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Vernon Small jumps the shark

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, July 18th, 2014 - 216 comments
Categories: you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

There’s lies, damn lies, and statistics. And then there’s writing a beat-up story and providing none of the numbers needed to back it up at all.

That’s what Vernon Small’s done today with his breathless call on David Cunliffe. The numbers show more people would vote labour if he was gone! screams Small.

Except the numbers also apparently show more people would vote National if Key was gone:

The effect is sizeable, making a 13.5 percentage point difference to Labour’s vote.

Although a similar effect is seen on National when asked the same question about John Key, it is much smaller.

Just how Small has come to this conclusion we don’t get to know. Because we don’t get to see the numbers. Likewise we don’t get told how many more votes National would supposedly get without Key, or indeed, what the sample size or methodology is. And any methodology that suggests National would do better without Key should be taken with more than a grain of salt.

Basically Vernon Small is making the call that the Leader of the opposition should go just weeks before a general election while refusing to show the numbers he’s basing that call on. It’s almost like he knows they wouldn’t stack up if he made them public.

That’s just irresponsible and it’s getting up there with the Herald on Sunday’s attack over the Donghua Liu bullshit (incidentally, I have heard from a very good source that the HoS didn’t actually have a copy of the Liu statement when they ran that story, despite claiming they did, that’s why they wouldn’t release it.)

Once again, it looks like a Press Council complaint is in order.

You can do so by first emailing the Fairfax Editor: glen.scanlon@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

If you don’t get a satisfactory response in ten working days you can take your complaint to the Press Council.

You can base your complaints on the Journalism Code of Ethics. 41.a would be a good start:

They [journalists] shall report and interpret the news with scrupulous honesty by striving to disclose all essential facts and by not suppressing relevant, available facts or distorting by wrong or improper emphasis.

UPDATE: They must have had a mild panic attack, the methodology has now been described at the bottom of the article. As you can imagine it’s not particularly sound.

 


Updated:

216 comments on “Vernon Small jumps the shark”

  1. Matthew Hooton 1

    You are right. Fairfax should publish the full polling report – currently can’t find it.

  2. riffer 2

    Journalism code of ethics?

    HoS editor claimed there’s no such thing when I emailed him.

    I’d rather just not give Vernon Small any further oxygen by winding up his editor. Speculation masquerading as journalism simply shows up the journo for what they really are – a hack.

    I’d rather push the positivism theme instead everywhere I can. Complaints will inevitably come across as whingeing.

    I wonder though, if John Key will be commenting from Hawaii on this one? He seems to be incognito whenever there’s anything against his government, and very easily available for comment on Labour or Greens.

  3. Dinosaur Senior 3

    I disagree. In many many years of following politics I’ve never seen the media so willing to write anti-labour stories with no evidence whatsoever. They need to be held to account any way possible. Writing my complaint now.

    • Saarbo 3.1

      I agree, I have never seen such an incredible strong stream of anti labour articles in my life, in fact its surprising that we are polling at 23.5% given the attacks.

      • poem 3.1.1

        +1 Saarbo, too true, and despite being a clear breach of Journalistic code of ethics, what the media are doing is UNPRECEDENTED, and the lot of them should be sacked.

        Said this before, if real journalism existed in this country, John key would have been history long ago.

      • Tom Jackson 3.1.2

        I had thought it would have stopped by now. The damage is largely done and the election result is – despite the hopeful comments on this blog – pretty much a forgone conclusion. The continuation of media beat ups is overkill to say the least.

        Small’s article is one of a few I have seen recently which call for Cunliffe to resign or be replaced. This seems to be the latest anti-Labour tactic.

        I’m not quite sure what they are trying to do. Maybe they are just seeing how far they can go without provoking a backlash, and it seems that the answer would be “further”.

        Or perhaps they think they can destroy the Labour Party as a political force, at least for two or three electoral cycles (as happened to the Canadian Liberals, although their wounds were somewhat self inflicted). National would be quite happy if the Greens became the official opposition (as the New Democrats are now in Canada, due to the Liberal collapse) because the Greens would never be able to capture the centrist voters that Labour could, and it would hence gift National the next two or three elections.

        I guess it’s Helen Clark’s fault for not stepping on National’s throat when she had the chance, although the “convenient” seabed decision gave her more pressing problems to deal with.

    • poem 3.2

      +1 Dinosaur Senior.

    • Tom Jackson 3.3

      They need to be held to account any way possible.

      How do you propose to do that? Complaints don’t matter and will likely only be resolved after the election. It’s worth more to media owners to obtain a National government than it is to worry about complaints.

      Just accept that it’s a rigged game. The only times since 1984 that a Labour has been given a good ride by the press are in those cases where they were agents of the most right wing agenda on offer or were opposed to a National Party that simply couldn’t win because it was a shambles.

      Labour will be given a fair go again once the current government is out of gas, or it has moved sufficiently to the right. If that’s not good enough for you, then you need to move somewhere else, because that is what democracy looks like in New Zealand.

  4. Puckish Rogue 4

    Being that part of the reason Shearer was dumped was due to poor polling doesn’t it stand to reason then that Cunliffe should go because his polling is worse?

    I don’t want Cunliffe to go though

    • freedom 4.1

      You may have noticed the word “Opinion” is not in the header of the article Puckish Rogue.
      Do you accept the article as a piece of journalism from Vernon Small?

      • Tracey 4.1.1

        it wasnt there when it first appeared online yesterday but i see they have the word opinion there now.

        • freedom 4.1.1.1

          oops! I meant in the headline of the article, sorry folks.
          The word “Opinion” that appears in the Section Header is a permanent menu item on the Politics Section header.

          Stuff Opinion pieces always have a tag of “Opinion”, by the headline, usually in red

          As that tag is absent, one must assume it is an article, a piece of journalism.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      Shearer was also inarticulate and repeatedly gaffed. Remember he stepped down just days after bringing 2 dead snapper to parliament.

      Cunliffe is definitely not articulate, the gaffe part is slightly harder to defend, but IMO most of it has been media beatups over nothing, rather than actual bad judgement on Cunliffe’s part.

      • Hamish 4.2.1

        “Cunliffe is definitely not articulate”

        You mean’t Cunliffe is definitely not inarticulate.

      • Tracey 4.2.2

        given the number of misrememberings of the PM and the large number of demotions and resignations during his two terms, I wonder how it would have been reported under Labour

    • anker 4.3

      PR @ 4.

      Shearer was inexperienced in NZ politics, had lived out of the country for years, had never been in govt or a Cabinet Minister and was inarticulate. He had done good work overseas.

      Cunliffe will make a great PM because he has a track record as a competent Minister in govt. He is articulate and he is highly intelligent and has worked for Mfat and a diplomat (or for an overseas embassy) as well as being in business.

      There is a lot of talk about whether Cunliffe is geniune. When I don’t know someone personally, my best guess about this would be through their behaviour.
      I find it hard to get passed the fact that he speaks Te Reo. To me that is good evidence that he is. Learning a language takes time and commitment. He did that.

      As a woman I have had my share of men attempting to sexually harass and abuse me (as most of us have), included an attempted rape. I was so grateful for Cunliffe’s apology. I was highly disappointed that some men made Cunliffe’s apology about them.

      I have followed the publicity about him closely and I believe there has been an orchestrated campaign to destroy his credibility.

      It will be a great loss to NZ if he is not PM.

      • Saarbo 4.3.1

        Spot on anker!

        I have seen a number of men having a chuckle at Cunliffes apology including Labour candidates, its unbelievable and incredibly offensive.

        • Crunchtime 4.3.1.1

          Are you saying Cunliffe’s “I’m sorry for being a man right now” is “unbelievable and incredbly offensive”? But you think anker was spot on? You realised those things are contradictory?

          I thought it was a bad phrase for Cunliffe use, a bit silly. I’ve said it several times now – apologise for deeds, not who or what you are. But I didn’t find it “unbelievable” or even slightly “offensive”.

          Anker said she is grateful for the apology, and I appreciate that.

          • poem 4.3.1.1.1

            This is what David Cunliffe said, and its time people kept it in context.

            “Can I begin by saying I’m sorry – I don’t often say it – I’m sorry for being a man, right now. Because family and sexual violence is perpetrated overwhelmingly by men against women and children. So the first message to the men out there is: ‘wake up, stand up, man up and stop this bullshit’.”

            So whats silly about that? Even trojan horse Chris Trotter, an ardent John key fan, didn’t think it was silly in his article, “David Cunliffe’s apology brave, not silly” 11/07/2014.

