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An apology to David Cunliffe

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 pm, November 19th, 2012 - 121 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david shearer, labour, making shit up, Satire - Tags:

I want to apologise.  I was one of the flood of lefties who posted anti-Shearer statements in the week ahead of the conference.  I advocated for David Cunliffe as a prospective leader – indeed, the only leader with the potential for success in 2014, by my own assessment.

And now it looks like my post, among others, has shafted David Cunliffe.  We stirred the pot.  We shook the tree.  We rocked the boat, which knocked over the pot the tree was standing in.  And this convinced otherwise well-meaning, open-minded members of the Labour caucus that a dangerous plot was underway to undermine the very foundations of the Party by mounting an attack under cover of pseudonyms and Birnam wood.

So I’m sorry, David C.  Sorry that I played a part in what’s happening to you.

Hang on.

What the fuck am I saying?

The mainstream media constantly come down on this site, and bloggers in general, for being pseudonymous anonymous cowards with axes to grind.  You couldn’t move last week for Labour MPs declaring they don’t give a damn about blogs.

And yet suddenly the word of a handful of bloggers, and some awful shillery by Patrick Gower, is enough to bring Cunliffe to the brink of expulsion?

I mean, he hasn’t done anything.  Besides deliver good speeches and be generally charismatic and kind of dashing with the whole beard thing happening, Waitakere Woman likes a bit of scruff, yes she does.

… Sorry, got distracted there.  Cunliffe has done nothing, at least publicly.  Not spoken against Shearer.  Not made increasingly more leader-ish statements to the media (when he can talk to the media).  The only “source” for Cunliffe “threatening” the leadership is blogs, and Patrick Gower’s “but WHY, daddy?” interrogation methods.

Is it just me or does that make no fucking sense?

This situation is all the proof we need that there is, indeed, an anti-Cunliffe faction in the Labour Party.  People who perceive his very presence, the very thought that he might like the look of the leadership some day, as an active, viable threat to David Shearer.  (Because ambition is such a terrible attribute in a politician.)

Especially now the membership get more say, some might note.

So, because our media in their wisdom would really much rather report on a beat-up leadership challenge than actual policy, the ABCs are pretending to believe there’s a real problem here, that Cunliffe is up in the rafters in a mask about to drop a chandelier on Shearer’s head, so they can justify punishing and humiliating one of the most talented MPs on the front bench.

Because their first and only instinct, apparently, is self-preservation.

Wow, David C.  I am sorry.

Good luck for tomorrow, mate.

121 comments on “An apology to David Cunliffe ”

  1. hush minx 1

    Thanks for making me feel a bit better about this whole mess. There seems to be a parallel universe where much of Labour’s caucus reside and I was starting to think maybe their reality was the real one.

    When I think about what their actions mean for the future of Labour I despair. But you are so right to point out that in the meantime a really good man, one who is the most able to take the fight to national, is getting squashed by his own team for doing no more than what his job was. Shame.

    • Dr Terry 1.1

      hush minx – agreed that “a really good man (the best on the front bench) one who is the most able to take the fight to National, is getting squashed” (with no valid reason). Some of his own team are part of this complicity, but much of the media and a number of right wing bloggers are part of it too.

      • hush minx 1.1.1

        You are quite correct! I just set a list threshold of expectation when it comes to the media 🙂

        I can never quite understand though why the media themselves are not more discriminating about the political leanings of some of their more ‘declared’ colleagues.

  2. Richard Watts 2

    ???????

  3. karol 3

    My vote for tomorrow is for the Labour Caucus to demote Patrick Gower.  

    He hasn’t served them well with his pulp fiction journalism (who has been feeding Gower and others such melodramatic lines as “Naked Ambition“?…. actually it sounds like a song).  And his Reality TV-ambushes have just been so obviously clunky – not to mention some of his reporting barely makes sense.  

    Time to vote Gower off the island. 

    • QoT 3.1

      You know, I’d be perfectly happy with Labour’s caucus demoting Cunliffe for doing nothing. Just as soon as they demote Shane Jones (who is on the front page of the “People” section of their website, FFS) for constantly going off-piste, and have a serious investigation into who the hell keeps bitching about caucus colleagues to Garner and Gower.

      Oh, wait. That would involve no patently-obvious anti-Cunliffe agenda to be at work. Darn it.

      • Richard Watts 3.1.1

        I am just very confused. All I want is for the leadership issues to be resolved. I can’t actually work out which way this post is heading, double irony?

        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          Often more like satire descending into outright stirring – but usually with an undercurrent of mockery and bitterness.

