Labour Leadership Campaign – Weekend Edition

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 am, September 7th, 2013 - 206 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, grant robertson, labour, Shane Jones - Tags:

Cunliffe day 3 leaders campaign-9

The Labour Leadership Tour is entering the home straight.  There are two meetings scheduled today for Nelson and Wellington, then one in Dunedin on Sunday.  Two more meetings after that and the public meeting marathon will be finished.

TV3 released a poll last night suggesting that amongst the general population David Cunliffe has the support of 39.6 percent.  Shane Jones was second on 31.6 percent and Grant Robertson third on 28.8 percent.

The result amongst labour supporters was even more pronounced.  Cunliffe received 45.6 percent support, Jones 28.1 percent and Robertson remained in third place on 26.4 percent.

Patrick Gower suggested that Shane Jones is a surprise contender in the leadership race.  He has performed well and impressed a number of people.  But this is a complex multi electorate vote where amongst the MPs at least Jones has only modest support and to overcome this he would have to do exceedingly well amongst members and the Trade Union affiliates.  He will do pretty well amongst members but I think that his support amongst Trade Union affiliates will be low.  He has put in a commendable effort but I would be surprised if he was not the first candidate to drop out.

David Cunliffe has a new video released.

If Grant Robertson’s camp or Shane Jones’ camp have more video feel free to point me to the link.

Meeting details for Saturday are:

1 – 3 pm Victory Community Centre, 2 Totara Street, Victory, Nelson

7 – 9 pm Wellington Girls College Hall, Pipitea Street, Wellington

And on Sunday:

3:30 – 5:30 pm Kings & Queens Performing Arts Centre, 270 Bay View Road, South Dunedin

To repeat previously stated details people entitled to attend the meetings include members, former members as long as they sign up again and new members who sign up at the door.

Media can attend but for the preliminaries and the speeches only.

If you are going you should get to the meeting early as there will be a vetting process and this could take some time. People should bring their membership cards or ortherwise photo ID so that they can be identified. Photos and social media can be taken and used during the open part of the meeting.

And a reminder that current members and those who have been financial members of the Party sometime between January 1 2011 and August 22 2013 but have not yet paid their membership for 2013 can renew their membership and vote, so long as they do so before 12.00am on Friday 6 September.  New members will not be able to vote.

Finally for your vote to count you will have to list all candidates in preference. The second preferences of the third ranked candidate will then be distributed amongst the other candidates.  There is an online voting option that works well and I recommend this.

And just in case anyone is not aware of this I am a supporter of David Cunliffe and a member of his LEC.

206 comments on “Labour Leadership Campaign – Weekend Edition ”

  1. karol 1

    Well! Thank you, David, for that expression of continuing Savage’s social security legacy. Slight quibble on him saying Labour has stood for that since Savage’s time. In the mid1980s, Labour dropped the ball on that one.

    In Cunliffe’s latest video he talks of working for the too many young mums struggling on benefits and,

    … people who’ve lost their jobs, or whose relationships have broken up – people, like all of us for whom the unexpected happens. Since Michael Savage’s day, Labour has stood for a sense of security, that we could have the basics covered by working together and that would give us the chance to make the best of our lives – no matter where we come from, no matter what we believe, no matter who our parents were, no matter the size of their or our wallet.

    Pleased to see you are “listening” or reading, and responding.

    • just saying 1.1


    • Colonial Viper 1.3

      Pleased to see you are “listening” or reading, and responding.

      And David’s own post here (and his many replies to questions and comments) reinforced that.

      IIRC, Cunliffe also said that if he were PM, he would continue to interact with The Standard occasionally.

    • lurgee 1.4

      “Since Michael Savage’s day, Labour has stood for a sense of security, that we could have the basics covered by working together and that would give us the chance to make the best of our lives”

      That really is an apalling re-write of history. Any man who can mouth that falsehood should be barred from even looking at the levers of power, far less touching them. Huge swathes of nNew Zealand – usually those with least – were not civen a chance to make the best of their lives. They were given redundancy payouts and left to rot in communities with no jobs, no future and no hope.

      That line has done more to make me doubt Cunliffe than anything the other candidates, National, Kiwiblog, Whale or ever the endless dittohead comments on the Standard has done. He’s either practising in deceit \ like the rest of them and saying whatever needs to be said to achieve his ends; or he’s actually deeply naive / stupid / deluded about his party’s history.

      Thanks for having the integrity to point it out, Karol.

      -1000 points for David Cunliffe

      The sad thing is, even if he’s both deceitful, and naive / stupid / deluded, he’s still probably the baest candidate.

      But I suspect 2014 will see me making up about 1% of Mana’s party vote in Palmerston North, again.

      • Colonial Viper 1.4.1

        Oh lurgee, get a life. Cunliffe is going to make a break from neoliberalism. If you want a full history of the Labour Party, go read Trotter.

        • lurgee

          Read more of Pompous Chris’s burblings? Do I have to? Can I have another chance? Or, if I must be punished, could you either banish me to Eketahuna rather than re-read No Left Turn? Or commute my sentence to the Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy? I’d rather read them all than plod through one of Chris’s awful Easter specials.

      • karol 1.4.2

        That seems like a bit of an extreme response, lurgee, that doesn’t take into account the full context of the statement. Why pick on the one weak point and ignore all the pluses?

        Of the 3 leadership candidates, Cunliffe is the only one that has put so much stress on continuing the importance of social security as it was intended in the 1930s.

        What have the other 2 candidates had to offer about it?

        And Cunliffe is clearly “listening” to people’s comments, questions and desires on the issue.

        And part of the context is one where the explicit current policies of the Labour caucus have not put so much stress on social security.

        Credit where it’s due.

      • Puddleglum 1.4.3

        Hi lurgee,

        I see what you mean, but I read it differently.

        I, too, think that Labour (whether the party or the movement) has always stood “for a sense of security, that we could have the basics covered by working together and that would give us the chance to make the best or our lives“.

        That’s one reason I didn’t vote for the Labour Party after 1984 – because its MPs in government betrayed what Labour (whether the party or the movement) stood for. Surely that’s true, otherwise no-one who voted Labour in 1984 would have felt betrayed. Labour (the party) in fact stood, rhetorically, on just that view of social security even during the 1984 election campaign (if I recall correctly – which I may not as I was overseas and only got intermittent information about the campaign).

        What a party, a movement or, for that matter, a person ‘stand for’ is not necessarily what they do. At least Cunliffe is making clear in these comments that he understands what he should be standing for in relation to social security, as a potential leader of the Labour Party.

        Whether he would deliver on what he ‘stands for’ is yet to be seen. But it is at least heartening to hear someone stating that that is what they stand for.

    • Chooky 1.5

      karol +1

  2. the sprout 2

    DC 4 PM

  3. Jim Nald 3

    Labour Party members are having a say this year as to who would likely be the next PM of NZ, in addition to voting next year at the general election .

    The choice is not just about choosing who will be the leader of the Labour Party but, more importantly, who will lead the country and bring about real change when in government.

    For those who can vote within the next few days, choose well, folks!

  4. Pasupial 4

    From this morning’s ODT:

    “Ms Curran, the Dunedin South MP, and Dr Clark, the Dunedin North MP, yesterday put out a statement backing Mr Robertson… Dr Clark had yet to reach his peak in Parliament and was likely to be promoted no matter who was the leader. But Ms Curran’s career ”could be bleak” under Mr Cunliffe’s leadership”

    With David Clark at 49 on the party list in 2011 and with much a lower chance of beating Turei for the Dunedin North electorate seat this time (if I have anything to do with it anyway), even getting back as an MP might take some doing. As for Curran, this blatant attempt to game the system is just more of what we have come to expect from her.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Ah yes, I saw that. So given Clare’s reputation, do you think that her endorsement is going to help or hurt Robertson? 😈

    • Pete 4.2

      Turei won’t win Dunedin North. If she does pick up votes from Clark, that would only make it more likely for Michael Woodhouse, the National candidate, to sneak on through and win the seat. Clark won 12,976 votes in 2011, Woodhouse 9,487 and Turei 5,721.

