Labour, WTF? – a collection of posts

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, August 9th, 2012 - 101 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

We’ve received a set of guest posts arising from the Stab In the Back comments that Duncan Garner reported on Tuesday and Su’a William Sio. We’ll compile the best here. As always, we exercise judgement in not publishing truly nutty stuff but there’s no editorial line, no endorsement of guest posts we publish – they just have to pass the test of being informative, lucid, and left.

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Where’s the leadership?
Veterans of the 5th Labour Government see a lot that’s familiar in The Thick of It. If you fucked up – no matter who you were, from the most junior staffer to the most senior minister – Helen’s right hand would at your throat and writing your apology for you. If you really fucked up, you would have to answer to Helen herself.

If Su’a William Sio had done what he did yesterday under Helen, he would have been issuing a ‘clarification’ by midday backing away from his earlier comments that Louisa Wall should withdraw her private members’ bill.

He wouldn’t have had explained to him why what he did as wrong . He would have been expected to work it out himself. And these are the things a) he’s factually wrong that Pasifika oppose marriage equality, they support it more than Pakeha, b) saying ‘we should be concentrating on more important things’ is wrong because Labour does have economic private members’ bills out there and there’s a limit to what you can do in opposition with private members’ bills thanks to the financial veto, c) it’s his right to vote how he likes on a conscience vote but not his right to say a private members bill, which has received caucus approval before being put in the ballot and d) you don’t go fomenting stories about internal divisions in your party – ever.

But, more likely, he wouldn’t have fucked up in the first place. That’s what discipline is. And discipline comes from both firm and successful leadership, which people both think is taking them to power and fear getting on the wrong side of. I haven’t seen that ‘clarification’ from Sio. That’s a failure of leadership.

Since Helen’s been gone, the B Team has been in charge and they’ve relished not having to watch their every step any more. The problem is, they keep on tripping themselves up.

-Old boy
————————————————————————–
An exercise for the reader
I think it’s interesting to consider ‘why now’? That often leads to answers as to ‘why’.

Why is Duckie trying to white ant Cunliffe now?

Ok, Shearer’s had some bad polls. Boo hoo.

If you have a few bad polls and your plan is to stick with Shearer, then you work on improving him, get his numbers up at least enough to stave off any run from Cunliffe in the 2013 leadership vote. The last thing you want to do when a leader you back has some bad polls is attack a potential leadership challenger.

You don’t attack Cunliffe if your plan is to stick with Shearer because – as noted by others – it makes Shearer’s leadership look in question. It weakens Shearer’s leadership security when Duckie attacks Cunliffe.

But what if you want Shearer’s leadership in question, except you don’t want Cunliffe to be the alternative because you’ve got your own man lined up, and you want blame for leadership questions sheeted home to someone other than you and your man?

Well, then, you start attacking Cunliffe.

The problem for Duckie and the third contender for leader is that, why the strategy might be sound, the execution was rubbish. It was obvious to everyone, including Garner if you read between the lines, what was going on.

So obvious that the story became not ‘oops, Shearer’s leadership’s looking shakey but Cunliffe’s no good, if only there were some other option’ as Duckie intended but, instead, ‘who’s Duckie working for now, trying to sabotage both David’s at the same time?’ and ‘why do Duckie and whomever he is working for put their personal interests ahead of the party’s?’

Who Duckie’s new front-man might be, I leave as an exercise to the reader. Clue: his name isn’t David.

-Lightseed

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Going rogue
Duncan Garner’s infamous blog post is the straw that broke the camel’s back. The situation with the Labour Party has now become untenable. Something must be done about the rogue Labour Party caucus.

It’s common knowledge that the caucus and the membership were divided over the leadership contest. The membership clearly backed David Cunliffe, but they couldn’t vote, and the caucus imposed their born-of-desperation candidate, David Shearer.

Shearer has never been anyone’s idea of a rising star. He is too inexperienced to lead the party, meaning the ‘leadership’ is done by proxy by the shadowy backers who pushed him forward on the paltry strength of his charming backstory.

But Shearer, while by all accounts a very nice guy, is a very poor communicator. It doesn’t help that he has nothing to communicate. Labour has hardly any publicly confirmed policy positions. The public want to know what Labour would do in government, and they need time to absorb those messages. Shearer is going out on a heartland tour to meet the public, with nothing to sell.

The idea that the public would ever buy Shearer as a PM with training wheels still on, is ludicrous. This insanity was foisted upon us by the ABC faction – Anyone But Cunliffe.

That’s not how you choose a leader. And that’s why we ended up with a guy who couldn’t lead his way out of a soggy paper bag.

The reasons Duncan Garner’s ‘sources’ give against Cunliffe – that he is ‘lazy’, ‘sneaky’ and ‘doesn’t deliver on his promises’ are serious allegations indeed.