          But she is often right.

          /sarcasm on.

          For instance that there are a pack of loons somewhere in Wellington who really can’t stay on message when it comes to social media and the blogs. We’re somehow not of any political importance AND providing a dangerous destabilizing force for democracy in the world. If they can’t stay on a message on something as simple as this within a single week then how can they do anything but confuse the punters.

          /sarcasm off.

    • Well said Karol +100

    • Wayne 3.3

      Maybe Gower uses “naked ambition” because that what it looks like.

    • xtasy 3.4

      Patric GUTTER I suppose you mean!?

      Just another BAD example of good old Kiwi journalism having gone wrong and lost its tradition, I’d say, if there ever was such?!

      I was dumb to think he had something going for himself when hunting down Banksie, but he has now displayed, he has NO respect for anyone.

      Kim Dotcom deserves to get his chance to embarrass the whole lot of idiots here, journos and pollies. I am looking forward to more theatre on that side.

  4. I tried too warn ya QoT , I’m sorry too , I’ll be more f’ing right wing next time (-:

  5. What is really ironic Qot is that Gower is relying on the say so of an unnamed Labour MP as the source for his story yet the parliamentary party and MSM rails against unnamed bloggers.  The irony in this knows no limits …

    • seeker 5.1

      TV3 wheeled out Chris Hipkins to illustrate their beat up tonight. An old or new member of the smear David Cunliffe tag/nag team? Now he and tweeter Clare Curran are off my trustworthy MPs list. )Yes I do have a ‘sort’ of one, list that is.) How many more Labour MPs are to go I don’t know. 8 down, 25 to go.

      • mickysavage 5.1.1

        Chippe and Curran are former staffers parachuted into Labour seats.  IMHO no staffer should ever do this.  MPs should be local people with networks and life experiences outside of Parliament.  I have thought this for a while but their recent behaviour has reinforced my view.

        • Anne 5.1.1.1

          +1

        • Cactus Kate 5.1.1.2

          There are a few others in Labour you could add to that list.

        • saarbo 5.1.1.3

          Yes,senior caucus members have chosen a weak person that they can manipulate for their own convenience. This fact is made clear every time Duncan Garner references his sources from inside Labour. This is the major weakness of Caucus choosing their own Leader,Given Shearer is too weak to discipline these people, how should Labour sort these people out?
          Cunliffe was always the natural leader to take over from Goff but Mallard etc knew that that would mean that they would have to go back out to the real world, hence the desperate and concerted attacks against Cunliffe.
          Cunliffe is an exceptional Leader and incedibly smart, I worked with him for 12 months in the 90’s and I certainly did not witness any of the bull shit I am hearing about him from caucus members, and the media that they feed.

        • Barnsley Bill 5.1.1.4

          It only took 5 years but I have at last found a comment by you that could have been written by me.
          Your Labour party and coincidentally a Labour party that somebody like me could vote for is now gone forever.
          This situation is nothing more than the final push by the Wellington based cabal to take complete control. Your new rules voted in over the weekend have been usurped within 48 hours.
          The team that Clark left in place will gut Cunliffe like a fish today in the hope that he quits politics before February.
          If he is gone you will have nobody to promote in the proper leadership vote and the likes of Mallard and the legion of ex Clark staffers will be safe.
          Form a new Auckland centric grass roots party, vote for another party or emigrate. Those are the choices they have left you because the influence you have left is nil.

    • David H 5.2

      An unnamed Duck?

    • Tazirev 5.3

      Nailed

  6. SHG 6

    Cunliffe has grown the beard because it covers up the fact that he doesn’t have a chin. His lower lip just merges into his neck. Doesn’t look good on camera. Doesn’t look leaderly.

  7. Santi 7

    Cunliffe’s ambition is too blatant.
    Labour needs a leader who looks like one: Shearer is that person.

    • Pete 7.1

      You don’t modestly amble to a senior position in any parliamentary political party in NZ. It’s not a case of just waiting your turn. Of course Cunliffe is ambitious.

    • karol 7.2

      “Ambition” interesting concept.  People think it’s important to have, but, according to you, Santi, it shouldn’t be too “blatant”.

      And what would you say about the “ambition” of an MP who puts himself forward to lead a party after one, invisible term in parliament?  And without doing the hard yards to learn how to manage a caucus, respond quickly to media & in the House? 

    • geoff 7.3

      Yeah we need a leader who is all about image and not substance…

    • Dr Terry 7.4

      Santi. Come on, spell out exactly in what ways you think Cunliffe’s ambition is” blatant”. But aside from this, let me assure you that “ambition” is more a good thing in a leader, than a bad.

