Labour’s leadership

Written By: - Date published: 10:24 am, September 23rd, 2014 - 216 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david shearer, election 2014, labour - Tags: ,

From TVOne:

David Cunliffe has announced that he will let the Labour Party decide whether he stays on as leader.

Mr Cunliffe made the unscheduled announcement ahead of Labour’s caucus meeting today.

Addressing the media in a press conference before caucus this morning, Mr Cunliffe says Labour’s leader “may or may not be me”.

Mr Cunliffe says more of the behaviour exhibited in recent days will be damaging to the party if it continues.

My personal preference, which I am sure will be no surprise, is that David Cunliffe remains as leader of the party.  His personal performance during the campaign was good and his debating was superb.  He has only had the job for 12 months.  Norm Kirk failed twice and Helen Clark failed once before winning.  There is no one else in the party who could have performed the way that Cunliffe did.  And his personal preference rating improved considerably as Kiwis had a chance to see the real David Cunliffe, not the Cameron Slater hatchet job which we saw far too much of during the first half of the year.

Sure the end result was very disappointing.  The Green party vote sunk by an almost identical percentage so there were obviously bigger forces at play than just the campaign or the leader.  It is noticeable however that the Greens are quietly contemplating the result whereas the loud expressions by some within Labour’s ranks has been deafening.

There are changes that can and must be made.  The party vote results in some seats are very disappointing.  In New Lynn we held it to a relatively respectable 1.5 percentage points.  Nearby seats had a drop of over 7% points.  They need to reflect on the type of campaign they ran.

And the leaking from within caucus has started again.  Whoever it is they are damaging the party and New Zealand Council should deal with them.  Yesterday there was this report mentioning comments from an anonymous front bench MP and this Herald report quoting other unnamed MPs.  Today there are further comments from anonymous sources attacking the party’s hierarchy.  National does not do this.  Part of Labour’s problem is that it occasionally looks like a rabble whereas National maintains tight focussed discipline at all times.

Some MPs like David Shearer are suggesting that Labour should tack back to the centre.  Here is a challenge to them.  The party’s policy platform has been remarkably stable for some time.  Can they say what particular policies are evidence of a leftward trend?

And Josie Pagani has stated that Moira Coatesworth and Tim Barnett should go.  She has no idea what is happening in the party or the incredible work that these two put into the party.  She also keeps claiming that the party has a policy of trying to capture the “missing million” voters who did not make it to the polls.  Here is an offer to Josie.  She can contact me and ask me at any time what is happening within the party.  The latest strategy was one to increase turnout and enrollment AND seek to persuade middle voters with specific policies.  It has been the strategy for a while.  The missing million is something that her friends Cameron Slater and Matthew Hooton use as a weapon against the party and it grates that the supposed commentator for the left should be an echo chamber for the right.

Shearer and Phil Goff have suggested that we should delay issues about the leadership.  I agree that a measured approach is optimal but only if the leaking and public attacks stop.  Yesterday was wall to wall negative public comments by members of the Caucus and if they want a reasoned discussion on what happened this should stop.

Stuart Nash’s comments have been particularly unhelpful and his comment that he wants to turn Napier into a safe Labour seat neatly summarises a major difficulty for the party.  In an MMP environment the party vote is king and the only vote that really matters.  The party is running far too many electorate centric campaigns.

These are troubling times for the party.  Either caucus unites or the party’s future is bleak.  The indifference of various elements to the interests of the movement itself is deeply concerning.  And if they think that removing Cunliffe from the leadership is the solution then they really need to think again.

216 comments on “Labour’s leadership ”

  1. Tracey 1

    maybe on way round the bullshit is for caucus to nominate three people and then the rules on voting kick in.

    Didnt goff resign instantly after his defeat and left the party rudderless for a while… That ended well.

  2. Bill 2

    Something I learned from organising is that any entity needs robust systems of expulsion. Otherwise, ridiculously damaging infighting occurs, or the potential for such infighting festers for years before rising to the surface and rolling on for a number of additional years.

    Now, I know it would be a rigmarole, and so as such I’m not suggesting this as a practical solution, but would it not be nice if something similar to the 40% caucus vote that applies to leadership could be applied to any caucus member, and their continued presence in caucus then decided by a membership wide vote?

    • Brooklyn 2.1

      Erm… yeah, and then we could rename the party “The New Zealand Independent Coalition” or something catchy like that!

    • weka 2.2

      “Now, I know it would be a rigmarole, and so as such I’m not suggesting this as a practical solution, but would it not be nice if something similar to the 40% caucus vote that applies to leadership could be applied to any caucus member, and their continued presence in caucus then decided by a membership wide vote?”

      Imagine if that had existed in the 80s.

      There is the problem of what to do about their seat. They can be expelled from the party but can’t be fired as an MP. Bit tricky when you have so many MPs that need to be gone.

  3. Mike 3

    I am a centrist who voted National, but supported Obama in the U.S. and could conceivably vote Labour in New Zealand.

    Here is my advice to the Left in New Zealand if you want to win elections.

    1. Stop resenting John Key and perhaps study what it is that voters like about him – his frank honesty, casual approach, laidback attitude and ability to make light of situations on TV.

    2. Find a leader within your ranks who has similar personality traits – I’m thinking Jacinda. Because let’s be honest – if you asked anyone on the Right who they are terrified of facing in a future election, it would be her.

    3. Unify your party around centrist policies. That isn’t to say you can’t push a left-wing agenda whilst in power, but you’re not going to win the votes of Middle NZ while wielding new taxes, more regulation, less infrastructure et cetera.

    4. Stop the infighting.

    5. Stop the mud-slinging.

    Do any of you on the Left remember why Helen dominated NZ politics for 9 years? Because she wielded an iron grip on power and kept people in line. There is no way you can win in 2017 if you have Cunliffe in power with dissatisfied party members leaking behind him like a giant seize.

    There you have it, advice from a National voter. Try not to respond with vitriol and hate – and listen to this advice. Take it or leave it.

    • karol 3.1

      frank honesty


      Have you read Dirty Politics?
      Why do you want Labour to be a shadow National/Obama Party?

      Do you understand Labour’s core values?

      Stop the infighting.

      5. Stop the mud-slinging.

      Agree, and that is what micky is asking for, too.

    • Rodel 3.2

      Thanks for the advice. I’ll leave it.

    • Tracey 3.3

      “frank honesty”????

      If you had put his ability to lie and flip flop without it impacting his popularity…

    • Gosman 3.4

      I’ve met a number of National supporters who are mightily impressede with Jacinda. Of course the very fact they currently vote National is probably enough for many Labour supporters here to claim it will be a cunning ploy to kill off the left.

      • lprent 3.4.1

        I am starting to rate Jacinda as well.

        But FFS let’s not waste someone potentially useful by shoving them in the hot seat before they are cooked… They get severely bent and paranoid like Shearer did.

        The same applies to Robertson, Nash, and for that matter Shearer…

      • Phil 3.4.2

        I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in on a couple of meetings/forums with Jacinda Arden, and was also very impressed. She’s articulate, intelligent, and passionate about what she believes in. Being attractive doesn’t hurt her electoral chances either.

        The only downside I can immediately see is her comparative youth, and the fact that she’s not Helen

      • infused 3.4.3

        Not sure why they are impressed… maybe because shes a women? I see no real difference tbh

        • Benghazi

          Jacinda won’t impress me until she can win a seat. She needs a lot of seasoning before she is Leadership material. Recently, she was so stupid as to be caught doing the numbers for a failed coup leading up to the last caucus before the election. Jacinda needs to learn to put the Labour Party first.

          • Colonial Viper

            Recently, she was so stupid as to be caught doing the numbers for a failed coup leading up to the last caucus before the election.

            You’ve got to be fucking shittin’ me. I recall your previous comments being pretty much rounds on target so sadly I suspect you’re not.

            The golden q: WHOM was she counting on behalf of.

    • gobsmacked 3.5

      OK, a response without vitriol … but with facts:

      Point #3: Policies.

      Check out the public polling (e.g. TV3, Herald) on issues. Not party or leader.

      Paid parental leave. Offshore absentee ownership. Minimum wage. Schedule 4 conservation land. Class sizes. Asset sales. Power companies. The list goes on.

      Polls show support for Labour policies. That’s why Key has signed up to so many of them (again, the list goes on: WFF, nuclear-free, kiwisaver, kiwibank, etc). He wants to stay in power, you see.

      So, you’re flat wrong. Unless you want to redefine centrist as “right wing”, in which case, why bother with opposing the government or existing at all?

      • Colonial Viper 3.5.1

        Polls show support for Labour policies. That’s why Key has signed up to so many of them (again, the list goes on: WFF, nuclear-free, kiwisaver, kiwibank, etc). He wants to stay in power, you see.

