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Leadership meeting – the outcome

Written By: - Date published: 5:01 pm, November 20th, 2012 - 473 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david shearer, labour, leadership - Tags: ,

Shearer’s announcement is streaming live on 3 News at 5pm.

Shearer is speaking – unanimous endorsement as leader.

Cunliffe has lost Shearer’s confidence. Cunliffe demoted, portfolios removed.

“Today is about moving forward, and putting division behind us” – “focus on the real issues”…

The short announcement has finished – questions are in progress.

Shearer is confident of support in February.

Cunliffe’s abilities will be missed, but he needs to display “loyalty” to return.

Cunliffe made a statement in caucus but it is to remain confidential.

There was a “robust discussion” – respecting the privacy of caucus.

Shearer believes he has the support of the wider Party membership. Cites the overwhelming response of members to the successful conference.

Cunliffe’s portfolios will go to a “temporary replacement” to be announced within days, a wider reshuffle is likely in the future.

“As a leader it was necessary for this to happen … I want to put this behind us … I want to move on to the issues that matter” [all “quotes” are approximate]

Shearer supports the constitutional changes passed at conference, a “stronger more democratic party”.

Shearer’s discussion with Cunliffe prior to the meeting was a “private conversation”.

The session has ended.

473 comments on “Leadership meeting – the outcome ”

  1. maffoo 1

    I was going to watch it but my daughter is watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse….. then i realised the irony of all that….

  2. Hey R0b
    How do you feel about this? 

    • r0b 2.1

      You know I think there was a better way, so of course I’m disappointed. But I didn’t realistically expect anything else, the scripts and expectations of the political theatre are very strong.

      The whole process has been a right royal stuff up, and while there are two sides to the story (with very good people on each side!), in my opinion the majority of the blame for this mess is Cunliffe’s.

      Now I’m going to go ride my bike in the sun. Over and out.

      • Dr Terry 2.1.1

        rOb. I think you owe it to us to spell out your continuing opinion (in spite of this frightful debacle, punishing a man for nothing) in which you presume to blame Cunliffe “for this mess”. I, for one, will take a lot of convincing.

        • QoT

          Yep, I’ve been leaving (and seeing others leave) “citation needed” comments all over this place and the closest we’ve come is “well everyone KNOWS Cunliffe wanted to be leader so there must be truth to it”. Which is, you know, kind of obviously crap.

        • r0b

          Will try and reply later tonight – in haste and in transit.

        • Colonial Viper

          I’ll say again – there was only one side escalating this issue all through Sunday at Conference and Monday after Conference, and only one side leaking, stirring and threatening all that time.


          • Anne

            Can confirm!

            Add to that: sending some of us to coventry.

            • mickysavage

              Me too.

              And how is this for really fucked up …

              Brian Edwards is reporting that Shearer and his associates sought confirmation from MPs that they would VOTE FOR HIM IN FEBRUARY. 

              Um shouldn’t MPs have a democratic say in who the leader should be? 

        • Dr Terry

          In the light of today’s events it is timely to provide a short history of both Shearer and Cunliffe.

          David Shearer: Academic: M.Sc (hons) in Resource Management, Canterbury Univ. School teacher 1983-1987. He wrote (believe it or not!) on areas of “humanitarian affairs” and “Conflict Resolution”!! Took a post with the United Nations, then left to be an “adviser to Phil. Goff” (two peas in a pod?) Returned to work with the U.N.
          Shearer twice previously stood for the Labour Party as a list candidate, and in 2002 unsuccessfully contested Whangarei. In 2009 he met success in the Mt Albert by-election. In 2011 he was was elected new Labour leader over David Cunliffe.
          N.B. In November 2012 Cunliffe confirmed he was not challenging Shearer, and would indeed back him (as obviously he did in today’s vote, following which he was “punished” with removal from the front bench, with associated responsibilities, to occupy 23rd place in the caucus.

          David Cunliffe: First elected to Parliament 1999, is the sitting member for New Lynn (Auckland); served as Minister of Health 2007-2008 (plus other portfolios).
          Cunliffe studied politics at the University of Otago (member of the University Debating Society). He worked as a diplomat between 1987 and 1994. In the period 1994 to 1995, he was appointed a Fullbright Scholar and Kennedy Memorial Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Business School (America’s top academic institution) earning a “Master of Public Administration” degree. He worked as a business consultant with Boston Consulting Group (Auckland 1995-1999).
          In the 2002-2005 Parliament Cunliffe held ICT portfolios and was Assoc. Minister of Finance and Revenue. In June 2008, he was conferred the title “Honorary Fellow of the NZCS” by the NZ Computer Society in recognition of his significant contribution to the ICT sector. After the 2008 election Cunliffe became Labour’s spokesman on Finance, and he was touted as a future leader of the party.
          At the November 2012 Conference Cunliffe confirmed HE WAS NOT challenging Shearer, and would indeed back him if a vote was taken (which, surely, today he did).

          Alright people, assess for yourselves and make up your minds on the fate of a man who committed no evident offence, let alone “crime”. I can only imagine that in NZ Labour Party eyes Cunliffe is viewed as guilty of the crime of “over-qualification” for a leader’s job.

          • mickysavage

            Yep ABC would make you believe that DC was the most conniving power hungry megalomaniac that never, ever, ever challenged a sitting leader.

            He gave Goff his word that he would not stand and kept to his word.

            This is all designed to take DC out. 

          • muzza


            [lprent: you are on a ban. See your most recent comment. ]

        • r0b

          I’m reluctant to comment any further on all this, because opinions are so strongly divided, and I have the greatest respect for people on both sides of the leadership divide. It’s clearly a passionate debate, reason is long ago out the window, and nothing I can say will do any good (probably do harm).

          But I’ve been challenged by several in this thread, asking why I believe that Cunliffe mounted a challenge, and therefore bears most of the blame for turning Conference into a fiasco. So for what it’s worth, here are my reasons.

          As background, Cunliffe refused to whole heartedly endorse David Shearer as leader. That is Politics 101 code for a leadership challenge. The existence of a “camp Cunliffe” and the running of numbers is further evidence that an organised leadership attempt is in progress. To deny this is simply naive.

          But crucially, Cunliffe encouraged an early leadership vote and wanted it to run under the new rules (the easier 40% threshold):

          3 News contacted all 34 Labour MPs. The 40 percent trigger point is 14 MPs.
          Fifteen are refusing to say, and therefore potentially in Camp Cunliffe. That would trigger it. Nineteen are believed to be in Camp Shearer. He needs to get to 21 to see off the challenge.

          So it is incredibly close. It could go either way.

          Mr Cunliffe is clearly confident. He wants the February vote held right now. And yes, of course he is refusing to endorse Mr Shearer.

          Why did Cunliffe want “the February vote” held right away? Because he thought he had the numbers. And it’s not just Gower reporting this:

          Mr Cunliffe said he would want any leadership challenge before February to take place under that same [the new] rule.

          Why did Cunliffe want any early challenge to be run under the new rules? Because he thought he had the numbers.

          You simply don’t make these calls if you aren’t planning a challenge.

          In the event of course, Shearer gave a great speech, presenting solid Labour policy, to a rousing reception. Cunliffe’s numbers melted away, and he was left with a failed challenge and a trashed conference. Everyone loses except the Nats. Hi ho.

          I respect Cunliffe supporters and what they want to accomplish. But for heaven’s sake, you need to be honest about what went down here. Cunliffe decided to escalate his ongoing leadership challenge at the worst possible time, and is the instrument of his own misfortune.

          • felix

            “Why did Cunliffe want “the February vote” held right away? “

            Be careful not to confuse Gower’s mind reading for an actual quote.

            I haven’t seen any reports of Cunliffe saying he wants the vote held right away.

            • r0b

              It’s not just Gower felix, every reporter at the conference covered Cunliffe’s leadership posturing. Armstrong had a particularly brutal summary:

              The quality of Shearer’s speech must have been a shock for Cunliffe, who had been preening himself in front of any passing camera, a veritable peacock in full feather were it not for the nakedness of his ambition.

              Trevett said:

              Labour MP David Cunliffe has left little doubt that he intends to overthrow David Shearer as Labour’s leader – a job made easier by a surprise change to the party rules. …

              Asked why he would not quell the speculation by unequivocally ruling out a challenge, Cunliffe said it was a matter for caucus “to discuss and reflect upon”, and he could not pre-empt that.

              And so on and so on.

              Now either all these reporters are in the same conspiracy as the majority of the Labour caucus to beat up a challenge that didn’t exist, or Cunliffe was indeed escalating his leadership ambitions. The second explanation seems more likely to me. Sorry.

              • felix

                Those reports emphasise the point I was trying to make, r0b.

                We’re still missing a report – from anyone – of Cunliffe saying what that lot say he’s thinking.

              • lprent

                Cunliffe was doing what he always does – because he always has had leadership ambitions and you have to be seen to be a contender. So were a number of MP’s and people who favour themselves as candidates around the conference.

                The unusual bustle was in the workshops. Usually these are kind of slow. This time the sense of push in every one that I attended was palpable. This showed also in the sheer number of remits and amendments that went through both the constitutional and policy remits floor. It was running at least twice as fast as any other conference I’d been to, and that includes back to the mid 90’s when I first learned to dread their tedium.

                I’d add that the only workshop I saw any other media in was the Economics one. Perhaps that was because Cunliffe was there?

              • weka

                I agree with felix r0b. For instance the bit that you quote from Armstrong is Armstrong’s opinion. Are we to trust his opinion now?
                I’m still not seeing any evidence that Cunliffe orchestrated a coup. For instance, was he doing back-room deals with MPs at the conference? Where are the quotes of him that aren’t simply responses to unsolicited questions? Or evidence that he was soliciting leadership questions?
                Or are you saying that Cunliffe initiated a coup passively? ie by what he didn’t say and didn’t respond to?

      • David H 2.1.2

        ” in my opinion the majority of the blame for this mess is Cunliffe’s.”

        I would LOVE you to justify this.

        From what I have see Cunliffe has bent over backwards for the party, and taken a hell of a lot more than I would. He has the patience, and the work ethic that NO ONE else in the whole fucking labour party has, and they stabbed him in the back on Partrick fucking Gowers say so.

        The Blame is Shearers, Mallards, Kings, Goff’s, Hipkins, Robertsons, Garners, and Gowers. There’s your blame list!

        Cunliffes fault my foot

  3. thatguynz 3

    What an absolute disgrace…. Kangaroo court at its finest.

    As an aside, has anyone considered that Cunliffe may have been removed simply because he was too threatening to the status quo neo-liberal orthodoxy as opposed to any perceived leadership issue? Just throwing it out there..

    • Bill 3.1

      Cunliffe may have been removed simply because he was too threatening to the status quo neo-liberal orthodoxy as opposed to any perceived leadership issue?,/blockquote>

      I wouldn’t say ‘as opposed to’…the two go hand in hand, especially when you consider the coverage of the major news outlets. I mean, they are very big business and they certainly do not want to see a shift away from the neo-liberal orthodoxy. So yeah, it’s a central component in all this bullshit kafuffle imo.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1


        Kinda realised that this morning. The whole beat up against Cunliffe had to be engineered to prevent him becoming leader of Labour to prevent Labour from shifting to the left and it’s had support from within Labour itself.

        • hush minx

          I’ve realised that there has been no response from cunliffe. I bet he has been muzzled. How unfair given the inflammatory language used not just by shearer but by Hipkins, Parker and others. Natural justice needs to be served. It’s the party who are paramount.

          • Bill

            Cunliffe, even if he hasn’t been muzzled, will receive absolutely no oxygen from major news outlets. None.

            • Lanthanide

              On TV1 they had a video clip of him being asked by a couple of reporters if he had anything to say. He said yes, but that he had been instructed not to make any comment.

              • Bill

                Yup, just saw it on TV3 too “I’m not at liberty to comment”

                :-(viva democracy and the right to freely express your thoughts and/or opinions

                • “viva democracy and the right to freely express your thoughts and/or opinions”

                  Cunliffe voted to keep Shearer as the leader which means Cunliffe is expected to keep his leaders confidence and that of the cabinet when required. As in this case it would seem. Nothing to do with freedom of speech – Cunliffe enjoys that freedom.

                  • Bill

                    Journo Q. Is there something (anything?)you would like to say
                    A. Yes
                    Q What?
                    A. I’m not at liberty to say

                    That comes across as a blanket ‘gagging order’ to me

                    • Hopefully it’s “We’re gonna roll Robertson” 😀

                    • Cunliffe could say whatever he wanted but free speech has consequences and responsibilities. Cunliffe went and voted to keep Shearer as leader which means he serves (in the Labour party – not as a MP in general as he won a seat) at the pleasure of the leader.

                      If he wanted the liberty to speak his mind he should have voted no and become an independent. Then he is freed from his obligation to caucus and to the leader.

                    • RedLogix

                      Ummm ..Cunliffe is the elected Member for New Lynn. He serves at the pleasure of Parliament … not the Party Leader. Nor does the Leader have the right to expell members from the Party without reason. You have an entirely different Stalinist model in mind.

                      Interesting how this is flushing out all the authoritarian arses isn’t it?

                    • I think you shoud re-read my comment….see where I said…

                      “Cunliffe went and voted to keep Shearer as leader which means he serves …in the Labour party – not as a MP in general as he won a seat at the pleasure of the leader”

                      And where I said:

                      “If he wanted the liberty to speak his mind he should have voted no and become an independent. Then he is freed from his obligation to caucus and to the leader.”

                      Parties have rules, confidentiality clauses, contracts and members are expected to adhere to those rules. David Cunliffe is/was a front-bench Labour Party member which generally would imply if you want to keep your job in the party you don’t slag off your leader. That isn’t authoritarian.

                    • RedLogix

                      So the logical conclusion from what you are saying is that Shearer has told Cunliffe that “if you speak to the media” you will be expelled from the Party?

                      Gagging order some?

                      Nek minnit they’ll be smearing him for being ‘invisible and ineffective’…

                      David Cunliffe is/was a front-bench Labour Party member which generally would imply if you want to keep your job in the party you don’t slag off your leader.

                      Evidence? Or do you mean ‘show your leader up for the bumbling incompetent he is simply by doing your job well’?

                    • “Evidence?”

                      What for? That slagging of the head of your party or speaking about a caucus meeting the head of the party has asked you not to speak about would cause you to lose your position?

                      Is that something you really need evidence for?

                      It destabilizes the party, distracts from the party message, emboldens the opposition, and causes disruption as well as casting doubt on loyalties.

                      “show your leader up for the bumbling incompetent he is simply by doing your job well?”

                      Yeah but you don’t do that immediately after leaving a meeting wherein you voted for him to stay on. Come on man, don’t be daft.

                    • Jackal

                      A gaging order or self imposed restriction? Keep in mind that Cunliffe’s previous statements have been manipulated into all sorts of speculation to support whatever the propagandist is promoting.

                      Clearly Cunliffe voted for Shearer, so was there any leadership challenge at all?

                      Whether Cunliffe was ordered not to give comment or Cunliffe decided to make no comment because it might be misconstrued and manipulated to undermine Labour isn’t clear… But either way, it’s the best play.

                    • Agreed , he didn’t have any “minions” too control so silence is the best answer.

                    • If Cunliffe has leadership ambitions he can take his punishment (however much deserved or not) is silence and wait and watch.

                    • RedLogix

                      That slagging of the head of your party or speaking about a caucus meeting the head of the party has asked you not to speak about would cause you to lose your position?

                      What on earth are you talking about? You claimed that Cunliffe had been ‘slagging off his leader’. I asked for direct evidence of this.

                      You failed to provide. Indeed even declined to do so. In other words you are just repeating made up smears you’ve heard elsewhere.

                    • Sorry mate, I was genuinely confused by your comment.
                      I don’t know what may have happened between Shearer and Cunliffe. I was using the term ‘slag off’ as rhetorical device. I am a supporter of Cunliffe and don’t know what the fuck is happening in that party.

                      What we do know is there is some bad blood somewhere but Cunliffe has decided to stay in the party and take what punishment has been handed out.