            • Tracey 4.3.1.1.1.1

              yup, quoting out of context is crucial, otherwise it is a reasonable thing for someone to say who wants to change a culture that creates more victims than car accidents

            • Olwyn 4.3.1.1.1.2

              I agree. The speech involves a small variation on the rhetorically common, “I am ashamed to be a such-and-such,” as in “When I hear of these dreadful farming practices I am ashamed to be a New Zealander,” and other such sentences. The shift from “I am ashamed” to “I’m sorry” is perfectly understandable, because he was talking directly to people affected by male violence.

              I am sick of people parsing every utterance of Cunliffe’s in order to make hay out of it, while John Key, who is governing, and who should be held to account, seems to enjoy complete licence.

              • McFlock

                I am sick of people parsing every utterance of Cunliffe’s in order to make hay out of it, while John Key, who is governing, and who should be held to account, seems to enjoy complete licence.

                Agreed, especially as key specialises in nonsensical, self contradictory and outright false statements.

                • RedLogix

                  Yes.

                  Personally I had no problem at all with what Cunliffe said about sexual violence.

                  Personally I when I read of some of the things some men have done to some women – even though I cannot comprehend what and why they have done it – I do feel a collective shame at being a man sometimes.

                  And while I am only one man – taking responsibility my behaviour is the one thing I can control.

                  Which is not the same thing as collective guilt or collective punishment.

                  Yet for those of us men who should feel guilty, because of what we have done, or what we have egregiously not done – you cannot hide from a bad conscience and you will be prone to resenting anyone who reminds you of this.

                  A fact Cunliffe’s enemies have ruthlessly exploited.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    A fact Cunliffe’s enemies have ruthlessly exploited.

                    Yep. National Party tacticians and advisors are more in touch with the reality of the psyche of NZ than Labour’s are. Both of men, and of women.

                    • RedLogix

                      Which is precisely the point at which Labour should have stood united with Cunliffe and vigorously taken the fight back to National.

                      When the usual Nat sycophants and shrills all started whining about this – it was a priceless opportunity which the left allowed to go to waste.

              • Tracey

                Tony was embarrassed to have never visited te kuiti hospital in six years as health minister. Didnt have the guts to visit te awamutu on the day of its maternity cuts.

          • TeWhareWhero 4.3.1.1.2

            I think Saarbo was saying that the mocking of Cunliffe was unbelievable and offensive.

            • poem 4.3.1.1.2.1

              Is that who I think it is, who used to post on Yahoo !! If it is, hey so good to see you :))) Yes, you’re right, but Crunchtime didn’t think so.

            • Saarbo 4.3.1.1.2.2

              Yes, Thanks TeWhareWhero…that is what I was saying:-)

          • the pigman 4.3.1.1.3

            Just read Crunchtime. Saarbo is saying the chuckling at the apology is unbelievable and incredibly offensive.

            Or are you being deliberately obtuse? In which case, I really don’t get it.

      • poem 4.3.2

        Well said Anker !!! Spot on !!!

      • Puckish Rogue 4.3.3

        Cunliffe will make a great PM because he has a track record as a competent Minister in govt. He is articulate and he is highly intelligent and has worked for Mfat and a diplomat (or for an overseas embassy) as well as being in business.

        • So why does he not engage his brain before he opens his mouth?

        There is a lot of talk about whether Cunliffe is geniune. When I don’t know someone personally, my best guess about this would be through their behaviour.

        • How about that the amount of labour MPs who deal with him daily that think hes no good, do their opinions count?

          I find it hard to get passed the fact that he speaks Te Reo. To me that is good evidence that he is. Learning a language takes time and commitment. He did that.

        • Good on him but it doesn’t make him a leader

        As a woman I have had my share of men attempting to sexually harass and abuse me (as most of us have), included an attempted rape. I was so grateful for Cunliffe’s apology. I was highly disappointed that some men made Cunliffe’s apology about them.

        • Good on him for that but he worded it really badly and for someone as intelligent as he supposidly is he makes gaffs like this far too often

        I have followed the publicity about him closely and I believe there has been an orchestrated campaign to destroy his credibility.

        • Well d’uh, he wants to be leader of NZ so of course hes going to be targeted just like Labour have attempted to destroy John Key (H-bomb, Shonkey, greasy little fella, money man etc etc) the difference is John Key is smarter then Cunliffe and Nationals better at dirty tricks then Labour are

        It will be a great loss to NZ if he is not PM.

        • It will a great deal of relief when John Keys is returned to power
        • McFlock 4.3.3.1

          It will a great deal of relief when John Keys is returned to power

          It could only be “a great deal of relief ” if you fear dunnokeyo is at risk of losing the election.
          Thanks for the reassurance that the left has a good chance of winning in september :)

          • srylands 4.3.3.1.1

            Don’t be stupid and smarmy all your life.. FFS of course the left have a good chance of winning the election – about a 20% chance. MMP guarantees that. And yes it will be a relief if National is returned. It will still be a left wing government presiding over too many untackled problems, but at least it is inching New Zealand slowly in the correct direction.

            If National wins in 2014 and hopefully in 2017, the Zeitgeist will shift. So even if Labour does gain office in 2020, its policies will be vastly different to those of 2014.

            • McFlock 4.3.3.1.1.1

              Not even in your deluded fantasy would 20% be “a good chance” of victory. You can’t even lie straight in bed. Of course your bed is in Australia, where you live.

              By the way, if tories really thought the nacts had an 80% chance of victory then victory would be “expected” while defeat would be “a great shock”. But I suspect your 20% estimate comes from wishful thinking on Labour’s polling. Or, possibly, simply that as a devout Neoliberal Economist you seek any excuse to invoke catechism, in this case from the Book of Pareto, Chapter 80 verse 20.

              I suggest you open your brand new dictionary to find the meaning and synonyms for the terms “friend”, “ally”, “partner” (as in “coalition partner”). Then compare how many Labour might have with the number of National’s single-serve lickspittles.

              Still at 80:20, are you?

            • Puddleglum 4.3.3.1.1.2

              Hi srylands,

              You may not have been in New Zealand at the time, but I can assure you that the Zeitgeist has already shifted markedly since the 1970s.

              What then would have been classified as lunatic, right-wing economic extremism is now, it seems, embraced as ‘centrist’ and sensible economic policy (policy that you seem to see – laughably – as ‘left wing’).

              The results of this shift in the Zeitgeist have been predictable – a rapid increase in economic inequality, a leap in poverty and child poverty, increased incidence of ‘Third World’ diseases, greater employment instability, far greater private indebtedness, etc..

              Oh, and we can now buy lattes (as if that wouldn’t have happened at any rate).

              Attitudes – tagging along behind the economic and social structural changes – are also now much more hostile towards the social welfare system overall.

              The default attitudinal setting seems to be a general mean-spirited judgmentalism towards anyone (or any family) drowning in this neoliberal sea. In fact, such an attitude is now widely regarded – even aggressively asserted – as a citizenly virtue rather than a vice.

              The worst effect, for me, has been the intellectually restricted range of social and political options that are now considered politically correct (in the true meaning of the term ‘politically correct’).

              Public debate via the media (and most politicians) is vapid and uninspiring mainly because it has become limited to the narrowest of visions prescribed (and proscribed) by the straitjacket of the worst possible interpretation of economic liberalism and, because of that, such debate is also boringly predictable.

              That restricted range of acceptable (politically correct) debate means that we are very unlikely to reduce poverty, inequality and the various forms of suffering now largely ignored and discounted by claiming them to be just a natural part of life – beyond politics and arising out of ‘bad parenting’ or, simply, ‘bad people’ and ‘bad choices’.

              In fact, there’s quite a good chance that these things will continue to increase incrementally only limited by political anxiety over the potential for mass public resistance if it ever were to increase as rapidly as it did in the 1980s-1990s.

              Also quite predictably, thinking – as a deeply reflective, critical and cautious exercise – appears to have been abandoned in the public arena largely having been replaced by a host of cliches about ‘the market’, ‘fiscal responsibility’, ‘aspiration’ and ‘personal responsibility’ that, together, amount to a simplistic caricature of reality and human behaviour.

              That is not the kind of ‘thinking’ that will ever result in effective – let alone humane – social and economic policy.

              All of this means that the last thing that New Zealand and New Zealanders need is a yet further shift in the ‘Zeitgeist’ towards the kind of political economy, attitudes and norms to which you seem to subscribe.

              • Draco T Bastard

                +111

                SSLands wants even more sociopathy than we have already.

