There are signs of a revolt developing within Labour as disillusionment with leader David Shearer grows. Blog comments have changed noticeably over the last two days, and a petition to remove Shearer has been initiated:
Labour Revolt – The Petition
We call on David Shearer to resign as leader of the New Zealand Labour Party as we have no confidence in his leadership.
This follows a blog post by Duncan Garner…
…that quoted “two very senior MPS” and highlighted major problems in the Labour caucus. That David Shearer has remained silent on this has raised queries about his possible involvement in delivering the Cunliffe hatchet, are at least shows a lack of defence of a significant member of his caucus.
Blog activists tend to be in the Cunliffe camp and have seen this as a major dent in their faint hopes that Cunliffe can come back and rescue the party. The obvious concern is being expressed at both The Standard and Labours own blog, Red Alert.
Comments on both blogs are calling for ction from Shearer, for example:
Tim G says:
Moving forward together… are you are bringing DC with you?
In amongst the dog-whistle beneficiary-bashing of this speech, it might have escaped you lot that your activist base is confused, upset and furious with caucus over the recent Garner article – http://thestandard.org.nz/too-far-3/ – what are you going to do about it?
8 August 2012 at 8:29 pm
Previously RedLogix asked the critical question:
“How long has Shearer got to act on this before his silence confirms his complicity?
“Another 48hrs max?
These concerns have been compounded by a speech by Shearer to Grey Power on Tuesday. This is seen as confirmation that Shearer is moving Labour to the centre, some saying it is virtually indistinguisable from National.
8 August 2012 at 5:27 pm
Did you read the heartland speech? It is riddled with the kind of appeals to middle class prejudices that are pissing people off with the whole box and dice of them.
How the hell can you stand up for the people who are constantly being kicked while at the same time bagging them to score points?
Accusations of beneficiary bashing:
8 August 2012 at 8:05 pm
How does he know why that person was on a sickness benefit. He could have had other health problems. Not the first time Shearer has had a go at beneficiaries. So disappointing. Not what I expect from Labour at all or maybe I do from this lot.bad12 …
Thanks David Shearer for reminding me twice in 2 days why i don’t vote Labour, thats a pathetic attack on a sickness beneficiary worthy of the Leader of ACT,
These are not isolated comments. There’s obvious and growing dissent, and support is absent.
Blogs are a relatively small part of the public, but political activists tend to congregate on them, and there is typically far more silent readers than there are commenters.
There has been a distinct change of feeling on the blogs. If this spreads and grows it could create major difficulties for David Shearer. This would be bad for Labour, and bad for New Zealand politics.
At the very least Shearer needs to publicly address the ‘hate Cunliffe’ campaign initiated from within his caucus.