Cullen endorses Robertson

Written By: - Date published: 6:50 am, October 23rd, 2014 - 137 comments
Categories: grant robertson, labour, leadership - Tags:

Grant Robertson picked up a heavyweight endorsement yesterday. You can read it on what appears to be another new blog, Fundamental. Cullen writes:

Why I believe Grant Robertson is the best choice to lead Labour.

…I have many positive reasons for supporting Grant whom I first met in the 1990s. The most important is that he scores very highly on the criteria of likeability and trustworthiness. There are, arguably three core elements to a successful political leader: being liked, being trusted, and being respected. High scores on at least two of these is essential. The respect element tends to develop over time.

The first two come from something close to a gut reaction. John Key’s greatest asset is that most people’s gut reaction has been very positive in terms of like and trust. Grant generates the same reaction amongst the great majority of people who meet him. He does so for much the same reasons as John Key: he is very at ease within himself, without coming across as arrogant; he likes other people and relates well to them; and he has a good sense of humour which he turns upon himself from time to time. …

These characteristics of Grant’s are reinforced by his relaxed presentation of himself and his ideas on television in particular, while he is also adept at the new media. In other words he is a first class communicator. It goes without saying that he is intelligent and well-grounded in social democratic principles. But he is also aware of the need to reach out beyond Labour’s traditional, but shrinking, base to communicate with the kind of society in which we now live and to make those social democratic principles relevant to them.

There’s plenty more in the full piece on Fundamental.

137 comments on “Cullen endorses Robertson”

  1. f.y.i..

    u have a typo..(albeit a funny one..)

    ..’rant robertson’..

    ..and surely..an endorsement from cullen is a neo-lib kiss-of-death for robertson..?

    ..telling those voting..that if you want even more of that neo-lib/fuck-the-poor! labour..if you are not yet sated..

    ..’rant robertson’ is yr man…

    • mind you..parker is also yr man..if you want more of that neo-lib/fuck-the-poor! labour….

      ..as is..so it seems..little..

      ..some choice..eh..?..

  2. Clean_power 2

    A very important endorsement for GR. The question is: will it change the tide (going for Little)?

    • The Al1en 2.1

      He did the same last leadership election which grant lost convincingly.

      As nothing has changed since then re grant’s credentials to lead and he’s still a disloyal lifer politician trougher, the same outcome will be forthcoming.

      • AwakeWhileSleeping 2.1.1

        That will be disappointing. Without a fresh looking leadership Labour is dead in the water for another term.

        • The Al1en 2.1.1.1

          All depends if grant is seen as fresh looking or not outside his own spinning (clue – He isn’t).
          All depends if the labour party is made up of zero life experience members under the age of 20.

          Either way the party is over now bar the shouting. Way too fragmented, way too damaged.
          Grant’s curtsey to the voters is moot.

          • Colonial Rawshark 2.1.1.1.1

            If anything Robertson has damaged his brand further since the last leadership election. I feel pretty sorry for the Labour Party. If Grant’s faction does not win this time, the next Leader will once again have to cope with Grant’s faction not winning.

            • The Al1en 2.1.1.1.1.1

              grant sure wants the job, and wants it bad enough to roll another leader.
              It’s highly unlikely I’ll ever vote labour again, not without a clearout of the dead wood like grant, king, goff, mallard, cosgrove, etc… But with gr in situ, no chance, ever.
              A 35 -45% party again, the computer says no.

    • left for deadshark 2.2

      Theirs no tide to Little,but It does help having that out of touch chameleon,on G rant Robertson’s hip.

    • AmaKiwi 2.3

      @ Clean-power (2)

      “Will it change the tide (going for Little)?”

      I would love to know which way the tide is going because I don’t want to waste my vote.

      What is your basis for saying it is going one way or another? Facts, please.

  3. quartz 3

    I was amazed at the way he attacked the membership in the last paragraph. Apparently the people that voted David Cunliffe in with a first round majority last time are a bunch of nonsensical conspiracy theorists. I expected better from Cullen.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      You mean this paragraph:

      Finally, there seem to be some who believe that within the Labour Party there is a small clique of Rogernomic moles who are waiting to regain control of the party. Last time round they supported David Cunliffe, this time they seem to be endorsing Andrew Little, who I am sure is far too sensible to want to be associated with such nonsense.

      I always thought the opposition to Cunliffe within Caucus was more personal than political.

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1

        I always thought that the “personal” differences with Cunliffe were a way to distract the membership from the fact the differences were actually unpalatable political and careerist in nature.

        You almost never ever here what these “personal” differences with Cunliffe are within the caucus for instance. Is Cunliffe rude to other MPs? Disrespectful? Arrogant? Does Cunliffe suffer from B.O.? It is a big mystery.

        Which tells me that the ABCs (which Grant says do not exist and are part of our collective imagination) are not willing to let the members know what their real reason for hating on Cunliffe is.

      • KJS0ne 3.1.2

        This doesn’t seem to ring true to me, why would the ‘rogernomics moles’ throw their lot in behind Cunliffe, who was a born again leftist, when the neoliberal Robertson much more closely aligned with their philosophy. Same applies to the current primary.

        Either Cullin is getting a tad senile, or he’s gaslighting and he thinks we’re all thick as pig shit. I’m inclined to believe it’s the latter.

        • Olwyn 3.1.2.1

          I think you have misread it. The claim is that some who believe that….there is a small group of Rogernomic moles… threw their weight behind Cunliffe – not that the Rogernomic moles themselves did.

        • boyonlaptop 3.1.2.2

          That’s not what Cullen said, he was suggesting that some people in Labour have a fear that one of the other leadership candidates is a secret neo-liberal and that that is unfounded.

          But while we’re here Robertson is backed by several members of the party which a much more solid left-wing history than Cunliffe like Darien Fenton and Megan Woods.

