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September 9, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Labour Has Acted, Now It Must Lead

As your columnist has predicted throughout this year, David Shearer had a countdown clock on his leadership. Shearer is a fundamentally good man. Decorated by the Queen, humanitarian, and all-round good bastard. Good does not cut it, however, against the titan that is John Key. The left saw a glimpse of Key against John Campbell at the full height of his powers. The collective gasp in the leftiesphere all came to one conclusion: Shearer would be utterly torn apart by the Prime Minister in 2014, and the left would lose.

It all came to a head during Question Time. Shearer accused John Key of not consulting with other parties about the GCSB bill. Key, furiously, revealed that David Shearer had come up to the PM’s office for a confidential meeting, at which Shearer had asked that Key not tell anybody about it. Shearer went behind the backs of his own caucus. When Key revealed this, Robertson’s face said it all. Shearer had also held up two dead snapper in protest at the Government’s proposed recreational-fishing quota changes. It was a stupid, silly stunt. Shearer’s leadership, like the two dead snapper, was dead in the water.

Now, an American-style leadership primary will be used to decide who will gain the poisoned chalice that is the Labour leadership. 40 per cent of the vote comes from Labour MPs, 40 per cent from the wider Party membership, and the final 20 per cent from the affiliated trade unions. I give you a short pros-and-cons for each of the three candidates.

David Cunliffe

Pros: Harvard-educated, former diplomat, highly regarded former Cabinet Minister, the wider Labour Party membership back him.

Cons: Arrogant, caucus colleagues apparently hate him, sacked a whole DHB board once.

Bonus: Google ‘David Cunliffe’ and ‘poetry’.

Grant Robertson

Pros: Formerly Helen Clark’s Deputy Chief of Staff, former diplomat, current Deputy Leader.

Cons: Formerly Helen Clark’s Deputy Chief of Staff, can’t repudiate the worst of Clarkism, has never landed a hit on the Government in five years in Parliament.

Shane Jones

Pros: Folksy manner, former Treaty negotiator, Harvard-educated, Māori and fluent in Te Reo.

Cons: Can be abrasive, Labour left hate his guts, he once rented porn in a hotel on taxpayer money. Dude hasn’t heard of the internet?!?

These are the three equally bad contestants for Labour’s Hunger Games. May the odds ever be in National’s favour.

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