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David Cunliffe announces withdrawal from the Labour Party leadership contest

Written By: - Date published: 2:11 pm, October 13th, 2014 - 336 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, david cunliffe, labour - Tags:

Statement from David Cunliffe

I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest.

It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the wider Labour Party.

There is so much work to do on behalf of those who don’t have a voice within the current government. It is important that Labour is in fighting shape to do that.

To truly serve New Zealanders we must first win government. To do that we need a united caucus and party. I believe that although I retain broad support around the party, the time has come to step aside.

Which is why, in withdrawing I am throwing my personal support behind Andrew Little’s bid for the leadership. I have enormous respect for Andrew and his integrity. I believe he is the right man for the job.

In talking to him over recent days, I know he has a strong vision that is driven by Labour Party values.

I believe Andrew will achieve greater cohesion across the caucus, and get the process of listening to New Zealanders underway quickly – both with voters and those hundreds of thousands who chose not to vote in the September election.

I have discussed my endorsement with a range of my supporters over the past days, including Maori and Pasifica representatives and a broad range of Labour Party members and supporting affiliates. They are personally very supportive and understand my reasons. I have expressed my view that they will have a strong and supportive voice with Andrew as leader.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me, both inside the party and my family and friends. You have given me strength and courage at the times it has been needed most.

It has been an absolute privilege to lead the New Zealand Labour Party. I am intending to stay in Parliament and continue to serve my Party and my constituents.

Labour’s values and mission are more important today than ever.

336 comments on “David Cunliffe announces withdrawal from the Labour Party leadership contest ”

  1. gingercrush 1


  2. r0b 2

    Bravely spoken by Cunliffe, and he’s answering questions well.

  3. bearded rawshark 3


    the king is dead…..long live the king

  4. gingercrush 4

    How weird that there will be now be three failed Labour leaders in the caucus.

  5. Ffloyd 5

    Devastated! But at least he is staying on in Parliament.

  6. NeutObserver 6

    His endorsement of Little makes even harder for Robertson to win the contest. It almost derails Parker entirely, since he was DC’s deputy.

    The Party’s left (Little) against the right (Robertson). Who will win?

    • Keir 6.1

      Little isn’t left and Robertson isn’t right.

      If anything Robertson is left and Little right. Certainly based on my experience fighting for socialist policy on the Policy Council, I’d prefer Robertson.

      • wekarawshark 6.1.1

        you will have to explain that in detail Keir. Because pretty much everyone else is saying the opposite to you. Can you clarify?

        • Keir

          I’m saying that in my experience fighting for left wing policy, Grant has been a better ally than Andrew Little. I was on the Party’s Policy Council when we were writing the Platform, and Grant Robertson was chair, and I’ve been involved with other parts of the process, including fighting for remits on conference floor. I don’t know what other people are basing their views on, but I’m basing mine on years of fighting for left-wing policy in the guts of the party’s policy process.

          Grant gets that we need to fundamentally move on from the neo-liberal paradigm, and he gets that cautious, incremental opportunistic chipping away isn’t enough. He knows that Labour needs a vision that New Zealanders can grasp about a better society.

          Little has never expressed that clear vision, and his suggestions that Labour shy away from the rebalancing and redistributive capital gains tax for short term political gain suggest he doesn’t get it, and isn’t willing to make big calls in pursuit of a fairer society.

          • Rosie

            Helpful insight there Keir.

          • Tracey

            but will the abcs let him move away less than incrementally? evidence to date suggests no cos some within caucus want to be in govt so bad they will even become national to do it.

            I thought shearer would be a great leader but I was wrong so no guessing by me this time

          • wekarawshark

            Thanks Keir. If you are right then Labour has a massive problem, because its members and the voting public can’t tell.

            Is there a reason that Roberston doesn’t come out and state his position re neoliberalism and where Labour should be moving?

            What will Robertson do about the ABCs, the neoliberals, the rogernomes within Labour? MPs, staff and office holders.

            • Keir

              Robertson has been a loyal subordinate. It hasn’t been his place to make big picture, vision speeches.

              I also don’t think that grand gestures are the best way to tell how someone’s going to behave. It’s the everyday grind that matters, and Robertson has always been a solid ally in that grind, and Little hasn’t. Remember, he was one of the MPs that broke rank to play into Slater’s #manban framing on women only shortlists.

              I think we’ll see more vision from Robertson in the next few days, but for me, it’s the track record that matters.

              • wekarawshark

                I’m not talking about vision or grand gestures. I’m talking about telling the truth. If he can’t communicate a core value then he’s just as bad as the rest of them.

                You have completely ignored my question about the rogernomes, which seriously undermines what you are saying.

                • Keir

                  Sorry weka, I don’t like slagging off Labour MPs, so I left that one.

                  But I think that the older MPs will get the message this term it’s time to move on no matter who wins. I think Robertson will work to make sure that solid candidates with good values are selected in those seats. He gets the need for generational change in the party.

                  As far as office holders go? Grant was very helpful and respectful to me as a young, left party member. That’s what I hear from across the party – I’m not from Wellington, but I understand his LEC has a really solid team of left wing activists. His campaign manager was an awesome young woman, and in my experience, he’s always supported young left wing activists trying to reform and rebuild Labour.

                  If you look at Grant’s speech on the marriage equality bill, or his maiden speech, there’s vision and fire there, tied to a strong personal narrative about why Labour values matter. I haven’t seen anything like that from Little or Parker, and if you’re looking for someone who can communicate with New Zealand, Grant has to be top of the list. And he knows why the 1980s reforms hurt: he worked in a supermarket under the ECA, and he had to deal with the aftermath of student fees at the NZUSA.

                  • wekarawshark

                    Thanks, it’s good to have these things discussed in depth with someone on the inside.

                    Where does Robertson stand on the increasingly desperate needs of beneficaries?

                    • Keir

                      Hah! The first question I ever asked Grant (back when he was candidate for Wellington Central in 2008) and before I joined the party, was “why has n’t Labour done more for beneficiaries (specifically, why hasn’t Labour raised benefits in real terms since Ruth Richardson)?” I can’t remember what he said but it must have been convincing, given I joined up!

                      He’s solid on this issue, but like all Labour party leaders, is going to come under a lot of pressure from the right on this, both inside and outside the party. In the same way that Clark and Cunliffe struggled to get headway on this issue, he’ll need strong voices on the left of the party to keep him honest. That’s true of all leaders. But his values are in the right place on this issue – at least, that’s a big part of why I joined Labour.

                    • wekarawshark

                      While that is interesting it’s not something to bank on. He’s had a long time to figure how to say something on this issue. Labour has been backfooting a whole bunch of stuff, I can’t see much changing until they stand up for their principles.

                      I also wonder if Robertson is good on the individual progressive policies, but is unlikely to take the steps to shift the party left.

                    • Keir

                      Look, all Labour party leaders are going to be compromised. That’s what it means to be the leader of a party like Labour – as Nye Bevan said to Jennie Lee, you can be pure, but only if you’re impotent.

                      But I’m not arguing Robertson’s perfect. He’s not. But he’s better than Little or Parker, if you want a left wing leader of the Labour Party, and I’m saying that because of Grant’s track record, and because I have heard Grant talk about Labour principles, and he gets them.

                      Like I say, Grant’s third reading speech on the Marriage Equality (http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/13409), or his speech on Paul Quinn’s shameful stripping of democratic rights from prisoners (http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/25502) are powerful articulations of Labour values. And Grant has, in my experience, backed those words up with real solid actions in the party.

                      I can’t give you more than that – no candidate can – and I agree it’s not something you can “bank on”, it’s the starting point for the next set of struggles, and the next set. But I’d rather be going on the next fight with Grant as Labour leader than anyone else.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Key and English will only take a minute to chew up and spit out Grant and Jacinda on economic and business issues.

                      As for Grant being left wing – I think the corporate media are just fine with precisely how left wing Grant is.

              • Not a PS Shark Sashimi

                Keir uses code:
                Sentence no 1. Robertson tries to fly under the radar.
                Sentence no 2. Robertson tries to hide his real agenda.
                Sentence no 3. Robetson works hard and Little is lazy.
                Sentence no 4. Robertson is superior on indenty issues to Little.
                Sentence no 5. Robertson has no track record but I’m such an insider and I know him so well and anybody who knows him as well and I know him would agree with me and I like what I say so there.

                More fucking Laurel and Hardy than Keir Hardie.

                • Keir

                  Look, mate, I’m sharing my experiences so that others in the Party can make their minds up about the candidates. I’ve always thought it was a incumbent on every good party member to help their comrades by sharing what they knew about candidates up for election.

                  This is my name and this is my truth – tell me yours if you want, but lay off the petty, spiteful attacks would you? I don’t think they are very helpful to anyone.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Quite a few of us see Robertson and his camp as having deliberately and consistently undermined Cunliffe since 2012, as well as being a major player behind installing and removing David Shearer so that he himself could take the leadership.

                    And then again a few weeks ago, Robertson pulling moves trying to get Cunliffe to resign the leadership so that he could take it without having to go to the wider membership and unions.

                    Robertson also voted against democratising the party. No doubt, he says the right things at the right times to the right crowds, so he can further his political career.

                    All in all, fucking shite behaviour

                    • Keir

                      Again, I’m talking about my personal experience here. I’m not relying on the media, or on gossip – these are things that I know because I was there and I was trying to get wins for the left of the party. I don’t know where you’re getting your information from, but it seems to be secondhand gossip, and a lot of it is pretty inaccurate.

                      Anyway, I don’t think you’re really in this for any coherent discussion, I think you’re just going to keep jumping up and down and ranting, so I don’t think I’m going to keep engaging.

                      PS if Robertson’s a bad guy for voting against the divisive 40% motion (I don’t know if he did or not, I was on the other side of the hall) — not the democratisation of the party, by the way, Grant fought hard for that, and was particularly important in getting a democratic policy process through — then what does that make Andrew Little, who spoke, in very fiery terms, against it?

                    • wekarawshark

                      CV’s (CR’s) Labour creds are public.

                      “PS if Robertson’s a bad guy for voting against the divisive 40% motion (I don’t know if he did or not, I was on the other side of the hall) — not the democratisation of the party, by the way, Grant fought hard for that, and was particularly important in getting a democratic policy process through — then what does that make Andrew Little, who spoke, in very fiery terms, against it?”

