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Our children in Wellington

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, September 23rd, 2014 - 282 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david shearer, labour, Politics - Tags:

Today our Labour MPs will probably vote for a leadership challenge in Wellington. Fine. We have come to expect no more of them. At every available opportunity they keep playing their bloody stupid dominance games that disrupt the rest of the party. It wastes our precious time on the 3 year campaign trail.

The campaign really had nothing that was particularly at fault except that it all happened too damn late and it was a weird fast and noisy election that Labour’s team had problems adapting to fast enough. It takes time to build experienced and adaptive campaign teams both in Wellington and throughout the rest of the country. But that appeared to start in *election year* because our numbskull politicians hadn’t bothered to think about it before 2014.

They certainly didn’t after 2011. The lessons learnt in core systems from that election like the voter management, distribution systems for campaign materials, and many other key campaigning systems were ignored. That led directly into the election defeat in 2014.

Instead the MPs were too busy with silly leader battles. They made a colossal screw-up with their selection of the novice David Shearer after Goff prematurely stepped down.

Now they will go through it again.

David Cunliffe in my view appears to have only two major faults as a politician (I have never been a huge personal fan of the guy, but I wasn’t of Helen Clark either and I volunteered for her for most of two decades).

David Cunliffe tends to leave things very late, probably because he has always been able enough to wing it. Being bright and competent is nice (I have always been like that). But it doesn’t beat long term campaigns of planning and work. That is something that he needs to have educated out of him by his staff. It was pretty evident that he improved markedly over the campaign so I’d guess that process has started. He seems to learn from his mistakes.

He is also an arrogant smart bastard who rubs some people up the wrong way in close quarters. I have no particular issues with that. Helen was the same. Most people who are effective are the same. David Shearer was as well. The main difference apart from experience between David Shearer and David Cunliffe is that Cunliffe has shown the ability to rapidly adapt to circumstances that David Shearer showed no trace of.

I’m afraid that the outraged egos of other politicians can taking a flying fuck as far as I’m concerned. I’m not concerned with their feelings. I concerned with winning the next election.  I’m also really not in favour of exerting any more effort in support of Labour until I see that the idiots in caucus can actually get behind a 3 year PARTY campaign.

What matters for Labour is that Cunliffe is in place, displays the competences required, has built an effective policy team and campaign team (the latter needs more work). He is in the same position as Helen was after the 1993 defeat with a uphill battle to make a working campaign team to fight a party vote election. No reason to change.

We certainly don’t want to do it at the urgings of the shallow analysis of the anonymous editorial of the NZ Herald, never friends of Labour. Sure Labour probably needs to do more with its internal processes as Josie Pagani urges. But I’d start with the unwieldy constitution where the work was started and then stalled that she never mentions. That is what stifles debate about change inside the party to the point where we have to discuss it on the net in forums like this.

But don’t let that get in the way of getting the next campaign underway. That starts with getting the leadership issues of our childish MPs out of the way as fast as possible. Do the vote of no confidence, take it to the members and affiliates as soon as possible if needed and get the damn thing out of the way.

I’m pretty sure that David Cunliffe would win a members and affiliates vote. So suck it up MPs, stop playing your silly caucus games and do some frigging work this term rather than the self-indulgent posturing you wasted time with last term.


282 comments on “Our children in Wellington ”

  1. adam 1

    Well said. But, I think the egos and fools will win.

    • Once Was Tim 1.1

      and IF they do win, then Labour as a viable political party is doomed.

      Interesting to see Lprent’s analysis of Cunliffe as being an “arrogant smart bastard”. I can see that, but I wonder how that differs from the iconic John Key – or indeed Steven Joyce, or Judith Collins, or Paula Bennett, or a host of others.

      Analysis of Labour’s failures have been well rehearsed on here: from the manner in which they released policy; how it is that Labour are actually better managers of the economy yet the electorate doesn’t see that; the problem with the ‘old guard/ABCers’; etc. etc etc.

      As a scrutineer at a Wellington booth, and subsequently discussing things with a couple of poll booth managers elsewhere, I did notice a couple of things.
      One was National’s overwhelming presence. Big Blue rosettes that made the place look like a Blue rinse Karori houswive’s convention by 3 (THREE) Nat scrutineers – all busy on their smart phones texting and tweeting – areal no-no btw and I complained – 2 left before they were kicked out.
      (While I’ve mentioned this – I did overhear the influence this had on a few first time naive voters)
      BUT Guess what ….. a COMPLETE absence of Labour Party scrutineers or presence.

      … and here’s a question for anyone that can answer – because I’ve given up completely on FTA commercial TV, and increasingly on ;NATIONAL’s’ RADIO:
      Of the Labour party – who is it that have been quick to come out (despite what I thought were solidaristic agreements in place) to infer blame at DC?
      So far I count Phil Goff, David Shearer, Clayton Cosgrove??? (and let’s not forget the likes of Josie Pagani).
      They’re ALL the right wingers are they not? They’re all the self-preservationists, the free-riders, and, more importantly – the MSM media feeders.

      • Barbara 1.1.1

        Re the paucity of Labour scrutineers, I was told by a long-time Labour volunteer who I met socially on Sunday that she normally spent election day scrutineering at a polling place but that this year the party had decided to use more volunteers on the phones to chase up voters and fewer at the polling places. I don’t know if this was a national or local decision. At the polling place where I scrutineered for the Greens, Labour had someone there for about half the day and National for all but about the last 2 hours. I was the only scrutineer present for the count. It was a busy polling station with over 1000 regular votes, hundreds of special votes, and 9 electoral staff. The scrutineering overall was fairly light, I thought.

        • Colonial Viper

          I don’t know if this was a national or local decision.

          It seemed to be a nation wide decision from head office and it was fucked. Pin a red badge on someone and sit them at a major booth. Get someone else to relieve them part way through the day. Make it fucking happen.

          Frakking Wellington campaign management.

          • Once Was Tim

            Agreed. From the chatter chatter amongst the first time naiive voters I heard – they simply went for ‘blue’ and/or what mummy and daddy did.
            Whilst I was also there for the Green, I was extremely disappointed in Labour’s effort. You’re correct C.V. ….. campaign management + the ‘old guard/ABCers’ and not DC IMHO

  2. Melanie Scott 2

    Couldn’t agree more.

  3. Rodel 3

    Perhaps a relevant quote from Open Mike today by Hami Shearlie-

    “If David Cunliffe doesn’t stay leader of the Party, then watch all the new members they have gained melt away like snow in spring!”

    I’m not a new member but I’ll be joining them if Cunliffe doesn’t stay as leader.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “I’m not a new member but I’ll be joining them if Cunliffe doesn’t stay as leader.”

      Will you now? Talk is cheap.

      It would actually make more sense for you to join now, so that you could vote in the leader election.

      • Rodel 3.1.1

        Perhaps I didn’t make it clear enough that I am a long standing member. And yes I have donated time and money.

        • Colonial Viper

          Likely that Lanth read you as ‘joining the Labour party’ cf. ‘joining those leaving the Labour party’

    • Coffee Connoisseur 3.2

      then you have a problem in my book. For me and I can only speak for me David Cunliffe doesn’t come accross as genuine. He comes accross as staged and as such I struggle to find him believable. This affects my decision on whether to vote for Labour or not. As it stands I wouldn’t.

      • Tracey 3.2.1

        who did you vote for and who would you if he stays leader?

        • Coffee Connoisseur

          I wouldn’t normally vote. The system is broken. The problems are systemic. When people like me refer to the system being broken we are not talking about the political system. We are referring to the entire system that we all live under and which the political system is but a small part of. So I would normally be part of the missing million.
          I did this time because my wife wanted to vote and I was at a polling booth. Chances are the same thing will happen in 3 years. If it does I’ll vote. If it doesn’t I won’t….. unless there’s game changing policy worth voting for.
          If the policies were like this years or better and Grant Robertson was leader I’d have given Labour my party vote at least. He’s very likable, he means well and he got into politics for the right reasons.
          If Cunliffe was still the leader then it would depend on who had what policies as to who I’d vote for. But Cunliffe in charge means I would be less likely to give my vote to Labour or vote at all everything else remaining equal.

      • greywarbler 3.2.2

        @ Coffee Connoiseur
        If you really are a CC then stick to the coffee. There is a cult about this, of choosing the perfect flavour from different mixes from different countries. All a pretentious fad. Choosing our political leader is serious stuff. Stick to what you are good at.

        • Coffee Connoisseur

          I like coffee. I like to try different ones. I needed a name. wouldn’t read anymore into it than that.
          As for picking a leader? by all means pick whoever you want to. Pick wrong however and I, and I’m sure others won’t vote for him or her. Then you’ll be three years down the track and in the same position your in now.
          I gave you my opinion as an outsider do with my opinion what you will. If you want to disregard it do so by all means. But in my view Cunliffe just isn’t going to get you there.
          I actually thought Labour had some good policies this year but Cunliffe was the reason I didn’t check the box for Labour. If you’d had Grant Robertson I probably would have. He’s likable and he means well and some good policies and you could be onto something. But then I don’t think sexual orientation has anything to do with being a good leader or being good for this country.

      • lprent 3.2.3

        Go and have a look at Helen Clark on TV clips between 1993 and 1996 (or even before..).

        She was stiff as and really did not come through well at all. Yet she wasn’t like that in any of the other forums like public meetings or campaign meetings.

        By 1999 she was pretty damn good at projecting herself over TV

        TV is a trainable trait given the right starting materials. But Cunliffe has a much better starting position.

        • Tracey

          Didnt clark go on the road massively from 1998? One thing i heard constantly about clark through her time was that those who met her were surprised how warm she was compared to their impression from tv.

          Becoming an effective leader against a popular opponent with a wealthy and ruthless machinery is NOT easy.

    • Tracey 3.3

      so Cunliffe won the leadership by getting a majority of the membership and the union vote but you think it should be done , how?

      do you think mallard didnt know he would get taunted, and by association the Party, for his MOA crack?

      IF you remove the membership and union base that supported Cunliffe I hope you have a secret place to go to with money stashed away for a different leader?

      How much will you donate Rodel? Who do you see as the best person to lead the labour Party, and why? Where do you see that person’s support base coming from?

      • SDCLFC 3.3.1

        I initially thought no to a leader from Wellington, ad I’ from Wellington, but everytime Robertson speaks he hits what he’s aiming for. Partnered with Ardern and the focus will be on clean politics and would see the electorate being attracted to that. They’ve rejected Cunliffe, resoundingly.

        • Tracey

          fair enough. I think they would be a pair whose personalities will appeal. I just wont vote for a LP that is National Lite.

          If i wanted national i would vote national… Or uf, or nzf.

          Thanks for sharing your ideas

          • Annie


          • SDCLFC

            Never ending what I’m going down, so no I shouldn’t, but what is National Lite? I mean there are many in National that argue they are Labour Lite.
            I don’t agree but what’s certain is that National can’t unpick Labour policies like Working for Families and Student Loans despite wanting to, and even have to give ground in some new areas for them like paid parental leave (not to our standards but certainly not to theirs)
            Yet they still manage to make ground on some of their principle areas such as employment relations.
            Likewise Labour need to look at what is achievable and will make a difference, and what is not achievable and matters less.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    I think Cunliffe is still the best option they’ve got, although Shearer is looking a lot more competent in the last few months than he ever did as leader. I think Robertson would be a big mistake and I don’t think anyone else is really up to it.

    I’m somewhat on the fence. I think Cunliffe is best, but if the MPs absolutely refuse to get behind him should he be retained, then what’s the point? IMO they should stand behind their leader, or resign.

    I think Labour’s loss was more about the perception of the party as being fractious and undisciplined (so “how could they run the country?”) rather than their particular policies being unpopular. Vote Compass survey of 200,000 potential voters showed 50% Agreed or Strongly Agreed that we need a CGT tax that targets rental properties, while only 30% disagreed.

