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Labour’s decision and Labour’s alone

Written By: - Date published: 12:34 pm, December 1st, 2011 - 84 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david parker, democratic participation, labour, leadership, Media, Shane Jones - Tags: , , , ,

It worries me that the media and right wing are trying to take control of the Labour Leadership contest. There’s no great hurry with Christmas around the corner (no new leader is going to get a lot of traction over the summer holidays), but the consequences of making a hasty decision will be disasterous for the party, and disasterous for New Zealand. The new leader has to be ready and able to win 2014 and lead the country in three years time.

Rushing into this decision makes no good sense and there’s surely nothing owed to the media to follow any two week schedule they seem bent on pushing. There are also more than three options we should consider over and above the Davids but so far all others have been shoved off the menu (I guess the media just thought ‘The Three Davids’ sounded too catchy). I also wonder a bit about why Shearer seems to be the media’s and the right-wingers’ favourite.

More time will allow other potential candidates to think seriously about whether they want the job. I seriously hope there aren’t good candidates holding back with the expectation of the next leader losing in 2014 then going for a shot after that because to me that would be a betrayal of the needs of the party.

Making a real contest of who the next leader will be is a good move, and has the potential to kick-start their public awareness and build sound media relationships. But in the end the decision, the process, the timing and options are Labour’s decision. Other voices that want to control the process most certainly do not have the party’s interests at heart.

84 comments on “Labour’s decision and Labour’s alone ”

  1. Albie Chase 1

    [lprent: A wellington political astroturfer – now blacklisted. ]

    I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick, Sprout.

    1. It was Phil Goff who announced the timeframe after the caucus on Tuesday, not the media or right wing commentators.
    2. The three Davids were the only ones who outed themselves as leadership contenders. It wasn’t the media who came up with the “three Davids” theme on their own. It was because the only ones who were prepared to out themselves were coincidentally three men named David.

  2. gingercrush 2

    You’re not a Labour member or voter so shouldn’t you keep your nose out as well. Basically Labour have allowed themselves to play the media game as they have consistently done in the last three years. If Labour and the left-wing don’t want the narrative the media gives them then change that narrative. You can’t blame the media for the next three years as you have done so for the last three or even a few years prior to that.

    You might also want to tell Mike Williams and John Pagani to keep their mouths shut as well and Gordon Campbell and Tim Watkin and any other left-wing commentator for they’re actually talking it about it far more than the right are. Blogs excluded of course (though Campbell and Watkin both produce blogs as such both come from traditional media roles).

    Additionally. It was Goff who said he would make his decision with caucus. It was the Labour party that announced a decision was to made on December 14. And who would have leaked the news earlier to the media? Why Labour insiders. Labour have set this all out. The media are simply providing the narrative.

    • i’m pretty sure my membership is still valid.

      1. it’s still Labour’s prerogative to do things as they wish, despite earlier announcements or pressure from anti-Labour influences

      2. i’m pretty sure nominations haven’t closed yet. making an early run doesn’t mean you’re going to be the only runners. why all the rush to conclusions?

      • gingercrush 2.1.1

        Apologies for being a snarky bitch about Party Membership.

        1. Of course it is. But Labour actually set the agenda for how they would proceed and could say. wait a minute we’re going to slow things down. They won’t though. One issue is it’ll earn media criticism. But clearly the Labour party itself clearly have no desire to wait or otherwise they would. One could even say it all seems so suspiciously fast that they made have had this set in even before election day. Whatever the case. Labour have set this all up.

        Additionally, the media talked about Parker, Cunliffe and Shearer before the election. They also talked Robertson and Little. The media doesn’t actually come up with half of this stuff by themselves. They’re fed it. Whether its Labour insiders, or Labour people who think they’re insiders, MPs, National party, Unions etc etc etc. They all contribute to what the media produces.

        2. Nominations haven’t closed. But if they have just two weeks to decide you’d be stupid not to put your hat into the ring. Some within Labour would have decided they could not contest the leadership as people outlined that they would be seeking leadership.

        3. Goff should have led the party till sometime in 2012. I don’t believe he could ever have led Labour to 2014. For the media and people inside Labour would have produced all sorts of Coup rumours. Labour would have been far better executing a coup sometime in 2012. Plant the whispers in 2011 and actually do something in the second half of 2012.

