Feral fixation

Seemingly not having any lessons over his attacks on ‘ferals’ from the West Coast Cameron Slater keeps up his bully boy attacks.


Trevor Mallard’s feral mates in Wainuiomata are taking the law into their own hands and shooting up a speed camera.

That looks like a mix of attention seeking and playing to his own feral crowd. Plus a jab at an old adversary – who is less relevant in serious politics now, Mallard or Slater?

Whale Oil has been plugging away trying to keep Google ad revenue going through the quietest time of the year.

Fatty’s other problem

He lied, he’s been nothing but trouble ever since, give him the arse card and repatriate him to Germany via NZ1 (which stops in LA.)

Slater isn’t as open about his own weight, untruths and troubles as that.

Finally. Fatty’s Fanbois at the Ferald turn

As it is, I suspect that his constant disrespect, mocking and baiting will probably see him lose his freedom for a very long time.

If they earned money from irony they would be doing well financially.


Elections – won on personality or policy?

Two views have been posted on this, first from Labour evangelist Te Reo Putake (as well as more of his “Ra Ra, a win in any form is good enough!”)

There is an election to win. Clearly, that election can’t be won on personality, nor should it be.

We, on the left, are about making the lives of NZers better and that will take appropriate, acheivable and financially sound policy from the LP and the Greens. There are good signs in both party’s housing proposals that they can dovetail their thinking and the Manufacturing Enquiry shows they can work together well.

I don’t much care whether readers here vote two ticks Labour or one tick Green, one tick red, but we have to move on to convincing our respective parties to put up policies that voters will care enough about to both get on the roll and then get down to the both on the day.

If the left don’t win the next election, it won’t be Shearer’s fault, it’ll be ours.

And a response from ‘fatty’:

The last two have been (and arguably every election before that). Donkey’s current popularity is personality based.
Personality is more important than policy.

That doesn’t mean Labour needs a leader who will do the gangnam on the day of an important treasury report…it means the Labour leader’s personality must resonate with voters needs and wants.

The current Labour leader’s personality must include these traits: decisive, coherent and confident.

You are right that the election shouldn’t be based on personality, but you are wrong that it won’t be based on personality.

I’m very much on fatty’s side on this. Plausible policies are important, but most people most often ultimately base their vote on personalities.

The best snake oil in the world won’t be bought if the salesman is not believed, trusted or liked – and there’s a fair bit of like in that mix.

Shearer’s leadership – “three key moments”

A detailed analysis/opinion on David Shearer’s history of image and leadership problems has been posted by ‘fatty’ at The Standard. It refers to this Brian Edwards post.

I agree with Brian Edwards that Shearer is straining to present himself as a tough leader…but I don’t think Brian’s analysis went deep enough.

I’d say there have been 3 key moments that have led to Labour being stuck with a leader who has failed time and time again.
The first moment was when he was chosen as the Labour leader, the second was his ‘tour’ of NZ where he strummed his way around the country with his guitar, the third moment was the Labour conference.

All 3 of these moments have led us to Shearers current problem, all were major mistakes, all are irreversible and the reason why Shearer will struggle in 2014.

1 – Shearer chosen as leader:

I think its fair to view Shearer as a victim, as much as he is a perpetrator, of a monumental political fuck up.

Shearer’s problems first began when people started to back him as a leader to keep out Cunliffe. Shearer is a puppet and I’m not sure if he even wanted to be leader…I’m sure he didn’t want to be leader so soon. Shearer was chosen to protect the career of *insert neolib rogernomic dinosaur here*.

However, beyond protecting paychecks, there was an underlying assumption held by those in the Labour Party – ‘Doesn’t matter who is leader, NZ will wake up and they will hate Key by 2014′ …it was this assumption that made Shearer an option as leader. It is becoming clearer by the day that this assumption was, and is wrong.

Although I see Shearer as a victim, I also balance that by what Rhinoviper stated above Shearer’s not just getting bad advice, he’s choosing to take it. So, although Shearer is a victim, he is also leader and possesses the opportunity and power to override his puppet masters.

