On the unruly parts of the Labour caucus

Written By: - Date published: 1:17 pm, October 14th, 2014 - 105 comments
Categories: labour, The Standard - Tags: , ,

It has been disappointing in the last few days to see the lack of respect that some of the Labour politicians on the right of the caucus have for the policy of restraint requested by the party.

Vindictive attacks by David Shearer before and after David Cunliffe decided not to challenge the leadership contrast rather strongly with the restraint shown after Shearer stood down in 2013. As does the ill-informed and outright silly attack by Clayton Cosgrove on this public forum frequented by many party members discussing the leadership in a moderately civilized fashion.

I have been restraining myself to the point of actually unusually pulling a post. I have trashed several that I have written in the past weeks. I know that other authors here who are in the Labour party have similarly been restraining themselves. So have most of the people in comments despite their obvious frustrations.

But clearly, some parts of caucus consider themselves not to be so constrained. Much of the usual destructive leaking and often anonymous sniping attacks from parts of the Labour caucus have clearly continued. It is like they simply cannot control themselves.

After this leadership round is finished, I suspect that the Labour members are going to have to look at ways to make Labour policies like that on leadership battles much more binding on MPs. The type of undermining on display by the people in the Labour party is exactly what makes the voters quite reluctant to trust a Labour cabinet.

I’m not that interested in having another round of unanswered stupid lying about the actions of left blogs by Labour MPs. As usual it seems to be most prevalent among those who are simply too lazy to get involved with and to learn about social media.

I do find it fascinating that Clayton Cosgrove, in my view probably the most notorious unruly and destabilizing anonymous leaker in the Labour caucus chooses to make his attacks on the named authors of this site as being anonymous.  Most of his ire is leveled at those like myself are very well known. We’re hardly anonymous. But the irony is probably something he will have difficulty understanding.

In the meantime, I have to say that the campaigns of David Parker, Andrew Little, and Grant Robertson have been remarkably restrained. As far as I can see their campaigns and even their supporters haven’t been indulging in any of the underhanded stupidity that the right of the caucus have been becoming infamous for.

Hopefully I will have some time to go to Grant Robertson’s Thursday launch for some blogging on his intentions. If I don’t then could someone who is there do so on the details of what he is proposing to do.

105 comments on “On the unruly parts of the Labour caucus”

  1. The Lone Haranguer 1

    I pinched this off the Stuff website a few moments back:

    David Parker said ……….

    He rejected an idea, floated by his rival Andrew Little, of a female deputy leader.

    “I will be going for competence in every position I appoint,” he said.

    “Gender is relevant but competence trumps everything.”

    I guess (me being a facetious bugger) the whole leadership race currently resembles a pissing contest.

    So is it “competence in a pissing contest” that hes worried that the ladies will not be competitive in?

    For the record, I reckon that David Cunliffe was Labours best option, and I do not want to see a piss weak Labour lead opposition for three years. But I fear we may get one.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      Yes, Im thinking the same way.
      The parliament has been organised for ever as regional representation. Even the list Mps are regional representatives.
      It would be great for gender representatives to be thought of along the same lines

      Key has made much about the average Pauline Bennett, when it really was about gender representation.

    • NZ Sage 1.2

      David Cunliffe was without doubt the best option.

      As a Labour supporter I cannot muster any level of enthusiasm for those left in the race so what is the chance any of them can galvanise the New Zealand public?

      I fear a decade in the wilderness for Labour.

      • Nan 1.2.1

        I agree with your comments. As a long time Labour Voter and supporter it saddens me to think that a once proud party has become the back stabbing mud slinging outfit that it now is.

      • Tom Gould 1.2.2

        A decade of civil war and tearing itself to pieces, rampant egos, wild ambition, even spouses setting up bogus twitter accounts to attack others. It’s going to get really ugly, by the looks. Meanwhile, Key will have a fourth and a fifth term. PM for 15 years. Retire at age 59. Maybe even a sixth term? He still wouldn’t be eligible for the pension. Gives new meaning to laughing all the way to the bank.

      • Atiawa 1.2.3

        What you may fail to understand is that people with integrity like Andrew Little have not attempted to advance their career aspirations within the party at the expense of the leader or the party.
        We will see a different politician over the next few weeks and hopefully the next three years. Beyond that will be up to Andrew.
        His greatest asset will be his ability to see the good in us all and harness that in the best interests of the nation.

