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Keystone coups Mark 2

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, November 21st, 2012 - 260 comments
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David Cunliffe’s supporters have done him no good. I warned him about this months ago when he invited me to lunch at Bellamy’s.

The latest evidence comes from Greg Presland, spokesman for his electorate committee, going on Morning Report today. There may be a complaint made to the Party, although they haven’t decided yet, and they haven’t yet thought about what grounds there may be. Doesn’t sound that solid to me – I’m not sure they have a toe to stand on let alone a foot.

Presland thinks the way David Cunliffe has been dealt with is unfair. Lynn Patterson effectively dealt with his main complaint, which seemed to be that other MPs had declined to say how they would vote in the February endorsement vote, by reminding him that there we’re other media besides TV where they had been explicit in their support for David Shearer. David Cunliffe by contrast had consistently refused to provide such support.

Presland refused to say whether New Lynn would endorse Shearer in the New Year. He thought all MPs should go back to their LECs to discuss the matter. I don’t know what they will discuss in New Lynn, but I think I can predict what the discussion will be at every other LEC. I don’t think it will either be complementary or complimentary to whatever is going on at New Lynn.

Presland charged that Labour MPs had been undermining Cunliffe. RadioNZ’s political editor Brent Edwards however noted that Presland had also been pointed to as one who had been critical of Shearer and supportive of Cunliffe writing on blogs.

One thing out of this is now absolutely clear. Any hope David Cunliffe had of ever being the Labour leader is now utterly dead in the water. There is still a role for him in politics if he so chooses, but he needs to look in the mirror – as long as it’s critically.

Shearer has acted decisively and lanced the boil. There may still be a bit of pus to come. I hope not. Greg Presland has been a good servant of the party, most notably in regaining a property in Onehunga that was wrongly alienated. It’s time to cool it, not wind it up.

Addition at 7:30pm:

As Lynn says I don’t often drop into comments, so I thought I’d put my response to some up in the post. I’ve been out all day in the Wellington sun. Welcome Greg Presland to the Standard; as I said I am aware of your contribution and commitment to the Labour Party.

People may be overlooking what I said in my post about the warning I gave David Cunliffe on the 29th of August in Parliament, that his friends were not doing him any good. I do believe that any person should get a warning before they get themselves into trouble, and I gave him that warning.

I certainly consider myself on the left, but I am not interested in the variations of left purism. What drives me is the knowledge that working people and indeed the nation do best when left parties are in government. I have fought for that all my time in politics. What I also know is that the only way this can happen is through the Labour party, as one part of a combination at the next election.

As I have indicated on this site from the beginning, in my opinion David Shearer is the best choice for Labour leader in this environment. I also think that when the left splits, it loses. I have fought against splits all my life in the Labour party and the labour movement.

At Labour’s conference this weekend, had there been clear air, Labour’s policy and Shearer’s presence would have had a major boost. Shearer gave a magnificent speech, and the content was the best I have heard from a Labour leader in nearly thirty years. But he didn’t get clear air. There was a surprise move to make the party leadership a question in three months time, on the basis of a minority vote.

I spoke against the amendment to change to Council’s recommendation for a simple majority for the leader’s confirmation to one that would allow a minority of caucus to trigger such a move on the bais of two long-standing labour principles; the principle of majority and the principle of solidarity. The principle of majority gives the legitimacy for democratic decision-making, the principle of solidarity means that once the majority has made its decision all in the collective support it. Solidarity is not much talked about these days, but it is essential for labour success. I’ve been described as a member of the “old guard.” Relatively speaking, I am certainly old. But I am very proud to be a guardian of the principle of solidarity.

Being old also means that I have seen most of it before. What I saw at the Labour party conference was a small group organising to spring a change for a purpose, and the purpose was to force a leadership vote on the party in February. The only beneficiary of such a move was David Cunliffe. So did the media, so did many in the caucus, so did members of the Council I spoke to. I may be old, but I am not stupid.

I do not think there will be much support around the Labour party for New Lynn LEC’s complaint. David Cunliffe has paid a high price for the activities of his supporters and his own lack of judgment, but he cannot say he was not warned. The party wants to get on with supporting the policies outlined by David Shearer in his magnificent speech, and organising to win the next election to put a hands-on government into place.

As is often the case with these matters, there is a silver lining in the clouds – in fact it may be a gold lining. When Parliament meets next Tuesday, there won’t be any taunts from National about Labour’s leadership. What National most feared has come about; a Labour caucus unified, and David Shearer as leader. Roll on 2014.

260 comments on “Keystone coups Mark 2”

  1. mono town 1

    Piss off mike. You have no credibility here. [RL: Mike is no wilting flower so I’ll leave the comment stand, but remember he’s one of the trustees of the site, therefore attacking him personally is a dead-end. No more in this vein please.]

    You and your mate Paul tollich and other grant cheerleaders have been systematically undermining cunliffe for the last year.

    Members have had enough of this crap from the old guard.

    [lprent: Dickhead. He has a lot of credibility with me – even when I disagree with him. If I see you attack another one of our authors then I will display exactly how little credibility you have with me.
    RL – you have so much forbearance…. 😈 ]

    • Aotearoean 1.1

      Heaven forbid Mike. I would recommend that you read the history of the popes and how they were elected. The fiasco between the two Davids is nothing in comparison.

  2. tracey 2

    What a sad world view… At least the pus is in the open, but what a sad indictment.

  3. tracey 3

    These are the things people need to focus on

    “I’ve never lied about Kim Dotcom and I don’t lie about anything.” Key must feel confidant. He may have mixed one lie with one truth.

    Can this site get on with addressing issues for nz, not a very tiny percentage fighting amongst themselves to allegedly representing them

    • karol 3.1

      I agree that fight needs to go on.
       
      But we also need to be clear on what we are fighting for, and what kind of country we want.  Otherwise we could just end up with a soft version of what Key and Co are doing.

    • Bill 3.2

      I agree that so many things slipping ‘under the radar’ ain’t good.

      But to fight for the ascendency of democratic forms of goverance over the present authoritarian modes of rule within the Labour Party…even given the severe limitations placed on any hope for meainingful democracy within a representative parliamentary setting…is very big cheese.

      At the end of the day….in the long run, Shearer, the ABC faction and Cunliffe will come to be seen merely as having been convenient repositories or vehicles for arguments/visions pertaining to that struggle and their actions merely illustrative examples of the protagonist’s (authoritarians and democrats) ideas of good/bad and right/wrong.

      Democracy, even if it’s going to be planted in an imperfect setting and so never truly flourish, is always worth the fight and always worth the energy and time expended.

  4. karol 4

    Well said, Greg (on RNZ).  I hope the New Lynn electorate committee is successful in whatever it plans to do. 
     
    Before this weekend I was kind of meh about Shearer.  Now I actively dislike him and everything he seems to stand for.  
     
    I am sure Cunliffe is no Messiah, and has his faults.  But he’s still behaved better through all this than any of Team Shearer or the manipulative MSM journos.

    • lprent 4.1

      He has quite a few faults. And I have always been ‘meh’ on him as well. Convenient word that…

      But he is competent and I find it daft for the leadership in the parliament to scapegoat him for what many party members did to make their own party more democratic on the weekend.

      Can’t see that he has done anything wrong apart from smiling – a bad habit in a politician right? He sure as hell wasn’t organising the votes on 296A apart from the usual lobbying being done on all sides.

      Sure he didn’t say that he wouldn’t compete in a leadership contest in Feb. He has always had obvious leadership ambitions – this isn’t exactly abnormal amongst Labour MP’s. When David Shearer put up a confidence vote for yesterday on monday, he said what was obvious, that he would support in this vote. It is highly unlikely that he had any plans to do anything until then if he’d had plans anyway.

      Why in the hell should he answer a hypothetical on a secret ballot in Feburary to reporters is beyond me. This is a regularly scheduled test for a leader that got deferred from last year. To claim that not bending over and baring his arse meant that he was planning on attacking is ludicrous – whatever Mike thinks.

      I think that some parts of the caucus and their minion’s went somewhat stupidly feral after the weekend. And they have in all likelihood diminished their chances of gaining the treasury benches. They did it primarily because they had an opportunity for a preemptive strike so they used it.

      They should damn well listen to the message that their party just gave them about their behaviour and learn from it. But from their current behaviour I feel this is unlikely.

      Scapegoating a MP merely reinforces a common perception about how many in caucus view the party

      • karol 4.1.1

        I am not certain how good a leader Cunliffe would make.  The way he has been treated could easily lead to him being treated as a martyr who is above criticism. But I would have thoughts his talents were essential at the top table.  Shearer does not seem to me to be a very good leader, and it shows in the way he has behaved over the democratisation of the party.

        My main issues with the Labour Party are related to it’s policies and direction. I think that Labour’s problems may have to do with Pablo’s notion of “Political Fratricide” due to “absence of core values” (no matter what the stated version of these pretends to be). The NZ LP has done so much compromising with neoliberal values, it no longer has a clear sense of what it stands for.  It may be a long struggle to achieve a new and clear set of values.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          The NZ LP hierarchy (party and parliamentary) has done so much compromising with neoliberal values, it no longer has a clear sense of what it stands for. It may be a long struggle to achieve a new and clear set of values.

          fify, if I may

          In contrast, I think most NZLP members have a damn clear sense of what Labour stands for.

          Unfortunately, too many influential people in Labour have fallen for the THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE line, and have relegated themselves to implementing, accomodating and softening neoliberalism.

      • Dr Terry 4.1.2

        Yesterday Shearer managed to turn my mind back to Plato who said “Democracy passes into despotism”. One can only hope that this is not already in process.

      • Sunny 4.1.3

        I phoned Labour Party HQ in Wellington today (04) 384 7649) to enquire about membership criteria ( the Labour Party number in Dunedin was going straight to answer phone most of the morning).

        I was told that ‘there might not be a leadership vote in Feb’

        What’s going on? I thought there HAD to be a ‘confidence’ vote even if there is no challenger and that because of the way the conference voted this ‘confidence’ vote would be open to members and to affiliates on a 40%/20% weighting.

        Have I misunderstood? Or have I been misinformed?

        • Te Reo Putake 4.1.3.1

          There will be a confidence vote in caucus, Sunny. Shearer has to get 60% support from his fellow MP’s. If he doesn’t, then it goes to the party and the affiliates for their vote as well. Its a high bar to hurdle, but not impossible, therefore it may not go to the entire party for a decision.

  5. In the employment world no employee would loose a job the way Cunliffe has, without a
    case being taken to the employment tribunal.

  6. Blue 6

    No wonder Labour is in such a fucking mess when there are people like this involved.

    How many times do we have to tell you that there is no Cunliffe Conspiracy? That you are being paranoid and it only makes you look ridiculous?

    THERE WAS NO COUP. THERE WAS NO COUP. THERE WAS NO COUP.

    All there is a bunch of sad, pathetic losers huddled around their teacups scrying for patterns that look like David Cunliffe.

    • Populuxe1 6.1

      Yes, there was no coup – Cunliffe pledged his loyalty, did nothing wrong, and was still demoted in what amounts to a sort of Stalin show trial. That’s not a conspiracy, that’s just shitty, cowardly political shenanigans by a bunch of slightly “nicer” neoliberals who want to drag Labour down the sewer of third way compromises that shaft workers and social justice.

  7. Richard Christie 7

    The whole fiasco can only be sheeted home on Shearer’s non performance.
    Being missing in action for a year reaps its consequences.

    • fatty 7.1

      That’s true…that’s the real problem here.
      A few people see ideological differences between Cunliffe and mumble-face…but in the end none of this would have happened if mumble-face had achieved anything over the last 6 months.
      The best way for him to keep the leadership is to do better in the polls, but unfortunately he is so unelectable its not funny. He makes Goff look charismatic.
      Most of the anti-Cunnlife people appear to position themselves as that due to Cunliffe’s personality. Whereas most of us who don’t want Shearer do so because of his poll ratings.
      You can put a Monkey in charge of Labour for all I care, it doesn’t make a difference to me, just someone who can form a sentence and attract votes. Until that happens I’m gonna get my kicks laughing at Shearer as he bumbles along and fails his supporters

  8. RedLogix 8

    The point you keep missing Mike is a simple one.

