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Guest post – Who is David Cunliffe?

Written By: - Date published: 8:41 am, March 10th, 2014 - 181 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, labour - Tags:

Is David Cunliffe really that much of an enigma? I guess one of the problems for the right/ media about banging on with questions about “who is David Cunliffe” and the ‘enigma’ of Cunliffe is that you might actually get an answer to your question. And when people see and understand that answer, as they will, they’ll wonder what you were up to (and how smart you were) going round and round on the question.

Having known the man fairly well for a decade, my answer would be, 160 IQ, brought up materially poor (in a caring, values- intense family); has deeply loved and hugely successful/ busy partner/ mother of children and sons (hence the house and where it is); genuinely successful top end business consultant before politics (hence the respect/ support of senior business and consulting people); seriously loved by the large, diverse New Lynn Labour electorate people.

In terms of character, he listens. He learns and has learnt to attend, even when his brain is running ahead, and he thinks he already knows the answer, or what you are going to say, or ask. He weighs the larger justice, the bigger picture of the thing, as well as about ten other important variables, and comes to strong, if sometimes provisional positions, which he is confident enough to modify (and take personal responsibility for modifying) when needed. Interpersonally, he doesnt hold grudges against colleagues or enemies, and cares about how people are: he won’t throw people under buses. In terms of basic confidence and faith, he gets knocked down, and he gets up again. He believes he can lead, and that that leading will make a positive difference.

But most importantly, this to me is the politician who has come to the best vision for a much less neoliberal, post GFC NZ economy that can deliver the social and labour market goods. And these are goods that David Cunliffe’s clear core wants to see delivered. And, politically, this is a guy who can articulate that in ways that genuinely move people, from overpaid CEOs to people on nasty low wage contracts. And the guy who will simply push and generate ideas and enthuse and engage until there’s  progress on that.

I dont think it’s that hard: that’s essentially him. The rest is manner, being “moved” by things at the same time his brain is whirring at warp speeds, semi-bridled enthusiasm and revving high to get on with it: nothing sinister there.

Those who seriously fear he might actually get to lead, and do the above things, however, do NOT want you and me to see the clarities and strengths. But my experience, as someone who started out shocked and annoyed that the New Lynn MP might live in Herne Bay, and who turned full circle on that when I knew the closer situation, is that there is clarity here. Real, deep, good clarity: IF you want to see it. I think that the more people see of him, as long as they are not competing with him for the job, the more they will recognise this. Attempts to frame him as tricky or something else he isn’t will look a bit silly at that point.

He’s unusual/ rare but not incomprehensible, unless you actually don’t want a clear and plausible and popular answer to your question about “who he is”. But let’s face it, all Labour leaders are a little rare and different, or they wouldn’t find themselves in a position to get the job. Once the public get a feel for the rareness, they can be very forgiving, especially as the strengths start to deliver.

David Craig

181 comments on “Guest post – Who is David Cunliffe?”

  1. Chooky 1

    +100…thankyou very much …it was as I thought but you have set it in concrete….now the MSM needs to GET IT!….and be hauled over the coals when they try to illegitimately undermine him

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Murray Olsen, a regular Standard commenter said yesterday…
    “I sometimes think the leftish people in Labour are under the illusion that the rules of the game should be obeyed, and get hurt and puzzled when NAct flouts them. There’s absolutely no point in following the rules when any ref is on the other side anyway….”

    I concur, and there are tory trash cans to be rifled through and the slipper to be put into our lying Prime Minister. Helen Clark well knew John Phillip ShonKey lied his way into office with the assistance of our Murdoch like scabby media and he is still at it.

    The problem for Labour being a cross class party is how hard can they go? Chavez hard? Well they might try that kind of approach and policies or will only be remembered in history for Rogernomics.
    The “Key” strategic political goal is to deny the torys another term in office and it is going to take a collective bad ass approach to achieve.

    Some allegedly left commentators say that focusing on the PM is a dead end, but it is not an either or equation. He should have the shit kicked out of him while policy like capital gains that make torys squeal like a hillbilly in a certain movie are placed before the people. There are beggars on the streets of David Cunliffe’s electorate, I see them every day, not that it is DC’s fault but our country is getting to a prime example of “The Spirit Level” and somethings got to give. Rise to the occasion Labour.

    • Murray Olsen 2.1

      Policy is also extremely important, but the National Party and ACT are rotten, starting at the top. When I was about 12 years old, I had gained the impression from somewhere that National MPs were more competent, more gentlemanly, etc. I can only assume it came from the media, because my parents never discussed politics. By the time I was about 14, I’d disabused myself of that stupid notion. They’re not competent and they’re not honest, nor are they even civilised. They are representatives of a sick, corrupting elitist society that a failed pig farmer helped them build. They have to go or we won’t have a country.

  3. JustLikeTigerWoods 3

    No, Tiger Mountain.

    The left must convince the voters that New Zealand is on the wrong track fiscally, and present policy that would make it better.

    Attacking John Key hasn’t worked in over six years, and won’t work now. Voters aren’t interested in your childish spit and bile.

    Cunliffe has a fundamental problem. His own caucus know it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Easily done: Rockstar economy has to borrow money to balance books, and newsflash, Einstein: you don’t get to set the agenda, or benchmarks for the left, or anything else for that matter.

      The election is going to be fought on child poverty and Tory incompetence posing as callous disregard, among other things. Now why don’t you run along and accuse David Cunliffe of owning a nice car that he bought “from a car dealer” wink wink nudge nudge, eh?

      • JustLikeTigerWoods 3.1.1

        It does have to borrow money. So, what expenditure would you cut? How would Labour get to surplus faster? Where is your policy that outlines this?

        You hate Key. We get it. Very constructive. Hating Key has got you a long way in the polls, huh.

        There is no child poverty. Having less than other people is not poverty. The definition they use is relative, so no matter how high median income, you will always have “poverty”. No one starves. Everyone has a roof, generous welfare and access to education and health. The election will not be fought on “poverty” lies.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1

          Oh, look over here, there’s a revenue stream! Gosh, the way you go on anyone would think the only way to balance the books would be to cut spending, but for example, Bill Clinton raised taxes and the US economy grew faster. So there’s that.

          I don’t hate Key, I hate his incompetence and corruption.

          As for your denial of child poverty, that just shows how out-of-touch you are. Kidscan, The Salvation Army, The Lancet, they disagree with you. In particular they focus on income inequality, which science tells us is very important for a nation’s health.

          Even the IMF got the memo.

          Not you though. Curious.

          • JustLikeTigerWoods 3.1.1.1.1

            So, your “answer” is to “raise taxes”. That’s it? Brilliance. So, what happens when that reduces economic activity and nets you less?

            “Kidscan, The Salvation Army, The Lancet, they disagree with you. ”

            There are two main definitions of poverty. The left like to conflate the absolute definition with the mostly useless relative definition, in tandem with the likes of “The Spirit Level”, a book that appears to be entirely about the cherry picking fallacy. Using a relative definition, there can be no end to poverty. So, Labour and The Greens can no more solve “poverty” than anyone else can.

            There are poor people. There is no poverty in NZ, as defined by the UN (absolute).

            Not one case.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Reduces economic activity? Like I said – didn’t you get the memo? It’s austerity that does that. Your bogey man is your mascot, fool.

              As for your foolish opinions about inequality, I guess you should probably approach The Lancet, BMJ et al and explain how wrong they are, because I agree with them.

              • JustLikeTigerWoods

                There is no “austerity” in New Zealand. That’s a buzzword fools like you use.

                The government – all governments – perform a balancing act. If you want increased spending, then you’re demanding more borrowing, because National were left with no economic surplus and projected deficits.

                “As for your foolish opinions about inequality”

                Given we don’t meet the UNs definition of absolute poverty, please explain how LabGreen can ever solve relative poverty, given it’s defined against the mean?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Let’s see. Perhaps they could have a close look at countries around the world with lower GINI coefficients than ours and implement policies that work instead of the reality-free Tory denial-fest we have at present.

                  I note that NZ’s GINI decreased under the fifth Labour government.

                • Hi JustLikeTigerWoods,

                  You seem to misunderstand how ‘relative’ poverty is measured. It is not a proportion of the population (e.g., the bottom 20%) and it is not measured ‘against the mean’.

                  In fact, there are several different measures of relative poverty (they were discussed in the report that created such a fuss amongst the right wing – if I remember correctly, it mentioned five separate measures).

                  The measure of relative poverty that you are probably thinking of is the one that says that a household is in poverty if its income is 60% of the median income?

                  Think about that definition carefully: It is entirely possible to have that measure of relative poverty and for absolutely no households to fall below it (i.e., to have no relative poverty). That is, it is perfectly possible that no household has an income of less than 60% of the median household income.

                  It is not inevitable that ‘relative poverty’ will always exist, supposedly because of its definition.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Why are so many righties innumerate? Could it be the enlarged amygdalae?

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Raising taxes boosts the economy you silly billy, because all that hoarded money which would have been shipped offshore is spent back into local communities.

              I cant believe Righties are so economically ignorant. Time for you to take Econ 101.

              • Allyson

                France?

              • JustLikeTigerWoods

                There is no such thing as “hoarded money:” It’s invested i.e. used to build business and fund other activity. There is no Scrooge McDuck money bin.

                Tax is a balancing act. Too high and you earn less net tax. This is easiest to grasp at themargins i.e what is the tax take at 100% tax rates? Zero.

                By taxing too high you reduce investment and savings, which leads to more borrowing and contracted economic activity. Else the answer would be easy – every country should run very high taxation. They don’t do this because it results in lower net tax takes. So, they seek a balance.

                I can’t believe you are so economically ignorant. Time for you to revise 3rd form economics.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Easy to grasp at the margins, but too much to admit that economists say you can set the top rate at 70% without major problems?

                  cf: 1960s USA.

                  So whining and whinging and bleating and whining some more about 39% made you look like what exactly?

                  • JustLikeTigerWoods

                    1960s’ USA is your answer? FFS. A massive powerhouse economy at the centre of the world following a time of unprecedented economic post-war growth, and with Europe largely taken out of the competitive picture due to post-war reconstruction and paying debt to the US?