        • the sprout 2.1.1.1

          cheers

          1. some of Labour, with the help of others. not all of Labour

          2. yes maybe, but my points still stand

          3. agreed

        • felix 2.1.1.2

          “Additionally, the media talked about Parker, Cunliffe and Shearer before the election”

          Lolwut gingercrush?

          You have significant media refs to Shearer? Let’s have ‘en then.

  3. The fact that Farrar et al are saying that Labour should slow down makes me think the speed is about right.

    He and others said continuously that Labour could not win while Goff was leader. Now that Phil has decided to call it a day they want Labour to conduct a review to find out why it lost!

    There is far too much control of what should be a party debate by outsiders. Although I have some sympathy for Bunji’s suggestion of an extended period for a leadership contest there is the need to have a leader up and running early so that the reorganisation and strengthening of the party can occur now.

    And everyone is knackered after a heavy campaign and in need of some certainty.

    I agree that their promoting Shearer is suspicious. The rumour I have heard is that this is because Key is afraid that David Cunliffe will win.

    • lprent 3.1

      I suspect that Key’s worst nightmare would be Cullen closely followed by Cunliffe (who had Cullen mentoring him). Neither tolerate fools, even personable fools, all that well. They are both always on top of their topics.

      The question is how will the public at large perceive him?

      I’m less worried about the caucus itself. Not having any political ambitions myself in the past, present, or future and actually being interested in the survival and growth of Labour – I’m perfectly happy to help crucify anyone playing too many political games. Just ask Chris Carter…

      • Anthony 3.1.1

        I can imagine Key will be afraid of someone with a strong command of the numbers, immediately and accurately since he is so fast and loose with them.

        No doubt National focus grouped all the potential suitors 6 months ago and have a pretty good idea of their strengths and weaknesses in the eyes of voters when compared to John Key.

      • Ed 3.1.2

        Perhaps you meant Cunliffe – but I agree Cullen would be formidable.

        Key is already rattled – Labour should pick the best leader to carry a government; recognising that the media will try to create a continuous election wherever possible, but that policies do need to be explained well, and more importantly that the principles of the party are not subservient to gamesmanship, as now appears to be the case for both National and ACT..

        • lprent 3.1.2.1

          I meant exactly what I said. Cullen isn’t in parliament any more. But all three of the recent National leaders – English Brash, and Key looked like intensely uncomfortable dorks whenever they ran up against him. Through much of that period, Cunliffe was Cullen’s shadow.

    • Farrar is saying slow down to either look clever if Labour do slow down, or to encourage them to make a hasty decision. Either way he can’t lose.

      • insider 3.2.1

        Or maybe he just has an opinion and a vehicle to express it; nary a conspiracy in sight. Not everything said and done has a hidden purpose.

    • Blue 3.3

      If David Cunliffe wins then Key will get his arse handed to him in the House.

    • Labour needs to tell the Tory slime bags to piss off and attend to their own affairs, Labour is well able to decide who should be Leader. There is no doubt that Textor Crosby is already prepairing for the next election. Already they are mounting attacks on Labour with their mates like Garner ,Holmes ect. Just watch how they will cause doubt with,inuendo and lies. The election is hardly over and the Herald and TV1/3 are telling us there will be a blood bath , and Labour will not win in 2014. Lets keep on top of these scare mongers , Get our message out. There is no doubt that with this right-wing lot being more arrogant than ever after this win Labour /Green will have more than enough to keep fighting for justice and a fair deal.For now lets get the leadership in place ,Then co-operation with Greens to have some chance of saving Aotearoa from being sold out to Nationals rich overseas friends. They have already broken one policy and they have only been back a week. The fight is on a combined Left may save us yet.
      In conclusion .Labour is holding meetings throughout the country all members should attend and good people who want a fair society should sign up with Labour and also attend these most important gatherings,

      • Deb 3.4.1

        If you think that “cooperating” with the Greens will do anything but weaken the Labour brand I say you’re wrong.
        Of course I’m merely a RWNJ and part of the organised blogosphere VRWC out to sabotage the Labour leadership and all, but I think Labour needs to give as little kudos or space to Winston First and the Greens as possible. Labour needs to get back in there, set the agenda and own it. Why the hell would they give the 10% good-guy Greens, who nabbed many young and many non-Goffites any oxygen?
        Got me beat.

