Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Shearer's "gotcha" disconnect

Just a few weeks ago, David Shearer was adamant that "gotcha" politics was not his style. Dom-Post political editor Tracy Watkins reported thus:

Labour leader David Shearer is poised to deliver a rolling series of speeches setting out his vision for the country – and has made it clear he won't be pressured into changing his leadership style.

"I'm not the kind of leader who believes in rival tribes playing 'gotcha', where bickering and partisanship are prized. Of course that's what a lot of people look for. They want to score the game, give points for the best smart remark in Parliament. But that's not what most New Zealanders want," Mr Shearer told an Auckland Grey Power meeting yesterday.

Mr Shearer was noticeable by his absence from the House last week. Quite where he was is a mystery, but he got his head shaved on Monday, and made a media appearance on The Farming Show on Wednesday, so he can't have been too far away. Perhaps he was aware that his master strategist and others were planning a personality attack, and didn't want to be a part of it.

That last sentence however now seems to be wishful thinking. He has come out in support of Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little, and endorsed their attack-dog tactics; Scoop reports:

“Labour will continue to ask questions about the massive privacy breach at ACC We will also continue to hold the Government to account in terms of allegations of cronyism.

“There is currently a perception out there that if you know someone from National, you’ll get special treatment. That goes against New Zealanders’ belief in everyone getting equal treatment and a fair go.”

We would suggest that the "perception" that Mr Shearer refers to is nowhere near as widespread as he had hoped. If anything, we reckon that the public has had a gutsful of politicians who play the man (or woman) rather than the ball as with Winston Peters' obscure references to sex with the Nick Smith issues, and Mallard and Little's attack on Judith Collins.

And we reckon that there is a strong body of people who are delighted that Judith Collins is suing Trevor Mallard in particular, given his track record of unsubstantiated allegations and smears. That Ms Collins is paying her own way, and that the defendants will have to do likewise is an added bonus.

So there most certainly seems to be a disconnect between the David Shearer who addressed Grey Power on 24 February, and the David Shearer who sent out a media release to Scoop and other media organisations yesterday at 2.05pm. Would the real David Shearer please stand up?


Anonymous said...

I think your argument is spurious and originates in cloud cuckoo land. The facts are misleading and the evidence is nowhere to support its feeble claims. It is the worst argument for anything I've ever heard, ever. It is unreasonable, wrong headed and delusional if not an outright lie. The argument has no merit nor does it show any semblance of an understanding of the issues. You, however, from what I know of your shadowy persona, are very obviously a fellow who is sincere and accurate at all times.

There, is that what you mean?

Anonymous said...

This would all be fine but for the fact that we are dealing with a Minister who called David Benson-Pope a pervert and a dirty old man under Parliamentary privilege. Frankly the stench of hypocrisy coming off the Nats and their cheerleaders at the moment is overwhelming.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Anon 11:22

Had she said so outside the house, your dirty old pervert could have sued for defamation. He would have failed on the grounds of truth.

Keeping Stock said...

@ Anon: Just to be clear, you're talking about the former Social Development Minister alleged to have assaulted children he was teaching, right? That would be the same Benson-Pope about whom the Police found thus:

Superintendent Fraser said that while the criminal justice system would not be invoked there was a prima facie case concerning an event where a student's hands were taped to the desk while he had a tennis ball in his mouth and another event involving another student being struck on the face.

While there was some conflicting evidence Police concluded there was a prima facie case.

"These alleged events happened more than 22 years ago and the victims were not motivated to lay complaints with Police for many years. If the person at the centre of the inquiry did not have a high current public profile it is unlikely that the matter would have surfaced in the way it has in 2005.

"Given all the circumstances of the inquiry, Mr Benson-Pope is being treated no differently from any other person who might have similar matters raised about them. The case simply does not warrant use of the criminal law," said Superintendent Fraser.


There's an ever-so-slight difference between unsubstantiated allegations and a case where the Police have investigated, and believed the complainant.

Anonymous said...

Collins claimed (a) that he did what the Police officer alleged (something that has not been proved in any Court) and that (b) he took sexual pleasure from it. It is unclear what evidence she was relying on at the time.

But that's ok because National is not the nasty party, right?

The not very Rev. M. McVeigh. said...

@anon 9.55am
Agree entirely. It is telling the lack of response to such a cogent illustration of the cherry picked ramblings here.

@anon 12.52pm Not the nasty party. The beastly, repugnant, malodorous, loathsome, poison, horrid, icky, conservative, regressive, tory party maybe, but not the nasty party. The nasty party is ACT.

Judge Holden said...

The Nats are looking worse by the day. Collins, McCully, Joyce, Brownlee, Bennett, Tolley. Paul Quinn FFS! And they have supporters like that Adolt Wankingstain fellow. Are they really the government?