      Clark’s support for Robertson is understandable. He studied at Otago when Robertson was president of the student association and Robertson has made some good noises about regional development – mentioning Hillside and Invermay in particular. I support Cunliffe and I’ll be ranking him as no.1 on my ballot, but I’ve been impressed with Clark as my local MP so far. This is not a vote breaker for me.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        Have you received your ballot paper yet Pete?

        • Pete

          Not yet. I emailed the other day and I was told my paper will be sent in the next mailout. So I’m expecting it today or early next week. I’ll vote online.

        • Sanctuary

          No sign of mine yet either, I’ll send an email if they don’t come today.

        • the sprout

          Still waiting for mine. Emailed head office and they said i would be emailed online voting info. Still waiting

          • lprent

            I got mine through snail mail friday a week ago. I’d been worried on the day after David Shearers resignation that I didn’t have a current membership card. Since I still pay a coffee a week in VFL, I figured out that was because I hadn’t told them I was moving last year. So I used the online email to update my address.

            I guess that put it at the top of the pile.

          • chris

            ours arrived today. Voting online was very straightforward.

      • Pasupial 4.2.2


        I’m not a fan of David Clark (as you can see below, and on previous comments), but I do recall him making some good speeches regarding Hillside/ Bradken:

        “the Government’s procurement policy was just ”window dressing” and should take into account the ”whole-of-economy costs”, which included the extra tax paid by having people employed in New Zealand.”

        The risk of National getting Dunedin North through a splitting of the left vote is a real one. It’s not going to stop me letter box stuffing and fundraising for Turei though. As the party vote is what largely determines the parliamentary composition. That Green Party electorate campaigners for their co-leader (and 1st on the 2011 list) are supposed to give way to the last MP elected on Labour’s 2011 list says a lot to me about why we haven’t had an electorate seat since Fitzsimmons.

    • QoT 4.3

      Ms Curran’s career ”could be bleak” under Mr Cunliffe’s leadership

      Well that’s the strongest argument I’ve seen yet for a Cunliffe leadership.

      • Rhinocrates 4.3.1

        Oh, if he knows what ‘s right, he’ll take good care of her – he’ll put her in a nice terracotta pot with good soil, regular watering…

    • Anne 4.4

      “Ms Curran, the Dunedin South MP, and Dr Clark, the Dunedin North MP, yesterday put out a statement backing Mr Robertson…

      Well timed. Meeting in Dunedin this weekend. Is it a measure of the arrogance of some Labour MPs that by issuing press statements re- their candidate of choice, they will in effect be advising their members to fall into line and follow them? And what happens if they don’t? They get frozen out of the tent?

      • weka 4.4.1

        Members should be alright so long as they don’t say out loud who they voted for. It would be advisable to not post comments on Red Alert either.

    • the pigman 4.5

      Clearly Clare’s communications strategy is far too advanced for my small brain.

      1. She tells media she is “consulting with local members” before expressing her preferred leader; then
      2. It becomes clear the rank and file are overwhelmingly backing Cunliffe; then
      3. Just before the hustings meeting at which her local members will be present and she can gauge their views, she comes out in support of Robertson; and
      4. She makes some barbed statement to the media about how the power of caucus is still considerable.

      She might as well say “I don’t give a flying f*ck what the membership think, we in caucus are going to try and override them again”.

      If this process does not deliver the leadership that the broader membership seeks, the rank and file are only going to decrease caucus’ voting power at the next annual conference.

      • Anne 4.5.1

        Oh dear the pigman:

        I fear the following is going to upset Clare. What will she do? Complain to the NZ council and demand these two unions be expelled from the Labour Party?

        • Colonial Viper

          It gets better. She completely ignores half the 3 News poll results which show that members are even less impressed with Robertson than the general public.

          A 3 News three poll on Friday night showed Mr Roberston has the least support of the three contenders.

          The poll showed David Cunliffe with 39.6% and Shane Jones with 31.6%. Mr Robertson had 28.8%.

          Ms Curran said she’s not worried by the 3 News poll, because it surveyed the public and it’s up to party members and affiliated unions to make the decision.

          Mr Clark said Mr Robertson has been in the spotlight less because he’s the only one of the three candidates who has not been a cabinet minister.

          • Rogue Trooper

            See below, from te newz, DW, R&M Unions behind David Cunliffe, 2nd pref. to Jones

          • Anne

            Ms Curran said she’s not worried by the 3 News poll, because it surveyed the public and it’s up to party members and affiliated unions to make the decision.

            Uhhh? That’s a contradiction to what she says a couple of sentences sooner:

            [Robertson] is the party’s best chance to defeat National in next year’s election.

            Who elects the government now? Ah yes, the public. And the public prefer Cunliffe. Either Clare Curran is a political neanderthal or she’s… misrepresenting the truth.

            • chris

              on blahoo…
              “Labour MP Clare Curran has put her support behind Grant Robertson for Labour Party leader.

              Mr Robertson is the former president of the Otago University Students’ Association and is popular with the Labour caucus.

              Ms Curran says he’s also a clear communicator with good potential.

              “Grant is a leader whose values were shaped though tough times as a kid in south Dunedin and most of all I think he’ll untie our caucus and our party.”

              Labour MP David Clark has sided with Grant Robertson in the Labour Party leadership race – and says most of his colleagues will do the same.

              The Dunedin North MP says all three leadership contenders are good friends and talented people.

              But he believes Otago-born Mr Robertson understands struggle street and can speak to the people.
              “The majority of MPS support Grant, Grant is the best placed person because his judgement is sound, quick, and politically astute.””

              • karol

                Ms Curran says he’s also a clear communicator with good potential.

                “Grant is a leader whose values were shaped though tough times as a kid in south Dunedin and most of all I think he’ll untie our caucus and our party.”

                My bold.

                Did Curran really say that? Oh dear 🙁

            • Benny

              She is a deluded, I have openly endorsed Cunliffe on facebook only to get punished for having an opinion. Darien Fenton has told me that I was being brainwashed by the media, I told her that she couldn’t be brainwashed, because you’d need a brain for that. I am sickened by the caucus attitude, they clearly cannot do the maths If Cunliffe gets most of the members and union’s vote, then he only needs a portion of the caucus vote, he is laughing. I would fully support a reduction of the caucus vote in the next AGM. How can we lobby our delegates for that?

  5. chris 5

    @ Parsupial. “But Ms Curran’s career ”could be bleak” under Mr Cunliffe’s leadership””

    Should David Cunliffe win the leadership I suggest a number of deadwood MP’s had better be updating their CV’s.

    The Labour Party seriously need to start introducing new faces now so they won’t be “unknowns” when it comes to selecting candidates and drawing up lists in time for 2014.

    • Pasupial 5.1


      That “could be bleak” line is part of a reaction interview with Bryce Edwards in the article. Curran isn’t my electorate MP, but not much of what I’ve heard from (and about) her has been good. CV would have stronger views on that (though I don’t think that you were referring to him – and the mind boggles at just how Curran might go about updating him!).

      Though, for all Curran’s faults; she doesn’t write articles espousing Republican values and send them to be published in the paper complete with pics of handshaking with war criminals the way that David Clark does. But at least, in a backwards way, he inspired me to become politically active – though with the Green Party.