  4. AzaleaB 4

    I agree. First up this is my first post and I am a National supporter (currently) – not a zealot. What NZ needs is a choice of leaders and political viewpoints. The last election was, according to Labour about policy not personality. Untrue. Personality will always play a role. The voting public (myself included) will always ask…”is he a leader I can follow?” I liked Goff and even voted for him a number of years ago when I was in his electorate but he does not exude the strength or qualities to lead a nation. To be blunt – if the leader does not have credibility I the eyes of the audience, the policies will be discarded out of hand. I think this is what happened to Labour even though I actually liked a lot of policies…just couldn’t see Goff as delivering. Perception as they say – is reality. Labours next leader needs to have the qualities people look for in a leader. I would like Labour to take their time and not vote on factional preferences but select someone NZ can look to as having the strength to lead a nation. Select someone with values (and not with a reputation of nastiness as this breeds doubt and mistrust). Find this person and you will give NZ a choice…and then the strength of the policies will be considered. I want a difficult choice next election as I vote on policy and leadership as most NZers will.

    • Ed 4.2

      Sadly you confirm that the media have succeeded, with you at least, in reducing politics to a perception of a contest between individuals. Labour has always been a team – with the leader being an efficient way of making that team work in the best interests of New Zealand. National came closest to that under Bolger – who prided himself on being “Chairman of the Board.” Goff’s accusation of lying was a welcome rejection of spin and style over substance – we need more straight talking and less photo-ops – the current emperor has been shown to have no clothes; Labour does not need a similar cynical manipulator with a hidden agenda.

      • AzaleaB 4.2.1

        .Wrong Ed – reread my post as I suspect you saw the word National and got defensive. I am actually supporting Labour in my proposition. My educational focus has been strategy and leadership for nearly 20 years (among other quals including sciences). It is a basic human behaviour to seek out a leader. I agree team behaviours and acting as a united front (point to note Labour) is also important but it is easier for an individual to have one focal point. We are an individualistic society – we score low on collectivism(Hofstede) and whether we like it or not this drives us to look at individual behaviours and traits…we tend to focus on a key figurehead. I never said it was right – it is just what it is. Helen Clarke succeeded in this and was backed by a strong team. Her key failing for NZ was not developing a strong successor. Labour need to find a strong leader backed by a strong united team to reflect NZ societal preferences. Factions need to fade and focus needs to rise.

        • Muzza 4.2.1.1

          It is a basic human behaviour to seek out a leader, my god is that what you teach other people. You have no idea what drives politics do you ? Society has been engineered into individualism , it lowers any real likelihood of a challenge to the stays quo. So People feel powerless and want to believe they matter , and involve themselves in. Meaningless conversation about the state of their discredited political system, or if the next leader of their clan might win an election. For the love of god, get past it.
          You can’t teach leadership Or learn it. You are born with it, and those who are can develop it.

          • AzaleaB 4.2.1.1.1

            Hey Muzza – I am new to this forum. Do you always shift the commentary to target the writer rather than debate the comment? If so…maybe I should not bother to add comments as I am keen to debate and explore topics; I don’t particualrly want to sign up for thinly veiled put downs.
            Perhaps you could critique the content not attack the author in your opening remark?

        • Ed 4.2.1.2

          I was reacting to your emphasis on an individual leader – the ‘cult of the individual’ attributes all attributes of a group to those of their visible “leader”. There are plenty of examples of organisations doing well through cooperation, shared leadership, a preparedness to listen and seek ideas of others and to collaborate.

          One of Helen Clark’s strengths was in developing others, and in allowing others to have their “turn in the sun” – an “annointed successor” is not always the best choice for leader; balancing experience with the need for renewal and fresh faces, ideas and skills is a perennial issue for political parties – Labour has been through more of that than National – but still retaining a good balance, as represented by those seeking leadership positions.

          Policies and principles are what ultimately sets one political party apart from others – unlike some, Labour has been prepared to listen and set policies by a wide consensus; no one leader will control how those policies and principles are implemented.

          Focussing on a figurehead may indeed not be right for voters – but a concentration on image alone is the wrong way to select a leader.

