Cosgrove, the whining MP

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, October 2nd, 2014 - 122 comments
Categories: blogs, Politics - Tags:

In case anyone had missed it amongst the nasty and vicious level of attacks on David Cunliffe, Karen Price has been on twitter having a go at the people attacking her husband. As Brian Edwards put it in “Shock! Horror! Wife defends husband!!!!”

I suspect that she’d rather not be the wife of a politician. But the wife of a politician she is and he happens to be the newly resigned Leader of the Opposition and his party and much of the country has turned its face against him. And much of what is being said about Karen Price’s husband really isn’t very nice. Tough call!

Well, her method of attacking those who were attacking her husband might not have been well-advised and might have been lacking in Machiavellian subtlety, but you really have to admire it. “Good on you, Karen!” I say. “Well done!” “No apology required.” Those people are assholes anyway.

Amongst the various bits of media debris was this gem from an old fossil Clayton Cosgrove, Labour list MP talking about Karen Price :-

Mr Cosgrove said Mr Cunliffe must have known about his wife’s account.

“Let me put it this way. If my partner set up a Twitter account to attack members of the caucus I would know about it.”

Mr Cunliffe rejected this claim.

But I’d have to say that Clayton Cosgrove is an old fossil quite unsuited for the modern world. All his statement above does is that it makes me wonder what frigging century he is in and why is he so damn certain?

And  I’m not surprised that David Cunliffe wasn’t aware.

If my partner Lyn was twittering or facebooking about me then I am probably the least likely to know. She has her own life, her own career, and her own interests. She wouldn’t appreciate me trying to pry into them too much. I’m not trying to keep her in some weird arse kiwi version of purdah. Mostly I just like it if she keeps me apprised on when she is going to be bugging off to film on remote polynesian islands, on the border between India and China, Shanghai, and other interesting places without good internet connections.

Conversely of course Lyn really isn’t that interested in the minutiae of local politics and my daily grind at The Standard, she usually groans a bit when I start talking about it.

Plus she is more engaged with that side of the social nets than I am and I don’t have time to follow either my own twitter or facebook feed more than sporadically.

This is similar to his comment about blogs.

Mr Cosgrove said Labour MPs had been very loyal to their former leader, yet had repeatedly found themselves attacked on blogs and other places online.

Now I make allowances for our average technophobic MPs who don’t understand the cultures of the net that have grown up over the last 3 decades. But this whining by Cosgrove has several bits of outright bullshit.

Firstly, I’ve been aware of some of his habits of whining and leaking to the press for many years whenever he is unhappy. He really hasn’t changed his pattern. It  is the same old one that I recognize from observing Mike Moore many years ago of “senior Labour MP(s)” and “senior Labour figures” blabbing to the press. Now there are probably other MPs with the same traits, but his statements to someone reading it from the inside are pretty distinctive to lex. He is after all an old fossil stuck in old habits.

Secondly, dissatisfied caucus MPs haven’t been particularly silent in their unhappiness with having the party members imposing David Cunliffe on them. The leaking and whining has been less in the past few months, but it has persisted throughout this year and last. Comments from various people around Wellington suggest to me that he was in the core of the attacks on Cunliffe both before and after his accession to the leadership. It sounds right to me and certainly fits his pattern. That is just my opinion, but I am pretty sure that it is  correct.

Thirdly, the left bloggers don’t have that much interest in being directed by politicians, in fact we tend get irritated when some whining fool suggests it. Sure some of us are loyal to various politicians for reasons of long association, but that particular bias is usually quite evident and well signalled. We’re not interested in doing that daft backdoor creeping of semi-anonymous attribution to gallery journos that Clayton Cosgrove seems to specialise in.

Finally, I suspect that Clayton is feeling a bit stung by some of my comments after the election when he started his destabilisation campaign post election. But I merely said what I thought. Clayton can suck it up and live with it.

Welcome to the modern world of publishing. Having privileged access to the press gallery with its incestuous world of traded favours is less useful than it used to be. The cost of running a major political site is about $300/mo and a lot of skill. The people publishing there are as good as their credibility in their chosen audience.

That I have enough credibility to say such opinions and have them believed is the result of hard work over the past 7 years. It isn’t the result of being a Slater style sockpuppet for people who pay for or request opinions. That isn’t real blogging.

122 comments on “Cosgrove, the whining MP”

  1. Dialey 1

    Personally, I don’t think Cosgrove has a leg to stand on. He didn’t campaign for the party vote, but is happy to take a list position when his electorate campaign didn’t pan out. Talk about a hypocrite! He should stand down and let a new blood from the list in.

    • toad 1.1

      What puzzles me is why Cosgrove wasn’t shown the door long ago by Labour.

      He represents everything nasty about Labour that destabilises them and currently makes them unelectable, and as a List MP unable to win an electorate should have been offered No 61 on the Party List to give him the message that it’s time to go.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Spot on. Labour seems unable to move on even its worst behaved, most undisciplined MPs. Even after multiple multiple infractions.

      • Tracey 1.1.2

        it seems labour is worried about how expulsion will damage the image of the party…

        BUWAHAHAHAHAHA

    • Apples 1.2

      Absolutely agree. As a Grant supporter, I hope Grant would tell Cosgrove to shut-up and move on. These comments about Karen Price’s twitter are the latest stupidity from him. He doesn’t know when to keep out of it. He doesn’t campaign for the party vote. What exactly does he do?

      Plus, we would much prefer Maryan to come in off the list!

      (Also, in case anyone is wondering, the only reason Cosgrove got in off the list was because Cunliffe gave him such a high caucus ranking and then protected his caucus ranking at list selection. Just so you know)

  2. Treetop 2

    Price has shown Gosgrove up for what he is and what he does. Tweeting was the bait, even if this was not the intention.