      I wonder who chose the meeting venue, as it: “will be held at the King’s and Queen’s Performing Arts Centre. Mr Robertson is a former head boy of King’s High School. “

    • chris73 5.2

      Ackshully thats another reason Cunliffes win would be good for Labour (like the cheerleading team on here need another reason :)) in fact I’d go so far as to say it’s the most important reason for Labour long term

      Mallard gone, Goff gone, King gone (although shes pretty good in the house), Curran gone and Nash back is a pretty good deal for Labour

      • Lanthanide 5.2.1

        Getting rid of people that disagree with you isn’t really the best way to unite the caucus.

        • Colonial Viper

          Absolutely. The focus has to be on performance as an MP, strong personal values, and ability to lead a progressive policy agenda in the public arena. The Labour caucus should be full of people who fit into that mould.

          If they don’t, they should probably look at moving on.

          • gobsmacked

            Nobody really cares about opposition caucus rankings, except the MPs themselves.

            So when he’s leader, Cunliffe should be generous with his allocation of portfolio non-jobs, all in the name of unity and smiles.

            Then after the election, when spokespeople become real Minsters with real jobs, give the portfolios to the Greens.

            (e.g. IT issues … leave it with Clare Curran for another year, ignore everything she says, and then appoint Gareth Hughes in government).

            Best served cold, etc.

            • Colonial Viper

              Look forward to buying you a Speights, mate.

            • Rhinocrates

              Indeed. Clark was brilliant in that she made her rivals allies (but at the expense of promoting real new talent) while Mumblefuck, thinking like the Pointy-Haired Boss that he was, promoted or demoted people according to their perceived loyalty to him alone. The result was not a government in waiting, but a treehouse.

          • Ad

            dead right there

      • Jim_Jam 5.2.2

        I agree, I think the change of leadership should also mean a good reworking of caucus.

        I agree with what Lanthanide has said but I think Labour really needs to sort out its dead weight and those that are no longer really offering anything to the party and start to bring in some new talent and By talent I mean people who aren’t just staffers, and those who have been hanging around waiting for their chance. Labour and its members need to start realising there is talent that can come from outside and until they do I don’t think I would ever consider re-joining or voting for them again.

        Who ever can do that can get my vote.

  6. Bearded Git 6

    I wish the candidates would make more noise about reversing the disastrous RMA reforms now in train. This seems to be slipping under the radar. Anyone out there heard any of the candidates take a position on this yet?

    • woodpecker 6.1

      Yes BG I think all three spoke about the RMA in Hamilton. One (not sure who ) went so far as to call Amy Adams evil.

      • Bearded Git 6.1.1

        Excellent! If you remember who pls let me know.

        • Greywarbler

          I see a comparison between Amy A and all the rest in NACT and the last remaining compatriot from the Austrian-German bunker, who still thought his boss was the best.
          If people are joined at the hip it takes surgery to turn them into individuals, and all Key’s crew are going to go all the way with JK.

  7. Sanctuary 7

    “…TV3 released a poll last night suggesting that amongst the general population David Cunliffe has the support of 39.6 percent. Shane Jones was second on 31.6 percent and Grant Robertson third on 28.8 percent.

    The result amongst labour supporters was even more pronounced. Cunliffe received 45.6 percent support, Jones 28.1 percent and Robertson remained in third place on 26.4 percent….”

    Grant Robertson for the first time in his life has bumped into the world that exists outside a 3km radius of the Beehive, and things perhaps are not developing in the ways he had foreseen.

    And yet this morning, probably as a deliberate attempt to bolster Robertson from the disasterous intrusion of reality into the fairy tale world that is the current Labour Party caucus the TV3 poll represents, Clare Curran and David Clark have declared for Robertson. All I can say is sweet Jesus – the level of detachment in the Labour’s caucus is reaching “Downfall” levels, with the caucus cleverly manoeuvering phantom armies around the map whilst pretending they can’t hear the artillery pounding at the door.

    I read the Jenny Michie post which seems to confirm what lots of people have been saying – Cunliffe is no Kevin Rudd in private, and seems quite pleasant, if a little over-confident for Kiwi taste. The nasty thought is growing in my mind that a lot of the caucus oppose Cunliffe only because they have grown entitled and lazy and see good as the enemy of their mediocrity.

    The Labour caucus is probably a lost cause, and will be duly purged. But the union delegates needs to ask themselves this: do they really think the party rank and file will accept – and contribute money and time to the Labour party – a result that sees Robertson win on a preferential redistribution of votes from the caucus and unions that flies in the face of an overwhelming vote for Cunliffe from the membership?

    I’ve seen enough. Time for Robertson and Jones to withdraw from the race, since any other outcome than a win for Cunliffe will be no outcome at all.

    • Don't worry. Be happy. 7.1

      Disgusted with ‘my’ PM, David Clark throwing his weight behind Robertson. Curran of course was always a Shearer girl so no surprises there that she to has come in behind the man the rest of the country is not rating at all. These two members need to have a good hard and long look at their majorities in what should be very safe seats… Persist in pushing for a leader who can’t beat the Nacts next year and watch the Greens take your seats.

      • Pasupial 7.1.1


        I’m disgusted with both “my” PM, and “my” MP – however only the latter is David Clark.


        I don’t think the other two candidates should withdraw in favour of Cunliffe. It is important that this contest be resolved democratically.

    • Chooky 7.2

      @Sanctuary +1

    • mickysavage 7.3

      I have known David since before he was an MP. I would rate him as one of the most down to earth MPs in the Labour Caucus right now. He is confident but this criticism confuses me because I thought confidence in oneself was a prerequisite and not a weakness.

      He is also very, very bright. His ability to answer a question is unsurpassed by any other politician that I have seen and I grew up with David Lange as my local MP.

      He has been heavily influenced by his time in the United States and tends to run presidential type campaigns locally but they work and in politics the only real test of quality is success.

      • Anne 7.3.1

        +1 Mickysavage.

        It was Helen Clark who said having total confidence in yourself is a prerequisite for being a good leader. She acknowledged she never wavered about her own self belief. Neither does David Cunliffe. John Roughan referred to a certain cattiness towards Cunliffe inside the Labour Party Caucus in recent times. A very apt word indeed.

      • QoT 7.3.2

        Confidence in oneself is “confidence” when seen in someone one supports, and “smugness/arrogance” when seen in someone one does not support. Both are objectively true.

    • the sprout 7.5

      very well put

    • Ad 7.6

      It’s not helpful to call for a purge. Everyone who doesn’t see their person not installed will have a nano-second revenge-desire moment.

      At that moment, pull another pint and prepare to defeat John Key.

      • Sanctuary 7.6.1

        Sorry, a strategic re-alignment not necessarily to the advantage of certain members of the caucus… 🙂

  8. Virginia Linton 8

    Is political life suiting Clare whoever is the leader?

  9. Rogue Trooper 9

    Te Nation: 7.9.13
    consensus on Jones, “the energy levels and commitment are not always there”
    although Cunliffe has consistently been “highly intelligent, confident and a hardworker” since school
    according to Matt McCarten, ” people in the party who matter (maybe not the grass-roots members then) see David as a risk” Heaven help us that somebody competent and diligent be leading the country!

    (interesting the emphases on Robertson’s body-shape and sexuality by his detractors).

    2/3 of MPs are Boomers, 1/3 Gen X.

    and to finish with the sage words of Colin James, “the general direction of the Labour Party is toward more active government, socially and economically”.

  10. JoshL 10

    Just checking re the voting, if I don’t go to one of the hustings, do I have to vote on-line?

    Also, can I rank my preferred candidate 1st, 2nd and 3rd? ie Cunliffe, Cunliffe, Cunliffe ?

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      You can send your ballot paper in as a postal ballot.

      Also, can I rank my preferred candidate 1st, 2nd and 3rd? ie Cunliffe, Cunliffe, Cunliffe ?

