First review results

Written By: - Date published: 6:56 am, December 9th, 2014 - 111 comments
Categories: labour - Tags: , ,

Claire Trevett writing in “Labour’s election review: What went wrong

Labour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems ranging from a failure to unite behind former leader David Cunliffe to resourcing and confusion over its “Vote Positive” slogan.

The panel of four reported back to Labour’s Council at the weekend on the first part of its three-part review – a look into the election campaign.

The party will not release review findings until all three parts are completed, expected in February.

One of the review team, Bryan Gould, said the panel’s terms of reference had included the leadership of Mr Cunliffe and while there were mixed views on some issues, the main problem was a failure to unite behind the leader.


Unfortunately the sense of conflict going on in the caucus was clearly felt with the late, poorly clumped, and often badly framed policy releases. Rather than having a smooth flow of coherent policy up to and through the election period, it felt like it was coming through only when caucus finally stopped worrying the toy.

In other words without the time to thoroughly frame the policy for the release to the media and public. At least that was how it seemed to me in my new worked ‘media’ position.

A lot of it was pretty good policy. But it is always a bit scary the policy and/or speech hasn’t made it to the website until hours afterwards (I usually prefer using public sources). Or when you ask for a transcript of a speech and people start worrying which revision actually made it to the podium.

How you present to the public is at least as important as actually doing a policy. That phase takes weeks. Having one presented to me with traces of dribble from a caucus tug of war doesn’t fill me with confidence that I have the right picture.

Vote positive. Well it certainly wasn’t a great message. It just reeked of some kind of compromise and no clear message. The Vote Positive message got hidden behind a welter of undeserved innuendo when Dirty Politics got released.

Hopefully through the leadership campaign, the candidates and many of the MPs will have gotten the messages that if they want to win the treasury benches then they have to both learn to work together and be seen to work together. And not just on a billboard…

vote positive billboard

111 comments on “First review results”

  1. tc 1

    Meanwhile potential voters see the same self serving faces and an inability to use MMP to take seats off NACT and it’s sock puppets by allowing parties with similar views a seat.

    Eminently winnable election thrown away by caucus and the same dunce strategists, little sure has his work cut out.

    • The Lone Haranguer 1.1

      tc, I dont think it was an “Eminently winnable election” at all as Labour had pretty much none of their ducks in a row, and the PM was always going to carry the day. I would suggest that it was actually an unwinnable election.

      Now if the hard lessons are learned from the 2014 fiasco (and it was a fiasco) then under Little 2017 IS eminently winnable

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        “as Labour had pretty much none of their ducks in a row”

        That’s tc’s whole point. If Labour had had their ducks in a row, they could have won it. Hence, eminently winnable.

        Internet-Mana was by far the biggest screwup of the whole ordeal. I still don’t know what to think about Dirty Politics’ impact, but I don’t think Labour fronted it well (hamstrung by their ‘vote positive’ message that made it very difficult to attack National as they should have).

        • tc

          precisely, TTT, Epsom maybe , Akl Central and Ohairu were the difference and 2011 showed what had to be done to assist the left hand side of the political spectrum.

          And some of the worse performing party vote electorates with an existing labour MP were….cosgrove/shearer/goff.

          The decision to go it alone and not collaborate with the greens needs sunlight….who and why ?

          • Lanthanide

            Even winning those electorates, they would have needed to get about 38-40% of the party vote between themselves and the Greens before Winston would want to consider forming a government with them. So the electorates by themselves weren’t enough.

        • TheContrarian

          “hamstrung by their ‘vote positive’ message that made it very difficult to attack National as they should have”


        • Murray Rawshark

          “Vote Positive” could have been written for them by Crosby Textor. It could be understood as their having just decided to be positive, after all the Dirty Politics they’d been involved in. It would have excited less people than “Iwi vs Kiwi”. Given that, and the perceived unwillingness of candidates to collaborate with Cunliffe, they would have needed a lot of luck to win. Once they attacked Mana, they would have just disgusted a lot of people into non-voting.

