Labour leader David Shearer has attempted to counter criticism his leadership style has been too laid back, saying he doesn’t believe in bickering and partisanship.
In a speech to Grey Power in Auckland this afternoon, Shearer said he was not the kind of leader who believed in ”rival tribes playing gotcha”.
”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.”
There was no excuse for not being constructive.
”I want a new kind of politics, pragmatic and attentive to what works, not tied up in the squabbles of the past.”
Shearer was at 10% in the preferred PM rating in TV3′s recent poll, which is higher than Goff ever got – but after three months as National leader John Key was at 27% (Clark was 32% at that point. Key is currently at 46%).
So Shearer doesn’t have to ‘play gotcha’, but he does have to do something, because while he’s doing well compared to Goff, he’s in a really terrible position historically.
I watched the news last night, and the Labour MP fronting on the two main political stories of the day was Phil Goff. That’s because they were both foreign affairs based stories and he’s their spokesman on that issue – but Shearer isn’t chopped liver when it comes to foreign affairs, and he did make a big deal about how he was going to change the Labour Party. He could start by getting Goff – who just led them to an historic defeat – off the damn TV and getting himself on it. And, like I always said during Goff’s tenure, he should carry on by firing all his staffers who didn’t point this out to him.