Labour leader David Shearer today responded to heated criticism from party members about the direction his party appears to be taking.
Labour has in recent weeks suffered a series of setbacks, with reports of an anti-David Cunliffe faction in caucus, and with evidence of growing anger among activist members about the targetting of beneficiaries by Shearer and other MPs in speeches and online posts.
“The reality is that no matter what we do people will always complain,” said Shearer.
“We’ve got some top people advising us, and I’m confident they will do for me what they did for Phil Goff. Let’s not forget that we almost won the last election, and would have formed the government in 2011 but for the historically low turnout for Labour.”
David Shearer acknowledged that many of the activists now quitting or threatening to quit the party had worked hard in the past for Labour.
“But times have changed,” said Mr Shearer. “We can’t be stuck in the past, and we can’t go on doing things the same way. We need to ask ourselves some tough questions. For example, why do investment bankers almost never vote for Labour?”
Mr Shearer said he was confident that making the party more attractive to voters traditionally hostile to Labour would reap rewards in 2014.
“Look how well National did in 2011. There’s a lesson for Labour in that result. We need to identify more with the people who voted National. That means making some tough choices.”
Those tough choices would include a complete re-brand for the party, said Mr Shearer. This would involve a name change to avoid the “negative connotations” associated with the term “Labour”, and a change of party colours from red to blue.
“We’re very pleased with the new logo,” said Mr Shearer.
|David Shearer has revealed the new logo for his party, and he has gone for a traditional look|
Shearer said he expected that the new look and brand would attract more favourable attention and make it easier to raise funds.
“We’ve got a plan to raise a million dollars in the next twelve months. We’re going to use that money to build a super-robot to take the place of all the activists we’ll be losing.
“This robot will deliver pamphlets, knock on doors, put up election hoardings, and stand in the rain holding party banners, in every electorate in the country.
“And if we run out of money to build it we can always raise more by moving a bit more to the right.”