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David Cunliffe’s grandfather’s medals

Written By: - Date published: 11:01 am, April 29th, 2014 - 135 comments
Categories: Media, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

Cameron slater john key

I see DPF and Cameron Slater are running a desperate smear about David Cunliffe and his grandfather’s war record.

It turns out David said his grandfather won the Military Medal when if fact it was his great uncle.  His grandfather was the recipient of several other medals.

But that’s not the interesting part.  What is interesting is the fact that my sources tell me that David’s office was approached about this late yesterday afternoon by a major media outlet.

I understand that David’s staff provided the details of both men’s service records and, to their credit, the media outlet decided there was no story there.

It seems pretty clear that the National Party research unit has been digging dirt on David’s veteran granddad and great uncle, taken it to the media, got nowhere with that and then put it out through their pet blogs.  Who have amusingly tried to claim it as the work of research genius Cameron Slater.

There is a significant amount of research that has gone on here, presumably at the taxpayers’ expense.  Meanwhile Labour is announcing major policy that will reduce mortgage costs and help exporters to create jobs.  Get the feeling that there is an attempt to divert your attention?

Remember that next time you hear John Key talk about how he is focused on “the issues that matter”.  What matters to him and his team is digging through the files of decorated veterans in a desperate attempt to smear the leader of the opposition.

It’s time to change the government.


135 comments on “David Cunliffe’s grandfather’s medals”

  1. Te Reo Putake 1

    Pretty straight article about it in the Herald:

    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s incorrect claim that his grandfather won a Military Medal was the result of a family mix-up, his office says.

    On Saturday, Mr Cunliffe told a Young Labour conference that his grandfather Bob Tuke won the medal after his World War I service.

    He said: “At my local RSA, I spoke of my grandfather Bob Tuke, who fought in World War I.

    “Although his letters home understated it, he lived in constant fear; he lived with lice, damp and dysentery. He watched his friends die in France, Egypt and Gallipoli.

    “He was awarded a Military Medal for valour, but hardly mentioned it to his family.”

    Military records showed that his grandfather was a second lieutenant between 1914 and 1919 and was wounded but did not win a Military Medal.

    The records showed that he won the British War Medal.

    A spokesman for Mr Cunliffe said that the Labour leader’s great uncle Edmund Tuke also fought in the War and won a Military Medal for valour.

    Both of the men were decorated soldiers and this was part of the family lore. But in his speech on Saturday Mr Cunliffe had confused the names of the medals.

    The spokesman said Bob Tuke also won other medals including the Victory Medal, the Gallipoli Medallion, the War Medal 1939-45 and the NZ War Service Medal.


    • lprent 1.1

      Pretty damn pathetic even for those arsewipes of the local blogs – Cameron Slater and his ever faithful sidekick David Farrar.

      Even more typical of the slimeballs on the 9th floor. Most likely Jason Ede?

      It’d be interesting who exactly approached the media eh?

      • Te Reo Putake 1.1.1

        I get the feeling from the article that the Herald felt obliged to run something, but recognised it was pretty thin stuff. Bet we’ll never get to know who prompted them to run it, but Ede would be a good guess.

        • Ergo Robertina

          The Herald is doing more than just running the story though, it is the lead story on the website, pushing down page the party’s monetary changes.

          • lprent

            The problem with trying to run any significance on that is that the page position of articles on the online herald is largely automatic.

            My partner Lyn used to work at the overnight on the online herald and keeps telling me that is the case.. Personally i’m a bit skeptical. I’d want to look at the algorithm code – in particular the pole position parts.

            The articles fall and rise based on how much interest they have.

            The problem is of course that it is quite feasible to generate quite a lot of ‘interest’ based on how it is pushed in social media. And of course running that circle of parroting between Cameron being paid, Whaleoil laying a smear, Farrar rebleating it, then their cronies in the herald commenting in it, topped with the jonolists at TV3 like Gower then being able to say it is a story because it is getting media attention.

            It is a pretty well known move. I call it the “Parrot dance”. No intelligence involved. Just a pile of moronic squawking.

            Obviously the timing is designed to drown out the important stuff. But as we know. National aren’t good at that. They prefer just giving taxpayer money to their cronies.

            • Blue

              A news website can absolutely control which story is the lead. This is a deliberate decision by the editors.

