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A paean about Grant Robertson

Written By: - Date published: 12:40 pm, October 3rd, 2014 - 385 comments
Categories: grant robertson, labour - Tags:

Grant Robertson by WebbLike many on the left, I was disillusioned with the election result. It felt pretty hopeless on election night that despite record levels of poverty, home ownership being out of reach of more New Zealanders than ever before and dirty politics, John Key could romp home to victory.

We need a fundamental re-think about how we organise and communicate as progressives in New Zealand. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I think the Labour Party has an opportunity for a fresh approach to rebuilding the Party with Grant Robertson’s leadership bid – and we should take it!

Here are ten key reasons why I am voting for and supporting Grant Robertson to be our next Prime Minister:

  1. He has genuine progressive values and an ideological framework for translating those values into policy, strategy and communication. An ideological foundation is a biggie for me, it means he won’t get swept up by new fads and lazy populist policies which depart from our values. This along with his intellect means he can quickly dissect an issue, analyse it, take a position on it and articulate it with intelligence and integrity.

His position in the last contest that Police under his watch would need to apologise to Tuhoe for the raids, his support for the living wage, and his tireless commitment to opposing VSM are some examples of this.

  1. He has a track record of building formidable campaign machinery throughout a Parliamentary term. An important measure of an effective MP in my book is how strong their Party machinery is. Grant has a huge number of volunteers who put in hours and hours of unpaid work during and between elections. Yes, he’s lucky to be in the Capital with loads of students and a politically engaged electorate – but it is clear that he brings people together, encourages leaders to develop and leads from the front with a massively energetic approach to door-knocking, street corner meetings and community events. Our Party needs this campaign organising approach to rebuild.
  2. He has an incisive intellect and strategic mind. Across every portfolio that he has been given, he has quickly grasped policy details and been an impressive performer in the House. He quickly mastered standing orders and became a go-to guy for MPs about opposition tactics. He seems likely to be a PM who can quickly take a briefing, ask relevant questions and deliver strong leadership on issues.
  3. He likes sport, Kiwi music and popular culture. There is more to life than politics.
  4. I believe that he will unite the caucus and the Party. MPs and Party members have seen him as a team player who shows real discipline – particularly under Cunliffe and Shearer. Cunliffe clearly has some respect for Grant by indicating that he would like him to be Deputy, this will put him in good stead for uniting the Party.
  5. He is gay. This will be ground-breaking for New Zealand and will make me proud of our small country. New Zealanders love it when New Zealand gets international attention for the right reasons and I think Grant’s sexuality is a cause for celebration – all the more so when he is PM!
  6. He is genuinely grounded. I am still appalled to think about the credit card transactions of Labour Minister’s which were exposed back in 2010. They showed a love of fine dining, expensive wine and massages at the expense of the taxpayer – totally removed from the reality of most people’s lives. Grant is the least snobby person I have met in politics. It seems to me he is actually more comfortable with life’s battlers than in posh restaurants. This matters – it goes to character and likely ability to build connections with New Zealanders.
  7. He is principled. Labour will only ever win if we appeal to people’s better angels. We can’t cower to prejudice whether it is threats that homophobic people won’t vote for us or dog whistles about beneficiaries or public servants. We need to take the high road to build a movement that can deliver our values. Grant will not be tempted to take a lazy populist route.
  8. He can laugh at himself, he is likeable and it shows. I have seen him talk to workers on many picket lines, he listens to them and quickly builds a strong rapport with them.
  9. His backstory will play well – crass as that sounds. His family clearly suffered tough times with his Dad going to Prison and it is clear from his public speeches that this had a profound impact on him and his attitude to justice. He’s been a high profile campaigner as a student leader, a diplomat at the United Nations in New York and a staffer in PM Helen Clark’s office.

Obviously leadership is only part of the picture and no leader alone rebuilds a movement – that feels like our greatest challenge.



385 comments on “A paean about Grant Robertson ”

  1. lprent 1

    I’d point out that Fleur wasn’t responsible for the Title, front page Excerpt, front page Featured image, or the cartoon of Grant Robertson in the post. So don’t give her a hard time about them. She just wrote the post body.

    The others came from my cynicism when reading the body. Call it an aged Labour member having looked at something like 12 Labour leaders and their youthful supporters. Besides it is a good reminder to people posting that if they don’t put provide these things in then I might add them as I put them up 😈

    The Webb cartoon is just there because it is a great image. It sets the standard for subsequent posts to have ones as well.

    If you don’t know what a Paean is, then I’d suggest that you need to rectify your knowledge of ancient Greek culture.

    • Mike Smith 1.1

      As an even more aged Labour member I think we should treat our guests better than this – let them have their own say. And I know what a paean is

      • lprent 1.1.1

        Are you volunteering? It was a choice between spending the time having lunch or putting this post up. Right now I’m grumpy and hungry.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.2

        I agree, this is pretty silly.

      • Ant 1.1.3

        Paean is a pretty accurate description 😀

        • weka

          nevertheless, admin choosing such a title is a bit of set up.

          • lprent

            I do point out to people wanting to do guest posts, including Fleur, that if they don’t provide them then I will be filling in the missing bits.

            The point is that trying to do the round trip(s) via email to fill in the missing bits takes quite a lot of time with my current (and usual) workloads. Many of the guest posts simply don’t get posted because I don’t have time to deal with them (keeping the system running and moderation are the two top priorities).

            Umm.. From the email that I sent to Fleur.

            I’m usually pretty busy, so the idea initially would be not to write anything that is too time sensitive as it may be several days depending on what I’m doing in the evenings.

            Further explaining about the possibility of becoming a contributor and on the path to author.

            That means you get to write on the post interface (and I can stop putting posts up for you), get used to writing excerpts, putting in categories, tags, and featured images. In fact you can do everything except post it. I do that after you tell me it is ready and I check that it is indeed ready add what isn’t and tell you how to avoid that issue in the future.


            Note that I won’t do anything more than fix grammatical and spelling errors and add in the missing bits. But I do suggest you write your own excerpts for the front page, otherwise I’m usually inclined to make them rather ferocious.

            I didn’t explicitly say title. But that is usually the one thing that people usually actually do remember to send through. 🙂

            I find that putting my own reactive slant on the missing bits is a useful prod to make sure that they are provided or put into posts in the future. You’ll find it on virtually all of the guest posts over the last few years as I’ve been doing them whenever I have spare time.

            All of which helps with my time management.

            In this case I dumped having lunch (after failing to get breakfast while waiting for a taxi to work because of a TS related phone call ) to put up a timely guest post. Tut tut someone else…

            • r0b

              I can help with guest posts Lynn – talk by email…

            • weka

              “I do point out to people wanting to do guest posts, including Fleur, that if they don’t provide them then I will be filling in the missing bits.”

              ok, that sounds fair enough (and is a bit different than what I took from your previous comment, which sounded like you were editing her post including title and intro rather than just filling in missing bits). Cheers.

    • DoublePlus Good 1.2

      Given the title, I’m now picturing Grant Robertson skipping along Courtney place drinking champagne, with a festive band of troubadours in gay (in the 19th century sense of the word) outfits toddling along behind him in the hopes that they will have a nice social (but not socialist) time as long as they follow him.

      • Deb Kean 1.2.1

        Yes, Robertson seems to me to be all about style, but not a lot of substance. He’d be a disaster of epic proportions.

    • alwyn 1.3

      “having looked at something like 12 Labour leaders “.
      I find it a bit hard to accept that you are that old and Mike Smith even older.
      I started counting backwards and got Cunliffe, Shearer, Goff, Clark, Moore, Palmer, Lange, Rowling, Kirk, Nordmeyer, Nash and Fraser.
      I can’t really believe either of you can remember, and have been involved with the party, when Fraser was the leader. Perhaps I missed some, or perhaps “something like” allows a margin for exaggeration.

      • mickysavage 1.3.1

        Preceded by the real MJ Savage and before him Harry Holland. Fourteen leaders over 98 years, average of 7 years each.

        • alwyn

          That is almost exactly the same as National, isn’t it? They are on their 11th leader and have been going for 78 years.
          They lasted much longer in the early days though. The first 3 Labour leaders lasted for 34 years and even then they only got a new one because they all died in office. Now you get one loss and you are out.

  2. TheContrarian 2

    I would support Grant for PM – fo’ sho.

    [lprent: You forgot the /sarc tag? ]

    • TheContrarian 2.1

      No I didn’t

      • lprent 2.1.1

        I’m intrigued.

        Perhaps you’d care to share your logic?

        • TheContrarian

          Because I have dealt with him on a professional level a couple times and have great respect for him. I find him far less grating than Cunliffe and like his zeal.

          • Lanthanide

            He has all the zeal of a wet paper towel, IMO.

            • TheContrarian

              Cunliffe has all the charisma and wit of a rusty meat-cleaver.

              So we’ll have to agree to disagree I guess.

              • Lanthanide

                I was a big supporter of Cunliffe, but much less-so now. The way he’s handled all of the post-election stuff has been pretty poor.

                • Richard

                  Harsh lanthanide, after Dirty politics a lot of people were sure the gloss had gone from the Nats and labour would win easily. The opposite happened. in grief we do strange things, DC cares it shows in his reaction. He cares as much as I do and I was devasted at the result so out of whack to what I was hearing amongst friends and work mates.

                  I think he was right to call a leaders election, perhaps he thought the lack of votes was him and wanted to make an opportunity to find out what the party thinks.

                  I call that gutsy and correct.

              • Richard

                In hard trade negotiations who would you prefer TheContrarian, a wet paper towel, or a rusty meat cleaver.

                Seriously though TC, Grant may not have a the hate movement happening against him. But he’s not even held a portfolio. No experience, green as the grass is long. that is a gamble to far, the leader this time has to be one that stays and can win over the public when things get bad enough the people start waking up.

                It’s not DC’s fault the country has a rock star PM in their tiny minds. Nothing but the rock stars own demise will change that, Labour changing leader is just not going to do a lot is it.

          • lprent

            Interesting. You actually bounced him up a teeny bit in my estimation. I value viewpoints from people who have tested contrarian tendencies.

            Reading through the comments here has tended to push my estimations down. I really don’t get that into the anedotacal faith healing experience. I got trained in science. I am interested in things that I can measure the practice against the theory.

            Waffle is for uni students.

  3. Do you even think who is leader will have an effect? The party needs to come to terms with MMP, and that the failings of the party in the election was they didnt push the party vote… too many adverts didnt mention the party vote, or it was in small writing… National did it a 100x better (and im a left supporter)

    If Labour doesnt learn this lesson, they will be rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Spot on. The revolving door suits one party and it isn’t Labour.

    • aerobubble 3.2

      That’s a jump. From there being lessons, to the lesson, and then to the conclusion.

      Labour will learn. Voters aren’t unaware they could party vote Labour, and just because Cunliffe had no clue. The party vote is the target when your leader is the leader of a big party, or the solid alliance of two or more parties. Cunliffe wasn’t. Cunliffe went for stand alone, along side, a miriad of parties.

      Labour will get a new leader, and get its polling up to 40%+. Else it will have to choose, build an alliance with the Greens, NZF?

      In order ot get 40%+, it would actually have to go and speak to voters who voted National but will vote Labour, and ask them what Labour needs to do. Like what the frack is this CGT, and will you act like a professional party and let say the Greens do all the nice to haves.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Labour will get a new leader, and get its polling up to 40%+. Else it will have to choose, build an alliance with the Greens, NZF?

        In order ot get 40%+, it would actually have to go and speak to voters who voted National but will vote Labour, and ask them what Labour needs to do.

        This is a completely unworkable, non-thesis. It is remarkable that 1) you ignore the non-vote and 2) you think that talking to soft National voters is somehow mysteriously going to get Labour to 40%+.

      • Voters are clearly unaware that if they support Labour the most, they need to give them their party votes, based on the rumblings after the election that the Greens should not have run electorate candidates and “sabotagued Labour’s chances”. As if National and Labour winning electorates does anything other than bump list candidates out of Parliament.

    • Apples 3.3

      A change in leadership is necessary but not sufficient. It is certainly not *just* about changing leaders.

      As this post explains well, Grant is more than capable of building a team to demonstrate that Labour is modern, unified, and competent – with a strong, likable leadership that is trusted by its colleagues. That’s the base on which Labour will grow.

      • SDCLFC 3.3.1

        “necessary but not sufficient” is a good way of putting it. With a good election night speech and the right humility afterwards Cunliffe could’ve held the leadership. Not now.

      • Bill Drees 3.3.2

        The only competence he has shown is in Machiavellian Manoeuvres in the Dark !

      • I would have said that it’s neither necessary or sufficient, to be honest. Cunliffe didn’t do anything wrong in debating National, in fact he was reasonably effective. It was a combination of a few things that drove poor turnout.

        With the proviso that I will probably never be a Labour member, voter turnout can be improved by:

        1) The Labour party reconnecting with voters. (this doesn’t necessitate a swing either right or left)
        2) The Labour party re-embracing some sort of principle other than job security for members of caucus.
        3) The Labour party making a substantive plan for renewal, with caucus members who are past their sell-by dates moving on immediately, and the senior members who remain mentoring more junior MPs to take on important policy portfolios and junior roles within the party.

        I’m not opposed to someone else who’s committing to those sorts of things being Labour leader. The problem appears to be that Grant Robertson’s faction of the party only believes in doing point (1), because they are led by precisely the people who need to go or need to prepare for their departure under point (3). Grant Robertson himself has a future in the Party and could take on a senior role, but I don’t want anyone to win unless they have plans to clean house.

        edit: Just to be clear, I think the commentary about Grant being inappropriate because he’s gay is the worst kind of political thinking. The people who have a problem with “gays running the Labour Party” aren’t going to be won over by putting a straight person in the leadership rule, they’re going to be won over when they realise that gay politicians don’t really want anything terribly different from straight politicians, in general.

  4. JanMeyer 4

    It should read “A paen to Grant Roberston”

  5. Apples 5

    This post does a great job of articulating some of the reasons why Grant would be an excellent leader. Personally, I’m really pleased to see more people coming out of the wood-work to say these things publicly. Brilliant.

    • Mark 5.1

      Strange how you all seem to be coming out of the woodwork at the same time.

      • boyonlaptop 5.1.1

        How odd that during a leadership election campaign some people declare their support for a certain leader?

        • Chooky

          …the leader of the boys’ party?

        • Mark

          And the rest of the time you just vanish like a fart in the wind

          • boyonlaptop

            So are new users not welcome on your site? Would you prefer to only have discussions among those who totally agree with you. I’m active on a number of websites but this is one in which Labour members are particularly active on and so I believe it’s a good place to have a positive discourse about the future of the leadership of the Labour Party.

            You might not agree but personally I see this is something that is worth commenting a lot more on then comments from Clayton Cosgrove or links an Eminem remix of David Cameron.

      • Apples 5.1.2

        @Mark: during the election campaign I spent my spare-time trying to make David Cunliffe the Prime Minister. It wasn’t the best time to be talking about leadership.

        Now that there is a leadership race on, I think it makes sense to talk about… leadership. That might explain the “strange” phenomenon you speak of.

        • Tracey

          if only cosgrove and shearer had spent their spare time or paid time that way

        • Mark

          The site has been here for a while. You have only appeared since the leadership battle commenced.

    • Tracey 5.2

      if he is progressive and everything fleur says he is, how will he unite the nash’s and mallards and goffs and kings and so forth?

      • adam 5.2.1

        Well, has he said anything about economics? Grant is a bit light on that one, as far as I can see – but happy to be proved wrong.

  6. Hami Shearlie 6

    Grant Robertson, the most unappetizing and forgettable MP with less charisma than a stale sticky bun. He even makes Shearer look good. Prime Ministerial material – not a hope in hell. Never been in Government, never been a Minister, never been tested in any way, looks wrong, sounds wrong, not a statesmanlike bone in his body, just doesn’t, and never will, look or sound like a Prime Minister. However, David Cunliffe is very sharp, classy and polished with incredible intellectual ability, and would do the country proud overseas – Grant Robertson is just not in the same league by a country mile.

    • Apples 6.1

      Yawn. Tired, generic attacks on Grant; OTT hero-worship of David. A proud member of the Anyone As Long As They Are Cunliffe group ( AAATAC probably won’t catch – back to the drawing -board).