              • Tracey

                But the market says…

                Nice post

              • freedom

                +1 Puddleglum
                “Also quite predictably, thinking – as a deeply reflective, critical and cautious exercise – appears to have been abandoned in the public arena largely having been replaced by a host of cliches about ‘the market’, ‘fiscal responsibility’, ‘aspiration’ and ‘personal responsibility’ that, together, amount to a simplistic caricature of reality and human behaviour.”

              • Olwyn

                Well said Puddlegum! +1000

              • RedLogix

                Thank you Puddleglum.

                I read that post and wanted to cry.

                NZ always did have an underbelly of petty meanest, which the neoliberal madness has only fed and fattened.

                • Anne

                  Yes, I read Puddleglum and felt like crying too Redlogix. It’s all around us now. Its even penetrated my family. There are relatives I cannot discuss politics with anymore. They are rapidly becoming immune to the suffering of others. Its deeply disturbing.

                  • RedLogix

                    There are relatives I cannot discuss politics with anymore.

                    That’s true of almost everywhere. While it was always true that it was unwise to talk too much about religion, politics or sex at work – these days it’s simply not sensible to say anything at all.

                    Here’s another thing. I’m left-wing and proud of it. I know that some of the things I want like a UBI and an economic system that decreases inequality are openly socialist and sometimes radical. I’m not likely to see them in my life and I accept that. I understand most people are more risk-averse and conservative than I am. I accept that people will have different views and ideas and getting to a consensus is slow hard work.

                    But the neoliberal lies to himself – they come here and tells us that National is a left-wing party and that the ACT ‘market faith’ nuttery they spout is somehow ‘centrist’ and anyone who disagrees with their intensely narrow view of the world is dangerously wrong to be sneered at, bullied, or simply bulldozed out of the way. And increasingly more and more people believe that is the only way the world works.

                    Words are cheap – but their consequences are not.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    They are rapidly becoming immune to the suffering of others. Its deeply disturbing.

                    There’s plenty of hope. Ironically, it comes from the creeping poverty encroaching upon the lower and mid tiers of the middle class. When it is your children who cannot get a decent job in NZ despite having a uni education, when it is your children who has funding on their PhD pulled part way through, when it is your children who cannot afford a halfway decent house anywhere, when it is your children who can’t get the specialist help they need at school, then a certain kind of cognitive dissonance starts to arise.

                    Some people will suppress that feeling (and the information it carries) and they will go slowly mad/delusional.

                    However, for some others, a light switch will go on. And from there, a different track begins to open up.

                    • RedLogix

                      However, for some others, a light switch will go on.

                      Yes. I’ve been blessed at several points in my life to have experienced genuine human joy, connectedness and fulfillment. It’s a memory that keeps me going.

                      (Although right now I’m badly burned out from too much work and more than a little depressed as a result.)

                      But thanks CV – a lot of what you say these days helps more than you know.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I appreciate you saying, my friend. It’s an etheric kind of chiropractic adjustment that I can deliver over the ‘nets. And especially for you:

                      https://twitter.com/philo_quotes/status/490078764463042560

              • blue leopard

                Puddleglum, your comment and this conversation brought to mind this brilliant and inspirational speaker’s speech:

                “Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in modern psychology. It is the word “maladjusted.” This word is the ringing cry to modern child psychology. Certainly, we all want to avoid the maladjusted life. In order to have real adjustment within our personalities, we all want the well‐adjusted life in order to avoid neurosis, schizophrenic personalities.

                But I say to you, my friends, as I move to my conclusion, there are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good‐will will be maladjusted until the good societies realize. I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. Never leave millions of God’s children smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society.…”

                Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech at Western Michigan University (Dec 18th, 1963)

                http://thepossibilitypractice.com/martin-luther-king-jr-on-creative-maladjustment/

                • Thank you blue leopard for mentioning that quotation.

                  Interestingly, ever since it developed into its current scientific form, psychology has been heavily focused – at the professional level – with ‘adjustment’ (it goes back to the 19th century Progressive movement in the U.S. in which many well-known psychologists were involved).

                  Part of the professionalisation of psychology as an applied discipline was to ‘help’ individuals adjust to the massive changes happening in the late 19th century as the modern, industrial, urban, rationally-managed world was being forged in the furnace of industrial capitalism. One historian of psychology called the 20th century the ‘century of psychology’ as the profession expanded into every area of life – education, the workplace, the military, sport, crime, etc., etc. All the time facilitating the ‘adjustment’ process.

                  Part of that commitment to ‘adjustment’ led to the behaviourist approach which assumed a more or less unlimited scope to alter human behaviour. One historical irony is that this view of the manipulability of people is, today, more associated with the left than the right yet its origins were in the attempt to re-engineer the population to fit in to modern capitalist social structures.

                  At a personal level I’ve always assumed I’m maladjusted in King’s sense. Being a ‘thrice-born’ migrant by the age of 7 helped with that assumption – since you never think you will be a good fit for the society you live in. And – for me at any rate – that’s meant very little grief or anxiety over not being aligned with the attitudes of those around me.

                  I’m perfectly at home – ‘relaxed’, even – being ‘maladjusted’ :-)

            • Murray Olsen 4.3.3.1.1.3

              Go back to trainspotting, SSlands. You are totally delusional in your worship of Rand and Friedman. All you can ever do is spout stupid libertarian slogans, with no thought and no content. We’ll win, maybe in spite of Labour rather than because of them, but we’ll win. Then you can go back to Sydney, where there are lots of trains to spot.

    • poem 4.4

      Shearer did not step aside because of poor polling, it was his political inexperience that let him down and cost him the confidence of his caucus. Shearer wouldn’t have been able to handle john key anyway, everyone knows that and thats why national/media have this sudden support for him.
      David Cunliffe is a threat to national, the ongoing orchestrated smear campaigns and every word Cunliffe utters is put through a meat grinder, while john key’s continual stream of lies remains untouched by national’s most complicit partner in crime, the media, is evidence of that fear. Cunliffe and labour are damned if they do and they are damned they dont.
      Cunliffe is very confident and articulate, and I bet John the con is NOT looking forward to those debates, who knows, maybe teamkey have already lined up a “rent a mob” to assist, it wouldn’t be the first time.

    • Foreign waka 4.5

      Perhaps it would be better to look outward instead of inwards. Meaning, give the voter public a reason to vote for labor. Most people are not stupid despite what these polling stats and so called journalists seem to belief. These influencing point scorers are so smug and above themselves that ultimately it will be the very tool that can help labor. Look at the people you know and ask what they need/want/expect and whether these expectations are being met. Its easy to gauge the situation from there. My personal feeling is that many people are scared of loosing their job, are unsure whether the situation will get better and to top it all off, stories abound of inappropriate behavior by officials. It all adds up to an uneasy feeling and the search for a credible alternative is still happening. Fear is a bad adviser and it is used by the media to sway peoples minds, how about taking the fear away and being brave instead?

  5. SPC 5

    It is an attempt by a journalist to make the election less about the policies of Labour as compared to National and more about the popularity of Key compared to Cunliffe.

    Undermining public confidence in those leading opposition parties has been the traditional means of government run media to manage their re-election.

    That and campaigns to keep the opposition divided and weak. Posing the idea that what the opposition needs is a leadership change is just that.

  6. deep throat 6

    vernon small is typical of the hothouse flowers employed by the media in this country.
    a large man who has spent his life hiding next to the sandwiches and compensating by having no fortitude and being willing to do anything to accommodate his masters in case he gets passed over for the sausage rolls.
    He sort of symbolises everything that is wrong with new zealand.
    a big bloated ego puffed up and ready to pop when stuck with a pin.

  7. Matthew Hooton 7

    I contacted a friend at stuff. Apparently this bit, which was in the print edition, was accidentally left out of the stuff story:

    The poll findings:
    * Over our last two polls we asked voters to consider the effect of a change in leader on their vote. When we asked the question about Cunliffe, Labour lost 1.7% but gained 15.2% from other parties and undecideds – a net gain of 13.6%
    On our July poll survey that would see Labour’s support rise from 24.9% to 38.5%.
    * When we asked the same question about John Key National lost 5.3 per cent but gained 12.4 percent from other parties and undecideds – a net gain of 7.1%
    In both cases, alternate leaders were not provided, and we have assumed the new leader is no less supported than the current leader.

    I’m told they will fix the online version asap.

    • Tracey 7.1

      i thought it was in the original online story late yesterday arvo?

      The stats only prove it is a story about nothing masquerading as something.

      • Matthew Hooton 7.1.1

        Don’t know, but it wast when I saw it for the first time this morning, so I had the same concern about it as zetitic. But it seems it was more cock-up than conspiracy. Which makes sense. Vernon is usually criticised for being an old leftie from way back, rather than part of an anti-Labour conspiracy.

