Friday, December 2, 2011

David v David. The Nation and some of my thoughts.

Interesting watching both perform but at the end of the day the winner was Shearer. Cunliffe made a mistake slagging of Key's " billions" . That was a silly move, he should have left it at that was in the heat of an election campaign. Plunket caught him with the Helen Clark question and the momentary hesitation could almost have been interpreted as " dare I lie " about this. He is Helen's protege and Labour must move on from the Clark era. Ironically Goff was a bigger departure from Clark than Cunliffe could ever be, but Goff had little choice other than to give jobs to her inner circle but had he been braver  and ditched some of the passed used by date MP's he would have undoubtedly been rolled.

Shearer made it clear he was open to reform and Farrar at Kiwiblog points out

"As a National supporter, I know National will not always be in Government. I think a David Shearer led Labour Party will pose more of a threat to National, than any alternative leader. But I still hope that the Labour Caucus will elect Shearer as their leader, as if there is to be a Labour Government, I think the sort of policies we would get under a Shearer administration would be far better than we had under Helen Clark and Michael Cullen, or were offered by Phil Goff.

Shearer is backed by many reformers within Labour. A likely area of reform is around list ranking and candidate selection – specifically the heavy influence union affiliates get in these decisions. Many in the caucus are upset that new MPs such as Carmel Sepuloni, Kelvin Davis and Stuart Nash were ranked below longer serving MPs with union backgrounds. They lost some of their most promising talent from 2008. If a Shearer led Labour can reform the party so that it operates on a one person, one vote principle then Labour is far more likely to regain the votes of its former supporters."

That is excellent analysis come advice from Farrar that seems to have upset Trevor Mallard at Red Alert who has posted,

" Interesting to watch the line of the right on the Labour leadership.
Faux support for one candidate.
Is it because they think the Labour MPs will be put off. Or don’t recognise a double play.
But of course we will just ignore them."

That provoked Jester to point out in the comments.

" Trevor. So the right wingers are supporting Shearer to double bluff the labour party faithful into ditching Shearer and installing Cunliffe?
Maybe a triple bluff is in play?"

Bloody hilarious as some others point out if you are going to run the leadership campaign in public then people will comment. Others argue that it should be done behind closed doors involving only the caucus ( I assume a Cunliffe supporter ). As this  goes on I suspect Shearer will build a groundswell of support not just from rank and file Labour but from the public at large. On that point Clare Curren at Red Alert blogs.

" The leadership will be determined by the 34 votes of the Labour caucus on 13 December. But those votes will have been informed by the countless discussions occurring in all forums. At my children’s school camp yesterday south of Oamaru it was a hot topic and I was provided with various theories on the qualities of leadership. "

I hope she means it if I have interpreted her intentions correctly because like Clare I know Dunedin South well and given the choice between the Harvard  academic Cunliffe and  the bloke who stares down Somalian warlords Shearer they will choose Shearer every time. This isn't a critism of Curran but Labour lost the party vote in Dunedin and her majority was significantly cut. I gather she is thought to be in the Cunliffe camp and I think  that is a mistake if it is true.

I have made no secret that I would like to see Grant Robertson in the leadership role if he goes in as deputy to Shearer I doubt that will happen. Instead he could be destined for a role as leader of the opposition in similar circumstances to Phil Goff and just ask Phil how much fun that is.

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