    Also National had a clear campaign strategy that I didn’t see any hints of with Labour, because of their dreary “vote positive” positioning that prevented them from attacking National. It was very evident that the 2nd leaders debate on TV3 was Key’s platform for rolling out the “5 new taxes” slogan, which they then repeated in the media and their advertising in the last two weeks. Before that they focussed heavily on the “$16B of new spending” line. Basically National focus the public’s attention on some aspect of the opposition’s campaign, then move on to another aspect they can hammer on, so anyone who wasn’t convinced by the first tack could be convinced by the second, and vice-versa.

    • SDCLFC 4.1

      Shearer’s not going to stand but he is doing the right thing in sacrificing himself to show a more measured, humble side of Labour, sending a message to moderates. Is this what they call a “Stalking Horse”?

    • lprent 4.2

      I think Labour’s loss was more about the perception of the party as being fractious and undisciplined (so “how could they run the country?”) rather than their particular policies being unpopular.

      That is my view as well. It was accentuated in this election with the noisy morass of Dirty Politics (which did need to happen) and the crazy theatrics of IMP (which didn’t). The Labour campaign didn’t cope well with with adapting to either. But I can’t think of a good strategy for them to have coped with that monumental distraction apart from starting to seriously campaign a lot earlier – like the middle of 2013.

      By the time they got to the 3 months prior to the election they were only just starting to deal with the “too unstable to govern” after Shane Jones acted like a distraction dickhead again.

      We really have to do something about egotistical MPs making fools of the party and wasting everyone’s efforts. I finally got sick of it myself after the 2012 conference with the daft manufactured “coup” that some clown MP(s) thought up to distract from that.

      • King Kong 4.2.1

        How do you feel about reasonably prominent left wing blogs undermining the elected (by party list decisions and public endorsement) Labour caucus members?

      • Anne 4.2.2

        I think Labour’s loss was more about the perception of the party as being fractious and undisciplined (so “how could they run the country?”) rather than their particular policies being unpopular.

        The subliminal messaging and dirty politics worked wonders on the public sub-conscience.

        Has anyone reflected on what the Labour vote would have been if Shearer was still the leader? Possibly even worse…

  5. SDCLFC 5

    Oh dear.
    You don’t get it.
    Those voted in, you know the Caucus, who you want to attack, were accepted by the electorate, the voters that Labour need voting for them.
    It was the Labour Party that was rejected. That is they don’t support the party movement on the back of what they can see of the party, not the MPs. They see the party being made up of opinions like this and think I don’t want to be a part of it.
    I am a Labour voter who is interested in being a member of the Labour Party but it scares me to hell that I could be in a room with this sort of hate.
    Moderte New Zealand wants less moralising and more doing.
    The electorate see this sort of hating and think that is what makes up the party and so don’t vote for it.
    You don’t sell anything to anyone by shouting at them they are wrong and it is the electorate we need to sell to.
    Read the election, Labour MPs good, Labour Party not good.
    Oh, and you left out David Cunliffe’s other fault is that the national electorate don’t like him, 25% and all that.
    That should be enough.

    • adam 5.1

      Bugger moderate NZ – because 1/3 of the electorate rejected moderate middle class NZ as the idiots they are. They rejected a system which they knows does not work for them and only works for a bunch of self serving fools and egoists. A system which is rigged in the favour of the rich and wealthy. And the party that says it will help them, never has in the last 30 years.

      You labour people think you can keep the lies up and people will vote for you. Wake up, over a million New Zealanders rejected you and those Tory scum.

      One third of the electorate hates the lies, games and the bullshit.

      One third of the electorate rejected both the left and the right as they stand.

      One third of the electorate are bloody right, after reading what you wrote SDCLFC.

      • SDCLFC 5.1.1

        Thank you for proving my point.
        I mean I see you don’t like Labour but again you’re more interested hate.
        I hope it works well for you

        • adam

          Wow you really don’t get that the egotistical condescending nature of labour people is a real put off.

          But hey, keep on carrying on. You might get the message when you out of office for the next 10 years.

          You may just get the message that working people want to control their own lives, without a bunch of out of touch egoist telling them what they should do.

        • Coffee Connoisseur

          no its not that adam is more interested in hate. It is simply sheer intense frustration knowing that the system (not limited to the political system) doesn’t work and never will in its current structure.

          • Tracey

            Who did you vote for, and if cunliffe stays leader who would you vote for at the next election?

            • SDCLFC

              You weren’t asking me Tracey but I’ve voted Labour for all 6 elections of my eligibility.
              Based on two policies, housing and Capital Gains Taxes, but not based on this party.
              We must expect that without a mood for change most people will not vote on policy and instead vote on people and party.
              I won’t say that I won’t vote for Cunliffe if he stays, only because its too far away.
              However if the party doesn’t change to trying to attract the larger electorate, which means attracting political views that I might not agree with, then I will likely shop my vote, being someone who votes for a red candidate (well done Ginny Anderson for being one of only three losing candidates within 1000, and this was only her first hit-out), but denies Labour my party vote.
              See how it’s the party that needs to be selling themselves to the electorate in everything they do.
              If I’m disappointed about Saturday it’s not that so much of the country voted National, but that the left have butchered this so badly.
              It was our election 2 years ago.

              • Ad

                You’re a good bellwether.

              • Tracey

                I hear you. I guess that for me, a former labour voter and now Green for two elections or more, is that I sense that what you and others are looking for is a move by the LP toward the right.. We have certainly seen the cult of personality in this election in particular. There are those here who say labour simply does not have the resources to produce that cult of image the way national have (which in the long run I hjope will be a good thing).

                So, with WFF retained by national…and some others policies of Labor’s taken where is this common middle ground going to come from? That’s MY issue? I can’t see what people are wanting that national doesn’t already give them (or they perceive national gives them).

                Shearer attacking a guy on benefit for painting his roof feeds the myths… and if confirming people’s myths = good leadership, Key should have won by more, cos that is what they do.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Wait until you hear all the good pre-election year stuff now coming out of UK Labour about capping benefits etc

    • Coffee Connoisseur 5.2


    • lprent 5.3

      It is clear that you have a shallow analysis about how political parties operate. Perhaps you should try doing some basics like delivering pamphlets, organising pamphlet deliveries, running a branch or working in a LEC. But it sounds to me like you wouldn’t be good at actual work.

      Have fun jerking off. You read like a concern troll to me rather someone who has *worked* for Labour.

      • SDCLFC 5.3.1

        Thank you for proving my point.
        Labour needs to be inviting people in, not trying to shut them out.
        I would have thought that the line “I am a Labour voter who is interested in being a member…” would be responded with “We’re always looking for people to join so perhaps consider…”
        No, insults.

        • Lanthanide

          Lynn and this blog aren’t part of, or run by, the Labour party, so that’s your problem with his answer.

          • weka

            SD does have a point though. In terms of participation in this blog he doesn’t. But in terms of people leaving here feeling shit and thinking that’s about Labour, or the left, that might be a problem.

      • Rodel 5.3.2

        LPrent couldn’t agree more.

  6. Tracey 6

    Open mike 23/09/2014

    couldnt agree more

    IF they wanted me to move my vote from Green to labour they have not started off well at all.

    Contrast with Greens and where they are now focusing. Work to be done.

    • Mark 6.1

      Tracy sorry to disillusion you but it is not your vote that Labour needs to win back its the ones that have gone to National. Scurrying to the left to win back Labour voters who have moved to the greens is not a winning strategy, it is simply a waste of time and effort. To win the left needs to win back the voters who are in the centre and have leaked across to National

      • Tracey 6.1.1

        I understand that. You seem to confirm what I think many are saying, that labour needs to be more like National to get its share of the vote back…

        That just means we are in for a team swapping every 9 or more years… same shit different party.

        yesterday there were some suggesting that labour needed to slaughter the Greens and grab that vote back as well as show people who dont like the Greens that labour is safe to vote for.

        That viewpoint only suggests to me that many just want labour to be more like National. I think that is a mistake.

        • weka

          Slaughter the Greens? Like a raid on the silver beet patch and a quick boil up?

          Kind of ridiculous when you consider that the GP has built a solid base and that’s who votes for them. Even if it were a good idea (which it’s not) I can’t see how Labour could slaughter them.

      • Hanswurst 6.1.2

        Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I don’t think it’s quite that simple. People like backing a viable possibility. Green votes might be easier for Labour to woo back, and if they and start registering a clear upswing of a couple of percent in the polls on the back of that, that may also convince other voters that Labour has that viability, voters who were turned off Labour more because of its image of low polling and disarray than by their policies. This could then turn into a positive feedback loop, because the higher Labour’s polling, the more people see it as viable, thus being more likely to vote for it, thus making it seem yet more viable, etc..

        The reason why I think that attracting current Green voters might be easier to kickstart that is twofold. Firstly, they are probably more interested in policy and less in a media circus about internal party politics. Secondly, they are often more politically active and therefore more likely to pay attention to the messages of parties between elections than soft swing voters who vote Labour/National based on their impressions during and around election campaigns.

        How the Greens chose to deal with that would be their affair, and Labour doesn’t owe them anything in that regard. However, I don’t think that a more left-wing Labour would endanger the Greens’ core vote, and the Greens know what they need to do to appeal to that constituency. In the end, the Greens have a better chance of landing at the cabinet table with 6-7% and a strong Labour vote than they do with 10% and Labour in the doldrums.

        This is all complicated by the fact that a third party like NZ First would very possibly still be required after an election, or that another right-wing party like the Conservatives might be able to pick up large numbers of voters by scaremongering about a Labour-Green coalition if National looked weaker – but that’s where it becomes too complicated for me (and I expect many cleverer than me) even to speculate on.

    • sabine 6.2

      Labour had nothing to do with UF and Dunne.
      That poisoned package was given to us courtesy of the Green Voters of Ohariu that wasted over 2000 votes to support a candidate that did not stand a chance in hell.

      The same is valid for Nikki Kaye in Central Auckland – Thanks Green Party of Aotearoa.

      We needed to win as many battles as we could…..and these two were given away by “Allies”

      The Green Party should be wondering how well they work together with National.
      Because in these two districts they helped National , as the saying goes with Friends like these one needs no enemies.

      The left needs to see what they want and how they want to get it. Personally I hope that Labour will get its act together and tell the Co-Leaders of the Green Party to continue supporting National in the building of National Cycle ways.

      Don’t want to hear any sanctimonious preaching that the Greens are better….Nope they are not!

      • Tracey 6.2.1

        You understand that had Adern won, Labour would have no more seats in parliament than now, and national would too?

        I agree with your Ohariu comments.

        I think Epsom and Tai Tokerau deserve more of your wrath. Woodhouse strongly campaigning in Epsom for the electorate vote was dumb. Genter, to my knowledge was not campaigning for the seat. Davis should have got a high list seat if he is that valkuable, and had Hone won…

        IMP 2-3
        Ohariiu Labour = UF gone
        Epsom Goldsmith ACT gone

        Forget Adern, tell me what parliament looks like today with those three results.

  7. vto 7

    international geopolitics will dominate the next few years domestically

    look for things to heat up several notches shortly

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    Yup the biggest problem with Labour’s Mps is their ego’s. I agree Cunliffe dosnt always listen when he should do and some see him as arrogant I get that, but Shearer has to have the biggest ego of them all. After only 18 months of being and MP he was stupid enough to think he had enough experience to not only be on the front bench but that he could be the Leader of the opposition and a future PM. Remember this guy had no experience inside the Party he had not been an LEC Chair a Regional rep or President of the Party.
    This was a guy who was shitting bricks during his bi- election campaign because he thought the media “might trip him up as they had done with Melissa Lee”. The ABC’s have been disloyal from the get go of Cunliffes leadership, they dont give a shit about what the members think they are like spoil t kids that always want everything their way. The reason Labour didn’t win was because of disloyalty and division within the Labour caucus and NZ voters wont vote for that.
    It’s time the members had the say and vote on not only the leader but the list selection and the electorate selection.