        • Tracey 7.1.1.1

          I read thefirst variation of it about 630pm last night as a headliner article on stuff. I may be misremembering the stats bit. Numbers are not my thing.

        • SPC 7.1.1.2

          The idea of polls – that vary according to who is leading a party (when Key is so popular) has only one purpose to make Cunliffe seem like the problem for Labour.

          Sure it allows some on the left to claim it is not our polices but the leader that is the problem (it is not the leader it is the reputation for leadership instability returning to 1980’s levels).

          • Matthew Hooton 7.1.1.2.1

            Read it more carefully. It says that if Key were rolled, National’s support would increase by 7.1% (to 61.9%!). Personally I think that is totally implausible. But, if it were true, National should give him the chop today!

            • freedom 7.1.1.2.1.1

              remember Matthew ‘It’s not about Key, it’s about the Party’
              go #TeamKey !! ;)

            • RedLogix 7.1.1.2.1.2

              It is almost certainly an artifact of the statistics.

              After all if a party was polling 100% – and then dumped their leader – by what percentage would their polling probably rise?

        • Hamish 7.1.1.3

          Vernon may have that reputation but Stuff doesn’t. The editors of that website are so far up John Key’s arse they’ve bunk beds right next to you.

        • Crunchtime 7.1.1.4

          “Vernon is usually criticised for being an old leftie” either that info is several years out of date, or that criticism comes from your right-wing friends when Vernon isn’t hard-right enough for their tastes.

          Either way, these days he is a toady-boy who serves his masters well to make sure his own wallet is padded. Whenever I see his name I think “Vernon Small-minded”.

        • Foreign waka 7.1.1.5

          Hi Matthew, I do disagree with the notion of cock-up as you put it and its inference of “no harm done”.
          Rushing a story through without facts and checks and balances means that the media outlet that publishes that article must have 2 reasons to do so: 1/ incompetence, in which case the whole operation including the chef editor should be reviewed and replaced if necessary or 2/ willingness to distort, in which case the operation certainly needs to be reviewed and people replaced.
          A mistake that is of such extend that it actually can influence voting should be condemned by all New Zealander’s unless there is a push of having a democracy in name only.
          Look at other states that NZ distance itself for similar incidences and then ask yourself why is it OK that it happens here?

    • SPC 7.2

      How could National and Labour both gain by changing their leaders?

      These polls are too easy to game.

      Supporters of National and Labour who claimed they would switch their vote if the others leader
      was changed may just be trying to undermine the enemy – knowing that talk of
      a leadership change suggests instability and weakness.

      • Matthew Hooton 7.2.1

        They wouldn’t if they both changed them on the same day. But if one did, it would probably get a temporary gain just from the publicity (that is usually what happens – although I’m not sure it would be true in the case of Key departing, despite what the poll suggested.)

        • Francis 7.2.1.1

          Then a large drop shortly afterwards, if historical attempts are anything to go by.

        • Tracey 7.2.1.2

          Yup, the stats show that nothing was used to make something for a headline.

          Labour does better without cunliffe and National does better without Key but the headline only suggests cunliffe is in troubl and should go.

    • ianmac 7.3

      Thanks Matthew. That last sentence “In both cases, alternate leaders were not provided, and we have assumed the new leader is no less supported than the current leader.”
      Does that mean that the answer would be the same no matter who the leader was? Would sort of negate the whole exercise wouldn’t it?

      • Matthew Hooton 7.3.1

        Yes, I don’t really understand what that means, because it also says that, while it nets out to make it worthwhile for both parties to change their leader, Labour loses a gross 1.7% if they get rid of Cunliffe and National loses a gross 5.3% if they get rid of Key. So I don’t really see in what way they have “assumed the new leader is no less supported than the current leader”. But I’ve wasted too much time on this already.

        • Tracey 7.3.1.1

          It is bizarre, and an editor made it a headline story suggesting cunliffe should go. The merest excuse needed it seems

    • JK 7.4

      Well they hadn’t fixed it when I last looked at about 4pm, Matthew Hooton. I wonder if they know the meaning of asap.

  8. Harriet 8

    “…..Basically Vernon Small is making the call that the Leader of the opposition should go just weeks before a general election while refusing to show the numbers he’s basing that call on….”

    LOL.

    Labour won’t show the numbers either. Nor from the backbench. Truth be told.

  9. Jenny 9


    Democracy Under Attack

    The establishment fear and loathe David Cunliffe.

    They want to be rid of him.

    Their fear is that falling polls may see Cunliffe break with the Right of his own party and give the voters the sort of populist policies that could make a real difference to Labour’s poll results and clearly differentiate Labour from the government.

    Some of the people that David Cunliffe has labeled “Strike Breakers” are planning to mount a coup against their leader. Vernon Paul of Stuff.co.nz claims that “some Labour MPs” are privately canvassing support for a coup to topple their leader.

    Of course Small doesn’t name these Labour MP “Strike Breakers” that he is in touch with who informed him of this.

    I think that Stuff.co should run a poll on how Labour’s support would track if David Cunliffe retaliated against these the Right wing scabs in his caucus, and sent them packing to the back benches. But hell will freeze over before the establishment ever run a poll like that.

    So David Cunliffe and his supporters in caucus shouldn’t wait.

    Time to clean the stables

    • Matthew Hooton 9.1

      That’s right. When you’re down in the polls, its always a good idea to start expelling people. Worked for Bill English with Maurice Williamson, and Don Brash with Brian Connell, and David Shearer and Chris Carter and ….

      • Jenny 9.1.1

        Touched a nerve eh, Matthew? This purge of the Right from Labour’s shadow cabinet, unlike the personal power struggles you cite, should and must be tied to bringing in populist policies that the Right in Labour’s caucus are preventing Labour championing, which keeps them low in the polls.

        • TightyRighty 9.1.1.1

          Finally a lefty who can blame the lack of policy not the media for the woes.

      • Tracey 9.1.2

        who the hell was brian connell?

        • Puddleglum 9.1.2.1

          As I recall, he was the Selwyn MP who fell out with Brash over Brash’s marital infidelity.

          He grew his hair as a protest until Brash went as leader. When Key became leader he rebuffed Connell so there was no great comeback for him post-Brash.

          Amy Adams became Selwyn MP.

    • lurgee 9.2

      I think that Stuff.co should run a poll on how Labour’s support would track if David Cunliffe retaliated against these the Right wing scabs in his caucus, and sent them packing to the back benches. But hell will freeze over before the establishment ever run a poll like that.

      If anyone sounds like they’ve had raw nerves touched it is you, Jenny. Matthew has his sane and reasonable head on today, let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

      I imagine if the poll you suggested was carried out, Labour would be in the teens and National at 60%. You might not like the fact Labour having a rightwing / social democratic element, but it does. And they speak for a lot of New Zealanders and there are a lot of votes there that will otherwise default to National.

      • Jenny 9.2.1

        A break down of the polls on non voters doesn’t back you up. And even if they did, why vote for a Right leaning Labour Party when you can have the real thing?

        • Jenny 9.2.1.1

          If anyone sounds like they’ve had raw nerves touched it is you, Jenny

          lurgee

          Lurgee, I am all raw nerves.

          Unless we turn this Labour Party Titanic around, this Right Wing National government will get another term.

          My nerves won’t settle until I see it safely docked back in Liverpool.

          • Jenny 9.2.1.1.1

            There was only one man with the authority who could have turned the Titanic around. That man was the captain.

            This illustrates the importance of leadership.

            David Cunliffe was given the leadership of the Labour Party over the objections of the “rightwing / social democratic element” of the Labour Party, by the Left who are still the majority in the membership. The membership did this in the expectation that they would see a change in political direction. And when they were give the chance voted down their Right Wing, much to the Right’s disgust, (who for whatever reason still dominate the caucus.)

            David Cunliffe needs to exercise the Mandate that he has been given by the Left of his party, he needs to show leadership, he needs to turn the Labour ship around. He has only a matter of weeks to do so.

            Otherwise he will wind up as the biggest disappointment that Labour has ever had as leader, which will further speed up the slow drift of Left support to the Greens.

            Time for boldness, time for courage, well past time, for convinced and determined Left leadership of the Labour Party able to pull the Right into line.

        • Srylands 9.2.1.2

          The reason National retains power is because it is a left party. New Zealanders won’t vote in a right government. So your reasoning is based on a false premise. The voters have a choice between a functional left government and a dysfunctional one. So they choose the former. That ACT can only get 2 percent of the vote illustrates there is no appetite for radical policy. Sadly.