          • AzaleaB 4.2.1.2.1

            Agree. Concentration on image alone is not the way to go.In fact history going back hundreds of years tells us the danger in focussing more on a figurehead than policy. I am merely pointing out that it is a factor in peoples choices whether we like it or not. The recent election validates this. Balance is required with good policies espoused by a central leader and backed by a united and competent team.

    • Muzza 4.3

      Actually in terms of how the real world works, that was not well put, it was a fantasy tale

      Wake up people, have any of you got a memory bank older than one government worth.

      You are being fooled, and your post show how fooled you are!

  5. Tim 5

    I am a member and Shearer seems like a good candidate. Don’t try to undermine him by saying he is only supported by the media and right wing. There are plenty of grassroots members who prefer Shearer.

    • of course Shearer has lots of grassroots support too – he’s a nice guy and a good person, but do you not also agree he seems favoured by the right and isn’t that a bit odd to you when you really think about it?

    • lprent 5.2

      Mostly I look his nearly three years in parliament and think that it simply isn’t enough. The position that he has put his hand up for is the leader of Labour’s parliamentary team.

      While David Shearer is one smart cookie and has had a lot of experience around the world dealing with governments etc, it isn’t enough time for the basic task of this job. Like all first term MP’s (I’ve seen a few over the years) he is dealing with what is to him a new environment that takes a lot of getting used to. I suspect he is as aware of that as any of the old campaigners around the party outside of the beltway and parliament.

      But he has his hand up to move on to better jobs – and he is likely to them. The specific job he is applying for, I’d hate to see him get by any political freaking accident. It’d do some very nasty things to him and the party.

      Incidentally, I remember the comments that some of these national independent supporters were saying about David at the selection in Mt Albert. If they believed those things then I can understand why they’d want National to be facing a Shearer led Labour parliamentary team…

      • toad 5.2.1

        Worked with Lange coming into the leadership relatively inexperienced in Parliament in terms of Labour getting back into Government, but worked badly in terms of New Zealand, as Douglas and Prebble had it all over him.

  6. Albie Chase 6

    [lprent: A wellington political astroturfer – now blacklisted. ]

    Who else do you think should be included as contenders Sprout? And if they should be contenders then why haven’t they had the guts to come out and say so yet? And didn’t you vote for NZ First?

    • why the hostility Albie? 😆

      • Albie Chase 6.1.1

        [lprent: A wellington political astroturfer – now blacklisted. ]

        Sorry Sprout, I didn’t mean to sound hostile.

        I just think it’s disingenuous to claim that the media and the right set the schedule when Labour’s caucus lasted five hours before they came out with a definite schedule. And it’s also poor form to blame the media for characterising the contest as the three Davids, when it is the three Davids who are the only ones to come out and say they’re in the contest.

        Of the three Davids, I think Shearer is the only one that the public will warm to. He’s rusty and not as good on his feet yet as Cunliffe is. Cunliffe is much much better on his feet than the other two and doesn’t drop clangers like Parker will (a few times talking about how he can touch people on close up last night didn’t look good).

        But I think Shearer can learn to respond quickly on his feet. He’s a really decent guy and has a great story. He’ll have a honeymoon as the media and public get to know him. The backstory to Cunliffe isn’t that compelling. It’s hard for him to talk authentically about the working class and how the greedy millionaires in their mansions want to take money from the poor when he’s a millionaire living in a mansion in Herne Bay.

        I think Parker will struggle to make a connection with people. He’s a lot like Geoff Palmer, very good to have in your caucus as a workhorse but do you really want that in your leader?

        Of the non davids I think Grant Robertson is very, very good but it wouldn’t be smart for any of the Davids making him a deputy. He should be in the top three though. He could be given something even meatier and become the number three spot.

        • the sprout 6.1.1.1

          cheers Albie

          it would be wrong of me to suggest the media are running this and setting all the parameters. my point is that three have lept to the fore, and good for them they are good candidates, but it’d be wrong to assume straight off that that’s the menu. the media are encouraging the present track and helping to cement in any initial suggestions – that’s their main influence. but i still think there’s no cause for such haste regardless of which people in labour initially suggested it. the idea that anything meaningful and memorable to the voting public will be achieved over summer hols is a bit deluded.
          having watched shearer quite closely for the last three years, i haven’t seen an iota of improvement in his game. it’s rusty alright, but not the kind of surface rusty that can be fixed with a bit of CRC.
          agreed about parker, i couldn’t believe he actually repeated that his best skill was ‘touching people’. i think he actually said “i’m a bit cerebral but i’m good at touching people”! 😆
          personally if it was of the 3Ds, i’d go for cunliffe. his backstory is no worse than Key’s, i think a lot better, and he’s the kind of leader who won’t need to rely on a mythology to gain support anyway.
          robertson would be good, but i think there’s a misplaced prejudice about the role of his sexuality. it didn’t stop ms being a legend. but yes maybe too inexperienced, but by that measure shearer should be similarly discounted.