                      Whether or not that is deserved but by voting for Shearer and staying in the party he has accepted the expectation to not talk to the media about what happened and respect the leaders decision which means not leaving the caucus meeting today and discussing it or complaining about the decision.

                      Sorry for the confusion.

                    • RedLogix

                      Fair enough TC. Comments are coming so thick and fast I’m not doing a proper job of both moderating and commenting and I got the wrong end of the stick too.

                    • lprent []

                      Comments are coming so thick and fast

                      They sure are. Server is running hot at 20-30% CPU 🙂 These days it usually runs at 5% as it only really handles the post and comment storage plus admins these days.

                      Cloudflare handles most of the site reads apart from the dynamic content. The last set of updates they finally fixed the bug that was causing this site problems with the preloader. Now very stable.

                      I just have to find that last bug with re-edited posts and I’ll get rid of the last 500 error.

                    • No harm, no foul. All good

                    • felix

                      “I was using the term ‘slag off’ as rhetorical device.”

                      Ah, and by “rhetorical device” you mean “opposite of what actually happened”, yeah?

                      Thing is, in a few months everyone’s going to remember all this kerfuffle back at the November conference where Cunliffe “slagged off” his leader and said disloyal things and challenged the leadership.

                      Everyone’s going to remember it in a few months, but now, at the time, no-one can point to a single example of any of it.

                      Funny eh?

                    • You seem to have misunderstood the whole thread.

                      The ‘slag off’ remark was to illustrate why I didn’t believe a party member had carte blance to say what he liked what liked, when he liked. This comment was completely relevant considering the topic.

                      Then I explained that I don’t know what happened between Cunliffe and Shearer.

                      Relogix and I realised we had spoken at cross purposes, apologies were made for misunderstanding each other then the conversation was dropped. Then Felix drunkenly rolls in like an oiled up fatman rolling off a massage table, makes some ill-informed comment about a closed conversation was he has clearly misunderstood before upsetting the drinks on the bar and falling asleep on the bench.

                    • felix

                      Yeah nah. But maybe you think I did understand the thread and you’re saying I didn’t as a “rhetorical device”.

                    • And this is the point wherein you wake at 6am in some closed up bar, mouth tasting of ass and ashtray with a bunch of cocks drawn on your forehead and shaved eyebrows.

                    • felix

                      Just another stunning Waikato morning.

                • weka

                  ““I’m not at liberty to comment””
                  That says alot. It’s not like he is saying he supports Shearer full fullstop. He is saying he has things to say but they’re not what Shearer/ABCs want him to say, so in the interests of keeping his job he is keeping his mouth shut.
                  Muzzled but not tamed.

                  • David H

                    ?They can’t fire him unlike a lot of them he is a duly elected member of parliament. And i would love to know what his constituents think of this. No one thought of them.

                    • karol

                      I voted for Cunliffe in the last 2 or 3 elections.  I’m disgusted.  I’m in a different electorate now and, if Shearer stays leader, I won’t be voing for Twyford.

    • Dr Terry 3.2

      Of course he represented a threat, he is far too able and qualified not to be beaten down by this lot.

      • thatguynz 3.2.1

        True Doc but I was referring more to the threat he poses to the entire institution as opposed to simply the threat that he poses to Shearer.

        • Dr Terry

          thatguynz. Please read what I said, “he is far too able and qualified not to be beaten down “BY THIS LOT” (somehow I think that is a plural).

  4. rosy 4

    yeah, I know it’s juvenile, but before Stuff fixes it’s typo…

    Shearer called for the vote after his leadership was effectively challenged at the Labour Party conference held at the weekend where former rival David Cunliffe did not pubically give his support to him.

    • Dr Terry 4.1

      My God, what a crime!!

      • Wayne 4.1.1

        Actually in politics; yes. If you don’t challenge, but fail to endorse, expect to be demoted.

        But I am sure you know that – so what will the next few weeks bring from the commentators on the Standard?

        • felix

          But what does it have to do with his pubes?

        • lprent

          I presume Cunliffe got demoted. Probably nothing much, just an irritating gentle boil that will hopefully largely confine itself to OpenMike unless Shearer makes another major gaffe. Much of any noise will come from RWNJ’s doing nah-de-nah runs like Santi has done today.

          After all the Feb leadership vote after being deferred from last year is mandatory. That will be a secret ballot. If it goes to the members, then all hell breaks loose.

        • Colonial Viper

          Actually in politics; yes. If you don’t challenge, but fail to endorse, expect to be demoted.

          Fuck off Wayne

          Several MPs did not endorse, why are they not all demoted?

          Why should any MP be required to announce publicly what they will vote in a secret ballot in 3 months time? It’s totally fucked and its been used as an excuse to knee cap Cunliffe.

        • David H

          Then Mallard should have the very same thing happen to him.

        • Dr Terry

          Wayne. You might well expect the Standard to represent humanity, justice, compassion – there are plenty of synonyms. Sorry if this disappoints you.

  5. hush minx 5

    It’s a sad day when power can be misused in this way by the very group of people who want to run the country. I voted green for the first time last election. Looks like Labour won’t get my vote next time either.

  6. The Woodpecker 6

    Do I sign on as a member or just change colors? Maybe both!

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Sign on mate, the Labour membership now have a real say and should be prepared to exercise that say in future.

      • LynW 6.1.1

        The problem is signing on now could be misconstrued as support for Shearer. How about signing up just prior to the Feb vote? What time constraints are there to joining and voting rights?

  7. Fran 7

    Having voted Labour for my whole adult life I have just moved my support to the Greens. David Shearer is very obviously being badly advised and is not looking at what NZ needs but at what Shearer and friends need. This is a petty display of power masquerading as strength. It is the pettiness in the act of demoting Mr. Cuniffe which shows me clearly that Mr. Shearer does not have what it takes to lead the country – he has behaved like a playground bully not a statesman which is upsetting as I now have face all the “I told you so’s” from my family for supporting Shearer over the past year.

    • Congratulations, hopefully the Greens will live up to your support. 🙂

    • dancerwaitakere 7.2

      No point going to the Greens when being a Labour member is more important now than ever. 

      They have removed the anti-neoliberal voice from the front bench, it is our duty to send that message loud and clear from the rank and file. 

      • People are entitled to draw the line where they want, and if Labour’s inability to treat their own MPs, members, and the seriousness of the responsibility of becoming the next government with the respect those things deserve, then that is a perfectly valid basis for someone to choose a different party next election.

        I would also like to point out that the Greens have far better policies than Labour and every vote they get will push our next left-wing government further in the correct direction. Really, the only people we should be trying to flip to Labour are National voters.

      • Ennui in Requiem 7.2.2

        Back from the dead to comment: you can run but you cannot hide Shearer! The rank and file will dance on your political grave, also a special February duck shooting season is coming up.

      • Outofbed 7.2.3

        I am going to join Labour Vote on the leadership and then vote Green

      • Saarbo 7.2.4

        Agree DW, will wait till feb before converting to Green. Bet the Bumbling Idiot treads carefully until then. he was at his bumbling best tonight saying he “will be leader in 2015, I mean 2013, bumble, fucken bumble”. National will be celebrating tonight.

        • Paul

          Noticed that. Amazing, Can he put a a sentence together?
          Shearer – the Manchurian Candidate to ensure the hegemony of neo-liberalism if Key loses power.

        • fatty

          “will be leader in 2015, I mean 2013, bumble, fucken bumble”

          I watched that 20 mins ago…just stopped laughing. February will be hilarious

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.5

        No point going to the Greens when being a Labour member is more important now than ever.

        Actually, I think the most important thing to do is to leave Labour and join a left wing party – something that Labour hasn’t been for 30 years and, from what I can make out, will never be again.

        • Colonial Viper

          Nah man. Time to fight for the heart and soul of the Labour Party. Its a fight which is going to make a big big difference to this country.

          • thatguynz

            Sorry CV, I’m with Draco on this one..

          • fender

            Nah it’s time to bolster the Greens so they have more clout and can’t be walked over by a bunch of bully right wingers masquerading as lefties.

            • Jackal

              What about supporting both? You guys and girls do realize you have two votes each, and the Greens don’t want one of them? The left wing would be a lot better if some Green party voters woke up to how MMP worked.

              • fender

                Very true Jackal, both Green and Labour supporters need to vote strategicly for the benefit of each other. And a more even share of clout would benefit the country, rather than Labour having most of the say.

              • Uh, hi. I’ve been electorate voting Labour as long as I’ve been voting. The reason Green electorate candidates still get votes is usually because these are people who would likely never vote for the labour candidate anyway.

                Perhaps you could tell your grandmother how to knit next.

                • felix

                  Every election season I talk to quite a few of what I’d loosely term “apolitical green voters” who genuinely believe that giving their electorate vote to the Green candidate is contributing to the number of seats the Greens get.

                • Jackal

                  knit one pearl one… I can dredge up the figures for you if you like Matthew Whitehead? There is no question that these apolitical green voters are undermining the left wing. The only question is what can be done about it?

          • Fisiani

            A fight is a possibility but is it the best outcome. Your side could always lose. Perhaps better to have an amicable divorce. 2 versions of Labour. Which one would attract the support of the unions, the activists, the grunt, the accumulated funds.
            Divide up the red seats for electorate MP’s and fight for the list votes.
            If one party is electorate heavy then there would be a winning overhang.

            • PlanetOrphan

              I’m thinking of starting a “Starve the Orphans charitable trust Party” Ya interested M8?
              Memberships $50,000 M8 😀
              Send me your details M8!, I’ll sign ya up.
              Can hear the news now …
              “Anonymous blogger Scams Anonymous blogger on the Standard!”
              What 50 grand m8? costs money to starve Orphans M8!

            • lprent

              Easier to take the party back over.

              I think that we should start a very big membership drive.

        • TheContrarian

          Labour are technically a social-democratic party which marries government intervention with the free market. Which is generally considered left*wing.

          Right of Draco =/= right wing.

          • fatty

            Labour are technically a social-democratic party which marries government intervention with the free market.

            So does National…even the Republicans in the USA do as well.

            Which is generally considered left*wing

            Yes, that’s how its considered. I would call communists/socialists leftwing.

            • TheContrarian

              Left or right is not an all or nothing game.

              • fatty

                True, that’s what has been set…our ‘left’ and ‘right’ is defined, shaped and restricted by our hegemonic ideology, which is a socially liberal society with market capitalism. Thirdway capitalism in most Western nations, which is just neoliberalism with a touch of wellbeing (in NZ we have the addition of biculturalism, whereas most have multiculturalism).
                Labour and National sit firmly within this…we only have two parties in nz which stray from this to any great degree – mana and act…but even those two subscribe to this ideology

                • Yeah I would lean towards agreeing with you there, particularly with your comments about ACT and Mana (I would probably say Conservative is up there with ACT also).

                  • fatty

                    True, the Conservatives bring something very different…they get their votes from disenfranchised National voters who have finally realised National are no longer conservative.
                    I find this blog post by Bryce Edwards a good read about our embedded ideology. Its part 8 of a 10 part blog series. Its a good read, was done a few years back, when Bryce Edward’s blog was worth reading. All 10 posts are good…as is the rest of his blog around that time.

                    • Thanks, I’ll give it a read tomorrow.

                      Ideology in politics has always fascinated me. I always attempt to remain as pragmatic and open to all ideas as possible, whether left wing or right each I like to at least try view ideas with the same cautious skepticism and not outright acceptance or dismissal.

                      Difficult at times of course…

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      great link fatty; serendipitous how we can think these things in our own private plebian analyses and discover that learned commentators do also

                    • Given that the National Party was formed out of a coalition of two parties called “Reform” and “Liberal”, it’s hardly a surprise it’s never been solidly conservative, ironically in much the same way that Labour has never returned to the orthodoxy of left-wing economics since Roger Douglas swung it to the far right for a while.

                      Really, National is best viewed as a coalition between social liberals who are economically illiterate and the relatively new conservative wing of the party, which is a shade less extreme than Act, the same way modern labour is a coalition between social liberals with left-wing leanings and genuine left-wingers with a variety of views on social issues.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Your analysis is a bit off – the other dimension to add is that of wet rural conservatives – who are a long standing part of National.

                      And also the neoliberals who took over after Muldoon left.

                      Notice the neoliberals took over both National AND Labour. Nothing left to chance.

                    • felix

                      “Notice the neoliberals took over both National AND Labour”

                      Well of course my dear fellow. Can’t run the risk of being voted out.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              And ironically, more libertarian than ACT. 😉

              The more up to date link is here

            • TheContrarian

              We have had this conversation several times Draco – you never seem to respond to the following point.

              Firstly an online test does not a truth make secondly you have referred to me as a right-winger several times yet if this test is to be believed am I somewhere in the far left.

              You can’t have it both ways.

      • David H 7.2.6

        No point going to the Greens when being a Labour member is more important now than ever.”

        Sorry but Labour is in the middle of the biggest brain fart they have ever had. And I don’t think they will survive this until they learn to value the members and Shearer just spat in the members faces by ignoring the new democratic rules that were just passed. And I didn’t hear a date on the rules.

        • Colonial Viper

          Absolutely wrong idea.

          You don’t wait until Labour learns; you teach them a fucking hard lesson from the membership.

          Join up, and organise.

    • Rodel 7.3

      Fran…Yep.thats the way I’m thinking too.
      But who else can I vote for to remove Key & co.?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1

        Party vote Greens/Mana/Alliance and whoever is the best of the left leaning electorate options.

        There’s more than one option available.

      • Bob 7.3.2

        NZ First, that seems to be where about 6.5% of disenfranchised voters went at the last election, and if National/Labour both keep going the way they are (National from one balls up to the next, Labour unable to put up a united front on anything it seems) I would suggest that would be even higher next election.

  8. AmaKiwi 8

    Another Shearer blunder.

    Now Cunliffe can campaign to win the Feb. leadership vote. The only limitation will be he cannot directly contradict the party’s policies. That’s easy. Speak in generalities, shake a lot of hands, be visible in the media.

    @Fran. Yes, now it is the Johnie-come-lately playground bully versus the experienced, intelligent, nice guy with 12 years of substantial credits in his CV.

    • Pete 8.1

      Exactly. Nothing is over.

    • coolas 8.2

      Spot on AmaKiwi

      On TVOne just now Shearer came across as the sort of bully who terrorises his family in the home but is all smiles and nice guy on the outside. Acts tough with his kids (caucus) but is an utter wimp with powerful adults.

      I’ve voted Labour all my life. No more.

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      No portfolios to speak to, these backbench MPs get a lot of extra time on their hands!

  9. muzza 9

    Thats some real power right there to be able to create this situation, as if its nothing!

    All the players working nicely together, just keeping the state of confusion/flux/status quo!

  10. Ad 10

    I swear somehow no matter how long it takes me I am going to make sure Shearer [steady on please – r0b]. Shearer has just made a mortal enemy of many of the members and supporters.

    This is sheer petulance in Shearer’s part. It is highly likely they have destroyed a strong political talent because the coward Shearer was afraid of a true contest in February membership and affiliates actually beating caucus. Just as he would have lost last November.

    If Shearer thinks this is discipline, he ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Brian Edwards is right Shearer simply has no moral compass in doing this. Everyone in the caucus will now come out from their internal hazing and get to continue the bash in public. Glorious moral compass virtues in full display.

    Shearer just made Key look honorable.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    Cunliffe made a statement in caucus but it is to remain confidential.


    Mallard, Hipkins etc will tell Patrick Gower what Cunlffe said (off the record, and invented).

    Gower will quote “Senior sources” as saying Cunliffe said he eats kittens.

    Cunliffe will deny that he eats kittens.

    He will be accused of causing disunity by eating kittens.

    Cunliffe will then disclose what he really said in caucus, which was nothing to do with kittens.

    Cunliffe will be accused of breaking the confidential rule, etc.

    The National Party will order more champagne.

    • QoT 11.1

      I fear your psychic powers are depressingly strong on this one, gobsmacked.

    • Anne 11.2

      Spot on gobsmacked

    • rosy 11.3

      yep, to make it a real slam dunk they’ll drip feed it so it keeps running until February so Cunliffe has to counter just before the next vote making him look disruptive.

