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Choose wisely

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, August 23rd, 2013 - 136 comments
Categories: labour, Media, Shane Jones - Tags:

I’m sure we’ll be doing comparisons between the candidates for the Labour leadership in the coming days once they’ve officially declared (if we can wait that long :) ). You know what my preference is, although Cunliffe or Robertson, even Little or Ardern, would at least be credible – and a credible PM as leader is the thing Labour has been lacking. What I would caution against is listening to Espiner/Garner/Gower fantasies about Jones. Those guys said ‘choose Shearer’ and Labour listened. Labour would be fools to listen to them again.

Espiner, Garner, and Gower are media people. They are not Labour supporters. They don’t want what’s best for Labour, they don’t care if Labour wins or loses. They want a story. They want to create a story. They want a crazy punt that could go any way (and anyone with a dose of sense knows what way it would go with Jones, just as they did with Shearer).

The media jocks thought Shearer would make fun stories, going up or going down, and that’s exactly what they see in Jones. It took them six months to turn on Shearer and they were the ones who led the hounding of him from the leadership. They’ll turn on their new favourite just as easily.

So, don’t listen to the media jocks – they’re out for their interests, not Labour’s. And especially don’t listen to journos who say that National MPs have told them National’s scared of facing Jones. It’s not like National MPs don’t have their own interests in influencing the Labour leadership race.

Labour should choose a leader who is best equipped to beat National and lead the country – not whoever the media hounds bay for in the moment.

136 comments on “Choose wisely”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    Factional self-interest will be the winner on the day and the new leader will crawl out of the rubble looking defeated in victory. But there will have been a ‘contest’ and everyone will have had their say and some fake notion of democracy will have been served. Meanwhile, the government and the pundits and the commentators and the media will have rendered Labour unelectable in any shape or form. And the privileged aristocrats of the left will feel good about that, their power intact.

  2. Nicolas 3

    Yeah, I heard Garner and the Espiner brothers suggesting Jones was the candidate “National feared”…

    Honestly, does anyone still take those clowns seriously, especially after the big joke that their new show is?

    Shame Jones has no place in the Labour caucus, let alone in the party’s leadership. The sooner the Minister of Pornography goes, the better…

    • Mary 3.1

      Absolutely. As Brian Edwards said on RNZ this morning, blue movies never go away. He’s a complete liability for that alone and should be kicked out. Even without the blue movie albatross the guy’s totally useless. Every time he opens his mouth the only thing that comes out is pure excrement.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Shame Jones has no place in the Labour Party, let alone in the party’s leadership.

      FIFY

      Jones should probably be in National which would be why National voters want him as leader in Labour.

  3. Tracey 4

    If labour don’t “get” that whoever becomes leader needs everyone to put their heads down and bums up to work toward the Party’s goal, we will have Natunited govt in 2014. I cannot understand how they just don’t get that.

    They could peak over at the Greens to see how it can be done and if they don’t, they may have a similar number of MPs as the Greens after the next election.

    • Mary 4.1

      Robertson is the weak link. If he’s elected Labour will have exactly the same problem they’ve currently got with Shearer. He won’t be able to cut it with Key and the public doesn’t warm to him. And if he isn’t elected he’ll sulk and factions will stay in place. The right is really really worried about Cunliffe, extremely worried. So much so it wasn’t just Hooton who was spinning the drivel, even Richard Prebble felt moved enough to talk Cunliffe down by saying Robertson’s the man. Just watch as all the right-wingers come crawling out talking up anyone but Cunliffe. This should be a sign to Labour of what it needs to do. Brian Edwards is right about there being only one person who’s up for the job. It’s the “I’m the best person for the job” attitude that prevents proper unity. My prediction is that this is all leading to another monumental stuff up.

  4. felix 5

    + a zillion, Zetetic.

    And don’t pick someone just because the media and the right say they don’t want them, either ffs, that way lies madness.

    Don’t second-guess their motives, don’t try to figure out the double-triple-quadruple negatives, and don’t play opposites. As soon as you do that you’re playing their game, you’ve taken your eye off picking the leader we want, and they’ve won.

    Don’t take any notice of them either way, even when you agree with them.

    They are not part of the conversation. Disregard them entirely.

    • Mary 5.1

      The right are all talking up anyone but Cunliffe. Prebble on RNZ this morning was saying Robertson. Hooton right this second is telling Little to step up because the Unions’ vote will get him over the line. The right are very worried about Cunliffe. Labour should see this and rally around him now. Sure, the new rules are based on democratic principles but if there’s an obvious leader who can stick it to Key then they need to do that now.

  5. Sanctuary 6

    It is interesting that Vernon Small, a Wellington based horse racing commentator, has annointed Robertson as the “frontrunner”. Honestly, do these Wellington bubble people every get out of the place and come to Auckland? It would be a disaster for Robertson to somehow engineer it so that he is elected unopposed and without taking the temperature of the R&F, yet it seems a lot of Wellington courtiers and courtier politicians loath the idea of taking it to the people…

    • karol 6.1

      Vernon Small’s article is worse than just an MSM hack trying to skew the selection process. It looks like the ABC team is up to their old anti-democratic tricks trying to insert their candidate as leader via whispers to the MSM. This bit in Small’s article:

      … Ah, no it’s been updated. So now Small is now accepting there will be a contest. The earlier version had this bit I copied and pasted on other threads:

      Moves were under way last night to avoid a messy leadership runoff, but the wider party may push for a contest that would give unions and the wider membership a say.

