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I’m backing Grant

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, October 26th, 2014 - 175 comments
Categories: grant robertson, labour - Tags:

We have 4 great Leftie contenders, who all want to take Aotearoa where we want it to go.  Whomever wins, I’ll back them to the hilt.  But I have a vote and a voice, and I’m backing Grant Robertson – here’s why.

The main reasons I’m backing Grant are his affability and his instincts.

To get elected it’s important people like you. And Grant has a great way with people. And goes well on TV.  He presents a good argument, leads well, and leaves you liking him for it.  These are important skills to get us into power, and to keep us there.

His instincts are great because he is Labour through and through.  In his first term he was promoted to the front bench and was made Health spokesperson in a reshuffle. He got the role in the afternoon, and was on Checkpoint with ‘scary’ Mary Wilson at drive-time.  He hadn’t a chance to learn the intricate details of Labour’s take on the Health portfolio, so he had to rely on his instincts.  Prevention is better than cure; fund primary care, to save on secondary and tertiary; get out into the community and keep people healthy.  And turns out, that was Labour policy – National may believe in putting off costs and being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, but Grant’s Labour, and his instincts are Labour.

And those instincts mean he knows when to keep his mouth shut, and what sound-bite to give that won’t get spun badly.  These are also essential with our gotcha media.

He has the front bench experience to go with those instincts, which I think is very valuable – being Leader will be a new experience for any of them, without any training period.

There are lots of other people endorsing Grant – Michael Cullen, Darien Fenton, living wage campaigners, unionists, and so on.  I find myself agreeing with their views.

David Parker will be my number 2.  As a geek I tend to see ‘policy wonk’ as a compliment, not the insult I suspect the media mean by it.  And I’ve had some great discussions with him a while back, and he’s definitely the sort of person I’d like to see running the country – I just have that bit more faith in Grant to get us into power in the first place.

175 comments on “I’m backing Grant ”

  1. DoublePlus Good 1

    It’s a shame that you don’t want to vote for someone on the basis of their principles and policies. Instead you want someone with instinct and who is affable.
    New Zealand needs substance, not style.

    • les 1.1

      what NZ wants supercedes what NZ needs.

      • Ben Clark 1.1.1

        I think all 4 have substance, but I was setting out my reasons for preferring Grant.

        Substance is necessary, but not sufficient. Otherwise we would never have lost power to Key…

        • Colonial Rawshark

          That’s an interesting re-write of history, Ben.

          The third term of Helen Clark’s government went totally adrift. Instead of tackling fundamental economic, work place and financial reform to bring back the support of the 1M plus workers who were on less than $40K pa, Cullen and Clark um’d and err’d over who even remembers now?

          All the while they oversaw a booming property market and increasing mortgage debt over the entire country. And the real estate owning middle classes still voted them out.

    • mike 1.2

      As Ben has amply pointed out, Grant Robertson has both. Although it might feel ‘holier than thou’ to quote the old ‘style over substance’ saw – it has not been a lack of substance that has hobbled our recent leaders, but a perceived lack of style.
      Honestly, if we don’t stop attacking each other in this petty way we’re going to have these crooks running the place for ever.

      • DoublePlus Good 1.2.1

        I think it’s more that the Labour leaders keep getting knifed in the back by people, and undermined by internal leaks, etc. I wonder who did all that stuff – because they are assuredly still in caucus unless it was Maryan Street all along with the dagger in the library.

      • lurgee 1.2.2

        Honestly, if we don’t stop attacking each other in this petty way we’re going to have these crooks running the place for ever.

        Agreed. I massively don’t care which candidate wins. I didn’t care last time, as long as it wasn’t Shane Jones. Anyone of them could do the job, as long as they’re allowed to get on with it, a privilege denied the last three and a half leaders.

    • lurgee 1.3

      I’d have thought ‘instincts’ came under the principles / substance heading. If your instinctive reaction to a homeless beggar is to kick him in the head, you’re never really going to be a socialist, no matter how much you ape the stylings of socialism.

    • Matthew Hooton 1.4

      Labour needs someone with a personable style to get into power if it wants to do anything substantial.

  2. Dont worry. Be happy 2

    Well here is a question Ben (of Grant backing fame):

    Was Grant Robertson influential in the campaign known as Anyone But Cunliffe?

    Simple yes or no if you don’t mind.

    • Ben Clark 2.1

      The ABCs are much over-hyped, as is the supposed factionalism of the Labour caucus, which is much looser than some suggest.

      I have no internal knowledge of whether he was gunning for Cunliffe, like Goff & Shearer (who both felt he had undermined them in turn), but the whole caucus bar Cosgrove (with his Labour-less signs again) gave every effort to the party vote to thus make Cunliffe PM.

      We could definitely do with less leaking and back-stabbing in caucus. Hopefully after a 3rd defeat they’re now ready to realise that they won’t get power until it stops.

      • Olwyn 2.1.1

        Those of us in the cheap seats do not see the causes of caucus dissension first hand, only the effects. And those effects do not reflect well on the caucus, whatever their sources.

        For one, thing the leaking clearly fed into the frenzied media attacks on David Cunliffe, and the support given to him by caucus was nowhere near commensurate to those attacks. Moreover, despite Cunliffe’s having being elected leader, authority seemed to reside elsewhere – for example his being dragged in to explain himself when the so-called Liu scandal broke, rather than everyone as a body leaping to his defense. And while his sentences continued to get get parsed for questionable content, people like Shearer, Davis and Nash have been free to shoot their mouths off without consequence. In fact I can’t help but wonder if the effective authority in the Labour Party caucus now resides with the press gallery and the likes of Matthew Hooton. And I will not even broach upon the awful displays of ducking-for-cover, meanness and ambition in the immediate aftermath of the election.

        I am a Labour Party member. I will vote in the coming election, after I have seen the contenders’ presentations. But whatever the status or number of ABC’s, the things I have listed have not filled me with confidence.

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata

          +1 Olwyn. You have expressed my thoughts far better than I could have done myself.

        • ankerawshark

          100+ Olwyn

        • phillip ure

          @ olwyn..

          ..+ 1..

        • Anne

          Olwyn, thank you so much for these thoughts. You have expressed exactly what I have felt for a long time. My confidence in the present caucus is only a slight improvement on the previous caucus (and that may only be temporary) for precisely the reasons you have given.

          All I can add is:

          Labour will never win another election until it regains its commitment to the ordinary working men and women of this country (be they in work or unemployed) including the missing, disenfranchised million.

          To date, only two of the candidates have demonstrated they truly understand the
          impact the current government is having on these people including the mental and physical anguish they are suffering through no fault of their own.

          I recommend Puddleglum @ 11.2 who has superbly described the state of affairs from his own personal experiences.