                    Explain 1970’s Britain just before Thatcher took over. How about Venezuela? What tax rates do you propose for a low-savings, low investment tiny export-driven economy like NZ?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Cullen set it at 39% and managed to reduce the GINI while increasing the wealth. The only downside was the selfish greedy whinging from people like you.

                      I propose that we ignore people like you, though. Just cut you out of the conversation. You’ve had your turn: thirty years of your dogma and it doesn’t work. Don’t call us.

                    • thatguynz

                      Perhaps have a read of Michael Kumhof’s IMF paper about an alternate economic solution (to mention but one) ie. broaden your thinking instead of relying on an outdated economic view. There are plenty of alternatives but they require a break from the outdated current orthodoxy which by definition must collapse. The question isn’t “if”, it’s “when”.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      This board keeps losing my replies. I don’t know if that’s by error or design, but so be it.

                      [RL: Yeah it’s swallowed a few of mine this morning. As a habit I usually Ctl-A, Ctl-C my comment immediately before posting. Saved a lot of swearing over the years.]

                      [lprent: I’ll have a look at it. Ummm there is a internal problem with the IP numbers all coming from a “local” server in the network cluster. That may be causing problems with the anti-DDOS systems. I’ll whitelist it until I have to deal with it.

                      Looks like there has been a change in the proxy pass through policy. Fixed. ]

                • RedLogix

                  There is no such thing as “hoarded money:

                  Keep up. There are tens of trillions of dollars lying idle in tax haven bank accounts all through the Caribbean.

                  Or being used to fund ponzi scheme speculation.

                  Or being used to gamble in the absurdist casinos called stockmarkets.

                  The simple truth is that rich people generally utilise their wealth very inefficiently.

                  Tax is a balancing act. Too high and you earn less net tax. This is easiest to grasp at themargins i.e what is the tax take at 100% tax rates? Zero.

                  Not this Laffer Curve drivel again. And what is the tax take at 0% rates? Zero. This much is obvious.

                  What is interesting is where the optimum point is. From observation in the vast majority of developed nations the total public sector is somewhere between 30 and 45% of the total economy. The more affluent, socially advanced ones tend toward the high end, while dysfunctional hell-holes like the USA tend toward the low end.

                  By taxing too high you reduce investment and savings, which leads to more borrowing and contracted economic activity.

                  And by taxing too low you reduce social investment and the legal, technical and economic infrastructure, which also leads to contracted economic activity.

                • Colonial Viper

                  There is no such thing as “hoarded money:” It’s invested i.e. used to build business and fund other activity. There is no Scrooge McDuck money bin.

                  Of course there is such a thing as “hoarded money” you ninkumpoop – look at the hundreds of billions in “excess reserves” that the US Fed holds for commercial banks.

                  Further, privately hoarded money is not being used to build business and create jobs as you so woefully claim, it is being used to speculate on electronic derivative markets. The sport of the 0.1% for the 0.1%.

                  That Main St USA is being sacrificed for Wall St USA has long been apparent to anyone who is actually paying attention.

            • Tracey 3.1.1.1.1.3

              “So, what happens when that reduces economic activity and nets you less?”

              You mean like Bill and John did in 2009 to say thank you tot heir largest donors? The tax take dropped, alot. It did nothing to inject economic activity, as lower end tax cuts would.

              So that’s one thing that could have been different…

              Tax cut to lowest bracket, which would have resulted in something for everyone but most importantly most would have gone straight back into circulation, not saved or spent on overseas holidays which extracts money from the economy when it needs it most.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.2

          It does have to borrow money. So, what expenditure would you cut?

          The point is that National have been entirely dishonest about this. They’ve slashed government revenue and then hidden the consequences from the electorate by a massive borrowing binge.

          If they had indeed slashed expenditure – as you are demanding from Labour – it would be more a ‘death metal’ economy than a ‘rockstar’ one.

          How popular do you think that genre would be?

          • Tiger Mountain 3.1.1.2.1

            RedLogix has pointed out National’s dirtiest little secret.

            Good luck Dorothy and Anne below, but it will take David to come out swinging with some more good policy and the online campaign for that to start happening. The media and C/T HQ are relentless on DC at the moment so there has to be a reaction.

            • Jim Nald 3.1.1.2.1.1

              “massive borrowing binge”

              With the Nats, borrowing has ROCKeted while most parts of the economy are STARved of initiatives, policies and funds.

          • JustLikeTigerWoods 3.1.1.2.2

            No, they haven’t. Nowhere have they said they are not borrowing. Nowhere have they hidden it. We know we’re borrowing, which is why we have to reduce spending and increase economic performance.

            It seems the last Labour government got half of Keynesian-ism. Yes, you pay down debt during the good times (good on Labour for that), but you also build surplus and cut expenditure so you don’t have to borrow in an inevitable downturn (Labour committing to unsustainable spend and failure to bank surplus was a disgrace).

            If you don’t like the borrowing, then build surplus during good times, and not committing to lavish social spend.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.2.2.1

              If you don’t like the borrowing, don’t cut top tax rates then whine and whinge and deflect and fail and blame Labour.

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.2.2.2

              Nowhere have they said they are not borrowing. Nowhere have they hidden it.

              That is not what I said.

              They have used borrowing to hide the consequences of their revenue cuts from the people.

            • Tracey 3.1.1.2.2.3

              interesting choice of words

              Weknow we’re borrowing, which is why we have to reduce spending and increase economic performance.”

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.3

          Interesting how the Right always attempts to make politics about balancing the budget. Hey do this of course because they are scared of the idea that politics should be about people, and about the society that we want to consciously create.

          Btw an assets tax and a ftt will pay for all the social and infrastructure spending required. Or do what every other major country is doing – issuing new currency.

          • JustLikeTigerWoods 3.1.1.3.1

            Politics is about both people. So is economics.

            Issuing new currency is inflationary. It’s essentially stealing savings. So is an assets tax (the money to pay for those assets was already taxed).

            That’s the only answer the left every have – tax it. If it were that easy, then sure, raise taxes. But there’s a cost to raising taxes.You don’t get something for nothing i.e. it reduces investment and saving, two areas tax working groups have identified we need to do a lot more of, and eventually decreases the overall tax take.

            Else all countries would run high taxation.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.3.1.1

              Issuing new currency is inflationary. It’s essentially stealing savings. So is an assets tax (the money to pay for those assets was already taxed).

              Nah, issuing new currency is only inflationary if the economy is already in top gear and at risk of overheating.

              You really need to go back to Econ 101 and study up.

              But there’s a cost to raising taxes.

              Yes and if done correctly its a cost largely borne by the top 5% in society, to benefit the bottom 50% of society.

              The money which is taxed from the already wealthy builds investment in social services and public infrastructure, creates employment, and directs business to entrepreneurs and small businesses – all exactly what our economy needs right now.

              • Lanthanide

                Nah, issuing new currency is only inflationary if the economy is already in top gear and at risk of overheating.

                You really need to go back to Econ 101 and study up.

                I did Econ 101 and that wasn’t in it. Perhaps you need to go back yourself?

              • JustLikeTigerWoods

                I never realised you guys were such big fans of Rob Muldoon.

                That worked well, didn’t it. Got any new ideas, besides raising taxes?

              • JustLikeTigerWoods

                I never realised you guys were such big fans of Rob Muldoon.

                That worked well, didn’t it.

                Got any new ideas, besides raising taxes?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  No need to come up with anything “new”, you twit. The country always does better under Labour governments. More per capita GDP, lower GINI, better government services.

                  Likewise, the “new” policies Labour will implement like a CGT aren’t new either, they work perfectly well overseas, as does a single buyer for electricity and so on. More R&D spending isn’t new either.

                  Got anything new besides cutting taxes, proven failed policy, proved three times now by the failed Minister of Finance?

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3.1.1.3.1.2

              When those with money do not take responsibility for where they ‘use’ it – more regulations appear. This is the way it is.

              ‘Investing’ in numerous properties pushes the price up of a basic need people have – housing. (n.b buying or renting)

              ‘Investing’ in the futures market pushes prices of necessities up too or makes them very unstable pricewise.

              Keeping wages low (for more profits for a few) means increasing amounts of people can’t afford the ‘products’ whose prices are rising.

              Such uses of money (making money on money) do not provide more jobs or create more opportunities or any other helpful service to society.

              If those with the greatest amount of money were more socially responsible we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in the Western world. Tighter taxation laws and more regulations are a good thing in such circumstances.

              JLTW is framing this in a very neo-liberal manner believing that the wealthier a few get in this country and beyond, the better off everyone will be – this theory has categorically failed before our very eyes. Time to change the terms of debate and the basis of our economic theories – the ones currently in use do not work.

            • MrSmith 3.1.1.3.1.3

              “Issuing new currency is inflationary. It’s essentially stealing savings.”

              In times of inflation what happens to interest rates Tiger!

              “So is an assets tax (the money to pay for those assets was already taxed).”

              Tigger the money to pay for those assets was most likely lent by the bank (unless it was the result of capital gains on other investments) yes it could have been savings, but unlikely, so most likely it wasn’t taxed.

              To elaborate: The money wasn’t already taxed because it never existed till the loan was drawn down and it wasn’t drawn from anywhere but thin air.

              But the interest/monies being paid on the loan/debt will be most likely taxed, and that interest will amount to many times the original debt, so the only stealing and en-slavery going on here really is from the banks and people who profit from then, unfortunately the system has almost become to big to fail, but nothing can last forever and there is hope on the horizon as Bitcoin is showing us an alternative monetary system is possible, the revolution is close.

        • Ergo Robertina 3.1.1.4

          Kids living 20 minutes from the beach who have never swum in the sea, as in the SST yesterday; that is poverty. This is not just ‘having less than other people’, but an economy in which the low paid are constantly on call because employers demand ‘flexibility’, and where both parents have to work two or more jobs.

        • framu 3.1.1.5

          “No one starves. Everyone has a roof, generous welfare and access to education and health.”

          thats is complete bullshit

          • JustLikeTigerWoods 3.1.1.5.1

            Name one NZ person who is starving, living rough, has no access to welfare, education and health?

            Just one.

            You can’t, so stop making things up.

            • lprent 3.1.1.5.1.1

              Having “access” to it and receiving it are two different things. Which I suspect is why being the jerk you are, you picked that particular test.

