Leadership carnage! Crisis! Farce! Civil war!

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, October 31st, 2014 - 112 comments
Categories: labour, leadership - Tags: , , , ,

Last night I attended the Dunedin meeting of the Labour leadership roadshow. Carnage! Crisis! Farce! Civil war! I witnessed none of those things. (What a beat-up much of the media coverage of Labour’s leadership has been.)

Instead, what I saw was four good people making their case. I saw persuasion, passion, determination, heart, intelligence, commitment, and good humour. I saw four candidates who were obviously good friends, as well as competitors. I saw them acknowledging each other respectfully, and sharing plenty of laughs.

In short, what I saw reassured me immensely. Labour has depth, Labour has energy, and Labour has four candidates who are all utterly committed to getting behind a new leader and getting on with the job.

I get that there are passionate supporters of one candidate or another, but I just don’t work that way. The candidates all have strengths, they all have weaknesses, they are all good people, they all represent aspects of what is best about Labour. I have (in my dithering way) some preferences, but I would support any one of the four as leader.

Anyway, if the roadshow is coming to your town some time, I recommend that you get along and see the candidates in person. It makes for a fun and interesting evening.

112 comments on “Leadership carnage! Crisis! Farce! Civil war!”

  1. lurgee 1

    Instead, what I saw was four good people making their case. I saw persuasion, passion, determination, heart, intelligence, commitment, and good humour. I saw four candidates who were obviously good friends, as well as competitors. I saw them acknowledging each other respectfully, and sharing plenty of laughs.

    Pretty sure similar things were posted last time. How did that go?

    Or is it the case that these people (and the last lot) are actually able to work together and it is the constant bile spurted out by the partisans of different candidates and / or factions tha creates (or at least exaggerates) the appearance of disunity, betrayal, back biting and division?

    Hmmmm. My money is on the latter. I’m pretty sure no-one on the Labour front bench WANTS to be in opposition.

    • Clemgeopin 1.1

      Considering that Labour has such an open, fair, courageous and democratic way of electing its party leader, it is commendable that the candidates conduct themselves in quite a civilised, respectful, mature and robust way. This open process of electing the party leader with a strong input from the members is far superior to the way National and ACT do in secret as dictated by the faceless powerful wealthy entities that remain somewhere behind the scenes pulling their pathetic puppet strings in secret shadows.

    • Colonial Rawshark 1.2

      Hmmmm. My money is on the latter. I’m pretty sure no-one on the Labour front bench WANTS to be in opposition.

      As the candidates pointed out last night, Labour’s party vote has now dropped for 3 elections in a row.

      So what the front bench want is irrelevant if they don’t know how to correct the electoral flat spin that they have put the party into. Or even why it is in one to begin with.

  2. Manuka - Ancient Order of Rawsharks 2

    Hi Anthony, Thank you for this post!

    Yes, that is my sense of Labour’s team, now that all the candidates have spoken. They are a good team, people to be proud of. All four who are standing, and their various partners and offsiders (and hey, lets not forget Buddy the charismatic cat 🙂 ) Regardless of who ends up being the ‘face of Labour’, each of these candidates deserve a strong role in the future government, within their own spheres. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers. Each of these has more integrity in one toe than those who are in power will ever comprehend.

  3. Al 3

    Of course a Tory has to caste his/her nasty dispersions on a positive post. Why doesn’t luugee just hang with his mate WhaleDung. Labour supporters do want to keep politics positive and it is very clear the Tory’s don’t care. Key has admitted this himself during the pre-election debates. I am not concerned who takes over, so long as once the decision is made the others show some solidarity behind the new leader and party direction.

    • lurgee 3.1

      Whatever I am, I’m no Tory. Voted Greens, Mana, Alliance in recent elections. So, once you’ve finished hitting yourself with the Wrong Stick, why not just hang with your friend Dumb?

      (Think about it …)

      The four candidates of offer are all pretty weak. Ask anyone who supports anyone of them and they’ll immediately give you a dissertation on the failings of the other three. My doubts simply extend one further than theirs.

  4. Chooky 4

    ..i vote for Buddy the charismatic cat….can we have that picture up with Andrew Little

  5. lprent 5

    Cool title.. I can see the real time effect as everyone piles in to read it.

  6. Skinny 6

    Just wondering ‘how stage managed’ these hustings meetings are. Is there some frank discussion around cleaning out the party of deadwood. In fact I’ll be demanding it or the LP are going to get a very harsh critique through the media. I don’t like the arrogance of some of the caucus, or the beltway plebs wreaking the party.

    • Part of the LP’s problem is random nuts on the internet demanding purges. Fun stuff for right-wing bloggers to play with

      • wekarawshark 6.1.1

        Are you referring to Clare Curran?

