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No time for experiments

Written By: - Date published: 3:04 pm, August 22nd, 2013 - 158 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, labour, leadership, Politics - Tags:

We all knew David Shearer was a good guy and he’s just proved how good – and noble – a man he is by resigning rather than forcing a messy and protracted leadership coup.

Let’s hope that caucus, Labour members and the affiliates will be as clear headed. Now is not the time for another political experiment. John Key’s on top of his game and Labour desperately needs a leader that can hold his own against him. Only David Cunliffe has the experience, passion and charisma to go head to head with Key….and win.  And the last 10 months on the back benches have given him a dose of humility – a welcome quality in any leader.

Labour Party members will now, for the first time, get to vote for the leader of their choice.   With just over a year till the next general election we don’t have time for  training wheels.

158 comments on “No time for experiments”

    • Saarbo 1.1

      Cunliffe as Leader, Parker as Deputy. Now I’m not a betting person, but if I was, I would put money on this combination beating Key/English in next years election. National would shit themselves if Labour chose this combo.

      Finance and Economics is still seen as the main issue by most polls.

  1. BM 2

    Don’t think Grant Robertson would agree with this.
    I except H1 to come out in support of Robertson.

    Still think Little will be selected.

    Edit: oops always thought he was Robinson

  2. One Anonymous Knucklehead 3

    I agree with this, to a point. I don’t think the sky will fall if Cunliffe is not returned as Labour leader, and I suspect there are others who could do a good job. Just not as good.

    • lprent 3.1

      …I suspect there are others who could do a good job. Just not as good.

      Exactly. However I have little confidence that the caucus will use that as a criteria. They really don’t seem to be that concerned with competently winning elections amongst the public – more concerned with their own internal squabbling.

      If they did put in Cunliffe, then they need to stick someone in who he has confidence in (ie probably not Robertson) who focuses on getting the damn caucus to work together. Personally I think a salutary bannings expulsion for the first MP detected in playing stupid factional politics.

      I’d be happy to pick the example candidate…

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1

        If the loss of their privacy doesn’t focus their attention I’m not sure what else will work.

      • geoff 3.1.2

        There wont be much of a reward for any caucus member who attempts a coup against a leader who is popular with the membership.
        I think the fears of future internal ructions have been (understandably) overstated.

  3. Outofbed 4

    Grant is the person who lead the Labour party to third place in Wellington Central

    • Hayden 4.1

      He won his seat, and at least two people party-voted Green while voting for Robertson. You know, strategically.

    • Mary 4.2

      If Robertson doesn’t become leader then he’ll spend all his time trying to undermine the person who does become leader – just like back in the student union days.

  4. Winston Smith 5

    If I was advising Cunliffe I’d say no to the job and wait until after the election, whoever takes the job now will lose the next election so its better for Cunliffe to wait

    • Hayden 5.1

      Yeah, there’s no way the National/ACT/United coalition can win one seat fewer than last election. 🙄

    • weka 5.2

      “If I was advising Cunliffe I’d say no to the job and wait until after the election, whoever takes the job now will lose the next election so its better for Cunliffe to wait”

      If this was about Cunliffe’s career you might have a point. But seeing as how it’s not…

      • Luka 5.2.1

        This is Cunliffe’s one and shining time to take action and actually get the backing of the member’s vote. He is the people’s choice. That little bitch Robertson will run away crying once he get’s found out how ineffective the little nonse is.

    • paul andersen 5.3

      why arent you banned for trawling?

      [lprent: Because he doesn’t fit the moderating criteria. You on the other hand are starting to fit it.

      Please read my previous note. Adding you to auto-moderation until I can see that you have done so. ]

      • paul andersen 5.3.1

        in that case ban me,,,,,, please

        [lprent: Good – you’ve read the warning and hopefully the policy. We ban on behaviour, not intentions. When you misbehave….

        Removing the auto-mod. ]

    • Paul 5.4

      Don’t think Cunliffe will be asking for your advice.
      Why don’t you give Banks some help? He needs it and shares many of your values.

    • Mary 5.5

      Sorry buddy, the only person Labour will be taking advice from is Matthew Hooton.

    • jamiep 5.6

      Great Winless, I like it when you say the times not right, because it shows you when your afraid, keep it up, because I won’t support labour in the next election at the moment but if Cunliffes’ in charge I probably will. Clean up the mess you’ve made behind you, thinking about a left wing coalition voted in a years time, Mr Smith

  5. McFlock 6

    If, with a national government like this, there is only one person in the entire caucus who can lead labour to forming the bulk of a left-wing government, then the situation is futile.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Could of told you that months ago, but you seemed to think Labour was right on track.

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        Nah, your position months ago was that cunliffe would create a new age of a left wing labour party and government.
        Things weren’t that bad, and won’t be that good.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Nah, that wasn’t my thinking at all – just that Cunliffe would be a better all round leader, be the ne guy able to land real hits on Key, and return the party closer to its core values instead of running from them. Nothing substantial that you’d be interested in.

    • tinfoilhat 6.2

      +1

      That’s why I vote Green.

    • Hayden 6.3

      Meh, how electable would National be without Key?

      • McFlock 6.3.1

        they’d get another corporate cut-out. Probably one who’s better at looking interested while he’s bullshitting.

        National’s leadership gift isn’t key himself, it’s their strategy – deflect all negatives onto ministers, keep key as clean as possible, and lie for slightly longer than the media attention span. A couple of natural disasters helped, too.

