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Primary importance

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, December 5th, 2011 - 43 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Labour’s leadership primary was a great idea. Labour has an open, honest, and respectful debate about itself.  Candidates tested in public. Can stumble without damaging the party like a failed leader does. Labour frames the political news with enthralling debates. If there was no primary, Parker would be leader now and NZ would be reaching for the remote.

43 comments on “Primary importance”

  1. I agree Zet that it is a fascinating contest and it is getting the sort of analysis I have never seen before in a leadership contest.

    Use of Social Media is obviously now more important than ever in framing the debate and in distributing information about the candidates.

    And if a candidate cannot perform in the primary then you have to wonder if they should be leader.

    It is also interesting the way that news concerning the formation of the new Government and the troubles within the Maori Party have been sidelined. 

  2. Blue 2

    True, but Parker should never have even been considered for leader in the first place.

    • Tigger 2.1

      But that’s the whole point of a primary, to let the top candidates rise to the top. Parker has every right to be considered. And we should consider everyone who puts their hand up.

    • jaymam 2.2

      Parker was superb in his attacks on Brash and Banks. See this previously unpublished photo here, showing how pissed off Banks was when Parker took advantage of the odious picture of Brash:

      I have not seen such telling attacks from the other contenders for Labour leader. However as someone has pointed out, the Leader should be a nice friendly person and have some attack dogs. Cunliffe and Parker would do that job well. Unless Mallard can join in too.

  3. King Kong 3

    There is a drawback to airing your dirty laundry in public.

    Some of the vindictive camp Cunliffe/camp Shearer sniping by many from the Labour party and on here has provided some terrific ammo for the right to use against whoever gets picked.

    • bbfloyd 3.1

      well done kk… you’ve just confirmed for us what a shallow, irresponsible lot of children tories are….

      way to expose yourself there champ….

      • King Kong 3.1.1

        So let me get this straight if a large group of members from the National party went on record as saying Key was too inexperienced for the job and couldn’t string a sentence together, then the left would completely ignore this.

        Unfortunately bbfloyd, there are an enormous ammount of posts on the Standard that prove you wrong.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Key got around that problem by scattering cheques for $10,000 in his wake.

          Even now he says he ‘gives away’ most of his parliamentary salary, its safe to assume the deserving causes are National Party and its MPs

    • mik e 3.2

      Looking at your alter ego in the US primaries a herman munster cain

  4. Anthony 4

    I’m just worried about all the “rethinking Labour’s values” garbage going on in this contest, seems like a convenient way to shift blame to the message and not the parliamentary and public performance of the messengers.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    Thats true Anthony Labour, message/ core policy is not so much a problem its been about the way and how its being delivered thats our problem. Also demographics have changed particularly with regards to employment Labour have been way top slow to identify the shift from the employed workforce to self employed/ contractor workforce IMO.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      Its the same message.
      The so called contractors are still screwed by employers and the labour hire companies.

      The tradesman self employed may just need reminding who made it easier to get paid from the property speculators and big beasts of the building industry. But this area is a niche voter and Labour doesnt have stacks of money and time for them during the election campaign.
      During the year one of two of labours MPs could carry the banner for these groups.

      The real problem is that too many MPs want to be policy wonks rather than meet and greets and waving the flag WITH the troops

  6. prism 6

    I have just tried to get some information on the business background pre politics for the three Davids, although D Parker has stepped aside. My impressions from a brief study are –

    David Cunliffe has studied and lectured at Harvard, has been a diplomat and involved in international trade. I connect Harvard with free marketers, pushing less government especially services, reducing social welfare etc that has become orthodox. New Labour in Britain went through the Middle Way approach that has been called right wing in drag. I hope that David C. is not of the same ilk. We lost our Labour Party to those who brought in new ideas but with a right wing excess.

    David Cunliffe’s Summary
    Minister of the Crown (5 years)
    Member of Parliament (10 years)
    Management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group (4 years)
    Diplomat with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (8 years)
    Tutor in International Trade, Harvard University, John F Kennedy School of Government.
    Economic policy; progressive politics, social policy, foreign policy

    David Shearer has controlled theatres of chaos in his humanitarian work and to do that must have learned the art of the possible, problem solving, and how to find the best of multiple unsatisfactory options. He hasn’t been an MP for long but has been involved in the political scene in NZ for many years. That means he brings a fresh but informed approach with integrity it seems. http://www.labour.org.nz/davidshearer

    My belief in social justice led me naturally to the Labour Party. I had the opportunity to work in Parliament for Phil Goff as his Advisor on Foreign Affairs. I was on the Labour list in 1999. In the 2002 general election I ran for the Labour Party in Whangärei, where I substantially increased the Party vote. I was elected MP for Mt Albert at the by-election on 13 June 2009.
    I was named “New Zealander of the Year” by the New Zealand Herald in 1993 for my work in Somalia, and awarded an M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire) in the British 1993 New Year Honours List. In 1994, Save the Children awarded me their international “Award for Gallantry” for my service in areas of conflict.