      Cunliffe isn’t a tenable leader. So the people who worship him do need to figure out whether they can move-on and how. Grant is the left’s best hope of a Prime Minister.

    • Chooky 6.2

      +100 Hami Shearlie

      Grant Robertson will make the Labour Party the laughing stock…it will confirm everything its critics have said about it…a clique of minority pressure group interests which alienates traditional Labour Party supporters

      Grant Robertson will be rolled when he fails…. and the next caucus contender will step up…really this joke has to stop now!

      • boyonlaptop 6.2.1

        Yes because with 24% of the vote Labour is held in high regards and is definitely not a laughing stock. Give me a break, go back to kiwiblog with your dog whistle crap.

        • Chooky

          @fan boy…..excuse me! …i have never been to Kiwiblog! …and you are the newcomer here!

      • lurgee 6.2.2

        Ooooh, nice dog whistle there, with”minority pressure group” and “alienating “traditional Labour Party supporters”.

        • Vaughan Little

          Not a dog whistle. Identity politics is divisive and has been very bad for Labour.

          Internationally, over the past four decades, identity politics has been the left hook of neoliberalism.

          Grant is a collegial guy. He could bring together the progressives with the socialists. He’s done it in his electorate, for a start.

          Anyone who thinks that Grant is a shrill I.D. politicker doesn’t know him. He has a very broad political vision, not a sectarian one.

          • Chooky

            @ Vaughnan Little..”Grant is a collegial guy. He could bring together the progressives with the socialists. He’s done it in his electorate, for a start”…really?!

            David Cunliffe is the collegial guy!… and the rank and file members choice way ahead of Grant Robertson!

            (…but David Cunliffe wasnt given a chance with the caucus ABCs leakings , covert criticisms and disloyalty …in addition to the dirty right wing PR attacks and msm attacks….because David Cunliffe is very able and a threat to John Key and the right wing agenda)

            …the right wing actually supports Grant Robertson….why? …because he with caucus is not a threat to their agenda and he is not a vote winner in the wider electorate!

            …Grant Robertson has not done well in his own electorate!…he is not popular with the grassroots Labour membership….he is put forward by a careerist Neolib caucus with some dating back to Roger Douglas and their acolytes…his supporting Caucus members are not popular in their own electorates…he has way less international experience, education and parliamentary experience than David Cunliffe…he is not as good a speaker as David Cunliffe!

            …. Grant Robertson has nothing to commend him politically or any other way which is better than David Cunliffe!

            ….the New Zealand electorate will reject Grant Robertson…. and the Labour Party will be in for another hiding to nowhere!

            • Vaughan Little

              Yes, really. Grant’s a conciliatory type of leader. He’s known for bringing people together.

              • Chris

                …in a right-wing kind of way.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes, really. Grant’s a conciliatory type of leader. He’s known for bringing people together.

                The continuous bullshit behaviour out of caucus since 2010 would say otherwise.

    • Andrea 6.3

      Mr Robertson seems to be a good manager in the footsteps of the sainted Heather Simpson and H Clark.

      May I point out that leaders, by their natures, aren’t ‘team players’ although they must be capable of playing their team effectively and with excellence.

      Teams frequently suffer from ‘group think’ and dumbing down and, oh kind providence protect us all, consensus. That’s why we’re in this mess, people.

      I’m hoping for someone who can tell the players to stop faffing about and get down to work, while holding The Team’s best interests firmly in heart. The Team is NOT the players.

      If you all want another Manager, as we unfortunately had in H Clark, who hadn’t the wit to develop either The Team or the player choices for succession – yeah, vote Mr Robertson, or one of the other cut’n’pastes.

      • CrashCart 6.3.1

        Leaders aren’t team players? Are you kidding. That is the biggest load of shit I have heard in a while. Yes successful teams are made up of many different personality types, some who can be abrasive. I know I am one of them. However if you wish to successfully run a team you need to be able to work within a team. The best team leadrs identify the strengths of all their memebers and exploit those. If you can’t relate and work well in your team you will never be able to do this.

        And yes working in and leading teams is the primary skill needed in my employment.

      • KJT 6.3.2

        Consensus and whole group decision making are some of the techniques used to reduce “groupthink”, and poor decision making by authoritarian “leadership”.

        That’s why companies have boards of directors.

      • Chris 6.3.3

        Do you think Labour needs to bring in a leader from outside the current mob? I do. Any suggestions?

    • Fred 6.4

      Agree.. Cunliffe proved that he was more than a match for Key in debates.
      The National Party & the right wing media would love him not to be returned as leader…

    • SDCLFC 6.5

      David Cunliffe would embarrass overseas just as he has embarrassed Labour in the last 2 weeks. He is not the messiah he’s a very naughty boy.

      • Hanswurst 6.5.1

        Overseas, the media would have no particular stake in smearing him. Cunliffe would not do a stupid stand-up on David Letterman’s show. Cunliffe would handle questions on HardTalk regarding New Zealand’s environment in a manner that acknowledges imperfection without trashing the country’s reputation, rather than being an idiot about scientific fact. Cunliffe would not embarrass anyone overseas – except, by comparison, John Key.

      • MustangSally 6.5.2

        Please do enlighten us on how he has embarrassed Labour?

        I haven’t seen or heard anything that has particularly bothered me – I even know a few National supporters who feel he’s been treated shabbily by his colleagues.
        He did a great job during the campaign, but unfortunately his caucus is full of vipers.

        The election loss was a joint team responsibility, National would have won regardless of who Labour’s leader was.
        Tis all very convenient to blame everything on David Cunliffe alone.

    • Vaughan Little 6.6

      charisma 9 times out of 10 is a seriously bad idea in politics.

      If you pay attention to what people who’ve met him are saying, you’ll note how forgettable he isn’t.

    • MustangSally 6.7

      +100 Hami. To paraphrase Apples, Grant isn’t a tenable leader. Now the people who worship him do need to figure whether they can move-on and how.

      I’d rather vote Greens or NZ First than vote for a party led by Grant.

  7. boyonlaptop 7

    Exactly why I’m voting for him too.

    I voted for Cunliffe last time but after the way he’s acted post-election alone I could not bring myself to support him again. Robertson proved that he was a team player even after losing the last contest, that reason and that reason alone is enough for him to get my backing.

    • Mark 7.1

      He is really going to appeal to the left. In your dreams. How can it be that just 12 months ago, he hardly had a supporter at the membership meetings around the leadership. They didn’t like him then and nothings changed.

      • boyonlaptop 7.1.1

        Time will tell, as I said I personally supported Cunliffe last time and will be voting for Robertson this time and I hardly think I’m alone. Time will tell, we’ll see when the results roll in.

      • MustangSally 7.1.2

        +100 Mark

        The members are not stupid.

  8. coaster 8

    Being a normal kiwi bloke, I have no idea what paean is, nor am I realy interested in looking it up.
    Im not sure how much is spin but how much is true, but grant sounds like a great guy, one that normal people might warm to. I have concerns about his being gay, and how that will be perceived, but in thinking about it so is ian roberts, and no one could ever call him a woose or soft due to this, it will just need to be managed and not rammed down everyones throats.
    can grant lead and bring people with him?, anyone on here have personal insights?

    • boyonlaptop 8.1

      >can grant lead and bring people with him?, anyone on here have personal insights?

      I campaigned for a whole day in the Christchurch East by-election with just Grant and I. Which despite having met most of the caucus I felt initially awkward about having supported Cunliffe in the last leadership battle. Despite some rather awkward navigation he came across not just to me but to the voters as a really down to earth guy that people quickly warmed to. That was the day I knew I regretted my vote. He also seemed to have a really positive working relationship with the local MPs Williams, Dyson and Woods.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2

      is this goodwin version of discussing homosexuality-,

      ” not rammed down everyones throats.”

      • lprent 8.2.1

        Seems more like a sensitivity issue?

        However I’d point out that if I do see the kind of crassness that caused me to get irritated enough to write a post aimed at Cosgrove yesterday, then you’re likely to find that Moira is likely to be the least of your problems.

      • lurgee 8.2.2

        Good grief. I know you’re a ghost, I didn’t realise you were a Victorian ghost.

        You’re aware heterosexual people sometimes do not dissimilar things?

        Robertson’s sexuality really seems to be an issue for some people. Wonder how much of the opposition he is generating is really just sublimated homophobia?

        Bluntly, I don’t particularly care what our leaders do in private, unless they are being monsters or hypocrites. I wouldn’t base my vote for a heterosexual leader on their spouse or partner, so if grant happens to like blokes, it isn’t an issue to me. And I suspect it won’t bother New Zealanders either. This country can be surprisingly liberal – Georgina Byers, big gay rainbow and all that. Stoic, “none of my business what he/she gets up to, as long as the job gets done” attitude.

        (Weirdly, the Daily Mail did try the ‘partner ploy’ in the run up to the Scottish independence referendum, pointing out to people that Alex Salmond’s with was considerably older than he was. And I remember the same rag made something of Sarah Brown’s malformed toe in 2010. Yes, indeed, the feet of the wives of politicians should be at the front of our minds in the polling booth …)

        • Deb Kean

          “Robertson’s sexuality really seems to be an issue for some people. Wonder how much of the opposition he is generating is really just sublimated homophobia?”
          How elitist you are. What you call ‘homophobia’ is actually far more common than you wish, and it’s one of the reasons why Robertson would be a disaster. Homosexuals are intrinsically untrustworthy, as aside from anything else, they have their own brand of nepotism – and the general public tend to not like that.
          Don’t try to ram your social engineering through.
          Robertson is extremely self-absorbed as his every public appearance has shown.

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            “Homosexuals are intrinsically untrustworthy … they have their own brand of nepotism”

            That’s a really horrible statement, Deb. There’s plenty to criticise each of the leadership candidates for without that kind of bigotry.

          • lurgee

            Homosexuals are intrinsically untrustworthy, as aside from anything else, they have their own brand of nepotism – and the general public tend to not like that.

            Obviously, some hardly bother to sublimate it at all.

          • phillip ure

            deb kean..

            ..can i be blunt here..?

            ..and say piss off..!..you homophobic-freak..!

          • greywarbler

            @ Deb Kean
            You would have to give an example of what caused that remark about being intrinsically untrustworthy and the nepotism bit. Otherwise it can’t be considered properly as something factual. Can you give us the example that brought that remark out.

          • KJT

            “Heterosexuals are intrinsically untrustworthy”. Nepotism, crone-ism and greed are rife in their ranks.

            Fixed it for you.

            “Working class males are homophobic and won’t vote for a gay PM”.
            No most of us are not. I know many that were convinced that Helen Clark was gay. Still didn’t stop them voting for her. Or for Chris Carter in Te Atatu.

            And. Like all stereotyping, it is nonsense.

            Grant Robertson just doesn’t strike me as leadership material.

            Nothing to do with his or anyone’s sex lives.

            What consenting adults do in the dark is nobody else’s business.

          • shona

            Thank you Deb. I like Grant. But he is self centered .And he has a lack of real world experience. He is far too right wing for my liking and he will have real problems connecting with northern electorates for a variety of reasons I am not going to list here , yet.
            He’s another deluded out of touch Wellingtonian.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Such virulent hatred looks suspiciously like it’s hiding something.

            What do you do for a living, Deb? When you’re not protecting our virtue, that is.

            • karol

              Deb has been expressing homophobic hate forever, as far as I’m aware. No reasoning with her changes that. I’ve tried in the past – she hasn’t been around here much in the past year.

              But I don’t think her occupation has anything to do with it.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It might help me not discriminate against the other people called Deb Kean, though, given that I don’t know her from a bar of soap.

                Reason is a notoriously ineffective tool for dealing with bigotry – emotional approaches show far more promise.

                • karol

                  Nah. Trying to explain the emotional impact of homophobia on people’s lives – talking about my own personal experiences of it…. nothing works.

                  She also doesn’t accept that “homophobia” is a word.

                  Deb, if it’s the same one, is a teacher, has had some difficulty getting work, and has had some horrific experiences with WINZ.

                  But understanding her struggles does not seem to translate into understanding of other’s struggles of a different nature.

            • Deb Kean

              “What do you do for a living, Deb?”
              I am an ESOL teacher, and I am neither a right-winger nor a hater, just a realist. I am hiding nothing at all, would you like a link to my Facebook? Oh and Karol, do try not to be so patronising, thanks in advance.

    • @ coaster..

      “..Being a normal kiwi bloke, I have no idea what paean is..”

      heh..!..both hilariously funny..and brilliant..!

      ..it deserves its’ own t-shirt..!

      ..and is an indictment of either the nz education-system..

      ..or coasters’ mind..

      (and a hat-tip for the belly-laughs..eh.?..)

      • Murray Olsen 8.3.1

        In a normal Kiwi bloke’s school years, they may come across the word “paean” once or maybe never. They will be taught about the proper use of apostrophes and exposed to this thousands of times.

        • phillip ure

          you get this months’ passive-aggression award..(sub-section:..punctuation..)

          ..well done..!

          • Murray Olsen

            Don’t be so fucking sensitive. You laugh because the bloke doesn’t know something and then you write its’. It’s not really about punctuation. It’s about you trying unsuccessfully to demonstrate your superior erudition.

    • SDCLFC 8.4

      I think the line often goes, “other people won’t vote for a gay PM”, as in, it’s not me but the rest of the country.
      I think though that NZers are pretty fair, and recognise bs pretty quickly, and would recognise any prejudicial opposition arguments as being full of it.
      Getting to the point where he’s seen is a contender is the biggest challenge.
      In his favour though is that when he speaks he lands where he’s aiming.
      The more people he speaks to and in front of, the more people will be pulled towards him.

      • phillip ure 8.4.1

        “..The more people he speaks to and in front of, the more people will be pulled towards him..”

        i don’t think so..i have been watching him in parliament for yrs..

        ..and i have never seen anything that wd make that happen..

      • Ron 8.4.2

        Don’t suppose he has read Virgil either.

  9. Dont worry. Be happy 9

    I said this last time GR went after the leadership. Still feel the same way.

    I believe that NZ ers will accept a gay PM some time after an openly gay All Black is featured on the cover of The NZ Womens Weekly getting married….and stays on the team.

    One of my adult children is gay. This opinion is personal but based on years of experience and observation.

    • Huginn 9.1

      If you don’t vote – you don’t count. It’s as simple as that.
      Now fuck off.

      • Mark 9.1.1

        I will vote for the other side if neccessary you fuckwit. Why? To keep tossers like you and your fellow travelers out of power. The point being there is over a million of us who see the Labour Party in its present form as completely and utterly fucked. And every election more and more people come to the same opinion.

    • Murray Olsen 9.2

      I’ve always thought it weird that Aussie league had Ian Roberts, while “progressive” New Zealand has never had an openly gay All Black. However, what worries me about Robertson is that he’s another
      student politics -> parliamentary services -> overseas NGO or UN -> minister’s office
      -> MP
      Without going as far as the Waitakere man bullshit, where are the
      builder -> union rep -> electorate volunteer -> candidate, or
      nurse -> union rep -> electorate volunteer -> candidate?

      I don’t think Labour will come right till they actually include quite a few more workers in their ranks. At the moment their main connection to workers seems to be that they know what’s best for said workers.

  10. ghostwhowalksnz 10

    To the ancient greeks , a paean was a joyful song of praise- about Apollo!

    Someone has got ‘stars in their eyes’

    • lprent 10.1

      Ah no… You are confused with something else… Ah…

      Rapidly looks up wikipedia. (my bold)

      A paean (/ˈpiːən/) is a song or lyric poem expressing triumph or thanksgiving. In classical antiquity, it is usually performed by a chorus, but some examples seem intended for an individual voice (monody). It comes from the Greek παιάν (also παιήων or παιών), “song of triumph, any solemn song or chant.” “Paeon” was also the name of a divine physician and an epithet of Apollo.[1]

      I was thinking of the lyric poem because the posts writing was quite good compared to the usual first guest posts, and it was a post of fulsome thanksgiving.