        • Hayden 6.3.1.1

          Okay, but out of the current line-up it’s hard to pick one who could win an election tomorrow, despite a disturbing number of individuals with a both a literal and figurative hard-on for Judith Collins.

          The corporate cut-out you describe would have to be parachuted into a safe seat like Key was, (and like Shearer was to some extent) for at least one election cycle.

          National’s leadership gift isn’t key himself, it’s their strategy – deflect all negatives onto ministers, keep key as clean as possible, and lie for slightly longer than the media attention span. A couple of natural disasters helped, too.

          Spot on there, IMO.

          • bad12 6.3.1.1.1

            i disagree with that, 5% of Nationals vote, in my opinion is singularly due to having that slippery little shyster as the front man for the National Party agenda,

            The 5% is in turn in my opinion singularly reliant upon the attitude to Him by the organs of the mass media who until recently have almost to a woman/man shown little inclination to question any aspect of His ‘leadership’…

          • Mary 6.3.1.1.2

            “…a disturbing number of individuals with a both a literal and figurative hard-on for Judith Collins.”

            Idiot.

      • Mary 6.3.2

        The real question is how electable would National be without Shearer as Labour leader?

    • weka 6.4

      “If, with a national government like this, there is only one person in the entire caucus who can lead labour to forming the bulk of a left-wing government, then the situation is futile.”

      Why? I would have thought futile would be if Labour had zero people capable of leading the party to win the next election.

      • McFlock 6.4.1

        because then the Leader needs to drag along forty or fifty hundredweight of underperformers into cabinet.

        • weka 6.4.1.1

          That doesn’t make any sense McFlock. Not every MP has to be party leadership material, but they can still be good MPs, or even Ministers. I agree it’s not good for a party to have only one good candidate for leaderhip, but I still fail how to see that situation would be futile.

          • McFlock 6.4.1.1.1

            Not every MP has to be party leadership material, but they can still be good MPs, or even Ministers.
            I’d suggest it lowers the probability somewhat – ministers need leadership skills, too.

            I agree it’s not good for a party to have only one good candidate for leaderhip, but I still fail how to see that situation would be futile.
            one good leader out of thirty or forty MPs?
            Nah. If that were the case then there are major problems with the party selection processes, and the PM (if they got that far) would have to be the inspiring front for everything (even if the ministers are good administrators). Which is an impossible task for mere mortals, the mistakes would stack up and the PM would lose their gloss quicker than dunnokeyo.

            • weka 6.4.1.1.1.1

              Of course Ministers need leadership skills. Reread what I wrote – I’m talking about the skills needed to lead the party. Not all Ministers need those skills, and certainly not all MPs.

              So again, how would only 1 useful candidate for leadership of Labour be futile?

              • McFlock

                Reread what I said.

                I’m not so sure that the skills needed to run a party are all that different from the skills needed to headline controversial legislation while running your department. In fact, I believe that there is a massive amount of crossover in skillsets there.

                If the leadership of a party requires a completely different set of skills to ministerial leadership, you would definitely be correct. But I think that at best it’s Granny Smiths vs Braeburns, not Granny Smith vs Valencia. They are different jobs, but the core basket of skills needed are largely the same.

                Let me put it this way:
                Leader Required skillset: ABCDEFGH
                Minister Required skillset: ABCDEFG

                Out of forty-odd people, if only one has A:H then from my position it’s likely that only a couple (if that many) have A:G.
                A couple might get up to F, but really the number of folk who can achieve competence would be quite low – and superleader needs to pick up the slack.

                The exception would be if there were a fundamental difference in the skill H from every other core leadership skill. But I can’t think of one that separates PM from Cabinet, other than “gets majority caucus support”. Which comes under “works well with difficult colleagues.

                • weka

                  “Reread what I said.”

                  Why exactly? (you didn’t say).

                  Here is what you said, that I responded to

                  “If, with a national government like this, there is only one person in the entire caucus who can lead labour to forming the bulk of a left-wing government, then the situation is futile.”

                  I’ve spent the following comments arguing that having only one party leader potential isn’t futile (it’s doable, as opposed to having none). You’ve tried to argue leadership in general.

                  In your fruit analogy, you are missing things like being able to lead caucus, the fact that younger, less experienced MPs might have party leadership skill in the future but not yet, being able to negotiate between caucus and coalition partners etc.

                  In fact you appear to be arguing that unless the Labour caucus is full of potential party leaders it will be useless at forming govt, because all the Ministers need just about the same skill set as the leader and each other. Bad luck for us all then I guess.

                  • McFlock

                    But many leadership skills are generic – reaching out to different people, inspiring people, planning strategies, administration, etc. What skills as PM are not needed as a minister, seriously?

                    The caucus doesn’t need to be full of brilliant prime ministers, but it needs depth.And we’re talking about opposing this government, not say a government as organised as Lab5. An average leader should be enough to get labour/left over the line. There’s your “not futile”.

                    But that’s not the finish line, roll credits, happy ending. It’s “the end of the beginning”. And that’s where the futility becomes evident, if the caucus pool is as shallow as is alleged in the post.

                    I would expect that at least 10% of any caucus could make an average party leader, and the opposite 10% would need there hands held to find their seats on the back bench. Normal distribution in between, so maybe 20% would be solid ministers off the bat**. So a core leadership group of 1/3 experienced and mentoring caucus members.

