Cunliffe off to a flyer in revenue

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 am, March 22nd, 2013 - 150 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, tax - Tags:

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. The revenue portfolio looked like a pretty big step down for someone of Cunliffe’s experience and skill – it’s usually a training ground for first-termers – but that experience and skill has allowed him to make something of it.

With Cunliffe as spokesperson, Labour’s been the parliamentary wing of a business/union coalition against Dunne’s stealth taxes.

The result: humiliating backdowns for Dunne, a stain that may threaten his hold on Ohariu (if Labour puts up a decent candidate), and Cunliffe and Labour on the side of the winners.

There’s plenty more weakness on the revenue front to be exploited. While traditionally spokespeople have concentrated on IRD scandals and management issues, the real avenue of attack is tax policy itself. The massive loopholes that the rich and overseas investors can make use of while leaving us ordinary people carrying the tax burden are ripe for attack.

It feeds into the developing ‘us and them’ narrative (eg. SkyCity, bank bailouts, tax cuts for the rich, minimum wage cuts for young workers, bene-bashing), and positions Labour as being on the side of the honest person in the street.

Turns out Shearer did Labour more good than he realised when he shunted Cunliffe into a novice portfolio.

150 comments on “Cunliffe off to a flyer in revenue”

  1. MrSmith 1

    Heard Cunliffe talking on Radio NZ about these issues and couldn’t help think if only he was the leader of the party they would destroy National at the next election, but it’s a team game I suppose, we can only hope M/Bumble can swallow his pride and bring him back into the fold quickly.

    • Treetop 1.1

      “… but it’s a team game I suppose …”

      I support the team over the leader when I party vote. I would feel more empowered with my party vote to have my first choice as leader and not my third choice currently being leader.

  2. Watching 2

    ” a stain that may threaten his hold on Ohariu (if Labour puts up a decent candidate)”

    I do not think so

    Ohariu Dunne voters (not supporters) are more National lending rather than Labour. When Dunne retires or looks like losing this seat will revert to being a Nats seat.

    Many Dunne voters (Nats voters) in Ohariu do understand the principle that here you can get two votes per voter even if Dunne is a one electorate seat party.

    In saying that I understand there are significant boundary changes to Ohariu for 2014 which I have no idea of the impact.

    • bad12 2.1

      Under either of your scenario tho, no ‘Hairdo from Ohariu’ will leave National down 1 seat in the Parliament, if the seat of Ohariu reverts to a National MP then it will be one less List MP in the House for National…

      • Watching 2.1.1

        If your outcome is correct the Nats voters will then continue to support the hairdo.

    • Lightly 2.2

      But imagine a decent candidate at each meeting saying ‘so Peter, thsi carpark tax you wanted’ and ‘Peter Dunne wants to tax your work phone’

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Ohariu Dunne voters (not supporters) are more National lending rather than Labour. When Dunne retires or looks like losing this seat will revert to being a Nats seat.

      Could be. That’s certainly what the results from the last election would suggest even though Charles Chauvel (Lab) was the runner up as candidate.

    • Not quite, ‘Watching’…

      The 2011electorate results yielded some interesting info;

      DUNNE, Peter (UF) 13,228
      CHAUVEL, Charles (Lab) 11,582
      HUGHES, Gareth (GP) 1,775

      Majority to Peter Dunne (UF): 1,646

      Win: United Future

      Transfer electorate votes from Gareth Hughes (GP) to Charles Chauvel (Lab),

      CHAUVEL, Charles (Lab) 13,357
      DUNNE, Peter (UF) 13,228

      Revised majority to Charles Chauvel (Lab): 129
      Win: Labour

      From my blogpost: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/post-mortem-1-green-voters-in-electorates/

      In short, had Green voters given their ELECTORATE VOTE to Chauvel instead of wasting it on Gareth Hughes, Dunne would’ve been thrown out.

      Dunne is vulnerable. Voters simply have to think a bit more clearly and vote cleverly.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1

        National had the highest of the Party votes – by a significant margin. The question then become How many National Party voting people voted for Peter Dunne in the last election?

      • QoT 2.4.2

        Maybe those Green voters didn’t want Charles Chauvel as their electorate MP? Maybe they thought Dunne represented Ohariu the best? Maybe they believed his election promise not to support asset sales? Maybe they were pissed off by Labour’s sense of entitlement to their votes? Just some random thoughts.

      • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 2.4.3

        The only problem was, Chauvel was an arrogant egotistical prick with a massive sense of entitlement for no apparent reason; he wasn’t actually good at anything other than talking about how awesome Charles Chauvel was. Hell if I was a Green Ohariu voter I wouldn’t have voted for him.

  3. Enough is Enough 3

    I agree

    It takes quite an exceptional politician to make the headlines while sitting on the backbench and speaking about revenue.

    He has done brilliantly and highlighted again how simply stupid it is having a key asset being made redundant at the back.

  4. Matthew Hooton 4

    I do have to admit that having now worked with David Cunliffe on the carpark tax campaign, I found him great to deal with.

    • xtasy 4.1

      WOW, is this the start of another cunning dismantling agenda, or are you for real, Matthew???

      • rosy 4.1.1

        No, It’s marketing – just making sure his name is out there getting some ‘me too’ time when people are giving out the compliments.

        • xtasy 4.1.1.1

          I’ve challenged Matthew Hooton on a few topics to get back to me, but he never does. I think he knows he is up against rock solid criticism, so he does not bother. Makes him a discredited commenter of sorts really, does it not?

          • felix 4.1.1.1.1

            Utterly discredited, never held up his own end of an argument here as long as I can recall.

            But he’s not a “commenter”, he’s a lobbyist / PR rep. A paid mouthpiece and nothing more.

