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Shearer or Labour?

Written By: - Date published: 12:58 pm, November 19th, 2012 - 247 comments
Categories: democratic participation, labour - Tags: ,

Democracy is never given. Democracy cannot be asked for. Democracy must be demanded. And then it must be taken. It’s always been this way. And it is only through being continually and uncompromisingly exercised that it is defended.

At the Labour Party conference, rank and file members demanded democracy. But within Labour there is a clique who seem oblivious to the demand; who, it appears, view themselves as existing above and beyond any pesky democratic demands or processes.

Over the weekend, that clique were part of an orchestrated (and it will be ongoing) campaign to frustrate and stymie the Party’s nascent democratic ambitions in order to further their own ambitions.

I want to be clear. From my perspective, what is happening in Labour is not about David Shearer and David Cunliffe. What is happening is about David Shearer and the Labour Party; about David Shearer and democracy; about the Labour Party and democracy.

The utterly disgusting spectacle, whereby an imperfect but important step in the direction of greater internal democracy was portrayed as one mans grand conspiracy, wasn’t merely a creation of major news outlets. It involved sections of caucus. So yes, we had TV3’s Patrick Gower ignoring the story right under his nose and haranguing David Cunliffe on leadership nonsense and questions of disloyalty. But are we to believe he did this off his own back? Are we to believe he received no ‘encouragement’ by way of tacit approval or even direction from – how to say? – Duck Quack types within caucus? And if we are to believe he acted entirely of his own volition, are we then to believe the same of TVNZ who broadcast a news piece on Sunday night that was so distorted, so blatantly dishonest, that this poster wondered whether they had maybe received schooling in the techniques of Latin America’s corporate media?

We all know that the community of big business (inclusive of major media outlets) and some more right wing sections of the Labour Party, while not being exactly bedfellows, occupy the same house. And so we know that when they look out from that house they look onto a similar view of the world. Both views, it seems from recent evidence, are similarly lacking in democratic features.

If you are in any doubt, consider the thoughtless ease with which anti-democratic (some would say ‘authoritarian’) mutterings are tripping off David Shearer’s tongue these days; consider the decidedly anti-democratic maneuverings of the ‘old guard’ within caucus and how impervious they seem to be to even the most basic and fundamental aspects of democracy – and then square that with your understanding of big business’s democratic sensibilities. Easy done.

And further reflect on the dearth of any positive focus, not just from major media outlets, but from the Labour Party caucus itself, on the nascent democratic aspirations of the Labour Party membership. (Has David Shearer so much as uttered the word ‘democracy’ these past days? If he has – I missed it.)

It seems to me that on Saturday, the rank and file of Labour demanded more democracy. And people got excited at the prospect of more participation and greater accountability. Two days later and that excitement seems to have gone on a receding wave. But as said at the top of the piece, merely demanding democracy is not enough and has never been enough. It has to be wrenched from those who would rather continue to exercise their power free of any considerations that democracy might place on them.

So what are Labour Party members and activists going to do in the face of this controlling clique who are all too willing to manoeuvre against the democratic will of the wider Party? Are they going to sit back and shrug resignedly…or even simply resign altogether from the Labour Party? Or are they going to grasp the nettle and insist that their democratic will is observed and acted on by first of all, acting on it themselves?

I never thought I’d see the day when I’d say this.

But if Labour Party members and activists are of a bent to organise themselves and insist that Labour’s caucus recognise and adhere to the democratic will of the wider party – and  where necessary, explore novel ways to shut down those who would assume to sidestep or subvert that will – I’ll join.

247 comments on “Shearer or Labour?”

  1. PlanetOrphan 1

    There also seems to be a lot of people waiting for news clips then spewing comments re “The War” as well Bill.

    It’s so blatant I even wonder if it’s Labour members at all, if it is, they are extremely reticent in showing their faces.

    Great article , Bloody well said M8!

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      “Democracy is never given” particularly by the privileged union bosses, who I understand argued it was “too hard” to let affiliate mambers actually exercise a vote themselves. Much easier if their betters do it for them. And you call it demorcracy? What a sick joke.

      • PlanetOrphan 1.1.1

        A party should be 100% unanimous

      • Te Reo Putake 1.1.2

        You understand wrong, Tom. Not for the first time, either. At least some of the affiliates voted for the 40% trigger, despite 50% plus one being the usual go in the union movement both internally and for collective agreement ratifications.

  2. Mighty Kites 2

    Peddling conspiracies now, really? That’s a new low, even for The Standard

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      It’s common sense to say that common interests like finding ways to work together!

    • karol 2.2

      Bill, like all of us who write on The Standard, speak for ourselves. We have diverse views – different analysis of the Labour conference have already been posted. The Standard is not a person and does not have any views.

      And spinning Bill’s well-argued post as a conspiracy theory is avoiding dealing with the substantive issues he raises.  I also am appalled by the behaviour of the media and the manipulations of the central Labour leadership team. 

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    But if Labour Party members and activists are of a bent to organise themselves and insist that Labour’s caucus recognise and adhere to the democratic will of the wider party – and where necessary, explore novel ways to shut down those who would assume to sidestep or subvert that will – I’ll join.

    Heh 🙂 But you know what? So would THOUSANDS of other new members, and caucus can sense that 😈

    • just saying 3.1

      Yes, there was a real buzz when the vote happened, and it had nothing to do with Cunliffe or Shearer. It was about power to the people. At last. Even I was thinking about joining the party.

    • Outofbed 3.2

      I will join as well

  4. Brad 4

    The Standard continues to lose the plot

    • quartz 4.1

      Hey look at this. A brand new handle turned up on the Standard just as Mallard and co roll out their talking campaign.

    • The sprout 4.2

      You are history trevor

    • This really shows the stupidity of the “brains trust” advising Shearer.  Posted just before this post is one on Shearer’s speech.  There are currently no comments to it.  This has 26.  The good news has been obliterated.

      This macho talk about demotions dealing to him is frankly silly.  Shearer should have kept talking about the policy and not engaged in this beat up.

      It is not like him.  He spent time in Afghanistan and Mogidishu.  He sounded like he was working off a script on National Radio this morning, not saying what he thought. 

  5. quartz 5

    I’ve had a half a dozen people ask me about joining since the membership got the vote. All good left/liberals and all natural Labour party members who have felt like they’re out in the cold. So far today two of them have come back to me to tell me they’re not interested anymore because of the old guard.

  6. Greg Doolan 6

    Well said. What Labour needs now, what the country needs now is transparent democracy. National are doing dodgy deals with Sky City and who knows who else behind the public’s back. But what alternative does Labour in its present form offer? We do not need a self interested, vision less cartel to be running Labour into the ground or to be running New Zealand. Shearer and his allies behave like members of the Chinese Communist Party, spreading disinformation, performing hatchet jobs on any perceived threat and conniving in the back room to retain central control of everything. Labour with its present leadership is unvotable, even for someone like myself who has NEVER voted for anyone else. If David Cunliffe does manage to wrestle control away from this bunch it will not be a moment too soon for both the party and New Zealand.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Senior Labour MP says Cunliffe is a “gone banana”

    Looks like Cunliffe is in the shit. They are gunning for him and there’s not much he can do about it.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10848489

    • TightyRighty 7.1

      So when the comments are subversive of the labour party structure it’s MSM innuendo, when it makes labour look “tough” and “united” it deserves to be bolded? some consistency please. It’s why the right and non-labour left think you are all a bunch of sycophantic morons with no intellectual integrity.

      • mike e 7.1.1

        Tight arse almighty same lines repeated as your previous rant ,you are a boringly banal follower .

    • BM 7.2

      Yep, Cunliffe is fucked.
      His only option is to do a Hone.

      • Brent Hutchison 7.2.1

        And if he did I would join him in a flash…
        I was privy to a speech he made here in Upper Hut presenting his case for capital gains taxes, and he is one smart cookie. (Funny enough Chippie was his best pal back then…I brought them both a beer post presentation.)
        IMO he has far more political nous than Mr Shearer, he has been round long enough and is smart enough to do the hard work.
        Mr Shearer is a new kid on the block and its plain to see the Old Guard are trying to follow the model the Nats took power with in a ‘new blood’ leader, working on a smile instead of capability.
        My $0.02

        Oh and FYI – I decided not to renew my part membership when they made Mr Shearer the leader…for the reasons I express above in this reply to BM

    • Rhinocrates 7.3

      Short of expelling him from the party, this is throwing Br’er Rabbit into the briar patch.

      Chris Trotter pointed out on Morning Report today that the caucus, when trying to expel Jim Anderton, took the case to the party council and suffered a humiliation. Although of course he later left, it was on his own terms and New Labour and the Alliance were certainly significant in their time later on. They’d have to be fools to… oh, right…

      • Rogue Trooper 7.3.1

        just wanna say, “you are one funny, crazy, creative, interesting scribe, pointy one :)”

        • Rhinocrates 7.3.1.1

          It’s all part of an elaborate conspiracy by myself against myself to distract me from doing the work I should be doing.

          • Rogue Trooper 7.3.1.1.1

            know the feeling, but since I cut down the ak47 there is even more interest in the thinking of other peoples (I think McGlashan is a national treasure) I was thinking of linking to the banshees “Hong Kong Garden” take-away, maybe, “Israel” but I do have an indolent streak——————————————
            (just imagine, if some of the Posters (who are often overlooked) and commentators met)

    • King Kong 7.4

      There is plenty he could have done about it. Not white anting the leader of the party for the last 5 years. Not being such an egotistical self serving clown.

      The sad thing is all the cheerleaders here who have been sucked in by his nonsense. He is a total opportunist and has found a rich seam of sentiment in the membership that he is exploiting. Would he follow through on this if he had the reins…would he fuck, and none of you would call him on it because you would be too embarrassed at how guillible you had been.