    • Chooky 2.1

      …agree…i have had my suspicions about the LOYALTY of Cosgrove and Mallard for some time…it would not be comfortable having them behind your back, if they coveted your position

      ….they look like characters out of a 1930s-40s Chicago gangster movie

      • AmaKiwi 2.1.1

        “if they (Cosgrove and Mallard) coveted your position.”

        That’s the problem with the ABC gang. They DON’T have a credible alternate candidate but they just keep being destructive to the party.

  3. Scottie 3

    Dirty Politics did not hurt national because the voters assumed most of the parties would be generating their own press releases anyway. Karen Price setting up a Twitter account just proves it. Yes just defending her husband but a tad clandestine as was national leaking to selected blogs.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Yes, it will be interesting to see the results of the various inquiries that will now be made into Karen Price’s mumble mumble what was that? No inquiries you say? But but but but Llllaaaabbbbbboooouuuurrrrr!

      Your inane pretence of equivalence in this matter must be either a consequence of stupidity or mendacity. Which is it? Are you a fool or a liar?

      I’m picking both.

    • Ant 3.2

      That comment makes me think Hager should have been far more specific with his title.

      No comparison whatsoever between Price and Nationals two track strategy.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        That comment makes me think Hager should have been far more specific with his title.

        He should have been anyway. Calling it Dirty Politics has partially allowed National to get away with its corruption as it implies business as usual to the populace. I agree with the title that was suggested a few days ago: Abuse of Power

    • framu 3.3

      “generating their own press releases”… isnt what dirty politics was about

      nor was it about talking to bloggers or giving the press tip offs

    • emergency mike 3.4

      Of fer sure Scottie, it really was disgraceful the way the MSM made entire news stories for months repeating and supporting tarnbabe’s twitter comments that were just the same kind of non-revelatory opinons that have been expressed here by the hundreds.

      Oh wait…

  4. Jenny Kirk 4

    I agree whole-heartedly with your comments, LPrent. Cosgrove is a bully – and his disinclination to campaign for the party vote at election time is disgraceful. And his undermining of the Party Leader – chosen by the members – is just disgusting.

  5. Tom Gould 5

    I think that if you are going to write and publish a post like this then you should at least have the honesty and decency to declare your interest in the matter and your connections to those involved. You have written much about Dirty Politics, and here you go indulging in it?

    • lprent 5.1

      Happy to.

      The longest time I have ever spent with Cunliffe was 30 minutes while I was using his iPad to find out why he couldn’t read the Standard. It was one of the five times I have ever spoken, emailed, or anything else to him. The rest were largely meaningless conversations of no more than 5 minutes. I know him from his speeches and most those to party meetings.

      I’ve never met Karen Price.

      These days I don’t watch broadcast TV, so I’ve never seen her either.

      I talk to Brian Edwards and Judy when we accidentally meet in at the Blake Street cafe, when I have fixed his blog a couple of times, and I’ve had dinner with them once with Lyn.

      I’ve been a Labour party member from about 1989 (and a volunteer earlier than that) volunteering largely in the Mt Albert electorate. I stopped working there after David Shearer was elected there as I both needed to spend more time on this blog, and I didn’t rate him highly enough to expend time on him. The highest post I have ever had in Labour was chair of the Sandringham branch because I didn’t attend the branch AGM. I have never sought a position inside Labour. I just help them when and where I think it is required (like this post).

      I’ve been active on computer networks since 1980 when I started playing multiuser startrek as student on the DEC 1170 in the middle of the night at Waikato University. I’ve been through everything from dialing up Bix on international phone calls, getting email and usenet via uucp

      I have a BSc and an MBA and a rather large number of other bits and pieces of higher education in computer science and the social sciences.

      I’m a computer programmer largely working on building export IT industries. I’ve don’t work for the government. I like computers and networks. I used to run things as a manager until I finally dropped out and became a computer programmer in 1991.

      I’ve been running this site since 2007 after I was asked to provide the technical and community backup by the authors who set it up.

      No-one prompts me to write posts, they know that they are liable to lose body parts. I always make up my own mind on everything as everyone who knows me can attest (ask Helen Clark 🙂 ). I do things because I feel they need to be done. I have a wide range of friends and contacts throughout Labour and other political parties because of the length of time I have been working in Labour from the worst of times to the best.

      What else do you want to know that is *relevant*, doesn’t violate our policy, and doesn’t intrude into my private life beyond what I care to share?

      Basically this post was written because Clayton Cosgrove pissed me off when I read his comments in the Herald this morning. These are my opinions about him… And I despise people who use politicians families to attack them like he just did.

      • Tom Gould 5.1.1

        It is widely understood that this blog site is these days run primarily by and for those around David Cunliffe himself and Cunliffe camp? Whether this is the case or not, that is the widespread belief. Some disclosure, given the leadership contest, would be appropriate, in my view.

        You mention “the authors who set it up”. Who are these shadowy figures? Your extensive response freely discloses your membership of and involvement in the Labour Party, so why does the edict from the party rulers that members ‘keep it seemly’ not apply to you?

        David Cunliffe himself said he would call Cosgrove to apologise for the attack tweets. This post simply reinforces the notion that he speaks with a forked tongue. In my view, this simply undermines Cunliffe more effectively that any “creeping around the gallery” can.

        • mickysavage 5.1.1.1

          I have disclosed my identity and consistently disclosed my preferences.

          Some of the authors post under their own names. Others prefer not to. Given the way that people get treated by Slater and Co I do not blame them.

          Cunliffe is not speaking with a forked tongue. He did not know the tweets were being made.

          Price had obviously had enough after a week of attacks as well as serious intrusion into her family’s privacy.

        • CrashCart 5.1.1.2

          So you ask for honesty around this post. When you get a very in depth background then all of the sudden its all about who the other authors are. Stop being stupid.

          The Standard is made up of varying opinions. Many people writing and often disagreeing. From simple posters to Authors. After reading Lprents response to then somehow equate that to being Cunliff double talking, when he specifically pointed out there was no communication with Cunliff means you either didn’t read the response because it was far to much for you or you decided to lie about its content.