          The moment that made me really doubtful of a win was when I saw Jacinda Ardern dragging a super long face around behind Cunliffe in Auckland. That sort of shit can be fatal.

        • McFlock

          good points

  2. Northsider 2

    Hopefully we can finally put the destructive selfish behaviours of the past six years behind us.

    Little has beaten the Robertson/Mallard/Cosgrove lot in Caucus and is taking a firm grip of all the levers of power.

    The total re-build of the Wellington Office is critical: with an imminent election Cunliffe was stuck with much of the apparatus put in place for Goff and Shearer by Robertson.

    Little is starting with a clean sheet of paper. There is hope!

    • Jenny Kirk 2.1

      And he (Little) has started well ! I feel not only “hope” Northsider, but relief as well.
      Maybe now Labour will start to get back on track.

  3. felix 3

    It’s weird that we still talk about a campaign period. Our opposition started campaigning on the 21st of September.

    • lprent 3.1


      That was why I found it extraordinary when Labour people were suggesting that the review should be done first and *followed* by a leadership election. It’d have been March (bearing in mind xmas/new year) before the Labour could have started campaigning again. As it is they have been up and running two weeks ago.

      I have no idea why they were being so daft (or simply inexperienced) about when election campaigns start.

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        except a review shouldn’t take months to write. A review panel should be set up pre election and ready to go. Even working during the later half of the election because win or lose every campaign needs analysis.

        I do think it is great that they are going to release the review (Nats would never do this). And I think when the criticism starts to fly (are you listening Mike “Matt is right” Williams?) everyone on the left trumpets over and over that the reason labour can be criticised is because its processes are open and transparent. It is walking the talk that this PM began years ago about transparency.

        I heard Hooton again yesterday suggesting that 20% of the voting block somehow controls the Leadership outcome. It is BS… HE never addresses, and I stopped listening so I dont know if Williams retorted, that Robertson seemed to be first or last choice… that is hardly a ringing endrosement of unity by members or the caucus.

  4. coaster 4

    Unofficially it seems like key and national never stop campaigning.
    they seem to have had an allblack game plan, grind the opposition down over 80% of the game, then in the last 20% put the foot down and overwhelm a tired worn out confused opposition.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      A team of fumblers, owned by the same financial interests who pay the referee, beneficiaries of an electorate that tips from left to right as regularly as a very slow metronome.

      This is what passes for unparalleled genius on the Coast these days?

  5. Puckish Rogue 5

    I’m just suprised Mike Williams wasn’t asked to be involved

    • s y d 5.1

      he was, but he would only take part if Matthew could come too

      • Northsider 5.1.1


      • Puckish Rogue 5.1.2

        Well its not like Labour has a surplus of talent to call on

        • phillip ure

          @ pucky-one..

          ..have you had a peek in the national party gene-pool lately..?


          ..definite signs of in-breeding are appearing..

          ..(with urgent calls going out to party members/faithful for chin-donors..)

 the mutated-offspring/lab-experiments of joyce/collins come to maturity..

          ..and that new intake..?


          ..even ‘hollow(er) men’..

          ..if you thought that possible..?

 hollow you cd use them to brighten darkened rooms..

          • Puckish Rogue

            Nationals in power and gained votes whereas Labours not in power and lost votes so theres a tad bit of difference

            • framu

              “i make point” – “well have you thought about x?” – “who cares coz people voted for it”

              why does every comment chain from you run this way?

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          You mean those outstanding talents like the Minister for the SIS?

          Thats right, he couldnt be bothered with any of that, so he delegated his job to his political operatives. Never been done before, couldnt see why he had to do any real work himself

    • felix 5.2

      Seeing as Puckish Rogue (chris73) is never going to vote Labour or any other left party, and is only here to wreck the conversation and disrupt the labour movement, I don’t see any reason we should include him in the discussion.