          • Jenny 9.2.1.2.1

            So Srylands according to you, ACT is a Centrist party, and National and Labour are Left parties.
            To avoid being held up to complete ridicule. Maybe you could name a party on New Zealand’s political spectrum that you think is to the Right of ACT?

    • srylands 9.3

      “The establishment fear and loathe David Cunliffe.”

      The establishment is defined in my dictionary as “a group of social, economic, and political leaders who form a ruling class”.

      I had to look it up because it is not a term generally in use in NZ. That is because there is not an “establishment” in NZ. It is an egalitarian land of opportunity for all.

      If we are talking about the Government..I have no idea what Ministers think. But I can assure you that National Party members I have spoken to universally and desperately want DC to remain in his current job. There is no fear. Or loathing for that matter.

      • Jenny 9.3.1

        ‘I had to look it up because it is not a term generally in use in NZ. That is because there is not an “establishment” in NZ. It was an egalitarian land of opportunity for all.’

        There fixed it for you.

        I expect that this term will be used a lot more as the evidence grows that their is definitely an establishment, as the likes of Vernon Small’s and other similar media articles help illustrate.

      • McFlock 9.3.2

        Good to see that you finally bought a dictionary.

        Although I’m surprised that you have heard of the word “egalitarian”, even if you mistakenly apply it to a nation with intergenerational unemployment and intergenerational wealth.

        • Crunchtime 9.3.2.1

          Ad hominem reply makes you look a fool.

          What does “intergenerational” have to do with it? Nothing. It’s all about a minority of wealthy people making decisions and the rest of the country missing out.

          One day we might get democracy again. I certainly hope so.

          • McFlock 9.3.2.1.1

            lol at first sentence.

            Intergenerational is important, because an “establishment” can’t exist in a society with high social mobility: it’d be different rich people running things from year to year. As social mobility grinds down, however, you end up with the same families essentially having hereditary wealth and power. The existence of intergenerational poverty shows us that not only is the wealth and power clustered in a non-egalitarian way, even the opportunities for even modest acquisition of wealth and power are profoundly unequal.

            Therefore, the use of the term “egalitarian” was … ill-considered.

            • Colonial Viper 9.3.2.1.1.1

              Ad hominem reply makes you look a fool.

              It’s not saying much McFlock, but I too am glad that Shitlands bought a dictionary :twisted:

          • Murray Olsen 9.3.2.1.2

            “Intergenerational wealth” is wealth passed on from the rich to their children, so that it stays with the same group of people. I can only assume that you didn’t understand the word, or that your idea of democracy is very different to mine. “Intergenerational” has a hell of a lot to do with it.

        • Tracey 9.3.2.2

          A term not used in NZ
          Nation party members i have spoken to universally and desperately

          Finally, slylands admits he is desperate

      • Jenny 9.3.3

        “I can assure you that National Party members I have spoken to universally and desperately want DC to remain in his current job.”

        srylands

        “Whatever you do. Don’t throw me into the briar patch”

        Brer Rabbit

      • North 9.3.4

        SSLands – that you had to consult a dictionary to be sure about the definition of ‘Establishment’ goes to your ignorance rather than to your authority to spout about its usage in New Zealand. You didn’t even see that did you ?

        Which in turn makes your ‘egalitarian’ society blather just more ignorant bullshit from the conceited child know-all SSLands. ‘SS’ being of singular topicality at the moment.

      • Psycho Milt 9.3.5

        …there is not an “establishment” in NZ. It is an egalitarian land of opportunity for all.

        I’m never quite sure whether srylands is subtly taking the piss or not. Sadly, in most cases I’m tending towards ‘not,’ but there’s always that nagging feeling of disbelief that anyone geneuinely thinks this.

  10. Tautoko Viper 10

    Is it too hard to expect journalists to compare and contrast the various policies that the political parties?
    We are being denied democracy by journalism of the infotainment standard.
    Is this supposed to be the Fourth Estate standard???

    • Blue 10.1

      “Policy? What’s that? Politics is all about opinion polls and personality politics isn’t it?” – the MSM

      Seriously, I’m getting pissed off now. The election is two months away and National has yet to release any substantial policy. The people of NZ are almost totally in the dark about what National would do with a third term. Apart from a few roads and performance pay for teachers, we know fuck all. And the media are obsessed with their horse race and don’t give a shit.

      Can someone who claims to be a ‘journalist’ please ask them to hurry up and get some fricking policy out there, pronto?

    • Jenny 10.2

      @Tautoko Viper

      We are being denied democracy by ‘establishment’ journalism that pushes infotainment heavily loaded with ‘establishment’ bias.

      Name tag: Paul Henry, James Moyer, Vernon Small etc etc.

  11. Jenny 11

    So what are the sort of populist Left policies that Cunliffe could pursue if he could get rid of the Right wing handbrake in his caucus?

    This is my suggested minimum list:

    Tactically: An intelligent electoral accommodation with Parties to his Left to maximise the Left vote.

    Policy wise: On the environment, No Deep Sea Oil drilling. On Finance, A Financial Transactions tax, a reversal in National’s GST hike, a tax free band on the first $5,000 of income, removal of GST on food. On housing, A huge expansion in state house construction, and government low interest loans to home buyers.

    • Tautoko Viper 11.1

      Add TPPA gone, Five Eyes down to Four Eyes.

      • Jenny 11.1.1

        +1

      • phillip ure 11.1.2

        ..+ 1 to both jenny and t.v..

        ..but wait..!..there’s more..!

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1

          Full employment policy for 25s and under.
          Regulating all ATM transaction fees to a 15c maximum (will win over consumers across the board)
          Regulating all credit card merchant fees to 1.5% maximum (will win over SMEs, retailers etc)

          • Jenny 11.1.2.1.1

            +1

          • srylands 11.1.2.1.2

            Both ideas are bullshit, but the first one especially so. As cash declines, the per unit cost of ATMs will go up. Competition between banks will ensure an efficient number of ATMs and efficient prices. Over the next decade, you will see the numbers of ATMs decline, and costs rise. That is a function of the market. Leave it alone.

            On regulation, I would like to ban people that want to ban things. Go to the Green Party website and search for the term “ban”. You get 1,450 results. Enough said.

            Markets will lead to prosperity and gains for the poorest New Zealanders. Stay out of the way.

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1.2.1

              Both ideas are bullshit, but the first one especially so. As cash declines, the per unit cost of ATMs will go up.

              The Government can take over the ATM and EFTPOS transaction network if the banks and private sector don’t want it.

            • McFlock 11.1.2.1.2.3

              …blessed be the name of the market.

              And now today’s reading comes from Chapter 3, verse 7 of the Book of Hayek.

            • karol 11.1.2.1.2.4

              Go to the Green Party website and search for the term “ban”. You get 1,450 results. Enough said.

              Really? And many of those hits are against bans? eg ones done by the Nats…. or Dunne.

              the 2nd link is against a proposed ban on 1080 by Peter Dunne. The Greens prefer looking for an alternative solution to the problem.

              Unfortunately, it’s not possible to search the Nats website – them being so for transparency and all.

              But a search on “NZ National Party ban” throws up 1,820,000 results – some are for things they have or propose to ban.

              • McFlock

                and just to complete the comparison, the search “NZ Green Party ban” returns 200,000 fewer results :)

              • Tracey

                You can search nationals website karol.

                I am shocked by what it reveals. NATIONAL is anti children! There are only 1115 references to them but the greens mention them 7140 times. Slylands may have outwitted himself again…

            • Tracey 11.1.2.1.2.5

              20,000 hits for “help”on greens website, 3217 on National’s

              The second item on your search is about a proposed ban by peter dunne.

            • deep throat 11.1.2.1.2.6

              @slymans
              if the market were that efficient it would not need apologists like you to sing its praises.
              markets were invented by men and can be told what to do by men and furthermore the market does not have to apply for a job.
              and last but not least all markets are rigged in favour of the owners of that market.

          • Murray Olsen 11.1.2.1.3

            I’d like to see all the things mentioned so far. I think a renewed state housing program is the key to improvement in many areas – poverty, employment, housing, finance, urban sprawl…… I’d make it the centrepiece and relate other policies to it. Child poverty will be at least partially addressed when more parents are working and earning decent wages, and living in warm, dry houses. We have to begin with those in most need. National start with those who need for nothing except a soul, while Labour makes policy for the employed middle-class. IMNSHO, things only start to get real once we get to the Greens and Mana. (I should include IP here, but I’m old, grumpy, and resistant to change.)