  2. karol 2

    Robertson has today (I think) launched his campaign website.

    • Tracey 2.1

      It’s time for a new generation of leadership to rebuild Labour. Our values of fairness, opportunity and responsibility to one another remain strong. Now we must face the future, look outwards and reconnect with New Zealanders. We can do this by being clear, direct and consistent about where we stand, and letting New Zealanders know we stand alongside them. We can do this by being part of our communities, campaigning with and for our people, not just at election time, but every day.

      My vision is of Labour at the heart of a government that supports the hopes and aspirations of all New Zealanders, not just the wealthy few. Where we vigorously back those who work, make, think and create. Where we seize the opportunities of our wonderful country through bold policy that is about people, and meet the challenges of 21st century issues like climate change and the future of work. A government whose priority is ensuring opportunity through education, training, health, and supporting families and where we care about each and every one of our fellow citizens and the environment we live in.

      If you want to play your part in a Labour Party that is valued and respected in our community, and that will boldly embrace our future- vote for a new generation of leadership to win.

      • karol 2.1.1

        They all say the same thing – words come cheap.

        • Tracey 2.1.1.1

          and avoid the word union

          • rawshark-yeshe 2.1.1.1.1

            one day, the very special Helen Kelly will be ready, willing and oh, so very able to take the job just as you outline it.

            • Tracey 2.1.1.1.1.1

              you know, if she leaves the ctu, the union movement may never recover.

              i dont get why labour sees it as an embarrassment rather than a strength, to build on the union movements infrastructure to mobilise work forces to enjoy and understand the benefit of belonging to a union. you dont need to be on the govt benches to mobilise this kind of grassroots change toward higher wages and better working conditions.

              • Murray Rawshark

                They see it as an embarrassment because they’ve never done any rank and file organising. They’re all from the individualistic bloody middle class. In their mind, successful working conditions are a result of government legislation, not shop floor militancy. Helen Kelly is great. I hope she never gets involved with Labour as a politician. The deadwood would make her completely ineffective.

            • les 2.1.1.1.1.2

              seems the brightest star to me.Noble ideals are great,politics requires compromise,thats the reality.

          • Rodel 2.1.1.1.2

            Tracey-I’m UNION and proud of it!

      • greywarshark 2.1.2

        Women can work, make, think and create, things, words and sounds, but in addition, babies. So women provide that extra level of ability and achievement which should ensure that they are at the top of the list for consideration in this wonderful new New Zealand with a gay leader. Mothers are special, super-talented people.

  3. Ant 3

    Blaming “The Standard” (particularly the comments) is always hilarious.

    Yes, I’m sure all the problems with Labour relate to a blog and it’s accompanying discussions!

  4. Tracey 4

    so who is cosgrove, shearer et al acting for, other than themselves? Robertson? Parker… and is it a self destructive version of two teack, nice candidate and behind the scenes others are spiking tge opponents?

  5. ianmac 5

    Just read Danyl’s complaint that I think The Standard, especially, need to stop and ask themselves some tough questions; right now it feels – to me – that they’re doing more harm than good, mostly to Labour and that having a bunch of anonymous and pseudo-anonymous bloggers widely suspected of working in the Labour leaders’ office hasn’t worked out for them. (4th bullet.)
    http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/hiatus/#comment-124205

    A puzzle for me as I am sure that Lynn has previously emphatically denied that any of the bloggers on the Standard are from the Labour Party. However some commentators here could be from anywhere; Right, Left or Middle.

    Have asked Danyl to name even one. Shearer couldn’t.

    • Treetop 5.1

      What about talk back and the other blogs?

    • blue leopard 5.2

      Hmm, Danyl needs to look at his logic.

      How could it be that a majority of people are not engaging with blogsites such as the Standard “the silent but demographically much, much larger section of the population that aren’t commenting via blogs or twitter etc”, yet despite this, the Standard can do damage to the left’s prospects of winning power? If people are not reading these pages, how can these pages cause such damage?

      It would appear that Danyl is calling for ‘discipline’, namely silence, from members of the general public of leftwing persuasion.