                      Ok, so now, from the outside, it just looks like he said/she said. How is this going to help?

                    • Keir

                      Yeah, fundamentally this is a thing where I’m putting my word out there. Vaughan Little seems to back me up down thread about the things he personally knows about, and I suppose that’s a good sign – two mutually coherent accounts and all that.

                      But if you don’t want to believe me, you don’t have to, at all. But as I say, this is my experience, and here you go.

                      On the specific matter of Grant and party democratisation: Grant was deputy under Shearer, and he was heavily involved in the liaison between the leadership, caucus, and the organisational change process. This isn’t in any dispute by anyone. As part of that, he was a strong advocate for a more democratic party. I can’t prove that, because those conversations happened in private, obviously. But I’ve heard it from many different independent sources, and it fits with what I observed on Policy Council, where Grant was very supportive of member ownership of the process.

                      It’s also a matter of public record that Andrew Little spoke against the 40% threshold at the Ellerslie conference, in particularly blunt terms. This isn’t in dispute either.

                      I don’t know if I can do more than this – ultimately there’s no easy way of establishing the truth, which is why politics is hard and needs lots of ongoing work, not quick fixes and snap judgements.

          • ankerawshark

            no disrespect Keir, but if DC is throwing his support behind Little, I am going with that.

            I am devastated that we are losing DC.

            What have we done, or rather the likes of Parker and the msm done.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              let’s be clear on what has happened here today: caucus has effectively vetoed the Labour Party membership’s choice of leader.

              • Saarbo

                @Colonial Rawshark


              • Not a PS Shark Sashimi

                Caucus has TRIED to veto the membership voice. We still have 60%.

                Little, with Cunliffe supporters holding him to acccount, can move us beyond the destructive world of Robertson/Mallard/King and their bag carriers: Ardern, Parker, Whatshername from Dunedin, Faafoi et al.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  If Little wins, those self important members of caucus will give the finger to the membership and affiliates again, and start with their programme of destabilising Little. As surely as night turns into day.

                  • wekarawshark

                    I don’t feel up to reading the Labour Party’s constitution, but does the membership not have any power in this situation?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Very little. It’s why caucus have semi-regularly been such a bunch of unruly pricks since 1984.

                      The only effective way I know of sanctioning these MPs is by getting NZ Council to ban them from being a Labour Party candidate again. That in theory finishes the MP off (eventually), once and for all. But two things. NZ Council is very very unlikely to take such a drastic step and, secondly you can bet your bottom dollar that the MP would go to the High Court to take an injunction out against the Labour Party to reverse the decision.

                      Which goes back to the start. Members have fuck all power over MPs. And the MPs know it.

          • Bill

            but I’m basing mine on years of fighting…

            Remind everyone Keir. How long has Little been in the Labour Party since stepping down from his short tenure as president? Years, you say?

            • Keir

              I don’t mean any disrespect to Andrew Little. He’s got the kind of record of service to the movement that’s an example to anyone. All I can talk about is my experience, and in that experience, Grant’s been a helpful ally for left wing policy and party reform. Andrew Little hasn’t always – things like the deeply unhelpful comments about the so-called “man ban” that played right into the hands of Whale Oil, for instance – and sometimes he hasn’t been as strong a voice as he could have been.

              And I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with Little’s style of cautious, incremental approaches to Labour Party politics. But it’s not my politics, and I don’t think it’s the politics we need right now.

      • Clemgeopin 6.1.2

        What is your opinion about Mr Cunliffe? Why don’t the caucus support him?

  7. Treetop 7

    Cunliffe gets to decide what Cunliffe does.

  8. DoublePlus Good 8

    This is awful for the Labour party and New Zealand, unless Little’s plan is to chuck all the dead wood out on the street and drag the party left.

    • NeutObserver 8.1

      You know full well that AL cannot and will not do that. Mallard, King, Goff and the rest of the ABC team will stay put for the next two terms or six years.

      • wekarawshark 8.1.1


        • AmaKiwi

          Because they have nothing else to go to.

          • wekarawshark

            Little won’t move them on out of pity?

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Little has no power to do that. Neither did Cunliffe. Even if Little wins, the Robertson camp will be destabilising him within months.

              • wekarawshark

                Do you mean that Little couldn’t choose the shadow cabinet? Or whip? Who would then?

                What about his recommendation of deputy?

                • Cave Johnson

                  Caucus elects cabinet. Remember Lange fired Douglas from cabinet and caucus promptly reinstated him. It’s supposed to be a more democratic system than what the Nat’s do where the leader chooses, but just like ’88, the Labour caucus is once again out of sync with the membership.

                  • wekarawshark

                    Ok, leaving aside how depressing it is that Labour haven’t updated their rules from the 80s given what happend in the 80s, what are the possibilities here? If Little wins, is it a numbers game in terms of what happens to the deadwood?

                    • Cave Johnson

                      The old guard will stay until they choose to go. The person in the best position to help drive renewal is probably actually the president via the candidate selection process, rather than the parliamentary leader. A constitutional amendment limiting an MP to a max of say 8 parliamentary terms might also help…

                    • wekarawshark

                      ok, but that’s not going to happen if the deadwood undermine Little from the get go, right? What’s to stop them dominating caucus and the selection process? How is Labour going to get progressive new candidates if the internal caucus issues aren’t sorted? Won’t it just attract more career politicians looking out for themselves?

                    • blue leopard

                      Thanks for explaining that Cave Johnson, I had no idea. No wonder Labour are having problems – unless caucus is cooperative with the leader (which one would expect they would be, but clearly they are not) those rules disallow a leader to gather the team he/she needs in order to go in the direction that they planned and promised.

                      Pretty bizarre, if you asked me.

                      Like Weka says, one would have thought this rule got redressed after the coup in Labour in the 80s.

                      Seems like Labour haven’t been looking at organisation and strategy for a very long time despite the world having changed rather a lot.

                      Bizarre indeed.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Yep, I think the broader Left is starting to see why Labour despite all the best will in the world, may not be able to sort itself out.

                    • blue leopard

                      Do you know why they haven’t changed the rules?
                      There was a change in the leadership selection rules – couldn’t they change the way ministers are selected too?

                    • wekarawshark

                      From what I understand, some MPs have been blocking moves to make the party more democratic. I don’t know how Labour managed to change the leadership selection rules, but I got the impression it took some work.

                      The danger here is that too many members will give up after seeing the leader they chose hounded out of the job.

                      Other than the leadership rule change, what CV and co are doing in Dunedin looks the most promising thing I’ve seen – members getting together and taking action counter to convention. Correct me if I am wrong CV, but it looks like they looked at the rules and found ways to make them work for the members in that area. I don’t think relying on the conventions within Labour is going to help. It’s going to take people willing to work outside the square.

              • blue leopard

                Doesn’t the leader of the party choose who their ministers are going to be?
                What about the MP party list? Who chooses the line-up there?

      • Skinny 8.1.2

        What a stupid comment. For deadwood like Cosgrove and company it spells either their end or a mass walkout by the membership. I hope plenty of other members join the chorus of deadwood be gone at every hustings meeting throughout the country. This has probably been the single biggest failure of the Labour party. You can tell this by the deafening silence of the MSM to this issue. They are very happy leaving the deadwood in place so Labour fail election after election.

        It’s time to go deadwood kicking and screaming or whatever it takes!

        • seeker

          I have just ‘massively’ walked out from a rather nasty labour party that I don’t recognise. Let Cosgrove and co have their bizarre little playpen lego labour party, I am going to the Greens who appear to have loyalty,integrity, intelligence and vision for New Zealand, as well as an effective social conscience judging by the way Meteria Turei took on Bennett. She is the only one who has in the last six years. Now she has Tolley and I am hopeful. Jan Logie is a fine fighter for people too.

          • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

            Hang in there. The Labour Party needs members like you more than ever for the primary.

          • Once Was Tim

            @ seeker – I know how you feel!. My father-in-law left Labour in the late 80s when it embraced neo-liberalism.
            I genuinely hope Keir is correct when he says (above) that Robertson realises that the chip chip chipping away at it is pointless. There needs to be a complete shakedown of this failed ideology.
            Post this last election, in moments of despair (such as going to TePapa sunday market, and realising that statistically a bloody sizable proportion of the surrounding ‘individuals’ must have voted ‘TeamKey’), I’ve come to realise that I’ve been a complete egg roll and that my past support of Labour has really only been on the nostalgic notion of what ‘Brand Labour’ (erk) should be.
            Elsewhere on this site I’ve considered the likes of grey???, weka???, DTB, Anne, Rosie and others’ contributions with which I agree, but its going to be an uphill battle to remedy the damage of 30+ years of the neo-lib nightmare which has seen everything from the destruction of the public service and its impartiality, the demise of public service broadcasting and of journalism, the commodification and transactionalisation of all and everything, bizniss as king and social and cultural life as ‘nice-to-haves’ ………. and this bizarre idea that we’re somehow differently affected by the damage (because as Little commented yesterday), – basically Kiwis are fairminded – or words to that effect – a kind of Kiwi exceptionalism. Crap Andrew! We’re in the same waka as the Labour parties in the UK, OZ, and everywhere else neo-lib tentacles have corrupted the party’s principles.

            And if I see another Williams, Josie Pagani or other pundit masquerading as left-wing sages, I’m seriously going to puke.
            If Labour doesn’t get its shit together this time round, we might as well be done with it and give businesses and corporations (foreign or local) the vote!

        • wyndham

          You have to hand it to John Key. How much ‘deadwood’ has he got rid of this last election ? 16 seats was my last count – – – setting up the Nats for the next 10 years.

          Meanwhile, Labour is tearing itself to bits with the likes of Mallard, Cosgrove, King et al.

          It is not difficult to despair!

          • Skinny

            Key & Joyce National learn from Labour’s mistakes by showing non preforming back bench MP’s the door and demoting cabinet ministers and then the door. Solely campaigning on the party vote. Tragically for the working membership the large chunk of the caucus resent them dare having a say on the leader and stick it to their choice.

            I pump for Little because I know from seeing he was hard on transforming the EPMU. He was smart enough to use hatchet men then and will do the same thing here to the LP.