  9. brian 9

    I don’t really have enough information to agree or disagree. In the “Presidential campaigning” system that the media fosters, and all parties go along with, the choice of Leader is extremely important.

    I would like to know who in Labour was/is responsible for promoting a vision. For providing voters with a reason for voting Labour (a) instead of voting National and (b) instead of voting Greens.

    If Cunliffe had that responsibility he should go, quickly. If that was a collective responsibility involving all the other potential candidates then options are a little more difficult.

    I went to a Labour meeting. Average age of people there was about 60. I doubt the same would occur with the Greens and with Mana. Labour needs to inspire their members first, and then the public. Inspiration needs to come from the top. Who can provide that the best?

    If a confirmation of Cunliffe is made before the above is recognised (or if my analysis is “wrong”, before the party has come to it’s own conclusion), the decision will be too fast.

    • greywarbler 9.1

      @ brian 9
      Labour needs to inspire their members first, and then the public. Inspiration needs to come from the top. Who can provide that the best?

      It is very hard to inspire volunteers. Providing inspiration in a political system where volunteers are the norm is different than managing a business. As the saying goes, you can pick your friends but not your family. And the Labour family is fractious and some are disloyal. Volunteers tend to be convinced they are great and know everything. Teaching volunteers to do their job well, and in the spirit of the organisation is difficult.

      Inspired people at the top, need loyal, committed people all the way down carrying the message and acting on it. The commitment needed is to do what is wanted by those leading the organisation. So the inspiration needs to come from the top and be matched and accepted by those at all levels, with a Whip-like position to see that everyone is enthused to follow requirements.

      If there is disagreement those people should have a voice at meetings where it is noted and discussed and pros and cons of the matter decided. If unwilling to accept the decision of the group, then they are not assets enabling achievement of the planned goals and should step back. Not stay and throw mud.

      • brian 9.1.1

        If the party is incapable of inspiring their volunteers, there is no hope. They should be much easier to inspire than the voters.

        “If unwilling to accept the decision of the group, then they are not assets enabling achievement of the planned goals and should step back”
        The problem faced by Labour is that hundreds of thousands of voters have “stepped back”. Perhaps time for a rethink?

      • Tracey 9.1.2

        Greens had over 6000 volunteers I believe…

    • lprent 9.2

      I went to a Labour meeting. Average age of people there was about 60. I doubt the same would occur with the Greens and with Mana.

      And it was long and relatively boring in a chilly room preaching to the converted. Right?

      It has been like that as long as I have been involved with Labour. The problem is that it is frigging hard to change anything inside Labour. That is why I do most of my work for politics outside of *anything* to do with the party organisations these days. I want to be able to do things without wasting time on it.

      I literally spent a decade trying it inside the Labour party and eventually gave up on it as being a waste of time.

      • Annie 9.2.1

        We have just been talking about rejuvenating our rural LEC. Our approach is that we are going to lead that, and if our electorate MP (Labour) comes on board that’s great, but we are going to be leading it. We can create a grass roots local organisation. And anyone of the left is welcome to be a part of it, regardless of their party affiliation. The left stands or falls together.

  10. shona 10

    Too right Lprent. A few resignations are in order. I am fed up with the lazy useless posturing of the centre right of Labour. They have made their values clear and they do not correlate with the majority of Labour’s supporters. Their treasonous behaviour beggars belief. But i guess that is the reality when you believe your own bullshit. I see
    lazy ,overpaid, self interested out of touch arrogant and philosophically corrupt whingers who need to have a look at the work ethic of the South Auckland and Maori electorates pull their heads out of their backsides , get in behind Cunliffe and get on with job or get out of the party.

    • Tracey 10.1

      they can’t resign, some of them because it will force by-elections. Some needed to go before the election now it is just one BIG mess to clean up.

    • SDCLFC 10.2

      New Zelnd see this sort of bitterness and are turned off by the Labour Party. It was the Party that was rejected, not the MPs.
      I mean their actions are motivated by wanting seat in Parliament, something tangible and at risk. Yours just by your desire for bitterness.
      If you were really motivated by wanting a Centre-Left Government you’d lend your voice to a Labour movement that could win an election. This current one can’t.

      • Tracey 10.2.1

        Cosgrove sent out flyers with no labour party logo… How was that campaigning for the party?

        • adam

          Chris Trotter called that on the daily blog early in the election. He pointed to the signage and promotional material. Some would have thought in Mt Roskill, Phil Goff was an independent, as it seemed as their was virtually no mention of labour.

          Why does that not surprise me of Cosgrove, and some party hack had a go at me for saying Cosgrove was right wing.

          • Tracey

            I noticed that about goffs signs too. I saw one with cunliffe in it the week of the election. I drive extensively through epsom, mt roskill, new lynn, mt albert and kelston electorates.

            • karol

              There were a few Cunliffe Labour Party vote Billboards around Kelston – some of them in the backstreets on the bus route.

              • Tracey

                Sorry, i just meant in goffs electorate, was letting people know the electorates i travel.

                I saw cunliffes more in twyfords electorate.

        • SDCLFC

          And because of that we returned 25% of the vote?
          Read the result rather than cherry-pick the commentary.
          The customer isn’t dumb. Labour needs to stop thinking they are so that they will want to vote for them.

          • Tracey

            Will Shearer or someone of his ilk do the trick? By playing into the woefully misguided meme that beneficiaries are bludgers (cue his appalling statement about a beneficiary painting his roof), is that how to do it? Moving the party to the right will fulfil LP principles?

            Do you believe there is a left wing of the national party? If yes, can you name some of them? I am interested because it appears that many think that a labour party needs to be more “right” wing than it is….

            I can only see that working when Key’s star declines or he calls it a day AND his successor is bad enough to fail their machine of manipulation and lies.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Do you believe there is a left wing of the National Party?

              It isn’t so much a Left Wing as a law-abiding faction.

            • srylands

              “Do you believe there is a left wing of the national party? If yes, can you name some of them?”

              There you go again. The Government IS a centre-left government. There are no right wing politicians in the NZ Parliament.

              Until you get that your lot will keep losing elections. New Zealanders will NOT elect a right wing Government. But because you think otherwise you chase imaginary enemies.

              • Tracey

                Dont be a wanker all your life slylands

              • wtl

                “We have to take the fight to the Americans and beat them if we are going to win this war!” said General Smith to his loyal troops. “If we are united, I’m sure we can do it!”

                “YES! WE WILL BEAT THEM!” said the troops in unison.

                Suddenly, from behind the general, a new voice emerged. “They are not Americans! They are from the US! The United States! At the very least, they are North Americans! You can’t call them Americans. If you do so you will lose because you are chasing imaginary enemies!”

                The troops stared at the new person. The general turned to the man. He had a badge saying ‘S Rylands’ on it. He belonged to the weird faction called ‘Act’ that 99.3% of people hated.

                The general said, “Look, we don’t care what you decided to call the Americans, they are Americans to us. We know who we are at war with. So off you go and stop bothering us with pointless comments. We don’t want to have to use force”.

                S Rylands walked away. It wasn’t worth letting the argument escalate but he was unperturbed. He would be back again to make sure they used the language he preferred, because he was right, of course. How could he possible be wrong? Sadly, even though many of the others at the place called “The Standard” were delusional, none were more delusional than him, yet he would forever be ignorant of this fact.

      • framu 10.2.2

        you cant turn people onto a party when they keep fighting in public – the policies werent that unpopular – the idiot caucus was, mainly because the kept feeding the media narrative of a party without discipline.

        thats the big thing – they keep running around telling stories to the media who just love a good “internal factions” story.

        Christ – only two days after the election and up they pop again with shearer – hes quite allowed to want to seek a change of leader – but he should bloody shut the hell up to the MSM. Havent labour learnt that the MSM isnt doing them any favours?

        labour MPs choices are clear and consist of two options

        a) do the job your party gave you and be professional about it
        b) leave

        talking to the media should never be an option – if an MP doesnt like something then the only actions they should take are internal ones

        • Tracey

          Some seem to think mallard didnt know how his moa quip would be painted by the media. I think he knew exactly…

          • framu

            that was my reaction as well

            there is no way any MP, never mind an experienced one, would go on about such a thing, especially during an election if the werent trying to destabilise

      • greywarbler 10.2.3

        Perhaps all those candidates who stood for the Labour Party but advertised themselves on an electorate basis only should have stood as independents? If they are campaigning for themselves but using Labour Party resources that is unfair, perhaps corrupt? The Labour Party is the vehicle that carries the MPs forward, and the vehicle, and to use common parlance today, the brand, has to have a cohesive, recognisable standard, meaningful mission and ethos.

        Referring to hate talk and disagreement and criticising those who are concerned and emotional about the continuing demise of the Labour Party indicates a lack of mature, intelligent thought and understanding of societal group needs. It takes work to combine and build a group dedicated to a particular mission, time, thought, sacrifice of personal activities to carry out work required to further the mission. This should not be lightly dismissed.

        • greywarbler

          I was interested in who Shona was talking to – it’s SD…. at 10.2 at the top of the thread. A RW trolE.

      • shona 10.2.4

        Desire for bitterness??/ You pontificating prat. ‘ to see what is front of your nose, requires a constant struggle” -George Orwell

    • brian 10.3

      @ Shona 10

      “I am fed up with the lazy useless posturing of the centre right of Labour. They have made their values clear and they do not correlate with the majority of Labour’s supporters. Their treasonous behaviour ……”

      Something wrong here.
      Who are really important? Labour’s supporters or the voters?

      I watched the Values Party get smaller and smaller, until the final dozen could sit around in a room, with clear unified values, and could sing in unison…. smugly, in their righteousness.

      • framu 10.3.1

        i see it like this

        unified party who arent publicly stabbing each other in the back = supporters = voters

        I dont think its impossible at all for labour to present a policy platform that people like – but theyve got to stop tearing everything down around themselves first – nothing else can be achieved untill they leave the egos at home and work for the party instead of themselves

      • greywarbler 10.3.2

        @ brian 10.3
        Do you feel like answering this one? What in your opinion was the downfall of Values?

    • amirite 10.4

      +1,000 Shona

    • Che 10.5

      “They have made their values clear and they do not correlate with the majority of Labour’s supporters” – isn’t this the exact reason why a discussion about leadership is needed? – as has just been proven there are simply not enough Labour supporters to get anywhere close to forming a government. Those in the ‘centre right’ of the party have proven themselves to be imminently more popular with New Zealanders than the more strident factions and the party should not delude itself that 30% is a winning formula

      • Tracey 10.5.1

        How have they shown themselves to be more popular?

        • Che

          An extrapolation from looking at the electorate results (personal vs party vote) as well as comparing overall results to previous – even with an increased turnout in 2014 Labour still lost 100,000 votes compared to last time.

          • Tracey

            But the caucus was SO unified in your opinion, so behind their leader and they lost? Or was that cunliffe’s fault too.

            Your solution is to find a new person who will lose, but by less than cinliffe? Like brash to english?

            • Che

              I can’t recall making any comment about how unified or otherwise the caucus was previously. All I know is that the party performed worse than it did 3 years ago, has dropped 10 points in polling in a year, the party vote was only won in 5 electorates (and got less than 20% of the vote in over 1/3rd of them) whereas there are 27 electorate MP’s and that the caucus is certainly not unified now. There needs to be a discussion around the direction the party is taking and the leadership to get us there – this is leadership across the party not as discussion around Cunliffe vs someone else.

          • Hanswurst

            You can’t extrapolate from that. The majority of the electorate MP’s known to be right-leaning were more likely elected due to the advantage of incumbency and long-term seniority than because people want a more right-wing Labour.

  11. In order to win the next election Labour has to be an effective opposition to this government which, now it has a clear mandate, will show its real colours.