    Cunliffe is experienced, a competent, reliable communicator and convincingly conveys a political position many people here identify with. This makes him an asset to the Labour Party.

    Crucially Shearer is none of these things. The problem is not Cunliffe; it is Shearers demonstrably lack of talent for the role as PM. (One well-rehearsed speech, fined-tuned to the audience doth not a PM make.)

    But don’t believe us Mike; the fact that Shearer is the darling of so many right-wing media pundits should really tell you all you need to know.

  9. ianmac 9

    As a great believer that we are entitled to our opinions I think the outpouring of anti Shearer pro Cunliffe beliefs are doing the Left a great dis-service. To a casual everyday observer and potential Left voter, the contempt and anger will scare voters away.
    “At least National seems to know what they are doing and get on with the job,” they will think. “Not like those scrappy snarling losers in Labour.”
    Instead of abusing Mike Smith look at the big picture that he is pointing to.

    • ianmac 9.1

      Or as John Armstrong says,”Labour cannot afford to end up with what would be a hopelessly divided caucus. That is not a recipe for good government – or even good Opposition. It would poison Labour’s chances of winning the 2014 election.”
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10848906

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        A good leader would bring caucus together. And have no fear of achieving a 60% confidence vote in February.

      • prism 9.1.2

        That John Armstrong opinion sounds like a lot of rubbish to me. He can’t state with such certainty what outcomes will be. And there have been other changes in leadership fairly close to an election which have been successful.

        This is a battle that cannot be abandoned because it has such long-standing results for all NZ. It is not just an internal Labour squabble between an ‘egoist’ as Cunliffe has been called (actually a defining personality for political aspirants) and the Leader of Labour who has not had his name carved in stone after a top of the mountain encounter with God. It is a struggle between the fellow-travellers left from the 1984 defeat of Labour by the neo-lib core that had infiltrated the Party, and those who want to move to better, inclusive policies and action on a wide front.

        We want to shift the time servers who want to stay in parliament long enough to get the nice perks available, or to make influential contacts so they can get a well paid position with a corporate, or as a consultant for the government itself.

        The government we need has a requirement that it works intelligently for in a sustainable future for NZs. This includes a revised education approach that focusses on practical understanding backed by theory and problem-solving assisting us all to reach more informed decisions in our actions.

        And supporting business particularly SMEs, to get business back in the frame, instead of relying on agriculture carrying on 19th century primary industry which has incorporated and improved with smart applied science. But this is not the basis of a developed economy. What has Denmark done? We should do something similar but different, as one Danish woman commented that the country has deteriorated – it’s changed much over recent decades.

        So we have to find our own way, conserving the good things of NZ, but moving onwards in the best way. It may involve turbines on the skyline etc. But may not have surface mining. It may stop oil exploration off shore. But encourage new fuel technologies with subsidised supply stations to enable good business to grow and then get to export size. Thoughtful change there must be over nearly all our familiar environments.

        This is bigger than a speech announcing a plan for housing which is already a noticeable emergency. There are other pending emergencies. We want a government that is ahead of the game, and acts to prevent harm to citizens and the environment from forced, urgent change instead forecasting and acting in a timely fashion to ease that change.

    • thatguynz 9.2

      You’re missing the point IM.  What has scared THIS voter away is that Labour as a whole is fundamentally incapable and this post from Mike has partially exemplified why.
       
      As I’ve said in a previous post, I am precisely the type of voter that Labour should be appealing to, yet they aren’t.  Not because of their lack of policy – there is a significant amount of policy I fully embrace and agree with, but because there is a bitter arrogance within the higher echelons of the party and the caucus that they know best.  Newsflash geniuses..  you don’t.  You’ve fucked up opportunity after opportunity and people have voted with their feet or not at all.  You are but a shadow of your former self and those that trod the path before you would be wholly ashamed of the rabble you have become.  Make no mistake – I will continue to vote on the left but unless there is a sea-change within Labour of absolutely fucking monumental proportions, the red box will never be getting my tick.  In fact, right now I would dearly love to see a left-wing government coalition that DIDN’T include the Labour party.  Let’s be honest… Left != Labour these days anyway..
       
      I am no “Cunliffe fanboy” but I would suggest it is hard to overlook the value that he brings to the Labour Party that they have now discarded.  His ability to explain relatively complex economic theory in simple terms appeals to voters.  He is experienced, he is passionate and he is articulate and clear.  Tell me anyone else in the party that can do that?  To ostracise him in public is quite frankly unfathomable and the way it has been done is simply idiotic (and fundamentally bad politics).  Key will fire off about this for weeks if not months – the clowns within Caucus (and those handling them) just provided him the loaded gun…..
       
       
       

    • Dr Terry 9.3

      ianmac. Please be careful to define your terms. Fair criticism of a person is not necessarily “abuse”.

  10. Craig Glen Eden 10

    So let me get this straight Mike no one in the Party is allowed to point out the obvious, Shearers a bumbling fool who cant beat Key. You and your mates stuck him in, he has no media skills no personality, Mallard has been leaking and undermining for years supported no doubt by people like your self.
    Greg Presland has every right to blog just like every other NZer. The Sunday night after Shearer delivered his speech in Kelston, Robertson through a Mp wanted me to not give my impression on Shearers speech in Kelston on the Standard. Robertson saw it differently from what I was saying apparently. I told the Mp just what Im going to tell you Mike you dont tell me or anyone else what to do, people can say what they like Mike get it. I told the MP to tell Robertson to get Fucked and asked Robertson to call me personally so I could tell it to him straight. Robertson never called because like all of you bullies in the flesh you are weak as cats piss.

  11. geoff 11

    Hey Mike here is a warning to your pals, months in advance….your lot have ignored the membership at their own peril and now they’ve just gone and hit the bee’s nest with a stick.

    This whole thing isn’t even really about about Cunliffe. If Cunliffe wasn’t the vehicle for the members then he would have been ignored by Mallard et al.

    The truth is that a handful of people in caucus is trying to stop democracy happening inside Labour to protect their little patch.

    This issue is much bigger than Cunliffe and, in my mind at least, it is bigger than winning 2014 for Labour.

    Given the choice I’d rather have a truly democratic major left wing party in the long term even if it means 3 more years of National after 2014.

    • Craig Glen Eden 11.1

      +1 geoff

    • Hami Shearlie 11.2

      +1 Geoff!

    • Saarbo 11.3

      Agree, I witnessed a great bunch of passionate, clever and caring members at the Conference. There is a clear disconnect between the members and the caucus, who are more interested in their mindless little games. It needs to be sorted because no one is going to vote for these idiots (Mallard, Hipkins, etc) until this is sorted.

    • Jilly Bee 11.4

      I tend to agree with your sentiments geoff, but I’m getting a bit long in the tooth to enjoy a Labour led government much after 2014 – I probably won’t have the energy to be a foot soldier come election time after then. I might add that after watching David Shearer on 3 News tonight endeavouring to sell the housing policy, which is great, I was just so embarrassed by him – it was cringe-making watching him waffling and stumbling his lines.

  12. tracey 12

    Caucus might be for ed to behave like adults, otherwise the membership a few of them fear, or despise, will get a say on who leads them.

  13. Bill 13

    Shearer has acted decisively and lanced the boil.

    Couple of things there. Shearer, it seems to me, acted under instructions of and purely in the interests of the ABC brigade…whether unwittingly or otherwise. And in that vein, ‘the boil’ that was lanced wasn’t Cunliffe’s supposed undermining of the Labour Party/caucus or whatever, but the percieved democratic will of the Labour Party’s membership.

    • Populuxe1 13.1

      And Shearer comes away looking like the Evil Queen to Cunliffe’s Snow White. Mirror Mirror on the wall….

  14. Peter Martin 14

    ‘One thing out of this is now absolutely clear. Any hope David Cunliffe had of ever being the Labour leader is now utterly dead in the water. ‘

    And if Labour considers that moving to the right will gain them the votes to govern next time around…they too are dead in the water.

  15. John Chapman 15

    Mike you and I both remember the struggle to democratise the British Labour Party in the eighties. The right in the Parliamentary Labour Party used exactly the same techniques against Tony Benn that are being used to demonise Cunliffe. Labour did not regain office again until 1997. Please don’t tell me that we are looking at tragedy and farce here.. The only winners will be a National Party who can’t believe their luck.

    • geoff 15.1

      Great comment, John Chapman.

      Here’s a nice quote from Tony Benn (hauled off of wikipedia):

      As a minister, I experienced the power of industrialists and bankers to get their way by use of the crudest form of economic pressure, even blackmail, against a Labour Government. Compared to this, the pressure brought to bear in industrial disputes is minuscule. This power was revealed even more clearly in 1976 when the IMF secured cuts in our public expenditure. These lessons led me to the conclusion that the UK is only superficially governed by MPs and the voters who elect them. Parliamentary democracy is, in truth, little more than a means of securing a periodical change in the management team, which is then allowed to preside over a system that remains in essence intact. If the British people were ever to ask themselves what power they truly enjoyed under our political system they would be amazed to discover how little it is, and some new Chartist agitation might be born and might quickly gather momentum.

      • karol 15.1.1

        i was living in the UK in the late 70s & 80s.  I always thought Tony Benn talked total sense, and always found it strange that he was labelled as a radical, and out of touch with reality/common sense.  But I guess it is an indicator of my political perspective.

    • Jenny K 15.2

      The right in the New Zealand Parliamentary Labour Party did exactly the same to David Lange, John Chapman – and those who remain in caucus have effectively taught the newer MPs how to do this against David Cunliffe. Its sickening to watch.

  16. One Tāne Huna 16

    Yeah hello, what coup?

    Citation needed.

    No-one would be talking about Cunliffe if Shearer inspired confidence. He doesn’t. Cunliffe does. It’s really that simple.

  17. Northshoreguynz 17

    I’ve known a lot of articulate, intelligent people. But it doesn’t stop them being arrogant arseholes who are impossible to work with.
    Which seems to be the problem the caucus has with Cunliffe. Because he can articulate the feelings of some labour supporters does not make him leadership material. What makes a person a leader is being able to carry the majority of his colleagues with him. Shearer can, Cunliffe can’t.

    • quartz 17.1

      What makes a person a leader is being able to carry the majority of his colleagues the people he represents with him.

      FIFY

    • Craig Glen Eden 17.2

      Shearer cant handle a press conference even when his staff have written his lines for him, those who watch Parliament have seen how Key sadly plays with Shearer. As for being a leader give me a break. But as others have said this is not about Cunliffe or Shearer this is about the members saying to the Wellington click like Mike Smith you have had you day the members want to run things now.

    • Saarbo 17.3

      I have worked with Cunliffe and he is an exceptional Leader.

      Stand back and have a look at Mallard, Hipkins, etc…say no more. 

      Stand back and ask who is providing internal destructive information to Garner and Gower.

      Labour caucus have serious problems and people wont vote labour until these idiots are sorted out. Cunliffe will sort these lightweights out, hence their desperate measures.

  18. marsman 18

    Spell it out for us Mike exactly what Cunliffe has done that is perceived by you as divisive.

    • insider 18.1

      Ditto to that. As a non Labourite I’ve been hearing all these things about undermining but no actual examples of such behaviour. I haven’t even heard a reporter ask Shearer to outline what acts undermined him. The only one was when Goff was leader. Maybe it’s all too nuanced for those outside the tent but those inside are able to see the nods and winks.

      An ambitious politician scheming and plotting seems something that be expected if not encouraged. What exactly did he do?

    • Hami Shearlie 18.2

      I want to know too Marsman! When asked at the Press Conference exactly what David Cunliffe had done, Shearer said that he wasn’t going to go into that. If Cunliffe had done something so horrendous Shearer would have been able to articulate exactly what it was, in his usual stumble-mumble way no doubt! But, NOTHING!! So what are we all to make of that? It’s obvious that Cunliffe has done nothing except vote for members to have their say! Shearer has now, along with Hipkins shown what they are. Strange too, that Andrew Little, after voting for Cunliffe in the leadership race last time, at the conference stated that he was supporting Shearer. No doubt promised Cunliffe’s shadow ministry job after the fake shock horror of the invented leadership coup. I think Little’s sudden public switch shows exactly how manufactured and planned this hatchet job really was!!