        • Saarbo


    • wekarawshark 8.2

      “This is awful for the Labour party and New Zealand, unless Little’s plan is to chuck all the dead wood out on the street and drag the party left.”

      Make or break time folks.

  9. Ffloyd 9

    For crying out loud!! Trevit et al still out with the knives. A column on all DC ‘s supposed gaffes, blunders, etc. etc. Absolutely unbelievable!

  10. Belladonna 10

    Such a shame that the traitors have won. Not sure how I feel about Andrew Little, will just have to wait and see. If he doesnt have a good cleanout of the caucus then he definitely wont be getting my vote. Still think DC was the best man for the job.

    • Rosie 10.1

      +1 Belladonna.

      Re Andrew Little. I wasn’t inspired by yesterday’s Q+A. I also personally once, many years ago had a disagreement with him that cemented my view of him as not necessarily being on the side of those who are struggling. Sorry I can’t elaborate, I have to leave it there. I can’t trust him. (and thats coming from a former Union organiser).

    • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 10.2

      The traitors have not won. With Little in place the ABC scourge can still be addressed.
      Cunliffe is remaining fullly active and none of his passions have changed. Those who voted for David last year are still active and passionate. They have no intention of leaving that lot to make it National-lite.

      David waited for Little to be elected and proposed before deciding to stand down. That means he would not have stood down had Little not been in the Leadership stakes.

      We will still win the war. Kia kaha

    • leftie 10.3

      +1 Belladonna.

      • Rodel 10.3.1

        Me too Belladonna. I will wait one month before resigning from the Labour Party and saying goodbye after many many years.
        The ABCs and the Key press venom have won this round.

        Not sure who I’ll support now. Any suggestions?

  11. Dialey 11

    Kia Kaha David.
    I’m sorry it came to this as I feel and always have that he is a decent man whose intentions are good, but the concerted campaigns against him on multiple fronts would have brought a lesser man down many months ago.

    • rawshark-yeshe 11.1

      This is the great and undeniable victory of Dirty Politics. The despicable Ede, Lusk, Collins, Slater, Farrar and Key will be drinking bubbles today.

      It’s a sad day for New Zealand.

      Kia kaha, Aotearoa. We’re going to need it.

  12. wekarawshark 12

    I’m relieved. Cunliffe looks better in that announcement than he has in months. It’s like a weight is lifted, so I am pleased for him personally, but I think this will clear the way too, for something to change. Up to Labour people now to determine what that change will be.

    Sorry to go all non-rational, but it just feels better for DC to be standing behind AL, rather than them in contest. On a gut level it makes sense, and I hope Cunliffe’s talents can be put to good use. All of that is predicated on Little winning and being able and willing to deal to the deadwood.

    • Colonial Rawshark 12.1

      Well I think you make perfect sense, and I agree that DC did what he had to do. Still a fucking shite situation left for us and for Labour though.

  13. Tracey 13

    IF the kind of support cunliffe had last time switches to little, how do the others win?

  14. leftie 14

    Well the media won the election for National and now the media have dictated the terms and leader of the Labour party as well.

    John key supports Mr Little’s bid.

    The Labour Party have pushed the best man out, and have resoundingly vindicated John key and the media.

    I am gutted beyond belief.

    • Rosie 14.1

      +1 leftie

      • Craig Glen Eden 14.1.1

        agreed if the caucus can do this then I don’t think Labour is a Party worth belonging to.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          Hang in there. The membership and unions are even more greatly needed now for the party so that the country will get back on track to be a better place to live and to pass on to future generations.

          • Mark

            Some of us have waited 30 fucking years already.
            Another 20 or 30 to go is it because it’s heading the other way at the moment

    • ankerawshark 14.2

      100+ Leftie

    • rawshark-yeshe 14.3

      +100 leftie

      A victory for the hidden and despicable ones.

    • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 14.4

      We still have as many fighters as before.
      We still have our passion.
      We still have our votes.
      Robertson/Mallard/King and their bag carriers are on the defence: we are on the attack.
      We will win.

  15. So, the contender whose electorate had the smallest fall in its Labour Party vote is out of the running, and the remaining front runners are guys whose electorates had 10% falls in their Labour Party votes. Oh yeah, the future’s really looking up…

    • Tracey 15.1

      Apparently parker robertson or little can make them work for the party and the good of their voters…

      no breath holding please

    • Colonial Rawshark 15.2

      Grrrrrr. Thanks for the data PM.

    • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 15.3

      We will not be beaten by bullshit.
      We know the difference between a skirmish, a battle and a war.

      Cunliffe backing Little is one step backwards and two steps forward in this skirmish.

      Keep the Faith
      Kia kaha

  16. Halcyon 16

    My congratulations to a brave man who has made a hard decision. Not all of caucus would be willing to put the best interests of the Party first.

    The words of that great Roman leader are most appropriate in this situation. “Et tu Brute?”

  17. Ffloyd 17

    Who gets to choose the Deputy PM?

  18. Neil 18

    I am not a Labour voter,nearly voted for Roger Douglas.I live in the south of the South Island in a National stronghold.
    Cunliffe never listened to middle New Zealand, to shop assistants,farmers,tradesmen,business people etc. Labour seemed tuned in to the South Aucjland vote and never thought about the many aspirational voters. They also listened to failed left wing academics like Jane Kelsey and Susan St John.
    The hatred that old Labour had towards us Tories should be well and truly over. Education and aspirations have seen many of the old blue cold workers to identity with National.
    Listen to Radio Live and realize how completely Laboir insiders got it wrong.
    Until abour chases the middle ground Labour will never win.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      Education turns you into a right wing Radio Lifeless victim?


      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 18.1.1

        mouthing off that feel-good, falsely padded out expression “aspiration” that neolibs are selling is fueling greed and selfish interests under the status quo.

      • Rodel 18.1.2

        Heh “radio Lifeless” I like that better than Radio Ritalin. Ta OAB!

    • Chooky Shark Smile 18.2

      @ Neil….shows how good Helen Clark was ….and she got stalked by the Exclusive Brethren…and pilloried by the media …even so -called left wing male commentators said “Time for a change!”

      the media and right wing spinners won Cunliffe’s defeat and resignation for the right wing …there was a concerted anti Cunliffe campaign

      …it is not about the middle ground, which is the issue

      …it is about the rightwing ownership/privatisation of New Zealand

      …the media and spinners turned middle New Zealand and duped them with Dirty Politics

      • Tracey 18.2.1

        and the herald is playing at even handed reporting until…

        february next year or is it just boredom til they have a new lp leader to pillory.

    • Tracey 18.3

      jane kelsey has failed as an academic, how?

      you seem to be saying that when labour were nearly national or ACT they almost got your vote? so unless labour go to the right of ghengis khan you stay loyal and national…

      and so your view on what lp needs to do is…. go to the right of ACT…

      • Liberal Realist 18.3.1

        “jane kelsey has failed as an academic, how?”

        I suspect that Neil calls all academics who’s opinion he doesn’t agree with ‘failed’.

    • wekarawshark 18.4

      “Education and aspirations have seen many of the old blue cold workers to identity with National.”

      I don’t know to what extent that is true, but doesn’t it make them wankers who vote for personal entitlement rather than the good of NZ, and bugger those that get left behind?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 18.4.1

        I don’t think you can set too much store in the observation, considering the next citation is a radio station with ACT levels of market share.

        • wekarawshark

          Radio Live’s market share is that bad?

          It’s just that I’ve heard the argument before (upwardly mobile blue collar workers going National), from people with more brains too.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Yeah I’m probably being a bit unfair to Radio Lifeless; last time I looked it was about 2%.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Political demographics are affected by brain structure and IQ more than economic self-interest, or the party that consistently presides over better economic outcomes would win more elections.

            • wekarawshark

              Problem with that theory is that IQ as we measure it isn’t necessarily a redeeming human value. Plenty of people with high IQs who are complete arses and who do vote out of self interest.

              Besides that, are you saying that there has been no decline in the voting for the common good in recent decades?

    • Huginn 18.5

      Susan St John is an economist. She’s taught economics at all levels at Auckland University’s School of Economics for years. She is not a ‘failed academic’.

      Roger Douglas failed first year micro-economics when he attended Auckland University. You could say thay he is a failed student of economics.

    • “Education and aspirations have seen many of the old blue cold workers to identity with National.”

      Clearly the education part of that formula passed you by. Apologies for being ad hominem but I’m in a bad mood having just witnessed yet another triumph of the airheads.

      I assume you meant ‘blue collar’ workers – it’s not at all unusual for conservative working class people to vote for the Right, sadly. Nor is it unusual for the mainstream media to engage in character assassination and propagandising to ensure that is so .

      And – what the hell is an ‘aspirational voter’? Clearly you don’t mean someone who aspires to be a voter – so it’s a voter who aspires – to what exactly? Most of the ‘aspirational ‘people I know are dunderheads who have bought in to the wretched notion that the prime measure of ‘success’ is the possession of more already obsolete or about to become obsolete ‘stuff’.

      If they think at all, they believe there really isn’t such a thing as ‘society’ – that there is just a loose conglomeration of individuals and families some of whom swim, some of whom just manage to stay afloat, and a load of whom drown – and that’s just the way it is and always has been.

      Some are so stupid that – even after their flotation aids of varying forms of debt have deflated and they find themselves drowning – they still gurgle their support for the system.

      • Neil 18.6.1

        I certainly touched a raw nerve among Labour supporters.
        Get out of your ideological ivory tower and start ,mixing with normal people who want to go fishing,play rugby,go to church,have a mortgage,work hard and accept their responsibilities. They know the state can’t do everything.
        Talk of keeping left is music to my ears- I know that NZers won’t accept that electorally.
        Consider the party vote- only small sections of territory in the country support Labour. What will change that ?
        A move to the left competing with the likes of Turei,Norman,Harawira or Minto. Not likely !!!
        We need a strong opposition. Bite the bullet like National did in 2002.

        • TeWhareWhero

          Neil – Is your idea of a strong opposition a version of Democrats versus Republicans; New Labour versus Conservatives – i.e. two essentially rightwing parties with different names that provide a seamless service to their corporate masters?

        • Tracey

          oh good a newrwnj

          at least two of the people who responded to you didnt vote for labour. i note you arent bothering to answer questions on your trip here today. reading comprehension issues? you are not alone kneel, many right wingers who post here have readingissues.