      Do NOT do this. It will invalidate your ballot. You number down three separate preferences. Put Cunliffe 1st, then whoever else 2nd, and the last 3rd.

      Your vote for 2nd will only count if Cunliffe is already out of the race altogether, at which point it doesn’t matter.

      • jenny kirk 10.1.1

        I cannot emphasise the HOW to vote enough : you must name each candidate – in the order you’d like to. Preferably with Cunliffe at No 1. If you don’t name each candidate, your vote becomes invalid.

        Intrigued today to see in two different papers, women journalists dissing Shame Jones.
        Lindy Laird in the Northern Advocate taking him to task for his “below the belt” comments re Key and sexist attitude towards women. and Fran O’Sullivan (whom I hardly ever read) saying “those who know the unvarnished Jones find the political snow job he is currently orchestrating ….. is more than simply comical.”

        Like them, I find Jones comments repugnant and off-putting. He’s obviously forgotten that 51% of the voting public are women, and by turning us off, he’s missing out on a considerable amount of potential voting leverage. Silly man.

        • mickysavage

          Yep. Best thing is to vote online. This will only allow correct votes and will ensure they count.

      • Jim Nald 10.1.2

        Important for clarification and emphasis that – voters must rank every candidate, and can rank them only once.

  11. Tanz 11

    Jones has put on a very impressive show so far, he is the old-school, decent values Labour party man, you could not get a guy more earthy. Sense of humour too, and not holier than thou.
    He won’t but I wish he would win it. Key would look ever-more fake in contrast.
    Why do the caucus mostly not back Jones or Cunliffe, but Robertson, I wonder.

    • Jenny Kirk 11.1

      To Tanz, in my opinion, it seems to me the old hands in caucus (and the newer ABCs) support Robertson because he was a Shearer supporter as they were and they don’t want to change too much from the “lite Nat” look or neo-liberal philosophy (however you wish to describe it).
      Cunliffe is talking about a different way of doing things/running the country’s economy/etc and that is threatening to some. Personally, I don’t understand why it should be threatening because it seems so obvious that the neo-liberal methods have not worked nor have they brought prosperity for most people. The opposite has happened instead. And we need change if the country is going to get out of the slump.

    • the sprout 11.2

      you could not get a guy more earthy

      if by earthy you mean soiled, then yes

    • Ad 11.3

      You are dead right about Jones and the comedy. Key has that as well. Neither Cunliffe nor Robertson relax enough from wonkishness enough to throw out the zingers.

      But you would need more than comedy and bon mots to beat Key. You would need to take him apart fact by fact. It would take at least a year. Campbell couldn’t do it. Jones and (shudder) Shearer couldn’t do it. Clark was beaten.

      Robertson versus Key would be jolly and stolid. But would be a heart-in-the-mouth affair.

      And even Cunliffe would need to be both utterly on top of his game, month after month, and also have better one-liners.

    • Murray Olsen 11.4

      What decent values does Jones have? I must have missed something. Certainly not family values, nor traditional industrial values such as not employing slave labour on your fishing boats, nor interfering in dubious ways in immigration matters, nor staying awake at work. As for his sense of humour, it’s pretty much at the level of an Aussie RSL comedian.

  12. Dan1 12

    Excellent Nelson meeting this afternoon. Full hall. Very good presentations from all speakers; great question session. What I have been looking for in Labour over the last elections and from David Shearer was front-footing of policy. It did not happen. It is clear from all three they will put policy out there that will resonate with voters.
    It was great to hear politicians talk in some depth rather than sound bites or facing inane questions from interviewers with their own agendas.
    If only the non-voters got to hear these presentations.
    What is very heartening is the number of questions I am getting from blue voting friends about the leadership situation. Many are looking for an alternative to the current government. They would have been impressed at today’s gathering.

  13. Anne 13

    Take a second look at Shane Jones Tanz. Sounds good on the surface but can you point to any real achievement since he became an MP? I can’t. If you prefer a right wing candidate then I guess Jones is your choice. That distasteful obscenity he leveled at John Key the other day (and nobody could call me a JK fan) demonstrated to me he isn’t leadership material.

    Why do the caucus mostly not back Jones or Cunliffe, but Robertson, I wonder.

    The answer is complex but as far as Cunliffe is concerned anyway it involves petty spite, jealousy, and personal ambition. But most of all a stubborn inability to face the reality that a significant section of the populace is not ready for a gay PM. Another few years and it will be a different story, but right now many people are still coming to terms with the legalising of gay marriage. At this point in time it is absurd to imagine they will accept a gay PM too.

    Even Georgina Beyer recognises it.

    • karol 13.1

      From what I hear about Cunliffe around the New Lynn electorate, I really don’t understand why some in the caucus are so opposed to him.

      I don’t think Robertson’s sexuality is an issue. If he was more experienced – and more dynamic in front of the media (too wordy, lacks zap), and more convincing with his sudden embracing of the anti-neoliberal message, he’d be a much more likely leadership contender right now, regardless of his sexuality. And he doesn’t convince me that he’s ready to take it to an opponent like John Key right now either.

      Robertson will be an excellent cabinet minister, but has yet to show by his track record, that he really is able to take the party in a new direction.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Robertson has progressed up through the ranks of the party by going with the flow of the party and it’s internal politics, including caucus politics.

        He lacks strong credentials in leading renewal and redirection, just in reinforcing the status quo.

        • Ad

          I thought Robertson’s internal promotion of interest-free student loans was an important shove to Clark getting a third term. No idea if on balance if it was good policy, but it was great politics.

        • Boadicea

          O Viperous one, do you mean shite like this?

          “As Deputy Leader I have shown my strong commitment to a democratic Labour Party that empowers our members. I am proud of the organisational change process to democratise our Party. We are stronger for it.”

          This is from the man who undermined and back-stabbed Cunliffe for years. This is from one half of the Shearer Leadership that went ballistic when the membership voted for a say in selecting the Leader.
          I’m now glad that Jones is getting better support than Robertson. I feel queezy.

          This is in his op-ed Q&A on the other thread. I’m looking forward to his answers.

        • Greywarbler

          I don’t know a lot about Robertson but what you say CV sizes up what I have noticed about him.

      • The Fan Club 13.1.2

        Who knew! Politician treats colleagues differently from voters. What a surprise. (I will say, that I have heard stories of Cunliffe shouting at officials when he was a Minister. That’s pretty fucking disgraceful, in my view.)

        As for the matter of Damascene conversions, Cunliffe was a minister who promoted PPPs. Grant was a student activist who was on the streets protesting user pays.

        • Colonial Viper

          Are you saying that Grant never shouted at officials when he was a Cabinet Minister?

        • karol

          And Grant’s recent track record is to support soft neoliberal policies, especially in his backing of Shearer. And his recent comments on such things as a PPP approach to tackle housing affordability.

          Cunliffe, in contrast, has for the last year or two, made speeches articulating a need to move away from neoliberalism.

          Suddenly, when Robertson wants the votes of the wider party membership, Robertson is talking anti-neoliberalism. Cunliffe is more credible.

          • The Fan Club

            Yes, involving the private sector in the provision of housing is a thing Labour has done, and has done since the state advances scheme. Part-ownership of hospitals, on the other hand, is not a traditional Labour technique, and yet it’s one Cunliffe was all over when he was a Minister with the power to make policy.

            Cunliffe has spent the last year or two pandering to the base — and before that, nothing. Robertson has a track record of opposing neo-liberalism that goes back twenty years. He was on the frontline as a student, organising against user-pays when Lockwood Smith was Minister of Education.

            • Colonial Viper

              Grant’s got plenty of time to mature as a politician and learn about economics.

              Cunliffe can deliver on 2014, right now.