But let’s compare apples with apples and see who comes out ahead.

David Cunliffe was gracious to a fault both during and after the leadership contest. He publicly offered his support to whoever was chosen as leader during the contest. He offered his full support to David Shearer after he won, and has continued to refuse to say a bad word about him. He stuck with Labour, accepting the loss of his beloved Finance portfolio, and knowing that every day he goes into work he is working with disloyal, nasty little twerps who are bagging him behind his back. His commitment and loyalty give the lie to those scummy comments that the cowards in Labour’s caucus fed to Garner.

Now, for the other side of the ledger. The ABC club who hate Cunliffe so much. These are the guys who leak nasty comments about their own colleague to the media. While said colleague is out of the country. While their party is struggling in the polls and needs a dose of infighting like a hole in the head. They are the geniuses who elected David Shearer as leader, trashing Labour’s one opportunity to win the 2014 election, just to indulge in their hatred of David Cunliffe.

Their behaviour speaks for itself. If you want to know who the problem is in Labour, look no further.

When Chris Carter was kicked out of the Labour Party, I said good riddance, because anyone who puts their own ego above the welfare of the wider party needs to be kicked out.

The ABC club have Chris Carter syndrome. They believe that they know best, and that they are the true and the right and the just, and everyone else is wrong. If that means dragging their own party through the mud to ensure that they get their own way, so be it.

It’s time for it to stop. Right now.

The membership knows what the party needs. It needs a jolly good clean-out of the ABC faction, sharpish.

If anyone wants to know who these people are, the list below reflects the MPs who publicly declared their vote for Shearer early on:

David Shearer, Grant Robertson, David Parker, Annette King, Maryan Street, Damien O’Connor, Phil Goff, Phil Twyford, Kris Faafoi, Darien Fenton, Clayton Cosgrove, Trevor Mallard, Jacinda Ardern, and Chris Hipkins.

As far as I’m concerned, it is up to each of them to declare now if they are not part of this dirty little faction, and if they stay silent, then that’s all the answer that’s needed.

The question now is what do we do? The membership have very limited power. We can’t force a leadership vote.

I am calling on any decent members of Labour’s caucus to make their voices heard. If you don’t support what the ABC faction has done, trashing your party’s reputation and throwing an election out of spite, then speak now.

Labour’s caucus has the power to force David Shearer to step down. Do the numbers, and do the decent thing. Roll Shearer and elect David Cunliffe.

– Blue

————————————————————–
On point
I can’t believe that we’re still seeing this rubbish after four years. Don’t these people know that they stand on the shoulders of people who have struggled for nearly a century to build this party? How dare they behave like this – ruining what we have built with generations of toil as if its their mere plaything?

– Mike

————————————————————–
No show without punch
I know you’re all dying for my two cents. Well, I won’t be signing the online petition for Shearer to step down. And not just because my membership has lapsed.

I think Shearer was chosen for the wrong reasons. If 2 or 3 MPs (yes, it was that close) had voted for the good of their party rather than out of high school-style siding with the ‘cool’ clique against Cunliffe and his supporters, then we would all be talking about whether Labour would match National by year’s end and speculating on how important portfolios would be divided up with the Greens after 2014 (which is an interesting question that I mean to write about, because I’m still highly confident of a centre-left win in 2014). But they chose Shearer instead.

Shearer’s not a bad guy. He’s raw but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Key was raw, Lange was raw. They both won two elections (sure, they governed awfully but one problem at a time!). The problem with Shearer is he’s dreadfully advised by the same useless group of senior staffers who advised Goff into the worst election result in 80 years.

That latest speech – as much of it as I could bear to read – was classic Pagani: opportunistically rightwing, insincere, and a complete failure. And what the fuck is up with getting him to wander around the countryside? That’s what he did for the first three months, remember? The votes Labour has lost are in middle suburban belt in Auckland, in Christchurch, and in Dunedin. That’s where Shearer should be. You’ve got to spend your time targeting the richest concentrations of soft Lab/Nat voters, and those aren’t in Waipukurau.

A more suspicious person would suggest that Shearer has been sent away purposely to lower his profile. But I would suggest it’s really just crappy advisors. It’s their fault we never see him, because they’re not working to create good anti-government stories and putting him up to front on them.

Shearer’s still got 6 months to prove he’s up to it.

Running small target all the way to the election might just work but it’s pretty much leaving it up to Key to continue to fuck up. After six years, I think we’ve all learned that’s not a safe bet.

I think that some ‘senior MPs’ have decided that small target isn’t going to work for Shearer. They’ve been spooked by the end of the dead cat bounce. At the same time, they don’t want Cunliffe because he’s not their buddy. They are that petty. So you see that disgraceful, disloyal, destructive leaking to Garner designed to hurt both Shearer and Cunliffe as they try to clear the field for someone else. And there’s only really one person who that could be.