        • Rosie

          Brace yourself Neil, your stereotypes are about to be busted. I’m a shop assistant, have a mortgage, am a normal person, accept my responsibilities (how dreary and authoritarian was that line of yours) blah blah blah and I vote Left.

          From what I’ve read on this site over the years there are also folks who go fishing (we have a resident expert) there’s a few Christians and there’s a surprising number who seem to follow the rugby. There seems to be quite a few business owners too. Apart from the RWNJ’s they are all Left voters.

          Your views on social groupings I think may be based on myth. If you want to argue that certain groups overwhelmingly vote either left or right you’ll have to come up with some stats.

          • cardassian

            I go to work, go fishing, coach rugby, accept my responsibilities. Can’t get a mortgage though as the $60,000 deposit is out of my reach. However I tick 4 of the ‘ordinary people’ categories. I vote left too. Didn’t realise that put me in an ivory tower.

        • ankerawshark

          actually Neil raw shark off!

        • Brian Biggins

          Ahh, the normal people….

          Oh yes, the mean-spirited, selfish, entitled, hypocritical, bigoted, chauvinistic lemmings that no longer believe in the meaning of the word ‘society’. Those that benefitted from an upbringing in a socialist country where a single income was enough, 3% fixed state advances loan on a house ( which the lemmings likely inherited off their parents), free education (which the lemmings got- no student debt for them!), affordable public utilities owned by the government, and wages that kept pace with productivity due to Worker Union representation ( which the lemmings benefitted from in their holiday jobs while at Uni, or even their first jobs, but now hate unions and think the minimum wage is ‘about right’). All paid for by a progressive tax system, which the lemmings now reject as they don’t want to pay tax. They’ve benefited from the socialist system and now they want it all and will put the boot into the present and future generations.

          So is my definition of normal NZer’s wrong?

        • Murray Rawshark

          I love fishing and league. Even if this were all there was to me, it would be enough to make me left wing. The normal people I know can see through bullshit.

    • Jim 18.7

      Neil how is it in the deep south, it’s a long time since I immigrated to the North Island. Your comments reflect the views I encountered in Southland in the 1980’s so obviously not much has changed. One thing that other commentators need to understand is that it really is a different culture down in the deep south, and that Neil is probably expressing it quite well.

      • swordfish 18.7.1

        Yeah, rural and small-town Southland has always been as Blue as a New Tatoo. Rivalled only by rural Waikato and South Canterbury in its staunchness for the Nats.

        The major exceptions are (1) the city of Invercargill (traditionally relatively evenly-split) and (2) dear old Bluff (as Red as a Railway Shed). Historically, one or two mining towns like Ohai and the beautifully-named Nightcaps were also deeply Red, but, like much of small town New Zealand, they’ve suffered significant de-population over recent decades.

    • Mark 18.8

      Help is available Neil. You don’t have to be a wanker all your life but I see you are trying hard.
      I hate you tories just as much today as I always have and when you put your 1% views up I remember why.
      Why you decided on this site to espouse such rubbish is beyond me.
      Fuck off back to the hole you crawled out of

      • Neil 18.8.1

        Typical vile language from a left winger. Play the ball not the person.
        The Standard is a disgrace for discourse.

    • Rodel 18.9

      Neil-Listen to radio Live? I’d never listen to radio retard for information or for anything.
      Maybe for hypochondriac snake oil remedies perhaps.

    • Colonial Rawshark 18.10

      shop assistants are not “middle NZ” they are the precariat and I agree, Labour need to be listening to them, not those sitting comfy on household incomes of over $100K pa.

    • Jenny Kirk 18.11

      I don’t think you’re entitled to your view, Neil @ 18. You’re not Labour, you almost voted for Rogernomics, so you cannot know who Cunliffe listened to because you’re not in the same league as him and you wouldn’t know who he talked to or listened to.

  19. cricko 19

    Is Andrew Little a family man ?

    Is he married ?

    Does he have children ?

    Nothing about that on his CV

    • Tracey 19.1

      he is not married and has 3 children to two different women. I hope that helps


      • cricko 19.1.1

        Thankyou Tracey.

        It’s not super important, just trying to get
        a better handle on the man.
        All I really knew previously was that he managed
        to lose twice in a row in New Plymouth and that
        he is able to keep up a constant barrage of loud humourless interjections during question time.

        PS David Cunliffe is staying on in parliament. A good thing.

        He may well rise again one day, he’s relatively young. And he seems to be a straight shooter.

        • Tracey

          I was being sarcastic. why does it matter if he is married or not. or has children or not.

          • cricko

            Jeez. Some of us seem to have real thin skins don’t we Tracey.

            You ever hear that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit ?

            I answered your question @ 2.56 above.

            And, a more pertinent question may be, why would you take offence at such an enquiry ?

            • Tracey

              not a more pertinent question, just a question. i wasnt offended just fascinated at the kinds of things you and others want to know to decide about someone.

              for exampe losing twice in his electorate and being loud mouthed and humourlesdont change whether he is married or not, bred or not.

              john key is married, with two children.

              • cricko

                Hi Tracey,
                If you were “just facinated” why did you feel the need to stoop to sarcasm ?

                Can’t understand your second paragraph.

                If marital status and family is irrelevant in your mind with relation to Andrew Little why mention John Keys status ?

                FYI people are interested, see ‘ les’ @ 3.06 below for e.g. and les explains at least one reason why it is of interest. I gave you another @ 2.56
                Trust that helps you.

                [lprent: Always nice to met a humorless idiot like yourself. I suggest you think through why Tracey would give an irrelevant fact about John Key in response to your dumbarse question.

                I suspect that you are also trolling for a flamewar. I suggest that you desist with the dumbarse leading questions if you want to carry on commenting here for the next few months. ]

                • cricko

                  Thanks Iprent:

                  OK I noted your suggestion and I have thought it through and honestly, I just can’t get it. (and I mean that most sincerely)

                  But I dol take your point and will desist with leading questions in future, you are the Boss and I can see how I may have overstepped the mark a bit in that regard.

                  I fail to see how the above exchanges warrants me being labelled a humourless idiot asking dumbarse questions though. That could be a bit harsh.

                  I assure you that I am not ‘trolling’

                  With reference to the subject at hand, I confess that I am dissapointed that Mr Little is now standing for leader (as of course he is entitled to do) because I believe that is the reason David Cunliffe has now withdrawn.

                  If Mr Little does not win the leadership race then he will be the reason that the best man for the job withdrew and we all lose as a result.

                  I truly hope that in the fullness of time Cunliffe will return to the leadership and rise to show his full potential.

                  [lprent: A specific thing you should avoid are questions that look like “When did you last beat your children?”, also known as the pig-fucker question (you don’t even want to know why it has that name).

                  They are ‘questions’ that are really statements with a presumption of guilt tagged with a moral hauteur about some point. A point that appears to have little relevance to the debate because you didn’t explain why it had any relevance at all.

                  They are a favourite of the ACToid and libertarian trolls because they allow them to try to divert debate while carrying no personal responsibility (something that they appear to avoid). It invariably starts the most boring style of flamewar there is. The flame war of fanciful abstractions – that I have to read. You are far better off putting your ideas and opinions forth immediately. Then you have to explain your logic to others and I don’t have focus my attention and time on you.

                  In my moderator role and sometimes in my commenting as well, you will find that I deliberately reflect the person I am moderating back to them in an exaggerated and enhanced form of how they look to others – especially to me. I then add personal attacks to ensure that the personal responsibility is paramount, and typically make then as subtle as ringing your testicles with a rubber band. I find that this reduces me wasting effort in the future.

                  I’d point out that I’ve been around online forums for more than 30 years. There are very few techniques for disrupting a comment stream that I don’t recognize. The pigfucker one usually gets my attention… ]

                  • cricko


                    [lprent: If you didn’t want the advice, then why ask for it?

                    I really don’t have time to waste with silly dickheads who get obsessed with names rather than using their brains to think about what was actually said. You have already wasted too much of my time.

                    You can ask Tracey their opinion in 8 weeks after your ban ends. ]

            • Draco T Bastard

              You ever hear that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit ?

              Only considered that by those on the receiving end of it.

        • ankerawshark

          Yes, ………….I am chanting already, “bring back David!”

        • Rosie

          OK. Thanks cricko.

          I’m not remotely interested in a potential leader’s family life or marital status (or their affairs for that matter) but you have reminded me of another reason I’m not fond of Little, he’s humourless. Humour is an important quality in a leader, it helps keep them on the level and not be above themselves. Those mean pursed lips are a give away.

          And, yes, here’s to DC rising again one day 🙂

          • Tracey

            nice to see you. i agree being humourless and loud mouthed are worth considering in a leader…

        • Neil

          Hope Cunliffe stays for the long term as he will constantly remind voters of his incompetence.

    • Rosie 19.2

      Why is that important cricko?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2.1

        It reveals the direction of one of the upcoming ratfucker attacks on Andrew Little?

  20. fisiani 20

    Andrew Little is clearly the best person to lead Labour.

    [lprent: Perhaps you could explain why someone who appears to breathe exclusively off the vapour of John Key’s farts would think that. Or I will assume you are merely trolling as well. You know the rules about igniting flamewars. Adding you to auto-moderation. ]

    • NeutObserver 20.1

      I disagree. Grant Robertson is clearly the best option.

      [lprent: As far as I can see from your comments over the last week, you appear to be just trolling for a flamewar. Added you to auto-moderation. While I look at your behavior more closely. I’d suggest that you read the policy on fools and flamewars. ]

      • NeutObserver 20.1.1

        @lprent: Your treatment is unjust. I am not trolling or wishing to start a flamewar.

        I made the comment in response to fisiani’s. I do believe Grant Robertson has the ability and skills to unite Labour. He can speak to the unions and the grassroot-membership, so he is in my opinion the best candidate to lead the Labour Party in a post-Cunliffe era.

        [lprent: You appear to be a simple and rather stupid troll. I don’t care what you think. I care how you behave. But since you don’t want to change your behavior, I will remove it until you do. Banned 4 weeks. Read the policy. ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.2

      The wingnuts are interviewing one another!