      • Skinny 6.1.2

        Oh here he is the social media policeman. Get lost fool some of us believe in freedom of speech, I don’t give a toss what the right think of my 50 cents worth. Btw Labour got thousands of dollars out of me in the last 3 years during the last Husting and election campaign. People like me are not prepared to stump up anymore till we see change. Labour can ill afford to take our contribution as a given as there are other political options like the Greens or starting a new party. These self serving deadbeat MP’s need to go fullstop. When Clark lost her and Cullen and others called it a day, so should about 10 other long (enough) serving MP’s. Because they haven’t the whole of the Labour Party pays the price. All the back stabbing, undermining, leaks and other brand damage is done by this lot. And a clown like you blames people like me and insultingly call us nuts.

        • Chooky 6.1.2.1

          +100 Skinny…”Labour can ill afford to take our contribution as a given as there are other political options like the Greens or starting a new party”

          ..i take it you are referring to those who pretend to be Lefties but in actual fact are right wingers …who advocate turning on/blaming the the grassroots Labour members/activists who want change and are prepared to criticise

      • lprent 6.1.3

        The funny thing is that relatively few of the Labour members seem to be calling for purges. It is largely the labour ulterior. philu being a good example.

        Someone pointed out to me that the anonymous leaking in Labour had reduced markedly this year. When I reflected on it, they are right. I could only put my finger on a single instance for sure.

        Of course there has been some up-front slagging. But that is a hell of lot less of a problem.

        The issue for caucus now is to both keep it that way and that they have a *long* reputation to wear away. I think it took the caucus under Helen Clarks leadership about 8-9 years to diminish the reputation after the 1988-1993 period.

        • blue leopard 6.1.3.1

          Here is a dodgy article containing some sort of ‘insider’, who had alot to say:

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10287781/Cunliffe-I-work-as-hard-as-anyone

          This ‘insider’ quoted in this article may not have been an MP. Did anyone track down who it was? No? Yes? Who was it?

          What they say is pretty damning about the culture inside the caucus.

          For example:

          The insider believed up to 20 of the 33 Labour MPs were deeply unhappy with Cunliffe’s leadership, but had accepted that an attempt to dump him this late in the term would backfire.

          This article was published two months before the election. If it was the only leak all year, it couldn’t have come out at a much better time to create maximum damage.

          I thoroughly disagree with the comments re “the guy [Cunliffe] doesn’t want it badly enough”. Cunliffe was obviously very passionate about what the Labour message was, getting it out to as many as possible and winning the election.

          What about all the lines by the media, all year, about ‘should Cunliffe resign’.?

          Kind of tallies with what the ‘insider’ said about attitudes in caucus.

          Prior to that article, it seemed as though the media were conjuring up very strange and imaginative lines, about resigning, ( at the time they were ran they appeared ridiculous, he had only been in the job for a few months). After the article it appeared the media might be running lines that reflected the state and atmosphere within Labour.

          And, I repeat, it was two months out from the election.

          Considering the damage that such an article could have, was there any follow up to the article I linked to? You know, with the Labour MPs presenting a united front saying how this ‘insider’ was wrong, and they were pleased with Cunliffe’s leadership, his hard work and passion? Perhaps they could have detailed what he was doing and how they admired it. I haven’t been able to find anything of the sort, but plenty to indicate that the ‘insider’ was accurately reflecting the culture of criticism-and-contempt-toward-the-leader within the caucus.

          Sadly, the behaviour of MPs directly after the election,tallied with and corroborated what that ‘insider’ said.

          Any decent organisation knows that word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising, and negative word-of-mouth is extremely damaging, yet it appears to me that MPs in Labour were disgruntled and loose-lipped and lack awareness of how gossip travels in a country where we have only about 2 degrees of separation. What was more important this year? Sharing their inability to be dedicated toward their leader, or winning the election?

          • Chooky 6.1.3.1.1

            +100 blue leopard

          • Anne 6.1.3.1.2

            Yes, I remember that article blue leopard. I’m sure it was discussed here at some length. My assumption at the time and still is:

            it was a massive beat-up over nothing by a so-called insider who was on the side of the former ABCs – for want of a better description of them. The idiocy of the claim against Cunliffe was accentuated by the fact that at the same time John Key took a holiday from campaigning by disappearing off to Hawaii for TEN days (as opposed to Cunliffe’s TWO/THREE days) and no-one said a word against Key. It smacked of pure vindictiveness – aided and abetted by the MSM.

            My own view is:

            that section of caucus never got over the membership and affiliates thumbing their noses at them at the 2012 conference and took it out on David C. I was present at that conference and – for related reasons – was left pretty much on my own so I had plenty of time to observe the whole sorry debacle unfold before my eyes. It was gobsmacking stuff – not the least the behaviour of the media present. I’ll never forget it.

          • greywarshark 6.1.3.1.3

            When you’ve got a refrain like that going on, you won’t go high on the hit parade.
            Could have been turned into a Beehive rumpus room chant:
            The caucus
            Was raucous.
            Their leader’s
            A dorkus.
            How could anyone win against a bitching session like that on your own side, and a smile and wave Mr Teflon on the other.