          Lets see how that goes for you. Good luck.

        • Hanswurst 5.1.1.3

          It is widely understood that this blog site is these days run primarily by and for those around David Cunliffe himself and Cunliffe camp?

          Widely understood by whom and based on what? Or are you just trying to propagate that belief by putting it out there now?

        • Tracey 5.1.1.4

          can you clarify what you mean by widesspread belief.

        • lprent 5.1.1.5

          It may be a widespread myth however it isn’t the case. Authors make up their own minds and typically have quite different views. They always have. If you have a look back to the last two leadership periods, you’ll find various authors declaring for different people.

          The only person who has much contact with David Cunliffe is Greg Presland, and he is also the biggest supporter amongst the many authors on this site.

          I happen to support David Cunliffe more than I do other possible candidates simply because I don’t think that the most of the other candidates who have the ambition for the role also have the required experience (at present) to do it as well as David Cunliffe could.

          But that is my view. Mike Smith has a different one and so I suspect do some of the other authors. Take your pick.

          My view comes like (just every one elses) from my history.

          Being around Helen Clark at the electorate level in the 1990s through her time as deputy through to winning the election in 1999 and subsequently, I’m acutely aware of just how much change it pushes a person through and what a vast range of skills that are required. I’m not sure that many of the members of caucus have any damn idea of the hard that task is on the person and how much they have to change to fit the role.

          Of ALL the possible candidates in caucus at present, I think that the possible competent choices would consist of Phil Goff, Annette King, David Cunliffe, and maybe David Parker. The first two don’t appear to want the role and David Parker would need quite a lot of work at several levels. They all have the required ministerial experience and the in-depth knowledge about how the party organisation and caucus work. Others have parts of the experience but not the temperament (Trevor Mallard for instance). Or they lack the basic experience (Grant Robertson for instance).

          Remember this isn’t the National party. There isn’t a well-funded well-staffed party organisation helping to cover the bases and providing the trainers and the advice of experienced people. In fact the Labour party organisation is a shadow of what it was even in 1993. It will take time for a Labour leader to get up and fully operational.

          11 months was a pretty damn small start. The real problem (as I repeatably said at the time) is that caucus electing David Shearer to the position was a unholy stupid mistake. It wasted valuable time that would have been required.

          Compounding it now by tossing someone unsuitable for the role and expecting them to get themselves ready over the next three years is just dumb.

          • Karen 5.1.1.5.1

            My main problem with Robertson is that he is extremely naive about what being the leader of a party entails. He could be a PM one day but needs to have been a minister first, given that he has had limited work experience outside parliament.

            Out of the four people you list only Cunliffe and Parker are viable IMO. While I prefer Cunliffe, he will struggle to contain a hostile caucus, especially with plotting from those who want to take his place

            Parker seems straight but doesn’t have much charisma, and would hate the media intrusion into his personal life. I don’t think he will put his name forward for that very reason. If he does change his mind he would definitely be better that any other candidate, except perhaps Cunliffe.

            The fact that Cunliffe lost Parker’s support is particularly unfortunate.

            • Saarbo 5.1.1.5.1.1

              “The fact that Cunliffe lost Parker’s support is particularly unfortunate.”

              @Karen
              Maybe that will come clear if/when Parker puts his hat in the ring….he probably is the ABC’s best chance.

            • boyonlaptop 5.1.1.5.1.2

              You do realize that Key, Lange, Kirk and Savage were never ministers before becoming Prime Ministers?

              • lprent

                In most respects Lange was a disaster. He epitomises the issue because he got walked over by his ministers. That was why he resigned.

                Kirk came from an era when the Labour party was a whole lot larger and had been out off office for 9 years when he fought his first election, and took another 6 years. In other words while he wasn’t a minister he did have a whole lot of extra time. However he also died in office.

                There was no Labour government prior to Savage.

        • Tracey 5.1.1.6

          was hanswursts question too hard?

        • Tracey 5.1.1.7

          i recall at least two regular authors, including lprent, stated they would vote green. was that a tricky way to secure cunliffe

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      Who is paying Lprent for his opinions/personal observations about Clayton Cosgrove?

      Either you don’t really understand Dirty Politics, or you’re being deliberately dishonest, like a right wing nut job would be.

      Which is it? A feeble grasp on the issue, or a conscious lie?

      • Tom Gould 5.2.1

        Really, calling anyone with a different view on things or a different take on an issue a “right wing nut job” speaks volumes for what is wrong with the contemporary Labour Party at membership and affiliate level, in my view.

        • mickysavage 5.2.1.1

          But you are showing a complete absence of understanding of the reality which has consistently been disclosed and advancing proposals that have had a significant amount of spin applied.

          • higherstandard 5.2.1.1.1

            Shorter MS … you disagree with my worldview therefore you are wrong.

            • Hanswurst 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Sorry… but suddenly you and Mr. Gould are talking about a “different view”. I’d like to know what “view” is expressed by asking a poster to disclose unspecified interests. That’s not a view, that’s just implying dishonesty or a conflict of interest while pretending to fish for information.

        • McFlock 5.2.1.2

          Nobody would accuse Bill (for example) of being a RWNJ. Even if someone were to find his opinions ludicrous (not that I do), “right wing” just wouldn’t stick by most understandings of the term.

          But if someone displays an agenda where the points presented are apparently unimportant to them, but they prefer producing a sequence of unrelated innuendo and factless assumptions about Authors and commenters, it starts to look like RWNJ territory.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.3

          Really, calling anyone with a different view…

          Liar.

          “right wing nut job” – yes, they tell lies and ignore facts, much as you are doing, hence the characterisation.

          speaks volumes for what is wrong with the contemporary Labour Party at membership and affiliate level, in my view.

          So an anonymous Green voter who isn’t a member of any party, whose words you have twisted beyond any reasonable interpretation (as McFlock has pointed out) is your benchmark for bad behaviour from Labour?

