Coup by blog – failure

It looks like the attempted coup by blog has fizzled out. The critical factors are that it appears that the social media flurry didn’t swing enough numbers in caucus, and David Shearer stood up to it rather than stepping down.

Who has been behind the coup has not been out in the open – little of this coup attempt has been in the open as it was driven by anonymous bloggers but it is obvious the intent was to depose Shearer and promote David Cunliffe as leader.

And, while it’s not clear whether Cunliffe was directly involved or orchestrated the attempt, it was clearly driven by Cunliffe supporters.

The coup was launched last Saturday with a post in The Standard by ghost writer ‘Eddie’.

On David Shearer’s Leadership

Written By: – Date published: 12:17 pm, November 10th, 2012 – 271 comments

For the Left to win in 2014, David Shearer has to resign as Labour Leader. This is a big call to make and one that I have agonised over, but the reality has become increasingly clear: under Shearer, Labour is all too likely to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in 2014.

David Shearer got the leadership because enough of the caucus didn’t like the other guy and he was the only alternative choice. He got a fair chance from everyone once he got the job, but it just hasn’t worked out – he has fluffed it. Making him leader was a childish decision at the time and it has proven to be a disastrous one for Labour and the Left. Again, we deserve better and so does the wider country.

In 2014, Labour needs to be led by a Prime Minister in waiting, and they need to put that person in place as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the person for the job is not David Shearer.

No mention of Cunliffe. And no sign of who might be behind the coup, apart from:

The hard-working, faithful activists of the Left deserve better; New Zealand deserves better.

The Standard sees itself as the forum of “hard-working, faithful activists of the Left”. Lynn Prentice described his blog yesterday as…

The ideas and open arguments and the effect of that on the labour movement is what is of interest to us, because that is what we select authors for.

There is obviously strong union input into The Standard and the part of Labour that the core of The Standard represents. Through and since the Labour leadership contest last year it was obvious that The Standard preference was strongly Cunliffe.

There is one regular author and a handful regular commenters who have supported Shearer but they have been a distinct minority. (At times when I was still commenting at The Standard I was probably the most vocal promoter of Shearer interests. At one stage I pointed out an absence if posts on Shearer. Soon after Anthony Robins fronted up with one.)

There’s no doubt that The Standard core led the coup for Cunliffe. It’s significant that Cunliffe didn’t front up publicly, and the lead bloggers did so under the cover of pseudonyms.

It shouldn’t be surprising the coup fell flat. No one had enough belief in their convictions to put their name alongside their ambitions.

It may or may not be significant, but the day I was banned from The Standard it was in a thread that ironically was also a discourse about the relationship between media and The Standard, and it was also yet another bash session against Shearer (and Josie Pagani).

Why did lprent really want to shut me up? This was the comment I was banned for:

micky, you may not have noticed but the overwhelming majority of flame wars are one sided attempts, and often with only one aim, to attack me regardless of what I post. If you look just below here I posted something and the usual trolls attacked, and the exact same topic was deliberately re-raised and discussed.

If you want to be an exclusive club of hard lefties that harrasses off anyone you take a dislike to then you need to be more upfront.

Why “The Standard”?

The Standard newspaper – from where our masthead comes – was founded by labour movement activists in the 1930s. They used it as a vehicle to share their views with a broader audience – a perspective they felt the mainstream media was representing poorly. We think the same is true today.

Maybe the blog has evolved since that ideal. If you want to be narrow minded and nasty don’t try and pretend to yourselves you ‘re a flagship for the broad left.

Much of the active comment here would not appeal to most potential Labour or Green voters. Nor would the behaviour.

Negative attack politics seems to be the core activity, in posts and comments. I just happen to attract some of it, but it’s far more pervasive than that. If that’s how you want to be then fair enough, but it doesn’t seem to satisfy many of you, this place oozes discontent and bitterness.

You’ll attract better if you act better. If that’s what you want.

The Standard attempted to change the leader of the Labour Party by trying to attract sufficient blog support to force a showdown.

The original Standard was used “as a vehicle to share their views with a broader audience”, and the current version claims ” a perspective they felt the mainstream media was representing poorly. We think the same is true today.”

The Standard chooses to despise a broader audience – or some of it, lprent has confirmed that. So they shouldn’t be surprised when a broader audience didn’t back their coup by blog.

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