          • KJS0ne 3.1.2.2.1

            In all fairness, the way he wrote it was somewhat ambiguous. I simply read the first few words in brackets as it were and took the ‘Rogernomics moles’ to be the subject rather than object. Thank you both for point out the mistake.

            (Finally, there seem to be some who believe) that within the Labour Party there is a small clique of Rogernomic moles who are waiting to regain control of the party. Last time round they supported David Cunliffe, this time they seem to be endorsing Andrew Little.

            But while we’re here, your suggestion that Robertson’s supporters are more left than Cunliffe was many moons ago is fallacious logic, it’s Robertson’s political stance that matters, not a couple of those who endorsed him in comparison to Cunliffes old views.

          • KJS0ne 3.1.2.2.2

            And it’s also a non sequitur that persons X & Y with a supposedly stainless record of being left endorsing and supporting candidate Z are necessarily doing so because his political stance is also socially and fiscally left. They could be doing so for any number of reasons and it doesn’t necessitate his own political position.

            • boyonlaptop 3.1.2.2.2.1

              Totally agree which is why Little’s supporters notion that he is somehow on the left of the party because Cunliffe supports him is ludicrous.

              • KJS0ne

                No argument’s from me there. But I would say that there is decent evidence that Little is left, union background for one, although that is not quite the slam dunk proof it would once have been.

    • tc 3.2

      Just more elitist behaviour from a former caucus power broker and lets not forget hes done very well out of the nats since leaving parliament……mmmm back scratching perhaps.

      • boyonlaptop 3.2.1

        And Jim Boldger did well in the last Labour government, does that make him a socialist?

        • felix 3.2.1.1

          Compared to the current pack of extremists in govt, he’s pretty much a Marxist.

          • Murray Rawshark 3.2.1.1.1

            Marxist is going a bit far, but definitely Fabian socialist. Bolger would fit well into Robertson’s Labour Party.

    • Blue 3.3

      He’s not the only one. Mike Williams attacked the surge of new members from around the time of the last leadership contest as ‘bloody lunatics’ who deserted the party to join the Alliance coming back.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11344284

      It’s no wonder the decision of the members to elect David Cunliffe was not respected. It seems the senior party figures have no respect for the members at all.

      It’s why this whole process whereby the members get a vote is such a sham. The caucus call the shots, always. They drove out the leader we elected and most of the debate on selecting a new leader focuses on who the dysfunctional caucus will accept.

      • phillip ure 3.3.1

        it would also make sense for labour..if they ever hope to be again relevant..

        ..to adopt what i thought was one of the most impressive aspects of the internet party..

        ..namely how their policy-formation was driven by their members..

        ..who were able to debate/register votes of support/against each policy..

        ..and also to post their own policy ideas for debate by others..

        ..to my mind this was really grass-roots democracy in action..

        ..and was a major lesson the internet party had to show other parties..

        ..i am going to fight to try to get similar in mana….

        ..and any party retaining that top/down control of policy..

        ..in comparison with what the internet party did..

        ..will just be/look authoritarian..and out of touch..

        ..and i think labour also needs to look at this policy-making tool..

        ..to try to get back in touch..

    • boyonlaptop 3.4

      It’s not an attack on membership as a whole, he’s talking about an actual section of the membership that I’ve seen comment on the likes of The Standard frequently that believed anyone but DC was a neo-liberal in sheep’s clothing. Face it, you’re grasping at straws because he isn’t supporting your guy.

      • Anne 3.4.1

        …he’s talking about an actual section of the membership that I’ve seen comment on the likes of The Standard frequently that believed anyone but DC was a neo-liberal in sheep’s clothing.

        That is basically wrong. There were some for sure, but the majority of commenters at TS who attacked Cunliffe’s detractors in the way you describe were NOT members of the Labour Party.

        It’s about time that misnomer was put to bed.

        • Anne 3.4.1.1

          … and I should have added: those of us who did so, tended to couch our criticism in the mildest of terms. The more visceral comments came from outside the party as I said.

        • Murray Rawshark 3.4.1.2

          Boy knows must of us aren’t Labour members, but he keeps trying to sell that fish. It went bad ages ago.

  4. Paul 4

    The final paragraph.

    “Finally, there seem to be some who believe that within the Labour Party there is a small clique of Rogernomic moles who are waiting to regain control of the party. Last time round they supported David Cunliffe, this time they seem to be endorsing Andrew Little, who I am sure is far too sensible to want to be associated with such nonsense.”

    Not a nice attack on the overwhelming number of members who voted for Cunliffe.
    Denying Rogernomics and its continued presence within the Labour is the problem.
    There are a million voters who don’t vote.
    A significant number of these of from the sector of society who were thrown overboard in the 1980s when Labour abandoned them.
    What don’t these guys get?

    And didn’t Cullen attempt to oust Helen Clark in a coup?

    • lurgee 4.1

      It isn’t an attack on everyone who voted for Cunliffe, of course. But you knew that.

      He’s describing the sort of mentalists we get around here, who aren’t any more typical of your average Labour voter (or potential voter) than John Key is.

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1

        the mentalists around here backed Cunliffe last time. So did 60% of the party membership.

        We’ve got our finger on the pulse of the Labour party.

        • JanMeyer 4.1.1.1

          You may have your collective finger on the pulse of the Labour Party but the historic election loss suggests not on the pulse of the nation. I think that’s Cullen’s point

          • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1.1.1

            well, that’s a bigger issue, and one which takes me back to the point: if Labour is truly red – as per Cunliffe’s rhetoric late last year – it will poll well. The more it panders to the top 20% of society and gives up on fulfilling its historical mission to the working class and under class, the worse it will do.

            Cullen is a multi-multi-millionaire, a true 0.1%’er. He sees the Labour Party mainly as a liberal party of the socially aware aspirational middle classes. I don’t.

            • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 4.1.1.1.1.1

              It would be more credible for that endorsement to declare that Cullen now prospectively rules out accepting any position on Government bodies, committees, advisory panels, etc should Grant Robertson ever be leading the Party from the government benches.

            • boyonlaptop 4.1.1.1.1.2

              I love your logic, Michael Cullen the creator of kiwisaver, kiwibank(albeit. mainly thanks to Anderton) and WFF is suddenly in the right of the party because he’s not backing your guy. You do know that Cunliffe is a millionaire too right? And what ‘true red’ policy did Cunliffe actually personally introduce?

              “as per Cunliffe’s rhetoric late last year – it will poll well.”

              Um it polled at 25%?

              • swordfish

                Labour polled 37.7%, 37.0% and 37.0% in three consecutive polls immediately following a Leadership Primary in which Cunliffe explicitly and loudly promised a Red rather than Light Blue Labour Party.

                The Party’s Monthly Poll Average was 35% in 3 of the first 4 months of Cunliffe’s leadership. Significantly higher than its monthly averages during the final months of Shearer’s leadership.

                Labour subsequently campaigned on a deeply ambiguous policy platform that most see as a little to the Right of their 2011 platform under Goff. Not that the Party’s 25% result is entirely (or even largely) down to policy direction.

                • boyonlaptop

                  “Labour subsequently campaigned on a deeply ambiguous policy platform that most see as a little to the Right of their 2011 platform under Goff. ”

                  That’s my point exactly. Cunliffe did not lead Labour to the left and the idea that he is a Labour-left hero is ludicrous.

                  Also that’s not totally accurate, Shearer average about 33% in the month before Cunliffe 35% when he took over hardly a revolutionary difference.

                  • swordfish

                    “Also that’s not totally accurate. Shearer average about 33% in the month before Cunliffe 35% when he took over hardly a revolutionary difference.”

                    Nyet, Comrade, Nyet.

                    Labour Monthly Average support for Last 3 Months of Shearer Leadership

                    JUNE…32%……..JULY…31%……..AUGUST…32%

                    Suddenly averaging 3-4 points higher for 3 of the next 4 months (as Cunliffe did) was no mean feat.

                    • boyonlaptop

                      Where are you getting those figures from? The two polls released in August before Shearer resigned had Labour on 34(Roy Morgan) and 32%(Fairfax) for an average of 33%.

                      But the point is moot. If Cunliffe had got even the lowest poll result Shearer ever got at 26.5% it still would have been an improvement on the actual result.

                    • swordfish

                      Roy Morgan (29 July – 11 August)
                      34.0%

                      Fairfax-Ipsos (10-15 August)
                      31.6%

                      Roy Morgan (12-25 August)
                      31.5%

                      = average 32.36%

                      Shearer announces he’s standing down 22 August (One has to presume that about three-quarters of the final Roy Morgan had been carried out by then. A Roy Morgan, incidently, that found almost precisely the same level of support for Labour as the immediately-preceding Fairfax-Ipsos).

                      I might add that subsequent polls (immediately following Shearer’s announcement) all saw Labour’s support rise. So, if those final 4 days of the 12-25 August Roy Morgan (ie the final quarter of the polling period after Shearer’s resigntion) had any effect, it was almost certainly to boost Labour support. In other words, had the polling period for that final Roy Morgan ended on 21 August, it’s likely that the Labour rating would have been even lower than 31.5%

                    • boyonlaptop

                      I very much doubt that Shearer’s resignation before any leader increased Labour’s support in fact that poll was partially taken AFTER Shearer resigned. I think it’s just as likely it would lead to a decrease in Labour’s support in that final section of that poll, how many people would vote for a leaderless party?

                      Again this point is moot, if Cunliffe had got 31% on election day he’d still be leader possibly even PM and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

                    • swordfish

                      Can’t say I’m entirely sure what your first sentence means. Hate to break it to you, but you do have a slight tendency to leave crucial words out of your sentences (may be a generational thing. You’re probably of the texting generation, possibly with a wardrobe that includes a mint-green I’m with Grant and Jacinda – New Generation to Win T-Shirt)

                      As I mentioned in my previous comment, about a quarter of the polling period for the final Roy Morgan occurred after Shearer’s resignation announcement. So there probably wasn’t all that much point in you replying “…..in fact that poll was partially taken AFTER Shearer resigned.”

                      You then go on to suggest: “I think it’s just as likely it would lead to a decrease in Labour’s support in that final section of that poll, how many people would vote for a leaderless party ?”. Unfortunately, this is just sheer speculation on your part, whereas I’ve given you hard evidence (which you’ve ignored) in my previous comment that the subsequent polls immediately following Shearer’s announcement saw Labour’s support rise.

                      In terms of your core point: “If Cunliffe had got even the lowest poll result Shearer ever got at 26.5% it still would have been an improvement on the actual result.” And if Shearer (starting from a much lower base of support than Cunliffe) had come in for the same sustained MSM attack during the first 6 months of this year, together with the same white-anting from certain members of the ABC brigade (both its parliamentary and extra-Parliamentary wings), then Labour’s Election result in 2014 would almost certainly have rivalled National’s in 2002.

                    • boyonlaptop

                      What hard evidence do you have to suggest:.

                      So, if those final 4 days of the 12-25 August Roy Morgan (ie the final quarter of the polling period after Shearer’s resignation) had any effect, it was almost certainly to boost Labour support?

                      None, it’s pure speculation. As I suggested the instability initially created could well have lowered Labour’s support which would explain why that poll was lower than the other two(albeit only slightly less than one of them).