      That has now gone from the article and it says things like this:

      Labour leadership favourite Grant Robertson’s strongest challenge is likely to come from David Cunliffe, after David Shearer stepped aside yesterday.

      Robertson has emerged as the frontrunner, though picking him could be a big punt for Labour. He would be its first gay leader and is seen as a Wellington “insider”.

      But Cunliffe cannot be ruled out after one senior MP said last night the race could be “close”.

      Labour would be taking a punt on either man with a Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll showing neither has huge recognition among the general public.
      […]
      The smart money at this stage is on a Robertson-Cunliffe ticket as leader and deputy respectively, but it is not clear Cunliffe will accept that.

      If he does decide to fight, and will not accept second fiddle as deputy, then Andrew Little and even Jacinda Ardern come into the mix as deputy.

      So such MSM hacks are anointing Robertson “frontrunner” based on what? The say so of the current caucus?

      Stuff’s own poll on the same page as the Small article has Cunliffe ahead of Robertson.

      • Blue 6.1.1

        The media commentators anointing Robertson as the chosen one are taking their information from the same place they always take it (no, not their arses in this case) – the Labour caucus.

        The ABC club were the ones who installed Shearer, they’re the ones behind forcing his resignation, and now they are moving to install their next candidate, Robertson. A quick word in the ear of their pet ‘journalists’ and they are well on their way to controlling the narrative.

      • Anne 6.1.2

        Vernon Small annointed David Shearer with an exaggerated summary of his talents etc. back in Nov/Dec 2011 and a few in my electorate fell for it – not withstanding that he is a Tory from way back and writes in New Zealand’s no.1 Tory rag. (Well I guess the Dom shares that title with the Herald now.)

        The fact they are doing it a second time around, you just know they’ve been given orders who to barrack for and where it’s probably coming from… Anyone But Cunliffe folks! I note that John Armstrong has gone against the pack and is giving it to Cunliffe.

      • Boadicea 6.1.3

        Labour membership numbers in Wellington are very weak due in part to the poor performance of local MPs.
        Wellington’s weight in the membership and union count is less than West Auckland.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.3.1

          Its how the MPs like it. Easy to control small LECs within which they can pick and choose officers and hence help ensure selection processes and delegate votes run as desired.

  6. wyndham 7

    Zetitic.
    You should have mentioned that,at all costs, we should beware of the opinion of Matthew Hooten on the Labour leadership !

    • felix 7.1

      No, we should not. See my comment above.

      He is not to be treated as any part of the conversation, but as a madman outside the walls, shrieking in the dark.

      • Mary 7.1.1

        When Labour becomes government they do need to pass a law banning Mike Williams commenting publicly on anything to do with Labour, maybe even anything to do with politics. They guy’s a disgrace:

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2566723

        • lprent 7.1.1.1

          He is often not too far off the mark with the groups and people that he moves around. I have (and always have had) quite a lot of time for him. Think of him like reading The Economist or one of the authors here with their own quite distinct foibles (me, r0b, Mike, Irish, karol etc).

          Once you know where people are coming from, then their information becomes more useful. You’ll also notice that Mike is always careful to express what he says as being his opinion and/or point to his source rather than trying to proclaim it as being from “the labour party” or some other arbitrary strawman composite.

          I tend to have my ear to the ground within Labour and some of the other authors are even more so. As far as I can tell none of us had any idea that this resignation was particularly likely, apart from some wishful thinking by some. We were generally resigned to running with Labour as it was through to the election.

          I’m not particularly hopeful that having a leadership change now is going to do much for Labour’s electoral chances. I think it is mostly going to detract from the ongoing campaign against National. What we are going to see over the next month is really what should have happened in 2011/2

          • saarbo 7.1.1.1.1

            “I’m not particularly hopeful that having a leadership change now is going to do much for Labour’s electoral chances. ”

            You might me right L, but if that leadership change can help unify the caucus, and then this can be conveyed to the public then I think it could really improve Labour’s chances. Putting the 800k people who did not vote aside, 5% of voters is 110k people, well I know an awful lot of people who have had a gutsful of National, but struggle to find an alternative. A strong, unified and well led Labour could turn around 5% of the vote, that would be the end of National in 2014. Listening to Labour caucus members etc on RNZ, I get the impression that they have got the message, unify or the party has a very dim future. Maybe I’m being a bit optimistic.

        • Marksman 7.1.1.2

          You are so right Mary,I was just saying that to my elderly father last night.From the right Mathew Hooton,From the right Catherine Ryan,and from the centre right Mike Williams.Radio NZ is a disgrace.They must think we are stupid.

          • freedom 7.1.1.2.1

            my 2c
            Ryan was an embarrassment today, of epic proportions. As the lady is supposed to be a journalist of high standing her bias against democracy is as confusing as it is dangerous.

