Is Shearer's Labour a Lange trojan horse?
And Fran O'Sullivan starts the latest wobble rumors of David Shearer's leadership with a bone cutting review of the ever increasing vacuum popularly referred to as his media presence.
Seeing as Fran was at the iPredict Election show after party where Shearer's leadership was anointed, her critique carry's some weight.
Meanwhile David Parker is channeling Rodger Douglas with a speech to the financial elites where Parker not only soothed the nervous horses of NZ's big business, but he seemed to invite them all home for a hoof massage.
Labour published a closed list of assets that we believe ought to be run in the New Zealand interest because they have monopoly characteristics - assets such as electricity line networks, water and airports.
The list excludes telecommunications and electricity generation
I'm sorry what? Telecommunications and electricity generation are not on Labour's list of assets to protect? Chris Trotter highlights the very different private and public messages Labour are sending on assets, and suggests that Labour are in danger of being hijacked by the same forces that prefer managing neo-liberals rather than challenging them.
It's almost as if David Cunliffe's previous 3 excellent speeches were never spoken.
What many political commentators don't seem to be aware of is that Shearer won the leadership because the right wing of the party swung in and sealed it for him, leading to the suggestion that he is dependent on them for power and they have his ear on policy.
The Pagani Doctrine is to not promise the electorate too much in terms of its core Labour Party values (which will probably have to be trampled once in power) and wait for people to tire of Key rather then inspire the nearly million NZers who enrolled but didn't vote.
As Fran points out, it's still not clear what Shearer actually stands for which gives Labour as a whole an ambiguity that is very deliberately created.
The fear within the star chambers of the Labour Party would be if the wider membership understand this private/public discourse and buck back in November once the new voting rules are changed. The real danger for Labour going down this path is that by 2014 the world economy will have declined even further making the distance between their brand projection and the actions of their Government far more obvious. At that point what little political capital they retained would be bunt off by furious old school members without mercy. Parker is right, radical action is needed to deal with the massive economic malaise we are confronted by, but the policy obfuscation doesn't suggest the current Labour Party have heard any of the criticisms Cunliffe has made.
IF NZers want a truly progressive left Government it will need to be a Labour-Green-MANA one. The truth is that Labour have to be forced to have the courage of their political convictions or else they default to overtly cautious and banal management.
There's no point changing Government if it doesn't change the status quo.