Morning reads

Shearer must unlock mix to beat Key (Tracy Watkins, Stuff)

David Shearer won’t get the luxury of three years to prove himself like his predecessor, Phil Goff. But he will have the luxury of a honeymoon, which is something Mr Goff never got.

He must not squander it. The Labour leadership contest has created more interest in the party than any of the policies it pitched on the campaign trail.

If Mr Shearer is serious about reforming the party – inevitably a bloody process – he will need the Cunliffe camp with him, not against him.

But none of that was why the Shearer camp were celebrating last night. For the first time in many years, they finally believe they have found a match to John Key.

Annette King may run for Wellington mayoralty (Stuff)

Now this is a campaign I would love to be involved with…

Wellington city councillor Paul Eagle, who stood on a Labour ticket during local body elections, said Mrs King had been asked by “lots of people” if she would stand in 2013.

“It’s not something she’s been open about … but in saying that, she’d make a wonderful mayor. She’s hugely popular across the political spectrum.”

David Shearer’s fresh start – 1) Keep it real (Tim Watkin, Pundit)

The new leader says he wants Labour to be “a party of ideas”, and so he should. He will need a big idea sooner rather than later which represents his values and identity and says something about this “fresh” Labour party – as JFK introduced the Peace Corp, given Shearer’s background he should be looking for something representative of practical service and generosity.

But big airy fairy ideas would be poison. Labour’s job now is to keep it real. And to grab a few ideas from National, to show it can reconnect with the centre.

Interestingly enough, the Peace Corps idea was something that Young Labour have toyed with for years.

Morning reads

Today is of course the day the Labour Party select their new leadership team. It’s going to be interesting no matter what happens, and I promise to write properly about the results!

In the mean time, while we wait for the smoke to come out from the conclave, here are some bits and pieces to keep you busy…

The Secret Diaries of David Cunliffe and David Shearer (Steve Braunias)

Brilliance. You have to read them.

Labour leadership primary (Lewis Holden)

Lewis, chair of the NZ Republican Movement, and (former?) National Party member, blogs about the Labour leadership process. His suggestion is that we adopt a process similar to that used by the UK Conservative Party. It’s not as silly as it sounds. Have a read and see what you think.

Winners and losers in Gillard’s reshuffle (Tim Lester, Sydney Morning Herald)

John Key and the Labour caucus aren’t the only people doing a pre-Christmas shuffle. Australian PM Julia Gillard has just announced a fairly major cabinet reshuffle. This article is a pretty good summary of the changes, but there is plenty of other material out there.

Morning reads

There is a lot going on in politics at the moment. We have an election to digest, a new Cabinet will be announced today, a new Labour leader will be selected tomorrow. Despite this, there seems to be a bit of a vacuum when it comes to quality political commentary.

Here’s a quick round-up of some quality pieces that caught my eye today…

Election #11 – Notings (Graeme Edgeler, Public Address)

Graeme looks at the special votes and pulls some interesting facts out of the election result.

We won’t get the full details for a couple of months (split vote analysis which show various oddities, like the 1039 voters at the last election who party voted National in Helensville but wouldn’t vote for John Key personally, or the 262 Epsom voters who wanted ACT, but not Rodney Hide) but there are some things to note.

Yep – there’s your problem: your party’s full of hysterical simpletons (Danyl McLauchlan, Dim Post)

Danyl is the master of New Zealand political satire, and it’s often very difficult to tell it from his factual posts. Here is his reflecting on the Herald’s pieces on the weekend on the Labour leadership…

The stakes here are pretty low. Cunliffe will probably be an adequate leader. Shearer might not turn out so well, but might also be an exceptional leader. So that’s a risk the party needs to assess in light of its recent loss, not a Manichean battle of good against evil.

Dear Labour Caucus (Keith Ng, Public Address)

A day out from the leadership vote, Keith has written an open letter to the Labour caucus to look beyond their own personal interests, and any jobs that have been promised to them.

And this is the punchline, dear Labour Caucus. If Labour is led by someone who has been tirelessly campaigning for himself at the expense of the party – if its frontbench is stacked with people who earned their positions purely as payment for someone else’s political ambitions, in order to advance their own political ambitions – you can’t expect it to be a party of talent, you can’t expect it to be a party of values or integrity, and you can’t expect anyone to believe in it.