              The Herald has chosen to put this non-story at the top, above the monetary policy changes, specifically to push a ‘David Cunliffe stuffs up again’ agenda. There’s no excuses for them. They’re just buoyed by the success of spending a week and a bit tearing Labour to bits over Shane Jones and want to continue the trend.

            • Ergo Robertina

              There has to be some judgement standing between the algorithm code and site prominence or you would frequently get the most bizarre animal story or salacious trivia leading, because they’re often the most read and shared.

              • logie97

                Just like the order within the announcement of Labour policy today.

                Headline – Policy
                First comment – the frothing Bill English
                Second comment – Business in favour
                Third paragraph – the actual policy announcement.

                It would be too much to expect the Herald to reverse the order

                Headline – Policy
                First statement – actual policy
                Second comment – business favourable comment
                Third paragraph – the frothing Bill English

              • lprent

                You’ve read the NZ Herald online on a quiet day politically recently I see.

                Royal stories, the ritual horrible accident/crime, celebrity gossip, and whatever story has the best photo/mp4.

            • greywarbler


    • Bill 1.2

      heh – and there was me (and I’d be willing to bet many, many others) thinking that reference to a military medal would be just that. A reference to a medal awarded by the military, as opposed, to say the local sporting body. Don’t know how you go about picking up on capitalisation in a speech.

      • Pete George 1.2.1

        “Don’t know how you go about picking up on capitalisation in a speech.”

        You can look at the provided transcript. Like:

        At my local RSA, I spoke of my Grandfather Bob Tuke, who fought in World War One.

        Although his letters home understated it, he lived in constant fear; he lived with lice, damp and dysentery. He watched his friends die in France, Egypt and Gallipoli.

        He was awarded a Military Medal for valour, but hardly mentioned it to his family.

        (From http://thestandard.org.nz/a-new-zealand-for-100-of-new-zealanders/ as https://www.labour.org.nz/media/speech-new-zealand-100-new-zealanders has now been amended).

        There’s a significant difference between a medal awarded for valour and the service medals that everyone who serves gets. It’s not the done thing to claim bravery awards incorrectly.

        But it’s worth noting that many men who serve in wars are brave and only some of them are awarded bravery medals.

        This shouldn’t be a big deal but Cunliffe has to be far more vigilant about getting things right. If he keeps putting history or policy into words from memory he risks getting exposed for it.

        No matter who does exposes him or why it will happen. The best way to minimise it happening is to minimise basic errors of fact or perceptions of inaccuracy .

        • mickysavage

          Do you check everything that your parents told you Pete?

          • Pete George

            If I talked about my grandfather’s war record in a political speech just after ANZAC Day and promoted that speech widely I would check the facts.

            Wouldn’t you?

            • McFlock

              Not necessarily, if there’s a WW1 Military Medal in my family and both brothers were decorated.

              One thing the yanks did right was giving WIA a medal.

              • One got a Military Medal. Both will have got service medals. Significant difference.

                • McFlock

                  How much difference is there between a dead great-uncle who won the Military Medal and a dead grandfather who was wounded in action?
                  Not much at all, if you have both in your family heritage.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Really? Your grandfather is a far closer relation than a great grand uncle. I know my grandfather, I wouldn’t have a clue about great grand uncles. A medal is a bit different to some shrapnel. You are being intellectually dishonest and while this is a storm in a teacup, there’s no reason to be a dick about it.

                    • McFlock

                      I met one grandfather once, and the other died 20-odd years before I was born.

                      While you love the phrase “intellectually dishonest”, there’s not much difference to me between my grandfather and my grandfather’s brother or whatever the fuck. And if they were both heroes, that would be part of my family’s oral history.

                      So maybe pull your head out of your arse.

                    • Populuxe1

                      So? It’s rich to project your experiences onto other people. Most people like to know their whakapapa

                    • McFlock

                      It’s rich to project your experiences onto other people.

                      cf your immediately preceding comment:

                      I know my grandfather, I wouldn’t have a clue about great grand uncles.

                      So both of your comments cancel each other out, leaving

                      Most people like to know their whakapapa

                      It seems Cunliffe knows his better than either of us know ours, even if the particulars got swapped between brothers.

                • Ed

                  As far as most people are concerned they both got military medals – and one of those was apparently The Military Medal. For another example, most people would not say that a person had “won” a service medal. English can be a confusing language Pete (and that’s not a comment about your friend Bill).

            • mickysavage

              No I would not. FFS. And I would get things wrong occasionally. This is what it means to be a human.