              It isn’t hard in Auckland these days to find people who aren’t receiving services. Just go and ask one of the tidy looking people begging around almost any Auckland shopping centre outside of the malls these days. Or head to ever increasing queues at the city mission. In many cases they’ll tell you that the reason they’re there is because WINZ cuts off their benefits when they have to make a choice between rent and paying bus fare to showing up at a job or course that WINZ has said they have to attend on the other side of Auckland. They lose their accommodation or they starve.

              I suspect that you’re simply one of those santimonious arseholes who never bothers to look in case you see something you don’t want to.

              • JustLikeTigerWoods

                “Having “access” to it and receiving it are two different things. Which I suspect is why being the jerk you are.”

                You really need to revise your attitude. You’re a moderator?

                People begging does not mean those people don’t have access to state services. How come so many beneficiaries aren’t begging? Surely it should be widespread if it were a systemic problem. Could it be that those begging have other issues?

                “I suspect that you’re simply one of those santimonious arseholes”

                No, but you certainly appear to be, and your attitude is probably why this blog is little more that a vitriolic left-wing echo-chamber. Even WhaleOIl has upped his game in this respect.

                Other people can hold different views and debate them, can’t they? Why the nasty bullying behaviour, lprent? Is that the caring Labour way?

                • lprent

                  First I wasn’t writing that as a moderator. You’ll notice when I do that.

                  Secondly, what makes you think that moderators should be nice? It is a pretty strange delusion you have.

                  Thirdly, you probably need to read the policy. It states that debate is robust and that only pointless abuse is moderated. I had a point.

                  Fourthly, you didn’t answered my point about access vs receiving – in fact you tried the rather pathetic “victim” defense. You ignored the test that I suggested. You went straight back to “access” and started the usual victim defense. Pretty typical avoidance behaviour by lazy idiots who can’t argue (and merely assert crap they can’t support).

                  Fifthly. I guess that is why I called you a jerk and a sanctimonious arsehole. You earnt it.

                  Finally, on the basis that you’re arguing you could argue that a person in a permanent coma has “access” to becoming a billionaire. That it ignores all reality is pretty typical. I’d expect continued whining from yourself as you get repeatedly challenged on your use of “access” as a criteria to avoid talking about the issue of people receiving the services.

                  BTW: I’m a member of the Labour party, just as I’m a member of the MBA alumini of Otago. I represent neither…

                  • JustLikeTigerWoods

                    You did not have a point. You needlessly abused me. If I do it to you, will you pull rank and ban me?

                    Lazy, lprent.

                    If welfare is so systemicly flawed, then why are most beneficiaries not beggars?

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ JLTW

                      lprent did make a point that you continue to avoid addressing.

                      You assume that there is not a whole lot of private assistance going on in this country that is keeping people who are in poor circumstances afloat. If this was not occurring – there may well be more visible signs of the devastating effect of this government’s ineffective approach toward jobs and welfare.

                      There are plenty of reports re Salvation Army style charity. This is not the type that I am referring to. I am referring to the assistance friends and family offer when one is in hardship – without going into too many details – a substantial amount has occurred recently for myself – I am guessing there is a fair amount of this going on in others’ lives too.

                      i.e although it is often offered (not ‘begged’ for) there is private ‘begging’ (charity) going on – shoring up the ineffective policies of this government – that you would not know about unless you happened to know people in poor circumstances – which sounds like you don’t.

                    • lprent

                      If welfare is so systemicly flawed, then why are most beneficiaries not beggars?

                      Well for a starter most beneficiaries are superannuitants who have a significantly higher benefit than other beneficiaries and usually have assets. The next biggest group are on the DPB, the vast majority of whom are the result of broken marriages where the other partner makes substantive contributions to the children. Most of the others who are not on sickness benefits are short-term unemployed whose savings tend to buffer the inadequacies of WINZ.

                      Basically you appear to be using one of those dumbarse strawman arguments again. They are so beloved by fools like yourself (incidentally I get irritated with people who use such dumb debating techniques as you may have noticed).

                      Anyway most beneficiaries have some kind of family or friend network that tends to cover the gaps left by WINZ.

                      I can’t really remember how often I’ve had to help out friends and family do really basic stuff like filling a whole for the power bill, writing CVs, telling them what they’re entitled to, going to WINZ and telling them what someone should be getting, bailing them out of fines for cars that they can’t afford to run but need to get to poorly paid jobs, assisted with bonds, etc etc.

                      The most extreme example was probably spending several years living with my sister to help out when she abruptly found herself with no job, no husband, few skills and two kids under the age of 3.

                      Quite simply your statement is about as informed at the rest of your silly little prejudices. The question is what happens with the small group who have long-term relationships with WINZ and who don’t have effective family and friend. That is a much smaller group and one that would provide almost all of the group who wind up as beggars.

                      They know WINZ a damn sight better than you do because they’ve spent most of their life having to deal with them. Most of the time they’re terrified of getting involved with WINZ because of previous experience.

                      For instance one poor bastard I know who was bipolar. Almost every year when he was trying to deal with that WINZ would manage to “lose” his file or not contact him because he wasn’t able to answer the phone or didn’t extract the mail from the letterbox because he was he’d commit himself for a week. They’d cut off his benefit and it’d take about 6-8 weeks to get it on again. During those times he was utterly dependent on the grace of those around him to live. Please try and tell me why you think that is justified?

                      Even after he’d stabilized and found and held a job for a 7 years, then one day he got arrested for a decade year old warrant at work by the police on a friday. Turned out that once we got a lawyer on to it that the complaint by WINZ was a clerical screwup by them, had been cleaned up 6 years previously, and they hadn’t bothered to withdraw the arrest warrant. In all likelihood, if we hadn’t intervened with a competent legal support threatening WINZ, he’d have probably have probably wound up in prison for weeks, lost his job, and wound up dependent on frigging WINZ again. Please tell me if you think that is just?

                      People who don’t have support and/or resources outside of WINZ tend to wind up destitute or in prison because WINZ has a set of rules designed by vindictive idiots like yourself who don’t bother to look at details and persecute people without much sympathy. Instead they wander along the street and offer useless support to go to the institution that is frequently better at exacerbating the problem than dealing with it.

                      The completely irritating thing about is that most of the people in WINZ do work as hard as possible to avoid these kinds of outcome. But there are always the tiresome sanctimonious pricks (like you) who are far more interested in their own internal narratives that they really don’t give a shit and let people fall through the cracks. The cracks that are put in by similar sanctimonious pricks like yourself voting in vindictive governments who put in the strange rules (like mandatory stand down periods) that seem designed to drive people on to the streets.

                      I’d suggest that if you want to learn about how the system really works, then you take your santimonious and ignorant arse to volunteer at something like the City Mission in ChCh. It is clear that you either lack information or and ability to empathize…

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      “Basically you appear to be using one of those dumbarse strawman arguments again. They are so beloved by fools like yourself (incidentally I get irritated with people who use such dumb debating techniques as you may have noticed).”

                      Always so hostile. You should reflect on the reason for your bullying behaviour.

                      Please understand I – like you – don’t want anyone living in the gutter. I may have different ideas on how to address such problems, that is all.

                      “I can’t really remember how often I’ve had to help out friends and family do really basic stuff like filling a whole for the power bill, writing CVs, telling them what they’re entitled to, going to WINZ and telling them what someone should be getting, bailing them out of fines for cars that they can’t afford to run but need to get to poorly paid jobs, assisted with bonds, etc etc.”

                      I know WINZ are far from ideal. I would rather scrap WINZ althogther and replace it with a guaranteed minimum (liveable) income. Welfare has failed.

                      “People who don’t have support and/or resources outside of WINZ tend to wind up destitute or in prison because WINZ has a set of rules designed by vindictive idiots like yourself…”

                      It was not designed by “vindictive idiots like myself”, it was designed by a left-wing government. As I said, I’d scrap it.

                      “The cracks that are put in by similar sanctimonious pricks like yourself…”

                      Release the anger, my friend. Not doing a lot to convince me, however.

                      “I’d suggest that if you want to learn about how the system really works, then you take your santimonious and ignorant arse…”

                      Winning friends and influencing people, lprent….

                      How do you feel about my guaranteed minimum (liveable) income for all idea?

                    • lprent []

                      I know WINZ are far from ideal. I would rather scrap WINZ althogther and replace it with a guaranteed minimum (liveable) income. Welfare has failed.

                      The much debated around here UBI?

                      …it was designed by a left-wing government.

                      And amended by a series of National governments responding to talkback heros wanting a fault system to punish the unworthy. In effect exactly the attitudes you display with your “drunk” from Featherston simple minded platitude.

                      That fault taking moralistic attitude is what has destroyed the effectiveness of the welfare system that WINZ is now mis-managing. If they ran it like a no-fault superannuation (which is effectively a UBI) then it’d run with about a tenth of the effort and much more useful.

                      The problem with a straight simple UBI is that it simply doesn’t take any notice of economic geography. It would induce its own economic distortion. The cost of living close to the main work centres is far higher than living somewhere with cheaper rentals and no work and the cost of moving (especially of families) would be sufficient to cause a structural societal separation into have and have nots.

                      Once you fall out of the system for whatever reason then you’d be pushed to go where the housing costs (the major cost for almost everyone) are cheaper. A UBI that would be sufficient to live ok in Rotorua or Oamaru but not enough to generate a surplus means that once you drop to there you’d probably be forced to stay there – and so would your kids.

                      So far in the many many debates on UBIs here I haven’t seen the issue that caused the use of a housing supplement addressed.

                      Winning friends and influencing people, lprent….

                      In case you hadn’t noticed. I really couldn’t give a rats arse for your (or for that matter most peoples) approval. You don’t look to me like a viable human being that I’d want to know – which requires a certain degree of curiosity and empathy that I think you lack. I write programs with about as much humanity.

                      What I’m interested in is getting to what people actually think after you tear holes in their arguments and they deal with it. So far you’re failing it because you avoid dealing with anything that you don’t want to look at.

                    • RedLogix

                      Lynn

                      So far in the many many debates on UBIs here I haven’t seen the issue that caused the use of a housing supplement addressed.

                      It’s a valid point.

                      On the other hand it would be a real boost for regional NZ and arguably not a bad thing at all. Personally I’ve long believed that there a lot of people living in the big cities who would be much better off moving out.