            If Cunliffe gets the nod and does half of what is needed by the election, including publicly stating that Labour will repeal pretty much every piece of neo-liberal anti-democratic user-pays legislation passed in the last thirty years, then Labour has a good chance of regaining many party votes from ex Labour supporters, like me for instance. Yes I know that such a decalaration would never happen but repealing everything they did not vote for since 2008 would surely be a simple enough policy for members to support. It would have to be some carved in stone type declarations though. There is a lurking phantasm that moans how Labour is not as united as it needs to be for this to happen. NZ cannot afford the ongoing disputes regardless whether or not they are simply media beat ups. Perhaps the best thing would be if Labour allowed itself to split into its oft referred to left/right factions and the members walked to the camp they feel most at home in then, come election time, the public got to let them know exactly how they feel about it. I suspect the stark reality of life on the ground for an ever-growing number of kiwis would mean a Labour Right Party would have a very short life.

            Finally, there is one topic that towers over all the others and must be dealt with. The new leader of Labour must publicly declare if they would or would not form a coalition with National. It has to be top of the list for the new Leader. There is no more important topic to be settled completely and definitively. And it must be settled the day of their appointment. I have never heard so many references to this mind warping possibility as I have in recent conversations and have been amazed at some of the people who have been raising it. Labour has a short window to decide its future or simply continue to bicker about the most poll friendly form of its inevitable demise.

            • Marksman 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Ryan would have to be one of the most blinkered presenters RNZ have,unfortunately that’s what you get from a South Island farm girl growing up with elderly parents.She’s bloody good at running defence for Fonterra and Fed Farmers though.Bring back Linda Clark or better still Kim.Ahhh those were the days.

      • QoT 7.1.2

        So you think a good old-fashioned :roll: campaign should be in order for his comments here? Fun!

        • felix 7.1.2.1

          lol you read my mind. It’s like we’re the same person.

          • felix 7.1.2.1.1

            Fact is he

            shouldn’t really be speaking at all because [s]he’s not a stakeholder in this matter.

            Which is, no shit, word for word what Hoots said about Helen Kelly this morning.

  7. gobsmacked 8

    Shane Jones on Radio NZ right now … “highly unlikely” to stand, he says.

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      In fact, both Shane Jones and David Parker were good on “Nine to Noon”. Calm, measured, and robustly defending the democratic process.

      Encouraging.

      Labour President Moria Coatsworth on now … expects a contest, not a caucus stitch-up.

      • gobsmacked 8.1.1

        Meanwhile, Mike Williams on Radio NZ claims Grant Robertson and Maryann Street knifed Shearer. Interesting.

        • Tracey 8.1.1.1

          wow, I heard him with Brian Edwards and he said Goff told him a week ago there was nothing happening and he believes Goff.,

      • Anne 8.1.2

        …both Shane Jones and David Parker were good on “Nine to Noon”. Calm, measured, and robustly defending the democratic process.

        Indeed they were. Especially impressed with David Parker’s logical analysis…

    • bad12 8.2

      Yes good of Shane Jones to clarify where He stands at this early stage, He goes up slightly in my opinion of Him for having done so,

      Jones should be concentrating all His energy in regaining for Labour The seat of Tamiki-Makarau currently occupied by Pita Sharples…

    • Mary 8.3

      Next needs to be “highly likely” to leave the Labour Party.

    • Rosie 8.4

      “Shane Jones on Radio NZ right now … “highly unlikely” to stand, he says”.

      Thank God.

  8. saarbo 9

    Yes, second paragraph of Armstrong’s article today has a real go at Cunliffe. All of this just shows how powerful Nationals influence network is, it is pretty formidable.

    Over a 15 year corporate career I spent a year working in an organisation that contracted BCG to do some work, Cunliffe was the leader of their team. It was in the late 1990’s, from memory he was an outstanding leader, incredibly hard working and bloody clever.

    So when people come out with all of these negative claims about Cunliffe, I say bull shit.

    • Hami Shearlie 9.1

      Totally agree Saarbo – I have a relative who knows David Cunliffe very very well and shares your opinion of him 100 per cent!

      • saarbo 9.1.1

        When I say he was “very clever”, I mean very, very, very clever. Which is what I suspect creates the envy from some of his colleagues (It is the only conclusion I can come to when I have studied the dissension against him in the labour caucus, I never witnessed anything in his personality that would suggest arrogance). He can possibly be too quick for some to keep up with…in a way, the opposite to Shearer (lol).

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          Cunliffe is a top corporate and big business sector operator. More to the point he has time for and can communicate equally well with both the cleaner in the office and the Board Chair.

          IF he decides to put his hat in the ring, it’s all on for 2014.

        • Skinny 9.1.1.2

          You can relax I hear it’s Cunliffe & there will be a no contest for leadership. Robertson doesn’t have the numbers with the membership or the affiliates, let alone the Caucus. He would be wise to try bargain for deputy or he will battle to be given the deputy if he pushes to a contest for leader. Maybe Cunliffe will refuse him as deputy? Couldn’t blame him the way he undermined Shearer. Better to run with Parker & do a deal giving him the purse strings, which will make it easier to cut out Norman & Peters should the win to govern in 2014 transpire.