    • Tim 4.2

      Oh how fucking magnanimous of you! All is forgiven – I misjudged you: maybe you’re not the self-serving, egotistical, fame and fortune craver, mainstream media whore I originally thought.

      I think I’ve fallen in lerv

  5. karol 5

    David Cunliffe letting it rip in the General Debate this week – on the Back-Down-Dunne, and the Back-Down-Nat-BackBenchers.

    Every speech a winner.

  6. Anne 6

    You’ve discovered what many of us already knew Matthew. Credit to you for owning up to it.

    Can I suggest you now reflect on the real reasons certain members of the ABC club were so desperate to get rid of Cunliffe?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Considering how desperate that National seem to be to keep Shearer I suspect he (Hooton) already knows.

    • xtasy 6.3

      Do NOT trust Matthew Hooton and Off!

      He will next come out with some “revelation” to qualify what he said, and try all to dismantle Cunliffe, like a good old back-stabber from the right.

      • Elizabeth Bourchier 6.3.1

        way bet. To maintain his clients’ confidence he must show that he is “connected” and had an open door to the powerful, no matter what their persuasion.
        He sees that Cunluffe has an outside chance of taking the top spot so he is building bridges.

        Fairly transparent, this Matthew boy. Follow the money. I do the same every day!

        BTW, why hasn’t the price of Bollinget come down 25% in line with the increase in the value of the Kiwi$?

  7. Tiresias 7

    “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

    Life also has to give you an awful lot of sugar.

    Perfect Lemonade

    Ingredients

    1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
    1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
    1 cup lemon juice
    3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Obviously if you want to over-analyse the saying, if life gives you lemons, you go out and work hard to find the sugar so that you can make lemonade.

      • felix 7.1.1

        And a jug. When life gives you lemons, you go out and work hard to find the sugar so that you can make lemonade, but first you save up and buy a jug.

        Also worth ensuring a supply of potable water.

        • mac1 7.1.1.1

          It’s how you squeeze the lemon that makes it all worth while, cf “Travelling Riverside Blues” by Robert Johnson.

  8. Poission 8

    Farrar is being critical of Cunliffe who suggested tightening of the GST threshold on small O/S purchases.

    Obviously does not like the idea of NZ based businesses working on a competitive level playing field.

    • DH 8.1

      Selfish turd isn’t he, wants all the benefits of living in NZ but doesn’t want to pay for it. There’s a lot of drop-shippers who sell online these days and they’ve got a 15% price advantage over an NZ based business for goods under $300, that comes out of the profit margin so the NZ retailer is up against it. Yet we’re the ones who pay tax and employ people.

      IMO Cunliffe also needs to look at the surcharges on GST collection that Customs charge, it adds a big whack to the cost. There shouldn’t be any surcharge at all, I can’t charge for collecting GST so I don’t see why Customs should be allowed to.

  9. ghostrider888 9

    David Cunliffe.Yep! he has my vote.

  10. McFlock 10

    Indeed.
    I like it when a leader gives an MP roles that the MP is well suited for. Shows that the leadership team has a good level of leadership competence.

    • karol 10.1

      🙄

      • Anne 10.1.1

        What it shows McFlock is that the Mallarfia still feel threatened by him. The Revenue portfolio was meant to be a put down but instead he’s using it to outsmart them. Game one to Cunliffe.

        • McFlock 10.1.1.1

          lol

          “Outsmart them”.
          I thought he was too principled and too loyal to play games within caucus, and was going to spend the next 18months on the backbenchers before leaving parliament and curing the sick by laying his hands upon them.

          Although beyond all that, it’s nice to have two consecutive days of caucus members doing well in the house.

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1

            🙄

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Let is all raise our eyes to the heavens, that the great Cunliffe might smile upon us …
              🙄
              Blessed be the name of Cunliffe

              • Colonial Viper

                Hey you little prick, Cunliffe has plenty of faults and weaknesses, but at the very least he’s not a zero term zero Ministerial portfolio zero economic intelligence MP.

                You, you get Shearer.

                • McFlock

                  Was I getting too close to the bone, CV?

                  Maybe you should have another glass of bubbly and ponder how the apparently incompetent can hold onto the leadership for over a year despite the best efforts of folk like yourself.

                  Meanwhile I get a labour party who have to move beyond a leadership horse race and form a genuine mmp government, not a governing party + a couple of hangers-on. Better government in the long run, even if the bogs in the top floor of the beehive won’t smell like roses and honeysuckle.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Whatever. Go focus on the leadership of the Alliance, you’re way too busy with your continuing oblique defence of Shearer under the guise of concern for the Labour Party.

                    Maybe you should have another glass of bubbly and ponder how the apparently incompetent can hold onto the leadership for over a year despite the best efforts of folk like yourself.

                    You’re seriously mistaken. I never ever claimed that the current leadership is incompetent at holding on to power.

                    Zero term, zero Ministerial portfolio, zero economic intelligence.

                    You, you get Shearer. It’s what you deserve.

                    • McFlock

                      Sadly, the alliance isn’t likely to be part of the 2014 government.
                      Labour is.

                      And at the moment, the chap you want to be leader can’t get the job.
                      But more to the point, you seem to have tied your hope for nz politics to one man. In reality, our political future is in the combined leadership teams of different caucus members of a number of different political parties.

                      The sooner you figure that out, the sooner you’ll learn to chillax and act less like a groupie.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “groupie” what the fuck McFlock.

                      By the way did you hear that all of Gillard’s leadership problems is due to that hasbeen no hoper called Rudd?

                      “Chillax” don’t be so condescending. You get Shearer, it’s precisely what you deserve.