      The Apollo thing (ie divine physician) was how these things started. However it didn’t stay that way. As the link above says.. “About the 4th century the paean became merely a formula of adulation…” and the Modern usage is “Paean is now usually used to mean an expression of praise or exultation”

      • John Shears 10.1.1

        Paian in my reference tome says Name given by the ancient Greeks to Apollo as deliverer from evil.
        It seems to me that the Evil is the lack of loyalty in the LP caucus and until the dissenters are dumped as John A Lee was, the next Leader hasn’t got a HIH.
        ABC for me stands for Anarchists, Bolshies, & Cads.

  11. weka 11

    Just to point to the elephant in the living room, what about the whole leftwing vs neoliberal thing? What’s Robertson going to do about that?

    He has genuine progressive values and an ideological framework for translating those values into policy, strategy and communication. An ideological foundation is a biggie for me, it means he won’t get swept up by new fads and lazy populist policies which depart from our values. This along with his intellect means he can quickly dissect an issue, analyse it, take a position on it and articulate it with intelligence and integrity.

    Well that’s nice, but where does he fit on the political compass? Has he made any kind of movement away from the painter on the roof meme?

    His position in the last contest that Police under his watch would need to apologise to Tuhoe for the raids, his support for the living wage, and his tireless commitment to opposing VSM are some examples of this.

    Again, how nice, but what are his core beliefs on rolling back ‘anti-terrorism’ laws being used against activists? GCSB and related legislation? Raising benefits and a living wage for all workers? Student loans?

    • Rebecca 11.1

      The painter on the roof meme was Shearer, not Robertson. Not sure about all your other comments but Grant has been very supportive of the Living Wage. And he lead the student movement in the mid 90s to oppose user pays in education.

      • weka 11.1.1

        “The painter on the roof meme was Shearer, not Robertson.”

        Yes, Shearer when he was leader. What would Robertson do as leader?

    • boyonlaptop 11.2

      I’d say he’s on the left of the party. A lot of members see him as the architect of the interest-free student loan policy and when I was at UC he came across well telling students, I think it’s nuts that you are the only sector of society we tell you have to borrow money to eat. His biggest supporters, Woods, Ardern etc. are generally on the left of the party.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 11.2.1

        boy, when did student allowances have to be paid back ?

        • boyonlaptop

          A lot of students don’t get student allowances or if they do it’s only partial and even then is usually not enough to live on. Many end up taking out overdrafts and credit cards too.

          • KJT

            So do many people on welfare and low wages.

            Ever heard of payday loans, paying back WINZ for essentials and doctors visits or vans that visit poor areas offering clothes and other goods on credit.

            Many have to borrow to live.

            While I agree with free education on principle, students at university, who generally come from well off families, would be at the bottom of my list, below apprenticeships and more help at primary level.

            • boyonlaptop

              Absolutely it’s shocking how we treat low income people in this country however it is a consistent week-by-week approach for students to live on. They have less to live on than beneficiaries. There is something seriously wrong if we send the message that disincentivize people from moving from unemployment into study.

              Trying to live on $170 a week (student loan cap) in Christchurch or Auckland is near impossible and it’s even more depressing knowing you have to pay that money back.

              We should be helping people from all walks of life which is what is the most depressing thing about the election result. I could live without Labour in government but it’s depressing for those whoo are truly struggling.

            • MustangSally

              That’s rather harsh KJT. When it comes to social deprivation, are you saying that some people are more worthy of assistance than others?
              Even if they’re both stuck in exactly the same shitty living circumstances?
              Why exactly are you so hostile towards young people who are just trying to better themselves through education?
              Why is their health and wellbeing any less important than that of beneficiaries?
              I’ve always been a strong advocate of increasing benefits and the legal minimum wage, but since when did it become fair game to treat students like second-class citizens?

              1) Not everyone that goes to uni comes from a “well off” family, and not all parents can afford to provide financial support to them.

              2) Many students end up living in grotty, cold flats, where they eat two-minute noodles for dinner most nights because that’s all they can afford. You’re saying “tough luck”?

              3) It’s very difficult for students under 25 to get a student allowance, and on top of that, the amount they’re allowed to borrow for living costs isn’t actually sufficient to pay the bills. So they end up doing minimum wage jobs 20 hours a week on top of attending lectures, doing assignments, studying for tests, completing internships etc. Try doing that on very little sleep in a cold house without adequate nutrition.

              • Chooky

                +100 MustangSally…in addition New Zealand is losing post grad NZ students who have been invited to do honours (NZ’s best and brightest students)

                …because their parents cant afford to keep them at university, they already have loans of $40,000 plus for their undergrad degrees…and there are no student loans for postgrad degrees…they go to Australia to get jobs to pay off their student loans and give up on advanced tertiary education( my daughter is a case in point with a B.Com and a BA /film degree)….their places are taken by high fee paying Asian students

                Many very bright working class students do not go to university at all because of the fees and they do not want debt ( compare this with France , Germany , Scandinavia ….where tertiary education is almost free…and this was once the case in New Zealand)

                New Zealand is betraying its own youth and its future

                • MustangSally

                  I totally agree Chooky.

                  Uni isn’t for everyone, and I’d be fairly reluctant to do it myself these days if it meant coming out with a $50,000 debt, unless I was planning to go into a very high-paying career – which is not necessarily where my talents or interests lie.

                  But most who do go to uni, at whatever stage in life, find it a life-changing experience because they get exposed to new ideas, and realise that their parents’ world view is not universal. That in itself is incredibly important – the contest of ideas based on hard evidence, rather than anecdotes and prejudice.

                  University course fees should be free for everyone, perhaps the first six years (just as a starting point for discussion) and then perhaps eligibility for further free course fees could be based on academic merit?

                  There need to be more govt scholarships as well – most of those offered you have to demonstrate that you’re good at sport, art or do voluntary work in the community. There are actually very few based purely on academic marks, which seems odd to me.

                  I also believe student allowances should be universal – when they first started, the only people who seemed to be eligible were the children of farmers and business owners.

                  • Chooky

                    +100 agreed…it must be free, otherwise only the children of the wealthy will be able to attend ….and in my experience a lot of them are not the brightest or most original and critical thinkers ..ie they are not postgrad material

                    My daughter has not been as lucky as me…despite having middle class well educated parents…for her post grad university is unaffordable despite being an A , A+ student . For myself , despite being brought up by a solo parent on a very limited income, I went through university to Hons and M A years ago with the help of free tertiary education and later supplemented by bursaries ….and I was never out of pocket …in fact with a small part time job and tutoring I had money in the bank at the end…if I had had to confront a $40000 + debt at 18 years I never would have started a BA ( and I have to add that at school I was only a ‘just pass’ scrape through student…it was only when I went to university that i became motivated and an ‘A’ student)

                    New Zealand youth and the future of NZ are being sold down the river by John Key Nactional and mates …education is becoming a class system

                    The Labour Party needs to come up to speed on free tertiary education….Helen Clark won an Election on this issue

      • Mark 11.2.2

        They may be on the left of the Labour Party but left wingers they ain’t. At the very best, all you could say is they are of the centre. There are a few genuine left wingers involved in politics in New Zealand but looking for them in the Labour Party is like looking for Moas in Mallardville.

    • Roztoz 11.3

      Hi Weka, v important for me too.

      Grant is genuinely on the left of the Party. He always has been.

      He organised against Phil Goff’s TPPA ram-through, spoke out against the Pagani Painter disgrace (at least privately to Shearer/others), and has been consistent in his support of a greater role for the state.

      When he speaks about the Clark government, he speaks of unfulfilled potential.

      Grant was the person who designed and got support for interest-free loans in 2005. He’s a statist. A genuine one. Not like Cunliffe who backed PPPs and had a socialist rebirth after working out that’s where the votes were.

      Fun fact: Grant refused to join the Labour Party in the 1980s-early 1990s because it was too right wing.

      I trust Grant to be our first truly progressive Prime Minister since Kirk. It won’t be easy, capital is against us. But if anyone has the skills to wake up the sheeple and return them to supporting a compassionate society it’s Grant Robertson. That’s why I’m voting for him.

      • Mark 11.3.1

        I am one of the sheeple and I don’t vote and I’m proud of it. You have absolutely no idea of how much the Labour Party is hated by hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders of my age who the Labour Party shit on from a great height in the 1980s.
        We were your natural constituients through thick and thin but you shafted us for an economic theory.
        All the staunch unionists and activists I worked with have as much hatred for Labour as I do
        There have been two types of Labour leaders since 1984. The PC brigade or the economic fundamentalists and Grant Robertson will carry on in the same vein.
        I can’t stand the fundamentalists or the beltway fuckwits that the party continues to look to lead them to salvation.
        You can only appeal to the centre as no one on the left I know would give the Labour Party the time of day.
        The only time that i might possibly vote in the future is to vote for the right to try to stop Labour from winning the election.
        And if you think I’m full of hate ,I could introduce you to plenty of others who make me look like a beginner.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Waving a white flag for thirty years hasn’t clued you in to the fact that surrendering gets you nowhere?

          • Mark

            I am happy in my space. Will I reward the scumbag Labour Party for fucking me over bigtime. No–Never.

            • word

              @Mark, so I guess it doesn’t bother you one bit that national continuously screws you over every time they are in government, and this time, you and everyone else are really getting screwed, big time. Youre a sucker for punishment.

              • Mark

                They are beginners compared to what the fourth Labour government did. The Nats would have never done half the things they have done since 1990 if the Labour Party hadn’t let the genie out of the bottle in the 1980s.

                • leftie

                  @Mark. Rubbish, have you forgotten the national governments prior to the Lange government? read some history.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Ah, it’s all about you. Bravo, comrade.

              PS: Do you have Left wing values or not? If the answer to that question is yes, please ask yourself what your solidarity is worth, and to whom you think it is given.

              • Mark

                No, its about the people I buried because the fourth Labour government uprooted and destroyed peoples lives. Most of us coped one way or another but a few didn’t. I buried two of them and i’m not the forgiving kind. Do I have left wing values?. I was instrumental in forming a union in 1991 because the PSA rolled over on the Employment Contracts Act. Was the convenor for six years. Was stupid enough to think MMP might change things and stood as a candidate for the Alliance in 1996. So maybe I do have left wing values?. What I do have is integrity. I don’t vote for a party that murders its own people or for any other party that might support that party. I never left the Labour Party, they left me and hundreds of thousands of other workers in the 1980s and they haven’t come back.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Well, I think that’s a mistake. The people you have solidarity with are New Zealanders, not the Labour Party: you owe your vote to the rest of us, especially in circumstances where the status quo is so manifestly toxic.

        • Huginn

          If you don’t vote – you don’t count. It’s as simple as that.
          Now fuck off.

          • Mark

            You really need to get out more. I vote for the other side you fuckwit. I spend my time convincing other people that Labour is a loss cause.

        • JRyan

          People like you were living in a dreamworld. We as a nation were heading to have credit stopped and worldbank intervention. No more credit. And the damage the unions did leaves many people with a huge dislike of excessive union muscle. No problems with unions, but they were hijacked by stirring useless pricks. Unions held the country to ransom and excessive demands were destroying the ability to carry out competitive business in NZ. Unions were sorted out and long may that be the case. So buster, go learn some basic facts about what makes a country successful, and it aren’t hard nosed spitful business hating union leaders.

          • Mark

            What an absolute fucking twat you are. You mean successful like we are now. 285,000 growing up in poverty, 150,000 unemployed, $85,000,000,000 in debt.
            What a rockstar economy we are. So New Zealand kneecapped the unions in 1991 and as a result we have a low wage economy whereas our neighbours Australia at the same time embraced the unions and a have high wage economy. Why? Because the worker is “king” in Australia and treated accordingly while here in New Zealand he is treated like shit by self serving miserable fucks like you.

            • JRyan

              Heh, so someone disagrees with you and you have a melt down. Aussie have had natural resources that have buffered them from the real world. Without minerial wealth they would be simaliar to European countries, expensive and living beyound their means. Povety, you traveled and seen real povety? And even in the slums often childrem are well cared for, looked after and the people are resilant. Here lack of education and discpline keeps people in a cycle of povety and dispair. No problem with genuine people needing a hand up, thats what welfare is for. But it’s atitude. Why does the grape and dairy industries import offshore labour? Go ask them. The answers, turn up to work, not drugged out of there eyeballs, don’t thieve etc etc. And it is not because of low wages. NZ has faired much better than a lot of countries through some pretty hard economic times in recent years. Thats because the country is being run reasonably well and hence the election turnout. Misible fks like me. heh, well your atitude is the problem. If it is so easy, go start your own business and put your money where your big mouth is. Pay high wages. Would you have the drive, discipline and work ethic to make it happen??? Nah, just crawl out of bed, condem every bugger that is trying to get ahead and simply whinge and moan. With all respect, I think some counselling would be possibility benifical.

              • Mark

                Its better when you are an ignorant arse to remain silent and have people only think your stupid than to open your arse and confirm it.
                Since 2002 I have started three businesses, two in New Zealand and one in Australia. Sold up in Australia in 2013 to spend more time back in New Zealand. But what the time in Australia did teach me is how they treat their workers is on a different planet to what is required here. First on buying the business you get hit with stamp duty. Helps to keep that no taxable income rate up. When you sell the business, you get hit with Capital Gains tax. Again to help support the no tax brackets. You won’t get any employee for under $22 and then you pay them 1.2 on Saturdays and 1.8 on Sundays.
                Throw in 9.25% compulsory super contributions for every worker and an employment regime that is way tougher than ours and you start to get an idea of how the worker is treated. Why? Because Australia decided in the 1980s that they would use the bottom up economic system. Look after the worker and that would lift the whole economy. New Zealand on the other hand went for the top down version which has created and sustained the inequality and poverty that we have here. But as you point out I am unmotivated with a poor attitude. Worked in Mental Health for 27 years, formed and ran a union, stood for parliament and set up three businesses. And there was me thinking you were just a judgemental wanker.

                • JRyan

                  Couldn’t give a shit if people think Im stupid or not. With three businesses operating for a stupid arse Im doing okay. I’ll maintain Au and NZ are two different economies and they have had a lot of good luck on there side, i.e. huge natural resources that were in demand. We operate in a global economy and to obtain higher wages the nation requires high education, investment in inovation and skills so as our products produced are of high tech/value. Huge new industries developing such as electric cars, drones, medical procedures etc etc are where we will gain high wages. Not mining up natural resources. Thats a great career in mental health and would say the people employeed in this field are underpaid and overworked. So we probably agree on one thing. With that I think I have had enough correspondance on this so over and out. Good luck with any new venture.

          • Paul

            Ill informed reactionary nonsense.
            You listen to ZB, do you?

      • weka 11.3.2

        Thanks Roztoz and others. My question then becomes, what will Robertson do about the neoliberals within caucus who are actively resisting the shift left?

        And what are his intentions re beneficiaries?

        To me, the answer to those two questions would show whether he’s going to support BAU or whether he genuinely intends to work for changes within the party.

        Probably a third question there about whether he supported last years changes to membership power and where he stands on future change to give more power to members.

        • Roztoz

          Hey Weka, no problem.

          My understanding is that he’s acutely aware of the need for renewal. And how the membership feel about the Right. I expect he’ll use his networks and history in the party machine to ensure new selections like Mt Roskill, Rongotai etc go to left wingers.

          We have to remember that his is a separate faction from theirs. The Robertson-Left (the largest faction) in caucus has a working relationship with the Right (they find Cunliffe’s lot unworkable), but has very different ends in mind. People like Megan Woods (ex Alliance, Progressives) are determined to have a structural impact on NZ society when next in Government.

          I’m the son of a solo mum beneficiary. I think the thing with Grant is he knows how toxic it is to touch benefits not only amongst the media, but a lot of working class people. Heck, my mum is always saying Labour need to crack down on welfare. Grant determines the starting point, then works to move people. I think he regards WFF in work tax credit beneficiary exclusion as one the 5th Labour Government’s great shames.

          He recently spoke at the CCSS Closing the Gap Inequality meeting on behalf of Labour. I have to say, it’s the first time I actually heard a Labour politician talk about the fundamental structures. About 1984. I felt inspired at least that he recognises the damage of the ECA (and ERA) on structural (in)equality.

          Re: beneficiaries, I don’t know what he’ll do. I know he’s not into cheap populism though so we won’t hear about painters.