          What does the wise heads amongst you think?

          • saarbo 9.1.1.2.1

            I wouldn’t call myself a wisehead compared to many on this site but a Cunliffe/Parker combination would be hard to beat in 2014. Some are saying Cunliffe/Jones…Im not a fan of Jones but if you did go down that path, Labour could earn back some of the Maori vote, an area that Labour has neglected I reckon.

            Robertson will get his chance eventually, but to combat THIS National Party, I reckon we need a strong Economic/Finance leadership/focus.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2.2

            Talk of “cutting out the Greens” is lethal to Labour’s prospects in 2014. A Labour Govt will be a Labour/Greens one and we need to be seen as having a proactive approach to that.

            • Skinny 9.1.1.2.2.1

              Rephrase that sorry quite correct, an associate finance ministers role for Norman. And certainly Cabernet posts.

        • Ron 9.1.1.3

          Not sure we should keep stressing clever/intelligent leaders. Helen was always talked of that way ‘she was so intelligent’. She was not. She let the party down by not planning. She should have had the party ready with a successor and she should have notified party after winning second term that she would not stand for term 3 and that would have given party 1-3 years to get ready for new leader and for Helen to retire gracefully. No worthwhile CEO would not have a successor in the organisation. In Politics the success of a party is the party list and it should be structured so that there are always good strong people on the list. The list is not the place to put your close friends on or party hacks that should have been turned out to grass ages ago. Please don’t let us have the saga of Tizzard on the list and suddenly they are eligible to enter party and we have to do contortions to get them out of the way.
          We urgently need to amend constitution to allow for open lists and all members voting for list members.

          • Richard29 9.1.1.3.1

            “We urgently need to amend constitution to allow for open lists and all members voting for list members.”

            It already happens – it’s called the Green Party – get with the program!

    • Tracey 9.2

      isn’t your second paragraph a quote?

      • saarbo 9.2.1

        No, no, no Tracey. That’s about my experience working with Cunliffe in 1997.

        I would attached the quote from Armstrong/Herald in here but for some reason I cant open the Herald website (isn’t that a good thing!). I read the article in a hard copy while I waited for my coffee this morning…would never purchase that piece of crap.

        • Tracey 9.2.1.1

          Sorry saarbo. I did think it odd that Armstrong had worked as a leader in a corporate environment.

          “There is only one option. He may wear his super-sized ambition on his sleeve. He may have an over-inflated opinion of his own worth. He may be extremely unpopular in some quarters of the Labour caucus. He may even self-destruct as leader.”

          This is partly what’s wrong with our journalists. Their opinions make such a difference to people but they are supposed to deal in facts and leave the electorate to form their own. Many journalists are not so different to the politics they often denigrate.

          I saw one writing about Good guys not lasting in politics. The irony completely escaped the writer. That the media just love to pull down the Good guys and gals…

          • saarbo 9.2.1.1.1

            Thanks Tracey, yes you are exactly right. These media wankers piss me off.

            “He may wear his super sized ambition…” I wonder what makes Armstrong think that Cunliffe’s ambition is more supersized than other leadership aspirants.

            “He may have an over-inflated opinion of his self worth”…what does this mean? I have listened to Cunliffe in parliament, he’s pretty good.This is nasty stuff.

            “He may be EXTREMELY unpopular in some quarters of the Labour caucus”…it seems that no one in caucus is universally popular, so what makes one “extremely” unpopular. He has a big group of loyal supporters in caucus as well.

            The really annoying thing as you point out, is Armstrong’s opinions do have an influence on people. People will read this and take it as fact when it is just a load of crap drummed up by Armstrong’s National sources/mates. I would imagine that Armstrong has very strong links to the National Party given the consistent flavour of his opinions…and it is obvious he is very, very worried about a Cunliffe led Labour Party.

            • Tracey 9.2.1.1.1.1

              I suspect his very strong links are to himself and his own self interest. The Press gallery like some Mps only mix with each other and pollies and vice versa, they start to believe they are the centre of the universe.

          • Rodel 9.2.1.1.2

            Tracey- couldn’t agree more…it’s called fabrijournalism.

  9. Sable 10

    Labour need to sort out who they actually are as a party and what they stand for. Electing another leader is really secondary to this as no one will take them seriously until they start acknowledging their roots; middle and working class voters. The latter in particular has been seriously neglected which is foolish as they represent a large voter base and that’s what “Labour” claims to stand for.

    As to the candidates I’d venture to say none of them really appeals to me personally. I’d prefer Annette King but I believe she is planning to retire? I don’t vote Labour so only have an overview of what they are up to.

    Anyway good luck Labour voters, I hope things work out for you.

    PS: Anyone taking mainstream journalists seriously is either on the right of the political divide or ignorant.

    • weka 10.1

      Labour need to sort out who they actually are as a party and what they stand for. Electing another leader is really secondary to this as no one will take them seriously until they start acknowledging their roots; middle and working class voters. The latter in particular has been seriously neglected which is foolish as they represent a large voter base and that’s what “Labour” claims to stand for.