                      And there’s no harm in dampening down the rate of growth Auckland is predicting.

                    • lprent []

                      Becomes a chicken and egg problem. In an ideal world I’d agree. I’d love to move somewhere outside of Auckland and have actually owned property in the country (Glenorchy) ready to do so; and sold it when I realised it wasn’t going to feasible (the limits to selling pure data and get pain of getting decent data links).

                      The reality of supply chain logic effectively says that if you want to be involved in running a business, even a IT type R&D business like the ones I do – then you have to be very very close to supplies in the broadest sense.

                      That means things like having a PBTech that has a whole warehouse of computer stuff ready to sell by the hundreds in Penrose, JayCar with those damn odd bits that they carry (ever try sourcing a water sealable speaker in somewhere like Dunedin?), graphic artists who know how to render a photoshop style graphic in 18 bit color, someone fluent and experienced in iOS at a loose end on a moments notice, international airports for the innumerable trips that our people take overseas, etc etc

                      It is the same with Lyn for such things as being able to hire high end video gear (>$10k) where insuring it over the phone to go to a shoot is the slowest part of the process, having multiple sound-mixing companies within a few kilometres, same for color balancers, etc etc.

                      Lyn came from Invercargill, went to Dunedin, and then to Auckland. Despite her love of smaller towns she refuses to even consider moving elsewhere in NZ because the infrastructure to do what she does isn’t there to do what she wants to do (including Wellington).

                      While I’m a Aucklander, I’ve spent years in places like Taupo, Hamilton and Dunedin. It wasn’t until I went there and then came back that I realised exactly how impoverished the supply chain was compared to even a small city like Auckland.

                      Sure this could all be generated in smaller centres. But there is a hell of economic gravitational logic to it happening in a few main centres and the satellites that have ready access to those centres. That includes the IP industries that are currently the fastest growing parts of our export industries and the massive direct and indirect providers of jobs that things like the dairy industry cannot.

                      I suspect that the industries in the smaller centres will continue to be increasingly targeted at supporting and processing local resources. But the larger centres will continue to have a job draw along with a big cost differential.

                      About the only thing I can see changing that over the long term is where ever the 3d printer technology and similar IP based manufactories wind up.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      “And amended by a series of National governments responding to talkback heros wanting a fault system to punish the unworthy. In effect exactly the attitudes you display with your “drunk” from Featherston simple minded platitude.”

                      Featherston Street.

                      “That fault taking moralistic attitude is what has destroyed the effectiveness of the welfare system that WINZ is now mis-managing. If they ran it like a no-fault superannuation (which is effectively a UBI) then it’d run with about a tenth of the effort and much more useful.”

                      There is no need for WINZ. Scrap it and replace it with GMI.

                      “The problem with a straight simple UBI is that it simply doesn’t take any notice of economic geography. It would induce its own economic distortion. The cost of living close to the main work centres is far higher than living somewhere with cheaper rentals and no work and the cost of moving (especially of families) would be sufficient to cause a structural societal separation into have and have nots.”

                      That’s a feature, not a bug. There is no reason for the entire country to live in Auckland. If businesses want to locate in Auckland, then they’ll need to pay decent wages in order to attract people on GMI. More likely, they’ll move to smaller towns, which will rejuvenate small towns.

                      “Once you fall out of the system for whatever reason then you’d be pushed to go where the housing costs (the major cost for almost everyone) are cheaper. A UBI that would be sufficient to live ok in Rotorua or Oamaru but not enough to generate a surplus means that once you drop to there you’d probably be forced to stay there – and so would your kids.”

                      See above. Redlogix is onto it.

                      “In case you hadn’t noticed. I really couldn’t give a rats arse for your (or for that matter most peoples) approval. You don’t look to me like a viable human being that I’d want to know – which requires a certain degree of curiosity and empathy that I think you lack. I write programs with about as much humanity.”

                      Why do you keep replying to me?

                      I’m not a “viable human being”? That’s not caring, it’s bullying. Bullies are cowards. Why sink to bullying behaviour ? Are you that afraid my position might not be that far from your own?

                    • lprent []

                      More likely, they’ll move to smaller towns, which will rejuvenate small towns.

                      Unlikely because of the reason I’ve laid out in comments to more rational people. The only way I could see most of the small towns flourishing against the gravitational draw of supply chains is if they concentrate on value on to local resources.

                      Why do you keep replying to me?

                      Why not? Our blog, and I occasionally like tormenting/educating unthinking gits when I’m having irritating coding problems. Some people fiddle with pens or games. I amuse myself with wannabe ACToids who think that are gods gift to the world without giving the slightest hint about why anyone else should think so.

                      I don’t think that you quite realise how uncaring I am to people who are being fools. I reserve my sympathy for those who need it.

                    • RedLogix

                      Not quibbling Lynn.

                      Cities do serve a purpose and they make perfect sense for people in your position. But I’d also argue there are lots of people living far more marginal lives than yours who would be better off and indeed potentially flourish in a smaller centre. Community involvement and support often works better in these places, and it’s easier to gain a sense of belonging. Which I’d imagine is a strong positive for them.

                      Especially for the semi or early retired. Or the disabled or those with manageable mental health issues, or just plain ordinary people who are finding a decent, secure life out of their reach in the cities. And if a fixed UBI meant that these people had more disposable income by moving out of Auckland then I’d claim that as a win.

                      Nor do all occupations require a physical supply chain. Lots of software or knowledge based roles work just fine with a decent net connection.

                      Plus it would argue for a better public transport network around regional NZ. The only good example of one right now is the Wairarapa service, which has been critical to the regional economy for a decade now. Running 12 services a day, it’s used not just by commuters into Wellington, but by the whole community giving ordinary people good access into the city for health and other services not available locally.

                      The other example is Ballarat where I am right now. A city of 90,000 people about 100k west of Melbourne. Probably the most attractive and liveable place I have ever been. And yet the VLine service into Melbourne is only 70 min, a shorter trip than many commutes people make within Melbourne itself.

                      The median house in Melbourne is now around $650k, here in Ballarat it’s only $300k. The rent we are paying is a derisory $245 pw … for a nice place in a really nice area. There are three Universities and a host of well regarded schools. The only downside is the weather. If you don’t like it, wait ten minutes and it will be different.

                      I’m not arguing that moving out of the big city is for everyone, but I do think that it’s an option more people should consider. And in that sense a flat UBI might help change people’s thinking.

                    • lprent []

                      Especially for the semi or early retired. Or the disabled or those with manageable mental health issues, or just plain ordinary people who are finding a decent, secure life out of their reach in the cities. And if a fixed UBI meant that these people had more disposable income by moving out of Auckland then I’d claim that as a win.

                      That I’d agree with. My parents moved from Auckland to Rotorua for exactly those reasons, and because Rotorua had a base hospital.

                      Nor do all occupations require a physical supply chain. Lots of software or knowledge based roles work just fine with a decent net connection.

                      Fewer than you’d think. I’ve been and done it, and it doesn’t scale well. Once you get over 2-3 programmers it scales badly.

                      The problem is that programmers still have to go and stand around a whiteboard and argue reasonably frequently – at least once a month and often once per week. So whenever you take someone on board, someone has to be in the same room for 3-6 months and it is frigging hard to get home workers doing it. That really means that everyone has to be in the same area.

                      It is ok when you have a stable business that isn’t growing and has low staff turnover.

                      Plus it would argue for a better public transport network around regional NZ. The only good example of one right now is the Wairarapa service, which has been critical to the regional economy for a decade now. Running 12 services a day,

                      Agreed. It is pretty much a 2 hour trip each way for one contractor we use in Whangarei when he comes down every 4 weeks to eyeball outstanding issues. That makes for a long day and some singularly unproductive paid time in a car.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      “Cities do serve a purpose and they make perfect sense for people in your position. But I’d also argue there are lots of people living far more marginal lives than yours who would be better off and indeed potentially flourish in a smaller centre. Community involvement and support often works better in these places, and it’s easier to gain a sense of belonging. Which I’d imagine is a strong positive for them.”

                      Yep!

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      So, back to the topic.

                      We should:

                      Invest more capital in labour
                      Introduce a GMI

                      Investing more capital in labour increases productivity per worker. Higher productivity leads to higher profits, which leads to higher tax revenues. This is then redistributed via the GMI, without distortion. As productivity and tax receipts rise per worker, keep scaling up the GMI. As technology makes things more and more efficient, there will be less work to go around, but this doesn’t matter so long as the GMI scales up with it.

                      The way to encourage more capital invested in labour is to incentivise it. Germany does so, in part, by allowing very fast depreciation write-offs of plant. We could review tax treatment, too. Cunliffe is skirting close to this issue, but I’ve yet to hear any detail from him.

                      The GMI will change the economic landscape of NZ. It will revitalise small towns and reduce the Auckland problem. It makes housing more affordable (distributing demand) and it encourages start-ups into the provinces (lower overheads). It will eliminate WINZ.

                      Government productivity is too low. Working groups have identified it only needs to increase a few percentage points to turn things around. The quickest way to increase government productivity is to disband pointless government “businesses” and leave it to private capital.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yeah, nah, you’re talking shit. What planet are you from where your stupid notions still have currency? Fool, your dogma failed. It doesn’t work. Get over it or not, but get the fuck out of the way.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      The “labour movement” is dying because labour itself is dying. Labour is being replaced by machines and digital.

                      We’re well into a future were many people will not work. At least, not in the sense we’ve come to understand it. The way to address this is to redefine income based on work. Income should be based on national productivity linked to a GMI.

                      I’m surprised some on the left would argue against it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s the unsupported fantasy that private is better than public in denial of the last thirty years that marks you as an imbecile.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      This site doesn’t appear to be public funded.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      On what planet does that make the last thirty years of your failure upon failure upon failure disappear?

                      Get out of the way or get run over.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      By who? Some cloth-capped ranters trapped, forever, in the 1970’s?

                      The world faces labour surplus but productivity scarcity. You have no solutions to address this imbalance. “Making work” doesn’t work – there isn’t the productivity surplus to pay for it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      OK, enough with the bullshit unsupported drivel. You expect me to believe your shite? Productivity increases have outstripped wage rises for the last three decades. Do you think that fact’s just going to go away while you vomit red herrings?