      • coolas 18.2.1

        Shearer articulate? You must be kidding. They guy is a bumbling drone. Can’t think on his feet. Hasn’t the wit or smarts to grasp the moment. His performance over the GSHB recording was pathetic.
        What’s more he’s a bully.

    • David H 18.3

      He Can’t they have no rhyme nor reason it just is and it is what will kill Labour in 2014 as they will not win under capt Stumblebum and his merry band.

  19. One word for you Mike Smith – BULLY

    [lprent: No – that is work for me. Don’t attack authors personally. Attack their opinions saying why.
    One week ban as a training exercise. ]

  20. Greg Presland 20
    Kia ora Mike
     
    I should firstly state that I was talking as the spokesperson for the New Lynn LEC and not in a personal capacity this morning.
     
    I thought my comments were actually subdued.  There is deep concern held by many at what has happened.  You just have to read this blog to see that.
     
    Getting on with matters and leaving it all behind is fine but there is something deeply disturbing at what has happened.
     
    I do think that David Cunliffe has been dealt with unfairly.  My head hurts trying to understand how an MP refusing to say how they are going to vote should be considered as evidence of a coup.  Firstly they should consult with their LEC before making a decision.  Secondly the vote is a secret vote and there is nothing wrong with an MP wanting to protect that secrecy. Indeed, it would seem proper to do so.
     
    I did not refuse to say if we would endorse Shearer.  I just said that the subject has not been discussed.  Obviously we will have to wait for February and see what is happening then.
     
    I would actually appreciate if you could point out where I have been critical of Shearer on my blog.  I have been highly critical of some but I cannot think of one negative thing I have said about Shearer post leadership contest.
     
    Finally the party continues to have my determined but not unconditional support.
    • r0b 20.1

      Well spoken Greg. In planning your future options, please consider the following:

      (1) Whether you believe it or not, the media / public narrative that David Cunliffe escalated his leadership aspirations at Conference is simply overwhelming and cannot be changed.

      (2) Whether you believe it or not, the media / public narrative that David Shearer “won” a leadership challenge is simply overwhelming and cannot be changed.

      (3) Therefore any actions that the LEC takes will be seen as sour grapes from the losing team, further evidence of a split in Labour, it will keep a disastrous story alive in the media for longer.

      I know you, your LEC, and many others in the party feel that there has been an injustice here, but I ask you to consider what possible advantage there is in prolonging the agony.

      Cheers
      Anthony

      • One Tāne Huna 20.1.1

        What possible advantage?

        Well, for one thing, the possibility that the Labour Party might end up with a competent articulate leader come February.

        Oh, and the possibility that a gross injustice should be sheeted home to the perpetrators.

        And to the dimwit perpetrators: how do you stop the Labour Party from drowning? Take your foot off its neck.

      • thatguynz 20.1.2

        Anthony,
         
        Ordinarily I agree with the vast majority of the articles and comments that you post but I’ve got to be honest, i can’t agree with this.  What I infer from your points above is (grossly) simplified to..
         
        “It doesn’t matter whether it was right, wrong or otherwise but it is the message that the media has put out there so suck it up and move on for the good of the party”  (quote is mine)  ie. perception = reality.
         
        Perhaps I’m off base here but if the Labour caucus hadn’t bought into / orchestrated the media beat up, there wouldn’t be any damage here to control or minimise.  Am I being simplistic?
         
        Just as lprent has said further up at 4.1 “They did it primarily because they had an opportunity for a preemptive strike so they used it.”.  Does that therefore mean that those that have been (possibly unfairly) maligned should just accept it?

      • Anne 20.1.3

        (1) the media / public narrative that David Cunliffe escalated his leadership aspirations at Conference is simply overwhelming and cannot be changed.

        (2) Whether you believe it or not, the media / public narrative that David Shearer “won” a leadership contest is simply overwhelming and cannot be changed.

        What you are implying r0b is that no-one is allowed to correct the deliberately falsified perceptions and tell the truth?

        I was at the Conference, and because I appear to have been sidelined by some in the Party (presumably because I dared to speak up in support of Cunliffe), I had plenty of time to closely observe what was happening.

        (1) the media hounded and harassed Cunliffe the entire weekend and I didn’t see a single occasion when – as was claimed – he sought to attract their attention.

        (2) I was one of some 500 odd members and supporters who clapped David Shearer on Sunday until the palms of my hands were getting raw. I was as thrilled as everyone else that he performed so well. Less than 24 hours later, I was feeling nothing but disgust for him and his zealous little Caucus cabal. I would hazard a guess that maybe up to half of that audience probably ended up responding with equal disgust over the next couple of days.

        Finally, this oft repeated claim that Cunliffe wouldn’t publicly support Shearer is yet another falsehood. I have seen (on TV) and heard (on the radio) and read (in the newspapers) where he has pledged his full support to David Shearer – and this includes very recent times.

        • PlanetOrphan 20.1.3.1

          Shearer is on his own, he can’t trust his “advisors” hence all the phone calls?

          It is the only way to “out” the players to stay silent, hard when you are a leader.
          They/He just robbed him(self) of Cunliffe, so one less voice for them too flog him with is the real answer to it all Anne.

          Someone is talking crap to the media and sinking the good ship Labour.
          And it aint Cunliffe or Shearer, they obviously had no Idea, as you said.

          • karol 20.1.3.1.1

            Shearer is on his own, he can’t trust his “advisors” hence all the phone calls?

            And yet, this is what Brian Edwards said:’

            A little bird (not David Cunliffe) has told me that in the run-up to today’s emergency caucus meeting a number of Labour MPs, probably a majority, were rung by David Shearer or one of his apparatchiks seeking a cast-iron guarantee that they would be supporting Shearer today and in the constitutionally mandatory confidence vote in February.
             

            Shearer doesn’t sound so lonely to me. 

            • PlanetOrphan 20.1.3.1.1.1

              True, but only those calls could guarantee it, a valid response when faced with fraud/mis-information/silence.

              He’d know he was played, he just wanted to know if “Robertson” was gonna roll him now or later.

              As a director he needed to know, he Demoted Cunliffe because no one knew who was talking to the media, which also would’ve been discussed in said phone calls I’m sure.

        • Colonial Viper 20.1.3.2

          Exactly: so many members saw first hand the media scrum chasing Cunliffe that the post-Conference spin is less than credible.

          As for talk of uniting the party and moving ahead together – the members cheered that on wildly – but just hours later the reality of those same people drawing knives on Labour family members was realised.

          Massive miscalculation.

      • David H 20.1.4

        What possible advantage??? Rob did you not watch the TV1 news ? The man can’t string 2 sentences together, let alone know when there’s an election. FFS these are the BASICS and Shearer can’t even get those right!

        Now compare that to Cunliffe

        Well organised,Well informed, can speak to anyone, has the ability to make complex monetary policy into easily understandable English. Is ARTICULATE.

        And you still can’t understand why we are pissed about getting hjacked by 3 dinosaurs, a redhead, and a dullard. All led by Captain stumblebum. Onward and Upward to defeat in 2014!

    • the sprout 20.2

      well said greg.
      shearer has handled this appallingly.

  21. Te Reo Putake 21

    I for one hope that the LEC back off. I see no point in taking it further because of the damage being done to the party by both sides. And, yes, Cunliffe was campaigning over the weekend. He had opportunities to bring it to an end, but didn’t do so. A sin of omission, I believe that’s called in the Vatican.

    Just to stir for a moment, can I suggest the simplest solution is to ballot the entire party and affiliates under the 40/40/20 rule? Just getting caucus to roll over doesn’t do it for me and I think Shearer probably has the numbers amongst the members now, post speech, to cement his authority.

    As an alternative, perhaps each LEC could just have a quick vote on whether or not they have confidence in the current leader and send the results to the President. That could be a fun exercise and may boost membership if it’s advertised properly!

    And one final thought, I expect Shearer to get a significant boost in the preferred PM polling, because Kiwi’s have a fondness for tough guys. Not sure that the LP will gain anything though.

    • One Tāne Huna 21.1

      “…a fondness for tough guys…”

      Nice attempt at spin. Shearer already looked weak, and his tantrum over the last two days has made him look weaker.

      The only thing that can save him is a win in a party-wide vote in February. A 60% vote in caucus will not be enough: the party has made it quite clear – by 264 votes to 237 – that it wants a say in the leadership election – a caucus that fails to deliver that at the earliest opportunity will look as weak as Mr. Mumbles.

      • Santi 21.1.1

        Tane, you just described what is going to happen in February. Well said, mate.

      • Te Reo Putake 21.1.2

        It’s not spin, it’s a prediction based on our well known passive/aggresive temperament. Shearer is playing hardball and I’m predicting he personally will gain out of it. But at a cost to the Labour Party’s polling. That’s my pick and we’ll know the answer when the next Roy Morgan comes out.

        • lprent 21.1.2.1

          That would be my pick as well. However you know the alternate.

          The kiwi public like a perceived hardnose leader sometimes – eg Muldoon, Helen. There is frequently a lift when they get them or think that they have. The difficulty is sustaining that when the substance isn’t there. Now I have no idea what DS is like when the pressure goes on – if he goes to diamond or to pieces.

          The feral frenzy these last few days suggest the latter.

          And getting the right balance between being a hard nose and still looking like you have everyone’s interests at heart at multiple levels is quite quite delicate and absolutely required to run that course for any length of time.

          I haven’t noticed the level of personal self-awareness required. But that could also come from a counterweight person.

          Either way it will be interesting seeing what happens over the next few months.

    • Ant 21.2

      Looking tough didn’t help Phil Goff all that much when he threw Carter to the wolves, and the consequent shit fight it caused wasn’t pleasant– seems better in the long run to defuse not incite.

      I guess the advice is coming from the same sources though.

      • karol 21.2.1

        I have been pondering on the similarities with the Goff’s “toughness” on Carter – Garner was in there stirring that up too.  Both Goff and Shearer look to me like they are trying on tough posturing, but not the kind of toughness that unites and progesses a party.

        • lprent 21.2.1.1

          The cases are somewhat different.

          Chris got caught actually doing something naughty with actual proof of wrong doing.

          As far as I can see once you dig through the spin, Cunliffe is accused of smiling and holding leadership ambitions without anything to indicate that he acted on them,

    • Saarbo 21.3

      I dont agree TRP, there are integrity issues within the Labour caucus, they need to be sorted. There needs to be a stronger connect between members and caucus, at the moment they are completely disconnected…that is clear.

  22. gobsmacked 22

    A lot of good points on this thread (Fatty, ThatGuy, etc). Very busy today so don’t have time to hang around for more bunfights (sighs of relief all round!).

    I’d just make this point. The fundamental difference now seems to be between those who say “it’s over and done with, let’s all rally round”, and those who say “it’s not” or “why should we?” (I’m over-simplifying but still).

    I think the onus is on the leadership and caucus to demonstrate why they should be supported. It’s cart before horse to say “Polls are bad, so support the MPs more!”. To put it bluntly: they get paid for this. We don’t.

    Shearer’s situation has often been compared by his supporters to that of Clark, circa 1996. Very low poll ratings. Written off. But … she survived, and – eventually – reigned supreme.

    I remember that time well. I was one of those lost Labour voters, basically in the Alliance column. Clark won me back by 1999. She did NOT do this by saying “You must support me! You must! Otherwise you are disloyal, you are letting the Right win, it’ll be your fault!”.

    She won my vote by showing – tirelessly, week in, week out – that she was competent, and then more than competent. There was no more talk of a leadership challenge, not just because the caucus was disciplined under Helen/Heather (of course it was), but above all, because there was no reason to challenge. She looked like she was ready for the top job, and so she was.

    I would respectfully suggest to David Shearer and his advocates that if they want our support, they should show all the dedication and energy and desire and political skill that they have shown for the last few days. They have won the day, because they acted in a way they have not done all year. Totally focused on victory. Unfortunately it was victory against David Cunliffe.

    When you (Shearer, ABC and co) show that same sense of purpose in the fight against National, the votes will follow. I don’t think you care enough – or are capable enough – to do it. But I will eat a plateful of humble pies if I am wrong. Make me wrong, please.