          • marie

            +100 Olwyn and Anne

            Somehow the caucus has to get the message that we are sick and tired of this behaviour. How about acting for the people they are supposed to care about for a change. You know, the poor, the hungry, the minimum wage workers, the families living in cars and garages……..do they even give a stuff about them or are they too busy thinking about their own ambitions. I am not voting for Grant because I believe he has done his best to undermine previous leaders. I won’t be campaigning for David Shearer in 2017 because of his destructive recent media interviews. MPs have to learn that they have to be loyal to the party if they want the party members to work loyally for them.

        • leftie

          @ Olwyn

        • miravox

          Well said Olwyn

        • SDCLFC

          Cunliffe’s post election behavior was a tragedy. People need to get over believing that he is the messiah.
          Going into the last leadership contest the concern about Cunliffe was that despite his ability and intellect his lack of judgment could make things worse. Thinking that things couldn’t get any worse I wanted him to have a go.
          Well it sure as hell did get worse and that election night speech, the sending out a letter the night of the election loss, the Campbell Live interview, the trying to force a no confidence vote and then resigning, all proved just how poor his judgment can be.
          These were all the actions of a man who should not be leading a political party let lone a country.

          • Tracey

            who thinks he is a messiah? from what i can see peope are suggesting he deserved the overt and covert support of his caucus once elected leader. the leaks suggest that didnt happen. thats not the same as thinking he is baby cheeses.

            does your definition of a leader include undermining the current leader and leaking stuff to the media to destabilise them?

            • SDCLFC

              Hyperbole from me yes, but that’s how I read a lot of the support for Cunliffe.
              Claims about a lack of support are unsubstantiated beyond someone told me etc, at least in a forum like this, and are countered by equally unsubstantiated claims that Cunliffe did the same to the previous two leaders. A zero sum game.

              • ankerawshark


                O.k. When the the John Key crticized Cunliffe for trying to hide that he lived in a mansion after Cunliffe was challenging him on denying the Salv Army report on child poverty..

                I seem to remember GR chipped in about his modest house.

                After the trust for Cunliffe election campaign got blown up and the media launched a relentless attack on Cunliffe………

                I seem to remember GR saying ” I only received $500.00 of donations.

                After the Dong Liu letter, David Parker told the media he thought DC has made a mistake (or words to this effect) when interviewed about it.

                This is all evidence of DC being undermined………and we haven’t even got to after the election with Parker’s “no confidence” statment, Shearer “he should leave the party” and other blathering and GR “I could have won the election” see my comment with link below.

                The NM talking to Claire Trevitt about DC not having the support behind him. I trust her more than I trust GR

                • SDCLFC

                  I think you’re making a lot more of those than what they actually are while ignoring the fact that they all started with mistakes from Cunliffe. Why is Grant not allowed to describe his own situ re donations and where he lives. It’s not unreasonable to expect the media would ask him for comment given they ran-off against each other and that a no comment could’ve been seen as not wanting to reveal the truth.

                  As for Parker saying he didn’t have confidence, Cunliffe settled that matter when he tried to shut him down in front of the media. I would have thought little of Parker had he continued to support Cunliffe after that.

                  Shearer’s statement’s re Cunliffe, lend wait to the evidence that Shearer did not have the support of Cunliffe while he was leader. Shearer would not have been so vociferous if it were not true, and given the level of adulation for Cunliffe and contempt for Shearer found in this forum it’s not hard to see how this would’ve come about.

                  I’m not denying Robertson’s ambition, I’m just saying that that brush tarnishes Cunliffe as well. What doesn’t tarnish Robertson is the ineptitude shown by Cunliffe on election night and after.

                  • ankerawshark

                    SD ETC,
                    RE my comment about GR making comments about where he lives and the donations he received…………..they were said in the context of Cunliffe needing the support of his team standing behind him. Those incidents demonstrate the subtle undermining of the leader.

                    DC’s mistakes. The mansion thing went like this.
                    DC challenges JK in parliament about the report into child poverty by the Sallies, which JK is denying. DC say’s “the PM needs to leave the leafy suburbs of St Stephans ave and see what’s really happening.”

                    Key attacks DC saying he is trying to hide from the voters that he lives in a manson (untrue)….. the media pick it up and Tova O’briens is reporting it as the battle of the mansions. The Sallies report into childhood poverty gets lost….
                    then at some point Mr Robertson sneaks in the comment about his own comparatively modest abode. If that isn’t subtle undermining, I don’t know what is.

                    DC did make some mistakes of course he did. He was mostly competent though and at some points stunningly so.

                  • ankerawshark


                    Re Mr Shearer’s comments. There was no benefit to be gained from those. Whatever happened under Mr Shearer’s leadership is long gone and it just came across that he was bitter and wanted revenge against DC and made the party look divided.

                    What evidence is there that DC undermined Shearer? And given I have given you quite a bit of evidence about GR undermining DC that is GR’s behaviour,not rumour and hearsay, I expect some pretty strong evidence. And actually DS telling the media that DC undermine him doesn’t count.

                    When Shearer was elected I thought he seemed like a good man etc, happy to support him. The person who really undermined DS was DS himself. He did this when he accepted a job he was not competent to perform

                    • SDCLFC

                      I draw a different conclusion to me re the Gran’ts comments and while your commentary is impressive it just points to Cunliffe being unable to manage the debate and being bested by Key.

                      I have no reason to take Shearer at anything other than his word when he said that he spent much of his time fighting off internal threats than external, especially when I consider the vitriol that comes Shearer’s way on this blog (something that you have not expressed in your comment above).
                      Perhaps Shearer did undermine himself but if so then that can’t be an accusation that should escape Cunliffe. His leadership turned out to be just like that of his first question in the house as leader – full of expectation but in reality lacking execution (and that’s being kind).

          • Olwyn

            I disagree. I suspect that his election night speech was intended to prevent an unopposed new leader being installed. There was no obvious reason for the post-election kerfuffle, declarations of “no confidence” etc, etc. The sensible thing to do would have been to calmly allow things to settle, but people did not appear to be into that.

            • SDCLFC

              I agree that things needed to calmly allow to settle but Cunliffe’s actions didn’t allow that because they were seen as a maneuver. The only thing he was meant to do was be gracious and say that we need reflect on what the electorate has told us. Instead he called for a fresh mandate so he could run a 3 year campaign. Naive to think that would not induce a reaction from within the caucus.

              • lprent

                It doesn’t matter who gets elected. They need a 3 year mandate – because campaigns are 3 years long.

                The idea of having a 3 month review followed by a 2 month leadership campaign was completely ridiculous. In elections running back to 2005, the post-election reviews have essentially been ignored. That would have meant that there would have been less than 24 months to prep for the campaign because you can guarantee that nothing would have been done before a leader was elected.

