John Armstrong has been briefed by the Labour leader’s office:
David Shearer is right to hold his nerve. No doubt he is feeling the pressure, but he is wisely ignoring the mounting criticism that he is failing to take the fight to National, that he is missing in action, that he is too laid back and that he is wasting his honeymoon as Labour’s new leader.
There is a danger that perception becomes reality and those labels stick.
But there are good reasons why Shearer should take little heed of this passing chorus of complaint.
The main one is that the moaning will soon be forgotten. In little over two weeks, Shearer will deliver a major positioning speech which will give a much clearer picture of the direction in which he intends taking Labour.
That speech is likely to be bold.
It may yet flag the most significant reorientation of Labour thinking since the party kissed goodbye to Sir Roger Douglas.
So far, Shearer has given little away. But there was a hint yesterday in his remarks about welfare reform that he is planning to shift Labour’s stance quite radically in a number of policy areas.
Russel Norman and Metiria Turei must be grinning like jackals.