          • Albie Chase 6.1.1.1.1

            [lprent: A wellington political astroturfer – now blacklisted. ]

            I think Robertson’s sexuality is overstated. Grant’s got a lot of qualities, and for anyone under 50 I don’t think his sexuality is at all an issue, he’s never been seen as the token crowd and for anyone over 50 for who it might be an issue, they probably would never have voted for Helen anyway.

            Cunliffe’s backstory isn’t that impressive. He didn’t have an impressive academic career, his stint at MFAT was too short for him to form any great impressions, getting a Fulbright scholarship after you’ve left the Embassy in Washington isn’t a monumental achievement, and working for Boston Consulting group in a pretty mid-level job in NZ for a few years is no great shakes either. He wouldn’t have managed or even supervised more than two people at either MFAT or Boston Consulting. Cunliffe’s money comes from his wife, who is a very successful environmental lawyer.

            By comparison Grant was a star on campus and in university politics, he was one of the best of his generation at MFAT and went on to become effectively H3, right at the heart of political management.

            Shearer hasn’t had much profile in the last two years, but he hasn’t been tested either, and he hasn’t failed either. Granted, you might want to actually give him something meaty so he can prove his mettle in the house first.

        • mickysavage 6.1.1.2

          Albie

          The backstory to Cunliffe isn’t that compelling. It’s hard for him to talk authentically about the working class and how the greedy millionaires in their mansions want to take money from the poor when he’s a millionaire living in a mansion in Herne Bay.

          His background is a lot more complex than that. He grew up in Timaru and his father was Presbyterian vicar for a poor area and was affectionately called “the red reverend”. His dad was a stalward Labour party member in the area and David was well and truly immersed in the Labour Party from an early age.

          He also presents the perfect example of an ordinary kid who succeeded because of his abilities as opposed to those who succeed because of family connections.

          He was highly placed in Boston Consultancy Group prior to entering Parliament and took a severe pay cut to become an MP.

          He has a background that can appeal to voters across the political spectrum, particularly into those areas where Labour support has dwindled. He cannot be branded as a teacher or trade union official or a party insider.

          And he is a lot brighter than Key and good with figures. Key will not be able to get away with the BS he has been getting away with so far.

          • the sprout 6.1.1.2.1

            i think if i were key i’d be most concerned about cunliffe, especially with peters attacking the emotive populist flank

          • Pundit X 6.1.1.2.2

            +1

          • Albie Chase 6.1.1.2.3

            [lprent: A wellington political astroturfer – now blacklisted. ]

            “He was highly placed in Boston Consultancy Group prior to entering Parliament and took a severe pay cut to become an MP.”

            I call bollocks on that. He wasn’t ever senior at Boston Consulting. He was a manager there, in a very small office–almost the most junior position available with no direct reports. Know what these guys earn? $100k. More than he was getting at MFAT as a junior officer, sure, but much less than an MP. They only start to make much more money when they’re at partner level, which Cunliffe wasn’t.

            • Blighty 6.1.1.2.3.1

              100K sounds like a lot of money to me.

              Is your idea that if you’re not taking a pay cut going into Parliament, you’re not up to it?

              shouldn’t we be more interested in what they’ve done since coming to parliament anyway?

              • Albie Chase

                [lprent: A wellington political astroturfer – now blacklisted. ]

                No that’s not my idea Blighty, please don’t put words in my mouth. I was just disputing that Cunliffe took a major pay cut to go to Parliament as Mickey said he did.

            • lprent 6.1.1.2.3.2

              CV’s and qualifications are pretty useless in one area are ususlly pretty useless at predicting success in another, when the job requirement is talent.