    • fisiani 20.3

      Hi lprent It’s a very simple explanation to your question. Cunliffe has annointed Little as his choice as the next leader. The smart move would be Little to offer Deputy leader to Robertson and Robertson would see this as the best option for him should Little falter. Parker would see the writing on the board and by close of play tomorrow there could only be one candidate name put forward and the leadership would be settled and caucus united by tomorrow. For the life of me I cannot see how stating that Andrew Little is the clearly the best person to lead Labour is igniting a flamewar. Given the above explanation it is a truism. Is that explanation clear enough for you?

      [lprent: Would have been a lot clearer to have done a precis of the logic. Then your original statement wouldn’t have looked like a simple-minded arsonist at their work.

      And of course without that logic, then it’d have been hard to say – “what about the party members who would have been up in arms at a blatant attempt to avoid their votes”. Which is the obvious political point.

      The more sophisticated arson of your point would have been interesting. Having missing logic is just irritating.

      Do you see my point? ]

  21. Rosie 21

    (A brief return to TS whilst on TS holiday)

    I’m really saddened and upset to hear this. DC was The Man.

    At risk of sounding repetitive, it was DC as leader and the new batch of policies that brought me back to Labour, as an enthusiastic voter, as opposed to a desperate one (2011) and a non Labour voter (2008).

    It was my belief in his abilities that made me decide to become a Party member just so I could vote for him, after swearing to avoid membership of any political party, preferring to stay active on the outside of party politics, there’s a sense of freedom and independence that way.

    David Cunliffe really IS leadership material. He is both sharp and calm, strong, intelligent and beats Key in a debate any day. He’s not a status quo kind of a guy. The last thing we need is same old, same old.

    Who to vote for now? I don’t want to vote for anyone of them, or more accurately I won’t be able to cast a vote with the same amount of conviction, as much as there are qualities in each of those men, none have the same level of fire in the belly as DC.

    Much respect to David for making his decision though – a sign of his selflessness that others could learn from.

    (Hope your F’n happy Patrick Gower).

    • Delia 21.1

      Completely agree, now which party to vote for, which is not the shambolical Labour.

    • Chooky Shark Smile 21.2

      +100 Rosie…very gracious statement to David Cunliffe

      like you I joined Labour just so i could vote for David Cunliffe ( i do not belong to any other Party)….but i wont be voting now as i do NOT believe in any of the contenders…(.lol…a wasted five dollars)..and I certainly will be resigning from the Labour Party…. for the second time in my life.

      • Rosie 21.2.1

        Hi there Chooky. It’s disheartening isn’t it. Feels like such a waste of a talent. Sorry to hear that you’ve been compelled to resign from the Party twice now.

        • Chooky Shark Smile

          no worries …my heart has always been with a Left alliance winning against John Key’s Nactional….in some ways it is not surprising what has happened.

          … the Labour Party is an apple with Neolib rot which has gotten into its core( since Rogernomics)

          …as someone has said the demarcation divide between Capitalist Neoliberalism and Labour Left socialism in New Zealand…. is not the divide between Nactional and Labour ….it is the divide that runs through the middle of the Labour Party

      • cardassian 21.2.2

        I too signed up to vote for Cunliffe. Looks like there’s a few of us who did.

      • Rodel 21.2.3

        Chooky. s – My views mirror yours. I renewed my membership so I could vote for David Cunliffe… but I won’t be voting now or attending any of the meetings as I have no faith in any of the others.After many many years of support (and effort) I’ll wait and see and if I still feel pissed off in a month I will resign from the party .

        • Chooky Shark Smile

          Rodel …yes some of my family, who have voted Labour all their lives and been active at the branch level , have said it is Cunliffe or nothing….so they will be jumping ship to the Greens. They have been very close to jumping before, but habit and loyalty kept them voting Labour

          ( me …i am not so loyal….and trust me the Greens and Mana/Internet have way more life in them)

        • Not a PS Shark Sashimi

          David Cunliffe endorsed Andrew Little out of strength and not out of weakness.
          If you empathise with Cunliffe then listen to what he is saying.

          This is NOT the time to leave the gate open to Robertson and his bag carriers.

          This is the time to fight. Meet Little. Push Little. Hold Little to account.

          Fight fight fight!

    • wekarawshark 21.3

      There are a few reasons why I think this is a good move for Labour, but one of the overriding ones today is that DC no longer has to be the punching bag for the MSM, NACT and the Rogernomes. That he has been, and has been having to put a smile on with it, has not been good for anyone, or at least it’s reached the point of no return. I really don’t think there was any way out of that for him or Labour.

      Maybe things would have been different if he had dealt with the Rogernomes early on, but I’m not sure if it’s structurally possible. That’s the big question for me. eg If Little wins, can he choose his deputy or does he have to suck it up of the neoliberals force Parker or Roberston on him? Little with a good, supportive left wing deputy might make the difference. Then choosing shadow cabinet from the talent not the old boys/girls.

      • Chooky Shark Smile 21.3.1

        well reportedly Little has the support of John Key, Michelle Boag ….and now David Cunliiffe

        ….make of that what you can….not a good prognosis imo…no wonder people dont vote for Labour

        …luckily there are alternatives to the Labour Party (…which needs rebranding imo to the Labour Monkeybusiness Party)

      • Rosie 21.3.2

        Kia Ora weka. I was interested to read your earlier comment, expressing your thoughts about why this could be a good thing. I think I understand why you would feel a sense of relief.

        As for the removal of the punching bag aspect of DC, I do see where you are coming from too, but on the other hand, it means they win. That’s what I find sad. He has shown a huge amount of dignity and patience in receiving such unprovoked blows over the last year. This must have taken some degree of strength and tenacity. You’re right though, it’s good that he no longer has to put on that smile.

        I think the Party leader chooses their deputy don’t they? Others more familiar with process can clarify this.

        As for Little, I’m not convinced he’s the right one. (See 10.1, my reply to Belladonna, and interestingly have a read of what Keir has to say at at 2.55).

        • wekarawshark

          I can understand people feeling sad for/about DC. He did do an impressive job under horrible circumstances.

          I don’t think him stepping aside means they win. If he had stepped down on election night, or before Little was a contender, then yes, but he didn’t do that.

          I’m thinking about tai chi metaphors, whereby you can keep blocking and throwing punches but it takes a lot of work and ultimately if the person you are fighting is strong you just keep on fighting. Or you can yield under the punch while keeping your balance and the other person can then lose their balance because their energy is expecting resistance. Sorry, and inadequate metaphor, but it just makes sense for him to step down in this way at this time and give his support to Little. But, it all depends on what Little does and who Little is. We’re at a tipping point.

          (unfortunately for NZ, I think the most likely thing is that Little will prove adequate but not great and best case scenario is that he will make changes over time for Labour but not fast enough for NZ or the left).

          • Rosie

            On the contrary weka, your Tai Chi narrative is perfect. I did Tai Chi for a few years so understand the fluid fighting metaphor.

            Stepping down now doesn’t mean it’s over either. It’s just hard to feel enthusiastic right now about the short – medium term future. I mistakenly thought all this status quo BS was behind us when Cunliffe came on board, and now we have to start over. It’s tiring to watch.

            • wekarawshark

              That’s understandable, and it’s of course easier for me given I am outside the party and don’t vote Labour. I’m glad there are still good people in Labour and hope the membership rallies, because I think there is far too much focus on the leader and not enough on where the real power lies. kia kaha.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              It’s not only tiring to watch, it also burns up a lot of activist time, energy and money which could have gone instead into local projects and engagement.

    • Belladonna 21.4

      I thought I heard Chris Trotter this morning saying Cunliffe should withdraw for the good of the party. Who needs Gower when the likes of Chris Trotter has done a good job of stabbing David in the back. With friends like these………

    • leftie 21.5

      @Rosie +100

      Completely agree with you and Chooky.

      I dont know who to vote for now. I dont like the remaining contenders, I feel that they dont deserve my vote after pushing David Cunliffe out like that, he had my total support.

      Looks like i wont be voting at all.

      • Chooky Shark Smile 21.5.1

        @ leftie ….join the Greens…they are Lefter than the Labour Party…or join Mana/internet …they are really flaxroots Left ! ( and in my experience these people are pretty nice and pretty smart….and very active…they need your support!)

        ….main thing is you take action for a Left coalition win in the next General Election!

  22. SHG 22

    More mentions of David Cunliffe on The Standard today than at any time during the election campaign.

    • Tracey 22.1

      I doubt that. can you post your analysis results from researching the election period and today?

    • Lanthanide 22.2

      Not sure why that is surprising, because during the election we were focussed on the election itself and Labour winning. Now we are focussing specifically on David Cunliffe as labour leader (or not).

      Another contrast you might like to consider is when Shearer was leader of labour, there were quite a lot of posts/comments about him and how useless he was. Shearer became the focus of the conservation, instead of just *part* of the conversation, as the leader should be.

  23. Ant 23

    Musical leaders who is next?

    • Tracey 23.1

      maybe cunliffe will share his experiences with the next leader to help them face the barrage of two track coming their way…. unlike shearer who seems to have drawn his cabal around him and buggered the party vote to spite cunliffe

      • Ant 23.1.1

        Yeah hopefully they get it sorted, otherwise just another lamb to the slaughter—helped along by those internal Machiavelli’s whose only skill is skewering people in their own team, never the other team.

        Maybe Cunliffe will get finance or something. And hopefully someone like Lousia Wall for deputy.

  24. Antony Cotton 24

    Bring In Robertson as Leader with Kris Faafoi as Deputy Jacinda Ardern 3 4 Parker 5 Little 6 Woods 7 Mahuta 8 Davis 9 Twyford 10 Lees Galloway 11 Hipkins 12 Spemouni 13 Cunliffe 14 Shearer 15 Goff 16 O Connor 17 Nash 18 Wall 19 Sua W 20 C Curran.

    • ankerawshark 24.1

      Are you a member AC? Can you actually vote? Bet not.

      Iam and I will do everything I can to ensure your scenario doesn’t happen.

    • Mark 24.2

      Woods at 6 – Piss off. I live next door to her. She couldn’t get off her arse long enough to walk the 30 yards to campaign for my vote. Wouldn’t got it but you would hope they might at least try.

  25. Treetop 25

    I like the way Cunliffe specified the year of the leadership contest “2014.” Cunliffe has kept his options open.