                      Also, the constant destabilization of the leadership under Goff and Shearer was certainly worse than anything Cunliffe endured. Paddy Gower waving around a letter that suggested a portion of caucus did not support his leadership for example or Cunliffe publically refusing to say if he’d support Shearer in the February vote after the 2012 conference certainly didn’t help matters. I also think it’s far fetched to suggest that Cunliffe was treated worse by the media than Shearer was. I’m definitely not going to claim that Labour would be riding high if Shearer had stayed but to suggest Labour would have performed worse than 25% seems far-fetched.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Cunliffe had some weaknesses as Leader, but his strengths were remarkable. None of the current crop of leadership candidates comes close.

                      Cunliffe scored a 17.9% preferred PM rating a few weeks before the election. Neither Goff nor Shearer came close at any time whatsoever. Labour lost its best chance to take 2017 with the loss of Cunliffe as Labour leader IMO.

          • Tracey 4.1.1.1.2

            he might think to lead govt labour has to win alot of nats voters. they dont.

            3_5% of nats
            1_2% nzf
            non voters

            this idea that they have to appeal to alot who voted nats is misguided

          • wekarawshark 4.1.1.1.3

            “You may have your collective finger on the pulse of the Labour Party but the historic election loss suggests not on the pulse of the nation. I think that’s Cullen’s point”

            Do you believe that elections are won only by the leader then? Because I see a whole lot of things Labour did (not just DC) that led to their low polling – not working with coalition allies, MPs not campaigning on the party vote, lack of support for DC from within caucus, that Labour picked an unsuitable leader previously so the current leader had less than a year before the election started, the retirement age policy, the dithering between Labour’s roots and its perceived need to go for National lite votes or middle NZ etc, etc, etx Not to mention external factors it had no control over.

            To suggest that Labour lost the election because the members voted in DC is ridiculous in the extreme. Labour’s probelms aren’t with its leader (whoever that may be).

        • boyonlaptop 4.1.1.2

          Yup like me who backed Cunliffe last time and I’m 100% behind Grant this time, as is Michael Wood and many other party members. Commentators here may have been on the pulse that time but I will eat my hat if Little gets 60% of first preferences in this leadership election.

    • Chooky 4.2

      +100 Paul

    • Karen 4.3

      Cullen was part of the coup attempt against Helen Clark. He was elected deputy by the caucus which still had a lot of Rogernomes at the time, and Helen was consequently constrained in her desire to reduce the inequality that had grown hugely in the previous 15 years.

      The fact that Cullen wanted to be called “sir” is enough for me to see his endorsement of Robertson as something of a poisoned chalice.

    • Gosman 4.4

      And yet of the additional voters who voted this year as opposed to in 2011 National looks to have picked up far more than say Labour did. Of course that is just a rather inconvenient fact that is likely to be ignored.

  5. Sirenia 5

    Grant was the standout of a very impressive line- up last at the leadership meeting last night in Wellington. Even more crowded than the meeting last year and sharper more reflective discussions (election defeat and Dirty Politics having happened since). To loud applause, Grant finished one question by saying the biggest words on any of his future billboards will be Party Vote Labour. All said lots of good stuff about values and reconnecting with party and voters. Only real disagreement between speakers was the Capital Gains Tax which Little opposed (which might make him the most right wing candidate).

    I think Grant is doing a Q&A here soon.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      To loud applause, Grant finished one question by saying the biggest words on any of his future billboards will be Party Vote Labour.

      I am pleased he said this. I would go as far as suggesting he should relinquish the seat so that Wellington Central’s party vote should be maximised. Currently his winning the seat is sending the party backwards because the party vote is so low.

      Also he was heavily involved the decisions on the campaign branding. Did he show any sign of a mea culpa about the decision?

      • Colonial Rawshark 5.1.1

        Apparently the only bridge officer on the deck of the Titanic these elections was the knave Cunliffe; Robertson and Parker having perfected the art of having been in the officer’s mess all the time and have nothing to do with the party vote ship going down. Even in their own electorates.

        • Chooky 5.1.1.1

          +100 CR…plotting below the deck with a mutinous caucus and leaving valiant Captain Cunliffe trying , with First Officer Mahuta at his side , to get the ship safely through the dirty politics PR media storm and home

          …actually faithful Labour stalwart , the Honorable Nanaia Mahuta, did a good job bringing in the support Maori tug boat seats …otherwise Labour would have been a total almost unsalvageable wreck

          Mahuta deserves recognition for her services to Labour ( either as Leader or Deputy) ….and if she is NOT recognised ….expect the ire of the Maori Labour voters and an exodus of Maori Seat support next Election! ( storm warnings ahead)

          • Tracey 5.1.1.1.1

            mahuta keeping lp votes following seabed and foreshore is being seriously underrated

          • swordfish 5.1.1.1.2

            “plotting below the deck with a mutinous caucus and leaving valiant Captain Cunliffe….”

            These scurrilous scabs had certainly gone below decks and whipped up loud whispers of insubordination, Mr Christian !!!

            Indeed, you get the distinct impression that some of those ABC blaggards had been planning on deposing Cap’n Cunliffe and his closest crew members all along, before assuming control of the Party, sailing her to the South Pacific and scuttling her on the high seas of international finance. Though not, I’d wager, before this mutinous band of cut-throats had rowed ashore every last barrel of rum, I’ll be bound !!!

            Least ways, that’s how I sees it, says I.

            • Tiger Mountain 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Arrrrggghhh!!! Mateys; the crew is revolting. The new Cap’n better know where the loot is buried and get those resignation/not standing again parchments in by special dispatch.

      • Karen 5.1.2

        “New Generation to Win” is very much a “Vote Positive” kind of slogan.

        Meaningless drivel.

        • Colonial Rawshark 5.1.2.1

          Its quite a US style PR line. The other thing is that Gracinda are 100% establishment Labour thinking inside moderately younger skins. Nothing truly new generation there.

      • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 5.1.3

        Are there any stats available from the analysis of the returns ?
        Which electorates declined most in Party vote?