      • Greg Doolan 7.4.1

        At least have the honesty and balls to put your own name behind your hatchet job.

        • King Kong 7.4.1.1

          A sentiment, I imagine, you would like to extend to some of the authors on this site.

          • Greg Doolan 7.4.1.1.1

            My name is here. I am addressing you. Set your standards for yourself higher than those you despise,

            • Brent Hutchison 7.4.1.1.1.1

              Well said Mr Doolan. A man after my own ethics, say it with your name not a username, nickname, logon from your online MMORPG life….
              I have an extensive digital life with numerous usernames but if I wish to comment to the media I use MY NAME!

        • Draco T Bastard 7.4.1.2

          Policy

          To be honest, I for one, really couldn’t careless about KK’s real name. Even if he used it he still wouldn’t be able to string a coherent argument together.

    • PlanetOrphan 7.5

      Railroaded ,
      or they are at least trying too,
      add GS and L57 to theses three and you’ve got them all CV & Jackal.

      • gobsmacked 7.5.1

        PlanetO

        What are you on about? Labour MPs are rushing to the media and attacking Cunliffe.

        I think that’s terrible. How about you?

        • PlanetOrphan 7.5.1.1

          But not Cunliffe, So who are these people and why drag Cunliffe into it ?

          They put words and actions in his mouth, and refuse to listen to his actual words.

          • Foreign Waka 7.5.1.1.1

            Cunliffe is an extreme intelligent person but I belief he was misled and to a certain degree egged on to make a dash. Only to find himself alone on the front. Now they throw the eggs from behind. Well, this just tells me one thing – I won’t be voting for people who have not changed since doing the hatchet job on Lange.

            • PlanetOrphan 7.5.1.1.1.1

              Which is why the MSM are playing it so hard, it aint Labour bud.

              They used to do this to Labour all the time in the 80’s, probably thought no one would remember.

              • Colonial Viper

                Everyone raising hell about leadership questions is from BELTWAY LABOUR.

                Everyone escalating the criticality of February’s vote is from BELTWAY LABOUR.

                Everyone bad mouthing Labour MPs to journalists on and off the record is from BELTWAY LABOUR.

                Cunliffe’s not participated in any of the above. And the Conference vote was the will of the party.

                Do the fucking math dear people. This is going to be a most interesting summer of discontent.

                • karol

                  Tweeted by Corin Dann 14 minutes ago.

                  Senior sources in Cunliffe camp have told me he feels he’s done nothing wrong, never planned a spill and does not deserve to be demoted.  

  8. Rhinocrates 8

    Two hypotheses.

    One, ABC and particularly Mallard have the emotional development of five-year-olds and see everything in personal terms and throw tantys when they don’t get their way. They simply cannot comprehend that the party wants democracy and imagine that Cunliffe is Darth Sidious, clouding people’s minds with the Dark Side of the Force. Yes, their tactics are more sophisticated than that, but that’s the essence of it.

    Two, Shearer knows that he’s vulnerable and was severely rattled by the vote on party democratisation. He can’t openly insult the party for voting the wrong way, so Cunliffe is selected as scapegoat and hatchet men Mallard and Hipkins go after him while Shearer quaffs a pint of Brut 33 with testosterone chaser and waves his dick about (nobody notices that it’s a leftover prosthetic from Boogie Nights). “Cunliffe is Emanuel Goldstein! Two minutes hate now, pronto! Boo! Hiss!” Party will overridden without the party being mentioned and the caucus elite get to hang on just a little longer and comes ever closer to reassembling Jonestown.

    I’m inclined to tilt for the latter for most, but towards the former in the case of Mallard who genuinely does seem to be an infant in a man’s body.

    Was that over the top? I’ve been rereading Harlan Ellison lately and can’t tell any more.

    • The sprout 8.1

      This is all because Shearer and those who need him for a job, will lose in feb.
      So instead they attack Cunliffe.
      If they do try to get rid of him at tomorrow’s emergency caucus meeting, mallard, robertson and the rest of the ABCers will learn what organised membership hatred can really do to their lives.

      • Hami Shearlie 8.1.1

        Well, they’ve brought it on themselves Sproutie!! It’s the ABC brigade who are shooting their mouths off to the media bad-mouthing David Cunliffe. I’ve not heard him doing that about them!!

        • David H 8.1.1.1

          Nope Cunliffe has been very polite, it’s been the media thats like a rabid dog, and that rabid dog is being fed by another rabid dog, called Mallard.

          Time for Mallard to go

          • the sprout 8.1.1.1.1

            Mallard needs to be expelled for destabilising the party and the leadership

            • Laurie 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Trevor isn’t acting in isolation. There is a cabal; people who have done good things in the past and have forgotten that they represent a party, not a groupthink clique or whoever might be the leader of the moment. Sad … let’s hope they ponder about their legacies in the party and leave as they entered, with ideals and passions and integrity. Reread their maiden speeches. Surely it’s all still there …

    • Pete 8.2

      I think we can forecast how it’s going to go.

      1. Caucus meets tomorrow, votes unanimously to support Shearer’s leadership. Cunliffe has sent plenty of signals to his clique that he’s going to vote for Shearer and avoid rocking the boat at this point.
      2. Shearer demotes Cunliffe to the backbench
      3. Shearer attempts to have Cunliffe expelled from the party, but fails.
      4. Cunliffe keeps a high profile, starting a leadership campaign amongst the unions and party members. He delivers more speeches on his vision for Labour. He keeps his name in the press. If he closes in on Shearer in the preferred prime minister stakes it’s game on in February.
      5. The Febuary vote takes place.
      6. ??????

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        I want the film rights…maybe sell them to Peter Jackson for a bit of fundraising 😈

      • AmaKiwi 8.2.2

        @ Pete, I agree.

        Demoting Cunliffe is all that is needed to make him a folk hero.

        This is the ABC’s last gasp. (ABC means Anybody But Cunliffe). ABC infuriated the members last year by voting in their preferred leader when it was clear the membership wanted someone else.

        The membership unleashed their rage at this week’s conference. There was NO argument at the conference. We do not trust the caucus to select the leader. From now on 60% of the votes must come from the membership (40%) and affiliates (20%). My worry is the embittered ABC could destroy the party.

        If they do, it’s “Hello, Greens. Here I come.”

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.2.1

          Nope.

          Ordinary Labour members have this Conference at last, after decades, gained the constitutional tools to truly take back the heart and soul of this party from the neoliberals and careerists.

          Stay with us, we need you. And get everyone you know to sign up in your electorate.

  9. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 9

    Fucking hell. I know you guys are a “loose collective”, or some such bullshit but, really.

    LPrent reckons “It was a damn good conference”.

    Mike Smith says Shearer created an “energised Labour Party ready to work for victory in 2014”.

    This is not quite consistent with the picture Bill paints of democracy being murdered by evil right wingers running the party in cahoots with the foreign corporate media.

    Was there a cake stall?

    • quartz 9.1

      Cake? CAKE? Cake is the poison of the right!

    • lprent 9.2

      I think that you rather misunderstand how loose we are as a cooperative (a collective has whole different meaning – check a dictionary).

      • Mike is the ex-Party Secretary of the NZLP and used to be a union official.
      • I am a decades long NZLP party member who has never held office above party secretary, and never for longer than it took me to coop someone else into the position. I’ve been on the other side of the table to the unionists and I live in the private business world.
      • Bill is some kind of leftwing anarchist as far as I can tell, who I’m fairly confident in saying has probably never ever joined any party (that he’d admit to 🙂 ).

      I could go on with the list. But suffice it to say that there is a WwwwiiiiiiiiiDDddddddeeeEEE diversity of opinion between authors here. We pick people as authors who are from the broad left and who can write clear opinions that will cause intelligent discussion. Sometimes authors agree. More often they do not. This is all in the about.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 9.2.1

        Yes, but three of you said the conference was a love-in in a land of milk and honey and the other said there was wholesale drinking of puppy blood.

        How can the three of you be at the same event and see something so fundamentally different?

        And then turn around and say you are the best people to govern the country.

        Sheesh.

        [B: At no point in my post do I say I was at the event. Further, I’ve no reason to doubt that the conference itself felt positive.]

      • lprent 9.2.2

        Oh my. I finally read the post and the end of it….

        Now I think that I’ll have to hold you to that. That’d get me on a plane with a membership book.

        • Bill 9.2.2.1

          🙂 If it’s about democracy, I’m in. Naturally.

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.2.1.1

            We’re gonna need you mate. The Labour membership finally has the tools to sort this party out. We need members joining, lots of them, to ensure no more neoliberals and careerists in this party.

  10. Well said Bill.

    The behaviour of some MPs to the affiliates was utterly appalling and if anything deserves disciplinary behaviour this does.

  11. Treetop 11

    “What does of the people by the people for the people mean?

    Answer: It means that our democracy is organized by the people and is operated by the people for the purpose of serving the people.”

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_of_the_people_by_the_people_for_the_People_mean

  12. pete 12

    The Standard, and every other media outlet, has wall to wall postings about “the leadership question” all week, and then, bizarrely, the media focus on the “leadership question” at the conference.

    How utterly unfathonable. Must be a VRW conspiracy. They’re all in on it.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Heh…I thought Armstrong and O’Sullivan said The Standard as part of the general blogosphere wasn’t worth anything and Shearer, Little et al said they never look at it!

    • lprent 12.2

      I suggest you read the posts from last week and find out what they were actually saying. Mostly they were about David Shears performance in the speech and his awkwardness in unscripted group occasions. The speech I’d say was pretty damn good. I don’t have TV at present so I have no idea how that is going.

      Some of the impact of the speech was lost on me because I’d already read all the the embargoed material including the fact sheets. But it did allow me to enjoy the delivery at the entertaining start. I did start to drift to a think about the implications during the speech and lost a few sections of it.

