Over at The Standard, there's an interesting post written late last night; Irish Bill blogs:
Looks like Stuart Nash’s replacement is is almost certain to be Alistair Cameron. As I understand it he’s a nice enough bloke and he’s very much Grant Robertson’s man. As are most of the staff in the leader’s office now.
It’s been no secret around the beltway that Robertson is preparing to make a play for the leadership of the Labour party and, despite my best hopes, it appears the punt taken on David Shearer has failed – a fact shown by the way his speech today has sunk like a stone.
To be fair, apart from Nash, Shearer has had few people around him that weren’t connected to the failed strategy, or rather lack of strategy, that defined Goff’s tenure. I think the lack of focus Shearer has shown has been institutional rather than due to any failing of his own.
My suspicion is that within the very near future, maybe after another flat poll, someone close to Shearer, perhaps Trevor, will have a hard conversation with him that goes something like “you’ve done your best mate but it’s just not worked” and I think that Shearer will step down because he’s the kind of guy that would step down if he believed it was the best thing to do.
This isn’t a prediction I’m happy to make. In fact, I hope I’m wrong. Right now the Nats are on the ropes and the last thing needed is Labour’s internal ructions taking the focus off that. I also still believe Shearer could be a good leader given decent support (I also think Cunliffe would have done well if he’s been chosen by the caucus – which is why I didn’t feel the need to comment on the leadership challenge at the time).
However it’s starting to feel like a leadership challenge is inevitable. If it is I can only hope that the floor’s opened to all contenders and it’s done openly and with the inclusion of the broader party.
The parliamentary arm of the party owes the party members and supporters that much at least.
It's quite astonishing to see this level of candour from The Standard. Normally anyone who suggested such a thing would be summarily banned by Lprent and his merry band of moderators, but now the rumours of friction and of a Robertson takeover are out there for all to see.
We agree with Irish Bill on one thing; David Shearer's brief tenure as leader has been eminiently forgettable. Shearer made the second in a series of major speeches yesterday, but we heard on the radio this morning that only three journalists turned up to cover it. It seems that David Shearer, pleasant bloke that he is just doesn't rate.
So we'll be watching with interest to see how this pans out; the fact that Labour's in-fighting is out in the open now means that it won't go away any time soon. In the meantime iPredict has opened a stock on whether David Shearer will be gone as Labour leader before 1 July 2012. Opening at 10c earlier this morning, it's now paying 14c i.e. a 14% probability. We'll keep an eye on trends in that stock too, not that we are an iPredict investor.
Was Labour too hasty in appointing David Shearer? Did the right David get the job? Can Grant Robertson arrest Labour's decline. And are Trevor Mallard's days as master strategist numbered?