        • GregJ 5.1.3.1

          You can go to the Election Results website and download the csv files and do a comparison.

          I assume you want number of Party Votes rather than the percentages.

          Biggest decliners (over 1000 votes fewer in order of biggest loss):

          Wairarapa; Waimakariri; Auckland Central; Mt Roskill; East Coast Bays; Rangitata; Ōtaki; Mt Albert; Selwyn; Ōhāriu; Tāmaki; Wellington Central; Wigram; Waitaki; Manukau East; Hunua

          The Electorates that actually gained votes (in order biggest to smallest):

          Waiariki; Hauraki-Waikato; Ikaroa-Rāwhiti; Christchurch East; Te Tai Tokerau;
          Dunedin North; Te Tai Hauāuru; East Coast; Te Tai Tonga; Rimutaka; Christchurch Central; Tāmaki Makaurau; Māngere; Papakura; Botany;
          Port Hills; Whanganui; Rotorua; Dunedin South; Northland; Manurewa;
          Hamilton East

          In terms of increasing the % of the Party Vote only 7 electorates actually managed that: Waiariki; Hauraki-Waikato; Christchurch East; Te Tai Tokerau
          Te Tai Hauāuru; Christchurch Central; Waikato(!!!)

          (Edited: I’m not a statistician or particularly expert in Excel so caveat emptor!)

  6. Cave Johnson 6

    Gower on TV this morning calling the first showdown a win for Little on “cut-through” (intellectual cut-through and straight talking?) but near neck and neck with Gracinda who have better street appeal “in the garden bars and in Aro valley”. Discussion implying that a Little/Ardern ticket might be where it’s at…

  7. just saying 7

    Thank you, Sir XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

    Self-censored so as to “not waste the moderator’s time”.

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.1

      And close more Post Offices while you are at it. The National Government wills it.

      • just saying 7.1.1

        lol

        • phillip ure 7.1.1.1

          cullen is the walking example of the nat/lab neo-lib revolving-door..

          ..when it comes down to it..they look after their own/each other..

          ..it is them..against the rest of us..

          • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 7.1.1.1.1

            Yet to hear Cullen thanking New Zealand for:

            – his free education,

            – his remuneration received as an MP and Cabinet Minister

            – his privileged superannuation (especially the generous scheme for parliamentarians that he had inherited), as well as

            – his post-parliamentary position on the board of directors for a NZ bank championed by Jim Anderton and Laila Harre’s former party.

            Waiting.

            p.s. Thanks also to National for restoring the knighthood system for which he had taken collective responsibility in abolishing and that he is now happy to accept and continue using.

  8. Bill 8

    In my world, an endorsement from the likes of Sir Cullen is a torpedo below the plimsoll line. Robertson’s welcome to see it as he wishes.

  9. Ad 9

    The Cullen endorsement is very important. To me, Cullen’s achievements have been the most enduring of whole of Clark’s reign. So his strong endorsement is very significant to me. Robertson and Ardern are by far the most telegenic to media. Labour needs that.

    I am interested though in Little’s calculated cut-down of the Capital Gains Tax. But Little is speaking to Auckland’s straight self interest in sustaining their wealth growth through property. I believe this move alone will bring the funding back to Labour, particularly from the haute-bourgeoisie professional services classes. I’m not saying its good, or even something to be proud of, but its excellent politics.

    Good to see these two in contest.

    • Ant 9.1

      I agree that Gracinda are telegenic, but they’ll both get framed as lightweights.

      • phillip ure 9.1.1

        ‘framed as’..?..’framed as’..?

      • William Guy 9.1.2

        The importance needs to be on securing positive air time; we need to build Labour as an attractive choice compared to the National Party. I know that many people chose not to vote for Labour because they considered it ’embarrassing’ despite liking their policies more than National. Labour won’t lose out traditional base with Grant and Jacinda, our traditional 40+ working class, middle class and chardonnay socialist voters will stay with us, but Grant and Jacinda will help improve our support in those aged 18-40. We won’t win the 2017 election focusing on long-term Labour voters or Māori (like Nanaia is intent on), we will win it based on the support we can gain in our youngest voters, 18-40.

        [lprent: This is in spam presumably because you picked up a previous ban under a different handle.. Don’t have time to find out why right now, but I will let this one through. ]

  10. Ad 10

    Neither Grant nor Jacinda are policy lightweights.
    But political lightweights is different. Ardern failed to land a well-manicured scratch on Bennett in all those years.

    Without thinking of Cunliffe, which of either Robertson or Little would have a chance to best Key during an election?

    • boyonlaptop 10.1

      I think Ardern did a pretty good job against Bennett and she’s frequently caused Bennett to lose her cool. The infamous ‘zip it sweetie’ should she could get under her skin, also she holds her own here: http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/child-poverty-debate-jacinda-ardern-paula-bennett-part-2-video-6058950

      I definitely think Robertson. Little seems like a nice guy and will make a good minister but I’m still yet to see him say anything substantial in parliament and where he has run a campaign in New Plymouth it’s been pretty disappointing.

      • SHG 10.1.1

        Who can forget the way Grant Robertson filibustered his own bill – the Royal Society of New Zealand Amendment Bill – throwing that fine organisation under the bus in an attempt to delay passage of the VSM bill.

        Robertson screwed that up too. And boy did he look like a muppet.

        • Keir 10.1.1.1

          Are you attacking Grant for standing up for students’ right to a collective voice and collective action against an attack from the radical right with a line from David bloody Farrar?

          Because really, that’s pretty gross.

          • SHG 10.1.1.1.1

            I’m attacking him for his support of (IMHO) philosophically-indefensible mandatory union membership; for the Robertson-standard betrayal-knife in the back that he gave to a group of constituents who expected their MP to stand up for them as he’d said he would; and for the amateurish muppetry of the way he fucked it all up anyway.

