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Herald loses perspective

Written By: - Date published: 3:36 pm, June 18th, 2014 - 73 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, newspapers - Tags: ,

So apparently forgetting about signing a form letter for a constituent 11 years ago is a resignable offence now.

It seemed odd when the donation story came out – even if Liu (probably) donated to Labour, cash for access (as we’ve been seeing with the Cabinet Club and Maurice Williamson) involves not just cash, but access.

It seemed even weirder when Labour didn’t seem to have any record of a donation.  And then, yes – we have a photo of Rick Barker with his partner and a bottle of wine!  That’s right, his partner definitely bought a bottle of wine at one of the dozens of Labour wine auction fundraisers each year.

Last I heard our political parties relied on donations, rather than it being a crime to accept one.

And even if it seems likely he did give a bigger donation in 2007, Labour could hardly know that National would let him buy access 6 years down the track.

But now we have what National had planned all along (as they surely knew all about the letter all along, having Liu’s immigration files in their grasp).

It’s a long bow, and far more political trap than anything actually at fault.

A form letter for a constituent – one that doesn’t even advocate for the constituent, and repeatedly misspells his name.

It shows that Liu met an electoral assistant, explained his problem with the speed of the bureaucracy, and agrees to help him press for a date for a decision.  It’s given to the MP in a pile to sign (he evidently doesn’t read it to point out the inconsistent name spelling), and the constituent is helped.

Democracy in action.

Resignable?  Well as Danyl points out, he did fall into the trap.

But really?  Is this what it’s come to?  Who can orchestrate the biggest ‘gotcha’?  It’s always going to be the government, with their hugely superior resources.

And even then Key’s failure to remember everything from TranzRail shares to calling Ian Fletcher weren’t ‘resignable’.

What about policies and who will help New Zealanders?


Incidentally John Key memory lapses:

John Key:

  • Forgot how many Tranz Rail shares he owned.
  • Unsure if and when he was briefed by GCSB on Kim Dotcom.

  • Forgot how he voted on drinking age.

  • Could not recall whether he was for or against the 1981 Springbok Tour.

  • Could not remember who was aboard mystery CIA jet parked at Wellington airport.

  • Forgot he phoned future director of GCSB urging him to apply for the job.

And the Herald’s respone to those?  To suggestion resignation?  No: get a psychologist to explain them:

“Just because you forget something doesn’t mean it’s malevolent.”

She said memory was like a plough that you had to use deeper and deeper to unearth all memories.

“Sometimes you have to have several passes through,” she said. “All he is doing is not remembering at the time he’s trying to remember, then he does fairly quickly – so I wouldn’t call that any kind of lying or conniving.”

“Now you will see people phrase things as, ‘that is how I remember it’, or ‘to the best of my recollection’, which places an out on the table. People can be wrong about the most amazing things – people can be wrong in spectacular ways,” she said.

73 comments on “Herald loses perspective”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Open season on Cabinet Club attendees sounds like a proportional response.

  2. Dave_1924 2

    Why point at National BUNJI?

    This is an inside job. First rule – who benefits!!

    National have been very content with David Cunliffe as leader as Labours poll returns get worse and worse.

    Look inside for your organiser of this little stitch up…..

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      That’s certainly one of the lines all the little wingnuts are pushing.

    • the pigman 2.2

      How the fuck do the likes of Trevor Mallard, Clayton Cosgrove and Chris Hipkins gain from Labour polling below 30 on election day and maybe never above again?

      The “labour in disarray” story has already been tested and the RW know its an achilles heel for the Left and sure-fire media story (look at how it worked over Shearer’s term).

      It’s National and the RW that benefit from a divided left.. just look (if you can bear it) at their crowing.

      Think about it if you’re Chris Hipkins and want to organise a coup in the party. Don’t you think you’d need to rely on an actual smoking gun rather than a piece of innocuous nothingness like the letter?

      So as much as left Labour might dislike the ABCs, I’m pleased to say it doesn’t stand to reason that they’d do it.

      • Dave_1924 2.2.1

        Really?

        National have already well established the Labour in disarray narrative. No need to go any further in my view. But if you say its the Nats… well they have kicked off a firestorm haven’t they.

        • Tracey 2.2.1.1

          answer the question. how do the dark artists benefit by remaining in opposition dave?

          • Dave_1924 2.2.1.1.1

            Actually Tracey – they may save a couple of list MP’s because the polls under Cunliffe are going one way at the moment for Labour and that is South…. A bounce back under new leaders might actually work…

            But if it is National then they have found something through ferreting around like all political parties back offices do – and the question then becomes why in hell didn’t Cunliffes team know about this so he could front foot it?