      • seeker 11.3.1

        On TVNZ news with the Kiwi flag behind himShearer lied in his statement. He said Cunliffe had refused to endorse him -even though it was said he had 100% endorsement from the caucus and even though the TV companies , and myself, have ‘oodles of footage of Cunliffe endorsing Shearer as leader, as he has done for the last ten months. Cunliffe also said on one clip that he had rung Shearer yesterday morning telling him he was behind him.(can’t remember if this was reported speech or Cunliffe himself telling ,because I am feeling so ill about all these fabrications and manipulative smears , that my own head is beginning to spin.)

        I watched the Nacts and Espiner,Soper et al perform this type of smearing manipulative character assassination on Winston Peters and began taping the evidence of it before it spun itself into ‘fact’. When it did I recorded it on my calendar with other jottings. I cannnot believe it is happening again, this time with Labour – and on one of their own! Couldn’t bear seeing on the news Phil Goff’s nervous giggling as he got out of his car, presumbly for the kangaroo court.

        What a choice – Key’s Nat lies or Shearer’s Lab lies. The only winner is Garner who was rubbing his hands with glee at the hellfire soap opera he and little Paddy (Shearer called him “Paddy” the other night and sounded so in with the other “paddy callers” like Judy Collins.) had laid sticks for, brought kindling, and ignited this weekend.

        I cannot believe Labour caucus members could behave so unjustly when they are meant to be the party of fairness. What they did to Cunliffe was so distasteful. I have supported Labour all my sixty years, but this is a Labour Party I cannot support. Shearer leads a party I do not recognise as Labour. No matter what they do it will be tainted, and have the same manipulative, self interested,cunning smell as Nactional.

        • Paul

          Shearer – the Manchurian Candisate to ensure the hegemony of neo-liberalism if Key loses power.

      • David H 11.3.2

        The best thing Cunliffe does between now and Feb is just do a Jon Key just smile and wave at all the silly little boys running around trying to invent stories.

  12. This was like the second-dumbest thing they could have done. (The dumbest would be to try to eject Cunliffe from Caucus or the Party) If Shearer had done something to bring supporters of Cunliffe onside, he could have reinforced his position. Instead he reinforces the perception he’s a weak leader that can’t deal with other potential leaders as part of his team.

    Even more evidence why he should resign and the Labour Party should elect his replacement. (and no, I don’t care if it’s not Cunliffe, so long as they’re someone competent)

    • Cunliffe was in caucas, he had the opportunity all year to bring his supporters on board, he didn’t.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        How was he going to bring them onboard? Offer them positions and responsibilities in caucus? Whoops, thats the power vested in Shearer, not Cunliffe.

      • Shearer is the one with the responsibility to convince people to support him, or at least to reach out to other factions of the party. Once he’s done that, THEN we can talk about everyone else’s responsibility.

  13. Dr Terry 13

    Shearer’s arrogance takes one’s breath away. I voted Labour for well over 50 years. Never again! I am now with the Greens all the way.

  14. Chris 14

    Wonder what the nats are up to ?

  15. fustercluck 15

    So let me get this…

    Shearer ‘bares his teeth’, looks like a dick and reveals himself to be aligned totally with careerist deadwood in caucus.

    Net procedural progress: Zero

    Percent Shearer is shown to obey the baying of the MSM? 100

    Cunliffe is relieved of his obligations as a powerless shadow minister and is given freedom to shore up his support between now and February.

    Um, er…don’t throw me in that briar patch!

  16. Are you people shitting me! All year you’ve had John Key and his cohorts taking the piss out of the Labour opposition party about Shearer only keeping the seat warm for Cunliffe. Cunliffe had every opportunity to stand up to media and effectively tell Key to shut the eff up and for him to focus on the issues facing the country not Labour. He didn’t. Cunliffe has always had the mid-term vote to challenge Shearer on his leadership. The story was never put to bed, in fact you lot had yourselves a pyjama party last week, invited everyone in, showed off ya draws and now you are lying in your bed wallowing and wah-wahing about your man been robbed. I bet if the issue of Cunliffe and leadership wasn’t a hangover from the weekend conference you would have been disappointed. Well you got what you wanted, you just didn’t get the result you were after.

    Suffer in your jocks.

    Kia kaha Shearer.

    • thatguynz 16.1

      Pretty average attempt at deflection…

    • Pascal's bookie 16.2

      All year you’ve had John Key and his cohorts taking the piss out of the Labour opposition party about Shearer only keeping the seat warm for Cunliffe.

      Well quite. The thing is, Shearers leadership invites that.

      Actually think for a moment or two about how the election is going to go. Key is going to beat Shearer up in the debates and anyone who says otherwise at this point is using magical thinking.

      Look at how this has gone down. There has been a heap of disquiet about Shearer’s performance, ( and no, a speech to the faithful doesn’t fix that). People within the party have been looking for new leadership.

      So what does the leader do?

      Does he say “Right, we have a process for deciding the leadership, let’s use it. I’m confident I’ve got the support of the prty, and if I don’t have it then I don’t deserve the job. let’s do this. Vote.”

      No. His minions run to the press, during conference, ffs, rarking them up and saying that “Cunliffe was making a challenge, and you should ask him about that, and he’s a snake and blah blah”.

      Show me one piece of evidence that Cunliffe was publicly disloyal, or leaking damaging stuff to the press, or doing anything at all other than pitching for the top spot. Just one thing. If his answers to questions about feb are all there is, then Shearer’s leadership is shaky as.

      Note also that pitching for the top spot is a thoroughly legitimate thing to do. Cunliffe was working through the prescribed process, keeping it out of the media and willing to put it to the vote. Shearer’s team feared that, so they hit him through the media and caused all this crap right after the conference, when they might have been talking about policy.

      Why? because they thought they might lose in a vote. Simple as that.

      And if you think the media is going to let this go, or the government, you’re mental.
      Team Shearer have handed them this on a plate for months.

    • Dr Terry 16.3

      Bless you Cunliffe! Ka tino pai! Ka kite ano!

  17. jaymam 17

    Oh well, I told you so. Shearer will never become PM. Cunliffe did not deserve this.

    • seeker 17.1

      ‘Cunliffe did not deserve this.” Very well said jaymam. But they say “what goes around comes around” in which case Shearer et al have certainly got it coming to them.

  18. Well that’s a shame, I’d expect Cunliffe can’t control his “minions”.

    Please note David shearer: Those witches haven’t stopped, they where feeding you bullshit and telling the Media something else, beware M8!

    And if you don’t believe in witchcraft ….

    Some heroin addict was in my head all night last night (Yes I mean Member41), he’s a smacko.
    How do I know? … the ever repeating green grass/ wire fence that just kept on and on and on, with feelings of dispondency and hopelessness.

    I didn’t sleep all night because of it.

    It’s classic smacko witchcraft DS, and he’s not alone, I kicked that one in the head this morning.

    So if you’ve had similar problems sleeping then hopefully the problem will deminish somewhat.
    (The reason I say this is it looks like you’ve aged 10 years in 10 months and lack of sleep is the most likely cause)

    David Cunliffe is likely much better at dealing with it than you, and would’ve been your best ally.


    PS: I will chi kick all of them in the head if you want M8!

  19. Freemanista 19

    There is an historic fight to be had in New Zealand, one that needs to be had and is required at most once in a generation. The required fight is to take on big business, including the financial industries, and to defeat monetarism which has prevailed for the past 28 years and which continues to prevail the world over.

    This fight must be had if the relentless decline of living standards for ordinary people in New Zealand is to be reversed. The continuous transfer of wealth from ordinary people to the rich (I am one of the latter) must be reversed.

    Such a fight will not be easy. History shows how hard it will be. See, for example, the experience the first Labour Government had in the 1930s which is well described in Chris Trotter’s book “No Left Turn”.

    The Shearer faction in the Labour Party do not want to have that fight. They want business as usual. They are supported accordingly by the establishment, including especially the mainstream media such as the TV stations and the newspapers.

    Cunliffe is a direct threat to the status quo as the members of the Labour Party have rallied around him and see him as their best chance of beginning the fight and rejecting the business as usual policy.

    The question now for the Labour movement is whether it is the Party of the 1930s ie a courageous reforming party, or whether it is a status quo party. In my view, if it chooses to be the latter, then it’s finished and will die a relatively slow death.

    It is essential that anyone who supports a reforming Labour Party stays a member, or becomes a member promptly so as to be able to vote next year on the future leadership of the Party.

    In short, over the last few days, both the reformers in the Labour Party, and the establishment have had their victories. However, if the reformers keep their nerve and stay in, or join, the Labour Party, the reformers’ victory may be the permanent one.

    The fight has just begun.

    • Bill 19.1

      🙂 indeed

    • pete 19.2

      Oh good grief. A call to wind the clock back and pretend Douglas never existed. How very revolutionary.

      The world isn’t going back. Because it can’t go back. The way forward is more of the same, only different. The ’10s are about incremental-ism, not revolution.

      *Most* people are relatively comfortable. Those who aren’t are sufficiently sedated.

      • felix 19.2.1

        “more of the same” means more for the few who already have almost everything and relatively less for the rest of us.

        • pete

          Nah. The poorer are richer than they were in the previous generation. These days, being poor means not having Sky Sport.

          Expectations have changed, but that, is, in fact, a constant.

          • Colonial Viper

            Fuck off you sycophant pete: the rich have grown their wealth over the last 20 years at a massive rate while the poor have less real spending power!!!

            Watch Greece and Spain my friend.

          • felix

            “Relatively” poor means that while one person is barely surviving on handouts from a foodbank and living in a cold, damp house that they can’t afford to heat, the landlord who owns the house is buying a new SUV every year and sending her kids on holidays to Europe.

            Your “sky sport” quip is offensive and just shows how out of touch you are.

          • Bill

            Well done Pete for illustrating the fact that you. have. no. fucking. idea

          • Dr Terry

            You sound a real nice guy, pete. If it can be proven that the poorer are richer than the previous generation (and I say IF), then so what? The fact is that they are still poor, regardless. But I hardly think you would give a damn.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            Actually relative to inflation and productivity, wages have gone down for people below the median wage, and inequality has gone up staggeringly. Try again. Stuff might be cooler now but unless you’re a single non-parent in a relatively skilled job, good luck getting much of it without going into debt.

      • thatguynz 19.2.2

        You’re taking the piss aren’t you pete?

        Significant change is only ever achieved through revolution NOT evolution. If you think the current economic and monetary future looks bright I sure hope you have a beach house in Hawaii next to John Key.. In fact scratch that, I wouldn’t want to be in ANY US state or protectorate over the next 10-20 years…

      • Colonial Viper 19.2.3

        Oh good grief. A call to wind the clock back and pretend Douglas never existed. How very revolutionary.

        PETE – you moron, its the CURRENT powers in Labour who are pretending that Douglas never existed.

    • Jimmy Page's Sunburst Les Paul 19.3

      Won’t happen.

      The media representatives of business won’t let it happen, just as they made sure of the “right” outcome this time. No leftish candidate will ever get a fair hearing from them, and with them as enemies, you’re effectively sunk. This isn’t 1935. Might as well cut your losses.

      • Colonial Viper 19.3.1

        We’re cutting our society’s losses by removing the Beltway neoliberals and careerists. OK?

    • thatguynz 19.4


  20. karol 20

    What will Shearer do now who did today, exactly what Cunliffe did at the weekend: refused to say that they would support Shearer in February?

    Another caucus meeting, more d**k waving, tar and feather? 

    • Gotta agree with ya Karol, all I can say is those cloak and dagger maggots have completely screwed both Cunliffe and Shearer, the goal being to promote Robertson.

      It’s been on the cards for a long time, the “Old School” wont take no for an answer.

      And just quietly …. I think Shearer knows it and I’m hoping he and Cunliffe come out of this Leading the party …. wait and see I guess.

      Cunliffe is one of the best men out there, I have a friend who’s son was short changed on a job, and Cunliffe was all guns for them, good man plain and simple.

      • karol 20.1.1

        I laughed (cynically) when garner said that Cunliffe was punished for the “shenanigans” at the weekend.

        The only shenanigans I saw were from Gower and other journos, and the anti-Cunliffe Labour MPs. 

        • PlanetOrphan

          I was rather angry myself, had too apologise to the MSM even )-|

        • RedLogix

          This media pack have too much power. For far too long they’ve fancied themselves as players. Who elected them? To whom are they accountable?

          There is no doubt that the media created a fake leadership bid in order to derail and split the Labour party. And they’ve succeeded in this short-term ambition.

          Long-term the turmoil is going to be an opportunity; what was stuck is now unstuck. Things can now change.

          • Bill

            There is no doubt that the media created a fake leadership bid..

            Not quite. The media in conjunction with the old guard created a fake leadership bid…

            • PlanetOrphan

              Problem with the media is they are honour bound to report ….. even off the record stuff.
              Protected sources etc, next thing you know they’re pontificating heartyfelt crap to the media anonymously :evil:.
              No amount of “Leadership” can fix those hidden agendas.
              Shearer actually needs to lay down a law of no media conversations and sack the maggots when they catch them.

            • RedLogix

              Yes Bill you are correct.

              Now the degree of conjunction is the interesting question. Which senior gallery person was seen ‘out of school’ with Mallard recently?

              Flat out collusion or the hive mind at work? We saw much the same pack mentality at work when Winston Peters was taken down in 2008.

        • David H

          I must admit after watching Gower on TV. I did shoot him an e mail asking if he had been the hall monitor at school, and if he had any friends at as well. Because he reminded me of the spoiled little brat, that didn’t get his own way and just threw tantrum after tantrum until they won.

          Hmm i have not had a reply.

      • Dr Terry 20.1.2

        PlanetOrphan – this sounds one hell of a lot better!!

  21. johnm 21

    Shearer is a do gooder nobody, The Labour Party has signed its own irrelevant death warrant: Good Riddance, Cunliffe is the man, that’s why these [email protected] can’t stand him. may they
    toss in hell. 🙂

  22. KJT 22

    Great. Shearer and ABC has now ensured a National victory in 2014.

    Is that what they wanted all along??

    • pete 22.1

      Yep +1

    • Draco T Bastard 22.2

      Great. Shearer and ABC has now ensured a National victory in 2014.

      Not necessarily although the left winning won’t be helped by Labour.

      Is that what they wanted all along??

      I actually think it was. That’s why we never heard a peep from them about taking the assets back if Key sold them.

  23. RedLogix 23

    Well very early this morning I was so pissed at reading of today’s meeting and the threat of demotion I wrote:

    Demoting Cunliffe today is the end of it for me. I would encourage all Labour party members to actively hand in their resignations en-mass.

    Keystone coups

    In hindsight that was anger speaking. Bill and others have made a cogent argument that now is indeed the time to be a member if you have the stomach for it.

    The problem as I see it is that by punishing Cunliffe in the way … Shearer is implicitly turning the mandatory February vote into a sham. It’s not an election when there is neither choice or the risk of making the ‘dissaproved’ choice comes with bad personal consequences.

    The only way 40% of the caucus is going to have the balls to secretly vote against Shearer in Feb is if they are convinced that the subsequent membership vote will go the same way.

    This means they need lots of Party members on-board and willing to vote .. and they need to hear it loud and clear.

  24. Zoo baby 24

    Shearer did the right thing he took control.

    [RL: No more astroturfing. Banned. Bye.]

  25. hush minx 25

    Pity he didn’t take the party with him.

  26. ianmac 26

    My take is that Mr Cunliffe will develop at least a perception of loyalty and will be reinstated with important roles early next year. That way Mr Shearer has done what he needed to do as a political imperative and will be able to use Mr Cunliffe’s talents next year.
    Do hope the verbal rioting dies down.

    • karol 26.1

      You reckon?

      Then why do I feel so despondent…. gutted even?  Which I wasn’t expecting to feel. 

      The whole way the demonisation and ritual slaughter of Cunliffe was orchestrated by Team Shearer is…. I don’t have polite words for it.

      I think it’s very bad for the future of the Left in NZ.

      • Peter 26.1.1

        Don’t feel despondent. Look at it politically. The demotion of Cunliffe has shown what is at stake here, and has also shown, in an interesting way, the tools required to regain control of the NZLP from those bastards that chose to demote him.

        It means between now and February, fighting for the heart and soul of the NZLP. It’s ours to win, and ours to lose.

      • seeker 26.1.2

        You have expressed my feelings exactly karol. The thought that Team Shearer is no more principled than Team Key has given me heartburn.

        • karol

          Yes, seeker.  I feel I have witnessed something  very nasty coming from the joint efforts of Team Shearer and the MSM.
          But I’ll get over it – always do.  Probably my fault for still holding on to some of mey youthful ideals – althought they have become somewaht battered.

        • Dr Terry

          Less principled than Team Key?

      • dave brownz 26.1.3

        Karol you should feel better. This is actually good for the left in NZ. The ABC clique have exposed their frailness and useby date. February. Right now a lot of Labour left are feeling angry and disheartened. But that’s a good thing because its been caused by the ABC and the media “overplaying its hand”. I don’t see Cunliffe showing any signs of defeat and he’s the guy who has been ‘whipped’ by the leadership. Sooner or later the Labour Party has to split the working class base from the middle class leadership. This is the first fight in a long war. The left has to stay staunch, back up the 13 MPs Cunliffe needs to trigger the vote and make sure the ABC don’t gerrymander the party and affiliates delegates votes.

  27. Zoo baby 27

    What is the standard not for everyone? I am a long time labour supporter haven’t been rude to anyone just expressed an opinion

    [lprent: Oh dear. Arguing with a moderator – very stupid. You have been warned before about who sets the rules on this site. ]

    • felix 27.1

      You’ve caught the attention of a relatively patient moderator so you must have done something. Have you been using lots of different names?

      • Zoo baby 27.1.1

        No just the one

        [RL: I’ll make it plain. Most of the comments I’ve seen from you have been confrontational one line assertions with no attempt at evidence, argument or engagement. It’s a form trolling called ‘astroturfing. Take a one week ban.]

        • Zoo baby

          Nothing I have said has been confrontational I have expressed an opinion nothing more nothing less.

          [RL: Take a two week ban. (Can you can guess where this goes?)]

  28. Nunya 28

    Cut to a fleeting shot of Russell Norman; who has paused for a second, briefly interrupting his nightly aperetif of la tête de récalcitrant chiot (Dr Norman restricts his diet to those puppies which demur at farting into recycled plastic beakers filled with grey water)
    Dr Norman permits a smile for a moment “Those creaking old boomers have actually done it”, he muses “they’ve welded themselves to an A grade, copper-bottomed drongo, who, if asked to call a two-up game on Anzac day would go for ‘hails’ or ‘teads’ – “Unfuckingbelievable!” muses Norman, before he chomps off the jowls of a particularly obstinate shar pei in delight.

  29. feijoa 29

    If Shearer could bag the PM and National Party as much as he has been bagging his own MP and membership, well, who knows, he might start to win some popular support

  30. bootlegga 30

    So much for unity the Dunedin youth chairman has quit the party and more have told me they will follow. goodbye labour. hoping they make a suitable coalition partener for the greens LOL!!

    • Peter 30.1

      Dunedin South Youth Chairman actually, and a good guy. A rousing vote of support for an MP (Clare Curran) continues to vote against the wishes of her electorate for David Shearer. So yeah, not a surprise that the party loses good people when its MPs just do what they like.

  31. Peter 31

    Hi All

    It’s absolutely imperative that people thinking of leaving remain in Labour, and support Cunliffe for February, as well as working on any waivering support.

    Otherwise Labour will wither and die, under the current strategy and leadership.

    I’m actually going to renew my membership, as a result of this.


  32. Peggity 33

    [lprent: Which troll are you? I know that tone. It is Troll style 2007 with a touch of astroturf and now permanent spam. ]

    • Anne 33.1

      Is that supposed to be funny Peggity? Greg Presland is a highly regarded gentleman. If you are being disparaging… it’s only yourself you have disparaged. Lay off the booze my dear.

      [lprent: Little bugger astroturfed a pile of comments saying join mana or greens, and then had the gall to say he was a first time commentator. ]

  33. SPC 34

    As a total outsider my guess based on human nature – protecting ones privileges – is this.

    The Labour caucus is known to be one dominated by factions. One gets a share of the spoils by being in one. So when caucus primacy is threatened by greater party determination of leadership, the entrenched established power base in caucus has its self interest to protect. And the faction in power in caucus most of all. So all those who have status in caucus now, through seniority or patronage, are going to react.

    The attack on Cunliffe was an attack on party members challenging the status quo. He is a personification of the fear the old guard feels about a new order in the party caucus ranking and loss of control over policy development.

    It’s also a declaration of war over candidate selection in 2014, so the party cannot storm their centre of power in caucus (by determining leadership or new intake) – Kiwiblog is personifying party aspiration for democracy as a Cunliffe device – in this Farrar is serving the interests of the Labour caucus elite. Why?

    It would seem Shearer is not seen as his own man – not by his own caucus supporters who use him as their front or by political opponents. The right don’t fear him as an opponent in a campaign or even as a PM (thinking they can break him to the centre 2000 media style if in government).

    Shearer was the candidate for a new beginning for Labour, one not part of the past. This allowed fresh policy thinking – it worked well with party rejuvenation. He had a good resume but was inexperienced. He seemed someone the old guard could safely use to retain influence while the party itself went through renewal and rebuilding. It could have worked, if those in caucus embraced change and democratisation without fear for loss of their control (their privilege).

    But they were not big enough people to do the right thing. So they now have to live this down and make better choices in future.

    National will hope they can encourage more self-destructive protection of their own nest by the Labour caucus, so that they do not face an opposition united with any conviction that they are in this for their party and the country, rather than developing their own career within a caucus faction

  34. infused 35

    I predict cunliffe in feb. This was one big fuck up. I don’t think the spectacle will end either.

    That leads me to believe Labour have totally rooted themselves on the next election.

    Unless Key does a major fuckup… Which I don’t think is likely to be honest.

    • fender 35.1

      So the “major fuckups” so far count for nothing?
      Have you been asleep for the last few months?

      • Draco T Bastard 35.1.1

        It’s confused – he always seems to miss all the bits where his hero fucks up/lies/misleads.

  35. Jackal 36

    Unanimous support for Shearer

    The main problem is that the media and some bloggers took what Cunliffe said and manipulated it to create controversy where there was none. Labour has done well to turn that negative controversy into more media coverage than John Key’s trip to Cambodia. They have in fact used it to boost Shearer’s profile in an effective strategy that makes Labour look more cohesive going forward…

    • A really good point Jackal.

    • David H 36.2

      Horse shit. Shearer looks like exactly what he is, a puppet that is being manipulated by Mallard and the media. The sooner he is gone along with Mallard and co the better!

      • anthony bull 36.2.1

        He’s better than the alternative. Cunliffe is a smarmy git who would cause Labour to bleed votes like nobodies business.

        • gobsmacked

          Anthony, is that why his majority in New Lynn is 5,000, when National won the party vote?

          He’s so “smarmy” the voters like him more than Labour. (Those are actual voters, not the imaginary ones invented by ABC and co).

          • Hami Shearlie

            Don’t think Robertson’s majority is too high!! I wonder what Shearer’s is? Cunliffe is a smart guy and sometimes the green-eyed monster comes out when others feel inadequate, which in Shearer’s case is very obvious!! And if their future leader of choice is Robertson, well sorry, hasn’t got the look, hasn’t got the talent, is gay which doesn’t appeal to the South Auckland voter, and just isn’t enough frankly!! A man who looks like a little jester and tells little jokes may be better than Shearer but not much – think NZ would tire of him very quickly. The only compelling person in Labour IS David Cunliffe!! I think David Parker is going to feel his loss, they were shaping up to be a great team, Parker may rue this day!

          • 2011 New Lynn party vote win was 749 to Nats, Lab – 12462, Nat – 13211. Shearer’s 2011 majority in Mt Albert was 10,021 with the party vote win of 136 to Labour, Lab – 12238, Nat – 12102.

            If we were to continue using the candidate over party preference logic GS, 6478 Mt Albert people preferred Shearer over Labour vs 4537 New Lynn people preferring Cunliffe over Labour.

            Just saying.

            • gobsmacked

              Sure PC, I wouldn’t dispute that Shearer is a popular electorate MP. I wish that was still his job.

              But Anthony Bull made a claim about Cunliffe, without evidence, and I provided the only evidence we have. I doubt he has any.

            • lprent

              Different situations. The Mt Albert electorate was about already half canvassed because of the byelection and because of a few decades of careful collecting of canvassing data. The New Lynn electorate, despite being one of the better electorates would have been lucky to have had 15%. This makes a significant difference in how well you can run a turnout strategy.

              You’d be better off looking at the elections at 2008 and 2011 (there were a boundary changes in 2007 and by-elections really don’t count) and treat the difference between the enrolled and the total votes as being a separate party of enrolled-non-vote.

              You’ll probably find that the enrolled non-vote were the party with the most gains…

            • lprent

              Different situations. The Mt Albert electorate was about already half canvassed because of the byelection and because of a few decades of careful collecting of canvassing data. The New Lynn electorate, despite being one of the better electorates would have been lucky to have had 15%. This makes a significant difference in how well you can run a turnout strategy.

              You’d be better off looking at the elections at 2008 and 2011 (there were a boundary changes in 2007 and by-elections really don’t count) and treat the difference between the enrolled and the total votes as being a separate party of enrolled-non-vote.

              You’ll probably find that the enrolled non-vote were the party with the most gains… I was still a bit crook at the election time so I didn’t take nearly as much as I usually do.

        • Craig Glen Eden

          Oh yeah like thats what happens in New Lynn anthony bull, Cunliffe increased his Party and own vote so guess you dont know what the hell you are on about. Maybe you are confused between Cunliffe and Robertson, Robertson came third in the party vote their ya go now your Bullshit fits.Robertson as leader and Labour would bleed votes.

          • Unless I’m needing glasses but –

            2005 18087, majority 8078, party vote 16208, 5292 majority
            2008 17331, majority 4025, party vote 14165, 60 majority
            2011 16999, majority 5190, party vote 12642, -749 majority

            • karol

              What was the New Lynn Green Party vote?  I voted Cunliffe in New Lynn + Party vote Green.
              I am for Cunliffe, but the Labour Party has a long way to go before it gets my Party vote – and it won’t be getting it with the Shearer-Robertson leadership.

        • engelsista

          it’s funny how rightwingers like anthony bull are the only people on shearer’s side.

        • Santi

          Very true. Shearer is a much better leader than the alternative.

          [RL: Repeated useless astroturfing. One week ban.]

        • Andrew McMillan

          It’s ironic that being smarmy works for John Key.

          Shearer has proven himself to be inept over the last 12 months, while Cunliffe has proven he isn’t ready to lead. The decision to demote Cunliffe was right and it should do Cunliffe the world of good if he can learn to be humble (that’s a moderately sized “if”).

          If Cunliffe really does want to lead then his best bet is to ignore February and concentrate on Labour’s next election loss (whenever that may be). If he moves then, he can oversee the removal of the old-guard and the re-shaping of Labour. There’s no point in taking charge when the ship’s already on the way down.

          The big question for Cunliffe is whether he can accept that his party (Labour) is a train wreck and that he needs to be a loyal part of that train wreck for now.

    • gobsmacked 36.3

      Generally I’m in favour of decriminalising drugs, but maybe not the ones Jackal is on.

      an effective strategy that makes Labour look more cohesive going forward…

      If they get down to one MP they’ll be totally cohesive! C’mon guys, let’s go for it!

    • Jenny 36.4

      John Key’s trip to Cambodia? I thought Obama had acquired a celebrity stalker.

    • ianmac 36.5

      +1 Jackal @ 36.

  36. Paul 37

    Shearer -wasn’t he selected by the right at a BBQ after the election? He’s the Manchurian candidate,chosen to ensure that, even if Key loses the next election, the neo-liberal revolution will not be undone. And today’s events show the levels the establishment will go to to ensure a genuine left-wing party will not take power in NZ. Look at how the corporate media (Patrick Gower’s interview is but one example) leapt to attack Cunliffe. There are powerful people in this country who don’t want their slice of the pie affected.

    • Jenny 37.2

      It will be interesting to see who gets invited, to whose, barbeque’s over the summer break.

      No doubt the furious lobbying has already started.

      Shearer’s cynical ploy of using todays vote under the old rules to redistribute shadow cabinet positions to his supporters as well as threatening Cunliffe supporters with demotion will likely strengthen his position in the caucus.

      Shearer may be loathed by the membership, but it hardly matters the wild card in any vote on the leadership is the affiliated unions.

      Andrew Little, a Shearer supporter and ex-head of the EPMU New Zealand’s biggest private sector union probably thinks he has the union affiliates vote sown up.

      Like Key, Little is a Climate Change Apologist, arguing that jobs, growth, the economy, are more important than the climate.

      A Climate Change Ignorer like Shearer as leader suits Little’s shallow opportunist views on climate change as a threat to jobs.

      There can be little doubt that the EPMU will follow Little’s lead. Whether the more left unions MUNZ, NDU, Teachers, Nurses, RMTU will follow Little’s lead might be another matter. Most likely, most will opt for sticking with Shearer.

      For all those union leaders and affilliates I would like them to consider this…..


      So will Shearer win the vote in February?

      Unless a hurricane like Sandy strikes Auckland within the next two months, or an unprecedented drought devastates the Waikato region this summer, or hail stones as big as baseballs batter Wellington.

      Then on the balance of forces, he probably will. But it doesn’t really matter. The climate doesn’t care whether the the two main political parties in NZ are CCA or CCI.as long as these political parties are committed to BAU the climate will keep on changing, (and not in a good way), regardless.

      Reality will intrude sooner or later. And an intelligent and forceful leader like Cunliffe or some one like him will have to step up. Someone with the guts to stand up to big business and the fossil fuel lobby. Let us hope it is not to late to do something meaningful.

      • Colonial Viper 37.2.1

        you’re missing the point. Politicians can’t lead on climate change, they can only follow.

        • Jenny

          I must admit that going from recent events that is the overall impression gained.


          David Cunliffe is the only parliamentary political leader to take Climate Change seriously. And he is being punished for it.

          Even the Greens have given up talking about climate change, on the grounds that it will make them appear too radical and cost them seats. Also so as not to embarrass their future coalition partner, the current leadership of which, seem dead set on Ignoring Climate Change altogether.

          The crisis is upon us now. And still we punish those who urge us to do something.

          I hope that David Cunliffe is not intimidated by these events and continues to speak up.

      • lurgee 37.2.2

        “Shearer may be loathed by the membership …”

        See, comments like this bemuse me. Again, a dazzling lack of evidence in support of it (though I suspect gobsmacked will again be notable by his/her silence!). And if he is ‘loathed’, is that not at least partly (and a large part at that) because of the continual factioneering (I think I just invented that word) and slating he receives here. The current line being run in these parts is that poor Mr Cunliffe is an innocent victim of a savage mugging, first by the media, now by the Powers That Be in the Labour Party. Yet this is the same thing that is going on here. Shearer is continually being slated, wild assertions made, the possibility that Cunliffe might have been having a few too many quiet chats in corridors isn’t entertained.

        A couple of months ago, the Standard was all Yeah for Shearer in response to a micro blip upwards in the polls. Werdly, a very positive speech is dismissed and drowned out in the sort of paranoid babblings about rightwing neolibs and Manchurian candidates. Some people, I think, enjoy factional squabbling for its own sake and aren’t too interested in actually trying to win the next election. Whether that includes David Cunliffe (or David Shearer) I do not know. But I think it is reasonable to ask if Shearer would send one of his (supposedly) best performing MPs to the back bench just to show who is the biggest, baddest boy in town.

    • lurgee 37.3

      Wonder if gobsmacked will be clamouring for evidence supporting this exceedingly doubtful contention? Sauce, goose, gander, and all that.

  37. mikey77 38

    This carry on by Shearer is absolutely immature and petty. Looks like I might have to vote for that nice Mr Keys.

  38. What a disgrace !, this can only reflect badly on Labour as a party,it will demonstrate to
    people out there that they should not have an opinion,(well, we know that),we should not oppose any order our leader might want,we should admire him always,we should bow when he enters a
    room, we should not roll our eyes when he mumbles and stumbles, ‘Hale our leader’ Like hell !
    So who really has disgraced and tarnished the ‘Labour Brand” ? it isn’t a man who believes
    in democracy and wishes members to have a say,an opinion,who can recognise bloggers
    and commentators and even can join in some times, who voted for a new way ahead for
    labour members and the party as a whole, to be more involved with each other, No, it wasn’t the best person to lead labour forward into the future,all as one,one for all,No he didn’t disgrace the ‘Labour Brand’ it was the right wing strong men from inside the caucus who have much more to loose if labour is democratised, their power will be muted, their strangulation of the labour party
    will be diminished,their self interest will be dicipated,they dont care about the ‘Labour brand’
    as long as they have the total control,unquestioned,these are the characters who have
    damaged and tarnished the ‘Labour Brand’ Not Cunliffe.
    Shame on them.

  39. karol 40

    OK, now if Brian Edwards is correct on this, it is despicable.  It should be touted everywhere:

    A little bird (not David Cunliffe) has told me that in the run-up to today’s emergency caucus meeting a number of Labour MPs, probably a majority, were rung by David Shearer or one of his apparatchiks seeking a cast-iron guarantee that they would be supporting Shearer today and in the constitutionally mandatory confidence vote in February.
    This is both unethical and against Labour’s constitution. It makes nonsense of today’s ‘unanimous’ vote. And it makes nonsense of the February vote. If a majority of Labour MPs have yielded to this monstrous piece of bullying, that vote has in effect already been taken. 

    It needs to  be verified – but if true – I find it beyond the pale – bullying in the extreme and not fit for a party that calls itself Left Wing. 

    PS: Bomber on twitter is saying he’s hearing the same thing.

    • Inventory2 40.1

      Mallard’s DNA is all over this. It’s time that he was put out to pasture.

      • lprent 40.1.1

        We actually agree on something. He does tend to be somewhat unsubtle.

        • Inventory2

          A rare day indeed lprent! What’s even worse is that Mallard seems to be developing Chris Hipkins into a clone of himself. There must be something in the waters of the Hutt River…

          Mallard first entered Parliament in the election where David Lange unseated Sir Robert Muldoon; 1984. He is hardly the future of the Labour Party. Perhaps David Shearer could ask John Key to give Trevor a diplomatic posting somewhere; I’m told that Uzbekistan is nice at this time of year 😛

    • felix 40.2

      First off, just because Bradbury says he’s heard something doesn’t mean he’s heard anything. Most likely one of his right-wing dickhead mates read what Edwards said and, wanting to appear more important and in-the-loop, told Bradbury he’d heard it too and then Bradbury, wanting to appear more important and in-the-loop, passed it on.

      No reason to doubt Edwards though, especially seeing as what he’s saying is absolutely consistent with everything else we’ve heard about Team Shearer’s actions throughout this whole affair.

      • Jackal 40.2.1

        I doubt Edwards… Mainly because he wrote a number of very critical articles about Shearer and would have been highly disappointed by the way things went.

        I also doubt the honesty of the article because Edwards says that it’s wrong for a political leader to contact MP’s in the same party, when there’s nothing unusual about this, especially prior to any major public announcement.

        That inconsistency in Edward’s story makes me think it’s a figment of his imagination that Shearer bullied anybody from within the Labour caucus to change the way they voted. Edwards has certainly not provided any evidence to support these claims, and was obviously not privy to the private conversations between Labour MP’s.

        Only Labour MP’s would know what was said, and therefore somebody is undermining Labour from within or Edwards is lying. Either way it doesn’t look good for Labour, so why would one of their MP’s put their party and their political career at risk just to give Edwards an article to write?

        That’s why I doubt Edwards… I’ve asked him to back up his claim but he’s currently ignoring me. Personally I’m very disappointed, because I used to respect Edwards a lot. That respect has now been badly eroded.

        • Colonial Viper

          lol dude, asking MPs to come out and declare their secret votes 3 months in advance is the part which is wrong.

          • Jackal

            That’s obviously total speculation on Edwards’ part. No politician with a modicum of ethical standards would give such an assurance three months out from any vote. If a week is a long time in politics, three months is an eternity.

            However with unanimous support for Shearer at this stage, it’s unlikely to go against him at any subsequent leadership challenges from Cunliffe, or anybody else for that matter.

            • Lanthanide

              I’m not sure why you say that it’s “obvious” Edwards made it up. I can easily believe Shearer and co would do something like that.

            • lprent

              …obviously total speculation…

              Ah no. It isn’t speculation. It seems like it has been a bit crazy down in Wellington.

              It is rather stupid.

        • lprent

          Ah Jackal – they aren’t just ‘contacting’ MP’s. They are telling them how they have to vote in a secret ballot in February.

          Labour MP’s know rather a lot of people and talk to rather a lot of people and have the cellphone, facebook, e-mails, etc for rather a lot of people. Why wouldn’t they. And if they don’t then their staffers, partners, etc will know. How do you think our authors get stories. Hell, there a frigging lot of people with access to my e-mail, phone, facebook, etc, and they use it.

          • lurgee

            You’d have to be pretty stupid to ask for a promise in a secret ballot.

            The Brian Edwards story does sound a bit … over done.

    • Draco T Bastard 40.3

      From what’s been happening over the last few days – wouldn’t surprise me in the least which would mean that all that democracy that the Labour Party voted for at the weekends conference has been thrown in the bin.

    • Pete 40.4

      Well, Trevor Mallard did tweet this last night.

    • SpaceMonkey 40.5

      But fit to be a neo-liberal Government?

  40. Caleb 41

    Well, the mainstream media have got what they want… David “I don’t read blogs” Shearer remains in power… For now.

    It’s amazing how the media and the Shearer camp could go from “it’s all a storm in a blogger’s teacup” to “there is a sinister conspiracy led by Cunliffe and he must pay” in the space of a few days.

    The media are destined to lose, in the long term, even if they still have muscles to flex now.

    What will happen with Labour is less clear. At best this will lead to the downfall of the ABC old guard… they’re the real problem with Labour, not either of the Davids. At worst, they’ve demoted their best parliamentary asset, alienated their membership and ruined any hope of party unity or a cohesive alternative to National in the foreseeable future. “Anyone but Cunliffe” keeps looking more and more like “John Key rather than Cunliffe”.

    • David H 41.1

      Just what John Key and his backers wanted. So it makes me wonder if someone in the Labour higher ups are in the payroll of the NACTS??. It’ reeks of Nact dirty tricks. but prove it.

    • prism 41.2

      I found the media so trite. So outraged that there could be a challenge as if there were some rules they had decided that were being broken. And very two dimensional in their analysis, or what passed for it.

  41. Fight for a Cunliffe Led Labour 42

    Lobby your Labour MPs to vote Cunliffe in feb/13. Ross Robertson and Shane Jones are reported fence sitters. Only takes 14 MPs to trigger the 40/40/20 electoral college. We have 12.

    • fender 42.1

      Jones may not be around too much longer if it’s decided he stepped over the mark giving the multi identity guy preferential treatment as (as speculated) a favour to Dover Samuals.

    • Caleb 42.2

      Or 13, depending on how “60% plus one” is defined (remember it’s 60% plus one not 40% plus one).  60% is 20.4, so 60% plus one could mean 21 or 22… (which means the other side needs 14 or 13 respectively)… Anyone know?

      • weka 42.2.1

        Comments on the Standard have been saying you round up.

        • Caleb

          Do you mean these comments? http://thestandard.org.nz/labour-chooses-democracy/comment-page-1/#comment-549057
          So 13 are required to trigger a wider leadership vote, and 22 are required to prevent it?  Can we confirm this?  Because the MSM are saying 14.

          • lprent

            There is a bit of a debate.

            But it is 60% of the votes cast plus one in the remit book to secure the leader from the party.

            So the caucus is what – 34.
            34 *0.6 = 20.4
            20.4 + 1 = 21.4
            round down = 21.
            34 – 21 = 13

            The MSM are wrong as far as I can see. Of course that requires that all members cast ballots

            • Caleb

              Sorry to keep flogging the horse but it doesn’t seem quite dead yet. If you round down to 21 then the MSM are right that the other side need 14, right? (I’m thinking of it like a game of 500 where Shearer has bid 21 tricks so his opponents need 14 to stop him getting them)

  42. lefty 43

    The ruling class have owned the Labour Party for many years.

    They keep them in reserve as the B team for when the plebs get too pissed off with National.

    Every now and then they have to give some Labour members or MPs are short sharp reminder of just what their role is.

    Shearer is their choice and the Labour Party membership should just bloody well remember their place.

    • Paul 43.1

      George Carlin
      “The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they’re an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you.”


    • Judge Holden 43.2

      Crap. Even if one accept your sophomoric analysis – and I don’t – the “ruling class” would be just as pleased with the Harvard educated Cunliffe.

      You guys are pathetic. The country is being looted by Steven Joyce and his mates, and you’re all busy having pathetic little playground fights among yourselves. Time to get real. It’s almost like you’re Brownlee’s bitches.

      • Colonial Viper 43.2.1

        Crap. Even if one accept your sophomoric analysis – and I don’t – the “ruling class” would be just as pleased with the Harvard educated Cunliffe.

        That would be true, apart from the small detail that they are not.

  43. fender 44

    Maybe Shearer will not feel so paranoid by his shortcomings and will feel the pressure is off (till Feb) and will perform better than the stoner he usually acts like.

    Yeah right!

  44. vto 45

    So many words, so few acts.

    Cunliffe will plough onwards resolute in his belief and aim, not caring for setbacks like this. Shearer will be a forgotten man already at and past his peak.


  45. Blue 46

    I’m not surprised, but I am deeply disappointed. Shearer has shown once again that he’s not anyone’s idea of a leader.

    His political inexperience really shows at moments like this – he let himself get carried away with the hysteria and demonstrated no ability to think for himself and no political nous.

    The media got the wrong end of the stick, drumming up a leadership challenge that doesn’t exist because they’re stupid and made no effort to understand the situation.

    They took the fact that members voted to give themselves more power and caucus less to be some sort of vast pro-Cunliffe conspiracy and that it meant that Cunliffe would challenge Shearer as soon as he could.

    To their simple little brains, it couldn’t be that members simply wanted more of a say in how their party is run – no, it makes for a more interesting story if they chase David Cunliffe around badgering him with stupid questions to try to make a leadership challenge out of nothing.

    When has it become the norm to ask people how they will vote in three months time? Political polls ask people how they will vote if an election was held tomorrow, not in three months.

    In three months Shearer’s popularity could have taken a nosedive and the ABC cabal themselves could be thinking of getting rid of him.

    A leader with any talent could have shrugged this off. John Key has spent months insisting that John Banks is trustworthy and that he can’t recall anything about Kim Dotcom, and Shearer doesn’t even have the balls to say ‘I am confident that I have David Cunliffe’s support and Labour is focused on getting on with the job’ and just keep repeating it in the face of the media morons until they stop asking and it all blows over.

    He’s a piss weak leader, and has blown any goodwill that his mediocre speech at conference bought him.

    • gobsmacked 46.1


      What this all comes down to is: Shearer is insisting Cunliffe should have lied.

      Well, maybe he should have done. Grant Robertson lied. He said all the right things about Shearer as leader in 2014, blah blah. He knows the game.

      Sometime in 2013, Robertson will step up, not to “undermine” the leader, but – as a friend, you know, with the best of intentions – offer to save the Labour party by taking Shearer’s job. What a hero.

    • Chrissy 46.2


    • Jenny 46.3

      A leader with any sense and the best interests of his party at heart would have taken Cunliffe’s assurance of loyalty at face value and respected his honest admission that he could not give an assurance that he would not withdrraw that support at some future time. And instead of blackballing him given David Cunliffe a leading position where his undouted talent could be used for the benefit of the Party. If Cunliffe had then turned against Shearer this would reflect badly on Cunliffe. Instead this blackballing of a principled hard working Labour MP for something he might do in three months time is just petty and vindictive, and the work of an insecure careerist. This shows that David Shearer does not have the long term interest of the Labour Party at heart, instead putting his own career first.

  46. Clem Pinto 47

    I support Mr Shearer as a man of integrity and a potentially great PM, but unfortunately he has made a VERY BIG mistake today by demoting Mr Cunliffe. The whole saga was primarily manufactured by journos and media speculation and by unfair questioning of Mr Cunliffe.

    We are in a democracy and Labour party is a democratic organisation. Mr Cunliffe did nor challenge Mr Shearer and in fact he gave his support to Mr Shearer. It is unfair to ask any MP what their future position would be! That clearly depends on as yet unknown factors such as whether Shearer performs well in the future and on how the MPs and the grassroot Labour party members feel at that time.

    Remember at one time, as reported, Goff, King as well as Cullen made moves to roll Helen! I think Mr Shearer should not have demoted Cunliffe but instead worked to improve his own performance to gain the required loyalty on merit from Mr Cunliffe and the wider party. The way Shearer has handled this is unwise and will harm the party.

    A very disappointing shame. Not good.

  47. BM 48

    The Labour party in it’s current form is fucked for this election cycle at least.

    Cunliffe wins in February, the old school will just undermine him, he’ll get no traction because all you’ll see in the media will be Labour fighting and who in their right mind would vote for that.

    Cunliffe loses in February, he leaves forms another left party and splinters the Labour vote, Shearer won’t work with Cunliffe and Cunliffe won’t work with Shearer.
    Each faction will under mine each other, nobody will get any traction because all you’ll see in the media will be the two Labour factions fighting and who in their right mind would vote for that.

    • Paul 48.1

      That’s why the right wing bloggers encouraged Shearer to be leader at that bbq after the election.
      The Manchurain candidate.

    • gobsmacked 48.2

      Cunliffe would never leave Labour to form a new party. Old loyalties run deep. He could leave Parliament though.

      • BM 48.2.1

        I’d be really surprised if he didn’t
        I doubt there is any one out there who’s more convinced that it’s their destiny to lead a political party to victory then Cunliffe.
        Being son of a reverend,it’s in his blood to command and give orders, if he can’t do it with Labour, he’ll create his own vehicle.

      • Jenny 48.2.2

        Cunliffe would never leave Labour to form a new party. Old loyalties run deep. He could leave Parliament though.


        Both of these options would be a loss to the nation. Cunliffe needs to stick in there, courageously defend his principles, fight his corner with passion and vigour, and not give in. After all he has the membership on his side. To quit now would be to leave the party to the tender mercies of the neo liberal Shearer gang.

    • Jenny 48.3

      Cunliffe wins in February, the old school will just undermine him, he’ll get no traction because all you’ll see in the media will be Labour fighting and who in their right mind would vote for that.


      Or Cunliffe could do a Churchill and go over the heads of the “old school” to appeal to the nation and the party (and Labour’ coalition partners), directly.

      In my opinion, he has the courage and the intelligence and the talent to pull it off.

    • Treetop 48.4

      Cunliffe needs to wait for the Labour caucus to come banging on his door. They will by this time next year. Shearer will take a hit from the Labour membership in February, this will be pay back to Shearer for his perception of Cunliffe being a threat to Shearer before the February 2013 vote.

      I actually think that Cunliffe could see no point in challenging Shearer until February 2013 due to the upcoming summer recess of parliament.

  48. Dr Terry 49

    Some great entries here. For sure, we cannot say that life in NZ is boring at the moment!

  49. Craig Glen Eden 50

    I hear the bullying has been bad in Wellington today, Februarys vote will be interesting either some MPs are going to grow a pair or they will be being bullied for the rest of their political careers !

  50. prism 51

    This is the party that chose Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble et al as candidates. The poison from those past decisions still partly paralyses the brains of a large number, who seem to think that the object of politics is to have loyalty to your leader so that you can get back into parliament with seats on the ‘sunny side’ of the House. Having loyalty to your leader has led many people into very bad behaviour, and it’s important to keep the brain working as an individual not get into groupthink.

    • Paul 51.1

      “Mr. Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: ‘Once is happenstance, Twice is coincidence, Three times is enemy action.'”

  51. Judge Holden 52

    Just reading the shit you clueless fuckwits are churning out has me convinced that the Greens are the future of the centre-left. For fuck’s sake, it’s almost as if you want the Nats to be in charge for a generation. It will make Joyce and his chums extremely wealthy. Why are you all working for him?

    • gobsmacked 52.1

      Good rant, Judge.

      Now, care to rebut specifics? What should we be churning out? Shearer rocks?

      • Judge Holden 52.1.1

        Work with the talent you have, or wear at least five more years of Key, Joyce, Brownlee, McCully and Bennett. Your choice and a pretty fucking simple one.

        • Colonial Viper

          Work with the talent you have

          You really should tell that to the ABC crowd.

        • gobsmacked

          But ABC don’t want the talent. That’s the whole point.

          Last election was a failure. But the failures are still running the show.

          You’re saying we should just cross our fingers and hope Mallard becomes a genius, and Shearer becomes a leader? There’s your “five more years”, right there.

          • Judge Holden

            Shearer’s job is a hell of a lot more difficult with you guys acting as Nat proxies, that’s for sure. Joyce must be very happy with the job you’re doing.

            • gobsmacked

              That makes no sense at all, Judge.

              Take some time to watch Shearer v Key, and Cunliffe v Joyce, in Parliament.

              You want to deal to Joyce? Cunliffe has been doing it. What has Shearer done, and how the hell has commenting on this blog stopped him doing it ALL YEAR?

              • Colonial Viper

                Don’t you get it GS?

                It’s the job of the Left to make things easy for Shearer and co. after they dump one of their most capable MPs on the front bench under trumped up circumstances.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Shearer’s job is difficult because of his own decisions and his own failings. His speech was excellent and an indication of his potential. But that’s the problem, it’s all potential, no points on the board. If he was still a future leader of the party and had time to pay his dues, he might have turned out to be one of the greats. But too soon, too soon.

        • ianmac

          You are right Judge. The bitterness blocks thinking of the big picture and how the anger at the current status helps the Right more than the Left.

          • Colonial Viper

            ianmac, you’re thinking tactically only. Yes in the short term (3-6 months) this shit only helps the Right. It’s painful and its a cost, and it gives Key English Brownlee and the rest of the fuckers a free pass.

            STRATEGICALLY however, Labour and its membership must fight for the heart and soul of the party right here and right now. Put an end to the neoliberals and an end to the careerists. Forget Cunliffe, this scrap is way more important than who is today’s leader and tomorrows chip wrapper.

        • Mike

          “Work with the talent you have…”

          Now that members could get a say in the leadership in February, they may get to work with the talent they have. The talent is Cunliffe. He has an excellent economic mind and is a slick, experienced and confident politician. I hear comments from mainly the right that the public doesn’t like him, he is too vain, and so on and so on but I believe if he gets enough camera time which he might if he becomes labour leader, he will quickly win over many voters when they realise that what he says and advocates has substance and makes sense.

          • Judge Holden

            Then he should get over the fact that the lost, as should you, and do the job of an opposition. You’re making it too easy, and not seeing the big picture. Cunliffe’s an ambitious career politician and your reverence for him is disturbing. I understand the view that some of the caucus have passed their used by date. It’s the leadership’s job to refresh the team, and this needs to be allowed to happen without the shrieking.

            • Bill

              Then he should get over the fact that the (sic) lost…

              But…he didn’t, hasn’t and won’t.

            • RedLogix

              Cunliffe’s an ambitious career politician and your reverence for him is disturbing.

              1. All politicians are ambitious to some degree or another. Why else would they be there?

              2. Reverence? Hardly, it’s just that Cunliffe is competent, a good communicator and conveys a political position many people here are in agreement with. Yet by itself that would be not enough; the problem is that Shearer is none of these things.

            • prism

              Judge H
              It’s you that can’t see the big picture. This is more than looking for a strong daddy to show you what to do. So you don’t want another leader. You think the one you have is good and will be up to the task of husbanding the Labour Party and the country. We beg to disagree going by observed behaviour.

    • Inventory2 52.2

      Nice to see that you’re even-handed and you brow-beat the Left as much as the Right Judge; why don’t you say what you REALLY think 😛

      • Judge Holden 52.2.1

        You guys are making tory shills like this guy very happy at the moment. If Cunliffe’s so competent and all you should be encouraging him to get on with holding this appalling kleptocracy to account. I know you all think that Cunliffe would do a better job of doing this as leader, but he lost (twice). Don’t encourage him to go all Kevin Rudd.

  52. gobsmacked 53

    Let’s say, for a moment, that Cunliffe had to be “dealt with”.

    Which of these outcomes is good for Shearer?

    1) Cunliffe leaves Parliament. Hooray, problem solved!

    Oops … a divided Labour party faces a risky by-election in a seat where the popular MP has been forced out, and National won the party vote in 2011. Plus … Shearer has to go around campaigning for a month, without an autocue.

    Outcome 0/10.

    2) Cunliffe stays in Parliament, as an Independent or in new party.

    Oops … somewhere else for disaffected Labour voters to go. Maybe waka-jumping MPs too. Plus, he gets speaking time in Parliament, beyond the Labour whips’ control.

    Outcome 0/10.

    3) Cunliffe stays in Parliament, in Labour caucus.

    Hang on, I thought we’d got rid of him! It turns out here’s still here, only with more free time … how did that happen? He’s saying nothing, just smiling, and the media are calling that a plot!

    Outcome 0/10.

    4) Shearer and Cunliffe lock the office door, get pissed together, shout a lot, sober up, and eventually, with the air cleared, Cunliffe commits to the team. Shearer looks classy, not petty, and the party looks stronger.

    Ah well. I’m sure ABC know what they’re doing …

    • Craig Glen Eden 53.1

      National didnt win Party vote in New Lynn 2011 GM.

      • AmaKiwi 53.1.1

        But if Cunliffe and his LEC throw in the towel, Nats will get BOTH the New Lynn electorate AND the party vote. New Lynn is not a safe Labour seat. His LEC works hard.

        • dancerwaitakere

          Infact Cunliffe won Titirangi, which HAD been a Tory seat. 

          In the election of the 27% result, Cunliffe increased both his personal vote and the Labour party vote. Worth consideration.  

    • Inventory2 53.2

      re 3) – my mother always used to tell me that “the devil makes work for idle hands”. Something David Shearer ought to have considered before reducing Cunliffe’s workload, and giving him free reign to make mischief.

  53. Jimmie 54

    I’ve got a feeling that the outcome of Labour conference 2012 was that Mr Shearer won the battle but has lost the war.

    In his desperation to hold on to his current leadership position he pushed the party membership to the point of no return in relation to forcing a wider influence as to the choice of party leader.

    This of course (intentionally or otherwise) has played into Mr Cunliffe’s hands perfectly as come February Mr Cunliffe will (from his point of view) hopefully assume the leadership with the backing of the unions, the party membership, and a sizable portion of caucus.

    This will allow a greater mandate to force his will on the rest of the ABC club who will have few other alternatives than to look at other employment options – sooner rather than later.

    In Mr Cunliffe’s mind this will heal the rift that has formed between party & caucus and will allow a rejuvenated and unified push for government in 2014.

    As someone has said these are the moves of a master chess player while Mr Shearer has been stuttering away trying to learn the basic moves of draughts.

    Will be interesting to see the end play of all this.

    • Akldnut 54.1

      Here’s hoping you’re right Jimmie.
      If not I’m thinking of joining the K.Dot.Com Party, at least we’ll get some action then.

  54. Fisiani 55

    If Cunliffe has another failure in February what then?
    Will most fall in with the Leader and give all your support to Shearer?
    Will you defect to Mana or the Greens?
    Have you the passion to form a new party?
    Any other options?

    • Who ya asking Troll?

      U r starting too sound like some smacko witch Fisiani.

      Trying to evoke loss in the readers of the Standard are U ?

      Your stupid comments aren’t gonna change the polls Fisiani,… [RL:Deleted. Not neeed. Just for once Fisiani is making a valid point]

      • PlanetOrphan 55.1.1

        Fair enough RL, It’s a serious comment, cat’s a witch M8.
        And this was a warning to him to get the hell out of our/my head(s).

        Crazy Science etc …

  55. Pistol Pete 56

    DS you probably wont read this… cos you dont read blogs. Yeah right!

    Well executed Shearer (literally). Cunliffe has been undermining you all year, and it couldn’t fester any longer. You did exactly what was needed today- Put your ying yangs on the line, call for a show of support immediately after the conference. Put up or shut up, and sever that little bearded boil Cunliffe. Decisive and leaderlike at last.All very well delivering a strong speech on Sunday but actions speak loader than words. Good stuff and I predict in the long run this will be a pivotal turning point.

    Let it be a leason though your apprenticeship/honeymoon is well and truely over and its now time to front up and take on Key. Tag team with Dot com if you have !-he’s doing a prety good job at showing him up to be the liar we all know he is.

    Seriously though time to start dictating the game in the run up to the Election and the public and (most) of your party will support you

    • Colonial Viper 56.1

      Odd how you think executing one of your best and well-liked generals is “strength”. I always thought it was a sure sign of weakness.

    • gobsmacked 56.2

      Cunliffe has been undermining you all year

      Please provide one example of this, from any of the first ten months of this year (not the past few days).

  56. They have pushed Cunliffe to poofinger his chances in FEB. mark my words, this is all about Grant Robertson. Has been in the plans for three years. Notice how silent he has been over the last couple of weeks. He will knife shearer in feb and the red team guarantee themselves another loss on polling day.

  57. I had to have a cuppa and a line down after feeling battered and bruised after a political beating,
    but i have woken stonger,determined,enthusiastic that there is no war that can’t be won,however
    long it takes.
    The best line of defence is facebook,yes, that old curtained,darkened roomed affront that was
    the point of derision by shearer’s comrades in arms, facebook reaches more that anyone can
    imagine,a line of support for cunliffe and the members of the labour party,there are more ways
    to form an action group of discontent.
    The other is to make sure those who are involved in this affront to decmocracy and to the
    good name of Cunliffe, loose their coveted seats in 2014, party vote only,no candidate vote.
    If Cunliffe stands and becomes PM,then it will be them who will be at the end of a stick and
    rightfully so.

    • Colonial Viper 58.1

      The other is to make sure those who are involved in this affront to decmocracy and to the
      good name of Cunliffe, loose their coveted seats in 2014, party vote only,no candidate vote.

      Not bad, but it’s better to just deselect them next year.

  58. Sookie 59

    What an absolute clusterf*ck this attempted coup has been. Never mind the witterings and protests about how its all a great neo-lib conspiracy, its a fricking mess. This country is going down the bloody toilet, we desperately need to get the Nats out of government, and the Labour party has just shot itself in the foot, again, with pathetic, handbags at dawn infighting lapped up by the dickheads in the media. I wish I could tell you all to shut the hell up and get on with it and get behind Shearer, but you’re not going to listen. I’m just glad I jumped ship to the Greens once Aunty Helen left.

    • Colonial Viper 59.1

      Uh, there was no attempted coup. The storyline about a challenge was a fabrication and a beat up from the beginning.

      All statements about a coup, leadership vote, etc. over the last few days have come SOLELY from the ABC camp.

      Rethink your position.

      • McFlock 59.1.1

        Or anyone who suggests that maybe Cunliffe’s support for his caucus leader has been anything less than complete is automatically labelled by you as being “ABC”.

        And the guy who announced the biggest state housing expansion in decades is a “neoliberal”.

        • Colonial Viper

          Or anyone who suggests that maybe Cunliffe’s support for his caucus leader has been anything less than complete is automatically labelled by you as being “ABC”.

          Happy for you to find an example of where I have done this. I hadn’t meant to.

          My point was that accusations of a coup or leadership challenge launch over the weekend were completely fabricated by the ABC team working with the media. Only one side mentioned provoking a leadership vote over the weekend – it wasn’t Cunliffe.

          • McFlock

            Okay then, that would have been easy for Cunliffe to scotch before conference: announce his complete confidence in Shearer as leader, and that he will not run for party leadership before the next election against Shearer unless Shearer asks him to.

            • Colonial Viper

              Cunliffe is on record multiple times over the last few months as being fully supportive of Shearer.

              Let’s say for arguments sake however that Cunliffe’s statements over that time weren’t strong enough or convincing enough or complete enough for Shearer.

              The consequence of that should not have been sufficient for the fabrication, villification and demotion to the backbenches we have just seen.

              • McFlock

                Ever hear the expression “damning with faint praise”? Cunliffe has been playing that card for months.

                A case in point was his piece to camera today, allegedly not making a comment – oh wait, that would have been shutting the fuck up and walking past the media, not stopping for a chat. That’s playing silly buggers.

                • Colonial Viper

                  If there’s a specific or exact form of prostration required by the hierarchy, they should really just have issued it in a little book. Makes it way easier on everyone yeah?

                  oh wait, that would have been shutting the fuck up and walking past the media, not stopping for a chat.

                  Which is exactly what Cunliffe did over and over and over again.

                  Allow me to remind you: it wasn’t Cunliffe who was having trouble keeping his gob shut to journos over the last 72 hours.

                  • McFlock

                    72 hours?

                    It’s the past year that’s been at issue. All that time to say he wasn’t going to challenge Shearer for the leadership. All that time (as the most obvious challenger to the leadership) to show unequivocal loyalty and provide stability that would help Labour recover in the polls.

                    Even if tonight’s petulance was an aberration, Cunliffe has failed dismally to place the party above his personal ambitions.

            • seeker

              He did again and again MCflock. He just wouldn’t commit to February along with others. Apparently even Moira Coatsworth didn’t ‘endorse’ Shearer as ‘leader’ when she introduced him but later Shearer’s wife did. I read this tid bit some where or heard it yesterday but can’t remember where. Didn’t hear anything about her or the MPs’ like Horomia (who said the same as David Cunliffe when interviewed) being censured. I think all this nasty smearing of David C. was a Garner and Gower Production/ set up – aided and abetted by certain others months ago when Garner had drinks with a couple of senior Labour MPs. Chris Hipkins was intruduced as a Senior Labour MP on Te Karere on Monday @4pm. Was he one of the ‘seniors’?
              I also think this is TV3’s version of the Peter’s Affair which was produced and directed initially by Espiner and Soper. Perhaps Espiner has been giving Garner and friends tips on ‘How to defame, smear or assassinate the characters of politicians we /or others want to get rid of and have fun, revenge and great ratings at the same time.”
              “Sod the needs of the country, it is all about us , ‘cos we can. ‘We’ve got the power’- we are the Journo Hit Squad, and we ‘re for hire for the price of a drink or two!”

              Can’t believe I am up writing this,but I couldn’t sleep. Am too upset at the behaviour of Shearer and co.It’s like being back in the dark ages. His behaviour, ironically, resembles that of an insecure, out of his depth, and therefore pretty dangerous, Warlord! He must have caught the “Warlord’ virus from one he met earlier.

              Perhaps I can sleep now,

              • McFlock

                The media took a mile where Cunliffe gave them an inch.
                Let’s say that he never, by comment or omission,  allowed any interpretation other than complete loyalty until february. All year. That still leaves Shearer and the party weak: all the media have to do is what they did – snipe and snipe and beat up for a year, and then they got themselves a real fight to cover in February. Oh, and constant rumours of factionalisation all year to help keep labour down in the polls.
                Now let’s say that he was always planning to challenge for leadership in February. Rather than undermining shearer all year, he could have had a stock phrase: “I have given my word to David that I will not challenge for the leadership if his leadership meets certain criteria agreed between us. So far those criteria have been met or are progressing well, so no, I won’t be running for party leadership against David”. 
                A bit difficult to create a beat up about that. And probably what he should be doing, if it was the party interests rather than his own he was championing.


              • McFlock

                oh, and if you’re losing sleep over it, you need to get some perspective.

            • Mike

              Why should he announce that he will not run for party leadership before the next election? Should all MP’s do that so there is never a leadership change? Assuming most politicians enter parliament with the goal of leading their party in the future (well, initially anyway), they should always show full support for their leader (as Cunliffe has done) but if they aspire to be party leader they should never rule out standing for the leadership in the future, that would be dishonest. What’s he supposed to do, lie? Even though the word “parliament” derives from the Latin “to speak lies”, I’m sure there are a few (not many) politicians who have the balls and are confident enough in themselves and their abilities not to need to lie in order to protect their positions.

              • McFlock

                Because he’s the main contender.
                He’s the most likely and most significant challenger.
                The onus is on him to make sure that his presence doesn’t split the party, or allow the media to beat up a supposed split and thereby weaken party support.
                But that’s if you put your ambitions for the party and NZ ahead of your own personal ambitions.  A leader can’t fight the enemy and constantly be looking over their shoulder in case their captains want to stab them in the back.
                Cullen did it. For nine years the thought of Cullen, as one of the most experienced and skilful cabinet members, challenging for the leadership was alien, even when Clark was in conflict or languishing in the polls. But apparently Cunliffe’s too good for that.

                • One Tāne Huna

                  “Cullen did it”

                  Yes, but David Shearer is no Helen Clarke.

                  If Shearer had a fraction of Clarke’s competence his position would be secure. If Clarke had been as useless as Shearer, Cullen would have challenged her.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Indeed. Trying to compare the quality of leadership and parliamentary experience of Helen Clark 1 year into her leadership, with David Shearer right now, is not even a starter.

                • Caleb

                  “The onus is on him to make sure that his presence doesn’t split the party”.

                  The assumption there is that keeping the party together is more important than making the party (and the country) represent the ideas, policies and strategies of the membership… or better, striving for the ideas, policies and strategies of the membership as best you can, which doesn’t necessarily mean maintaining the current form of the party if the current form of the party is hindering that.

        • Jenny

          …..And the guy who announced the biggest state housing expansion in decades is a “neoliberal”.


          Correction: David Shearer didn’t announce a state house expansion, he announced the building of “affordable” $300,000 dollar private dwellings for first home buyers.

          Meanwhile the National government has been reducing State House rental stock. Not a word was said about this. I might add that National has justified the ongoing evictions of state tenants and the sale and demolition of state houses on the grounds that the money will go to pay for the building of a similar number of “affordable private homes”.

          Evonne Sainty a State House tenant in Glen Innes who has been leading the protests against the evictions, the demolitions, and the house removals was extended an invitation to address the conference. When this became known to the ‘higher ups’ Sainty’s invitation was unceremoniously cancelled.


          By their deeds you shall know them. (Mathew 7:16)

          • McFlock


            The state. Building tens of thousands of houses. Is not “neoliberal”. But it is “housing provided by the state”.

            • Colonial Viper

              Come now McFlock, in NZ a “State House” has a very particular meaning.

              Regardless, these Houses don’t appear like they will be built by the State, just ordered by the State.

              • McFlock

                Where does the money come from?

                Take your time.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Haha, love it, the “show me the money” line.

                  IMO asking the private sector to do (and profit from) something that the state could do better and cheaper, is neoliberal.

                  • McFlock

                    If that is truly your opinion of state-funded housing, you are using words bigger than you are. “Neoliberal” is exactly what Key is doing at the moment: not a fucking thing while the rich grab land and farm rents. Not giving a fuck. Housing is a private problem, so leaving it to private contracts and the markets to sort out. That is neoliberalism. And having the state build tends of thousands of new houses, directly or indirectly, is not and can never be “neoliberalism“.

                    Now, there is more than enough space to argue that Labour should retain ownership of the houses and do income-related rents, and/or create a new government body to build the houses directly. And these could well be valid criticisms. But to call it “neoliberalism” is a calumny worthy of what you attribute to your “ABC” crowd.

                    “Neoliberalism” really is a specific term, and throwing it around like confetti cheapens it. In other words, if Shearer is “neoliberal”, how would you describe Key’s economic policies?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Of course its a continuum McFlock. Is National more right wing and neoliberal than Labour. Certainly.

                      Is Labour more right wing and neoliberal than the Kirk government? Yes, by a country mile.

                    • McFlock

                      The point being that calling Shearer “neoliberal” is like calling Kirk a communist.

                      It’s disproportionate BS.

                      You want Labour to be like the days of Kirk? Never going to happen. Move on to a real left wing party, rather than flogging that horse.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      To add one point: I myself have never considered Shearer a neoliberal or called him such.

                    • McFlock

                      No, you just called the policy he announced at annual conference neoliberal. The flagship policy after a year of his leadership. You’ve suggested that the plan of caucus under his leadership is to “sleep walking to victory as a centrist neoliberal-light party“. But I don’t think you’ve actually called him a neoliberal.

                      Worthy of Cunliffe, that one.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      McFlock, I’ve already said that the political economic spectrum is a continuum.

                      Is Labour a neoliberal-light party, on this spectrum? It sure is. I’m pretty sure that Bill, DTB, Rhinocrates, Dave Brownz and a number of others might also agree.

                      But I don’t think Shearer is a neoliberal, because that would require having a strong personal political economic philosophy.

                      BTW I don’t think David Lange was a neoliberal either.

                      Worthy of Cunliffe, that one.

                      Owww shucks!

                    • McFlock

                      aaand he tars the dude with “neoliberal” policies, but then slides “unprincipled” over the top!

                      Butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth.

                      Fuck this for a game of soldiers – all I’ve seen is that you’re just as rabid as you reckon the ABCs are. I’m off to bed. And I’l check my alliance membership is still valid.

                      By the way, the EM spectrum is also a continuum, but that doesn’t mean is sane to call orange “violet-lite”.

            • Jenny

              But it is “housing provided by the state”.


              Built by private interests to be owned by private buyers, with government money.

              This is nowhere near the vision of the original state homes. Inalienable, long term secure state rentals of good condition rented out at no more than 25% of the tenants’ income.

              A liberal policy? possibly

              Neo or new? unfortunately not.

              It was a National government in a deliberate break with the original vision that first started selling off state houses to private individuals with the means to buy them. Now most of these are private rentals with exorbitant rents. For most of the people for whom these houses were originally built the rent of these ex-state houses is unaffordably high often taking more than half their income in rent.

              • McFlock

                By their deeds I might know them, but your passive-aggressive failure to make a clear assertion is no help either way.
                Thanks for the potted history, but frankly in this market I don’t give a damn is the affordable housing is affordable rents or affordable individual home ownership. The key word is affordable.
                And the last few years demonstrates that ownership is more secure than relying on the state to keep its rental contract. 

            • just saying

              See Puddleglum’s comment on the thread about the housing policy.

              Which is the most recent comment on the Kiwbuild vs what? thread. cant link

      • Inventory2 59.1.2

        Oh really; what about all the posts here on The Standard endorsing Cunliffe and suggesting that Shearer was history?

        You must have been reading selectively CV…

        • lprent

          You mean the posts from Eddie and Irish? I guess that you missed the posts from r0b and Mike supporting Shearer? Or mine or Zet’s on how we view the labour caucus? or the many authors who didn’t publish posts on topic because they are not that interested. Or authors
          Like Bill and QoT who gave their views from outside of Labour. This all within the last 10 days.

          There is a range of opinion on this site because there are a range of authors each of whom speak in their own voice. We encourage intelligent argued disagreement. We just constrain behaviour.

          If you like being simple then carry on reading selectively to support that simplicity. But accusing someone else of it when they are not whilst doing it yourself really does seem hypocritical..

          • RedLogix

            We encourage intelligent argued disagreement. We just constrain behaviour.

            And I’ll accept that because this is a left-wing blog there is some degree of bias in what is considered ‘acceptable behaviour’. The majority of people reading The Standard are here because they hold a left-wing view of the world and there is no point in allowing commenters to constantly offend them with repeated and various forms of trolling.

            But nonetheless there have been many, many right-wing commenters who’ve happily thrived with us for years; all they had to do was learn to add value and not piss people off.

            • lprent

              Well it is a left wing blog with left wing moderators. We will tend to put up with repitition and sloganeering from the left far more than we will from the right. But really the main way to do is not bore the moderators, who after all have to read a *lot* of comments. Actually argue your case and engage with the people who disagree with you and there usually isn’t a problem. Then eventually agree to disagree. Trying to do fire and forget spin just irritates us because it doesn’t do anything for the debate or the site.

              But I have to say that the moderators are usually pretty good and the commentators are steadily getting better at the task. I think we had 2 or 3 people pick up bans yesterday and I think they were all newbies, mostly for astroturfing. But this was on a day when comments and reads were going through the roof. Was the largest single day bans we have had for years.

          • Inventory2

            I was just commenting on CV seemingly not having seen the posts here which most of the MSM have. Nothing sinister was intended (or even implied, I hope)!

            Anyway lprent; all that MSM attention should have done your traffic no harm at all this week 😀

  59. Tim 60

    un-fcuking-believable! after just watching Nightline. I refrained from participating in MSM crap the entire day until now. Cunliffe has been demoted because of a Paddy Gower muppet set-up.
    One can admit that Cunliffe is ambititous and has aspirations BUT he has at all times been publicly loyal to “his leader” (bow down, face Mecca and pray).
    Well there goes a lifetime of Labour support with apologies to whoever that regular contributor to this site is that harps on about how we need the likes of your support. NO LONGER. And with it, there goes about 15 of voting age by my calculations- probably more.
    How fcuking naiive (alternatively self-interested) ARE these [email protected]#$%^&*() Quite obviously more than we’d anticipated.
    AND they’ve had all the sage advice in the world, including Mike-whatshisname, BroiNedwards and KrusTrotta. It’s obvious they’re not into it. As I said, there’s now an extended family of at least 15 at voting age that isn;t going to go near an insipid little prick called Chris Hipkis we now think of as Hiss Kripkins, a bovver boy Mallard who half a dozen in this whanau want to totally demolish and who have the means to do so, a Matron from somewerein Hataitai (she’s probably spent too much time with Paul Henry – her protoge’s best fren), plus a Grunt – who AT LEAST was gong to get an electorate vote (no longer – not ever – not no way, nor half a dozen friends).
    What spectacular fcuking stupidity!

    • lprent 60.1

      Think it through. Get effective. Join the Labour party. Eventually help select their candidates and vote for the leader.

      • Colonial Viper 60.1.1

        Exactly. Tim. It is doubly important to take lprent’s suggestion where you are.

        The issue is a moral and philosophical one, yes. But the fight is political and it has to be effective. And that means joining the Labour Party where you are, and getting others to as well.

        • xtasy

          NO hope there anymore. By joining the sick you will likely get sick also. So choose the healthy and start and join a NEW left party, more encompassing and appealing.

          • AmaKiwi

            I am making calls, sending emails, to take back the party. It begins with the Feb. confidence vote. If Shearer wants to democratize the party, as he claims, he should WANT a membership vote to confirm his popular leadership.

            I intend to hold him to that. Get off your keyboard and act now. Pressure Labour MPs to hold a 40/40/20 popular leadership vote in Feb. Without it, Shearer is a product of caucus backroom deals. With it, he can genuinely claim to be the elected popular leader of the party.

            NOW is the time to act!

            • xtasy

              Good on you AmaKiwi, but I have given up hope long ago. Labour is a sell out party, and despite of all promises, the ones in caucus, they do NOT serve the members and voters anymore. I wish you good luck and really wish you would succeed, but I cannot see it happen.

  60. michael 61

    Caucus = 1 Grassroots = 0. Until February 2013, anyway.

  61. vto 62

    Never in the history of blogs has so little been said so much about so little.

    Fucking hell, what on earth are we on earth for?

  62. Jenny 63

    An interesting thing. At work today it was the talk of the factory. Everyone is interested in the outcome of this struggle. Though most don’t know the ins and outs. Most feel in their bones that the outcome will affect them directly in some way.

    Some are for Shearer some are for Cunliffe most don’t have an opinion either way but are willing to be convinced.

    Even the National elections didn’t grab the imagination of the workers at my workplace like this unfolding drama has. Opinion is not sharply divided, but every body is talking, most want to know more. I have not seen a shop floor interest in politics like this before.

    “It’s the sound of ideologies clashing”

    Billy Bragg


    • Colonial Viper 63.1


    • AmaKiwi 63.2

      Jenny, I’d love to hear your follow-up tomorrow.

      • Jenny 63.2.1

        It may have been a one day thing. Who knows? Have any others had similar experiences at work to day?

        • Colonial Viper

          I have had a lot of Tory and Labour friends ask me, WTF is really going on.

          They know intuitively that what they are seeing in the MSM is only a small part of the reality.

        • Jenny

          I can tell you that most of the workers are Labour voters but not Labour members. The only definite Labour Party member is the delegate. Who has personal family links to the Shearer camp. He is quite distressed by the turn of events.

  63. Frederick 64

    GS is correct, National won the New Lynn party vote in 2011,

    National 13,211. Labour 12,462.

    If Cunliffe resigned then it is probable labour would win a by-election but no absolute certainty.

    • AmaKiwi 64.1

      There are a lot of expensive properties in Titirangi, Laingholm, near the water in Blockhouse Bay and Green Bay, etc. Frederick, I’ll bet you $50 National will take it off Labour if Cunliffe quits. (Warning Frederick: I only bet when the odds are at least 3 to 1 in my favour.)

  64. Frederick 65

    AmaKiwi you may well be correct as giving it more thought there probably would be an anti-labour backlash from the electorate so National would have a distinct chance of winning.

    Therefore given this I won’t take up your kind offer and will continue to confine my bets to backing slow horses.

  65. Pete 66

    Once upon a time there was a hare who, boasting how he could run faster than anyone else, was forever teasing tortoise for its slowness. Then one day, the irate tortoise answered back: “Who do you think you are? There’s no denying you’re swift, but even you can be beaten!” The hare squealed with laughter.

    “Beaten in a race? By whom? Not you, surely! I bet there’s nobody in the world that can win against me, I’m so speedy. Now, why don’t you try?”

    Annoyed by such bragging, the tortoise accepted the challenge. A course was planned, and the next day at dawn they stood at the starting line. The hare yawned sleepily as the meek tortoise trudged slowly off. When the hare saw how painfully slow his rival was, he decided, half asleep on his feet, to have a quick nap. “Take your time!” he said. “I’ll have forty winks and catch up with you in a minute.”

    The hare woke with a start from a fitful sleep and gazed round, looking for the tortoise. But the creature was only a short distance away, having barely covered a third of the course. Breathing a sigh of relief, the hare decided he might as well have breakfast too, and off he went to munch some cabbages he had noticed in a nearby field. But the heavy meal and the hot sun made his eyelids droop. With a careless glance at the tortoise, now halfway along the course, he decided to have another snooze before flashing past the winning post. And smiling at the thought of the look on the tortoise’s face when it saw the hare speed by, he fell fast asleep and was soon snoring happily. The sun started to sink, below the horizon, and the tortoise, who had been plodding towards the winning post since morning, was scarcely a yard from the finish. At that very point, the hare woke with a jolt. He could see the tortoise a speck in the distance and away he dashed. He leapt and bounded at a great rate, his tongue lolling, and gasping for breath. Just a little more and he’d be first at the finish. But the hare’s last leap was just too late, for the tortoise had beaten him to the winning post. Poor hare! Tired and in disgrace, he slumped down beside the tortoise who was silently smiling at him.

    “Slowly does it every time!” he said.


    We’re not at the finish line just yet.

    • AmaKiwi 66.1

      The battle has just begun. Shearer used his ultimate weapon and it backfired!

      Freed of portfolio obligations, Cunliffe can travel the country explaining his version of Labour’s vision. You can’t discipline him for that because he will be careful not to contradict official policy. You also can’t discipline him for demonstrating he has a better command of fact, a vastly greater depth of thinking, and a superior speaking ability.

