Friday, February 24, 2012

Labour's "do nothing" leader

David Shearer responds to criticism that he has done nothing so far as Labour leader:

Labour leader David Shearer has attempted to counter criticism his leadership style has been too laid back, saying he doesn't believe in bickering and partisanship.

In a speech to Grey Power in Auckland this afternoon, Shearer said he was not the kind of leader who believed in ''rival tribes playing gotcha''.

''Of course that's what a lot of people look for. They want to score the game, give points for the best smart remark in Parliament. But that's not what most New Zealanders want.''

There was no excuse for not being constructive.

Sure, but he hasn't done an awful lot of that, either. Insofar as Labour has advocated policy over the last three months, it has been done by other MPs. As for the leader, he's been conspicuous by his absence. Which makes you wonder why he's got the job (and is getting the salary) at all.

A change in tone is one thing (possibly not the wisest course against this National government, but that's an argument for another day); abdication is another. But hey, if Shearer doesn't actually want to lead the left in NZ, there's another party eager to take his job. And if he keeps on staying silent, he'll have no-one to blame but himself.