              I have come to the conclusion that arguing with you is a waste of time. You consistently adopt a right wing spin position while masquerading as being somehow independent. And you never change your position even when your argument is torn up into shreds and handed back to you.


              • Ant

                Exactly, no one would check it that carefully, because it’s simply not a big deal to anyone normal, it’s like the difference of recalling your grandad driving a holden when in fact it was your great uncle, or the car being a ford, or red not blue.

                They’re both decorated veterans, Cunliffe obviously meaning to mislead NZ over this important factoid.

                But I can see how it is important to PG, he’s a weird sort of twit.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The desperate maintenance of a relentless deceitful smear campaign is a lot of things, but “weird”?

                  Rotten, yes. Corrupt, certainly. Wretched and mendacious, those too, but weird?

              • wtl

                I have come to the conclusion that arguing with you is a waste of time. You consistently adopt a right wing spin position while masquerading as being somehow independent. And you never change your position even when your argument is torn up into shreds and handed back to you.”

                Exactly. This was demonstrated conclusively in this exchange. Pete George made the accusation that DotCom had contributed financially to Len Brown’s mayoral campaign. This was completely false and there is absolutely no evidence of any such donations. However, instead of properly admitting he was wrong, and withdrawing the claim, PG’s response was “I accept I may be wrong in this case, but that’s not known for sure”. Pathetic.

            • Draco T Bastard

              From his reply and his offices reply to the newsies it appears that he did do the research and then got the names mixed up in the speech. Simple human error and nothing more. It’s you RWNJs that are making a mountain out of a molehill.

            • lprent

              Wouldn’t you?

              Nope. I’d call it an obsessive wanker trying to disinter family bodies.

              If it was their own military or their work record then I’d be interested. That gets relevant to the debate about their suitability.

              • Yeah, it’s fairly minor. It’s not as if serving in WW1 is out of the ordinary, there won’t be many Kiwis with European heritage that won’t have had relatives serve. And there’s been thousands of Military Medals awarded, while meritorious they’ weren’t uncommon.

                But if Cunliffe wants to avoid putting himself in the firing line he has to avoid handing out ammunition in speech notes.

                • McFlock

                  But if Cunliffe wants to avoid putting himself in the firing line he has to avoid handing out ammunition in speech notes.

                  He didn’t put himself in the firing line.
                  His grandad did, though.

                  All Cunliffe did was exist – you and your fellow partisan hacks conflate, inflate, insinuate, exagerrate, and outright fabricate the rest.

                • Weepu's beard

                  That is strange because the Prime Minister and his bow-tie fall-guy, Peter Dunne regularly hand out ammunition, but it’s not often used.

                • weka

                  “But if Cunliffe wants to avoid putting himself in the firing line he has to avoid handing out ammunition in speech notes.”

                  That’s right, DC is responsible for the behaviour of slimey right wing spinners. He should just man up and be perfect, then he can control everything that happens.


            • Once was Pete

              I wish he hadn’t mentioned his grandfather so specifically. I hate to see family involved in this sort of stuff. But it is again, another misstep. Right or wrong it just creates the impression of borrowing credibility from a family members record.
              To be fair the war was a long time ago. My uncle flew spitfires, but family knowledge is very sketchy because he just wouldn’t talk about it. So it would be difficult to state anything with certainty.

            • fender

              “If I talked about my grandfather’s war record in a political speech…”

              No one would even know, because the audience would either be asleep (as per the link to a “speech” you gave that someone linked to a couple of years ago) or dead.

            • Chooky

              @PG….no…once you get further back in the generations grandfathers and great uncles…. and cousins and second cousins… are all much of a muchness…no need to get too precise

              …..some who are a bit less closely directly related, actually have greater impact on your life and upbringing in an extended family like the Maori have and Pakeha have, who have been in New Zealand for generations…no need to get too pedantic…they were close ancestors of Cunliffe’s

              (this story prompted by envy? jealousy?….i wonder if John Key’s and Slater’s ancestors would look so good under the magnifying glass?…maybe the Herald could do a story on this?!)

              • Populuxe1

                Bullshit. A grandfather is pretty hard to confuse – great grand uncles maybe, bt if you have that little interest in your whakapapa there is something wrong with you.

        • Bill

          Christ on a fucking motor bike, you are such a fucking annoyingly fucked in the head disingenuous fuckwit!