      Yet isn’t the biggest problem that professionals in the largest left wing party, who are elected and paid to represent and promote left-wing political approaches and counter right-wing approaches, are not representing, promoting and countering because they are too busy fixating on competing with, attacking and denigrating people and ideas they are supposed to be working with?

      This is getting beyond a joke.

      At least some members of the right-wing will be getting much amusement and many, many lols over this, although I imagine there are many others of a swing-centrist persuasion who realise that a near complete collapse in opposition isn’t actually excellent for democracy and may also feel pretty disgusted as to what is going on.

      • Ant 5.2.1

        Seems to be a sentiment shared by a lot of the middle class of the left + a bit of social media hierarchy.

        Russell Brown seems to be particularly scathing of Te Standard, but I think he is still smarting from when everyone thought he was a bit of a dick during the Hobbit/AA debacle.

        • blue leopard 5.2.1.1

          Ah! Thanks, that makes some sense of it to me.

          This issue brings to mind something I just read from Martin Luther King.

          He is writing in response to a call from Clergy for him to, well, shut the fuck up – that it is ‘untimely’ what he is doing. Yet King responds by suggesting that ‘the moderates’ are actually becoming more of an obstacle to freedom than those who openly oppose the equality of the races. This paragraph in particular strikes a chord for me:

          The Negro has many pent-up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides–and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: “Get rid of your discontent.” Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist.

          I understood the letter to convey that you don’t get change and injustice addressed by waiting for it to come along, that a certain tension is required in order for improvements to be achieved, and those calling for moderation and ‘to just wait for a while’ actually effectively end up blocking any progress from occurring (albeit perhaps unwittingly).

          http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/resources/article/annotated_letter_from_birmingham/

        • lprent 5.2.1.2

          Russell is from the gentle side of the on-line media. But he did start in it somewhat late. The BBS era was more like the current environs than when he built his audience.

          But this is what the net is really always like from the start. You only have to go back into the old usenet archives to see that. Especially those to do with the standards setting of the elements 20-30 odd years ago that formed the basis of the net.

          Russel always thought of it as being more like the broadcast media that he was used to.

          Different base culture.

      • Tracey 5.2.2

        how do danyls words get read by the population? twitter? blogs?

      • greywarshark 5.2.3

        It seems that people on Danyl’s blog are too nice and can’t cope with the rambunctious nature of this blog. Though I think some TS went over there and used some bad language. There goes the neighbourhood.

        And there is the bit about anonymous people, who are they (and what right have they got to express themselves so freely.) It was noted that there are rules. Or perhaps that was Lynn putting an answer to the whining.

        Sounded like the common NZ thing, don’t be direct, filter what you say so it doesn’t offend. I have met people who are related to someone in the media who I mildly criticised and have been looked at askance. ‘That’s my sister, friend, uncle….’. As if you aren’t entitled to an unfavourable opinion about anyone in NZ, who someone will know.

        This from Danyl. We can’t have thoughts, dreams of what could, should be – we must limit, rein ourselves in and find what other people think, if they do, and then build from there. Wild, wide new vistas not for NZ. Keep your thoughts low and humble. Within bounds, or you’re bound to offend, bore others, not be understood, or worse frighten the horses.

        If there’s one thing I think the left can learn from National it’s that we need to talk about what the public cares about, not what we care about – because nobody cares about what we care about.
        That doesn’t mean left-wing parties have to abandon the things we care about. It’s not like National have abandoned the TPPA, say, or expanding the powers of the security state.
        They just know that those issues aren’t relevant to that many voters so they talk about things that are. And it works.

        Priceless. You couldn’t make this stuff up, or perhaps Dave Armstrong could. Where are you Dave when we need you?

        • Tracey 5.2.3.1

          what party is his blog affiliated to?

        • blue leopard 5.2.3.2

          +1 Greywarshark

          It would seem that the unspoken has been spoken aloud by Danyl and his commenters.

          There have been entire books written on the apathy of New Zealanders and, yet it would appear that Danyl’s post and the comments (as summarized by you) nail the causes excellently, without the need for so many pages.

          If we want to continue being so brow-beaten, I guess we should continue to pursue the norms we have in place.