      I can see one of the reason that journo’s get even more immune to speeches than I was prior to being at the press table. Not only have they heard similar speeches many times before, but they already know the end of the story

      But it was a good speech.

      • pete 12.2.1

        I did. Here’s what I found:

        “It’s time to go”
        “Who could replace Shearer?”
        “On David Shearer’s Leadership”
        “Don’t panic”

  13. infused 13

    Seems you lot are at odds with your party.

    • lprent 13.1

      I believe that the you are conflating the caucus with the party. Which it isn’t

      If you look carefully at the constitution of the NZLP (actually not even carefully) you will find that they are two separate bodies with a lot of overlap. The ruling body of the NZLP is the NZ Council which is made up of both appointed caucus members and members elected by the conferences by members and affliates.

      The parliamentary caucus is just a segment of the party. I believe that you are referring to party members who have just voted for the party to put some more democracy in a caucus process.

  14. burt 14

    Democracy is never given. Democracy cannot be asked for. Democracy must be demanded. And then it must be taken. It’s always been this way.

    Don’t forget – sometimes democracy is corrupted but we all move on because it gets retrospectively validated ! Just turn a blind eye because the best interests of the red team were served.

  15. redfred 15

    The conference was about the Leadership question because Uncle Shearer in his mumbling bumbling way has been doing a really crap job. He seems to surrounded by incompetents or has beens or both.

    National have been going from blunder to blunder, Shearer couldn’t string a sentence together and the rest of the front bench were missing in action; cleaning BBQs?

    The old saying goes, look like shit, smells like shit, it is shit.

    Unfortunately after the Labour leadership being unable to manage the “leadership question” leads to the only conclusion I can draw; Shearer is a turd of a leader and the only way they will beat National is if a video of Key, Dotcom and Banks in a three way tryst with the Sky City bosses throwing money on them emerges the night before voting; and then only just.

    • Greg Doolan 15.1

      Totally agree. Unfortunately David Shearer and his cronies do not want to listen to the will of the people which proves they were never in it for the members of the party or their country. They are no better than John Key and the Nats

    • Treetop 15.2

      Totally agree to.

      Why is Shearer’s leadership being questioned?

      Simple to see but not easy for some in the Labour caucus to remedy.

    • Red Rosa 15.3

      +1

  16. Doug 16

    Showdown at Ok Corral tomorrow could be fun.

  17. Doug 17

    Will it be Pistols at twenty paces or Heavy Artillery, Wounded or Fatal?

  18. Jim Nald - Once Was National 18

    I was reaching towards making a similar point but then read Brian Edwards who puts it better than I could have (in the NBR piece which appears in the ‘Feeds’ section to the right), as quoted below.

    Shearer and his advisers have better watch it that they respect due process.

    “Cunliffe is being asked to say how he will vote in a secret leadership ballot three months from now. His failure to do so is being taken as evidence of his disloyalty to Shearer and possible grounds for his expulsion from the Labour caucus.

    “This is not merely entirely unreasonable, it is a major breach of Labour’s own constitutional rules. A caucus member is being asked to declare in advance how he will vote in a secret ballot.”

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/when-secret-ballot-not-secret-ballot-when-you-want-get-rid-david-cunliffe-course-ck-132520

  19. Santi 19

    I love David Shearer as Labour leader. He’s here to stay.

    • lprent 19.1

      You hate Labour and everything it ever stands or stood for (I paraphrase that of course).

      And I’m likely to ban you yet again if I see too many of these astro-turf comments with a slogan and no argument.

  20. irascible 20

    My perception of the behaviour of the media at the conference was that they had come with a pre-written agenda and set of stories which they were going to run with no matter what. I would bet that if Shearer & Cunliffe had been photographed shaking hands and congratulating one another on anything the headline would have been along the lines of “The poisoned ring or chalice in the handshake.” Regardless of circumstance both Shearer and Cunliffe are damned if they do and damned if they don’t in the two dimensional minds of the press gallery.

    The terminology to describe the conference was highly emotional and without truth – acrimonious, chaotic, vicious,….. but suited to the pre decided interpretation. The result, despite all, is to force the named protaganists into a situation that again suits the story line of a Shoot Out at OK carrol.

    It doesn’t help when frustration boils over a Hipkins blows his cool at his colleague rather than telling the annoying little idiot of a reporter to flick off and write a story of substance.

  21. prism 21

    At the Labour Party conference, rank and file members demanded democracy. But within Labour there is a clique who seem oblivious to the demand; who, it appears, view themselves as existing above and beyond any pesky democratic demands or processes.

    The Nobles I think that the upper echelon could be called. Of course if they can’t measure up to the standard (heh) they may be called Ignobles.

  22. tinfoilhat 22

    Vote green or mana for a real left party and change in NZ !

    • Santi 22.1

      No, Labour led by Shearer is what NZ needs.

      • SouthDeeznuts 22.1.1

        Care to elaborate why that is so?

      • Foreign Waka 22.1.2

        Really? Shearer? The general public does not even know what he stands for, what his opinion on the major issues in NZ are. He is ducking and avoiding any positioning. Now as far as I am concerned, this behavior is not the hallmark of a leader. Politician perhaps, but not a leader. NZ needs over and above a person with a clear vision and the oral skill to translate this to the wider public.

  23. Fisiani 23

    In answer to the post Shearer or Labour. Tomorrows answer will be Shearer.
    2014 there will be two Labour parties. One led by Shearer. the other led by the Messiah/Traitor (take your pick) Cunliffe called Real Labour. Shearer ‘s Labour will get 15% Cunliffe’s will get 25% and Greens will get 11%. Total on Left 51% and Cunliffe will be PM

  24. Blue 24

    Would it have been an idea for Cunliffe to stand to one side gracefully after missing out, and patiently wait his opportunity? He could have thrown his weight behind Shearer, who it seems , needs all the help he can get. The swinging voter might have even admired him for parking his ego for a few months. Its PR 101 – perception is everything.

    • KJT 24.1

      He did throw his weight behind Shearer.

      Publicly!

      Just there is a bunch of time serving incompetents in the Labour caucus who cannot stand people who show them up. Or losing their king-making power to the wider party.

      I am beginning to suspect Shearer is one of them.

  25. s y d 25

    labour needs someone to pour oil on the troubled waters….I suggest a quiet approach to Peter Dunne to take over as shearers double…

    • Nooooo

      Next you will be suggesting that Pete George takes over from lprent … 

      • fender 25.1.1

        Word on the street says Pete George is to be the new tea lady at the (non) Truth, Slater requested him personally.

        I’m almost tempted to visit snoreDunedin to see if it’s true, but I’m trying to stay awake long enough to fix dinner for the whanau.

  26. KhandallaMan 26

    Calling all members! Calling all members.

    You are about to be ignored by the Leadership.

    Phone your local MP or nearest List MP prior to the meeting tomorrow.  
    If you don’t have the MPS number call their electorate office.
    Also call the Party General Secretary on 04 384 7649.

    The Caucus leadership are annoyed with the way you voted at Conference on Saturday.  They are saying you were part of a Leadership Putsch. 
    They are characterising the vote on Saturday as a move by Cunliffe!
    They want to demote or expel people who do not swear unconditional loyalty.

    Is this the tone you expected after the conference?   Is this the style of Leadership you want?

    Let your MP know in very clear language how you feel about Shearer’s new style. 

  27. AAMC 27

    Guess we’re a way away from seeing real participatory Democracy within Labour then…

    Wonder how soon it’ll be until we see The Greens eclipse them, cause the youth don’t seem to fetishise hierarchy, it’s an internet thing.

    Pity the ice caps are melting, banksters pillaging, GFC2 looming, Gaza dying, otherwise this shambles might be entertaining.

    This shit just feeds peoples cynicism towards Politics in general, and I’m with Bill re Shearer’s Authoritarian tone this morning, shudder. It’s a pity, reading Cunliffe’s blog posts on the economy and environment this year and reading the challenges made to the economic orthodoxy and the challenges to the RBNZ, I was feeling inclined to vote for Labour, like it was starting to challenge the prevailing neo-liberal narrative, that moment’s passed.

  28. tracey 28

    I do some work with 17 yr old boys in elite cricket teams. they have learned that you dont have to like everyone in the team. You need to respect the skill they contribute and support them to perform well. shearer and cunliffe, for the sake of nz and nzers need to suck it up, grow up and put the nation first.

  29. coge 29

    Will there be a split I wonder? Sort of like “New, new Labour” The Labour party appears riven.

  30. Lanthanide 30

    It was confirmed on the radio that they’re going to run the vote tomorrow using the new rules. If Shearer doesn’t get 60% + 1 votes of support from the caucus, then he’s going to resign and force a leadership vote.

    • lprent 30.1

      That is actually a sensible approach in using the new rules.

      The actual problem with it is that in the unlikely case that he loses this vote, then I can’t see how the party organisation will be in a position to run a vote on the membership for a while simply because they (actually Tim Barnett) haven’t had a chance to even decide how to run the election.

      Worst case is that it could leave the caucus without a leader for a month or so. And it still means that there will a leadership vote in February as far as I can see?

      Why do I sense a bit of hysteria coupled with blind stupidity in Wellington

      • PlanetOrphan 30.1.1

        Good leadership, not hysteria.

        The problem is …. If the media keep saying it, DS has to accept the possibility of members opinion not matching his own.

        A vote will clear that up, otherwise the Media will just keep on inventing crap.

        They used to do this to Labour all the time in the 80’s.

      • Anne 30.1.2

        Why do I sense a bit of hysteria coupled with blind stupidity in Wellington.

        Addendum:
        As evidenced by the comments of Chris Hipkins. How old is he?

