This Herald article gives an insight into the strategic thinking behind David Shearer’s first four months as Labour leader:
Mr Nash and, to a lesser extent, John Pagani – another of Mr Shearer’s advisers – are understood to have disagreed with his chief press secretary, Fran Mold, about the extent to which Mr Shearer should lead attacks on the Government rather than refuse to be drawn into oppositional politics.
Mr Nash is believed to have been keen for Mr Shearer to focus on building up his “non-politician” image, focusing on being optimistic rather than engaging with National.
And how’s that non-political politician, non oppositional opposition leader approach working out?
A Roy Morgan poll at the weekend boosted National to 49.5 per cent, up 5.5 on last month.
The results show Mr Shearer has made little headway.
Rumblings over splits in his backroom team and speculation on a Left-wing blog left deputy Grant Robertson denying he was preparing to mount a challenge.
Mr Shearer said the poll results were “sort of surprising”.
My sentiments over the past few months, informed by chats with those few Labour staffers/members who still talk to me have been (a) excitement when Shearer became leader (b) apprehension when he appointed Nash as his Chief of Staff – you want the CoS to lead you into the next election, not leave six months out from it to go run for office himself (c) appalled stupification when he re-appointed Pagani, who (fairly or unfairly) seems to be regarded as the architect of Goff’s worst blunders (d) deflation when it became apparent that Shearer didn’t have any sense of direction and (e) resignation that Shearer isn’t working, became leader far too soon, and that there will be a leadership coup, but that the caucus isn’t ready for it yet so short of a crisis there will be another six months of drift.