                    • McFlock

                      Nah haven’t been following aus politics.

                      Love the way you call me a prick and then ask me to not be condescending, by the way. Really makes your opinion look rational.
                      And in case you haven’t noticed, there’s more to the parliamentary left than just shearer and cunliffe.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I didn’t call you a prick to be condescending, I called you a prick to be insulting.

                      I had hoped that was obvious, but as it wasn’t I hope it’s clearer to you now. BTW good luck with your “rational” concept of politics.

                      And in case you haven’t noticed, there’s more to the parliamentary left than just shearer and cunliffe.

                      And you gain solace from that why?

                    • McFlock

                      I’ d picked that up, yeah. Intrigued as to what you thought the response would be.

                      And I’m happy with labour’s current progress because I want labour to need both mana and the greens to govern, rather than being able to choose between them or even go to nz1 for different legislation.

                      My reasoning is that I believe labour with shearer having to compromise would be more left wing than labour with cunliffe playing one agin t’other.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Unless Labour gets a minimum 34% (or maybe even 35% plus) in the E-day poll, NZF will be a must have in order to form a coalition government.

                      The follow on analysis from that is that a swing from 27% 2011 to 34%-35% 2014 is a very big ask in the best circumstances.

                      tl;dr: Winston is in, as long as he gets over 5%.

                    • McFlock

                      2.5% in 18 months is a “very big ask”? With polls that undercount the e-day left vote? Not even if shearer were as bad as you say. Hell, they gained 5% over the last year.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      NB I’m not going by the figures in the opinion polls, I’m going by the 2011 e-day to 2014 e-day swing which will be required ie a swing from 27% to at least 34% (or NZF will very likely be king makers again).

                      Also note, Labour spent plenty of time in the mid 30% opinion poll range last term.

                    • McFlock

                      Lol. For a generous Value of “mid”

                      Basically, even if the polls are all completely wrong, you’re still only asking for a reverse of the swing that goff managed.

                      Very doable.

                    • The Al1en

                      Got edit working, now a need newspaper headline font.

                      Shearer supporter in drinks the un-coolade shocker. 😆

                    • McFlock

                      Ta, you mistake my motives. I realise that even the parliamentary left is bigger than one guy. I actually believe that pinning your hopes on a saviour-figure politician is just setting yourself up for tragic disappointment. Call it a legacy from the betrayal of the Alliance by anderton, if you will.

                      I’m not a shearer supporter, I just really really really dislike political cultists. Fucksake, doing your job competently is some sort of masterstroke to outwit the leadership? That’s some impressive faith-based spin right there.

                    • The Al1en

                      ”Ta, you mistake my motives.’

                      Maybe.

                      “I realise that even the parliamentary left is bigger than one guy.”

                      Of course it is, and even if we’re not inching our way to a presidential style, personality based democracy, which we are, it doesn’t make the last two choices of Labour leader any more electable. A pig with lipstick, etcetera.

                      “I actually believe that pinning your hopes on a saviour-figure politician is just setting yourself up for tragic disappointment.”

                      Me personally, or everyone who thinks DC > At least 22 of caucus?
                      Anyway, I couldn’t be less disappointed by the Labour party, which is why I probably won’t ever vote for them again. Democracy in action.

                      “Call it a legacy from the betrayal of the Alliance by anderton, if you will.”

                      Call it what you like, it’s not applicable.

                      “I’m not a shearer supporter, I just really really really dislike political cultists.”

                      I’m not a Shearer supporter, either, I just really dislike shit politicians, that I’m expected to vote for.

                      “Fucksake, doing your job competently is some sort of masterstroke to outwit the leadership? That’s some impressive faith-based spin right there.”

                      You made the inference “I thought he was too principled and too loyal to play games within caucus” and I replied with “Playing games, by being effective and coherent.”, that’s not spin, faith based or otherwise, just a simple response to a simpler snipe.

                    • McFlock

                      TheAllen

                      Mallard’s gang must hate DC so much. Every time he opens his mouth, his class comes out, exposing their long con (post 2014 plans) game, for the mess it so clearly is.
                      His rise, no doubt spectacular when it eventually comes, will hopefully be matched by the speed and manner of the TM gangs demise, ending the culture of failure in Labour’s current caucus.

                      my italics
                      CF:

                      “I actually believe that pinning your hopes on a saviour-figure politician is just setting yourself up for tragic disappointment.”

                      Me personally, or everyone who thinks DC > At least 22 of caucus?

                      Both comments from you.
                      In response to the question in the second quote, I’d say “anyone who thinks that the best course of action is to wait for Cunliffe to rise again”. Maybe he will. Maybe he won’t. He’s lost one supporter in caucus this year. Makes life more difficult for him.

                      As to who to vote for, I agree. Any party that expects a vote from a particular area doesn’t deserve that vote. If you feel that way, I suggest Greens.

                    • The Al1en

                      “Both comments from you.”

                      I don’t think DC is a saviour politician, though it would be hard to argue he isn’t the best man for the job, and the way caucus is playing out, I’m certainly not pinning hopes on his immediate canonisation, but with the current leadership, he’s still on course to become next Labour pm.

                      “In response to the question in the second quote, I’d say “anyone who thinks that the best course of action is to wait for Cunliffe to rise again”. Maybe he will. Maybe he won’t. He’s lost one supporter in caucus this year. Makes life more difficult for him.”

                      Agreed, no point waiting, but the more waves of dissatisfaction, the increasing undercurrent for change swells. Even if it doesn’t, I’m still enjoying putting the boot in.

                      “As to who to vote for, I agree. Any party that expects a vote from a particular area doesn’t deserve that vote. If you feel that way, I suggest Greens.”