        Yep. So there must be massive counter forces in peoples minds, for those same to then go ahead and vote for someone else. Or not vote at all. What are they.

        • AmaKiwi

          “It’s the economy, stupid” (said by Bill Clinton, repeated in the Herald editorial)

          It’s been statistically proven. Good economy = incumbent gets re-elected. Crashing economy = incumbent gets ousted.

          • Colonial Viper

            The economy is crashing for around half a million working class/underclass NZers. I suspect many of those did not vote. IMO typically it’s the disappointed or annoyed middle classes that change the govt when the economy is down.

            • AmaKiwi

              John Key only borrowed and spent $60 billion to keep us “prosperous”. That’s $15,000 for every NZ man, woman, and child.

              That’s how he bought the election. The joke is on us, because we can never repay it.

      • Lanthanide 3.5.2

        And this is why I’m not too upset about National winning.

        Key has said he’s going to be “hugging the centre”, and it really doesn’t look like they’re going to try and get much hard-right policy in, because they don’t have a mandate for it, because they didn’t campaign on it.

        So things could be worse.

        Personally I’m unlikely to be worse off under National so it’s not a biggie for me.

        • King Kong

          Thanks for that.

          My two favourite cliché responses from crestfallen election losers who are trying to hide the pain;

          1. It doesn’t worry me because x has just stolen all our policies anyway

          2. I’m actually happy, as winning this election is a poison chalice and the coming economic crash/climate disaster/asteroid strike will ensure that we won’t have another x government in my lifetime

          • wtl

            I think you’ll find that Lanthanide clearly stated the same thing before the election (that National winning wouldn’t really affect him personally) so saying that he is just trying to “hide the pain” is ridiculous.

        • srylands

          “it really doesn’t look like they’re going to try and get much hard-right policy in, because they don’t have a mandate for it, because they didn’t campaign on it.”

          and because they are not a right wing Government. So there’s that.

          • Lanthanide

            Tax cuts for the rich, putting up taxes on the poor, putting up every nickle-and-dime fee and tax they can find that isn’t a headline tax and selling off assets to the rich beg to differ.

        • Brooklyn

          I think he is intent on moving the centre rightward. Hark, hear the cry of “loony left” at every economic policy announcement.

      • Hanswurst 3.5.3

        +1. There is clear evidence that Labour needs to find a message that will have common appeal to a large section of the voting public. There is scant evidence that those people are the “centre” in the sense that they favour policy half-way between National and Labour (or Act and the Greens, or however you want to define an arbitrary centre).

    • SHG 3.6

      Find a leader within your ranks who has similar personality traits – I’m thinking Jacinda.

      Someone who can’t win an electorate and can’t even defend the party vote in her electorate is not a potential leader. The Labour party vote in Auckland Central is down by FORTY FIVE PERCENT against 2011.

    • Puckish Rogue 3.7

      I’m thinking Jacinda. Because let’s be honest – if you asked anyone on the Right who they are terrified of facing in a future election, it would be her.

      – Are you serious or on drugs? Trust me when I say the right think Jacinda ardern is (at best) a light weight

      • Lanthanide 3.7.1

        I briefly saw a TV interview where she was up against Jamie Lee Ross. I think she came out second-best as he unveiled the standard tory attack lines. Yes, it’s difficult to counter those attack lines and that’s the whole point, but it is her job to do so. JLR is nothing but a parrot that repeats lines, if you can get past them he’d deflate like a souffle under any serious challenge.

        Didn’t fill me with confidence for her.

      • srylands 3.7.2

        I think MLP would be an excellent Leader. She is just as likely to be the next Labour PM as anyone else.

      • Hanswurst 3.7.3

        I have yet to see evidence that anybody anywhere is terrified (or even slightly wary) of Ms Ardern.

    • Brooklyn 3.8

      1. Excellent Liar
      3. Lie your way into power

      It’s a coherent strategy, I’ll give you that.

    • Thomas 3.9

      Sound advice Mike.

      To those who respond by attacking Key: The clear majority of voters like Key and the voters are always right. You can call him names all you like – it’s a free country – but don’t expect to win elections by doing so. Show some humility in defeat and learn from your opponent.

      I agree with the advice of Danyl: Before Labour worry about their policy, they should worry about looking like a credible government. The infighting is absolutely fatal. If you can’t run your own party, voters don’t trust you to run the country.

      There is no easy solution to the disunity in Labour, but ultimately it’s the leader’s sole responsibility to make his or her MPs fall into line. Cunliffe has failed on that part and, for that reason alone, he needs to resign for the good of the party and the country.

      I am a former Labour voter. Labour and National have definitely moved to the left since 2008 and, as a result, I’ve switched over. If Labour sort out their internal issues and present good centrist policy, I could easily be convinced to vote red again.

  4. Ad 4

    Mickey, activists on this site roundly defeated caucus to change the constitution, and enable a primary vote.

    Activists on this site roundly defeated those who wanted Robertson and Jones. (Imagine the state we would be in now if Jones had become Labour leader, then quit like the corrupt crony capitalist he always was).

    Caucus just needs to figure this site’s hit count compared to the NZHerald, or Otago Daily Times, to understand the power we have here.

    Maybe caucus will learn the third time.

    • Annie 4.1

      I think it is taking caucus a while to adjust to the increased democratisation of the party re electing the leader. The ABCs just haven’t managed to get their head around the fact that their man lost.

      I am so angry about the way the caucus behaved, undermining Cunliffe. It was a fair fight, their man lost. Get over it. The issues are bigger than individual caucus members. The ones who don’t get that need to go. Hopefully Mallard will lose on special votes – that would be a good start.

    • brian 4.2

      @ Ad 4

      Imagine the state we would be in now if Jones had become Labour leader

      Celebrating an election victory?

      • Tracey 4.2.1

        If you believe that and believe it would have taken nz anywhere national isnt going, you need to remind yourself who his new employer is

        • brian

          Plenty of politicians have taken jobs after their political careers were over. Jones saw that he was going nowhere with the Labour Party and took a job elsewhere. McCully saw the advantage to National in taking him out, which emphasises the value he could have been to Labour.

          The voting system that Labour has for it’s leader will ensure that there is no hope for people the Left clique and the Unions deem to be unsuitable. The caucus will always mirror public sentiment better, because they have been voted in by the public. It’s a dilemma that promises to plague Labour for a long time.

          I believe that Labour need a Leader who is NOT the darling of the left advocates, but someone who can better see the mood of the electorate. To get in, and make haste slowly. And slowly prove that Labour can be trusted to make a fairer society without living down to what Dirty John says will happen. And then in power consider the more “left policies” at a speed that the public are happy with.

          It’s really important to get Dirty John out, from what will be a continuing and accelerating journey to the Far Right (Always being referred to by Dirty John as the “Centre”).

          The Labour Leader will however be required to juggle the incompatible demands of those that have elected him leader, and the voters who may select Labour.

          I’m not holding my breath optimistically. As a second best to a strong Labour and a strong Green Party, there is always the hope that the Greens will step up even more, if Labour’s decline continues on their mission of suicide.

          • Brooklyn

            Yep. The electorate picks the government. almost by definition the activist base is estranged from the electorate at large. That said, the policy mix was excellent for mine. Crap sales job but. Utter crap.

          • Thomas

            Hear hear.

            Labour is facing the same problem Republicans in the US face: To get selected candidates need to appeal to the activist base, but to get elected they need to appeal to centrist voters. Over time these have become contradictory goals.

            I would argue that the solution is for Labour to broaden its base. But I also agree that the change to how leaders are elected was a bad idea. Cunliffe is demonstrating what happens when the leader doesn’t have the support of his or her caucus. Like it or not, having caucus elect the leader is the only way to ensure that the leader has the support of their caucus.

            Having the party be internally democratic doesn’t necessarily make it democratic – take the Republicans being controlled by the tea party as an example – and it doesn’t translate into winning elections.

      • marie 4.2.2

        The party is better off without Jones….he took his pieces of silver and showed himself for what he really is.

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    And without strong unions a path of leadership to the top and to electorate seats no longer exists. Is this part of the lack of Labour talent?

  6. adam 6

    No offence Mike – but labour look like dead man walking. I’m no fan, lets be honest. But, Nash, Cosgrove, Goff, Shearer and others make you look like the wankers most New Zealanders think the labour party is.

    Labour got into bed with the right wing. Sorry for you.

    The left need to rebuild, but not with or around labour whilst they support their traitorous, backstabbing, sniveling little puppets of neo-liberalism.

    But, hey maybe the left in labour will grow some and cut away the villainous egoists, who act like two year olds, day in and day out.

  7. Saarbo 7

    Hear, hear MS.