          I said that in a speech you can’t pick capitalisation. Will I make this really fucking easy for you Pete? If he’d said the military medal, then it’s pretty clear that the military medal is a discrete award. However, he actually said (according to the transcript) a military medal for valour. And to any non-geek in any audience, that could refer to any number of military medals.

          And isn’t the case that his grandfather was awarded several other medals? And isn’t there a fair chance that one of them has ‘valour’ in it’s commendation? And even if that’s not the case, does it matter a toss? No. No it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter a toss Pete.

          And does it cross your mind, given the reference to ‘a’ in the stead of ‘the’, that it’s just possible that the transcript was mistakenly capitalised? Not, as I said before, that it matters a toss.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            If Petty were just a fuckwit his “mistakes” would be random and non-directional.

          • miravox

            Well said Bill.

            edit: actually if it was written like phil ure’s it would be
            … a military medal…

            maybe there is a point…

        • Murray Olsen

          What a shame the military doesn’t use hot air balloons. I’m sure PG would get a military medal for keeping them topped up, all by himself.

          As far as things military go, Farrar should stick to the Captain Mainwaring impersonations he does so well, and Whalespew should go and chase some Japanese ships. Those two are beneath contempt.

      • Puddleglum 1.2.2

        Completely agree, Bill.

        I never knew there was such a medal (called the ‘Military Medal’) – seems like a very ill-chosen title for a medal that, apparently, is given for ‘valour’. Far too generic.

        It seems to have been an ‘other ranks’ version of the Military Cross, with its equally vague title.

        Yes, I can imagine Cunliffe plotting and scheming and laughing in evil tones as he wrote that speech just to get that outrageous lie out there in the public’s mind.

        This is real ‘Sad Sack‘ stuff from Slater and Farrar; or perhaps they’re just his buddies – “Slob Slobinski and Hi-Fi Tweeter (Sack’s buddies)

        Couldn’t resist it, given the military theme 🙂

        • You_Fool

          Yes I agree, the evil Cunliffe is obviously spreading lies about his dead grandfather, when it was really his dead uncle, also conveniently related to Cunliffe. Oh the vile vile man, using his family as a political tool. Not like the dear leader, he just goes on TV and has a BBQ, not like that evil Cunliffe, he won’t even let TV3 into his house to film his family having dinner. Oh the evil man! How can we decide if he is a suitable leader if he won’t let us into his family life!

    • dave 1.3

      those men won medals for valour in wars that defended the freedom we take for granted millions died in these wars its disgusting given John keys family were refugees that national try to smear and use the valour of those who fought and died serving there country through the horror of the Somme, jk should be aware it was allied soldiers who stopped Hitler s genocide of the Jews! and probable saved his family from the gas chamber! shame on you John key

  2. captain hook 2

    Well hooks grandpappy was a padre on the western front and I am entitled to wear his medals but ANZAC day seems to have been taken over by the National Party as one of their own events and everyone else should stay away. As for DC it is a long time since the war and family legends become mixed up but it is typical of fatboy and wailboil to apply slimy perjoratives to anything they can wrap their greasy little mits on.

  3. Ant 3

    And the Herald sees fit to run this minutia as a main feature, the order from the top must have come in.

    • Enough is Enough 3.1

      And Stuff as well.

      The bastards are running this in front of Parker’s policy release this morning.

      The corporate media is a tough beast

  4. dv 4

    AND the Herald run this as the top item on the web site.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Dirty stuff alright, glad the tories have been sprung yet again. And yes they will likely have been digging like 20 private dicks through the trash cans and backstory of the other party leaders. Sometimes they stuff up magnificently as per Green co leader Meteria’s “castle”.

    But I must also say re medals; the trend for todays relatives to wear their ancestors war medals to ANZAC day turns my stomach, like some sort of patriotic status by association is being conferred on the wearer.

  6. Ad 6

    This week Labour will not be dented. We will have this round (unlike the previous 5).

    Note also from Whaleoil his very positive interpretation of Labour’s chances in a number of electorates.

  7. Jrobin 7

    Good lord the pettiness is unbelievable. Good to know that Mr Cunliffe has courageous ancestors. Hopefully it is hereditary.He sure needs that quality when up against an increasingly hostile and tabloid media! Even RNZ has worsened. Guyon Espiner is really disappointing. I actually gave him more credit as he seems intelligent and well informed.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Good to know that Mr Cunliffe has courageous ancestors. Hopefully it is hereditary.