  23. Craig Glen Eden 23

    Why should the many, just let the few Mike Smith and his mates take the Party into election so they can loose again. Despite the meme put out by this old guard no one undermined Phil Goff, Phil fell over himself. All the Party gave Phil and his lot a crack at Key they failed terribly. The campaign other than the Labour Doco add was a dismal failure lead by Mallard. The right wing Journos and Nat supporters will be very happy if Shearer stays because he wont beat Key. So message to Mike why dont you and the lot you are Cheer leading for just move on, you lost in the weekend pure and simple.

  24. Attacking Greg Presland for politely stating the obvious truth, as is well within his rights, is pretty lame, shitty and low. Very disappointing Mike.

  25. The Fan Club 25

    Noticeably, Mike Smith was, you know, the Gen Sec when we had our imperial phase. I suspect he might be slightly more switched on than “the sprout” or even an LEC Secretary who is unable to take a deep breath at the appropriate moment.

    (Apart from anything else, it hardly helps Cunliffe to have all this right now. Guys, chill out, wait till Feb, and either do it or don’t.)

    • King Kong 25.1

      You can understand the reaction of many here. In the space of a year they have lost a National election and ignomy or ignomies, a party contest…twice!

      When you keep losing at some stage the horrible realisation hits that this makes you a loser.

      • One Tāne Huna 25.1.1

        This is what I like: wingnuts get very jumpy at the mere suggestion of Cunliffe leading the party. From Monkey Man here all the way down to Matthew Hooten, they all have an opinion.

        I can see why. Effective, articulate, with a groundswell of popular support.

        • King Kong 25.1.1.1

          You are right. I am petrified that Labour might make one of the most unlikeable men in the country, their leader in the next popularity contest (General Election).

          If Cunliffe finally gives up politics then I hear Stu Wilson (B O B) isn’t doing much at the moment. He has clarity of purpose, is great in front of a camara, has manly facial hair and all he would want in return is a car and access to the internet.

          [You’re becoming offensive KK. Keep it decent or you’ll have to take a week off your favourite “sport”. r0b]

      • mike e 25.1.2

        Primitive primate stating the obvious must take alot of intellect Taking lessons from Nationals 9 years in opposition !
        3x leader changes whats new Labour has always done its dirty linen in public .
        National has done so since Bolger was rolled.Shipley English Brash then going back gentleman jack Marshall macClay.
        With a peanut for a brain its understandable you better go back to weta workshops and have a bigger brain installed!

  26. Reality Czech 26

    14 MPs by February. Doesn’t matter who they support, but if it isn’t Shearer, we’ll have ourselves a leadership election.

    40% caucus
    40% members
    20% unions

    Even if it’s Robertson who tries to take the leadership with the backing of Mallard, Goff, King and Hipkins, anyone is open to stand for leader once Shearer goes below 60% confidance.

    Cunliffe would win if members and unions had a say. Cunliffe could be the leader right now if he had stood on stage at the conference and made a stand to become the leader. He had the support at the conference, but he chose to keep quiet. Even the media would have helped him, but because he showed weakness, the media ended up forcing Shearer to demote him.

    Maybe someone other than Cunliffe needs to stand up. Shane Jones? He’d certainly motivate a number of people to vote for Labour that otherwise wouldn’t vote. He has the Kiwi folksyness to rival Key’s faux-macho beer drinking “gay red shirt” persona. Who knows. Not many options really.

  27. KJT 27

    If Shearer wasn’t such a pissed poor leader there would have been no talk of a leadership change.

    From where I sit, the article above, like anything Armstrong says in the Herald, is self serving bullshit.

  28. QoT 28

    Presland refused to say whether New Lynn would endorse Shearer in the New Year. He thought all MPs should go back to their LECs to discuss the matter. I don’t know what they will discuss in New Lynn, but I think I can predict what the discussion will be at every other LEC. I don’t think it will either be complementary or complimentary to whatever is going on at New Lynn.

    Oh shit guys, the New Lynn LEC might have a discussion about what to do and that’s terrible.

    I’m sorry Mike, but all this post screams to me is a fear of the wider membership having a stronger voice in how the Party is run.

    • Populuxe1 28.1

      +1 Oh noes!!! Greater democracy in the party (sorta like what you would expect a genuine socialist to endorse). ERMERGERD!!!

      • Colonial Viper 28.1.1

        NEWS JUST IN: Beltway Labour is planning to assign Political Commissars to all LECs and branches nationwide. They will be tasked with ensuring appropriate morale and commitment to the cause, amongst the wider membership.

        Well, that’s a potential developing scenario haha 😎

    • Craig Glen Eden 28.2

      Thats the best this old guard can come up with Cunliffes been disloyal to Labour. The truth is some of these Mps are straight out jealous of how Helen used him and not them, Helen promoted Cunliffe because of his obvious talent.
      Cunliffe has been spoken of by people like Bob Harvey since the moment he first stood in New Lynn as a future leader, the likes of Mallard hate it they are looking for any way to take him out. They know if Cunliffe gets to be leader their shit is not going to be tolerated any more and they loose power. Mike and the likes will do and say anything to discredit Cunliffe thats why they allow Mallard to run to Garner and make up shit like Cunliffes not liked by his colleagues, which in reality is them.

      Cunliffe also makes many of them look like shit, have a look at that front bench and just how effective they have not been in taking it to one of the worse performing Governments probably ever in NZ history. Yet we will see post after post from Mike telling us how wonderful Shearer is. Where is Mikes outrage that someone has been disloyal and spoken to the Herald about the events in caucus yesterday. Mike wont say a word cos hes part of the problem and it suits his teams agenda.

      • Saarbo 28.2.1

        Spot on the mark Craig! Your post hits the gutz of the issue. I reckon until Mallard and some of the old dead wood are pushed out of caucus, Labour will never succeed. Cunliffe would have done this hence the desperate measures.

        I was involved in the clean out of the NZ Rugby Board in 2003. I wondered whether throwing out so much knowledge in one hit was going to damage NZ rugby, perhaps we should just place band aids on the status quo.

        Well the rest is history, we haven’t looked back and NZ Rugby has never been stronger. Fresh and determined people take the place of the slackers. 
        I look at the NZ Labour caucus, there are serious integrity issues with the way some are liaising with Garner and Gower for internal purposes. there needs to be a clean out.

        Integrity issues MUST be sorted otherwise Labour will never succeed. 

  29. marsman 29

    Seems like Mike Smith likes to make pronouncements but doesn’t want to be questioned on them.

    [lprent: Mike seldom drops into comments. ]

    • Kevin Welsh 29.1

      All due respect to you LP and Mike Smith, but that is just ‘dump and run’.

      This is a VERY polarising topic at the moment among those on the left – especially current and former Labour supporters – and that is just bullshit.

      If Mike submits a post that has a go at Greg Presland, then at the very least he can do is defend that position. I mean, isn’t that really just a form of trolling otherwise?

  30. Murray Olsen 30

    As far as I can see, all Cunliffe has done is his job, in as much as ABC have allowed him to. From my own past experiences, I know that when you are competent and work with ineffective and unproductive colleagues, this can be seen as divisive. His crime is nothing more than being a competent, slightly left-wing social democratic member of parliament among a bunch of NAct lite troughers at a time when their “solutions” are being shown to be part of the problem.
    In the last election, I made a tactical electorate vote for Labour. I’m not sure I could justify that to myself if the present cabal continues mismanaging the party.

  31. Northshoreguynz 31

    How many Cunliffe supporters can dance on the head of a pin, and whine at the same time?
    FFS, your guy lost, get over it, move on or National will win the next election, and all your wonderful ideas are fucked AGAIN for another three years.
    Or, swallow your own bile, and back the Labour Party, which includes ALL the caucus and leader to lead the party to WIN the next election and do some good for the country.

    • Colonial Viper 31.1

      Did the February vote just get cancelled?

      If not, what are you on about, bitch?

    • gobsmacked 31.2

      As I pointed out above, NorthShore, people will not be ordered to back anybody. But they will do it naturally and willingly, when the MPs show that they are worth backing.

      I have just seen the leader of the Labour Party on 3 News (I think they have a few more viewers than the Standard). Shearer had his “show me the money” moment. You’d better not watch it – or anything else for the next 2 years.

      Still, a couple of differences with Goff’s: 1) it was worse, and 2) nobody can try and blame Cunliffe for this one.

      Or perhaps they will. What else have they got?

  32. Northshoreguynz 32

    So, keep the bitching going, and hand the election to National. Great strategy.

    • QoT 32.1

      The problem, NSGNZ, is that a lot of us see extending Shearer’s leadership into the 2014 as “handing the election to National”.

      It’s all very well to call for unity or whatever, but for those of us who believe Shearer cannot defeat Key, the option you present doesn’t compute.

      • Northshoreguynz 32.1.1

        So, you’d rather a 3 month internecine war, than attack the Nats in a coordinated way?

        • QoT 32.1.1.1

          God, I love how this issue has improved everyone’s vocabulary, I’ve never seen so many people use the word “internecine” in casual conversation.

          I would rather that Labour have a leader who can handle and respond to criticism. I would rather leadership issues be discussed openly and maturely. And yes, I would rather Labour’s leaders abide by the processes its own conference just agreed to and accept that there could be a leadership challenge, in a structured way, in February.

          • Northshoreguynz 32.1.1.1.1

            And if Shearer wins in February, all the rnf will go along with that?

            • Bill 32.1.1.1.1.1

              If Shearer was to win a party wide vote in Feb, then I guess some would say the Labour Party had nothing to offer them election wise and vote the greens or whoever. But they’d accept that he, or whoever, had been (as far as the rules allow) properly and democratically elected.

              You seem to be missing the core issue, which is that democracy is being stifled.

              • Northshoreguynz

                Have I missed something? The leaders is endorsed, using the latest democratic rules as voted by the Conference, and this is anti democratic?

                • Oscar

                  Seems like everyones missing one crucial factor.

                  There will be NO partywide vote if Shearer gets 60% + 1 caucus vote in February

                  So whats the point of joining Labour if Shearer gets his 60% +1?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Have I missed something? The leaders is endorsed, using the latest democratic rules as voted by the Conference, and this is anti democratic?

                  North Korean head of state returned with 99.6% support. What a leader!

                  • Anne

                    What happened to the 0.4% who didn’t for him? Are they still alive?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well it was a hypothetical (but typical) example :)

                      I believe that “re-education” is mandated for that fraction of voters mwahahaha

    • Descendant Of Smith 32.2

      Nah more likely to still have a left leaning government next time it’s just that Labour will play a smaller part than they could.

      Greens, Mana, NZ First, Maori Party will all pick up votes that Labour should have.

  33. Bill 33

    Anyone else struck by the irony of democratically elected representatives reacting so viciously to the prospect of a little democracy?

    • Colonial Viper 33.1

      Anyone else struck by the tragedy of democratically elected representatives reacting so viciously to the prospect of a little democracy?

      fify; with respect.

  34. Saarbo 34

    Mike, I just watched David Shearer choke when providing costings on the new housing initiative on TV3 news…. maybe David Parker set him up.

    • gobsmacked 34.1

      Yes, TV3 gave us a sneak preview of the election horror show.

      Was it fair? Of course not. Shearer might have said ten clear things before he said one incomprehensible one.

      But … we know what ends up being shown on the news. Now Shearer knows how David Cunliffe feels (oh, irony, thy name is TV3). Happens to every politician since the invention of TV news.

      Here’s the thing. It was a Housing photo-op. To promote the Housing policy. Which Shearer had just announced. In a speech (remember?). About Housing.

      He wasn’t being caught out on the campaign trail. He wasn’t suddenly being asked about Iran, or coal mining, or dental care. It wasn’t a “Gotcha”. It was a question for the leader of the Labour party, about the flagship policy of the Labour party, which is exactly what he wanted to talk about.

      And he couldn’t cope. He just … couldn’t.

      So – this will change, when? And if we all say it isn’t happening, and he’s fantastic, will it change sooner?

      • fender 34.1.1

        “And he couldn’t cope. He just … couldn’t.”

        This is the problem in a nutshell. I feel a little sorry for the guy being out of his depth but it’s to be expected with his lack of experience. His ambition should not of got in the way of his own limitations (if he’s aware of them).

        It’s like watching grandad when his alzheimer’s brought tears to the eyes after he embarressed himself trying to make an impromptu speech at the wedding reception. It’s very sad and quite humiliating.

    • the sprout 34.2

      Shearer is a trainwreck. Come the anonymous vote in feb, many are going to think about what future they’d have with the current puppet leader, and stab him accordingly.