      • Puckish Rogue 5.2.1

        Sir Bob Jones has voted Labour a number of times so theres no reason I can’t vote Labour, if Labour can put together a team that can work together and put out some policies that’re better for NZ without raising the tax burden on the middle classes then I’ll have a look at voting for them…oh and keep the Greens on the outer where they belong

        (Bit like Labour under Helen Clark)

        I’m not chris73 by the by I’m Puckish Rogue, just thought I’d put that out there

        • Morrissey

          You sure sound like chris73. And only a pillock would quote Bob Jones approvingly.

          • felix

            It’s just chris73’s other phone.

            • Morrissey

              I suspected as much.

              MEMO Chris/Rogue:

              Some time ago I advised you to forgo commenting on blogs and instead embark on a course of serious reading. You appear to have ignored that advice. Could you tell us when you intend to begin?

        • tracey

          Have you ever voted Labour? And which election was your first?

          What is the fixation in this country with Bob Jones? he is a parasite.

          • Puckish Rogue

            I’ve never voted Labour, I’ve either voted National or I didn’t vote at all however I don’t consider myself to be a set in stone National supporter but at the moment Labour isn’t giving me any reason to vote for them

        • Draco T Bastard

          raising the tax burden

          Taxes aren’t a burden. By paying taxes you’re better off than you would be if you didn’t. That would be true even if you paid 100% tax. Paying taxes is paying for critical services that make you better off.

          The real burden is the tens of billions of dollars debt that the present government has placed upon us by lowering taxes.

  6. Anne 6

    There are some in the previous caucus who need to hang their heads in shame. What is worse, they tried to blame the membership and especially those who had supported
    Cunliffe for the previous leadership contest. I well recall the antipathy heaped upon mickysavage’s shoulders because he had the courage to openly express his support for Cunliffe. Neither was he the only one to feel the cold edge of their political daggers. It happened to quite a few members but fortunately for them not in the public limelight. Thankfully they now seem to have changed their ways, although there are one or two who still have questions hanging over their heads.

    • Olwyn 6.1

      We owe a lot to Cunliffe for the renewed hope following from the leadership contest. He withstood the most awful press battering during the election, and if he had not stood his ground in its immediate aftermath, I fear we would have ended up with an unopposed, caucus appointed leader, with all the same old animosities and allegiances still going strong. The leadership contest, so soon after the election, seems to have gone a long way toward breaking that suffocating internal stranglehold.

      • ankerawshark 6.1.1

        Olwyn @ 6.1 “we owe a lot to Cunliffe” 1000+

        • seeker

          What a wonderful comment Olwyn, thankyou. This definitely needed saying and you said it so well. We do indeed owe a lot to Cunliffe.

          • Jenny Kirk

            Yes indeed, Olwyn. Great comment re Cunliffe. He did us all a good turn.

            • Olwyn

              Thanks ankershark, seeker and Jenny – I had a busy day today and was not able to get back to the conversation earlier than this.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                We do owe a massive amount to Cunliffe. He has helped navigate Labour through dangers that we barely recognise even today.

                Yet it is also true that he never quite fired up on all cylinders to manage the political problems and caucus jerks besetting him. To do that he needed to build up a much stronger team around him and provide a higher standard of leadership. In the final analysis Cunliffe deserved and needed at least one full term as Leader to show us what he could really deliver. Taking on the mantle a year out from elections after the bullshit meandering of the Shearer/Robertson team was always going to be a hiding to nothing.

                • Olwyn

                  Yes, a year was nowhere near long enough to turn things around. But consider the counterfactual: if he hadn’t taken on that hiding to nothing, where would Labour be now? Probably no more in government than they are at present, no less divided than they were in the aftermath of the actual election, and blathering away in corporate-speak about how to market themselves in 2017.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    no less divided than they were in the aftermath of the actual election, and blathering away in corporate-speak about how to market themselves in 2017.

                    Check out Mike Smith’s post on how Labour could learn from Victoria Labor’s victory in Oz. Apparently we need to learn from that and give the Labour Party election campaign organisation a “rev up.”