          • ankerawshark 6.1.3.1.4

            100+ Blue Leopard

        • leftie 6.1.3.2

          “Someone pointed out to me that the anonymous leaking in Labour had reduced markedly this year. When I reflected on it, they are right. I could only put my finger on a single instance for sure.”

          Would that be due to the treasonous leaker((s) believing that the mission has been accomplished by ousting David Cunliffe, so a more preferred option of the self interested factions that have been actively undermining the party, has another shot at the leadership?

    • tricle up 6.2

      There will always be criticism in the media the point is to raise your game and act as a cohesive team compensating for weakness’s by building up your positives .Nobody is bigger than the party as we have seen there maybe a ebb on as we reach the so called deadwood the term needs to be defined clearly as having nothing to add or failing a performance standard.I would like to think the LP are ahead of the pact an stuffed full of ideas achieved by the synthesis of sensible attuned reasoning ….there is experience within ..bring it on..the operators should not be allowed to attach information with a blindness within there unity.Roll it out i can’t wait..

  7. ankerawshark 7

    They did say this last leadership campaign didn’t they. Look how well they all get on etc.

    Excuse my cynicism, but I think any attempt to be anything other than respectful while campaigning would lose votes.

    We need to make them more accountable to the party once the contest is over.

  8. Shona 8

    Yardah Yardah Yardah . Been there done that . Heard it all before. Achieved zilch. Party still divided. Same beltway douche bags doing the same beltway things that have steadily destroyed NZ’s Labour Party. Mean while another generation of young New Zealanders despair and then become Australians. I no longer have any respect for Labour.

  9. Darien Fenton 9

    You’re a brave man Anthony Robbins. Good on you for reminding us all that we are all Labour. That this is a contest and that’s ok. That people will have preferences. That we are allowed to under Labour Party rules, and can vote accordingly. That in the end, its about the people we say we represent ; and those we seek to represent in the future and whoever wins, we have to support as our leader.

    • r0b 9.1

      Thanks Darien, and thanks for continuing to contribute here. (I’m not brave, just telling it as I see it.)

    • Anne 9.2

      With you all the way Darien, but there’s one thing you are not at liberty to comment on, but I am. I refer to the handful of Labour MPs who, since election 2011, saw fit to undermine one of their number by way of public utterances or by leaking confidential caucus information to members of the Press Gallery. I think that behaviour brought Labour as a whole into disrepute, and accounted for at least some of the drop in our popularity. Dirty Politics did most of the rest.

      There are always going to be hotly debated issues among a disparate group of individuals like the Caucus, but in the past they took place within the confines of the Caucus room and that is where they stayed. It was frustrating for members sitting on the sidelines watching the infighting, and the nastiness towards David Cunliffe in particular, and not being able to do anything about it. That has accounted for the anger and bitterness that various members and supporters have expressed on this site and elsewhere.

      Fortunately, it looks like the culprits have finally been reined in, and the new leader (whoever it is) will at least be given a fair go. Lets hope so.

      • Darien Fenton 9.2.1

        I am a at liberty to comment Anne. I choose not to except to say there is more than one side to the story : and maybe you weren’t hearing them both.

        • Anne 9.2.1.1

          Yes Darien, I know there was more than one side to the story, but I’m referring to evidence – on public display for everyone to see – that some MPs were behaving in an unruly and disloyal manner by feeding confidential information to outsiders that was then used against Labour to distract… and then destroy them.

          For those of us on the streets doing the hard yards it was infuriating to see one’s work going down the drain because of a tiny handful of MPs who appeared not to care about the damage they were doing to the party as a whole.

          • Anne 9.2.1.1.1

            Oh, and by the way, as far as I could tell they were relatively senior male MPs who were doing all the ‘talking’.

        • ankerawshark 9.2.1.2

          Darien, are you saying that the caucus leakers and underminers were justified in doing this because there were two sides to the story?

          I am interpreting here, so correct me if I am wrong by all means. Sounds like you are saying that there were issues happening in caucus that were unfair, or things about DC that weren’t good for his colleagues and therefore it was ?right ? understandable ? strategically useful for caucus to leak???? Not support him?

          I have not doubt there are two sides to every story, but does that justify leaking? Openly criticizing a colleague a la David Shearer in the media.

          Cause where I am sitting, I guess I expect caucus to keep it all in house. I work in a field where I hear a lot of information and I have to keep it to myself. Sometimes that can be a little stressful, but I know that is the deal with my job. If I can’t do it I need to get out. I would suggest it needs to be the same for caucus. What do you think?

          • Darien Fenton 9.2.1.2.1

            What I am saying is that caucus leakers and underminers were on all sides. And no they were not justified during the Phil Goff leadership, the David Shearer leadership and the David Cunliffe leadership. I agree with collective responsibility and thats how caucus needs to operate.