                      Yes, my only option, so Green it is.

                    • McFlock

                      Interesting imagery you used though, wasn’t it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      McFlock, you are the one who consistently makes out Cunliffe supporters as Cunliffe church devotees.

                      Whatever, you get Shearer, it’s all that you deserve. Just remember that during the pre-election debates OK? Because right around that time I expect you to start distancing yourself from both him and his performance.

                    • McFlock

                      You did read Theallen’s comment, did you? The one expecting a spectacular rise from cunliffe?

                      And what’s Shearer got to do with how brilliant cunliffe is? Time and time again people here point out to me that cunliffe’s abilities and shearer’s leadership are two completely different and unrelated issues.

                      I reckon shearer might be better than goff. And he will be facing a tired Key who doesn’t have natural disasters and a world cup three-way to hide behind. Novopay, the rebuild, gcsb/dotcom, asset sales – it’s all coming home to roost.

                    • The Al1en

                      “You did read Theallen’s comment, did you? The one expecting a spectacular rise from cunliffe?”

                      Cunliffe, if he sticks at it, when this lot fail as expected, will be leader of the Labour party.
                      How could that rise, from where he is now, be written as anything but spectacular?

                      The main point of using that ‘imagery’ was to suggest the fall of the current polit bureau be equally stunning, as deserved.

                    • The Al1en

                      “Interesting imagery you used though, wasn’t it.”

                      To be honest, I think you just got the wrong end of the stick, rather than deliberately misrepresent me, that or you were ‘having it’ for a laugh 😉

                    • McFlock

                      Interesting.

                      So now the vaccum following the spectacular demise of the mallarfia will possibly be filled by cunliffe, rather than cunliffe’s certain and spectacular rise will “hopefully be matched by the speed and manner of the TM gangs demise”.

                      At least you’re putting the horse before the cart this time, and even suggesting (shock horror) that cunliffe might not be there to step in to the breach as successor.

                      Is cunliffe even running for reelection? I thought hew said he was simply going to serve out the term on the back bench and be done with it?

                    • The Al1en

                      “Interesting.”

                      Yeah, you’re on one.

                      “So now the vaccum following the spectacular demise of the mallarfia will possibly be filled by cunliffe, rather than cunliffe’s certain and spectacular rise will “hopefully be matched by the speed and manner of the TM gangs demise”.”

                      My position has been clear from post one. That you’ve chosen to twist it into some sort of self defence mechanism is up to you.

                      From my first post.
                      “His rise, no doubt spectacular when it eventually comes, will hopefully be matched by the speed and manner of the TM gangs demise, ending the culture of failure in Labour’s current caucus.”

                      “At least you’re putting the horse before the cart this time, and even suggesting (shock horror) that cunliffe might not be there to step in to the breach as successor.”

                      From my first post.
                      “If it happens, it’ll probably the reason I’d vote red again.”

                      Note the ‘if’?

                      “Is cunliffe even running for reelection?”

                      No idea. Ask hew.

                      “I thought hew said he was simply going to serve out the term on the back bench and be done with it?”

                      Before or after he heals the sick by laying hands upon them?

                      I changed my mind. Given how clear I’ve been, I think you deliberately misrepresented me. 😆

                    • McFlock

                      So the “when it eventually comes” was uncertain?

                      Sorry, took it at face value. Yes there’s an if that follows, but shouldn’t it have been “if it eventually comes” if you weren’t sure it was going to happen?

                    • The Al1en

                      “So the “when it eventually comes” was uncertain?

                      Sorry, took it at face value. Yes there’s an if that follows, but shouldn’t it have been “if it eventually comes” if you weren’t sure it was going to happen?”

                      If it helps, I’m sure that if DC sticks with it, when DS fails and a vote gets to the rank and file, DC will be crowned king in a spectacular rise as his time will have eventually come.

                    • McFlock

                      I doubt he’ll be there, and even if he is then by that time some of the young guns will be champing for a chance. And going by eddie’s three streams, the right stream will still oppose cunliffe tooth and nail, and the careerists might well accept one of their number as a compromise – keep the right happy, but not annoy the left quite so much if the gambit fails.

                      EDIT: d’oh – failed to factor the pop vote, good call. He might hang around yet. It still depends on deals in caucus and with the affiliates, so he might well be nobbled there, though.

                  • The Chairman

                    McFlock, it seems we’ve come full circle from our previous discussion (Two Things)

                    How will Labour muster a gain in the polls without a change of policy and a new sense of direction?

                    They’ve apparently gone back to their grassroots. Put forward a new leader. Done the reshuffle, yet have failed to significantly gain in the polls.

                    They could always wait, and hope, for National to lose significant ground.

                    However, it’s hardly a winning strategy and highly unlikely to eventuate in a give away election year.

                    Moreover, another blunder or two (such as Shearer’s brain fade) could result in a further reduction in credibility and slip in the polls.

                    • McFlock

                      According to cv, they’re almost where we need them to be already. Drastic change could have a higher penalty for failure than staying the course.

                  • The Chairman

                    There is support out there for a more hands on approach.

                    Failing to pull anything more out of the hat will be cutting it extremely fine.

                    Perhaps another term in opposition will encourage the required change.

                    • McFlock

                      If 2.5% in 18 months is extremely fine, then I suggest your expectations are unrealistic.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Give them just a bit more time, in other words.

                    • McFlock

                      Nope.
                      Istr the “just a bit more time” line was to wait for them to get the job skills.

                      That’s not the situation now.

                      We have a fixed schedule ending in election 2014.

                      Even by your math, labour are quite possibly well on track for that objective.