  26. Tom Gould 26

    Cunliffe did the right thing, eventually, but he should have stepped down on election night and preserved his dignity. Now he just looks defeated and unwanted.

    • ankerawshark 26.1

      TC in your humble opinion

    • leftie 26.2

      Why should have David Cunliffe stepped down on election night?
      Helen Clark didnt when she lost, she stayed and went on to win 3 elections in a row.

      Bill English, who led National to their greatest defeat in NZ election history, of just 20.93% in 2002, (far worse than Labour did this year), stayed on for another year before John key stabbed him in the back and rolled him for Don Brash instead.

      If you ask me, David Cunliffe has shown nothing BUT DIGNITY for what he has had to put with.

      • Chooky Shark Smile 26.2.1

        +100…he fought an impossible fight…and he has two close relatives very ill…sometimes you have to withdraw in the short term…. and live to fight another day

        …personally i dont have great hopes for the future of the Labour Party

        .. however I would like to see the Left parties come together in the next 6 months and form some sort of umbrella Left federation or Left coalition…the main thing is that the Left and Winston win the next Election by working together.. …this means long term strategic thinking and planning

  27. les 27

    a welcome decision.He had his chance,engaged Matt McCarten,called the shots and was way outflanked.Middle NZ didn’t like him.WASP’s wont vote for [r0b: mild slang deleted – also this assertion is by no means certain!] Robertson,so we’ve got Little who has the charisma of a piece of cardboard,and Parker who just might be able to be groomed to have wide appeal.Little not being married with 2 kids to different woman probably wont go down with the very large group of christian voters.Parker/Adern only ticket with a hope,provided a good measured strategy is put in place.

    • wekarawshark 27.1

      Doesn’t matter who the leader is, Labour’s problems are internal.

      • les 27.1.1

        heres me thinking the problem was not enough people voting for them!

        • wekarawshark

          that’s just a symptom. Unless you think Labour winning is more important than Labour having left wing values and policies?

          • les

            winning is everything…win and you can introduce policy…why campaign solely on policy?…obviously its mere detail and not necessary!

            • wekarawshark

              you may be happy with the neoliberals passing govt back and forth between Labour and National every decade. I and many others aren’t. Labour winning for the sake of winning is just BAU and won’t solve NZ’s problems.

              I don’t understand your last two statements.

              • les

                just copy the Natz ,have a benign ,no dramas manifesto,and when you win,drop all the good stuff on the public ,just like the Natz do.You cant solve NZ’s problems without controlling the treasury benches…thats reality.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The Nats don’t drop anything good on the people – it’s all shit.

                  • les

                    true if you are being literal,but I’m sure you get the gist…i.e the ‘good stuff’ ..legislation you want to introduce.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      just copy the Natz ,have a benign ,no dramas manifesto

                      what kind of rubbish political non-analysis are you spouting. The more Labour copies the NATs the more it cuts its own throat.

                      People aren’t going to vote for National-Lite when they can have the real thing.

            • Hanswurst

              What’s the point of winning to implement policy if you have to change your policy in order to win?

              • les

                you dont change your core policy.You campaign on popular issues,the status quo,nothing radical.The point of difference can be either the lacklustre record of the incumbent or the old ‘time for a change mantra’.

                • wekarawshark

                  ok, give us 3 of Labour’s popular policies they should campaign on, and then 3 they should drop. Then explain how the first three will be paid for.

        • Tracey

          if that were an issue ACT and peter dunne wouldnt be in parliament.

    • Vaughan Little 27.2

      I’m a Christian voter.

      I’d probably withhold support for Little if he was neglecting his kids. Or if he had 12 kids with 9 women.

      I’ve known Robertson and wouldn’t support him if he was into identity politics. He pushes for legislation that advances the interests of the gay community but there’s a huge difference between someone who really only cares about their subtribe and someoene who has a broader vision. Grant has a broad vision. He’s old school left. He works with the Howard League for Penal Reform and gets involved in local communities – he bothers to learn about and deal with the problems faced by the different areas of his electorate. He runs clinics out in Makara, which is a very small township in the middle of nowhere that’s part of his electorate. Like Keir has said above, he gives space for younger/newer members to get involved – he’s an encouraging guy to be around.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 27.2.1

        “He pushes for legislation that advances the interests of the gay community”

        Oh? Like he was really pushing for the marriage equality bill?

      • Jenk 27.2.2

        Good on you, Vaughan Little for your liberal convictions despite your Christianity – but Robertson hasn’t shown much empathy for those fighting for protecting the environment, and that’s not left. That’s right wing. What you described about what Robertson does in his electorate is the normal workload/every day of an MP – nothing new there. What Robertson does have : is a huge ego , and the ambition to be NZ’s first gay PM.

    • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 27.3

      Les, even with assistance from gravity you wouldn’t know the difference betwen up and down.

  28. Not a PS Shark Sashimi 28

    Cunliffe has shown himself to be a very honourable man. This, for those who doubted, shows that he always put the Party first.

    The ABC faction have lost. Little, with Cunliffe’s support behind him, will take the helm of the party. The party will be stronger.

    • Chooky Shark Smile 28.1

      ….do you really believe in Little?

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 28.1.1

        well, otherwise, there is Parker?

        • Chooky Shark Smile

          …do you really believe in Parker?

          • Jenk

            As a member of the Labour Party, I’m very frustrated that finally Parker is acknowledging that maybe his raising-age-of-super policy is not correct because the voters said so. Many members of the Labour Party have been telling him this for the last six years, and he didn’t take any notice whatsoever. He’s not an MP who listens to people – whether they are members, or voters, or whoever.
            He just listens to himself.

  29. perich 29

    David Cunliffe is the leader NZ needed this will be a turning point for Labour and those pack of $$les in caucus and won’t be in a good way.

  30. Chooky Shark Smile 30

    There is life after the Labour Party …but first some pertinent reflections from Bomber Bradbury

    ‘Cunliffe quits leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party members’

    By Martyn Bradbury / October 13, 2014

    “And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe has stood down and is supporting Andrew Little instead….

    – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/10/13/cunliffe-to-quit-leadership-race-the-losers-are-the-labour-party-members/#sthash.7DpbmG3o.dpuf

    • leftie 30.1

      @Chooky Shark Smile.
      David Cunliffe was leading The Daily blog poll too.

      David Cunliffe (46%, 37 Votes)
      Andrew Little (29%, 23 Votes)
      Grant Robertson (15%, 12 Votes)
      David Parker (10%, 8 Votes)
      Total Voters: 80

      See Chooky’s post for link. No point in repeating it.

      • les 30.1.1

        irrelevant….the Stuff poll had ‘someone else’ bolting in!

        • leftie

          @les. The Stuff poll is just as irrelvant now that David Cunliffe is no longer in the running. By the way, what made you think a right wing Stuff poll was more relevant than a poll on the Daily Blog anyway?

          • les

            many more voters in the Stuff poll,and the DB poll had been running for days without Parker listed.

            • Rosie

              les, have you ever read the stuff comments section? It’s tragic. It’s a cess pit of hate and ignorance. I gave up reading stuff because the inanity of that site is just unbearable and the commenters struggle to grasp the very basics of our democracy. It makes one despair for the state of the collective intelligence of our society.

              Why would you put any faith in their polls?

            • ankerawshark

              Its a new poll with Parker listed. It is more relevant as people on the DB are more likely to be Labour members than on Stuff. We the Labour members get to chose.

              • les

                lets face it…the Labour members get to choose,but ultimately the voters have the last say…probably more of the latter on Stuff .

                • Rosie

                  les, again, those commenters, to quote Tom Waits, “have the IQ of a fence post”, so those “voters” you are referring to are probably the ones that returned a Nat Govt. Going by the comments over the last week, in response to the “political” articles, it would be surprising if any were Labour members, let alone Labour voters.

                  I could pull up some examples but it’s too close to bedtime and no one wants nightmares.

                  Remember, Stuff is the the site that had a f’ing massive National party ad as it’s backdrop on 19th September. Stuff’s readers are their cheerleaders.

            • Tracey

              more daily blog voters will be lp voter members than perhaps stuff readers…

  31. BLiP 31

    The Smiling Assassin strikes again. How many Labour Party Leader scalps does he have now?






  32. Jeff 32

    At least now I don’t feel guilty for my hasty decision to cancel my membership in disgust at the caucus abandoning the only credible leader within the Labour Party. Thought I should have held on and voted for DC but now I’m more than happy with my decision. Will return to the fold once they sort their shit out but I’m not holding my breath.

  33. Dave_1924 33

    Well Cunliffe did the honourable thing and quit, after leading Labour to a terrible result.

    It will now be interesting to observe if the Labour caucus can actually unite behind one leader and actually be a credible opposition. The country as a whole needs a unified and effective Labour presence in Parliament countering the Government.

    Cunliffe was stitched up from the get go with the rather dreadful handling of the Baby Bonus announcement back at the beginning of the year. Who was responsible for the policy and who briefed him before he presented it?

    It seems to an outsider that the thing Labour does best is fight itself….. it needs a strong persona in charge, like Clark, to drag it all into line – do any of the candidates truly have that persona?

    and a genuine question – where will the votes come from in 2017 to win the Treasury benches if the same policies are rolled out again i.e. CGT, higher Retirement age?

    • Brian Biggins 33.1

      Let’s qualify you’re statement, Dave: ‘It seems to an outsider -who reads and watches the MSM- that the thing Labour does best is fight itself’. A very important addition to your statement, seeing as the mainstream propaganda media now play the decisive role in the outcome of elections nowadays.

  34. Chooky Shark Smile 34

    To be facetious … Little will be too little too late…(they should have stuck with Cunliffe)

    …(and Key and Boag support Little! …the cunning foxes)

    Chicken Little story


  35. Heather 35

    A brave decision by a brave man. He was subjected to unbelievable gutter attacks by the media, they could not cope with the fact that he beat Key in the debates, the were determined that they would be rid of him. Only time I have seen Key looking worried and not knowing where to turn, was when confronted by Cunliff in the debates, it was a great site. Not only did the media discredit David but his own party did the same, it was a disgrace and something that has made me question my membership of the Labour Party. The attacks from Slater and his cronies were astonishing in their boldness, all which have gone unanswered, like all that happened in Dirty Politics.