        May I ask a favour of you 1prent:

        For the purpose of easy access could you (or someone) post a list of parliamentary email addresses of the Labour MPs. This may encourage those who read this site to send their views to their local Labour MPs and some of the principle players. I certainly have a message or two to pass on, but time is of the essence and most people need it to be made easy for them.

        Thanks in anticipation.

        • karol 30.1.2.1

          The addresses are pretty easy to access.  Here is a list of Labour Party MPs.  Click on each name for their email and postal addresses.

        • lprent 30.1.2.2

          A resource page of all MP’s? We’re a political blog of the left and not just a Labour party blog.

          Although you’d never think that over the last week. I wonder if the Greens have such interesting conferences?

          • felix 30.1.2.2.1

            The Green don’t have such interesting anything. They’re too busy being civilised and working on sensible policy to be so “interesting”.

            • karol 30.1.2.2.1.1

              But, felix, wasn’t Meteria Turei once a Random Trollop?  Surely they must have fun parties and stirring stage shows?

              • felix

                I’m sure you’ll forgive me for having forgotten about Meteria for all the MSM mention her these days…

            • karol 30.1.2.2.1.2

              And I’ve just gone into moderation writing about a group one of the Green co-leaders belonged to.

  31. Member41 31

    What rubbish. Cunliffe knew what he was doing. He deliberately made this Conference about leadership. He tried to divert attention from the exciting changes led by Shearer and Coatsworth. Distract us from Shearer’s awesome speech and our ambitious progressive policy platform.

    Toxic, self-centered, nasty little man. The membership do not back him. It’s time for him to sod-off.

    [lprent: see http://thestandard.org.nz/war-and-peace/comment-page-1/#comment-550488 ]

    • That’s not the news that I saw Member41, you have a grudge and you’re trying to undermine the entire Labour party because of it.

      You are the one that should bloddy resign M8!

  32. lefty 32

    Shearer and Cunliffe have become proxys for a basic contest of ideas and beliefs within the Labour Party.

    One has become a symbol for the left of the party and portrayed as fighting for a more democratic party and a break with neo liberalism and the other as an authoritarian puppet of the elite.

    In fact if you analyse their positions carefully both are centre right politicians with the only real differences between them on how they would stage minor interventions in the economy and what areas they would intervene in.

    However if Cunliffe does come out on top his left supporters are likedly to push him further to the left than he is comfortable with.

    Something similar happened with The Alliance with the very conservative Jim Anderton becoming a very reluctant figurehead for the left of Labour which eventually broke away to form New Labour.

    A genuine struggle for the heart and soul of Labour is taking place before our very eyes but it is still being portrayed by the mainstream media, and understood by the dimmer party members, as being a simple leadership struggle.

    • karol 32.1

      Shearer and Cunliffe have become proxys for a basic contest of ideas and beliefs within the Labour Party.

      I agree. 

      • Member41 32.1.1

        No that just isn’t right. It is true that Cunliffe seems to have successfully spun the challenge in this way in some people’s minds. But what could be more self-serving?

        The reality is that this is about personality and a lot of members have had enough of it.

        Shearer led the democratisation of the Party and he should get credit for that. Regardless of who is leader we will have a more progressive/left policy platform than we did under Helen Clark – the dam is burst on that one. There was basically not serious left/right debate about policy on the floor of Conference (with a possible exception of the TPPA debate).

        I think most members now just want to focus on winning. There is no “basic contest of ideas”.

        [lprent: Ok that doesn’t sound like an astro-turf. Warning rescinded. Welcome.

        But personally I’d say that Moira was the person leading the democratisation. ]

        • PlanetOrphan 32.1.1.1

          So have you actually spoken to Cunliffe about it ?

          Like I said in reply to your other posts, you are the one airing a grudge based on preconceived ideas formed long ago.

          Don’t skulk around M8, get some ground under your feet!.

          • Member41 32.1.1.1.1

            I’m not skulking — I am saying it is time for Cunliffe to go. Either that or he should put a stop to the white anting for good. And I am trying to point out that in no way are “the membership” behind Cunliffe in the false way it has been bandied around here.

            Anybody who was at Conference and saw how smug Cunliffe and Dalziel were at *that* vote could see what they were doing. He was prancing around like a peacock and it did not endear him to members.

            • fatty 32.1.1.1.1.1

              Anybody who was at Conference and saw how smug Cunliffe and Dalziel were at *that* vote could see what they were doing.

              Smugness at the members voting for more of a say in the party?…is that your point?

              Did you see Cunliffe nodding and clapping to Shearer’s speech?..cause I did.

              • Member41

                No – smugness at the fact that they knew it would undermine Shearer.

                You would have to be very stupid to not see what was going on behind that vote. It was not about giving members more of a say.

                • fatty

                  True, it does undermine Shearer…and it’ll undermine any future under-performing leader too.

                • geoff

                  “You would have to be very stupid to not see what was going on behind that vote. It was not about giving members more of a say.”

                  EH!!?? What the fuck are you on?
                  Of course the fucking members would vote for more say. You’re fucking stupid if you think your bullshit comments are going to persuade anyone.

                  Cunliffe always looks smug, get over it.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Actually, the vote was won for the 40% trigger when Mallard whined ‘but we’ve already had a leadership vote’. Once he articulated the arrogance of the caucus, the result was inevitable.

                • Sunny

                  @ Member 41 poor old Shearer undermines himself…. every time he opens his mouth. As I’ve said before, forget winning the next election, he couldn’t win a raffle!
                  Why he’s trying this macho stuff now I’ve no idea. He just looks daft.

            • PlanetOrphan 32.1.1.1.1.2

              Again I say you should talk too Cunliffe directly, you will be surprised at the support he holds for Shearer.
              My opinion obviously.
              But he bowed out gracefully when Shearer was running, he supports Shearer spiritually, and while they may not talk much at the moment Cunliffe is trying to control his “Mob”, which refuses too take direction at all.

              He could probably use some help on that front M8.

              Too ditch him now is to say “We don’t care” to the NZ public, it will put yas back another 4 years minimum.

              Work together bud, anything less at this point will kill your election chances dead.

              • Member41

                I did get the chance to talk to Cunliffe at Conference actually. He was drunk and couldn’t hide how pleased he was with himself.

                I used to be on his side. But straw-camel-back it’s over for him

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hahahaha more BELTWAY LABOUR bullshit 😀

                  • Member41

                    I don’t consider myself “beltway”. But I don’t think it is an insult either. Sometimes it pays to be in the loop about things and not away in your parochial group-think bubble.

                    • quartz

                      I’m interested. Do you think Shane Jones needs to go? How about Trevor Mallard?

                    • Member41

                      Well a caucus needs unity to win. Solidarity is a basic principle of Labour (read our new values document).

                      One way to achieve unity is to discipline disloyalty. This is especially needed in opposition which is inherently unstable. So yes, Shane Jones needed to be demoted at least but his disloyalty does not match Cunliffe’s sustained four-year-long undermining of the leadership.

                      Why Mallard?

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    I got the chance to talk to Member 41 at the conference and he couldn’t hide how pleased he was with the sweet lady H he was injecting into his eyeballs.

                    I used to be on his side, but he wouldn’t pay for the junk, so it’s straw/camel/back to the morph for him.

                • Well maybe he’s operating under pre-conceived ideas as well then.
                  I stand by what I said above though.

                  And I’ll re-consider Cunliffe all over again.
                  But I’m likely too arrive back at the same conclusion.

                • Tomorrow is the day then Member41.
                  Give the Man some Real Direction at least, and see what he does with it.

                  • Member41

                    Sounds good. It’s time we got in behind Shearer and started giving the Govt not ourselves Hell.

                    • So true buddy,

                      And I’m surprised if Cunliffe is as reticent as you say, so tell him point blank.
                      That is leadership, I’ve said it before it’s the failure in delegation that requires a response.

                      He’d be doing everyone a dis-service to not reject a challenge outright, what he does in 2 years is up to him etc, and control his masses while he’s at it. 🙂

  33. Nunya 33

    Hmm whatever from here behind my monitor /keyboard thingy, it seems to me both sides fucked – royally.

    By making the conference all about ‘the Cunliffe coup’ the Mallard & the neo-liberals have managed to weld the lame duck sign to whatshisname’s ass – for good now. Whatshisname will never live it down, so as far as the corporate media are concerned Shearer will be consigned to the same ‘unelectable’ category that they placed Goff in after Ms Clark put her cue in the rack.
    No one can have failed to notice that the rehabilitation of Planet Key has been running in earnest for the last two weeks; the un-analysed unworkable and essentially meaningless Nat housing policy will remain in the public consciousness as the only viable plan – simply because the ersatz humanist faction chose to make conference about ‘stopping Cunliffe’ and not about offering an alternative to key.

    Others here have made similar observations but few have examined what a dog’s breakfast that the other viewpoint’s proponents have also made of this.

    Why on earth was Cunliffe anywhere near the task of selling the constitutional changes? And don’t be going all “what us? We’re just doin what we do” about this. Politics is all about understanding potential consequences and mitigating them before they become problematic.

    Anyone with half a brain could see that the only reason NZ Inc. was behaving slightly more objectively towards NZLP was because they believed as many of us do, that under the ‘whatshisname’ gavel the labour party was no threat at all to their continued rape of national assets and their marginalisation of the bulk of the population. -in office or in opposition.

    Of course anything which looked like whathisname’s reign of mix-ups & missed opportunities was in jeopardy would get the hacks shrieking like stuck pigs.
    Anyone who claims not to have foreseen this is either lying or exceptionally naive and that is putting it nicely.