    • leftie 9.3

      @Darien Fenton

      It is a pity then that certain members of caucus didn’t hold the same view, and refused to support the democratically elected leadership of David Cunliffe.

      Quite frankly, many, if not all in the membership, have a right to feel cynical, while the self interested factions remain firmly entrenched within Labour’s caucus, and who are quite prepared to undermine the party for its own selfish ends.

  10. Ed 10

    I have found it easy to tell the Nat/ACT trolls from true Labour supporters on The Standard – the Nat trolls cannot help destructive comments about the candidate that they most fear, and supportive comments about the candidate they consider the least likely to threaten the far right. (Green and other left supporters understand the need to avoid feeding the news media’s appetite for conflict; real or imagined).

    In their own way, the destructive posts have been as helpful as those from Labour members/supporters who have extolled the virtues of ‘their’ candidate without feeling the need to be destructive about other candidates. The ability to reach consensus from individuals with different priorities and emphases and different preferences for achieving goals has been a strength of the left for many years – but it is more complex than subservience to the centre, just as the goals of the left are more complex than “make me wealthy”.

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.1

      I have found it easy to tell the Nat/ACT trolls from true Labour supporters on The Standard

      yEP, and by extension, it is worthwhile paying attention to who the MSMS slams the most.

  11. The Lone Haranguer 11

    Unlike you Shona, I have a huge respect for Labour, and may even join the Party one day. Labor are the party that actually changes stuff for the better.

    I wont join now just to vote in the leadership deal, as I reckon the right to vote should involve more than a $5 donation.

    Im looking for Labour to sort their leadership, and then to demonstrate some form of unity and to then articulate what they want New Zealand to look like in 5 years, what they want New Zealand to look like in 10 years, and what they want New Zealand to look like in 15 years.

    Paint an easy to follow picture of the vision that Labour has – but without the weasel words that politicians seem to love.

  12. Craig Glen Eden 12

    wow Dariens had a road to damascus experience “its all about the people we say we represent” it’s a pitty you didn’t think of this over the last three years. If you had you would have been vocal about the appalling lack of discipline shown by some of your past work mates.

    Its pretty clear the ABC’s are keen to create new identities for themselve’s , what a joke. Best of luck to Nania and Andrew but I dont envy you one bit.

    • Darien Fenton 12.1

      Oh let it go Craig. This is exactly the kind of narrative that puts people off Labour and ends up with a vote of 25%.

      • Craig Glen Eden 12.1.1

        No Darien its the behavior of the likes of you and your caucus mates that resulted in a 27% vote for Labour under Phil and a 25% vote for Labour under David. Stop blaming others Darien and look in the mirror. The poor Party vote for Labour for the last two elections was because you guys spent all your time fighting each other and leaking shit to the media. The negative narratives that were played out in the papers and on TV was not because of anything anyone post or commented on on the Standard.

        • r0b 12.1.1.1

          The poor Party vote for Labour for the last two elections was because you guys spent all your time fighting each other and leaking shit to the media.

          I have to say I disagree. The poor Party vote for Labour was a result of National’s incredibly successful two tier attack strategy. That is what we have to work out how to counter. Although there are clear divisions in caucus, I think in general they pulled together for the elections well.

          • phillip ure 12.1.1.1.1

            um..!..aren’t you forgetting the elephant in the room..?..policies..?

            ..labour paid lip-service to reaching out to the million disposessed..

            ..but in the end..offered nothing…

            ..and yes..national does the sort of shit national does better than labour can..

            ..and until labour stop trying to be ‘just like them..but not quite as bad!’..

            ..they/we are screwed..

            • Craig Glen Eden 12.1.1.1.1.1

              I agree Rob the Nats two tier attack has worked well, but Labours poor caucus discipline only helped make it more effective. As I am sure you are aware people are not going to elect a Party who’s caucus is not disciplined, hence the” not fit to rule line”.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Yep Anthony and CGE, I think that the NAT dirty politics/MSM two-tier strategy has been extraordinarily damaging to Labour over the last two elections.

                So with the 2014 loss, what did a whole lot of Labour MPs do? Did they put the responsibility for the record loss on National’s dirty politics strategy and Labour’s ongoing inability to counter it, or did they use the election loss as an opportunity to screw over their Leader, David Cunliffe?

                Oh the latter of course. Because apparently its all about caucus unity and caucus collective responsibility. And because “there are no factions in caucus.”

            • Skinny 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Phil Ure calls it how it is, good stuff cobber and I agree no one wants a National Lite option they want a true Left party through policy. The last true Left leader of Labour was Bill Rowling. And how long ago was that? What a disgrace they should change the party name as they have been impostors ever since.

          • Darien Fenton 12.1.1.1.2

            Thanks Rob. In my life as a unionist and Labour MP, I have tried very hard to assume good intent from those on the left, but that doesn’t mean I don’t speak my mind. I hope we can put the name calling behind us now. We all have jobs to do, including me – working for a group of workers who face awful consequences from the passing of the ERA yesterday.