                      What do they need a bit more time for now? They might already be where they need to be. You have no idea whether they are or not. Neither do I.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      But you have plenty of faith. I don’t.

                    • McFlock

                      No-o.

                      I suspect that the difference is that I’m more used to being in situations where sometimes the only course of action is to wait and see which way things play out before deciding what to do.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh definitely. Given the hard deadline of 2014 which you mentioned, standing still and waiting for the clock to run down is the ultimate in smart strategy.

                    • McFlock

                      With no clear Indication as to whether things are on track or off track, yes, see what develops. I’m not entirely happy with the polls, but not so much as to worry prematurely.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Labour frequently polled 32% to 35% (Roy Morgan) in the year before the 2011 elections. How did that turn out. Taking consolation from similar poll numbers now is…inadvisable.

                    • McFlock

                      Labour lost its votes in the six months before the election. The left gained ground in the last week or so. Left the tories only one vote for the asset sales. And that was with earthquakes+rwc+goff.

                      That’s why I’m not panicking .

                  • The Chairman

                    While the percentage stated may be small, what’s going to drive this voter change?

                    I see this is your wait and hope strategy.

                  • The Chairman

                    As highlighted above, they’ve pretty much mustered all the support they can from that..

                    • McFlock

                      I disagree, especially looking at the context of the 2011 election.
                      National managed a 1-seat majority for their agenda when they’d been gifted a political lifetime’s worth of photo-ops national tragedies and sporting events. Sucks to lose, but it should have been worse. Without further assistance for the nats from on high, I’m cautiously confident.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      But where is the Labour Party that the under class and struggling working class is looking for?

                      Do you think it even matters as long as it’s a “win” on the night?

                    • McFlock

                      been gone 25-odd years, Mrs Haversham.

                      I think it’s a “win” if the greens and mana can provide the left policy, and labour provides the bulk of the vote. And I don’t think that such a situation would be vastly different from an old FPP labour government (well, except lab4, of course).

                    • McFlock

                      Fuck. MISS Haversham. The entire point of the character. Shitballs – I fucking hate popping into work on a sunday.

                  • The Chairman

                    In the context of the last election, they lost.

                    National has given Labour multiple opportunities to rise up. Labour has largely failed to capitalize from those opportunities.

              • karol

                As one of the above eye-rollers…. show me where, in the last few months, I have said Cunliffe can do no wrong and/or should be leader?

                I have said that Cunliffe should be on the front bench, more than once. Having him in such a low level role is a waste of his capabilities.

                Less often I have said Shearer should not be leader – but hardly ever recently. More often I have said the biggest problem is with the caucus leadership team. I have also said Cunliffe is centre left, and I don’t consider him to be as left wing as myself. ie. not so much a matter of right and wrong, but of political positioning. But I don’t agree with everything he says.

                And as for Shearer’s political position? Unknown, but probably fairly far to the right of the NZP, like most of the current caucus leadership team.

                I think the NZLP is in a pretty sad state, and right now, I see no hope for an early return to core values.

                • Ad

                  Do you now see yourself as more a Greens or Labour supporter; has the last year re-tilted you? I’m asking because it puzzles me how little effect Labour’s internal wrangling or parliamentary performance seems to have on the polls.

                  • karol

                    Ad: neither. I see myself as left wing – democratic socialist, but will be happier with social democracy than what we’ve got, and what the current NZLP caucus leadership is offering. Cunliffe is social democrat.

                    I select the party & candidates to vote for in terms of which comes closest to my core political values.

                    In my younger days I voted Values. In the UK, where I got most of my political education, and largely under Thatcher’s watch, for almost 2 decades I always voted Labour.

                    Since coming back to NZ, first I voted Labour under Clark’s watch. Became somewhat disillusioned with their step back from “closing the gaps”, then more so following the foreshore & seabed debacle. Somewhere in there I voted Laila Harre (electorate) + Labour party.

                    Before the end of Clark’s watch I was voting Cunliffe + Green Party – probably will do so again next election.

                    I also like Mana (especially Sykes & Bradford), whose values are closest to my own. However, I think my party vote will be more effective going to the Greens…. may change if they slide any more towards the centre.

                • felix

                  Sorry karol but the new rule is that anyone who says anything even remotely critical of Shearer is only doing so to boost Cunliffe.

                  The other new rule is that any mention of the first new rule is strictly forbidden and to be met with sustained character attacks.

                • McFlock

                  AS the rollee, why do you think my comment is solely about you?
                  By your own comment you have advocated shearer not being leader and cunliffe being leader, but my comments were motivated by the general thrust of the thread.

                  Frankly, I can’t recollect the last time cunliffe was criticised by someone who wanted shearer replaced. I feel such faith is unwise.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Frankly, I can’t recollect the last time cunliffe was criticised by someone who wanted shearer replaced. I feel such faith is unwise.

                    Frankly, why do you even pretend to care who is in charge of LAB? If I understand your self professed position, all you want is Labour to get around 34%/35%. Then the Greens and mana can do the heavy lifting for the left leaving Labour free to own the centre vote.

                    • McFlock

                      Pretty much.

                      I don’t particularly care about who leads labour. Have said so before.

                      I do care about labour throwing away their votes with another meltdown in 2014.

                      I do care about lefties constantly going from lastgreathope to lastgreathope. The longer we do that, the longer the media will manage to keep it a nice ratings-rich two horse presidential race, rather than a more sophisticated mmp race. And the longer we’ll be disappointed when the human being we placed so much hope into turns out to be imperfect.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I do care about lefties constantly going from lastgreathope to lastgreathope.

                      I think you are being disingenuous here. Who exactly is the series of “last great hopes” you are referring to?