    • David H 7.5

      Oh god, now i’m throwing up.

  8. fender 8

    Cunliffe should be made deputy leader if Shearer remains leader.

    If this shit talk of him being demoted eventuates my vote will be lost to the Greens, as will many other votes I believe.

    • Tim G 8.1

      +1 – was thinking this in the shower this morning.

      The Greens or whatever ill-fated band Cunliffe breaks off with (I know that sounds like a kiss of death, but 3 – 8 bad apples (in varying degrees of rotten-ness) in the current parliamentary Labour party have really disgraced our party.

    • David H 8.2

      Yep and how many letter box stuffers etc will they have come election time?

      • xtasy 8.2.1

        A NEW left party must be thought about, real left and real progressive, with potential to integrate and absorb Greens and Mana, that is the way to go, folk!

  9. Rogue Trooper 9

    this will do; i have a soft spot for QoT

    Two political scientists (cough)
    David Slack-Shearer right through til 2014 (Lab / Green)
    Ryan Malone-Cunliffe on the correct path of development, Won’t be Shearer in 2014

  10. Bill 10

    I’ve got time to kill tonight, so I might just go and fisk those TVNZ and TV3 ‘six O’Clock slots from Sat and Sun that claimed evidence of an open challange to Shearer’s leadership from Cunliffe.

    Hardly a healthy way to deal with boredom, I know. But I reckon if it doesn’t result in brain death, then a decent post might result. Tally-ho!

    • QoT 10.1

      Take a strong drink with you …

      • Bill 10.1.1

        jeezus! I shouldn’t have clicked through to todays clips. So there was no leadership challenge and there was endorsement of Shearer as leader in response to those Gower squawks…and now (today) because he has apparently backed down from a leadership challenge that was never made he’s reportedly going to be sent to the wilderness.

        Okay. That’s somebody’s gameplay to leave a clear path for whoever it is they have in mind to roll Shearer come Febuary. That much is clear. The preference being for Roberston? Maybe Parker? Whoever. And they hope that will work? I don’t think so. I suspect it’s going to backfire quite spectacularly.

        A line in your post caught my eye. You write “our media in their wisdom would really much rather report on a beat-up leadership challenge” I have to disagree with you there. The media have been very much front and center stage in creating the beat-up…the faux crisis of confidence or whatever. And even though the whole thing doesn’t hang together – is incoherent and contradictory – the fact is, it’s the best mash up they could create. And where you or I might scratch our respective heads or just logically reject the lines being peddled, the only question we need to answer is why caucus aren’t doing the same – or failing that adding something of substance to the whole affair.

        And the answer is that they can’t. There’s just nothing there for them to work on. They worked hand in glove with aspects of the major media outlets on this and now they have to run with what they have been able to create. And it’s the fact that it’s so unconvincing that leaves me thinking it’s going to blow up in their face. Maybe not today. And maybe not tomorrow. But it’s going to happen.

        And I do so hope they ‘enjoy’ it when it does.

        Now. Back to this lovely bier.

        • dancerwaitakere 10.1.1.1

          Your later point is exactly what I was thinking while watching the news tonight.

          “And I do so hope they ‘enjoy’ it when it does.”

          A certain Senior Whip should keep that in might after his antics in front of the camera’s which we all had to endure at 6:03 this evening (and have been reading about all day).

        • weka 10.1.1.2

          I don’t normally watch the news but I watched TV1 tonight. I found the coverage scarey. Really scarey. It’s one thing to see people on TS turn up and say Cunliffe has done Bad Things but not actually say what they are. But to see the biggest news show in the country do the same thing, complete with guile and no attempt at anything close to journalistic integrity… I don’t actually give a shit who leads the Labour party so long as they do a good job, provide a decent coalition partner for the Greens and hold the ground on the left (although I feel sorry that Cunliffe is getting shafted). But what’s happened in the last day or so makes me despair. What hope is there with such disingenuous fuckwits in charge of the main left party and the MSM?
           
          I also feel for the Labour membership who did such good work on the weekend.

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.2.1

            The Labour Membership need to stay staunch and to grow strongly over the next few months. We have won the constitutional tools to win back the heart and soul of our party and now is the time for holding firm.

            • weka 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Makes sense. If Cunliffe gets dumped off caucus tomorrow, will he be able to come back from that next year? Or do you see someone else taking over from Shearer?

        • just saying 10.1.1.3

          I’ve asked this before but got no answer. Maybe readers thought it was rhetorical.
          Was Robertson or any other MP asked to rule out a future leadership bid?
          It’s kind of relevant.

