David Shearer has a real problem communicating. Frequently in interviews the thought part of his brain seems disconnected from the speech part of his brain. Or something. He has trouble expressing himself coherently.
This was again highlighted in a radio interview yesterday. As shown in Shearer: absolutely there’s room for MPs with homophobic views in Labour – we can guess what he probably means and guess what might have been mistakes but we shouldn’t have to do that.
There was some criticism of Shearer during Labouir’s leadership selection tour after the last election. Apparently David Cunliffe was the clear preference with most of the party members, but the Labour caucus went against that and chose Shearer. Perhaps they have experience of coherent conversations that the rest of us don’t hear.
But Shearer’s difficulty communicating was apparent then. These comments from strongly Labour leaning The Standard during the leadership contest ring some warning bells.
We have not got time for Shearer to learn to stop putting his foot in it. Every time he speaks in he goes and thats without having his opponent try and trick him. Shearer is not a leader he is an administrator, maybe a good one but I wouldn’t follow him to the nearest Fish and Chip shop.
Who even knows what Shearer really believes in or stands for? I’m getting sick of hearing about his “backstory”! It’s now we have to worry about, and he’s not looking good on the media front!
And if Shearer does win, the rest of us will sit anxious waiting to see how many times he puts his foot in his mouth every interview. Just like we have done for the last three years.
Phil Goff was way better than Shearer with regards to the media and Labour still lost. Media persona is everything to a party leader. Case in point – John Key! Cunliffe can do media effortlessly. Shearer is woeful.
- 2c on the leadership
(A post by loyal Labourite and now Shearer supporter Anthony Robins)
Shearer’s strength is clearly his compelling back story. He’s a good bloke. But he isn’t debate / media ready. His slight awkwardness (reminiscent in some ways of early Brash) could be a killer to his leadership. Or (and recall Brash’s near success in 2005) it could be seen by the public as evidence that he is genuine, honest, not “just another politician”. Shearer is a risk, and I honestly don’t know which way his leadership would go.
I have the inside word on Shearer’s first edict to all lefties:
“er…um…ah..we..shouldn’t…um..ah…make fun of…um..K-Keys speech c-char-racter..um.ristics…ah..again.”
“Haven’t heard Shearer speak with authority once. God help Labour in Parliament in February. The Greens and Winston will overshadow Shearer for sure!”
“We have just lost an election with our biggest defeat because the leader couldn’t communicate so what do they do put in a Bumbling administrator.”
That is Labour Party members commenting.
And media expert Brian Edwards wrote about his concerns at the same time (December 2011) in Shearer or Cunliffe? Why I’ve changed my mind:
Shearer has had nearly three years to demonstrate his skill as a debater and about a fortnight to provide some evidence of competence in handling the media. He has done neither. His television appearances have bordered on the embarrassing. He lacks fluency and fails to project confidence or authority. Watching him makes you feel nervous and uncomfortable – a fatal flaw.
It seems that little has changed. He still lacks fluency and fails to project confidence or authority.
Even Shearer’s carefully scripted extensively rehearsed speeches lack authority, he comes a across as a try hard who either
- doesn’t really believe what he’s saying, or
- doesn’t understand what he’s talking about
And his unscripted interviews are often rambling, disjointed, incoherent, sometimes terribly so.
Whether Shearer just has an extreme problem communicating or he’s a fish out of water politically doesn’t matter. But he has a major problem that doesn’t seem to be improving.
And Labour have a major problem – unless there is some miracle cure (and it seems to be a more difficult problem to overcome than a ‘King’s Speech’ stutter). ‘Three years’ has already become ‘three more years’. Another lost election would be serious. For the party it could be a fatal flaw.
It’s hard to see Shearer surviving an election campaign and leading Labour to put together a coalition Government.
If the voters decided they’d had enough of Key and National and dumped them, if Shearer progressed from being a party leader because caucus didn’t want the alternative to Prime Minister because the country didn’t want the alternative, then Shearer could become an embarrassment for the country.
here is obviously significant concern in the wider Labour Party, but the choice of party leadership was made by the Labour caucus who earlier this month also chose not to put the leadership over to the membership.
Labour’s caucus seem to be well practiced in painting over crap and pretending it’s wonderful. It appears that they don’t want to see that they have a leadership leaky building problem.
So the rot will remain.