                    • Olwyn

                      Yes, I did read that with great interest. I was excited to see Victoria throw out the Tories after just one term, and have no doubt that we can learn a thing or two from them on the organisational front.

    • greywarshark 6.2

      Hanging over their heads? Daggers or the swords of Damocles?

    • newsense 6.3

      And the Mad Butcher was a terrible Labour leader, such an arrogant oaf and all his supporters, a disaster and that is why…

      hope we can see better quality from Labour and those showing public support for it

  7. Skinny 7

    I feel Little’s good start nullifies much of the head scratching of a review. Clearing out some of the beltway lot that Robertson gathered will go a long way. As will a hand full of killer policies that punters like will equally add some polish.

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    The caucus putting their own power games before the needs/ aspirations of the Party and fellow NZer’s is an absolute disgrace. So many of this caucus need to go and its not about their age or how long they have been there either for me, its about their inability to put their own needs/desire for position above the needs of the people they are meant to represent.

    The total disregard of the members selection of Leader and then the continuous leaking to the media and use of social media to undermine is not forgivable. I say that because I believe given the same/similar situation they will act in their own self interest no matter what the issue. Not a good trait for those in a privileged position.

    I wish Andrew Little well but I certainly don’t envy him for the job he has ahead. Interesting that he is keeping Matt in as Chief of staff.

    • It is a relief that the Review Group acknowledged that this disgraceful period of the Labour Party’s history did actually occur. It is now a permanent record that the ABC arseholes worked to loose an election so that they could replace a leader that was selected by 75% of the membership and affiliates.

      We need to move on but also be on guard to make certain that the selection meetings are presented with serious alternative candidates to those nihilists and careerists.

      • phillip ure 8.1.1

        @ drees..

        “..make certain that the selection meetings are presented with serious alternative candidates to those nihilists and careerists.,’

        ..+ 1..

    • aaron 8.2

      It must be an absolute kick in the guts to the party members who slogged their guts out during the campaign to know that people in caucus deliberately undermined all their work.

      And, if I was a member of the ABCs I’d be feeling very nervous if I had to go anywhere those members at the moment!

      I’m not a Labour member, or even voter but those particular MPs are absolutely disgusting people (putting their ambitions ahead of the needs of people who are genuinely suffering) and even if Little becomes a dominant figure like Clarke did I’d still be worried about the fact that they’re still in the party. They need to go.

      • tracey 8.2.1

        Apparently the ABC’s never existed according to at least one person who posts here…


        It aint just a river in Egypt

      • lprent 8.2.2

        There are basic philosophical differences between parts of any caucus of intelligent people (unless of course you are Dunne, Flavell, or Seymour). Just as they are here (BTW: I’m a social wet and a economically very dry – there are few vices I wouldn’t liberalise between adults provided I could tax them all).

        I do expect that the compromises get made well before election campaigns. In this case think that there simply wasn’t time. Shearer wasn’t heading anywhere useful through basic inexperience. Cunliffe didn’t have time to settle into the role.

        • aaron

          That explains the policy coming out in a muddled way but not the lack of unity during an election.

          And I know I used strong language to describe the ABC crew but the reality is that people are suffering out there and this election was a chance do something about it. I know being in caucus means your energy gets absorbed by the policy issues and the rankings etc etc but as far as I can tell some of these people must have forgotten why they got into politics.

          I also think some of this is about loyalty to the establishment. There’s a whole lot of unwritten rules about what makes a person ‘acceptable’ and my main belief that Cunliffe was going to challenge the status quo was that many of his colleagues clearly found him unacceptable. Likewise it’s obvious Hone Harawira is so ‘unacceptable’ that he has been pretty much dehumanised. Andrew Little on the other hand is probably trying to give some indications that he won’t challenge the establishment too much just so long as he gets to do something real with the jobs issue. Maybe that’s the best we can hope for. Maybe having Cunliffe in there frightened the establishment so much that they’re prepared to accept Little as the best option, especially with Key approaching his use-by-date.

          Of course all this would change with a decent social movement, but we don’t seem to be there yet.

