Invisible Man On Invisible Roof

Bryce Edwards must believe like the rest of us now that David Shearer made up the “backstory” of the “guy on the roof” as he has compared this mythical character to Joe the Plumber and the Mondeo Man.  Edwards also reminds us of previous back stories.

New Zealand Labour has (so far): ‘guy sitting at his kitchen table in West Auckland doing his GST return’, ‘Rangitikei truck driver’, and now  ‘neighbour of sickness beneficiary painting his roof’.

David Shearer’s roof painting incarnation broke one of the basic rules of this (quite old and worn) political strategy. The negative attack on beneficiaries was actually audible to all – particularly Labour’s activist base – and as a result it has backfired badly. The neighbour has been forgotten and the focus has gone onto the beneficiary.

And that is where Shearer’s problems started.  He has created the “guy on the roof” to attack beneficiaries and many are Labour voters.  The centre vote do not mind holding beneficiaries to account as Paula Bennett has worked out but Labour’s left are running riot.  When Cactus Kate from the economic far right  applauded and highlighted the speech ten days ago as not unlike something Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble produced in their prime with ACT, Shearer should have known he would be upsetting his own foot soldier members.  As represented collectively and in comment threads on The St(r)andard and when Gordon Campbell put the boot in.

Last year before the election, I was chatting to a guy in my electorate who had just got home from work. In the middle of the conversation, he stopped and pointed across the road to his neighbour.

Once again I call on a real journalist to do their job and demand Shearer pass details to them so they can interview the specific man that spoke to Shearer and investigate the alleged beneficiary fraudster.  It is now a matter of Shearer’s credibility as he has reused and recycled this “guy on the roof” for some time now as not a general class of person but an individual, Rufus Paynter.

We all know he cannot breach either the privacy of the neighbour or the “guy on the roof” as it is all a fabrication.


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  • David

    And mean while red radio has just interviewed Jacinda who has a memo from MOH and is crapping on about how terrible it is to drug test beneficiaries. Hey workers have to to keep their jobs and income.

    • Neil

      Where? Can you name the industry at least….?

      • BW_Lord

        Neil, I’ve got a number of friends working in Live Lines that have a very strict drug testing regime, and at least one guy I know works in forestry with the same. I’m fairly surprised with how mainstream its got over the last few years.

      • Ronnie Chow

        All workers at Stockton Mine .

      • nasska

        Fishing & forestry employers are strict on drug use & most have random testing. The meat industry & transport are fairly hard careers to break into if you use recreational drugs even outside working hours.

        Many more employers from all sectors will test before hiring someone & thereafter only in the event of the employee being involved in an injury or accident. Point is that industry testing is being used as a defacto social drug control measure.

  • Phar Lap

    Maybe the headline might read Shearer the phantom, who walks and talks, about a” beneficiary rat on a hot tin roof”.

  • grandstream

    Given labour dont seem to be able to act in any decisive manner, if they continue fluffing around, surely wont they just drive more of thier foot soldiers to the Green Watermelon party or worse, Winston ? Or wont any of this matter at teh next poll ?

  • Jimmie

    I think the point that kills this story is this comment:

    The guy had just got home from work (A time frame of perhaps 5:30=6:00pm perhaps early to mid Novemeber)

    Now most practical people know that you never paint a roof in the evening as the dew is likely to come down and settle and the paint won’t dry – it will run off into the gutter.

    I think this point alone kills it – also walking around on a roof when the dew is starting to fall can be be slippery and dangerous.

    Unless Shearer can say who the guy was and get some independent verification I would say this story is a big fail.

    • Neil

      Sorry buddy but three houses in our neighbourhood over the last year have had their roofs painted (by contractors) – right up until sundown. My wife and I were looking and thinking WTF? This paint ain’t gonna last long…..One of the neighbours we spoke to said they were told the product used guaranteed surface hard within ten minutes and dry overnight so they weren’t worried.

  • Busman

    This just does not add up either way you look at it , could it be an invisible play to say fuck u to his caucus this is how we are going to do things !!! perhaps mr Invisible has started to sprout some balls and has gone all in to shift the mentality back to the centre ????
    Just a theory !!!

  • Labour is clearly a dead duck. Short of an absolute clean sweep (say wiping the lot and bring in all new young people) I cant see anything but complete annihilation of them in the next election.

    But then what? Will Greens absorb their votes? Perhaps the focus needs to shift to them as I think they are the only real threat. Not because they have substance, but because green policy & asking for more hand outs are becoming increasing trendy.

    The students espousing left-wing ideology dont seem to be growing out of it as much; most of the families we know are all left-wing. Its feel good stuff so they like it.

    • nasska

      Labour have a hard core base of I guess 22 -25% of the voting population. These are the types with a photo of Mickey Savage above the mantlepiece & only death will seperate them from the Labour Party no matter what batshit mad position it takes. You could stand a fence strainer as a candidate in any electorate & it would hoover up these votes.

      The problem Labour faces is that apart from union hacks ( eg, teachers, watersiders ) old age is going to decimate their base in the near future. The new fresh faced pinkos are flocking to the Greens.

      What we are witnessing is not the demise of the Left….just the early death throes of the Labour Party.

  • pidge

    Shearer just needs to add the ACC claimant Rufus Fallen (search Bricklayer’s Report)

  • Neil

    I likewise think it was intended to be a generic beneficiary ripping the system – but like most “lies” the longer the story stayed out there the more it was expected it represented a real person – shit this is really unusual for a politician – NOT!!