                    If you shift that curve to the right, so skewed towards incompetence, then if you only have 1 solid leader we also have a much smaller pool of ministers. So the government will be dragged down by having too many Tolleys and Brownlees. Or, the leader would need to step up personally for those portfolios with inadequate ministers, and get dragged down by the association with crap. And that doesn’t even mention swinging coalition partners not wanting to be in the splash zone.

                    Either way, little change is effected in the short term, and the government quickly disappears.

                    **percentage estimates may vary, as pulled from buttocks

                    • weka

                      “What skills as PM are not needed as a minister, seriously?”

                      I already said this: “In your fruit analogy, you are missing things like being able to lead caucus, the fact that younger, less experienced MPs might have party leadership skill in the future but not yet, being able to negotiate between caucus and coalition partners etc.”

                      And the OP said this: “Only David Cunliffe has the experience, passion and charisma to go head to head with Key….and win.”

                      You do get that I’m not suggesting that only 1 viable leader is optimal right? Just that it’s not futile.

                      “And that’s where the futility becomes evident, if the caucus pool is as shallow as is alleged in the post.”

                      The post doesn’t say anything about caucus.

                      Your analysis may be fine, but it doesn’t take into account the internal politics that have led to the current situation. You and I probably can’t argue this much further because I will need to talk about Shearer and the ABCs, and we already know that we will disagree on this.

                    • McFlock

                      being able to lead caucus,
                      A collection of skills like inspiring cooperation, problem solving, dealing with difficult people, and so on. All of which a minister needs.

                      the fact that younger, less experienced MPs might have party leadership skill in the future but not yet, being able to negotiate between caucus and coalition partners etc.
                      how is that a skill of the PM? And couldn’t ministers use that ability as well, anyway?

                      Only David Cunliffe has the experience, passion and charisma to go head to head with Key….and win.
                      Two points about that: fight to your strengths, not theirs. Secondly, that’s almost certainly bullshit.

                      The post doesn’t say anything about caucus.
                      It says that none of the rest of caucus can challenge key and win. Because only cunliffe is so super-awesome yadda yadda yadda.

                      Labour’s always had factions – any party does. They’re not usually so public. Anyway, I might not have internet access at home tonight, either. Involuntary weaning of my baud addiction 🙂

  6. Gotta be someone left wing, which counts Robertson out immediately.

    • oftenpuzzled 7.1

      What absolute tripe. You obviously do not know Grant Robertson at all. He is definitely not a right leaner and has never ever been so from the time he was President of OUSA to being vice-President and President of the national student Union, to now. Grant Robertson believes strongly in the greater good for all, he is honest and loyal and has supported David Shearer at all times as his deputy which is what the role demands. This does not make him a person leaning to the right!

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        If you could point to a speech of his advocating for left wing economic policies, I’d be much obliged. Ta in advance.

        • Ant 7.1.1.1

          He did advocate for limiting left wing economic policies 😀

        • Ben Clark 7.1.1.2

          You obviously weren’t at the North Shore LEC meeting Monday week ago.

          Grant doesn’t make speeches on the economy as much as others as he’s never been in the finance portfolios. But he’s definitely a fighter against wealth inequality. He didn’t join the party in the early 90s (when in student politics) because of Rogernomics, but in the late 90s saw it could become the place again to fight for worker’s rights… does that sound right wing to you?

          And to Virginia below – Grant uncomfortable dealing with the public – are you sure you haven’t mistaken him for someone else? He’s seriously comfortable talking to different folk. And I’ve never found him arrogant – not sure where you get that from either. All MPs have to have some serious self-confidence, particularly those heading to the top, but I’ve never found him dismissive of others or their views.

      • Not a PS Staffer 7.1.2

        When poor Shearer came out with his one good policy announcement, Power NZ, Grant Robertson immediately said that that was the last interventionist policy.

        Please, offenpuzzled, post a link or a refence to Robertson showing any left wing cojones.

    • Virginia Linton 7.2

      If you have seen Grant and how uncomfortable he is dealing with the public, and how arrogant he can be (Cunliffe doesn’t hold a candle to Robertson on that front) Labour will be heading further down if he’s the leader. The only hope for common sense is the party vote. And Shane Jones in any leadership role? Nail in the coffin.

      • Rhinocrates 7.2.1

        Indeed, Beltway Grant’s arrogance and condescension are legendary here. He’s a committee and backroom apparatchik, Labour’s Brezhnev. He was parachuted into the electorate, his office is directly across the road from a WINZ branch but he’s barely ever there to see the people across the street.

        • weizguy 7.2.1.1

          This is entirely opposite to my experience. I’ve worked with both of them, and Grant has always been friendly and approachable, Cunliffe less so. Only my experience, but I don’t recognise these particular characterisations.

          And Grant parachuted in? Clearly you weren’t present at any party meetings in the electorate.

          • bad12 7.2.1.1.1

            i havn’t seen much of David Cunliffe, but having met Grant Robertson in an entirely informal setting have found Him to have a pretty good sense of humor and for what it says, i annoint Him with the dubious honor of at least giving every appearance of being a good human being,

            Obviously, when i look at the pages of the standard, David Cunliffe is the favorite, dare i suggest that the Hatchet be buried and the power brokers in Labour get it right this time by getting Cunliffe and Robertson to stand on a Cunliffe/ Robertson ticket…

            • Akldnut 7.2.1.1.1.1

              +1 Good call – exactly what I was thinking, put the squabbles aside, unite the best of both worlds and advance – except for that arrogant Hippy, squash that little MOFO.