              I wouldn’t and don’t rely on them. For that matter I discard potential employers and employees if I see that they are giving them undue weight. It implies they take ticking boxes more seriously than hitting objectives.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2.3.3

              Albie Chase is full of SHITE

              Zero work experience MBA grads at BCG start at US$100K and rapidly go up from there. Branch office managers* always have significant staff under them and would be on US$200K (or higher).

              Fuck you’re a moron. A BCG resume easily trumps an Accenture, KPMG, Ernst and Young or Deloitte resume. Loser. *Speaking of US branch offices here.

              • Albie Chase

                [lprent: A wellington political astroturfer – now blacklisted. ]

                Colonial viper, you clearly don’t understand how consulting firms work. They all pay the same.

                In NZ, where Cunliffe was based, the most junior person is a consultant. They then graduate to manager (not Branch office manager). Manager moves up to senior manager, then director, then partner.

                Cunliffe was a manager. That is, the level just above consultant. The pay across the firms is consistent. He did not earn more than $100k as a manager in NZ.

                There are only a handful of people at BCG in the Auckland office. It is nowhere near as large as Deloitte or PWC. Accenture and CapGemini don’t operate in NZ.

                So keep spouting the inane crap all you like, or you can go find out for yourself.

              • Bob Stanforth

                There is a world of difference between BCG globally and locally. AU Partner level charge out at between $AUD2K and $AUD5K per day, Managers top out at around $1200 per day, depending on the specialty.

                I worked with EY, CGEY and then BCG in AU. We never used the NZ office for resourcing on international projects, they didn’t have enough scope or understanding of scale – you dont if you work in the NZ market. Not enough to consult with a global client.

                Manager level across the major firms make $AUD/NZD120K tops, thats it. Its not until you hit Director that you start to get well paid in the big scheme of things.

                Yes, having BCG on your CV is never a bad thing. But it needs to be above Manager, at say Associate, Director or Partner, to really count for anything. And as for the difference between the firms? Not really, depends on the office and the discipline.

          • oftenpuzzled 6.1.1.2.4

            Anglican Vicar actually!

          • Enough is Enough 6.1.1.2.5

            John Key

            He also presents the perfect example of an ordinary kid who succeeded because of his abilities as opposed to those who succeed because of family connections.

            He was highly placed in Merril Lynch prior to entering Parliament and took a severe pay cut to become an MP.

            He has a background that can appeal to voters across the political spectrum, particularly into those areas where Labour support has dwindled. He cannot be branded as a teacher or trade union official or a party insider.

            Not that I agree with everything I just put there but you see what i mean We don’t want another one of those.

            For me it has to be Shearer

          • Muzza 6.1.1.2.6

            comment deleted
            boring, try lifting your game muzza
            sprout

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    I don’t see anyone in the current Labour line up capable of making the paradigm shift necessary to lead NZ out of the mess it is in. And two of the Davids look to be particularly unsuitable -so we should not be at all surprised if causcus chooses one of them. (Let’s face it, the last thing NZ needs over the next three years is more disaster-as-usual instigated by people who are ‘experts’ in commerce and law, so preumably that is what it will be offered.)

    Cunliffe

    Background:

    David spent a long time educating himself, starting with a Bachelor of Arts with honours at Otago University in 1986, a time he described as an awakening to a marketplace of new ideas.

    He then went to America, becoming a diplomat for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, spending long stints in Washington DC, the South Pacific, Canberra and Wellington.

    The globetrotting continued when David became a Fulbright scholar and Kennedy Memorial fellow at Harvard University, where he earned his Master of Public Administration.

    In 1995 David returned to New Zealand to work as a business consultant for The Boston Consulting Group in Auckland.

    Parker

    Background

    Born in Roxburgh, 1960, David grew up in Dunedin, earning bachelors degrees in commerce and law at the University of Otago.

    Before going into politics he had a careers in law and business. He was a co-founder of the Dunedin Community Law Centre, and also helped start up bio-tech businesses alongside investments in a café and a theatre.

    Shearer

    Shearer was born and brought up in Auckland. He attended Papatoetoe High School, where he was head boy.[1] He then graduated from the University of Auckland with a BSc and the University of Canterbury with a MSc (Hons) in Resource Management.[2] Between 1983 to 1987 he was a teacher at Massey High School and Onehunga High School.[2]

  8. vto 8

    2c says Cunliffe has presence, Parker has no presence, Shearer is too new.

