I give up. I thought the insanity that seems to have possessed the post-Clark Labour party would have run its course after 2011. But it seems some can not sate their need to schism and plot against their own party, rather than their opposition.
Does anyone really think installing David Cunliffe or Andrew Little is really going to give Labour a real boost in the polls? That suddenly this brain dead, factionalised caucus will suddenly unite and start pouring out brilliant ideas? That suddenly the New Zealand public will realise what it has always wanted to do was embark on a Long March to the left? Get real.
Swapping out Shearer for Cunliffe will simply mean the current coterie around Shearer will become the scheming plotters trying to undermine the leader. The (possibly terminal) decline will continue. The polls will stay miserable, with the occasional 35% rating being greeted rapturously, while National pooter along quite happily at 48%.
Do you really think there are Brilliant Ideas - better than KiwiBuild and the NZ Power - that some members of the caucus have just plain forgotten to mention but will rediscover with Shearer out of the top spot? It seems rather unlikely, to be generous.
There isn't much to be said for Shearer; there isn't much to be said for Cunliffe. If Shearer is rolled, the electorate will not rejoice and switch from National to Labour. They will look on the conspirators as the Roman plebs looked on Cassius and Brutus - only they won't need an Anthony to rouse them. They'll see it for what it is - the petty politicking of little men who were so interested in advancing themselves they betrayed the movement they claimed to be part of. The electorate will be more firmly pro-Key than ever, because the NZ Labour party will have succeeded in becoming toxic as well as useless.
Cunliffe - and anyone else - would be a fool to roll Shearer now. it won't fix anything - not one of the buffoons put forward as a possible new leader has the wit or charisma to fix the problems of the Labour party. They are the symptom, not the solution. They will look at how few of those who strike the fatal blow go on to wear the crown. Brash rolled English and lost. Gillard rolled Rudd and lost. Rudd rolled Gillard and will likely lose - and if he does win, based on his moves against refugees, it will be a Phyricc victory as who would want to win on a platform of xenophobia and fear?
Cunliffe and the other contenders - pygmies all, but the Labour party is a party where pygmies are well represented - would probably prefer to wait until after 2014. They are none of them so stupid as to think substituting Shearer for any one of them would make a sufficient difference. But they also know that by 2014 they will be as stale and unappealling as Phil Goff in 2011. So they will perhaps be compelled to act now - before whatever miniscule talent they possess is completely over-shadowed.
I suppose being leader for a year and a bit would be preferable to never being leader at all.