            • karol

              Cunliffe has long had a considered approach to PPPs.

              Here’s what he said about the Key government’s over use of them in 2010:

              David Cunliffe said Labour did not rule out PPPs where they are in the public interest, but extensive international experience showed they should be approached with great care to avoid unintended consequences and costs to taxpayers.

              “Ironically, National’s ideological requirement for compulsory assessment of PPPs is the granny state gone mad,” David Cunliffe said. “PPPs add value only where the benefits of risk sharing and management are so great that they outweigh higher capital costs and profit margins required by the private partner. Usually that doesn’t happen, and that’s why only projects worth several hundred million dollars are viable.

              And as reported in the NZ Herald the same year:

              Bipartisan consensus is lacking, however, particularly around the prison project, with which Labour has a “philosophical problem”, says Cunliffe. He’s not too happy about schools, either. Social housing will also likely prove a deal-breaker.
              Cunliffe himself asks how far he and his party would go. “Would Labour rescind all these contracts? Labour respects private property rights and is extremely loath to make any retrospective changes.”

              However, his party overturned private sector management of Auckland Remand Prison and renationalised accident compensation, Cunliffe reminds the private sector. Bidders for the Wiri prison will need to “factor in that regulatory risk”, he warns.

              As usual, Cunliffe is more moderate on PPPs than I am…. but Robertson?

              I’ve seen too many people, across several generations, being radical as students, then becoming fairly MOR once they left uni. Consequently, I don’t necessarily take a person’s student politics as a guide to their later politics.

              I’m more interested in politicians long term track records.

              • The Fan Club

                In other words, Cunliffe was backing major public works PPPs under Goff, having pushed major public works PPPs under Clark. As you would expect, he was imitating Blairite PFIs. He was also well to the right of the caucus, cabinet, and ministry on that one, which is why none ever happened.

                I’m not talking just about Grant’s student politics. I’m talking about his politics full stop. Fighting user-pays at OUSA, interest free student loans, fighting against VSM, major hand in the Platform. Those are big gains for the left, and they are a long term track record, and it’s a track record of public service.

                On the other hand, you have Cunliffe, who backed PPPs as a minister, and who’s a Harvard grad who worked for Boston Consulting. You know who else was a Harvard grad who worked for BCG? Romney. You know one thing BCG’s well known for? Ruthless managerialism: firing to make the bottom line look better. If you think Cunliffe hasn’t cut workers just to make the returns to the one percent better off, you don’t understand what BCG do. They’re corporate hatchet men. That’s why you call them in. So please, don’t talk to me about long term track records, when you’re backing an ex-Master of the Universe corporate consultant.

                • karol

                  And, yet most of the affiliate union leaders are recommending Cunliffe.

                  And I’m not aware of Cunliffe having ever been in a role that involves hiring and firing workers. He says he turned down a role at treasury a while back because he didn’t agree with their neoliberal policies.

                  Cunliffe’s not perfect, but in terms of the current demands of being leader of the opposition and potential PM next year, he is the best of the 3 candidates, IMO.

                  • The Fan Club

                    Which affiliate leaders are backing Cunliffe? People who think Shane “slaveships” Jones is the second best option? Please, excuse me.

                    Karol, do you understand how BCG work? Of course Cunliffe was making decisions over who’d lose their jobs. That is what you pay BCG for. They really are corporate hatchet men, and it’s depressing watching a lefty make excuses for a multinational consulting firm. You wanna see neo-liberalism in action? Watch BCG operate.

                    • mickysavage


                      Citation certainly needed.

                      I am aware of the work that Cunliffe was doing in 1999 but I bet you do not know. Yet you still accuse Cunliffe of costing peoples jobs. Why do you do that?

                    • karol

                      According to 3 News tonight:

                      “I’m expecting strong support from the unions,” says Mr Robertson.
                      He might be expecting the support from the Service and Food Workers Union, which is 4.5 percent of the final vote. But a lot of them like Mr Cunliffe too.
                      The biggest affiliate, the EPMU, isn’t endorsing. But all the rest want Mr Cunliffe, and their votes make up 8.7 percent of the final vote.

                      The main reason for rejecting Robertson seems to be his lack of experience and potential to take on Key.

                      “The test was someone with ministerial experience, someone who is experienced in government and someone who can beat John Key,” says the Rail and Maritime Transport Union’s Wayne Butson.

                      All very important things, IMO.

                    • The Fan Club

                      I don’t blame Cunliffe for working for BCG. There’s nothing wrong with doing what you have to do. That’s just part of living in the fucked up late capitalist society. But you don’t get to be an ex-Harvard, ex-BCG, public-private partnership pusher and claim to be a consistent voice of the left.

                      Speaking of track records, which candidate is it that keeps going on about the GFC “changing everything”? Grant didn’t need the GFC to show him that neo-liberalism didn’t work. He was fighting it from the very start.

                      The unions mentioned seemed to think that Jones was a better option than Robertson. I shouldn’t be surprised predominantly male unions just chucked women, queers, the environment etc under the bus, but I’d expected better. Do you want to defend Jones over Robertson from a principled point of view, or is it just poll-watching?

                    • mickysavage

                      So TFC you accused Cunliffe of costing people their jobs, I asked for proof and you avoided answering the question.

                      So I take it you don’t have any evidence?

                    • lprent []

                      So I take it you don’t have any evidence?

                      That would be my bet. He seems to troll lines and simply doesn’t argue or discuss. A man of little substance.

                      I was just looking at his recent comments and looking at how he copes with people disagreeing with him. He never answers anything, he just uses another line. Looks to me like his desired effect is to just run lines out into the public. In fact there are a couple of right wing trolls who his style reminds me of from 2008.

                      I have to head off to do shopping. But TFC is getting high on my list of people to relegate to the sidelines until after the next election as not being worth while. I can’t see that he adds anything to the debate.

                    • karol

                      Grant didn’t need the GFC to show him that neo-liberalism didn’t work. He was fighting it from the very start.

                      Yes he certainly put up a strong fight against it while being a significant part of Team Shearer, and deputy leader.

                    • The Fan Club

                      I have no real interest in the depths of Cunliffe’s complicity with BCG’s lay-offs, out-sourcing, and globalising business. It’s not really particularly relevant if he made the tea, or did some PR driven pro bono work, or wrote memos recommending cuts. It’s all part of the same globalised business capital, all the same efforts to make business work for the one percent, to maximise corporate value. I don’t balme him for doing the job. We’re all part of the system. But I don’t think it’s a track record of being left wing.

                      [lprent: Enough. You’re just astro-turfing lines like someone was paying you for it, avoiding discussion, and not for the first time. Banned until after the next election. You can run your lines elsewhere. ]

                    • lprent

                      Bullshit. I have watched BCG work. Your lack of description about the processes they use speaks volumes about how little you know about what they do.

                      And I notice that you didn’t answer anything that karol pointed out.

                    • mickysavage

                      I have no real interest in the depths of Cunliffe’s complicity with BCG’s lay-offs, out-sourcing, and globalising business.

                      So, you said initially that Cunliffe was making decisions that cost people their jobs. Now you are saying that he was an employee of an organisation that sometimes made decisions that cost people their jobs.

                      Cop out. I asked you for proof that he made decisions that cost people their jobs. I take it you do not have any. Simple yes or no response will do.

                    • Anne

                      I don’t think it’s a track record of being left wing.

                      Aha TFC, as I suspected you have a limited degree of foresight. David Cunliffe has been there… he knows how the corporate world works… he knows how they think… he knows how they will react to policy changes. Very useful information to have for someone who leads a Labour led government.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Wow, what a slimy piece of work you are FC. Running away from your own little smear. No wonder your guy is losing.

          • Colonial Viper

            Grant swinging left for the members fits his usual and long observed “pragmatic” approach to strategy for political advancement.

