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Monday, February 27, 2012


Now we're talking:

Mr Shearer's predecessor, Phil Goff, explicitly ruled out any kind of relationship with Mr Harawira.

The new leader says he will respect ideas wherever they come from, including from the Mana Party.

He says he does not have any baggage with the Mana Party.

"I'll take them as I find them and if they turn out to be somebody I can't work with, I'll make that determination then."

Mr Shearer says he has already met with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and the Green Party co-leaders.

Mr Harawira says he welcomes the opportunity to sit down with Labour to start planning a united opposition to what he calls the anti-worker, anti-beneficiary policy that National is rolling out.

The opposition to National's coalition have to start playing nicely and aligning over some big issues in order to give people the confidence that they can work together in government. David Shearer's first steps of repudiating some of the previous leader's tactics is what is necessary to do that. His steps may be cautious and far too slow for many commentators, but they are toward the right direction: to form a centre-left administration capable of ideological coherence and thus something that may have some prospect of going beyond a single term.

At the next election campaign there ought to be a feeling of a popular front standing against the Tory's unpalatable mix of crony capitalism for their mates and austerity for their class enemies.

The question is whether David Shearer will lead and act, or chair and manage this arrangement. We still haven't got a feel for his style yet. This enigmatic aspect is no bad thing either; John Key benefited from not being able to be pigeon-holed/demonised for most of the previous term as people were left to make up their minds without a hostile media creating an adverse image. Key went for bland and that's what his public image is now (regardless of what the truth may be). Shearer hasn't got the room to do that - Phil Goff was bland enough for a century's worth of Labour leaders - so he has to live up to his 'action man' rep soon to change the record.


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