          Finally, you asked about the democratisation. I don’t think the changes would have got through without Grant. He steadied the caucus. He put out fires re: the women quota. He pushed for the changes at every review meeting I went to. Which is kind of sad when you think about it. If it was just the caucus voting, he’d be leader right now. But that’s Grant’s commitment to the idea. He thinks we should be a democratic, inclusive, thriving party. Even if that hurts his own ambitions.

          • Apples

            Yes I agree with what Roztoz has said. Just a bit to add regarding the “democratisation”point:

            Grant was a key advocate of those reforms (perhaps “the” key advocate), including the election of the leader + the new binding policy process. He was integral to getting caucus and Shearer on board. He spoke in favour of it during the Labour Party Conference.

            But I think there are some myths about those proposals. In particular, the only thing that did not pass *unanimously* was an amendment to the % of caucus that would be needed to prevent a leadership race *after* an Election (and, also, perhaps a bit oddly the February after that Conference). The original proposal had that at 50%. The amendment that passed changed that to 60%. That was widely seen for what it was – an attempt to destabilise Shearer.

            • Kiwiri

              How outwardly and sincerely supportive was Grant Robertson for the democratisation of the party when votes were about to be taken? Was he in the company of the likes of Curran and others who were exerting influence, etc to get people to vote against the motion? Did he finally vote for the motion and how was he motivated to do so?

          • karol

            If Robertson is so into the democratic involvement of party members, why did he try to slip a leadership change through without the input/vote of party members?

            • adam

              +1 karol – Grant struggles with democracy. And it shows more and more as he gets older.

              • Kiwiri

                How outwardly and sincerely supportive was Grant Robertson for the democratisation of the party when votes were about to be taken? Was he in the company of the likes of Curran and others who were exerting influence, etc on people to vote against the motion? Did he finally vote for the motion and how was he motivated or driven to do so?

            • Roztoz

              Karol, are you saying there should always be a leadership election, even when there is only one candidate caucus supports?

              I always thought there should be membership trigger, not just caucus. The NDP has one.

              Re: events immediately after the election. I think many of the things we’re seeing now in this bitter dirty election show why the Labour Party may have benefited from caucus uniting behind one candidate.

              Unity is not the enemy. Division is. And I think most members (not activists) would rather have strong stable leadership than rogue factions like we’re seeing.

    • Apples 11.4

      Grant has always been on the left – but he has a brilliant ability to connect left ideas/values with the average NZers. He’s never been a “painter on the roof” guy.

      At the last leadership election he was the first to talk about ending the neoliberal consensus: (see his post here on the Standard at http://thestandard.org.nz/grant-robertson-2/ – “It’s time to throw out the neo-liberal agenda and build a genuinely progressive vision for New Zealand. “).

      He also spoke on the floor Labour Conference about the dangers of the TPPA and its ability to lock-in neoliberal policies. The only member of caucus to do so I think.

      Not sure about all the issues you have raised but he is a strong advocate of the living wage and committed to it during the last race (before, I might add, Cunliffe who adopted an approach of announcing every policy Grant had just announced).

      Good questions you have raised. Personally, I am very confident in Grant’s ideology and that he is genuine about it

      • Ant 11.4.2

        Actually it was Cunliffe who was really the first to talk about how the neo-liberal consensus of the past 30 years had failed. It was one of the speeches that got him in trouble for “undermining Shearer”.

        It was one of the reasons he garnered so much support at the time.

        • Roztoz

          You’re right Ant, and I think the reason he got in trouble was because that speech came out of nowhere. It didn’t match up with his record as Finance Spokesperson under Goff when he *was* neoliberal.

          Cunliffe become a born again socialist without a very convincing story as to why Mr Boston Consulting lost faith in neoliberalism. I don’t buy the GFC as a credible awakening. The GFC happened in 08. He ran as the Right candidate in 2011, worked out he couldn’t win the membership on that platform and flew to the Left.

          Ideological sincerity is important. It’s what counts in moments of high pressure and little time. Cunliffe’s desire to be liked in the moment shouldn’t be mistaken for a commitment to transforming the structures for the long term.

          • Olwyn

            Calling Cunliffe a “born-again socialist” is simply not fair. In fact he was very much part of the team when Helen Clark was the leader. You might remember that Chris Carter was expelled from the party for trying to trigger a leadership challenge in an odd way, after having been publicly humiliated. He suggested Cunliffe for leader, with the implication that Cunliffe would be the one to lead the party back toward the left. This suggests that he had expressed such views well before leadership questions were more broadly asked. You are casting unwarranted aspersions on a day when we have all been asked to be a bit cautious in our criticisms.

          • anker

            Mr Roztoz, Mr Cunliffe didn’t take an internship at the Reserve Bank when he left University because he didn’t like Rogernomics.

            So I think you are trying to pain a picture that isn’t entirely true.

    • Tracey 11.5

      ” it means he won’t get swept up by new fads and lazy populist policies ”

      given some like shearer and cosgrove think that winning lies in the armpit of new fads and lazy populism just how des grant intent taming that?

    • Vaughan Little 11.6

      Grant’s left.

  12. thechangeling 12

    I’d have to agree that Grant’s a very likeable politician and person and has a better shot at uniting the caucus and the country now.
    I feel sorry for Cunliffe for having been stigmitised and demonised by the right-wing inspired corporate media barons and National Party spin merchants and blogs. They must really fear for his potential at over throwing them.

    • Tom Gould 12.1

      As irrational as it may seem, and however much people may dislike it, the gay All Black thing holds for Grant just as the inauthenticity phoney thing holds for Cunliffe. Can these deficiencies be compensated for and outweighed in other ways in the public mind?

    • weka 12.2

      “I’d have to agree that Grant’s a very likeable politician and person and has a better shot at uniting the caucus and the country now.”

      Can caucus be united? What happens if it can’t? What will Roberston do with the neoliberals?

  13. word 13

    Robertson along with Shearer et al kicking David Cunliffe, and undermining the party right after the election to force a leadership change, shows that Grant Robertson is far from having any principles and is just in it for himself. Robertson wasn’t prepared to forge unity within the party under another leader, and telling media he could have beaten John key is just ludicrous.

    Grant Robertson won’t be getting my support or vote, Im giving that to David Cunliffe, who deserves a second chance, one year was not long enough.

    • Treetop 13.1

      The only rush I wanted to see after the election was for the Labour caucus to examine the election result and respond to those who voted for them, not another leadership change and the infighting which goes with it. Piling more on an already full plate was not the way to go.

      What is so important about the leadership that required so much haste on Robertson’s part?

  14. coaster 14

    I didnt mean the gay thing about it being rammed down our throats to sound as it did.

    I dont think being stateman like is what normal kiwis want, look at john key, hes a dork alot of the time, we like people we could imagine having a beer or wine with.

    with the comment about the abs accepting a gay team mate, other than brad thorne I dont think theres been an ab as tough as ian roberts.

    • weka 14.1

      If Robertson does a good job at leading Labour, and does this in such a way that that engages the non-vote, disenfranchised and pissed off, I don’t think too many people will care about his sexuality.

      • Tracey 14.1.1

        Nash is getting himself lots f press with his tony blair look-a-like photos. He strikes me as a danger to many in the LP

        • Hanswurst

          Anyone who courts large amounts of press, photo-ops and chatter as a prospective leader before they have actually done anything of nationwide note or value deserves to be treated with considerable suspicion, in my view.

  15. Torney 15

    Thanks for that Fleur. I think you have articulated nicely why GR’s leadership could be just the thing Labour needs. He is different and he can win.

    On his backstory, despite taking remarkably similar trajectories after leaving school, DC and GR actually had very different upbringings. Being a provincial priest’s son, while modest, is nothing like growing up with your father in prison.

    I do think it’s a pity that lprent felt the need to put in a snarky title and a patronising comment underneath it. Why don’t you let it stand by itself and let your readers judge, lprent? Or can we look forward to ‘A Doxology to David’ over the next fawning DC post?

  16. word 16

    Robertson along with Shearer et al kicking David Cunliffe and undermining the party right after the election to force a leadership change, shows Grant Robertson is far from having any principles and is just in it for himself. He was not prepared to forge unity within the party under another leader, and telling media he could have beaten John key is just ludicrous.

    Grant Robertson does not have my support or vote, that goes to David Cunliffe, who deserves a second chance, one year was not long enough.

  17. My concerns about Grant Robertson are of two main types.

    The first type of concern is over his ‘ideological commitments’ (Point 1). Two questions: Is his analysis primarily structural and economic or liberal? (The term ‘progressive’ often blurs this distinction.) Some evidence beyond student-related issues (VSM, Student Loans) would be useful here since, I understand, students are his support base.

    Relatedly, what structural/economic changes would he pursue as part of his ideological commitment? For example, will he commit to pulling out of charter schools, re-nationalising assets, increasing benefit levels, increasing top tax rates, does he have some structural/economic initiatives in mind that could change how workplaces operate, etc.?

    The second type of concern is over the claim that he is ‘principled’ (point 8, but also relates to the items that praise his intellect and ‘strategic’ abilities).

    Here my concern is primarily over his role in the various caucus machinations over the last three years.

    To what extent was he involved in the strategising to install David Shearer as leader and, if he was involved, what was the ‘goal’ of that strategy?

    Relatedly, to what extent was he involved in ‘pulling the plug’ on David Shearer at a point less than a year out from an election and, if he was involved, what was the goal of that strategy?

    Further, should he lose the leadership contest and Cunliffe win, would he accept the role of deputy? (I understand that he turned it down last time).

    Finally, one more question – will he reward or punish those MPs who have been consistently leaking to the media over the last three years given that some of them may well vote for him (presuming he was not one of them himself)? Leaders need to be more than ‘conciliatory’ when it comes to this particular caucus.

    I’m afraid the post provided more of a ‘character reference’ and personal testimony than a substantive portfolio of arguments and evidence.

    • Puddleglum 17.1

      Since I started to write my response I see some points raised above (e.g., by Apples @11.4) that provide more background on the ideological question.

  18. Tautoko Viper 18

    The problem is that there are (at least) 2 vital issues: the direction and the leadership.
    For me, if the party direction moves to the centre, then I don’t care who the leader is, the party will not be a party that I can support. Also I cannot support the TPPA or deep sea oil drilling both of which are not in NZ’s best interests.

    I believe that there should be a vote on party direction preferably before or at the same time as a vote for the leadership.

    The big problem that I see is that the membership will support a more progressive policy direction than many of the sitting MPs. The sitting MPs MUST accept the direction agreed to by the members or resign. Party members will leave if they do not support the direction agreed upon by the majority because there is no incentive to slog their guts out other than belief in the cause.

  19. Oranges 19

    It’s refreshing to see a post like this and it reflects a lot of what I’ve been thinking.

    Grant is genuine, what you see is what you get, and he has an ability to truly connect and egage with people from all backgrounds and from all levels of society.

    He doesn’t put on fake accents when talking certain audiences, he wouldn’t be foolish enough to set up secret trusts, and he isn’t affraid to fight for what is right e.g votes for prisoners, living wage, conpulsory te reo in schools, better labour laws and access to educational and training opportunities etc.

    He’s been a staunch advocate for people all his life – from students, to aid and development in the Pacific, for New Zealanders at the UN and in government policy from the Prime Minister’s office. Writing that all of as “beltway” and somehow disqualify of leadership is offensive and basic.

    I bet Grant really regrets never working for the same capitalist behemoth (Boston Consulting) that Mitt Romney used to ruin the livihoods of thousands of people.

    I’d be proud to be a member of Labour with Grant as our leader and Prime Minister. It’s time for modern leadership of a party in desperate need to revitalisation.

    Also Iprents snarky and patronising comments reminded me why I’ve avoided coming here for nearly two years.

    • Chooky 19.1

      ok …so now we have apples and oranges ( new contributors to this site) in support of GR

      …where are the bananas?…and the passion fruit ?…and the cherries ? strawberries?..pineapples anyone?

      …and are we going to have a veritable fruit salad?

      • swordfish 19.1.1

        Ha ha. We’re on the same wave-length, Chooky.

        I’m all for an open, robust debate on the leadership candidates, but it’s difficult not to feel just a little suspicious when a whole lot of new commenters turn up – and, by a quite striking coincidence, they all turn out to be ardent Robertson supporters with remarkably similar rhetorical strategies.

        • phillip ure

          that’s all well and good..that they turn up to boost their man…

          ..shame all they have is aspirational-bullshit..

          ..which really advances their candidates’ case not a whit..

          ..and if robertson is the progressive he claims to be..

          ..when cunliffe wins he will swing in behind creating the progressive policies for 2017..

          ..putting action to those claimed words..

      • feijoa 19.1.2

        Heh, well I picked the fruit thing some time ago, but it’s nothing to do with me……

      • Kiwiri 19.1.3

        Apples and oranges aside, which are fruits and may have whatever un/intended connotations, it is becoming less credible that they have just turned up recently here as real Grant supporters. Grant’s champions would surely not be that stupid!

        I’ve seen feijoa around here for a while and quite like ‘it’.

        • Paul

          And if our right wing t****s are here playing their usual games of dirty politics! then what does that say about who they don’t want to win?

    • Benghazi 19.2

      Time to get your attack facts correct. Mitt Romney was from Bain Capital and nothing to do with Boston Consulting.

    • Paul 19.3

      Is your name Simon Lusk?

  20. Ovid 20

    Things are getting a bit toxic around here.

    In 2013 I viewed the leadership primary as a contest between two good men and one who probably meant well, but was too far right for me. I voted for Cunliffe because his rhetoric impressed me and I thought he could beat Key in the debates. And even though he did, I didn’t realise until only recently that debates don’t matter in the 24/7 media age. Another reason why I voted the way I did was the pleasure in giving the commentariat the finger.

    This time around I’m a floating voter. The general election result has to have a bearing on my attitudes, but so too does the conduct of of each faction. I guess the question for me is whether we give Cunliffe a second go – as Clark and Kirk both enjoyed after election defeats, or is he too far gone?

    Electability rather than ideological fitness (beyond a whole-hearted endorsement of the principles of Labour as set out in the party’s constitution) is my central criterion. I don’t want to be in the mirror image of the Tea Party – foregoing electability for purity in candidate primaries.

    Regardless of whether we’re reading a paean to Robertson or an ode to Cunliffe, I don’t want to be reading an elegy for Labour a few years down the road.

    • boyonlaptop 20.1

      >I guess the question for me is whether we give Cunliffe a second go – as Clark and Kirk both enjoyed after election defeats, or is he too far gone?

      He’s too far gone. Clark and Kirk did not see nearly the same collapse in support, Clark lost due to Winston’s lie that he’d support Labour while Kirk’s loss in support went to Social Credit and the Nats lost more support than he did.

      For whatever reason he clearly hasn’t resonated with the New Zealand public and needs to go.

      >Regardless of whether we’re reading a paean to Robertson or an ode to Cunliffe, I don’t want to be reading an elegy for Labour a few years down the road.

      Totally agree, whoever wins we need to unite behind them. Even though I don’t think Cunliffe can win in 2017, if he wins I’d still continue to volunteer and rally behind him.

      • Tautoko Viper 20.1.1

        I don’t believe that David Cunliffe is too far gone. He’s never been allowed to BE because of the hatchet job by the MSM, Farrer, the Sewer, and the undermining by some of the caucus members. Again I point out, why are the RWers so keen to advise Labour to get rid of Cunliffe? The answer is obvious.

        • boyonlaptop

          I don’t think the RWers are so keen to get rid of Cunliffe, I know many Young Nats who are active supporters of the facebook page “Keep David Cunliffe as leader”.

          Prior to the election can you point me to one mention of when the caucus undermined his leadership? I can point to several when he and his supporters undermined Goff and Shearer.

          • Tautoko Viper

            ‘Labour MPS are disgusted by leader David Cunliffe’s skiing holiday just two months before the election and will question his work ethic at a caucus meeting on Tuesday, a senior party insider has told the Sunday Star-Times.”

            • boyonlaptop

              Good point, that was a genuine stupid move from caucus but it still pales in comparison to Goff and Shearer. Chris Carter under Goff and Cunliffe’s challenge of Shearer.