          And yes, the next preordained interchangeable face will replace Shearer before the next election – if the fuckers can get away with it. Robertson. It seems Shearer is the only member of caucus who doesn’t know it. Lucky for them he has vanity induced blindness.

          God this is just sad

          • gobsmacked 10.1.1.3.1

            Was Robertson or any other MP asked to rule out a future leadership bid?

            I haven’t seen/heard it asked. Yes, it’s very relevant.

            Many more unasked questions by the media, partly because they’ve found the only story they want, and partly because Shearer doesn’t do long interviews (too risky).

            Questions like:

            “Is Shane Jones more loyal than Cunliffe? Was Cunliffe a good Minister? Would he be a good Minister? Are there caucus members performing better than Cunliffe in their jobs? Who?”

            etc, etc.

            Those questions will come out later, when Cunliffe has been “dealt to” and – lo and behold – Shearer’s still having trouble with his caucus, and his leadership. Shame they aren’t being asked now.

        • xtasy 10.1.1.4

          Truth is either Shearer an d supporters “shitting themselves”, or it is just an opportune chance for Shearer to wipe out any critics a la Eastern Bloc style politics, by getting them demoted and sent into isolation.

          Whatever, it is a sign of contempt and incompetence for Shearer and the willy nilly cowardly supporters like immature Hipkins, who dared to rubbish Cunliffe in front of TV cameras. That is poor and disgusting. So Labour is a divided lot, not a party anymore.

          There is only one solution: A NEW PARTY!

  11. seeker 11

    Have just listened to Chris Hipkins on Te Karere which I recorded at 4.00pm today. He really went to town on David Cunliffe saying that “he destabilised the last leader”(Goff), that he has “put his self interest ahead of the party, enough is enought this has to stop” he also said he should “put up or shut up” or “go”. Unbelievable! Who is being disloyal to who? What a party!

    I think Shearer put his self interest ahead of the party and New Zealand by saying he was ready for leadership when he patently wasn’t, and obviously still isn’t. One good speech(written by whom) and read out well does not necessarily a good leader make. Had he carried on the uplift from the conference and his speech instead of resorting to this caucus vote reminder of the past debacles, he might have gained my respect (even thought I had previously been very angry at his ‘blogging’ comments) Now I am just desperate having not only John Key, but not as” strong and principled as we were led to believe”, Shearer. Norman and Turei here I come – more Green MPs please.

    • Dr Terry 11.1

      True, seeker, Shearer has put his self-interest first from the beginning. Now, in recent days, he has dismissed and insulted members of his own party for presuming to offer criticisms. Oh, “democracy” alright! I fear that he would become a dictator!

      Might I add that defection to the Greens could be, under the circumstances, the most “honorable” thing to do!

      • Tazirev 11.1.1

        Those defecting to the Greens are the Blog reading, on the ground activists, pamphlet delivers, door knockers, Sign board erectors etc like me.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          Nah mate, please don’t. This weekend we won the constitutional tools required to take back this party, and to clear out the neoliberals and the careerists once and for all. We need you mate. Stick around, get your mates to re-sign up, it will be well worth it.

          • xtasy 11.1.1.1.1

            CV organise the “palace revolt” then, a.s.a.p. please, too many have the gutsful of Labour, for good!

    • Anne 11.2

      He really went to town on David Cunliffe saying that “he destabilised the last leader”(Goff),…

      Remember what that was all about? John Key asking Goff to “show him the money” in the final leaders debate. Goff didn’t see it coming and couldn’t answer the question. It cost Labour the election.

      Cunliffe was blamed and his detractors convinced themselves he did it deliberately. It turned out the paper containing the figures had been produced by Cunliffe sometime earlier, but Goff apparently didn’t have them. Other Caucus members must have seen and/or had copies of them so why blame Cunliffe? He wasn’t even around during the final stages of the campaign because he was languishing in bed with the flu so he isn’t likely to have known what was going on. If it was the same flu virus (swine flu) I caught a few months later, he would not have been up to doing anything.

  12. gobsmacked 12

    You couldn’t move last week for Labour MPs declaring they don’t give a damn about blogs.

    This. So much this.

    The blogs are totally irrelevant and meaningless. But hang on – they’re orchestrated irrelevance! Treacherous irrelevance! But … nobody pays any attention to them … because they are Scheming Bastards! … who have no power at all and represent nobody … but have tried to Destabilise the Leader! … but nobody reads them, so who cares?