            If its National they have only been able to play this card, get traction from it because Labour have been banging the corruption drum all year..

            If DC wants to PM his team needs to do a damn sight better job then leaving him in front of media pack baying for blood, with no verified facts at his finger tips to bat them away….

            And in reply to “what do ABC gain” @ 2.2.2 well not a lot except satisfaction at delivering utu to a man they didn’t want as their leader in the first place….

      • ianmac 2.2.2

        Always this ABC nonsense without a skerrick of truth. A murky effort by anti-labour fellows to sow distrust and suspicion.
        Rubbish!

      • Tracey 2.2.3

        they dont. there is a concern troll pretending national are pure… of course bradbury doesnt help with his ill thought out one handed typing

    • Tracey 2.3

      bs. nats are spooked by craig.. and want to ensure they rule alone. this is classic dirty tricks and john armstrong is genuflecting so much his back may snap.

  3. Blue 3

    There’s a reason the Herald was chosen for this task. So right wing they’re practically the National Party Newsletter anyway, and with no journalistic standards to speak of.

    It’s become such a farce.

  4. James 4

    Last I heard our political parties relied on donations, rather than it being a crime to accept one.

    Actually I think the crime is not declaring it. Which it seems Labour didnt.

    • Bunji 4.1

      It would depend what size the donation was James, whether it needed declaring.
      Presuming the donation existed – the Herald have 2 unidentified people’s word on what happened 7 years ago, but no paper trail.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1

        Have they followed up on the $50,000 auction of one of John Keys ties, that too was in 2007.

        No name listed on Nationals donation list for that amount either

    • Tracey 4.2

      then theres saying you played golf with a guy who won you for charity. turns out it was 50k to the national party and the 18 holes over at least 2 hours was with the owner of the milk company the minister of justice lied about meeting with. anyway back to cunliffe

  5. the pigman 5

    Hilarious that Bomber has immediately bought into the “Labour in disarray” narrative and tried to pin this on the “ABCs”.

    How fucking naive can he get?

    • Tracey 5.1

      he is being self serving and feeds the rwnj meme without seeing how much it helps the nats get re elected.

      fascinating to see the right and the herald suddenly think that integrity is important in a leader….

      • weka 5.1.1

        “he is being self serving and feeds the rwnj meme without seeing how much it helps the nats get re elected.”

        Either that, or he’s ok with losing this election so long as Labour go down and Mana go up.

    • David H 5.2

      And that’s why I keep away from TDB now a days. Bomber has lost it completely, or even worse he ‘believes his own press’

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    I actually think this is the National Party at work here rather than the ABCers. National have a big problem and they probably know now that none of their potential coalition Partners have much chance of being much help. Key has problems insde of National because none of his MPs look like standing aside for Colin Craig so they have decided lets try and discredit the major party on the other side.Its Cunliffe’s time to turn this attack into his own on National.

    • Ant 6.1

      Yeah ABCs (or the herald) don’t have the resources for this dig.

    • Anne 6.2

      I actually think this is the National Party at work here rather than the ABCers.

      Of course it is. Is this supposed to be Slater’s H bomb?

  7. Tracey 7

    can you point to your proof it was a corm letter

    • Bunji 7.1

      form letter?

      I don’t meant that in the literal pre-printed letter, just in the write dozens of these each month sort of letter. Standard fare.

  8. ianmac 8

    And this as headline from :
    Jared Savage is the New Zealand Herald’s investigations editor.

    “David Cunliffe wrote letter supporting Liu’s residency bid.”
    This factually incorrect. And as incorrect as John Armstrong’s column.
    Have emailed Jared Savage.

    • Tracey 8.1

      never thought I would write this but

      I have emailed armstrong

    • freedom 8.2

      No questioning of Liu is what bugs me most. None. Where’s the confirmation of the information Jared? Journalism 101. Verify the source’s information. Not exactly difficult to do in this case either.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.3

      Technically he signed the letter and its on his letterhead.

      But then again John Banks strung out his court case for 9 months on ‘not remembering’ a document he signed too. There was an itsy bitsy difference in that was a offence of up to two years for not taking any notice of what it was

  9. john 9

    It would be no big deal that Cunliffe helped Liu, or that he forgot about it.

    Except he’s been highly critical of National for helping Liu.

    It would be no big deal that Liu donated to Labour.