      True, but is now the time for Labour to sort out who they are? How would that happen, now or any time?

      • Pete 10.1.1

        Aren’t there some fundamental principles being voted on at this year’s conference? I would think that would be the time and place.

      • Sable 10.1.2

        When is the right time Weka? They need to call a conference and sort this out NOW. THEN and ONLY THEN elect a new leader, someone who is in tune with their agreed policies and positioning as a party. The problem they have had to date is oh lets elect a new leader and then sort out the mess, this is why they are not succeeding.

        • weka 10.1.2.1

          “The problem they have had to date is oh lets elect a new leader and then sort out the mess, this is why they are not succeeding.”

          Not sure who you mea by ‘they’ in that sentence, but as far as I can tell Shearer and the people who used power to put him in place aren’t interested in sorting out the mess, and indeed don’t even recognise that there is a mess.

          I can’t see how anything could be sorted now. For a start, Labour being without a new leader is not a good state to be in. They’re talking about 3 or 4 weeks, because that’s the time needed to take it to the membership, but otherwise it’s not ok for a party to have a leader that doesn’t have the confidence of its caucus.

          You also don’t say HOW the mess could be sorted. Pete mentions the annual conference, which is where I assume processes are available, but I don’t know what they are. The main problem from what I understand is that the membership don’t have much power and caucus doesn’t want to change. Stalemate?

          • Sable 10.1.2.1.1

            I’m not a Labour supporter so I do not know how they operate, I’m more in tune with the Greens collaborative style of leadership. If you are correct Weka then they are need to take a look at how they reach a consensus and put aside feudal political structures. If Labour can not do this then I do not see them going very far. How they do this is up to them.

    • Marksman 10.2

      Well said Sable,until Labour repent and return to their true reason for being they are a joke.They have to turn the working class vote out.Lets face it,there is more of us then there is of them.
      Oh, and the final straw for Shearer was the little secret meeting with Key,what a disgrace.And so he should go,too much of that kind of thing goes on.No fraternizing with the enemy,in war time you get shot.

      • s y d 10.2.1

        Whats wrong with these principles eh?…..

        The Labour Party accepts the following democratic socialist principles –

        
• All political authority comes from the people by democratic means including universal suffrage, regular and free elections with a secret ballot.

        • The natural resources of New Zealand belong to all the people and these resources, and in particular non-renewable resources, should be managed for the benefit of all, including future generations.

        • All people should have equal access to all social, economic, cultural, political and legal spheres, regardless of wealth or social position, and continuing participation in the democratic process.

        • Co-operation, rather than competition, should be the main governing factor in economic relations, in order that a greater amount and a just distribution of wealth can be ensured.

        • All people are entitled to dignity, self-respect and the opportunity to work.

        • All people, either individually or in groups, may own wealth or property for their own use, but in any conflict of interest people are always more important than property and the state must ensure a just distribution of wealth.

        • The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand and that the Treaty should be honoured in government, society and the family.

        • Peace and social justice should be promoted throughout the world by international co-operation and mutual respect.

        • The same basic human rights, protected by the State, apply to all people, regardless or race, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religious faith, political belief or disability.

        • Marksman 10.2.1.1

          All well and good to say,it’s the doing that seems to be the sticking point.Too many grey areas to weasle out when it suits.Lobbiest don’t exist for no reason.

        • Sable 10.2.1.2

          Nothing Syd but Labour need to be more than play with words. Let me ask you when you last saw a good actual functional policy from Labour that supported the working class and the poor??

          • s y d 10.2.1.2.1

            Agreed. But these are the principles upon which the Labour party is based. It seems to me that after 29 long years of paying lip service to these principles, while continuing with the same old, same old, the opportunity is there to start the doing. I may be deluded but perhaps there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I hope so. I’ve even joined a political party for the first time ever in the hope that I may get a chance to add my wee nudge to turn this all around..

      • Sable 10.2.2

        Hi Marksman, I wonder what that meeting was about? He resigned not long after, coincidence? Conspiracy theorists could have some fun with this one.

        • Marksman 10.2.2.1

          Sable,the thing that gets me is,Shearer must have honestly thought that that smarmy little wideboy would keep it to himself.Has he learned nothing about these carpetbaggers over the last year or so.For that alone he needs to move on.Give us a bit of mongrel I say.

        • veutoviper 10.2.2.2

          The actual ‘secret’ meeting between Key and Shearer apparently took place after one of the meetings of the Intelligence and Security Committee meetings on the GCSB Bill. So that is quite some weeks ago.

          It only came to light in Question Time on Tuesday when Shearer asked a stupid question of Key implying that Key had made no overtures to Labour/Shearer to reach an across-party agreement on the GCSB Bill. Shearer walked right into it, with Key then revealing the secret meeting and the two arguing about who initiated the meeting.

          So the meeting itself was not shortly before Shearer’s resignation – but its revelation was the day before. Speculation has been that Shearer had not let others in the Labour caucus know about the meeting (or Rusel Norman) so this was probably one of a number of factors leading to Shearer’s resignation.