                Reviews get done, run into xmas, forgotten in the balmy summer and then we have exactly the same frigging mistakes being repeated in the following election. Inadvertently, John Key running worried about the economic mess he has put us into and calling an early election has done both Labour and the Greens a favour. 3 months before the summer break to actually figure out what to do next time.

                Just as letting caucus decide the leadership is also ridiculous. They lost that right after they elected someone who in my view was clearly incapable of the job. David Shearer clearly was not, and I won’t bother describing the incidents that led me to that opinion. But I did eventually give up defending him after he kept causing own goals inside his own party.

                I’d preferred that either Goff or Cunliffe was elected after the 2011 election defeat. Ideology be damned. You can’t implement anything unless you get the treasury benches and you can’t do that with inexperienced hands at the helm – especially ones who didn’t understand how to campaign.

                What worries me in this election is the relative lack of political experience of two of the candidates and the relative lack of a public presence of the other two. This is offset somewhat by experience outside of the political sphere in some cases. But as everyone around politics knows, experience outside of politics often doesn’t translate into useful skills in politics. I rate charm somewhere at the bottom of the pile of useful attributes.

                I still have no real idea who to vote for.

                • SDCLFC

                  I hear what your saying re reviews but does the trauma/extent of the defeat change that? I’m guessing you think not.
                  But if it holds that we needed to move forward instantly I still don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that Cunliffe’s decision making/behavior on election night would cause a reaction. Nothing needed to be done other than saying, we tried but we lost.

                  Interesting what you say re Goff.
                  I wondered how much of Key’s first term tactics of dismissing him as “Phil-in” would’ve continued to cut-through and the electorate might’ve started to turn away from the nastiness within National adopting something of a “give him a go” type position (perhaps naive of me).
                  There was a time in the election when Bill English came out and distanced himself from Whaleoil and Goff was pressing on the issue of the OIA release that I wondered what an election between these two would be like.
                  People like to slag off career politicians but I can’t help but think we would’ve had a much more ideological and policy driven election (recognising that on this forum Goff an ideology would provoke response) and therefore a much better election if these two were fronting it.
                  While seemingly pragmatic and measured (to the wider public) English can get hemmed in on ideology and we could’ve had an election based on opportunity or conservatism.

              • Anne

                I agree that things needed to calmly allow to settle but Cunliffe’s actions didn’t allow that because they were seen as a maneuver

                And that was typical of the [former] grouping nicknamed the ABC Club. They were the ones who saw “conspiracies” under every bed – not the rest of caucus and the bulk of the membership. As Olwyn has said… he needed to say it because there is no doubt whatsoever that is what the Cunliffe-haters planned to do. They were going to conduct a rapid coup and replace him with their preferred leader before the Labour Council, on behalf of the members, had a chance to do anything.

                I went through a period years ago when a vindictive woman lay false charges concerning me that were believed. From that point, the recipients (who were quite numerous in the end) judged everything I did and said based on the claims. They were wrong on every count, but it didn’t stop them making my life a misery. I have long since appreciated that Cunliffe has been the target of a similar sort of campaign.

                • SDCLFC

                  Sorry to hear about you individual situation, that sounds unsettling.
                  However re your point on Cunliffe that sounds like an argument for firing the missiles first because you believe the other lot are about to fire theirs and saying, well I was forced to do it.

                  • Anne

                    Sorry SDCLFC but I’m a long time member of the LP. I can judge the actual sources of a clandestine “campaign” when I see one. It’s all happened before, and there are always plenty of signals way in advance of the scalpel being applied…

              • ankerawshark

                SDCLFC @

                I think it could be seen as a manoeuvre, but a good one. What he was saying was he wanted a mandate to continue.

                Very reasonable.

                The caucus should of got the message that they would have their chance to put their name’s forward in an orderly fashion. Not need to go to the media like that twit (sorry I don’t usually denigrate people, but really ) Shearer,

                Or the outrageous “no confidence” from Parker.

                Or that pathetic “I could have won” from GR

                compared to those three DC handled it very well indeed.

                • SDCLFC

                  I don’t understand why Caucus should have to get the message. They are elected and have a mandate of their own and a leaders does not have the right for his mandate to be free of challenge.

                  • ankerawshark

                    Yes DC was going seeking an election to get the mandate. That means other people from Caucus can put themselves forward and they to can seek the mandate. That was what the election was/is going to achieve.

      • leftie 2.1.2

        Robertson’s unbridled aspirations to be leader at all costs is a factor in the party being consistently undermined.
        Robertson had Shearer rolled. He and Shearer working in tandem, lost no time in putting the boot in after the election to have David Cunliffe pushed out.

        It irks me no end, when those in the media and on online commentaries say that the leadership contest should be held next year after the review etc, when it was Robertson who triggered it by making a grab at the leadership in the first place.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          If Robertson doesn’t get the Leadership this time, the MP who does get it is screwed before they even step foot in the Leaders office.

        • SDCLFC

          Many believe that it was Cunliffe’s unbridled aspirations to be leader at all costs that is the factor in the party being consistently undermined.
          Have to acknowledge that parties have ways of knowing what’s going on in other parties so when National is crowing about Cunliffe wanting Goff or Shearer’s job that it’s not coming out of a vacuum .

          Cunliffe made it all but certain there would be a leadership contest via his election night speech, his request in front of the media that he wanted a vote from the caucus, and then his decision to resign so he could stand again.
          At that point Robertson announced he would stand.

          • ankerawshark

            Gr announced he was standing the day after the election. Long before DC resigned as leader.

            • SDCLFC

              I dispute that but am happy to be corrected. I would say though that if he did it was that he would stand if there was a leadership contest and that came after Cunliffe had made it clear he wanted there to be a contest (or at least for his leadership to be tested).
              I don’t see an issue and I don’t see anything that contradicts Cunliffe making the first public move in maneuvering for a leadership contest.

              • Keir

                Cunliffe announced he was triggering a new leadership contest on election night. It was perfectly legitimate for Robertson to say he’d run in that leadership race. If Cunliffe didn’t want that, he could have refrained from making any announcements about the leadership on election night.

            • lprent

              I don’t count that particularly. There is a mandatory leadership count in caucus post election. I would expect contenders after a defeat.

      • ankerawshark 2.1.3

        Hi Ben @ 2.1. I think we saw very clearly the ABC’s in action immediately after the election……………

        Grant Robertson all good to go with his leadership campaign.

        David Shearer talking to every man and his dog about Cunliffe’s leadership and how Cunliffe should leave the party.

        Parker, stabbing Cunliffe in the front……………..

        Going back to 2012, Hipkins going on t.v. denigrating Cunliffe…………..

        Mahuta in her interview with Claire Trevitt saying that DC kept going forward, but that behind him were people not supporting him.