            • Keir 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh dear, you’ve really drunk the Kiwiblog Kool-Aid, haven’t you?

              There was never mandatory membership – opt out was always possible – and Labour made it clear we were open to compromise on an expanded opt out solution.

              Now, if you think universal student membership is philosophically indefensible, that’s good for you & feel free to john the Act Party. The Labour Party disagrees with you. We made that decision as a party, because we believe in solidarity and collective action, and I expect Grant Robertson to fight for the party’s positions – which he did in this case. Robertson fought hard for collective action against an Act Party driven neo-liberal attack. That’s a good thing.

              This attack is one pioneered by David Farrar. It’s literally ripped from his blog, and it’s really weird that you’re buying into so completely and so unthinkingly, who was pissed off that Grant had put up stiff resistance to his neo-liberal, slightly-weirdly-obsessed-with-student-politics pet cause. It’s not something left wingers should be parroting. Farrar’s concern for the Royal Society is touching, but blatantly in bad faith.

              • Lanthanide

                “There was never mandatory membership – opt out was always possible – and Labour made it clear we were open to compromise on an expanded opt out solution.”

                Actually I read an article by someone who used to be on the UCSA (Canterbury) executive, who said that it was practically impossible to leave the membership of the UCSA. They had a very specific list of requirements you had to meet in order to leave, to the extent that you had to *say* the correct things in answer to their questions, otherwise they would not let you leave.

                So while “technically” membership may not have been mandatory, for all practices it was.

                • boyonlaptop

                  I was actually in the UCSA at the time. Yes, it wasn’t the easiest process around to opt out of but the UCSA doesn’t collect any of its funds directly from the student body. That’s done via the student levy which was levied regardless of your membership. So yes, it might have been difficult to opt out but there was no advantage in doing so.

                • Keir

                  The UCSA had no membership fee at the time the VSM bill was put through. “Leaving the membership of the UCSA” is an entirely symbolic act, and from memory you could do it just by writing to the UCSA and saying that’s what you wanted [although no one ever did, so it may be that if you tried it you get stuck in a bureaucracy that didn’t understand what you were trying to do, I don’t know]. The UCSA were and are very relaxed about membership because they derive income from commercial & land holdings.

                  As I say, Labour (& Grant, who was fronting this issue on behalf of the party, it wasn’t some lone crusade) made it very clear that we were open to a better run, more expansive opt out system. The National/ACT government hate student unions for ideological reasons, and so went out of their way to knife them.

                  SHG’s parroting an attack that David “dirty politics” Farrar was using. It’s an entirely ideological attempt to discredit collective action and those standing up for it.

      • phillip ure 10.1.2

        @ boyo..

        ..”..I think Ardern did a pretty good job against Bennett and she’s frequently caused Bennett to lose her cool. .”

        um..!..factcheck from doing commentaries on q-time..no matter how much i wd like that to be..it never was..

      • ankerawshark 10.1.3

        HI Lap top boy. You only seem to comment on hear re Grant Robertson. So me think’s maybe you are Grant or his campaign manager.

    • @ ad..in a dour/calvinist way..maybe little..?

      ..but there’s not much in it..

      ..but boag endorsed him..ew..!

      ..and i’ve seen little of little in action..

      ..but from what i have seen of robertson up against national ministers..let alone key..he is hopeless/hapless..

      ..so it’s the unknown..over the known.(only ‘cos you know the known isn’t up to it..).

      ..(and both of them totally inexperienced..even as ministers..(!)..)

      ..i’m glad i’m not voting/don’t have to choose..

      ..whoever it is..finger/nose-pinching action is clearly needed/required by most.. when ticking the box..

      ..and i expect labour to soon slump into the teens..in the polls..

      ..whoever wins..

    • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 10.3

      Little can hold his own v Key. He has depth and isn’t disadvantaged by vanity.
      Little is not a guy who feels he needs to prove himself. He is extremely comfortable in his own skin. Little has no baggage.

      Grant has baggage, vanity and a chip on both on both shoulders. That is why he has become a compulsive schemer. Key will have him figured out and will have no problems with him.

  11. Ad 11

    Apologies. Should have said “lightweights.”

    [Corrected for ya – MS]

  12. seeker 12

    Well that’s put me right off Cullen. His ageing head is probably ‘addling’ simultaneously.This is the only kind excuse for his behaviour and ‘thinking’ that I can come up with.

  13. les 13

    wonderful to see that Robertson at least has woken up to the Party Vote’ message,after 18 years!

  14. Saarbo 14

    Not to be unkind to Michael Cullen, but having met him a number of times I would suggest that he wouldn’t know what “likability” was even if it crawled up his arse. The way he writes Nanaia Mahuta off is typical of his pompous up-himself attitude, bordering on racist. As for his last paragraph, sums him up really.

    Cullen is someone who should stick to the numbers, his brain is dominant in the “analytical” but clearly weak in the “people/human” side of things.

    Im looking forward to the Hustings and I am particularly looking forward to listening to Nanaia Mahuta.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 14.1

      “Not to be unkind” – ho ho ho

      Early in the full piece, Cullen wrote:

      All three of the candidates with a real chance of winning (not to be unkind to Nanaia Mahuta) are within the broad centre left ground of the party.”

      Sorry, Nanaia. In Cullen’s eyes, Nanaia is nothing. Doesn’t figure. Zilch. Zero. Nought. Nada. Not counted. Not to be unkind.

      • ankerawshark 14.1.1

        Yeah I thought that was unfair and unnecessary of Cullen to say that about NM. And he gave no rational for it either.

  15. Ad 15

    Can’t believe you people are down on Cullen.
    Sure he surfed a boom.
    But what a great ride!

    Cullen does the best and meanest celebrity roasts of his own colleagues I have ever seen when he was in. Clearly I’m a fan, but his big moves really have solidified much in NZ that was unstable.

