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Thursday, August 09, 2012

A tale of two Davids - Shearer gets lost in the provinces and the poisoning of Cunliffe

Most pictures say a thousand words, this one says about ten.

Labour finally launch their much anticipated charm offensive on the Provincial hinterland in an attempt to reconnect with real Nu Zilind.

What Shearer lacked in charm, Sua William Sio made up for in offensiveness.

Who woulda thunk that a Labour leader would dog whistle bennie bashing? If this is the tone Shearer needs to take to 'win' over Labour's mythical blue collar bloke then maybe this isn't winning?

The problem for the Pagani Doctrine is that the very conservative National Party vote that they are chasing is most represented in these biased mainstream media landline polls, the same Polls David Shearer is floundering in.

If National voters aren't being turned on by Shearer in a poll that over represents their political opinions while the right wing blogs all chirp how similar Shearer is to National, then maybe the Pagini Doctrine is about as helpful in getting elected as a hole in the head is.

Look at Shearers speech to the Provinces and something becomes quickly apparent - yes National have gutted the economic might of the provinces because their free market non protectionism ideology is in effect, but Shearer has no response to the forces of the market because Labour are wedded to the hegemony. The only person to challenge that narrative has been Cunliffe, which helps explain why he is being so publicly poisoned right now.

I am shocked at how high ranking Labour Party MP's are turning on David Cunliffe.

The Labour Party mandarins seem to have decided that Cunliffe is too radical to be given the leadership and have anointed as their plan B the 'new blood' team of Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern. Robertson's people have been placed within key positions in Shearer's office in case the Shearer experiment fails and it is increasingly looking like that experiment better fire soon or the knives will be out.

Cunliffe is such a threat to the status quo that he is now being publicly poisoned by the right wing ABC clique (Anyone But Cunliffe).

I have spoken to Cunliffe a couple of times post his tilt at leadership and he has never said a disloyal word. Not once. Cunliffe has been 1000% loyal to the Party, it is shameful to see the caucus of that Party turn on him in this manner.

The only other example of disloyalty this extreme in recent times was Chris Carter, surely Shearer can't allow who ever spoke to Garner to get away with this can he?

Where is David Shearer's public statement that he supports the fine work that Cunliffe is doing in his Economic spokesperson role?

Much has been suggested on The Standard that Duncan Garner is lying about being told all this by senior Labour Party MP's. Let's be clear on this issue, Garner is many things, a liar isn't one of them. This is a deliberate attack on Cunliffe by high ranking Labour Party MP's to erode Cunliffe's credibility as a challenger as the wheels start looking more and more wobbly on Shearer's leadership.

Shearer can talk as long as he likes about the provinces being bleed dry but without challenging the free market dogma that underpins this decline in the way Cunliffe has, none of Labour's current answers to our economic problems hold any authenticity.

David Parker's speech to the financial elite leaving telecommunications and energy generation off the list of assets to be protected is pretty extraordinary.

If the Polls keep sliding, the push will be to have Shearer step aside at the November conference. What could shape all of this is an uprising by rank and file Labour Party supporters who champion Cunliffe. Watch for a social media campaign if that eventuates.

If there are genuine concerns about a Shearer led Labour failing in 2014, Grant Robertson benefits from this attack on Cunliffe , but this isn't of Grant's making. His position is being manipulated by those trying to remove Cunliffe from the equation. Grant could seize the moment here and follow Chris Trotter's suggestion of teaming up with Cunliffe and all bets are on Labour could win with a Cunliffe-Robertson leadership ticket with front bench promotion for Labour's next generation MP's.

Otherwise all hope relies on Shearer managing to master the soundbite.

Labour Party internal politics is like the Game of Thrones, but with far more incest.

Meanwhile quarter of a million NZ children live in poverty, inequality grows and John Key keeps ramming through hard right policy favoring the wealthy while penalizing workers and beneficiaries. The sooner Labour start operating as an opposition with a genuinely new economic Keynesian alternative, the better for NZ.



