It used to be so much easier for politicians to control a story when communication was so much slower.
If a vote of confidence had been held for party leader he (and it would have been he then) would have made a pronouncement afterwards. That would have been written down by reporters and appeared in the following day’s paper.
It’s so much harder to keep control of a message now that news is spread at a much faster speed.
Within minutes of David Shearer’s media conference yesterday the story was on radio, TV and the internet in various forms – news sites, Facebook, Twitter and blogs.
Unlike the old days, it wasn’t just what Shearer said, but people’s views on it . Much of that was far from supportive and the critics weren’t just coming from the right flank.
No matter what he says, yesterday’s vote wasn’t the end of the matter.
The Labour Party is under attack from outside and inside.
David Cunliffe is down but he’s not out and the leadership issue will fester through the summer.