            • r0b 12.1.1.1.2.1

              You are going to be at the sharp end of the stick indeed – good luck with it…

            • Craig Glen Eden 12.1.1.1.2.2

              ” but that doesn’t mean I don’t speak my mind”

              I don’t mind you speaking your mind Darien just as long as you respect others right to have their say. This is not ” red alert” . We are all free to express our valid views at the Standard. Freedom of speech is paramount in a democracy and like you I will be a Unionist all my life no matter what my job is.

            • Sabine 12.1.1.1.2.3

              too bad that labour could not put up a united front to the public, set up decent policies, co-ordinate campaign strategies with the other left parties and win the election.

              then you would not have to now start fighting a war you lost yesterday.

              too bad.

          • Karen 12.1.1.1.3

            I agree that National’s 2-tier attack strategy was a major factor in Labour’s poor showing, but I also think Labour became an easy target because of the obvious divisions in caucus.

            The undisciplined leaks to the media, and the lack of a robust and co-ordinated support from caucus when Cunliffe was being attacked, meant that Labour did not appear to be ready to govern in the eyes of the general public.

          • wekarawshark 12.1.1.1.4

            why are people arguing as if there was only one reason for Labour doing so badly at the election?

          • marty mars 12.1.1.1.5

            r0b isn’t blaming the poor labour party vote on the gnats successful 2 tier strategy just another form of blaming – surely labour can be mature enough to front up to the reasons they got such low support – the reasons are because of labour, not the gnats, not slater, not the media, not IMP or Dotcom or the MoT. Blaming others is just self denial isn’t it because the external forces are always going to be there in some way shape or form and the only ‘control’ that actually can be exerted is by the labour party itself – they cannot control the gnats or anyone/thing on that list. But they can control themselves (hypothetical I know).

            Labour lost the trust of the voters and imo that was partly due to the internal shenanigans around leadership.

            • Craig Glen Eden 12.1.1.1.5.1

              +1 MM

            • r0b 12.1.1.1.5.2

              r0b isn’t blaming the poor labour party vote on the gnats successful 2 tier strategy just another form of blaming

              Maybe, but I think it’s just as unhelpful to turn all the focus inwards and not acknowledge the very sophisticated and successful (and of course dirty) tactics being used against us. We can change leaders and reorganise until we’re blue in the face, it will do not good, until we can counter the tactics being used against us.

              the reasons are because of labour, not the gnats, not slater, not the media, not IMP or Dotcom or the MoT

              They are all factors, I think it’s unwise to ignore them.

              Labour lost the trust of the voters and imo that was partly due to the internal shenanigans around leadership.

              Maybe in part, but imo it has been overstated.

              [Off line for the rest of the day, but will check back in tonight]

              • Tracey

                agree. the four candidates, rightly or wrongly, are giving the impression its a non problem

              • r0b

                “I think it’s just as unhelpful to turn all the focus inwards”

                yes, well, we part company about there…

                labour should turn all of its focus inwards imo – once the inward is aligned magically the outward will be too and then labour can go and help create a left government – trying to do it the other way is a waste of time, energy and resources. It is fantasy.

          • Tracey 12.1.1.1.6

            and we to trust lp to have a strategy to counter it cos not a single candidate seems to want to acknowledge it. skinny was going to ask little how he would counter it and report back. he hasnt yet.

            i ask mahuta yesterday and she gave an answer tht sounds like they will do what they did in the last two elections.

            prhaps it is wiser not to disclose the strategy but pretending it isnt a problem?

        • leftie 12.1.1.2

          @Craig Glen Eden
          +10000 Spot on !!

      • leftie 12.1.2

        @Darien Fenton

        Denial doesn’t fix problems or make them go away.

        • greywarshark 12.1.2.1

          It’s time for a forensic dissection, and Labour has to put up with it. It is sick and possibly it’s a syndrome rather than one identifiable disease. Everyone is feeling unease about it, the disease is a bit like cancer I think. You can look all right with cancer, but the effects are demolishing your health. We’ll get Labour up and walking yet, with the right diet, upwards is the only route.

        • blue leopard 12.1.2.2

          +1 Leftie.

  13. Dont worry. Be happy 13

    So Anthony, you were at the Dunedin “Leaders” meeting?

    Was anything at all said that brought the assembled crowd to their feet?

    If so, what was it and who said it?

    If not surely it’s a case of “Don’t call us. We’ll call you”.

    • Tracey 13.1

      and if they did, would you say it was a set up ovation, like the ones key gets

      • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1

        Grant Robertson got the most rounds of applause during his speech. He had by far the most polished and practiced delivery. The other speakers only sporadic and lighter applause. At least one of the candidates appeared quite reliant on reading notes.

  14. The Real Matthew 14

    How many people turned up to the meeting?

  15. North 15

    Darien, respectfully, what is the Left embracing outsider like me to do ?