          Otherwise, we need to forget the social pressures on us and speak up 🙂

          • greywarshark 5.2.3.2.1

            @Blue l
            As time goes on I think of George Constanza in Seinfeld more and more often. If everything you do always is wrong, then if you do the opposite you have the chance of being right.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.3.3

          I have met people who are related to someone in the media who I mildly criticised and have been looked at askance. ‘That’s my sister, friend, uncle….’. As if you aren’t entitled to an unfavourable opinion about anyone in NZ, who someone will know.

          Yep, I’ve had that happen and when they said that I just said And? and they tend to shut up. It’s like they have a belief that they have to defend their relative because they’re relatives but they can’t do that because they agree with the criticism.

        • Tom Jackson 5.2.3.4

          McLaughlin needs to put down the pipe for a moment. 😉

          Commenters say many vaguely crazy things on The Standard (mea culpa), but the basic articles are by no means foaming at the mouth radical rants. In comparison with Kiwiblog or Failoil this place is pretty polite, and Pete George free!

        • greywarshark 5.2.3.5

          I’m looking again at what Danyl says that I don’t know much about Tracey Perhaps ianmac could answer your questions. Party affiliation? Media?

          But Danyl says that National get on with what they want and don’t spend too much time presenting it to the public like something they are showing off that they just made at school. No they talk about what the public are interested in, about what is relevant, and get on side that way, and then just get on with the bigger issues.
          As he said it works. So though it is counter-intuitive, it would be wise for Labour to think along those lines.

          That means that they won’t go doling out large spoonfuls of medicine, that we tend to pull away from – such as delayed super, and CGT. Put them on the list to do, and do something else positive in the meantime, a small stamp duty on real estate, and some work schemes for the unemployed and earlier semi-super for older people who could train, and then carry out mentoring work helping young people get skills and get into jobs.

          That would go down better and result in something helpful by Labour using a modicum of brain. It would be for the unemployed older, it would be better than having nitpicking WINZ ruining your life, and it would be a pilot that could be extended later. Get some use out of us oldies, not work us very hard, but be helpful in vital areas where we could manage. Good policy idea that most would go along with, and not medicine at all.

          • mickysavage 5.2.3.5.1

            He is a green. I often like his stuff but he can be very negative Labour and Cunliffe.

            • greywarshark 5.2.3.5.1.1

              Tracey
              Mickey has answered your query about Danyl’s politics. Where he is heard don’t know.

    • Bob 5.3

      Greg Presland?

      [lprent: see my reply below. Essentially no. ]

      • lprent 5.3.1

        Not employed in Parliament. Not employed by the Labour party. I’m not sure if he holds any offices in the Labour party at all these days.

        He is a lawyer.

        So you think that ordinary citizens shouldn’t have ideas about and comment on politics?

        Of course we could always start with you on that Standard.

    • lprent 5.4

      I left this comment at DimPost.

      …that having a bunch of anonymous and pseudo-anonymous bloggers widely suspected of working in the Labour leaders’ office hasn’t worked out for them.

      Short answer is that we have exactly as many active pseudonymous authors in Cunliffe (and now Parkers) office as we had in Shearer’s office and Goff’s office. In fact the only active author that I’m aware off that ever was employed in a political role at parliament was Mike Smith. For a while he was doing work in David Shearers office.

      While it is possible that some of the comments may come from political parliamentary staff, they aren’t doing it from parliamentary IP’s. But then they could do that here as well.

      The people like Shearer, Cosgrove, the Pagani’s, and anyone else making such claims are just lying. I’ve said this many times before. The only reason that it comes up at all is because those cowardly gutless wonders are aware that because we run an active privacy policy that we can’t prove that.

      Of course in the wake of the vindictive attitudes displayed by Collins, Slater, Ede, Shearer, Cosgrove, and even Josie Pagani – you can see why we hold to such a policy. We’re interested in open debate of ideas and not interested in having our commentators and authors persecuted by such people.

    • peterlepaysan 5.5

      Danyl spent a lot of blog space denigrating Goff and admits to being a Green supporter. Who the hell does he think he is to comment on what happens here, or in the LP? (Labour Party, not the other LP).

      Mind you this site has accused me of being a troll, much to my bemusement. Sigh.

      [lprent: The site is a dumb machine and it has no capability of accusing you of being anything. People accuse you of being a troll (or anything else). I suggest that you read the policy. You will find that as a programmer of dumb machines I added a self-martyrdom offense for thickos like yourself who have the poor taste to think that computers can think.