      • rosy 34.2.1

        Just watched it on the net. What a disaster that man is. He has the cheek to complain that Cunliffe put his ambition before the party, but that is exactly what he did when he sought the leadership without the required skills.

        We now have the ‘lets put it all behind us and work to defeat National’ line, when in reality this man is never going to foot it with John Key. Even with good policy the inability to articulate it leaves Labour dead again come 2014. I can’t see how coming together in support of the current hierarchy is going to defeat National. This man, and his allies, needs to be demoted. Now.

        Edit: Gosh that is telling – I just realised in never once used his (Shearer’s) name in this comment. I must be angry…

  35. Doug 35

    Best story I’ve seen on the Net is from No Minister.

    The dominating facet was the gunfight at the not very OK Corral ending with the carcass of the defeated Silent T being dragged to the edge of the remnants of the party to rot.
    Well thats what some are hoping for but,,,,
    “E aint dead ees jus restin”.

  36. Fair enough Mike,
    I’m at a loss as to why Labour hasn’t publicly expressed views such as your own.
    Obvious to some people but needs too be spoken, what’s happened to the Labour Party?

    Cunliffe did try but the Media wouldn’t let it drop, if he had support with ethics such as yours this would never have happened.

  37. Hobnob 37

    Hey new here..tell me about the owl? He gives you guys a good run. Where do I sign up. I am a shearer guy

  38. karol 38

    Re: Mike’s 7.30pm response to comments added to the bottom of his post.

    It’s curious how 2 people can witness the same event, and see something entirely different.

    Mike Smith said (above) 

    Being old also means that I have seen most of it before. What I saw at the Labour party conference was a small group organising to spring a change for a purpose, and the purpose was to force a leadership vote on the party in February. The only beneficiary of such a move was David Cunliffe. So did the media, so did many in the caucus, so did members of the Council I spoke to. I may be old, but I am not stupid.

    Chris Trotter (also, as I understand it, someone who has been to a lot of Labour Party conferences over the years) posted:

    No, the revolution really began when a number of senior members of Labour’s Parliamentary Caucus attempted to water-down the rank-and-file’s radical changes to the Party’s constitution.

     Suddenly all the pent up frustrations of a membership long accustomed to being treated as little more than an enthusiastic applause-machine boiled-over into a bitter but utterly gripping floor-fight for the heart and soul of the Labour Party.

    Those who had not made the minutiae of Labour Party politics their special study (which these days includes most of the Parliamentary Press Gallery) may not immediately have grasped the import of what was unfolding before their eyes last Saturday. …

    But another factor was at work on the conference floor last weekend. In the minds of many delegates were the bitter memories of a Caucus which had not only over-ruled but betrayed the party membership: the caucus that unleashed Rogernomics.

    When delegate Len Richards declared “Today’s the day we take our party back!” He was alluding to much more than last December’s leadership vote. 

    But, such vast differences in perception usually are a result of coming to an event with different experiences, and different attitudes.  Ditto, I guess, why I tend to favour Trotter’s report. 

    • Anne 38.1

      Trotter has summed it up perfectly.

      Mike Smith apparently comes from the black and white school of thought as do many in the MSM and almost all right-wingers – be they Labour or National. The grey nuances simply pass them by…

      • karol 38.1.1

        I suspect that the anti-Cunliffe people, wnet into the conference debate thinking the amendments were merely about Cunliffe.

        Many of us, approached the weekend, focused on the need for a complete break with the neoliberal consensus – and see a shift to a more democratic Labour Party as a move in that direction.  Many see Cunliffe as providing more hope for such a change than Shearer.

        So, what we perceive has a lot to do with our priorities, and our expectations. 

        • The Fan Club 38.1.1.1

          Fuck off with neo-liberal consensus shit would you? You have no. fucking. clue. about what was actually going on in that room. If it makes you feel good to pretend you weren’t being played by Cunliffe, go ahead, but don’t expect me to take your word over one of the most respected figures in our movement.

          • karol 38.1.1.1.1

            Actually, I was comparing Trotter‘s words with Mike Smith’s – both have their following on the left.

            Being a “respected” person in one’s field, doesn’t mean they are always “correct”. 

            • The Fan Club 38.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes! Trotter, someone who has his fingerprints over more trainwrecks at annual conferences than any other man in the country! A man well known for his clear, logical analysis of the political situation, never devolving into stupid factionalism and failed splittism!

              Also, and totally serious here, this idea that Cunliffe’s left is so so fucking dumb. He was a safe pair of hands in the thoroughly neo-liberalised health portfolio, never did a thing about it there, and is now running to left in a transparent attempt to suck up to the base. Come the general, he’ll run to the centre. Why? Because he’s a transparent egomaniac willing to trash the party for his own vanity, and you guys are enabling that bullshit.

          • Bill 38.1.1.1.2

            Fuck off with neo-liberal consensus shit would you?

            How the hell did you do that?! Right message and the utterly wrong target. Kind of impressive in a dumb sort of a way 😉

        • Bill 38.1.1.2

          Hmm. Did they maybe simply suddenly see the writing on the wall with that increased level of democracy? And then convince themselves that this progress and their inevitable demise was actually just a guy called Cunliffe with some chalk in his pocket?

          They’re fucked. What more to say? And I guess they’ll just keep on assailing inevitability with blackboard dusters.

          • Anne 38.1.1.2.1

            Did they maybe simply suddenly see the writing on the wall with that increased level of democracy? And then convince themselves that this progress and their inevitable demise was actually just a guy called Cunliffe with some chalk in his pocket?

            Exactly what happened. So sure of their supremacy… they convinced themselves a patronising word or two to the masses would bring us into line. When we ignored them (how lovely it was to see the boot on the other foot) the cabal in question went into a collective, convulsive frenzy and honed in on the already staked-out scapegoat – David Cunliffe.

            An intense round of group therapy for the afflicted Caucus members is required. I’m happy to contribute a small donation towards the cost.

  39. Bill 39

    Re: 7:30 addition

    ..on the bais of two long-standing labour principles; the principle of majority and the principle of solidarity.

    A majority in a segment of a political body is not a majority…unless, with regards Labour’s structure, that majority is in the membership segment of the party. But strangely enough, Labour’s structure ‘demotes’ that majority to the status of minority. How many individual member votes does it take to equal the vote of one caucus member?

    As for solidarity. Yup. I’m big on that one myself. But are you suggesting solidarity be expressed for those who exercise power over others? That really is a strange notion.

    I must admit that the Labour Party these days is bringing up thoughts of the Bolsheviks…they, (read: upper echelons of the Party structure) being the legitimate expression of the will of the people were above question or reproach. Any criticism of them was therefore criticism of the will of the people and would have you marked out and put down (often quite literally). So I guess that’s good. At least I won’t get a death sentence from any ‘Great Leader’ or his minions…or in the case of the NZ Labour Party, from the ‘puppet leader’ or his masters.

    edit. February’s rolling round :-)

  40. IrishBill 40

    I don’t know if there was a coup or not. I wasn’t at conference and I didn’t see any particularly strong evidence in the media. And people I trust from both sides of this blue are telling me different things.

    What I do know is that there is some desperate flailing going on as (mostly pro-Shearer) people lash out at perceived conspiracies. And I know that lashing out is burning political capital at an extraordinary rate.

    I don’t think Shearer has what it takes and I said so. And after seeing this debacle and his handling of it I’m even more sure.

    This doesn’t make me “camp Cunliffe” or part of some phantom conspiracy but rather makes me one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of labour members and supporters that are concerned about Shearer’s ability to perform in 2014 and mistrustful of the motives of his “camp”.

    Mike, the behaviour from people like Chippie and Trevor and now, to a certain extent, yourself is not helping Shearer nor is it helping Labour. I think if Shearer had put a vote to members off the back of his speech he would have probably won. Now he’s destroyed the goodwill he had with the membership and he will struggle to win them back by February.

    You throw words like “unity” around as if you own them. But unity is not something that is imposed. Unity is a state a group of people navigate themselves to through discussion and compromise and by developing a shared (indeed unifying) direction.

    Neither Shearer or his supporters have shown any sign of accepting the need to have that discussion, make those compromises or find a shared direction with the membership or with the broader left. It’s in your interests to do so but if you can’t do that then I don’t see how you expect to be able to connect with the wider electorate. You also can’t expect members to stand by and watch it happen without taking action.

    You call people who don’t tow the line “splitters”. I’d argue that the caucus is splitting from the party right now. It’s not the members who need to close that divide.

    • The Fan Club 40.2

      Fundamentally, there was a coup attempt. Anyone who disagrees is not in touch with reality. Cunliffe trotted surrogates out to argue a party line — Wall, Chauvel, Dalziel, Presland — and refused to endorse Shearer. That’s just a fact about the world.

      • QoT 40.2.1

        Fundamentally, there was a coup attempt.

        [citation needed] And more to the point, how the fuck do you imagine a “coup attempt” would even have worked at a conference with no leadership vote?

        • The Fan Club 40.2.1.1

          No, actually, it doesn’t need a citation, you clown. I am the “authority” here, you see — I was in the room, I was talking to people, I was observing things. Now, yes, there is evidence, but there’s no citation.

          The evidence is: Cunliffe refused to endorse the leader. His surrogates campaigned to reduce the trigger for a spill to a level roughly equivalent to his upper limit of support in caucus — not just submitting and speaking in favour of amendments designed to produce the outcome needed, but organising and whipping to get that outcome. When pressed, he refused to rule out a leadership spill in the terms expected of a front bench MP.

          The coup, of course, had two parts. The rules were to be changed. Then Cunliffe — or, in fact, Mackey, as I understand it — would spend the summer doing the numbers. By the February caucus, he’d have cobbled together 14 MPs (not coincidentally, about the size of a front bench.) Optimistically, he’d have gone to Shearer earlier with the numbers, and asked him to do the decent thing.

          • felix 40.2.1.1.1

            “The evidence is: Cunliffe refused to endorse the leader.”

            You keep saying that, but he did endorse the leader. Why are you making up stories?

            • The Fan Club 40.2.1.1.1.1

              He didn’t. Find me the quote.

              • seeker

                @Karol 8.37pm

                Very well said thank you Karol . Mike Smith is certainly hoping that his truth planting is the one that will take. Why? As far as I can see Labour appears to have become rather too precious, suppressive, judgemental and now dictatorial. Is this the paranoid section of the caucus at work and if so what have they drunk to become so paranoid? Oh, And how can David Cunliffe take control of the opinions of people he does not even know?

                • Member41

                  Yes gosh this Party is getting dictatorial. Can’t believe it just passed the biggest democrat reforms in a generation. The Party can now bind Caucus on policy and elect the leader. All endorsed by the current leadership and voted unanimously by members. Sounds likes this Shearer guy has an authoritarian streak.

                  Not.

              • felix

                “Find me the quote.”

                lolwut? Shearer was unanimously endorsed you fucking idiot.

                How about you show me where he failed to endorse him, seeing as you keep making that claim.

                • The Fan Club

                  He failed to fucking endorse him on the weekend of conference, at the time it mattered. Honestly, you are a clown.

                  • felix

                    Show me where. Point to a single, verifiable report of Cunliffe being asked to endorse the leader and failing to do so.

                    • The Fan Club

                      No, you do it. You’re the one disagreeing with consensus reality; you can put the work in.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      “consensus reality”

                      See Rosy’s comment. Entitled to your own facts now are you?

                      The demand for a citation has been current since this spin first started. Show me the disloyalty!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      LOL consensus reality = Beltway Bubble Reality

                    • felix

                      So you don’t have one. You call it a “consensus reality” but you can’t show a single quote, a single verifiable fact, a singe piece of evidence that any of it happened.

                      Not. One.

                      You’re a fucking joke mate. Don’t let the revolving door hit your dumb arse next time you change pseudonyms.

              • rosy

                Find me the quote.

                Pre Conference
                Tues 13 Nov

                I am very clear that our leader has my support.

                Post Conference
                Mon 19th Feb

                Mr Shearer does have my support. That’s good for now, that’s good for if there is a caucus vote any time soon,

                • Colonial Viper

                  BUT

                  Cunliffe didn’t pledge allegiance to Shearer UNTIL HIS DYING DAY!!!