  10. bad12 11

    Yes any of us would be silly to listen to the ongoing crescendo from the mass media which ALL seem to be running the line that this will be messy,

    Democracy should be loud, and messy, Council of Trade Unions Head Helen Kelly has got it right when She says that the Union Affiliates will vote for the candidate they see as having the best chance of leading the Labour Party onto the Government benches in 2014,

    My pick is for a Cunliffe/Robertson leadership, my best scenario is that they both contest for the Leadership and who-ever of the two wins then unites the Party by offering the deputy spot to who-ever does not win the contest…

    • Rosie 11.1

      bad12. I was pleased to hear Helen Kelly mention that on RNZ this morning. I had assumed that Union affiliates would automatically vote for Little, given he is a Union man.

      I’ve always perceived that he has an air of grumpy bully about him and my limited dealings with him, in my former life as Union worker, were unpleasant.

      • Skinny 11.1.1

        I doubt it we will be voting Cunliffe, Little needs to first win his plum seat before leadership ambitions.

      • Murray Olsen 11.1.2

        Some union men are well known by the union movement to be less union than others. The old Engineers’ Union always fitted this description. The support cannot be taken for granted.

  11. amirite 12

    It seems to me that only Cunliffe has the mongrel factor and intelligence able to stand up to Key’s arrogance and smarminess. It also seems to me that the Right are shit scared of him and that can only be a good thing. He may not be a likeable person but then again, Helen Clark wasn’t either yet she was one of our most capable PMs.
    Just my humble opinion as a Labour voter and layperson.

    • Sable 12.1

      Part of the reason Labour is in the dog box is the hang over from the Clarke years. Electing a clone would be very unwise.

      • Anne 12.1.1

        Cunliffe is nobody’s clone. He just happens to possess the same ‘qualities’ that made Helen Clark such a good leader and prime minister.

        • Sable 12.1.1.1

          Overbearing, rude, dictatorial, pro US. Sorry Anne but aunty Helen left a bad taste and not just with me either.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.1.1.1.1

            You’re going to have to get over it, I suspect. There’s a reason the Party’s code of conduct forbids personal attacks.

      • Tracey 12.1.2

        was Robertson groomed by Clark?

        In any event Clark was a VERY able leader and politician…

        • Skinny 12.1.2.1

          I think you’ll find David Parker was the one being groomed as the next PM by Clark & Marg Wilson.

          • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.1.1

            Please also note that a large proportion of Helen Clark recruits into caucus have NOT worked out. The list is long if you look through.

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 12.2

      No List MP (e.g. Little) can become Leader. If you’re not good enough to win an electorate, how can you carry the country?

    • Murray Olsen 12.3

      I liked Helen Clarke as a person. I found her honest, communicative, and unpretentious. She answered all my questions without being condescending and at least gave the impression she had listened. I had very little time for her politics, which I saw as Rogernomics light.

      I really don’t care whether Cunliffe is a likeable guy or not. I’ve got plenty of friends already. I want and need a PM who will lead the broader left and start undoing the sabotage that has been performed on our society. I can’t see a better option at the moment.

  12. Blue 13

    Isn’t this about identity? What does Labour stand for and do you (the voter) agree with it? If Labour is the working persons party, then where are they in the party leadership? Not being a Labour voter, I dont know the machinations of the party and the internal politics that can beset organisations like this, but surely a leader that people either identify with or see as strong on their principles is the best course. I still dont know specifically what Labour stands for. If they move further left, or further right, which will cost more votes? The message has been muddled. There is the ‘likeable’ factor as well. As shallow as that is, it does matter to middle New Zealand which (contrary to assertions by some) is still a large demographic. Do this and we have a contest, recycle the old and worn and we won’t.

  13. Boadicea 14

    Jones for Fisheries.

    When Jones wins an Electorate seat he can then think about promotion.

    • Skinny 14.1

      +1 Jones has been ‘useless’ up North, to arrogant to even bother meeting with the regions LEC I hear. His problem is he has had a gifted run his whole life. An elitist Maori & parachuted in on the Labour party list by Clark. He has been a let down & needs to start performing or booted for touch. Kelvin Jones is pound for pound a far better performer. What a turn off seeing & hearing him commenting on a possible tilt at Leading the party… FFA get real.

      • Skinny 14.1.1

        * Kelvin Davis

        • Not a PS Staffer 14.1.1.1

          Skinny, I agree with you about Kelvin Davis.

          Jones is from a past generation. He is yesterday’s man.

          Davis has a far far far more approachable persona.
          Davis has earned Mana rather than the bestowed Mana that Jones feels entitled to wear.
          Anyone under 40 would find Jones to be an anachronism.

          • Rhinocrates 14.1.1.1.1

            I’m well over 40 and find him an anachronism – a rather sad, posturing one. I know people in their 70s and 80s who would call him a “dinosaur” except that dinosaurs are elegant, intelligent creatures which we happen to call “birds” now… but I digress…

        • Marksman 14.1.1.2

          Unfortunately the last time I talked to Kelvin,he wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to get back into politics,in fact he seemed quite disheartened,although he is technically next on the list.I will say he is a very capable man with his heart in the right place,would be sad to lose him.

