Is David Shearer already owned by the Gotcha Gang?

About two weeks ago David Shearer was reported as saying:

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.

Yesterday Shearer seemed to have changed his mind.

Labour Leader David Shearer is calling on John Key to rule out taxpayer funding for any legal action taken by his ACC Minister Judith Collins against MPs and media organisations.

Judith Collins has no right to waste thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money on legal bills. Labour MPs who are being threatened with defamation action will pay their own costs and so should she. The cost should not fall on taxpayers.

Collins has since confirmed she will pay for this defamation action herself.

Shearer confirms that Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little will pay for their own defence. He also confirms that he is backing them in this obviously coordinated attack on Collins.

Mallard and Little have tried to force a ministerial resignation. They seem intent on bringing the current Government down, and appear to have no qualms about using any tactics to achieve that.

Shearer appears to have fairly quickly relinquished control of Labour and is going along with dirty business as usual.

“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.”

Shearer seems to have bought in to “perception politics” – where facts and decency don’t matter as long as you create a perception that suits your purposes.

Negative dishonest politics.

“I want a new kind of politics, pragmatic and attentive to what works, not tied up in the squabbles of the past … our future policies have to pass this test.”

Those words seem to have flown out the window. Shearer seems to not understand 9or he ignores) what Stephen Franks describes:

If there is no sanction for lying in the exercise of free speech, a kind of Gresham’s law may prevail. The person determined not to lie may be destroyed by the colour and effectiveness of ever bigger lies.

Like many people I had hopes that Shearer would be strong enough to create a positive new Labour. But it already seems that he has been sucked into the shit fighting.

Is David Shearer already owned by the Gotcha Gang?

Trevor Mallard has said he won’t be leader of Labour, that he’s not the sort of person for that position. So has he installed a compliant puppet instead?

David, I don’t think that’s what most New Zealander’s want. They thought you were different, they thought you might be better than that.

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