            • Rhinocrates

              being radical as students, then becoming fairly MOR once they left uni.

              More Right than MOR – such as Goff, as faux-radical as Rick in The Young Ones who then turned into a Blessed Bride of Our Lord Roger and now living on a lifestyle block.


              Do you mean “DISINGENUOUSLY swinging left…strategy for HIS OWN political advancement”?

              • karol

                Rhino: Well some go right as they get older. Some, like Minto & Sue Bradford stay consistently radical. Hone – still sharp and on the streets when required.

                Then there’s Tim Shadbolt.

              • Colonial Viper

                sometimes leaving words out of sentences doesn’t work so well. Thx 😉

        • Ad

          Pal, you need to take a concrete pill and harden up.

          The public service is stacked with hard neo-liberals after successive cleanouts and restructures. More often than not they simply wait out a Labour first term and wait for the presumptives to get back in. I speak from long experience.

          Public servants should by and large get yelled at if they do not follow a Ministerial demand.

          Further, under a Cunliffe Prime Ministership you are likely to get significant reform within a shitstorm of public service inertia and media attack. So more public servants are going to get yelled at by him if they don’t act fast and hard enough.

          Being a public servant ain’t tidily-winks.

        • Pascal's bookie

          (I will say, that I have heard stories of Cunliffe shouting at officials when he was a Minister. That’s pretty fucking disgraceful, in my view.)

          Lol. I’ve heard stories that he was great to work for. I’ve also heard that the telecoms stuff he did got some push back from some bureaucrats. So he pushed back and got it done, because e was the one who was elected, so he figured he was the one who got to make the final decisions.

        • s y d

          Grant protested user pays did he, dabbled in a bit of student activism….holy shit, I well reacll being on the streets protesting user pays, getting spat at, threatened and abused, and I was protesting against one P.Goff.

          Oddly I see fron Mr Robertsons wiki that “On 15 June 2010, Opposition Leader Phil Goff appointed Robertson to be Portfolio Spokesperson for Tertiary Education”. What a fucken laff.

    • Tanz 13.2

      everyone talks about John Key as though he is a demi god. We now have gay marriage so why not a gay PM. I don’t find that an issue. Robertson comes across as nice but bland, Cunliffe and Jones have more bite. Cunliffe is a hard taskmaster from what I can see, vey ambitious. I do feel sorry for Shearer, what dreadful treatment from his colleagues.
      Jones is the best bet, he is refreshingly non-PC and is not interested in petty politicking.

    • Rhinocrates 13.3

      They won’t be ready for an X until they’ve had an X. Catch-22 or Damn the Torpedoes?

  14. Clement Pinto 14

    I wish we could get a summary or the gist of the Q and A at all these meetings, suitably edited to eliminate any controversial/damaging/superfluous aspects if any. I am keen and sense that other members may too. Am I correct?

  15. Rogue Trooper 15

    Excellent to see the Rail and Maritime, Dairy Workers Unions getting in behind David Cunliffe, with second preference to Jones.

  16. karol 16

    Link, RT?

    Edit: OK, I see above that it’s on 3 News. Just got home & catching the news on 3+1

  17. billbrowne 17

    Just got back from Wellington meeting.

    Over 600 people, standing room only.

    Good speeches from all 3 but I felt like SJ was just going through the motions sometimes.

    Good answers to questions – theme of the night: equality.

    I wish those “I’m for Grant” guys would stop hanging around during entrance and exit though – doesn’t feel right.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Crowd reaction…who did the crowd warm to?

      • billbrowne 17.1.1

        I’d say the crowd was weighted towards GR – there were a lot of the “I’m for Grant” set around where I was sitting.

        Applause was about equal for all – but DC hit some of the best spontaneous high notes.

        All around, however, it was very well balanced.

        I heard someone in the audience say “wrong answer Shane” to a question about the TPP.

    • Anne 17.2

      I wish those “I’m for Grant” guys would stop hanging around during entrance and exit though – doesn’t feel right.

      They will be the Vic. uni students hankering for jobs in ministerial offices when Labour makes the treasury benches. Some are looking to follow the same career path as Hipkins and Robertson. If they succeed Labour will cease to have any relevance to the political left and NZ workers and will wither away and die.

      • Colonial Viper 17.2.1

        Correct. But there will at last be genuine opportunities for a left movement to grow.

        However the bell hasn’t rung yet, we keep fighting hard, very hard, every day.

  18. Rhinocrates 18

    Interesting, Beltway Grant is third, apparently. While I personally revile him, I thought people would appreciate his technical skill at least, but Jones (whom I consider beneath even my bountiful contempt) is second (but still trailing, thankfully).

    It may be a reminder to the Labour solipsists that internal politics is less important after all, and that a clever apparatchik might not be the best choice because, hey… there are these things called “voters” and apparently they’re useful in some way and weirdly, they don’t just trail along like “followers” as Mumblefuck called them.

    Now, if they realise that a lazy misogynist in the terminal stages of testosterone poisoning isn’t a good idea either, things might actually get better.

    Actually, I’m optimistic.

    • Clement Pinto 18.1

      ‘Solipsists’: Interesting word/concept that!

      [From Wiki : Solipsism (Listeni/ˈsɒlɨpsɪzəm/; from Latin solus, meaning “alone”, and ipse, meaning “self”) is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one’s own mind is unsure. The external world and other minds cannot be known, and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist. As such it is the only epistemological position that, by its own postulate, is both irrefutable and yet indefensible in the same manner.]

      • Rhinocrates 18.1.1

        Exactamundo. I wonder if that little arselicking yuppie snot Hipkins will eventually realise that the real enemies are in government, not the party?

        • Colonial Viper

          Or in his own mind.

        • Clement Pinto

          I cringed when Hipkins made a scathing unfair public comment on TV about Cunliffe during the Labour conference last year. That comment was a shocker. Such matters are to be aired and sorted within the caucus, not in public. I would have expected Hipkins to have better judgement and wisdom, than cause damage to Labour in the eyes of the public. A big mistake! I was pleased when he recently stated that he has sorted his differences with Cunliffe. Good.

          • Clement Pinto

            P.S : Whether Cunliffe has sorted his differences with Hipkins remains to be seen.

          • Rhinocrates

            he recently stated that…

            I’m sceptical about his judgment – Hipkins is [and the rest is deleted]

            I knew the eighties all too well, and the yuppies that plagued that era. All were full of coke-fueled enthusiasm, all were ready to show what leaders they could be while they were slavering sycophants.

            Hipkins was born too late and too far from Wall Street. He just doesn’t know it.

            [lprent: Too far. You’ve been a lot better about taking warnings so I won’t give you a ban ]

            • Boadicea

              Rhinocrates, Remind me never to piss you off….

              • Chooky

                Boadicea +1….however he does cut through a lot of bullshit , like a hot knife through butter….and it is very entertaining!…..I am a fan….keep it up Rhino…and try not to get banned …..( for ever)

      • Linz 18.1.2

        Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

    • Neoleftie 18.2

      Lovely prose there mate.

  19. Tracey 20

    robertson now is sayong neo lib hasnt worked… yet he backed shearer who today said he believed the lost labpur voter they need to win back is white male and middle class. it doesnt seem to matter who is in govt they perceive this is who they need to win back or hold. my life experience tells me the white male middle class nzer is actually not the section of nz suffering, or suffering the most.

    when did robertson genuinely start believing that neo lib has failed?