    The reality is that there are no other Leadership options in labour. The irony is that if cunliffe was to leave politics, he would be one of the few senior MP’s that could step into a meaningful/lucrative job, not sure what Shearer would do if he left politics. The ABC’ers undermined the campaign and dragged their feet, I was at a Labour public meeting where I heard Shearer criticizing Cunliffe to the public, incredibly unprofessional. That is something that Cunliffe would never do…but it hightlighted labour’s problem and really pissed me off.

    • King Kong 7.2

      You are right, Cunliffe wouldn’t criticize in public, he is far too rat faced for that.

      He gets his loyal lieutenants on the Standard to put the boot in on his behalf. He won’t even do his own wet work.

      Journalists have told me that people inside the Cunliffe camp have been approaching them and smearing their heads off on his caucus colleagues.

      It is a bit two faced to call foul on the skulduggery when you are up to it yourself. But of course that particular character trait is one of Cunliffe’s biggest flaws.

      • blue leopard 7.2.1

        Hi King Kong,

        Those journalists you were talking to can’t be very good ones, I thought they were supposed to protect their sources?

        I sincerely hope you are not referring to Whaleoil.

        He won’t even do his own wet work.

        You can’t be very impressed with Mr Key then.

        • Puddleglum

          You can’t be very impressed with Mr Key then.

          I heard something recently about ‘two track politics’ – can’t quite remember where …

          • blue leopard

            What are the odds that King Kong is part of the ‘great brainwashed’ who obediently followed the command of Dear Leader: ‘Thou shalt not read books I deem unsuitable’?

      • Saarbo 7.2.2

        Any journo worth their salt wont compromise their sources to anybody, so call Bull Shit on that one.

  8. Enough is Enough 8

    I think the difference between Helen and David was Helen could have formed a government in 2006. On election night we thought Labour had done it and Winston would do what he had indicated he would and remove National and come into a Labour-NZ First government.

  9. Karen 9

    Shearer was championed by Hooton And Boag for the leadership, and ever since Cunliffe took over Hooton has been talking up Shearer’s abilities. His behaviour since the election has been appalling, and it seems he was also bad-mouthing Cunliffe during the campaign. In spite of boundary changes that should have given him an increased Labour vote both he and the party got less.

    I am beginning to think Shearer does not even belong in the Labour Party let alone be considered a potential leader.

    • Chooky 9.1

      +100…Shearer should get the boot

      • tinfoilhat 9.1.1

        He is an elected electorate MP how do you propose giving him the boot ?

        • adam

          I disagree tinfoilhat, his electoral office is OK. It is not in the same league as Cunliffe, by any stretch of the imagination. Actually now you brought that up, man I’m going to miss Hones’ office, they were bloody awesome. Pita’s office was rather good as well. And whilst I don’t personally like Goff, his office is good, except for no disability access!

        • Colonial Viper

          Deselect him in 2016. Deselect a whole lot of them in 2016.

      • Enough is Enough 9.1.2

        Which part of the Labour party democratic process to elect candidates do you not agree with Chooky?

        On what basis should the will of the electorate members who selected Shearer be overridden by disgruntled Cunliffe supporters?

    • anker 9.2

      Karen + 1000.

      Yes I also thought Shearer should have known himself well enough to know he is not leadership material and should never have been “flattered” into standing, especially given his complete lack of experience in politics and having lived out of NZ for so long.

    • Blue 9.3

      Shearer had Labour 30-31% when he resigned. Cunliffe has taken them from that to the worst result in 90 years – 24.7%. You can blame the media, infighting, not giving the Greens a hand, the terrible hijacking of the election by Internet Mana but it comes down to him. His message, his delivery of the message. Shearer is electable, Cunliffe is not.

      • lprent 9.3.1

        In three years? Now that comment is an example of right wing short term thinking…

        BTW: one of you “Blue”‘s needs to change handles. Probably not the leftie who does guest posts…

      • Karen 9.3.2

        I do not think Shearer is electable at all. The man is unable to think and talk at the same time, and he never improved.
        The poll ratings went up to 37% when Cunliffe was elected. The initial decline was Cunliffe’s fault – he disappeared over the summer when he should have been building on that rating. However, most of the decline this year has been due to a dirty tricks campaign that was designed to undermine him. Some came from ABCs, most from the Nats working with Slater.

        I am not an insider (or even a member) of the Labor Party, but I think the campaign and communications team need an overhaul, rather than having another change in leadership.

        • Blue

          Christ Karen is there nothing that you think Cunliffe should take responsibility for? Thats what Leaders and men do. Blaming others for his own failings comes across as weak.

          • Karen

            Read my post again. I have blamed Cunliffe for the original drop in support.

            He has said sorry for mistakes he has made, and been vilified for apologising too much. He isn’t perfect, but he is a much Labour Party leader than Goff or Shearer were. Robertson is not experienced enough.

            • Colonial Viper

              Learning to lead the Labour Party is an extraordinarily difficult curve, even for a veteran and former Labour Cabinet Minister like Cunliffe. He has made some significant mistakes, but he is getting better, fast.

      • rich the other 9.3.3

        Shearer had 30% when National weren’t trying and hadn’t announced their popular policy’s .
        Cunliffe had a much harder task , advocating poor policy and some how trying to convince voters that the greens were nothing to worry about , an impossible task . Any comparison based on % of support as leader is misleading .

        • aerobubble

          Shearer can’t think politicially on his feet. Cunliffe can. Cunlifee however doesn’t think ahead, that concession speach did not think for one moment about Cunliffe’s own self-interest or the party.

          If its true that the swing was uniform 2% away from Greens and Labour then I would have to question how our election was counted, has someone hacked the counting machines, because that’s just impossible. Did we suddenly stop hand counting elections for something?

      • Tracey 9.3.4

        He left, why? Cos the dirty tricks started, god knows how it would have gone in an election year, you assume well. I look at nats strategy and disagree with you.

  10. Annie 10

    A real worry if Hooting and Bogus support Shearer.

  11. Annie 11

    Micky FYI, the Green’s vote didn’t sink, it actually held to the 2011 result.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      wait for the specials…

    • mickysavage 11.2

      As a proportion Annie they went back a bit. It was a sad night for the left …

      • karol 11.2.1

        Are you comparing Greens pre-special vote counts for both elections?

        • mickysavage

          Hi Karol 2011 post special vote and 2014 pre (of course) as a proportion of the total vote. I agree that the Greens may come back further after specials which favour them.

          • karol

            Well, in 2011, Greens went from 10.6% (pre-specials) to 11.06% after specials. Labour went from 27.1% to 27.48%.

      • karol 11.2.2

        Greens dropped 0.4% on the night, with specials to come. Labour dropped 2.4%

        I think you are over-egging it a bit to claim that the Greens were hit just like Labour.
        From what I’ve read, the Greens feel they pretty much held their vote and stayed the same. They are disappointed they didn’t improve their vote share as had been indicated by some polls.

        I get the impression they don’t see their vote having dropped in the same way Labour’s did. In 2011 the Greens were celebrating because they reached a record high with their vote share. So they still seem to be feeling they did pretty well.

  12. blue leopard 12

    Could someone please explain to me who chooses the caucus in Labour?

    I always thought it was the leader, but recall a comment saying this wasn’t the case in Labour, so who does?

    • adam 12.1

      They vote for it among the MP’s themselves. Now hasn’t that just helped factionalism/patronage along quite nicely. Maybe if it was more democratic, the party getting a say – may just help…

      • blue leopard 12.1.1

        Thanks Adam

        I am a bit conflicted about that! The principle of choosing reps from the ‘bottom up’ is one that I naturally like.

        It doesn’t actually go well with the recent change in how the leader is chosen, though.

        I guess they would have to change the way they choose the caucus to include all members to harmonize the way they choose the leader.

        Do you know who gets to throw out a member of caucus?

      • blue leopard 12.1.2

        Turns out the caucus are all the MP’s (not a select group, as I had erroneously understood) ergo the people of NZ elect the caucus.

  13. Anne 13

    Hi mickysavage:

    I have sent a ‘message’ to most Labour MPs with a politely worded but nevertheless forthright message more or less encompassing what you are saying, but also including the right-wing/media game plan which some Labour MPs appear to be falling into (or using for personal gain) yet again.

    I sent the original to David Cunliffe as leader but two of the MP’s email addresses in the cc column failed because I mis-typed their names. I sent them separately. Does that mean all the others reached their destination? Otherwise I presume I would have received individual failure notices for them too?

    I would be devastated if all that effort had been for nothing.

  14. Steve Walu 14

    You really all are deluded, just like Cunliffe and that cringe speech on Saturday. The only ones who think he’s electable are his LEC and a few delusional administrators of this blog. He should have the balls to stand aside as did Goff. Then he should be joined by the party president and her little henchman Barnett. If anyone was listening in the lead up to Saturday, the electorate does not like DC and the party hasn’t got the nerve to release the internal polling which will prove this.