    Except that Cunliffe has been highly critical of National for the same thing.

    It would be no big deal that Cunliffe is wealthy.

    Excepts he’s been highly critical of others for being wealthy.

    Then of course he was highly critical of anonymous donations.

    WHILE running his own secret trust to hide donations.

    His problem is his criticisms simply don’t have any credibility anymore.

    • James 9.1

      Dont forget John – Hates overseas people buying houses – then helps overseas people buy houses.

      Any he wonders why people think he’s slimy.

    • Craig Glen Eden 9.2

      Really thats the best you can come up with John.Cunliffe said he didnt advocate for Liu which his letter show’s he didnt. Cunliffe is crfitical of the current practice of cash for access when has National or anyone proved Liu got special treatment from Labour like what he got from National.Cunliffe attacked Key not over where he lived but the fact that he dosnt care sbout others less fortunate.Cunliffe has never been ashamed of his money he just thinks everyone should have a chance to do well not just Nationals mates.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3

      John, you’re plagiarising other people’s lines again.

      A trust that is declared isn’t secret, by definition, you fucking idiot.

      Criticising people for pulling up the ladder is not criticism of wealth, fool.

      Asking questions for a constituent is not the same as trying to get a donor off charges, you partisan hack.

    • Tracey 9.4

      so to summarise you are saying because nat cabinet and pm have no principles is of no import how they behave?

      no wonder some say we are only a year or 2 from gfc number 2 with dupes like you turning a blind eye

    • um..!..john..have you ever seen the blip-list..?

    • Lloyd 9.6

      I am not sure that your criticisms have credibility any more John

      • john 9.6.1

        Whether you think my criticisms have credibility is irrelevant.

        What matters is much of NZ can see Cunliffe make complaint after complaint while secretly doing the very things he’s complaining about, then continually getting caught.

  10. fdx 10

    John Armstrong is a wheezing old hack overdue for his appointment at the glue factory.

  11. swordfish 11

    Did somebody say “Tranz Rail” ?

    Time to take a wee stroll down Memory Lane…here… http://tvnz.co.nz/content/2097819/425825/article.html

    Here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaEXa202Q6M

    And take a moment to have a wee laugh at John’s body language 0.26 – 0.39 when caught out here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeJSFVWKnsE

    • Tracey 11.1

      apparently thats ok because apparently cos john and co dont say they have principles.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Labour needs to use this to point out the double standards present in the MSM. After all of John Key’s lies not one of them has called for his resignation.

    • Ant 12.1

      I think Key brushes it off better, Cunliffe looks like he takes it too seriously so it makes it seem like a bigger deal.

      If Cunliffe says he is relaxed about stuff he needs to look relaxed.

      • Tracey 12.1.1

        do you mean key lies better?

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          Basically, and the MSM prefer to swallow like goldfish when Key does it

      • Oh, so Key is so entitled that ethics don’t bother him, so it’s okay for the MSM to ignore his faults? If he ignores or brushes it off, it should get worse for him. His reputation for slipperyness is really unearned- it’s far more a matter of how the media treats Key than any innate quality he has.

    • Tracey 12.2

      I would like to see the greens launch it.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1

        The left in general. Look at the attacks on KDC, Hone Harawira and now Laila Harré.

        • Tracey 12.2.1.1

          agree. jeanette fitzsimmons could pop up and make some comments.

          • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1.1

            Jim Anderton putting his 2c in would also send the right signals to the Left throughout the nation

  13. Skinny 13

    It is a stretch trying to hang Cunliffe to any shady donations, especially dating so far back. Of course National call in a favour from their print media propaganda mates the NZH.

    This is all about National countering the public’s total disgust at the Cabinet Club cartel.

    • Tracey 13.1

      remember when bennett was asked in the house about cabinet club meetings. she answered. when asked weeks later on camera she denied any knowledge of cabinet club meetings. this woman oversees the vetting of beneficiaries for dishonesty. apparently that is a non story…

    • Anne 13.2

      And I doubt it is a coincidence it’s happening why Key is in the USA pretending to be a statesman. Very convenient time to have Cunliffe smeared as the liar.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        NATs are really good at playing this game

        • Skinny 13.2.1.1

          I had a little chuckle seeing John Key next to Helen. He looked like a submissive light weight compared to her.

          Such a loyalist to Labour, Helen comes out in true heavy weight style to bolster Labour’s election campaign by firing up to stamp her authority. Worth 3% to 5 % if she gains traction.