I don’t know which way it’s going to go but I’m going to make sure my membership’s up to date before the leadership vote next year.

– Eddie

101 comments on “Labour, WTF? – a collection of posts”

  1. alex 1

    Has a situation like this (where the membership/activists clearly prefer a candidate who is not the incumbent, with caucus favouring the incumbent) ever happened in Labour before? And if so, what was the outcome of that problem?

    • IrishBill 1.1

      The 1980’s. Only it wasn’t a leader the members disliked so much as the majority of the caucus. For what it’s worth I think that Shearer still needs a chance. He’s not had the opportunity to lead a caucus that has not been encumbered by poisonous and damaging infighting and, as such, he’s not had the opportunity to really show if he’s up to leading.

      That said, it’s a massive exaggeration to say the caucus doesn’t like Cunliffe. From what I can tell the majority of the caucus have no dislike for either Cunliffe or Shearer. It seems this is a few unpleasant individuals poisoning the well for everyone.

      • higherstandard 1.1.1

        Most of them will be interested in what all politicians are interested in – a good troughing via a safe seat and failing that a nice high place on the list.

        A pox on them all and a double dose for the duck I hope he gets canker of the codpiece.

      • Pete George 1.1.2

        Dumping Shearer is not going to address the core problems.

        s there any realistic chance of:
        a) removing the “few unpleasant individuals”?
        b) Shearer and Cunliffe working together as leader/deputy?

    • Anne 1.2

      It isn’t a case of the membership/activists fighting for one candidate while the caucus favours the incumbent. The leadership contest ended early last December. Members/activists/caucus members, who preferred Cunliffe at that time, immediately got behind Shearer and have stayed there ever since.

      Now we have been betrayed by a handful (and I suspect that is all it is) of cowboy/girl traitors inside the caucus who have deliberately lit the fuse again. And there was one reason and one reason alone… personal, political ambition!

      If no action is taken against the perpetrators I predict that eventually many members will resign – and they will be the local activists who keep the Party alive and well.

  2. Roy 2

    It’s depressing when adults in high and well-paid places behave like children in a primary school playground.

    • higherstandard 2.1

      Politics has been depressing for many decades.

      If it gives you any solace my colleagues in Australia say that their politicians are perhaps even worse than ours.

      • PolishPride 2.1.1

        Thats because once you take a step back and look at the system objectively you can see there very little difference by shifting a couple of degrees to the Left or a couple of degrees to the right. Both sides are about wealth redistribution from within the bounds of current system of the day.
        Its then you will understand ‘Politics’ is depressing whether the politicians behave like children or not….

      • Tom 2.1.2

        Heh ..

  3. shorts 3

    no need to insult those or primary school age Roy, children are much better behaved

    • Roy 3.1

      Yeah, you’re right. I did badmouth the vast majority of primary school aged children. Apologies.

  4. BM 4

    It’s fairly obvious, Shearer and the current Labour team want Cunliffe and the Cunliffe supporters gone.I wouldn’t even be surprised if Shearer was the on talking to Duncan Garner.

    They want you guys to go form your own party and I can see why, you cannot have groups with such different approaches co- existing within the same party.
    There’s only one ending and that’s the destruction of Labour.

    Labour has be a mainstream central party, similar to National, not the revolutionary party so many here want.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      Sorry but that’s a ridiculous analysis. For a start there’s not a great deal of political difference between the “right” and the “left” of the labour party as they’re all social democrats of one shade or another, and secondly, the average Standard reader is the mainstream because most Kiwis are social democrats. If you think the basic Keynesian capitalism and social egalitarianism that’s regularly prescribed on the Standard is “revolutionary” then I’d suggest you’re the one on the fringe.

      • BM 4.1.1

        To be honest bud, 99% of the country has no idea what basic Keynesian capitalism and social egalitarianism even means.

        All they know is the current system seems to work, we’re not a basket case like Greece, most people can still pay the bills and provide for their families and if you work hard the opportunity to get ahead is there.

        What I read here from the Cunliffe supporters is that the current system needs to be tossed out and and some new system put in it’s place.
        Unfortunately, there is no way in hell that is ever going to fly with the majority of Kiwis, most are happy with the status quo, it just needs a bit of fine tuning.

        David Shearer knows this which is why Labour isn’t heading in that direction

        • Olwyn 4.1.1.1

          “The current system seems to work” largely because those for whom it does not work are deprived of a voice. And quite a lot of commentators have noted the way housing has replaced manufacture, the growing gulf between haves and have-nots, etc. Furthermore, Cunliffe has not advocated anything truly extreme, and is in fact better equipped to talk to business in its own language, and to balance competing concerns than anyone in the present team, who are obsessed with branding while offering no central product to which the brand is attached.

