Shearer’s vulnerability on standards

David Shearer already seems to have turned his back on his own words. In February, in Stuff’s Shearer not buying into ‘gotcha’ politics:

“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,” Mr Shearer told an Auckland Grey Power meeting yesterday.

He made it clear he would not be pushed into changing his timetable, or turn himself into the sort of politician he dislikes.

“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: `Does this idea help us achieve the New Zealand we want to create 10 years from now?”‘

He is now fully involved in  Labour’s ‘gotcha John Banks’ campaign. Has he already become ‘the sort of politician he dislikes’?

And is Shearer setting himself up for more exposure? He is pressing John Key to sack John Banks:

Key’s credibility damaged by clinging on to Banks – Shearer

“John Key is clinging onto John Banks for political convenience because he needs his vote. He’s doing that despite the fact three witnesses have given sworn testimony that John Banks knew about the Kim Dotcom donation. That is just not credible.

“The Prime Minister’s claim that he has no option but to rely on John Banks’ word is utter nonsense and desperate political spin. John Key is risking his own credibility by taking the word of a Minister whose reputation is in tatters.

“The Prime Minister has an obligation to get to the ‘bottom of the facts’, just like he demanded Helen Clark do in 2008 over Winston Peters. At that time, he said she should stand Winston Peters down because he had failed to put up a ‘credible explanation’ and had ‘misled the New Zealand public’ and the Prime Minister.

“It’s the same story today, but John Key isn’t applying the same standard. It’s absolute hypocrisy for him to turn a blind eye given his previous political attack on Helen Clark and Winston Peters.

“What he should do is summon John Banks to the Beehive and ask him face-to-face whether he has lied. Ask him why he told media and his own Chief of Staff that he didn’t know about the donation and yet Kim Dotcom, his bodyguard and his lawyer all say he did.

“John Key has no option but to sack John Banks or lose the respect of New Zealanders for failing to show the integrity expected of a Prime Minister,” said David Shearer.

And Shearer has clearly defined what he thinks what action Key should take, albeit confusingly saying Key should “get to the ‘bottom of the facts’” but regardless of those facts “has no option but to sack John Banks”.

John Key has found that claiming high standards can come back to haunt you (with the help of willing opposition ghosts).

How long will it take for David Shearer’s standards to be focussed back on himself?

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