  20. Hilary 21

    I went to the meeting last night. It felt a bit like history in the making. The large school hall was packed with over 600 people and the audience reflected the diversity of NZ. (At one point SJ made a disparaging remark about diversity which didn’t go down well). Sign Language interpreters helped deaf members of the audience follow the spoken narratives but there was a lot that didn’t need interpreting. The event and the election seems extremely well organised. Moira Coatsworth, Tim Barnett and the small team of workers and large team of party volunteers are doing a really good job. Fierce former city councillor Sue Piper kept the whole evening running efficiently. The three leader aspirants are only part of this transformational time.

    The three candidates are impressive and intelligent public speakers, and had considered answers for the questions from the floor (DC and GR very similar, SJ diverged on some – but they were all firmly identifiable Labour). Grant Robertson is easily the best speaker and his speech the most visionary and best crafted, and he covered a huge range of topics including resourcing public broadcasting and the recent excellent presentations of the SFWU to the select committee. His repeated themes included a focus on jobs, children and importance of democracy. He reminds me of a young Norman Kirk from the late 60s, early 1970s and in the same way is ahead of his time. A couple of times during his speech he almost sounded like Norman Kirk (although a socially liberal one). After the meeting the numerous cheerful and enthusiastic young Labour members gathered around him for a photo. The media missed this.

    Earlier he had quipped that the members would decide the contest, not Patrick Gower – which would probably ensure there would be no more favourable coverage for him.

    • Boadicea 21.1

      Hilary, your observations might have sone weight had you posted anything on TS earlier than a week ago.
      Your friend Grant Robertson, along with Claire Curran, had been attacking TS bloggers up to now.

      What brought about your Damascus moment?

      • Mongoose 21.1.1

        Actually Boadicea that is a very tired argument. For god’s sake stop the constant blaming and finger pointing. The constant thread of disharmony and misinformation posted here on TS is so boring now. Now is the hour to get in behind all your labour caucus, if you are a member, and support whoever is chosen to lead. To continue to single out certain MPs by using the Standard as a forum for hate mail when any MP says something you disagree with is no longer the way to help get a Labour Govt elected.
        I have to say that is often what I read here. Always by the same posters.
        This is not a time for revenge and pettiness.
        Here’s hoping you and others here have a ‘Damascus moment’ too.

        • Neoleftie

          Actually I had the same convo with a regular at the Dunedin husting meeting.
          Come the outcome come the unity even here I say.
          After the dust settles we get down to business of keeping labour on message and focusing on the Tories.
          Also the cunliffe proxies are well and loud maybe too loud in their support at expense of others having a voice on this medium.

          • lprent

            We don’t restrict apart from the limits laid down in the policy. And as far as I’m aware, being a Robertson supporter doesn’t make people shy and retiring?

            Just argue your corner(s)

            • Rogue Trooper

              apologies for the typo, and there is some musing to come: like, you’re a busy, employed man and I better look back in the files myself (having the time and all that). Anyway, back to The Self Illusion , Bruce Hood :2012 ; looks interesting.

        • lprent


          You are a making several assumptions, starting with assuming that Mary is a NZLP member. She may be, but about third of the commenters are in what I call Labour Ulterior. In other words they left the party sometime over the last 30 years. About a third are adherents of other parties. A third are NZLP members. Virtually none of them are into unquestioning support of anything, and they get less so as they read people from other silos..

          Most of the Ulterior left because of religious idiots of the faith like yourself requiring that members gave unquestioning support to the incredibly stupid things that the Labour caucus frequently does.

          Which is why this site was set up outside of the NZLP and targeted the broader labour movement despite many of us at the time being NZLP members (I’ve moved to the ulterior as have a number of others, some are more involved in the NZLP than they were). We also have a strong policy about anyone trying to tell us how we should run the site – which is what you just tried to do..

          So the short answer is no. If you continue to try and push this particular line you are likely to find out how intolerant we get about dickheads trying to tell us how we should run our site.

          This is your only warning.

          • Rogue Trooper

            Ulterior is such an apt word.

          • Neoleftie

            Um I take it you were address me.
            Apologise if one was implying that anyone should not be free within the rule to state anything and this is a platform for left leaders to put pen to comments.
            Interestingly while setting up the sound equipment at the husting meeting labour I had to deal with tv1 patching into the board as well. The reporter commented that they get a lot of info off the blogosphere.
            Anyway warning heard…

            • Puddleglum

              Looking at the comment numbering, I think lprent was responding to Mongoose at 21.1.1 (Just as you were).

              Lprent’s response to your previous comment was a short one directly below yours.

            • lprent

              Mongoose actually. I have amended the comment.

              This isn’t a place for “left leaders to put pen to comments”. We allow politicians on the site as guests, the same as everyone else, and right down to allowing them to submit guest posts.

              What we are after is a dialogue across the whole left spectrum and we really don’t restrict it to “leaders”. Politicians tend to get a moderate defense from moderators against trolls, but a lot less than we give to authors.

        • weka

          “For god’s sake stop the constant blaming and finger pointing. The constant thread of disharmony and misinformation posted here on TS is so boring now”

          So change the leader already*, and Labour get its shit together, and I bet more Standardistas will turn their negativeattentions back to NACT.

          *assuming that Labour picks someone who can (a) function as a leader of a left wing party and (b) take on Key. If that doesn’t happen, you can’t expect people to stop being critical.

  21. Pete 22

    I’m just back from the Dunedin meeting, and it’s actually made my decision a bit harder than it was beforehand. Grant Robertson was a very strong speaker. I think I’d be happy if either he or Cunliffe became leader. This is going to take some thought.

    • Anne 22.1

      Pete he’s a damm good speaker. He came to our LEC a few weeks ago and I was impressed with him. But … he’s not ready yet. He’s still to acquire the solid, mature, steady as she goes demeanour that comes with experience. We’ve just witnessed what happens when a relative newbie is thrown into the deep end. Grant’s time is coming but not yet. Let him have his few years as a cabinet minister (hopefully) and give him a chance to reach his full potential.

      David Cunliffe is the only one to take it to the National government at this point in time.

      • Clement Pinto 22.1.1

        I agree. Sometime later, may be in about 7, 10 or 13 years after the next political cycle, Robertson will be good, both in terms of having gained ministerial experience, acquired more wisdom and being more acceptable to the ‘general public’ who are the final masters in giving any party/personality political power. Better to wait and be sure than be hasty and risk it all.

      • Neoleftie 22.1.2

        Well I have followed Robertson since university days. Mature public speaker since high school.
        Also as H3 he has both the experience and skill set to unify the party and caucus.
        Thirdly he has performed consistently in the media as well as in the house.

  22. NZFemme 23

    Back from Dunedin meeting also.

    Of the three, David Cunliffe came across to me as the most authentic – particularly during the 15 questions section. Not sure if he’s been told to dial down his occasional propensity to be OTT, but there was a quiet seriousness to him that really appealed to me. I believed him when he spoke to the need to dispense with neo lib ideology, and he was the only candidate to address the reality and seriousness of climate change as opposed to making a popular sound bite.

    Shane Jones got a lot of laughs, but didn’t seem to really say anything much of substance, although he’s quite happy to allow deep sea drilling for oil off the Dunedin Coastline if he thought it was lawful and increased employment.

    Grant is a great speaker and witty. There wasn’t a great deal of difference between himself and David in terms of their overall message, but I felt less inclined to believe him. A polished performer is how I experienced him.

  23. Don't worry. Be happy. 24

    Also just back from the Dunedin meeting. Grant Robertson is a strong speaker…just hard to reconcile what he’s saying now with his positions/policy directions in the past. Hard to trust such an expedient conversion…

    Shane Jones seemed to be dragging himself to the podium to speak but when he got there he was moderately funny in an off key kind of not quite Billy T fashion. Again, it comes down to lack of trust (Bill Liu, slave condition fishing ships, paying for porn with our money) Not as smart as he thinks he is either by a long way.