              • Colonial Viper

                Leave Chris Carter out of this.

                Cunliffe’s supposed challenge of Shearer was a false flag, set up by Hipkins, Mallard and others in caucus, Conference 2012. Memes were manufactured with the help of the media, and laid at Cunliffe’s doorstep.

                Both Cunliffe and Shearer were hit by the resulting mess and both looked weak and hamfisted. Only one major faction in caucus escaped without looking shite.

                But looking at the voting patterns of the 2013 leadership primary, it seems the party membership easily figured out what had actually happened, even if the public (and people like yourself) hadn’t.

              • Tautoko Viper

                Please read Anne’s comment 19.1.1 re incorrect Cunliffe on Shearer challenge.
                “List MP Maryan Street said yesterday she would back Robertson and confirmed she would have moved a motion of no-confidence in David Shearer if he had not stepped down.”

              • lprent

                …Cunliffe’s challenge of Shearer…

                Sounds like another moron using the Chris Hipkins myth from 2012. I have had people confidentially asserting that there is a lot of evidence supporting that particular assertion Cunliffe was planning a coup. I have yet to see anyone producing any evidence then or later that there was one.

                I think that it was some idiots in caucus lying to media after they got upset about members voting in the leadership voting rule changes. Why were they idiots? Because it pissed off damn near everyone who was at that conference trying to get the change through and many of those opposing it.

                So this is a friendly warning, If you want to use it, then produce something substantive to back it. Otherwise I’ll start treating you like I would any other troll when I get around to moderating.

                • boyonlaptop

                  That is a tremendous double standard.
                  If you demand sources for one claim in these comments you should for all claims and quite frankly if you want to moderate comments like mine but ignore “It was Grant’s crew that rolled Shearer” than you’re just openly displaying your bias towards Cunliffe and your complete disregard for any dissenting opinion. Especially when I acknowledged that caucus comments about Cunliffe holiday were stupid.

                  Especially if you leave disgusting ones like this, “How elitist you are. What you call ‘homophobia’ is actually far more common than you wish, and it’s one of the reasons why Robertson would be a disaster. Homosexuals are intrinsically untrustworthy, as aside from anything else, they have their own brand of nepotism – and the general public tend to not like that” untouched. Quite frankly if that’s the moderating standard you operate on I have no desire to comment further on the Standard.

                  We will never know for sure what happened, what we do know is that certain members of caucus rightly or wrongly claimed that Cunliffe was attempting to roll Shearer. However quite frankly statements like “Mr Cunliffe did not say whether he would back Mr Shearer in a vote due to be held in February, but “may very well do”” certainly didn’t help quell speculation on the future of Shearer’s leadership.

                  • Mark

                    You made a statement that Cunliffe tried to roll Shearer. You have been called. Put up or shut up

                  • mickysavage

                    Wow Cunliffe was a caucus of one at the time. Of course it was Robertson et al that rolled Shearer.

                    I back lprent on this. A few of us have been watching what has happened for a while and the details are clear. Like the strong arming of the caucus not to vote for a competition in February 2013. Shearer falling over had nothing to do with Cunliffe and everything to do with the dominant clique in caucus.

                • Anne

                  I remember exactly what happened in the lead up to the vote at the 2012 conference. Sitting at the back of the large venue, I noted many of the caucus were missing. The only MPs present at that point turned out to be those planning to vote for the proposed changes giving members and affiliates a say in future leadership contests. About 5 mins before the vote was taken, in trooped the remaining MPs and they stood in a group immediately behind where I was sitting. They had been holed up somewhere presumably plotting their course of action. The membership won and then… within two hours all hell broke loose starting with Shearer’s devastating allegations against Cunliffe on the 6pm news. It was a behind the scenes deal worthy of Cameron Slater/Jason Ede and company.

                  • Kiwisaver

                    I’m amazed really that these particular members have been allowed to continue with their disintegration of the Labour Party.
                    Is the Labour membership and/or President etc not able to do something about them?
                    I know many are electorate MP’s but they seem to not care about the members or the party itself. Do they want to destroy Labour?

                    • Kiwiri

                      Sometimes the eyes and ears outside the Party see and hear more clearly than those inside – my politically disinterested (cf. uninterested) work mate said Labour’s MPs are badly served by those of them who put the security of their own career ahead of their constituency’s interests that they ought to fully represent.

                    • Paul

                      They want Labour the way they made it in the 1980s.

        • Apples

          @Tautoko Viper – it might be true that DC wasn’t given a fair go because of the hatchet job by the MSM etc. It’s also probably true that he contributed to that himself by coming across insincere and making a number of jaw-dropping gaffes. But the point is that those smears against him have stuck, they are firmly implanted on the minds of voters and he is unelectable.

          We need to work with the reality we have, not the what we think should have been. If the *left* in Labour want to win and want a left Prime Minister, Grant is out best choice.

        • Chooky

          TV +100

        • Hami Shearlie

          And I don’t believe the thousands of new members who are signing up right now are doing it to vote for Robertson! He is not capable of getting that many people so excited and revved up!

          • Anne

            Could be partly true Hami Shearlie. They will be Vic. Uni students – present and immediate past. Those who are already members were funny to watch at the 2012 conference. They’re tactics were naively transparent. They filled the front few rows and voted en-block no matter the remit. There must have been a leader among them who they watched for guidance… then up would go all their hands. They were Robertson supporters, and rumour has it that many were looking to get cushy ministerial office positions come the new Labour government. They’re still waiting….

      • swordfish 20.1.2

        @ boyonalaptop (above) and Torney (below)

        He’s too far gone. Clark and Kirk did not see nearly the same collapse in support

        That would appear to be an outrageous load of old bollocks where Clark is concerned.

        1996 Labour Down 6.5 points
        2014 Labour Down 2.5 points*

        *(2014 based on Labour’s likely Final Vote)

        • boyonlaptop

          Oh come on now you know that’s a load of a bollocks.

          In 1996, Labour was not coming off an already historic defeat in 1993, it was the first MMP election which meant that Labour and National were bound to lose support because left and right-wing voters no longer had to vote strategically and finally, Labour almost formed government it’s only because Winston changed his mind and supported National(for which he was punished 3 years later) and the gap between National and Labour was only 5 points.

          None of those things have happened this time around. The gap is probably 23 points (allowing for the final vote) and even with NZF Labour was nowhere close to forming government.

          • swordfish

            Riiiiiight. So when you argue that Labour under Clark in 96 “did not see nearly the same collapse in support” as Labour under Cunliffe in 2014, what you’re really arguing is:

            Labour support collapsed far more under Clark in 96 than under Cunliffe in 2014 (more than twice the percentage point decline – 6.5 vs 2.5), but I have a series of excuses to explain the 96 fall and I’d be much obliged if people reading The Standard could therefore pretend that a 6.5 plunge represents a smaller decline than a 2.5 fall.

            Possibly followed by:

            Oh, and by the way, No, I won’t be extending to Cunliffe supporters the same leeway to explain the latest decline by way of unprecedented aspects of the broader political context

            • boyonlaptop

              Ok let me make this ridiculously clear 28 is a bigger number than 25.

              Regardless of the swing 28.19% is a much better result than the 25.5%(being extremely generous with the specials released tomorrow), was an election where National support lost too and the gap between National and Labour was only 5 points it’s now around 23. Cunliffe supporters are more than welcome to explain how at the beginning of Cunliffe’s leadership Labour had 37% in the polls and ended up at 25%. Labour had already reached a near floor in it’s vote in 2011 the fact that we dropped further is unacceptable. Obviously, Cunliffe is not all to blame but expecting different results from the same people just won’t work. Labour needs to retake the narrative of a new direction and new leadership, this will require some big changes all through the party but it should start with a new generation of leadership.

              • mickysavage

                Don’t you think Cunliffe may need longer? The party has had 14 leaders in 98 years at an average of 7 years per leader. The worst times were when we changed leaders regularly.

                Why is your logic full of narrative flourishes rather than proper analysis?

                The problem is not the policy, it is that the caucus has looked like a rabble for years and the electorate does not trust it.

                • boyonlaptop

                  No, I don’t. He went into the leadership with a strong mandate from the party and with initial polling in the mid-30s arguably from the public. Yet, he failed to deliver. His mandate to lead was made on the presumption that he was going to win the 2014 election. Given everything that went on during the campaign it was undoubtedly a very difficult election for Labour however it was an incredibly bad result. I think Cunliffe is a fundamentally good person and under better circumstances could have made a good leader. However, no leader in any modern western democracy that I can think of has recovered after lost to their main opponent by 23 odd percentage points.

                  I think I’ve definitely offered a lot more analysis than a lot of other DC supporters in these comments. All I’ve heard so far is accusations that GR supporters are elitists, that GR is both a careerist politician and inexperienced in politics (I don’t know how you square that circle) and dog-whistling homophobia. I am keen for a substantive discussion on the Labour leadership and a positive discourse about the election result. However, it becomes a narrative when there is little substantive discussion from the other side.

                  • mickysavage

                    Why is it Cunliffe’s failure? Why not Caucus’s failure? And have you seen what has been happening this year?

                    Cunliffe’s success was not conditional on his winning this election. Believe me I have been heavily involved in the party and no such expectation was ever outlined.

                    And you are disclosing FPP thinking. The Labour/Green National/ACT difference will be about 12% points.

                    Offering much more analysis than DC supporters? You are joking aren’t you.

                    By all means lets have a substantive discussion on the labour leadership and a positive discourse about the election result. But your “it is all David Cunliffe’s fault” line is the antithesis to having a proper discourse about what happened.

                    • boyonlaptop

                      Cunliffe’s mandate was on his promise that “Key should book a long-holiday to Hawaii” and he’s delivered the worst result.

                      And you are disclosing FPP thinking. The Labour/Green National/ACT difference will be about 12% points.

                      That’s only if you exclude the Conservatives who are very likely to do a deal with National next election, so it’s really more like a 16% gap which huge.

                      I have never said that this is all DC’s fault. I suggest re read my comments. I voted for Cunliffe last election and passionately supported him in this last election. Labour’s problems stem far deeper than leadership but in my view his position is untenable. Labour needs to rebrand and that should start with leadership, Labour needs to present a new image and I strongly believe Robertson is the best man to deliver that.

                    • mickysavage []

                      Gee a rhetorical statement creates a conditional leadership. How bizarre. I bet if you went through anyone’s speeches you could come up with all sorts of stuff like this. Politics should not be about the capturing of stray words and then fashioning them into weapons.

                      So if this is not Cunliffe’s fault and the problems stem far deeper than him then why is his position untenable? Labour doesn’t need to rebrand. It needs to get its shit together.

                    • boyonlaptop

                      Oh that’s totally disingenuous, I went to the leadership meetings. You know as well as I that Cunliffe made some pretty big promises about his leadership I also remember him saying that he was under the view that under his leadership Labour should have a poll number with a four in front of it. It was a consistent theme of his leadership campaign that he’d win in 2014.

                      Because he’s the leader of the Labour Party and has lead it to it’s worst defeat in almost a century and he clearly hasn’t resonated with voters. Again, name any other Western democratic leader that presided over the worst result in 92 years and was 23 points behind their main opposition that then went on to form government.

                    • mickysavage []

                      You are avoiding my last question. If this is not Cunliffe’s fault and the problems stem far deeper than him then why is his position untenable?

                    • boyonlaptop

                      Whereas you totally ignored most of my comments. I’m pretty sure I have answered this in that he’s the leader of the Labour Party. He’s the face of the Labour party, the man presented as the candidate for the next Prime Minister and we saw the New Zealand public reject his leadership.

                      That’s the nature of leadership, you take responsibility for your teams loss.

              • swordfish

                Right, so let’s get to the heart of the matter.

                I’ll merge your latest “ridiculously clear” points with the ones you made in your 6.15pm comment.

                (1) In 1996, Labour was not coming off an already historic defeat in 1993 / 28% is a much better result than 25% / Labour had already reached a near floor in its vote in 2011 – the fact that we dropped further is unacceptable

                Right, first of all, going into the 1996 General Election, the Clark-led Labour Party was, in fact, coming off an historic defeat. In 1993, Labour received its lowest share of the vote since 1931, in 2011 Labour received its lowest share of the vote since 1928.

                Labour’s 1993 vote was 13.2 points down on 2 elections earlier, Labour’s 2011 vote was 13.6 points down on 2 elections earlier.

                So, very similar context, yet under Clark in 96, Labour plunges 6.5 points, under Cunliffe in 2014, it falls just 2.5. And yet for you, apparently, this means Clark rightly got to carry on as leader but not Cunliffe.

                What you’re also doing here is blaming Cunliffe for Labour’s huge 7 point plunge under Clark (2008) and 6.5 plunge under Goff (2011). Cunliffe inherited a context in which a whole swathe of Labour voters had deserted over previous elections, just as Clark had in 1996.

                (Part 2 coming up)

                • swordfish

                  Part Two

                  (2) 1996 was the first MMP Election which meant Labour and National were bound to lose support (because Left and Right-wing voters no longer had to vote strategically) / 1996 was an election where National lost support too

                  No, you’re presenting 96 as if the swing were neutral, but in fact it really, really wasn’t. It was about (1) a huge Labour decline (as I’ve pointed out, much greater than Labour’s fall under Cunliffe) and (2) a huge swing away from the Left Bloc as a whole (so your clear implication that Labour only fell in 96 because a whole swathe of its Left-wing support headed off to the Alliance is nonsense).

                  Despite the newly-minted ACT party on its Right taking 6% of the vote, the Nats fell a mere 1.2 points. In stark contrast, Labour falls 6.5 points and the Left Bloc as a whole falls an astonishing 14.6 points. So, No, Labour’s plunge in 1996 (at the time, the 3rd worst percentage point fall in its entire history) was Not to be expected or simply business as usual. It was actually a pretty bad result. And yet Clark got to remain leader and, of course, went on to three terms as PM.

                  • swordfish

                    Part Three

                    (3) Labour almost formed a government in 96 / whereas in 2014, Labour came nowhere close to forming a government

                    Utterly meaningless. Cunliffe is no more responsible for how much support NZ First receives in 2014 than Clark was in 1996. The Left Bloc got 38% in 1996 and around 36 or 37% (depending on Specials) this time. NZ First took a little over 13% in 96, a little under 9% in 2014.

                    So what you’re essentially doing (with this facet of your argument) is saying Cunliffe in 14, unlike Clark in 96, should stand down because of something largely out of the control of either – more people voted NZ First in 96 than 2014.

                • boyonlaptop

                  “In 1993, Labour received its lowest share of the vote since 1931, in 2011 Labour received its lowest share of the vote since 1928.”

                  Yes at 34.68%, better than Labour got in 2008,11, or 14 if Cunliffe had got that result I’d be here vehemently defending him too.

                  “What you’re also doing here is blaming Cunliffe for Labour’s huge 7 point plunge under Clark (2008) and 6.5 plunge under Goff (2011). Cunliffe inherited a context in which a whole swathe of Labour voters had deserted over previous elections, just as Clark had in 1996.”

                  No, what I’m blaming Cunliffe for his is inability to improve Labour’s result. Labour has achieved a worse result than Clark did in 1996 and that was Phil Goff in 2011 (and it should be noted he resigned straight away) at 27.50% which then has slid further under Cunliffe. Labour was already starting from it’s worst result since 1928, Cunliffe has lost the mandate to lead from the New Zealand public. Labour-Greens-NZF is 41% this election, it was 52% in 1996. Nearly 60% of the voting public have voted against a Labour-led government and that’s really worrying much more than Labour’s result in 1996 was.

                  • swordfish

                    Starting to get a little tired. Wayyyyyyyy past bedtime for a growing lad like me.

                    But I’ll just add a quick couple of things…

                    Your stats are starting to look a little dodgy.

                    First, you’ve suddenly shifted the goal-posts and are now using Moore’s 1993 35% as the benchmark that Cunliffe is to be measured against rather than the 28% under Clark in 1996.

                    Second you’re comparing the entire Left Bloc + NZ First percentage in 1996 (52%) with a very dodgy percentage for the Left Bloc (minus one of its component parties – IMP) + NZ First in 2014 (41%). The reality is that, after Specials, the Left + NZ First should receive about 45 or 46% this year. Christ knows where your 41% figure comes from. Even excluding IMP, it’s way too low.

