Vernon Small puts lipstick on the pig



I’m not sure what Vernon Small was on when he started on this opinion piece, but it had to be pretty good.

Labour leader David Shearer could not have given a clearer signal that the party needs to lift its game in its traditional happy hunting grounds – jobs, health and education.

While health spokeswoman Maryan Street and education spokeswoman Nanaia Mahuta have not been booted out of the top 20, they have been shifted sideways into less critical areas in his long-awaited reshuffle.

In comes Chris Hipkins, who has been acting education spokesman for some time, and feisty veteran Annette King in health.

Feisty veteran Annette King?

But wait, he’s got more lipstick to go around.  

Behind them, keeping them honest, will be former leader Phil Goff and the demoted but not forgotten Trevor Mallard. They will team up as the nucleus of a new “hit-squad”, with extra research and media resources to dig and dish the dirt.

“Feisty” veterans and a “Hit-squad”.

I guess Vernon was on something, but it didn’t last for the whole time he was writing.  Because in the end, he loses the will to live and faces up to the whole thing being as uninspired and boring as it really  is.

It is a thoughtful reshuffle by Mr Shearer, which matches Mr Key’s own move to dump two senior ministers, but hardly exceeds it.

And as good as she may be, Mrs King’s promotion is a strange signal from a party bent on rejuvenation and supposedly keen to “move on” from the Clark and Goff years.

Shearer really did the best he could.  If you’re dealt a shit hand, no amount of moving the cards around is going to turn a 2 into an Ace.


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  • Phar Lap

    Wonder what would happen to the Lie-bour has beens if a snap election was called.Seems if the activists in Supreme Court favour the Maori activists, on the who owns the water trick, rumour has it,it could be on the cards.

    • blokeintakapuna

      Snap election would be very interesting indeed. Especially if it comes around the time that Jones is found out by the AG…

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        bloke – Sheep is so confident that the AG report will clear Pornsy Jonesy. So get on with life.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Labour-Green-NZ First-Mana alliance will sweep to victory…so watch out Tories.

  • RockyFist

    Perhaps with King and Goff, Shearer figgers that a pair or two’s is better than a single Ace?
    Mallard is like the joker in poker. A card that doesn’t exist so is as usefull as tits on a bull.

  • StupidDiscus

    The single most important fact we must repeat daily, we must drive home is that with National on nearly 50%, National must lead the next government

    Fuck what the academics or cabinet office or judges say: there is no precedent in NZ for the largest party not leading government. There just isn’t. We must insist any such government would be illegitimate.

    Just look at Australia – again the party that won – Liberal – the candidate that won – Tony Abbot – was unconstitutionally denied government. We must not permit the same thing to happen in NZ.

    Interesting that on the last election figures (not as good as this latest poll) says that if NZ was still a democracy (FPP) the parliament would be: Nat 42, Act 1 Dunn 1 Lab 22).
    National has a 2/3rds majority enough to change the constitution).

    National should assume constitutional legitimacy and insist that that will remain while it is overwhelmingly the largest party

    • Dan

      Cool story bro. Pity MMP doesn’t work that way, eh?

      • StupidDiscus

        You don’t get it: says who? Says leftists, that’s who.

        There is simply no precedent in NZ for the situation where the by far largest party — with twice as many actual electorate seats as its nearest rival is unable to form government. It’s never happened before. Saying we should follow German or Italian or Greek precedents and ahve a coalition of the losers is just as constitutionally valid as at least two alternative solutions.

        The GG could simply appoint Key as PM of a minority/caretaker government, and go to fresh elections if he can’t pass a budget. Can you say Kerr? I knew you could!

        The GG could appoint Key PM of a caretaker govt for three years — it could do no new policy fuck, that’s what’s happened for the last 5 years anyway.

        The GG could demand a Grand Coalition: National+Labour and declare they had a mandate to finally tackle NZ’s fucked economy.

        Best of all, (citing English 1911 precedent & USA 1936 precent) the GG could just appoint another ten National List MPs using his reserve powers and give Key a majority that way. (That’s what happens in Greece & Italy — following that precedent is at least as valid as following the Wihtlam/Kerr precedent).