    Labour HAS to start connecting with those Kiwis who are so turned off from politics they don’t bother to vote. It failed utterly and miserably in that task – and a diversion into yet another clash of male egos over who gets to be sheriff is the last thing we need – and is precisely what the rightwing is hoping will happen.

    National’s propagandists used Labour’s failure to build a strategic alliance with its political partners and its internal divisions – to create a nasty but very effective image – one that resonated with a lot of Kiwis. It was about ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. And an awful lot of Kiwis love – no, NEED – to be on the wining side.

    Right wingers on this blog have been unable to resist gloating – which is fair enough as we’d be doing a bit of that if we’d won – but more worrying is the widespread tendency among National supporters to write off 1 in 3 of their fellow Kiwis as ‘losers’.

    That’s unforgivable.

    • Murray Olsen 11.1

      When we do win, I won’t be gloating. I’ll be relieved, maybe a little bit satisfied, and looking forward to a better society. I wouldn’t have time to gloat at the people on the right. I’d just watch them to catch any of their efforts at sabotage.

  12. Adrian 12

    Was Mike Williams with his huge amount of knowledge about winning elections for Labour ever approached for advice? If he was he certainly wasn’t listened to, at the time that the “gender-mandering” of the caucus was in the news, Mike said on RNZ “Never ever do something that can be lampooned”.
    Within days “man-ban” became an epithet weapon, and men moved away in droves.
    That was when we started dropping from 34% to wherever.
    But we carried on to do shit loads of even more lampoonable stuff.
    That shows an inability to actually understand what all NZers are thinking.

  13. Enough is Enough 13

    For better or worse the Labour caucus is now selected for the next three years. It is chock full of yesterday’s men and women.

    The first thing the leader must do is unite this group behind him or herself and the common cause of displacing John Key in 2017.

    For me that is the top of the job description for leader of the Labour party.

    I am not sure who that person is. But I am fairly certain that person’s name does not begin with David.

    Neither Shearer nor Cunliffe have the requisite support of the caucus to effectively carry out the job. Without that support they cannot do the job. Therefore neither should be leader.

    • greywarbler 13.1

      @ Enough
      But you have missed a big point in the barracking that has gone on here. People are not just thinking about getting Labour in to government, it is getting a Labour that has skills in resurrection and nation building. We want the spirit of Christmases past, and the rest of the years too, to arise and give us a future we can work at and enjoy.

      So just getting somebody that caucus approves of and can be pushed successfully into the Beehive, isn’t enough. Wait there’s more… to consider. It’s not just simply a win, it’s what then?

      • Enough is Enough 13.1.1

        Yeah you are correct.

        However I think a fundamental aspect of the leader’s job is leading a team. If the leader can’t do that then they are not qualified for the job. We can bitch and moan about the caucus but if Cunliffe lead then then its game over for him.

        The bigger issue is the caucus itself and how it was and will be selected.

        What does the party do if it considers that the caucus is not representative of the membership?

        • Tracey

          Funny, in my jobs if someone refused to work with the team, openly defied the boss, or went behind their back, we didn’t get a new boss/leader…. we lost a team member who didnt want to be in the team.

          • greywarbler

            @ Tracey

          • Enough is Enough

            I am fairly certain in your job, the workers do not have a say in selecting the boss.

            And furthermore, if it was only one person in the caucus who didn’t support the team or the boss, then again I am fairly certain we would not be having this debate.

            • Tracey

              Makes you wonder why goff didnt win in 2011, if his faction is the answer.

              • Enough is Enough

                If we keep talking about factions then no side will ever win.

                We need an individual that has the respect of all. Remember that lady Ms Clark. Another one of her would do quite nicely.

                • Tracey

                  I’ll play, you seem to know them better than I do, who do you think fits that bill?

                  • Enough is Enough

                    Nope no game to play.

                    All I know is that is that Cunners and Shearer do not fit the bill.

                    I can’t see how anyone thinks the caucus will function effectively if the wider party thrusts on them a leader that they dislike and will not support.

                    Telling the caucus to pull their heads is not a strategy that will bring the much needed unity.

                    • Tracey

                      Can you see that knowing who you dont want isnt a solution unless you have a better replacement?

                      Based on that i would keep cunliffe, as i would have kept goff for at least six mo ths post last election. Let him continue to establish and grow an image.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.

                      It is not quite a truism but something to bear in mind.

                      The simple fact is the caucus will not get in behind in this guy. The last 48 hours has shown that. You can say what you like about the trouble makers and scream at them to come into line.

                      Guess what. They won’t.

                      So what do you do?

  14. Delia 14

    I think when Cunliffe is confirmed as Leader again, those who cannot work with him should for once put their actions where their mouths are and quit. I am tired of bitchy people sitting in parliament on taxpayer money causing dissension.

    • Tracey 14.1

      Who do you have in mind and if tgey hold a seat you are talking by elections.

    • Che 14.2

      Isn’t that exactly what Cunliffe did for years before the constitution was rigged in his favour with disasterous results?

      • lprent 14.2.1

        No you are wrong. Point to a single instance where that happened? And don’t raise the lie of the 2012 mythic “coup”.

        The best you can do (excluding myths) is that Cunliffe refused to rule out seeking leadership IF a leadership challenge came up. That was a question that should have never been asked for. Ask if he was mounting a challenge in 2012 – sure – there wasn’t.

        But there is a mandatory vote in caucus on leadership that happens now after the election. Anyone can then challenge.

        I just feel that it is a waste of time this time around. I can pretty well tell you how the members will vote, and give a good guess on affiliates..

        • Che

          I think most people are well aware of his dissent behind the scenes (as the original post is currently railing against) rather than public challenge. His actions in this regard are the reason the ABC’s exist and reflect the lack of trust he has in a caucus setting.

          • greywarbler

            @ Che
            ‘I think most people are well aware of his dissent behind the scenes’
            How many exactly, are…..? And from where did you draw that inference?
            Now we have close ties with China perhaps we should change the term ‘Chinese whispers’ for inflating gossip,. to ‘Che whispers’.

          • Tracey

            So no proof

          • weka

            “I think most people are well aware of his dissent behind the scenes (as the original post is currently railing against) rather than public challenge.”

            Can you please give some examples? At least 3 distinct ones.

    • The Lone Haranguer 14.3

      Most of the MPs in that camp are electorate based so:
      – they will be damn hard to push out (theres only so many diplomatic come fisheries jobs out there and Jones got the top one)
      – they would cause the need for a by-election
      – can Labour afford the $$ for a by-election? (or several based on your suggestion)
      – can Labour afford to lose a by-election after the drubbing they just received?

      • weka 14.3.1

        Can they afford to keep disgruntled, power-grubbing back stabbers in their ranks? Or even just MPs with a view distinctly different from the party’s and an unwillingness to keep their mouth shut?

  15. TheBlackKitten 15

    The issue with Labour is that it’s policies are not connecting with middle NZ. Perhaps people that contribute on here like Labour’s current polices but elections are won by middle NZ and middle NZ sent Labour a very strong message on Saturday night that has nothing to do with leadership.
    No where in this article does it mention that issue & I wonder if Labour understands that its policies are the real issue. If they don’t, I fear that their days as a major political force are over.
    It is not good for NZ to have one party as dominant as National is at present & I really do wish Labour would start the process of recognising what NZ is trying to tell them & become the force that they once were.
    I also find it interesting that funding was rejected by the President. Why was that? It makes me wonder if they were hoping for a loss this great to use as an excuse to knife Cunliffe. Labour need to work as a team, select a leader they all like, select policies that will appeal to middle NZ & take all the funding they can get so they can get their message out to NZ.

    • Tracey 15.1

      Even though they released 100 policies in the last twelve months and most people agreed with key that labour didnt want to talk about policy.

      I am not as sure that policy is their main problem, how to out clever national to enable labour to frame their own policies is, imo, a big issue. National defined LP policies, by cherry picking a few and pretending the rest didnt exist.

      • TheBlackKitten 15.1.1

        I think policy is an issue. The middle NZ who voted Labour in the past & have now gone National do not like for example Labours current welfare policies and favour National’s reforms. There are a lot of stories within our welfare system ie: 4 kids to different fathers, kids going to school hungry but parent/s spending money on vices that annoy middle NZ. Perhaps those on here don’t like that or agree with that but the reality is, that is how middle NZ is feeling at present.
        Agree that National have taken the good Labour policies but the fact that National are taking Labour policies suggest that National are not as right winged as the Bolger/Shipley days so middle NZ are not so scared of them.
        However I feel that there are a lot of areas that Labour could cover that National would not touch ie: why are we paying so much for food but wages in general are so low. Small business – are they getting a fair deal when trying to compete with corporates. These are just a few areas that Labour could cover that would appeal to middle NZ but National won’t touch with a barge pole.

        • Tracey

          ” do not like for example Labours current welfare policies and favour National’s reforms. There are a lot of stories within our welfare system ie: 4 kids to different fathers, kids going to school hungry but parent/s spending money on vices that annoy middle NZ. Perhaps those on here don’t like that or agree with that but the reality is, that is how middle NZ is feeling at present…… ”

          Middle nz likes myths you say?

          What was Labours welfare policy this election?

          • TheBlackKitten

            Is it myth or is it that many of them know of a such and such who fits in the description I have given?
            Labour’s welfare policy was to increase the DPB via WFF entitlements wasn’t it? Labours welfare policy was to return it prior to National’s reforms wasn’t it?
            Tracey – all you are doing by going down this track is ignoring middle NZ and the longer you ignore middle NZ the longer you play right into Nationals hands.

            • greywarbler

              The Black Kitten
              I say to you that middle NZ is ignoring the true state of the country and is willing to turn it into a third world country, while they spend up, buy their stuff, drink their coffee their wine, and whine about those on welfare. There are many unable to work, sick in the head from depression and drink because of the hopelessness of it all, or who can work but are ground down to depression level wages, all happening in front of your eyes.

              And you can come here and poke fun at people concerned about it all, and say we should be kneeling in front of you begging for your votes so we can get a Party in to government that actually cares about doing a good job for all the people of NZ not just the smug who have found a comfortable niche for themselves. Niches are small usually, not big enough for the many!

            • Tracey

              Maybe quote their policy, all of it.

              If you think if someone “knows” someone who smokes while on a benefit that all beneficiaries are lazy good for nothings can’t be a myth because of that one example I can’t persuade you, and that is cool.

              Middle NZ is in National. Labour can move to the right, wait for Key’s star to decline and then claim the middle ground again… and they can jump on the merry-go-round of economics and politics that is not making NZ a place where everyone thrives and the environment is valued. It is possible to have both.

              Labour from 1999 to 2008 had some great opportunities and they didnt take them, they played the National party game… now those who thought that was great are bemoaning the loss of that ground. Great.

              I don’t think anyone in NZ, middle or many other places, has any idea WHO the LP stood for in this election, and I don’t think LP did either.

              Clayton Cosgrove advertising himself and not the party… needs to find a new job.

        • greywarbler

          @ The Black Kitten
          You are just repeating stuff that is picked out of headlines on welfare without any flash of insight about why some people get into cycles that deprive them of opportunities for change for the better.

          You identify with the middleclass people who don’t want to know about reality and therefore find it hard to understand Labour and its policies. It is called being determinedly ignorant, or wilfully ignorant. Your opinion doesn’t count for much because it’s not based on any solid information or understanding. The questions you raise would be answered by reading and listening to media that give facts and background on their topics and not just biased opinions.

          Incidentally one fact is that people trying to manage on a benefit usually can’t afford a black or any other coloured kitten. They don’t have much money for food for themselves, and can’t afford vet bills, or the cost of neutering them. It’s a hard world out there. Try to learn and understand the situation.

          • TheBlackKitten

            “You identify with the middleclass people who don’t want to know about reality and therefore find it hard to understand Labour and its policies.”
            And you navel glaze and wonder why Labour got 24% of the party vote on Saturday night. Your comment is a classic example of how you are ignoring middle class concerns. You may think they are ignorant, stupid, don’t understand the cycle but what you miss sadly & what Key understands – Is that they are the majority of the voting block in NZ.
            If you want Labour to keep getting 24% every election then you my friend are on the right track by looking down at the largest voting block in NZ with arrogance.

