After the avalanche of online oppinion on David Shearer retaining Labour’s leadership (plus significant media comment) there has been a dismissive reaction from Shearer and Labour MPs.
Labour leader David Shearer is brushing off a crescendo of calls for him to step down by left-leaning bloggers and commentators, saying it is “nonsense” and should be ignored.
Mr Shearer said the spate of calls consisted of “a small circle of bloggers feeding off each other and I’m surprised the media is taking it seriously. It’s nonsense.”
“Blogs,who cares about blogs”
“The blogs dont get to vote in the labour party, so we dont pay much consideration to it ”
Not surprisingly this dismissive arrogance has not gone down well. The Prout at The Standard calls it Nonsense, and…
- starlight: “The attitude is shocking, are us, as voters, surplus to their requirements…”
- Colonial Viper: “Revealing, considering that the only people who get votes which count in Labour at the moment is caucus.”
- karol: “Yes. Unbelievably dismissive! So I’m not a Labour Party member, but my party vote is up for the getting if a party shows they are democratic and working for the people, inclusive, etc. I am still not seeing anything to encourage me back to voting for the Labour Party.”
- Mathew Whitehead: “Funny, I think the bloggers feel the same way about Shearer.”
- Saarbo: “This just shows how f$#@#n dumb Shearer is, he is possibly the dumbest politician since Bob Clarkson. Saying this just before the Conference…he has no political sense at all.”
Blog authors and commenters are just a small slice of the voting public, but they have an active interest in politics and talk a lot about issues like this. And talk can spread into much wider circles.
Labour have demonstrated an arrogant disconnect from the people they are supposed to represent, and who they need to campaign for them and vote for them.
Social media is often talked of as a potent force in politics – if used well. It is not simply another avenue to promote party PR. It must be recognised as a two-way medium, where politicians – and people – can both talk and listen. In particular they must feel like they are being listened to.
If Labour Party social media strategies don’t recognise this it will add to the struggles to recover from four years of fumbling and stumbling.
As Colonial Viper says – “Whoever is guiding Shearer’s media strategy has no idea whatsoever.”