                  Cunliffe the TRAITOR!!!

                  • rosy

                    😉

                    I’m sure I’ll find something about him making a leadership challenge before 13 December 2011, if I look hard enough.

              • seeker

                @Fan Club 10.45pm

                “Find me the quote.”

                It has taken me ages but here it is at the conference itself which should take care of
                one of your other comments . Will try to find you more instances of Cunliffe’s loyalty and endorsements tomorrow. As it is I only have them on my own recordings.

                http://www.3news.co.nz/Shearer-denies-Labour-leadership-shakeup/tabid/370/articleID/277072/Default.aspx

                This is one of the many times David Cunliffe endorses his loyalty to Shearer on screen over the weekend. He then has to point out that this conference is not about leadership. He is severely harassed by Patrick Gower about leadership,leadership, leadership with Patrick trying to force words into Cunliffe’s mouth. Gower later goes to Shearer and says Cunliffe is going to ‘bring it to you’ or words to that effect and carries on telling Shearer that Cunliffe was going to challenge him, when he had said no such thing, in fact the total opposite. Talk about trying to create a crisis out of nothing

                NB Words and phrases used by the news reader Simon Shepherd to introduce the clip were interesting -“challenge has emerged”, “open threat” and “refusing to” . The whole clip that followed was Gower trying to prove the introduction, he not only tried to put words in Cunliffe;s mouth he also tod porkies to Shearer about Cunliffe.The other method he used was editing. He used the same shots of Cunliffe to show him ‘not commenting’ in order to put the words he wanted into his mouth and also shots of him at the conference doing normal conferencey things and then taking them out of context and commenting over them with nastier interpretations to suit his ‘beat up’ story.

                The clip shows the horrors of Patrick Gower’s “naked ambition” by the way -be warned if you have not linked to it yet. It is not pretty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • RedLogix 40.2.1.1.2

            Even if your version of the story is perfectly factual TFC, what you are describing is a the normal and legitimate political process.

            Shearer (nor ANY party leader) does not have a mortgage on the job for life. Loose an election and you will likely be expected to resign.

            Loose confidence of the caucus and the same.

            Loose the support of your party membership and while the process may be indirect and take longer … the result is the same. All that really happend in the Conference is that this step has been made somewhat more formalised and potentially faster.

            Nor is there any rule that says there shall be no contenders for the top job either. Nor is there any rule saying that MP’s must swear irrevocable fealty to their leader, not just for the present … but into the indefinite future as well

            Indeed I’m interested in exactly how else you would organise these things?

            • The Fan Club 40.2.1.1.2.1

              If fucking up the one guaranteed media coverage we get is legitimate, fuck that noise.

              And, sure, maybe Cunliffe played realpolitik and that’s fair. If so, Shearer’s been well within his rights to respond — and in fact, he’s been very gracious.

              • RedLogix

                I think maybe you need to think about this for a bit TFC. There is good reason to think it wasn’t Cunliffe doing the fucking….

              • Colonial Viper

                Hmmmm…except it was ABCs talking about leadership votes and escalating rumours about coups all through Sunday…not Cunliffe…

                • The Fan Club

                  Like everyone but you clowns has agreed, Cunliffe could have shut this down any time he wanted to. He didn’t, therefore he didn’t want to.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Nothing wrong with not announcing ahead of time what is supposed to be a secret vote.

                    Several Labour MPs refused to announce ahead of time, during Conference.

                  • thatguynz

                    “Like everyone but you clowns has agreed”?  Like who?  The media you mean?  Might be beneficial to your sanity and blood pressure if you actually applied some critical thought to this..

          • lprent 40.2.1.1.3

            Yeah right…

            What I think is that there is a level of paranoia that sees an urge towards participation as being dangerous. It was evident during the leadership debates earlier in the year. Is even more evident now amongst caucus.

            So what happens when this keeps going on and the wee group of people around the caucus find themselves increasingly isolated from the party that they are representing?

            • The Fan Club 40.2.1.1.3.1

              Look, I pushed hard for democracy at pretty much every stage of this process. This wasn’t about democracy.

              • lprent

                Let me out it this way. The key block of votes that pushed the 60% amendment over the line was that of the affiliates block voting right?

                Ok explain to me where and how Cunliffe has any influence amongst unionists.

                He doesn’t, in fact I’d go as far as to saying that he really isn’t trusted by unionists.

                What you saw was an actual movement towards more democracy inside the party where moved the decision making is spread further out than immediately around the caucus.

                The idiots in the caucus are simply crazy to think that that the big lie is going to work. Hell my old mother thinks that they are full of crap over this show trial.

                Cunliffe almost certainly was going to take advantage. But basically that isn’t particularly relevant. The next leadership spill will cause the party to be involved.

                • The Fan Club

                  Which is why it was a series of Cunliffe surrogates doing the heavy lifting on these specific amendments? I’m not arguing everyone who voted for the remit did so because it was pro-Cunliffe; just that Cunliffe pushed it very hard for the coup-enabling side-effect.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Actually it was the membership enabling effect which Cunliffe voted for, and the membership disabling effect the ABC’s voted for.

                  • One Tāne Huna

                    This is your “evidence” – that Cunliffe and his “surrogates” support the majority view?

                    Feeble.

                  • Blue

                    Of course he did. You’d have to be pretty naive to expect Cunliffe to not push that remit with everything he had.

                    But at the end of the day, Cunliffe is not the reason it passed. It passed because enough people on the floor decided it was a good idea.

                  • lprent

                    So? I know people who pushed really hard for that amendment. Very few are Cunliffe fans. Hell I am not particularly. How soon before the type of paranoia that caucus just exhibited extends out into silly witch hunts and purges? The type of hypocrisy that punishes competence and will probably reward incompetent loyalty is just dumb and is just off putting to voters, supporters, and especially activists.

                    And people pushing myths like you have been doing just piss me off. Quite simply you haven’t offered anything to support your assertions apart from “it must have been tools”. Ok, so whom and when – something specific and proveable please. Because at present you look like you have nothing.

                    So coming back to the unions. Who went in and pushed the the amendments to lock vote for in the affiliates meeting? Who was pushing it when it was debated on the floor – there was surprising little shuffling around lobbying that I saw from the back. The layout of the room wasn’t conducive to the usual horse trading without the table layouts.

                    Quite simply I think the whole conspiracy theory is just complete crap. Sure Cunliffe probably pushed for it. Taking advantage of it is something he would do. Lusting after leadership is something that was obvious to me ever since I saw his red headed supporters move into the auckland town hall a decade ago. Guess what. None of these things are anything more than I would expect any ambitious politician to do. There is a hell of s difference between ambition and a covert conspiracy. If there was ANY evidence for the latter, a smoking gun. It hasn’t emerged.

                    I don’t think it exists. It never happened and trying to say it did makes the people saying it look like fools.

                    • The Fan Club

                      I think you must need your eyes checked if you didn’t see the lobbying — by both sides — in that room. Also note that these days, lobbying can be done by texting, which is quite hard to pick up.

                      (Didn’t happen? You really are disagreeing with the consensus of every credible observer of NZ politics here, apart from a small fringe here, and Trotter, Campbell, and Bradbury. Basically, the rump Alliance thinks that there’s no way there was organisation in that room, which tells you something about how they got rolled comprehensively every time they went up against someone who did organise.)

                    • lprent []

                      Yeah I know. That is why my phone was vibrating through most of the conference.

                      But so far you haven’t offered anything apart from supposition – so at present you’re guilty until you prove yourself innocent. Offer some proof.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      If you think lobbying for or against a motion constitutes “disloyalty” you need more than your eyes tested.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “LOBBYING” at a Labour Party Conference, that a big NO NO!

                      You’ll get demoted from the Front Bench for doing THAT!

                    • lprent []

                      Who cares. What is important is that someone is stupid enough to think that this half arsed story has any legs. It is the same kind of crap that has been pulled before. Trying to pull a conspiracy story with a subsequent STFU really isn’t going to work and the people who are least likely to believe this one are party activists.

                      Only the most venal will go along with that and play lip service to it. The rest will just avoid people who do that.

                    • The Fan Club

                      In fact no you get demoted for losing. (Come at the King y’all.)

                    • Murray Olsen

                      I heard Shearer has a tape of Cunliffe being disloyal and TFC has seen it.

                    • lprent []

                      He is good on tapes right?

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Assertion after strawman after argument from authority. It all adds up to a big bag of air.

                      The “King” just tripped over his own blade, again, the way he’s been doing since he fell on the throne by accident.

                      He’s not going to stop being a fuck-up just because he’s learned to stab people in the back.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I heard that Shearer understands that such a tape exists, but will he be able to produce it :)

                    • Blue

                      We’re getting some great new rules out of all this. No smiling, no lobbying, loyalty pledges must be in the form of absolute fealty to your lord and master until he dies or you will be executed as a traitor.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I think the Labour Party is going to institute the time honoured tradition of hari kiri for all its MPs who displease their lord.

                  • QoT

                    I have to say, TFC, I truly admire your skills at propagandist wordplay. Shearer has “supporters”, Cunliffe has “surrogates”.

                    • The Fan Club

                      No, Shearer also has surrogates — Hipkins for one. Surrogacy and support are distinct roles in a political sense, which — oh yeah, you don’t actually know anything about this stuff do you? Soz, will let you get on with your life.

            • seeker 40.2.1.1.3.2

              +1+1+1 lprent

      • felix 40.2.2

        Except he did endorse Shearer. They all did.

        Keep your eye on the ball, TFC, you’re being thrown a curly one.

      • IrishBill 40.2.3

        Settle down there cowboys (and cowgirls). I think it’s time people took a deep breath and pondered just what’s happened here. And how to fix it like grown-ups.

        • Bill 40.2.3.1

          Shame Shearer didn’t have that very thought on Sunday. Oh well….

        • RedLogix 40.2.3.2

          Well yes Irish.

          But as you’ve said, this has burned off poltical capital at a massive rate. While I’m still willing to believe that Shearer has been badly served and lied to by the ABC clique, nonetheless he’s the one in charge and he has to wear responsibility here.

          Shearer has been deeply complicit in a collusion between polticians and the press gallery to take down Cunliffe. And it’s every bit as ugly as the one done on Winston Peters. At which point I have to say that there is no staging a recovery from this.

          As long as Team Shearer remain there is no ‘fixing’ this IB.

          • Colonial Viper 40.2.3.2.1

            Well I have great news for everyone: a source suggests that a contingency plan to screw Cunliffe was prepared several days in advance of Conference. It was based on the off chance that Cunliffe would do or say something – anything – which could be constructed as not supporting the Leadership.

            The smooth co-ordination of leaks, attack lines and media spin on Sunday and Monday reflected this planning exactly. Getting rid of Cunliffe was seen as an opportunity too good to waste even if it meant sacrificing the media positives from Conference, so on Sunday and Monday the ABCs escalated the pressure to a nuclear level.

            Notice how this media gambit by Shearer has gone far smoother than any other media strategy of his this year. IMO the very best right wing media advisors played an important role in shaping and co-ordinating it.

            • The Fan Club 40.2.3.2.1.1

              No. What happened was that everyone got angry with the wanker who fucked up conference, and decided that something needed to be done it make it clear that it wasn’t ok to pull that shit *ever*.

              I know it’s fun for all you keyboard kommandos, but for those of us trying to build a winning, left Labour, this weekend was hugely frustrating.

              • Colonial Viper

                The wankers who fucked up Conference were the ones who leaked to the news media on Sunday, threatening talk of leadership votes and treachery: the ABCs.

                I know it’s fun for all you keyboard kommandos, but for those of us trying to build a winning, left Labour, this weekend was hugely frustrating.

                You can’t build shit.

                • The Fan Club

                  The headlines were set by lunchtime Saturday you fucking muppet. You could tell, because what lead the evening news? What was on the cover of the Sundays? At what point did half the gallery walk out the conference? By the time Cunliffe had refused to endorse, and his lieutenants had ostentatiously made it clear what the game was.

                  Sunday afternoon is 24 hours too late, which you would know if you had any clue about the timings.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Well, the headlines were set before Conference actually.

                    • The Fan Club

                      you guys really are incompetents aren’t you?

                    • rosy

                      Well, the headlines were set before Conference actually

                      Very true. That’s really clear if you go back looking to find out what Cunliffe really did say.

