By: Mike Hosking | Monday, April 30, 2012
Politics is a hard business isn’t it. The buzzards are circling for David Shearer.
If you follow the game, the story has been building for a couple of weeks now. Tension within his office, commentators of the left frustrated over the lack of impact, murmurings within the party ranks.
How long has he been in the job - five, six minutes? Was it a leader they wanted or a miracle worker? The election was late last year. It’s not even May. Next time we vote is most likely the end of the year after next. What on earth is the panic? Political leadership is a long game. All Shearer’s troubles smack of a society where everything has to be dealt with instantly. Snap your fingers - problems solved.
Factor in that Labour took a pounding under Goff. They were humiliated, they had policies no one got or liked, they still carried the stigma of the Clark years and the arrogance that went with it. Factor in also that Shearer is a nice bloke, not an attack dog. If you were looking for headlines on day two, you elected the wrong bloke. Factor in as well John Key. Failing to make an instant impact against Key is in many respects no humiliation given key is an exceptionally gifted politician who reads the public mood like few others.
This is the part Labour never seems to learn. When it comes to their leaders, changing for the sake of changing doesn't necessarily solve your problem. Just name me the list of top notch contenders that wait in line within the Labour Party who would be vastly superior to Shearer, who would instantly turn the party’s fortunes around, who would
be recognised and liked by the majority of voters. They don’t have any.
So how many leaders do they want to go through to achieve nothing and look merely like a party in panic? If this was April 2014 and we were voting this November and the polls were where they are now, they’d have a point. And look to history - why do they keep forgetting to do this?
They went to Clark early on as well, went to Clark and showed her the poll numbers. She wasn’t liked, wasn’t getting any cut through. They were looking to roll her. She stared them down and there is three terms of Government that showed she was right and they weren’t.
Big picture - why do they always forget the big picture? Support, policy and electoral wins are built over time. Patience, planning, longevity and consistency must never be underestimated as critical values for long term success. That applies to most areas of life, not just politics.
So the buzzards should give it a rest. By circling Shearer, all they’re showing is their lack of understanding of the political game.
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