2 – Shearer’s guitar strumming tour:

This is the moment we should look at as being when Shearer lost any chance of becoming PM. You only get one opportunity to make a first impression and Shearer fucked up.

Team Shearer had two options when he became leader…either present Shearer as a nice guy, or as a leader. They chose the nice guy. The reason for this was, again, was that they considered Key’s popularity as temporary, that NZ would see through him very soon, and that the NZ public would want another nice guy to take over.

The reason they misread the needs of voters was because Team Shearer ignored our past:

  • post-depression, NZ needed a tough Labour leader with a coherent persuasive narrative – Savage 1935;
  • post-1980s/1990s, NZ needed a tough Labour leader with a coherent persuasive narrative – Clark 1999;
  • post-GFC, NZ needed a tough Labour leader with a coherent persuasive narrative – we got Shearer strumming his guitar and faffing about as a nice guy. That was a major blunder.

We wanted a leader who would show signs of a political vision, but instead Team Shearer thought they could replicate Key’s depoliticisation and the tide would turn. Shearer ‘did well’ to depoliticise himself as a leader, but it is this image that he is now desperately trying to reverse. The continued rise of the Greens is evidence of Shearer’s image failure.

Who would have guessed that NZ wanted a tough coherent leader during an economic crash?…anyone with a brain, that’s who.

3 – The conference and Shearer’s image makeover:

This is where I have a problem with Brian Edward’s analysis.

I don’t see the problem as being that Shearer is not a tough guy, but rather that Shearer is attempting the almost impossible task of reversing his first impression. Shearer should have presented himself as a tough Labour leader with a coherent persuasive narrative when he first became leader, not now.

To do so now, Shearer had to sacrifice Cunliffe. On the one hand, hacking Cunliffe has presented Shearer as tough to NZ voters, but it has failed to address his poorly planned first impression.

The outcome is that it has muddled his first impression and leaves Shearer looking incoherent and way out of his depth. Is Shearer the nice guy? Or is Shearer the tough leader NZ needs? …your guess is as good as mine.

Edwards claims Shearer’s nature is not suited to being a tough leader, but I am not convinced by this. A Prime Minister’s nature is irrelevant, what is important is how the public views them. After all, Key’s nature is to deceive and he has very selfish tendencies…but his image is one of a nice guy.

Shearer’s problems began with the career MPs thinking that it would be their turn in 2014. His guitar strumming, nice guy image left him in a lose-lose situation. At least he has realised his initial image was a mistake and he is trying to reverse it, unfortunately he does not possess the skills to reverse his image.

He will do well to rebrand himself to the NZ public without being viewed as a bumbling opportunist – Key avoids that by having a coherent image since he began.


[PG: Interesting points, but I think there is more to it than this.

Shearer had problems conveying the ‘nice guy’ image, he seemed to be better known for being missing in action. And some of the tough guy image has come across, like when he dumped and humiliated Cunliffe.

But Edwards is still correct. The Shearer act looks like an act, and it looks like a poorly acted act.

Unless Shearer can consistently appear to be him bloody self and let us judge how nice he is and how tough he is then he will always struggle to be seen as authentic – especially now he has established a reputation of being a very poorly painted chameleon.

Fool the public once, maybe he could have got away with it.

Fool the public twuce and he only seems to be fooling his image makers – because he sure as hell doesn’t look convinced or convincing.]

Salad, fatty and a minimum wage

Apart from an amusing juxtaposition of pseudonyms this from  Affordable housing at The Standard suggests a lack of appreciation of an affordable state of welfare.


$15 is NOT a “living wage”.


True…but it could be if it was introduced alongside a more ethical tax system, such as the first $27000 earned is tax free, and abolish GST.

Also need free healthcare, free education, food in schools, universal child supplement, state housing etc.

‘Fatty’ could do with considering who is going to provide all the muscle – or maybe they have bought Russel Norman’s money printing proposal.