    Has to be Cunliffe.

    maybe that was only 1c.

  9. Carol 9

    I’ve wavered a little from Parker, to Shearer, but I keep coming back to Cunliffe having the presence and ability to front the party assertively. He would probably be best to have a people manager and person who can communicate in a personable way with the electorate as deputy. I don’t know if that would be Mahuta or not, but it is possible.

    The Labour leader really needs to hit the ground running at the beginning of 2012, and I think Cunliffe is best placed to do that. Robertson would be second choice for similar reasons.

    Also, in 3 years time, when Key’s lack of substance has worn thin, and the global situation has become more uncertain and turbulent, people may be looking for a total change from a personable PM who turns out to be a bit of a fraud.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      What makes you think that Key will even be there in three years? My pick is the bored sociopath will stay true to type and bail within the next twelve to eighteen months.

      • anne 9.1.1

        Yeah that was a rumour a few months ago,when asked by the media if he intends to do the full term,he had that shuddering laugh of surprise at the question and replied,”well thats what ive signed up to” makes one think does the media already know and thats why the question was asked,or else its a bit out of left field.

  10. Jess 10

    I think Cunliffe is easily the best option. On Close Up the other night Shearer and Parker could barely answer the most patsy questions about their weaknesses. Cunliffe looked at ease and in control. He is smart, has excellent communication skills and works blimmin hard. Drove through Titirangi the other day during the election and saw him out by himself fixing one of his own hoardings Not afraid to do the hard slog!

    I am a bit surprised that Shearer has put his name forward and actually think it looks a bit arrogant. Sure he might have potential (at the moment I’ve only seen ‘nice guy’ nothing else though) but god at least do a full term before you tell everyone you are the best person to lead them. I feel like he was pretty lucky to get a seat like Mt Albert where all the volunteers are already there for you and you don’t have to actually do any of the political slog work of building up a campaign etc. But for him now to think he is able enough to take over seems like a bit of a slap in the face to everyone that actually does work hard inside the party and in the political sphere more generally.

    The Labour party isn’t National, we are built on our members and the work they do. You need to know that membership, how the party works and how the parliamentary and party teams interact. Two and half years is a blink in the life of a party like Labour.

    • Carol 10.1

      Drove through Titirangi the other day during the election and saw him out by himself fixing one of his own hoardings Not afraid to do the hard slog!

      On a bus through an intersection near the centre of New Lynn, the day before the actual election, I saw several people holding Labour and other party billboards/placards. Walking towards them along a traffic island, in casual dress, waving a placard was Cunliffe.

  11. Interesting reading, I begin to think you are right about Cunliff being the best guy to oppose John Key and asset sales.

    Because that is what the new leader will have to do before even thinking about being Prime Minister after the next election.

  12. Bearded Git 12

    It has to be Cunliffe. He was seriously smart in media interviews on the economy in the election campaign. Parker would be smart finance minister. Shearer No.3-Education perhaps? Then promote Shane, Jacinda, Lynee, Grant, Charles, Phil (Twyford) to front bench and organise a couple of byelections to get even more new talent (Hughes back?). Good line up to win next time.

    Not sure about Moroney.

  13. open democracy 13

    it has to be Cunliffe if we want to win in 3 years

  14. gingercrush 14

    Parker gone.

  15. Wow Parker has just pulled out …

  16. It’s shaping up to be the rejuvenation that Labour badly needs. Shearer, Parker, Jones, Robertson, Adern would certainly be a new look front bench.

    • gingercrush 16.1

      Shane Jones as Finance Minister. That would be absolutely laughable.

      • mickysavage 16.1.1

        Agreed and it would be very retrograde if there was a handing out of positions in this way.

        The absolute least that should be done if Shearer wins is for Cunliffe to be offered finance. He is head and shoulders ahead of anyone else, particularly Jones.

        There should not be a “winning” ticket and a “losing” ticket. The groups need to reunite after this.

  17. belladonna 17

    Now Shearer needs to pull out. No matter what the right say he is not up to the job yet, he can make a run again in a few years but the next few years are so important for the country we need the person who can deal to the Nats, David Shearer doesnt seem to me to be able to do this.
    John Bishop compared him to Geoffrey Palmer on Jim Mora’s programme today and that is how he seems to me, a nice guy but seems out of his depth compared to Cunliffe just like Palmer was.