        • expatriot 7.2.1.2

          Again, in my experience Robertson is a very nice, personable guy. Also, as someone who used to walk down Willis Street every day on the way to work, isn’t the WINZ office on the same side of the road as his electorate office? [/pedantry]

  7. Anne 8

    And the last 10 months on the back benches have given him a dose of humility – a welcome quality in any leader.

    Well said Jenny Michie. He is the only person in my view who can take it to Key, but he did need to learn one or two things. I’m in no doubt he has learned them in full measure.

  8. James 9

    I thought Norman was going to be leader.. (snigger snigger).

    If I was a betting man – my money would be on Shane Jones. I think there are still too many games being played by the people in labour HQ.

    • lprent 9.1

      What decade are you living in? The 1970’s?

      There are no people at Labour HQ – that is one part of the problem. It has been down to maybe 7 or 8 people max in the last decade…

      Shane Jones is a hero in his own mind. Everyone I know in Labour thinks he is a more of a dickhead (literally). He’d be my first candidate for expulsion from the party because he only seems to represent Sealords.

      But I can see why you’d like him. Try a silicon based oil next time.

      • Peter 9.1.1

        Labour can barely afford to pay for its General Secretary, Tim Barnett, let alone anyone else. It was down to about three staff anyway before that.

        • Saarbo 9.1.1.1

          I bet funds really dried up after Shearer pissed the membership off post November’s conference.

          • the pigman 9.1.1.1.1

            I don’t think so. Lots of people renewed because they thought Shearer would do the decent thing and step down in February.

            He made us wait, but I’m glad to see all those renewals weren’t for nothing..

    • srylands 9.2

      “If I was a betting man – my money would be on Shane Jones.”

      I have $100 on Shane Jones on ipredict. I see the price has doubled in the last hour 🙂

      • bad12 9.2.1

        Stop outing yourself as a drooling idiot SSLands, you have in the past few weeks proven that to us all here at the Standard beyond a reasonable doubt,

        Birds of a feather, you know that like you Shane Jones is a wanker in at least one sense of the word possibly both, it’s odds on that He then meets you at least half way in being a master of sexual self fulfillment…

        • srylands 9.2.1.1

          “Stop outing yourself as a drooling idiot SSLands, you have in the past few weeks proven that to us all here at the Standard beyond a reasonable doubt,”

          Rude. But thats OK.

          • bad12 9.2.1.1.1

            No No SSLands, i am sure that if i was being rude to a shoe scraping like you LPrent would have been along by now to give at least one of my ears a slap,

            Believe me you aint seen anywhere near what i call rude…

          • Tracey 9.2.1.1.2

            would you accept “deluded”.

      • felix 9.2.2

        Only a shit-stirring right-winger looking for the next Shearer would suggest Jones.

        Doubly so if they pimp iPredict.

      • Skinny 9.2.3

        Hey Shrilly (Hooters) here is a certainty- Cunliffe & Parker as deputy. Flag buying power shares arse will really drop out once the A team gets confirmed. Go iwank that!

      • Tracey 9.2.4

        Hope you had a stop on that Srylands

        Price: $0.02 Probability: 1.7%

        $0.01 (66.34%)

        Highest Buy: $0.0015 Lowest Sell: $0.0168

        Must be nice to be comfortable enough to have a spare hundred bucks on top of your 1500 bucks a month on shares. Do you really not consider yourself well-off?

  9. weka 10

    This afternoon iPredict, the prediction website which allows traders to take bets on economic and political events said there was a 69 per cent chance that David Cunliffe would be the next leader of the Labour Party.

    Bryce Edwards, a political commentator who lectures at the University of Otago, tweeted that the “new Labour leadership will be Cunliffe (leader) and Robertson (deputy) – I understand it’s predetermined.”

    Cunliffe is widely believed to have the backing of Labour grassroots, while Robertson is likely to have significant support in the caucus.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9074568/Davis-Shearer-to-go

    • Hayden 10.1

      Davis Shearer? That’s just adding insult to injury, Stuff.

    • QoT 10.2

      Is it just me or is Edwards really showing a lack of basic knowledge of Labour’s processes? It’s a 40/40/20 caucus/members/affiliates split, right? So unless 84% of caucus and the affiliates have already sat down and agreed to Cunliffe/Robertson, it can’t be “predetermined”.

      He might think it’s the most likely outcome, but that’s a very different thing.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.2.1

        Perhaps 84% of caucus and affiliates have already done the deal. What makes you think that’s so unlikely?

        At least, I hope they’re serious enough about it to have had the conversation. Otherwise you may as well be Ned Stark in that throneroom, with Littlefinger to back you up.

        • QoT 10.2.1.1

          I mainly think it’s unlikely because Shearer’s resignation seems to have come as a surprise to people actually in the know (i.e. not the Slaters and Garners who are always coup-teasing about nothing). For the overwhelming majority of MPs and affiliates to have “done the deal” and not have it leak, at least until the very day it happened? Totally implausible to me.

          And that’s even assuming 84% of the caucus and affiliates agree on one particular lineup of candidates.

