Pressure builds

The pressure on David Shearer to chuck in the towel is building. Grant Robertson’s ‘committee’ spoke with Shearer recently about his future as leader. Cunliffe’s loyal cadre have been spooked into an all of nothing tilt and pressure is being brought to bear via blogs, useful MSM columnists and now former spin doctors and media trainers.

Brian Edwards has spoken, which means that Helen Clark has spoken:

A quite remarkable thing happened this morning. Heraldcolumnist Tapu Misa gave it as her view that David Shearer should stand down as leader of the Labour Party.

Misa is the finest columnist in the country – intelligent, informed, rational, considered in her judgements. More importantly, she is never cruel or unkind. Unlike most other columnists, including myself from time to time, she never sets out to wound. In keeping perhaps with her strong religious beliefs, she is ever a charitable critic.

Her politics are to the liberal left.

For these reasons I believe she will have thought long and hard before sending this morning’s column to the Herald for publication. It will not have been an easy decision. I can only assume that, after long deliberation, she concluded that this was something that, in the interests of the Labour Party and the country, just had to be said.

The timing of all this pressure just ahead of the conference is deliberate. Shearer will be sitting there thinking that there are much better things to do rather than listen to carping apparatchiks:

Misa’s message is by no means new. The opinion that Shearer, however decent, however nice, is the wrong man for the job, is now regularly expressed by both right and left-wing commentators. Shearer claims not to be bothered by this groundswell of disfavour, but he is either in denial or putting on a brave front. It must be a dismal experience to be subjected day in, day out, to such relentless public humiliation.

What is both new and remarkable is that Misa, albeit reluctantly, has joined the chorus of opinion that Shearer is harming rather than helping Labour’s cause and that he cannot continue to lead the party. The writing on the wall could not now be clearer.

They don’t want to knife Shearer for a couple of reasons. First, that he has actually a good bloke. The other reason is that although he can barely string together a coherent sentence when doing a standup his brain is actually useful, just not leading the party.

One factor that is thus far unsaid is that Labour lacks courage for a blood and guts coup, preferring to smother themselves in cowardice and exert pressure.

So here’s what I think should happen: Shearer should announce at the Labour Party Conference that he has told caucus he wishes to step down as leader and will do so as soon as a replacement has been chosen.  To avoid the inevitable chaos (and possible collapse of the Labour Party) which will  result from the implementation of their proposed new rules for choosing a leader (which could be tested as early as February of next year), caucus should quickly select David Cunliffe to take them through the next election. Cunliffe is the only person for the job. There is no-one else.

Yes, I know, there’s a squadron of pigs flying over the Beehive as I write these words. But I really would prefer not to have to say ‘told you so’ again late some night in November 2014.

The heavy lifters of labour party opinion are being wheeled out ahead of the conference. Expect the full court press. Trotter can’t be far off with his musings.


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  • NZ’s own “journolisters” at work.

  • steve and monique

    Leave him where he is,he is doing a great job leading the charge towards 2014.(lol) National backs him all the way.

  • In Vino Veritas

    The problem for any new leader of Labour, is that their reliance on socialist slogans and mantra’s, rather than economic reality won’t change.

  • how long will they be leaderless? will be months.

    • toby_toby

      They’ve been leaderless since Nov 2008, so a few more months ought not make much difference.

  • Pete George

    Will Helen Clark be at the conference? She is speaking in Dunedin on Wednesday. She might help sort things out while she’s here.

    • conwaycaptain

      Why does she keep coming back??? Is it to run the Liebour Party like a hand puppett

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        She could be in the race…..

        • Grizz30


      • Pete George

        Maybe she’s coming down here to annoint Clare Curran as new party leader.

        (What the heck, I’ve already inadvertently started one rumour becasue people don’t read stuff properly))

      • Cadwallader

        I suspect you’re right Captain!

  • Mediaan

    People like Brian Edwards (and all the rest of them) should have to register as party lobbyists.

