As long as David Shearer has been Labour’s leader he has been described as a nice bloke but just not cut out to be a leader.
There are increasing question marks about his authenticity – he simply doesn’t seem to fit naturally or comfortably with his role. As I quoted yesterday in Shearer’s speech – a party member’s view…
…the delivery was awkward and artificial.
And I still feel so so uncomfortable.
He didn’t speak, look, behave, feel like a person from whose core these words were resonating.
And Shearer does look uncomfortable. See his speech video. (As a side comment, that’s an awful quality video unfortunately – maybe it’s a sign that we are still in the dark about Shearer).
And others (from the left) are seeing the Shearer fish out of water. From The Standard:
Hami Shearlie 25
Shearer comes across to me as someone merely parroting someone else’s lines!! All the “new” table thumping and arms waving everywhere is overdone and FAKE!! He can’t sell the policies because he doesn’t truly believe in them!! This is what people are picking up on!!
No-one knows to this day what David Shearer’s personal beliefs truly are!! And I’m not at all convinced that he’s as “nice” a guy as people claim he is, or if he really believes in democratic socialism!! He’s just, in a word, “unbelievable”!
Colonial Viper 25.1
One thing that you’re picking up on is that the speech writing has not captured Shearer’s own voice, but that of a number of different contributors to the creation of that speech. Hence it sounds a bit disjointed and inauthentic.
Another key problem, even with the better delivered speeches, and also all the set pieces with BBQs and guitars or whatever, is that they continue to leave us with precious little sense of who the real David Shearer is, and what he stands for in his heart of hearts.
At a visceral level, and at a political level, that is highly unnerving.
Colonial Viper is a Labour Party member.
I’ve talked to others who see Shearer as insincere and unconvincing, as if he’s faking it, an uneasy parrot.
So there are genuine questions about Shearer’s authenticity. But he’s nice, right? From media coverage, who really knows? Most politicians seem nice in person.
I have only two examples to judge Shearer by.
One of these was his reaction to the so-called Cunliffe conference coup attempt. His reaction to thatr was to publicly demote and humiliate David Cunliffe, squashing a perceived threat to his leadership. He also did nothing visible to address behind the scenes mischief making and a very public outburst (Chris Hipkins). He fronted a not very nice squashing and demonising.
The other time I have felt I have glimpsed the real David Shearer surprised me, because I was one who had accepted the “at least he’s nice” consensus. He appeared on Back Benches on 6 June last year.
Martin Bradbury (can’t believe I’m quoting him) blogged:
The star performer was Shearer, who for the first time since becoming leader looked and sounded like a leader.
Since then Bradbury has gone off Shearer, big time.
But I saw a different Shearer then. He seemed relaxed and acting himself for once, but I saw him as arrogant, sneering and domineering. He didn’t look ‘nice’ to me at all, and that was a shock. And I wasn’t the only one to disagree with ‘Bomber’. He posted on his Facebook:
David Shearer having the night of his life on #backbenchers tonight, best media performance to date
But Marnie Reid commented:
Russel was great, I don’t know about Shearer.. Something isn’t right
Something didn’t look right to me either. It wasn’t the ‘nice Mr Shearer’ I expected.
Is Shearer faking ‘nice’ as well?