    (Plenty of areas on conflict in NZ and as in other western countries like UK and USA we have pockets of third world conditions that appear untouchable by the usual political and moneyed elite.)

  7. Labour’s leadership election – modelled on the Catholic church’s procedures?
    Democracy means the majority votes…

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1

      Democracy means many things……
      But in this case the people who have been elected MPs by the people get to choose their leader.

      Its called representative democracy.

      Just how an appointed oligarchy like the College of Cardinals compares takes a fertile imagination.

  8. Kate Sutton 8

    Hi ya – if there are any Auckland based members of the NZLP on here that have not received the email about the leadership forums that means either a) you are not a member b) we have the wrong email address for you (most likely) c) you have un- subscribed at some point. Keep your details up to date by emailing office@labour.org.nz or you can email me for Auckland based stuff kate@katesutton.co.nz
    Have a good day folks, Kate

  9. higherstandard 9

    Until Labour clears out all the deadwood it’s really all a bit of a sideshow.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1

      Really ?

      We all remember of course Nationals deadwood….still there 12 years after Shipley went. Who can forget Bill English stayed on as National leader for 12 months after leading them to 20% in the election ( not polls , real votes) . Which was a clearing out of sorts otherwise they wouldn’t have room for the likes of Tau Henare and now we have some one who vitually defines deadwood: John Banks

      Looks like we have found someone who has forgotten

      • felix 9.1.1

        He’s also conveniently forgotten Brownlee, Ryall, both of the Dr Smiths, McCully, Carter, Mapp, Williamson and Ardern – all deadwood relics of the 80s and 90s.

        The 1999 intake consisting of deadwood of the calibre of Tolley and Hutchison is looking a bit shabby too.

        • King Kong

          Its always a bit tougher turfing out succesful electorate MP’s. Lucky for Labour that is something they don’t need to worry about.

          • felix

            Dream on monkey boy. List if you will the sparkling successes (for NZ) achieved by Shane Ardern, Gerry Brownlee, and Paul Hutchinson in their combined 40-odd years of public service.

            • King Kong

              I didn’t say they were talented, just succesful electorate MP’s with large majorities and thus a mandate from the people they represent. Not too many in that boat from the Labour party.

              • felix

                Anyone elected to parliament has a constituency you nong.

                Thanks for highlighting that many of the Nat caucus have been there since the FPP era though.

    • aerobubble 9.2

      Don’t you mean until Labour can explain why voters did not vote for a package of tax cuts.
      GST off food, tax free threshold, even a CGT is a tax cut for most people who do not earn much capital gain (so rebalances the tax system away from Labours Core vote).

      Its not dead wood that’s the problem, its disconnect with the core labour voter. Some of whom own their own small businesses (contractors) and thought they’d be hit with more paper work.

  10. randal 10

    clearing out the deadwood will come when labour sweeps away kweewee and his party of fleas that have been installed as camouflage for the great asset robbery.
    They are the only deadwoood in this parliament.
    just hanging around with no other objective except getting a cut.

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    I’m not backing Shearer. Just been talking to a friend of mine who is tied into South Island conservation circles. Shearer was asked for his reponse re National’s plan to mine in schedule 4 conservation land.

    Shearer replied that it was surprising to him that negative feeling from the public over National’s proposals had been so strong, and was that negative reaction really warranted.

    I’m now of the opinion that Shearer is an ingrained pragmatist, which has some good points and was no doubt reinforced in his international aid work. But it also means that in some areas he is out of touch with the values of the wider NZ electorate.

    It also means that he has developed relatively few strong views of his own regarding the direction of NZ.

    Combined with his very limited policy experience, Shearer looks too much like a blank slate waiting for more experienced quarters to help fill in.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      “Combined with his very limited policy experience, Shearer looks too much like a blank slate waiting for more experienced quarters to help fill in.”

      Just like John Key, then.

      • aerobubble 11.1.1

        Shearer does come of as unsure.