                      Next time you feel motivated to expound another of your deeply held dogmas, put up or shut up: you are a walking citation deficit.

                      PS: didn’t you learn anything from Puddleglum’s exposure of your innumeracy?

                  • JustLikeTigerWoods

                    “you didn’t answered my point about access vs receiving ”

                    Most beneficiaries aren’t begging.
                    So it’s clearly not a systemic problem.
                    Some are begging.
                    The fact some are begging likely means some people have individual problems.
                    This situation existed under the previous Labour government, too.
                    No matter what the system, there will always be people who fall through the cracks. There is no solution to this problem, unless you remove these people’s individual rights.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re an idiot. And you talking about peoples rights, what a fucking farce.

                    • McFlock

                      Most beneficiaries aren’t begging.
                      So it’s clearly not a systemic problem.

                      … so because most people would be able to see the logical idiocy in that assertion, the fact that you obviously failed to receive the extra assistance you required in school was not a systemic problem?

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      Tut-tut, Viper. lprent might be along soon to remind you of “the policy”.

                      Somehow, I doubt it, though….

                      Bullying, eh.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      Aw, McFlock. That’s not an argument, now is it?

                      Sit up straight.

                      Answer the question.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ Just Like a National Government Spin Doctor,

                      No, you don’t know that ‘most beneficiaries aren’t begging’.

                      For a start they are by being on welfare – it is a ‘polite’ form of begging (for want of a better term).

                      People receive additional help from friends and family when they are struggling – if they are ‘lucky’ enough to do so.

                      Should jobs be providing enough to live on? Or should we continue with this ‘supplementary welfare culture’ that insists that people employing others needn’t cover their living costs? This is becoming a systemic problem and you wouldn’t know how many people are receiving help despite working because the numbers are hard to find if they are reported anywhere at all.

                      And why quibble over welfare at all – why the hell are there not enough jobs to go around? That is the real problem.

                      Noone I’ve met likes being on a welfare benefit – and I’ve met many -with a variety of characters, from many walks of life.

                      So show me a bloody government who focusses on ensuring there are enough jobs and decent working conditions and I’ll show you a country that doesn’t have a economic problems, or problems with welfare costs, businesses going under due to lack of custom and wealth disparity.

                      It will be a left-wing government that achieves these things.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      “And why quibble over welfare at all – why the hell are there not enough jobs to go around? That is the real problem.”

                      It is the problem. It’s to do with low productivity. Low productivity is the result of low capital investment per worker. This is partly the fault of business owners. It is mostly the fault of successive governments creating the wrong incentives resulting is misallocation of capital.

                      The solution is to make capital investment in workers highly desirable. The way to do that is change the tax structures around business, savings and capital investment.

                    • McFlock

                      Aw, McFlock. That’s not an argument, now is it?

                      Sit up straight.

                      Answer the question.

                      Oh, I’m sorry, did you want me to respond to a comment other than the one I replied to? Because there were no questions in the comment I replied to, just idiocy.

                      Did you mean this:

                      If welfare is so systemicly flawed, then why are most beneficiaries not beggars?

                      The answer, in small words, is: because the system is only partially fucked up.

                      But it’s still so fucked up it does not meet the needs of those people. And it’s funny how so many more people “fall through the cracks” when national is in government, rather than labgrn.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      “The solution is to make capital investment in workers highly desirable. The way to do that is change the tax structures around business, savings and capital investment.”

                      Which is why I want Mr Cunliffe to be our next PM – this is the type of approach he has signalled he will be following.

                      This type of change with never happen under a National government who are only pursuing policies that suit big business and the very very wealthy – these policies cultivate the culture of ‘making money on money’ and do not take into account the negative effects such a mentality has on the economy, business creation or social issues.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      Hyperbole, McFlock.

                      There are always people who fall through the cracks, no matter who the government is, and unless you can produce some numbers that show it is considerably worse than during other significant recessions, then I don’t believe you.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      “Which is why I want Mr Cunliffe to be our next PM – this is the type of approach he has signalled he will be following.

                      This type of change with never happen under a National government who are only pursuing policies that suit big business and the very very wealthy – these policies cultivate the culture of ‘making money on money’ and do not take into account the negative effects such a mentality has on the economy, business creation or social issues.”

                      It’s one of the things I agree with Cunliffe on, however I’m still waiting for the detail on how he proposes to do it.

                      Increasing taxes is the opposite of what is required. Increasing tax on capital is the opposite of what is required. Increasing red tape is the opposite of what is required.

                      So, we both agree on the problem. How will he do it?

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Can you post an informative link on how one achieves these things without increasing taxes?

                      Unsure how a government affords to help create a new climate for more and decent jobs, address wealth disparity and clean up the mess National has made without some form of revenue

                    • McFlock

                      There are always people who fall through the cracks, no matter who the government is, and unless you can produce some numbers that show it is considerably worse than during other significant recessions, then I don’t believe you.

                      So someone “falling through the cracks” is now a systemic issue caused by macroeconomic factors? Or is it still an individual issue caused by issues that the individual has (although the question remains as to why social services can’t provide help for those issues, given that people are begging in the street)?

                    • You_Fool

                      “There are always people who fall through the cracks, no matter who the government is, and unless you can produce some numbers that show it is considerably worse than during other significant recessions, then I don’t believe you.”

                      Past serious recessions had the same number of people “slipping through the cracks” and had a Right Wing government over seeing such failure in good manners.

                    • Flip

                      You have to beg from WINZ now to get a benefit. What do you think all the paperwork and hoops people have to jump through are except a means to make them beg repeatably. It is embarrassing and dehumanising. It makes people into dogs performing tricks to get treats.

                      The benefit system is broken from continual tampering. Just like code it gets unmaintainable after so many people fiddle and patch it without understanding what it is supposed to do.

                    • lprent []

                      That is my impression of it as well. I’d simply remove about 80% of the bumf rules that are essentially meaningless and fire the deadwood after the changeover. The deadwood being assessed on a mix of customer reviews for service (like lecturers get) and objective measures based on getting people into long term work. That would probably stop the churn of forced short-term job followed by stand down that currently happens.

                      I’d also like to make it that changes to the acts are embedded – ie require 60-75% of parliament. That would require a change to forcing a need for consensus. Put under the direct control of a body external to parliament similar to the police or the electoral commission.

                      Then what is left to parliament apart from basic guidance is simply the budget and pockets of money for special purposes. Again much the same as the police.

                      The welfare system regardless if it is a UBI or something like the current system should not trade political talkback heroics like JLTW sprouts on peoples misery as is currently the case.

                  • JustLikeTigerWoods

                    This site doesn’t appear to be public funded.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  For the poor challenged wingnut reader, English comprehension 101: “…the reason they’re there is because WINZ cuts off their benefits…” means they can’t access state services.

                  And yeah, let the caring social worker give a toss about your pathologically callous attitude once you’ve been swept aside along with your failed dogma. The Left has work to do cleaning up your mess.

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.5.1.2

              Yes there are people in NZ with no roof. Homeless, sleeping rough or stuck in old caravans or cold, damp sleep-outs just one step above a shanty-shack.

              Yes there are people with no access to welfare. They’ve been put on stand-downs or get refused a benefit they are legitimately entitled on specious grounds imposed on them by a WINZ organisation actively hostile to them. They get sliced and diced by conflicting or impossible demands and eventually fall off the system.

              Yes there are people in whose access to the health system, especially mental health, is either rudimentary, compromised or simply inadequate.

              Yes there are many children in this country who arrive a school hungry, badly-fed, dysfunctional and disengaged. Who are in no position to learn.

              This is what we call poverty in this country. You don’t get to redefine it as something else and then pretend these things do not exist.

              • JustLikeTigerWoods

                Really. Did this start in 2008?

                • RedLogix

                  Really. Do you not know the answer to that question?

                  • JustLikeTigerWoods

                    You tell me. Did it start in 2008? Can you show me a picture of these people and tell me what you did to help them get the welfare they are entitled to?

                    [lprent: You appear to be heading to the pwned / owned flame starter. Read the policy and avoid it. ]

                    • RedLogix

                      If you don’t know the answer to this question then I don’t think you are qualified in any fashion to discuss the matter.

                      Really.

                      You know perfectly well that I am not going to intrude anyone’s privacy by showing you pictures. Even if I did happen to have an album of them handy which I do not. You don’t get to score points by making impossible or illegitimate demands of me. And I helped them primarily by happily paying my full whack of tax.

                      Besides it seems you have now tacitly conceded that these people do indeed exist.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      BlueLeopard, people are more independent in the sense they don’t expect a job for life dow’ mill. They’re not looking to organisations for answers.

                      Your average plumber has a lot more in common with John Key than he does with, say, Grant Robertson.

                      I have no idea who Cunliffe is…..

                  • JustLikeTigerWoods

                    It’s quite simply unbelievable that you would see such people and not help them.

                    I passed a guy in Featherston St a few years back. He was begging. I stopped and asked him what the problem was, and he said he wanted money. I told him social welfare would give him money, and that I would take him there and get him sorted out, if he wanted me to.

                    He refused. Just kept repeating his demand for money.

                    Again, if there were systemic problems, rather than isolated issues, then explain to me why most beneficiaries aren’t begging?

                    • lprent

                      I passed a guy in Featherston St a few years back. He was begging. I stopped and asked him what the problem was, and he said he wanted money. I told him social welfare would give him money, and that I would take him there and get him sorted out, if he wanted me to.

                      Possibly he knew a lot more about WINZ than you did? Having helped various people who’ve had hassles over the decades, my first advice about WINZ has always been to avoid them as much as possible. Quite simply when it comes to employment they’re useless at placement and you’d swear that they have a incentive policy to avoid paying anyone who isn’t a superannuitant.

                      They are literally the last place I’d take anyone to. The first place would be one of the many specialised groups whose focus is on telling WINZ what they are required to do – usually with access to a lawyer and with some political backing.

                    • McFlock

                      I told him social welfare would give him money
                      You naive fool.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      I’ve been on welfare before. I was brought up poor. Perhaps I’m just better at getting my way than you are?

                      Which is what I was offering this chap, but he appeared to be wanting to fund his next bottle.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So something happened to you once and it is therefore true for every circumstance?

                      No poverty here, just alcoholism, which has absolutely nothing to do with wider societal issues whatsoever, no sirree, what are you suggesting?

