The white smoke rising from the Caucus meeting after the sham leadership vote was Cunliffe's beard being burnt. It took a little longer for the meeting to start because Cunliffe's ribcage wouldn't crack right open and Mallard & Hipkins were fighting over his earlobes for trophies.
The media generated leadership crisis caused because the Journalists didn't take any notice of what members were wanting leading up to the conference was manufactured into a coup with 'dark forces' and the ABC clique took the opportunity to kill Cunliffe off.
In the end Shearer did not take the advice of Robert Winter or even Brian Edwards and kicked the only star performer he has in his Caucus off the front bench.
If Shearer thinks this abuse of one of his own at the manipulation of the msm and those dead wood MPs desperate to keep their own necks safe has allowed him to 'move on', just pop over to The Standard and see how well that's panning out.
The only winners here are the Green Party and the MANA Party as members watch the only MP articulating a left wing political vision get stomped in the face.
Kia Kaha Mr Cunliffe - it's an ugly day when good people get mugged and left to bleed in the street.
On a more positive note, I suppose it was the best TV interview Shearer's given. It's a thin silver lining, but when the cloud is shaped like a mushroom, you take what you can get.
Based on what Gower created, Labour can also be thankful Slater wasn't allowed into the Conference. If Paddy could manufacture a leadership crisis, Whaleoil could've triggered a mass suicide in Caucus.
Today's Caucus meeting was brought to you by the letters B-A-C-K-L-A-S-H.