                    • boyonlaptop

                      I’m not moving the goal posts, just referring to your comment about 1993. You are correct, it was late I should have checked my figures NZF-Labour and the Greens will get about 45%.

                      The bottom line is 25% is not good enough for the second-biggest party in New Zealand. It is a worse result than 2011, than 1996, than 1993 for the Labour party and as leader David Cunliffe should take first responsibility for the result and realize it’s time to move on.

                      The reason why i included the left bloc as a whole is because I was accused of being too FPP in my thinking between the gap between National and Labour (However, I will note that the biggest party has been the one to form government consistently under MMP and that is what Labour should be aiming for). To which you’ve responded that DC isn’t responsible for the left bloc as a whole, which is actually a fair enough point but you can’t have it both ways. Either way 2014 is the worst result for the left since 1932 and Labour in 92 years.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      25% party vote is NOT good enough for Labour. The party vote in WGN Central, Grant Robertson’s electorate actually came in BELOW that dismal number.

                      And Labour repeated many of the campaign mistakes from 2011. All major campaign decisions had the input of the front bench.

                      Electorates put much more effort into the electorate vote than the party vote. In Wellington Central, Labour came in THIRD for the party vote, for the second time in a row.

                      How is any of this Cunliffe’s fault when he successfully went toe to toe with John Key in the debates, in the media?

      • Benghazi 20.1.3

        Again, get your facts straight. Kirk didn’t ‘resonate with the NZ public” as you put it for two elections before he won. Clark’s personal PM ratings were almost identical to Cunliffe at the same stage he is now.

    • Torney 20.2

      For the record, Labour came close to governing in 1966 (41.4:43.6) and 1969 (45.2:44.2). There were no challengers to Kirk in either post-election confidence vote.

      If Peters had chosen Labour in 1996, then Clark would have been PM then. She did even worse (33.87:28.17) than Mike Moore (35.05:34.68), but had the confidence of her caucus (just).

      What happened this year incomparable to 66, 69, or 96. Giving Cunliffe another go because Kirk and Clark got one ignores the reasons why – they can damn close to winning! No honest person can argue the Cunliffe came close to winning.

      • mickysavage 20.2.1

        Why are you blaming Cunliffe for the result? And what happened to the Green vote? Did Cunliffe cause them to fall as well?

        The logic is shallow. Labour did bad therefore Cunliffe has to go even though:

        1. The result probably had nothing to do with him.
        2. The left performed poorly over all.
        3. Caucus was a mess and has been a mess for years.
        4. National campaigned well and had a huge financial advantage.

        Changing leader will not address any of the very clear problems.

        • boyonlaptop

          1. If the election result had nothing to do with him, that should be enough reason to stand down. The notion that the leader of the opposition had nothing to do with an election result is crazy.
          2. Agreed, certainly not just DC’s fault
          3 & 4. I don’t disagree, I don’t think this was a winnable election for Labour but it was one in which they should have gained support and shouldn’t have bleed further from an historic defeat. They were faced with a government with a 4% growth rate but it was also a government that was smeared with dirty politics, arrogant ministers and pretty crappy median wage growth. Labour should could have and should have made up some ground.

        • Thinker

          I’ve been thinking about a book on my shelf about Churchill’s ‘Wilderness Years’.

          Sad to say, I think there’s a lot of parallels between those times and now.

          Churchill went for years, being as villified as it can be for a politician who had no real scandals behind him. What went wrong for Churchill between ’34 & ’39 wasn’t his lack of ability or his message, it was simply that people weren’t ready to receive either of them. When they were ready, Churchill became arguably the most treasured politician of the 20th century.

          But, what turned things around wasn’t to do with campaigning for an election for a few months. It was the fact that Churchill’d been talking common sense for about 5 years, as he put it ‘never giving in’ and when people reached the point where they simply couldn’t pull the wool over their own eyes any longer, they realised they had someone reliable to turn to, like an oasis in the desert.

          I don’t think NZ will be swayed much by a few weeks (ok, months) of campaigning. It’s going to take at least a term of solid, forthright, common sense opposition, that finds its way through the media, staying on-message, to households’ dining tables and living rooms. If, as some of the media are saying already, Key will win again in 2017, then at least spend this term building up the kind of credibility that Churchill did, a credible message of a unified opposition and alternative to the status-quo.

          The GFC showed the world that neoliberalism/trickle-down isn’t everything it purported to be. If it was, the collapse shouldn’t have happened and we’d all now be sharing the benefits of trickle-down economics. After 30 years, we’re still waiting for the gain after the pain that Douglas and his ilk promised. For more than one generation of workers, that’s too long, in my opinion.

          So, the question is how do you get that message to people who don’t really want to be interested in national/global affairs, and how do you convince them that you have a better solution?

          I recall a quote from the (then) President of Nissan Motors – “… If you’re in a hurry, don’t try to climb mountains”.

  21. red blooded 21

    I see Grant Robertson as likeable and articulate. He’s certainly Labour through and through. While he’s personally ambitious, that’s also true of Cunliffe. Some here are accusing him of not fully backing the elected leader: I would say,
    1) He gave his all to the last campaign, and 2) if we’re honest, Cunliffe was less than fully supportive of Shearer.

    I didn’t vote for Robertson last time, mostly because of concerns about lack of Ministetial experience (although he has plenty of policy and admin experience). I might this time, mostly because I think Cunliffe has shown himself to be deeply flawed as a leader (especially in his actions and comments since the awful election result). I’d still like a 3rd choice, though…

    • Ant 21.1

      What’s this about Cunliffe undermining Shearer? it was Grant’s crew that rolled Shearer.

      • Anne 21.1.1

        Yes, its one of the Dirty Politics meme that Cunliffe rolled Shearer and its widespread throughout the country. In actual fact it was Maryann Street who began the roll… and she was a Robertson supporter!

        List MP Maryan Street said yesterday she would back Robertson and confirmed she would have moved a motion of no-confidence in David Shearer if he had not stepped down.


        The media got that one wrong.

        • Deb Kean

          ” In actual fact it was Maryann Street who began the roll… and she was a Robertson supporter!”
          Exactly why I am so glad she’s gone – unethical woman! 🙁

          • Anne

            No Deb Kean I don’t regard Maryan Street as unethical. She just had a different opinion who she wanted as leader. There’s nothing unethical about that. Where the bad ethics came in was the attempt by some to blame Cunliffe and discredit him in the process. I don’t believe Maryan had anything to do with that side of things.

      • SDCLFC 21.1.2

        Cunliffe tried to roll Shearerbefore that – Mackay was running the numbers for him but when he came up short he pleaded, “who me? no you’re mistaken.” That’s when Hipkins slapped him down in public.

      • Apples 21.1.3

        Cunliffe actively undermined Shearer. Obvious to everyone.

        Grant was loyal to both Shearer and Cunliffe. There were people in caucus that undermined both, but Grant has clean hands.

        • Mark

          A complete rewrite of history. When is the pope going to anoint Saint Grant. A career politician from the beltway. I need a good laugh but don’t think for a second think he has wide appeal.

        • mickysavage

          Were you there? I was and there was no challenge.

      • Hami Shearlie 21.1.4

        Mike Williams confirmed that on Radio Live this morning!

    • robertson has never even been a minister..

      ..how does that in any way qualify him to be prime minister..?

      • boyonlaptop 21.2.1

        I know! He might follow in the terrible traditions of Savage and Norman Kirk. Or that might make him unelectable like it did for Holland or Lange.

        • Mark

          You are really stretching it now. You are going to compare that beltway arse with Kirk and Holland. Give me a bucket.

        • phillip ure


          ..robertson is not any of those you name…

          ..not in any way..really..

          • boyonlaptop

            I’m not in any delusions that he is but two quick points.
            1) People who have not had cabinet posts have still been good Prime Ministers,
            2) I still think he’ll do a better job than DC.

    • Chooky 21.3

      …he is certainly a careerist through and through

      • Vaughan Little 21.3.1

        Grant has stated that he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life in politics. From memory you’ll be able to find that in a Bryce Edwards interview on youtube.

        It’s malicious to say a guy who loves his job and wants to get to the top of the ladder is careerist. A careerist is someone who lacks scruples, is opportunistic, etc. Like Dunne.

        • Chooky

          …opportunist first and careerist second then?….(sorry i have met a few of these boys…short on talent but big on scheming and plotting behind the scenes to get ahead at all costs…they lack perspective and they are ruthless)

          At this particular time the Labour Party needs a real Left Leader ….who is completely beholden to the Labour Party membership…and takes Labour back to its roots

          ….for this David Cunliffe ( as the most able… and courageous against all odds) deserves a second chance with Nanaia Mahuta as his running mate….

          Nanaia Mahuta will keep David Cunliffe’s feet on the ground and his ear close to the working class constituency of the Labour Party ….and she is a woman and a Maori…(she has been loyal and hard working and and she has proved her worth to the Labour Party)

          • boyonlaptop


            Robertson is the Careerist being in parliament since 2008 against Cunliffe since 1999 and Mahuta since 1996?

            Seriously, I’d like to see a more substantial debate from DC supporters than this.

    • Benghazi 21.4

      Fell like articulating exactly what Cunliffe has done post election to show himself as “deeply flawed”? I see a man who is exhausted having given his all to the campaign. Compared with Robertson who held a lot in reserve in the lection campaign, all the while organising for a leadership campaign post-election. His phone banking calls started very early after the election loss – very organised.

      • Roztoz 21.4.1

        Grant was 100% committed to the campaign and to electing DC Prime Minister. He was flying all over the country to campaign for the PV, forgoing campaigning his own neck of the woods in the process.

        In terms of being premature, DC called the leadership election *before* the result was even in. Don’t accuse Grant of disloyalty when the whole team put in their all -including DC.

  22. Blue 22

    Not to be the one to stomp on a starry-eyed young person’s dream, but…

    1. Fair enough. Implying that David Cunliffe doesn’t have progressive values too is a bit offensive.
    2. Building campaign machinery is nice, but that’s not really the main job of a leader.
    3. I don’t doubt he’s a smart guy, but again, so is his competition.
    4. I’m pretty sure everyone has interests outside of politics.
    5. He might be able to unite the party (read, shut the ABCs up for a while). But I’d prefer to see them gone rather than play appeasement.
    6. ‘Kiwis love it when people overseas talk about them!’ is a little cringy.
    7. This is good. Not sure I’ve seen the story where David Cunliffe went bonkers on the ministerial credit cards though.
    8. Saying a person is principled and won’t take the lazy populist route is quite an act of faith, given that Grant has never held any position where he’s had an opportunity to show this.
    9. This is good. Many people who’ve met David Cunliffe like him too.
    10. David Shearer had a great backstory. David’s Cunliffe’s isn’t bad either.

    So far I am 0/10 for reasons to vote Grant over David.

    • boyonlaptop 22.1

      1. I don’t think anyone is implying DC doesn’t have progressive voters but arguably Robertson is more progressive.
      2. When Labour gets 24% of the vote we need all the help we can get to build campaign machinery. Even Cunliffe acknowledged the party should have done more fundraising.
      5. That sounds in theory to see the ABCs gone but what happens when that faction makes up at least 20 MPs of caucus? Labour is not going to win the next election by culling all of these MPs.
      7. No but Cunliffe did have some dodgy trusts and questionable CV notations both of which were way overhyped by the right-wing media but still Robertson clearly has a little less baggage.
      8. You could say this about any leader, Cunliffe is arguably has less of a progressive history though. He was involved in a centrist grouping including Cosgrove and O’Connor in 1999.
      9 & 10 agreed.

      Here’s a really simple reason to vote for Robertson over Cunliffe: Cunliffe has proved he’s not electable and Robertson hasn’t had the chance. Ironically, the same criticism many Cunliffe supporters made of Robertson last time. 24% is not a mandate to lead, he may be a nice guy and he may have been unfairly treated but the reality is no leader in any western democracy has recovered from a defeat of this size. It’s time for him to step aside.

      • swordfish 22.1.1

        When Labour gets 24% of the vote

        25%, not 24%. Why do you feel the need to deliberately lower Labour’s actual result ? (In precisely the same way that Grant Robertson did – repeatedly, about 20 times – on TVNZ’s Q+A).

        • boyonlaptop

          24.69% or 25% fine then maybe 25.4ish with specials, it’s still a dismal result. If we’re finished with semantics do you have anything of substance to add to what I’ve said?

      • Benghazi 22.1.2

        Again you need to get better with your facts.
        1. If you’re arguing Robertson is is more progressive, give some examples not just a general assertion.
        2. The party needs much better fundraising. That is not a point of comparison between Cunliffe and Robertson. However, its clear that Labour has poor existing relationships with business and is ineffective as securing larger donations. I’d back Cunliffe with his business background to be more likely to make the necessary links. However, overall I think this is a very important issue for the wider party to address in its review. The National Party has an extremely effective machine well oiled by money for all manner of things such as daily polling and focus groups to test new policy.
        5. Who has suggested that all the ABC’s need to go? Of course that wouldn’t work. But a review that brings forward better processes for caucus discipline with real sanctions such as expulsion, addresses renewal – maybe three terms only as an electorate MP, KPIs for sucession planning etc. It will only take one MP being sanctioned for the others to fall into line.
        7. Don’t believe everything you read from the National Party’s Research Unit – or are you just a Nat troll. Cunliffe responded properly to every CV claim if you listened to the responses.
        8. Why don’t you ask Cosgrove and O’Connor if Cunliffe was ever an ideaological bedfellow. Then run before they answer.

        I am sure Standard readers can see this for what it is. Team Robertson Dirty Politics. Weren’t we supposed to be better than that?

        • boyonlaptop

          The only facts so far that I’ve seen is incorrect is your bizarre claim that Romney didn’t work at BCG.

          1 and 8)”Cunliffe and Tamihere gravitated towards each other, part of a group of junior MPs including Clayton Cosgrove and Damien O’Connor and the direction Labour might take in the longer term, post-Clark. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11291924
          Tamihere mentioned in an another interview that they wanted to move Labour to the centre.

          2) Don’t you see the contradiction here? How is David Cunliffe both a working class hero and can’t get business on side? Do you realistically think big business donors won’t want something for their support?
          5) I would totally disagree with a proposal of three terms as an electorate MP, having met several Labour electorate MPs they say it takes at least a term to establish good relationships with their electorates. If anything this would likely increase factionalism as MPs would vie for a good list position once their three terms are up rather than serve their electorates.

    • SDCLFC 22.2

      I’ll offer something for you.
      Cunliffe’s tanked it post election (and just wasn’t good enough pre either). The biggest indictment is losing the confidence of David Parker.
      An alternative must be found.
      Grant’s no guarantee of success and understand why he’s seen as underdog to have broad appeal firstly across the party and then the electorate. For this reason I was in favour of Cunliffe over Robertson first time around.
      However one of the things that strikes me about Grant is that when he speaks he lands where he’s aiming. Not true of the three previous leaders.
      The more people he speaks to and in front of, the more people will be pulled towards Labour.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 22.2.1

        The more the rash of new commenters expose their myopia, the less like Lefties they look. This one has weasel words to spare.

        • SDCLFC

          I’m sure there’s some wit in there somewhere but I just can’t find it….clearly my failing not yours.
          Of course you could just offer what it is that I said you find vermin-like.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            “Maybe Labour isn’t right for business because they’re always telling the customer that they’re wrong…the MSM did their job…I don’t want to debunk child poverty in this country [goes immediately to casting doubt on stats]… next election it will be 20%…” etc. etc.

            And not a single word that could be considered a hard fact. Opinion, assertion, innuendo, misdirection.

            • SDCLFC

              Oh dear you are a little worked up aren’t you.
              I am flattered by the attention. I hope you had time to put the kids to bed.
              Still a little disappointed though over the cherry picking of quotes without response to the wider argument, especially when sharing my personal situ in search of a response from someone re children in poverty.
              I can see where the criticism of the left being a club more concerned with exclusion than rigorous debate comes from. Thank you for proving their point.

