Good luck, David

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, December 13th, 2011 - 31 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david shearer, labour - Tags:

To Cunliffe and Shearer, good luck. To the 34 people who get to choose the next Labour leader, remember your task is to choose the person who can represent a million plus centre and left voters. The man to take the centre-left to victory in 2014. Don’t you dare let petty personal issues cloud your judgement.

I’m not going to white-ant either potential leader before they even get started. But I’ll say this.

I hope no MPs are really in an ‘anyone but Cunliffe’ mindset. That’s childish bullshit. The people you have the privilege to represent deserve better. Choose the best leader for us, not your best mate.

Whoever wins must make symbolical and real breaks from the past. Real change: leaving in charge the same set of blunderers who directed the worst result in over 80 years and expecting a different result is madness. Symbolic change: the entitled attitude that the public associates with Labour has to go. No more abuse of perks and rules. No more filibustering over minor issues (and then losing after all your effort anyway). No more whinging press releases. No more minor MPs being allowed to create shitstorms and lead with their chin in the media.

A leader who is elected to win the next election and makes the leadership his own by reforming the party’s image will have my support.

And one final note. Despite the fevered desires of Tracy Watkins and the Right, this leadership contest hasn’t descended into a bloodletting exercise. Never has it gone negative. Instead, it has inspired Labour’s supporters and given both men a lot of positive public coverage. That’s a tribute to both potential leaders for putting the interests of the party ahead of their leadership bids. And a good reason for this to be a model for future leadership changes.

31 comments on “Good luck, David”

  1. carol 1

    Thank you Zetetic – I totally agree. Give us a good leader … and the support will be behind you 100 percent!

  2. lprent 2

    There was a bit of scratching amongst the various supporters here. But it never got too far out of hand – at least not in my view. Of course my standard was set in the late 80’s and early 90’s bloodletting.

    It is going to be interesting to see the outcome of this. In a lot of ways I suspect that it has a lot less importance to labour than the review Moira Coatsworth is initiating. But I suspect the two things are interrelated.

    At present I find myself questioning why I bother exerting effort inside Labour at all. Efforts outside it like this one are a lot more effective. Perhaps that is a question that the new leaders would address?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Efforts outside it like this one are a lot more effective.

      On a return on investment for progressive politics in NZ and for the Left in general, it’s not hard to reach the same conclusion.

  3. I agree that the debate has been conducted with dignity and I also think that the debate on the Standard has been healthy and welcome.  Instead of this being a beauty parade the online discussion and the leaders debates have brought out and developed many interesting and important themes.
    There has been some skullduggery in the background which I am sure David S has not approved of or even is aware of.  But this person’s actions are beneath contempt and for the party to heal he will need to be reigned in.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      I know timeframes were short, but I wish David Shearer had also put a post up on The Standard.

    • Anne 3.2

      this person’s actions are beneath contempt and for the party to heal he will need to be reigned in..

      I think it’s going to need more than a reigning in mickey savage. I think the MP in question needs to be outed for his underhand behaviour. Especially since it is now clear that it’s been going on for a long time. It is bitterly disappointing. I feel betrayed.

  4. LynW 4

    A challenging yet conciliatory post. Might I add, as far as looking at the model for future leadership changes, the need for member voting rights, as proposed by DC at the Auckland meeting? This would certainly empower members far more. May the best David win!

  5. King Kong 5

    [Deleted. Blatant trolling…. RL]

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    KK National are so far up shit creek you have become immune to that nasty smell. Shitty policy delivers shitty results. National is bereft of ideas and policy it may look flash but sooner or latter your poor results become clear and smile and wave becomes glum and wave good bye.
    One cabinet minister has lost her seat, who’s next?