    Refrain from expressing concern about the highly personalised mischief which continued past the last leadership resolution, in the hope that because it should have ceased immediately thereafter, it now will ?

    There is a view abroad that doing so empowers caucus mischief makers to continue unabashed until they get what they ‘want’.

    Again respectfully, it’s a bit late to deny that substantial elements of the highly personalised mischief we have seen was based in self-interest, careerism, ego, even immaturity frankly.

    Not in the slightest measure addressed to you personally Darien, I promise you that, what do people do when they genuinely suspect they’re a pot being lectured by a kettle ? They moan. And fair enough. That reflects real life. What the hell use is a political movement if it doesn’t acknowledge the real life of its own ?

    To date at least it looks like it’s the kettles that need to clean up rather than the pots. Some value in “Let it go…….” being paraphrased to read “Get off the stove…….” ?

    • Craig Glen Eden 15.1

      Well said North.

    • Tracey 15.2

      i think “we” are supposed to just vote for them and trust them to represent us. i am surprised at mps expressing consternation at this site instead of seeing that some folks are crying out to be heard cos they are feeling increasingly powerless and vulnerable.

    • What I am going to do is stick with Labour, vote for the person I think is best placed to lead our caucus, party and the country, and if that person does’t win, get behind whoever does. i’m not going to listen to gossip, to leaks, to allegations anymore. Im not going to call anyone names, or tolerate name calling from those who are supposed to be on the same side. I will stand up for our caucus – those we in Labour have helped elect – because i know how hard they work, and how hard it is being criticised and condemned by the right, let alone the left. Im going to start a new branch in Helensville, organise workers and work towards Labour becoming the government in 2017.

      • Clemgeopin 15.3.1

        Good on you.

        Every one of the caucus members should read your post and take an oath to show such loyalty to their elected leader and the party.

        It is completely wrong for the caucus members to undermine the leader who is jointly elected by the caucus, the members and the affiliates. The caucus is not superior to the combined will of the party. They should have understood that simple truth and backed Cunliffe fully and shown complete loyalty to him, whether they had voted for him or not, whether they liked him or not. Any issues to sort out should have been dealt with in private in their caucus meetings.

        I hope the nincompoops will have better sense from now on at least.

      • Skinny 15.3.2

        Your doing quite a bit more than ‘casting your own vote’ Darien. Your strongly advocating people vote for your chosen fancy. Going as far as fronting up to the SFWU to influence ‘their’ vote. I hear you were very successful at this too, you must be pleased?

        No disrespect but a bit of honesty goes along way.

        • Darien Fenton 15.3.2.1

          Sorry Skinny, but what you hear is wrong. I’m glad you raised this issue so you can get the facts. The SFWU is the only union allowing a free vote of members at meetings and not endorsing any candidate unlike some other unions. I haven’t “fronted” up to SFWU. I have sometimes been invited to their meetings, and the leadership has not been discussed at those. I have also met face to face with SFWU members all over the place,including my own staff and family members because there are, after all, 23,000 SFWU members. I am a member, and a Life Member and I know a lot of SFWU members and have done so for more than 25 years. Of course they ask me what I think and I tell them. I thought that was allowed, or are you saying that there should be no discussion? Are you really saying that people aren’t allowed to advocate for their preferred candidate, because that’s not what Im seeing here and on Facebook.

          • Ad 15.3.2.1.1

            Who do you prefer to be Labour’s leader this time?

          • Skinny 15.3.2.1.2

            Reading your reply doesn’t really prove what I heard is wrong, not that there is anything wrong with plugging for your own fancy. And in your case you have the inside running on ability etc.

            Not all affiliate unions gave an endorsement of their preferred choice of leader, and leave it to their conference delegates ‘as they should’ Mine is sitting on the kitchen table.

            I was personally disappointed you retired (for what ever reason) as I found you to be an MP that had true Labour core values and rated you highly as a very effective unionist an advocate for the membership and public in general. Btw my reference to deadwood never applied to you. Very happy to hear the good work your doing for meat workers too, well done proud of ya!

            • Darien Fenton 15.3.2.1.2.1

              Thank you Skinny. There are big challenges ahead for workers in the next three years. Good to be back at the coalface where what’s really going on hits you smack in the face every day and political argument seems pretty remote to those experiencing it. However, determined to get the MWU stories out there in the media and politically – there’s some horrific stuff happening.

              • Skinny

                It’s been a bad week for all workers in this Country with the new ERA changes. And by the sounds of it the Nats are looking to add some more dirty little numbers to it.

                I was heartened to see in the UK that some major unionised workers down tools and said who gives a damn about the law. Let’s hope we do the same here if there is any further eroding of workers rights.

                • Tracey

                  remember when 90 day trial was… trust us….. just for some and just until recession passes…

                  all the so called lil changes have added up

              • Tracey

                good.

                issue a real uncensored series of case studies to the press with requests to protect the identities…show the people thru numbers how hard hard working families are finding it…
                keep releasing story after story

                for what its worth.