  36. greywarshark 36

    The Party didn’t deserve you. Why not join the Green Party? They appreciate quality and have steadfastly remained on track over the years. Have a thought and talk with Fussel and Metiria over a cup of tea!

    • greywarshark 36.1

      Fingers and thumbs. I should have put Russel of course. Not trying to be satirical or stupid, it’s just natural!

      • wekarawshark 36.1.1

        It made me smile, partly because it’s a funny word and he is doing a lot of fussel at the moment, and partly because of a pun someone made before the election about not Russelling the horses. For some reason his name seems ripe for playing with.

  37. Antony Cotton 37

    Yes I am a member and Robertson is the best person to Lead Labour I am member and proud of it.

    • Craig Glen Eden 37.1

      Robertson got third in the last leadership race. His supporters in caucus have actively worked against the Parties first ever member elected leader. He couldnt get on TV quick enough to have his turn and bagging Cunliffe. I use to think Roberston was an Ok guy just to ambitious for his own good but now I see he is to ambitious for the good of the Party. Big mistake Grant Roberston big mistake!

  38. Glenn 38

    Met Andrew at a market BBQ this June. I was impressed with the man. I find politicians often jumped up little sh*ts full of their own importance however he came across as basically a nice guy. Pleased he is still representing New Plymouth and I most certainly hope he wins this leadership fight.

  39. ankerawshark 39

    Bring back David C, bring back David C, bring back David C!

  40. JanM 40

    I abandoned Labour for the Greens many years ago as a result of being asked to vote for Richard Prebble and then Judith Tizard – good grief, and the straw that broke the camel’s back was the Foreshore and Seabed rort. So I can’t, of course, vote.
    Having said that, I think David Cunliffe is a fine man of great intelligence and integrity and I would have liked seeing him as our Prime Minister.
    I note there are a lot of people who agree with this assessment, so instead of wringing your hands and fleeing, why don’t you do as he recommends and support Andrew Little? I think he may just have enough mongrel to deal with the nasties of the right and I ‘m not sure any of the other candidates have that attribute.

    • wekarawshark 40.1

      “I note there are a lot of people who agree with this assessment, so instead of wringing your hands and fleeing, why don’t you do as he recommends and support Andrew Little?”

      +1. It’s probably fair to say that DC thought through his recommendation carefully.

  41. les 41

    so people agree that being a list M.P is not a huge negative for Little do they?

    • Anne 41.1

      Correct. This is MMP. FPP left us 8 years ago. List candidates are no less important than their electorate counterparts.

      Oh and btw… New Plymouth has undergone a major transformation because of the last two sets of boundary changes. It’s now a pretty safe National seat on account of the increased rural constituency. Is that a bit much for you to figure out? Probably.

      • les 41.1.1

        very aggressive…so so FFP left us 8 years ago ,really!hilarious!

        • Anne

          Responding in kind dear man.

          You’re correct. It was 18 years ago. What a shocking typo error. Call the police!

          • les

            I think I’ll call the GSCB,!this comment is unnecessary…’Is that a bit much for you to figure out? Probably.’
            you should be able to have a reasonable discussion without resorting to this sort of behaviour…it says alot about you as a person….

            • Mark

              You can’t have reasonable discussions with wankers like you. Why don’t you fuck off back to whalespew where you belong.

              • les

                dont know where you sprang from.What exactly have I said that upsets you?p.s do not post on WO.

                • Mark

                  Where I sprang from. The question is where the fuck did you spring from. This whole post is riddled with inane comments from you which amount to a big fat zero. I have read this site for years and commented a few times and “Les” is not a name I have seen on this site in my time.

                  • les

                    is you not recognising my name a criteria for posting my opinion on here?What inane’ comments can you refer me to?

                    • Mark

                      Go to back to whalespew where you belong. It is like listening to Plunkett reading your garbage. Posts like at where you extoll the virtures of everything the left hates. You are just an absolute fuckwit. Your lack of morality makes you a candidate made in heaven for the ACT tossers. Cunliffe resigns and “Les ” arrives. It is not a good swap.

                    • GregJ


                      You’ve really got to learn not to hold back! 😛

                  • les

                    still waiting…is fuck termed ‘mild slang’ around here…doesn’t faze me at all,just wonderin.

                    [lprent: Read the policy. Robust debate is fine. Pointless abuse is not. Pointed abuse is fine, but you have to have a point that I or the other moderators think at least makes an attempt at being a point.

                    The risk level you are prepared to accept is pretty much up to you. There are certain things that set us off. The main one is if you are considered to be trying to disrupt reasonably intelligible debate. That is pretty much defined by moderators boredom levels which are alleviated by interesting debate.

                    Actual sentencing is variable based on the contribution we see in your previous comments, how we are feeling that day, and what the weather is like. This makes it more exciting and eliminates people gaming the systems. You may find out the hard way where the boundary is.

                    Enjoy… 😈 ]

                    • GregJ

                      Depends on context. Debate here can be “robust” and sometimes that is reflected in language. If it is personalized you are likely to come to the attention of the moderators (or LPrent!!!) but again it will depend on context. Being told to “fuck off” is fairly mild I would say.

                      In respect of recognizing your name – there is a fair amount of trolling by “occasional” commentators – who often spring up around a certain time or event – throw out vacuous and spurious comments and slogans for a day or so without actual engaging in proper discussion and debate then disappear never to be seen again.

                      You’ve been around since just after the election judging from a cursory search of your postings. There has been a fair amount of “concern trolling” and out right gloating and deliberate flame-baiting from around that period so you are probably going to draw some suspicion until you’ve established your “street cred” around here (and no that doesn’t mean agreeing with everything that is said or “toeing” a party line – not that one exists as such on The Standard).

                      Make sure you read the Policy though – otherwise LPrent might direct you there himself – and when he does it its usually short and sharp!

                    • Mark

                      First day here is it “Les”. And it just happens to be the same day as Cunliffe resigns. You shouldn’t have bothered.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Mark: lol!

        • GregJ

          I suspect a simple typo and Anne meant 18 years ago.

          Her point still stands though.

    • so people agree that being a list M.P is not a huge negative for Little do they?

      Labour’s caucus has a huge negative in that it’s packed with people who seem to think winning electorates is what matters, and that their interest in winning an electorate comes ahead of their actual job, which is increasing Labour’s share of the party vote. Little is at least not going to have that huge negative to cope with – having a list MP as leader might well prompt some attention being paid to what actually matters at election time.

      It’s way more likely that Little’s poor performance in holding Labour’s share of the party vote in his electorate would be a huge negative for him, but as pointed out above, that may have more to do with electoral boundary changes than personal performance.

      • les 41.2.1

        thats may well be reality…but the point ,which should be glaringly obvious is PERCEPTION…Little will be ridiculed and attacked as being unable to even convince his own electorate he has the ‘right stuff’ let alone the nation.

        • Psycho Milt

          I think that if Labour looks for a leader who can’t have this kind of bullshit peddled about him by Gower et al, they’ll be a fucking long time looking. Bottom line is, the Nats can have a leader who’s a lifetime corporate weasel and inside-trader with impunity, Labour can only have leaders who are subject to punishing regimes of slander and gossip that the media will cheerfully pick up on. If we’ve learned anything from every Labour leader of the last couple of decades, it should be that.

          • les

            alot of truth in what you say.How the hell an ex Merrill forex gambler,one of the people that caused the GFC sails along as P.M with such huge popularity is an indictment on society’s real understanding of geo politics and the neocon agenda.

    • GregJ 41.3

      so people agree that being a list M.P is not a huge negative for Little do they?

      No more than it is for Parker or that it was for Cullen (as a Deputy) or even than it was for Brash or Prebble as Leaders of their Parties at the time.

      Means nothing for Winston, Russel or Metiria either.

      You could argue that not being an electorate MP will free him up for the pretty arduous job of being Leader of the Opposition, reforming the Party, revisiting Policy etc.

      • les 41.3.1

        good answer, looking at that logic…will it translate to the public perception,thats the 64k question.

        • GregJ

          I think you mean the media spin on that “perception”. You are probably going to have to accept that the mainstream NZ media is resolutely “corporate” in its outlook – it will find something to attack him with anyway. Being a list MP seems to be pretty minor.

          If he is elected Leader then I’m sure the Party could “parachute” him into an electorate if they really want to (I could suggest Rongotai, Rimutaka, Hutt South, Dunedin South, Mount Albert, Mount Roskill – although I’ll admit some of those might vote for “real” National candidates next time 😈 ).

          • les

            like the way you think.The key (excuse the pun)is getting onside with the MSM it would seem.Lets face it the public lap it up if they saw it on T.V or read it in the paper.

            • GregJ

              Well it is possible that Little, having come up through the robust world of Union Politics, is a practitioner of realpolitik which I suspect is what you are advocating being the Labour strategy, including for dealing with the MSM.

              Indeed he has indicated a streamlining (my word not his) of policy which may be a prelude to that (assuming he is leader etc. etc.)

  42. SeanExile 42

    Well DC didn’t step down, he knew he wouldn’t have a chance to be elected leader again. The unions told him in no uncertain words. (I said that before here but the usual out of touch activists didn’t want to believe it)

    His legacy will be his numbers just as every other politician.

    And for those who thinks Mr Little is close to the DC camp and talks about a clearout. You’ll be very very disappointed if Mr Little wins, the clearout will come just not the one you wanted…

    Personally I believe that out of the candidates Mr Little has the best ability to turn the ship. He needs to change some of the party dead weight that ran this election and bring in some more electable people but that shouldn’t be so hard.

    The main problem is the question over his own electability. Harry Dunhoven ran New Plymouth for a long time. And he was successful. To hear Andrew Little say that his results in New Plymouth is part of a long running trend doesn’t strike me as inspiring. Especially not when you check the election datas from the last 5 elections. That trend is really difficult to find.
    New Plymouth was Labour nationally and despite Andrew Littles challenges it has gone from a toss up to dark blue when Mr Little has stood for us. What did Harry have that Andrew doesnt? (Perhaps a house in the constituency…)
    This is Mr Littles major handicap and National will take every opportunity to remind us of this. He needs help from winners. to stand a chance in todays media landscape.