      The name in Anglo-Saxon meant ‘War love’.

      But I’m not a fan eugenics.

    • Ronnie Chow 7.2

      “Good to know that Mr Cunliffe has courageous ancestors”

      Including his father?

      • Te Reo Putake 7.2.1

        Yep. His father sounds like a very courageous guy from what I’ve read. Seems to have swum against the tide in many ways. I’ve got a feeling you’re bursting to come out with some sort of smear, Ronnie. Out with it, you keyboard coward.

        • McFlock

          if you really want to know, you know the obnoxious little scrote is just going to parrot the cetaceous slug.

          • Ronnie Chow

            What , the one who banned me for calling a spade a spade ? I wish I had your courage . Is there any other way to post other than using a keyboard ? Thought not . Slater’s blog is popular in no small measure for the size and clarity of the font , and the lack of clutter . It’s an easy read , covers the screen and gets dirty with the truth . Liars get kicked in the nuts .
            He winds you lot up every day . To you he is wrong by default , but if he was wrong you could just ignore him .
            I think that your comment is an adequate reflection of your mindset towards those of a different opinion . If you had a gun you would shoot me . Slater often advocates this punishment for kiddie fiddlers . Quite extreme . So , would you care to repeat your abuse face to face ? I have air miles.


            1. Don’t advocate violence. You get banned for it.
            2. Don’t use trolling stir tactics. I will ban you for it. I got over being amused by them when we were still using a dialup modem to get the net feed into the country.
            3. The people that operate this site long since got over being told how we should run/improve our site. We tend to be happy running it to our satisfaction. Your satisfaction is meaningless to us.

              Even suggesting indirectly that it should be changed will often get you banned simply because we have seen many spoilt wee prats like you start like that and then descend into hysteria as they are ignored. We’ll listen to people who have been around long enough to actually suggest actual improvements to functionality rather than how they like their cosmetics applied.

              If you don’t like it then go elsewhere or start your own. No-one won’t miss you.

            4. I suggest that you read the policy. It may reduce your current certainty of getting banned very soon.
            5. This is your warning. Listen to it. I really can’t be bothered with moronic little wankers like you on the net waving your dick around waiting for adulation. I tend to just terminate the boring little twerps from my reading and wait a decade for them to grow up a bit.

            We generally ignore Cameron. He lies far too frequently too much to worth reading. His ego is vastly overrates both his cunning and his intelligence. Basically he is just a 40 year old juvenile. Pity him. At least you may have time to grow up in. ]

            • Weepu's Beard

              You’ve been booted from Whaleoil and all, have you not? Too poisonous even for that site.

            • McFlock

              I think that your comment is an adequate reflection of your mindset towards those of a different opinion .

              No, just my mindset towards idiots like you

              If you had a gun you would shoot me .

              On the contrary, I definitely would not.
              In fact, if you had a gun I would take it off you before you looked down the barrel while saying “dur, what does this trigger thing do?”

              I suggest that you trade in your air miles for a lifetime’s supply of plastic sporks, so you can eat in relative safety.

    • Frankie and Benjy Mouse 7.3

      I have stopped listening to Radio NZ. I could ignore most of the annoying angles that previous hosts would take, but Guyon Espiner sounds like he is much more actively framing things despite seeming to be more aware or informed. I suppose I’ll have to listen to a local radio station while I do the ironing.

  8. fender 8

    Jeez that photo makes me feel nauseous…

    These desperate thugs are clutching at straws again, surprising the MSM didn’t jump on the bandwagon too, maybe instead the media could demand to know where the money (as they would if Labour planned to spend it) is coming from to boost defence spending by $535 million over the next four years

    • Ronnie Chow 8.1

      Fender , how would 18 of the latest fast patrol boats supporting the enforcing of our fisheries suit you ?

  9. fisiani 9

    When you are a party leader you want to make sure that when you speak about paternity leave, or veterans payments or your forebears Military medals you actually tell the truth the first time and not spend the next few days covering up and making excuses. All people remember are the excuses and thus the term ‘Tricky” is sticking and growing. The phone is off the hook to Labour. Bring back Shearer, at least he polled well.