          • KJT 4.1.1.1.1

            If most people think the current system is working, how come this comment got 93 likes in the Herald. Not noted for left wing readership.

            “Even Ricardo never suggested that Britain give up making wine altogether, or Portugal textiles.
            In fact no country has ever succeeded on exports alone, without a healthy internal economy.
            And no country has ever succeeded in benefiting from an export economy without State support of the export sector.
            Of course, our pursuit of pure free markets has worked so well? How much has our number of people in poverty increased by, again?”

            Most of us here advocate a return to a democratic, functional and fair society.
            Something that was considered middle of the road, even to National voters, 40 years ago.

            I am sure there a many old time conservatives, who would be as concerned by the sellout of NZ as we are. It is the Neo-liberals who have caused unworkable radical change, to a degree which would once have been unthinkable.

          • prism 4.1.1.1.2

            Olwyn 4 1 1 1

            the present team, who are obsessed with branding while offering no central product to which the brand is attached.

            In a nutshell. And the nut is good and fresh. Time to do the mahi not concentrate on the mana (small m) and personal advantage.

            • Olwyn 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Thanks prism: your mahi/mana word play is most apt.

              • Colonial Viper

                BM said

                All they know is the current system seems to work, we’re not a basket case like Greece, most people can still pay the bills and provide for their families and if you work hard the opportunity to get ahead is there.

                The fact that the current system doesn’t work for up to 1M Kiwis in poverty and restricted socioeconomic mobility is a minor detail to you, right?

                Every person who wants a full time job, should have a full time job, and be expected to perform it to a good standard.

                That’s the system we need.

                • BM

                  That would mean that the current system works for 3.5 million people,that’s 78% of New Zealanders.

                  Seems a bit silly to change a system with such a high success rate, be much better to make a few adjustments to the current system than to throw it out.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Except it’s not working for 3.5m. 50% live on 30k or less. That’s poverty level income.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Although I’ve been thinking for a while now that its household income which counts.

                      If one person in a couple is earning $80K pa, and the other is earning $15K pa part time, you don’t get 50% of the household living in poverty. You get two very well off individuals, in terms of lifestyle.

                    • Olwyn

                      @ BM: All poverty is relative, short of death. The guy who will breath for another hour is “better off’ in this sense than the guy who is presently dying.

                      However, there is real hardship in places where reasonable wealth is presupposed and you lack it to a high degree. It means terror of the power bill, terror of the landlord chucking on a coat of paint and seeking a more upmarket tenant, etc, etc, while trying to eat your meagre rations around a couple of broken, aching teeth that will not be fixed and prevent you from publicly smiling. It means trying to meet the demands of a society that presupposes wealth and punishes its lack, day in day out. The hardship may take a different form than that of your guy blowing cocks for $5.00, but it is still serious hardship.

                  • McFlock

                    Wow. A million in poverty is a “high success rate”.
                           
                    That’s the left:tory divide right there. ‘Eradication of social harms like poverty and crime’ vs ‘Cees get degrees in social policy’. And that’s if they think that people living in poverty is a bad thing.

                    • BM

                      Living under a bridge with your family blowing cocks for $5.00 so you can buy your kids a meal, that’s poverty and hardship.
                      Unfortunately that is the life for some people in other countries,kiwis have no idea of what poverty is.

                    • Jackal

                      So stories of hungry kids eating pig slops and cockroaches isn’t a sign of real poverty in New Zealand? Having a million Kiwis living in poverty is not a sign of a successful system… It’s a sign of failure that causes untold misery.

                      It must be nice living in your insulated and ignorant world BM.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Setting your standards too high methinks.

                      Its not poverty until you’re also selling the body of your 10 year old (boy or girl) for the use of various passerbys.

                    • McFlock

                      So we don’t have homeless people in NZ?
                      Good to know.
                           
                      More to the point: why does extreme poverty elsewhere mean that we have to allow poverty to exist here?
                         
                      Again, that’s the ‘cees get degrees’ mentality at play. Surely we should concentrate on being the best country we can be, rather than simply being happy that we can outrun most of the pack.

                    • bad12

                      BM, are you suggesting that the ugliness you outline has not or does not happen in New Zealand,

                      Your obviously extremely blinkered…

        • IrishBill 4.1.1.2

          99% of the country doesn’t know what the zygomatic is but they’ve got one. If tossing out the old system is what you hear then you need some context. That said, if you can point me to a post in which an author (except for our resident radical, Bill) recommends radical change, ie change that is outside of our current democratic capitalist system, then perhaps I’ll reconsider your point.