                    • McFlock

                      Just offhand:

                      Lange.
                      Anderton.
                      Nandor (for the stoners)
                      There were a couple of others that elude memory at the moment, the sort of folk where you mention their name and supporters’ eyes glaze over and they get that missionary’s smile.

                      lesser great hopes:
                      Mccarten (Alliance)
                      McCarten/Harawira (Mana).

                      Basically, the common thread is that by virtue of this one person running/starting a party/ whatevs, a whole bunch of folk start saying that THIS is the time that most people
                      A) will suddenly vote according to the way we think they should
                      B) will stick it to the ruling elite
                      C) will elect a government that will be principled and work for all except rich parasites
                      D) will legalise dope.

                      And the individual concerned is always incredibly smart, never places a foot wrong in the House or on the hustings, has words that take the form of rose petals, and generally farts fairy dust.

                      The results have never lived up to the expectation. Hell, I recall on election night ’99 Chris Trotter singing the Internationale at the Lab victory. While Lab5 improved things for a lot of people, they weren’t anywhere close to collectivising the means of production. Had to be nagged into banks and trains, FFS.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What kind of analysis is that? Why didn’t you stretch your analysis back to Savage, Fraser and Nash?

                      Savage especially being such a disappointment to people like Lee.

                      My point: You seem to be saying expect less from our leaders. But in reality don’t we need to expect more from our political leadership, not less?

                      Even though the risk for disappointment is higher?

                      The other failing of the Left is something that you have implicitly identified: we aren’t good enough at building tight, capable talented support teams around potential leaders. No wonder they fail when the heat gets turned up.

                      BTW I think it was wrong of you to put Lange on the list. He didn’t have a chance against the right wing faction of the day Douglas, Prebble, Caygill, and others. And that historical scenario points to another major problem with your strategy of supporting a politically centrist Labour. They will tend to constrain or suppress leadership on the left of the political spectrum.

                    • McFlock

                      I can go either way on whether Savage was a disappointment to Lee, or whether Lee just wanted everyone to recognise his own brilliance.

                      To some degree, if some folks’ characterisations here are correct, the “mallarfia” as someone called it would be a remnant of the tight team from the Clark years. Should the current caucus form a tight team for whichever leader, the same issue will afflict the following caucus.

                      I think we should expect competence, principle, integrity and honesty from our leadership. But we should also expect them to be human.

                      What I’m wary of is assigning either perfection or brilliant outcomes to individuals. Lange I think is actually a good example of the latter for the reason you outlined: a great personality, but not strong enough to oppose the tory branch of cabinet and not strong/quick/whatever enough to refuse to be prime minister of a neolib government, and it all turned to shit.

                      But there is also the distinction between having high expectations and interpreting reality according to one’s expectations. When were the last few times Cunliffe was criticised by you? If it’s been a while, is that a statistically reasonable period of error-free political action by an experienced politician? Is he really that good, or is there the possibility of perception bias?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Is he really that good, or is there the possibility of perception bias?

                      a real leadership primary in Feb could have helped answer a lot of those questions definitively. C’est la vie.

                      Today Cunliffe is a backbencher with a few minor portfolios. The only expectations of him are to perform as a decent electorate MP representing the people of New Lynn. Which he has already proven quite capable of over time.

                    • McFlock

                      The only expectations?

                      Except those from people who expect cunliffe to dramatically rise again, you mean.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Nice use of Christian symbology ha. Except Cunliffe has ruled himself out as a prospect multiple times, he’s been pushed back to political Siberia, and he’s been made spokesperson for misc. minor stuff.

                      Don’t get too paranoid eh. Cunliffe’s not responsible for Labour sitting in the low 30% range.

                    • McFlock

                      Tell that to theallen.

                      The expectat
                      ion thing I mean. But to be fair to cunliffe, he does share some of the credit for labour regaining support to the level of within a couple of points of what’s needed for a left govt. With 18 months to go, too.

                  • felix

                    “AS the rollee, why do you think my comment is solely about you?”

                    Hey McF, that’s exactly what you say to me whenever I dare to question the supremacy of the anointed holy temporary leader.

                    Still doesn’t work though. No one assumes you’re talking solely about anyone.

                    • McFlock

                      Then why do they keep asking for links where they, and only they, made comment xyz?

                    • felix

                      Well in this particular example, I expect it’s because you said “all raise our eyes” or some such.

                      You’re referring to a group of commenters of which Karol is part.

                      It’s entirely reasonable for Karol to ask why you’re ascribing certain beliefs to her, but at this point you accuse her of suggesting that you were only referring to her, which you clearly weren’t, and which she never did.

                      It seems to me that you just do this because the alternative would be admitting that your first accusation – usually that criticism of Shearer = something other than criticism of Shearer -was utter bullshit.

                    • McFlock

                      You’re referring to a group of commenters of which Karol is part.

                      Am I? If the hat fits, wear it.

                      My initial comment was a valid point of view, if extremely sarcastic. Cunliffe doesn’t have to be spokesman for anything. And performing competently isn’t unique, even in the labour caucus.

                      Rollyeyes implies that it’s self-evidently wrong and absurd and not worth discussion. No dialogue beyond “cunliffe outwits ’em again” will be entered into.

                    • felix

                      Yes, completely ignoring the point being made is the other option. Well demonstrated.

                    • McFlock

                      I responded with a plural to one person who did the rolley-eye thing. Karol, because she also did the rolley-eye thing, wants a quote to justify me saying that response about her, specifically and to that extreme. But it’s not about her, specifically. It’s about the entire thread and the abject sycophancy some people here display towards cunliffe. It’s about people who think cunliffe is the only MP who can make labour left wing again and boost its vote to some unknown level above the present polling numbers. It’s about the fact that an MP simply acting competently and doing their job is lauded as “outsmarting” an opposition cabal (real or imagined), while members of that cabal (real or imagined) can almost never do anything right. If Karol thinks that my comments could reasonably satirize her position (given that it should be obvious that I don’t think anybody here really thinks that cunliffe is literally a god), then frankly if the hat fits, wear it.