        Stop trying to white wash this.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Grant Robertson all good to go with his leadership campaign.

          Nice to have all the websites and endorsements lined up ready to go eh. And Grant still remain a mile ahead of all the other candidates in terms of getting that campaign machine rolling.

          • Tracey

            and Grant saying nothing like the others, almost like he has a two track strategy… he being the smiling nice everyman…

        • leftie

          Spot on !!

        • SDCLFC

          Cunliffe launching his bid to be re-elected in his concession speech.
          Cunliffe writing a letter the night of the election loss and sending it out to members.
          Cunliffe initially refusing to accept responsibility.
          Cunliffe trying to belittle Parker in front of the media.
          Cunliffe trying to surpress debate and criticism by gagging MPs.
          Cunliffe saying on Campbell Live that some in his Caucus did not campaign for the Party Vote.

          • ankerawshark

            Cunliffe launching his bid to be re-elected” actually seeking a mandate.
            Cunliffe was right to try and Muzzle caucus. No good came from anyone speaking to the media.

            Parker should have shut up in front of the media. They all needed to keep their mouths closed.

            • SDCLFC

              I don’t want Caucus muzzled, I want to hear what people have to say because I want to see that they’re engaged and working towards it.
              Flip it around, if Shearer was the leader would you want to hear what Cunliffe had to say after the loss (or anyone).
              And I think that speech was so poor that someone needed to speak out.

              • ankerawshark

                No SDCLFC ……………Caucus needed to be muzzled over leadership issues.
                Otherwise it gives the Nats and the msm a huge amount of ammunition to say “Labour is a mess, they hate each others guts”.

                I didn’t need to hear what anyone else said about Shearer as leader. Like I said, I welcomed him when he came on board and felt enthused that this was an interesting person who had done good work. Then I heard him speak in person and it was like the emperors new clothes. Almost everything he did after that was a what were they (caucus) thinking voting him as leader. And then I started to ask myself what sort of person puts them self forward for a job like being the leader when they are so clearly unsuited to it?????? And then the spin about Cunliffe ramped up. And I couldn’t see it myself, that he was the arrogant one who had these big leadership ambitions. He clearly should have been in line for the job. He had been in parliament well over 10 years, he’d been a successful minister and he had a perfect cv in terms of business, and mfat background. And a great debater and clearly very bright.

                BTW I thought it was a cheap shot when you brought up Cunliffe’s first day in the house as leader, when he said Caucus rather than Chorus (or at least that is what I think you are referring too). Perhaps he made this error as he was aware already what an uphill battle he would have.

    • leftie 2.2

      @Dont worry. Be happy


  3. Martinj 3

    Great post Ben. Affability , good principles and instincts are just what the Labour Party needs to unite and win the next election. Grant has them all.

  4. A Grant-backer here as well.

    Hopefully, he gets Jacinda as his deputy, a good team around him, iron out some policies kinks and Labour will be worth voting for again.

    • fisiani 4.1

      I reckon of all the four that Grant is clearly the best person to lead Labour. He is very eloquent and has a strong base in Wellington having massively increased his majority.

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.2

      Oh yeah, go Grant and Jacinda leading the Labour Party:

      “No economic credibility, no private sector experience, career politicians who have never employed people, grown a business or achieved a single thing in the hard nosed commercial world that Kiwis work hard to get ahead in every day. In fact, there’s no quicker way to frighten away major companies and foreign investors from investing and creating NZ jobs*”

      * CT opening gambit. Authorised for use AFTER a Grant/Jacinda win.

  5. Not a PS Shark Sashimi 5

    Darien Fenton? Wow.

    Darien Fenton and Michael Cullen in the same sentence? Too much!

  6. wekarawshark 6

    It’s a bit crowded in here with the neoliberal elephant.

    • boldsirbrian 6.1

      @ wekarawshark (6)

      I’ve said previously that I am currently backing Nanaia Mahuta, and I do not expect to change. My first preferences are however to Robertson. Two favoured candidates on supposedly different “factions”. I think that both have the better chances of uniting the Party. I’m looking for a candidate who will foster consensus and an inclusive type of politics, and are not autocratic: No hint of “My way or the highway”. The candidate who is best respected, and who will instil pride in the Party, and New Zealand.

      If there is an elephant, I consider it a very baby one. If a leader cannot easily cope with that “internal” elephant, of whatever size, what hope have they of coping with the larger coalition mammoth? And then presenting that unified team against the Key-Whaleoil coalition?

      I should add that I will easily be able to support whoever wins the leadership battle. Elections magnify “differences” that in reality are not as large as they seem.

      • swordfish 6.1.1

        “My first preferences are however to Robertson…….I think both (Mahuta and Robertson) have the better chances of uniting the Party. I’m looking for a candidate who will foster consensus and an inclusive type of politics, and are not autocratic: No hint of “My way or the highway”.”

        And yet on the Q + A Leadership panel Robertson was the only one of the four contenders to suggest that some people may need to be forced out of the Labour Party if they “step outside” of the agreed broad direction/policy platform of the Party.

        • boldsirbrian

          @ swordfish (6.1.1)

          Oh dear. Not what I would have expected.
          Perhaps my first preference will go to Parker.
          A week or two to go.

        • leftie


          Sounds dictatorial of Robertson to say doesn’t it, but it is more hypocritical given that he, Shearer and the self interested faction refused point blank to accept the democratic leadership of David Cunliffe.

      • wekarawshark 6.1.2

        “If a leader cannot easily cope with that “internal” elephant, of whatever size, what hope have they of coping with the larger coalition mammoth?”

        Precisely. Labour’s big problem isn’t who to make leader.

        Let’s say Gracinda wins. Now you have a leader who is supposedly left wing. What’s going to happen when he starts leading the party towards the left? You think the more right wing people in caucus are going to support that? If they attempt to stop it, what are the more left wing parts of the membership going to do?

        What mechanisms do you think exist for Robertson to exercise if the more right wing MPs don’t support him?

        • Ben Clark

          These ‘right-wing’ MPs may not be as much as you think. Phil Goff is meant to be chief amongst them, but his policy platform in 2011 was to the left of Cunliffe’s in 2014 (cf the back-scaling of some of Darien Fenton’s Work & Wages policy). Indeed Goff’s was the most left-wing policy platform since probably Kirk.

          As Keir says below, it’s time to stop obsessing about internal ‘enemies’ and unite and fight the external one.

          (And that advice needs to go first and foremost to caucus…)

          • phillip ure

            “.. Indeed Goff’s was the most left-wing policy platform since probably Kirk…”

            ..if that gobsmacker is true..(and i don’t think it is..)

            ..it cd not be a clearer indication of just how lost labour are..