        Hell, just before the election, Key could appoint Don Brash as GG, and then Don can govern directly through the executive council. That really is the parliamentary version of Cops. Glocks. Problem Solved — and once again, is at least as “constitutional” as any of the left-wing fantasies being spouted by academics & civil servants & “constitutional lawyers”.

        • LabTested

          Please stop putting
          words in bold. It is just annoying and suggests that you can not make a normal argument !! !! !!
          !! !!

        • Dan

          No dice. Jonkey wants to be a knight, and he wants that gong too badly to do the party he’s about to quit that solid a favour.

    • mick le prick

      You are 100% correct the sad thing is we need a New serious Right wing party to help National across the line then we could dump the Bro party and move NZ forward.
      Act with John Wanks as leader its stuffed he is tarnished with Dot CON and he is a total jerk anyway. Then the crazy Conservatives they scare people the way the looney left do.
      We need Bob Jones and his NZ party but in support of National not to roll them.

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        Wait for Kim Dotcon to launch a party closer to election….

        • Patrick

          Pool party? Food party? Party for lapdog journos?

    • Hazards001

      Good God, without shooting anyone or demanding that anyone that earns under a million dollars a year should be left to rot in the gutter you actually made sense.

      • StupidDiscus

        without shooting anyone or demanding that anyone that earns under a million dollars a year should be left to rot in the gutter

        I figure those truths are self-evident by now.

        • Hazards001

          You might want to consider that the police you think will protect you from the masses can’t shoot and the army is full of arse bandits that only joined for the action..still treat people as you would like to be treated..all the same to me.

    • Cadwallader

      Under FPP occasionally the less favoured party won. EG: Bill Rowling led Labour to a loss despite getting more of the total vote in 1981. I appreciate the rest of your comments.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    OK I had enough of Aunty King bashing here folks. According to all the newspapers and radio – the best thing that has happened to NZ at the moment is the recall of Aunty to the shadow health portfolio. They are saying, she will fix all the problems in the health sector now. Tony Ryall must be shaking in his boots now.

  • cows4me

    “rejuvenation”, oh fucking please. The only thing that could rejuvenate that sorry bunch of bullshit artists would be Madam Tussaud.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      You would have been pleased with the piggy face look Jacaranda Ardern was giving through out the announcement…..

  • Heatley and Wilkinson were so useless they couldn’t have made waves at the most backcounty Nat branch. Shearer with Goff safely out of the country has had the courage to dispose of the key hard left and Clar supporters. Dyson, Dalziel and Mallard. A few hard lefties like Megan Woods had to be put in at a low level to balance Lianne dimise and Annette King continues to hopeless approach of an embargo on Health and Education supporte. But still Shearer deserves all the support possible and its impossible to imagine why Nat and Act voters and Banks imagine the hard left government of cowards that English and Smith do is worth supprting. Surely the Labour finance team of Parker, Cunliffe, Cosgrave and Shane Jones is more Macho, Market and hetro than anything previous concieved.

    • StupidDiscus

      Parker, Cunliffe, Cosgrave and Shane Jones is more Macho, Market and hetro than anything previous concieved.

      moreso than Ruth — so there will be no benefits the week after Labour is elected?. Please!

      Sure Engish/Key/Joyce have been a waste of space, basically done nothing & kept all Hellen/Kullen policies. But that doesn’t mean the Unions back in government will be any better: rather the reverse — if anything, you’ll be wishing Hellen was back!

    • Hazards001

      ” Surely the Labour finance team of Parker, Cunliffe, Cosgrave and Shane Jones is more Macho, Market and hetro than anything previous concieved.”

      For Labour that is probably true, of course my daughters day care group consisting of Marie(4) Rebecca (4) Donna(4) and Lisa (3) are equally as macho and probably better at economics.

      And that’s not how you spell conceived..but good effort. I take it you’re happy with the labour education system as well?

  • BJ

    “Feisty” veterans —– More like the sacrificial lambs (mutton)