                      Is he really that good? Probably not.
                      Are they really that bad? Probably not.
                      Should people pin their hopes on one MP that much? Definitely not.

        • The Al1en 10.1.1.2

          “What it shows McFlock is that the Mallarfia still feel threatened by him. The Revenue portfolio was meant to be a put down but instead he’s using it to outsmart them. Game one to Cunliffe.”

          Mallard’s gang must hate DC so much. Every time he opens his mouth, his class comes out, exposing their long con (post 2014 plans) game, for the mess it so clearly is.
          His rise, no doubt spectacular when it eventually comes, will hopefully be matched by the speed and manner of the TM gangs demise, ending the culture of failure in Labour’s current caucus.
          If it happens, it’ll probably the reason I’d vote red again.

          “I thought he was too principled and too loyal to play games within caucus, and was going to

          Playing games, by being effective and coherent.
          See above bit about culture of failure 😆

          “spend the next 18months on the backbenchers before leaving parliament and curing the sick by laying his hands upon them.”

          He’s good, though I’ll believe it when I see it, but no danger of ever expecting the same from Captain Mumble – His hands are made for thumbing through the statements from his overseas fortune account.

  11. George D 11

    Good on Cunliffe for his incredible fight to prevent tax increases on the rich.

    • karol 11.1

      Better to just tax the well off directly. Dunne’s proposal was a bit random, apparently would have impacted negatively on many low wage workers, and more have cost as much to implement as it saved.

      There are probably better ways to discourage people, who don’t need to, taking their cars to work. And better ways to implement fringe benefit taxes.

    • Colonial Viper 11.2

      Good on Cunliffe for his incredible fight to prevent tax increases on the rich.

      Explain in 50 words or less why you are keen on a tax which costs twice as much to enforce as it can possibly bring in, thus taking money from Education and from Health.

    • xtasy 11.3

      George D: I know where you come from, and I had my issues with the tax debate taking headlines before welfare reform issues, but it is the middle class professionals that would have been hit in most cases by parking lot, mobile phone use and laptop taxes. I am not having much pity for the middle class now, given their total contempt and indifference towards beneficiaries and what they are facing, but at least Cunliffe “performed” well, and that is where he earned respect.

    • Too late, George D. The Nats did that in their 2009 and 2010 tax cuts, which left a gaping $2 billion+ revenue hole.

      That’s one of the reasons the Nats are obssessed with asset sales and raising taxes on paper boys/girls, carparks, cellphones, etc. Sunshine, rain, and wind will be next. They’re desperate to make up the revenue shortfall.

      All because the Nats said that tax cuts were affordable.

      “Nats to borrow for other spending – but not tax cuts”
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10524905

      Crap. It’s amazing how many gullible voters swallowed that line. But I guess if you tempt people with money (like Muldoon did in 1975, when he campaigned on dismantling the compulsory super scheme and giving our investments back to us), they’ll believe anything.

      Muppets.

      • ghostrider888 11.4.1

        you are very funny to read Frankly

      • Frank , I am also amazed at how the political Right manage to completely con the majority of the working class. Time and time again they promise to raise the standard of living for workers then beat he hell out of them . Unemployment .cuts in wages plus cuts in social security. .Union bashing and cuts in living standards for the struggling. Yet these sufferers continue to vote Tory not only here but in the UK as well .Its beyond me and I’m getting to the stage where I’m inclined to say “Serve you right” which also makes me rather sad.

        • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 11.4.2.1

          Simple. They appeal to those members of the working class who aspire to not be members of the working class any more.

          • Colonial Viper 11.4.2.1.1

            That’ll keep working right up until people figure out National is road blocking class mobility.

      • UpandComer 11.4.3

        The tax cuts were fiscally neutral, and actually raised more tax due to the re-coupling of the personal and company tax rates.

        The minimum wage has gone up under National, basically on trend with it’s increases under Labour.

        The purchasing power of the dollar for the vast majority of kiwis, has never been stronger, hence why cost of living hasn’t utterly derailed the govt.

        The Deficits National has had to deal with, derive primarily from the 2005 spending policies of Helen Clark, and ongoing social security requirements.

        The irony of you discussing a National govt ‘tempting’ people, with their own money, given the left wing freebies for everyone, hell, even free houses, is priceless.

        The irony of you talking about National ‘borrowing’ for tax cuts, when a) they haven’t, and b) Micheal Cullen actually did, is also priceless.

        • Colonial Viper 11.4.3.1

          You’re an absolute fucking liar.

          Cullen paid back massive amounts of public debt.

          English is now borrowing $250M-$300M per week in order to compensate for revenues he lost to his own badly timed and badly misjudged tax cuts for the rich. For himself, in other words.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.4.3.2

          The tax cuts were fiscally neutral, and actually raised more tax due to the re-coupling of the personal and company tax rates.

          No they weren’t and the company tax rate was dropped 5% at the same time as personal tax rate was dropped 5%. And it’s physically impossible to bring in more tax when tax rates are dropped.

          The purchasing power of the dollar for the vast majority of kiwis, has never been stronger, hence why cost of living hasn’t utterly derailed the govt.

          Which would explain this government getting away with its plan to sell us out.

          The Deficits National has had to deal with, derive primarily from the 2005 spending policies of Helen Clark, and ongoing social security requirements.