    It’s so primary school: “You don’t like me? Well I don’t care, because I didn’t like you first!”

    Nobody in caucus will heed this advice (because it’s on a blog), but I’m going to give it anyway:

    Labour MPs: You do your job. Grow up. Earn our respect. Earn your pay. Stop stuffing up. Start giving this wretched government a hard time instead of a free ride, and in no time at all …

    Problem solved. Even on those bloody blogs.

  13. KJT 13

    Can I say this again.

    “This is a defining moment for Shearer.

    Either; he realizes it is up to him to show he is a viable and effective representative for Labour voters and the rest of the country by February ,and if not, it is well within Cunliff’s rights to put himself up as an alternative.

    Or; he acts like a petulant small boy, like the interview this morning, and demotes or tries to get a pledge of loyalty, past February, from Cunliff.

    Forcing out one of Labours, too few, effective front benchers would show he has not got the best interests of the party, or the country, at heart.

    If they force a vote under the old rules now, it shows total contempt for the parties wishes for a more democratic process.

    Note that Cunliff has already pledged loyalty to whoever the party decides is leader.

    It is Shearers own actions that make us doubt he can lead Labour into the next election.

    Nothing to do with Cunliff. Except that he seems the only viable and capable alternative.”

    And Shearer now proves that he and his supporters would rather Labour imploded than they lose any power. “Naked Ambition” ?.

  14. Peter 14

    No good deed goes unpunished, especially with this faction in caucus.

  15. RedBaron 15

    Agree with both gobsmacked and KJT. Playground behaviour from Shearer and co.

    When Shearer won the leadership it would have been smart to put Cunliffe in as deputy since he has the second largest following. Gives Cunliffe the appropriate amount of power and everybody moves ahead , co-operating. How on earth can Labour preach co-operation and sharing when they are playing primary school gang politics.

    QOT also mentioned something else, beat me to it in fact, Labour have a lot of women voters. Now the ones I know see DC as having the “phroar” factor over Shearer. If you don’t believe me ask the ones you know or your focus group. Shunting him too far off to the side may not go well with a bunch of voters (women) that Labour seem to be taking for granted. If this feels a little shallow look at the people who watch that Nigella cooking on the TV. Don’t ask why DC has the “phroar” factor either. Seems to be either there or not.e.g Winston has it, Russell Norman doesn’t according to my poll.

    • Dr Terry 15.1

      Maybe not Russell Norman, but think hard about co-leader Ms Turei, she has it!

    • Rhinocrates 15.2

      This reminds me of analysis of the American election. Romney is, according to more than one commentator, President of the old white male rich. This isn’t opinion, it’s demographics – there are clear areas where Romney and Obama scored utterly overwhelming victories, and Obama won in those sectors that have been growing and will continue to grow, notably African-Americans, women (particularly younger women), and Hispanics. Romney, on the other hand, rated well in those sectors that are in decline.

      Shearer and co can learn from this. Waitakere man is on the path to extinction – and soon. But they don’t know or care

      A marketing executive for General Motors once said of the Cadillac brand, “Pretty soon the average age of our customers will be ‘deceased’!” Cadillac made a change, making their styling sharp-edged, getting their cars into the Matrix sequels and so on. Now, expanding in China, they see that different design ideas are desired by the market, so they’ll again make changes.

      http://www.autoblog.com/2012/11/08/cadillac-design-to-go-soft-for-china/

      Cynical? So what? Brands survive if they can sell their product and if they can’t, they disappear. OK, GM needed a bailout, but of their brands, Cadillac is doing the best and it’s because they know what their customers want, and they’ll change to suit new markets. Claire Robinson’s simplistic blather on Natrad this morning about how Labour needs to sort itself out and stabilise quickly is naive. Yes, stability is one thing that is good, but they need to be seen to be responsive to what the political market demands, or else the average age of their voters will indeed be “deceased”.

      OK, in this postmodern world, “Labour” is a brand and that isn’t nice, but that’s the reality, so live with it and learn to work with it.

      This past weekend, the Labour PARTY told the caucus what it wants but the self-annointed nobles of the caucus are pretending that it’s Versailles circa 1788. Shearer and Mallard think that they MUST have “authoritah” because… because!

      Some people trying to excuse them draw comparisons with Helen Clark in the early 90s, as if the environment then was identical to that today, which it is not. There are voters alive today who were not even born then, who have grown up with blogs and twitter. To have that idiot Curran blathering about gramophones, wax cylinders and cave paintings now only invites laughter and derision.

