Anti Shearer faction loses traction | The Jackal

27 Jan 2013

Anti Shearer faction loses traction

Being that I've made no secret about supporting the Green party in their quest for a better New Zealand, it might surprise some readers that I also support David Shearer in his role as leader of the opposition.

My support for the Labour leader has recently been ridiculed by what I call the anti Shearer faction, which is an unfortunate group of largely deluded commentators and bloggers who are trying to control the debate by bullying and misinformation over at The Standard.

It amuses me somewhat that the anti Shearer faction cannot actually provide any real argument as to why David Shearer is bad... Instead they just waffle on and on providing the same defunct statements over and over again as if repeating their speculations makes them compelling and true. I bet the right wing are loving it.

Even after multiple requests on my part for some actual evidence from the protagonists to validate their dislike for David Shearer, the best the anti Shearer faction can come up with is 'go read what we've already written'. This is annoying because their presumption that I haven't already waded through all the anti Shearer rubbish is entirely wrong!

Instead it takes a rightwing propagandist in the form of Matthew Hooton to get to the crux of what the anti Shearer faction actually believes:

Even with that proviso, the extreme language at The Standard about Mr Shearer is unprecedented, and it is again being ramped up.

A nickname for Mr Shearer has emerged: Captain Mumblefuck. His intelligence and admittedly poor diction are derided.

We are told he is a bully and coward for demoting Mr Cunliffe, and a puppet of Trevor Mallard and Annette King. He is accused of appeasing the middle class, his 100,000-house KiwiBuild policy is criticised as a veneer for public private partnerships and he is widely suspected of having a secret neoliberal agenda.

Elsewhere, based on research by Mr Trotter, some even hint he may be some sort of agent for foreign intelligence services.

Since the November conference, writers at The Standard have demanded that despite Mr Shearer having the overwhelming support of caucus – and well above the 60% threshold required for him to automatically keep his job – he should put his leadership to a vote of party members and union affiliates this February.

To pressure him, a false rumour was spread in recent days that Mr Shearer planned to announce this weekend a membership and union vote. The motivation is because most Standardistas are confident he would lose.

So lets list and respond to the anti Shearer faction's arguments:

1. David Shearer is an intelligent person who sometimes has a slight case of poor diction. He is nonetheless fully understandable. Shearer doesn't actually mumble as much as start some sentences with the wrong word before correcting himself. This is a common human condition that's usually caused by nerves, which will improve as Shearer's confidence grows.

2. The way in which the media and some bloggers manipulated the leadership challenge situation ensured that David Cunliffe had to be demoted. That's how the game of politics usually works and there's no reason to call David Shearer a bully for following the rules.

Brian Edwards' claim that Shearer or his colleges rang the Labour caucus to bully them into voting for him is completely unverified. It's likely to be another vindictive rumour similar to Eddie's concerning a supposed upcoming membership vote to decide who is leader... A decision that in my opinion has already been settled.

3. There is no evidence to show that David Shearer is a puppet of Trevor Mallard and/or Annette King. If that were the case, the caucus would not have voted unanimously for Shearer to be their leader.

4. Public and private partnerships are a way to ensure that the available workforce and infrastructure is utilized efficiently. Without employing the private sector a Labour led government cannot hope to provide a healthy home to all New Zealanders.

5. Labour's housing policy will also help the poor by providing more entry-level accommodation. People moving into new state housing will relieve pressure on the rental market, thus ensuring rents are kept down. Rents are currently exorbitant in more built up areas mainly because of a shortage.

6. There's no basis for accusing Shearer of supporting the right wings neoliberalism... In fact his various speeches have often rallied against Nationals defunct agenda, which has been highly detrimental to New Zealand. Labours current policy is clearly not in line with Nationals and that's not likely to change.

7. David Shearer is not an agent for foreign intelligence services.

So now that we've got that all settled, can we move onto more important topics please?