

      • Hagar

        Like Bolger Untie Helen didnt have it, even though both won 3 elections.

      • gazzaw

        Lange & Kirk yes. Clarke? P factor – P for power & the lust for it.

      • Pukakidon

        Helun will go down as a vindictive self interested do nothing.   Although I did not like Lange, he did have the leadership trait.   Clark was a liar who deflected any of her own deficiencies towards her underlings, she was and is a coward and a consistent blamer of others.

        The problem with Shearer and the claim that he was a UN hero, is a joke.  Those who are in the know understand that this idiot was one of the usual hierarchical carpet baggers who fed at the UN trough and never risked a single bone in his body.  

        To try and make out he was some sort of hero, to many in this country who have actually risked their life in the military or other UN agencies on the ground is not only sick and degrading it is laughable.  It disgusted me on the first day the Liarbour party tried to clam hero status, because of his troughing with the UN.

      • Meg

        So cute to see the right try to deny Helen’s place in NZ history. She was one of our best Prime Minsters, and was more qualified to run this country than Key is. Given how badly things are going for us it is amazing how he has managed to hoodwink so many voters. 

  • Positan

    Labour’s essential problem is its almost total lack of business-oriented talent. The necessary appreciation, understanding and awareness of the “big picture” is almost never seen to be demonstrated by its representatives.  Labour’s “philosophy” stemmed from the humanity of well-meaning idiots, only to be usurped by ambitious and minimally capable would-be’s. Its philosophy has always been driven by Labour’s self-imposed inferiority – envy of those who’ve succeeded or simply done better – which, I suspect, has stemmed as much from the ambitions of those who’ve sought to become its MPs because any direction of its supporters towards self-betterment or any sort of personal attainment would eventually cost it its base among the unpragmatic lot who, from sheer ignorance of the actual realities, blindly support and uphold the nonsense they spout.

    Shane Jones would appear to be the only Labour MP with any sort of realistic economic grasp – yet who’d have him as Minister of Finance?

    • le sphincter

      Business talent led to a $45 mill special  deal loan to mediaworks.
      what you are referring to is crony capitalism

      • Positan

        Your comment epitomises the utter lack of basic comprehension that’s pretty well typical of every Labour adherent and apologist. Your “reply” is a nonsense and  irrelevant.  It addressed none of my assertions. 

        That which I “was referring to” was parliamentary Labour’s total lack of administrative substance and its thus demonstrable unsuitability to hold office.  It’s not heavy science, just the only possible conclusion that can be drawn from such an elemental shortcoming.  This country needs good government and there’s not the remotest likelihood that today’s Labour could in any way meet such expectation.

  • AnonWgtn

    Shearer appears to be a likeable and nice person.
    But keep politics away from nice people.
    Long may he Labour reign.
    He is surrounded by useless and incompetent idiots, who could not lie in bed.
    Where he could find the level of Cabinet Minister I cannot see.
    The factions in the Labour Party are devisive, with business hating unionists, like Kelly, certain to be listed at the next election.
    In my youth we learned Policon – you cannot divide politics from economics. 

  • Richard McGrath

    Personally, I don’t need a politician who feels he/she needs to be a hero. I need one who makes the minimal impact on my life, while I work quietly toward my goals.

  • GeorgeRomero

     ”during which he encounters all manner of monsters – from Somali warlords to murderous Israeli settlers”
    Al Shabab Islamist rapists and murderers yes , but not one did Shearer encounter outside a protected UN barrier.
    Murderous Israeli Settlers?Which one?What settler is this arsehole refering too?.How can one be a settler in ones own country?I kind of had a tiny bit of respect for trotters wrighting skills but thats just shit.

  • MrV

    Trotter spends waaaaaayyyyyyy too much time thinking about John Key, he needs to get out.

  • Patrick

    Unfortunately it would appear Trotter has been toking on one hell of a mean joint. He was clearly way off his face when his hands wandered off to the keyboard & let fly with the above load of fiction.

    What an absolute load of buttwank tripe.

    • Positan

      Typical Labourite “criticism” manifested as abusive disagreement – but not a single word of rebuttal to show where Trotter got it wrong.  Argument must be substantiated with facts.  Trotter provided his – where are yours?

      Labour’s failings are obviously of concern and pain to Trotter as he watches his party spiraling downwards.  But others who can’t see what’s wrong and continue to blindly uphold the vapid qualities of its all but useless MPs are obviously as unthinking and incapable as the aforesaid MPs.  

      Shearer is wonderful news for National – but that’s not all good for the country.

      • Patrick

         How about we start with this –

        David Shearer’s story, like John Key’s, begins with an ordinary bloke
        setting forth on a journey, during which he encounters all manner of
        monsters – from Somali warlords to murderous Israeli settlers

        Please explain to me how a UN administrator will have come into contact with the above described monsters? Shearer was a pen pusher sitting behind a desk. He was not Bruce Willis, Arnie, or Clint Eastwood – although the media would have us believe he was.