      The ABC club – Shearer/Mallard – might win this battle, but in doing so, they’re guaranteeing that they’ll lose the war… and the risk is that they’ll drag Labour down with them.

      Robertson has been in America, observing the election, and hopefully he might have learned something, but from my experience as a Wellington Central constituent, the mans’s an arrogant, complacent idiot who only sees what supports his already preconceived notions, so I don’t have high hopes for him delivering any real lesson to the “nobles” of the party – not that they’d ever listen anyway.

      I’m seeing the Bourbon dynasty or Brezhnev’s Politburo trying to survive into the 21st century and getting utterly outraged because the peasants whom they really, really cared about (irony!) wanted votes, because the the kids don’t get them because they think that they really, really should, …the idiots, all of them.

      Bastards! Swine! Especially Cunliffe! He made it happen! It’s him, it’s his fault! I’m gonna scream and cry, I’m gonna pound my fists on the floor until you pick me up and cuddle me!

      All tantrums have an element of calculation to them. Labour’s self-appointed nobles are throwing a tantrum, but there’s a reason for it and it should be quite clear.

      Listen to the party, the electorate, or you’re history.

      I’d say that’s all in my own humble opinion of course, but I’m not humble.

  16. ianmac 16

    Reports from those who were at the Conference were my reference points. Looked good.
    Then I became confused and kept checking to make sure that I was still on the Standard.

    Anyway best move for Shearer would be to keep Mr Cunliffe on the front bench and not demote him.
    A sort of keep your enemies (if he is one?) close. I think Helen did that with Dr Cullen way back after his asking for Helen to step down because her ratings were around 2%.

    • Huginn 16.1

      My thoughts also.
      Lynn’s observation of how well Cunliffe and Robertson worked together on economics/finance at the conference comes to mind. Maybe it was a mistake to have taken the Finance portfolio off Cunliffe.

      • lprent 16.1.1

        Cunliffe and Parker and Clark in the workshops. I was referring for Cunliffe speaking for Parker when Parker wasn’t there. There are too many Davids.

  17. RedLogix 17

    mmm … where have I see all this polarisation between caucus and party before?

    Oh yes … 1984.

    And who benefitted?

  18. prism 18

    Reminds me of all the good people who advocated for Bill Rowling. I think they named themselves Citizens for Rowling. But it was like herding cats.

    Perhaps we should build a Guy Fawkes and throw stones at it as a symbolic mea culpa for all the unimportant, trivial, outlier matters we have brought up on this blog and no doubt others.

  19. Tanz 20

    this is getting stale. I want to see Key shafted, not the Labour infighting. I feel sorry for Shearer and like his earthy style. He can take it to Key, if given the chance.

    • QoT 20.1

      Because there have been no chances for him to do so in the past year. Good point. 🙄

    • Beryl_Streep 20.2

      Why do you assume that Key is the guy that the next Labour leader needs to “take it to”.
      I’d put money on Judith Collins leading the Nats into the next election.

  20. The the left in the Labour Party won this one, and the ABC rightwingers have been forced to expose themselves as neo-liberal zombies buried deep in the recesses of capitalism. This whole democratisation process was set in motion by the ABC overriding over the members preference for Cunliffe. The new rules mean that ABC has to destroy Cunliffe before February or lose power. How can they do that without getting more and more authoritarian? Blowback. That surge of anger in the members will become resurgent. ABC can sack C but they can’t expel him. A political martyr is a powerful force.
    Those who think that this is an unnecessary fight, or that the ABC are just a power clique, need to understand the class politics cutting right thru Labour. The global crisis has battered Labours working class base while the ABC clique are brown nosing the middle class. Labour’s rightward motion has separated it from its basic constituency. I put my money on the working class youth waking up and throwing out the ABC and all the neo-liberal zombies including the middle class student politicians sucking the blood of the Labour Party. Its either that or Labour becoming a hollowed out rump in the middle and the Gen XYZ workers transforming Greens and Mana into a new workers party.

    • freedom 21.1

      “Blowback.”
      a force not to be underestimated

    • Colonial Viper 21.2

      I put my money on the working class youth waking up and throwing out the ABC and all the neo-liberal zombies including the middle class Parliamentary Services job hunting list MP aspiring student politicians sucking the blood of the Labour Party.

      😎

  21. fisiani 22

    There is no need to frame it as a Win/lose scenario.
    Two years from an election there is ample time to start up another Labour party. This happens in lots of countries. Rather than two stags fighting to the death how about a divorce. The Shearer crowd in one party and the Cunliffe/Unions/activists in another. An amicable divorce in better than a winner take all battle. One faction would predominate and be the lynchpin of the Left. Under MMP – 2 parties getting 20% is the same as one party getting 40%. Neither would coalesce with National. Surely the Standardistas would get at leat 1 vote in 5.