          Methinks the lady doth protest overmuch.

  6. SDCLFC 6

    Another example of Cunliffe supporters trying to fit the argument to suit their positions. “Nasty and vicious level of attacks on David Cunliffe.”
    Did you see him on Campbell Live and the way he attacked his caucus?
    Cosgrove could’ve offered no comment like Mallard and Robertson but instead pushed things pretty close, but he directed his attack at Cunliffe because of the way this man is behaving.
    Everything this guy (Cunliffe) has done from election night onwards (and much of before that) has been a tragedy. His speech, his pre-caucus press-conference, his attempt to muzzle David Parker, his dithering over resigning, his resignation and then re-standing, his attacks on his colleagues.
    This guy is separated from reality?

    [lprent: I wasn’t exactly happy about him earlier, but the comments this morning by Cosgrove walked over the line from irritating politician to complete arsehole as soon as he took aim at a politician via their family. I quell everything like that on this site from John Key’s kids to Bill English’s wife and I’m quite concerned that a “senior Labour MP” is doing it in public now.

    To compound it he attacked left bloggers with nothing more than innuendo. I take strong exception about that as well. And I usually express that…

    As far as I am concerned Cosgrove now has very deliberately painted a very large target on himself. ]

    • Treetop 6.1

      I have not read anywhere that just because a political party loses a general election that the leader must resign. Maybe if a person loses their electorate seat they have to forfeit being a list MP. Anything and everything can be scrutinised.

      When a person is being personally attacked there is usually a reaction. If a person is being quiet they are accused of not fronting up, when they front up they get attacked.

      • SDCLFC 6.1.1

        I haevn’t either, but I have read it in plenty of places that you should resign when you handle the result as poorly as he has, and when your own colleagues, those who know you best and whose support you need, think so little of your ability to lead.

        • Treetop 6.1.1.1

          The Labour leadership has become a complex issue and it has its challenges. The next leader will be the candidate who has a mandate to lead.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2

          but I have read it in plenty of places that you should resign when you handle the result as poorly as he has

          He did resign.

          and when your own colleagues, those who know you best and whose support you need, think so little of your ability to lead.

          I suspect it’s more that DCs colleagues just don’t want him there and has nothing to do with how well they know him (which I’m sure is very little) or his ability to lead.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      It’s an indictment that Cosgrove thinks that it is OK to attack David Cunliffe publicly by using David’s wife as a political weak point.

      Actually, it’s really extremely crappy of Cosgrove to do that.

      Why would you even try and distract from that fact?

      • infused 6.2.1

        She bought herself in to it.

        • Treetop 6.2.1.1

          This is a new low for an MP because one of your own are doing the attacking of a fellow members spouse publicly. Probably Price took it to Cosgrove because of his disloyalty, something the caucus need to have done.

          Note: there is a current interim leader of the Labour party and it is not Cunliffe, yet Cunliffe is still being attacked.

          • boyonlaptop 6.2.1.1.1

            Seriously? That’s your argument? I can’t stand Cosgrove and would love to see him gone from the party(his campaign was pathetic) but he has every right to attack Price after she attacked him publicly. Cosgrove has actually been pretty reasonable on this one he even said “I have no angst with Price”.

            Portraying Price as a victim when she has chosen to come into this debate is absolutely ridiculous.

      • SDCLFC 6.2.2

        She attacked him, and he directed the reply not at her but him. Still not flash, but Cunliffe is all over the place and has become a menace. The arguments here fail to acknowledge the damage his actions have caused. Labour needs people to vote for them beyond this blog; nobody out there in middle New Zealand (oh…I’m sorry, was that a swear word) will vote for him.

        • Tautoko Viper 6.2.2.1

          SDCLFC, you sound desperate. Why are there so many RWNJs trying to argue a case against David Cunliffe? What do they fear?

        • Treetop 6.2.2.2

          See 6.1.1.1

          You seem to be personalising Cunliffe as being the reason for the division in the Labour caucus. Labour had a lot of middle road policies.

    • Mark 6.3

      Another mental health expert. We have had a few lately but none state their qualifications. As a mental health professional of a wee bit of time, I would love to know what you use as a base for your conclusion. Facts would be useful. Otherwise the separation from reality is relevant but only if you are looking in the mirror.

      • SDCLFC 6.3.1

        I’m reasonably certain that this is a public forum for opinion.
        Opinion is what forms perception, perception is reality hence the reality of the election result based on the perception Labour were too far left and did not represent middle New Zealand etc etc.
        However, if you’re unhappy with “seperated from reality”, a term which is clearly not claiming any medical legitimacy, how about, his actions, as listed, leave the impression of someone unable to fully recognise the message that has been sent to him by the voting public and his own colleagues and believes that denial and stubbornness will somehow make everything OK. He is hurting good people who care about this Labour Party and articles like just try and shape the argument away from what is really happening so as to fit a pre-determined ideal.
        If you’d like to attack the argument, go back to the list of David’s actions post election in my original post and argue why they are reasonable and representing someone the Labour Party should want as a their Parliamentary leader.

        • Clemgeopin 6.3.1.1

          the message that has been sent to him by the voting public

          The message sent by the voting public is primarily that they are quite happy with Key and his government…..Not that they are against Cunliffe or the other parties as these did get 52% overall. Remember it is MMP and not FPP anymore.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1.2

          leave the impression of someone unable to fully recognise the message that has been sent to him by the voting public

          So, all the ABCs in the Labour caucus will be resigning from their positions tomorrow? That is, after all, the message that the public sent. You can’t claim that it only applies to one person especially considering that it was the ABCs undermining of Labour and DC that, IMO, caused the drop in Labour vote.

          You really do come across as a National supporter trying to undermine Labour.

        • thatguynz 6.3.1.3

          I don’t believe the election result indicated the perception that Labour were too far “left” at all. It certainly indicated the perception that they did not resonate with voters. Perhaps it was due to voters not knowing what Labour truly stand for or even a perception that they are a disorganised rabble? Actions since the election would certainly bear out the latter.