  9. Dorothy 9

    I definitely agree with Failure to get behind David Cunliffe SAD.

  10. Rosie 10

    Housework question for Labour Party members.

    Do you receive regular email updates from the party, ie. progress reports on how the review is going etc?

    I joined in Septmeber, my email address changed a week after and since then, despite many efforts to advise admin of this and them confirming they have my new email address, nothing turns up in my inbox. I didn’t even receive anything about Andrew Little being appointed leader, and I’m guessing everyone else would have.

    Any Labour Party news I need to know about I find on The Standard – such as this post covering the first part of the review findings. (Although, would this info be withheld from members until the review is completed in February?)

    Any ideas on how I can address the lack of info coming from the Party?

    • Rosie 10.1


    • Anne 10.2

      I would write a letter to the General Secretary, Tim Barnett. The address will be available on the Labour web site. I have found that a letter through the post is sometimes more successful in eliciting a response than an email which can easily be lost in the maelstrom of emails.

      • Rosie 10.2.1

        Thank you Anne. I was wondering if I should take it up at a more formal level, but was reluctant too, because I didn’t want to go over the heads of the admin folks and I didn’t want to bother anyone higher up with simple admin stuff. But maybe I’ll have to.

        Cheers 🙂

  11. NOT-TarnBabe69 11

    This article and post didn’t recognise the underlying reason for not getting behind Cunliffe. That he was fundamentally unlikeable both inside and outside of caucus.

    [r0b: Please choose a different name to comment under]

    • ron 11.1

      Do enlighten us with what you think the reason was. I have heard this comment over and over from Robertson supporters in the past but they either would not or could not give one single reason. In my book if a person wants to make those sort of statements they either front up with the reason why caucus did not support their leader or refrain from spreading what without proof is simply stupid lies.

      • RedLogix 11.1.1

        The reason is pretty simple – it’s the ingrained and very fat streak of anti-intellectualism that runs right through the underbelly of NZ social life. Every time Cunliffe opened his mouth he betrayed the fact of his education and intelligence, and this grated on the nerves of many people.

        Of course they will never, ever openly say this. Which is why you do not get any actual reasons or examples that make any sense.

    • RedLogix 11.2

      Yet it is a matter of plain record a lot of the membership and a considerable portion of the caucus DID like and DID vote for him. And I know I still fundamentally like and respect him.

      So that fucks your assertion right there.

    • tracey 11.3

      Have you read the full report cos I havent and it hasnt been made publicly available yet?

    • Anne 11.4

      …he was fundamentally unlikeable both inside and outside of caucus.

      BS! He was well liked by the majority of members – most of whom didn’t have hidden personal agendas. Trying to resurrect the bolshie beltway tarnish?

    • Northsider 11.5

      75% of the membership and affiliates voted for Cunliffe. He was and still is liked by a lot of people.
      Those people are still members.
      They now have Little as their Leader.
      Robertson will be dumped by Little if he ever shows a whif of his previous destructive behaviour.
      Little made an example of Cosgrove to remind ABCers what fate is waiting for them.

      The membership should be gearing up to run young candidates against the dead wood.

    • ankerawshark 11.6

      NTB 69 is that you Clayton?

    • newsense 11.7

      someone with a trolling offensive handle here to lecture on likeability?

  12. batweka 12

    “A lot of it was pretty good policy. But it is always a bit scary the policy and/or speech hasn’t made it to the website until hours afterwards (I usually prefer using public sources). Or when you ask for a transcript of a speech and people start worrying which revision actually made it to the podium.”

    Ok, I think I finally understand now what you mean when you say that people didn’t vote for Labour because they didn’t perceive them as being capable of running a govt. What you’ve just described is for me so basic a thing to have sorted that it does actually make me think they shouldn’t have control of the country or anything else. This is probably more significant for me than the caucus problems, primarily because I’ve seen the damage done by parts of govt departments that can’t even manage basic systems like this. Extrapolate that out to the complexities of running a country, I find that scary too.