    • Rodel 9.1

      Is this troll:
      a. a mythical, cave-dwelling being depicted in folklore as either a giant or a dwarf, typically having a very ugly appearance?

      b. Computing, informal a provocative e-mail or posting on the Internet intended to incite an angry response.-informal a person who sends such an e-mail or submits such a posting?

      c. all of the above?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1

        d. A liar, making a transparently dishonest attempt to falsely characterise an error as deceit: “…make sure you actually tell the truth…”; false description of the correction of said error as “covering up”.

        e. A hypocrite, offering support to the subject of Blip’s list.

        f. See c.

        Plus what Ant said.

    • Ant 9.2

      Please fool. If the herald ran a story each time John Key made a minute mistake they wouldn’t be able to fit any other news.

    • freedom 9.3

      So when talking about serious social issues fisiani, that involve questions of integrity and personal sacrifice, you are correctly saying politicians should have their facts straight, right?

      “Prime Minister, what was your position on the Springbok Tour in 1981?”

    • Draco T Bastard 9.4

      He did tell the truth moron.

    • Scotty 9.5

      ‘Tricky is sticking and growing.’

      Yep and you can add Shonkey , Wankey, Smirkey , Snakey ,Mankey , to the list of terms of endearment used to describe our current PM.

      You must be out of the loop-Fisi.

      Key and Joyce gave up months ago trying to label Cunliffe as tricky- when focus groups reminded them that ‘trickey’ had already been reserved for Nationals’ John Key.

  10. Enough is Enough 10

    This is their H Bomb.

    They truly are an evil nasty bunch that will be kicked on their arses soon

    • mickysavage 10.1

      The interesting thing about Slater’s article is that it is attempting to be far too balanced and nuanced. I bet he did not even write it …

      • Once was Pete 10.1.1

        They have dropped a lot of their more aggressive and confrontational approach in order to become more ‘media’ like.

      • felix 10.1.2

        I don’t think he writes many of the articles. He’s mostly in charge of the videos.

      • Ronnie Chow 10.1.3

        He seems to have spies in your camp,Greg.

  11. Papa Tuanuku 11

    thanks for raising this here. however the strategy and timelines need to be raised in the mainstream setting.

    find an offensive quote from whaleoil.
    write up how whaleoil works (anatomy of a sideshow story, right down to how it is designed to coincide with a labour announcement, or make a scandal go away)
    show how it is linked to J Key’s office and make a link between racist/sexist/offensive statements. So that key will distance him from the person/the strategy.
    Also, make it into a graphic for fb.

  12. Naturesong 12

    So there are not one, but two medal holders in Cunliffe’s family, a Military Medal for Valour and the British War Medal.

    Too many heroes in Cunliffes family obviously, and he’s managed to transpose a couple of them.

    I suspect Cunliffe can remember what he was doing in 1981 though …

    • Bearded Git 12.1

      Ha ha +1 NSong. My guess is this pathetic attempt at a smear will backfire with the electorate when they learn he has 2 war hero relatives.

    • You_Fool 12.2

      Cunliffe has already stated what he was doing in 81 and who he supported. Key also remembers but he feels he was on the wrong side so pretends he doesn’t remember.

  13. Will@Welly 13

    I knew 3 of my relatives served on the Western Front in World War I. Looking through the oldest one’s military records, I see he actually served at Gallipoli. Not sure about his other brother.
    The third brother’s ‘journey’ lasted just one year – from enlistment till his death. His fighting days totaled 6 months, including being wounded once, before he was killed in Belgium.
    The two that survived never talked about the war, both died in their late 60’s.
    Those in the family who fought in World War II were also reluctant to talk about their war years.
    I think for most, it was ‘survivors guilt’.
    So many stories were ‘lost’ because many of the men who returned simply didn’t want to talk about the war, or found it hard to talk to people who weren’t there. Hence the confusion over the medals.
    But if you want to talk about ‘war’ ask John Key about his fathers involvement in the Spanish Civil War, and how he fought alongside the “communists”, against Franco and the fascists. Ask John Key why he doesn’t wear his Father’s medal’s on Anzac Day from that war? Then see the bastard squirm.
    At least David Cunliffe is honest enough to say it was a genuine mistake over the medals.

    • Phil 13.1

      if you want to talk about ‘war’ ask John Key about his fathers involvement in the Spanish Civil War, and how he fought alongside the “communists”, against Franco and the fascists. Ask John Key why he doesn’t wear his Father’s medal’s on Anzac Day from that war?

      The Spanish Civil war has NOTHING to do with the ANZAC traditions and lore.

      • redfred 13.1.1

        Why not?