            ..and for the length of time that this has indeed been the case…

            • DoublePlus Good

              Yeah exactly. We’ve had 30 years of Labour platforms that cannot honestly be described as left-wing; don’t even bother comparing them with Kirk as they will look pale and anaemic.

              • SDCLFC

                He didn’t compare with Kirk, he said since Kirk. The difference being that it’s comparing with Rowling, Lange, Moore, Clark, and Cunliffe.

    • Keir 6.2

      What neoliberal elephant? Grant Robertson isn’t neoliberal. He’s a mainstream social democrat who believes the state has a major role to play in housing, education, energy generation etc.

      Grant’s a likeable and pleasant ambassador for social democratic values. That doesn’t mean he isn’t deeply committed to them.

      [Edited to add: and, in large part because of Grant’s work on the Policy Council, we have a social democratic Policy Platform that commits the NZLP to major changes to the current neoliberal settlement. The NZLP needs to stop obsessing over the danger of internal neoliberalism and start thinking about how we defeat external neoliberalism.]

      • wekarawshark 6.2.1

        I didn’t call Roberton neoliberal. I just didn’t see any acknowledgement in the post of the neoliberal issue, nor how Robertson would deal with it.

        Labour does have a problem in that it doesn’t have any obvious natural leader, but that alone is surmountable. Labour’s real problems currently are the behaviour in caucus (unlikely to change IMO unless made to) and the philosophical/ideological divide within the party (as evidenced by your edit). It doesn’t really matter who the leader is if those things don’t get sorted.

        • Keir

          Realistically, we have had the ideological fight. It happened under Goff and was cemented in place under Shearer. We (the left of the party) won, as much as you can ever hope for winning in a reformist social democratic party. We got KiwiBuild, we got NZPower, we got a capital gains tax. We’re going to get major child poverty initiatives, we’re going to get serious action on climate change.

          The problem facing the party isn’t the “ideological divide” in the party. It’s winning the next damn election, and it’s making sure that we don’t let the cautious conservative parts of the party who want to take as small a programme as possible to the electorate with nothing nasty like taxes in it – Andrew Little being the foremost proponent of this strategy – take control and peel back the gains we’ve made within the party. I think Grant Robertson is the person who can best take the social democratic platform and manifesto we now have and turn it into a social democratic government.

          • SDCLFC

            What was it he said about Helen Clark’s government? A great opportunity missed or something to that effect? Taken to mean that she missed the opportunity to be truly social democrat government?

      • phillip ure 6.2.2

        @ keir..

        “.. we have a social democratic Policy Platform that commits the NZLP to major changes to the current neoliberal settlement. ..”

        ..fuck..!..yr/have been keeping that well-hidden..!..eh..?

        ..when is the big ‘reveal’..?

      • ankerawshark 6.2.3

        Interesting, more than any of the three other candidates GR sends his people onto this site to punt for him.

        With the other commenters on this site you tend to get a more rounded discussion.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          In the same vein, when a knife is required Grant Robertson send his people to use it for him. He makes very sure never to get blood on his own shirt.

  7. Dorothy 7

    It is time for a good woman and I have voted for Nanaia.

  8. Geo 8

    Saying D
    Fenton is a supporter is just the end of all your arguments.Fenton has done more damage to prospective candidates than I have had hot meals.Many have the hobnail boot marks down their backs from Darien.She and Grant are major ABCers and have been destructive towards the power of the party, the members.I once asked Grant if he would support Shearer for the whole 3 year term and his answer
    was he would support the leader of the Labour Party.A statement purely political .
    Grant,darian and others have robbed the members of their choice of leader.They have forced us into a leadership challenge at the worst possible time.

    • fenton gives us ex-junkies a bad name..

      ..we wd rather disown her…

    • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 8.2

      Fenton’s exit from the Caucus by Cunliffe was welcomed by the membership. Her behaviour at the Ellerslie Conference in 2012 was shocking: she berated members who were asking for a real say in the selection of leader and in the direction of labour. If anyone encompasses every niuance of “Careerist” it is Fenton. She was so far up Shearer that it was embarassing! She and Grant has much in common.
      You probably didn’t notice but Fenton was Transport spokesperson!
      It is a pity Cunliffe didn’t exit a few more along with Fenton.

      • phillip ure 8.2.1

        @ not ps..

        “..You probably didn’t notice but Fenton was Transport spokesperson!..”

        ..you are correct..i ‘didn’t notice’…

        ..and i’m betting you wd find very few people in this land..’noticed’..

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.2.2

        It is a pity Cunliffe didn’t exit a few more along with Fenton.

        He should have. But he had no mechanism or leverage to make it happen.

        BTW Neither does Grant. So Grant’s threats are BS and bluster.

  9. Clean_power 9

    I predict that in November Grant Robertson will become Labour Party leader. Just a hunch and a prediction on my part.

  10. swordfish 10

    Strengths of the four Contenders
    (albeit expressed in a quite outrageously trite and superficial manner)

    (1) Robertson = Fluency
    (2) Parker = Image
    (3) Mahuta = Heart
    (4) Little = Substance

    • Chooky 10.1

      +100…i am going for heart and substance

      • boldsirbrian 10.1.1

        @ swordfish and chooky (10 and 10.1)

        My guess is that almost everybody will pick “heart and substance” over “fluency and image”

        Our task is to work out which two, which may be different from swordfish’s Number 1 and 2.

        I think that the list cleverly damns with praise …. but I do accept that the decisions we all make are largely subjective.

    • lurgee 10.2

      (1) Robertson = Fluency (2) Parker = Image (3) Mahuta = Heart (4) Little = Substance

      You’re having a laugh, aren’t you?

      The key words you’ve selected show so much bias it could be a Herald editorial.

      Fluency = Good at mouthing sweet nothings, a slick seducer.
      Image = no substance. Empty. A hollow man.
      Heart = true & loyal & vital.
      Substance = Solid and reliable.

      Obviously, everyone is going to go for heart and substance. If we wanted fluency and image we’d be voting National or NZ First.

      • swordfish 10.2.1

        If you were a true Cockney, you would have said: “You’re avin’ a Larrrf, aint ya, Guv ????”.

    • SDCLFC 10.3

      How much of a concern is it for you that Little can’t make headway in New Plymouth. Not having a crack I’m interested in people’s view. To me it make it a non-starter because it will be too easy picking come 2017 but obviously not for some.

      • swordfish 10.3.1

        Doesn’t keep me awake at night.

        • SDCLFC

          Well I’m pleased.
          Happily it doesn’t for me either but I do think it’s a substantial anchor come 2017 both in terms of reaching across the electorate and whether he has what it takes to win an election.
          It’s not that he hasn’t won but that he’s fail to make a dent.
          We might’ve had a rubbish return in the party vote but we still had some good performances in electorates. Little wasn’t one of those.

