Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre McIvor: Labour's new head needs to chat up voters

David Shearer. Photo / Mark Mitchell
David Shearer. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Please God, when my end comes, I hope it's not as long, slow and painful as David Shearer's.

On the other hand, like David Shearer, I do hope I get to make the choice about when that time might be and I hope I can be as dignified.

The leader of the Opposition (no, it's not Russel Norman) resigned on Thursday. His speech was restrained, considered and concise - just like the man. And therein lay the problem.

David Shearer would have undoubtedly made a great prime minister but he didn't have the mongrel aspect you need as Leader of the Opposition.

Nor did he have the support of colleagues who could help him transition from a sincere, well-meaning guy to an effective, punchy politician.

The Labour Party will now try to find a leader who can take on Prime Minister John Key. But they'll struggle.

Most of the front-runners are Key-Lite: middle-aged white guys who know how to talk to a crowd.

The trouble with Key-Lite is that John Key is better at being John Key than any ersatz offering from the Labour Party. But political parties have been in worse positions than Labour is in now and come right.

Labour will need to make a bold choice in picking a boss. A repeat of the Lange/Palmer/Moore debacle could finish it off.

- Herald on Sunday

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