          • BM 4.1.1.2.1

            Not the authors, more the commentators.
            I usually just skim-read the authors, they always seem to revolve around an anti National/John Key theme, gets a bit dull after a while.
            I mainly read the Standard for the comments.

          • Deano 4.1.1.2.2

            I didn’t know what the zygomatic is, but now I do – thanks Irish!

        • DH 4.1.1.3

          I’m curious to know where the unions fit in this. Do they still have any influence over the Labour party and are they providing much funding these days? Helen Kelly strikes me as the type who would have some quite serious ideological differences with the existing clique but I don’t hear much on that front. Who are the unions backing?

      • PolishPride 4.1.2

        Their is not a great deal of difference between Labour and National full stop.

    • Rupert the Beer 4.2

      Revolutionary party? You’re confusing The Standard with No Right Turn or Tumeke.

      • ropata 4.2.1

        The right wing revolution has already occurred, it will take time for them to complete the looting of NZ.
        That nice Mr Key has been adept at selling his Brash inspired policies to the sheeple.

        Undoing the NACT self enrichment campaign may appear radical to people used to being ripped off.

  5. Leopold 5

    Alex – Well J A Lee liked to claim that he was more popuular than Fraser and even Savage. But the failure of his own little schism suggested he was talking out of his arse

    • bad12 5.1

      69,000 existing State Houses providing homes to the most needy in society would tend to suggest that John A Lee and other radical Socialists in the Savage Government were in fact a raging success…

  6. redWater 6

    I have voted Labour down here in Dunedin in the same way my father did.

    Kids down here just seem so suspicious of the government now. I don’t know whether we did it or National did it, but there is a real swing away from unions and distrust of corporations and big government.

    Are we causing this?

    • PolishPride 6.1

      No you didn’t people (especially kids) are beginning to see the system for what it really is and can see better solutions. Yet the see the system heading down the same old path it always has at best tinkering around the edges and not having any answers to fix the real problems that affect society. They see more and more pandering to big corporations.
      They see profit being put above all else.
      They leave school having been sold on the kiwi dream of get an education, get a job, get married buy a home start a family, only to find that the jobs are not as easy to come by and the median house price is $400K,+.
      They have grown up in a world of technology and automation and many ask why do we have to work. Why doesn’t the system work for us?
      And they are called lazy by our generation.

      • David H 6.1.1

        Its like the Piracy thing. We want the movies/tv series now, and the morons in charge keep sticking to their outdated model, hence the Piracy.

        This time in politics people have gotten sick of the same ol’ same ol’, and are voting with their feet (well not voting really). But it’s the same thing, the ones in power keep on with the same old lies, and same old crap, and the young people look at this and figure why bother voting because they (the morons in power) or the Morons who want to be in power, are NOT listening.

        So they won’t vote, or like me they are sick of same old bullshit coming out of the labour caucus. So I, and maybe them, will vote Green this time. We are sick of the shenanigans coming out of Labour, and until they have a radical cleanup of the idiots who think they are running the show, and who DON’T listen to the most important of people. The VOTERS.

  7. prism 7

    I think there must be deep discussion in Labour MPs opposition about this Duncan Garner thing which doesn’t give Labour any positives. I’ve got to go to the dentist soon to have some very detailed work that can’t be put off any more. I suggest Labour people who have respect for the Party, its aims, its long-standing work for the people (before 1984) and the pride that went with that amongst Labour MPs get the rotteness taken out with those perpetrating it out of any position at all, with by-elections if necessary. And no list spectre rattling chains and wailing.

    David Shearer has done his best and deserves praise but Blue’s suggestion sounds right –
    that he was pushed forward by backers (who exactly, can we have names) who thought the punters would like the sound of his “charming backstory”.

    And Blue lists those who put their names to backing Shearer as being David Shearer, Grant Robertson, David Parker, Annette King, Maryan Street, Damien O’Connor, Phil Goff, Phil Twyford, Kris Faafoi, Darien Fenton, Clayton Cosgrove, Trevor Mallard, Jacinda Ardern, and Chris Hipkins. In the italics form they all are bent. Let’s hear from those who have no truck with all this, let them stand straight and declare themselves.

    As for Su’a William Sio, he needs to practice his politics NZ Labour style, not as an individualistic pollie strutting his stuff about his own opinions in a way that damages the party that has given him his position. This isn’t a Pacific democracy of the kind where individuals rule and working the personal advantages is the game.

    And Lightseed has come up with an interesting version of this chess game, which has some parallel with that serious game as lived in the musical Chess. Bring on the Invigilator. The word untenable has been used by Blue correctly I think.

    I am in the Green party. But we work with Labour. We are a decent, sincere, hard-working party for the good of NZ. We need Labour to be the same.