      • Tracey 10.3.2

        if he hadbeen given a really safe seat, say the equivalent of hellensville, would that be a problem for you?

        • SDCLFC

          No because it would show that he can bank the votes that are available. There’s been no headway in New Plymouth.

  11. Agent orange 11

    Labour needs a real Labourer to lead the party. The last one was the Mighty Norm Kirk who by sheer brilliance took the whole country with him with his vision and charisma. “follow me” he said and we did because he had great ideas and knew where he was going. The present lot are saying “we will listen” ….what? How about making a stand and going for it. For too long Labour has been led by Chardonay Socialists who are saying nothing, just wanting to lead, but to where? Who wants a lawyer, career politian, and others who have never worked on the factory floor, worked in a coal mine, felled trees, swept floors or other menial job who seem to be saying “I know what is good for you” without having experienced what Labour is all about. Get back to basics and have a real Labour Man/ woman come through, are there any?

    • boldsirbrian 11.1

      . Agent Orange (11)

      Would get bogged down over the definition of “real”

      • Colonial Rawshark 11.1.1

        The definition of a Real Labourer was made pretty damn clear. Clue: not a career pathway of being desk jockeys, pen pushers, paper shufflers, and smooth political doubletalk.

        • boldsirbrian

          @ Colonial Rawshark (11.1.1)

          You’ve confirmed it….Would get bogged down over the definition of “real”

        • lurgee

          So none of Robertson, Parker, Mahuta or Little, then?

          • boldsirbrian

            You’ve got it. But rules are flexible. Pick the one you like, refer to them mowing the lawns last month, (and crucially having a beer afterwards), and then you can bestow the words “left” and “real” on them. Sneer (Dirty John style) at the three others, and mutter “neo-liberal”. Totally meaningless, but it sounds like you have hidden knowledge.

    • Puddleglum 11.2

      A point worth making Agent Orange.

      It’s about what ‘representative’ means. Is it simply someone who speaks on behalf of someone else because they were elected by them? Or is it someone who is ‘representative’ of a certain social grouping’s experiences of life (in a survey sample way)?

      I was thinking the same thing about the post’s claims about Grant Robertson’s ‘likeability’ and ‘instincts’.

      If those words mean anything they refer to the kind of embodied, pre-rational inclinations, social skills and understandings that come from having grown up in particular circumstances.

      If Grant has ‘instincts’ they will therefore reflect and be a product of his background in some form or other. Similarly, if he has a ‘likeability’ it will be relevant mostly to the kinds of people he has spent most of his time around during his childhood, adolescence and early adulthood (that’s the context in which we all work out how to be ‘likeable’ – it’s quite a localised process crafted to our particular social group).

      I came from a very working class background and I can tell you that when it comes to understanding the experiences of those who suffer lives at the bottom end of society the most sympathetic and compassionate middle class people I have met have very impoverished notions of what it is like to live those lives.

      They will often say things and act in ways that I can only call ‘clangers’ from my perspective. No doubt they see such utterances and actions as ‘compassionate’ and of great value.

      But they don’t have buried in their brains the impact of seeing their fathers and mothers every day – and over the course of a lifetime – be crushed by working lives in ‘dark satanic mills’ or of themselves being shown in a myriad daily ways that they are simply economic fodder for others; they therefore don’t appreciate the coping behaviours, values and attitudes necessary to simply get through each day when you occupy that social stratum; they consequently propose ‘solutions’ based on their educated middle class experience of ‘what works’ (for them and the people they know).

      I can say this because I know that the reverse now applies to me. I move in very middle class circles and my instincts are (still) all wrong when it comes to operating in that world. I make ‘clangers’; I can’t play the particular game that is in the DNA of my peers – all those unquestioned assumptions about what is right and wrong, about what the aim of life is and how you should therefore act in the world.

      The very middle class ideas, for example, that ‘we are all the same’ (as opposed to the purely political idea that we are all equal) or that we are all ‘aspirational’ are a complete mystery to me.

      There’s nothing like growing up near the bottom of society to impress upon you that people – and groups of people – are very, very different and that the only ‘aspiration’ is to get by and have some kind of a life that works in a world not set up for you.

      Here’s an illustrative, although no doubt simplistic, contrast – the working class values ‘solidarity’ and ‘loyalty’; the middle class values ‘alliances’ and ‘networks’. Guess why there’s a difference?

      In the former the future is understood as the ‘common fate’ of the group; in the latter it is understood as a collection of individuals’ trajectories. Embodied collectivism versus embodied individualism.

      That’s reflective of very different ‘instincts’ about how to go on.

      In short, on all crucial matters I (still) see the world completely differently from my born and raised middle class friends. Because of that I would never claim to be able to ‘solve’ their particular problems or that I could ‘represent’ them. I couldn’t. Their interests aren’t in my blood – and they would deserve their representative to have their interests ‘at heart’.

      Grant’s ‘instincts’ may be social democratic in an abstract, student politician sort of way but do they arise from the same grounding as my ‘instincts’?

      Does it matter? I think it does.

      I may be well out of date but I would have thought that the leader of a Labour Party, optimally, would have had at least some lived experience of what it is like not to be part of the educated middle class.

      And I know, Helen Clark was educated middle class to the core.

      It’s hard to rewrite history but I often wonder that, if she’d have had more experience of life in the lower deciles, maybe a fourth term would not have eluded her – especially given that John Key, the boy from the state house, was her competition.

      • Tracey 11.2.1

        thanks for taking the time to share your perspective…

        the middle class, imo, fits two cateorgies of formerly lower income

        1. those who having made it to middle class cary an anger and resentment toward the current lower income in part cos “they” are taking “my” hard earned money making it harder for me to reach the mountain top (the 1%)

        2. those who having made it to middle class feel lucky and fortunate and want better opportunities and lives for those still trapped there

        with increased wealth comes time. some use that time to speak up for those too knackered and focused on staying a smidge above the breadline to cry “help i am drowning” to those around them.

        there is a place for such middle class peolle in a labour movement and as representatives. the problem arises when they see their personal position as representer as more important than who they are representing.

      • swordfish 11.2.2

        Brilliant comment, Puddleglum. And one I can relate to (as a former State House lad).

        Here’s a relevant 2013 comment from Owen Jones (BBC Question Time):

        “There’s a huge disconnect with politics and ordinary people in this Country. I think that’s partly because politics is increasingly being treated not as duty, not as a service, but as a profession where you increasingly get politicians who’ve never had a job outside the Westminster Bubble. Where you get a situation where, if you look at the background of MPs, they’re increasingly not drawn from a working class background…….Over two-thirds of MPs are now from professional, middle class backgrounds. I think this has a consequence because it means MPs can’t relate to people and their everyday issues……

        …….I interviewed Hazel Blears (Minister in Blair/Brown Governments) before the last Election and I said ‘Hazel, 5 million people stuck on social housing waiting lists in this Country. Why didn’t Labour do anything about it ?’ She said, to her credit very candidly, ‘There just wasn’t anyone in Government who was very interested in housing’.