At 9/8/12 10:53 am, Blogger Jasper said...

Just by reading your narrative B. are you a Cuntliffe supporter? Just a little confused. I though by Cuntliffes actions in the first half of the year he was undermining Shearer, so that's why I ask.

At 9/8/12 4:19 pm, Blogger Draco TB said...

Did you miss the 1970s?

I ask because that was the decade when Keynesianism finally failed. Replacing one failed system with another isn't a good idea.

At 9/8/12 5:43 pm, Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

"Where is David Shearer's public statement that he supports the fine work that Cunliffe is doing in his Economic spokesperson role?"

Here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7443334/Fresh-ructions-hit-Labour

At 9/8/12 6:36 pm, Blogger TT said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9/8/12 9:25 pm, Blogger Tim said...

Didn't we call them "Chardonay Socialists" at one time - I mean the Shearers and Paganinis (sorry to anyone appreciative of classicl music). Yea we did.
I think Labour have become akin to OZ Labor - determined to fuck over their roots and forge a 3rd Way/4th Reich. They're about as imaginative as the Jonky and I certainly won't be voting for them - hard as it is to break a habit of a lifetime. I used to think I was voting for the least-worst option. Unless Pagannini and Shearer wake the fuck up AND SOON, they may well have very short-lived careers in politics. There are other alternatives. TINA died a pathetic death some time ago - and there are multiple alternatives (actually there always have been).
Jacinda, Grant, (to name two): KICK 'EM IN THE CNUT NOW! or forever live with regret

At 9/8/12 9:32 pm, Blogger Tim said...

..oh - and Draco TB .... I'm not sure it actually failed so much as a wave of Chicago-School type people popped up professing they had a better idea in amongst an engineered oil "crisis", and much like 2008 - people just felt like change - not yet knowing what the hell was on the horizon.

At 9/8/12 10:32 pm, Blogger megan said...

Don't get Shearer..He is a boring as the dried paste that glues wallpaper to plaster... They need to change now and get the party on track... Labour need to change their name also...No hard talk , nationalise assets ...They are just piss weak... I grew up labour and expect a left wing party, not a pack of politicians with pickets up their bottoms..

At 10/8/12 8:26 am, Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

No, it failed.

At 10/8/12 10:19 am, Blogger Phil said...

The greens are looking better every day! They may even offer Labour some minor portfolios after 2014 ;-)

At 10/8/12 10:56 am, Blogger Draco TB said...

Tim, it started failing in the 1960s. The oil shocks of the 70s finished the job. It was that failure that allowed the neo-liberal policies of Douglass/Thatcher and Reagan through.

The failure is inherent within capitalism. Once the local market is flooded with a product profits begin to drop which leaves the capitalist three options: 1) Export or 2) cut wages/costs or 3) invest in something new and they're not going to do the latter because of falling profits. Exporting won't actually work as every other country is trying to do the same and so, wages get cut and the economy goes into a death spiral.

That inherent failure within capitalism is actually over production and capitalists desire to keep making the same thing just more of it because it made them rich once.

At 10/8/12 11:09 am, Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

Ah, the perils of moderation. My "no, it failed" above was in response to Tim.

Basically, what Draco Tb said.

At 10/8/12 1:01 pm, Blogger Jim Whitman said...

What 'failed' Giovanni/Draco was first the economics part of Keyne's 'political economy', when it was rewritten to become a neoconservative version of Keynes. This was followed through with the coup de gras when political neoconservative doctrine won (Thatcher, Douglas, Regan etc.) and we got full-monty neoconservative political economy.

Keynes is still apparently going strong - it's there to be learnt from it seems. And it fits in nicely with Marx, Minsky, Steve Keen, the MMTers etc. who've inherited what was right about his work.

What we need is a good helping of back to basics.

At 10/8/12 9:58 pm, Blogger Frank said...

I have this image in my mind of Roman senators playing their violins, whilst their Empire burns.

Ah, Labour - from the jaws of victory you snatched defeat...


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