  8. Jock 8

    I have witnessed the parliamentary wing in action in meetings and was surprised to see the newer MPs and advisors sitting dumbstruck, not daring to speak up whilst the chosen few held court with their opinions and views on how to run the show. The lesser mortals were sitting on their hands and biting their tongues – probably wanting to say what we all feel, right?

    Labour has a big culture problem – the egotistical, over-priviliged and out of touch long-serving MPs are running the show and closed to advice and change. There is no telling them – not the polls, media, voters nor activists. Until the old guard are gone, along with their entitled attitudes, the Labour party will always have this problem.

    • PolishPride 8.1

      Don’t be surprised – having spoken to 3 different MPs on this all have confirmed that in our current system the way it works in reality is that it is only the top 3-4 MPs in a party that have any real power around direction. The rest are merely warming the seats, making up the numbers and biding their time in the hopes that one day they will make it to the top four.

  9. deuto 10

    Buried on Stuff this morning is an article by Tracy Watkins on the Sio and Cunliffe debacles, which does not seem to have been mentioned on TS so far

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7443334/Fresh-ructions-hit-Labour

    The first half of the article seems to suggest that Sio is pretty much on his own re the marriage equality bill. At the very end of the article, Watkins actually quotes Shearer on Cunliffe, which from the wording used suggests that it was an ad hoc response to questions rather than a considered thoughtout statement (which I would have hoped for) intended to address the internal ructions and what he is going to do about these from a leadership perspective.

    But Shearer yesterday hit out at the speculation and said Cunliffe had his full backing.

    There was no suggestion that Cunliffe would be demoted.

    “God no, the guy’s got a huge brain. He’s really across economy policy. Hell no, I want him to be there and want him to keep doing what he’s doing . . . I don’t think there would be anybody else in the caucus who could do it as well as him, to be honest.”

    Alongside the article is a Stuff online poll asking who would be the best leader for Labour – Shearer, Cunliffe, Robertson, Parker, Little, Jones or someone else. Someone else is currently ahead at 37%, with Shearer on 21% and Cunliffe on 20%.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 10.1

      Well that’s something at least. I hope that coupled with the public support there is more private action being taken against the poisoner.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Its a minimal something. The issue is not what Shearer thinks of Cunliffe, its what Shearer is going to do to maintain discipline in caucus and sort out the MPs who BACKSTABBED a colleague in front of a journalist, at the COST of the entire Labour Party.

        • Anne 10.1.1.1

          Be assured CV, you would love to be a fly on the wall at Labour’s next caucus meeting!

        • prism 10.1.1.2

          Perhaps a bleeding Labour scarecrow in a wheelbarrow needs to be brought forward to get attention, and that will spark off the appropriate response that would be seen around UN battlefields. Can we somehow make the connection that democracy has to be fought for, but in a different way than the Arab Sprung etc. Spring is here, the grass is riz, I wonder where Dave Shearer is? No doubt there is an announcement due to come through the media any moment that will make the above redundant if it wasn’t before I wrote it!

          • Anne 10.1.1.2.1

            The appropriate place for a bollocking is Labour’s caucus meeting next week (parliament is currently in recess) and that is where it will happen.

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.2.2

            The scarecrow, the wheelbarrow, AND the flaming holocaust cloak is going to pay the Labour game players a memorable visit sometime.

    • Someone else is currently ahead at 37%, with Shearer on 21% and Cunliffe on 20%.

      That sums up one of Labour’s biggest problems. But they have to work with who they have. Together preferably.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 10.3

      The inclusion of “somebody else” provides people who will never support the Labour Party with a box to tick. Only an idiot troll would suggest it carries any weight or meaning.

    • Socialist Paddy 10.4

      This is part of the problem.  Cunliffe should be financial spokesperson.  No ifs and no buts.

      There are two teams in the Parliamentary Caucus right now the A(BC) team and the other team. The ABC Team have all the best seats, get the best speaking slots and have all the power. The B team are treated like lepers. MPs like Chauvel and Dalziel deserve so much better.

      If Shearer is going to make a go of this he needs to weld the two factions together. Fast. Just like Helen did back in the 1990s. 

      Because if they do not unite successfully, they will surely fail. And the freaking tories will continue to wreck the joint.
       

    • David H 10.5

      But Shearer yesterday hit out at the speculation and said Cunliffe had his full backing.

      There was no suggestion that Cunliffe would be demoted.

      “God no, the guy’s got a huge brain. He’s really across economy policy. Hell no, I want him to be there and want him to keep doing what he’s doing . . . I don’t think there would be anybody else in the caucus who could do it as well as him, to be honest.”

      So if this is all true why then has Cunliffe been gagged and sent overseas all the time? I smell a very rotten duck in back of all this, and the sooner him and the rest of his self serving ilk are gone the better the Labour party will become.