    • Chooky 22.3

      +100 Blue

  23. Well… to people who think that a Robertson leadership would be good for gay rights, be careful what you wish for.

    By the time Slater has finished with him (and we saw what happened to the unfortunate Mr Hughes), the underlying homophobia of much of NZ (and there is a lot of this) will be out in the open, and that won’t be nice.

  24. Policy Parrot 24

    As a member from the leftist tendency, rather than the liberal tendency, I am likely to vote for the person who is most likely to deliver government for Labour, and a left-leaning coalition led by them.

    I see the list above, as something that operates in an ideal world – where people aren’t nasty to each other, character assassination isn’t the order of the day, and people are celebrated for their differences.

    Politics isn’t like that. And we need to get with the programme if we are going to serve the best interests of those who we historically claim to represent.

    I remain to be convinced that Grant is the right choice for those reasons. Just as I am increasing opposed to David remaining leader. There is a big concern for a lot of members that our choices are simply “buying into our opponent’s framing”.

    As I said at the start, government and meaningful changes for our voters and members should be the goal of all this, and I will support whoever I believe is best suited to this end.

  25. the pigman 25

    An observation (and clearly I am inviting you to draw inferences), but it seems to me that a handful of new posters, the likes of which we haven’t seen before or in a long time, appear to comprise the bulk of Robertson’s supporters on The Standard.

    That is not, mind you, to suggest that the Standard should be a place for group think, or where dissent is discouraged.

    I just find it, well, odd.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 25.1

      Odd’s one word for it.

      Someone suggested Robertson is a likable fellow – which I expect he is, and misses the point entirely: by all accounts so is Cunliffe.

      Cunliffe now has brand recognition too – just as Goff had in 2011. It’s a little embarrassing to watch Lefties get so precious about who the leader is, when our entire philosophy is based on mutual support and teamwork, not hierarchy.

      Choose a captain and then get on with the bloody game.

      • boyonlaptop 25.1.1

        And that brand is now toxic.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Says John Armstrong’s parrot.

          • boyonlaptop

            And how in your wisdom have you come to that conclusion?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              You just came to the same conclusion entirely independently using different arguments by sheer coincidence, I’m sure.

              The fact is that Labour’s low polling is down to a number of factors: the febrile insistence on Grant Robertson as a saviour is conceit at best and self-serving at worst.

              • boyonlaptop

                Yes amazingly in a two-horse leadership fight my views might happen to align with a single right-wing commentator. Whereas Hooton, Farrar and Jordan Williams have all liked the keep David Cunliffe as Labour leader facebook page. Therefore you’re a parrot of Hooton, Farrar and Williams see the problem with your logic now?

                Also, I would never claim that Robertson is Labour’s messiah. I don’t know how he’ll do in leadership, all I know is I’ve met the guy, I like him and Cunliffe’s position appears untenable given the election result. I like many other Robertson supporters wanted Cunliffe to become Prime Minister, I door knocked for Labour, delivered pamphlets and was an active supporter. The reality is for whatever reason the public hasn’t warmed to him and he needs to go.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Align how? Along Donghua Liu lines or something honest?

                • mickysavage

                  They have spent years undermining Cunliffe. Tell me this. Do you think Robertson could stand up to the same attacks? And when they are finished with him who do you think we should try next? And after that?

                  It is time that we refused to accept their framing of issues and people and gave our leadership a chance to succeed.

                  • Deb Kean

                    “And when they are finished with him who do you think we should try next? And after that?

                    It is time that we refused to accept their framing of issues and people and gave our leadership a chance to succeed.”
                    Absolutely agreed! 🙂

                • Murray Olsen

                  People “like” Facebook pages so they can comment on them. Plenty of people liked Key’s page, but were kicked off as soon as they posted anything but “Thank you for the great job you are doing, sir.”

                  In fact, I get the strong impression that at least a few of the Robertson devotees who have suddenly appeared are right wingers seeking to muddy the waters. A week of intensive training should have been enough for them to write “gay” rather than pooftah, fagot, arse bandit, or (Blubber Boy’s favourite) cock smoker. No doubt some of the new arrivals are genuine Robertson supporters, but I very much doubt they all are.

                  • boyonlaptop

                    Oh come on, you don’t think any right-wing commentators don’t want to see Cunliffe stay as leader after getting a pathetic 25%?

                    Yup, you got me I’m such a devoted right-winger that I created the same pseudonym and commented on supporting Cunliffe in the last leadership election(as linked to in this article). As I could foresee that Cunliffe was going to get such a pathetic result, so that I could then promote Robertson to the leadership because he’d definitely get a result worse than 25%. Sounds about as plausible as 15% of the population suddenly deciding they got it wrong voting for the Nats and suddenly want to vote for Cunliffe in 2017.

                    Whatever helps you sleep at night. But it will say it sneers desperation actively attempting to portray anyone who doesn’t believe in the infallibility of Cunliffe as instantly on the right of the party.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      You’re pretty good at the strawman stuff there, boy. Had heaps of practice, have we? You got four of them into that.

        • boldsirbrian

          @ boyonlaptop (22.1.1)

          New here.
          Karen Price.
          Something similar?
          Couldn’t be?
          Nah couldn’t be.
          Could it?

          Mr. Botany (B.)

          • boyonlaptop

            For goodness sake, I want to quell once and for all this speculation that somehow a campaign orchestrated by GR here are my comments on another website using the same pseudonym in support of Cunliffe during the last leadership campaign. (http://www.reddit.com/r/newzealand/comments/1kwxc4/cunliffes_speech_on_the_gcsb_bill/cbu1w5g)

            • boldsirbrian

              @ boyonlaptop (

              I apologise, with the minor disclaimer, that people like you (and I) not using our own names, deserve an initial greater scrutiny. The intensity of your posts, and the number of them were a little surprising. I’m very comfortable with posts supporting all candidates.

              Mr. Botany (B.)

    • Vaughan Little 25.2

      There are thousands of readers who will only be motivated to comment about stuff they personally relate to.

      Being silent most of the time and commenting only very occasionally is surely within the bounds of sanity…

  26. Graham 26

    6. “He is gay. This will be ground-breaking for New Zealand and will make me proud of our small country. New Zealanders love it when New Zealand gets international attention for the right reasons and I think Grant’s sexuality is a cause for celebration – all the more so when he is PM!”

    So, Grant is Gay. What on earth has this to do with politics and his desire to be the Leader of the Labour Party? It is the quality and professionalism of the person that is needed, not his sexuality. And why would it be great for New Zealand? That ground breaking has already happened in Europe. I don’t care if he is gay, heterosexual, has horns or an invisible halo, or comes from Mars. Please, stop this slotting of people. Repeat, it is the quality and professionalism of the person that counts.

  27. word 27

    Grant Robertson along with Shearer et al kicking David Cunliffe and undermining the party right after the election to force a leadership change, shows Grant Robertson is far from having any principles and is just in it for himself. He was not prepared to forge unity within the party under another leader, and telling media he could have beaten John key is just ludicrous.

    Grant Robertson does not have my support or vote, that goes to David Cunliffe, who deserves a second chance, one year was not long enough.

  28. 1)..meaningless claptrap..so what..?

    2)..denied by his coming third in the party vote in his seat..



    5)..meaningless claptrap..

    6)..so what..?

    7).. meaningless-claptrap..

    8)..meaningless claptrap..



    (i have rarely seem a bunch of words more purporting to say something..

    ..that actually say nothing..

    ..nothing at all..)

  29. anker 29

    I appreciate the discussion re the leadership campaign. But I just feel the site has been swamped by the pr machine for GR. Many new posters, that I don’t recognise.

    There is nothing to stop the GR team doing this of course, but I personally find it a little irritating. Guys it feels like a sales pitch, not genuine discourse.

    I haven’t completely made up my mine, but I am likely to vote DC. The reason is that I believe he is the best in terms of leadership material that Labour has.

    It has been totally obvious to me from day one that there has been a massive spin machine against Cunliffe. More so than every for Shearer and even Goff despite what DP revelled.

    David has withstood this.

    I am damned if I am going to let the likes of Armstrong, Gower, Watkins et, el define the narrative of who shall lead Labour. I am deeply suspicious of that and the fact that people like Mathew Hooten are so very eager to get rid of DC. I am damned sure I am not going to let Caucus try to dictate who leads Labour. Personally I was highly disappointed with some of the Labour MPs who spoke out immediately after the election. I was particularly disappointed in David Parker who announced he had no confidence in DC. By all means tell that to DC, but not the public. An act of disloyalty with no purpose in my book. The number of times I heard DC talk about DP in the warmest and glowing terms. Not impressed.

    • Karen 29.1

      =100 Anker

    • boyonlaptop 29.2

      I’m a long time reader, first time poster as I said I supported Cunliffe last time and am excited to finally see some positive commentary on Robertson on the Standard which is why I’m personally commenting.

      I’m keen for a proper discourse in this leadership election and to hear why we should keep DC as leader, so far I’ve only seen dog-whistle politics, Bradbury’s bizarre claims that the Labour leader has to be from Auckland or spreading the blame of the election defeat at everyone but DC’s feet.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 29.2.1

        Got a list of those reasons for defeat and influential you think they may have been?

        Here’s mine:

        1. Dirty Politics – from Donghua Liu to Nicky Hager – drowned out any chance of a policy debate.

        2. Kim Dotcom’s antics.

        3. Labour infighting and divisiveness.

        Cunliffe did well in the debates (the CGT confusion notwithstanding – and provoked by a down-right lie from Key), and was the go-to guy when the MSM needed a break from Key/Slater/Collins crimes and sleaze.

        He is not the pain in your mind.

      • Mark 29.2.2

        It has not even been well done. It has been like listening to a born again christian meeting. Hail the the new god the newcomers yell. Fuck him and everything he stands for.

      • Paul 29.2.3

        Are you Jason Ede?

        [lprent: Bad idea trying out people. It gets me irritated as invariably the identification is wrong. Do it often enough and I start removing my problem. And no I haven’t bothered to look. I do that when I see behavioural problems (and boyonlaptop seems to have rectified his enough to let him out of my moderation watch) ]

      • Kiwisaver 29.2.4

        Having read your comments I just wonder how you know Hooton, Farrar etc have liked the Keep David Cunliffe as Leader facebook page, and why you’d have such a keen interest?
        I didn’t know it existed.
        And why you seem so vehemently opposed to David Cunliffe?
        It’s rather fishy to me.

        • boyonlaptop

          Because I read the news, http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbpol/944887211-social-media-support-for-cunliffe

          I’m not vehemently opposed to DC at all, I think that as Labour members we should rally behind whoever wins the leadership election and I will continue to volunteer for the party. As I said I supported DC last election, however after an historic election defeat I don’t believe he can win the 2017 election and I truly believe Grant Robertson is the better candidate.

          • MustangSally

            Hooton et al have now been blocked as members of the page.

            • boyonlaptop

              That’s irrelevant. The point is there are clearly some Tories who want DC to stay on as leader and after getting 25% of the vote you can see why.

    • @ anker..

      ..re parker..

      “..An act of disloyalty with no purpose..”

      ..+ 1..

    • Chooky 29.4


    • Foreign waka 29.5

      Couldn’t agree more. Now we know why and how DC has lost despite all efforts. And to make things worse, all the intrigue on the back of an election. One can tell how honestly concerned this lot is about the welfare of the average kiwi – yeah right.

    • Ffloyd 29.6

      DC has withstood everything that has been thrown at him and I still believe that he is in it for nz and not for himself. God knows we need a champion to keep out heart and our soul. NZ IS UNIQUE. We need to keep it that way. Lose the key!.

    • lurgee 29.7

      I appreciate the discussion re the leadership campaign. But I just feel the site has been swamped by the pr machine for GR. Many new posters, that I don’t recognise.

      There is nothing to stop the GR team doing this of course, but I personally find it a little irritating. Guys it feels like a sales pitch, not genuine discourse.

      Like the people joining Labour simply to vote for Cunliffe and announcing their intention to take their ball and go home if he doesn’t win?

  30. red blooded 30

    Well, I’m not new. I have been roundly abused many times for questioning what I see as group-think, though. In fact, Lprent told me yesterday that I am an idiot and must have been in nappies in the Clark years. (I have a Masters in Political Science and have been an activist since the Muldoon years.)

    What’s my point? It can be very intimidating to raise your head and question the general flow of discussion on TS. It can be simplistic and over-hyped, but it’s not easy to point that out to people who only want to hear from those echoing exactly their viewpoint. I find it refreshing to see a different viewpoint being discussed seriously and think it’s great to hear from some new voices. Labour (& the left more generally) clearly need to do some fresh thinking and hear from a new generation of commentators. renewal doesn’t occur just within a closed group.

    • @ redblooded..

      ..sheesh..!..you should try being a vegan legal-pot advocate…

      ..that’ll keep you on yr toes..

      ..(not self-pitying here..just noting..)

    • lprent 30.2

      Read the policy. The place is set up for “robust debate” and that means you will get called names. The standard that is used about abuse that it is not allowed to be “pointless abuse”. So if you don’t like something then say why. If you think someone is being an idiot then say so and why. Just be careful about doing it for the authors of a post.

      If you want nice pleasant and superficially congenial debate then go to Public Address.

      There are right-wingers who survive easily around here. You just have to stop being so damn precious.

      It really really pays to read the about/policy of any site you comment on. That is how you avoid the common pitfalls.

      If you really don’t like it, then start your own site and attract your own audience.

    • anker 30.3

      RB @27FResh Ideas……………….wasn’t that what David Shearer was supposed to be.

  31. What we need to realise is that members of the Labour Party have a democratic vote for their leader .Once that is over then each member should accept the result and promote and defend our leader,After this election lets unite in telling the numerous Right wing critics to “piss of”and have a good look at their own parties.
    Its time these Tory trouble makers were told that Labour Party members are well able to manage their own affairs. Lets face it for sometime now its been the Right-wing press and vicious but well known ACT/Nat members who have been “advising ” Labour members on how our Party shpould be managed.
    I for one am fed up with the likes of Joyce , John Armstrong , and other Herald writers advising labour. So please members have your own choice do no be influenced by Tory propogander.Then after this democratic election get behind the leader who ever he/she are.

    • Colonial Viper 31.1

      Once that is over then each member should accept the result and promote and defend our leader

      Let’s be clear: it’s not the general membership of the party who have had the real problem doing this.

  32. red blooded 32

    Absolutely. That doesn’t make it wrong to look at the pluses and minuses of each candidate, though. We should be respectful if each other and of the candidates, but it’s still refreshing to see some positive discourse about someone other than Cunliffe on this site.

    [lprent: Perhaps you should look back over the posts for the last 60 posts (there are about 30 per top page) back to a few days after the election and point to any egregious numbers of posts for Cunliffe? I just did, and essentially it is a list of the announcements and events as the leadership challenge unfolded. Basically the authors are leaning over backwards to try to be reasonably balanced at present.

    Commenters are a different story of course. But they aren’t the people running the site.

    Similarly the moderators are in charge of behaviour on this site. Not a random commenter. We really don’t like stuck up dickheads trying to tell us how we should run the site.

    Go and read the policy. You’ll have time to do so as you’re banned for 2 weeks for stupidity and wasting my time checking.

    Updated: After representations for a number of people including several authors and commenters, I’ve dropped to time served. Hopefully you have read the policy? ]

  33. Anne Goodman 33

    I agree with Fleur’s article and I particularly endorse the comment that we shouldn’t pander to prejudice. But I’m disgusted at the patronising responses that follow.

  34. anker 34

    RB @ 29. I think the issue is we all know the so-called “minuses” of DC staying on as leader, because we have had it shouted to us by Hooten, Watkins, Armstrong et el and some outspoken members of the caucus.

    I feel very strongly that it is ridiculous for Labour to play this lets change the leader game. It just buys into the msm narrative that John Key is god and we can pick at your next contender for them to either approve or disapprove of (but remember whatever their level of approval is he/she will be no competition for their beloved John)

    I think there would be a lot of strength in sticking with DC, because amongst other things NZders like someone who is tough and stands up to crap (thus Winston’s appeal). Given I believe DC did a good job in one year (not a perfect job) and he has a lot to offer, we should stay with him.

    So that is my bit (one of them) to offer to the discourse.

    Regarding caucus see my comment on open mike re group think.