                      An alcoholic meets an arrogant cretin.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      People like you are why I left the Labour Party. It seems little has changed.

                      Caring about people, and maintaining a strong political organisation, starts with not treating those with different views like they are the enemy.

                    • McFlock

                      People like you are why the Labour Party was originally founded.

                      The fact you were once a member is the sign of its failure, not the fact you left.

                    • RedLogix

                      You are using the word ‘poverty’ in a very narrow fashion, deliberately so as you can pretend to minimise the issue as it applies the New Zealand context.

                      It’s a bit like the word ‘assault’. At one extreme it covers someone being beaten to a pulp within a mm of their life. At the other extreme it could mean reaching out and grabbing someone’s arm in a manner they find unwanted or threatening. Nonetheless if you walked around in public touching people without asking – and then tried explaining to the nice policeman that this did not meet your definition of ‘assault’, I warrant you’d be in for a disappointment.

                      Poverty is a word that is used to cover a lot of ground as well, from the swollen-bellied orphan in a famine-racked African nation, to kids growing up in this country, while ostensibly fed and clothed to a degree – are excluded from the society around them.

                      There are no bright-line boundaries between absolute and relative poverty, even though these are common terms used to indicate which end of the poverty spectrum we are talking about.

                      Some people criticise the concept of relative poverty on the grounds that it is to do with ‘inequality’ rather than ‘poverty’. At one level, this is simply an issue of semantics – and is the source potential confusion between ‘absolute poverty in the third world’ and ‘relative poverty in NZ’.

                      But at another level, the criticism is confused: whilst ‘inequality’ is about differences in income across the whole of the income distribution, ‘relative poverty’ is about the number of people who have incomes a long way below those of people in the middle of the income distribution. These two things are very different. While there will inevitably always be inequality, there is no logical or arithmetic reason why there should always be large numbers of people in relative poverty.

                      Nor is poverty a simple lack of income. Anyone who has worked in the field understands it is a complex of interrelated issues – and there is still much debate on defining and untangling these them. But what everyone does agree on is this – that poverty in it’s broadest sense is a blight on all humanity. And an expensive one at that.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      The world has changed, McFlock. The workers on the big ol’ production line and working down pit are now small business owners and contractors.

                      Think about that for a second.

                      Labour (Wo) Man is much more independent than s/he used to be. Labour don’t understand this, which is why they are increasingly irrelevant, and why Key rides so high in the polls.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      More assumptions from you Tiger,

                      How about you cite some articles that explain what exactly you mean by ‘Labour (Wo) Man are much more independent than s/he used to be’?

                      As far as I can tell we are all extremely interdependent – increasingly global economy and all that – and even without that we are not independent. Are you meaning a values based assessment of the voters?

                      And the only reason that Key is popular is cos he’s presented as a real friendly derp and it turns out that peoples likes that. (surprise surprise – not any high level of research going on behind such cynical manipulation or anything…)

                      If the political approach of National was highlighted to the general public and not the kiwi-shaped-hats that our PM chooses for photo ops – then Mr Key’s popularity would be shown up for the smoke and mirrors mirage that it is.

                      So are you here to talk about the real issues that this country needs to address or simply here to spread National-bubblegum-rubbish-spin?

                    • McFlock

                      your political entrail-reading is are one thing.

                      The fact is that your (probably apocryphal) beggar likely refused your “generous” gift of a lift and smug atmosphere simply because they had already tried and been fucked by the system. The system that you pretend isn’t flawed.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      The fellow was a drunk and after more booze. He wasn’t a working class hero, nor do I believe his predicament was the result of social welfare being uncaring.

                    • lprent []

                      So if I understand you correctly, you managed to assess his complete medical history by looking at him. Even WINZ staff use files and medical reports to assess for that. The reality in NZ is that he was far more likely to be bipolar or have one a of range of other mental disabilities.

                      As I said earlier, you are a jerk and santimonious arsehole. You judge people based on your unthinking prejudices.

                      I’d add that you get upset when others judge you in exactly the same way. Why is that?

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      BlueLeopard, people are more independent in the sense they don’t expect a job for life dow’ mill. They’re not looking to big organisations for answers.

                      Your average plumber has a lot more in common with John Key than he does with, say, Grant Robertson.

                      I have no idea who Cunliffe is as he appears to change based on audience.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      You seem to me to be a hostile, bullying character lprent. Is this really the spirit of the Labour Party circa 2014?

                      As far as the beggar was concerned, I know a drunk when I see one. There were various fiendishly subtle clues, including a strong smell of alcohol, incoherent speech and the fact he was drinking a beer at around 8am.

                      Call me psychic.

                      [RL: We are indulging you. You are so new here that you haven’t twigged that lprent is one of the site trustees and it’s sole administrator. He can pull rank on you any time he chooses. What you are getting is Lynn’s special treatment he reserves for special people. You could consider yourself flattered. But don’t push it. BTW. This is NOT a Labour Party site. ]

                    • lprent []

                      Is this really the spirit of the Labour Party circa 2014?

                      So are you the Libertarian or ACT animal mascot? That is the usual response moronic response that they have.

                      As far as the beggar was concerned, I know a drunk when I see one. There were various fiendishly subtle clues, including a strong smell of alcohol, incoherent speech and the fact he was drinking a beer at around 8am.

                      You really seem to be a particularly stupid example of even those robotic and sanctimonious groups.

                      It is obvious that you’re never run across people who are bipolar and having an episode. They have a tendency to self-medicate. Have you run across the concept of self-medication?

                      Quite simply you’d have to be a fool to judge from appearances without bothering to actually find out causation. I guess that is just your intellectually lazy style ?

                    • mac1

                      And, JLTW, you are psychic enough to tell why a man drinks at 8 am?

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      “We are indulging you. You are so new here that you haven’t twigged that lprent is one of the site trustees and it’s sole administrator.. He can pull rank on you any time he chooses.”.

                      Am I supposed to be impressed? I’ll be impressed by the quality of his argument. Maybe.

                      This is not a Labour Party site? In the same way WhaleOil isn’t a National Party site, I guess.

                      [RL: One last attempt. It is very bad manners to tell other people how to run their sites or what their political motivations are. Read the site policy as Lynn suggested. Then understand that this is a moderated venue and the rules boil down to: do not attack personally the authors, do not piss off the mods – and it’s entirely Darwinian of you to have a go at the site administrator. Lynn would say I am wasting my time being nice to you; his approach goes for memorability and is arguably more effective.]

                      [lprent: But I’ve been having fun. Besides, his performance as a commenter is getting better pretty damn fast.

                      I have to admit that ascribing party affiliations to the site is both irritating (especially since I’m party voting Green this year) and in direct violation of the policy. If he repeats it too often then my automatic response tends to be somewhat draconian. ]

                    • McFlock

                      This is not a Labour Party site? In the same way WhaleOil isn’t a National Party site, I guess.

                      lol
                      You’re either as stupid as you seem to be, or you’re just trying to get kicked.
                      Want to earn some tory fuckwit street cred, do you? “I iz so tuff I gt banned from TS”

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      “do not attack personally the authors”

                      Really? Did lprent write that rule?

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      “It is obvious that you’re never run across people who are bipolar and having an episode.”

                      I might well have done so recently….

        • poem 3.1.1.6

          1000 minuses for you JustlikeTigerWoods, you are exactly like the national party you support, out of touch and in denial.

  4. I think that David will not abandan the values of his upbringing.

  5. aerobubble 6

    Caught the end of Q&A, or should I say filler, as I got to hear the
    argument that Cunliffe is not from planet Earth, yes! He’s
    not human enough for the Q&A panel.

    Then Fran had a go, how Cunliffe says something different behind the scenes.
    This is somehow a theme, since Cunliffe hasn’t promise to not sell assets (Dunne)
    or not raise GST (Key), Cunliffe must be untrustworthy because he doesn’t lie to our faces. Yet.

    But of course this is politics, an election year, so this is not about trust, its about expectations.
    Its all about shaking Cunliffe down, like Key before, to remind them and manufacture in us
    that they understand who owns them. The expectation that they are not saints and are frail.

    Cunliffe does need the shakedown. So all good, in fact, on plan for Labour victory.

    • idlegus 6.1

      i was wondering what the latest outrage from the herald would be today, “david cunliife wore white after arbor day!” or some such. kiwis love a battler, & hate bullies, i also don’t think it’s too late for david to really make an impact.

      also this “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

      ― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

  6. Sabine Ford 7

    Can DC please stop being an enigma and just trow the book at national every time they screech?

    Please, just go after National, call out their ‘achievements’, showcase the ‘rocking’ economy” that is going to get us all a payrise or something.

    Showcase every – little – thing, every humiliation that a single mother/father has to endure to recieve a benefit, every time someone goes to bed hungry because there is only so much food to go around, showcase peeps living in houses that in any other part of the industrialized world would be called a slum, showcase the new lending rules that invalidate about 50% of kiwis as too poor to own a house, but rich enough to pay someone elses mortgage . And so on and so on…..

    I am so bored with Mr. Cunliffe, and we only started with the Election Cycle. Bland, Bland, Bland.
    I want a fighter, this country needs a fighter….as a matter of fact the Planet needs a fighter.

    • Ergo Robertina 7.1

      +1 To me he sometimes sounds more like a CEO than a Labour leader. Which is echoed by the legalistic interpretation of the trust rules, and questions from journalists, where a political antenna has seemingly been absent.

    • greywarbler 7.2

      Sabine
      What you suggest is totally wrong. No one is going to vote Labour because David Cunliffe or anyone from Labour harps on about social welfare failings.

      Showcase every – little – thing, every humiliation that a single mother/father has to endure to recieve a benefit, every time someone goes to bed hungry because there is only so much food to go around,

      This has been in the news again and again. People have had the news bashed over their heads, it’s become familiar, rather than likely to shock voters into action.

      What Labour need to do is to express concern about the problems and then announce what they are going to do to improve job growth in sustainable jobs, support parents, support with rising wages, support with reasonable working conditions, proper rosters set a week ahead, set number of hours when called to work, permanent casual rosters with rights to refuse work and go onto a time-off period, some holiday pay, all sorts of improvements that enable life planning and respect between worker and employer.