          No, they derive solely from Nationals tax cuts for the rich.

          The irony of you talking about National ‘borrowing’ for tax cuts, when a) they haven’t, and b) Micheal Cullen actually did, is also priceless.

          National are borrowing for the tax cuts that they gave to the rich, Cullen was running a surplus.

          Really, all I’m seeing from you is a rewriting of history to try and get it to match your delusional beliefs.

  12. Rob 12

    Pretty easy to look brilliant opposing this proposal.

    • felix 12.1

      Pretty easy to look brilliant opposing most of this govt’s policies, but so few in the lab caucus seem to manage looking competent let alone brilliant.

  13. xtasy 13

    So a backseater does so well, while the leader is – well improving a bit on the media side – still struggling to come out with plans and agendas to show National are a load of self serving crap meisters.

    I suppose Cunliffe will do the hard work, learn and improve on team work, and will come out the winner and future leader in the end. That is natural evolution, no doubt!

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      But at the cost of a third Tory term? It’s too much 🙁

      • xtasy 13.1.1

        Stink bomb each Nat Party MP electorate, to expose the stench, perhaps, that comes with “rotten government”? That may turn their supporters and voters off.

  14. AmaKiwi 14

    “I suppose Cunliffe will do the hard work, learn and improve on team work, and will come out the winner and future leader in the end. That is natural evolution, no doubt!”

    Unlike some of the ABC gang, Cunliffe has lots of options outside parliament. Prior to parliament, he worked for 4 years at the Boston Consulting Group. With his 14 years in parliament and cabinet successes in IT, Health, and Finance, they’d probably offer him 5 times what he makes as an MP. And he wouldn’t be taking orders from incompetents.

    I am grateful Cunliffe has hung in there. But I would not fault him for finding a much more lucrative and less combative job elsewhere.

    Unless Cunliffe eventually becomes PM, his talents for the Goff-Shearer 6 years in opposition will have been wasted. And NZ will have lost a potentially great leader.

  15. RedBaron 15

    I too want Cunliffe to hang in there.

    Any chance that he might make tax hay about the youth rate and taxing schoolkid’s wages. That was really low of English -taxing kids!

    The sort of line that goes ” other countries have a free fire zones, no tax on the first $20000 in Australia, around 8000 pds in the Uk etc. Here the Nats are so set on giving tax cuts to the rich that they balance their books by taxing schoolkids – that’s right – paper rounds so that Jkey gets a rise.

    Then they bring in youth wages, again so that the kids can take the hit.

    Is Mr Key’s motto “show us the money? or “Give us your money kids” .

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      The established middle and upper classes are feeding on the young. They do it in the housing market, in education, in the workforce; it’s a mess.

      • xtasy 15.1.1

        All stuff for a revolution, but then again, the young are all too scared, conscious of their little interests and will not take action. Years of involvement with activists, and having been to protests have shown me, there is minimal unity, support and action. It is everyone on their own, and this has been created by divide and rule, the privatisation and other agendas, since the late 1980s and early 1990s. Younger people have NO idea of a different society than what they grew up in. And they do naturally, to generational differences, not want to believe their parents or us who have been around longer. Re inventing the wheel seems to be necessary in social revolution.

    • Excellent summation, Red Baron.

  16. RedBaronCV 16

    Quite right CV. But this should be upsetting a lot of the parents and grandparents too. Now a clever opposition would be using this to drive a huge wedge between the Nats and the middle classes who will either have their kids overseas or living with them till they are 40.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Within 10 years, many old wealthy right wing pricks who engineered and gamed this system are going to be spoonfed and arse wiped by immigrant labour who can’t speak English.

      While their own kids are ten thousand miles away not giving a damn.

      Her name is Karma and she is a bitch.

      • Alanz 16.1.1

        +1

        yes, greater publicity about this please

      • Ad 16.1.2

        Anyone else aiming for Tiresius’ ideal of living largely off grid and self sufficient with reasonable acreage, deep into the internet-connected hills?

        My bet is within 10 years we will be fine, except “we” will be largely Chinese and Australians, picking up the rent/dividend every month, staying here long enough to be Resident but not long enough to pick up NZSuper, then off again. Not sure what happens to Old Zealand.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1

          My bet is within 10 years we will be fine

          I expect we’ll be hit with a combination oil crisis and financial crisis in the next 4-5 years.

        • ghostrider888 16.1.2.2

          moi; and all from 16 down is pretty on the money.

      • CV – that has to be a quote that’ll end up a meme on Facebook…

  17. Tombstone 17

    Cunliffe should be leading the party – pure and simple. Nice guy Shearer simply doesn’t inspire me and leaders should be seen to inspire – just aint happening and that worries me.

    • Elizabeth Bourchier 17.1

      “Nice guy Shearer” ???????
      I’ve had a jerebaum full of that lie.

      When has he demonstrate that trait?

      He has demonstrated vindictiveness.
      He has demonstrated selfishness.
      He has demonstrated narcissism.

    • Hami Shearlie 17.2

      Totally agree – Cunliffe looks and sounds like a leader. Charisma, brains and class. I could definitely see him footing it on the international stage – Shearer would be nothing but an embarrassment! I’ve wondered how on earth he got to that position he held in the U.N.? He sure never looks or sounds like a leader, so indecisive and bumbling – frankly, I cringe every time he opens his “yap”!! Shearer doesn’t inspire anyone, and I don’t believe he’s the “nice guy” that the ABC crowd keep stressing he is!! No-one knows yet what he actually believes in and he’s been leader for nearly 18 months!!

      • Colonial Viper 17.2.1

        No-one knows yet what he actually believes in and he’s been leader for nearly 18 months!!

        This suggests a very big problem.

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