            • greywarbler

              The Black Kitten
              The middle class are the ones who need to get their minds straight. They have the most to gain by voting in National, they are living in times where there are rising house prices that they can profit from, others can’t afford one at all.
              They are maintaining their employment and financial position on money that is borrowed overseas by National.

              At the same time they are trying to cut down the cost of government by paying less tax and are not willing to pay out of their excess what is needed to run the country and also recompense the NZs who have lost employment because of the free market that has strangled our business enterprise opportunities.

              Winners and losers. The middle class are supporting borrowing on NZs credit card so they can continue to live comfortably and to hell with the people that Labour should be acting intelligently to support. The middle class are not wanting to be good NZrs, caring about their country and all the citizens. There is no way that a true Labour Party can run round after them and still serve those people who need help from drifting into third world employment levels. The economy of the country as a whole is practically monopolised by dairy, all the eggs in one basket, and desperately needs wise government which it won’t get from National. But the middle class don’t want to think too hard, she’ll be right, till the wheels fall off.

              • The Lone Haranguer

                The Grey Warbler.

                You may well be 100% right that
                “The middle class are the ones who need to get their minds straight.”
                “But the middle class don’t want to think too hard, she’ll be right, till the wheels fall off.”

                but you have no right to lecture us on any shortcomings that you perceive we may have. And every time you folk lecture us, you lose more votes for the left.

                Ideals are the enemy of good ideas

                • Tracey

                  isnt black kitten also “lecturing”?

                  In the end what you or I or blackkitten think wont matter, it will be caucus of LP and their processes which decides whatever it is they will decide…

                  ACT and UF could have been dead in the water IF labour and Greens (collectively the Left) had cooperated.

                  TTT could have gone to Hone and IMP…

                  Suddenly winston is what would stand between a left and right government… NOT such a huge gap as blackkitten seems to believe is out there…

                  So, on that analysis, Winston’s votes are the ones that are up for grabs and what does Labour have to “look” like to get those?

                  • TheBlackKitten

                    Sorry, I don’t mean to lecture. I just don’t like that National has such majority in government at present & believe that NZ needs to have a competitive opposition to keep the government on its toes. Labour’s result on Saturday show that we don’t have that at present. All I am attempting to do is offer an outside view as to why that is. But you are correct, Labour will do what it wants to do at the end of the day.
                    You are correct that Winston could have very easily been the kingmaker. However I disagree that the gap is not large. Winston’s policies are more conservative than left ie immigration, work for the dole. If he did not have such a bee up his bonnet with his past treatment from the National Party, his policies would suit National in coalition rather than Labour. Remember he started politics as a National MP.

                    • Tracey

                      I do remember. But his are the votes your LP need to lure… And the CP and national… The policies that will do that will be fascinating when compared to labour party principles.

                • greywarbler

                  @ The Lone Haranguer
                  What re you on about? Is this a quote or is it you
                  but you have no right to lecture us on any shortcomings that you perceive we may have. And every time you folk lecture us, you lose more votes for the left.
                  Ideals are the enemy of good ideas

                  I do have the right. As you have the right to come here and put up any useful ideas you might have, despite your ideals.

                  It is almost a a necessity to state that the middle class are revelling in the destruction of NZ and the impoverishment of many in money, stability, security, living conditions and personal time and a hopeful plan for a fulfilled future. Because the middle class would not absorb it if someone didn’t keep sprinkling them with the facts that just slide off their teflon-covered suits.

                  • The Lone Haranguer


                    Well maybe you do feel you have the right to lecture others who dont agree with your viewpoint, but lecturing them wont win their vote at the next election.

                    I guess it depends what motivates you – educating people or winning their vote.

                    Do you want their minds or their hearts? The Nats went after their hearts and the Nats won the election big time.

                    Your points about the middle may well be fair, but is lecturing us from the opposition benches the way to change New Zealand?

                    • TheBlackKitten

                      Greywarbler is displaying the arrogance of what is wrong with the Labour Party of today. His/her comments actually make me feel rather sad. He/She is so entrenched in ideology that they would rather place the blame on the largest voting block in NZ than look to see what can be fixed or adapted. This attitude concerns me as the longer it continues, the more powerful National and the right in general become. Its similar to if you have a business and blame your biggest customer for not continuing with their purchase of your product rather than look to see what the problem is. Its leads to a road to nowhere and is one of failure as was proven for Labour on Saturday night.

                    • greywarbler

                      BlackKitten 2.08
                      I always knew it was a waste of time trying to find firm ground with you. But I am so pleased that you appear to have full cognisance of the dire political situation we are in and no doubt, what needs to be done to escape from it. Are you connected with Paula Bennett or one of the National corn dollies by any chance?

                      You sound like a concern trole. Thank you for your concern. I must go as I have things to do that will yield benefit, which isn’t a four letter word to me.

                    • greywarbler

                      The Lone Haranguer 1.46
                      I agree that lecturing anyone who isn’t thinking, isn’t listening, isn’t interested in the welfare of the whole country and seeing another point of view, is a waste of time. You are quite capable of bringing a mature, conscientious mind to the matter of a fair and just society. If you haven’t got one, then it is no use for me to attempt to awaken such.

            • Tracey

              so middle NZ to you means middle class new zealand?

              Can you be more specific?

        • sabine

          back to let them eat grits and shaming women for having children while not properly owned by a man?

          anything National is going to reform that would make those 4 fathers pay alimony?

          in a nutshell this is what the National Voters voted for t he right to scrutinise those that are on welfare.
          What do they eat? ….Let them have grits three times a day and a banana for sunday.
          What do they wear? ….hand me downs form the Salvation Army should be good enough for them..after all they are poor.
          What they have aTV……sacrilege, lets cut their benefits they are not poor enough just yet.

          You forget that a lot of people (i would guess to say the majority of them) are working full time/part time or a few casual jobs, but need assistance in paying rent?

          Do I hear National porpose to reform the Accom Benefit? Nope, because that benefit benefits the Landowners, Property Owners and Developper.

          Bene bashing that is what National stands for.

          • TheBlackKitten

            That may be all very well, as I said in my first comment, most people on this site would not like what middle nz is feeling at present. You may want to rave at me or anyone else about that, but the reality is, and this is something that Labour needs to face, is that the largest voting block in NZ is feeling like that at present. All I am doing is reporting it, I am not the one who has created it so no need to shoot me over it.

        • sabine

          back to let them eat grits and shaming women for having children while not properly owned by a man?

          anything National is going to reform that would make those 4 fathers pay alimony?

          in a nutshell this is what the National Voters voted for t he right to scrutinise those that are on welfare.
          What do they eat? ….Let them have grits three times a day and a banana for sunday.
          What do they wear? ….hand me downs form the Salvation Army should be good enough for them..after all they are poor.
          What they have aTV……sacrilege, lets cut their benefits they are not poor enough just yet.

          You forget that a lot of people (i would guess to say the majority of them) are working full time/part time or a few casual jobs, but need assistance in paying rent?

          Do I hear National porpose to reform the Accom Benefit? Nope, because that benefit benefits the Landowners, Property Owners and Developper.

          Bene bashing that is what National stands for.

      • Rob 15.1.2

        Labour need to present as being united, They must understand that the media are not their friends.
        They should note how the media hunt a wounded animal, look at Lisa Owen on Saturday night and Mary Wilson on Sunday, A bit like Jackels!
        Both Cunnlife, and Shearer have been good with their responses when interviewed.
        Don’t answer with the media answer tell them if they want to answer their own question they can, but if they want the answer from the horses mouth then listen for it.
        Do not fit the media narrative. Even this morning when Shearer was interviewed the headline was about trivia,internal poll results not what he was largely talking of.

        Labour do need to look at why they came a poor second and reflect, a new leader now is not the answer.
        They need to reign in any member who shoots off to the media, we witnessed Clayton Cosgrove do that in the campaign with the story of Flock Hill Station, it would have been helpful to have the facts first.

        Labour had almost 700,000 votes for candidates and National had just over 900,000
        National had theirs and others translated into Party Votes While Labour didn’t
        They need to keep it simple even steal ideas from National like National did from Labour.
        ie Two ticks must be mandatory
        and Tax should only be reduced in electioneering; Start a campaign to reduce GST and probably set the lower rate of tax as only 1% for the first $10,000
        That will help the poorer constituents and also those who spend money and have bought Nationals’ Aspirations so much trotted out by Key .

  16. Sable 16

    Its a tough call for left leaning parties with the concentrated mainstream media so utterly and completely bought and paid for by the political right.

    I suspect if there is change it will have more to do with this current mob making so many really bad or dodgy decisions that even the talking heads wont be able to hide the facts from the populace.

    I do predict that Keys won’t last the full term. I have a feeling a few more chickens may come home to roost.

    In any case as per usual people have to learn “the hard way”. So be it.

  17. Blue 17

    I spoke to a Kiwi living overseas who couldn’t even name the current leader of the Labour Party. That’s the road we’re about to go down, yet again. How many leaders do we need to go through? If the next numpty to get the job doesn’t start polling mid-30s by lunchtime, are we going to just roll them and pick the next unfortunate idiot on the list?

    Oh, to live in the special little world inhabited by Labour’s caucus, where a leader is to blame for everything and their petty little backstabbing antics are not in the least damaging to the party.

    How about this – instead of replacing the leader, replace half of Labour’s caucus. The imbeciles who keep whining to the press can go first.

    Whatever idiocy the party descends to, can I just make one final plea – whichever poor muppet gets the job, can the caucus please, please, please, grow a brain and learn to support them rather than tearing them down at every opportunity?

    Too much to ask? Yeah, I thought so. Let the carnage begin.

  18. Karen 18

    I agree absolutely LPrent. Cunliffe has made mistakes, but I think his poor image with the public is mainly to do with an unrelenting campaign to discredit him. He is smart, and as long as he gets a better communications team around him and works really hard at forming good relationships with the media, I think he could overcome the negative messaging.

    There is certainly nobody else that could do the job any better, and changing leaders again will just waste time that should be spent looking at better ways to communicate Labour’s policies and attacking National.

    • Tracey 18.1

      Look at what national is behind the scenes to have a popular leader… Nasty, lying, coldly calculating, ruthless…i dont accept that kind of machinery can produce an environment in society that is healthy long term.

      I dont know what the answer is.

    • Bill 18.2

      If we had had a situation where a Labour brand + policy was against a National brand + policy, then Labour would have won. (Far better policies)

      But in a situation where there is policy up against brand, brand will, as we have just seen, win every time. More than that, in the absence of a positive brand, any opponent can easily build a negative one for you. Especially in NZ, where as we know, the media loves to be spoon fed.

      • brian 18.2.1

        @ Bill 18.2
        The problem is, is that if Labour has a “brand” or “vision”, I’ve never learnt what it is. I guess many others haven’t either. (They do have many policies) So you are correct. The playing field has been open for Dirty John to build one for Labour.


    • People don’t like him because he projects as being smug, arrogant and superior. He talks down to people and his paternalistic approach could clearly be seen in the last debate.
      I am not saying that is what he is one on one, but that is how he comes across. Too coached, too controlling and too artificial.
      One thing he is not is a man of the people. Say what you like about Key but that is how people see him. Approachable and genuine.

  19. King Kong 19

    God I hope Cunliffe stays as leader.

    I have always found him particularly unlike-able and felt that I was not alone in thinking this (over 60% of the people that know him best can’t stand him).

    My theory got confirmed on Saturday but it seems many here are too stupid to realise just how important it is for a leader to not be universally hated by the public.

    Cunliffe in charge would guarantee another win for the Nats and possibly the end of the Labour party.

    Kiwis hate losers, especially historically epic losers.

