Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Shearer and "Gotcha" politics

Back in February, Labour leader David Shearer made a lot of noise about how he was going to be different and not engage in "gotcha" politics:

"I'm not the kind of leader who believes in rival tribes playing 'gotcha', where bickering and partisanship are prized. 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," Mr Shearer told an Auckland Grey Power meeting yesterday.
So what was he doing in Question Time yesterday? Engaging in "gotcha" politics:
DAVID SHEARER (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements with regard to asset sales?
Its not the only incident. Every single question he has asked since the House resumed in February has asked the Prime Minister whether he stood by some statement or another - classic "gotcha" politics. In fact, he was doing this just three days after that interview was published. I guess he thought no-one would notice (or that the media, desperate for access, wouldn't call him on it).

But in addition to being a hypocrite, Shearer is also incompetent. Because yesterday, his efforts to trip the Prime Minister up over asset sales saw him comprehensively schooled about their use in his favourite country: Finland. Whoops.

Wouldn't it be nice if Labour had an honest and competent leader?