To paraphrase a great man of the Labour Party, Shearer won, Cunliffe lost, eat that.
Whatever Cunliffe did or didn’t do, he’s been demoted. Shearer has arranged a convenient vote of confidence in his leadership which I have to hope even his supporters can see is a complete paper tiger.
There’s still going to be a vote in February. So there’s still going to be media focus on fun inter-faction crap instead of Actual Issues.
The point I’m stuck on is this: now there are calls for “unity” – which does kinda bug me because there’s a big difference between genuine unity (punctuated by hopefully constructive arguments) and everyone pretending to get along for the cameras and not calling out bad shit because It Will Look Bad.
And a lot of these calls for unity seem to imply that basically, it’s the anti-Shearer people who need to put up or shut up, who need to stop pointing out his perceived errors.
But even today, while David Cunliffe takes his lumps and doesn’t comment to the media, as instructed, as agreed by caucus … well looky here, someone’s been talking to Claire Trevett about what went down in the caucus room.
I’m all for unity – genuine unity punctuated by constructive arguments, that is – and I’m all for waiting until February, looking at Shearer’s performance, letting the democratic wheels of the Labour Party turn.
But not when “unity” means “Cunliffe fans shut up, Shearer fans do whatever the hell they like”. Not when “unity” means refraining from pointing out that it’s leaky bullshit like this which makes the Labour Party look unstable. Not when “unity” means pretending that David Shearer’s faction aren’t acting like insecure Mean Girls who just got told someone else is wearing white gold hoops to prom.
Let’s have proper debate if we need to. Let’s smack down the media narrative that people disagreeing within a party = SCANDALOUS INFIGHTING. Let’s all grow the fuck up. Starting with David Shearer and Trevor Mallard.