    I have no idea of the battle order but once things began to get hysterical on Sunday anyone with leadership aspirations should have got in front of the issue and hosed it down immediately offering fealty to whatshisname ’till death’ if need be.
    It won’t require Cunliffe or anyone else to bring down whatshisname – as we are seeing yet again this bloke has only one target when locked and loaded – his own foot.
    But it should never have been left up to Cunliffe anyway – everyone else with the barest profile who supported the amendment should have been ready and waiting to bail up the media the moment this shit began. Sure the hacks can avoid most things which seem inconvenient for their selected narrative but they can’t ignore having a scrum put down on them by a mob of individuals.

    That is what should have happened with everyone ready for it, yet from what I have been reading you ‘all were surprised at the media reaction!

    Don’t give up yer day jobs.

  34. fatty 34

    Shearer appeared on TV3 this morning, he stumbled over his word for 10 minutes and he said that he hasn’t yet talked to Cunliffe.
    WTF, is this guy for real? He goes on TV and moans without having talked to Cunliffe…and then Cunliffe has to ring up TV3.
    How is Shearer leader? He fails time and time again.
    And Cunliffe is blamed for doing what?
    In a way I hope Shearer stays on as leader into the next election. His interviews are like watching a cross between Dubya & Palin…its comical. Even Palin could deliver an autocue speech.
    I dunno why people have got a boner for Shearers speech, when the next day he’s back on TV looking like a mumbling muppet.

    • Hami Shearlie 34.1

      If it wasn’t so ghastly it would be funny. Shearer is more than awful – he’s embarrassingly BAD!

  35. The labour caucus was not working for many,many traditonal labour voters and that has been
    for many years,even a drop to 20% or so couldn’t let them know something was wrong, it
    beggars belief that those who are on the right in the caucus are attacking memberships
    wishes to be more open,transparent and take the party on the journey it was meant to be on,is
    democracy so hideous to these entrenched trough feeders that they will do everything in their
    power to get rid of Cunliffe,who is seen as a left politician,a leader,a brilliant mind and always
    was the person many wanted in the leadership position.
    If Shearer is so bloody minded in his thinking then there is no hope for labour at the next election
    if he continues with his leadership,does he not accept that he just does not cut it,never will and
    holds on so that he can have another Key govt in 2014,because that will be the case,Labour 18%
    at the polls will be the result.
    There is a struggle going on in the labour party and that is between the left and the right of
    politics, labour is national lite at the moment, the current leader and some ministers want it
    to stay that way.
    Listen carefully, the Labour party is not yours,it is the peoples party and at the conference
    they are saying they want it back.
    I for one will not be voting labour if Shearer is still clinging on to power.

    • Hami Shearlie 35.1

      I feel the same, no more voting Labour while Shearer is leader. 32 years of voting labour – not next time if Shearer AKA Bumble-Fumble is still there as leader!

  36. Santi 36

    Shearer over Cunliffe any time, any day. He’s the right leader.

    • Colonial Viper 36.1

      Funny you worded it like that.

      • Member41 36.1.1

        But not really Viper. Cunliffe and Shearer are both basically centre-right.

        Except Shearer brings with him the left of the Labour caucas, including Robertson who is the real leader of the left in the caucus.

        And Cunliffe brings a bunch of self-serving, fairly centre-right crazies: Dalziel, Chauvel, Mackey…

        Don’t understand why any left-wing member wants that in charge.

        • Colonial Viper 36.1.1.1

          Cunliffe and Shearer are both basically centre-right.

          LOLOLOLOL is that the new BELTWAY LABOUR line? There is no real difference in Shearer and Cunliffe’s politics?

          • Member41 36.1.1.1.1

            Yes Viper. I am the one true voice of Beltway Labour.

            Does anyone remember when Cunliffe was seen as a leader of the right/moderates in caucas? His positioning as the champion of the left is exceptionally cynical. And you seem to have fallen for it. You look ridiculous.

            • Colonial Viper 36.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh mate, at least Cunliffe has his politics, Shearer only discovers his politics when he reads out what is put in front of him.

            • geoff 36.1.1.1.1.2

              You keep on defending the old guard centre-rights. The membership spoke in the weekend and they won’t tolerate your mates’ shit indefinitely. If it isn’t Cunliffe, it’ll be someone else with some real left politics that the members bring to power and your time will be over.

              • Jim Nald - Once Was National

                And “Robertson .. is the real leader of the left in the caucus” ?

                • Member41

                  That’s what I said. Any challengers?

                  • Ok, how bout ditching the left-centre-right stuff and tell me why he’s a good civilised man then?
                    Same goes for any other candidate.
                    And explain why three good civilised men or women can’t “Lead” the party ?
                    Or is it for their CV?

                    • So your saying that Cunliffe had nothing to do with the new policies and wouldn’t support them?

                      Like I said what’s centre-right ?

                      You do know that any real policy is left-centre-right in entirety ?

                      If your policy of leadership has been excluding the Finance portfolio how’d you get the policies ?

                    • Member41

                      No – not saying that. Not the point.

                    • Your being rather evasive M8 🙂

                      If the only reason that Cunliffe doesn’t stand in the “Leaders Room” is suspicion then you can’t expect him to state things he has no knowledge of.

                      If Shearer trusts him to stand in the room with yas why wont you Member41?

                      It really sounds like you have underestimated both men in my opinion.

                    • Member41

                      Not trying to evade anything. I actually don’t understand your question.

                      “If the only reason that Cunliffe doesn’t stand in the “Leaders Room” is suspicion then you can’t expect him to state things he has no knowledge of.”

                      What?

                    • Look up “Good Civilised” when you have a chance.

                      And if you’ve been keeping DS and DC apart, and feeding Gower and co. this shit then it’s you who has undermined the Labour party.

                      If DS had any Idea it was going too happen he would’ve stated it, good people are like that. Its called “ground they stand on”.

                      So if you are the orchestrator , tell me why the subversion and lies that you have obviously told Shearer ?

                      Or are you indeed trying to “Play” him as well ?

                    • hush minx

                      I’ve heard this line that cunliffe was one of the most right wing in cabinet before-and i have to say that I don’t regard them as credible sources. Taking on the doctors, breaking up telecom are two examples that spring to mind where he was active. But putting that to one side of i judge him on his more recent speeches he has been smart, articulate and challenging. And has said miss with more meaning than what I’ve seen from either the current leader or deputy. It will take more than your lines to convince many of us otherwise.

                    • Member41

                      I’m sorry PlanetOrphan – but I am not who you seem to think I am. I haven’t talked to that Gower asshole and don’t advise Shearer. I am just a member of the Labour Party that thinks it is time to get over this fighting and start winning the election.

                      What is “Good Civilised”?

                    • Civilised = Eyes open to Everybody.
                      Good = Good.

                      Simply put…

                      Eyes open too everyone, including
                      the evil – prison/reprimand for people who need to understand violence is not acceptable too civilisation.

                      the good – people who are able too and do participate in society helping the sickly and the poor and uneducated as well as themselves.

                      What you have spoken on this board tonight is exaclty what the MSM have been saying.
                      So this really does look a “Play” from Robertson for the Leadership.

                      And yas are playing DC/DS as well as the MSM.

                      If ya want to find out more on my thoughts about good civilised, search for it on the standard, it’s a common theme of mine.

                      It might take you a while … sorry M8! ((-:

                  • Umm… you’re completely delusional m41

          • millsy 36.1.1.1.2

            1) David Cunliffe said in as 2008 interview he had private health insurance
            2) David Cunliffe said during last years election campaign that he would (as finance minister) continue on with National’s public sector cuts.

            • Colonial Viper 36.1.1.1.2.1

              There’s nothing wrong with private health insurance. A lot of people who earn over $50K pa have private health insurance, either separately or as part of their employment package.

              • Lanthanide

                Having private health insurance seems like a good thing – those who can afford it can take some of the load off the public system. Pay their way and all that.

                • lurgee

                  Yes, and I’m sure that’s the same justification for wealthy ‘lefties’ sending their children to private schools and owning big houses in the school zones of said school. And they own big cars to take the strain off public transport. Nothing to do with screeching hypocrisy. And have lots of money in case the wallets of poor folk get strained. Very generous of them.

                  It’s laughable that Cunliffe can mouth loyalty with the proviso he might change his mind in a few weeks.

                  I supported Cunliffe over Shearer in the first round. But you don’t carp and whine if the result goes against you. You buckle down and prove you’re the best man for the job next time it becomes available. You don’t scheme and engineer a coup to salve your injured pride. We’re absolutely certain of another three years of National if Labour continue acting like dicks because one man and his mates can’t stand the fact he lost, fair and square.

                  David Cunliffe = New Zealand’s Kevin Rudd.

                  • Greg Doolan

                    Above all one has to be loyal to his Party and not necessary to the controlling interests in the caucus. The course of history would have been changed many times for the better if someone had only stood up and said that the emperor has no clothes. Cunliffe has buckled down and proven he is the best man for the job over the last 12 months. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of the party, he has taken on National vigorously in the House, he has developed and articulated good policy ideas within his portfolio and he has tried to fill the vacuum in the public arena left by an invisible Labour leader.

                    If you are one of those that believe that to be a true member of the Labour Party you cannot be successful, you cannot live in a nice house in a good suburb, you cannot take responsibility for your families health care and lessen the burden on state resources then it amazes me that you “supported” Cunliffe in the first round. Cunliffe didn’t lose fair and square. He was the MEMBERS choice to lead THEIR party but a self serving bunch within the caucus conspired to deny their party’s members their preferred leader and are continuing to do so. It is obvious who are the real traitors within the Party.

                    Ultimately, just like what is happening all over the world, People Power will win. The Labour Party members will reclaim THEIR Party and install the Leader they want. It is just a matter of time.

                  • Greg Doolan

                    “wealthy ‘lefties’ sending their children to private schools and owning big houses in the school zones of said school. And they own big cars to take the strain off public transport.” More bullshit propaganda from the Mumbles Shearer brigade lurgee

                    Cunliffe drives an eco friendly Prius and his children attend state schools.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It’s laughable that Cunliffe can mouth loyalty with the proviso he might change his mind in a few weeks.