  10. Khandalla Man 11

    Membership.Membership.Membership 

    Call door to door on un-financial members and get then enrolled. VFL automatic bank payment is even better.

    Go to sympathisers, friends, mistresses and enrol them too.  There is going to be a Leadership vote soon. it is now nearly 48 hours since Garner published. And there has been no response from Shearer. He is the poorest advised leader on the planet. 

    This time the membership will have a real say: with or without the proposed new rules.  

    Waiting until February for an election will damage the party more. 

    • King Kong 11.1

      Hold your horses cumsock Wanker Banker

      “But Shearer yesterday hit out at the speculation and said Cunliffe had his full backing.

      There was no suggestion that Cunliffe would be demoted.

      “God no, the guy’s got a huge brain. He’s really across economy policy. Hell no, I want him to be there and want him to keep doing what he’s doing . . . I don’t think there would be anybody else in the caucus who could do it as well as him, to be honest.”

      • Khandalla Man 11.1.1

        I’m delighted that David Shearer made that statement. That, and more, is what we are looking for.  
        It is not in the Dominion Post or Red Alert.  Where do I find it?  

        He should publish that and more onto Red Alert and into an email to all memberes. Urgently. This mess is almost out of control.  He should have addressed it yesterday from Nelson.  

        • the pink postman 11.1.1.1

          This is the real problem we have K.Man .Its almost impossible to get Labour’s message across. The Nat’s have Crosby-Textor and they are amazing at publicity for the Nat’s. Most if not all the news media are in their pocket and Key is well managed by them .They are just on the ball with making sure that Nats havr positive publicity (propogander) but that Labour is run down at every opportunity. The Garner story is pure Crosby-Textor.Like the old cliche they never rest,This is Labour’s big problem and I have no answer. Also remember that the Nat’s affiliation with the USA Republican Party (neo-cons ) also helps their cause.

          • King Kong 11.1.1.1.1

            Is “propogander” when you cant stop looking at front row forwards?

          • gobsmacked 11.1.1.1.2

            Its almost impossible to get Labour’s message across.

            Wrong. It’s never been easier. Not in the MSM to the general public, not on the TV info-tainment news, but to the supporters who want to hear.

            Nobody else controls Labour’s websites, blogs, Twitter accounts, media releases on Scoop, speeches, etc. Labour’s leaders can choose to communicate with us at any time, and within minutes it will be around the internet – including here.

            Shearer’s speech to Grey Power has certainly got across (see other threads, and Gordon Campbell link on this one).

            It’s a total cop-out to blame the medium, when the real problem is the message. And the messenger.

        • seeker 11.1.1.2

          @Khandallah Man 12.10am

          For you. Shearer’s huge endorsement is at the end of the article (of course.)
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7443334/Fresh-ructions-hit-Labour

          The link is also on Deuto’s comment 10 above.

  11. bad12 12

    I’m sorry did the leader of the ACT Party David Shearer say something, oooops sorry i meant the leader of the Labour Party, although after Shearers bit of bene bashing the other day is there a difference???…

  12. prism 13

    KM
    Yes. Go Labour. “Waiting until February for an election will damage the party more.” I think that Khandalla Man speaks for a new breed of Labour followers.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Some of the true old breed is going to be some of the new breed methinks. Good thing too.

  13. Michael 14

    Storms will keep raging in Labour’s teacups for as long as the Party allows right-wing media to keep stirring those teacups. IMHO, Labour needs to state clearly what it stands for, what it opposes, and what changes it will make in office if elected. Everything else is a distraction. Again IMHO, Labour cannot do any of this because its Parliamentary wing do not know the answers themselves, probably because they are afraid that the middle classes won’t back them. That fear is misplaced, IMHO, because (a) the middle classes are diminishing in number and purchasing power; and (b) the proletariat (formerly Labour’s base, but abandoned progressively since 1984) are growing in number (although diminishing in purchasing power), as intended by New Right economic “reforms” [sic]. If Labour does not want to re-establish contact, and trust, with its base, someone else will, and that new political grouping will become the popular opposition to NACT. At present, Labour is part of the problem, not the solution, so it does not matter who “leads” [sic] it.

  14. bomber 15

    Having spoken to key people about what is happening, this is my conclusion – http://tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/a-tale-of-two-davids-shearer-gets-lost.html

  15. Adrian 16

    I think we have all been sucked in. I think this whole affair is possibly far, far smaller than assumed. But that which is’nt in question is Garner publishing a few snippets of innuendo and bitchiness only days after Labour/Greens are shown to be several points ahead of National and any of its pathetic arselickers.
    Then he leaves the rest to arced-up fruitloops who should just have a nice lie-down

    • gobsmacked 16.1

      Sucked in? Speak for yourself. Some of us have critical faculties.

