The path to popularity: an action list for David Shearer

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Who would want to be David Shearer? The Labour leader is under fire from almost every direction, and every pundit seems to have an opinion on where he is going wrong.

I’m probably already late to this party, but I have my own list of things for Shearer to work on. I am convinced that if the Labour leader follows my suggestions he will become the most popular politician in the country.

So pay attention, David, and get to work:

  • Spout meaningless statistics at every opportunity to demonstrate how good your policies are. When confronted by statistics showing your policies cause social or economic harm, point out that there are a range of differing views on the subject.
  • Propose various policies to erode our civil liberties. The police and security agencies will never have enough powers. Propose giving them the power to pry into the lives of everyone who might pose a potential threat. But object loudly when you perceive that your privacy is breached, and call the police immediately.
  • Occasionally wear stupid shirts or hats, and play the goofball in public. Jokey homophobia is a big hit with the punters.
  • When someone leaks material showing that a government agency may be acting unlawfully, demand the relentless pursuit of the leaker, and support law changes to enable the agency to continue its activities.
  • Find a disadvantaged group of people in society and flog them mercilessly. Tell them that it’s for their own good.
  • Propose a series of deals with big business, all of which involve either subsidies or law changes to protect monopoly rights. The less transparency the better. If your deals can involve businesses that actually harm society, then all the better.
  • Ask the United States for its wishlist, then begin work to tick the items off one by one. Maybe if you’re a good boy you might get to shake the President’s hand again. Wouldn’t that be grand?
  • Remember that there are no facts. Just opinions. This will make it easier to deal with meddling experts.
  • Take up golf.
  • Behave with secrecy, and always look after your mates. The public need to be convinced that you are the man for the hour, but they must also never know the full extent of your plans.
  • Promote economic policies that offer low growth or risk environmental harm. By the time the public have realised the foolishness of your policies, you’ll be in retirement enjoying your knighthood.
  • When journalists ask awkward questions or raise inconvenient facts just claim you’ve forgotten, and then blame the other major party for everything.
  • Behave like a naughty child when you are in the debating chamber, and take every opportunity to answer serious questions with insults.
  • Be a bloke’s bloke. None of that namby-pamby touchy-feely sucking-up-to-minorities BS. You’re a privileged while male, so make the most of it.
  • Think up some pithy aspirational slogan, and spray it about every time you give a speech. The more meaningless the better. “Brighter Future” is a good example.
  • Forget where you were or what you were doing when the 1981 Springbok tour was happening. Don’t let inconvenient past events define you.
  • All politicians lie or twist the truth, but you must lift your game if you are to compete with the masters of deceit. Lie more often and more convincingly. Practice your lies in front of the mirror before you tell them to the public, so that you eliminate any obvious tells. But work out a signal so that your friends will know that what you have said is a blatant untruth. For example, consider prefacing every lie with the word “Actually”.
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5 thoughts on “The path to popularity: an action list for David Shearer

  1. “Find a disadvantaged group of people in society and flog them mercilessly. Tell them that it’s for their own good.”

    He’s done that one.

    “Think up some pithy aspirational slogan, and spray it about every time you give a speech. The more meaningless the better. “Brighter Future” is a good example.”

    That one too. So you see he’s not completely hopeless.

  2. nah, none of that would ever work in an intelligent, thoughtful and generous society where people aren’t easily conned by politicians, like New Zealand.

  3. Shearer has to go work on Wall St and strip mine small nations to net multi milions. Not work for bleeding heart humanitarian time wasters like the UN. How else will he be able to hobnob with the rich and famous in Hawaii and Warner Bros?

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