    Through them, the fat established media empires (including Radio New Zealand) get dishonest influence over our New Zealand democratic process.

    The way it isLabour partisans can take general commenting jobs on radio and television just before an election.

    Watch. tThe same will apply for the so-called “Greens” in 2014.

    In 1999, devious, crafty Brian Edwards and the blatantly-Labour-evangelising Linda Clark were both pushing hard and consistently for Labour policies and people.

    They were dominating supposedly “neutral” political comment programmes. The public would have listened and thought they were getting a middle view.

    These two major roles had a pro-Labour impact on 1999’s voting.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Mediaan – Yes, I remember that very well, especially the propaganda that happened on TV 1 also.

      • Mediaan


        And, if I recall correctly, Edwards and his wife were running a “Learn TV Presentation Skills From Us” consultancy. Not long before all this, they had earned fees from the teaching of Helen Clark. They were so clearly Labour partisans, and financially interested parties, that Radio NZ and TVNZ, both tax-funded, should have been blasted for bias.

        Which of course the incoming Labour Government chose not to do, corrupt little weevils.

        • In Vino Veritas

          Well, Edwards won’t have much credibility left with regards to schooling politicians, given that Clark was destroyed by Key in the debates.

  • Vlad

    Bigger picture — as long as whatever happens with the Labour Party leadership stops Russel Norman & the Greens sneaking into power on a part-collapsed left Labour vote, I’ll be somewhat happy. Best outcome: Labour lurches left; Green support is leached away, electorate gets polarised. Nats plus who knows who get back in.

    • thor42

      Yep. I’ll be very interested to see if John Ansell actually launches his “Colourblind Party” (or whatever he will call it). It’d be quite possible that if he does, it could get 5% and get into Parliament.

      • Haha .. Now this is funnier than the Tapu Misu label.. John Ansell couldn’t even get the message out to more than 60 other potential deceivers tops, that
        he was actually holding his delayed Auckland Colourblind/TreatyTrash meeting.

        Couldnt even convince some of them in the echoey 650 capacity of the Christian centre heartland of Green Lane, that his Grievers vs Achievers campaign wasn’t just another hopelessly gropey gimpy Crimp funded racist rant about Maori, being mispresented as one state for al!l

        ( At least 10 present were media, definitely total unbelievers or just randoms who obviously thought it was going to be baptism of fire ceremony replete with hoods)
        I assume the Herald on Sunday sent males to cover it in case Crimp was actually there!
        Interesting to know same sort of supporters visit here though..

      • kiwiinamerica

        Is this the same John Ansell who predicted that a Brash led ACT post the messy coup would get 40% of the vote and that his promotional skills (ex the Iwi-Kiwi campaign) would catapult his man to the Beehive…Not. I know John and told him privately that Brash was an abysmal retail politician and that ACT’s internal antics and the messy ousting of Hide would cost them the few seats they already had. Whilst his colourblind campaign has merit, he lacks the same political instincts of his mentor and he can be counted on to position even this campaign poorly let alone a party.

  • cows4me

    What’s the point of a new leader when the party can’t decide which path they will follow, far left , left or rainbow. They really need to decide what they stand for then choose someone that believes in that path. At the moment they are just hoping a leader will save their sorry butts but a leader can’t lead if all the party members are puling in different directions. Anyhow I couldn’t give a flying stuff about the idiots , extinction would be the kindest outcome as far as I’m concerned.

  • Hagues

    “Misa is the finest columnist in the country – intelligent, informed, rational, considered in her judgements.”

    Bahahaha, is there an award for the most ridiculous statement of the year that Brian is making a run for?

    • RightOfGenghis

      Would love to know who penned the ‘finest columnist’ line. Has the good Dr Edwards joined the team of Whale ghost writers? Sounds like we are being softened up for another appointment to the socialist truth

    • niggly

      @ Hagues +1

      Yeah I laughed out fucken loud when I read that too (“”Misa is the finest columnist in the country…”)!