                  • Blue

                    You’re naive if you thought the media were ever going to focus on anything other than the ‘leadership challenge’. The headlines weren’t set by lunchtime Saturday, they were set weeks before the conference happened.

                    Just a tip here – the only time journalists give the Labour Party any airtime is when there’s some drama going on. They don’t want to write headlines like ‘Party endorses significant constitutional changes’ or ‘Labour’s new housing policy aims to put 100,000 into homes’.

                    From the very start, the one and only thing those journos were interested in going into that conference was the leadership and they weren’t going to pay any attention to anything else.

                    • The Fan Club

                      This is actually terrifying. The detachment from shared consensus reality. The persecution-complex. I can’t see how you can function as a member of a party with such an inept ability to comprehend basic political processes.

                      (Guys, there’s an easy way to stop the media running a story: don’t purposefully give them material!)

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The detachment from Beltway Bubble Reality.

                      FIFY

                      (Guys, there’s an easy way to stop the media running a story: don’t purposefully give them material!)

                      Have forwarded your tip to Hipkins, Jones, etc.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Next up: unskewed Labour — why Cunliffe really is going to be leader.

                    • felix

                      He’ll be leader if he puts his name forward and the party votes for him. If he doesn’t, or they don’t, he won’t.

                      Problem? It’s not rocket surgery you know.

                    • Blue

                      Like I said – naive. I’m picking Young Labour.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Young Labour, never held a real job working with real people, angling for a bullshit Parliamentary Services position cleaning up after some ABC MP.

                    • rosy

                      there’s an easy way to stop the media running a story: don’t purposefully give them material

                      And on that point see Karol’s comment on Rachel Smalley’s twitter:

                      ‏@Rachel_Smalley
                      Political commentator Chris Trotter on @FirstlineNZ this morning http://bit.ly/Tc4Kj1 Has Camp Shearer manipulated the media?

                      Alex Coleman ‏@ShakingStick
                      @rachel_smalley@firstlinenz Well I’ve not seen any stories that looked like they were based on Cunliffe tips, and plenty from the other way

                      Rachel Smalley ‏@Rachel_Smalley
                      @ShakingStick@FirstlineNZ Yes, it’s been staggering. Made for a busy few days.

                    • lprent []

                      Had an invite to go on a panel on The Nation this weekend to talk about Labour activist reaction this yesterday morning.

                      But I am running behind at work from attending conference, will be working much of the weekend, plus I’d like to spend some time on the weekend with Lyn before she heads off to India for 3 weeks work next week. And I’m the wrong person to ask these days as I have been steadily and deliberately dropping out of being active in the party for several years. The effort has been diverted here with its broader base and because it is more interesting.

                      Couldn’t see a good reason to be bothered heading into the public eye. Turned it down.

                      Must remember to locate a link to have a look a it after it broadcasts. Could be interesting.

                    • The Fan Club

                      So is Young Labour on the blacklist as well? Dear lord, there’ll be no-one left in the party soon enough.

                  • lprent

                    Yep. And it was obvious to me that the vote was very likely to pass for 60% in the first hours of Saturday. Apparently it was obvious to the people at the socials the evening before. The lobbying was apparently quite intense after the affiliates decision.

                  • felix

                    “By the time Cunliffe had refused to endorse”

                    A fantasy which still didn’t happen, no matter how many times you repeat the lie, and for which you’ve been totally unable to find an example of.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Oh look, there’s Felix Marwick disagreeing with you (http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/come-at-the-king-you-best-not-miss-watch/#comment-78091)! And the headlines of *every* newspaper in New Zealand!

                    • felix

                      Found a single example of Cunliffe refusing to endorse Shearer yet?

                      Didn’t think so.

                    • Member41

                      Felix felix felix. The membership had just decided that there would be a leadership vote in February. Cunliffe wouldn’t endorse the leader. We all saw it! It was on TV! It ruined our Conference!

                      He broke the unwritten rules about solidarity and unity that allow us to be a force in politics. Overreached. Got what was coming!

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      And what of Hipkins telling Trotter on Friday, (before the conference) that Labour’s problems were internal rather than external?

                      No foreshadowing there of course.

                    • felix

                      That’s weird member41, I saw him on the telly saying he did support him. If you have a clip or a quote of him saying he doesn’t, throw it up by all means.

                    • M41 someone is feeding you mis information. You might want to consider why that is, if you’re capable of reflection.
                      You might also want to think about refining your tactics. The dogged repetition of thoroughly refuted assertions does nothing for your case. It only serves to strengthen your opponents’ case and undermines what little credibility you may have.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Cunliffe wouldn’t endorse the leader. We all saw it! It was on TV! It ruined our Conference!

                      He broke the unwritten rules about solidarity and unity

                      1) Please explain what the meaning of a ‘constitutionally defined secret ballot’ is.

                      2) Please explain why the ABCs chose to escalate talk of leadership challenges and coups over the Sunday and Monday. Didn’t they ruin the Conference by doing that?

                      You’re not going to get that Parliamentary Services job you want.

              • lprent

                Look as far as I was concerned, the people who screwed the weekend were those who after losing the 60% trigger went off to nobble Cunliffe. It was a political blunder of the first order.

              • SouthDeeznuts

                TFC,

                You’ve been repeatedly been asked to provide some substance to your arguments, and with every reply given thus far, you’ve done nothing but spew forth the same empty rhetoric and personal attacks, neither of which hold much weight. So, if anyone in this context could be deemed a so-called ‘keyboard commando,’ I suggest that it’s you, as I highly doubt you’d be calling myself nor anyone else in here a ‘fucking clown’ if we were to engage with you in political discourse face-to-face. Even if you did, it wouldn’t lend any credibility to the fantasies you’ve been peddling as absolute truth.

              • starlight

                “Keyboard Kommandos’ how revealing, these type of descriptions usually come from
                inside caucus.
                Behind curtains,darkened rooms,we don’t read blogs,they are a nonsense,now we
                are ‘Kommando’s, brilliant, so if we are what you suggest, then we could be Kammando’s
                who intend to fight to reclaim labour back for the average person in the street.Game on.

      • rosy 40.2.4

        Fundamentally this has gone way beyond whether there was/wasn’t a coup attempt. Fundamentally it’s about how Shearer and co have handled whatever it was that happened.

        • The Fan Club 40.2.4.1

          Hahaha. This is actually Stalinist in the disregard for little matters like “truth” and “honesty” and “not being a fucking wanker to other members of your party”.

          • Bill 40.2.4.1.1

            Again? Succinctly put! And 180 degrees off on the target bearing. How are you doing this?

          • rosy 40.2.4.1.2

            Stalinist? Interesting.

            See RedLogix comment above (40.2.3.2 @10:13pm). He says quite well what I think about this – and it doesn’t matter whether Cunliffe is/was the messiah or satan it’s hard to think of a worse method of handling the situation than how the current ‘leadership’ handled it.

    • Agree with U IrishBill, it’s this “Caucus” thing that’s severely segregated/uncivilised.
      It doesn’t matter who the “Leader” is, they’re gonna face the same silent crap, fix it ? …..
      Make all three “Leaders” and lay down some LAW.
      Now if want to catch a silent RAT, you feed singlular information to one person at a time.
      Of courrse you do it in public so they think “Everyone” knows ….. caught M8!
      You’re all missing one thing, this “Evil” in your midst is not playing in Labours’ favour ever, they will always bag the Labour party ….. doesn’t care if it’s Robertson either, they’ll still undermine yas, forever M8, it’s obvious.
      Could even be one person.

  41. felix 41

    “Welcome Greg Presland to the Standard”

    *guffaw*

  42. Bill 42

    Is that really what the leadership team want?

    They’re desperate gobsmacked. What else can they do? Let democratic process play out? No. Of course not. Well, they could. But that would be the end of them – or more precisely, their stranglehold on power

    • gobsmacked 42.1

      Sorry Bill/Felix, I was trying to edit and my connection is buggered.

      I’d better sign off for the night.

  43. felix 43

    I’m not convinced they know what they want. Srsly.

  44. seeker 44

    @Fan Club 10.45pm

    “Find me the quote.”

    It has taken me ages but here it is at the conference itself which should take care of
    one of your other comments . Will try to find you more instances of Cunliffe’s loyalty and endorsements tomorrow. As it is I only have them on my own recordings.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Shearer-denies-Labour-leadership-shakeup/tabid/370/articleID/277072/Default.aspx

    This is one of the many times David Cunliffe endorses his loyalty to Shearer on screen over the weekend. He then has to point out that this conference is not about leadership. He is severely harassed by Patrick Gower about leadership,leadership, leadership with Patrick trying to force words into Cunliffe’s mouth. Gower later goes to Shearer and says Cunliffe is going to ‘bring it to you’ or words to that effect and carries on telling Shearer that Cunliffe was going to challenge him, when he had said no such thing, in fact the total opposite. Talk about trying to create a crisis out of nothing

    NB Words and phrases used by the news reader Simon Shepherd to introduce the clip were interesting -”challenge has emerged”, “open threat” and “refusing to” . The whole clip that followed was Gower trying to prove the introduction, he not only tried to put words in Cunliffe’s mouth he also told porkies to Shearer about Cunliffe.The other method he used was editing. He used the same shots of Cunliffe to show him ‘not commenting’ in order to put the words he wanted into his mouth and also shots of him at the conference doing normal conferencey things and then taking them out of context and commenting over them with nastier interpretations to suit his ‘beat up’ story.

    The clip shows the horrors of Patrick Gower’s “naked ambition” by the way -be warned if you have not linked to it yet. It is not pretty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PS have reposted this from above just in case Fan Club is still up. more chance of noticing it here I thought.

    • McFlock 44.1

      That’s an endorsement of loyalty?! Cunliffe didn’t even use Shearer’s name. With loyal friends like those…
               
      Frankly, at a national conference where leadership is being openly questioned, he needed to do better than that.
           
      All he had to say was “I have great respect for Shearer as leader, and I don’t see any reason at the moment for anyone to challenge him for the leadership”.
         
      If pressed for an explicit ruling out of a February challenge and he really thought it might be an option then he could simply say “as things stand now I will not be challenging him in February and I have certainly made no plans in that direction”.
          
      Yes, it leaves wriggle-room for Gower to wank over (and yes I do think that much of the current issue is the result of Gower hunting a story), but it isn’t the blanket invitation [my leadership challenge]” is not what this conference is about” gave the media.
               

  45. I think this was bad for the Labour party, firstly Shearer should have talked to Cunliffe and worked together to make sure any vote would be in February; rather than allowing such divisions to get stuck in the media. Secondly, now the neo-lib MSM have something to attack Labour with for the next month or so.

  46. Saarbo 46

    There are some really good Posts on this blog, Shearer could do a lot worse than spending a bit of time scanning them (I’ve learned a lot!).

    One thing is very clear, the Caucus have serious problems and no one except the hardened Labour supporters are going vote Labour in 2014.

    Members are limited in the tools to sort Caucus, so Caucus need to grow up and sort this mess out themselves. Normally the Leader would sort this out but I don’t think David Shearer has the ability. His team of petulant Caucus supporters have one thing on their agenda and that is get rid of Cunliffe, so they wont sort it.

    Cunliffe is in no position to sort.

    Someone needs to bring Caucus together, I presume its Moira and sort.

    What a mess. 

  47. Wayne 47

    Intriguing to read this thread. I thought I should really stay out of an internal Labour dispute.

    But really, it is not realistic to suggest that David Cunliffe’s failure to rule out supporting the leader less than three months from now should not have precipitated an immediate leadership crisis. It was also inevitable that his failure to endorse in 3 months time would lead to his demotion, at least for a time.

    However, if you all want to continue through to Feburary on this site and others, well I guess you can since after all there is a required vote then (I presume if DS gets more than 60% in Caucus it ends there), but at least don’t be disingenuous about what has happened. It looks a bit odd to the rest of us.

    • felix 47.1

      Interesting Wayne. Perhaps you could explain the rules – how far out is it compulsory to endorse the leader? 3 months? 6 months? 12 months?

      What if someone said “the leader has my full support now but not necessarily at this time next year”.

      What if someone said “the leader has my full support now and I will review that support in 4 months”.

      What if someone said “the leader has my full support now and anytime soon”.