    • lprent 14.1

      I can’t recall any party ever releasing their internal polling apart from the conservatives for an electorate or two (and that appeared to be delusional).

      Tell you what. Show me the published internal polling for National..

    • Tracey 14.2

      All these new posters gunning for cunliffe… Fascinating.

      • Rodel 14.2.1

        Now that their bosses won they’ve got very brave like parasites (• derogatory a person who habitually relies on or exploits others and gives nothing in return.) creeping out of the compost.
        Funny how they were afraid to front up before the election but now are oh so courageous .

    • JonoN 14.3

      I’m presuming you’re referring to the demand from various un-named Labour MPs that Cunliffe release the internal polling to the caucus. There’s an important difference between internal polling being released to the whole caucus and released to the wider public. Not that it won’t immediately be leaked to the wider public if it’s released to the whole caucus…

  15. Craig Glen Eden 15

    Shearers behavior has been totally self serving I think its time council started getting letters of complaint.

    • adam 15.1

      I was listening to him on the radio earlier. It was like listening to a 2 year old who can’t get his way, the stamping of feet, and then throwing their toys out the play pen. You sign up for this brother – if you can’t hack it – go back to the UN.

      • Benghazi 15.1.1

        Actually Adam that is what it is all about. Shearer has been flat out in the media for the past two days because he’s due to fly out to New York to help in the bid for NZ to get on the Security Council. Shearer sees this international exposure as critical to his re-election campaign. Hence he is stalling for time. Deluded.

    • Hami Shearlie 15.3

      Agreed CGE – What an ego for someone with so little talent as an MP let alone a leader – and lets not ever forget when he was leader he was having secret meetings with John Key – He should have been thrown out of the Party for that alone. He got rid of Dalziel and Chauvel too, two very important people in the Party – He is appalling, and always looks like he just woke up!

  16. anker 16

    Craig Glen Eden.

    Yes I agree about the letters of complaint. I cannot believe that Shearer and Robertson spoke to the media at all, let alone admitting their interest in the leadership.

    talk about being completely self serving.

  17. John Williams 17

    FYI the Greens dropped over 30% in one week comparing POPs and their result on Sept 20.

  18. Annie 18

    But the real ‘poll of polls’ is the election day result. And as I said they held their vote. I disagree with your contention that the POP is more relevant than actual election results.

  19. AklBanker 19

    Agree with Mike above. I too am a centrist who voted National, however support Obama and would never vote for the Republicans given their current ideology. Labour need to get Jacinda into the top spot asap. She is the only one (of the current crop) who seems to be able to get people to listen to her when she speaks (as JK does, and Helen did). When Shearer, Cunliffe, Goff speak, people tend to look straight through them as it comes across as more of a “speech” than a genuine message.

    What this election has showed is that you need to have an approachable, friendly leader (regardless of how much airtime policies are getting).

    The messaging from the likes of Karol is exactly the kind of thing that Labour need to move away from. The general public, including myself, are more interested in policies than what has happened with regard to dirty politics, GCSB etc. You might not think so, but the results of the election speak for themselves.

    Karol asks “do you understand Labour’s core values?”
    No I don’t, and nor does a majority of the population. Get Jacinda to explain them to us and we will listen, trust me.

    • Hamish 19.1

      I am the official representative of the general public and we resent you referencing us in your spurious mutterings.

  20. JeffRo 20

    It seems to me the “left” as in Labour has a problem.
    The active membership and base of the party, want to continue with the party as it’s always been, but to do that will mean the chance of ever having the support to govern is unlikely.

    As a national voter and factory worker for the past 12 years in the dairy industry, more and more of my workmates don’t vote Labour.

    Perhaps if Labour could find the answer to attract back those voters, they would also find a broader answer.

    PS- Dirty politics meant bugger all to us.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1

      Not so, dirty politics enabled Oravida to get special treatment in China. Did you personally benefit from that?

      • JeffRo 20.1.1

        Dirty politics meant bugger all to us.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Apart from in your wallet.

          • JeffRo

            Mate, I’m just a worker, didn’t affect our pay.

            The dirty politics wasn’t really a issue, that I think decided many votes amongst the people I work with.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              You believe politics has no effect on your pay packet? You believe government corruption has no effect on the value of our exports?


              Looking forward to losing our right to smoko? You voted for it, after all.

              • AklBanker


                Yes, we the general public benefitted from the special treatment given to Oravida. I have been raking it in since that went down…please.

                Again, the general public are not interested in dirty politics. In fact, that whole saga and the way in which the left attempted to benefit from it was such a turn off that the voters thought “bugger it, I’m voting for National anyway.”

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Amusing that you think the “saga” is over now there are three official investigations in progress.

                  Sad that you voted for criminals.

                  Incidentally, corruption destroys wealth: raking it in is the last thing you’ll be doing. Amusing also that you misread my position so completely.

              • Puckish Rogue

                You have a worker telling you their opinion and your reaction is to

                A. Listen to the concerns and empathize with his concerns or
                B. Attack the person

                You should try running for the Labour, you’d be a shoo-in

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Hey, asshole, since you clearly can’t tell the difference this is a personal attack, you bad faith ratfucker.

                  • JeffRo

                    Cheers mate.

                    Have great day!

                    • gobsmacked

                      Are you saying “Dirty Politics” doesn’t matter?

                      Do you think Judith Collins should still be Minister of Justice? If not, why not?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      JeffRo, please excuse my contempt for PR, I find his adopted behaviour toxic to civility.

                      Do you believe politics doesn’t affect your paypacket?

                      Do you believe corruption impacts exports?

                      Are you looking forward to giving up smoko?

    • Tracey 20.2

      As a national voter i hope your confidence in them is justified.

      I am sorry that you and your fellow workers dont think that being lied to and manipulated is important but i can understand you are focusing on your lives and livelihoods.

      Good luck to you, especially if the price keeps dropping.

      • JeffRo 20.2.1

        As far your comments go, all parties are about the same.
        the HC government was about the same.

        But overall, I think NZ MPs all, are OK humans and would like to see the best for NZ, they just have different ways of getting there.

        • gobsmacked

          If you care about an independent public service, an independent judiciary, abuse of power, corruption and even death threats … then you really, really need to read Hager’s book. No, it’s not ‘all the same’ – the evidence is overwhelming.

          If you don’t care about those things, then I feel sorry for you.

    • GregJ 20.3


      My brother is a dairy factory worker (25 years in Fonterra in August). He voted NZFirst as did quite a lot of his fellow workers. I think he voted National in 2008 but not in 2011.

      What convinced you to vote National? What policies did you see as helping you and your family & community? How was your “bonus” this year? Do you think you are getting a fair share of the profits being generated by Fonterra? Have you ever voted left before?

      Do you belong to the Dairy Workers Union? If not, why not? My father was also a Dairy Worker – he was a Union Rep including a stint on the National Board and ran a very successful local Credit Union for Dairy Workers. Despite that he has been a NZFirst member since Winston formed the party (I put that down to how he felt workers were “f&%ked over” in the 80’s by a party he had been loyal to his entire political life to that point – he’s never forgiven them).

      I hope you don’t mind me asking – I’m genuinely interested. I live out of the country at the moment but return each year to NZ and spend time in the provinces where I grew up. So despite being a “townie” for most of my adult life I’m always interested in the pulse of the rural/provincial/small town areas.

      • GregJ 20.3.1

        For some reason I can’t edit my post – just wanted to add I assume you are with Fonterra (not one of the independents). Also I assume from another comment you are from around the Franklin area (where my wife is from coincidentally).

  21. simon 21

    Moira and tim need to go. I tried to become a member of the LP over a period of about 3-4 months. Several unanswered emails later I Facebook messaged DC and the problem was solved within hours.

    Likewise with my LEC. I tried to purchase t-shirts in support but never got a reply. My attempts to volunteer were met with my contact details being lost twice and I never made it onto the email list. The labour party admin and organization is beyond a joke.

    A friend of mine tried to become a member the other say, so will be interesting to see if things change.

    • Belladonna 21.1

      I tried to volunteer as did a family member in Christchurch. Both of us are still waiting.
      What was that all about?

    • mickysavage 21.2

      Head office has been stretched so the solution is to throw it into more turmoil by getting rid of a couple of people?

      Patience and increased resources would be a better response.

      • Simon 21.2.1

        They have overseen two failed elections, and my hard fought membership application occurred about a year ago.

        Your defense of the indefensible does well to highlight the problem.

        Do you think that National doesn’t respond to wannabe members/volunteers?

    • Francis G 21.3

      Head office is incredibly under staffed and over worked (especially during the campaign period), hence many of the problems.
      Having said that, I completely agree that they need to do some serious work when it comes to organisation. Although things get really crazy over the campaign period, even if you have a brilliantly organised team of people running things.

