Why Shearer can't sack Jones but might
devastating analysis of Labour Party fund raising and the latest case of citizenship for cash scandals that has engulfed Shane Jones.
This issue has the ability to destabilize the gains Labour have been able to make on the smelly dirty corporate cronyism of National and ACT. The pokie deal, the mediaworks deal, the Warners Bros deal, the Kim Dotcom deal and the extraordinary attempt by the PM to personally meet corporate giants to cut a deal for a Financial Hub all look bad and have set a narrative that cash for law change may as well get it's own Treasury Budget accountant.
That hard work could come undone if the insinuations pointed at Jones bear fruit. How would Shearer go about dealing with such a problem because his criticism of Banks would sound hollow if a Labour donor was perceived to have gained his citizenship for cash with the blessings of Jones.
With a social justice mandate, Labour have difficulties gaining large donors. The 1% don't donate to political parties focused on reducing their 1%-ness. Labour don't have the luxury of racist millionaires like Louis Crimp to donate. Crimp is so racist he makes the Grand Cyclops of the KKK look like an openly gay, inter-race dating liberal. So Labour tend to sniff and scratch for money in all the wrong places, and it looks like Chinese businessman Yong Ming Yan was a sniff and a scratch too far.
If the story gains traction what will Shearer do? Shearer could force the issue and push for Jones removal and earn himself public kudos for dealing with perceived corruption and add weight to his criticisms of National, but that would require some acceptance on Jones behalf.
Jones however is unlikely to fall upon his sword so it would require a protracted legal case and seeing as Jones would be aware of where most of the donors bodies are buried, that sort of move would start a bitter meltdown.
Another complexity for Shearer is that dumping a paid up member of the ABC like Jones would see Carmel Sepuloni returned to Parliament from the list changing the leadership math (Kelvin Davis retired from politics). That can't be something Shearer would want, especially now the Labour Party rules that will allow wider membership participation in selecting the leader are too far down the road to be derailed by the ABC in November.
These are ghosts of Labour's past coming to haunt the new leader. Shearer's glow was that he was untainted by Labour's past taint, but if he doesn't move decisively on Jones if the allegations gain momentum, Shearer will lose that glow.
Tough weeks ahead for Shearer.