    On the other hand, David Parkers relationship histories etc makes him vulnerable. Very vulnerable to attacks. Plus it wont go down well with the religious in South Auckland. It would be as big as our good mayors affair. Do we want that distraction?
    Grant Robertson is beltway and even the most anti Cunliffe people Ive met have felt meh whenever his name has been suggested.

    So Mr Little seems the best out of a very poor showing. Put Parker back to finance and get yourself a straight talking front bench that is seen and heard and this could be the turnaround.
    Also get rid of most policies, we are drowned in policies and that has never connected with voters.

  43. Chauncey Gardiner 43

    To DC

    Your a scholar and gentlemen.

    Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. ~African Proverb

    You will do well.

  44. David Cunliffe: I voted Labour this year for the first time since 1987. Your shit experiences over the last 12 months are testament first and foremost to the success of National’s two-track dirty-politics strategy, as described by Nicky Hager, but credit is also due to the shitheads in your own caucus – a list of whom could be rattled off by most of this blog’s readers. Thanks for trying.

  45. Neil 45

    I would like to see Little with Adern as deputy, I think with some coaching for Adern it would make a force to be reckoned with.

    • GregJ 45.1

      Her surname is Ardern.

      • Neil 45.1.1

        I’m oh so sorry for the typo, you might get a promotion from the spelling police for that one.

        • GregJ

          You’re welcome.

          Although you might note that a typo (a typographical error) is a mistake made in the typing process due to mechanical failure or slips of the hand or finger, but excludes errors of ignorance, such as spelling errors. The fact that you made the error twice in the same post would tend to indicate the latter rather than the former. 😐

    • leftie 45.2

      @Neil Not Ardern.

      Bill Drees28.3.3 6 October 2014 at 2:17 pm
      That gang suspected Cunliffe would sort them after the election. That is why they briefed the press before election night and started the campaign to dump Cunliffe. Nash briefed Hooton and Farrar and Cosgrove the Press Gallery. Ardern was used to do the numbers just like Maryann Street was used against Shearer. Cunliffe moved quickly to get Maori support by offering a joint Deputy possie. Nash fake candidacy was a cover to approach the Unions and some floating votes to see what was needed to bring them across to Robertson. The ABCs had to move before Cunliffe wiped them. Had Goff King Mallard retired in this term Robertson would have lost the core of the ABCs and any chance of the Leadership…..

      <a href="http://thestandard.org.nz/a-little-goes-a-long-way/#comment-904935

  46. RedLogix 46

    Next – who else is going to ‘drop out’ of this race now they’ve gotten rid of DC?

    • Olwyn 46.1

      Going by what was said on the news tonight, David Cunliffe gained certain assurances from Andrew Little, though without any deals being made, before he dropped out. So it does not seem likely that Andrew will pull out, unless he and the whole box and dice of them are completely blind to the loathing that would follow such a move. I have the impression that part of the reason that Cunliffe stood in the first place was to prevent a palace coup from being pulled by some of the caucus members.

  47. i actually want nash to stand..to win..

    ..and then from the ashes of that..

    ..maybe a real social democratic party will arise..

  48. odysseus 48

    Well, feel a bit gutted by this. I did support DC, seemed genuine PM material to me , and indeed still does so.Where to from here?
    I know DC is telling us supporters to go for AL, but seeing him again on the box tonight, he still seems completely gormless. I have no doubt too that the greater NZ public will not warm to an ex-union man – I have no doubt AL is competent , but is only just that.
    That leave GR and DP – again the former will just not resonate with alot of voters outside of Wellington Central.
    So that leaves the last man standing , DP – as I have said before he does kinda look like M J Savage :). He is definitely competent and maybe with time he would grow on the public who may see him as a serious alternative to the fatuous Key.
    I know this looks like its all about appearance than ideology, but frankly there really is nothing much ideologically separating all thes guys. So it does come down to style, and who can win the next election.
    Who knows, maybe Mr Shearer will put his hand up tomorrow. Now, there’s a thought.

    • i am almost coming around to robertson as the best of what is left..

      ..(at least he can string a sentence together..)

      ..and ‘prefect’ parker..?..really..?

    • Jenk 48.2

      Hang on Odysseus – Parker is now saying maybe the raising-super-age policy was a mistake but he NEVER took any notices of his LP members saying this, and Mr Shearer – he was on the Nation the other day saying something along the lines that the members shouldn’t have a say in the leadership. These guys think that just because they’ve made it to Parliament they know EVERYTHING and anything else from others is a load of crock. I think that’s arrogance. Do you really want people as leaders who are that arrogant they can ignore their own members ?

  49. RedBaronCV 49

    If the rest of them had put half as much effort into the election as they spent slagging DC afterwards the result may have been quite different. Did they really think they would have done better?
    No more money from moi.

    • Olwyn 49.1

      This post by Bill Drees haunted me for days, though I don’t know him, so don’t know how much is speculation and how much straight reportage:

      A Little Goes A Long Way

      That gang suspected Cunliffe would sort them after the election. That is why they briefed the press before election night and started the campaign to dump Cunliffe. Nash briefed Hooton and Farrar and Cosgrove the Press Gallery. Ardern was used to do the numbers just like Maryann Street was used against Shearer.

      That is a picture of motivated effort – determination, resourcefulness, risk-taking. The election itself does not seem to have inspired anything like that level of creativity.
      My apologies to all concerned if Bill was just making an educated guess.

      • greywarshark 49.1.1

        Just near that Bill Drees one which has gravitas there is another from notaPSStafffer that cuts to the chase too.

        A Little Goes A Long Way

      • Jenny Kirk 49.1.2

        I don’t know either, Olwyn. But ……. very nasty stuff happened with Labour MPs in the caucus I was a part of during David Lange’s years …. so …. maybe Bill was taking more than an educated guess … ? ?

        • Olwyn

          Yes, I wish Bill had made that clear – I found it such shocking dereliction of duty to be plotting in-house coups before an election– just letting the country fall back into National’s hands while less privileged people are sleeping in cars. And I don’t know how you managed to get through those Lange days!

      • swordfish 49.1.3

        Yeah, I certainly read elsewhere that Ardern was doing the numbers a few weeks out from the Election. And although (unsurprisingly) there appears to be little in the way of proof, the received wisdom / broad consensus is that Cosgrove has been the key leaker to the MSM.

        • Murray Rawshark

          I really wish Ardern would bugger off and get a job as a real estate agent or something. Apart from towing a red caravan, sleeping outside, and obeying Mallard’s instructions in the debating chamber, I haven’t seen her do a thing that’s useful. It takes a bit more than calling everyone comrade at student socialist meetings to represent the people who need it most.

  50. swordfish 50

    A handful of interviews with the contenders (and a comparison with Cunliffe).

    Look at the consummate ease with which Cunliffe handles his interview. Confident, articulate, thinks well on his feet.














  51. Saarbo 51

    Disappointing, but glad that DC is hanging in there with the “rabble” (Gordon McLaughlin’s description of the Labour caucus on The Panel today)…Personally Ill stick around to see if Labour manage to get rid of the “DEADWOOD”…Im not holding out much hope. I will cancel my VFL however in the meantime.

    Kia kaha to DC who really had to endure some of the most disgraceful treatment from the media, particularly from John Armstrong’s vicious and dishonest/inaccurate attacks and the concerted attacks from the “rabble” and their media friends. The fact that DC has decided to stay means that the Labour Caucus retain 50% of their collective IQ…

    Labour Caucus make it bloody hard work to support a party which represents the value of “fairness and equity”

  52. ankerawshark 52


    God I can’t believe this from Shearer. According to him DC should have stayed in the contest and been beaten for the sake of the future leader……………..FFS!

    • leftie 52.1


      Shearer is an egotistical bloat and is just full of himself. This was the play. I knew he wouldn’t stand when David Cunliffe pulled out of the contest.
      Shearer doesn’t have the support and the backstabbing twerp knows it. I am disgusted.

      Those parasites within caucus of which Shearer is one, should be ashamed of themselves, Labour deserves the backlash it is going to get.

  53. venezia 53

    Like many who post here, I (and several of my adult family) am very, very disappointed that David Cunliffe has withdrawn his bid for the leadership. I think he would have made an excellent Prime Minister. I will wait and see what the outcome of the leadership campaign brings, (but my impulse is to resign my membership of Labour). I think that Cunliffe has conducted himself with great dignity in the face of disgraceful attacks by the MSM, the Right wing blogosphere, and undermining of him by key people in his caucus. It is a measure of Cunliffe’s effectiveness as a politician that the corporate powers and the National Party were so threatened by him. I am suspicious when the MSM, John Key and Michelle Boag have been promoting Andrew Little as the best candidate – they obviously think he will be less effective than Cunliffe as opposition leader.

    • leftie 53.1


    • wekarawshark 53.2

      or they think that their recommendation will mean people will vote for Robertson of Parker. If I were a Labour member thinking about voting I would completely disregard anything coming out of the mouth of the likes of Key or Boag.

  54. Richard RAWSHARK 54

    Headline says it all for me, I’m quite devastated again, John Armstrong gets his wish. He’s bayed for this, since David became Leader, now he called for his with drawl from the leader contest, enough was enough I suspect. Well JA you got your wish now you resign please like everyone commenting on the Herald asks.

    It’s a low day on politics in NZ, the best man for the job was forced to abandon his dream due to faction squabbles and personal ambitions of colleges and coupled with media opinions by corporate steering in my opinion he was defamed and that’s my impression of what went on.

    I think labour needs to learn the meaning of the word Solidarity ..again.

    Little vs Key

    I hope that mouse has the heart of a lion when the time comes, I really do.

  55. odysseus 55

    Back to Jenk – if you are going to bag Parker, then you are going to have to bag DC as well – he advocated raising the super age too ( btw , I don’t think it should be raised either, that is a right wing policy. Which proves my point about the hair splitting differences in ideolgy between these guys).
    As for David S = at least I think he is an honest chap. And I thought his music would appeal to Phil U…kinda bohemian and all that.

  56. odysseus 56

    Be clear – DC is way ahead of the rest. The rest is trying to find pearls…

  57. paddy 57

    Totally gutted that Cunliffe has gone. I trust his judgement and despite my misgivings about Andrew Little I have no choice but to rank Little no 1. I wonder if the three remaining will do some sort of a deal and avoid the primary and apparent disunity. I don’t really care if I don’t get to vote since the best candidate is gone.

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