    • Tracey 19.1

      If you are right in your last sentence, and i suspect you are, it explains why nz has become a quite sneering selfish place. Thank god for the scenery 😉 although nats will keep doing their best to worsen that.

    • Annie 19.2

      Certainly our reelected leader hates “losers”. “Loser” being a term to refer to a person from the left he disagrees with. Parents and teachers, we have been wrong all this time telling our children to treat people we disagree with respectfully, rather than abusing them.

    • GregJ 19.3

      Yep – that’s why Norman Kirk – having lead Labour to 2 defeats – including the 1969 Election which handed National its unprecedented 4th term was totally unsuitable to lead. There’s no way he could have won the 1972 election.

      • King Kong 19.3.1

        But I don’t think, even when he was losing, that people thought Norman Kirk was a fucking arsehole.

        • Tracey

          Better to have 45% of the nation think you are a liar but be PM…

          • Blue

            45% would be the support the opposition have cobbled together, so I guess that sounds about right. Tracey you’ve been using the “liar” thing for a while now, I don’t buy it, the electorate dont buy it. You may beleive it, fair enough, but it has zero traction to swing a voter, just like the Mana/Internet fiasco and the Greenwald circus, and the “moment of truth” that turned out to be the moment of the um poorly faked email. Isnt the point to win and election to effect change, not stand oin the sidelines throwing tantrums when things don’t go your way. I understand there is a petition for a recount of the party vote, says it all really.

            • framu

              even when the lies are documented? Shit blue – theres a massive list of them floating about the place

              its not some kind of theory – key IS a liar – frequently

              so – in an effort to understand “the electorate” – Why dont you think key is a liar?

              thats a genuine question – im really scratching my head over how people can think key isnt a lair on a regular basis so i would welcome a honest opinion about how you dont register the proven lies

            • Tracey

              Essentially your argument is not that key doesnt lie but that it doesnt matter cos not enough believe it.

              Arguably nzf and cp got right wing votes who dont like mr key… Add them to the left and half the voters actually do believe he is a liar..

              Epsom and oharius were a cooperation away from act and uf gone. And if labour werent so fucked up and kneecapped hone, imp would have two or three.

              You might feel like the big majority dont think key is a liar but i have mounted an argument that they are not as big a majority as you are pretending.

              Your evidence of the email being faked is what, warner bros? Its at best 50/50 in that regard.

              The point of an election is to ensure a better nz with leaders youngsters can look up to. You are confusing an election with a rugby match.

        • GregJ

          That’s not what you said though. Clearly New Zealanders [i]will[/i] vote for “losers”. You are changing the ground of your argument.

          Many people think politicians are arseholes – indeed most people probably have someone who thinks they are an “arsehole”. It’s even possible some people think you are.

          Perhaps you could expand on your changed argument and explain why you think he is one.

      • Enough is Enough 19.3.2

        Did Norman Kirk have the support of his caucus over those defeats?

        • GregJ

          Its a good question (although not the point KK was making – which was that NZers don’t elect “losers”).

          The simple answer was that it took nearly 4 years from 1965 for Kirk to establish hegemony over the party and modernize it – and then focus its discipline and message. By 1972 he probably did have almost unqualified caucus support but he never trusted those around him totally. It’s pretty much the same process Clark had to go through to establish her dominance. And it required not just the caucus support but the party and the affiliates.

          (Which will be what any new leader will have to do if that is what the party decides).

      • DS 19.3.3

        Not to mention Sid Holland, who lost 1943 and 1946, before winning 1949, 1951, and 1954.

        Walter Nash lost 1951 and 1954 before winning 1957.

        Keith Holyoake, Jim Bolger, and Helen Clark each lost their first election before going on to win at least three terms.

        And even poor old Bill Rowling, who lost 1975 in a landslide, won the popular vote in 1978 and 1981. And he’d have won 1984 had he been leader in that election.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.4

      What, we’ve become George Gregan? Speak for yourself ape.

    • The Lone Haranguer 19.5

      But we all warmed to Graham Henry after the All Blacks won the 2011 Word Cup. And he would qualify as an historically epic loser after the Cardiff game.

      I would like Cunliffe to stay on as the Labour leader as I cant think of anyone who can do the job better. And because he will keep on improving.

      That said, I thought his speech to the party faithful after the loss on saturday night was just plain appalling

  20. ianmac 20

    “I’m pretty sure that David Cunliffe would win a members and affiliates vote. So suck it up MPs, stop playing your silly caucus games and do some frigging work this term rather than the self-indulgent posturing you wasted time with last term.”

    Hear! Hear!

    • Tracey 20.1

      Apparently in the labour party, if you dont like your boss you help your competitors..

    • framu 20.2


      any labour MPs reading this – you work for the party. Not the other way round.

  21. Bill 21

    Excellent post Lynn.

    I’m also hoping that Labour sort their shit out -thoroughly, quietly and maturely – and without any vain posturing in front of media.

    There are two main live issues in NZ at the moment – ‘Dirty Politics’ in relation to media and the National Party, and spying in relation to the National Party

    How I’d love the Labour party to have one or two competent people brought up to speed and handed a hammer rather them than become unwittingly complicit in the burying of those crucial issues.

    • lprent 21.1

      Agreed. They are great issues for an opposition to keep pushing through over the next 6 months. Good for the country too.

      But I hear that Nash, Josie, and some others are thinking that a good solid dose of disembowelling inside Labour for 6 months is a better idea.

      Dumb dumb dumb…

      Hopefully the Greens (a much more competent party) will be able to step up and ask the questions that need asking.

  22. KJS0ne 22

    Lets be honest, the petty egoism and childish game playing of some of the MPs in the Labour caucus, is part of the reason we lost this election. At times some of these MPs deliberately undermined David Cunliffe. Some of these MPs are quite happy to lose elections as long as their guy isn’t the opposition leader.

    Getting in behind a leader, despite ideological differences is something National does very well. The factions in the National party ‘at the end of the day’ know how to unite under common ground and work together.

    Labour needs to take a page out of National’s book here. If Cunliffe remains leader by January 2015, he needs to use that scalpel liberally and cut away the detritus, the MPs who refuse to bow, who refuse to get in behind.

    If the left stands any chance of winning an election in 2017, Labour needs to listen to it’s base, or what remains of it, just listen full stop. Right now they pretend to listen, and then they argue back, due to a culture of arrogance that says ‘We know best’.

    Well the New Zealand public have spoken. What’s it going to take for some of these rotten apples to wake up and realise they’re no longer helping the cause, but hindering it?

  23. What does GR have now, policy wise and other, that he didn’t have at the time of the last leadership selection?
    He was soundly beaten by DC in all but caucus then, what’s changed in his favour since?

    The object of the caucus vote, when they have it, will be to unite against David and force him to resign. How could a leader of a party be, without the backing of his mps on the benches.
    Out of the way, with no opposition, the members and affiliates have no choice. GR wins the show and finally gets his long term plan to fruition and leads the ‘united’ party.

    In my opinion, should that happen, labour is consigned to long time wilderness, and certainly loses the mantle of the people party.
    Grant isn’t getting my votes back. A regenerated, abc old guard gone, progressive, united party is the only way.
    As LP wrote, if you’re not helping, get out of the way.

  24. AmaKiwi 24

    For two years the ABC gang denigrated Cunliffe. On camera, Chris Hipkins called him a liar, for which Hipkins should have been severely reprimanded but was not.

    In less than a year Cunliffe made a stunning comeback from ogre to the white knight of the poor and minorities. Labour (Cunliffe) did very well with Pacific Islanders and won all except one Maori seat.

    National (through the MSM) wants time as they desperately search for another Shearer so they will face a weak Labour candidate in 2017. Don’t let them.

    Labour members should decide NOW who will lead them.

    • brian 24.1

      @ AmaKiwi 24

      ” Labour (Cunliffe) did very well with Pacific Islanders and won all except one Maori seat.”

      Cunliffe made a disastrous decision to put the boot into Hone. He won the seat ….at the expense of getting two seats free with a coalition partner (Mana). That followed his arrogant spurning of cooperation with the Greens.

      In contrast, Dirty John encouraged ACT and United Future.

      Surely there is some lesson there if anybody in Labour cares.

      • greywarbler 24.1.1

        @ brian
        Got to agree with you there. And I’m not that hot on maths but I get it! You say Cunliffe but who would have been involved in that policy of isolating them from the Greens and also spurning Hone?
        Would it be Matt McCarten and …?

  25. Ad 25

    +1000 Lyn

    As a similarly over-educated, over-fed, over-paid activist, we are leaving Labour for the Greens in droves.

    I fundraised, donated, knocked doors, and nailed signs until I was shagged.

    This has got to be the shortest period between candidates begging for our help, then shitting on the party in their own interest, that I’ve ever seen.

    Here’s a definition of solidarity for you: who sticks by your side in defeat. And guess who of Goff, Shearer, Ardern, etc turned up on Saturday night to be by Cunliffe’s side? Only Twyford and Sepuloni. Solidarity forever, yeah right.

    If I were Cunliffe, I would fire the whole of Fraser House staff, all the parliamentary staff except Matt, and start again.

    All the MP’s need performance agreements with just the following matrices: fundraising, media profile, membership, and policy initiative.
    Then treat them like a partnership: Up Or Out.
    Meaning increase your rank in the term, or retire.

    Caucus have heard us roar before, and we won multiple times.
    Get ready folks.

    • Mark 25.2

      Yep makes all sorts of sense to keep a strategist like McCarten who lead labour to a historic loss. Sounds like a good ostrich like strategy to me. It was a disastrous appointment in the first pace and he should go.

      Lyn you don’t seem to get it. The Greens did not defeat labour National did. The Greens in fact had a disastrous election just as Labour did but for different reasons

    • Murray Olsen 25.3

      I noticed that only Twyford and Sepuloni were with him at the end. Whenever I saw any appearances out in public, Cunliffe seemed to be by himself, except for Twyford a couple of times, and Ardern once. Ardern didn’t look happy to be with him.

      It really didn’t look as if the rest of them were doing much to win at all.

  26. philj 26

    Rotten apples, snakes in grass,
    Leopard’s spots, herding cats….

  27. paddy 27

    When the right wing are all calling for Cunliffe to resign that should be a clear message that he really needs to stay.
    That’s the first step.
    Then the party needs to purge those who are disloyal to the leader. This is not a quick process but they have to be told that they will not be selected again for 2017. The alternative is to expel them from the Party now. If you are not with us then you against us.

    • Mark 27.1

      Paddy elections are not won by the left wing of the Labour party. Clark understood that, McCArten and Cunliffe did not

      • Ad 27.1.1

        What would this one have been won by then?

        • BM

          The facts are labour is considered by the public as being a party of special interest groups run by gays and feminists.

          Cunliffes I’m sorry for being a man”, gender quotas and all Men are rapists untill proven otherwise well and truly re-enforced that thought in the minds of kiwis at this election.

          That’s the main problem for Labour, not the leader but the party itself, the brand is fucked and I don’t think it can be saved with out basically knocking the whole thing to the ground and starting again.

          • Tracey

            and being more like National…

            • BM

              If Labour wants to be a special interest party, more power to them.

              Down side of that is if they choose that path they’ll have to except their status as a minor party.

            • The Lone Haranguer

              mean WINNING and being able to put their policies into action which they believe will make New Zealand a better place?

              Yep Tracey, there stuff about National that I would like Labour to copy and then improve upon, for the sake of our country.

      • The Al1en 27.1.2

        “elections are not won by the left wing of the Labour party”

        Put your money where your mouth is and back a centrist/right flank caucus breakaway party then, and see how you get on without the backing of the two thirds left wing whose votes and donations you take for granted.

        • Mark

          “Put your money where your mouth is and back a centrist/right flank caucus breakaway party then, and see how you get on without the backing of the two thirds left wing whose votes and donations you take for granted”.