        But hey that’s the Labour of Goff.

        Goffs failure was to have an arsenal of counter messages to Key’s dithering style.

        Goff’s only real bullseye was “Yes or No, John” in the debate.

        Key seems to not have to answer for his statements since his role was to show the money.

        Does a currency trader ever tell the turth, I mean would they have the truth to hand, the currency is decided by markets not by thoughtful considerations on singlar minds.

        Key is a bullshitter, so is Shearer? Somehow I doubt it.

  12. Craig Glen Eden 12

    While I have always been a Cunliffe supporter it is becoming clearer and clearer that Labour needs the Cunliffe/Mahuta leadership to beat Key and National in 2014. If Shearer thinks schedule four land is up for mining he can kiss his arse good bye. Seriously if the Labour Party goes anywhere near schedule for land and mining I would have to Party vote Green.

  13. js 13

    Grant Robertson has just announced he’s standing as deputy to Shearer. Makes that ticket much more left and hard to go past now.

    • Carol 13.1

      Not keen on the old boy, male dominance of the Shearer ticket have said it several times previously. This move does nothing to assure me t’is otherwise.

    • neoleftie 13.2

      All i see is a schism happening between the old guard, the ABB faction and cunliff’s brigade to the deteriment of labour and the long term aspiration of us old timers.
      When the elctrorate crave and pleed for unity and guidance in its hour of need we get this…
      Well i for one have waited and waited for labour to reconnect to the electrorate, to provide the organisation structure that locks in core voters but all i see is more darkness.
      perhaps cunliff is the man of the hour – who know what is happening in the murky shadows of the wellywood beltway.

      All i know in my electrorate the party vote went from 20k in 2005 to 11k in 2011 so thats 9k swing voters or switch potential labour core voters who didnt get locked in…
      I look at the organisation and while full of courage and dedicated activist not one had anywhere near the skill level that is required to understand what is required.
      More over the old guard and old timers and let the new generation bring their skill set to bear or the tory enemy will.

  14. js 14

    Good for gay rights to have a gay deputy leader. I also imagine that with Grant on the ticket, Jacinda will be prominent too.

    • pollywog 14.1

      Maybe we should have a child as deputy leader so it’s good for kids rights ?

      They’re the ones whose rights need protecting and advocating for more than gays.

      but it’s even better that now we potentially have 2 parties with white male heads and deputies cos it’s great for white male rights eh ?

      • felix 14.1.1

        Straight white high-income males have been really hard done by for several decades, p.

        Can’t even rape your wife anymore. Your OWN wife! It’s pc gawn mad.

        • neoleftie

          how about two deputies to lock in more support, factions and talent
          hmahuta and robertosn would be powerful deputies.
          shearer as head ( but no more BBQ unsupervised – he might burn himself )
          cunliff to control treasary
          parker on policy
          mallard and little in the mix with arden and jones on the front benches too.

          powerful, articulate and a brave new direction, message and image for labour.

          MY dream team and a solution as well.

          • felix

            Yep there’s a lot of talent there but it’s all for nowt if they can’t work together.

          • Carol

            Yes, there are some very good MPs there. Robertson has been excellent in many ways. Maybe he should put himself forward for leader with Ardern as deputy?

            Though, I don’t understand the “anyone but Cunliffe” attitude.

            • Deadly_NZ

              Nor I. In all that I watched in Parliament Cunliffe was by far and away the best speaker there, always clued up, and quick on his feet. he had the measure of Key and English. This is why I figure the Nacts and their trolls are also pushing Shearers name forward, in the hope that Cunliffe gets forgotten by the press, aka Labour 2011. (tea tape world cup)

          • Craig Glen Eden

            Shearer is your problem now he has proven him self to be unelectable in one weekend, if its true about his stance on mining he is screwed. As for Mallard maybe you should change your name to NEO RIGHTY, pft Mallard time for him to go should have gone years ago.

            • the sprout

              i must say Shearer has demonstrated a Melissa Lee-like aptitude for doing his own campaign substantial damage in record time.

              imagine if he was leader going up against Key in the 2014 election. you think it couldn’t get any worse than 28%? it could get much worse.

              you’d have to be mad to think he was even ready for the deputy role.

              • neoleftie

                yes yes all correct but without a neutral blank leader the party will implode into polarised factions – more power plays and backstabbing…unite the factions under one umbrella and move onto wining the war.

            • mik e

              You need afew old experienced trench fighters in your team he is way younger and fitter than Banks and Dunnie

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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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