  35. outofbed 35

    In Wellington Central the Green Party has beaten Labour in the party vote stakes for the last two elections.
    I would have thought that a prerequisite of a good Leader is the ability to get a good effective team around you.
    The Green party Team were everywhere in WC and Labour very very ineffective.

    To beat Key Labour has to have a strong credible charismatic leader who will recognise that the need to respect and work hard with the Green party.
    I can’t see anybody who matches that description in the caucus at the moment.

    Cunliffe has shot his bolt
    Robertson does not cut the mustard
    Nash is a joke
    Shearer not the greatest choice I would have thought
    That leaves hmm Parker and Arden

  36. Annie 36

    Is there any way David Parker would change his mind and run? He is very able and relatable, including to Aucklanders, but also to the provinces. He has been very competent as deputy leader and finance spokesperson. His policy of controlling inflation via Kiwisaver rather than interest rates IMHO was genius.

  37. Karen 37

    There are some new people posting here who are enthusiastic supporters of Grant Robertson. An orchestrated campaign? Maybe, maybe not, and it doesn’t much matter. Grant is a contender and he obviously has a fan base, which is a good thing.

    What I would like to hear from his fans is some more detail about what kind of policies he supports, were there any policies he did not support, how will he and his partner cope with the character assassination he will be subject to in the media if he does become the leader, what will he do to get the various factions working together, how will he quell the ambitions of people like Nash, what skills does he have apart from being intelligent and likeable, and what would he have done differently during the campaign to increase Labour’s vote.

    • Colonial Viper 37.1

      Yep. The leadership contenders are mobilising their support bases so it’s fine that GR’s peeps make themselves known on The Standard. But they have to be prepared to answer hard questions about their favoured candidate as well.

      Myself – I clearly back Cunliffe (still), but I would also say that he needs to sharpen up on some areas (and realising that drifting towards middling centrism kills Labour in the polls). He must also make clear what is going to change going forward in the Leaders office and in caucus. The Thorndon Bubble crowd of advisors and hangers on need banishing. Business as usual is not acceptable.

    • Vaughan Little 37.2

      “I’m not worried that he’s gay. I’m worried that other people will worry that he’s gay.”

      What keeps me awake is worrying about people worrying about people worrying that he’s gay.

      Politics is not just about getting the numbers, it’s about deserving the numbers, and to deserve the numbers you have to be principled. I.e., a gay leader is gonna cost the party maybe half a percentage point, maybe a whole percentage point, but fuckit, if he’s the best guy for the job that’s what I’m gonna go with. And being the best guy for the job is gonna pick you up a lot more percentage points than you’d lose because of who your significant other is.

      • Mark 37.2.1

        You think 1% of the NZ population is homophobic. Just a wee bit out there I would have thought.

    • Jenny Kirk 37.3

      And I’d like to add to your list of questions, Karen.
      What is Grant Robertson’s stance on GE-GMOs ? I heard him say that in certain circumstances GE modification is okay. I would like him to elaborate on that more, because when I sought further info from him, I didn’t get a reply.

  38. Adrian 38

    If DC doesn’t win, Fairfax, Herald slater Lusk Farrer et al have won. Simple as that.
    The idea of propaganda is destabilisation, keep changing generals and you lose.
    The Hearld in 2002 named David Shearer NZer of the Year, 10 years later he was “a bumbling mumbling fool, a walking disaster” ( paraphrased).
    They threw everything at Cunliffe.
    Just for one moment think what they would do to Grant Robertson, for a whole lot of reasons, mostly wrong but perception is everything, Wellingtonian, career politician, no business or management experience, childless ( what would he know? ), Helen’s favourite, plotter, destabiliser ( thats rich), never a minister, only supported by just over half the caucus, etc etc.
    There is bugger all left to throw at Cunliffe, sometimes the only way to win is too just stare the bastards down.

    • Karen 38.1

      +1 Adrian …. particularly your last line.

      • Colonial Viper 38.1.1

        And doubly so, because core Labour supporters out there are looking for a Labour Leader who can do just that – and not be frakking apologising for stuff and looking weak in the process. Like having a wife who will bat for you on Twitter and call it as she sees it. That’s pretty awesome really, a massive plus not a minus.

        And if any of his media team actually advised the mea culpas, they can bloody go.

        • greywarbler

          coklonial viper
          But I think Cunliffe wants to say he won fair and square, if he does. And he doesn’t want any spanners in the works from his own side, no matter how close. If Robertson gets in he will no doubt do a reasonable job, may surprise doubters, and it will be end of story surely for white anters. But still won’t it be bit middle class with some conerns added on?

          Will David Cunliffe be able to reshape social welfare? We want those receiving assistance to be studying while their children are looked after at child care nearby. Then doing small paid, part-time work, and keeping that money, with no reduction to other assistance. They will be helped with child care so they can be in society, and have a route to a more prosperous future. They won’ be forced to obey orders from WINZ and possibly neglect the kids in doing so. At present they end up living from day to day just managing till the next crisis comes.

          As for Robertson I have the feeling that gay men really can’t shake themselves from regarding bennies with babies as a burden on men, fecund and feckless, and all they ever will be. He may not regard all on assistance as wallies on the take but I would be wary.

          Both need to get onto the mindset of punitive and hostile treatment to welfare. Even when people appear to be hopeless, it doesn’t provide a solution.

        • Vaughan Little

          Yes you’re right, but it really needed to be a non-anonymous twitter account.

      • Jenny Kirk 38.1.2

        Yup + 100 to Adrian

    • Hami Shearlie 38.2

      Cunliffe after all he has weathered, has proved that he has internal steel!! He’s head and shoulders above anyone else in Labour!

    • Olwyn 38.3

      +100 Adrian. Excellent comment. You cannot surrender to Fairfax, Herald slater Lusk Farrer et al and still be The Labour Party. And if you do not surrender to these people, then staring them down is the only way you can win.

    • Anne 38.4

      … sometimes the only way to win is to just stare the bastards down.

      Which is exactly what Helen Clark did in the early to mid 1990s.

    • “..sometimes the only way to win is too just stare the bastards down..”

      + 1..

    • Richard 38.6

      Well bloody said Adrian and a +100 whatever that means.

      I’ve been to a few countries on this planet mostly western democracies, I have never seen such one sided press. Especially from main media, at least the UK when I was there, they had left leaning media to give the other point of view and boobs on page 3 for the working man.

      To win an election first we must defeat The Herald and other bias media, then we can start on the Nats.

      This is war, we need a war cabinet, we need DC to lead the troops to victory against Attila the Herald.

      They want Robertson because he’s that, easy a target to help get JK re-elected 2017.

      The Herald and Armstrong will have a field day with him.

      • phillip ure 38.6.1

        @ richard..

        ..one of my main reasons for starting whoar..

        ..was because of/to counter the crap supermarket-giveaway media we have here in nz..

        ..and nothing has changed since then..

        ..with some exceptions (dita di boni in the herald the other day..)..it is relentless rightwing crap..

    • Hami Shearlie 38.7

      David Cunliffe has tremendous internal steel after being subjected to attack after attack for nigh on 2 years now – He is in a different league to Grant Robertson altogether – Grant Robertson is a snore fest who could never inspire anyone – we need a leader who can inspire, with the intelligence and ability to look at the big picture and explain the solutions for the country. Grant Robertson would never be able to withstand any kind of sustained attack – He got rattled when a reporter exposed him for deliberately hiding his “Alf” in the pub in the leadership race last time. He would crack under any kind of sustained attack and believe me, the pressure from the right would be RELENTLESS!

      • Colonial Viper 38.7.1

        That’s one of the key things here – Cunliffe has already survived and pulled through the dirty politics machine that the NATs put on him. All of the other candidates would have to go through the same kind of BS again, from the start.

        Except for Nash, who is seriously in favour with the right wing commentariat.

        • greywarbler

          @ Hami S
          Snore fest hah! Robertson says all the right things and has done something good in the past re student fees.

          (Kim Hill is talking to someone now saying something about students as consumers and is talking to some Brit about universities. In case you are interested.)

          It could be a case that the grass is always greener in the nearby paddock when viewing Robertson and Cunliffe. And a tendency for the keen and fervent to think that all will come right it they have a Harry Potter magic stick and wave it right – Shazam! Those whose names cannot be mentioned will fall away and the golden land beyond will be reached and cheering crowds will line the streets.

          Gee I like this story. Perhaps I will sit here for an hour dreaming dreams of achievement, happy faces….. Jobs and good wage galore. A better balanced economy. Houses that are fit for their purpose. People having enough money to buy NZ made stuff though it is a bit dearer. Cripes one could get quite dizzy with these visions, oh wait I have the 3D glasses on.

        • Chooky

          Cv +100

  39. weka 39

    I can’t really see the problem with there being new people posting comments. Even if some of them are the GR fan club, there’s no way to know which are and which aren’t, and even if we could tell, what does it matter? Myself, I’m finding it refreshing.

    Besides, better to focus on the content of the comments.

  40. Clean_power 40

    Grant Robertson is the only choice to avoid splitting the party, therefore the Wellington Central MP must win the leadership challenge.

    Go David, win it for Labour!

    • greywarbler 40.1

      clean power
      You speak with forked tongue don’t you, if I recall past comments?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 40.1.1

        Yes. Grant’s worst handicap is his pandemonium of right wing cheerleaders who will of course turn on him if he wins.

        Clean Power makes hate-based comments in bad faith. He represents the National Party.

    • Paul 40.2

      And when right wingers support Robertson, we know why.

    • BM 40.3

      I agree, go Grant.

      You’re the future of Labour.

  41. Barfly 41

    I’m still voting for David Cunliffe

    • Hami Shearlie 41.1

      Thousands of us are, Barfly!

      • Colonial Viper 41.1.1


        But DC needs to come out with a strong rationale for why giving him a second go is going to be different. What is he and his office going to do differently. How is he going to sort caucus discipline and loyalty issues out.

        • greywarbler

          colonial viper
          Cunliffe is enigmatic like the old saying if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

        • MustangSally

          +1 Barfly, Hami and Colonial Viper! Plus my entire family!

  42. slipery 42

    I don’t comment much, but visit daily,I support DC for the same reason I voted for the internet party, an obvious threat to the right wing smear brigade, lame stream media & the Nat$i party. Lol, there l said it!. 🙂

  43. The term swiftboating (also spelled swift-boating or swift boating) is an American neologism used pejoratively to describe an unfair or untrue political attack.

    Clare leading the strategy now? After her mess with the Otago Daily Times it is interesting to see her trying something different !

    • Colonial Viper 43.1

      poor old John Kerry. But as we see, the US establishment recycles their has-beens very effectively. The power elite look after their own.

  44. fisiani 44

    Double or quit. The loser of this leadership contest cannot stay in caucus and undermine the leader for three years. Whoever loses should resign from Parliament. Any Labour candidate would easily win a by-election in New Lynn or Wellington Central.

  45. Word 45

    Grant Robertson along with Shearer et al kicking David Cunliffe and undermining the party right after the election to force a leadership change, shows Grant Robertson is far from having any principles and is just in it for himself. He was not prepared to forge unity within the party under another leader, and telling media he could have beaten John key is just ludicrous.
    Despite the pro national electoral boundary changes, (that no doubt played a part for labour’s disappointing result) David Cunliffe, who lost a large chunk of his electorate, received more in party votes than Robertson did.

    Grant Robertson does not have my support or vote, that goes to David Cunliffe, who deserves a second chance, Its clear Cunliffe has had his hands tied in the one year he has had as leader in the lead up to the election. With a new mandate, loads of experience to draw from, and with a 3 year time frame, David Cunliffe has what it takes to clean up Labour and prepare fully for 2017 election.

  46. Murray Olsen 46

    I can’t see any good candidates in the whole caucus. Cunliffe is head and shoulders above the rest, but I’ve gone off him since he took an FPP approach. Going against Hone, calling Dotcom’s entry reprehensible, belittling the Greens, chasing Winston, and then not defending his wife – he’s far too conciliatory for me. He also lets the enemy set the agenda, which is fatal.

    I just wish Mana and the Greens (without Norman) got a lot more support and then I’d be as interested in the Labour leadership competition as I am in the Bratislava pottery competition.

  47. les 47

    The reality is neither Cunnliffe or Robertson can beat ‘Team Key’.Cunnliffe blew his chance,the public do not like him.Robertson appears very competent,but NZ males in particular will not vote for him.Looks like 2020, before a real contender can be considered.Need to take Nationals approach, when they were devastated,rebuild with new talent.Accepting the reality of another defeat in 2017,I guess Robertson as interim leader is the better option.

  48. Bill 48

    I just wonder – if Penfold gets to be leader, what role is there for Dangermouse?

  49. word 49

    Grant Robertson along with Shearer et al kicking David Cunliffe and undermining the party right after the election to force a leadership change shows Grant Robertson is far from having any principles and is just in it for himself. He was not prepared to forge unity within the party under another leader, and telling media he could have beaten John key is just ludicrous.
    Despite the pro national electoral boundary changes, (that no doubt played a part for labour’s disappointing result) David Cunliffe, who lost a large chunk of his electorate, received more in party votes than Robertson did.

    Grant Robertson does not have my support or vote, that goes to David Cunliffe, who deserves a second chance, Its clear Cunliffe has had his hands tied in the one year he has had as leader in the lead up to the election. With a new mandate, loads of experience to draw from, and with a 3 year time frame, David Cunliffe has what it takes to clean up Labour and prepare fully for the 2017 election.

  50. word 50

    Grant Robertson along with Shearer et al kicking David Cunliffe and undermining the party right after the election to force a leadership change shows : :Grant Robertson is far from having any principles and is just in it for himself. He was not prepared to forge unity within the party under another leader, and telling media he could have beaten John key is just ludicrous.
    Despite the pro national electoral boundary changes, (that no doubt played a part for labour’s disappointing result) David Cunliffe, who lost a large chunk of his electorate, received more in party votes than Robertson did.

    Grant Robertson does not have my support or vote, that goes to David Cunliffe, who deserves a second chance, Its clear Cunliffe has had his hands tied in the one year he has had as leader in the lead up to the election. With a new mandate, loads of experience to draw from, and with a 3 year time frame, David Cunliffe has what it takes to clean up Labour and prepare fully for the 2017 election.

    • MustangSally 50.1

      Thank you Word – we need to make sure the MSM understands this, because at the moment they are still singing the line that caucus doesn’t want Cunliffe. Who cares?! The members do!

  51. Leftie 51

    Had to change handles. word is now leftie.
    Grant Robertson along with Shearer et al kicking David Cunliffe and undermining the party right after the election to force a leadership change shows Grant Robertson is far from having any principles and is just in it for himself. He was not prepared to forge unity within the party under another leader, and telling media he could have beaten John key is just ludicrous.
    Despite the pro national electoral boundary changes, (that no doubt played a part for labour’s disappointing result) David Cunliffe, who lost a large chunk of his electorate, received more in party votes than Robertson did.

    Grant Robertson does not have my support or vote, that goes to David Cunliffe, who deserves a second chance, Its clear Cunliffe has had his hands tied in the one year he has had as leader in the lead up to the election. With a new mandate, loads of experience to draw from, and with a 3 year time frame, David Cunliffe has what it takes to clean up Labour and prepare fully for the 2017 election.

    • MustangSally 51.1

      +100 Leftie! Time to let the Caucus know who the Labour Party belongs to – the members, not them.

  52. slipery 52

    Be careful word/leftie ,you may get publicly accused of being an autospammer as I did, I think it was to do with my piddly tablet & not due to that bug I’ve seen appear on this site before on the comment section, at least your not on moderation watch like myself for a similar issue, Lynn please kindly look into this repeated commenting issue as I get the same problem & sadly it gets mistaken for antisocial behavior, appoliges 🙂

  53. leftie 53

    Apologies for the multiple postings of same comment, had a bit of a glitch.

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  • Speech to Building Nations 2050 conference
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  • Speech to Constitutional Kōrero conference
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  • Further sanctions on the political and economic elites of Russia and Belarus
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  • Speech to Aotearoa Refugee Hui
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  • Defence Minister visits Ukraine and Poland
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  • Stuart Nash to attend OECD meetings
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