                  Explain why any MP should be forced to reveal their constitutionally enshrined secret ballot vote to you.

    • SouthDeeznuts 36.2

      Are you able to give us some solid reasoning as to why Shearer should be the leader, Santi? Or are you going to just keep parroting one-liners?

      • Greg Doolan 36.2.1

        Agreed. David Cunliffe’s supporters can articulate what is so wrong about Mumbles Shearer (he was at it again on tv this morning and Close Up just ran a feature on Mumbles bumbles, justifiably mocking him) leadership and what is right about Cunliffe’s (great communicator, solid grasp of economics and other portfolios, a clear vision of better future for New Zealand and New Zealanders and what needs to be done to achieve that, Harvard educated, a Masters in how to properly run a government). All Mumbles Shearers supporters can say is “give him a go” “he’s the best man for the job” or similar inane comments which make one despair for the future of the party. Seeing a young whipper snapper like Chris Hipkins accuse Cunliffe of undermining Phil Goff (another spectacularly bland and uninspiring leader) on TV News makes me think how on earth can this bunch accuse Cunliffe of arrogance? Make no mistake the Labour Party is at a cross roads and continued leadership from the current cartel (Shearer, Goff, Mallard etc) will see Labour’s only hope of being in government being the minor party of a coalition. If Shearer is the leader at the next election disaffected Labour supporters simply will not vote or will vote Greens or Mana as a protest. Everyone can let off steam in this forum, everyone is entitled to their opinions but this is so obvious to anyone who is on the outside looking in. Swing voters will NEVER vote for Mumbles. Dispirited Labour supporters will NOT vote for mumbles. John Key (or Joyce) will destroy Mumbles in any election debates further demoralising the faithful. And still there are Mumbles supporters (supporters of what?) who are happily following this cartel into the abyss. The horror, the horror.

        • Member41 36.2.1.1

          Greg.

          Reasons to support Shearer:
          – Compelling back-story: dedication to humanitarian work and making the world a better place. Strong leadership in difficult times. Stark contrast to Key (or Cunliffe).
          – Championing of democratisation and reform of the Party. Worked with Coatsworth to make the most important changes to the Party in a generation.
          – Down-to-earth and likable, but with obvious conviction and guts. NZ public will warm to that modesty and decency that he exudes.
          – Has proven that he can powerfully articulate Labour’s values in the speech at Conference. Obviously work to be done here but NZ public don’t vote for a showman they want a decent leader. He can do this.
          – Appears moderate and reasonable but will champion the progressive/left causes of the key members of his front-bench. Will allow the Party greater say in determining the platform.
          – Can bring the majority of caucas with him and lead a strong team to victory.

          Reasons not to support Cunliffe:
          – Strongly disliked by many members of caucas and the Party. Can’t lead them. Is seen as self-serving and arrogant. Not that sort of person that is going to get you up in the morning.
          – His championing of the “left” is a blatantly cynical attempt to get a base of support. Actually basically centre-right and brings other centre-right people with him. Not trusted.
          – Might be a good talker but that isn’t enough you also have to be likable and he… isn’t.

          But basically – Shearer won the leadership under the rules as they were at the time. It’s now time for the Party to unite under our newly minted progressive platform and stick it to National.

          • Greg Doolan 36.2.1.1.1

            Reasons to support Shearer
            “Compelling back-story: dedication to humanitarian work and making the world a better place.” If the back story is compelling why is NO ONE interested? What is the real back story apart form the 60 second romantised version? What did he REALLY achieve? Is their peace and prosperity in Iraq, in Somalia or anywhere else the Messiah went?V ery little if anything has changed or improved in any of the places he worked in. Please provide hard evidence if any, not a romantic, superhero version that is obviously untrue.

            “Strong leadership in difficult times. Stark contrast to Key (or Cunliffe).” Once again show me where and when with hard facts of what he led and what was measurably achieved.
            “Championed democratisation and reform of the Party” – up to the point when it was not going to benefit him then, with his cartel, attempted to curtail it.

            “Down-to-earth and likable, but with obvious conviction and guts.” Clearly not likeable, look at his polling numbers. No obvious conviction or guts. He has been all over the shop since he became leader. He has allowed a Government that has made one blunder after the other, to sail on without causing a ripple.

            “NZ public will warm to that modesty and decency that he exudes. How the hell can you make the statement. The NZ public will NEVER warm to him. They see him as a ditherer, as a joke and that perception will never change.

            “Has proven that he can powerfully articulate Labour’s values in the speech at Conference.” One mediocre speech (please don’t make it out to be something more than that) and then back to mumbling, bumbling and stumbling repeatedly in front of the cameras today.

            “Obviously work to be done here” No matter how much work he will always be Mumbles Shearer. He has had a year of the best media training the party can provide and he has shown zero improvement.
            “but NZ public don’t vote for a showman they want a decent leader.” Please explain why the NZ public voted for John Key twice then. I don’t want a showman but I do want a leader who can present himself and his ideas well.

            “He can do this.” He so obviously cannot do this He has proven EXACTLY the opposite. He is portrayed as a joke by the media and that is ALL his own doing. The only person who has undermined David Shearer is David Shearer himself.

            “Appears moderate and reasonable but will champion the progressive/left causes of the key members of his front-bench.” Appears moderate (meaning average) at best in every way. He has championed NOTHING. The Greens and the Mana parties have been doing all the championing all the progressive left causes as far as the public can see.

            “Will allow the Party greater say in determining the platform.” As he has proven over the weekend and today he will allow only what benefits his and his cartel’s interests.

            “Can bring the majority of caucus with him and lead a strong team to victory.” Are you joking? He wand his team of self serving hypocrites are leading Labour to their worst election numbers in history, to a diminished, barely relevant Labour Party that will be a minor member of a coalition government.

            Reasons not to support Cunliffe:
            “Strongly disliked by many members of caucus and the Party. Can’t lead them.” Cunliffe is obviously disliked by some members of caucus. That is because he is smarter than many of them, better educated, particularly in how a government can be successfully run, and is a threat to their comfort zone and positions within the party and potentially in a government”

            “Is seen as self-serving and arrogant.” Confidence and intelligence can be perceived of as arrogance but having known the man for many years I can personally tell you he is not arrogant. A personal story here. My wife is South African of Indian descent. Her family were very active in the ANC during the apartheid era and suffered greatly for it. Due to the intense racism she endured she has developed the best radar i know for who is genuine and who is self serving. She is a big Cunliffe fan because he is a GENUINE person who relates well to all people.

            “Not that sort of person that is going to get you up in the morning.” How do you know that? The people that work with and have worked with Cunliffe are very energised by his leadership. ask them.

            “His championing of the “left” is a blatantly cynical attempt to get a base of support.” Again please provide evidence. Cunliffe grew up in a home championing the under class and needy. The apple never falls far from the tree.How has he cynically lost what he was raised to believe? You are espousing totally false propaganda.

            “Actually basically centre-right and brings other centre-right people with him.” Again please provide evidence of that in any of the policy he has championed. To win government and to lead ALL New Zealanders a leader must bring the centre with him.

            “Not trusted.” By whom? The caucus members who have a vested interest in making sure he is not the leader.

            “Might be a good talker but that isn’t enough you also have to be likable and he… isn’t.” Is a good communicator not might. He is clearly likeable. He has been a Member of Parliament since 1999 and has won five terms. His electorate clearly like him and he is the majority of the members choice for leader.
            After all your blather you come down to this.
            “But basically – Shearer won the leadership under the rules as they were at the time.” The membership’s anger and desire for change was brought about because of this use of the rules.

            “It’s now time for the Party to unite under our newly minted progressive platform and stick it to National.” It is now time for the party to have the leader that its MEMBERS want. A leader that is capable of articulately take on and defeat National on Labours own terms or at worst as the clearly strongest partner in a good coalition. That leader is so clearly David Cunliffe.

            The only people outside the ever shrinking Mumbles Shearer fan club that want to see him lead Labour at the next election are John Key and the rest of the National party. They know that, despite their total ineptitude, they can sleep walk to victory if Mumbles is the Labour Party leader.

            Member 41, you are another with such conviction that you have to hide behind a pseudonym. Be more honest, be braver in your convictions, use your own name. Think harder, take off your blinkers, examine the facts more closely and do not champion the demise of a party you love.

            • Member41 36.2.1.1.1.1

              Well we disagree Greg. Sorry your post is a bit too long to respond to properly

              I think Shearer will win the next election for us. But I think Cunliffe needs to stop undermining our chances.

              • Greg Doolan

                Again the only people undermining Labours chances are Mumbles Shearer and his cartel. Under Mumbles the Labour Party has become irrelevant. He is the invisible leader. The only thing he has taken a stand on is his own survival.

                No one cares what he has to say. No one has any interest in listening to him bumbling through another sound bite – unless they are in the mood for some comedy. When Mumbles comes on TV people go make a cup of tea. Absolutely NO presence or delivery skills.

                I know this is unpalatable to you but it is the truth. I mix with people across all segments of our society, ethnically, age group and income wise. He appeals to no one.

              • Greg Doolan

                A very weak response Member41. No post is too long to respond to if you have a valid response. I took the time to respond to your claims because they were so lacking in hard evidence. If you have anything of genuine substance to support your claims please bring it forward for the benefit of the party.

              • gobsmacked

                Sorry your post is a bit too long to respond to properly

                Because he effectively rebutted pretty much every point.

                Shearer was a canvas to project hopes onto. That might be uninspiring but reasonable enough IF he was only mediocre. We could shrug our shoulders and tick the party box.