    [Flame war ends here…RL]

  7. tsmithfield 7

    I have the inside word on Shearer’s first edict to all lefties:

    “er…um…ah..we..shouldn’t…um..ah…make fun of…um..K-Keys speech…ah..again.” 🙂

    • dazed & confused 7.1

      I know you’re talking in jest, but were the new leader to act along those lines, he’d be doing the best thing Labour could do. Key and how he speaks, the way he is perceived by his detractors and their constant commentary about him needs to stop. The leader of Labour’s main opposition should be irrelevant to a Labour going forward .

      Labour’s rebuilding needs to move away from personal attacks, the public hate it – it appears peevish, shows weakness and is translated as obsession with the other brand.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        I actually agree with you that personalised attacks on Key need to be reduced by about 50%, while focus on Labour’s on policy alternatives needs to be doubled.

        • s y d

          sigh….’the other brand’…sums it all up really….you may as well be talking about clothes driers, mobile phones, laundry detergent…I guess when the differences between what these two parties espouse is so small (and getting smaller and smaller smaller) then branding and smiling and who has the best face, best name, best back story is all that matters. Meanwhile back in New Zealand….

          • Bunji

            I can’t agree that the differences between the 2 parties is small or getting smaller.

            The policies promoted for the 2011 election were vastly different. National still obsessed with neo-liberalism, austerity and trickle-down; Labour wanting to stop Asset Sales to the rich, and make a fairer tax system where people pay their share with CGT and a $5000 tax-free income bracket. Labour with a big focus on the future with sensible savings and super policies, and educate and look after our young; National wanting to keep on with the inter-generational transfer and ensure a climate changed for future geneartions with continued subsidies for polluters instead of a real ETS.

            (Unless the 2 parties you refer to are Lab & Green – then yes, the policy difference is small and getting smaller…)

            • s y d

              bunji, I’m really talking about a bigger time frame than this latest election…I see this change to shearer as part of a continuing shuffle off to the right (always couched in terms of becoming more centrist, of course)….don’t get me wrong, labour is far and away better than john keys party, but it sort of feels like labour are fluffing the pillow while we quietly slip away…

    • felix 7.2

      lolz tsmithfield, that’s so not a valid parallel to draw.

      Shearer seems to have a bit of a confidence issue with public speaking so he stutters a bit, but he speaks in eloquent well formed concise sentences.

      Key on the other hand is brimming with confidence and has no trouble opening his mouth, but seems to have no idea what the words he uses mean, or how they go together. I also don’t believe he has either the intelligence, the basic level of education, or self-awareness to know this.

      If you genuinely don’t understand the difference I’ve outlined then I suggest that the previous sentence also applies to you.

    • drongo 7.3

      No it won’t – it’ll be an announcement that Labour’s doing a coalition deal with National, and he’ll say it really clearly.

  8. Lew 8

    Good comment, Z.


  9. Ianupnorth 9

    On the radio this morning they were practically saying Shearer had won.

  10. And the winner is ….

    Drum Roll



  11. Trowlie 11

    The Labour party should have flown Jeff Probst down and held a Survivor tribal council style vote on live tv.

    Each MP could have written their vote down and then made a wee comment to the camera.

    The loser could have also had their torch snuffed out at the end.

  12. And the winner is …
    Shearer.  I must admit a personal feeling of being gutted.  I hope the reunification and rejuvenation process goes well.
    No one should put a Green party membership form in front of me for a while though …

  13. sthnjeff 13

    Shearer and Robertson… let the bloodbatch commence!

  14. LynW 14

    Surprise surprise! And the point of the road show was?

    • The Voice of Reason 14.1

      Hmmmm, the point of the roadshow? To lift Labour’s profile, to road test the leadership, to energise the caucus and the activist base and to increase membership. Excellent plan, well executed, and a boost to the party’s fortunes when, by rights, it should be down in the dumps.
      Big ups to Moira and Chris! You’ve already started us down the road to victory in 2014 (or hopefully earlier).

  15. LynW 15

    All valid points TVOR. It’s just that feeling of ‘fait accompli’ that irks. However, I guess it’s on with the show!

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