      • Simon 21.3.1

        Agreed, by as stated above, my application was well before the election and volunteer issue at election time should be able to be handled by the LEC’s. Nothing to do with head office.

  22. JeffRo 22

    Non issue, we won’t be losing any rights.

    No one I know, in any industry is worried about that. No one at the steel mill, no one in dairy, no one in other manufacturing industry I know.

    The rule is around keeping plants running through smoko breaks, we have done that forever.

    • Lanthanide 22.1

      “we have done that forever.”

      So a law change is required… why?

      Generally it’s better to not change the law unless there’s a clear need to do so.

    • meconism 22.2

      Actually JeffRo, the important part of that ‘smoko’ legislation is that the employer can terminate contract negotiations at any time and walk away. They are no longer required in legislation to act ‘in good faith’ End of story. Done deal, take it or leave it. The ‘smoko’ thing is a smokescreen. Just so you know.

      • JeffRo 22.2.1

        Just had bit of a read of the changes.
        It looks as if an employer is to walk away, then ERA is involved.
        I don’t think it is the massive reduction in rights, as some claim.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Acquiescence is indistinguishable from treachery. In this way you become the thing you hate.

          What a choice, on the one hand we have ISIL, who promise us slavery, on the other, we have the status quo. A plague on both your houses.

          • JeffRo

            My god! I don’t really hate anything, so I should be OK.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Give away workers’ rights one by one until work becomes indistinguishable from slavery and what’s the practical difference?

              In both systems, bullies thrive, the strong prey on the weak to their own short-term benefit, and are rewarded for doing so.

              You don’t see it until you’re the one on the shitty end of the stick, by which time it’s too late.

          • tinfoilhat


            in fact 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Don’t hold back TFH 🙂

              The Right promises a return to indentured servitude, no matter their weasel rhetoric. ISIL promises the same with god-bothering.

              Philosophically they’re very close – watch The Power Of Nightmares if you doubt me.

  23. simon 23

    IMO labour needs to move center but collude with greens so that they bring in the majority of the leftist policy. Greens need to cut the anti-science (GMO’s) crap and get with the evidence (as their social policies are).

    They also need to stop promising billions in subsidies for enviro policies. Not because they are bad ideas (although some are) but because they enable the right wing PR to paint Lab-greens as fiscally irresponsible.

    I truly think that the greens and labour need to work together and a coherent left block. That us the only way forward in my view.

  24. Andrew 24

    This is the biggest cop out i have ever read. Why does this man Savage not understand the real reasons Labour has failed. The real MJS would be turning in his grave if he thought a party could be hijacked but a bunch of unionist self interest groups that at best these days represent one person in ten in the work force. A leader has to govern for the people . Thats the whole of NZ not just a few well meaning socialists that disguise there true intentions.The last labour government of

    Helen Clark knew this very well. She hugged the centre ground at all times and got three terms. It was only in the last term that she allowed some of these looney self interest groups to take hold and lost. A very close race indeed was still had in 2008.
    New Zealanders are not dumb or will be led by the nose and realise that we live in the real world today where freedoms and democracy is stood up for, Not self protectionism or policies that didn’t get across the line 30 years ago even.

    The core Labour votes that will get you into power in the coming years will be middle class voters that want a fair go but also have a social conscience. This is what JK has so successfully navigated.

    One man does not make a party and to see what is now going on is beyond belief. DC should resign immediately and put the leadership up for the caucus to decide. The constitution changes were rotten and gave non MP members of the party too much power.
    If he doesn’t see that then the rest of the caucus should set up ( NEW LABOUR) and go back to their roots and core values.Not all Labour values were communism by stealth.
    The reason they ran their own policy and electorates in the last election held was because they didn’t trust Labour central!
    David please give these hard working MP’s a chance!

    • mickysavage 24.1

      Here is a challenge for you Andrew. Name the policies which show a left wing movement by the Labour Party.

      • Simon 24.1.1

        This is MMP mate. Leave the hard left stuff to the Greens/Mana etc. As much as it sucks (I agree with you believe me) Labour needs to move centre and let the minor parties provide the rationale for the leftist movement.

        This is the only way forward at the moment.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 24.1.2

        K. Let me take this one.

        1. Five new taxes.
        2. Privatisation of the means of production of the power generation system.
        3. Massive increase in minimum wage
        4. Free food in every decile 1-3 school
        5. Building 100,000 state homes
        6. Setting up a state insurance company
        7. Preferring New Zealand companies for government contracts
        8. Restricting ( or, “clamping”) foreigners’ ability to purchase assets in New Zealand
        9. NZ Inc. (This might not be left wing. The policy is so vague I can’t tell. But the policy mentions “clean”, “fair” and “smart” and it is controlled by government so I am assuming it is a pointless, left wing load of nonsense).
        10. Regional Development Fund.

        And Micky: is your position that Labour is not really left wing? Do you present this as a virtue? Tell me more.

        • Puddleglum

          Hi The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell,

          In what way do those 10 points represent a shift by Labour to the left? (Hint: the important word is ‘shift’).

          Remember the policies that Labour went into the 2011 election? GST off fresh fruit and vegetables, first $5,000 of income tax free, CGT, don’t sell state assets, in work tax credit for beneficiaries, etc.. In what way do the 2014 policies show a leftward shift from 2011? (or 2008, for that matter).

          Yet, 2011 involved a ‘dry’ ‘ABC’ leader (hardly monolithically left wing) at the helm – the kind of leader that many on the right are suggesting should become leader again and pull Labour back to the supposed ‘centre’.

          And, just in case you weren’t awake at the time, the Kiwibuild policy came in under Shearer – darling of Hooton.

          The claim just makes no sense.

          This ‘leftward shift under Cunliffe’ stuff is therefore nonsense and presumably is just an argument to get rid of Cunliffe for some other reason.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            They lost in 2011 as well, remember.

            The claim to a move leftward was not mine alone. I remember Cunliffe owning it when he assumed the leadership. He did I it like it was something to be proud of. But maybe he was lying. It’s not unknown.

            My hypothesis is not flawless but seems reasonable to me. Do you have some other proposal that explains why Labour is less popular than when yo grandma was learning the Charleston?

            And is it your position that moving further leftward is electoral nirvana? Cause, you know, good luck with that.

  25. RedBaronCV 25

    Thre’s good money in organic ,GM free and traceable food production and some parts of the country want to go GM free. Why would the Greens drop that as policy?

    • Simon 25.1

      Organics are IMO immoral. Charging more money for a product that in no way differs from its non-organic counterpart, excepting the marketing and ‘feel good’ elitism factor that surrounds it.

      The Greens should drop it because there is no scientific rationale for their stance, and it alienates them from voters who think along these lines. Many of their social policies are fantastic but the anti-science BS stops many from voting for them (myself for example).

      • RedBaronCV 25.1.1

        What is anti scientific about GM free or traceable food chains. And if people have a preference for not having their food drenched in chemicals what is anti scientific about that either? Some people prefer their metal shaped into a Honda civic, others into a BMW – same metal different prices. Why is “preference” not allowed in food? Do you expect us all to eat the same sort of chocolate?

        Don’t forget the rise of super bugs has traceability to overuse of antibiotics non human use in may cases.

        • Simon

          There is no evidence that GMO’s are bad for health. This is counter to Green spin.
          My argument is that this anti-science stance turns off thinking voters in droves.

          RE: Honda analogy, the difference is that a Honda is fundamentally different to a BMW, whereas a GM carrot is fundamentally the same as a non-GM carrot.

          Superbug is a different issue.

          I feel like we are getting distracted a little (probably my fault). My main argument is that the needs to be a coalition across the left with regards to the way forward. The Greens are in a position where they can push for progressive social policy and reliably obtain 10% of the vote, whilst labour can move center and provide the platform for the inclusion of these policies with 35-40% of the vote.

          The problem with the Greens is that some of their enviro policies (including GMO, solar etc.) are too easily ridiculed by the right, and too easily defeated in a rational, evidence based argument. Making it hard for people to vote for them.

          • Chooky

            Erh Simon!…what about those GM swedes in Southland rumored to be the cause of 200 cows dying? ( last time i eat a Southland swede)….what about all those bees dying and hive collapse …put down to pesticide resistant GM seeds?

            But agreed!…”needs to be a coalition across the left with regards to the way forward”….

            The Greens lost votes imo by trying to appeal to the right…a mistake because it put their core supporters off

            • greywarbler

              Chooky 11.44
              The swedes/beets in Southland have probably been affected by a variety of things, GMO isn’t the main cause if at all. I found some info about it, glanced at it to get the gist, and put it up about a week ago.