      Also emphasis on helping business grow – R&D allowances for business. Government run hedging for business, cut out the bank’s rorting of business which is based on providing insurance for the unreasonable rorting practices of the financial market etc. And a national investment scheme that buys into good NZ businesses and ensures that they don’t get sold off to overseas interests.

    • kenny 7.3

      Agreed. We need leaders who don’t feel the need to apologise for being left-wing, for having fire in their bellies. The NACTS are relying on Labour and the left to roll over and accept whatever they dish out.

      Time to fight back and play dirty too if necessary. If you are not prepared to stand up for yourself, who will?

      John Key and his ilk must go!

  7. Colonial Viper 8

    DC is the right man to lead Labour. But thatsnot good enough – the Left needs pressure groups and popular movements which will organise and help give the Left within the Labour caucus some real backbone and motivation.

    • Chooky 8.1

      CV +100…Labour needs to be kicking up shit!……policies , policies , policies directed at young people, the poorest , women

      Labour and the Left are going to Win.!….and with Winnie in tow

      ….and the Right know it !….and are running scared!

      ….every dirty trick in the book will be used to besmirch and undercut David Cunliffe ….just as it was with Helen Clark…and the MSM will be co-opted in

      ….there needs to be a Labour /Left task force group to counter this and take action against unfair MSM ‘journalism’…and bring them back to a ground base of real high quality fair informative journalism dedicated to the New Zealand voter in the interests of democracy

      • Enough is Enough 8.1.1

        ‘with Winnie in tow’

        Lets all pray that is not the case.

        If he is needed then yes lets reach out but that is a nightmarish scenario.

        A progressive government for the workers will be 1000 times easier to achieve without Winston anywhere near having any influence.

        • Chooky 8.1.1.1

          Winnie worked well with Helen Clark’s Labour Government ..and was a brilliant Minister of Foreign Affairs……and he brought down a former National Government, which is why the Nacts hate him so much…and worked so hard on bringing about his downfall …but Winnie bounced back!

          During the Roger Douglas years Winnie was to the Left of the Labour Party on Asset Sales and there is no love lost between him and John Key….I dont think Winnie will be going with the NACTS!

  8. Not a PS Staffer 9

    A very good profile on David Cunliffe, Thank you Doctor Craig.

    The only bit that I pick issue with is the reference to him here, and elsewhere, being brought up “poor” or “materially poor”!

    To most poor Kiwis, and particularly Pacific Islanders, the juxtaposition of the words “poor” and “Clergyman’s son” does not compute.
    Cunliffe was brought up in a quintessential NZ rural/small-town middle class environment. He had well educated parents and would have suffered few of the deprivations that the poor in rural/small-town experienced. I suspect that the Clergyman job came with a free house and a reliable, but lowish, income. Most poor kiwis would consider that job and lifestyle very attractive in comparison with their own condition.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Most poor kiwis would consider that job and lifestyle very attractive in comparison with their own condition.

      I doubt it. Attractive in some ways – but not in others. For a start you could never hope to own the ‘free house’ and the ‘lowish income’ was never enough to save for one. And the hours of work were often horrendous.

      While it’s true that many of their parishioners were arguably somewhat worse off – most clergy lived ordinary and materially constrained lives.

    • JK 9.2

      ” To most poor Kiwis, and particularly Pacific Islanders, the juxtaposition of the words “poor” and “Clergyman’s son” does not compute……….
      ” I suspect that the Clergyman job came with a free house and a reliable, but lowish, income. Most poor kiwis would consider that job and lifestyle very attractive in comparison with their own condition.”

      Correct me if I’m wrong please, Not a PS Staffer, but don’t Pacific Islanders give a large amount of their income to their church – so their pastor and his/her family can live in comfort ?

      On the other hand, my recollection of Anglican Vicars and their families growing up in suburban North Shore (two of whom had children who went on to become Labour MPs, or married to Labour MPs – that I know of) was that they were not exactly impoverished because they had the use of a house and car, but they were certainly not at all well off. And in Cunliffe’s case, his father became ill so their family would have had to rely on either his mother’s smaller earnings, or on pastoral welfare.

      So I do not think you can state categorically that the Cunliffe family “would have suffered few of the deprivations that the poor in rural/smalltown experienced”.

      • JanM 9.2.1

        Clergyman and their families grow up in a way that is quite unusual, speaking as the daughter of a clergyman myself. It is not common to have the combination of high intellect and low income, which is their accepted lot. You say that the incomes and housing needs are stable, although very basic and this is true. Most of my clothes were second hand and there were certainly no extras (I always so wanted a bike, but not a chance). We were poor but we did not live in poverty.
        I think one of the things that makes our upbringing special is that the whole family tends to be involved in the work that the clergyman does, often around families in serious distress. This, along with the reflective and compassionate world view that we are brought up with makes us very aware socially. I can certainly hear all of that in the vision of David Cunliffe when he speaks.
        ( We had to buy our own car, by the way, although the church gave loans and those houses (manses, parsonages, whatever ) are also workplaces – there is no going home from the office)

  9. RedLogix 10

    Back to topic – here’s a kicker:

    Having known the man fairly well for a decade, my answer would be, 160 IQ,

    No wonder his opponents find him ‘tricky’.

    Now my IQ is not that high but it’s up the top end of the bell-curve somewhere – and I’ve met and worked with people who I know are smarter than I am. (Something I usually enjoy and appreciate a lot. From what I’ve read and seen over him time I’d be happy to work in DC’s team.)

    But the one constant I’ve encountered in life is a lot of sullen resentment and jealousy from other people because of this. Not a lot of people combine both a high IQ and EQ at the same time, and having a higher than average IQ does not – emphatically – make you a better person than anyone else.

    But what I also recognise in Cunliffe is another very peculiar thing. As I was growing up in Auckland three, yes three, of my closest friends were the sons of church Ministers. This was not a conscious thing at all – it was only something I realised later in life.

    In the modern rush to abandon religion we’ve lost a sense of collective responsibility. I ‘d like to express it like this. Imagine a group of trampers, it’s the end of a long hard, wet and cold day. You’ve got a tough campsite to set up and the moment you stop everyone is heading into hypothermia.

    This is how it works. You immediately take care of yourself. You are no good to anyone if you get so cold you cannot function. Get the wet gear off, get your warm top on. Then look about to ensure everyone else is ok. The party will only be as strong as it’s weakest member. Then set to a task for the group, someone will get the tent up, someone will get the water, the firewood or burner going. Someone will start organising dinner. And so on.

    I use tramping as an example not only because it is familiar to me, but also it’s a very direct and immediate one. When a group breaks down in those circumstances things can rapidly become very uncomfortable and threatening. I’ve seen that happen too.

    Collective responsibility is an amalgam of both personal and group sensibility. It’s not one or the other. This is how functional families work, this is how communities work, nations and ultimately we will understand it is how humanity must work as a whole.

    And when I listen to David Cunliffe I recognise this same instinct – that it is good to look after yourself, good to do well and prosper even – as long as it does not come at the expense of the community and you are strong and capable enough to contribute back into it.

    And it is this sense of collective responsibility which his opponents either do not understand – or they do – and they fear it.

    • greywarbler 10.1

      Red Logix
      +100

    • Tiger Mountain 10.2

      I met David at a union function when he was on the outer, we got talking and as per many left politicians was quite comfortable one to one. I said I was a bit to the left of Labour but interested in his views, and he replied with a smile–“it seems I am too at the moment”.

      He is being lobbied in many directions so hopefully will be guided by his new COS and new party members. The old way of appeasing business has been tried. Why persist with something that has been proven to not work for 30 years? Labour and David Cunliffe will have to do a metaphorical Norm Kirk almost to make progress. Nationalisations and fair trade etc. inclusive.

      • RedLogix 10.2.1

        I met David at a union function when he was on the outer, we got talking and as per many left politicians was quite comfortable one to one.

        Yes. If I read DC right that makes sense. Probably like many of us he’s an introvert by nature and finds large crowds full of the inane chit-chat that passes for conversation just plain exhausting. He’s probably trained himself to do it if he has to, but he’ll always be more comfortable one on one like that.

  10. Plotkin 11

    He is a rich man who tries to pass a poor one, and who does a passable South Auckland accent (very useful skill).

    Really, nobody knows who the real David Cunliffe is.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      He is a rich man who tries to pass a poor one,

      What makes you think this?

    • Tracey 11.2

      “who tries to pass a poor one”

      That sounds very painful.

    • David 11.3

      Plotkin, you clearly want to believe that ‘nobody knows': but repeating it endlessly doesnt make it true. He does not try to pass as a poor person: when did he ever try to do that? He says he understands a little about poverty from having grown up in family that lived very frugally indeed, but that he has done ‘very well’ since. So, which part of that do you not understand? As opposed to ‘which part of it do you not want to understand?’. You dont want the reality, Plotkin: but that doesnt make it any less real.

      • tinfoilhat 11.3.1

        I believe they’re referring to David Cunliffe’s speech out at the markets some years back.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvenqcfX1j8

        • David 11.3.1.1

          Yes I think that markets video is interesting, tinfoil. There’s certainly a phenomenon where people bend their diction in the direction of their idea of their audience: bend the vowels, the phrases, the choice of things you talk about. Having learnt a few foreign languages, and being prone to the same phenomenon, I can see the positives as well as the negatives: people who do this are picking up, albeit clumsily, that there are patterns of speech they need to attune themselves to, and overall that helps. I really dont think, though, that that’s actually the same as ‘trying to pass as a poor person’. That’s not what’s happening, and nor is it what’s driving it. The basic instinct, I think, that drives things, is a desire to communicate, to relate, to empathise: to connect in other words. Oh it can sound awful, patronising, etc, and it needs to be called out. But my experience also is that people look past the embarrassing diction, and look at heart of the person: if there’s generosity of spirit, and actual insight/ smarts, they’ll see it, and respond generously too. My experience of David up close is that people do pick up on that, and generally respond very well. And that’s true of business people, everyday folk, a large range of people. It’s also that there is in fact very little if any disparity between the content of the message for different audiences. He tries to communicate widely. In general, he succeeds. What are your thoughts on that, tinfoil?

          • mac1 11.3.1.1.1

            “There’s certainly a phenomenon where people bend their diction in the direction of their idea of their audience: bend the vowels, the phrases, the choice of things you talk about.”