          Voters are not coming to the activists. The activists have to compromise to get into the mainstream or they simply will not get elected. Key understands this better than most. He has moderated the right to ensure that they appeal to the centre, I am sure he would prefer a harder line in a number of areas but understands that is not an electable proposition. It depends whether you are prepared to compromise to get some of your policy ideas some oxygen or you take a hard line and sit in minority opposition for the foreseeable future.

          • The Al1en

            Rejecting the assumption the left aren’t be mainstream, and party members and affiliated unionists are activists, key certainly has the middle ground sewn up, and that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon, so why go there with similar centrist policies? Doing so does nothing to improve the electability of labour – Vote for us. We’re like them, but we’re not them, but nearly. I can see it resonating around the dinner tables in mum and dad land.

            Sensible left of center politics for the benefit of all. Healthy, wealthy, happy kiwi families. That’s the message to sell that wins votes, not chase the middle fairweathers. There are still more of us than them. All has to be done is go get them comrades.

      • NickS 27.1.3

        Paddy elections are not won by the left wing of the Labour party. Clark understood that, McCArten and Cunliffe did not

        [citation needed]

  28. Brooklyn 28

    Is it wise to have a leader who does not have the backing of his caucus? The Labour movement in danger of “Tea Partying” itself – the direction and leadership electable to the party becomes unelectable to the public at large.

    Cunliffe used his concession speach to launch a giant FU to his caucus, so what is you are asking them to get behind? He is also the one who has suggested that the leadership should be contested sooner rather than later, so why is a leadership spill someone else’s petty game?

    Also… and I’m sure it has been pointed out already, Mike Moore was the leader in 1993 and the popular vote came down to 7000 votes, viva Helen.

    • Ad 28.1

      Cunliffe did pretty well with the caucus vote – of course you would have preferred Jones I expect. Marvellous outcome that would have been. Or Robertson – what a vote-hoovering player he is.

      And read Cunliffe’s speech again. It’s what the members and supporters needed.
      Caucus works for us, the people, not the other way round.

      • Brooklyn 28.1.1

        “Caucus works for us, the people, not the other way round”

        Depends who “us” is. Caucus have to appeal to the electorate , not the party.

        • Colonial Viper

          Caucus too often did fucking “appeal to the electorate”, usually just their own, while letting both the party vote and their Leader down.

  29. Mark 29

    Having a leader who is imposed on the parliamentary wing by the party and the unions who does not have the support of his parliamentary colleagues is not going to work. How difficult is that concept to grasp.

    “Labour needs to take a page out of National’s book here. If Cunliffe remains leader by January 2015, he needs to use that scalpel liberally and cut away the detritus, the MPs who refuse to bow, who refuse to get in behind.”

    Nice theory but he is so unpopular amongst his parliamentary colleagues he could have to sack them all.

    How many seats did the Labour Candidate win and the party vote go to National ? You have to say those party votes should have gone and in the past would have gone to labour and the party needs to understand why those voters no longer trust Labour to govern but trust and are happy with National.

    • Ad 29.1

      If trust is your issue, what is your solution?

      • Mark 29.1.1

        Labour has to start with the economy. It has to convince the electorate that it can effectively manage the economy without damaging it, that it will undertake to live within its means without increasing the overall tax take. Sure redistribute who pays but there is no need to increase the overall tax take.

        Be a business friendly party. These are the people that create jobs for workers, they are not the enemy, but make sure that workers are properly protected and stamp hard on the casualisation of the work force which is being horribly abused. Reduce company taxes for widely held companies.

        Have policies that encourage people to get of benefit dependency

        If CGT is going to be phased in protect the family home and do not tax inheritance. A disastrous cock up by Cunliffe in the campaign.

        Look at the affordability of housing and the causes of unconstrained value growth. Dont be scared of the private sector being part of the solution and fix the RMA.

        So many people I spoke to would not vote Labour because they feared the Greens and their unworkable economic policies and they could not see Labour/Greens/NZF offering stable government.

        Get back to Labour’s core values of being a workers party.

        • Ad

          Labour’s economic lead is Parker, who is as dry as toast economically.

          Labour won’t get major business back if they increase the upper income tax rate – but business are about even on CGT already. The big problem is the 25% of kiwis who own multiple houses. They will always vote against Labour from here on in.

          Also, Labour will never get the regions back if they have to rely on the Greens. Not much way around that.

          Your general point about losing the economic debate though is one I fully agree with. It really was the economy, stupid.

          • Mark

            First multiple houses. CGT is one option but in my view not the most effective. Ring fence the losses and require a capital adequacy ratio for the deductibility of interest and the tax advantage is moderated. You should not be able to borrow 100% of the purchase price and off set the subsequent losses against other forms of income. You should carry losses forward and only be able to use them against taxable profits generated from the property itself. That will be more effective than CGT.

            Currently if you buy with the intention of resale then the gains are taxable as income. Enforce that rule against people who sell within 10 years and don’t make taxable profits from the income generated. You don’t need a law change for that.

            CGT scares people and Govt can be effective with the tools it has.

            • Tracey

              polls suggested CGT was not a big vote loser with almost 50% polled supporting it.

            • Colonial Viper

              All your “economic solutions” damn the bottom 50% of Kiwis and let large corporates who suck money out of the country away scott free. Fuck off Mark.

    • Tracey 29.2

      How does 20% of the voters impose a leader on everyone else?

  30. greywarbler 30

    Just to present a differing view of possibility.

    In a volunteer community organisation where everyone is keen and idealistic or ideological and opinionated, it is impossible sometimes to get pragmatic necessary policies agreed. If eventually the lack of needed changes result in the deterioration of the group, the committee and members will not accept any responsibility. The downfall will be blamed on the last holder of office.

    Cunliffe could step back and let the eager beaver get in and try and cope with the hazard areas that are NZ Labour and NZ as a country. And DC would just concentrate on staying upright and working for the left and remaining healthy and hopefully untarnished by what I think would be the inevitable slide of Labour.

    The world financial scene has been propped up and people say it should have been left to fold and so face up to its bad trading, which would have been going cold turkey and short, and very sharp pain. But no it has been supported through, with the loss of one or two finance houses, and never had to face its Dorien Gray deterioration and devastating results. Some say it will never reform because it has not been forced to, and the citizens will just have to bear the losses.

    Should Labour be left to collapse? Is it so warped and damaged by the years since Rogernomics that it has lost its central reason for being? It was representing the labour movement and championing the needs of ordinary citizens offering them opportunities to be upwardly mobile and have reasonable living conditions and work standards for the low income group. It now seems set on a course of serving middle-class interests, eventually contending with NZ First and perhaps with a vote permanently under 20%.

    I hear that David Cunliffe is making moves to establish his position immediately. We will know more soon.

  31. SeanExile 31

    The problem is that Cunliffe is seen as an extreme leftwinger who has been given his positions by unions and party activists. That position has never won a single election for Labour. The party vote clearly shows that people don’t trust in the leader, in the party as a whole.

    To dismiss the voters and say they are wrong is rather rich coming of the worst election result since 1923. we can say to the voters you are wrong, we are right and continue in opposition ad nauseam.
    Itll make is more and more irrelevant or we can turn the policies and people towards the centre, where you win elections, and elect people that credibly can portray themselves as modern socialdemocrats that are progressive and look after all the people of New Zealand and not just listens to the VERY small number of union members and loud left wing activists.
    Perceptions cant be changed, Cunliffe has been painted as extreme left and that is a position that makes him unelectable in New Zealand.

    id prefer to change now, so we can win in 2017 instead of waiting another three years until we have had another John Key rout.

    So pls members of parliament give Cunliffe the vote of no confidence show the nation that there is hope within the Labour party.

    • greywarbler 31.1

      @ Seanexile
      Which rabble rouser on radio (alliteration!) says ‘that Cunliffe is seen as an extreme leftwinger who has been given his positions by unions and party activists. ‘??
      People who can think for themselves and want to make good decisions for the economy, and the people, don’t come out with the sort of opinion you have spouted. And don’t even countenance it. Some radio or tv celebrity was it, famous for being well known and saying stupid things that appeal to similar people?

      • lprent 31.1.1

        FFS. I am a economic dry with an MBA who has spent his life working in private business. What I am not is a social conservative.

        The shocj jock sounds like a useless fool.

  32. Jim 32

    Given that the Labour electoral vote was so low I think it a good thing that there is a leadership contest. When we had a leadership contest last year membership numbers increased and labours popularity in the poles improved. I am how ever unsure as to whether Cunliffe should be replaced. I didn’t vote for him last year but might this year because I think he did a reasonable job, and more importantly four leaders in four years is not a good look. You also need to take into account that the national dirty politics machine and MSM bias will always make being the leader of labour a hard task.

  33. Peter 33

    While I enjoy the debate,would you see National Party members involved in such public arguements?

    • Tracey 33.1

      Gosh no, they don’t tell anyone what they really think. They use money and networks to lie and sully. Yay national MPs

  34. RedBaronCV 34

    Do the boomers have too much influence in labour and for that matter over the country as a whole? Smug and making life difficult for the kids? I know a few who spend their time moaning about the kids not getting jobs and then vote Nact?
    And are younger generations from much smaller families more self centred?

    • Colonial Viper 34.1


      And the youth/young are being screwed by our political and electoral system. 170,000 under 30 year olds not even ENROLLED.

  35. Adrian 35

    DC has to stay, Shearer spat the dummy because he couldn”t handle the job.
    It is a thankless job and obviously much harder than staring down armed militants.
    Grant robertson wouldn’t last 2 months, once those arseholes Henry and Hoskings start gay baiting and slandering he would be toast.
    Almost every successful Labour PM has suffered a humiliating election loss.

  36. Puckish Rogue 36

    I agree, Cunliffe should stay hes clearly the best person for the job 🙂

    • Mark 36.1

      The mans a disaster. He needs to stand up and accept responsibility for a very poor campaign rather than looking to blame everyone else.

      • Puckish Rogue 36.1.1

        No no John Key fears the Cunliffe and the election wasn’t Cunliffes fault so he should stay 🙂

  37. Addington Leftie 37

    I attended a Labour Party election night party and watched an MP who narrowly won their seat playing with their phone completely detached from what was going on while a fantastic candidate that Labour needs for the future was accepting their defeat. I hope they had a good reason for being so self absorbed.

    I voted Labour/Green hoping that at least the Greens would get more MPs and could push Labour to sort themselves out for 2017.

  38. philj 38

    To be sure, Paddy

  39. Chris 39

    Cunliffe may well be the best person for the leadership Labour currently has, but he’s still not a suitable leader. You can never get away from the fact the caucus is divided so strongly so for as long as Cunliffe is leader the party will be in disarray. Regardless of Cunliffe’s skills without the support of the caucus Labour and therefore the left generally will remain weak. The fact of all this public fighting already is proof they can never get it together under Cunliffe. All the discipline in the world will never adequately deal with the divisions and anyone who thinks it can is kidding themselves.

    Labour needs someone new, perhaps from outside. Parker and Robertson ain’t got it. Nash is a right-winger. Shearer’s a nice man and would make a good foreign minister but has proven his inability to lead – just imagine him in the debates, and Hooton wants him to be leader so he’s clearly not the man for the job. Little’s skilled and competent but isn’t a leader, either.

    Any left-leaning former Labour MPs who command respect, can talk the talk, come across as genuine and believable, and can be liked? The current mob ain’t got one at the moment.

    • lprent 39.1

      Yep. In the absence of a mythic messiah, I think we should go with the best of what we have here on earth

      • The Lone Haranguer 39.1.1

        On election night, some commentator suggested the current mayor of Porirua as the sort of person Labour needs.

        Sorry but I dont even know his name or where he would sit on the Labour left to centre spectrum.