          I’m sure people will be having “the conversation” and have done already today. But an already-set-in-concrete conspiracy to specifically elect any lineup of Leader and Deputy? I don’t see it.

  10. Outofbed 11

    Its a done deal
    Cunliffe/Robertson
    edit: snap

  11. northshoredoc 12

    Trevor Mallard could see this as his last chance of becoming Prime Minister of this country – I am sorry folks if some of you puked….it is not intentional.

  12. Ad 13

    Quite right – so long as Cunliffe has a team around him that can unify the caucus, the affiliates, and the members. He doesn’t seem able on past experience to unify caucus by himself – so he’s going to need people who can pull across many of the recalcitrant others.

    The Secretary and President have proven to be as effective as tits on a bull. Labour are now bereft of funding. So there needs to be real change at the top of the party administration.

    The Leader’s Office should be immediately cleaned out from top to bottom. Fran Mold has so many catastrophic mistakes behind her in her short era that there needs to be a fresh and competent broom there.

    The caucus must be renewed and will only be renewed if the List is given a real dose of salts. So the task does fall to Cunliffe – should he win – to shoulder tap people who are attractive, popular, interesting, and not just ugly leftovers from the ABC’s successor-generating machine.

    The sickness has become so deep and set in for so long that it is going to take real and thorough cultural renewal at every level to get the party fired up, and talented enough, to truly change the media’s narrative about Labour right now.

    The best thing The Standard can do right now is encourage new membership to join up so that they have the right to vote in the Primary coming up.

  13. leftbutnotdeluded 14

    Perhaps Cunliffe could bring his LEC with him to sort caucus out ?

  14. bad12 15

    We are tho, no matter what happens in the next couple of months going to see just how popular with the Labour Party members David Cunliffe actually is,

    i have had the odd moan about the Party affiliation of most of those who have been loudly anti-Dave Shearer here at the Standard so an election under the untested Labour Party rules will tell us just how much support Dave Cunliffe has among the Party members,

    Hopefully for us political junkies the Labour Party sees fit to publish the results for all the candidates, of course in the event of a Cunliffe/Robertson ticket, my pick to gain the most support from the voters, a contest may not be necessary…

  15. Pete 16

    Just renewed my membership. Hopefully I’ll have a say.

  16. Lightly 17

    It was Cunliffe who first saw the Nats’ weakness on snapper. When was the last time someone made fisheries a national issue. He’s got the nose for it.

  17. Steve Bradley 18

    Thanks, David Shearer, for your high personal standards and your unselfish hard work. We still need you on that front bench and eventually in Cabinet. As Minister of Foreign Affairs you will do Aotearoa/New Zealand proud.

    I look forward to hearing and seeing David Cunliffe really take it to National and re-energising all those turned-off labour voters who failed to vote last time. He’s got all the rhetorical skills and that cheeky smile to get them out of their seats.

    Whoever we elect under the new rules deserves our full and united support until after the next General Election, whenever that is.

    • xtasy 18.1

      I dreamt of Shearer to show the decency to step down, he clung to the chair for too long, but today he got the message and acted in a dignified manner.

    • Olwyn 18.2

      I favour Cunliffe, but what I care about most of all is a clean, honest election of a leader, whoever that turns out to be. Jenny Mitchie is right – we do not have time for political experiments.

    • alwyn 18.3

      I have just got off the telephone after talking to the Pope.
      He said he had just been reading this blog and he thought that any politician who could attract comments like “he’s just proved how good – and noble- he is” and “your high personal standards and you unselfish hard work” must be a saint.
      He asked whether he should start David on the path to beatification.
      I told him there were a couple of problems. The first was fairly minor. Shearer, although politically dead and smelling likea rotten fish was physically still with us.
      The second, vastly more difficult to overcome, was that a couple of miracles were required and the only miracle that could be remotely attributed to him was that it had taken 18 months before he was rolled.

    • Martin 18.4

      “I look forward to hearing and seeing David Cunliffe really take it to National”
      like Prebble and Lange used to stick it to Muldoon.

      Key is long overdue for a good sticking in this fashion.

  18. xtasy 19

    David Shearer would make a great minister for education or tertiary education, for sure, so I hope he stays for that, but I have always seen him as not leadership material. It takes a bit of character and even a bull dog mentality to be a political leader in NZ, especially when you have to deal to one John Key. Now Key is going to get a fitting challenger, and I bet, it will be David Cunliffe, rather than Grant Robertson.

    Labour is about to refresh and revive, hopefully from within. These are very interesting times now!!!

    • chris73 19.1

      Don’t get your hopes up, the next leader will be what the caucus and unions want not what the membership may want

      • xtasy 19.1.1

        chris 73 I absolutely have faith in the members you suggested, and I struggle to believe to understand you.

        • chris73 19.1.1.1

          Cunliffe had the popular support of the members, Shearer had the support of caucus but do you remember which one became leader

          I’ll give you a hint: not the one the party membership wanted

      • geoff 19.1.2

        If the caucus and unions colluded to nullify the membership vote then that would be just about the last straw for the Labour party.

  19. Jenny 20

    Is that what happened to it? I wondered where it had gone. Oops disappeared again. Obviously the issues I raised are not to be discussed.

  20. Tigger 21

    I see Jones and Little are being touted by the press. The public will view them as Porn Watcher and Who? Little couldn’t even win New Plymouth last election. Really want to go with the guy who couldn’t beat Jonathan Young? Same with Jones, hasn’t actually won a seat. Why would the pubic vote for a leader who hasn’t proved their electability personally?