              • greywarbler

                I looked to see what I had found about the beet. Couldn’t see it but this will interest you I think.
                Part of the problem with the dying cows may arise from them having a change of diet suddenly instead of having a variety of feed. Also there was actual toxic lead pieces in some of the root crop eaten.

                It seems to be more with dairy cows where there has been a diet change.”
                Animal health issues had generally arisen when dairy cows had been shifted from a sweeter fodder beet crop to HT swedes near the end of the warm winter, when the swede was changing and becoming more bitter, he said.
                The cows were reluctant to eat the swede bulbs so consumed more leaf, which contained a high glucosinolate level due to the mild winter, and this was thought to be causing the illness.

                Other related –
                from piggy Wrightson the innovative company bringing herbicide resistant types of plants to nz
                ‘Seed of HT™ brassica cultivars that are bred to be tolerant to the sulfonyl urea herbicide, DuPont® Telar®.
                Telar® is a broad-spectrum herbicide that provides excellent control of broad-leaf weeds in brassica crops with Cleancrop™ Brassica System technology.
                A best practise guide, to maximise the on-farm performance and responsible management of Cleancrop™ Brassica System.

                and from nufarm…
                “… cucurbits, grapes, kiwifruit, persimmons, vegetable and fodder brassicas and fodder beet. …. This product is exclusive to PGG Wrightson / Fruitfed Supplies.”
                Good for all that ails the plants – don’t know about you!

                • Chooky

                  thanks greywarbler for all that research…and i remain suspicious like you

                  …apparently gm seeds also systemically affect the whole subsequent plant and subsequent seeds….also if the plant is immune to pesticides and the pesticides are used on the surrounding weeds…this leaves the swede plant looking healthy but still toxic for eating because of spray residue

                  cows are very susceptible to toxins…eg multiple deaths from urea poisoning on urea spread paddocks is not uncommon ( cows are the canaries in the mine)

                  ( no more boiled cubed swedes in winter for health!)

                  …think about the milk you drink too!…and the obesity problem with people overloaded with toxins and metabolic problems

                  Go organic and choose your seeds carefully imo!

          • Colonial Viper

            There is no evidence that GMO’s are bad for health. This is counter to Green spin.

            OMG how scientifically illiterate can you get? You don’t even understand the true danger of GMOs (which are uncertainties to ecology, not risks to health) and yet try and proclaim so holier than thou ‘I’m more scientificker than you’ position.

            Go away.

            RE: Honda analogy, the difference is that a Honda is fundamentally different to a BMW, whereas a GM carrot is fundamentally the same as a non-GM carrot.

            Well fuck me, if they are that fundamentally the same let’s go for the version which doesn’t give Monsanto et al leverage over our food chain.

            But they’re not the same, are they, which is why you back them so strongly.

            The problem with the Greens is that some of their enviro policies (including GMO, solar etc.) are too easily ridiculed by the right, and too easily defeated in a rational, evidence based argument. Making it hard for people to vote for them.

            You must think your big corporate shilling is so coolly opaque to the dumb people in this small backward country.

            • RedLogix

              Very talented evisceration CV.

            • weka

              I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much Labour now talks about the environment. Even NZF. The GP has made bloody good progress shifting both the understanding of the issues and the world view around the environment. That will keep happening, there’s no need for the GP to change their policies. NZ, even middle NZ, is changing instead.

              • Colonial Viper

                The Greens have actually done amazingly over the years – not in getting MPs into Parliament – but in shifting the discourse of the entire body politic.

                Problem is, their very overt seeking of mainstream/media approval nowadays means that their ability to act as a tide moving entire discussions will become more limited.

                • weka

                  “Problem is, their very overt seeking of mainstream/media approval nowadays means that their ability to act as a tide moving entire discussions will become more limited.”

                  How so?

              • RedLogix

                Yes – that is a positive. In many ways the Greens may well be the most wildly successful Party never to be in government.

              • RedBaronCV

                So much so that I was listening at a meeting when NZ First was talking enviroment and bloke in audience goes “soft green” and NZ First candidate goes “yes” to general approval.

            • greywarbler

              @ Colonial viper
              Very apt acronyms and palindrome? OMG – GMO

            • Chooky

              lol +100 CV

  26. Heather 26

    This is a real true reflection of why there is so much pathetic bickering and trouble in the Labour Party, some of the comments above are unbelievable.
    If you really were true to your words about a party that believed in social demoracy, half of what was said above, would have you leaving immediately.
    David Cunliff believes in a fair society, he told us that, he debated with Key and won – you all saw that on each of the debates – 3 times.
    He was in the job for less than a year and totally treated badly by the media, and Slater and his cronies – don’t you remember in Dirty Politics 600 attack emails in 6 months?
    We ran a great campaign in Kelston, we didn’t fight and argue, we got on with the job and worked together to elect a new MP, it’s a shame that some other electorates didn’t do the same.
    Quite frankly I am sick of hearing what Nash has to say, he is far too inflated by his own importance, he needs to reflect on some of the statements he has made. It’s not the Nash Party it’s the Labour Party of New Zealand that we belong to.
    In summary leave David Cunliff the leader of the party and get behind him, instead of backbiting behind his back.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 26.1

      What makes you think the comments you don’t like are from Labour members, let alone supporters?

    • Simon 26.2

      With respect, Carmel was running against a nobody, after her actual opponent dropped out because of fraud charges.

      I think you self-indulgent back patting needs to be tempered slightly.

      I live in the Kelston electorate, and although I voted for Carmel and Labour, I didn’t see, nor hear from anyone in the Labour party during the election campaign. I did see and speak to Chris Penk on two occasions though…..

      • mickysavage 26.2.1

        Why is it that I am not sure I should believe you?

        • Simon

          You can believe me or not. But if you choose not too, then you may wish to reflect on why.

          If you can access my email (you’re a mod?) flick me a message and we can have a chat.

          I saw Chris Penk twice at Glen Eden rail station. I didn’t hear boo from Carmel. I even tried/failed to volunteer as a part of her team (feel free to re-read my earlier posts). And the t-shirt I tried/failed to purchase was for her campaign.

          • greywarbler

            @ Simom 9.37
            Now you mention this, your jaded opinion does sound justified. But don’t diss workers on the same side. And everyone didn’t have your lack-lustre welcome, or did the results give an indication of just that?

      • greywarbler 26.2.2

        @ Simon 5.15
        Don’t be too critical. Heather knows the time and sacrifices that she and the Labour supporters put into their tasks. You don’t. So her response comes from the heart of a dedicated committed worker and yours sounds as if it is from an observer, cool, critical and largely uninvolved.

    • Anne 26.3

      I haven’t had time to scroll through the comments, but I think you will find that the bulk of the comments you find “unbelievable” come from the right wing NAct tr–ls who come here to stir.

      They pretend to be lefties but are really part of the “Dirty Politics” game. They often have direct links to Cameron Slater.

      [lprent: Looking at them on the backend today, I think that about 1 in 5 was actually a real leftie. You have to ask yourself why they dislike Cunliffe so much and seem to be in love with Shearer 🙂 I think I know why… ]

    • JeffRo 26.4

      Good summary and reasoning but…..

      He won’t ever appeal to middle NZ in enough numbers to win an election.

      End of story

  27. CeeEm 27

    If Helen Kelly stepped up I’d vote for her in heartbeat. She’s the most articulate and steely voice I’ve heard on the left. The Labour party desperately needs someone with a bit of strop.

    • JeffRo 27.1

      Isn’t Helen Kelly writing her book? “Around the block in 80 days”

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 27.1.1

        There’s one vote then CeeEm. You only need to subtract from 1 the 82,098 votes that having her as a candidate would lose Labour to establish the net position as a result of her candidacy.

  28. Whateva next? 28

    thankyou MS, +100. Good to see a sane, measured response.
    Whilst the boys are sticking their hands up” pick me, pick me” do they stop to consider that to survive 3 different leaders and Dirty Politics in full attack mode took incredible stamina? To get to the election with even a remote hope ( which we had ) was a fantastic achievement, and thanks to Cunliffe taking it for the troops. I doubt Grant would have faired any better in the intense glare of the National attack machine, no disrespect Grant.
    Divide and rule is National’s ONLY policy, and by golly it has worked, so wake up guys, and keep those ego’s in check

    • greywarbler 28.1

      @Watevanext 28
      I remember a France election when Le Pen nearly got in because there were 16 different left factions and single figures on the right. There are just so many fighters that can fit into an arena, the Left exhausts itself with infighting and jostling and then nothing left for the main skirmish.

      I think Le Pen’s daughter has now got in in France or the European parliament with roughly the same racist right wing agenda without intelligent policies for ameliorating the problems that spawn the negative response about it.

  29. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 29

    His personal performance during the campaign was good and his debating was superb.

    Are you sure Micky?