    • lprent 12.1

      Opposition parties aren’t as well funded as those on the treasury benches (unless they are National or Act of course). I expect some of that. What I don’t expect is to still be seeing it over a period of years and especially not heading into an election.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        That sort of poor coordination has absolutely nothing to do with funding and everything to do with poor use of available technology many of which happens to be free. As an example every single office suite has had collaboration tools built in to it for better than ten years and use of such tools would ensure that everyone had the same document available to them at the right time.

    • McFlock 12.2

      I tend to agree.

      I’d figured that maybe the (very good) policies were being released according to a schedule, but weren’t getting traction simply because of outside factors such as the focus on kdc and dunnokeyo. I mean, housing for example dovetailed nicely with the greens, so each party had slight differences but worked together. I guess that was largely fool’s luck.

      Seems to me that the policies should be nailed down with at least a tentative release plan (preferably roughly coordinated with the likely coalition partners) by the beginning of the election year.

      It’s a bit like one role I had, where we had a scheduled high-volume reporting deadline. The biggest headache was when proofreaders two weeks before publication would be trying to rewrite subtly-nuanced sentences and phrases, when all we really needed was typos picked up, captions matching illustrations, and whether shit on page 300 suddenly took a formatting nosedive. Rewrites needed to be done much earlier, unless they were absolute clangers. Proofers needed to take off their writing hats and simply let the subtle stuff go. Hell, with Labour policy no matter what gets written, some will call it commun1st and other will expose the “neoliberal” undertones, so they might as well just fucking nail the policy and focus on campaigning. Unless there’s a massive clanger (especially in the context of the campaign) then policy shouldn’t need a rewrite just before the speech.

  13. I am pissed off that this review is supposed to be taken seriously here.
    We have known this stuff for months if not years. Cunliffe was the butt of nasty bitchy jokes in the Labour backroom as early as 2007 to my knowledge.
    Unless the review names names so that the ABC can be held accountable to the members and affiliates, the review is useless, precisely what some of us said it would be when it was launched.
    There is only one explanation for Labour’s loss and that is the fact that Cunliffe was not allowed to lead effectively with so many knives in his back.
    He was forced to do a deal with Parker over retirement age.
    He was forced to ignore MMP rebuffing the Greens and then attacking Mana-Internet.
    He had to try to sell the CGT with a load of economic gobbledegook that took the aim off the rich speculators. So much so that he lost focus when baited by Key over trusts.
    Even so he equalled Key in the debates and managed the media well.
    He proved his worth by taking his share of the responsibility for the election loss while declaring a determination to keep fighting. The MSM condemned him for this.
    Robertson and Parker dodged their responsibility for the election loss.
    When Robertson called on Cunliffe to resign and for caucus to elect him leader, he said he could have won the election, and that Cunliffe lost it because he was ‘sorry’ to be a man.
    Here was a gay guy dog whistleing macho men to become leader!
    Cunliffe’s legacy is that he forced Robertson to go to the primary opening up the candidacy of Little and Mahuta which combined to knock Robertson out.
    Let’s hope that Little has the sense to redefine the working class as all those who are exploited for their labour by the bourgie parasites and build a majority behind Labour next time.
    In the process Labour might find out that to fight for the working class to survive today it needs to fight for a socialist revolution.

    • Chooky 13.1

      +100 dave brown…and this report does not tell us anything we did not already know months out from the Election…once more Labour voters were let down and many didnt vote… the undermining of Mana/Int was disgraceful!…the inability to work with other parties on the Left was contemptible and pathetic!

    • Wonderpup 13.2

      Man, I’d rather read that than Bomber’s milquetoast whining.

    • Jenny Kirk 13.3

      Yes – I’d go along with all you’ve said dave brown.
      I’m just hoping that those licking their wounds and still wanting to be top dog will finally see the sense in them getting a job outside of Parliament before the next election. And taking their neo-liberal mates with them. Is this too much to hope for ?

    • Ad 13.4

      All of that is fair enough, but David Cunliffe knew abundantly what he was getting himself in for.