    I know and respect both these guys but Labour must not let itself be conned into these side battles. Same with Grant thinking he can ‘step up’. Grant, you can’t. Not now. Cunliffe is the only sensible option.

  21. logie97 22

    What a totally unnecessary situation the Labour caucus has got the party into.

    David Shearer should never have been parachuted into the position of party leader in the first place. If the man had earned his stripes under a different leadership this sorry state of affairs would not have been.

    He has a a future in the party and would make a valuable minister in any government.

  22. gobsmacked 23

    Leader: Cunliffe

    Deputy: Don’t care

    Exit 2014: Old guard of ABC.

    Election 2014: Labour 40%, Greens 10%, Winston gone. Left-leaning gov’t for two terms minimum.

    Looking good.

    • lurgee 23.1

      Can I have some of what you’re on?

      • gobsmacked 23.1.1

        Sure. Come back in a year! Seriously, I hope you do.

        Apart from the Winston prediction (too close to call) I’d be very confident about this.

        Labour policies consistently outpoll Labour. If the messenger can communicate the message (as Shearer never could) then the party vote will start to reflect that.

  23. xtasy 24

    Cunliffe, Cunliffe, Cunliffe, and it is overdue!

  24. Jenny 25

    And the issues are?

    Let us see, if we are allowed to discuss more than personalities?

    David Shearer has proven himself to be a conservative slow on the uptake on most issues that matter to the people who support Labour.

    Most notedly over the recent controversy over the GCSB bill, where he promised a “review” something Key and Dunne had already agreed to.

    For which I soundly and deservedly caned him.

    To his credit David Shearer, did upgrade this, to a call for an inquiry into the GCSB. But it was too Little too late.

    However the matter I most take issue with David Shearer is his policy of climate change ignoring. Where Key openly says that economic issues are more important than climate change. Shearer deliberately avoided the issue completely. Refusing to be drawn on issues like deep sea oil drilling or the mining of coal on the Denniston Plateau.

    The only conclusion that myself and most other people came to, was that a Shearer led administration would be little different to a Key led one.

    See how long this lasts.

    • Lanthanide 25.1

      “For which I soundly and deservedly caned him.”

      🙄

      • Colonial Viper 25.1.1

        Did you not notice Lanth? For a few months there Jenny was crucial in evaluating and directing Green Party policy performance. And now, she has turned her hand to doing the exact same thing for the Labour Party.

        The fact that she could join either party and get in there to do it for real must not have occurred yet.

  25. chris 26

    There is a dog after all…

    Time for Cunliffe to step up and pull the Labour Party and its members out of the doldrums.

    My pick is a Cunliffe/Parker team.

    • Skinny 26.1

      Cunliffe got the message the other week, he is smart enough to have sorted out any differences with Parker by now. With DC becoming Prime minister and all that entails, it opens up Parker as finance minister, who equally fits the mould. Economic development not ‘only’ in Christchurch & Auckland, but in the regions too wins the 2014 election. And I’m amongst it boots & all. I honestly think I’d cry if Key won another term, not for me but for 60% of our Nation who will get fucked over big-time with a ‘right nasty turn.’

  26. briddy gud 27

    ok – so this time Labour needs to take notice of who Farrar, Whaleoil and the National Party in general prefer as Labour leader and FFS choose the other one!

  27. red blooded 28

    I’d like to second the comments from Steve Bradley. David Shearer has given his best and was always in a difficult situation – pulled in mostly because his back-story was seen as a good contrast to JK’s and as representing strong Labour values. He took on a big job, and was clearly unready to do so. Having said that, there are plenty of people on this site and elsewhere who made the job much more difficult because they gave the press a stick to hit him with with constant speculation about division and possible challenges.

    I favoured Cunliffe at the time of the last leadership change and argued for him on this site. He is smart, hugely knowledgable, articulate and confident. I do think we have to ask why he has so few allies in caucus, though. Leadership is not all about being a good tactician and a good spokesperson.

    Interesting times… How about Cunliffe+Ardern? She’s not been around long, but she’s also a good spokesperson and they have been involved in different policy areas. She might be able to build some bridges for him in caucus. Plus, it would be good to have a male/female leadership team.

    • Skinny 28.1

      Get off the grass she is a tad too loony, believe me you wouldn’t want her as a deputy, mad snakes are too hard to handle!

      • Colonial Viper 28.1.1

        Adern is NOT it.

        Ensconced in the Wellington political bubble since a tween. NOT what the nation needs nor wants.

  28. lurgee 29

    I don’t think the Mallard idea is as ludicrous as it sounds. Well, maybe it ism but I think Annette King might emerge as a stop gap contender.

    Remember, all the supposed front runners and likely candidates are career politicians. They aren’t thinking about what is good for the Labour party, but for their own prospects. Cunliffe, Robertson, Little probably don’t relish the idea of taking on Key, even now. I think the ‘Big Beasts’ will be thinking about the 2014 leadership election, rather than the 2014 general election. King is familiar and have a bit of ‘elder statesperson’ gravitas. King / Cunliffe or King / Little might be viable tickets, with the #2 keeping a canny eye on his prospects for 2014.

    So it would be very funny if King managed to scrape some sort of a victory and so delayed the succession to 2016-7, by which time Jacinda might be a bit more seasoned.