    • @..ad

      ..yeah..he was a major driver of just ignoring the poorest for those nine long yrs..

      ..he supervised the bedding in/normalising of the underclass/low-wage economy…

      ..what a guy..!

      ..he sure ‘solidified’ that one in..didn’t he..?

      ..and so well prepared the ground for national..and what came next..

      ..and now he works for national..

      ..as i said…what a guy..!..

      • Ad 15.1.1

        Check your Gini Coefficient over that period.
        They pulled it back from a decade of negative tracking.
        Dr Liz Craig and the CPAG people can provide you with the actual statistical breakdown.

        Also track the District Health Board long range monitors over the 9 years. The reality is all aggregated in there.

    • Saarbo 15.2

      @Ad

      Agree that Cullen achieved some great things in parliament but he needs to exit out of there now, I suspect he is not helping in calming the labour caucus/faction problem out. He needs to move on…but he wont, he, like those around him, need Labour more than Labour need them.

      • Ad 15.2.1

        Disagree. He’s one of the few real statesmen the left has anywhere.

        If Robertson or any leader can pull off moves of the scale of Kiwisaver and Kiwibank as Cullen did, I’d be happy with that government.

        • Colonial Rawshark 15.2.1.1

          Cullen would never have created Kiwi Bank unless he was made to. As for a real statesman. Yes the man has gravitas. But a “real statesman” wouldn’t be sticking his beak into this leadership fracas. Again.

          • Ad 15.2.1.1.1

            He was instrumental.
            And that’s what statesmen do.

          • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 15.2.1.1.2

            Well, the display of statesmanship was such that not only did he choose to stick his beak in, to make reference to three candidates and (not to be unkind) peck off one, while selecting one of them ….

            but his statesmanlike mind of such considerable intellect and tactics was either able to see, quite deliberately, or else was not at all able to anticipate, the implications of his decision to wade in and (not to be unkind to him) to use the words that he did.

    • les 15.3

      and then he went and spoiled it all by saying something simple like….I’ll accept a knighthood!

  16. leftie 16

    “Finally, there seem to be some who believe that within the Labour Party there is a small clique of Rogernomic moles who are waiting to regain control of the party. Last time round they supported David Cunliffe, this time they seem to be endorsing Andrew Little, who I am sure is far too sensible to want to be associated with such nonsense.”

    Did I read that utter nonsense from Michael Cullen correctly? “Rogernomic moles” are one of the main contributing factors to Labour’s woes and they are consistently undermining the Labour party, and would in no way ever support Cunliffe or Little or Mahuta for that matter. In fact this self interested faction that trouble maker David Shearer and Grant Robertson and his unbridled ambition to be leader at any cost are part of, have done nothing but undermine the democratically elected leadership of David Cunliffe since last year.

    In my opinion, after what Grant Robertson and his cohorts have done, he is the LAST person who should ever lead the Labour party, and its long past due that Labour purged itself of these self serving traitors.

    • greywarshark 16.1

      @ leftie
      I like this bit. Of course that is wrong entirely. The Rogernomes within Labour never lost control of it completely, just modified their approach in a way that makes Roger weep when he speaks now and then, as to why his and his mates’ grand schemes did not achieve all he had hoped. (Which I have never comprehended as it seemed obvious to me that the measures would be disastrous for the general public.)

      “Finally, there seem to be some who believe that within the Labour Party there is a small clique of Rogernomic moles who are waiting to regain control of the party.
      Also on Grant Robertson –
      There are, arguably three core elements to a successful political leader:
      being liked, being trusted, and being respected…..

      But he is also aware of the need to reach out beyond Labour’s traditional, but shrinking, base to communicate with the kind of society in which we now live and to make those social democratic principles relevant to them.

      That’s a clear case of the woodsman not seeing the forest for the trees.
      Can we have firmer reasons for analysis of who this new leader shoule be.
      Asking, for instance, on being trusted – to do what?
      On being respected, for what attribute/s?
      And likeability, by whom? By the Labour supporter, or his/her attractiveness of personality to the voters, presently in the bag, or those to be wooed and hopefully won?
      What social democratic ideas is Cullen thinking of exactly?
      What principles does he refer to?

  17. leftie 17

    Michael Cullen should keep his nose out of it.

  18. Not a PS Shark Sashimi 18

    There is shit between Robertson and the majority of the Labour Party membership since his play with Shearer. It didn’t get sorted during the last leadership spill because of the bofoonery of the Jones’ side-show.

    We have to sort it this time and rid the party of the beltway careerists. This leadership battle is about the membership taking control of the party. The stronger the victory for Little, and the bigger the drubbing that Robertson gets, the better it is for the future of the Labour Party.
    The past six years has been a fucking disaster for the Labour Party and Robertson (with help from Mallard and Cosgrove) has been a huge part of the fuckup.

    If we don’t sort it now we are into a prolonged decline.

  19. boyonlaptop 19

    Reading through these comments, I can’t help but notice that a section of former Cunliffe/Little supporters, seem to want to throw anyone under the bus who doesn’t agree with them. Ostracizing a pretty successful former deputy leader and finance minister who helped orchestrate progressive change just because you don’t agree with who he is backing is not helpful to the future of the party.

    I don’t want Andrew Little to be the next leader of the Labour Party but if he wins I certainly want him to be PM in 2017 and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask the same courtesy for Grant. Slamming a potential future leader with dog-whistle politics or half-truths is incredibly damaging to the future of the party and the attitude if my guy doesn’t win I’d rather see the party burn is what will get us a fourth-term National government in 2017.

    • Ad 19.1

      You have a certain wilful emotional forgetting. Many people here have pretty damn long emotional and financial skin in multiple campaigns.

      Maybe you’re just getting the tiniest taste of what supporters of other teams have had to go through for many, many years. Spare us the bleeding heart sonata, take a concrete pill, and fight your corner.