      I consider that idiots who think that they think really should be confined for the good of society. People like that are just as stupid and dangerous as the brainless objects that they are trying to imbue intelligence to.

      When you talk to this site, you will find that you wind up talking to me and wasting my very valuable time, so don’t frigging well do it. I have a notoriously trigger happy way of dealing with wasters of my time. Fortunately for you, I’m not too grumpy tonight.

      However I would strongly suggest that you point to individuals on this site in future, because the next time you talk to me, I’m more than likely to kick you off for an offense of gratuitous stupidity in not reading the policy.. ]

  6. Treetop 6

    I would like nothing better than for Cunliffe to renominate himself as a candidate for the Labour Party leadership, he has until 5 pm tonight.

    There is always unfinished business for Shearer whenever there is another Labour Party leadership challenge.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Ha!!!

      • Treetop 6.1.1

        Well Nanaia Mahuta is not Cunliffe! Probably sour grapes from Shearer because Mahuta was loyal to Cunliffe. Mahuta stands in her own right with her own vision/ideas.

    • There is always unfinished business for the ABC (All Bloody Centrists) while there is a left faction in the Party.
      For the ABC the working class must be led by petty bourgeois professionals not bound by party democracy.
      Cunliffe still appears to think that Labour can unite its worker base with its bosses’ program and bureaucratic Caucus.
      Typical social democratic dementia.
      Otherwise he would have gone through with the primary to rally the left, win or lose.
      Even if Little wins, this only shifts the Caucus power base slightly from the beltway to the union bureaucracy, both in bed with the bosses’ program.
      We shouldn’t forget that during the neo-liberal heyday, the CTU pulled back from general strikes to strike general deals to equitably share (sarc) labour productivity of workers with the bosses.
      Such equitable sharing (sarc) has always been the shibboleth of the Labour leadership.
      Its not possible when capitalism is doomed to destroy nature including human civilisation.

  7. The causes says: “We failed because we made mistakes. Clearly we were not making those mistakes HARD ENOUGH!”

  8. Blue 8

    I despair, I really do. These unruly MPs have been told over and over by so many people to shut up and stop airing dirty laundry in public and they just keep on doing it without sanction.

    What the hell is the Labour Party for these days? It would seem that their biggest aim in life is crippling each other rather than targeting National. Destroy Cunliffe, destroy the Standard, destroy Internet Mana, destroy the Greens.

    Everything but destroy National.

    There is not a drop of professionalism in them. There are loads of people who hate their boss but they just have to suck it up. The Labour caucus think they are a precious species apart who cannot be expected to do their jobs if everything isn’t exactly the way they want it.

    They hate democracy and couldn’t bring themselves to respect the choice of the members and the unions. Lost in their poisonous webs of venom they think they are more important and they can feel free to destroy the party and remake it in their image.

    They really are out of touch and they need to go.

    • Treetop 8.1

      Some members are more dignified than those making a spectacle of themself.

    • AmaKiwi 8.2

      @ Blue, (8.0) “They hate democracy”

      True. Picking a dictator for they next three years is NOT democracy.

      New Zealand was not founded by people wanting democracy. They wanted fairness. NZ was founded during the industrial revolution by refugees demanding fairness in the face of the enormous wealth they were slaving to produce for obscenely rich factory owners.

      Democracy is when the people decide. Representative democracy is when our representatives do what the majority of us want them to do, not what THEY think is best for us.

      I have never met a Labour MP who is a democrat. They are elitists, throwbacks to the nineteenth century.

      Maybe it’s time to try the Greens.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      The Labour caucus think they are a precious species apart who cannot be expected to do their jobs if everything isn’t exactly the way they want it.

      A large chunk of the Labour caucus seems to think that they’re the boss and that the members should just do as they’re told.

  9. paddy 9

    When was the last time we had a serious purge of the Labour party. I would purge Goff, Shearer, Cosgrove, Mallard for a start. Robertson also has to go for sake of the party. Robertson is only interested in becoming the leader. He will never campaign for the Party vote till he is the leader. His PV result in Wellington was a pitiful 9,000 versus 11,000 plus for the Greens and about 15,000 for National. How do you deselect a candidate who has majority support in his own electorate? Can the electorate be stacked by loyalists.