    • alwyn 29.1

      Can you please tell me anyone in the current Labour caucus who isn’t a career politician?

      • Colonial Viper 29.1.1

        David Shearer.

        • alwyn 29.1.1.1

          Touche. You are right. He was a bit like Don Brash. He showed interest early but didn’t get into Parliament until after he had done something else successfully.

      • lurgee 29.1.2

        “Can you please tell me anyone in the current Labour caucus who isn’t a career politician?”

        None. That’s kind of the point. They are interested in their own success and longeivity, which is not quite thing as the success of the party.

    • chris 29.2

      King??? you have got to be kidding. Labour should have cut her adrift before the last election.

      • lurgee 29.2.1

        Oh, I wouldn’t support her, myself. I’m outlining what I think might hapen, which is utterly different from what I want to happen.

        Like I said, Cunliffe and the rest know 2014 will likely be a coin toss for them. Key’s still popular, and even if they do manage to topple him, it is likely to be a coalition, and they will note how popular that turned out to be in Britain (Yeah, I know there have been loads of coalitions in NZ, but how many where the major party has been a truly distant second?). They won’t want it, because they want the leadership when it means something – when they get to be Prime Minsiter, without a gaggle of eco-loons cluttering up the front bench. So they’ll hold off, assuming a dignified defeat in 2014 will open the way for a proper go in 2017.

        And King is the ideal candidate for leading the party for that spell, from the point of view of the leaders-in-waiting. She’s not going to want to stick around. She might have a glimmer of ambition to be remembered as a safe pair of hands in Clark’s government. And she’s got voter recognition, a bit of mana, and is capable enough to do a reasonable job on the stump.

        And of course, Key’s bully boy schtick might alienate a lot of voters when his gibes are aimed at a woman who could be claiming her pension.

        • weka 29.2.1.1

          I’m still trying to figure out if you are for real or another of today’s astroturfers.

          The GP aren’t going away. Whoever Labour chooses will have to find a way of working with them.

          • lurgee 29.2.1.1.1

            Click on my name-link to see my blog. It might be a shambollic and ill thought affair, but – as I never tire of reminding myself – its been running longer than The Standard (the online version, at any rate).

            I agree the Greens are not going to go away. That’s why I don’t think there is any point in Labour tacking leftwards. They’ll boost their numbers (hurrah) but only at the expense of the Greens (Boo!) but unless Labour can carry the centre, then it is just reallocating a minority of the vote.

            • weka 29.2.1.1.1.1

              Had looked at your blog. Can’t make you out, you’re just posting a lot of negative shit here that doesn’t make much sense. eg your comment about Labour going for the centre votes because otherwise it’s just cannibalising the GP vote (which doesn’t help the left). But most left wing commentators talk about the non-voters, and who is going to get them, and to what extent Labour has lost core support to there.

  29. Blue 30

    Yes, we have no time for experiments. But we didn’t last time either. Shearer’s resignation has come 20 months too late.

    It has been obvious to anyone with half a brain that he’s been a dead man walking for a very long time, and we were all waiting to see just how long this absurd charade could continue.

    We’re still left with the underlying problem – the Labour caucus are unfit for purpose, being unwilling or unable to identify the characteristics required in a party leader. Even if the membership is able to force some sense into them and elect Cunliffe, they will still play their stupid, petty little games as they have done for years and try to destablise him.

    I’d bet on Robertson, as a bastard compromise between what the caucus wants and what the members want. He’d probably be better than Shearer, but not by much.

  30. alwyn 31

    The next leader of the Labour party should be completely predictable.
    Does anyone remember the old joke of people who put down their academic qualifications in their CV as being “Failed BA Cornpone University”?
    The next leader of the Labour Party will follow Helen Clark, Phil Goff and David Shearer in having the distinction of being “Failed PhD, University of Auckland” (or AUT for David).
    Who else in the caucus qualifies? He/She is the annointed one.

  31. hush minx 32

    What an unusal day – you start with one thing, and suddenly the whole world changes. I hope Cunliffe puts his hand up. I hope the party membership and affilitiates have the chance to have their say. I hope we can see true unity between caucus and party, and between caucus factions. NZ is too important for petty power games. Grant and Andrew, you both have time on your side. Make the right choice and back the man most likely to bring Key down in 2014.

  32. Treetop 33

    Cunliffe’s time is here and Key’s time has now passed like a rotting corpse.

    • chris73 33.1

      lol

      comments like that are why i keep coming back, if Cunliffe is made leader all it’ll do is fire Key up, I’m thinking hes the type of guy that needs a challenge to get the best out of himself

      • geoff 33.1.1

        He sure will be busy with Collins stabbing him in the back at every chance!

      • lurgee 33.1.2

        Cunliffe versus Key would probably alienate a lot of voters – arrogant men shouting at each other and trying to be clever. Very 6th Form.

        • Colonial Viper 33.1.2.1

          It’s not a game any more mate.

          The next 5 years are going to be critical for the future of NZ. GFC2, continuing economic and energy depletion, climate change biting harder and harder.

          • lurgee 33.1.2.1.1

            Indeed. But I don’t think any of those yellow bellied lizards has the stomach for it. Who wants to go down in history as the fourth Labour leader to lose to Key? And I think that will happen – or the victory will be a Pyrrhic one, with a feeble coalition ushering National back in for another 2-3 terms starting in 2017. And that will hurt most fouly.

