Gutted like a….snapper

You know things are dire for David Shearer when Jane Clifton suddenly bursts forth about just how tits David Shearer is. I’d say one of his main protectors has now quietly slipped off the Titanic after drilling holes in Shearer’s lifeboat.

Ever since Don Brash, visiting a boatyard during an election campaign, was filmed “walking the plank”, politicians have been extra careful about avoiding unfortunate symbolism.

Unaccountably, the Opposition leader’s office forgot this wise precaution yesterday.

Either that, or no-one could manage to dissuade David Shearer, seeking to illustrate a point about snapper quota, from producing two of the fish in Parliament yesterday.

The Government did not know which piscine wisecrack to go with first. They were, of course, dead fish. Necessarily, they were fish out of water – though at the same time, they were as good for target practice as fish in a barrel. Depending on how long they had now been out of water, they could also end up as cat food.

Mr Shearer’s senior benchmates reinforced this point by indicating playfully, but rather unhelpfully, that the fish were getting a bit whiffy.

Poignantly, though Mr Shearer’s staff had failed to protect him from the inevitable fish-related farce, he had come equipped with a paper towel roll to wipe his hands – though journalists at a subsequent press conference reported he still smelt fishy.

Prime Minister John Key sought leave for Mr Shearer to table the fish so he could get them cooked for his dinner. He had already made a meal of Mr Shearer. 

Since Jane mentions it:

Clifton covers the previous prat-fall by Shearer:

In an earlier own-goal, Mr Key had been gifted the opportunity to portray National-Labour discussions about a consensus on the new spying legislation as being akin to Monty Python’s fish-slapping dance.

Mr Shearer had asked Mr Key to confirm whether he or his office had held any meetings with Labour in the run-up to the bill. “I can’t believe he is asking that question,” Mr Key boggled, indicating that he would answer it, but it would not be fun for Mr Shearer if he did.

Mr Shearer said to bring it on – so falling into another question time heffalump pit. For one thing, cross-party talks are supposed to be high-trust affairs, used sparingly and with the utmost discretion. For another, question time is the clumsiest of forums in which to break that trust.

Mr Shearer clearly had a version of events unflattering to the Government, which he wanted to get across – but all he was allowed to do was ask questions. Mr Key had an alternative version unflattering to Labour, and was able to give a full account.

And a full and embarrassing account it was too.

And so that most delicate and rare, but most essential of political customs, the tactful cross-party negotiation by which Parliament can save itself so much aggro, was left . . . gutted.


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  • NeillR

    There’s something fishy about Shearer alright.

  • Plue

    I am now completely convinced that Shearer has to be a National Party mole. There is simply no other explanation for his behavior. Who doesn’t recognise the “do you really want me to answer that” warning when someone says it to you. This is right up there with “do these jeans make my arse look fat”
    I expect John Key will give Shearer a knighthood after the next election for services to the National Party.

    • In Vino Veritas

      Plue, the problem for Shearer is his advisors. When you have some of them actually wanting his job, the simple thing to do is set him up to fail. Shearer’s background appears to show him as a consensus builder with him the mouthpiece. So, he is led by the nose and given the poisoned chalice. Roberston and Little will have their arms in up to their elbows in this for sure.

      • Plue

        Yes I have seen this argument advanced before, however “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” After you have been f_cked over a couple of times wouldn’t you wise up? I know some people would like to imagine he is as dumb as a post but really? If he is as dumb as he behaving he may well be entitled to a disability support person.

        • In Vino Veritas

          Yup Plue, you are not wrong. I just don’t think it’s in the mans nature to take make hard decisions and cleanse some of the trouble from his team. It wouldn’t be hard to hand the a DCM for non performance, that’s for sure.

    • Ducky

      psst.! keep this to yourself, FM is our Nat sleeper.

  • Patrick

    The photo will linger in the memory long after Shearer has scuttled back to a cushy appointment at the UN, he will soon be adding to those hidden millions in New York.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    A straw street poll conducted by Jacinda Ardern and FatCon confirmed that 78% of the people polled think Sheep is giving John Key a run of his life….So watch it folks…underestimate Sheep’s stunts at your peril….

    • In Vino Veritas

      Yes SCS, I saw that too. They polled Little, Fenton, Robertson, Cunliffe, Harawira, Goff, Mahuta, Mallard, King, Helen Clark, Cosgrove, Nicky Hager, Jim Anderton, Dotcom himself, Norm Kirk, Hugo Chavez, Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. Giving him a run for his money allright…..

  • rockape

    I think Searer goes to bed at night and cries himself to sleep.

  • NeillR
  • John Key gave David Shearer the chance to withdraw “that” question; Key knew that it was political dynamite. That Shearer pressed on regardless, not only repeating the question but then giving Key the opportunity to answer an additional two supplementaries suggests that Camp Shearer will need far more than Fran Mold to turn the ship around.

  • steve and monique

    Like those snapper, Shearer was battered,and fried. Next time he might think twice before opening his mouth. Mind you I need a good laugh,and this clown provides plenty.

  • Shoreboy57

    did Duck ok this piece?

  • Bryan

    he reminds me of George Bush david letterman would have some real fun with that fish today will it be chips tomorrow or maybe Mabel howards nickers

  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    Shearer has the aura of Rudolph Hess at the Nuremburg trials. He looks and acts like he’s had a spell in the sanatorium…