Friday, November 2, 2012

Fortress Labour

3News political editor Duncan Garner blogs of his frustration at getting access to Labour MP's (or one Labour MP in particular); he opines:

I tried to get a Labour face on TV this week to talk about capital gains taxes. I approached Shearer who was in Hokitika and too far away, David Parker in Dunedin and Cunliffe in Auckland.
Cunliffe was the easiest to get hold of. But, without naming names, the hoopla I was put through before he was 'allowed' on TV was fascinating. Even Cunliffe was nervous - but keen.
It took six hours of negotiating to get him on. It was quite simply, outrageous. It took me one text to get Russel Norman on the telly. It took two phone calls to get the Prime Minister to agree to a one-on-one interview.
Labour needs to look at itself. If reporters want to interview Cunliffe - they should be allowed to. I believe Labour is blocking his appearances or at least trying to limit them. Certainly on TV anyway. Although I notice Guyon Espiner exposed Cunliffe in the Listener like few others could do.

Labour has a dilemma. On one hand it needs to be talking to the likes of Duncan Garner to get its message across; and if the four-page spread about David Cunliffe doesn't signal his intentions, we don't know what does. But on the other hand, there have been so many negative stories about Labour lately, caution is inevitable.

Of course the media will be a bit gun-shy too after David Shearer's office pedalled 3News the dud John Key/GCSB story. That within days of the "scoop" 3News political reporter was slagging the LotO's office off was telling. The level of trust between the media and Mr Shearer's chief press secretary must be very tenuous at the moment at best.

And Garner offers some final thoughts on David Shearer's suitability for the LotO role:

But back to Shearer. He was promoted too soon. He went from backbencher to leader. In the Mt Albert by-election he was protected. Melissa Lee was the media darling - so awful - no one else got a look in. But Shearer has been promoted above what he's capable of in my view.
I'm sure he's entirely capable behind the scenes - you don't do what he's done by being stupid - but I'm just saying he's not cut out for the hurly-burly, think-on-your-feet world of opposition politics. Robertson and Cunliffe are.
Shearer was handed the benefit of the doubt as pointed out by Gordon Campbell in a column this week and he's failed to deliver on any of it. The Prime Minister has had an awful year and his opponent should be knocking him out.
Instead, Key remains in the high 40s and is largely untouchable when he should be floundering. His unbelievable lack of knowledge and handling of the Dotcom affair and his refusal to move on John Banks were scandals made in heaven for a competent opposition leader.
Instead, Key has largely got away with it.
Put simply, Shearer does not look, act or sound like a man ready to take over the Treasury benches and drive New Zealand out of this recession. The voters see it.
They see a Labour Party unconvinced and confused by their own choice. Until that changes, Labour will stay in opposition.

It's hard to argue with Garner on this.


Bunk said...

Shearer must stay. He's the best thing to happen to National since Phil Goof.

DSDS said...


Keeping Stock said...

For crying out loud DSDS. By all means insult me, but at least come up with something original. You lefties are so predictable!

Bunk said...

David Shearer Dumb Statements
David Shearer Diminishing Sensibility
David Shearer Declining Stock
David Shearer Devoid Strategy

Wow, this is easy.

jabba said...

Fenton has been on telly a lot (hehe) and we need more of Delahunty