    • SDCLFC 6.4

      Lprent, lets not lose sight of the fact that that family membered named Cosgrove in their attack on him. I am not trying to defend Cosgrove, I am attakcing your argument because it is woefully one sided and selective. Where was your defense of Labour MPs when Cunliffe attacked them on Campbell Live? Why was that not crossing a line?

      • Draco T Bastard 6.4.1

        Where was your defense of Labour MPs when Cunliffe attacked them on Campbell Live? Why was that not crossing a line?

        The difference between an MP and their families.

      • Clemgeopin 6.4.2

        “Where was your defense of Labour MPs when Cunliffe attacked them on Campbell Live? Why was that not crossing a line?”

        Cunliffe did not specifically attack any particular caucus member. In reply to a question, he alluded to a cabal of members that were causing problems from within as that was a fact as was clear from the lousy leaks from those members that are in reality nothing less than scabs to the party and its leader. These scabs are not only not only disloyal and nasty, but fools.

  7. Chooky 7

    Great POST…i really enjoyed it!

  8. Michael 8

    A few Twitter posts are nothing compared to the stuff Cosgrove (allegedly) deposited around Christchurch during another bout of Labour infighting a few years back. Methinks the follically-challenged one doth protest too much.

    • Oh come on! Vague allegations about “alleged” comments (from some years ago)… What damning stuff!

      Cosgrove isn’t my pick for Labour Party MP of the year, but he did not start the public name-calling, here. While I’m sure Karen Price was fed up and thought she was fighting for her man, she sure didn’t do him or the party any good. She (and by association, he) came off looking underhand and vicious and it simply reinforced the “knives out” image of the election contest.

      I have not been at all impressed with how Cunliffe has handled things post-election. Yes, he’s been in a really stressful situation, but a strong leader needs to have an instinct for managing people, and needs to present themselves as capable and in-tune with their team. Cunliffe just hasn’t managed this.

      Compare Cunliffe and Bill English – English realised that he wasn’t a leader and allowed a more charismatic and powerful personality to be found. (Yes, Brash was an arsehole and no, I don’t support any of his policies – I’m just using him as a point of reference.) Now, compare him to Helen Clark. She reorganised her caucus, made use of the strengths of her possible competitors, rallied her troops and stuck with it, going onto win the next time. Both showed insight into their own capabilities and the needs of their parties. I don’t see that with Cunliffe’s recent actions.

      Plus, ask yourselves how you would be seeing this is Robertson’s partner had been revealed to be behind an account that was slagging off Cunliffe and others under a pseudonym. I doubt whether you would see it as admirable…

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        were you impressed by cosgrove campaigning with a leaflet that had no LP logo? and yet he is an MP cos of his list placement for the LP

        i bet partners of mps all over the country are thinking

        “there but for the grace of god go I”.

        it was foolish and was probably borne out of frustraion, which while understandable hasnt helped anything.

        john key has regularly used his son max in various photo ops… planking, golf, queen etc… so, has he put max into the public arena in such a way to justify anyone revealling stuff about Max?. that no one has says something about opposition and media… key has played on that, imo, to use max to paint a particular image for key knowing those with ethics wont take advantage.

      • lprent 8.1.2

        Helen had 3 years and then another 3. I was there. From your level of understanding I’d say that you were in diapers

        Cunliffe had 11 months… You are a fool for using that comparison.

        • red blooded 8.1.2.1

          And here we go with the personal attacks when the you can’t find an answer to the actual argument. A few comments:
          1) I wasn’t in “diapers” (or nappies) when Clark was leader – I had a Masters degree in Political Science and was a political activist of the left (you’re not the only one, you know…).
          2) Please note, I used two contrasting examples. I didn’t claim that either was exactly the same as Cunliffe’s current position – they were used to illustrate an argument about self-insight, insight into others and team building skills. Cunliffe has many fine qualities (he is smart, articulate and confident), but the evidence suggests that these are not his strengths.
          3) Why can’t we discuss an important matter without insults flying about? Do you think personal attack is the best way to win a debate? I’m not going to call you a fool – you have a different viewpoint from mine, but that doesn’t make you a fool. A bully? Maybe…

  9. Dorothy 9

    Good comment Lprent!
    To Clayton Cosgrove it is not your sixty four year old body that is the problem it is knowing when to keep your mouth shut.
    I am tired of hearing Grant Robertson continually saying 24% and inferring it is all David Cunliffe’s fault. I am making my list and at the top is disunity and all of caucus have to deal with this.
    Next is policy, capital gains tax was always going to be a hard sell [I am not saying it was not a right policy]
    but for sometime now NZers have had the idea that to save for your retirement buying another house or
    property was the way to go.
    Then of course there is the matter of extending the age of eligibility for super, again not an easy sell [and of course we know that John key will not make the hard decisions that do not advantage his voters.]
    We all know now more than ever that people need a long TIME to process the need for change.
    For me that includes the important issues in Nicky Hager’s and Glen Grenwalds findings.

    • Karen 9.1

      Actually, Dorothy, Cosgrove is only 44! Astonishing I know as I too would have assumed at least 64, and had to check this morning after reading in this morning’s Herald his claim that he is 7 years younger than Cunliffe.

      LPrent has nailed it with his description of him as an old fossil. The idea that he would know everything his wife ever wrote is actually very scary.

      • Hami Shearlie 9.1.1

        We gasped when he said he was 44 too – He looks like 64, sounds like 84! Such a nasty toxic person – doesn’t matter if he didn’t campaign for the Party Vote – no-one would party vote labour with CC in front of them!! But I noticed the tv reporter didn’t question him about being a serial leaker – that would be giving up too much of their bread and butter wouldn’t it?

