Home > The Body Politic > Oh dear, is it that time again?

Oh dear, is it that time again?

A blogpost in four images…














And a short story…


Once upon a time, Farmer Joe Bloggs contracted a company to work on his farm. He needed his  fields ploughed; a barn painted; several dozen stray sheep to be rounded up; and  fences repaired.

The company, ‘Labour R Us Inc‘ turned up on Monday morning and Farmer Bloggs explained what needed to be done.

The foreman agreed to start  work immediatly and discussed the tasks with his team. Very soon, the team began to disagree on which task should be done first.

One worker wanted the hardest task to be done first, to get the big job out of the way.

Another worker wanted the team split up to start on all the jobs simultaneously.

A third worker suggested starting on the hardest and easiest job, splitting the team accordingly.

Two other workers wanted a new foreman.

And others agreed, disagreed, or had their own ideas on how to carry out the allocated tasks. Very soon, they were arguing so loudly that Farmer Bloggs looked out the window and saw that no work was being done, and much time was being wasted.

Very unhappy, Farmer Bloggs, picked up his phone and rang the next company in the phone book,

Hello, is that ‘Green Fingers Inc’? I’d like you to do some work for me.”

As ‘Labour R Us Inc‘ continued arguing between themselves, the second company arrived; pulled out their tools; and set to working.

Moral of the Story? Focus on what needs to be done and argue later, in your own time. Under MMP, you’re not the only show in town.



= fs =

  1. Deborah Kean
    29 April 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I have asked people but I still don’t understand what is wrong with Shearer? No one will actually tell me why they think he should go…

  2. 29 April 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Indeed, Debbie. The guy has been in his new job for only a few months and already the knives are out for him?

    This is not a good look for Labour, and is hardly a fitting example of the supposed fairness that the party takes such pride in.

    I believe if some commentators have criticisms, they should be made directly to David Shearer – not splashed throughout the media. The only result is the public looking askance at goings-on and wondering WTF?!

    • Deborah Kean
      30 April 2012 at 3:11 pm

      All that’s true, Kerry and Frank, but I heard Mike Williams and Matthew Hooten on Radio New Zealand this morning, and they both indulged (along with Ryan herself) in some good old Shearer bashing! It seems as if they want Shearer to be able to come out with snappy sound-bites, to be just like Key! Frankly, that’s one of the things that makes Key so loathsome – he’s completely predictable, we know exactly what he’s going to say – and how! Shearer’s comments on the Banks mess have sneaked through the great media blockade, and are eminently sensible, but I heard just one item about it. But just because he isn’t reported doesn’t mean he’s “faffing about” – the media are so busy telling Labour how they should run things, and the LW blogs are so busy saying ‘Yes, master(s)’, that it makes Labour look extremely disunited!

  3. 30 April 2012 at 9:25 am

    My thoughts:

    1. I preferred Cunliffe from the start. He’s a great debater, seems very well-informed, he has that presence certain leaders have – Muldoon & Kirk had presence, Shipley, Rowling & Palmer did not. Shearer hasn’t shown any yet.

    2. I think Key’s election strategy of distraction worked for him – they won. Well, worked to the extent that a large proportion of the population were elated to the eyeballs with rugby, or had gone to sleep or done something entirely other , so the electorate just weren’t in election mode. Key counted on that. A small window for debate, mediocre tv coverage and the silly Teapot Saga did the rest.

    3. But now the fever’s passed. Thank you God. People are tuned back in to politics and the whole landscape has changed. I think there’s a strong perception out here that it doesn’t matter which of the duopoly is in, it’s same old, same old.

    4. Shearer’s statesmanlike demeanour does serve him well as a potential PM and maybe if there wasn’t so much drama happening, he’d be looking that way to the public. Shearer hasn’t got time to faff about. If he can’t get up and speak convincingly – SHOW NZ who Labour are, he is doomed.

    5. And if the reason he can’t orate convincingly is that the Labour Party still can’t figure out who they are and who they represent, then they deserve to go down. FFS, they should know.

  4. 30 April 2012 at 11:10 am

    Fair points, Kerry. I think your assessment adds to this blogpost.

    I especially endorse your statement that “Shearer hasn’t got time to faff about” – though I’d made that observation for the whole Labour Party.

    With current ructions surrounding National, and one scandal following another in quick succession, this is Labour’s time to put itself forward as a credible government.

    They certainly need to “stop faffing about”. We’re only one seat away from a snap election.

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