Hands on government, hands off leader?

David Shearer has been promoting a more hands-on approach from Labour in government. He promoted this in his conference speech:

The hands-off approach has failed and it’s left the world badly off balance.

What will it take for National to admit its hands-off policies aren’t working?

We will replace a simplistic hands-off approach with a smart hands-on one.

That’s because the hands-off approach says: “pay low wages, cut back on conditions and ramp up casualization”.

That has to end. We’ll be hands-on.

The party is on it too:

News: National needs to get hands-on with kids health

I’d rather hands on kids health was left to the health professionals. I suspect this meme won’t go as far as Labour promoting a more hands on approach to tax.

This ‘hands on” approach is interesting, because it seems to be the opposite approach to how Shearer leads Labour. He seems to be a very hands off leader. Some MPs seem to be as heavy handed as they like – Trevor Mallard, Shane Jones, Chris Hipkins and Clare Curran have dissed repute at will and Shearer has kept his hands off.

Not all MPs have their hands free though, Shearer has been heavily handed in dealing with David Cunliffe for grinning, and taken Cunlife’s hands off any party responsibilities.

There’s similar conflicts in the wider party. John Tamihere has been handing out heavy criticism of  Labour, but Shearer has endorsed him getting his hands on party membership and has been hands off any reprimands.

But Curran is very hands on gagging dissenting and critical party member bloggers, forcibly taking their hands off their keyboards.

This is confusing. Would Shearer be a hands off Prime Minister leading a hands on Government?

Would he keep his hands off his MPs attacking others, butwith heavy hands on anyone who criticises his Government?

No wonder there’s some heavy hearts in the party, and much concern about what might happen of Shearer gets his hands on Government.

 

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