      • Chooky 9.1.2

        well i think Clayton is a Catholic St Bedes old boy …this could explain a bit about the outdated fossil attitudes

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/schools/9433699/Leading-lights-in-red-and-black-ties

        as you can see from this photo of politicians …it is NOT a good look

        “We talk a lot about their God-given gifts and how to use them when they leave.”

        (….and across the ditch we have an ex Jesuit Priest running the show)

      • alwyn 9.1.3

        I think the Labour Party must have read, and implemented, Oscar Wilde’s story “Picture of Dorian Grey”.
        Look at the two Labour MPs Clayton Cosgrove and Chris Hipkins. Cosgrove is 44 and looks 64. Hipkins is 36 and looks 16.
        Clearly things have been arranged so that Hipkins is Dorian Grey and Cosgrove is the picture. One doesn’t age at all and the other ages at double the speed of most people.

    • “..To Clayton Cosgrove it is not your sixty four year old body that is the problem..”

      ..well..the thing is dorothy..he isn’t 64..he’s only 41.(update :..karen says 44..)

      ..(i know..!..i know..!..that was my political whoar!-fact from this week..)

      ..maybe after parliament he cd be a poster-boy for whatever diet he follows..?

      (..i am presuming animal bits are involved somewhere down the line..)

      ..and can’t he afford to hire a personal-trainer..?..or something..?

      ..or is it just a lack of self-discipline..?

  10. bearded git 10

    Cosgrove knows he is toast if Cunliffe wins. It’s a win win for Cunliffe as he can show leadership by dumping him, and lose someone who is the unacceptable face of Labour.

    Cosgrove was one of those in the Sky City box I think?

  11. Clemgeopin 11

    I felt embarrassed to watch and hear this so called senior MP, Cosgrove whining like a little kid on TV. He came across as a nasty, hypocritical petty man and a complete slime ball. The caucus or the party should kick him out asap before he does the party more harm.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 11.1

      He was totally opposed to Helen Clark replacing Mike Moore ! Its nothing new for him to be on the wrong side of history

  12. Puckish Rogue 12

    The things that amazes me the most is hes only 44, I thought he was at least 10 years older…

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Yep. Someone has clearly been doing it wrong.

    • higherstandard 12.2

      I don’t think it’s surprising, politics at this type of level will prematurely age you, surrounded by a mixture of sycophants, activists, bureaucrats and media all of whom are not the kind of people you’d want to have over for tea and a barbecue and then on top of that your colleagues in caucus and the wider party are a bunch of Type 1 egos and arseholes.

      All in all a pretty vile profession that attracts the same with a few exceptions.

  13. Jono 13

    This is all so bloody depressing and at this point in time I cant see any way out that ends positively for Labour and ultimately with a win in three years time.

    I delivered pamphlets in Whangarei for Labour in 08 and 11, Green asset sales pamphlets last year, and party voted IMP the other week (in the hopes of them getting in and acting as some ginger). I would describe myself as ecumenically and philosohically centre left but tribally Labour.

    I have always been favourably inclined towards DC although not having a TV my impressions of him come largely from the internet via the newspaper sites and a range of blogs. I was unhappy to see him demoted by Shearer, happy that he one the subsequent leadership fight, happy in general with his performance and in particular in the debates (which I did watch, online). Even if he is smarmy, arrogant and ambitious, and I understand that apparently a large proportion of the population see him that way, he has not deserved half the oppobrium heaped upon him, and up until the last few days I could have been quite happy to see him continue as leader and hopefully PM.

    But I just dont see that as tenable anymore. That being said, I dont think anyone at the upper end of the party rankings has what it takes to be leader. The current contenders all have the potential to be very able deputies and senior ministers but none of them have what it takes to take the fight to John Key and National. Likewise there are some obviously able up and comers who might be good to go in another couple of terms, but certainly arent ready for prime time.

    So what to do? God knows, except clearing out the deadwood, and coopting a super star ring-in to drop in via list or by-election with an existing positive profile who still sees some value and life left in the Labour Party brand and its fundamental ideals.

    I dont know who that is or should be, except maybe Dave Dobbyn. He has the right first name anyway.

    DRAFT DAVE!

    NB I am only being half facetious with that last bit!

    • Enough is Enough 13.1

      I completely agree with you.

      It is depressing and very sad to see how this is all being played. Who on earth can unite this caucus?

      Everyone of the MP’s has been selected as a candidate through an internal labour democratic process. So simply saying lets clear out the deadwood by a potential leader isn’t quite as easy. They do not have the power or the funds that National has, to clear the decks.

      How does the party rid itself of Cosgrove, Mallard, Hipkiss, Goff etc if they are all selected through their local democratic process.

      And if you can’t get rid of them why would anyone want to create the ugly mess which will be Cunliffe leading a group that don’t want him.

  14. lprent 14

    I see that Matthrew Beveridge has written a post mentioning this one. I’d leave a comment on it, but appear to be unable to login.

    It is full of interesting points, all of which unfortunately fall into the questions of “what if” and have little relevance to the real world. The reported tweets show nothing more than the same kind of passing knowledge with our local politics that my partner has.

    What all Matthew’s ‘points’ all do however is to continue to attack a family member of a politician for a set of maybes. Essentially he comes across as a prurient gossip getting titillated of speculation of possible sex. In short he reads to me like some perverted voyeur… Just another panty-sniffer.

    Matthew also makes one really really stupid mistake. I wrote this post. The Standard did not. The Standard is a pretty dumb program running on an even dumber machine.

    In my view as a programmer, humans write posts. Machines write rubbish. So I have to say in response, that the virtual wordpress instance at wordpress.com shows distinct signs of a basic intelligence in the post linked above.

    But Matthew Beveridge does not. He reads like a technical idiot and a person with a ethical issue that he should face about drawing politicians families into the political fray.

    Is this really the path that we want to drag politics into. If so then have I been doing the wrong thing by quelling all of the stories that have accumulated over here in the last seven years about various politicians kids and spouses that were deemed by me as not being in the public interest. Perhaps we should extend that off further out into any public figure..