      • Chooky 13.2.2

        we always knew the NACTs would be lighting brush fires like crazy all over the place

        …best ignore it as a form request at a low level amongst tens of thousands of others

        … dealt with by office assistants and signed pro forma…easily forgettable !

        ….Labour needs to dismiss it and get some really good policy on the table to attract the voters ( eg. bring down the age of retirement …and secure retirement savings ….student interest on loans abolished)

      • Anne 13.2.3

        oh shit… should be”it’s happening while Key…” @13.2

  14. dimebag russell 14

    the herald has always been a crummy little rag and now its going tawdry. for all its big city pretensions it has the brain of a small town gossiping tattler.

  15. Clemgeopin 15

    The National dirty tricks brigade is active in its gutter. They forget that the great Labour party, its policies, principles, values and vision can not be silenced by these muck raking evil anti Labour propagandists. From the reports so far, Cunliffe has not lied. He did not influence the immigration. A letter written eleven years ago as an MP on behalf of a new immigrant to inquire how long the immigration decision may take is not a corrupt action. To expect an MP to remember all the letters he or she has signed 11 years ago when a reporter somewhere suddenly springs a question out of the blue and to characterise a lack of immediate recollection of such a letter as being corrupt is plain wrong. I still retain my full confidence in Mr Cunliffe and the Labour party. Voters should be caucious and alert not to be victims of the evil spin and tricks of the National party dirty tricks machine, nor be fooled by the affable cunning and feigned innocent persona of tricky Key.

  16. chris73 16

    How about not giving them any ammunition in the first place?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10173411/David-Cunliffes-catastrophes

    • BM 16.1

      LOL

      Who ever said that any press is good press obviously had never read that article

      I voted Herne Bay doer-upper btw.

      • chris73 16.1.1

        So did I

        how anyone can claim that Cunliffes highly intelligent when you just have to look at what hes brought on himself…

  17. Adrian 17

    I was told a few years ago by a relative of a senior NZH staff member that the paper gave the Nats free advertising in the last week of the 2008 election because they were the “underdog”. Very hard to prove without the money that has obviously been spent on this smear, but if true it is a criminal offence. Even if it was only a bigger discount than Labour got, somebody would go to jail.
    Time the Herald died .

    • ghostwhowalksnz 17.1

      Its a discounted service so has to be put as a ‘donation’.

      More likely they gave a discount as a volume buyer, but the boot was on the other foot when Len Brown got free rooms as a frequent guest.

  18. ghostwhowalksnz 18

    What Im interested in if Seven Sharp does its usual fluff pieces on what ever today or will Hoskin
    push them into a full blown outrage.
    This story broke after his radio show finished, but like the Oil Orca hes got a voice pipe to the PMs office so could have been aware something was coming

  19. Adrian 19

    No Ghost, I believe the charges have to be the same for all parties. It’s a fairnest thing, a strange concept for Herald and the Nats of course. But I was assured it was pretty secret i.e, no charge.

  20. Chooky 20

    Malcom X

    “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/06/18/comparing-key-to-cunliffe-and-john-armstrongs-demand-that-david-resigns/

  21. Rodel 21

    Just read Armstrong’s article, heard Duncan Garner on radio, watched Hoskings briefly on TV1, manage to avoid Henry most nights and listened to dumb questions on Campbell live tonight and Campbell pretending to conduct an interview and preening himself (I think it’s called celebrity journalism) when he was acting like a clown and shouting at Cunliffe. I remember Helen Clark walking out on him in disgust.

    The left has an uphill battle to counter the propaganda of New Zealand’s radio, newspapers and television who are simply PR agents for National.

    Professionally they all are on the same level as Slater and Bradbury.

    Thank goodness teachers, surgeons, nurses and pilots and hey even lawyers, don’t have the same vocational values as these apologies for journalists.

  22. appleboy 22

    This is all bullshit. Key forgets major events left right and centre, Cunliffe forgets an 11 year old letter that says nothing wrong. Fucking media are a bunch of twats. Listening to Andrea Vance and reading John Armstrong made me puke today.

    Are the media that fucking biased or are they just whipping up junk stories because that’s what modern journos are ‘supposed’ to do.

  23. Davethebroken 23

    The letter isn’t a big deal – normal in fact. Not remembering it is also normal. Having a team of staff and not knowing about it is bad management. On the back of the attacks Labour have mounted against Nats, it just seems to reek of hypocrisy. If it was his first gaff, then no one would care but a picture is starting to appear and it’s not good for David Cuncliffe

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