      IMO the key factors in Cuniffe’s demise (another way of looking at the electoral loss) are:

      – He ranked MPs into portfolios based on merit, not according to favour.
      Great Obama, crap politics. This move gave caucus the signal that there would be no attempt to break up the factions that had sought to stop him rising to power. Perhaps the intent was the opposite, but caucus viewed it as license to continue as usual.

      – He did not punish leaks.
      There was no outing, no naming, no punishment, no consequence for such undermining. The person charged with enforcing discipline – the Senior Whip – was a part of this problem.

      – He waited months to get underway.
      This enabled both his enemies and caucus to frame the narrative for him. He also hired poorly, so badly that his office became a story in itself rather than being the machine that drove narrative framing. No narrative, no ensuing luck, no momentum.

      – He forgot Auckland, his base
      Poor diary management showed up in his event choices time and again. This meant those who got him there – his Auckland followers – were unable to support him. As a consequence his inward advice became far too tight in the core, and far too loose at the periphery.

      …and that was just the initial months. After that there’s policy formation, fundraising, policy incoherence and other stuff LPrent has already covered elsewhere.

      There’s a whole book on the role of Cunliffe and how this election was lost. It would certainly be an entertaining film – if you were into tragedies and disaster movies.

    • Murray Rawshark 13.5

      The review people could have picked all those problems from posts here. The caucus really need to have a good look at themselves, and they need to rethink their attachment to spying on us. I won’t wait standing up.

  14. A million times over Dave Brown.!

  15. Roflcopter 15

    The review doesn’t seem to look at the negative effect of the often used phrase by the left pollies, of “this is a game-changer”.

    Everything turns to shit shortly after it’s uttered.

  16. ankerawshark 16

    And on another related note I saw in Parliament today very clear signs that DC was being ostricized by his colleagues. He was there for about 45 minutes and I saw no one exchange any conversation with him whatsoever.

    If my reading of the situation is correct this looks like bullying to me (ostracizing a colleague). Its absolutely horrible being on the end of this silent/ignore treatment (I had this experience briefly at an old job, where colleagues had bunked of while attending a conference and I said something to one of them). When I next went into work, virtually all the staff, bar one or two ignored me.

    I am thinking of writing to Andrew Little about this. It is a bad look for Labour and a former Trade Union leader should not tolerate it in his work environment. Otherwise imo the Labour Party caucus is an absolute farce.
    I would appreciate any feedback as to whether I should go ahead on this.

    • Anne 16.1

      If what you are saying is correct ankerawshark and I have no reason to think you are wrong then:

      That is shocking! It suggests that some of them are sulking like 5 year old kids because the review panel has fingered them for not properly supporting Cunliffe in the lead up to the election. And they’re blaming him rather than themselves.

      email address:

      If you label your message “Personal and Confidential” then I think that will ensure Andrew Little will get to see it. Email him pronto. There’s so little time. Parliament rises tomorrow and won’t be back in business until February.

    • Bill 16.2

      Maybe he (Cunliffe) was in the huff and not speaking to his colleagues over that 45 minutes?

      • Anne 16.2.1

        If it was Cunliffe who was in the huff, then I think there would have been a reason for it. I think caucus meets on Tuesday so the interim report would have been discussed. Sounds like some sour words were spoke….

        • Bill

          Or he just got out the wrong side of the bed. 😉

        • McFlock


          so if they’re in a huff with him, it’s “sulking like 5 year old kids”
          If he’s in a huff with them, “there would have been a reason for it”.

          Maybe the entire caucus was just mulling over stuff individually (and I daresay the review would have given each of them food for thought on their own contributions), or it was a fairly dull day in the house all around.

          Shoot, I’ve barely said a word to my neighbouring colleague all day, and vice versa. Just that sort of day.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            a female watched the proceedings on TV, and I’d tend to go with their emotional read over a male who hadn’t.

            • McFlock

              I was going to ask about the relevance of your reply to the comment I actually wrote, but kept getting distracted by your apparent belief in some sort of a vaginadar.