  12. Ant 12

    Wow…what an irresponsible story. But, considering Vernon Small has led almost every article on Labour policy releases with the government’s commentary, no-one should be surprised.

    • Anne 12.1

      I said on this site late last year (I think) that this was going to be the dirtiest election – insofar as National’s dirty tricks brigade and their msm lackeys is concerned – that we’ve ever seen. So far, its proved 100% correct. I wasn’t the only one with the same message of course.

      Oh, and by the way at the time of the first Labour leadership contest in Dec. 2011, Vernon Small was setting Cunliffe up as “the devil incarnate” while praising Shearer as the coming messiah who was going to save the world. Methinks there’s a personal grudge in all of this. Perhaps Cunliffe pricked his elitist ego some time in the past.

      • phillip ure 12.1.1

        @..anne..

        ..also it cd be that shearer was the favourite for the right..

        ..that and the a.b.c.’s mounted a sustained cunnliffe-is-the-devil-incarnate!-campaign..

        ..but the facts are..those populist-promises were seemingly just a chimera..words for that moment..

        ..and we have the tactical screw-up of cunnliffe going on holiday..

        ..(‘cos they always do at this time of year..and every school holidays..)

        ..cunnliffe should have stayed working..getting the message out..

        ..i mean..election-campaign every three yrs is the only times these bastards have to get off their arses..and actually work..

        ..and they need a three wk holiday to rest-up/prepare..?

        ..and no wonder they want four-year terms…

        ..then they wd only have to move faster than slugs every four years…

        • Anne 12.1.1.1

          He’s got a young family phillip ure. He’s entitled to a few days off during the school holidays to be with them. He’s not going to get much time with them for the next couple of months. Give him a break!

          And you’re correct. The Right went hell for leather to get Shearer elected. None of their damm business of course but it happened before the membership was given a say in the outcome.

          btw, I’ve used your expression “devil incarnate” above. Better than “nasty guy”. Thanks. :)

          • phillip ure 12.1.1.1.1

            this is the sharp end of a three-year period of time..

            ..mp’s have the best holidays..and the money to enjoy them..

            ..and i think that media-vaccuum..especially with the polls tanking..

            (..because people ‘haven’t yet seen enough of cunnliffe to appreciate him’..which is what we are constantly told…)..

            ..i think that imperative over-rules those holiday-needs..

            ..and him just vanishing for the hols..

            ..is worthy of both a face-palming..and a forehead-meeting-table-crash…

          • Jenny 12.1.1.1.2

            He’s entitled to a few days off during the school holidays to be with them. He’s not going to get much time with them for the next couple of months. Give him a break!

            Yes sometimes you just gotta get away.

            With this break under his belt we expect David Cunliffe to be back to his best fighting weight, battle ready, match fit and ready to take on all comers.

            I can’t wait.

            Sometimes you just have to “come out swinging”

          • phillip ure 12.1.1.1.3

            @ anne..

            ..yr welcome..4 the ‘devil-incarnate’..heh..!

            ..i recommend also hyphenating it…

            ..the hyphen is my favourite punctuation/understanding tool..

            ..for that clearly binding-together quality..

        • Hami Shearlie 12.1.1.2

          He IS working – I have posts on my facebook page of David Cunliffe in suit and tie and coat with party workers and a candidate from Queenstown area – He may take a day or two off to spend time with his family, but he IS working down there!

          • phillip ure 12.1.1.2.1

            so why isn’t he ‘working’ the media..?

            • McFlock 12.1.1.2.1.1

              just for you

              • how many votes d’ya reckon that one earned..?

                ..he didn’t actually say much..

                ..slightly faster resource management processes..and a c.g.t..?

                ..did i miss anything..

                ..that hardly set the southland times on fire..did it..?

                ..(the only frisson came from the local govt bloke who threatened land-bankers/squatters with ‘use it or lose it!’-demands..)

                ..and is that about it..?

                ..and how many more weeks of hols are there..?

                • McFlock

                  too garbled: didn’t read.

                  • mcflock-idiot: situation normal.

                    • McFlock

                      Phil, did you intend your message to be along the lines of:

                      Situation: normal, mcflock is being an idiot

                      or were you merely paraphrasing my comment about your prose style?
                      Punctuation can be quite important if your objective is ‘communication’ rather than ‘masturbation’.

                    • McFlock

                      really?
                      Because I read the comment as simply rephrasing exactly what I said.
                      If you insist on being misunderstood then I’m at a loss as to why you feel it’s unfair to call your comments “garbled”. Surely that’s a sign of your success as an obscurist.

                    • careful there flocky..!

                      ..yr clearly in danger of disappearing up yr own rear orifice..

                      ..pull up..!..pull up..!…

                    • McFlock

                      see, not even the words there actually make sense. You warn me I’m in danger of disappearing up something, and tell me to pull up to avoid it. Surely I should throttle back and push the nose down, instead.

                      Your advice is fucking useless.

                    • if you really really want to ‘throttle back and push the nose down’…?

                      ..go on..!..

                      ..fill yer boots..!..

          • Puckish Rogue 12.1.1.2.2

            Working in queenstown :) Yep heaps of votes for Labour in Queenstown

            • McFlock 12.1.1.2.2.1

              A few thousand here and there.
              More than nact votes in Hawaii, anyway. Although that’s probably a working holiday too, getting some more instructions from his post-PM employers.

              • Puckish Rogue

                I guess the difference is Keys on holiday not trying to pretend hes working + when you have lead of around 30% you can afford to take time off

                • McFlock

                  So #teamkey isn’t even phoning it in?
                  Looks like he still doesn’t want the job.

                  As opposed to Cunliffe, who even on a nominal “holiday” takes time out to meet local candidates face to face and do a media piece.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    As opposed to Cunliffe, who even on a nominal “holiday” takes time out to meet local candidates face to face and do a media piece.

                    • and look at all the good its doing him:

                    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11295684

                    Even Labours former cabinet ministers are departing the ranks

                    • McFlock

                      Yes. To NZ1, not National.

                      This is good for the tories, how?

                      No wonder why you’ll be “relieved” if key is re-elected from Hawaii.

                      Jeez, remember when we had a minister of tourism who went tramping in Fiordland for their holidays?

            • Shrubbery 12.1.1.2.2.2

              Why not? Lots of centre-right voters in Queenstown…

        • Rose 12.1.1.3

          Shearer is an excellent minister, but didn’t seem to want to be prime minister. I don’t know why Labour wasted that time putting Shearer in the wrong position. It makes them look unfocused and undisciplined.

          • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.3.1

            Shearer IS an excellent Minister? Well I think he has the makings of someone who would be capable in Cabinet, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

  13. From the stuff article:

    The stuff.co.nz/Ipsos poll reveals that Cunliffe may have become Labour’s biggest liability, with a significant number of voters saying they would be more likely to vote for Labour if someone else were leader.

    There’s so much wrong with this poll and its interpretation it’s hard to no where to begin.

    The question was would you be ‘more likely’ to vote Labour/National with their respective current leaders replaced. Yet, the conclusion in relation to responses about Cunliffe and Labour was:

    When we asked the question about Cunliffe, Labour lost 1.7 per cent but gained 15.2 per cent from other parties and undecideds – a net gain of 13.6 per cent.

    On our July poll survey that would see Labour’s support rise from 24.9 per cent to 38.5 per cent.

    So from asking whether someone would be ‘more likely’ they then concluded that they would definitely change their vote. Just hopeless logic.

    As Matthew Hooton has rightly pointed out, there’s also something very odd and interpretively distorting to assume that an alternative leader (for either party – National or Labour) would have the ‘same support’ of the current one, at a minimum. Judith Collins or Stephen Joyce would have the same support as Key?? But I thought Key was ‘special’ in his appeal??

    Asking such questions also raises the issue of deliberate push-polling. After all, anyone immersed in the media narrative about the respective parties will be aware that it is only Cunliffe that the media are raising questions over.

    Once again, as Matthew noted above, if it were true that there would be a nett 7% gain for National in ditching Key then they should do it too – so where’s the article about Key being a liability to National?

    Just a thoroughly hopeless article.

    What do they teach them at ‘journalism school’?

    • Karen 13.1

      I am quite sure that Vernon Small is fully aware that these statistics do not show what he claims in the article. He has an anti-Cunliffe agenda and is reying on the ignorance of most of his readers to use dodgy stats to ensure Cunliffe has to spend the next week defending his leadership instaed of talking about Labour Party policy.

      I knew this would be a dirty election but I did not expect the Herald and The Dominion Post to so closely resemble Fox News. Not sure what can be done except complain, but Press Council complaints are not going to be dealt with before the election.