                But it turns out he is also a paid-up member of the Trevor Mallard School of Self-destruction. Didn’t know that until the past few days. But we do now.

                Previously he didn’t score high for competence, but at least he had points for “likeability”. That’s gone. He is SO like Key in that regard … comes across at his worst when he tries to act the hard man. But he can’t carry it off. It’s “Ooh, gotta look tough now”. He just looks pathetic.

                • Greg Doolan

                  Right on the money.

                • agreed gs.
                  shearer is a lost cause, his support base consists of the paid, the self-serving, and the deluded.

                • Member41

                  Well I just don’t have the time or inclination Greg.

                  I am not convinced by any of your arguments. The worst one being: “Is their peace and prosperity in Iraq, in Somalia or anywhere else the Messiah went?”. I mean you are a crazy, pure and simple.

                  I stand-by what I said and I don’t think it was rebutted at all. But like I said – we disagree.

                  I give-up trying to convince anyone here. You’re all nuts. Go join the Democrats for Social Credit. 🙂

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Actually we only SEEM nuts, and that’s because we don’t subscribe to Planet Beltway like you do.

            • geoff 36.2.1.1.1.2

              Good rebuttal, Greg.

              If member41 wants a good back story they should look at Cunliffe.

              Son of Bill Cunliffe, a South Canterbury Anglican minister who strongly campaigned for Labour and built the membership up in his district to its highest ever levels.

              The tory farmers in the area used to call him the ‘Red Reverend’!

              David would have been instilled with a proper socialist upbringing.

              • Greg Doolan

                Dead right. On top of the great foundation of his upbringing add Intelligence, Academic excellence, Ambition and public and private sector success.

                Its the same old story – if you can’t foot it with the best and brightest and you want to be one in control then best get rid of the best and brightest. The devolution of the party allows the mediocre to continue to rule an ever diminishing empire

        • geoff 36.2.1.2

          Right on the money, +1

          • hush minx 36.2.1.2.1

            i know this is unlikely to sway you but since when does being liked matter in a ceo? If they are talented, smart and can do the job – surely that’s the important stuff.I’m lucky, i like my boss. But lots of people work perfectly effectively with people they don’t like.

            And i hate to point out that it was the old guard at conference that were out of touch with members or else they wouldn’t have voted the way they did! It’s not about cunliffe, is about the party.what’s so wrong with that?

  37. Zoo baby 37

    Shearer definitely

  38. Android 38

    You read the situation very well Pete. Shearer & his team were dimwitted & should have strongly supported the challenge rule change. Turn it in to a positive a new fresh inclusive change to give to rank & file blah blah….But what have they done, they panicked & detracted from all the positive new policies. Shearer should have admitted he struggles & sometimes bumbles. Christ Kiwi’s love the genuine good bloke underdog!  

    [lprent: if your comment doesn’t show up straight away it is likely to have been automoderated. Don’t panic, we will get around to it. Resending it and changing names just makes you look like a shifty astroturfer. First time commentators get automatically moderated. ]

    • Member41 38.1

      I think you have a point Android.

      To be clear – Shearer did support (actually he championed) the change that meant the membership gets to vote on the leadership when the leadership needs to be chosen. So yes, he would be well to emphasise the positive changes we made in the weekend.

      But the vote about the 40% trigger wasn’t really about democratisation. It was about making it easier for Cunliffe to challenge in February. I think it probably would have been a good idea in hindsight had it been supported it but really it was deliberately used to create the beat-up that transpired.

      Cunliffe is trying to undermine the leadership and I don’t think the leadership could be expected to put up with it for much longer.

      • geoff 38.1.1

        If he championed it then why did he abstain from voting on it, citing ‘conflict of interest’?

        • Member41 38.1.1.1

          Well that was a judgment call that seems sensible. It is quite usual for the leader not to vote on remits and motions on the floor. That is for the membership.

          But he was fully behind the review – he initiated it and backed it many times.

          • Colonial Viper 38.1.1.1.1

            So why didn’t he vote for something he backed publicly? Other MPs voted.

            But he was fully behind the review – he initiated it

            Link please. One explaining how the Leader of the Parliamentary Wing gets to “initiate” a constitutional review of the Party Wing.

            • Member41 38.1.1.1.1.1

              The Leader of the Party doesn’t usually vote on the floor. Other MPs do routinely.

              umm… the Leader of Labour (and hence the “Parliamentary Wing”) is on New Zealand Council that governs the Party…

              Moria Coatsworth acknowledged Shearer’s leadership in the review…

              • Colonial Viper

                Moria Coatsworth acknowledged Shearer’s leadership in the review…

                You said Shearer initiated the constitutional review. Where did you get that from.

                The Leader of the Party doesn’t usually vote on the floor. Other MPs do routinely.

                He never favoured the 40% threshold either, at least not publicly.

      • Colonial Viper 38.1.2

        Cunliffe is trying to undermine the leadership and I don’t think the leadership could be expected to put up with it for much longer.

        Actually, the tepid insecure performance of the Leadership is undermining the Leadership.

        Shearer should have simply extended a magnanimous olive branch out on Sunday – it would have won over all the delegates there. That would have taken real leadership.

      • KJT 38.1.3

        The “leadership” are doing a good job of undermining themselves at the moment.

        If Cunliffe wasn’t there, we would all be looking for the next best alternative to Shearer and co.

      • Craig Glen Eden 38.1.4

        Great attempt to re right what happened at conference Member41 Shearers lot was totally opposed to the 40% 60% trigger infact now members are online saying Shearers Mp were attempting to bully them and I know at least one other who was threatened by one drunk Shearer Mp during the social evening. So cut the shit, those of us who have been around the party know how this lot works and nothing they are up to is a surprise.

        Mallard has been feeding this shit to the media for years cos he cant match Cunliffe. Cunliffe didnt undermine anyone, Goff performed poorly and so is Shearer, neither has got what it takes to be PM or the leader of Labour.

        • Member41 38.1.4.1

          Yes. The majority of caucus (and the majority of delegates for that matter) opposed the 40% trigger. They thought it should be 50% as recommended by the review.

          The problem was the 40% trigger became a proxy for the leadership question. That was unfortunate and quite deliberate by Cunliffe.

          But the real democratisation of the Party – the electoral college and the binding policy platform – that was supported by everyone, including Shearer.

          • lprent 38.1.4.1.1

            Yes but it was a card vote right? The number of delegates was irrelevant. Electorates with local electorate MPs usually have more funds and send more delegates

            I was hearing interesting stories from delegates from electorates without MP’s and card votes. I’m not impressed with the level of intimidation from MPs on the 60% vote. I know that mostly what it did was piss off delegates and the affiliates.

            If you want to spin crap, then at least do it intelligently. Look at the reality of the vote and learn how not to be stupid next time.

            Personally that dumbarse behaviour was I think that was why the vote was won. Shades of douglas…

            • Member41 38.1.4.1.1.1

              Not totally irrelevant. But not the main point as you say which is why it was in brackets.

              MPs who were for the vote (Lianne, Mahuta etc) and the affiliates were using the same tactics.

              I am just a member, so not sure how I should have done it more “intelligently” – although I think it could have been handled smarter no question.

              The hysteria which links the vote to the 80s / Douglas is so fucking farcical. The level of group-think amongst you lot reminds me of the Republican Party’s attempt to convince voters it was winning the election.

              • Colonial Viper

                The hysteria which links the vote to the 80s / Douglas is so fucking farcical. The level of group-think amongst you lot reminds me of the Republican Party’s attempt to convince voters it was winning the election.

                Wow…the Beltway Labour group thinker speaks.

              • lprent

                Your comment was dumb on using simple number of delegates as a basis for argument when the vote was decided in card votes. I just averted the resulting flame.

                And there is a hell of difference between lobbying which even young Labourites do (usually a great and labourious length) and outright threats.

                • Colonial Viper

                  And there is a hell of difference between lobbying which even young Labourites do (usually a great and labourious length) and outright threats.

                  Yep. It really was surprising evidence of weakness and fear from the anti 40% team.

              • Anne

                MPs who were for the vote (Lianne, Mahuta etc) and the affiliates were using the same tactics.

                An attempt to infer a conspiracy where none existed?

                Its inevitable that people who agree on a particular issue are going to use the same or similar arguments to back up their view-point.

          • Colonial Viper 38.1.4.1.2

            The problem was the 40% trigger became a proxy for the leadership question. That was unfortunate and quite deliberate by Cunliffe.

            Please explain. What did Cunliffe ‘deliberately do’ to achieve this? I don’t remember anyone speaking to this point on the floor. Did he leave flyers on delegates seats?

            Or are you just full of Beltway Shit.

  39. OneTrack 39

    “So yes, we had TV3’s Patrick Gower ignoring the story right under his nose and haranguing David Cunliffe on leadership nonsense and questions of disloyalty. But are we to believe he did this off his own back” – yes, I think you are. Msm incompetence apparently know no bounds. There is not much more “exciting” than a leadership challenge so it doesn’t matter what other interesting news is going on, some intrepid reporters will go for the leadership challenge every time. Anything else might require skill and thought.

  40. tc 40

    If only the old guard honoured the tradition of the party they belong to and worked together in getting rid of this nasty self serving hollowmen backed government instead of looking after their own ‘has been’ careers by installing a leader that’s not getting them relected and seeing off a member that would.

    The meme that all pollys are the same self serving troughers is an outcome that warms the hollow hearts, bravo trev and henchmen take a bow. Visit a grave or 2 and see how churned up the turf looks.

    Helen was right to leave her insiders to their own, I wonder if she regrets not churning and burning in the 05-08 term to leave a true regenerated legacy not these sad old timers and their troughs they fear being wrenched from.

  41. peterlepaysan 41

    How many, democratically elected” leaders of countries have NOT been egoistical arrogant bastards (or bastardesses). It comes with the territory.