    • Rhinocrates 14.2

      He’ll get a seat when Sealord becomes an electorate (or possibly hotpussies.com).

  14. Rosie 15

    Patrick Gower was completely cringe worthy on TV3 news last. Look’s like he hasn’t backed down from his making shit up stance that he put forward when he ‘reported’ on the Labour Party conference last year.

    The don’t listen to them advice is wise indeed.

  15. Linz 16

    On a lighter note, my family are calling me the oracle. On Wednesday I sent an email to the entire Labour caucus asking that Shearer step aside.
    Here’s part of it: It takes a special wisdom and humility to put aside our own ambitions, desires, jealousy, and grievances, and work together for the greater good, but that is what you must do. The people of this country are hurting and it’s only going to get worse.
    Finally I would like to say this: I can remember some time ago watching a news item on TV about the cost of living. David Cunliffe came on and he said, “God knows, it’s hard to make ends meet.” It brought spontaneous tears to my eyes. He was saying what I was feeling but no-one seemed to be listening and no-one seemed to care. Maybe it was an act on his behalf; maybe, as has been suggested, he can fake sincerity. I don’t know, but I do know that what he said and how he said it resonated with me. I felt there was still hope.

  16. Ron 17

    Can someone enlighten me on how the actual ballot of members is likely to be carried out. Will all registered labour party members be sent a voting paper. Or will it be done via branches or is it going to be an electronic vote or what

    • lprent 17.1

      I understand it will be postal and on a STV (single transferable vote). But don’t quote me on this. According to Moira’s email last night they will be finalising details today and they will let us know via email (and then we’ll put it up to make sure that it is hard to miss).

      So members should make sure that their postal address is correct (ummmm must check that) and to remove the cobwebs from the mailbox. I only get at least 3 or 4 snail mails a month. Fortunately Lyn gets snail mail almost *every* day so the box doesn’t get too clogged.

      • Ron 17.1.1

        Thanks will await the eventual snail mail. Pity we cannot get electronic voting organised for this sort of thing but expecting a political party to be up to date with anything like that is probably a bit much.

        • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1

          Electronic/online voting gives me the shits, fine for Stuff polls, but for any matter of significance I oppose it at every turn.

          • Ron 17.1.1.1.1

            Why would you oppose it. It’s no worse than electronic banking. Of course the GCSB will be watching but there are ways around that

            • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Call me old fashioned.

              Of course the GCSB will be watching but there are ways around that

              Actually, you mean that the NSA will be watching.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 17.1.1.1.1.2

              Democracy is somewhat more important than banking. Given that they work for the Prime Minister, I think the GCSB would be turning a blind eye to overseas interference in the process, but that’s just me.

    • Colonial Viper 17.2

      Postal ballot is my understanding

  17. Tracey 18

    Shouldn’t the deputy be a leader in training/waiting? No such thing as succession planning in political parties???

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Labour has tried its hand at succession planning, and failed, simply because an inner circle has tried to hand the baton off to other approved members of the inner circle. Things need to change radically if Labour is going to become the party with the reach that it should have.

      • Tracey 18.1.1

        Are you suggesting Goff was succession planning? Handing off the baton to a mate in their likeness is not succession planning. The mark of a leader is that when they leave the difference in organisation is unobservable. Labour collapsed

        • Colonial Viper 18.1.1.1

          When you get a strong team like Clark, Cullen and Simpson leave, the organisation is going to feel it. You are correct in saying that they did not develop the talent and leadership underneath them needed to prepare for that day.

  18. Matthew 19

    I concur….. just reading the papers now, the spin has started. Stuff has already decided who the frontrunners are, who is going to win, & who it should have been in the first place.
    Gutter journalism at its finest

    • Tracey 19.1

      Funny that they don’t see it’s not their job to choose the candidates. Like many, they are all clambering to be “right” about who it will be rather than presenting facts, even proper ones about the people they say are in the running, you know, to enlighten their readers.

  19. Delia 20

    It is actually the New Zealand media that did David Shearer in, do not let them do it again.

  20. Pete 21

    This is interesting:

    Coatsworth said the leadership vote was a “historic” opportunity for Labour’s 40,000 to 50,000 members to participate in the democratic process.

    Stuff

    Normally parties keep their membership numbers very close to their chests. Frankly I am both pleased and surprised that membership is that high.

    • lprent 21.1

      Affiliated unions boost that figure up massively. They are all counted as members of the NZLP by virtue of being members of affiliated unions. They will get a vote as well for the 20% affiliates vote.

      It is going to be interesting to see what the procedures are for that.

      I have no idea what the direct membership of the NZLP is these days. But I’d be very surprised (and pleased) if it exceeded 10k.

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.1

        Yep it is under 10K. But that could start to change with a hot primary coming up.

  21. Labour cannot do what the GOP is doing in the USA, and move further away from
    the centre. If they elect a UNION guy (Little) they will lose big time.

    Labour needs to come back to the centre, to win back the voters who left them after Helen’s
    third term.

    • Marksman 22.1

      The centre have had their time,begone National Lite,welcome true Left policies.It’s about time.

    • Tracey 22.2

      Better they alienate and decimate unions, oh wait that ground is already taken.