    The tabloid world loved by arseholes…

    • Pascals bookie 14.1

      #laugh

      he makes a lot of play about the account was ‘deniable’, even though it apparently used her RL nickname as part of the handle, and she didn’t actually deny it. As far as conspiracy theories go, that’s pretty damn weak.

    • quartz 14.2

      Beverage was a staffer in John Key’s office. Does he disclose that on his site?

  15. Roztoz 15

    Let’s not forget DC put Cosgrove high on the List. He wouldn’t let Moderating Committee touch his top 20. Now we have right wing, Party-hating Cosgrove, and useless Moroney.

    We should have dumped Clayton and kept Maryan. Dumped Sue for Priyanca. Now we have useless, selfish MPs and no Indian MP at all. Good luck in 2017 from that base.

  16. infused 16

    Love how everyone’s making excuses for Cunliffes wife. She shouldn’t have done it. Simple as that.

    Clayton Cosgrov is younger than David, so hardly an old fossil.

    • boldsirbrian 16.1

      @ infused (15)

      I agree.

      There are no excuses for what Karen Price did.
      It needs to be called dirty, no matter where it came from
      She has said she deeply regrets taking the action. Good on her
      David Cunliffe has apologised to those affected. Good on him

      Why should Clayton Cosgrove’s response be called “whining”?

      If Clayton has done something similar in the past, he should be called up on that too.

      Just saying.
      Dirty is dirty is dirty.
      If we excuse some dirty because we happen to dislike the victim, then we will never get past Dirty Politics. In fact we should perhaps be tougher on our friends than our enemies.

    • Rodel 16.2

      “Simple as that”usually means ‘that’s my shallow opinion because I’m simple’.

  17. Adrian 17

    Cosgrove was supposed to be the “buddy MP” for the Kaikoura electorate ( Marlborough and North Canterbury ) and local Labour never got the steam off a turd from him in years. He’s a selfserving arsehole.

  18. Apples 18

    It is time for Cosgrove to go. Regardless of who wins the leadership, Grant or David, they should make it clear to him: we want Maryan Street not you, please resign. I think he’s more likely to listen to Grant than David though.

  19. The Lone Haranguer 19

    Karen Price for leader of the Labour Party 🙂

    – She Is intelligent
    – She stands up for the downtrodden
    – And she looks enthusiastic about the future
    – And you would want her in your corner in a fight (and Labour is going to have a fight)

    Maybe shes the next generation of leader that Robertson was harping on about. Well probably not, but remember, Hillary stood by her man, and Hillarys lining up a crack at becoming POTUS.

    Karen Price for leader of the Labour Party.

    • Chooky 19.2

      yup…good on Karen Price ….who calls a spade a spade …and names the worst of David Cunliiffe’s ‘Labour support team…NOT ‘

      • Tracey 19.2.1

        but attacked anonymously…

        • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2.1.1

          Caesar’s wife she may not be, then again if the Roman MSM had attacked Caesar like that Clayton would have more than forum graffiti to worry about.

          • Tracey 19.2.1.1.1

            not saying i dont understand, just saying she is not quit what choky is portraying.

            notice when found out ms price raised her hand. that makes a huge difference between she and the right, like key, collins, slater, williams, et aln

            • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2.1.1.1.1

              Yep. It was just a small twitter account on the way to the airport. Mr. Ede doesn’t work for me any more. Slater? That’s a kind of insect isn’t it?

  20. coaster 20

    A team of greats can never beat a great team. If labour doesnt have any greats, they need to become a great team. In the old days if one of your team mates caused issues in a game of rugby, he would get a good rucking by his own team to keep him in line. Someone needs to sort all this out, im getting embarresed to be a member of the labour party.

    • Apples 20.1

      That’s why we need to vote for Grant. He can bring unity.

      • Chooky 20.1.1

        @ coaster and Apples ….Yup that is why the right wing blogs and Nactional commentators just love Grant!

        …he will bring caucus unity!

        …..AND split the Labour Party!

        …. insult the grassroots members who want David Cunliffe

        ….., piss off the Labour voters, who will leave in droves for the Greens or Int/MANA or NZF

        ….. and bring the downfall of Labour.

        ….and help the John Key Nactional disaster win the next Election (QED)

        (…and then the Boys Club caucus careerists will get into gear again for another team game …topple Grant…. and have a jolly good rucking over the next wannabe leader)

        • Apples 20.1.1.1

          Excuse me. I am a “grassroots member” and I will be voting for Grant. Speak for yourself.

          • Chooky 20.1.1.1.1

            tell me…why are the National Party right wing associates /spinners batting for Grant?

            • Apples 20.1.1.1.1.1

              They aren’t. A good number of them liked the “DC for leader” FB page. I mean they are good at trolling both sides really. I wouldn’t pay much attention to them.

              • Chooky

                you have to be joking!….there was a concerted right wing PR smear campaign against David Cunliffe …probably the most vicious campaign in New Zealand’s history!

                (and the right wing in the Labour Party caucus treacherously colluded and joined in covertly to undermine him)

                Grant Robertson is exactly what the right wing and Nactional Party want! …he does not have the form, or the ability, or the charisma to lead Labour into the next Election and win!

                Grant Robertson is a joke!…and amongst Labour’s traditional constituency!

                • Apples

                  Chooky, of course the right-wing/National Party attacked David Cunliffe. There’s not much use in the Labour Party complaining about that. It’s what we tried to do to Key (although I think the Dirty Politics stuff should be exposed, attempts to undermine your political opponents are kind of par for the course).

                  The problem was that the smears stuck. And they stuck for a number of reasons. They stuck because people didn’t like Cunliffe and he comes across hopelessly insincere. Also because people knew that Cunliffe didn’t have the support of his caucus.

                  Labour can’t win if it’s leadership isn’t credible. And the public knows that Cunliffe cannot unify his team – we know it, they know it, that’s the reality. We can’t win with Cunliffe. You might think that’s “unfair” but it’s the case.