      Come on Wayne, what are the rules? Is anything short of “til death do us part” acceptable or not?

      • Wayne 47.1.1

        Fair question;

        You need a formula of words, that does not totally foreclose the future, but doesn’t precipitate the crisis. For instance in my view an acceptable answer would be, “The Leader has my full support”, and then when the followup question occurs (as you know it will) “But what will you do in Feb” the answer would be “Let me be clear, the Leader has my full support”, and if there are further follow ups, “I have already answered your question”.

        In these answers you have not said you would never challenge (or for other MP’s, never said how you would vote), but you have met the immediate requirement of loyalty, without raising further questions.

        Of course, the journalist may privately wonder, but they have not got anything they can use – or more particularly, you have said nothing that your colleagues can actually hold against you. They will of course be suspicious, but then they already are!

        DC’s problem was that on camera he actually said he could not guarantee that DS would have his support in Feb – a clear failure of the loyalty test, and which also negated his initial statement of support.

        • Pascal's bookie 47.1.1.1

          “MP Refuses to rule out challenge in Feb”

          Asked repeatedly if he would be rule out challenging for the leadership, the mp responded only that Shearer currently “has my full support”. This sends a clear message to both Cunliffe’s supporters and to the current leader, who will surely have to respond.

          • Wayne 47.1.1.1.1

            As I noted, your colleagues would still be suspicious, but they would not have anything they could actually use against you.

            I guess you might have to add in response to a question, “will you challenge in Feb”, with something like “thats not my intention”, or “I have no plans to do that, the Leader has my full support”. A bit weak I know, but at least it stays away from leaving the question open in the way that DC did. But actually it does leave the option open – plans can change.

            What you can’t do is say “Well I will have to think about my vote in Feb then”. And my clear recollection is that is more or less what DC said on both radio and TV. I have not actually listened to the audio, since Monday or Sunday.

            But remember in politics, you are not on oath. You can change your mind, and if you are successful no one is going to complain.

            • lprent 47.1.1.1.1.1

              Ummm. It does seem a bit like dancing on the head of a pin.

              I get into this kind of thing frequently whilst working because employers are frequently anxious about when I’m planning on leaving. Having made the mistake a few times before of giving open ended commitments, these days I give dates when I’ll next be reviewing my commitment. Typically these will be at the end of a project or on a contract renewal.

              Blue has a guest post on the date/times/commitments that I might put up (feels a bit like feeding the flames at present) I believe the one you are looking for was this

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10848440

              “Mr Cunliffe told Morning Report he called David Shearer last night, leaving a message that he had his “absolute support”.

              On the February vote:

              “It may very well be that I’m in a position to reconfirm my support then but I’ll make that final decision in February,” Mr Cunliffe said.

              “Mr Shearer does have my support. That’s good for now, that’s good for if there is a caucus vote any time soon,” Mr Cunliffe said.

              “I don’t see any need to bring anything forward but if Mr Shearer wishes to do that he will have my vote.”

              And I think that is where the strangeness comes in. That is exactly the response that I would make, and in fact all that I would expect that anyone should have to make.

              This isn’t the frigging middle ages with swearing absolute fealty to a warlord, and it shouldn’t be like an Italian city state in the renaissance (or the National party) where turning your back or going on a trip is a reason to start a coup.

              The party mandated when the vote for the leadership was to be set. In Feb. It got skipped last Feb and moved to this Feb (which I was kind of unhappy about). However it is effectively a contract renewal because that is the time that the party says that leadership is up for review, and therefore a appropriate time to review commitments.

              I think that most of us who work on contracts think this way. Our loyalty is not unconditional and it it is time limited. When contract renewal comes up then it is a new ballgame. If anyone tries to coerce me into making a commitment past the contract prior to renewal then they’re way way out of line. And I’d do exactly what Cunliffe did. Refuse to be coerced, sit out my commitment doing what is required, and plan on what I do next.

              Basically if you break your comittments without a twoway agreement then there has to be a hell of a good reason. Because otherwise your word is trash and you won’t get contracts. As far as I am concerned that is exactly what Shearer did and why I wouldn’t trust him ever.

              Welcome to the current world.

              But remember in politics, you are not on oath. You can change your mind, and if you are successful no one is going to complain.

              I would have and have done so in the past. If you look around my comments here from the last term I was pretty explicit about why there shouldn’t be challenges to Goff

              • Wayne

                Thanks for the quote from the Herald – you can see the problem; “…I’ll make make that final decision in February”, “…thats good for now…”

                You can’t do that; you can’t transparently leave the door open. He said more or less the same thing on Radio NZ the following morning – after he had time to think about it!

                To any Leader I know in either of the two main parties it screams disloyalty.

                I guess no one would worry in the Greens, but their leader(s) are not going to be the PM.

                You might say all this is dancing on the head of a pin, but none of my suggestions leave the door transparently open, as DC did. And he is supposed to be smart enough to know better.

                • lprent

                  A diplomatic and constrained reply. :)

                  Now I’d agree with the following in the current environment. But consider what you are actually saying.

                  To any Leader I know in either of the two main parties it screams disloyalty.

                  I’d suggest that the attitude of the leaders is unreasonable, and indeed more than slightly paranoid. It implicitly relies on a the kind of personal fealty relationships that even the professional army doesn’t use any more.

                  Implicitly it is an attitude of “if you aren’t for me then you are against me”, whereas there are few relationships in the modern world that operate that way. Most of those are in criminal gangs. Moreover it is completely false to the facts in both politics and in gangs because the reality is frequently it seems like people are willing to step over the body of others.

                  BTW: I spent a *lot* of time around Helen Clark over 20 years helping with her electorate campaigns. It wasn’t the mental model that she operated on with me because if it had been, then I wouldn’t have been working with her. It was also hard to see it in her working relationships in parliament.

                  If you were competent then she worked with people, Cullen, Goff, and others come to mind. If you screwed up then she or H2 let you know about it. Protestations of loyalty were neither sought nor required. You either had the votes at the right time or you did not.

                  Perhaps you are thinking of the current caucus or another party 😈

                  • Wayne

                    Well I know (having spoken to one of the participants about this) that Helen Clark had to see off a challenge. I am sure you know all about it. But they never went public, so she was readily able to work with them in senior positions.

                    DC went public (as I see it). That forced David Shearers hand. I believe Helen would have done the same thing in the same circumstances.

                    Yes Politics is different to the business world and the professions – it is played out on a public stage. Issues that are kept behind doors can be dealt with easily and in similiar way to other occupations. But once it is in the limelight – well you know what happened.

                    There are well proven ways to conduct challenges, which are in fact quite democratic.

                    • “Yes Politics is different to the business world and the professions”
                      Not acording to DunnoKeyo and his magic caucus M8!

                      Simply not true wayne, the only difference is you can Print money.
                      Company directors are elected M8!

                      They are asset stripping your country Wayne,
                      It’s “Free Market” Business as usual Wayne, see where you went wrong Wayne?.

                    • karol

                      DC went public (as I see it). That forced David Shearers hand.

                      [citation needed] 

                      Clark dealt with already-public MP issues behind closed doors, and didn’t escalate them in and through the media. e.g.Tamihere.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      DC went public (as I see it). That forced David Shearers hand. I believe Helen would have done the same thing in the same circumstances.

                      Fuck off. Its the Shearer camp who escalated this publicly with off record leaks and on record comments to journalists.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      DC went public (as I see it). That forced David Shearers hand. I believe Helen would have done the same thing in the same circumstances.

                      We need to unpack this a little bit in order to find the disagreement I think.

                      The ‘going public’ was, for a want of better word, coded. What he didn’t say signaled his intent. As far as that is going public, it’s not really ‘disloyal’ in any meaningful sense. That is what the codes are for. To preserve the formal appearance, they are face saving mechanisms for the party. Everyone knows what is going on, everyone has deniability.

                      Shearer’s hand wasn’t forced. He chose to publicly break the code. That was a tactical decision on his team’s part and there was nothing forced about it. He could have equally chosen to maintain the deniability and say something like;

                      “Oh look, the Labour party decides it’s leadership via a process. I have the confidence of the Caucus, and if Cunliffe or anyone else chooses to challenge that at some point in the future, then that’s a decision people will make at that time. But I’m confident of my support, and I’m confident that NZers …” blah blah segue into policy and the shit performance of the government.

                      now that doesn’t mean all the speculation would cease, but guess what? neither will this way, Mike Smith’s confidence about what is going to happen in parliament on Tuesday notwithstanding.

                      There are well proven ways to conduct challenges, which are in fact quite democratic.

                      ways, are determined by processes. When it’s a secret caucus ballot, you get Machiavellian backstabbery, driven by secrecy and a false appearance of calm interrupted by the periodic wasteful blood letting.

                      In the Greens you get something quite different. The US primary system produces something quite different again. But be clear, it’s the rules that set the strategies.

                      The Labour party has new rules, and it will take a wee while for them to play out, but what Shearer’s team did was certainly against the spirit of them. how that plays out will be, well, an emergent phenomena.

                      It’s fascinating times for the party. passions are up. but it’s two years till the election. Unless the party leadership fucks it up completely in terms of conflict resolution, (and that means taking account of the grievances in one way or another), the broader electorate will have forgotten about this in 6 months and the leadership, whoever it is, will be secure.

                      But at the moment, it isn’t. there is, as a matter of fact, disquiet about the leadership. that’s what is causing the problem, not Cunliffe’s lack of some magic set of words that he should said to Gower.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Pascal, what on earth would you know about the spirit of the rules? You aren’t a Labour voter, let alone member…

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      The Fan Club are you incapable of substantive comments? We haven’t seen a single one so far.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      The rules aren’t a secret, fan boy. Everyone can read them (or have them read to them), and most can form a coherent opinion about them.

                      Do you have anything at all to say, or are you just a tad upset about something?

                    • lprent []

                      I don’t think he has quite cottoned on to this new fangled Internet thingy – where political parties put their constitution online.

                      He is really more of a mason jar.

                    • Excellent analysis, Pascal’s Bookie. I think that acknowledges the realities of party politics and, at the same time, reveals the lack of judgment offered by Shearer (or his ‘surrogates’) in this case.

                    • lprent

                      Helen Clark had to see off a challenge. I am sure you know all about it. But they never went public, so she was readily able to work with them in senior positions.

                      There were “challenges” at various times. Not just the direct leadership ones. But Helen did have a tendency to not push them to the point where they became a deliberate ball to ball confrontation. That does tend to be a testosterone thing IMHO.

                      I think that was what was deliberately made to happen here by Shearer and his team. Lets take your assumption that Cunliffe was doing a covert challenge*. Then it wasn’t anything particularly overt by Cunliffe unless you count obvious delight at a decision made by the party delegates. It wasn’t like he pushed it to the brink.

                      That was what the whips did. And it damn well looked pre-prepared and pre-prepped to me. I think that it was going to happen regardless of what happened at conference. I couldn’t figure out what the press were doing because they really weren’t reporting the same conference that I saw.

                      I was sitting in the same place seeing the same things but they were writing about Cunliffe and I was writing about the conference remits. Those special briefings that I was uninterested in? And you can see that same incredulous response all around the bloggers who were at the conference. Try Robert Winter or even Trotter.

                      So I simply think that someone is lying and I don’t think it is Cunliffe. Sure he is a bit of a prat at times. But I think that someone decided that this would be a great time to get him out of the way. Had bugger all to do with what he was doing.

                      * Not that I can see that. FFS – one major part of the purported challenge was meant to have started from us. It appears to have nothing to do with the irritation that many of us including me have been displaying with the less than sparkling performance (ie largely pathetic) in the Labour caucus and the evident disorganisation there with rogues like Shane Jones crapping where ever they felt appropriate.

  48. Agreed. It was A-grade shitheadedness. Had Shearer and co let things be after his supposedly great speech, right now Shearer would be looking strong and Cunliffe’s support would have declined. Instead, thanks to shit for brains, Shearer looks weaker than ever, is now seriously embattled and under more pressure than ever, and Cunliffe’s supporters are more bent on utu than they’d ever had cause for before.
    Now that, folks, is a fuck up of David Garrett proportions. Caucus will remember that in feb.

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    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    2 days ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    2 days ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    2 days ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
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    2 days ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
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    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    11 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    14 hours ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 day ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    2 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    6 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago