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Nats throwing the kitchen sink at Cunliffe

Written By: - Date published: 12:11 pm, December 9th, 2011 - 89 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david shearer - Tags:

Nat masterminds Farrar and Slater are throwing it all into the anti-Cunliffe push. Farrar has a quote dredged up by the Nat research unit of Cunliffe in 2007 saying he doesn’t want to be PM because “it’s bastard of a job and I have a young family. I don’t think the two would go together.” “They must be older now” smirks Farrar. Yes, dumbarse. 7 years older by 2014.

The quiet, but rising, volume of desperation from the Nats in their attacks on Cunliffe and the way Farrar suddenly went from saying Shearer is a shoe-in to being ambivalent (easier to be on the right side of history that way) tells me that the Right’s campaign to make Shearer Labour’s leader has backfired badly.

For what it’s worth, I reckon Labour should ignore the bastards. Just select the guy who’s most likely to win the Treasury benches in 2014.

89 comments on “Nats throwing the kitchen sink at Cunliffe ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    At this point I’m mildy pro-Cunliffe.

    But I also think that if they choose Shearer, they’ll have an easier job of dropping him for Cunliffe later if he proves incapable, than they would of dropping Cunliffe for Shearer.

  2. Stan 2

    You mean Key

  3. ianmac 3

    Beware of bluff, and of double-bluff, or double-double bluff from Farrar. Better still ignore Farrar altogether!

  4. Curwen 4

    This is, to whit, the first time I’ve ever seen Cameron Slater referred to as a “mastermind”

    [lprent: I suspect that there is just a tad of irony in this post somewhere. But I am sure that Cameron will cut it out and add it to his private collection for later umm ‘perusal’. He does seem to have a fixation on trophies. Perhaps I have seen too much “Criminal Minds” recently. ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      That’s the joke: the right wing’s thirty-year descent into moronism has left them with the situation that Cameron Slater is an intellectual heavyweight.

      • RobertM 4.1.1

        Sexless, Olanzapine poisioning is a cause for celebration on the right.Anything more than 1930’s country music is too exciting for Nelson coutnry inbreds like Nick Smith and the rightly deceased Roger Kerr. Whale Oil fatness is clearly surrender to Olanzapine Poisioning and desexualisation.
        Whaleoil sobriety is so pathetic. Vote Rhianna. Cheers to this. Don’t let the bastards get you down. Vote Cunliffe.

      • Rodel 4.1.2

        Well put! I was trying to think of something to say but you said it all and very succinct.
        He even gets on TV occasionally . They must be hard up.

  5. Ewww…

    …saw the penguin on Backbenchers the other night and felt more than a little uneasy at Shearer buddying up to him.

  6. Tigger 6

    Cunliffe and Mahuta won me over on Wednesday night. This member thinks they’re most capable for the job. But great to have choice in the matter…unlike National who have no one except Key and he’s a puppet who doesn’t even want the job anymore…

    • Deadly_NZ 6.1

      But he can’t resign cos who’d take over??? Joyce, Naaa English, HAHAHA Bennett, HAHHAHAHAHAHA Smith, Burp the rest ?? yeah right. People voted for the John Key Party and now John Key’s bored and wants out. Oh the Irony of it

      • Maui 6.1.1

        I agree. The misery of it all, poor John. Where is that Kleenex box of tissues .. ? A tragic figure.

        You spend your life accumulating loot, then return home to a well-earned retirement where you get sucked in by Jenny Shipley to bolster the wobbly fortunes of the local conservative party.
        You win an election. Then another .. and you end up facing a global economic crisis which challenges your north american perspectives and training. The economic nostrums from the 2000’s don’t seem to work any more.

        You start looking for an exit strategy .. but the party won’t let you go. They are gaving a good time, they are onto a winner. The rich are getting richer and the poor are writing blogs .. which keeps everyboy happy. Your people surf those blogs for ideas, and keep an eye on the opposition.

        You start contemplating an exit strategy. Perhaps a graceful retirement half-way through the next term ? But the crisis intensifies and the shine comes off your leadership. You cannot pull off another World Cup. There is a new, young, agressive Labour leadership starting to score points with the public, one which connects with the burgeoning, semi-criminal, young unemployed for whom global depression has cut off *their* exits. Tertiary education is increasingly a privilege for the rich.

        You start reading Aristotle on eudaimonia. You contemplate happiness, and the life you would like to live. A tropical island, a duplex in Vienna ? Intolerance is growing in Europe however as hardship and old patterns reassert themselves. Not a good move.

        You decide to stay in Aotearoa. But it is a small place, people have long memories, and earth tremors seem to be heading towards the volcanic zones.

        You wait for the right moment to make your run .. but who is that looming in the distance ? The well-fed figures of Farrar and Joyce ..

  7. I agree.  Although interestingly Slater appears to have gone colder on Shearer ever since Parker pulled out on December 1.  Before then Slater thought that Shearer was performing very well. It could be that he realised that his overt support for Shearer was having an adverse effect on lefties.
    Certainly they do not want Cunliffe to be leader.

  8. If_you_see_Kay 8

    The only important thing at this stage is to make all such information fully known and explained to those Labour MPs who will be voting on it (in a shamefully undemocratic process I might add – talk about poachers appointing the gamekeeper).

    • Fieldwest 8.1

      Not only debate here, but also email your local MP — that’ll be a more effective way…

  9. queenstfarmer 9

    I hardly think that reporting Cunliffe’s own words, verbatim, constitutes a desparate “anti-Cunliffe push” and “throwing the kitchen sink”. It’s simply a useful tidbit of information to know, for those who care about such things.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Useful in what way?

      • queenstfarmer 9.1.1

        I don’t know. I am not one of those who cares about such things. But if I did, I expect that all background information on the leadership candidates – especially their own public comments directly on the job they are now seeking – would likely be of interest.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I don’t know.

          Ah, so all you were doing was making a mindless brain-fart.

          …would likely be of interest.

          No, not really.

        • Ari

          How the fuck can something be useful if you don’t know how it’s useful?

          Most gormless post ever.

          • Colonial Viper

            It’s the usual right wing post modernism PR styled spin.

            You don’t actually say anything precisely or definitively (which you might be later held to), but infer just enough that the reader makes up their own mind in the direction you want.

            When you deconstruct it, as you have here, it all falls apart because there was nothing there to begin with.

    • Blighty 9.2

      It’s a quote, in print, not found online, that has been dug up by the National research unit (who else has the resources or the incentive) that has been published to make Cunliffe look like a liar who was hiding his ambitions. It’s a weak attack, sure, but it wasn’t easy for Nat/Farrar to get.

      • queenstfarmer 9.2.1

        Why does publishing Cunliffe’s own words makes him look like a liar?

        • felix

          It doesn’t. Blighty said it was published to make him look like a liar, not that it does any such thing.

          In much the same way, you troll here to disrupt threads…

        • mickysavage

          This is so trollish.  Take a statement, wait for many years until circumstances change, then dig it out and claim it is still relevant.

          QSF you are better than this aren’t you?

          Why do you think that DC did not contest the leadership in 2008? 

    • McFlock 9.3

      well, looking up what appears to be an off-the-cuff line that is probably no longer valid now (let alone in 2014) with ambiguous context is very much the equivalent of the kitchen sink – the last detail on top that demonstrates effort bordering on panic and a singular lack of perspective.

  10. Anthony 10

    It’s all been pretty desperate, so far:

    • He’s arrogant!!!!!
    • Should move to a low socio-economic suburb to prove something… I’m not quite sure what?
    • In 2007 he said he didn’t want the post election job because his kids were still young.
    • In a youtube video he is on message with Labour values
    • Helen Clark…mumble…mumble…Helen Clark…

    /straws clutched

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      Exactly- no one gives a shit who would be in their cabinet, which would normally fill pages of speculation.

      The only worry is that ‘their story’ is lapped by the opinion leaders on radio and TV.

      Watch some TV tool ask Cuniliffe ( if he wins) ‘Why did you say you didnt want to be PM?’

  11. randal 11

    the nashnil gubmint and their familiars dumbell slater and fatboy farrar are shit scared.
    they know they won the election but by the slimmest of margins and they know the election was rigged.
    when the worm turns they and their cohorts will be out on their asses and good riddance.

    • Vicky32 11.1

      when the worm turns they and their cohorts will be out on their asses and good riddance.

      And then there are the specials out tomorrow! Don’t lose hope…

  12. deemac 12

    some MSM comentators hedge their bets by saying the candidates are EITHER tainted by association with the past OR too inexperienced. Some candidates cleverly seem to be both!

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    Just select the guy who’s most likely to win the Treasury benches in 2014.

    Nah, let’s make winning the Treasury Benches a team effort and instead select the guy who is going to be a strong, outstanding, democratic Prime Minister for NZ over what is going to be a very tough term full of economic turmoil 2014-2017.

  14. the Right’s campaign to make Shearer Labour’s leader has backfired badly

    indeed it has 😆

  15. randal 15

    who gives a stuff about ipredict.
    just another bulshit bauble taking peoples minds off the reall issues which are pay rates, education and doctors bills.
    what the fuck does ipredict say about them?

  16. CWB 16

    Sure, Farrar is infuriating, but what else can we expect?

    What I want to know is when John Pagani is going to disclose [deleted] that he’ll likely be Labour’s Chief of Staff if Shearer’s bid succeeds.

    [lprent: I’ll let that through despite it being close to the edge. It isn’t a ‘fact’ however it is a persistent speculation especially around the beltway if my sources are correct. How much truth there is to it no-one seems to know. It is certainly possible. ]

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      I thought that ticket wasn’t promising positions to anyone before Tue 13th. Is that no longer true.

    • the sprout 16.2

      what a winning combo that’d be. were it the case, labour MPs in years to come could reminisce fondly of the ‘glory days’ when labour got 28% party vote.

    • The Voice of Reason 16.3

      Pagani helped his wife Josie wipe thousands of votes off the Tory majority in Rangitikei. It was the Nat’s third worst result on the night, as it happens. And I’m pretty sure taking votes of them is going to be pretty important in 3 years (or whenever the snap election comes).

  17. Labours whole leadership change process is flawed when there is so much public input in what should be an internal process. Any decision will now have to consider bizarre perceptions and fabrications that will have nothing to do with their actual potential as leaders.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      You can’t think much of the UK Labour leadership process, then.

      I’ll say one more thing – the position of Labour leader is not a learn on the job one. There is no time here to ‘get up to speed’ in terms of setting a Labour agenda and opposing Key, English and the National machine.

      • Dave Kennedy 17.1.1

        I agree that you can’t have an absolute novice in the role but National spent a great deal of time and money grooming Key into the image of something he isn’t. Key is not in reality a one man band, he has a myriad of minders and an amazing PR machine and it makes sense that Labour should also have strategized around the development of their next leader. Goff’s supposed failure as a leader should be blamed as equally on the party as on himself. It did not appear that he had good advice that supported his undoubted strengths and I feel sorry for whoever is chosen as his successor as they will begin on their back foot even before they have accepted the job.

      • Hami Shearlie 17.1.2

        Totally agree CV!

    • lprent 17.2

      The leadership change process is flawed and has been for quite some time. It has traditionally been done behind closed doors exclusively inside the caucus. Each time we lost a members simply because they got peeved with the process.

      I was not particularly for this bandwagon process at the start. I’m finding it of a lot more interest now simply because it is engaging Labour supporters to become members again so they can have a look at the candidates and make their own assessments.

      Sure we have the poodles of the right weighing in as well, but most people on the left know who they are. iPredict doing its usual insider trading with various people trying to move odds the way they want them (low liquidity markets are a usually a matter of market manipulations). And some friction amongst members and MP’s who weren’t old enough to go through the last rounds of fractional blood-letting in the early 90’s.

      But on a site like this where you’d expect everything to go to the boil, everything has been fairly restrained compared to where I thought it might wind up. There have been a hell of a lot of identifiably new unique people getting on here and probably at Red Alert and other left blogs. Many of them active members and many not recently.

      I think that alone is useful for the party which has some of the most sluggish communication channels of any organisation I’ve ever been involved in.

      The actual public input is pretty low because in the end 34 MP’s only are going to do the vote. But those MP’s will be having their local members and activists speaking to them, e-mailing and blogging etc… Mostly members are just enjoying having some input as far as I can see. And everyone apart from the media seems to be just ignoring Nationals poodles.

  18. felix 18

    Hoots was sounding desperate on RadioLive yesterday:

    “What’s happening here is that David Cunliffe is the Helen Clark candidate, there’s no doubt she’s running this from New York, her friend Chris Carter who’s currently working for the United Nations in Kabul, he is behind the new website ‘we want David Cunliffe’ that was launched, one of his – Chris Carter’s – closest friends was responsible for launching that website…”

    McCarten (incredulously): How do you know all this?

    Hoots: “Because I’ve talked to a very close, err, senior person in the Labour Party, um, on this, so what you’ve got is the Cunliffe candidate, sorry the Helen Clark candidate which is David Cunliffe…”

    McCarten (scoffing): “So what you’ve said is that it’s a friend of Chris Carter, and because he’s a friend of Helen Clark that Helen Clark is running it.”

    Hoots goes on to repeat this several times, really working hard to drive home all the possible links between Clark and Cunliffe like his contract depended on it. McCarten keeps asking him how he knows any of it and Hoots keeps saying it’s just true and that’s that.

    One of his funniest performances lately I must say.

    Audio here, go to Thursday 2pm, starts around 12 minutes in.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      What the hell do the Tories care? Hooten is acting like there is going to be an election in 12 months time.

    • ianmac 18.2

      Yes it is Hooton’s pattern to appear amiable then get stuck into his message by repeating it at least x3. He does the same Goebels trick on Nine to Noon but it usually signals a desperation is driving him. He is really a funny little chap. 🙂

      • the sprout 18.2.1

        that was funny.
        hooten was being faithful to goebbels for sure, but sounded like yet another sgt schultz whenever he was challenged 😆 

  19. randal 19

    felix. hoots always sounds desperate. he is a little man trying desperately hard to be a big one.
    ipredict he will be still be a mental midget in 10 years time.

  20. Funny.

    Labour chose to make this a public contest (good on them). They haven’t tried to limit any comment or opinion on it to 27.x % of voters.

    I’m sure most of the 28% of MPs making a decision next week will manage to filter out a bit of blog blarney.

    As lprent just said at 17.2 the benefits of this process are potentially far greater than some alternative views and conspiracy theories.

    It seems to have engaged party members at a time when they could have drifted off in frustration at the election result.

    Too much grizzling about things that don’t matter risks overshadowing the positives.

    • felix 20.1

      Who said anything about “limiting comment”, Pete?

      Or are you saying that because it’s a public process, anyone can comment but no-one can respond to those comments?

      Also on “blog blarney”: I assume you mean that because it’s on a website it’s not to be taken too seriously, or something along those lines. Is it still “blog blarney” when it’s printed in the Herald or broadcast on Radio NZ and Radio Live?

  21. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 21

    The problem is the stuff Labour people are throwing at Cunliffe. The old machine has put a new face forward: Shearer. They are already conceding the 2014 election!!! They have appealed to that Kiwi weakness: Tall Poppy Syndrome. Shearers puppet masters briefed the media with the arrogance line and got loads of help from the RWNJ faction. And sadly many of our own have been taken in by it.

    • js 21.1

      ALP – I don’t really think such comments help promote an image of the LP which is forward looking and inclusive. Could you be part of the problem?

      • Pete George 21.1.1

        I think it may illustrate a part of the problem.

        It’s possible to have different groups of people on the same side or in the same party with different ideas and preferences, but there’s a noticeable tendency here to try and explain opposing views as ‘taken in’ or part of a conspiracy, if not party of the ‘enemy’.

        As I think one or both the leadership candidates have said, politics should include an open contest of ideas – and people – which means resisting trying to bash down any difference in opinion.

        • mik e

          the one man band does’nt have that worry because when he goes the party will be gone

  22. I straight up don’t know what to make of the so called “VRWC” talking down Cunliffe and up Shearer. I am legitimately confused as to their strategy, assuming it is a strategy, of which I am not even sure. Is it that Shearer is the weaker candidate, so they want him? Or is it that he the more right-wing candidate, so they want him? I personally would have thought that neither candidate was particularly right or left wing, and in terms of strength, as I’ve stated on my own blog, I’m mildly pro-Cunliffe for the reasons most others who are, are. That said, I am also excited by the prospect of a Shearer-led Labour Party, assuming Shearer performs. So am in general looking forward to the next three years.

    PS. Should Shearer be elected leader next week, I think he’d be wise to appoint Cunliffe as his deputy, as Chris Trotter has suggested today. Cunliffe should definitely be in the tent, I find the whole idea of “ABC” insulting to the many labour party members and supporters who respect him.

    • Jake Quinn 22.1

      I suppose as a matter of comparison, if National were having a leadership contest, I’d be torn between advocating for the least competent (and most likely to lose an election) and the most liberal or progressive candidate.

      • mickysavage 22.1.1

        But you are much more principled than Farrar or the slithery one Jake.  At least you will weigh up the respective qualities of the candiates and measure them against thought through principles. 
        Slater just attacks anything that is on the left and is position is solely determined by what will do the most harm.
        Farrar is similiar but much more sophisticated and the attacks are always more subtle.
        Slater is like a bulldog and Farrar like a scorpion.

        • Hami Shearlie

          Agreed mickeysavage, and bulldogs may be stubborn but they’re not exactly bright! Farrar, I’m not sure what he reminds me of – oh wait, – a little english cartoon character from the 1970’s (I think) called Aubrey – Looks like Farrar -I’m glad you’re not calling Whale and Farrar poodles – poodles are beautiful and extremely intelligent – doesn’t sound like Slater and Farrar. Check out Aubrey on youtube, he’s the dead spit for Farrar!!

    • felix 22.2

      I don’t think it’s worth figuring out the motivations of the right-wing stirrers. They’re bound to be no good so best ignored.

  23. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 23

    JS, I work bloody hard to support Labour get into government to implement Labour policies.
    I’m very frustrated at the game I see being played against Cunliffe. And the flawed thinking behind the Shearer proposition.

    Shearer has two years of Parliamentary experience. To make him leader now is setting him up to fail. Whenever a politician is given an easy seat and promoted too quickly he invariably looses touch. Look at Rudd. Contrast Shearer with Phil Twyford: Twyord has a good “backstory” too, but he put in the hard yards on the streets, coaching on fund raising and campaigning, going through the mill a few times in selection meeting before finally securing a hard won seat. Twyford is now forged into a strong MP and more ready than Shearer for a leadership role.

    I don’t blame Shearer alone for this and I’m confident the party can heal after the decision is made.

  24. randal 24

    micky savage.
    slater is like a sausage roll and farrar is like a hot dog.
    both of then reheated several times until the goodness is gone but the fat remains.
    neither of them are any good.
    the only thing they care about is themselves and using politics to assert their psyches on anyone who gets in the way or just because they feel like it.
    in otherwords they are psychopaths.

  25. drongo 25

    What about when Cameron Slater was talking about how David Shearer after the election met with Matthew Hooton and a bunch of National Party supporters? He reckons they convinced him to stand. Some people are saying David Shearer’s really a right winger. Cameron Slater should’ve known that David Shearer would lose support if that got around, but he advertised the fact anyway. They’re talking about it on Brian Edwards’ blog. Talk about desperate bloody housewives…

    • Matthew Hooton 25.1

      Calm down with the conspiracy theory. All sorts of people came to my post-election party, from every party (except NZ First of course). Shearer was invited by Bomber Bradbuy I think, because he appeared on the iPredict TV show. It was nice that he dropped by.

  26. Molly Polly 26

    I too believe that Shearer is being set up to fail, unintentional as it maybe. I worry that he won’t be able to get off the blocks quick enough. We need a huge burst of energy to counterattack the appalling policies that are going to be pushed through by the Torys from the word go.

    From the meeting in Wellington and what I have seen and heard on television and radio, Cunliffe is the one who inspires me and gives me the confidence that he is rearing to go…and I can’t wait for this to happen!

    I am told that the old guard is in charge of Shearer and Robertson to the point that it is a Mallard ticket as Trevor is the person behind them working in his own interests and not the best interests of the country or the Party.

  27. Hilary 27

    Molly Polly – I don’t know David Shearer but I have seen a bit of Grant as he is the local MP, and he is not the sort of person to be manipulated by anyone.

    • Craig Glen Eden 27.1

      Wake up Hiliary, Shearer is not ready I watched him closely in the Mount albert bye-election he was shit scared and out of his depth. Thank God the Nats stuck up Melissa Lee or else we could have lost Mt Albert. Shearer is a nice guy but he often looks like he is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome.

  28. red blooded 28

    Having been to a meeting last night, I’m confident that either man could lead the party ably. Shearer needs some media training, but is a reasonably articulate speaker with an engaging personality that comes through in a live setting much better than it has in the various interviews and shows I’ve seen him on. Cunliffe is clearly an incisive thinker, again is articulate and is lively and charming.

    I’m very keen to have a woman on the leadership team. Grant Robertson spoke well and would, I think, make a perfectly able deputy, but I want a woman’s voice to be heard in the top echelons of the party and a want a woman’s face to be seen representing it as a leader. It would also be great to break through the parade of pakeha. Having said that, Mahuta wasn’t at our meeting, so I can’t really judge her close-up.

    Shearer makes a lot of his backstory, and it would create resonance with voters, maybe helping to counter the ‘poor boy made good’ story that Key wears like a gold charm.

    Cunliffe is a great debater, and more ready to attack. Shearer says he wants to be able to get away from playing politics, and not necessarily dismiss anything put forward by National, but to endorse policies (or aspects of policy) that are in line with Labour values and put forward alternatives to others.

    The tide of opinion seems to be turning towards Shearer. Until last night, I thought this ridiculous. I’m still somewhat more impressed by Cunliffe, but less distressed by the idea of Shearer. If he does win, though, I think he would be well advised to either ask Cunliffe to serve as deputy (as Cullen did for Clarke) or to look for a woman. (I understand Mahuta has said that she is only interested in serving with Cunliffe.)

    • Colonial Viper 28.1

      Thanks for your report. Similar to the feedback I have been hearing from others at that meeting. Whomever you are backing could you consider emailing your local Dunedin MP to let them know your support.

  29. Sunny 29

    Was at the Dunedin meeting. whilst either man could lead the Labour Party, only one has a chance of winning the next election, which may be a lot sooner than 2014 and that man is David Cunliffe and surely that’s the whole point.

    It is cringe making listening to David Shearer pushing his ‘good back story’. Very un NZ approach. If this is the only string to his bow, and it seems as if it may be, it’s not enough. Far too easy to swift boat this candidate with smears and spin e.g. can’t you just see a tv crew, flack jacketed and helmeted, outside a luxury hotel in some wartorn country solemnly intoning that this is where David Shearer stayed while ‘saving starving children’ ( slow pan shot over another neighbourhood filled with shacks and skeletal babies) Forget the fact that this is the type of accomodation all aid workers have to live in, if they’re not Mother Theresa…it will sink him.

    And that’s just for starters.

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