    For me it’s no contest, David Cunliffe by a landslide ( quick on his feet, concise, witty, obviously thriving on the effort and challenge involved, intelligent and passionate about his vision). He’s the one to beat the NACTS, the other two are just ‘more of the same’ and Clowns Are Us.

  24. Bill 25

    Dunedin meeting.

    Cunliffe reiterated the ‘no bennie bashing’ line.

    Robertson was able to ‘say the right thing ‘…but it was kinda polished and (to me) annoyingly lacking substance which led me to wonder at the potential ambiguity of some of his remarks/statements.

    Cunliffe gave a far more pointed presentation and more involved answers.

    So, I was going to vote Cunliffe and nothing has changed.

  25. hush minx 26

    I think Labour is lucky to have these strong speakers. The job of course is bigger than that. So it really does come down to who take on Key. And that’s about speeches, but also strategy and organisation. That’s where a few more years under the belt to build experience are likely to help. And of course as others have said elsewhere, Grant as deputy has not got Labor very far in terms of delivering a winning combo.

  26. Neoleftie 27

    I too listen, from the back of the room, in Dunedin and was impressed with the calibre of orator skills , their like for each other in a comrade sense, and compassion for the people who they represent.
    Jones I found a traditionalist , witty, common man touch blokes boy from the far north but kept repeating his cred of sea lord chairman etc.
    Cunliffe came out with climate change, recourse scarcity and the coming ‘hump’. Came across as genuine humble with a touch of desire to lead and provide change.

    Grant hasn’t changed one bit really. Funny, witty serious and compassionate but focused upon the end game of power and its ability to create change.

    My vote is strategic….we need cunliffe as finance minister to provide the economic systemic change….therefor Robertson as front person.

    Here’s my team.

    Robertson as leader
    Cunliffe as deputy and hold finance.
    Shearer hold foreign ministry
    Parker and Norman associate finance and or economic devolepment.

    This election it’s about economics, unity and policy that will resonate with people not businesses.


    • Clement Pinto 27.1

      Being a PM and a Finance minister are not mutually exclusive. (Muldoon and Mahathir for example)


      Cunliffe can be PM and give his broad philosophy and needed directional guidance to the Finance minister.

      I don’t agree that he shouldn’t be PM just because we/you need him as Finance minister.

    • karol 27.2

      I especially like your choice of women on the front bench, neoleftie.

    • Chooky 27.3

      @ Neoleftie….this election is about winning.!!!!!!!!

      …and you are DELUDED if you think Grant Robertson can win against Key and Nact….they will gobble him up….and the NZ voter will spit out the pips….

      He might be Mr Kingpin mover and puppet master in caucus behind the scenes …but it will matter not one jolt out amongst the ordinary voters….get REAL!…do you really think the NZ voter will vote for him?….do you think he has the charisma…the smarts on his feet ….the appeal to the ordinary man and woman voter?…(with Alfie…even Georgina Byers thinks not)

      Cunliffe is the only choice for Leader of the Labour Party and if he wants to be associate Minister of Finance well so be it….He is a hell of a lot more qualified than Robertson or Jones …both in his experience in parliament and in finance, whether it be academically , in his orientation for ordinary Labour men and women , or with private enterprise.

      • Saarbo 27.3.1

        Spot on Chooky. People who think Robertson is the best option need to get out and talk to people who don’t live and breath politics. This afternoon I have been at a 60th birthday party of a friend, I spoke to both traditional National and Labour Party voters, I picked up 2 things 1) Cunliffe is the person they would most likely vote for, Robertson the least likely and 2) They reckon the Labour Caucus is a mess.

        We keep hearing from the candidates that they can unify the caucus, this is only half the story. If the caucus are to be unified then caucus members as individuals need to make the decision to co-operate and work with the new leader, if they cant do that then they should leave. Simple as that.

      • Neoleftie 27.3.2

        Deluded lol maybe…I’m after a fundamental change to both Labour Party, caucus away from third way neo lib glibness to this new direction as stated by cunliffe and maybe Robertson.
        But if cunliffe can direct control etc finance to bring about meaningful change as PM then go cunliffe, if as PM it’s diluted by the old hands and we get a shift back to the centre right lite on Eco policy then we wasted the chance….but yes in my heart of hearts cunliffe as leader and hand on finance tiller, Robertson as deputy, little as whip, Arden as number three.

  27. Clement Pinto 28


    • weka 28.1

      Just reading that link… can Labour re-open Hillside, or is it too late?

      • Colonial Viper 28.1.1

        Too late. Most of the staff have moved on and the vast majority of machinery has been broken down and shipped out for scrap. Heartbreaking.

        But all credit to the Tories – they know how to take shit apart in such a way that the left just cannot put it back together.

  28. Linz 29

    Just got home from the meeting in Dunedin (we live out in the sticks so it takes a while to get anywhere). It was great to be at the meeting. I was most impressed with David Cunliffe, and I thought Robertson did well also – really sincere and compassionate, but Jones gave me the impression he was well and truly over the whole thing, especially during question time. He got up and dragged himself to the lecturn as if it was a terrible effort and we were very lucky to have him there. There was a good range of interesting questions, many clearly from the University wonks in the audience. These were answered well by Cunliffe and Robertson, and for the most part, by Jones, though he wafted off on a stream of consciousness thing a few times.
    Got waylaid by a Radio NZ reporter on the way out and told him my pick was Cunliffe for leader, Robertson for deputy. He looked surprised, I guess because he thought everyone was going to be steered by the local MPs.
    Still haven’t got my voting papers. Will be really titchy if they don’t come in time.

    • miravox 29.1

      Good to hear all the meeting comments. Especially as I can’t be there. Much appreciated.

      Linz, maybe you’d best check out the situation for your papers? I live overseas and mine arrived in the mail yesterday (although I had already voted via the email link). Hard to see why NZ papers would take longer, even if you do live out of town. There may of course been several separate mail outs, though.

    • s y d 29.2

      I rang up last week as I still haven’t got mine…was told that they were going to email out a link for online voting….in the next few days….still waiting though. Might pay you to ring them up directly!

      • Colonial Viper 29.2.1

        Last physical mailout is happening Monday – you should have your papers Wed. If you don’t by then definitely get in touch with Labour in Wellington.

  29. jenny kirk 30

    Linz, Mirovox and s y d – get onto NZLP HO first thing in the morning. And anyone else who hasn’t yet got your voting papers.
    Maybe they’ll give you your password and pin numbers over the phone if your voting papers are not arriving soon – so you can vote online. The link to vote online is on the NZLP website, but you need a password and pin number from HO to start the voting process.

    And to Linz – the way Jones gets to the podium and mike is typical of the man. He looks bored, and a bit tired, as though its a real physical effort for him. That happened at the beginning of the campaign too, not just as the end when a bit of tiredness exhibited by the candidates could be expected !

  30. big bruv 31

    “Too late. Most of the staff have moved on and the vast majority of machinery has been broken down and shipped out for scrap. Heartbreaking.”

    Heartbreaking for who?

    Not the tax payer who would have been forced to subsidise jobs if Labour had their way. Scrapping it and closing it down was always the best thing to do.

    • KJT 31.1

      Selling, breaking down, shipping out for scrap and closing down, is the right thing to do to New Zealand.

      (sarc) tag for BB. As he is unlikely to, have the intellectual capacity to recognize it.

  31. Tiger Mountain 32

    Bruv’s usual astute observation. Capitalism red in tooth and claw for mr big.

    Hello… heard of taxpayers having to fund dole payments for previously productive workers with full time positions and a good skill set? Lets not mention rancid rolling stock from China either.

  32. NZFemme 33

    “…Not the tax payer who would have been forced to subsidise jobs if Labour had their way”.

    Meanwhile, a few degrees further South at the Aluminium Smelter…

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