  22. Blue 23

    Journalists have a very limited capacity for thought. They get fed an idea and they latch onto it like a dog with a bone.

    They now have their meme about David Cunliffe – he is arrogant, vain and disloyal, thinking of nothing but his image and champing at the bit every second of every day to destablise and destroy Shearer. Every single little thing he does will now be interpreted through this narrow-minded vision and the results pronounced as fact.

    • gobsmacked 23.1

      He was described in the 3News trailer as a “renegade” MP.

      In what mad world is an MP who has never (to my recollection) spoken out of turn on party policy a “renegade”, while Shane Jones, who does so all the time, isn’t?

    • peterlepaysan 23.2

      Journalists can think?

  23. xtasy 24

    Non, je ne regrette rien!

    Edith Piaff, famous historic French singer, put it well, did she not?

    I do not regret anything for uttering criticism of Shearer and the present Labour leadership here. I can try to accept that the caucus decision will want to keep Shearer in place, but it makes NO sense to me and will not make me feel comfortable at all about Labour.

    My decision is to not vote Labour ever again. I am totally disillusioned with the party, leadership and useless caucus members (largely that is, while some are OK).

    NZ can do with a truly new left of centre party, uniting green and progressive labour and other ideas. That would make me feel good. I do not feel good about NZ politics at present, it is a NIGHTMARE!

  24. Tanz 25

    The wider public will dislike this very obvious lack of unity within Labour. Key must be loving all this. Wish the caucus would sort this out once and for all, 2008 was four years ago, after all. FFS! Yep, frustrating for the general rank and file.

    • Santi 25.1

      Exactly why Shearer needs to put an end to all this today and work even harder until Election Day.
      Cunliffe can do his part by taking the punishment he deserves for being disloyal.

  25. Ksmith 26

    Get a grip. Cunliffe was given opportunities because Helen Clark could see his positives while having the ability to control his ego while he grew up. Unfortunately he never did grow up. He is just like roger Douglas – its all about him – and he is prepared to sacrifice labour. But the real problem here is that labour mps old and new need to get key on the ropes. This is not a leadership problem but a team problem and a DC doesn’t really want to share he doesn’t mind if there is no team.

    • RedLogix 26.1

      He is just like roger Douglas – its all about him – and he is prepared to sacrifice labour.

      Now that’s an interesting thesis Mr Smith.

      Any evidence to support it?

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.1

        Now, who was releasing all the threats and innuendo about leadership votes during and after Conference? Which completely detracted from the Conference message?

        Oh yes, the ABC crowd.

        • lprent 26.1.1.1

          Some interesting e-mails now floating around as well.

          • Colonial Viper 26.1.1.1.1

            Cunliffe being demoted is almost beside the point at this stage. MPs and leaders come and go and there are no saints in this business.

            But the absolute underhanded nature, fabrication and intimidation of the last few days has made it clear that a sweeping change must come.

            FFS hundreds upon hundreds of party members saw Cunliffe avoiding the cameras and journos at every opportunity, not the other way around. I saw him do a couple of formal interviews yes but they were all out in the open within earshot of everyone.

  26. Vicky32 27

    [QoT: Vicky, you have been advised on multiple occasions that you are not welcome to comment on my posts.]

    • King Kong 27.1

      [deleted]

      [lprent: And you can keep your fantasies to yourself. What is the rule about authors? ]

      • higherstandard 27.1.1

        You’d do your eyes more of a favour if you stared at the sun for a couple of hours.

  27. Treetop 28

    QoT I did not think that you were a precious princess.

    Do you not believe in freedom of speech?

    Can I suggest as a compromise that you do not respond to Vicky32 and let her comment on your posts.

    The problem I have with banning her from your posts is that she is not generally banned from the Standard.

  28. Treetop 29

    The issue has come up re banning a person permanently from a post and not a total ban from the Standard. It is my understanding that you are permitted to do this. I am questioning doing this because of how you feel about an individual’s comment from a previous post of yours.

    • QoT 29.1

      All I’m saying, Treetop, is that if you think this is about a single past comment, you are mistaken. Beyond that, this “precious princess” will continue to moderate her own posts as she deems fit, unless the powers that be (i.e. lprent) tell her otherwise.

      • lprent 29.1.1

        And I’m really unlikely to do that. The idea is to educate the moderator rather than doing an Irish on them.

        But in this case I think a separation is a pretty good idea – for all of us.