  16. greywarshark 16

    I am going to sue you Anthony Robins. You have advertised but have nothing to offer that matches the hype. What a come-on and a let-down. You will be hearing from my
    QC (as Rumpole describes – Queer Customer.)

    I thought I’d get you all the latest meeting dates. Went all around – Facebook took me to Red Alert where I saw red but couldn’t read the words. Looked at Radionz political section, and finally thank you to TV3 – clear information that should have been provided on google under a Labour Party heading.

    At A Glance: Labour leadership roadshow dates
    Wednesday 22 Oct 2014 12:19 p.m.
    Join the discussion

    By 3 News online staff

    Labour’s leadership hopefuls begin their pitches to take over from former leader David Cunliffe tonight in the first of 14 hustings meetings.

    Four MPs are gunning for the job, and will embark on a nationwide roadshow to sell their leadership wares to party members and affiliated unions.

    They, along with caucus members, have to choose between Andrew Little, Grant Robertson, David Parker and Nanaia Mahuta.

    READ MORE: Labour’s leadership process

    Tonight’s meeting, scheduled to take around two hours, is being held at the Wellington Girls’ College hall at 7:30pm.

    Here is a list of the rest of the meetings:

    October 23: Community Leisure Centre, 569 Ferguson St, Palmerston North at 7:30pm
    October 28: Nayland College, 166 Nayland Rd, Stoke at 7:30pm
    October 29: Linfield Sports Club, 56 Kearney’s Rd, Christchurch at 7:30pm
    October 30: TG7 (College of Education), ground floor of the Tower Building, 145 Union St East, Dunedin at 7.30pm
    October 31: Lindisfarne Community Centre, 22 Lindisfarne St, Invercargill at 7:30pm
    November 3: Pukemokimoki Marae, 191 Riverbend Road, Maraenui at 7:30pm
    November 4: Tauranga Historic Village Hall, 155 17th Ave, Tauranga at 7:30pm
    November 5: Te Rapa Racecourse Centennial Lounge, Ken Browne Dr, Hamilton at 7:30pm
    November 6: Copthorne Hotel Grand Central, 42 Powderham St, New Plymouth at 7:30pm
    November 8: St Andrews Church, corner of Hunt and Bank Sts, Whangarei at 2:30pm
    November 9: Mahatma Gandhi Centre, 145 New North Rd, Eden Terrace, Auckland at 3pm
    November 10: Massey High School Performing Arts Centre, 274 Don Buck Rd, Massey West, Auckland at 7:30pm
    November 11: Nga Tapuwae Community Centre, 253 Buckland Rd, Mangere at 7:30pm

    3 News

  17. Shona 17

    Labour’s Campaign was a shambles. The divisions were clear. The lack of funding glaringly apparent. The return of the Maori seats and the fantastic on the ground support in South Auckland for Labour contrasted sharply with the rest of the country. The media was stacked against Labour from the beginning of the year. The stacking of NZ’s media with National supporters has been a relentless process since 2008. Meanwhile we have bitching, posturing, knifing , and media fueled leadership challenges which are a ball and chain holding Labour down as it drowns in the buckets and buckets and buckets of cold hard foreign money that swell National’s coffers as it steadily destroys our democracy and sovereignty.Well done Labour you started the process in 1984 of wrecking the lives of working people in NZ and you’ve never looked back. I donated a reasonable amount of my hard earned dosh to you lot this time around. Wish I hadn’t bothered. Just vote Green and dream.

    • Chooky 17.1

      +100 Shona…”The media was stacked against Labour from the beginning of the year. The stacking of NZ’s media with National supporters has been a relentless process since 2008″

      .and the collusion with the media, explicitly or covertly , in the undermining of Cunliffe by some inside caucus didnt help …. many Labour voters who wanted Cunliffe will be voting elsewhere unless Little and Mahuta can get it together and sort out Labour

    • @ shona..

      “..The return of the Maori seats..”

      ..that only really happened because maori party/mana split the vote for labour..

      ..if they are able to reach an accomodation of sorts..and not split the vote..

      ..labour will lose those seats in 2017..(with the exception of mahuta..)

    • Ed 17.3

      I agree that the media were stacked – but what you saw as divisions were most often minor differences in expression relating to the same policies, which were beaten up by the media as major differences – where similar differences in National were either ignored or seen as a strength. Many posters to The Standard appear to have picked up their opinions from the news media – one of the good things about the leadership contests is that they have shown that there is a lot of talent all wanting the same direction, but with different ways of expressing that intent – no real divisions.

      • blue leopard 17.3.1

        @ Ed

        I think it is great to look on the bright side of the leadership contest, and agree…..

        …however I do feel the need to mention that if people commenting on the Standard ‘appear to have picked up their opinions from the news media’ then don’t you think there are others in NZ who might also have formed similar views? i.e. how to deal with a hostile media is a very important issue to address.