      • boyonlaptop 19.1.1

        What I care about is fighting for the Labour Party. I’ve certainly defended and fought for Grant on here but I’m not willing to do it by smearing Little; a possible future leader of the party. To do otherwise isn’t about being emotional it’s about recognizing political realities and realizing that we’re only shooting ourselves in the foot. Both of them have a lot to offer the future of the party and I think Little will make a great cabinet minister but I just personally don’t think he’s the best candidate to lead Labour.

        • Colonial Rawshark 19.1.1.1

          Let’s see if Grant has learnt to count yet, shall we.

          • greywarshark 19.1.1.1.1

            I’ve certainly defended and fought for Grant on here but I’m not willing to do it by smearing Little; a possible future leader of the party.

            I think this sentence is very revealing of the attitudes of some Labour Party commenters here who have not learned how to analyse and critique anything.
            It seems that criticism is equated with smearing. That looking at the perceived faults of someone is dumping on them.

            I have heard NZs criticised by overseas people as being smarmy and false because of an inability to state a negative thought even when asked for a frank opinion. It has been noticed that we have a desire to ‘be nice’ and cover real opinion with whitewashing.

        • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 19.1.1.2

          Boyonalaptop
          Grant Robertson was at the centre of the 2011 Election Campaign Strategy that did not have the Party Leader’s image on the hoarding thus causing a even bigger drop in the party Vote that in 2014. Goff never recovered.
          Grant was smiling. Unforgivable.

          Grant Robertson was at the centre of shafting Parker and pushing Shearer in 2011. Shearer, with less than a full term under is belt, was clearly an inappropriate choice. The effect on the party has been shattering.
          Grant was smiling. Unforgivable.

          Grant Robertson, as Shearer’s deputy, was at the centre of staffing his office and advising/influencing the strategy. It was phenomenally disastrous. Robertson then didn’t inform Shearer when his friend Maryan Street started doing the numbers to roll Shearer.
          Grant was smiling. Unforgivable.

          Grant Robertson achieved the second worse Party Vote in his own electorate in the 2014 election. In the meantime he was working to roll Cunliffe for a poor election result for which he, Grant Robertson, is denying any responsibility.
          Grant was smiling. Unforgivable.

          Grant Robertson had the temerity to say that, if elected, he will unify the Caucus? That is impossible. The last three leaders (at least) do not trust him. We the membership do not trust him. That is why he got a lousy vote the last time.

          Boyonalaptop, this is not about Cunliffe or Little or Mahuta. It is about self respect. I’m not going to support a person who behaves in such an unforgivable manner. That behaviour must be punished: not rewarded.

          • boyonlaptop 19.1.1.2.1

            That’s exactly the half-truths and vitriol I’m talking about. If you honestly believe Robertson was the sole person who made the decision for Goff to not appear on billboards for the purpose of Labour doing badly and eventually obtaining the leadership you’re delusional. Also, enlighten me having DC on billboards all across the country made how much difference to Labour’s result?

            Also, Parker wasn’t shafted he was the one that decided to withdraw and support Shearer evident by the fact he supported Robertson last contest.

            Here I don’t know quite what you mean: “Grant Robertson achieved the second worse Party Vote in his own electorate in the 2014 election” and were you working on the ground in WC do you have any evidence to suggest Grant campaigned for the party vote any less than any other Labour candidate? It’s endemic throughout Labour electorates and indicates voters like their local candidate but not the leadership. and the national party

            • Bill Drees 19.1.1.2.1.1

              Boy
              You are seeing anger. These pages are full of hard sloggers who walked nailed phoned and spent hundreds of hours away from our families to further the Labour cause.
              These pages are full of people who campaigned against a threatening Caucus for a REAL say in the leadership.
              You come across as mouth piece for a smarmy guy who many people here believe was key to and deliberate in making the Caucus dysfunctional for his own careerist reasons.
              Do you think we did the hard slog to let that continue?

              • Sirenia

                Grant had a very large team on the ground. They canvassed the whole electorate twice. He worked really hard for the Party vote – I witnessed it in several ways. I was working mostly in another electorate this time but I have worked in enough elections to read the feel of the electorate out there. It felt a lot like 1990 – the most depressing election I’ve experienced. I’m sorry but people just did not like the leader. They mentioned it again and again. That’s what they said when I rang them up or delivered leaflets. And as leader of the party he was responsible for party and election strategy and staffing. Nobody undermined him. I think you all need to do some self reflection rather than making up malicious lies about a person who has the emotional intelligence, charisma and wisdom to be a great PM.

    • Saarbo 19.2

      Cullen has written some pretty offensive comments in his endorsement of Robertson. Cullen is politically savvy and tough enough to know what would come back his way after he wrote that stuff.

    • greywarshark 19.3

      boy
      If your guy doesn’t win? Do you think that someone winning that you like is all that is involved in politics?
      ‘The election is over, my guy won. Now I can forget about the country and all the people and problems in it, because my guy will automatically know what to do best for now and in the future.’

      Is that your attitude? Don’t you think that’s a bit simplistic? The person at the top can do anything they want and if he/she is your choice that’s all that matters.

  20. Red delusion 20

    Cullen silence on nanaia speaks for itself, he worked in parliament with her for many years, he knows incompetence when he sees it, he is just been kind, ie if you have nothing nice to say dont say anything at all

    Bob jones is right all four are ridiculous options, Robertson stands out only on the basis he seems relatively normal and approachable, hardly a ringing endorsement but a big plus with the other 3 been plainly odd

  21. I sure hope that there are more reasons to support who you want to support left in your storage of justification other than a “gut feeling”. It’s really going to take quite a fair bit more of an explanation than saying that you think the feeling is right and that other people are going to have the same “feeling”. Where is the concrete evidence?

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