    • Tracey 39.2

      So Cunliffe should go but you have no one in mind to replace him… that might work

      • Puckish Rogue 39.2.1

        I bet Labour would rise in the polls if they didn’t bother with a leader for a while

        • framu

          considering national just won an MMP majority off the back of zero policy i think you might actually be onto something

      • Chris 39.2.2

        Yeah, sorry. I’ve failed in my job of deciding who should lead Labour. Maybe that’s because there’s nobody in Labour who’s up to it? Despite this, how about concentrating on the current MPs who not only can’t stop fighting with each other but are intent on doing it publicly? Let’s not even entertain the possibility that someone outside the current mob just might be able to do it? Let’s not even ask the question. Yeah…that might work.

    • meconism 39.3

      Chris, if you think about it you have uncovered your own answer, There is not a man in the Labour Caucus who is a possibility. So give the job to a woman and put an end to this ‘my dick is bigger than yours’ egotistical shit.

      • King Kong 39.3.1

        You are right. Being labelled a misogynist (or for that matter, an anything “ist”) is like garlic and holy water to Pinkos.
        If you put a bird in charge, any man who speaks out against her can be tarred as a woman hater and will driven screaming back into line in a tidal wave of evil glares and tut tutting.
        It is one of the reasons Clark did so well.

    • rain33 39.4

      I am so sick of hearing this crap about how Shearer might or might not have done in the so-called significant debates. I went to work after the debates, and most of the people at work said Cunliffe won, but that wouldn’t vote for him!! George Bush beat Al Gore in debates, because he said a few ‘folksy’ things…and people liked him. The idiotic Sarah Palin drew with BIden, pretty much because she did’nt vomit on her shoes as she was expected to. I’m not saying Shearer is the man for the job, but the ‘great debate’ argument was a damp squib. Forget about it!!

      All I heard when Cunliffe took over the leadership was how he was meant to clean up Key in the debates and that would be that. Well where the hell did that get us…nowhere.

  40. Karen 40

    I do not see any advantage in changing the leader again, but have always wondered why nobody ever suggests Phil Twyford as an alternative?

    • lprent 40.1

      I think he will be. Bad idea to do it too early.

      • Enough is Enough 40.1.1

        How early is too early though?

        Key rose to the top in four years.

        • BM

          Stuart Nash

          No one really knows him so he hasn’t been tarnished by the bull shit and come in fresh.
          He’s got a bit of charisma
          He’s young and oozes confidence.
          He’s apparently likable and gets on well with people.
          He’s got a bit of a pedigree
          Cameron Slater thinks he’s good.

          He’d be my choice, he can spend the next 3 years cutting his teeth, he won’t win in
          2017, but I’d say he’d have a shot in 2020.

        • framu

          wellll – theres a reason for that isnt there, and its a reason that is solely about party backers, money and PR

          bugger all to do with political experience

        • yeshe

          but Key was standing on millions of US dollar notes …. he is really a little fella on his own …

      • Karen 40.1.2

        He has been a MP for as long as Grant Robertson who tried for the leadership last year. I know what you mean though. Any leader should have been a Cabinet Minister in government – which brings us back to Cunliffe as being the only suitable candidate. Twyford is the only one of the possible candidates (apart from Cunliffe) that I’d consider working for however.

  41. rain33 41

    I have a simple question. At what point will you accept that Cunliffe is not liked by the people that should be voting Labour? Before the election is was stated that the more people got to see David Cunliffe, the more they would warm to him, that did not happen, in fact it was the opposite.

    I do not want to hear that he was starved of oxygen because of Dotcom etc, bring your own oxygen tank if that is the case.

    • lprent 41.1

      His personal popularity went up in every public poll that measured it. That is about all of the public info that is available. It is a poor measure but all that is available.

      Your primary assertion is incorrect.

      • rain33 41.1.1

        Explain to me then, how on earth could National win the party vote in Dunedin South…yes, Dunedin South, a so-called safe Labour haven, yet Clare Curran won her seat?

        • Zorr

          Because David Cunliffe is not the Labour party. He is only the head of it. At the moment the Labour party looks like 3 kids impersonating an adult by standing on each others shoulders and wearing a big coat… but they can’t decide who gets to be the head so they’re fighting and giving away the game.

          Nobody wants to vote for that. It isn’t the fault of whoever is the head but a shared fault that needs to be resolved by all the participants in order to succeed.

        • wtl

          Because there was a concerted drive to get Clare Curran elected, but there was an absence of drive to get the party vote for Labour.

        • lprent

          Fortress electorates should be the norm for a good electorate MP. They should be able to garner personal votes and volunteers through constituency work a lot better than party vote.

          When I was working in Mt Albert we were mainly targeting party vote after 1993, not well in 1996 because we still coarsely red-dotted, but strongly by 1999. By 2005 the targeting was pretty much directed to people who occassionally didn’t vote but would vote left. Doing that pushed electorate vite up as well, but mainly it was done to drag the party vote up.

  42. unaha-closp 42

    They’re not your children and it is not their job to run a 3 year campaign for you.

  43. paddy 43

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Cunliffe is the enemy of the right wing. Cunliffe is my friend.

    • rain33 43.1

      Good luck with that. However, what is the job of the Labour Party? If it is to be your friend then I guess you will be satisfied with your friendship. Clearly the people no longer feel that the Labour Party speak for them.

      This is far bigger than David Cunliffe. I feel there are too many people who have thrown their support behind David Cunliffe and are now emotionally invested. Not a bad thing necessarily, but if you lose perspective on what really matters, the people the party should be there to represent, then all is lost. If you truly believe you are right, then clearly you will stick to your guns so to speak. But if the people have moved to another theater, the show is well and truly over,

      • brian 43.1.1

        @ rain33 43.1
        Good post rain.

        I love my Nokia. It’s really good for communication.

        Then other people started talking about an iPhone. And others talked about a Samsung. Bickering all the time. Who is smarter than who? I can’t stand it. Why don’t they stay loyal?

        I’m staying with my Nokia. Lots of people in my club like a Nokia. All those who cannot inspire others to like the Nokia, should in my opinion just get out.

        Let all of us who like a Nokia have a vote to see whether we should change to an iPhone or a Samsung. Lets do it straight away. The longer we have to persuade those iPhone and Samsung lovers that they’ve made the wrong choice, the greater success we will have.

        Oh, everybody has gone.

        Never mind. There will be no bickering if I just talk to myself on my Nokia.

    • Puckish Rogue 43.2

      Wrong, the enemy of my enemy might also be my enemy as well

  44. Tom Gould 44

    The so-called party machine has no money and no organisation and no resources. But it’s real good at meeting in small groups and passing resolutions about what others should do, particularly those in caucus. Any rational analysis needs to look closely at the myth of the on-ground machine. Lots of big talk but very little actual delivery by the looks of the outcome on Saturday. Without the taxpayer funded resources and the tithes from the caucus, the whole thing would grind to a halt. Perhaps a clue might be to figure out why 16,000 voted for Dyson yet only 8,000 voted for Labour in Port Hills, a pattern repeated across the country, and how come 100,000 fewer people voted Labour in 2014 compared with 2011 when that so-called robotic right-wing loser Goff was running the show?

    • rain33 44.1

      Tom, National won the Party vote in Dunedin South for goodness sake. Dunedin South, where all those redundant Hillside workers live, but Clare Curran won her seat. Is everyone just simply in denial…I’m beginning to wonder? Echo chamber……

      • brian 44.1.1

        @ rain33 (44.1)

        The extensive number of people who gave their party vote to National, and their electorate vote to the Left, mystifies me.

        I’d love some research to discover the motivations of that group of voters. A really odd phenomenon

        • rain33

          Brian (44.1.1) Those voters recognise some of these candidates as hardworking in their individual electorates, and reward them accordingly. But they see the party ideology, and Mr Cunliffe in particular, as something else altogether.

          • brian

            I understand the logic. It’s the size of that group that mystifies me, and the number of electorates.

          • Colonial Viper

            Fuck all Vote Positive (gagh) David Cunliffe signs around Dunedin South. I knew of 3-4 around the places I travel in the electorate. It’s a big electorate. I reckon Clare Curran signs outnumbered Cunliffe ones at least 5:1. Probably 10:1.

  45. JeffRo 45

    Leaving personal feelings to one side, who in Labour would have the most impact with voters and be most likely to lead an election win.

    I am not sure who that should be, but I’m pretty sure DC isn’t that person.

    Doing what’s needed to win, may need some hard questions answered, and a fair bit of give and take.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 45.1

      Leaving personal feelings aside, given that Helen Clark led Labour to defeat in 1996, is a leadership change the best way to look forward?

      The worst thing Goff did was resign in 2011, The worst thing Labour could do now is imagine a leadership change is the solution to a malaise that begins and ends in caucus.

      Cunliffe said it: he’ll be fully behind whoever the party chooses: the other contenders have to do the same.

      They have a long way to go before they’ll win my vote back.

      • JeffRo 45.1.1

        Question remains- will enough people vote Labour, if he is the leader. I just don’t think so.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I already know you think that.

          What you haven’t done is argued why. Helen Clark lost in 1996 subject to similar character assassination type politics as today. The National Party we face today is a different animal from that of Jim Bolger; the criminal classes have strengthened their grip on power, and have far more effective proxies.

          Who are you backing? Bev Wakem or the National Party’s owners?

          • JeffRo

            Saturday night is the reason. That looked pretty clear.

            Shedding a third of % in the polls over the 12 months in the job.

            Losing the party vote in his own electorate.

            Support of blokes around 18%.

            It might not be right, but the leader affects popular opinion.

            Do you have any reasons why he should stay and if he did how would he attract the centre back from national?

      • JeffRo 45.1.2

        In 96 National got 33% Labour 28%. Jim Anderton’s got 10%.

        Things were close then. NZF decided who could form a Government.

        2014 National 48% Labour 25%.

        Labour were close then, they are not close now.

  46. Whateva next? 46

    you have nailed it Iprent, and as for Whaleoil choosing the opposition leader, what a revolting thought.
    D.C could have bailed out after months of a relentless campaign against him, not many could have weathered the attacks of Dirty Politics (others didn’t), so he gets my vote, whether I like the man is irrelevant

  47. meconism 47

    To the disloyal members of the caucus: either fall in or fuck off.

  48. venezia 48

    Although there are serious issues in the Labour Caucus to be dealt with, lets not lose sight of the effects on this election of the dirty politics outlined in Hagers Book. As Hager now says – it works. It is what his book was about. Both David Shearer and David Cunliffe were targeted in a most venal way, from before they ever assumed leadership, and for Cunliffe right up to and through the election campaign. Cameron Slater has admitted this (see the post over at Polity today). And it worked. What I would like to see as the focus of caucus discussion are the leaks, the collusion with Cameron Slater, the intentional undermining of their caucus colleagues – who has been involved? Kick them for touch.

  49. peterlepaysan 49

    How many politicians are NOT arrogant smart bastards.

    One has to be pretty egotistical to consider entering
    politics, let alone enduring the required processes to become an MP.

    Does anyone remember a humble stupid nice person as an MP, let alone a Minister or a Prime Minister?

    Being an arrogant smart bastard comes with the territory.

    How honest (as distinct from being arrogant and egotistical) the Labour Party caucasites can be is crucial to the continuing existence of the Labour Party..

    Member and affiliate votes have some weight.

    Media are carrion feeders and parasitic. Media thrives on other people’s misery. It sells advertising. The media should be treated as carrion feeders and parasites rather than a place to “leak” to.

    Advertisers are usually business based. Business is usually suspicious of the Labour Party and are more likely to donate to National rather than Labour.

    Labour is financially a crock. The caucasites need to address that.

    The campaign was a mess with a lot of sideshows.

    In fact the so called leader debates were not much better than playground shouting. The US presidential debates are handled very well without ad breaks.
    All parties should demand the same impartiality.

    The long lasting internecine warfare inside the Labour has been fodder for the predatory media for decades. The Nats hide theirs.

    OBTW where the the hell did all those missing voters go ?

    All of the above cannot be attributed any political party leader.

    Maybe if the caucasites started talking to and LISTENING to members some enlightenment may result.

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