        But if you had people who had been stuck on a social housing waiting list or someone in their community or in their family and you got those people into Parliament – those issues would be far more…….” (at this point, David Bloody Dimbleby interrupts, so we never quite get to hear the end of the sentence).

        • karol

          Then there’s Metiria Turei.

        • SDCLFC

          Recall watching Billy Bragg (on 10 O’Clock Live – really a comedy show), discussing the Etonian nature of Westminster and that it needed to be representative. Sub-topic to this was opposition to the pastie tax. Obvious conclusion for me was that if Westminster was less public school then they would’ve understood why the public loved their pasties so much.

  12. Karen 12

    I agree that affability and instincts are Grant’s main attributes, but I am not sure that this makes him the best leader.

    I have never met Grant, but he certainly has a very vocal fan club of people who have met and/or worked with him who think he is warm, friendly and very likeable. He is also clearly intelligent and has good political instincts. He speaks well.

    Grant has buckets of self belief, as shown by his overriding ambition to become the leader in spite of his limited experience both inside and outside parliament. And this is what worries me about him. He wants it badly, too badly I think.

    He was obviously planning for this leadership campaign before the election and his behaviour in the immediate aftermath was disappointing, although not as bad as Shearer. He has taken no personal responsibility for the election loss, instead putting all the blame on Cunliffe..

    His promotion of Jacinda as running mate seems disingenuous. She is there to make him seem more attractive, but he knows the deputy is the choice of caucus. Are they really going to vote for someone just as inexperienced as Grant?

  13. Tracey 13

    “where want nz to go”

    exactly where is that ben/grant?

    where does grant think nz wants to go!?

    • Tracey 13.1

      “where we want it to go”

      does he mean caucus? or some of caucus? or members? or something else?

      • Ben Clark 13.1.1

        By ‘where we want Aotearoa to go’ I mean lefties, talking to my Standard audience… (I certainly don’t mean caucus, as I’m not a member of caucus, so ‘we’ wouldn’t make grammatical sense)

        If you want to know where Grant thinks NZ wants to go, read the policy platform, he had quite a hand in it…

        • Tracey

          wont help me. i even read thevision and then watched as greens were side lined and nzf courted… i have no ideawho the lp party stands for and it seems many close to labounr find it hard to articulate it.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Yet Ben says we have FOUR great LEFTIE leadership candidates. I can count about one and a quarter.

            BTW the disintegration of Scottish Labour is interesting.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          If you want to know where Grant thinks NZ wants to go, read the policy platform, he had quite a hand in it…

          Yet I haven’t heard Grant accept his share of the blame for the massive election defeat in 2011, and then again in 2014 (including the dismal party vote in his own electorate) even once .

          Why is that.

          Is it because Grant is the kind of politician who always likes to be proximal to good news, while ensuring that bad news is always owned by someone else?

  14. Dont worry. Be happy 14

    In the abscence of any kind of answer Ben, I will just go with “Yes.”

    Yes, Grant Robertson belonged to/led/encouraged/worked for the Anyone But Cunliffe gang.

    If the strategy of the ABC gang was “lose the election but gain Grant Robertson as Leader” then the backers of such a strategy and anyone who might benefit, need a good swift kick.

    • Ben Clark 14.1

      I have answered and I don’t think anyone was aiming to lost the election – they all want to be in power, opposition’s no fun…

      And I certainly don’t think he led the ABCs even if that existed in anything like the concrete form Paddy Gower likes to think. Shearer and Goff would be much more keen on that role…

      • leftie 14.1.1

        @Ben Clark

        A lot of people say that Robertson is the leader of the ABC’s.

      • phillip ure 14.1.2

        @ ben clark’..

        “.. Shearer and Goff would be much more keen on that role…”

        ..but didn’t you say before this faction didn’t even really exist..?

        ..was a media imagination-figment..?

      • ankerawshark 14.1.3


        Your comments on this Ben Clark and Keir? Was it good instincts to say one week after the election “I could have won:”

        See the thing is I don’t believe that this (“I could have won”) occurred to Grant in the days after the election. My best bet is that he was thinking that all along since the last leadership campaign. If I am right about that, then I think the comments about the caucus not backing Cunliffe, which is what NM said in an article with Claire Trevitt are spot on and that the apply to GR.

        So those of us who voted and supported Cunliffe aren’t too thrilled about your boy Grant and being told “we must all unify”. Although I agree with it, is somewhat hard to stomach, when the calls to do this are coming from Grant’s camp, after Grant makes this sort of comment.

        BTW Cunliffe was often accused of being arrogant, although I saw little if any evidence for this and in my opinion an arrogant or narcissistic person doesn’t apologize at all, let alone reasonably frequently, as Cunliffe seemed to do. But in my opinion Grant has demonstrated in the above article by his own comments just how flamming arrogant he is.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Cunliffe is a good man, but also has room to improve in terms of leadership and management style. (Who doesn’t).

          Grant is a highly capable operator, but has been a central player behind every one of Labour’s recent leadership changes. He wants the iron throne.

        • Anne

          Cunliffe was often accused of being arrogant, although I saw little if any evidence for this and in my opinion an arrogant or narcissistic person doesn’t apologize at all, let alone reasonably frequently, as Cunliffe seemed to do.

          It was interesting to note that during the blitzkrieg on Cunliffe by the [former] ABCers after the election, I never saw or read one single negative utterance about them by Cunliffe. So, if the arrogant or narcissistic shoes fit, then it is the [former] ABCers who need to wear them?

    • leftie 14.2

      @Dont worry. Be happy

      Totally agree with your post.

    • ankerawshark 14.3

      Don’t worry be happy 100 + @ 14

  15. Sable 15

    The TPPA is looming over the horizon and all that matters is which idiot is next going to head the Chardonnay and Camembert party. Or National 2.0 as I like to call them.

  16. Tracey 16

    if the leaking stops under the new leader does that mean the new leader has successfully controlled caucus or the leakers got their man in

  17. Ron 17

    Maybe it’s time that we take a leaf out Australian leadership battle. All those that don’t support the leader should get the fuck out of the party.

    • Colonial Rawshark 17.1

      How about the UK Labour Party? Get so out of touch with a large number of your supporters that your provincial leader leaves while firing broadsides and your support in the province collapses and goes to the left wing SNP.

  18. leftie 18

    Robertson is ranked last at number 4 on my list.