    • bearded rawshark 9.1

      I would leave Goff. I know he is from the right but he often makes sense and to my knowledge hasn’t talked about moas or slagged Cunliffe. And he did nearly win in 2011 against the odds.

      • Anne 9.1.1

        Yes. Goff is made of different stuff. He comes from a true Labour background, and his knowledge and expertise is too valuable. He still has much to offer.

        • Karen 9.1.1.1

          Even if Cosgrove and Shearer left I’d be happy. They both seem to be particularly vindictive and are in the wrong party IMO. It is mainly Shearer’s behaviour since the election has put him in that category for me. Before that election I thought he’d be a good Minister for Foreign Affairs,, but not now. I’d rather Goff did that job.

          There will always be right-wingers in the Labour Party (or centrists as they see themselves). The key is to not let them get power in the caucus as happened in 1984.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1.1

            As an outsider these sentiments match my own exactly: I had been quite impressed with Shearer in the shadow FM spot: articulate, knowledgeable, an asset, as opposed to what I perceived as his inexperienced performance as leader.

            I was wrong – he’s poison.

        • greywarshark 9.1.1.2

          Okay make Goff an exception.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2.1

            Maybe. See my comment below.

            BTW it’s not just ‘used by date old white men’ who need to be purged out of caucus. There’s another couple on the shit list AFAIK.

          • Murray Rawshark 9.1.1.2.2

            Nope he can go to. His achievements have been nasty stuff like making university cost heaps and limiting the clean slate legislation because he claimed that just because someone hadn’t been convicted for years didn’t mean they weren’t an active criminal. He said they might have just got more cunning. He’s too much like McVicar for my liking.

        • GregJ 9.1.1.3

          It is worth bearing in mind the Goff was the Minister of Education who opened the door to student loans and student debt in the late 1980s by the introduction of tuition fees that went from an average of $129/year in 1989 to $1250 per year in 1990 (a mountain-goat steep increase of about 950%).

          He built the neo-liberal framework upon which tertiary education was built on in the 1990s by National, he was openly a supporter of Douglas, and during the hiatus when he lost his seat in 1990 before re-election in 1993 he said the reason for the 1990 defeat wasn’t Labour’s policies, it was a problem of “communication”.

          I knew & worked with Phil in a professional capacity between 1990-1993 – he never once in discussions I had with him ever expressed any regret for Rogernomics, the increasing cost of tertiary education or any of the policies of the 4th Labour Government.

          He may have had a “true” Labour background but he sold that background out long ago. At least Peter Dunne left in 1995/1996 to form his own bloody party.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.4

          Yes. Goff is made of different stuff. He comes from a true Labour background, and his knowledge and expertise is too valuable. He still has much to offer.

          I agree with you here on Goff and I like him personally, but all those pluses are in my mind instantly negated if he continues to pull strings to shift and destabilise the entire caucus rightwards.

  10. Eralc 10

    David Shearer is the one of the few in Labour who’s actually talking any truth and sense right now. He’s stating the obvious – I’m sure others would like to speak out in the same vein, but are afraid to do so.

    Any attempts to silence the debate will only hurt Labour, as a whole, in the long run.

    • ankerawshark 10.1

      Hi Eralc,

      Well what do you think about DS speaking out when the Labour party members have been told to conduct the campaign in a seemly manner and not to deal with issues through the media?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1

        Backward Clare has been expressing her right wing white-ant mantra for a while now.

  11. Neil 11

    The question that Labour needs to answer. Do they wish to run the country or be like Michael Foote’s UK Labour Party of the 1980’s.
    What is Labour offering to the potential Labour voter?
    One thing for sure- the population do not like a divided party with factions pulling all ways.
    Hard Labour people hated Tony Blair. However he won an election something his left wing compatriots could not do.
    A political party is like a retail business. Retail businesses can die, for instance horse drawn vehicles. If you don’t change you go out of business.

    • bearded rawshark 11.1

      Michael Foote was a great man. Listen to his speechs at the end of WW2. Brilliant.

      Murdoch and mates destroyed him.

      • Wayne 11.1.1

        I guess the Brits just could not wait to vote for him, but it was all due to the evil Murdoch that they didn’t.