        That is why I am (& I believe others are) appealing to MPs to keep very united and disciplined. This is one of the few things they can do to help not make the negative news items stick. (The other measure is for Labour to get more skilled in counter-propaganda, which appears to be a skill sorely lacking).

        Additionally, there were negative items in the media, that were undeniably coming from Labour lacking skill in media strategy/discipline. An example of this was the interview(s) Mr Shearer did prior to the election, where he seemed to be incapable of expressing confidence in Mr Cunliffe as leader. This type of thing hardly inspires confidence in the general public, and if he truly felt so lacking in belief in his leader, I do not know why he (or Labour?) agreed to the media interview, in the first place. Such an interview would have been better left to someone who was more capable of expressing confidence in Labour, because it was utterly predictable that the questions asked of Shearer would be, (re confidence in the leadership) considering the narrative that had been running all year. It is also utterly predictable that having an MP incapable of expressing full confidence in his leader going on National TV, isn’t going to build support for the party.

        It is that type of incident that gives me the impression that there were some in Labour who weren’t actually focused on winning the election or considering that their upper-most priority.

  18. A voter 18

    Labour need to attack National on all fronts and dont give them any room to move
    It needs a leader who can rally the party support and prove their right to be the govt of the majority in this country but sadly for us all the ideals that founded the party have been systematically stripped by capitalism and its bullshit which so many think is real and stable but it is absolutely fickle because it relies on money for power and the military industrial system to ensure that it will be able to implement all its policies which democracy has no real part in as is proved day after day in our parliament
    We as voters should be very aware that the Nats are doing their damnedest to destroy the left in this country and we should be prepared to lay our lives on the line to ensure we have Democracy because I do believe National will become more fascist as time goes by we saw it with Muldoon but this Key bastard is going to take it to a whole new level especially since they have already started with a tea break attack, if the can get away with punitive shit like that whats next

  19. Sable 19

    Seems they didn’t have the courage to stand by Cunliffe so now its the muppets day out as they seek a “worthy replacement”……

  20. Jrobin 20

    Little reminds me of a friendly nicer version of Barry Crump, he seems an archetypal kiwi male on one level. Next generation though as he seems smart and happy in himself.. I really like Nanaia too. She is earnest, I like that.

  21. peterlepaysan 21

    All the alpha whatevers in the lp caucus need to to do is bury their egos (not easy I know, but just do it, their survival depends on it) and realise that their jobs rely on party membership AND electorate endorsement.

    It was Labour, back in 1984, who opened the neo lib pandoras box.

    Maybe Labour could try repairing the resultant damage that is displayed in heir caucus.

    Who in that caucus gives a toss about a non wealthy non employer?

    Precious few.

  22. Cave Johnson 22

    I’m coming around to the view that the tories will be hoping Robertson wins because it would reinforce their narrative that Labour is dominated by gays and feminists.
    Little and Parker represent something more mainstream – a traditional contest.
    The only one that will have them wondering is Mahuta, simply because she is a bit of an unknown quantity. What if there’s a 10% swing among women from Nat to Labour? What if another 400,000 people decide to vote? Anything could happen (good or bad) to the Labour vote under Mahuta. I think probably good.

  23. red blooded 23

    I was also at the Dunedin meeting and came away impressed by all of the candidates and by the collective spirit of the members in the room. It was a frank, reasonably wide ranging discussion, everyone got a chance to show their values and their motivation both for becoming an MP and for offering themselves as a candidate and the respect and goodwill that clearly existed between them was a very positive factor. Competition doesn’t have to be division.

    None if the candidates will be the messiah. We can’t expect any one person to carry that load or live up to that unreasonable demand. We all have to make it work. Once we have voted, we just have to get on with it.

    I also think we need to give the caucus a break. They are living this struggle full time; they are the ones who have stepped up and offered themselves for a role that I suspect most of us don’t want. People on this site are always talking about “dead wood” and “losers”. Actually, Labour has very few senior MPs at present. We need the institutional experience that they carry with them. I’m not a personal fan of each individual, but that doesn’t mean that they have nothing to offer within a well managed team.

    Anyway, I wil support and show commitment to whichever of the candidates is elected as leader, just as I have supported their predecessors. None of them will be perfect, but that’s an unreasonable expectation and a standard that none of the previous leaders (& dare I say it, no one who posts on this site) could reach.

    Labour’s just had a terrible election, but there is room for optimism of we commit ourselves to some soul searching and hard work. The 2017 campaign has already begun, and look what we are fighting- the nasty teeth of the Nats are being sharpened up and are starting to bite already.

  24. whateva next? 24

    “but I would support any one of the four as leader.”
    That was my overriding conclusion, and even a bit sad they were put in a position of having to compete with each other, but also a sense of hope that they will pull together afterwards, rather than continue to smoulder underneath?

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