      A Duncan Garner blog post isn’t the real problem here, and only the wilfully blinkered cannot see that.

      If DG fell under a bus tomorrow (RIP) would Labour’s divisions and incompetence disappear? Does Garner write Shearer’s speeches?

      Read Old Boy’s OP. Please.

  16. Socialist Paddy 17

    Stuff is running a vote on who should be leader of the Labour Party

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/

  17. gobsmacked 18

    Bryce Edwards has a round-up of the blogs …

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10825760

    To those who say this is a “beat-up” – please link to ANYBODY applauding or endorsing recent developments within Labour. It’s not good enough just to say “get in behind” … give us something to get behind. Anything?

    • Peter 18.1

      There isn’t anyone cheering, just possibly resigned acceptance from some when a day goes by without another Shearer gaffe. The man may still have enough honesty and integrity to stand down for the good of the party. Will be interesting to see if Robertson has enough nous to realise he can’t go into the leadership with Jacinda, as she’s too new and hasn’t held a seat. Maybe in the future, but not now.

      So, a Cunliffe-Robertson combo is the best option.

  18. captain hook 19

    beltway bullshit.

  19. outofbed 20

    I feel a new party coming on.

  20. Andrew Mahon 21

    Back to the comment ‘NZers don’t know what real poverty is’. If someone doesn’t have a job and has little hope of getting one they are poor enough for me. Poor enough for a government to step in and make sure they get one if the market can’t. People with democratic values believe in this. Austrian economics may have a different take.

    • prism 21.1

      Andrew Mahon
      What I don’t know about economics fills several libraries and under Austrian I have only heard about, (who got a joint Nobel prize in 1974), Friedrich Hayek so I looked up Austrian economists and got an interesting quote from Wikipedia
      .
      Austrians are generally advocates of laissez-faire policies.[10] The most common economic interventionist regulation Austrians support are regulations to prevent fractional reserve banking.

      Interesting they don’t support fractional reserve banking. Maybe the economics being applied are cherry-picked from all different theories to suit the purposes of the wealthy. If so that would hardly be objective application of economic policy.

      • Draco T Bastard 21.1.1

        The policies that are put in place are neo-liberal/neo-classical which does support, and in fact advocates for, Fractional Reserve Banking. Neo-liberal economics really is a capitalists wet dream, Austrian, not so much but it still holds to the delusional free-market capitalism.

  21. CrosbyTextor 22

    TO: duncangarner@tv3.co.nz

    FROM: H/Q

    RE: Confidential

    Thanks Duncan.

    L & M

  22. Georgecom 23

    I emailed my local Labour MP today, told them that I didn’t think much of the comments to Garner and suggested it was a pretty stupid thing to do. I asked the MP to raise the issue in caucus and state that they have received negative feedback from a local electorate foot slogger who has delivered pamphlets, put up hoardings etc for 6 elections now.

    • Khandalla Man 23.1

      Sweet. The perfectly right thing to do! Go Georgecom.

      I’m going to ask the sweet things in my patch to raise these questions at the next Caucus
      A) does the Leader have confidence in his Economic Development Spokesperson? 
      B) should the New Lynn LEC believe that their local Labour MP has the confidences of the Leader?
      C) does the Causus see the membership as an optional extra? 
       

    • weka 23.2

      What did they say?

      • Georgecom 23.2.1

        The MP was generally in agreement and said they would raise the issue in Caucus. We both agreed the focus should be on good policies that NZ needs and a centre-left government at the next election. Egos and building political careers shoud be checked at the door or exited from palriament along with the MP attached.

  23. Murray Olsen 24

    What on earth is the beltway? I know it’s something in the US and A, but what is it in Aotearoa?

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      slang for the Wellington downtown political set

      • Pete Sime 24.1.1

        It’s an Americanism. Interstate 495, known as the beltway, encircles Washington D.C. Those who are inside the beltway are political insiders, those outside it are normal people.

  24. gnomic 25

    I see two elephants in the room. The erstwhile party of labour has indeed become a gaggle of gays and self-serving unionists (not quite sure where Damien fits, presumably the minority rightist left-footing cabal?). Moreover the only answer they got is growth, and growth as the answer is pretty well screwed, unless we make the entire country a factory farm and open cast mine with drilling offshore, and fish, baby, fish. Meanwhile Crosby-Textor and Lord Ashcroft are feeding the weasel and wolf their lines based on a shrewd analysis of what the admass has for ideas in their addled noggins. Essentially we the resilient will survive and business as usual will come back soon, meanwhile the value of your house in a nice high decile suburb is rising, trust us, sure can!!! Slightly contradicted by the wolf’s gloomy prognostications about a generation required for recovery from the Great Financial Cockup, but then he needs to say that because of TINA, There Is No Alternative. Austerity rules, OK!

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