      People who are cyclopically anti union don’t vote Labour anyway Brett.

    • s y d 22.3

      Are you serious? The centre is way, way, way off to the left of where we are at the moment, you can barely see it.

  22. bad12 23

    Hopefully if there is to be a series of ‘townhall’ type meetings where the candidates speak they are open to the public,

    It would be a good night out to see them all debating Labour and New Zealand direction live…

  23. Jackal 24

    Zet, I’m not sure this bit makes much sense:

    and a credible PM as leader is the thing Labour has been lacking.

    The Prime Minister (PM) is John Key. Helen had her moments but was by and large a pretty credible PM. She only lost credibility because the media hounded her about paintergate, corngate and speedgate. Perhaps you mean that Labour has been lacking a credible MP and leader ie David Shearer?

    I would say that Shearer was a pretty credible leader as well. His main failing was the painter on the roof debacle, not being able to meet Key head on and a divided caucus leaking to the media.

    I totally agree that Labour would be foolish to listen to Espiner, Garner and Gower etc. Although I don’t think they necessarily set up a worse candidate, their bias has been apparent from the beginning. Unfortunately Labour does have to be aware of their influence on the public, so a bit of a double edged sword there.

    Labour should either do the opposite of what the right wing propagandists say, or not listen to them at all. Here’s a good rebuttal over at the Dim-Post to the MSM proposing Shane Jones as a viable candidate.

  24. gnomic 25

    Shane Jones leader of the Labour Party? You are having a laugh. Er, please tell me you are joking. If by some gruesome twist of fate this ever happened, the party would be doomed to well-deserved oblivion.

    • lurgee 25.1

      Indeed. If it is Cunliffe versus Robertson, it has to be Cunliffe. If it is Cunliffe versus anyone in caucus, it pretty much has to be Cunliffe – though I thought that was the case 20 months ago … The question is, will Cunliffe go for it? Is his (oft commented on) high self opinion so high he thinks he can take on Key?

      If he does, I suspect there will be an immediate surge in Labour support – but mostly at the expense of the Greens, and perhaps NZ First. So Labour will be happy, but the 2014 result will still be a coin toss, fo rnow.

      NB – I also anticipate Roy Morgan releasing some essentially random set of figures, calling it a poll and placing some frivilous interpretation on it, which will likely be contradicted by their next poll.

  25. lurgee 26

    The other reason Cunliffe might sit this one out (other than cynical self interest) is because he is too resented for his role – or perceived role – in all the undermining and plotting against Shearer. He might feel a period of loyalty, blasting national from a glamorous front bench position, might serve his interests better. Because it is always going to be about his interests, not the parties.

  26. Greg Doolan 27

    There are many reasons why David Cunliffe should be the new Labour Party leader. All culminate in the simple fact that he is the one candidate most likely to lead Labour to victory in the next election.

    He dwarfs Robertson in every key check box. Most important are his experience inside and outside of parliament, including major ministerial roles attended to with great competence and the fact that he is the only MP of any party to have actually studied how to run a government. At Harvard no less. He is highly intelligent, articulate, extremely hard working and comes from a family background that based itself on genuinely caring for your neighbour.

    The one area where Robertson has it over Cunliffe is his girth. Unfortunately for him obesity is unsightly to the voting public these days. It smacks of ill discipline and self indulgence. Fat people don’t become Prime Ministers or Presidents any more.

    If the Labour faithful do not select Cunliffe there will be such an abandonment of the intelligent middle that Labour will never recover.

    Make no mistake the current leadership of the party is indeed rotten and in dire need of a new direction.

    • lurgee 27.1

      That’s all true but the question is, will he stand? He may weigh up the likelihood of winning against the likelihood of losing and being out of a job in 2014 … and decide he’d rather play the assassin’s role after the (very possible) failure in 2014. Unfortunately, his prime motivation will be the betterment of David Cunliffe. I don’t think he wants to be remembered as the guy who lead the party to defeat in 2014, which will still be a distinct possibility for all the superhuman qualities some seem to attribute to him.

    • Rhinocrates 27.2

      Make no mistake the current leadership of the party is indeed rotten and in dire need of a new direction

      Indeed. I suspect that they – such as Robertson – even know it… but still don’t care. All they want are the best deck chairs at the bottom of the North Atlantic.

      I might be dismissed as a “hater” but the fact is, I do genuinely hate the parasites who have taken over Labour, and their puppet Shearer, as I do the old Blessed Brides of Our Lord Roger in the 80s (you think I’m stuck in the 80s? On the contrary, they are – they might as well be wearing shoulder pads and mullets).

      The Rogernomes such as Basset, Prebble, Caygill and so on had at least an ideology and left for National and Act, but Goff, Mallard and King (and their sycophants like Hipkins), who are still around, are bourgeois opportunists who must be purged for the good of the party.

      Whatever David Cunliffe’s faults, they matter less than his strengths and I hope that he promotes the real progressives such as Louisa Wall.

  27. Marksman 28

    Hear, Hear,never a truer word spoken ( or written).There has been something rotten in the state of New Zealand for a very long time.We could start change by rounding up all these sock puppets that plague our life.

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