            • Colonial Viper 33.1.2.1.1.1

              Back your team or don’t back your team. It’s always up to you.

              • lurgee

                Oh, I’ll back whoever gets the nod (unless Gerry Brownlee defects to Labour and gets made bosshog). But that doesn’t force me to start indulging in flights of fancy.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Flights of fancy? You mean like your imagination running back to your 6th form days?

                  If you think it’s all preordained like clockwork, feel free to help change the narrative. But not too fancifully of course.

      • Treetop 33.1.3

        Key will be fired up alright because Cunliffe is an ace when it comes to being and going on the attack. Do not underestimate the brilliance of Cunliffe and he also has the ability to wake up the Labour caucus. A bit of adrenaline in the mix will go a long way.

  33. Tim 34

    “Shearer, although politically dead and smelling likea rotten fish was physically still with us.”

    Well Chris Finlayson is both politically bereft and a rotten fish but he manages to think he’s God’s gift destined for sainthood. I think he’s also had a word with the Pope and told him Shearer and his bloody leftie mates already think they “High and Mighty”

    Shudda been 18.3.1. Strange things happen

  34. Venezia 35

    Cunliffe Leader, Parker Deputy are my pick. Get on with it Pleeease.

  35. Chrissy 36

    Robertson/ Cunliffe (or Cunliffe/ Robertson) could be another Clark/ Cullen, IF they can agree to persevere at all costs in working together in depth and NOT engage in eye-rolling dismay or distrustful distancing from/ at each other. If they can forge a tight leadership bond, Labour will govern for the next three terms.

    Both are incredibly smart and capable. Grant Robertson, as someone once put it to me, is a once in a generation politician, a genuinely warm human being who is brilliant in debate and in process, political to the bone, amazing on the uptake and comeback, funny and, YES, deeply and viscerally (left) Labour. He can be very tough and businesslike, but the human and humane Grant is never more than a smidgeon beneath the surface. NZers will pick that up and love it, as they come to know him. He very very rarely puts a foot even an inch wrong, and in general is incredibly measured and well considered. The Nats are terrified of him, as Key’s comments yesterday show.

    David Cunliffe is an astonishing intellect with a frighteningly quick grasp of complexity and strategy; he too is genuinely humane, and has added a dimension of learned humility to, yes, a basic inner humility he was born with. He is very well loved and admired by folk in his LEC and beyond; a chunk of the Labour caucus, however, has yet to learn how to make the most of his talents, and to work with him, rather than against him. His occasional over the topisms typically reflect enthusiasms rather than poor judgements or patent falseness. He can be genuinely inspiring, especially around the economy, but across a range of policy. John Key’s glibness may well look worse alongside David’s earnest, informed engagement, and, head to head on actual content and strategy, Key would struggle to keep up intellectually.

    And Jacinda at number 3, for now!

    • Colonial Viper 36.1

      There need to be gaps in the top 10 cabinet position for Greens. Probably 2 places in the top 10.

      Jacinda doesn’t have the skills and experience required for a top 3 position – which is customarily given to the extremely powerful position of Finance Minister.

      If Cabinet positions 1, 2, 3 go to Labour MPs, then 4 and 5 must go to the Greens.

  36. germtheory 37

    “No time for experiments”

    Not above dog whistles are we Ms Michie?

    That’s quite conservative logic – that choosing a gay man as leader is an experiment. It wasn’t long ago conservatives in the party argued that if we were serious about winning we couldn’t have a female leader.

    Choosing a gay man isn’t experimental.

    Labour is at it’s best and most exciting when the party an genuinely speak to the electorate about a progressive & fair future. When we stand up for what we actually believe, rather than what we (mistakenly and condescendingly) think the electorate wants.

    And can Cunlift supporters please get their story *straight* – is Grant too experimental or too conservative? Or can you be both – like you can be a management consultant and left wing hero?

    [lprent:
    a. It wasn’t a dogwhistle of the type you are suggesting. Who particularly cares about Grant’s orientation apart from some sad right wing nut jobs. Incidentally you read exactly like one of them with a smarmy faux concern mode on.
    b. Read Zet’s post about experimental stupidity from the journos.
    c. Read the policy about attacking authors personally.
    d. Have a weeks ban to read it and because I really can’t be bothered with someone who doesn’t read it first. ]

    • Jenny Michie 37.1

      The experiment I’m referring to is to pick someone without enough experience – especially time as a cabinet minister. I would argue that John Key was the exception rather than the rule.

  37. Murray Olsen 38

    My pick would be David Cunliffe and Louisa Wall. Louisa has achieved more than pretty much any other member of Labour for the last ten years. She is known and associated with success. Mallard, Goff, King, Jones, and Hipkins should all be booted out of the party. At least half of them would be more at home in ACT anyway.

    • Colonial Viper 38.1

      Dr Olsen.

      You got the package in one.

    • karol 38.2

      Louisa Wall is also in a relatively low income South Auckland electorate – the sort of area that should be supported with traditional Labour values.

      • the pigman 38.2.1

        Two Aucklanders as leader and deputy? I know that ain’t no thang to JAFAs, but remember you are talking about the NZLP here…

        P.S. Although I’m not saying that wealth/financial means should play a big part in the selection and representation of the party, it would be interesting to know the geographical distribution of paid up/eligible party members.

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