        I lived in the UK at the time – the reality is that Michael Foote had no electoral appeal, either on policy or as a leader.

        • karol 11.1.1.1

          I lived there, too. Foot was highly regarded on the left, but was highly criticised by most of the mainstream media.

          In the 80s Thatcher was actively working to fragment and destroy the UK left, including supporting manouevres to get a Tory-compliant MSM eg Tory supporting chief editors in major news organisations.

          Foot’s Labour Party was very popular with the public, looking possibly to take the government benches in the next election. Then some Labour MPs split into the Social Democrat Party.

          • greywarshark 11.1.1.1.1

            Labour shooting themselves in the Foot. Literally. Why can’t they be strategically minded? You need a critical mass or you end up with a critical mess.

        • lurgee 11.1.1.2

          I think Britain would have voted for Foot in 1984, if the SDP had not defected and if there had been no Falklands War. Shortly after his election, Labour were polling over 50% in opinion polls.

          In 1984 Foot (not Foote) was hurt by the rise of the SDP-Liberal Alliance, which won 25% of the vote but won a total of 23 seats (out of 650), and which fatally split the left. Labour’s decline in the early 80s almost exactly matches the rise of the SDP-Liberal Alliance. Taken together, the two parties enjoyed about 55% support in opinon polls, and won only slightly less than that in the 84 election.

          Unfortunately, under FPTP, that merely left the left divided against itself. Thatcher probably could not believe her luck.

          http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/voting-intention-1979-1983

          There was also the Thatcher’s successful Falklands campaign, which mobilised patriotic feeling, a sense of victory and general chauvinism, which may have stopped some of her support fading – though given that her overall share of vote declined (though her majority increased, due to the left split) I’m not sure it harmed Labour as much as it stopped her dreadful first term ending her political career early.

          • bearded rawshark 11.1.1.2.1

            Nice analysis lurgee. You are right thatcher only won in 2003 due to the falklands factor. She was dog tucker before that.

            We had a “ding dong the witch is dead” celebration down here in wanaka when she snuffed it.

    • JanM 11.2

      That sounds like winning at any price – what’s the point of that? Might as well stick with the nasties we’ve got.

  12. RedLogix 12

    So have most of the people in comments despite their obvious frustrations.

    I just cannot bring myself to say anything at all constructive about this piteous clusterfuck called the Labour Party.

    • Anne 12.1

      I just cannot bring myself to say anything at all constructive about this piteous clusterfuck called the Labour caucus.

      Fify. 😉

      • marty mars 12.1.1

        Is it really just the caucus though Anne – don’t they reflect the wider membership of the Party. I’m not saying there aren’t good people in the Party but imo collectively all of the Party must bear responsibility for what is going on. When that responsibility is accepted maybe the rebuilding can actually begin to occur.

        • lprent 12.1.1.1

          … don’t they reflect the wider membership of the Party.

          Not really. After all would anyone who was vaguely intelligent and rational want the job of being a politician once they know what the job entails.

          You cannot be a expert in anything in particular, you have to be nice to people (at least to their face), the hours are shite, and you have to spend far too much time in Wellington. There is a pretty arduous selection process that happens before the formal one, as party members find the people with more ego than brains and push them forward.

          Most active party members from all parties have a look at it as a career at some point or another and recoil. This is why politicians tend to reflect the population more than they reflect long-time party members. Lower than average party member intelligence, skill sets and a distinct lack of imagination. Instead they rely on “back-stories”

          • greywarshark 12.1.1.1.1

            I’d like to think you are exaggerating lprent. But I feel not!

          • Anne 12.1.1.1.2

            My military careered (in his younger days) late father always maintained that heroes on the battle field were inherently dumb because anyone with any brains wouldn’t dream of doing the idiot things they did.

            • Colonial Rawshark 12.1.1.1.2.1

              And there is a huge difference between physical courage on a battlefield and moral courage to do the right thing at the right time.

          • RedLogix 12.1.1.1.3

            @lprent:

            Reminds me of something similar from Orlov that says much the same thing but looked at from another direction:

            I think you’re too hard on American politicians because look at the people they’re governing. If you tried to rule these people you would probably end up just like them. It’s a completely thankless task unless you find some benefit in it for yourself. So the politicians are hard pressed to make it worth their while to be politicians. I can commiserate with them about the quality of the populace because democracy is really for people who are capable of self-governance.