                  We can win with Grant. If the left of the Labour Party want a left-wing PM in 2017 , they should vote for Grant. He can win by campaigning on Labour’s values.

                  • Kiwiri

                    Thanks, Apples, for your energetic pro-Robertson campaign in the past few hours here on The Standard.

                    I was about to start wavering about supporting Cunliffe and you have just convinced me ………

            • Blackcap 20.1.1.1.1.2

              Chooky, I am a “right winger”, well more centre than right really, but I would also like to see Cunliffe re-instated as that will ensure Key gets another term in 2017. That said, Robertson will not do any good for Labour either. What we on the “centre right” would like to see is a total re-invigoration of Labour and a Nash, Davis, or other newby with charisma to lead the party. Do not think the “right” want Labour gone, they do not. They want strong good opposition and would rather a strong Labour than an even stronger fringe party like Green, or IM or any other that may sprout.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Why do you vote for ratfuckers, if that’s what you want? This connivance between industry, government and the fourth estate is utterly toxic to democracy because of the effect it has on the opposition, and reasoned debate in general.

                So dry your crocodile tears.

  21. SeanExile 21

    Of course, its Claytons fault. How could anyone think that someone else actually erred here.
    Its normal to have the wife of the leader set up semi anonymous twitter accounts and slag off members of the caucus. Absolutely normal, just what Mrs Obama and Mrs Putin does all day long…

    Or perhaps its incredibly unprofessional, puts the party into dispute and reduces the ability for the party to be an effective opposition. Perhaps it goes against party statues and damages the brand labour among the electorates. But of course in some peoples mind the big issue is that those who have been slagged off by the party leaders wife says that this is unacceptable and its time for the man behind this vitroul to step down and stop destroying our party.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      Cosgrove owns Cosgrove’s shit, Price owns Price’s.

      Lprent is right: anything else isn’t just out-of-date, it’s wrong.

      Criticise the actions of the players, if you feel strongly enough the NZLP has remedies for members bringing the party into disrepute. Pointing fingers just buys into the overarching narrative: Labour in disarray.

      I think it’s inevitable to some extent. The government has given up on public debate as a way to advance its agenda. If your job is to debate with them how’s that going to play out when the electorate rewards them for it?

      The longer two enemies fight the closer they come to resemble one another. Abuse of power has consequences. I note that no-one in the National Party has apologised for their ubiquitous ratfucking. At least Price has for hers, even if it was a Clayton’s apology.

  22. Skinny 22

    As I posted the other day, the leader candidate/s that campaigns that it’s time for Labour to move along deadwood gets my support. Cosgrove is one of many Labour MP’s that need to go. The refresh should have occurred under Helen Clark, it didn’t and the party is paying a huge price for this failure, it is simply not good enough. For goodness sake how on earth this hasn’t happened sooner is a disgrace. If Labour don’t commit to refreshing they can count me out of any proactive work. We have other alternatives than continually having to deal with a political party that doesn’t listen to the membership and by the latest 2 woeful election results is no longer worthy of support. It would be far easier to start a new political party from scratch and possibly bring a current MP across.

  23. Saarbo 23

    +1
    Excellent post.

    One thing is for sure, if Cunlffe gets back in as leader then there will have to be a clean out. People like Cosgrove, and even what Parker said mean that they can no longer be trusted. Even I would struggle to vote for Labour in 2017 if it still contained Cosgrove, Goff, mallard…maybe even Parker, I suspect that he is behind labour’s dumbest policy; increasing the eligibility for super…I wonder what Steven Joyce would have said if English suggested this policy leading into the 2008 election…im thinking “fuck off you idiot”.

    • Chooky 23.1

      +100 Skinny and Saarbo

    • Tom Gould 23.2

      I think you will find that increasing the super age and the capital gains tax policies date from when David Cunliffe was finance spokesperson. Parker was responsible for the NZ Power policy which also cost Labour votes, apparently. Progressive policies are tough to promote at the best of times. Besides, they went through the normal party policy processes, so are collectively ‘owned’.

    • Really? You don’t remember that this was a Labour Party policy developed when Cunliffe was Finance spokesperson? They took it into the 2011 election. This time, Parker was given some room by conference to develop it around the edges (issues for manual labourers, for example), but it was NOT a policy proposed and developed by him.

      I think we do need to rebalance our thinking about Super (I know it’s unpopular, but it’s also inevitable.) It may not have been the best policy to push as a “flagship”, but I strongly suspect the leadership team has a significant hand in making these decisions. It’s not all down to Parker.

      Basic point – Cunliffe was in charge of finance when this policy was developed.

  24. adam 24

    OMG it’s a cold day in hell.

    I completely agree with Iprent.

    Wow, now that is not something I thought I ever say.

    But thanks bro – that is exactly what I was thinking with a few more – sexist prick, reactionary tard, tory scum bag in the wrong party, and wanker. Mutterings under my breath – so thanks, for putting it so clearly.

  25. Jay 25

    In my opinion there are innumerable major problems with the Labour Party that make winning either of the next two elections next to impossible. I can’t imagine a more dysfunctional organisation, if it was a company the investors would have purged the entire management and hired a fresh team. If Robertson wins the job it will be a poisoned chalice, he will never be Prime Minister although he could lead Labour while it whips itself into shape. If Cunliffe wins he will lead Labour to a possibly worse loss in 2017. When and if Labour have a strong team, a leader like Davis, Nash, or an as yet unknown could conceivably lead Labour to victory. In the meantime though the world and politics is changing, and Labour is being left behind. Imagine a grand coalition between National and NZ First, how the hell would you deal with that? I honestly can’t see a realistic light at the end of the tunnel here for labour. While all this unseemly and highly embarrassing schoolyard infighting goes on, demonstrating the entire time that Labour aren’t fit to run NZ, I guarantee National are determined to build on their massive lead and will be planning for 2017 already.

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