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Suddenly, Shearer softens on Cunliffe

Labour leader David Shearer has suddenly softened to challenger David Cunliffe - dropping a strong hint the New Lynn MP could return to the front bench if he renounces any claim on the top job.

Just four days after his Alpha Male move to demote one-time finance spokesman, Mr Shearer gave him new hope when interviewed on TV3's The Nation today.

"I have an enormous amount of respect for him; his knowledge around the economic issues and his knowledge of the politics that surround economic issues. He’s very talented," Mr Shearer said.

"I would like to have him in a high position and that door is certainly open to him

"He just needs to put his head down and work for the team, for all of the caucus. Let’s put ambition aside."

Comments and questions

His eyes tell a different story, he wants top job - Shearer should have realised that after the first fight. He will cause more damage than good and will let you down, as he did with Phil Goff, in the next election. Just expel him and rid the party of this trouble maker and possible turn coat and replace him with some left leaning economics professor or state treasurer. Just as good.

Really, who would want to lead a party full of factionalised power-crazed control freaks? Whoever does probably has some serious personal issues and is not fit to be on charge of a country.

I assume Alan you're talking about the National Party, as evidenced by CERA in Christchurch? Or for that matter, your comment could probably apply to just about any political party and its elite.

I would have thought even the Left could distinguish a Government department from a political party, but evidently I would have been wrong. Nor afaik are there factions within CERA or the National party at all comparable to the raging hatreds and warfare inside the Left.

David Cunliffe is a valuable politican. Labour needs him, fullstop, in the front line! David Parker was one in the first leadership battle too in 2010.... Labour needs Cunliffes abilities and talent'. Sort it and move on.

They both need each other, to remind us how hopeless Labour are.


So, Shearer's gone soft on Cunliffe,. For all the plaudits he received for finally showing hus is cajones, we get to see how flaccid he realky is.

Oh dear, try reading Shearer's actual comments rather than the headline - although I wonder if it would make any difference to your prejudices anyway.

The reason Shearer has gone soft on Cunliffe can be summed up in the words of Mike Williams, past Labour Party President "the Labour Party did and still does lack people with a business background”. If Labour ever hope to enter any form of meaningful dialogue with businesses, at the very least they need one person in the party that has a modicum of understanding how businesses operate.

I think Cunliffe and his supporters had every right to be dissatisfied with Shearers performance. Up till the one speech at the conference, his performance has been woeful. Anyone who geniunely wants Labour to win would favour Cunliffe. He was, and in my view, remains the best leader for Labour and the country.

It doesn't inspire confidence that the Labour caucas couldn't get over themselves and elect the best person for the job, Cunliffe. He is highly intelligent and articulate, has a track record of outstanding performance, is nearer to Labours' true values than many and one of the few people who could successfully challenge Key. He also hasn't dirtied his reputation like the likes of some in Labour.

If the rumours are true that he is arrogant ,etc (personally, I don't believe them) too bad. It's not about who the caucas like.

Up till the conference there wasn't one media commentator who supported Shearer, and that includes people from the left such as Chris Trotter, Tapu Misa and Brian Edwards. One speech at a conference is not enough, especially as it was scripted. It won't be scripted when Shearer has to take on Key during the election campaign.

To borrow fron George Bush, "you misunderestimate" just how loved by the public Cunliffe isn't.

Got to hand it to Shearer: he never disappoints. Showing all the steely resolve of half-set jelly.

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