            Now Americans at large are not capable of self-governance. They expect to be protected from each other. They expect to be provided for. They expect for things to remain the same even when this doesn’t make any more sense. And those are their expectations. So they expect to be lied to.

            If you stop lying to Americans they would kill you. That is the bind that our national politicians are in and we should feel sorry for them.

            – See more at: http://transitionvoice.com/2011/08/no-shirt-no-shoes-no-problem-interview-dmitry-orlov/#sthash.bewhRfeb.dpuf

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.2

        Anne 😀

  13. Peter 13

    …. sadly Team Key don’t have to give a passing thought to Labour

  14. shorts 14

    none of the leadership candidates inspire me… they represent all that I find troublesome with the party… they, shearer and others are at risk of consigning the party to sitting in opposition for another term after this one

    They need to stop public shaming of themselves and the party, stop moaning and look in the mirror – there lies the problem

  15. Skinny 15

    Is that the soon to be interim leader of the Labour party in the back row of the photo? I am referring to Annette King. If it is and she does take over due to the LP constitution not allowing Parker to remain.

  16. NeutObserver 16

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Already banned. Doubled again to 16 weeks ]

  17. Ovid 17

    Could Cosgrove’s and Shearer’s swipe at The Standard be interpreted as a swipe at Little, since he was happy to do a Q&A here?

    • Tracey 17.1

      itit appears some in the LP caucus think that

      activists
      members
      blog authors
      blog commenters

      should all just stfu and trust them to do the best thing for nz…

      it would be hilarious if not so sad.

      • Colonial Rawshark 17.1.1

        And if you happen to be an activist + member + blog author + blog commentator all in one, then you’re truly screwed.

  18. coaster 18

    Ffs why cant the caucus just sort its s$/t out. People in this country are hurting, struggling and without hope for a brighter future. Labour is supposed to be about the common person and fairness for all, at the moment where are normal people supposed to turn to to supply the brighter future?.
    There arnt many choices, national(and there greedy friends) or labour who only seems to care about the latest drama like a bunch of teenage school girls.

    please stop fighting each other and have a think about why you are in the labour party, and about all those normal kiwis who have to think about if they can afford grocerys, or power, or insurance, or rates, or doctors, or petrol and if there job will still be there next week.

  19. tc 19

    Time to consider if the effort required to overcome this unrepresentative caucus should be invested in another vehicle. Why battle to fix someone elses house when it only takes one solid electorate mp to lay foundations for a new one.

    Labours been here before so maybe its time to strike an evolutionary blow. Why would you want to stay with this lot of gutless self serving troughers anyway.

    They’ve been played like the vanity ridden sods they leak and whine to. Its been rather sad and quite pathetic, especially shearer and cosgrove.

  20. Lindsey 20

    Sometime a good purge does you no end of good. I remember how pleased we were when the Prebble people, the Douglasites and the Diakers shuffled off to ACT. Once we had cleaned up the corrupt electorate organisations they left behind, full of paper members and miniscule branches all run out of the same PO Boxes, the electorates were much healthier. The same with the MMSC bunch, those swaggering bullies known as the Beagle Boys, and their cult of the leader of North Korean proportions. Each time the Labour Party came back stronger and more united. Maybe the ship needs its hull scraped again.

  21. philj 21

    Exactly how do these Actiods, I. e. Douglas, Shirley, Prebble etc. get selected for Labour. And the present Righties within the caucus? And how does Labour prevent a recurrence. Sorry, too late!

    • tc 21.1

      Exactly and why something new is probably required when you look at the mechanism that annoints the likes of shearer, cosgrove, coffey, jones, nash, beaumont, mallard, curran etc

  22. Scott1 22

    When I hear Shearer’s comments it sounds like a person who wants revenge and is willing to kick his own party in the guts to get it. But one should also realize that things can get so bad that one has to call out people for that sort of behavior.

    You can also get a party that is caught in a dynamic where its prospects of presenting a policy combination and a image that is electable is so dire – that one really has the simple choice of burning the house down to rebuild it – or just crossing ones fingers and hoping the opposition decides to murder some babies. (metaphorically speaking of course)

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