  18. David 18

    Shearer Cunliffe Robertson?

    Things are moving fast, maybe too fast: we are in the midst of the Shearer phenomenon (having just seen Greens and Winston ride reactionary bubbles against labour as we have known it). These bubbles are a sign of something important, to be sure: but also a sign of short term impulse. I want to see Shearer tested more, over a longer time frame. I want to see substantive debate between these guys. I want to see what Grant Robertson looks like with/ against these two, given that a Shearer Cunliffe Robertson (Parker) combo will and should probly occupy the front end.

    Let’s please see the strengths of all these guys over a slightly longer period!! Annette, take us through Xmas, please!!

  19. Fisiani 19

    Shearer would be the best candidate to lead Labour. He is not tainted with the past and is the preferred candidate of Phil Goff who fought a great campaign which saved Labour from oblivion.

  20. gingercrush 20

    The more and more I think about it. Labour should have had a good old fashion coup. I’m not talking about what Act did which was just bizarre and I’m convinced they should have just stayed with Hide and I think he would have done better because as Epsom voters have proven over three elections. They know what they’re doing.

    Anyway. The media are baying for a proper coup. They’ve wanted it since Don Brash had to stand down (a partial coup but not a proper one) and Helen Clark quit on her own terms. The last time a coup happened in Labour goes all the way back to 1993/1994. The media would love it and done properly I think you would immediate get the majority of media on-side. Ttrue some of it would be negative but it’d actually make Labour meaningful in the process.

    • Carol 20.1

      Ah, to have a coup, it requires aggressively pushing out and replacing a current leader who doesn’t want to stand down. Labour is selecting a new leader. A coup is not relevant.

      • gingercrush 20.1.1

        Obviously.

        The fact caucus are choosing the new leader won’t hide the media still wanting a coup. Whoever does win will be undermined some by the media and whoever doesn’t win will be rumoured to plotting a coup.

  21. neoleftie 21

    we need the right leader – a leader for the next 10-15 years.
    shearer will grow into the job with the support of party and the team behind him.
    robertson as deputy ( future leader ), parker to take on treasury, cant waste cunliffe,

  22. NattyM 22

    I’m just getting over last Saturday and having to make my views known to my MP so soon is stretching me.
    I’ve met David Shearer a few times, including having an extended conversation over dinner earlier in the year. I was very impressed. Certainly a potential leader but too soon??
    David Cunliffe is really smart, perhaps has the most charisma and is a damn good politician. He had a bit of reputation for a bad temper but I hear he has learned to control that.
    As a Wellingtonian, I’ve met Grant Robertson many times and am always impressed. He is a natural politician.
    I’m also really taken with Jacinda Aherrn. She’s clever, politically savvy, doesn’t polarise people and shows real leadership potential. But maybe too soon. She certainly has time on her side.
    My heart tells me Shearer and Robertson but my gut tells me Cunliffe.

  23. PS 23

    Agree with NattyM and lprent. Cunliffe has been excellent in interviews and in Parliament for a long time now…strong, decisive, intelligent, clear, can think on his feet, unflustered, knowledgable, inclusive…with Nanaia as his running mate.

    And Labour should have a woman as deputy…and it’s (over) time we had a Maori up there.

    Also, we need to embrace the Maori vote for all sorts of reasons. My gut feeling is that Nanaia will blossom.

    We need the mongrel of Cunliffe and the calm authority of Nanaia.

  24. anne 24

    Sharples is being rolled as co leader and turia is stepping down before her term ends forcing a by-election,so where is the news on this? it is hidden away down on the list on tvnz,it is not making waves because the maori party is going to support key and national,or else there would be plenty said by the media,the two p’s,politics and press.Scandalous reporting.,also repeated by key and co his desire for strong stable government, yeah right.

  25. T 25

    (Worst for Key == Best for Labour)?

    Not entirely sure if that’s the best perspective to take when weighing up candidates. I have no rational reason for thinking this, but it feels like it could backfire.

    I have vague preferences (Robertson, but I’d like to see more of him), but I suppose it’s none of my business (I identify with the broad ‘left’, not Labour in particular).

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