DPF points to a spate of anti-Shearer posts on the Standard and concludes:
While each is by a different author, I have been around politics far too long to think for a second that this is not part of a co-ordinated strategy to destabilise Shearer in the leadup to the Labour conference.
Well, maybe. If there’s a blog-based anti-Shearer putsch then nobody told me. It could just be that loads of people on the left don’t think Shearer is a very good leader, and the week before his conference is a salient time to point that out.
Anyway, team Shearer has been talking up his up-coming speech at the conference as a make-or-break moment for him. If Shearer’s speech does bomb it won’t be the first time his team over-promised and under-delivered on a speech by this leader. But even if he exceeds expectations, all it’ll prove is that as opposition leader he has the luxury to get a week of media coaching and outsource his speech-writing to a professional. Being Prime Minister is a more improvisational and reactive job.
That’s why I think the best thing Shearer could do for his leadership is perform well on the week leading up to his conference. This means coherent, articulate interviews on Morning Report that set the news agenda for the day. That means getting into the top stories on TVNZ and TV3 news and delivering strong quotes that hurt the government and advocate for Labour policy and values. It means moving on from his pointless ‘gotcha’ questions in the House and holding the PM to account. Shearer needs to show he can ‘win the day’ consistently, not just win one speech a year.