      Robertson/Shearer, you have no idea what you have unleashed!

    • Treetop 66.2

      A version of the three little pigs could be created, Robertson, Shearer and Cunliffe and Mallard as the wolf. Instead of a pot of boiling water, a cage for Mallard and Cunliffe could ring the animal ranger to take Mallard away to animal training school, to learn to be nice.

  66. Alanz 67

    I do not think the correct decision was made today. But I will sign up to join as a member of the Labour Party.

    • AmaKiwi 67.1

      Labour membership is for the calendar year. So be sure to indicate your membership is to begin on 1 January 2013. That will enable you to vote if/when there is a postal ballot sent in Feb. 2013 to select the party leader.

      • Alanz 67.1.1

        I would be happy to sign up to be a member from today or say 1 December 2012.
        Is there a reason why I should ask for it to run from 1 January 2013?
        Maybe to avoid paying for two calendar years? But that is ok as I would be happy to support the new more democratised Labour Party.

  67. xtasy 68


    This was the day (yesterday), where you proved what you are all about. You are not one “leader” with the interest of Labour voters and NZers in general in mind, you have fallen for an agenda, the agenda of keeping power, for your self serving interests, and also, “co-incidentally” for those interests of the “economic” power players in NZ!

    Your position is NOT one for democracy and voices to be heard, it is rather one to dominate and to numb the opposition and criticism within your party. You are not “open”, “fair” and democratic at all, you are like a weak leader needing to “dictate”.

    I kept a bit of respect for you until two days ago, that has now gone, for sure.

    You are not a person to be trusted and you have with your contempt for the less fortunate beneficiaries clearly shown your bias against them. You are not the nice guy at all, you are rather attempting to become “media savvy” now, which is not what real people want and need.

    For me Labour is a party NEVER to vote for again, and I did vote for your party once. I am going to vote Greens or Mana in future, ideally for an alternative party to the left of centre, with the interests of the less fortunate in mind, that may yet be created.

    Labour to me is now a REDUNDANT and DEAD party. Sorry, you have yourselves to hold responsible for this disastrous situation. Good bye for good!

    • AmaKiwi 68.1

      But renew your membership to begin 1 January 2013, so if there is a leadership vote you will get a postal ballot in Feb. 2013.

      WE can decide who the leader of the Labour party is in Feb. 2013.

      Pay your dues and be ready to vote.

      • rosy 68.1.1

        you will get a postal ballot in Feb. 2013.

        Is that postal ballot by snail mail or e-mail? Because I’m overseas snail mail means I probably wouldn’t get it in time if it’s snail mail.

        • xtasy

          rosy: If you are “overseas” and possibly in Australia or Europe – you are in a “better” place, as there things may happen. NOT here, this is a LOST place! Good luck, you seem to be smarter than most I meet every day here!

        • Craig Glen Eden

          Fax you ballot paper done.

  68. Martin Hector 69

    Gees Robertson is slippery, he was keeping quite far apart from Shearer in the pictures on TV last night.
    Talk about a try-hard manipulative deviant who dimwittedly thinks hes clever enough to not be noticed about his actions/behaviours aimed for his own personal gain.

  69. RedBaron 70

    I’m way outside the loop but I just don’t get it.

    Both Shearer and Cunliffe have seats so unless they decide to leave politics then both are going into the next election.

    Jones spews all over the media against party policy, Hipkins does the same about internal party stuff but nothing happens to either of them. Cunliffe says nothing but gets demoted.
    I can see why Helen tried so hard to keep internal party ructions behind closed doors.

    If both men go into the next election then there has to be some accomodation no matter who is the leader. The sooner this happens the better. It may be that Cunliffe is insensitive sometimes ( but I have no real knowledge of that) but I do see right out in the open a truckload of malice from the Shearer camp but not him personally. My advice- sort it out.
    I’m in a “two votes” electorate ( both my votes count part of creating the overhang) so I may have to go visit the MP for the first time ever!

    I’m not surprised Cunliffe wins handily in his richer electorate. His economics make a lot of sense to local business and businessmen who aren’t part of the multinationals.

  70. Olwyn 71

    I am away and not in a position to comment regularly, so I am probably just saying what 100 others have said, but feel the need to add my voice to the outrage. So this is what these disgraceful, self-serving caucus members do in the face of members voting for a say in the leadership: well, OK, but you can only choose between people we prescribe, and Cunliffe is not one of them. Do not let them goad you into lashing out David as this is what they want. What gives them the right to act like the inquisition? How the hell is someone disloyal for not knowing how they will vote in three months time. No, people like me are not going away. We are staying on until we can vote you out Shearer!

    • r0b 71.1

      I appreciate the passion Olwyn, but you have completely the wrong understanding of what the rules are, and what yesterday’s outcome does and doesn’t mean. Cunliffe is perfectly able to put himself forward as a potential leader in February, and it may indeed come to a membership vote then (though I do not think that is likely).

      • Colonial Viper 71.1.1

        There doesn’t really need to be any potential challengers on Feb, in my reckoning. Feb is a confidence vote centred on Shearer, not a competitive leadership vote between Shearer and anyone else.

        Those interested in contesting for the Leadership would only step forward AFTER such a vote did not pass 60% in caucus.

        Can you clarify if my understanding is correct?

        • r0b

          That is my understanding too, though I haven’t followed all the constitutional stuff in as much detail as I should, bit busy in the real world just now.

        • AmaKiwi

          Yes. That is correct.

          After the present leader “What’s His Name” fails to get the 60% + 1, every man and her dog can throw their hat in the ring.

          It could be a four or five way contest.

    • AmaKiwi 71.2

      You can vote Shearer out this February, so be sure to renew your membership now.

      All Labour party memberships expire on Dec. 3.

      The Feb. 2013 membership vote will be a postal ballot so be sure your membership is renewed early. $20 or $5 unwaged.

    • Polish Pride 71.3

      It is unfortunately people like you that are destabilising for any organisation. Having sat back and watched this all unfold I believe that shearer is an excellent leader.
      I have seen the comments that say that he is easily manipulated. The reality is that he is the type of leader that understands that what others have to say and their ideas are important. He will listen to them, take onboard the ideas that resonate and reject those that don’t.

      After the last election what the Labour party needed to do was redefine and reshape their policy offering so that they have strong and robust policies going into the next election. Policies that resonate with voters.This in my view has been going on but it has unfortunately been at the same time as this BS about Shearers ability as a leader.

      The simple fact of the matter is that if Labour and the left do not win the next election, it will not be because of Shearers ineffectiveness as a it will be because of people like yourself that have their own agenda.

      A leader like Shearer will listen to people, he will try and bring others to the table and be patient with those that do not see eye to eye with him. But he will do exactly what he has just done when people continue to be a destabilising influence on the organisation. At that point he will move swiftly and decisively as he just has and as any good leader would faced with the same situation.

      That said I am in the camp of waiting for the whole sorry mess to implode in on itself so that we can move from elected dictatorship to a true democracy of the people by the people and for the people.

      • Galenadra 71.3.1

        And he really knows how to communicate, espouses a modern post-neo-liberal brand of socialism and has huge political nous. What a great pruning job he’s done on caucus. All those dried twigs on the bonfire.
        I agree about all those ‘destabilisers’ who have their own agenda. Nasty buggers, many wouldn’t even turn out and vote last time. If only they could understand the brilliance of the Pagani-Mallard strategy, stop whinging about representative democracy, and support your sock-puppet.

      • Richard Christie 71.3.2

        I believe that shearer is an excellent leader….
        followed by a list of attributes..

        Well great, when can we expect Shearer to start exhibiting these attributes?

        The whole point is that Labour has been largely invisible since last election.

        • Colonial Viper


          [lprent: Caps. Damn I should dig out that RFC I found for Mike yesterday and post it. ]

      • Toa 71.3.3

        You’ve got it wrong. Labour will not win the election with Shearer because he is not the right leader for New Zealand. That is why we have to be active now in the interests of our country. Shearer and his cronies have an agenda out of touch with the membership of the party and that is another thing wrong with this picture

    • Chrissy 71.4

      No Olwyn, you summed it up: well said.

  71. Galenadra 72

    Immoderation???? !!!!

  72. Galenadra 73

    So immoderate, in fact, that I can’t get my own moniker right.

  73. Lez Howard 74

    I have always voted labour as the rank and file The Party Needs to stop the infighting it is more ammo for the Nats The Election is not that far away we need positivity and adhesion We lost the last election because we were disorganised Have we changed ? Will we not change and be defeated again’ I hope not

  74. AmaKiwi 75


    Labour Party membership: You must belong in the 2012 calendar year in order to vote if there is a leadership vote in Feb. 2013.

    Membership costs: $15 waged; $6.60 unwaged; $20 for your entire family (every family member gets 1 vote). Get forms from the secretary of your LEC or NZLP, Box 784, Wellington.

  75. Labour party is going thru what the republican party is going through in the USA.

    They’re in denial about how much they suck.

    Labour is being torn apart by the Helen Kelly’s in the party and the sensible labour party people.

    The big winners, Nz First and the Greens.

    • mike e 76.1

      Brett No doubt your salivating!
      But I can’t believe the naivety of senior experienced labour politicians .
      Bad publicity is good publicity Winston Peters is an expert at it !
      Are still focusing on the Leadership sulking away!
      Peters does sound bites that the interviewers don’t get a chance to lead the story!
      I E Thats all very well but the National govts handling of the economy has lead to the highest unemployment rates in decades!
      with 400,000 unemployed or under employed!
      That would be Peters answer.
      Shearer and Robertson are still letting the media dictate!
      Less is more only give them the message you want the Public ie voters to here!
      If Shearer doesn’t want another challenge in February he has to get his shit together look confident and get labours policy out there!
      The Business Round tables bullshit investigating into labours housing policy would be a start for shearer!
      He needs to get stuck into this right wing propaganda machine now . This mornings morning report
      was a farce the BRT said it was infeasible but had no clues they just spouted a whole lot of ho hums!
      Yet Don Brashes productivity commission Put forward Ideas that labour are running with Ironic that!
      Don’t look back get on with it don’t even talk about the leadership .Just reply with your initiatives

  76. max 77

    Seriously. Stop fighting get your shit together behind the leader and go after National. Do you think the res tof NZ thinks this is a vote winning idea? No.

    • SouthDeeznutz 77.1

      Well, at the moment, it appears that a sizable portion of the public thinks Shearer doesn’t have any ‘vote winning ideas’ either.

    • Toa 77.2

      The problem is, the current leader is not the right leader for New Zealand and is like a Key Clone. If we are to make a difference we have to cede the party to the next generation and shift left at least a little. We are fighting for the future of New Zealand, under Shearer it will be more of the same.

  77. Folks – please be reminded that this is a MINORITY National Government with 59 out of 121 MPs.

    As you know – this MINORITY National Government has been dependent on the votes of John Banks (ACT) and Peter Dunne (United Future) in order to pass legislation where they do not have the support of the Maori Party.

    Such as the Mixed Ownership Model Act – which was passed 61 -60.

    Are you all FULLY AWARE that on Tuesday 11 December 2012, John Banks will be appearing in the Wellington District Court, to face  private prosecutions brought by Mr Graham McCready, alleging electoral fraud, and charges relating to Mr Banks’ role at investment company Huljich Wealth Management before he became an Act MP?

    “NZ Herald – News digest Tuesday 20 November 2012

    Banks faces more counts

    Act leader John Banks is facing two fresh charges in a private prosecution brought by political activist Graham McCready.  

    The charges relate to Mr Banks’ role at investment company Huljich Wealth Management before he became an Act MP. ”

    Graham McCready has stated that the Deputy Registrar confirmed she would set them down for Banks to be summonsed to appear on these two with the Local Elections Act charge on 11 December 2012 at 1:45.
    ‘The Court will ensure the Police serve all three summonses.’

    Graham McCready will be filling the same Securities Act Informations against against Don Brash on Wednesday 29 November 2012 (in the Auckland District Court).

    Copies of the written submissions by Informant ‘In Support of the Informations and of Issuing a Summons on the Proposed Charges’ including the Wellington District Court stamped front cover of written submissions dated 19 November 2012 –  can be downloaded from http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    What if John Banks is found guilty?
    Will he then be forced to resign from Parliament as an MP?
    Arguably, National would win a by-election in Epsom – but would there be a time period from the resignation of John Banks from Parliament, (if he is convicted of any of the above-mentioned alleged offences),  to the election of a new MP for Epsom, that would leave a potential 60 – 60 voting scenario in the House?
    Would that then potentially be SNAP ELECTION time?
    Could Labour MPs and supporters PLEASE put your minds to these questions?

    This National/ACT Government is VERY vulnerable on issues of ‘white collar’ crime, corruption and ‘corporate welfare’…………..

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
    • Martha 78.1

      That is very good and interesting information. What you say is highly probable. Banks will take down two stupid parties all at once : ACT and NATS! Nice!

  78. Andrew Mahon 79

    People who say ‘stop fighting and get your shit together’ have no idea just what it means to have an electrifying leader. Cunliffe is one, Shearer is unanimously seen as not. A brilliant eloquent true social democratic believer as Prime Minister would inspire the whole western world to re enact the policies that used to work. You couldn’t get more contrast between Shearer and Cunliffe in terms of which politician possesses both belief and charisma and which one does not. It’s not just a detail.
    Have we forgotten what it means to have democratic leader? A Willy Brandt? A JFK? What cynics we are now!

    • Judge Holden 79.1

      No he isn’t electrifying (FFS). If he was that great he’d be able to convince the caucus he should be driving the bus. I don’t understand why you guys are so obsessed with him. If he’s as good as you say why can’t he play with the rest of the team and start tearing into the kleptocrats on the treasury benches? Is he holding back?

      Seriously, you guys want the Nats to keep winning don’t you?

    • Toa 79.2

      Right on!

  79. Saarbo 80

    Just watched the Bumbler on TV3 news stuffing up the costings on the NEW housing initiative. Unbelievable.

  80. AmaKiwi 81

    I have been blogging continuously since 5 pm yesterday . . . 30 hours! There have been dashes to the toilet and some sprints between the freezer and the microwave.

    I just found a letter my wife wrote me this morning. She thinks I need to get a life and since I haven’t, she’s left me and taken the dog with her.

    Damn! I’m gonna miss that dog.

  81. Peter Jackson should buy the movie rights to this thread.
    A four part marathon, 3 hours each.

  82. A question. With the leadership vote in February. My understanding is that it will only go out to the members and unions to participate if Shearer fails to get the 60% caucus vote. Is that correct?
    If it is correct then the decision to publicly humiliate Cunliffe this week makes complete sense.
    If he is not in the frame then Shearer only has to worry about Robertson.

    • MikeD 83.1

      Yep, you’ve nailed it, that’s exactly what this is about – destroying Cunliffe’s reputation to knock him out of contention for February.

  83. Antony Cotton 84

    Now that Shearer has dominated Cunliffe to the Backbench. I will vote National in 2014 I am Labour Supporter not anymore I always voted Labour but not next Election People like Mallard Goff and King are running the show behind the scenes and Shearer is weak. Only way Labour is to learn by thrashed big time in 2014.

    • McFlock 84.1

      Two points:
      if Labour got their shit together by being thrashed, they would have won in 2011; and
      voting National to spite labour is like drinking petrol because Emerson’s Brewery was sold to a generic conglomerate. Yes, it’s sad, but don’t be a dick over it.

  84. MQ 85

    What a person like Cunliffe has done is put himself above the good of the Labour movement. Back in the days such treachery would have been handled that in a physical way. Today we handle it by sending the man to the backbenches.
    personally i dont care who is right and wrong i belive non of them are good enough for my party and my movement but I do know that undermining the party and the leader that is equal to treason and Cunliffe should never ever be allowed any position in labour whatsoever.
    He will be responsible for three more year of national and that in itself means he should banished for life.

    We never ever question or undermind our commander because that costs us votes, thousands of votes and those that care about Labour and not just their own career are more concerned with votes than their own position in the party. Cunliffe obviously doesnt care about the votes we will get in the next election and thus shouldnt be part of Labour.
    Simple as.

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