        “Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”


      • Will@Welly 13.1.2

        Phil – Key’s happy to tell us all about serving for “king and country”, and the “noble and heroic sacrifices”, but what about his own father’s battles. No, too embarrassing, that he fought alongside the “Communists”, in what turned out to be a ‘dress rehearsal’, in many ways, for World War II.
        Today, we would see John’s father as that of one of a liberationists, a ‘freedom fighter’, but back then he was fighting on the side of the Communists. That must rank with John Key.
        Obama, to Key, “So your father was a Communist!”
        Key, “I have no idea.” (Another great brain fade)

      • ghostwhowalksnz 13.1.3

        The name Key doesnt appear on the lists that MI5 , that are now available online, made of those who travelled to Spain to fight Franco.

    • fender 13.2

      The only medal Key is proud of is his U.S. Green Card.

      • Skinny 13.2.1

        Lol funny. He will have a vault full of greenbacks over in Hawaii after his Minister of war on terrorism made his pledge to Uncle Sam today.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 13.2.2

        He got a vc for ‘very careful’ when the Don Brash emails were released

      • Ronnie Chow 13.2.3

        How is Cunliffe not swimming in the same money stream as Key?

  14. My granduncle died in ww1,it took about 5 minutes to find his photo and gravesite…am feeling a bit down….am not seeing a iq of 160 here….wo would,nt say so much if he was,nt given so much

  15. This is something which could hilariously backfire on National. All they’ve done is given Cunliffe an opportunity to mention, to a much wider audience, that his family earned so many medals in service to this country that he got two of them mixed up.

    • Kat 15.1

      Astute comment Stephanie and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the bait was taken hook line and sinker.

  16. Enough is Enough 16

    The problem with David is he has not quite realised that the media is out for him. He needs to check and double check every speech he makes. Because if he even misses a filler in a sentence they will be over him.

    We can moan about it but that is the reality.

    Therefore he needs to up his game in this area so that his innocent and irrelevant slips do not overshadow important policy statements like today.

  17. JonL 17

    This is relevant and a news story of national importance….how?

    Family lore can become mixed and a lot is not verifiable with the passage of time. One of my great uncles won the MM at Passchendaele – verifiable – I have the medal in my possession. Another great uncle “so family lore goes”, was recommended for the DCM at Gallipoli, but then blighted his copybook by forcing a Doctor to the front at rifle point, because his mates were dying, they couldn’t get any medical attention , and was lucky not to have been courts martialled and shot! No way of reliably verifying it, but it makes a good story in good faith, 100 yrs after the event….and may well be true.

    Easy enough to mix up grandfather and great uncle to many people, who are not family historians……

    • Populuxe1 17.1

      There is this great thing called Google and all the relevant information is databased and accessable. Fuck you guys are being as disingenious as SHonkey and FailOil.

  18. McFlock 18

    Lest we forget miss any opportunity for muckraking.

  19. Adrian 19

    You can write it as ” Military Medal” or “a military medal” ( for valour). The second option is how it is spoken. Is this not the biggest beat-up yet?

  20. Tanz 20

    oh, those smug Nat faces.

  21. TeWhareWhero 21

    This is like a mini version of the ‘birther’ nonsense about Obama. Rightwhingers leapt on the fact that Obama claimed his father had fought in WW2 when his Dad would have been far too young to have been in the army. He also claimed that an uncle had been involved in the liberation of Auschwitz when of course it was the Soviets who liberated Auschwitz.

    The clotosphere went ballistic – adding this to the claims that his birth certificate is fake – proof that he isn’t an American.

    Turns out it was Obama’s grandfather who’d served in WW2 and either he’d meant to say grandfather or he was so close to his grandfather he thought of him as his Dad which is hardly sinister or unusual. And his Uncle had been involved in the liberation of Buchenwald – and the mistake there may be due to Americans’ tendency to think they won WW2 single handed.

    Most important thing about this non-story is the appalling kowtowing to the jingoists and phoney patriots who have hijacked Anzac Day – it’s as disgusting in its own way as Hilary Clinton’s latest move in her presidential campaign – staking out her claim to be a dedicated Christian because the one thing Americans would never elect is an – atheist.

    And didn’t Clinton start the ‘birther’ stuff????

  22. ianmac 22

    Be interesting to see tonight if Gower highlights medals over Monetry Policy. Place your bets.

  23. Disraeli Gladstone 23

    I just want to make the point that this post has more comments than the post about Labour’s new monetary policy.