    To even stand for MP requires arrogance and egotism.

    How much more ego and arrogance does it require to aspire for Ministerial positions?

    To aspire to leading a minority opposition political party to election victory requires meekness, humility, a fuzzy warm back story. Yeah right!

    There seems to be a lot of anguished hand wringing about everyday Realpolitik on this blog.

    Grow up and move on people.

    It is policies, policy implementation, and values that matter.

    That is what concerns marginalised electorate members.

    OBTW what ever happened to all those people who once upon a time turned out to vote for Labour?

    Where are they?

    No one is talking to them.

    Guitar playing does not quite cut it.

    In income level terms this country has been and is being stratified to a greater extent ,apparently a desirable result, as far as the National Party is concerned.

    The NZLP does not appear to care as long as caucus is happy all is well with the world.

    Shearer rules, OK.

  42. AmaKiwi 42

    If Cunliffe is demoted, it will be the end of Shearer.

  43. hush minx 43

    It is interesting isn’t it how some voices, completely ‘new’ have chosen tonight to come out and defend shearer. Perhaps it’s only because in recent days that they learnt places such as blogs exist, or is it an indication that they worried that they are losing the argument (just like they did at conference)?

    It’s not like these concerns regarding caucus and the disconnect with the party and concerns with the direction of the party under shearer are new topics!

    • McFlock 43.1

      Indeed.

      And it’s also interesting how some factions within Labour might be simultaneously disorganised, disinterested and undisciplined, while also coordinating blogger comment campaigns.

      It’s also interesting how with most previous issues that have attracted similar sprees of first-time commenters who all seem to follow the same line, those commenters have been intensely anti-labour but seem familiar with national party details (people, office locations, etc).

      So maybe all factions within the Labour caucus, if indeed it is badly factionalised should all take a deep breath and look at who’s stoking the flames, and chill the fuck out before throwing around conspiracy theories.

    • Member41 43.2

      Ha. If you are talking about me then it is because I got fed-up with people saying that Cunliffe somehow had the support of members. He doesn’t. Shearer did what he needed to on Sunday to shore-up my support and the support of many others. I am flattered that you think I am coordinated though McFlock

      Unfortunately I have found that this place is indeed populated of the angry/hysterical group-think irrationals I was warned about and it doesn’t really seem like a productive use of my time.

      I hope Cunliffe gets demoted for his disloyalty. But I hope he can come back and offer his talents productively later. I am going to focus my attention on supporting Shearer and getting Labour elected.

      Cunliffe won’t lead Labour. Those of you with an interest in electing a left Government should stop the bitterness. Those of you who just like to attack Labour regardless – as you were.

      • Colonial Viper 43.2.1

        Mate, you’re the only one thinking in the box here.

        As for anger and bitterness, my friend, what do you know of those? I suspect there is more to come yet.

        I hope Cunliffe gets demoted for his disloyalty.

        Cunliffe will tomorrow. That’s politics. But 1 month is a long time in this game.

        • Member41 43.2.1.1

          “I suspect there is more to come yet.” I guess that’s the point. You guys won’t stop until you have elected Key again and that’s why I got told to ignore you. Probably going to go back to doing that.

          • Colonial Viper 43.2.1.1.1

            that’s why I got told to ignore you. Probably going to go back to doing that.

            I understand that’s Labour’s usual approach to ordinary members and activists from outside the beltway.

          • Jesus Wept 43.2.1.1.2

            Oh for Gods’s sake. Were you at those democratic meetings on the Dave Dave roadshow sport? What did the members think you idiot?
            Same story different time. One knows the grunt of kicking against the pricks, does so consistently, eloquently and with flawless politic, and has not undermined the bloc of disconnected ones (perhaps we should call them disloyal) / the other pathetic morsel is better suited to a James taylor singalong at a Presbyterrian Bible class.
            Exactly who told you to ignore the thousands who read this blog?

            • Member41 43.2.1.1.2.1

              Lol. Just to be clear – I am not in any beltway. I am just a member from Auckland who supports Shearer.

              Do thousands read this? That’s depressing.

              [lprent: After you exclude robots and unique visitors who only read the site once or twice and who are likely to be google searches. Then typically over 20k people per month read the site. There will be some inaccuracies because google analytics isn’t perfect but not much. Of those, most read the site regularly and well over 95% do it from inside NZ.

              Of these only a fraction ever comment. So your only potential comfort lies there 😈

              I watch these types of stats closely as site health indicators. There is no point in producing a site that few people read. ]

    • karol 43.3

      I haven’t seen an influx of new commenters.  They get automatically caught up in moderation with their first post.  With author access I can see which comments are caught in moderation.

      The unfamiliar handles must mostly be people who have posted at some time in the past – and that covers a few years. 

  44. great headline btw, Bill

  45. Member41 why don’t you substantiate a single disloyal act by Cunliffe. Media hype doesn’t cut it. Name one statement he made that was disloyal. Or would you rather just leap straight to repeating the defamatory statements made by Chris Hipkins today.

    I cannot recall a Senior Whip behaving so dreadfully. Yelling at the party delegates at conference, his bellowing getting louder as he tried, but failed, to exert control. Shameful behaviour. Seems there are a lot of rumours beginning to circulate down here in Wellington about Hipkins. Will have to do some listening…..

    • the sprout 45.1

      Chippy destined for deep fryer

      [lprent: that would have been more effective with a 🙂 ]

      • Jim Nald - Once Was National 45.1.1

        That clip of him is quite puzzling. What is he on? Who is he channelling?
        At the rate he was going, he could have thrown in allegations of hidden WMDs as well.

    • Member41 45.2

      Holy. You must be right. Probably what is happening is that the caucus made up everything about Cunliffe because they really really wanted for there to be nasty leadership nonsense all over the media. I can’t believe I was so blind before.

      • Jim Nald - Once Was National 45.2.1

        And you still don’t demonstrate evidence to the contrary.

        • the sprout 45.2.1.1

          i think he’s been using the shearer gcsb video playbook

        • Member41 45.2.1.2

          Because the reality is that he is clever enough not to do anything openly which is the smoking-gun proof of his disloyalty. But anyone with their eyes open, who listens to Cunliffe and to our other MPs and is not lost on Planet Standard can see it.

          The hysterical conspiracy theory that is being peddled here is ridiculous. Sad, really.

          • Colonial Viper 45.2.1.2.1

            Haha…ironic since its Beltway Labour who has been peddling the conspiracy theories on and off the record in the media, last 36 hours.

          • rosy 45.2.1.2.2

            Because the reality is that he is clever enough not to do anything openly which is the smoking-gun proof of his disloyalty.

            Jeez, Member41, did you see what you did there? That’s the logic of witch dunking.

            • Member41 45.2.1.2.2.1

              Do you guys seriously think that Cunliffe isn’t making a play for the leadership? And doesn’t feed speculation about it to the media?

              I didn’t realise how deep this group-think went.

  46. AndrewK 46

    The thing I can’t get past is the contrast between the amount of positive reviews the likes of Shearer and Josie Pagani get from, what are effectively, National party hacks (Guyon Espiner, Richard Long, David Farrar et al) and the open contempt these Shearer ‘supporters’ express when evaluating Cunliffe.

    If I were a member of the Labour party I would be extremely worried about having a leader being so warmly endorsed by a section of the media which has a history of strong antipathy to the original values of the Labour party.

    I would also reiterate the point that Shearer’s ‘championing’ of greater party democracy was rendered meaningless by his immediate instigation of a farcical leadership confidence ‘vote’ under the existing setup.

    • Member41 46.1

      The leadership confidence vote is taking place under the new rules AndrewK. So hopefully nothing was rendered meaningless for ya.

      • Benghazi 46.1.1

        Good grief Member 41. The confidence vote being under the new rules was actually only announced after Cunliffe and other MPs said they supported their Leader and it would amost certainly be unanimous. So really it was a non event and you have to question the wisdom of Shearer in holding it. So many better and more positive ways to have handled this, but you need to have a STRONG leader. Shearer is not and will never be that. Al this debacle showed was that he is not even a fair leader.

    • rosy 46.2

      Shearer et al think they’re hitting all the ‘right’ buttons for the centre-right vote if they get approval from the National party hacks. It’s that simple,

      And truth be known they probably are picking up those with centre-right leanings but no party affiliation who are sick of Key. The just happen to be losing left-leaning voters at the same time.

      • Colonial Viper 46.2.1

        Labour: Party of the Disaffected Centre/Centre Right!

        Yeah just doesn’t have the ring to it.

  47. Rhinocrates 47

    We have the fullest confidence in the leadership of Captain Smith and Mister Ismay. Our brilliant tactic of ramming the iceberg inflicted incalculable harm on it and shortly we will be launching an even more devastating assault on the seabed of the North Atlantic Ocean.

    We are extremely disappointed by Second Officer Cunliffe’s cowardly actions in urging us to steer away from the iceberg. Such treason undermines morale and diverts us from our ultimate goal, whatever that may be, but the Captain has assured us that he will be revealing that in a speech any day now, once we have crushed beneath the wight of our great ship numerous seabed-dwelling marine organisms. With luck, we should take out a squid or two on the way down.

    I urge everyone – nay, demand, you motherfuckers – to join with the band in a rousing rendition of “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.” Second Officer Cunliffe will be keelhauled before we begin our dive to the seabed and I urge everyone – you better fucking do it you scumsucking shit – to show your enthusiastic approval for Captain Smith and Mister Ismay by tearing him limb from limb once his sorry carcass emerges from his well-deserved ordeal, you arsewipes.

    Now, I insist on a rousing vote of applause for Captain Smith and Mister Ismay, you sorry excuses for human beings, you worms, you animated turds, you scum, my God you make me sick!

    Not that I every listen to you of course.

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