      • karol 13.1.1

        Also, Press Council complaints like broadcasting ones, tend to focus on individual articles and reports in isolation from the overall approach of media organisations. It’s a very skewed way to ensure accountability.

      • Bearded Git 13.1.2

        +1 karen. We all need to remember that Cunliffe is actually campaigning really well and good policies have been announced (especially education, alternative monetary policy) and much is still be announced.

        I think support for Key after 6 years is much softer than the MSM portrays and could drop away quite quickly in the campaign. (After all Vernon Small says Key is a liability!)

        Hang in there Lefties-this nasty ride may yet end well. 32/11/6, 30/12/7, 28/14/7, 26/16/7, 22/20/7 would all give us a left wing government with the usual over 2% wasted.

        Just remember (please share ad infinitum):

        Te Tai Tokerau Constituency
        Green, Labour and Internet-Mana supporters Candidate Vote Hone Harawira

        Epsom Constituency
        Green, Labour and Internet-Mana supporters Candidate Vote National-Paul Goldsmith

        East Coast Bays Constituency
        Green, Labour and Internet-Mana supporters Candidate Vote Labour-Greg Milner-White

        Ohariu Constituency
        Green, Labour and Internet-Mana supporters Candidate Vote Labour-Virginia Andersen

    • Anne 13.2

      What do they teach them at ‘journalism school’?

      I suspect the problem is less what they teach them but where they sit on the political spectrum and who their mummy and daddy might be in the first instance. Having a mummy or daddy who has already proved to be on the “right” side of the spectrum ensures them a bright future in the industry.

      And of course occasionally they let someone come through like the very pleasant young TV1 political reporter who – dare I even say it – is the daughter of Sue Bradford. I suppose she (ostensibly) provides a balance in the media melee. Hogwash of course. The moment she goes against the political meme of the establishment oriented MSM she’ll be out on her ear.

      • Puddleglum 13.2.1

        Yes, you’re right about it not being about what is taught at the various ‘journalism schools’.

        (That comment was actually an allusion to a well-known line in one of the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ books. C.S. Lewis – generally a bit of a right wing reactionary, at least philosophically – had one of his sage characters intone “What do they teach them in schools these days?” It was meant as a condemnation of how clear thinking and open-mindedness is ‘trained’ out of us.)

        Also, I have no reason to believe that Vernon Small even went to any of the journalism schools.

        The reason I put the phrase in scare quotes was that I think how our journalists get ‘trained’ has less to do with formal, independent training in critical thinking skills and professional reporting standards and more to do with [Edit: on the job] learning how to write the kinds of things that enhance their reputation (and, potentially, career prospects) within the media organisations they work for.

        I couldn’t think how else to express my bafflement at how easy it appears to be for educated journalists (and, simply, mature adults) to make such elementary mistakes.

        Unless further details about the polling technique and questions somehow justify Small’s conclusions this is just very shoddy thinking.

    • mickysavage 13.3

      Yep I would be more likely to vote National if Key was replaced as leader. Silly, silly question and statement by Small. It seems every week we have to respond to this sort of insanity.

    • RedLogix 13.4

      As I said above – this is not just thoroughly hopeless – it’s based on a deliberately flawed interpretation of the statistics.

      The article suggests that both parties would get a boost in polling if they changed leaders. The assumptions underlying this are revealed if you consider the case where all parties change leaders simultaneously – obviously they cannot all get a boost in polling at the same time – but lets go with the idea that a leadership change in isolation and the attendant publicity wins over a temporary change in polling.

      For a party already close to it’s maximum probable support – this change is likely to be smaller than for a party currently polling at is minimum probable support.

      Indeed if you look at the number the change for National is + 7% and for Labour it’s +15 % which given that National is polling at around 55% and Labour at 25%- the result being headlined here is more or less a result I would expect purely as a statistical artifact.. In other words the data means nothing – but Vernon Small has misused it to push his masters political agenda.

      If I had more time I’d dig out the real statistics – and if someone more skilled than me want’s to take a deeper look please feel free.

  14. alwyn 14

    Polls like this one, where no alternative leader is specified, are total rubbish. Unless the current leader is incredibly popular the poll is always going to produce this effect.
    The problem is that when the generic “another person” is in the question people answer it as if their personal favourite is going to be the alternative. If you liked Shearer you are going to think of the question as being “Would I be more likely to vote Labour if Shearer was the leader”. If you like Goff you are mentally going to insert Goff’s name. If a Robertson fan you tend to think Robertson and so on. The total for ALL of them is going to be better than the incumbent although each of them individually may be less popular.
    The same thing happened in the US before the 2012 election. In polls a generic “Republican candidate” was going to beat Obama. When real people, Romney, Rand, Christie, and so on were put in Obama jumped up to the top.
    Ignore it.
    I am biased of course. I don’t think there is any Labour candidate with a chance. That doesn’t affect the relevance of my comment however.

  15. Crunchtime 15

    Trouble is, Stuff, Fairfax, Herald et al – their steady campaign to paint Cunliffe as ineffectual, complemented by National’s “tricky” campaign, is working.

    General feeling I’ve been getting is disgust with what they see in the news, but people don’t realise that disgust should be directed at the misinformation they’re being fed, and instead it gets pointed at Cunliffe.

    It’s an awful dumb game, almost Machiavellian, but too dumb to be so. Not pretty to watch. Labour needs to fight it, and they aren’t. They’re sitting there and just taking the bloody beating they are getting from the media and the Nats.

    Jenny is right, they should be laying complaints to whatever authorities there are, BSA, taking them to court. The media bias is shocking and is so extreme now that they have become a parody of themselves – and yet most of the public don’t notice, because they don’t research for themselves, don’t have time to. They expect that what is published is the truth.

    And Cunliffe needs to clean house. No need to turf anyone out just yet. Just dump recalcitrant neolibs to the back benches. As Jenny said, he has been given the mandate to do so.

    • Anne 15.1

      They’re sitting there and just taking the bloody beating they are getting from the media and the Nats.

      They’ve been doing that since before 2008. It’s as if they don’t know how to respond.

      Grow a spine Labour.

      Of course its better to run a “positive campaign” but you can’t do it if you allow your enemies to grind you into the dust. All it means is, your ‘positivity’ is noted by your friends but ignored by the masses because they have been conditioned to disregard anything you say.

      • Bearded Git 15.1.1

        +1 anne.

        I do think Cunliffe urgently needs to come out fighting. It worked when he attacked back on the Liu bollocks, and Vernon Small’s article is right up there on the bollocks coefficient.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.2

        +2 Anne

        Let’s get a bit of that visceral under dog growl going on

        And radical policy which will make sense to every NZer released out there in the wild

        • Anne 15.1.2.1

          Let me report a conversation I heard in a cafe earlier today.

          Two women (one in her 70s the other probably early 60s) were talking politics – all of it said in a broad Kiwi accent. Neither of them struck me as very bright. :(

          Mrs 70s – Whaddya think of John Key then? Oi loike him.
          Mrs 60s – Yeah so do Oi.
          Mrs 70s – there’s some peoples who are anti him but…
          but theres more peoples who are anti the other one whatsisname now?
          Mrs 60s – Whaddya think of that one called Colin Craig?
          Mrs 70s – oooh no, I don’t loike him, I loike John Key best.
          Mrs 60s – nodded in agreement.

          End of conversation.

          Neither made an attempt to discuss their policies. I doubt either of them would know what a policy is.

          That is the level of political ignorance that the Left parties in particular are up against, and spouting complex policy to these people will get them nowhere. First, Labour needs to stop kow-towing to the media. Show some backbone and give back as good as you get! Then talk policy in no more than a dozen word sound-bites. That is the only sort of language the “Mrs 70s and Mrs 60s ” of this world and their male counterparts understand.

          • srylands 15.1.2.1.1

            There is an alternative – simply discourage or prevent such people from voting. Restrict voting eligibility to people who have both:

            1. achieved a positive net tax balance of an average of $5,000 per year for the last three years. – i.e you must have paid at least $5,000 more in tax than you received in income transfer payments; and
            2. You have a tertiary qualification.

            The alternative is to reduce life to sound bites which does not seem too flash.

            • McFlock 15.1.2.1.1.1

              lol
              ‘No representation without taxation’, huh?

              Yeah, I can’t see how disenfranchising a large chunk of the population can go wrong, before or after looking at the policy’s likely demographic effects /sarc

            • freedom 15.1.2.1.1.2

              speaking of shark jumping, srylands’s flag is the furthest out now

            • Colonial Viper 15.1.2.1.1.3

              How about legally limiting participation in the discussion of NZ politics to those who have actually ever been to NZ, Shitlands.