      • Treetop 29.1.2

        I am aware that there has been an ongoing clash of wills; this is unfortunate.

        • lprent 29.1.2.1

          Yep. But those are the breaks. QoT has actually been remarkably restrained in her use of moderation and I think her solution with Vicky32 has been pretty good.

          She could have just as easily just allowed it to escalate to the point that a personal attack was made. That would have triggered the rule that Santi ran into at 29.1.3

      • Santi 29.1.3

        [deleted]

        [lprent: Don’t attack authors personally. Banned 2 weeks. Besides I already have copyright on that description. ]

  29. lorraine 30

    Rachel Smalley was at it again on the nation this morning. She was suggesting to Shearer that this blog should be shut down as it may be damaging to Shearer. She suggested to him that he throw Cunliff out of the party. Who the heck does she think she is. Maybe she is ok in some roles in the media but her Paul Holmes x Paul Henry approach is really annoying and distracting.
    I wish she would have asked about where the money would be coming from to building these masses of houses Shearer is promising. Sounded like he was intending borrowing the money on the Nation this morning. His latest is the lack of affordable housing is the cause of young people going to Oz. WHAT ABOUT LACK OF JOBS?
    If people have jobs they can afford to buy houses. Developers will build houses if people have the money to pay for them. They need jobs in order to pay for houses. If people have jobs they have money to pay taxes and that means the government has money to pay for expenses like health and education etc.
    LACK OF JOBS IS THE PRIMARY REASON PEOPLE ARE LEAVING FOR OZ….WHAT PART OF THAT DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND SHEARER?
    Shearer may have practiced the interview so well that he came over reasonably ok this morning and in his speech at the conference but he won’t be able to handle the questions on the fly. His brain doesn’t think that fast and it seems he can only fudge it when he has time to practice practice practice what he has to say.
    All this talk about Shearer being a match for Key….ha what a laugh. No wonder the National MP’s are so smug.
    Cunliff is someone ready made to take on Key. He just needs a chance and the media needs to stop the beatup on him.

    • just saying 30.1

      She was suggesting to Shearer that this blog should be shut down as it may be damaging to Shearer.

      A bit off topic, but I’m guessing LPrent will be dragged into the public eye by the mainstream media eventually. Albeit against his will. All this talking about TS is creating a vaccuum which nature apparently abhors (so my mum reckons anyway).

      • lprent 30.1.1

        …but I’m guessing LPrent will be dragged into the public eye by the mainstream media eventually. Albeit against his will.

        The Nation asked

        We would like to invite you to appear on The Nation, TV3, this Saturday.
        We’re really keen to look beyond Labour’s leadership dispute, and talk
        about what the core of the party wants, and the implications of
        democratising the party.

        My reply was:-

        Just been thinking this through.

        a. I don’t have time. I took considerable time off my current project at
        work to attend the conference. And we’re on a deadline. I’ll be working
        through next weekend to make up that time and the time I have used in
        fallout over the last few days.

        b. Almost everything I have done in the party is operational and is
        quite minimal at present. These days my only real association with
        politics is via The Standard which is more concerned with the labour
        movement, of which NZ Labour is a part. Since having a heart attack last
        year, something had to drop off my schedule, and working on systems for
        the party was it.

        c. I’m really not that interested in being too public outside of the
        blogs and never have been. That is why (for instance) you can’t find
        pictures of me on the net.

        And I can’t actually think of a reason to do it. So sorry…

        Cheers
        Lynn

        I actually missed out that Lyn is heading off for 3 weeks filming in the Himalayas next week. But I was deep in code and deeply antisocial when I wrote the e-mail.

        About the only thing that I could think of that would conceivably entice me into the public domain would be attacks on The Standard or on our privacy policies. I rather suspect that whoever initiated it wouldn’t like the result. I get irritated when I have to adjust systems against attacks.

        I presume that people making attacks (criticism doesn’t worry me) on systems I control will always do so again and I accordingly act to cause as much damage as possible to people doing it over subsequent decades. I’m sure that there is a RFC somewhere describing the strategy of sysops to attacks somewhere.

        People have to remember that I’m not part of a political culture except at the edge. I’m part of the net culture and the cultural reactions tend to be quite different.

  30. lorraine 31

    Rachel Smalley’s interviewing techniques remind me of those ads on TV were they shout at you. She uses far too many closed questions for my liking. I think interviews with open questions where the person has a chance say what they think is far better especially in political interviews. A few times lately I have heard her repeat the same closed question over and over and to me it just shows a lack of real skill.

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