    Hasn’t he presided over a ten point drop in popularity in under a year?

    Sure the end result was very disappointing.

    “Disappointing”? The worst result since Ulysses was published? Your vocabulary must have a word better than “disappointing”.

    Maybe, you know, he is not very popular. But then, maybe that’s not what matters. Maybe it’s better to stay true to your principles (or cult of personality, as the case may be) and never actually get the chance to do anything.

  30. David 30

    People seem 2 forget the damage caused 2 this country by the 4th & successive labour governments, labour introduced legislation for encourage ofshore purchase of New Zealand lands, Rogernomics insisted on factory and manufacturing closures to make Rogernomics work, (that is importing un-employment, and making our nZ economy import dependant), placed thousands out of work and on the streets as a result, that encouraged beggars on those same streets still today, rolled over our Maori & non-Maori populations (migrating to Australia for a better quality of life not entitled 2 or considered in NZ), with immigration who have access to all manner social services that ordinary New Zealanders not privy to, immigration also used 2 force minimum wages down (and used as an inflation control omong other), which does not enhance our economy if only 4 the short term purchasing essentials of a house, furnature etc, & a car, taxed childrens money boxes making 80 million in the first year off the backs of children, (no taxation without representation 1215 Magna Carta), did not insist on pay parity for women, just what did they achieve while in power? well they did go a long way 2 creating a nation of bludgers instead of promoting curriculums of self fullfilment to increase our human capital worth, through up-rated education 2 keep aligned with the real world in order to secure our place in that realm. Stop the petty politics as it is demeaning to our nation, labour should B disbanded, for perpetual oversight & unmindfulness of ignoring meaningful policy, it’s a pity capital punishment is not attachable for crimes against our citizens & country. Regards, David Muir. 23rd sep. 2014.

  31. Whateva next? 31

    The worst result since…..Dirty Politics was devised by Crosby Textor, who were not around in previous years.

  32. meconism 32

    I voted labour on policy and I like DC, not heaps but enough. I think it is a good thing that there is apparently, a brutal ideological war for what will be left of the Labour Party. the winners should expell the losers permanently and regroup. Short violent and nasty, get it done and dusted and then build again. What will kill them is if they don’t sort out these antagonisms again after thirty feckin years. If it means temporarily tearing it apart so be it. Do it. Do it now.

  33. Mark 33

    Labour as an organisation has done this to itself. Imposing a leader on caucus that his parliamentary colleagues have no confidence in is simply insane. 20 of 30 want him gone according to reports. How the hell is that going to work for the next three years.

    National will be over the moon if Cunliffe is re appointed by the party and unions

    • The Al1en 33.1

      The insanity is caucus not accepting the will of the members and affiliates – 60%.
      Those 20 should accept labour is a left of centre party they don’t personally own.
      Serve it, or gtfo with the backstabbing, traitors.

      • Hami Shearlie 33.1.1

        Agreed!! Looking at the electorates, Robertson, Shearer, Goff – all 3 won their seats but the Party vote in those electorates was dismal – Robertson’s seat even had the Party vote for Labour BEHIND the Greens. So all this talk of them being such hard working MP’s is just a great big joke! As for people wanting Jacinda Adern as Leader, if you can’t even win an electorate seat, how much does the public really like and trust you – they sure seem to like and trust David Cunliffe in his electorate – he wins easily in a seat which, with the boundary changes, should really be a National seat! A few ABC MP’s ejected would be a small loss compared to thousands and thousands of party members who volunteer their valuable time every election. The Party is THEIRS, it is not the playground of a small group of MP’s.

  34. harry holland 34

    After some more slightly odd DC pronouncements since the election I’m starting to see Parker as the only man who the public will regard as statesmanlike enough to get their respect…

  35. Mark 35

    “Some MPs like David Shearer are suggesting that Labour should tack back to the centre. Here is a challenge to them. The party’s policy platform has been remarkably stable for some time. Can they say what particular policies are evidence of a leftward trend?”

    MickySavage here is the challenge to you. The Party’s platform has been roundly rejected by the electorate. The message could not be any clearer that Labour needs a rethink. That David Cunliffe lost the party vote in his electorate by less than others is not something to be held up as an example, it is at the core of the problem. The voters did not see labour as a safe pair of hands to manage the economy. Centre voters fear the greens, and want policies that focus on job creation. Labour has not delivered in these core areas.

    The Policies that indicated Labour was moving left – Increased taxes, CGT including on inherited homes (effectively reintroducing inheritance tax by stealth) need I go on.

    I have said this on here in the last 24 hours Labour needs to convince the centre voter that it is going to be a responsible manager of the economy. With the spending promises made during the election it failed to do that.

    Finally Cunliffe does not have the support of Caucus. Whilst the party might want him as leader the reality is if 2/3 of Caucus don’t have confidence in his leadership he must resign as leader. The is not another option that gives labour any chance of rebuilding the parliamentary wing.

    • The Al1en 35.1

      Goes to show my green vote this time wasn’t wasted. Like I didn’t know who was lurking in the background, dancing to their own anti party faithful tune.

      Caucus should fall in behind the elected leader or leave their cushy well paid jobs to canvas their own support elsewhere. Perhaps the fabled middle ground will be kinder to them and more to their liking than being in a workers party.

  36. Te Reo Putake 36

    My tuppence worth:

    1) Cunliffe should go. He will be forever tainted and taunted by the apology for being a man. Whether we like it or not, that was this campaign’s ‘show me the money’ moment. And it was entirely self inflicted. However ….

    2) Cunliffe should stay. Continuity does count and Helen Clark turned around her public perception after a poor first election result. If the leadership goes to the 20/20/40 vote, he’ll still win.

    3) Time for MP term limits and for internal recalls. We, the members, need to have meaningful control over the MP’s. They work for us and if they are doing the party harm, they need to be exited, even at the price of a by-election we might lose.

    4) The members need to decide policy, in consultation with the caucus. For example, if we’d gone with a policy of immediately nationalising the stolen power assets, DC would be PM today. Bugger playing by the right’s rules, pay back those who ‘invested’ over 10 years; no interest and at whatever the lowest share price was. Looters shouldn’t profit.

    5) We need to run tickets in council elections. We have a wonderful on the ground organisation, why only use it once every 3 years?

    • weka 36.1

      “3) Time for MP term limits and for internal recalls. We, the members, need to have meaningful control over the MP’s. They work for us and if they are doing the party harm, they need to be exited, even at the price of a by-election we might lose.”

      What are the current rules re explusion or removal of MPs?

      • Te Reo Putake 36.1.1

        Effectively, there aren’t any for electorate MP’s. Their employment status as elected representatives is separate from their party membership and the threat of a difficult by-election is also a restraint on sacking them, no matter how well deserved. Basically, they have to resign. List MP’s are more beholden to the party, and can be dropped relatively easily (as John Key has shown).

    • weka 36.2

      “1) Cunliffe should go. He will be forever tainted and taunted by the apology for being a man. Whether we like it or not, that was this campaign’s ‘show me the money’ moment. And it was entirely self inflicted. However ….”

      If DC goes, do you think the likelihood of increasing membership powers gets better or worse?

      • Te Reo Putake 36.2.1

        Better. Anger is a great motivator!

        • weka

          I was meaning constitutionally. Does the membership have the power to make constitutional changes if too many of caucus are against that?

          • Te Reo Putake

            Each annual conference tinkers with the rules, but a significant change might take a special constitutional conference. Mike Smith or others might be able to clarify.

  37. greywarbler 37

    @ TRP 36
    3 – Time for MP term limits and for internal recalls.
    That is so right, especially term limits interests me, I have read elsewhere that in other countries the conviction has set that career politicians tend to produce a mendacious lot skilled at rolling logs and calculating the most advantage rather than formulating good policy after listening and looking to see what is required. Self-serving. That is okay for fast food restaurants, but we want better table service with civility.!

    Can you, or anyone advise on how many have put their name forward, expressed interest in being Labour leader? I thought I read 15 in some comment but can’t find details in the posts I’ve looked over, or the media I pulled on screen. So who?

  38. sir pat 38

    well the party lost focus with Dirty Politics and didnt hammer it for all it was worth and Cunliffe has gained less traction with Joe public than Shearer did. I remember helping in David Lange’s first Mangere election…….now that was a real labour party!!!……no wondering who stood for what or who was behind the scenes representing whatever faction…..just Labour…….you KNEW one was involved with an eglatarian mission.
    Labour has become a non event for too many young folk who many have never heard of Michael Savage and the ideals born of that era and the fact Labour is associated with “handouts” actually harms the party……there are new generations who dont like the fact that folks are getting “free” money for not contributing to society for the only reason that they can and then the whole benefit system gets tarred…..and the young ones who do work dont care as much about ideals when they are trying to provide for their family on their min wage job.
    Labour needs to become again LABOUR pure and simple…. representing simple basic concepts that the common man can understand and go oh yeah!!
    Then you might get some of the centre back AND you might get the million or so folks who didn’t vote back on your side……they ain’t going to vote right but where’s the hope in voting left????