            • Tom Jackson 15.1.2.1.1.4

              A simpler system would be to ban conservatives from voting on grounds of mental illness.

            • Murray Olsen 15.1.2.1.1.5

              The two women Anne mentioned may well be rich and have tertiary qualifications, perhaps even a PhD in Philosophy or Economics. The rubbish they spouted was no more ignorant than most things Jamie Whyte says, and way above your moran level, SSlands.

              • Anne

                No, Murray Olsen.

                The younger one might have managed School Cert., but the older one? Doubt it. They neither looked or acted like people with any sort of education. Not that I disagree with your comment re Jamie Whyte or Spitlands.

                Heard Whyte on the the Nation this morning disagreeing with the notion of a tax -free policy up to $20,000 to help the poor. He believes it should be the other way around. Those on low incomes should have to pay taxes, and those in the higher tax brackets should have more tax cuts.

                • Murray Olsen

                  Fair enough, but all I had to go on was that they didn’t strike you as very bright. I come across plenty of PhD students who aren’t bright at all, and they presumably already have two degrees. As for Jamie Whyte – he’s a few sandwiches short of a picnic, and doesn’t strike me as very bright at all.

          • Tracey 15.1.2.1.2

            In fairness its the picture painted to them. Where should they go to form a different view?

      • Tracey 15.1.3

        +1

  16. philj 16

    xox
    Pity that Vernon has let his standards drop. He was clever at school and seems that he knows which side his bread is buttered on. Or is it a bottle of wine and a junket?

  17. infused 17

    Love the mobile site. Hate how you cant comment in threads.

    Anyway. Its best for National to keep cunliffe on. No conspiracy.

    Reason nats have alot of support is also simple. They have mostly been pushing centre left policy. Policy that makes sense.

    Labours policies seem to in retaliation to nationals. These come out half assed making Labour and cunliffe look stupid.

    Oab, labour still wiping the floor with national this year? I’ve got a good screenshot collection now from yourself. Will be good to look at after the election.

    • poem 17.1

      How do you know national “have alot of support ” ? who said the polls are true? other than stealing some Labour policies, what has seemingly bereft of ideas national actually come out with then?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.2

      :roll:

  18. deep throat 18

    vernon small is supposed to be a reporter so why doesn’t he get off his big fat arse and go and talk to some people in the street.
    they have a totally different story to tell than some abstract numbers concocted by faceless people in faceless organisations.

  19. Sable 19

    Yet more nonsense from the McMedia. I have to say the journalistic standards in NZ and Australia can best be described as CRAP. Down there with the US and the UK.

    I see today they have been reporting that the number of beneficiaries is down. Big deal given the minister of social warfare has imposed incredibly flinty terms of those claiming a benefit. What it really means are more people are either relying on relatives or perhaps they have turned to crime.

    Oh and they think we are all better off oh but they are also not quite sure. Er ok.

    If you can be bothered take a look at Yahoo News NZ (By Yahoos for Yahoos).

  20. anker 20

    To Pr @4.3.3 who replied to my original posting.

    1. “Why doesn’t Cunliffe engage his brain before he opens his mouth”. He does. Watch things like Cunliffe on the Nation. He is stunning. He answers questions, he is well informed. Articulate and a great debater. The apology was great. But the media took it out of context and some men claimed hurt feelings. I blame the media who took it out of context and the men who were so hurt and wounded. LISTEN UP MEN, CUNLIFFE APOLOGIZING IS NOT ABOUT YOU. GET OVER YOURSELVES. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF TAKING A GREAT GESTURE COUPLED WITH GREAT POLICY AND MAKING IT ABOUT YOU!

      The Best Start speech at the beginning of the year meant Cunliffe didn’t make an aspect of the policy clear. (A hanging offence? I don’t think so). At the time his Chief of Staff was seriously ill. It was likely Cunliffe was poorly briefed, but he took responsibility, which Key never, ever does. The key part of this policy was lost due to Paddy Gower’s picking at a detail. Best Start is an evidence based policy, that will help kids and return the money spent. Feel free to give me any other e.g.’s of Cunliffe not engaging his brain before he has spoken, cause I am struggling to think of them…….

    2″ How about the amount of Labour Caucus who deal with him daily who think he’s no good”. DC got more votes from Caucus in the Labour Leadership race than Shane Jones. I don’t believe the caucus made a good choice when they chose Shearer, so I didn’t give their views much credence. I don’t know what they think now. I blame the orchestrated campaign to discredit Cunliffe for his showing in the polls. Incidentally I don’t put a lot of weight on the polls. I have never really valued popularity over competence. BTW the great Norm Kirk at one stage when he was leader of the opposition was only polling 6% preferred PM.

    3.”Knowing Te Reo doesn’t make him a leader”. No but knowing Te Reo doesn’t make him a poor leader either. He has shown great leadership when in one evening he resolved a Dr’s dispute that had been going on for two years and sacked a corrupt health board.

    Yes leaders get quite a bit of flack in public life. But JK being called Shonkey etc is mainly on websites like this. I am struggling to think of one article the msm have written about Key that has been critical. Feel free to supply one. Conversely, I am struggling to think of one positive msm article about Cunliffe, excepting the review of his Campbell live stint written by Jane Cliffton.

    “Key is smarter than Cunliffe”……………really? Didn’t you know Cunliffe was in the top 5% or 10% of students at Harvard. That’ bright. Plus the scholarship he got to study overseas when he was still at school, and I think he was a full bright scholar (correct me if I am wrong).

    Key is what I call cunning rather than being intelligent. Not a trait I admire.

    • alwyn 20.1

      You really shouldn’t make things up about DC. He is quite capable of doing that for himself.
      “Cunliffe was in the top 5% or 10% of students at Harvard.”
      Can I ask for something, anything, to back up this statement. The course he did there did not rank the students in the course, much less as part of the full student body.

      It was a Fulbright scholarship the way, not a “full bright”.
      Of course it was named after a Senator who President Johnson described as “half bright”

      • poem 20.1.1

        Alwyn the following is nothing to sneeze at…

        David Cunliffe… “As a teenager he won a scholarship to study the International Baccalaureate at the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales. David Cunliffe studied politics at the University of Otago, where he was a member of the Otago University Debating Society, and gained a BA with first-class honours. He worked as a diplomat from 1987 to 1994 and gained a Diploma in Social Sciences (Distinction) in economics from Massey University in 1993. He was a Fulbright Scholar and Kennedy Memorial Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, including some courses at Harvard Business School in 1994 and 1995, earning a Master of Public Administration. ”
        Source: David Cunliffe’s wiki page.

        • alwyn 20.1.1.1

          Fine, but that wasn’t what I was commenting on.
          I didn’t dispute any of the things in the Wiki article you quote.
          Indeed I pointed out that it was a Fulbright scholarship, not a “full bright”.

          However what I asked for was any evidence at all for the claim that he was in the top 5 or 10 percent of the students at Harvard. I believe the DC has claimed that but there is no way to see how he could make that claim given that Harvard made no rankings for his course.

          I don’t know precisely what the Kennedy Memorial Fellow means. It may be some scholarship money. I would note that Harvard is so rich that virtually every student gets scholarship funds. Indeed, according to the Economist recently the actual cost to an undergraduate of going there averages only one-quarter of the nominal fees. The average scholarship amount covers 75% of the room, board and course fees charged.

          • anker 20.1.1.1.1

            Hi Alwyn at 20.1.Fair comment about the Fullbright rather than the full bright. I admit my spelling mistake.

            Re the thing about him being in the top 5-10% at Harvard…………..I read it and I can’t remember the source. It wasn’t DC himself. I am not fact checker. But I will follow it up and get back to you.

            I think aside from that Poem has shown that his academic record alone would surpass Key’s.

    • Anne 20.2

      Key is what I call cunning rather than being intelligent. Not a trait I admire.

      Precisely. Such people can fool other people for years but in the end they are always found out. John Key’s
      downfall is coming. Whether it’s on 15 September 2014 or sometime later is anybody’s guess but it will happen.

    • poem 20.3

      +10000 Anker.

  21. Tautoko Viper 21

    +1000 Anker.

  22. Rob 22

    Good summary Anker
    My impression of Key is one of suspicion and need for caution
    He is lucky that the journos never put the hard questions to him
    If he was selling second hand cars most of the regular dealers would look straight and have integrity.

  23. Pascals bookie 23

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a piece of polling analysis mocked as widely as this one has been.

  24. deep throat 24

    was it a mud shark or a thrasher or just a very small one?

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