      She’s a shocker, on a par with Rudman, nothing but biased identity politics and left of left mis-truths. Not worth reading if one want unbiased viewpoints!

      • Travis Poulson

        Edwards criticizes Whaleoils readers/commenters then extracts a comment like that out of his clacker. No wonder nobody reads his blog.

        • Bunswalla

          Clacker – top form Trav!

          • Lion_ess

            Dr Edwards if you don’t mind, and with his readership of 3, likes to pontificate on NZ news /readership. Thank heavens he’s also advising the Labour Party on the leadership debarcle – bang on Dr. give it heaps.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Guys – What about Rajen Prasad as the leader?!? Can’t be worse than Sheep!!!!!

  • Travis Poulson

    Cunliffe you say. Well good luck to Cunliffe keeping his trying to keep his snarky caustic personality in check whenever he gets backed into a corner. He lashes out with a forked tongue whenever someone pisses him off. Actually, I might even look forward to it.

  • botti

    The real reason she wants to replace Shearer emerges at the end of the article when she talks about neo-liberal orthodoxy. She sees Shearer as likely to continue that so she (and Edwards) want Cunliffe to take over.

  • niggly

    There’s so much wrong on many levels with these Brian Edwards/Tapu Misa opinion pieces.

    Firstly Edwards’ sucking up to Misa (“finest columnist”, “Misa, albeit reluctantly, has joined the chorus of opinion” etc). I’d happily be corrected but I think you’ll find that, like Edwards, Misa has connections to the NZ Labour Party (or at least connections to people of influence both within and on the periphery of the Labour Party). This could very well explain Edward’s careful brown-nosing around Misa arse, he wouldn’t want to piss off elements of Labour’s identity politics crowd that Misa is at home with.

    On another level, Edwards, Misa, and some of those authors at the Standard, are doing Labour (let alone Shearer) no favours by bringing this out in the open now, before the Labour Conference. These turkey’s may end up setting the MSM agenda and crowd out anything useful Labour (or Shearer) has to say, as MSM fanboi political reporters sharpen their pens and concentate on the impending bad publicity surrounding Labour and Shearer etc.

    Let alone who the hell does Edwards, Misa and some Standard authors think they are – they were silent spinless pussies as Clark’s Labour slid down in the polls month after month prior to the 08 election and then crashed and burned! It was so obvious, like watching a plane crash in slow-mo! Where were these spineless pussies then?

    Could it be that Shearer, who represents “common-sense” slightly centre-right views within Labour, isn’t tainted by being part of the Labour factions and therefore is open game to attacks from these likes of Edwards, Misa, the Standard, whom represent left-of-left viewpoints? These very same left-of-left viewpoints that turn off mainstream NZers? It seems Shearer is being used as an excuse by these people to further certain agendas (which these types just can’t fathom, are why people are switching off from Labour).

    Again having said all this, oh well, that suits me fine, bring it on!

  • boglas

    Never took to Tapu M as I do not trust or respect those that give a false impression by the obviously tarted up headline picture. Reminds me of Auntie Helen.

  • LR

    Has anyone thought about the evil one with teeth who is currently in NZ . Her presence cannot be under estimated as it was her party and she will not want it going down the gurgler. Lock up your children.

  • Troy

    I’d like Shearer to stay on as Labour leader – he’s the gift that Labour just keeps on giving and if it means Labour and the toxic Greens don’t gain power in 2014, i’m just fine with that.

  • Patrick

    Edwards is a muppet mouthpiece of the lefties, always has been always will be. How anyone can rate Misa as the finest columnist in the country is beyond me, she is another whining leftie commie. Her only solution is to tax the rich & give it to the poor.

    What gives Edwards the right to assume he is the pulse of the nation, he is just another has been fool doing the bidding of Helen Klarkenfhurer