  39. Lorraine 39

    No it comes out that David Cunliffe fought this campaign with knives sticking out of his back put their by some of his caucus colleges, I have renewed respect for how well he handled himself. I think he did brilliantly in the debates with John Key and it was clear Key had enormous respect for how Cunliffe had handled himself in these debates.
    It is clearly not Cunliffe’s fault that Labour did not win. A civil war was going on in the caucus behind the scenes. I do have renewed respect for David Parker and Grant Robertson but that old fossil David Shearer and creepy Chris Hipkins make me feel sick. I was so shocked to see David Shearer passing judgement on the TV the morning after the election. What a complete w…ker. This man has zero self awareness. Just take a look in the mirror and see that you are not even a has been you are a never was. You wouldn’t have been able to hold your own in a debate with clever Key like Cunliffe did, besides you are the biggest turn off to women and young people possible. For someone who was so horrible to David Cunliffe when you were leader. Accusing him of things he didn’t do and punishing him publicly and then you don’t abide by the rules and are out their with you loose and foolish tough the day after the election.
    Labour needs to be relevant to the middle ground voter, clawing back support that has gone to national as labour has been out to the far left. Since Helen labour is not a party can pull in the women’s vote and young person’s vote. This is where Jacinda would be a triumph card, young and a woman. Someone young women can aspire to. She is also distinctly different than John Key. Give her 3 years in opposition and she will be ready.

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    Let’s say it’s 1984,and there's a dreary little nation at the bottom of the Pacific whose name rhymes with New Zealand,and they've just had an election.Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, will you look at the state of these books we’ve opened,cries the incoming government, will you look at all this mountain ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Stopping oil
    National is promising to bring back offshore oil and gas drilling. Naturally, the Greens have organised a petition campaign to try and stop them. You should sign it - every little bit helps, and as the struggle over mining conservation land showed, even National can be deterred if enough people ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Don’t accept Human Rights Commission reading of data on Treaty partnership – read the survey fin...
    Wellington is braced for a “massive impact’ from the new government’s cutting public service jobs, The Post somewhat grimly reported today. Expectations of an economic and social jolt are based on the National-Act coalition agreement to cut public service numbers in each government agency in a cost-trimming exercise  “informed by” head ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • The stupidest of stupid reasons
    One of the threats in the National - ACT - NZ First coalition agreements was to extend the term of Parliament to four years, reducing our opportunities to throw a bad government out. The justification? Apparently, the government thinks "elections are expensive". This is the stupidest of stupid reasons for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A website bereft of buzz
    Buzz from the Beehive The new government was being  sworn in, at time of writing , and when Point of Order checked the Beehive website for the latest ministerial statements and re-visit some of the old ones we drew a blank. We found ….  Nowt. Nothing. Zilch. Not a ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • MICHAEL BASSETT: A new Ministry – at last
    Michael Bassett writes – Like most people, I was getting heartily sick of all the time being wasted over the coalition negotiations. During the first three weeks Winston grinned like a Cheshire cat, certain he’d be needed; Chris Luxon wasted time in lifting the phone to Winston ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Luxon's Breakfast.
    The Prime Minister elect had his silver fern badge on. He wore it to remind viewers he was supporting New Zealand, that was his team. Despite the fact it made him look like a concierge, or a welcomer in a Koru lounge. Anna Burns-Francis, the Breakfast presenter, asked if he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL:  Oranga Tamariki faces major upheaval under coalition agreement
     Lindsay Mitchell writes – A hugely significant gain for ACT is somewhat camouflaged by legislative jargon. Under the heading ‘Oranga Tamariki’ ACT’s coalition agreement contains the following item:   Remove Section 7AA from the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 According to Oranga Tamariki:     “Section ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON:  Peters as Minister
    A previous column looked at Winston Peters biographically. This one takes a closer look at his record as a minister, especially his policy record. Brian Easton writes – 1990-1991: Minister of Māori Affairs. Few remember Ka Awatea as a major document on the future of Māori policy; there is ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Cathrine Dyer's guide to watching COP 28 from the bottom of a warming planet
    Is COP28 largely smoke and mirrors and a plan so cunning, you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel? Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: COP28 kicks off on November 30 and up for negotiation are issues like the role of fossil fuels in the energy transition, contributions to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Top 10 news links at 10 am for Monday, Nov 27
    PM Elect Christopher Luxon was challenged this morning on whether he would sack Adrian Orr and Andrew Coster.TL;DR: Here’s my pick of top 10 news links elsewhere at 10 am on Monday November 27, including:Signs councils are putting planning and capital spending on hold, given a lack of clear guidance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the new government’s policies of yesteryear
    This column expands on a Werewolf column published by Scoop on Friday Routinely, Winston Peters is described as the kingmaker who gets to decide when the centre right or the centre-left has a turn at running this country. He also plays a less heralded but equally important role as the ...
    6 days ago
  • The New Government’s Agreements
    Last Friday, almost six weeks after election day, National finally came to an agreement with ACT and NZ First to form a government. They also released the agreements between each party and looking through them, here are the things I thought were the most interesting (and often concerning) from the. ...
    6 days ago
  • How many smokers will die to fund the tax cuts?
    Maori and Pasifika smoking rates are already over twice the ‘all adult’ rate. Now the revenue that generates will be used to fund National’s tax cuts. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The devil is always in the detail and it emerged over the weekend from the guts of the policy agreements National ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How the culture will change in the Beehive
    Perhaps the biggest change that will come to the Beehive as the new government settles in will be a fundamental culture change. The era of endless consultation will be over. This looks like a government that knows what it wants to do, and that means it knows what outcomes ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • No More Winnie Blues.
    So what do you think of the coalition’s decision to cancel Smokefree measures intended to stop young people, including an over representation of Māori, from taking up smoking? Enabling them to use the tax revenue to give other people a tax cut?David Cormack summed it up well:It seems not only ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science  Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 19, 2023 thru Sat, Nov 25, 2023.  Story of the Week World stands on frontline of disaster at Cop28, says UN climate chief  Exclusive: Simon Stiell says leaders must ‘stop ...
    1 week ago
  • Some of it is mad, some of it is bad and some of it is clearly the work of people who are dangerous ...
    On announcement morning my mate texted:Typical of this cut-price, fake-deal government to announce itself on Black Friday.What a deal. We lose Kim Hill, we gain an empty, jargonising prime minister, a belligerent conspiracist, and a heartless Ayn Rand fanboy. One door closes, another gets slammed repeatedly in your face.It seems pretty ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • “Revolution” is the threat as the Māori Party smarts at coalition government’s Treaty directi...
    Buzz from the Beehive Having found no fresh announcements on the government’s official website, Point of Order turned today to Scoop’s Latest Parliament Headlines  for its buzz. This provided us with evidence that the Māori Party has been soured by the the coalition agreement announced yesterday by the new PM. “Soured” ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • The Good, the Bad, and the even Worse.
    Yesterday the trio that will lead our country unveiled their vision for New Zealand.Seymour looking surprisingly statesmanlike, refusing to rise to barbs about his previous comments on Winston Peters. Almost as if they had just been slapstick for the crowd.Winston was mostly focussed on settling scores with the media, making ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • When it Comes to Palestine – Free Speech is Under Threat
    Hi,Thanks for getting amongst Mister Organ on digital — thanks to you, we hit the #1 doc spot on iTunes this week. This response goes a long way to helping us break even.I feel good about that. Other things — not so much.New Zealand finally has a new government, and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Thank you Captain Luxon. Was that a landing, or were we shot down?
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Also in More Than A FeildingFriday The unboxing And so this is Friday and what have we gone and done to ourselves?In the same way that a Christmas present can look lovely under the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Cans of Worms.
    “And there’ll be no shortage of ‘events’ to test Luxon’s political skills. David Seymour wants a referendum on the Treaty. Winston wants a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Labour’s handling of the Covid crisis. Talk about cans of worms!”LAURIE AND LES were very fond of their local. It was nothing ...
    1 week ago
  • Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back
    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Misinformation is debated everywhere and has justifiably sparked concerns. It can polarise the public, reduce health-protective behaviours such as mask wearing and vaccination, and erode trust in science. Much of misinformation is spread not ...
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    1 week ago
  • Further humanitarian support for Gaza, the West Bank and Israel
    The Government is contributing a further $5 million to support the response to urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, bringing New Zealand’s total contribution to the humanitarian response so far to $10 million. “New Zealand is deeply saddened by the loss of civilian life and the ...
    2 weeks ago

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