  19. Ron 19

    What happens if you only vote for two or three candidates?

    • Jenny Kirk 19.1

      Your vote gets discounted. You HAVE to vote for all four candidates. In the order that you would like to see them – first the Leader, second, etc .

      • Just to add: if you vote electronically (if the Party has a valid email address for you you pretty much have to as they won’t send out paper ballots) you can’t submit your vote until you’ve ranked all four candidates.

        This is pretty good practice because it means your vote won’t be spoiled! But if you’re voting on paper, like Jenny said, you have to number all 4 candidates. I’ve heard anecdotally that a number of paper ballots were spoiled last time because of this.

  20. Jenny Kirk 20

    What Labour needs, and what I would like to see happen, is to have a Leader (and deputy) who is able to turn the caucus around so that all members work together for the good of the Party (not themselves) and for the good of the people we purport to represent. I don’t think Grant has that capability, nor the experience outside of the political workforce, to do that. I prefer someone like Andrew Little who has had real experience in working with a dysfunctional workforce and turning it around. That is the type of experience we need in the Labour caucus.

    • Colonial Rawshark 20.1

      Hi Jenny, there are a number of MPs in caucus who are poor followers to the core and utterly unmanageable careerists. I expect Little to be utterly stuffed as Leader not because he isn’t a good man for the job, but because Ghandi himself couldn’t lead this lot.

    • i have come to the conclusion little is the least odious of a very smelly bunch…

      ..and that all the others have tried and failed..(in ministerial/opp-spoksperson roles)..

      ..so we already know what they can’t do..

      ..whereas little is an unknown quantity..

      ..and i guess taking that chance is better going for what you know won’t work..

      ..so..even if only for that (valid) reason..

      ..little wd seem to be the best/only choice..

  21. Dont worry. Be happy 22

    So the ABCs didnt exist eh? You are are a little pathetic Ben. Memory is fleeting but not quite that fleeting. Sadly for your man Robertson lacked the quality we in Labour value highly….solidarity.

    • leftie 22.1

      @Dont worry. Be happy

    • SDCLFC 22.2

      The funny thing about your name is I recall in 1989 a Radio piece where they adopted popular songs to represent different people in the Labour Government re their crisis. Can’t recall who Don’t Worry, Be Happy was…might’ve been Geoffrey Palmer. Not meant to be a dig, I just keep stumbling over it each time I see it. 🙂

  22. Sirenia 23

    What a hate-fest on Grant. So unfair, cruel and based on malicious rumour and falsehoods. Do some self reflection guys. Would your poisonous words and spite against someone with solid Labour values and principles and considerable personal skills, really inspire anyone outside the party to vote for Labour again? Where is the solidarity you accuse others of lacking? Would any of you have the courage to put your name forward to lead the party?

    [lprent: If you want to whine about someone – point to specific comment(s).

    Otherwise all general comments about stuff on this site refer to me (see the policy). There is a reason for that policy, it is to stamp out idiots like yourself who try to smear the large number of people who comment here with quite differing and disagreeing opinions by creating a generalising strawman interpretation.

    BTW: As you are probably aware, I’m the kind of sysop who really doesn’t take kindly to being told I am smearing someone with “poisonous words and spite”. I’m more the type of person who expresses *my* opinions with all of the subtlety of a brutal kick in the genitals as I express why I hold these views. They may not be right, but you have to argue against what I said, not some fictional straw man interpretation you care to place upon it or on the site.

    This is your only warning. Don’t ever try that troll tactic again, or you will lose the right to comment for quite some time.

    And in answer to your last point. I find politicians I care to support, then I support them. As far as I am concerned they are there so I don’t have to do the boring task. ]

    • wekarawshark 23.1

      Instead of broadly slandering everyone in this conversation, perhaps you could point to the specific comments that you feel are cruel, and those that are based on malicious rumour?

  23. Bill 24

    When Penfold covets the role of Dangermouse…

  24. Anne 25

    Sirenia. I think you are being quite disingenuous.

    Yes, there will be some who go too far with their criticisms of others on sites like this – or anywhere for that matter. That is always going to happen where people have differences of opinion. Its easy enough to ignore them by scrolling over the top. On the other hand, others have made legitimate and valid criticisms based on factual evidence – Olwyn @ 2.1.1 and Puddleglum @11.2 are two good examples. I suggest you go back and read them.

    It would be wise if you opened your eyes wider… and showed a little more discernment when making comments such as the above.

  25. les 26

    Grants got alot going for him…except his sexuality counts him out as a possible P.M…that will be the reality.Has a western,english speaking nation ever had a self confessed homosexual P.M?

  26. ankerawshark 27

    Sireina………………..not a hate -fest on Grant R

    Here once again are some points to things GR said that I believed undermined DC.

    DC going on Campbell live re his “mansion” GR makes some comment about living in an ordinary house.

    DC’s trust being disclosed after the leadership campaign GR “I only got $500.00 donated”.

    GR after the election “I could have won” see the link I posted about. This is all behaviour GR has done that is undermining. And we are not even talking about the rumour and speculation here!

    I was open to putting GR as my number two, because as someone else posted he is fluent, but having read comments here and gone back and researched, he has now gone to 3, which Parker in 4.

  27. Chooky 28

    Grant is not a Glenn Greenwald!….lets face it!….there is more going against Grant than his sexuality…as people have stating again and again

    • Colonial Rawshark 29.1

      Again. *Yawn*. None of the ABCs can count. And most have no feel for the mood of the membership. OK perhaps maybe Grant has a chance of squeezing in. On 3rd preferences.

  28. honey_T 30

    I wouldn’t be gutted if Grant gets the leadership, but my first preference is going to Parker. And this has actually surprised me, myself! I didn’t go into the hustings thinking I would feel that way. But after hearing him and the others speak at both Masterton and Wellington (we were lucky and got a special extra meeting) that is the decision that seems to be cementing in.

    Grant has a slick campaign, cheer squad and glossy flyers. Is personable and a good speaker, certainly passionate for labour values (as they all are!) … However didn’t find him to have much substance. I mean is he really saying anything other than quips an add buzz-words? Will he fall into the trap of trying to beat Key at his own game, and sink to that level?

    Whereas Parker offers a point of difference … Maturity! He’s not going to even engage in that game. He’s above it. He’s brought the LP back to a place of fiscal credibility. I really liked what he said about the list selection process and the long-standing hurts it’s creating and how that needs looking at. He wiped the floor with English on the Nation.

    He’s moderate and mature, but also quite metro and modern. I think he can appeal to middle NZ to bring those votes back that have gone to National. He’s actually a cool guy and arguably the most attractive out of the contenders, if that counts for anything lol

    My 2 cents.

  29. ankerawshark 31

    Thanks Honey T. Yes GR’s pledge card!

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