Indie rock songs contain trite and obvious messages for angst ridden adolescents. Perfect, then, for capturing the feelings of political party activists searching for a saviour.

I haven't really got an opinion on the question of who ought to be leader of the Labour Party. Actually, that's not really true. I think it should be Grant Robertson, but that's purely because he's my friend and we always want our friends to be successful. Only, I note, because we can then hate them for it.

But in terms of the current fevered "should Shearer go?" (or, rather, "Shearer should go!") discussion burning up the interwebz, I haven't really got an opinion. Partly it's because I've just got back to town after a break in the US of A, where there were bigger and noisier political games to distract me. Partly it's because I haven't really got a direct stake in the issue, as I'm not a Labour Party member. And partly it's because there's a lot more to the leadership issue than "can David Shearer learn how to get through an interview without sounding incoherent?" - there's obviously internal caucus politicing which isn't really visible to the outside eye but which matter very much in terms of constructing a team that can compete with the National opposition (as well as the Greens and NZ First allies).

However, as I was out on my evening walk around Purakaunui inlet while the evening sun fell across the flat water and illuminated the headland in a soft golden glow, my iPod shuffle brought the Sebadoh song "Brand New Love" to my ears. And for some reason the lyrics made me think of the obvious and passionate desire that those debating Labour's leadership have for a leader that they can fall madly in love with. And they also reminded me of how elusive and ultimately disappointing such forms of love can be.

So because everyone else in the general political blogosphere has something to say on the issue and I hate to be the only one not talking, here's my only comment on the Labour leadership issue:

Restless eyes close, maybe it'll go away.
Please rest tomorrow, bring a satisfying day.
The restless urge of love that's worth the burning for;
Surely it's that one consuming love to give you more.


Any thought could be the beginning
Of the brand new tangled web you're spinning.
Anyone could be a brand new love.
Any tithe that holds can be broken,
Tear your bitter world to the open.
Anyone could be a brand new love.


You won't be the first, your twisted change is normal.
Gossan dirt, whispered to the nodding head,
Thrilled you fell apart, instead of them.
But they will.
For any hope for love can be killed.
If you need a different face,
It's definitely time to destroy this place.


Any thought could be the beginning
Of the brand new tangled web you're spinning.
Anyone could be a brand new love.
Follow what you feel, you alone decide what's real.
Anyone can be a brand new love.

If you don't know Sebadoh's song, you can hear it here (or a more mellow live version here). There's also a (poppier) Superchunk cover that I quite like here.

Comments (1)

by stuart munro on November 17, 2012
stuart munro

Nice. But Labour already has a song.

I grew up in a Labour family, and our values haven't changed. The party has forgotten its roots and its responsibilities, and the blithe adoption of depression producing economic policies by both major parties is now having the same kinds of impacts on most NZ households that drove the creation of the original Labour party.

Given how far NZ has fallen from the well-governed egalitarian state I grew up in, the new leader ought to be ready to use this as his theme song.

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