              • batweka

                Wrong body part. Try the endocrine system.

              • ankerawshark

                Don’t appreciate your comment about “some sort of a vaginadar”” McFlook………….

                I assume you mean vagina radar????? ffs!

                I have eyes and a brain and I work in a field that involves reading body language and picking up emotional cues. I do this professionally.

                I was in the house, I am a keen observer (not with my vagina by the way).
                I am very clear about what I saw.

                • McFlock

                  That comment was replying to why CR felt gender was even a goddamn issue.

                  Your initial comment wasn’t as sure as you seem to be now, but fair enough. Your initial comment seemed to draw the conclusion of bullying based on a lack of small talk in a period of less than an hour. Fair enough.

                  I wasn’t the one who suggested the lack of small talk was down to cunliffe, rather than his colleagues.

                  I don’t know either way, and I don’t particularly care. What I did do was point out a specific double standard that was being applied to explain that lack of small talk, then throw in a couple of other reasons why there might have been a lack of small talk, and use my own experience today as an example.

                  CR was the one who decided that my and your respective genders had a damned thing to do with it.

                  • ankerawshark

                    o.k. thanks for replying McFlook.

                    Not small talk. Any talk at all. Or any acknowledgement. When the two colleagues on either side of DC talked to each other they talk through him, as if he wasn’t there.

                    If I sounded uncertain when I first posted it, it was because I was uncertain what I should do about it. Not uncertain of what I saw.

                    I have been in a position many years ago where colleagues ignored me. It was truly horrible. And unfair. We had all be at a (tax payer funded) conference and they had bunked off. And I called one of them on it. And I was ostracized………………….It is a lot worse than it might sound.

                    It backs up the existence of the ABC’s which of course was bullying. In any other workplace this would be strong grounds for a PG.

                    • McFlock

                      It could be an ostracism campaign, but coming after a post-review caucus meeting it might well be overflow from that.

                      If you’re in a position to closely watch parliament regularly, it might be interesting to see if it’s a pattern.

            • ankerawshark

              Thanks CR ……………………………I was actually in the house. Which was better and my eyes were glued on that caucus, esp DC.

              I will get back in the NY and see how its looking…………………..and report back.

              • ankerawshark

                McFlock. Yes I can and will watch. Have concluded it is too soon to email Mr L about it. I guess context is everything and it may have been in response to the release of the review or parts of it.

  17. Jenny Kirk 17

    If that’s what you thought you saw, ankerawshark – go for it !

    • Atiawa 17.1

      Don’t you think Andrew Little has more important matters to concern himself with than someone thinking Cunliffe was snubbed by colleagues.
      Time to get over David Cunliffe, David Shearer, Grant Robertson and any other Labour MP who you have supported previously for higher honours and get in behind the new leader. He will require a united and fully supportive caucus and membership.
      I am sure we all have a story to tell about them all, I know I have, but it will serve no useful purpose and will direct our energies into area;s of the past that can’t be changed.
      Move on comrades!

      • batweka 17.1.1

        I tend to agree. Let Little get on with it and see how he manages caucus. I doubt there are any overnight fixes here. If you see a pattern developing of behaviour to or from DC, that might be something worth giving feedback on.

  18. ankerawshark 18

    Thanks everyone for your feedback on this. I am in a dilemma for the very reasons Atiawa speaks of at 17.1. Having said this Atiawa, the most important thing to happen for Labour is the caucus to be united. So this isn’t a trifling issue for either the Labour Party or in terms of work place bullying. So its not about moving on if its a current issue. Which it appeared to me it was.

    I am absolutely clear about what I saw. I observed really carefully. I saw other caucus members interacting and being friendly towards each other. Indeed at one stage the two colleagues sitting on either side of DC talked passed him.

    I will mull this over and decide what to do. But once again appreciate different view points on this.

  19. ankerawshark 19

    Batweka @ 18.1 Interesting question. I trust him a lot more than anyone associated with the ABC’s……………………….

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