    Which one is more relevant to the country? Why get sucked into defending and arguing about a non-point?

    • mickysavage 23.1

      You are right DG. This is regrettably all too common an experience.

      • miravox 23.1.1

        Well, you know who hasn’t got involved in derailing that thread. Probably hasn’t had his speed learning in the lines he needs yet.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.2

      Currently 61 comments vs. 71 isn’t too bad considering the subjects.

      Dare I say it that fewer people feel qualified to comment on monetary policy? That doesn’t mean we aren’t reading with interest. I even note reasoned debate from erstwhile wingnuts on the topic for that matter.

      Better wingnuts? Parker’s a genius!

  24. shorts 24

    I think the real issue is does Whaleoil have a actual shirt, or does he go to all social/work events wearing his own gear?

  25. Hami Shearlie 25

    Pathetic from Whale Oil and Farrar – Boy those Tories sure are feeling very desperate – if Labour are as unpopular as they say, why do they feel the need for the big attack on David Cunliffe? – It must be deeply disturbing for them to hear that the business community like David Parker’s announcement today!!

  26. fisiani 26

    In the novel 1984 the rulers rewrote history to suit themselves. The Cunliffe attempt to delete France and Military from the web history of his lies about his grandfather and his silence about his father speaks volumes about the man. Volumes of infamy.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 26.1

      Yes, it’s an evil plot, probably a conspiracy, and I hope it chokes you. Nothing personal, I just think New Zealand would be a better place without deceitful gimps.

      • dave 26.1.1

        John key and his family would have been ash floating across the green fields of Poland if it hadn’t been for heroes medals are won by ordinary people during extraordinary times usual not bankers or war profiteers, i guess John boy will be sir key in honour of wreaking new zealand

        • Ronnie Chow

          You probably meant wrecking . We are now importing Fijian natives to work for Chorus . While we have unemployment . Because the unemployed cannot do this job . The unemployed also get seasick when the fishing boat goes over the horizon . The Iwi’s have tried their best to get the youth trained and on boats , but they just will not get on board more than once .
          So which part of NZ is being wrecked ? The part where low skilled job positions are filled by imports ? Which part ?

      • McFlock 26.1.2

        The Delusionati are at it again…

        • Te Reo Putake

          Yup. I hear C/T always try out the new recruits on the night shift. I imagine our new chum Ronnie will soon be finding out the down side of the 90 day law.

  27. Jrobin 27

    That Fisiani is a farcical use of 1984. Try applying it to Keys spin on GCSB and his double speak on testing animals, Cunliffe is just not that familiar with the minutiae of the names of medals. JK genuinely tries to discredit deceive and distract. I wonder where he got these principles? They seem familiar. Oh I know. saw these methods of propaganda on Snowdon leaks!

    • karol 27.1

      Yeah – shows the desperation by some rightees. Corin Dann on One News tonight called the medals criticism of Cunliffe “petty” and said it didn’t really take the gloss of an impact policy announced by Labour today.

  28. captain hook 28

    The thing is I would trust DC in the trenches but shifty john key? No.

  29. felix 29

    The thing that sticks out for me about the Slater boy, Farrar, and their unpaid intern Pete George, is that they all resort to variations of “He’s got to be more careful, there are some real scumbags out there who will twist his words against him at every opportunity”.

    Hey dicks, that’s you guys.

    No-one else gives a fuck.

    • mike 29.1

      why must you resort to name calling………how pathetic……….and crass bad language

      [lprent: Name calling and language isn’t a sin here in fact it is specifically catered for in the policy as robust debate. Pointless abuse is but felix was rather pointed both in his abuse and the reason for it.

      Whining like you just did is bannable offense at multiple levels. It is a standard troll tactic to start ‘I am a victim’ flamewars, it implicitly tries to tell us how we should run our site, and I have to read the drivel. I usually dispose of the right to comment here by the pathetic moron who uses it. I’d suggest that you read the policy. This is your warning. ]

  30. Whatever next? 30

    Yep, crass tactics, but they manage to do it every time, and without any shame

    • RedLogix 30.1

      Because they are being protected. They’ll continue to be protected as long as they are useful.

      Now think about the various (legal) ways their usefulness could be ended …

  31. mike 31

    cunners lied…….again

  32. Crunchtime 32

    David’s family medals, Maurice Williamson falling on his sword, ANYTHING to distract the media and the public from Labour’s new monetary policy.

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