            Subconscious mimicry can be a trial. I tell the story against myself of going into a hardware store just after marrying to buy a socket set. There were two customers ahead of me so I got a good earful of the salesman’s glorious South of England accent.

            When my time came, I said “Oi’d loike to boiy a Zocket Zet.”
            “Do you cwm from the Isle of Wight?” he asked.
            “No.”
            “Do you cwm from the zouth of England.”
            “No,” again says I.
            “Where do you cwm from, then?”
            “I cwm from Noo Zeelahnd,” at which time I realised that I had got well and truly into mimicry, subconsciously.

            So, David, you’re right in what you say above.

            • David 11.3.1.1.1.1

              Cheers Mac: I now have words to put to it. I find that when i’m speaking French, or Vietnamese, subconscious mimicry helps a great deal with intonation etc. But really, as far as I can tell, it doesnt shape the content of what I’m trying to say, just the delivery. Cheers!

            • tinfoilhat 11.3.1.1.1.2

              To tell you the truth I pretty much gave up on anything useful out of Cunliffe some time ago.. I think it was around the time of XMAS messages from him and Key on TV both cringeworthy performances.

              • David

                Fair enough: things like Xmas and Anzac I agree bring out the worst in any actual politician: kind of compulsory public emotion …. yuck

          • Murray Olsen 11.3.1.1.2

            That would explain why Key goes straight into mincing mode at the Big Gay Out, not because the crowd necessarily do, but because he’s got that image in his head. Then he gets together with Lusk and co and we hear him talking about gay red shirts. Key is the chameleon here, not Cunliffe.

    • greywarbler 11.4

      Plotkin
      I don’t know who you are. But I know already from your few words that I don’t like you.
      You whiny mean-minded bitchy little jerk. You had to find something to criticise David Cunliffe about, when you admit you don’t know anything about him. You are an empty tin containing nothing but echoes from every bitchy voice around you. So a circle of ugly jerks.

    • Tiger Mountain 11.5

      “a rich man in a poor man’s shirt” as Bruce aka the ‘Boss’ Springsteen once wrote about himself.

      As that New Jerseyan has shown over the years by his support for many causes from the striking British miners in the 80s to this very day, being personally comfortable is not necessarily a barrier to empathy and action for others. Unless you are a kiwi aspirational tory bonehead.

  11. Tracey 12

    You can contrast the attacks on Cunliffe with Shearer, nat supporters, Nat MPs and the press. It paints a picture.

  12. captain hook 13

    David Cunliffe is the leader of the New Zealand Labour Party and is therefore an open target for the right wing media and their myrmidons.
    The National Party is obviously shit scared about the coming general election if they are going to all this trouble to try and blackenhim now.
    The question really is where and how did Shifty key get $90,000,000.
    Thats not chump change.

    • Tiger Mountain 13.1

      that is 90 very large! …

      The $50 mill personal wealth myth about ShonKey should be put to rest. Has it remained at $50 mill since becoming PM? Not much of a trader if that is the case.

      Surveys have put loot levels that kiwis would be comfortable with a Prime Minister having, strangely enough at $50 mill.

      • RedLogix 13.1.1

        Yeah I’ve always had my doubts about that $50m figure.

        While I admit I haven’t bothered to try and dig up any real numbers (probably impossible to do) – it always felt like a contrived figure, high enough to be properly ‘rich’ without seeming to be obscenely so.

        • Lanthanide 13.1.1.1

          Yip. It could easily be quite a bit less, say $10-20M, or quite a bit more.

          • PapaMike 13.1.1.1.1

            His house has an approx. value of $10 mill so that could be a large chunk of his wealth, along with his Omaha Beach house – say another 1mill.
            And he has earned nothing from Parliament for the last 6 years.

            • Hayden 13.1.1.1.1.1

              And he has earned nothing from Parliament for the last 6 years.

              Not this shit again…

              • RedBaronCV

                I’ve wondered if JK donates to USA charities which gives a wack off the USA tax bill. I assume that JK holds a US passport and as such is a US taxpayer under their rules.

          • Tiger Mountain 13.1.1.1.2

            Maybe the pool boy over in Hawaii knows Lanthanide?

            But seriously we should get our Sherlock hats on and find out for sure. It has been revealed that even some National backbenchers are multimillionaires. And while a number of city dwellers or sheep shaggers with a mortgage can be a millionaire on paper… the real deal is quite important for the leader of our country. NBR consistently estimates Key on the magical $50 mill (2013) since first elected whilst other rich listers charge on to billionaire status. Key has his dosh in a blind trust they say.

            Norm Kirk, David Lange and Helen Clark would have been rather embarrassed to be so wealthy.

  13. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 14

    Thanks for this article David – it appears that he is very courageous too – prepared to speak out on issues that have become ‘no go’ areas – such as focussing on values and caring or even JOBS and opportunities (sacre bleu) and has helped to set the agenda because of that quality.

    [No wonder so many of his opposition want to attack him on made up stuff and tenuous details]

    I won’t forget the interview he did with Mr English prior to the last election – it was the first time I heard anyone unapologetically cutting through the crap that Mr English regularly spouts – Mr English looked very uncomfortable and at a loss for words because Cunliffe had called him out on his spin.

    Well done to the Labour members who made it possible for Mr Cunliffe to be PM -this was a move that gives us all a chance to choose to shift this country in a way better direction.

    No wonder that those most advantaged by the imbalanced and unjust mess NZ is in currently are squealing so loud

    • Chooky 14.1

      blue leopard +100

    • poem 14.2

      !00+ from me Blue leopard. I always enjoy reading your posts very much !!

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 14.2.1

        Thanks very much Poem – I very much appreciated your own comment (& the positive feedback) on that Daily Blog post too -it has been quite a battle recently with the nasty and particularly shallow comments of the right wingers – and was getting quite put off – yet I want to encourage people to vote this horrible government out – so will probably not be able to stop putting my two-cents-worth in :)

  14. Craig Glen Eden 15

    I totally agree with Dr David Graig on his assessment of DC. I have known DC for a little over 15 years.The only people who I have ever talk negatively about him are people who view him as competition.

    DC is an achiever and many people don’t like that, I’m not sure why but there you go. DC has always practiced the values that I would expect of a Labour MP he is inclusive with decision making, non judgmental, and through all my dealings in working with him I have never seen anything but gracious leadership.

    This media driven lines that he is tricky (untrustworthy) is total bullshit and as for the argument that he is not liked by his colleagues well it probably say’s more about them than DC. Finally I cant help but notice how strong those on for 2014, we just have to get our messages right.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 15.1

      It is excellent to read comments form people who know/have observed Mr Cunliffe in action such as yours here Craig Glen Eden.

      The calling of not just Cunliffe but any opposition MP ‘Tricky’ is simply a ploy to distract people from who are the really ‘Tricky’ ones in our political circles. My guess it is advice from Crosby/Textor.

      Really good to have comments that counteract these ‘Tricky’ lies though, thanks very much.

    • Craig Glen Eden 15.2

      Im not sure whats happened to my post as it has sentences missing hence it makes little sense apologies to all who have tried to read it. It should read like this

      TAKE 2

      I totally agree with Dr David Graig on his assessment of DC. I have known DC for a little over 15 years.The only people who I have ever heard talk negatively about him are people who view him as competition.

      DC is an achiever and many people don’t like that, I’m not sure why but there you go. DC has always practiced the values that I would expect of a Labour MP he is inclusive with decision making, non judgmental, and through all my dealings with him and working with him I have never seen anything but gracious leadership.

      This media driven lines that he is tricky (untrustworthy) is total bullshit and as for the argument that he is not liked by his colleagues well it probably say’s more about them than DC. Finally I cant help but notice how strong those on the right are attacking him the right knows he is a threat as he can talk to there business base very comfortably. I am looking forward to a Labour/ Greens Government for 2014, we just have to get our messages right.

    • Murray Olsen 15.3

      The tall poppy syndrome is alive and well in Aotearoa. The benchwarmers in Labour are going to hate Cunliffe because he is a competent achiever. The almost poor idiots who vote Tory will hate him because he’s made more money than they ever will and yet doesn’t share their lack of values. The rich pricks will hate him because society might just change to the extent that their prickishness isn’t rewarded. Key will hate him because he’ll be worried that he might take his future knighthood off him.

      I’m fairly neutral about him, but at the moment he’s the de facto leader of the opposition against Key. That’s what’s important. Get rid of Key and start to turn Aotearoa into a country worth living in again.

      I want to live in a country where if we see a homeless person on fire, we put it out. I hate a country where the first impulse of so many is to run to KiwiBog or WhaleSpew and complain that benefits are too high if the homeless can afford matches.

  15. Tracey 16

    “And he has earned nothing from Parliament for the last 6 years.”

    evidence and source please

  16. captain hook 17

    so papamike. where did he get the money from without actually producing anything?
    selling dead cows perhaps?

  17. captain hook 18

    selling dead cows is merril lynch speak for selling junk bonds to people who trust you.

  18. Sacha 19

    “as someone who started out shocked and annoyed that the New Lynn MP might live in Herne Bay, and who turned full circle on that when I knew the closer situation”

    What’s the situation?

    • JanM 19.1

      The New Lynn MP lives in Herne Bay and the Helensville MP lives in Parnell. And the point is?

  19. poem 20

    Matt McCarten left labour in disgust during the times of Trojan horse and neoliberlist Roger Douglas. Was extremely critical of David Cunliffe, even though he had never met him. Then after working with David Cunliffe over a short period of time, Mat McCarten rejoined Labour after 25 years, to be David Cunliffe’s Chief of Staff.
    THAT in itself, is an amazing testimony to David Cunliffe’s character as a person AND a Labour party leader.

    • JanM 20.1

      I agree, and I do hope Matt makes some noise about that because I think that some of the negative attitude towards David Cunliffe arises out of the deeply held prejudices that a lot of people in NZ have against people who are well spoken and ‘cultured’ such as he is. Matt has more ‘bloke’ appeal and probably needs to work it a bit.

      • aerobubble 20.1.1

        Unionist and resident of top Auckland suburb, its all good press, it says the Labour party represents the full spectrum. But over the aisle on the govt benches they’re all geniuses, with their immutable laws of economics.

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