Sherman Cunliffe

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 pm, October 17th, 2014 - 308 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, labour - Tags:

Surely this should put Paddy Gower and co to bed once and for all.

With great grace despite Shearer’s baiting, and with great clarity, Cunliffe has declared he will never seek the Labour leadership again.

It was Shermanesque. Now surely he can get on with using his great talent for Labour and not have him driven from parliament.

Whomever is elected as leader will not have the Nats and the media speculating on contenders, and we can fight united against National and their policies that are dangerous for our future.

Mind you, it does rely on our Labour MPs upping their caucus discipline.

If you look at the likes of vote compass and policy polling, it’s not our left-ness or policies that are the problem – it’s trust in our competence, and our ability to not fight among ourselves.

Now’s a good time to start. Let’s present a solid team that the public can see as a credible alternative.

308 comments on “Sherman Cunliffe ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Amen Bunji …

    • Anne 1.1

      Same here.

    • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 1.2

      Bunji says “Now’s a good time to start. Let’s present a solid team that the public can see as a credible alternative.”

      What if Andrew LIttle feels the need to “accomodate” the likes of Shearer, Robertson, King, Cosgrove and their bag carriers? Do we “present a solid team” even if we know we are going to hell in a hand-cart?

      That is then being less than honest with the voters and we will get dealt-to again at the polls.

  2. BM 2

    Cunnliffe will be gone within the year.

    I don’t blame him though , Life is short why stick around in such a shitty back stabbing environment.

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    Excellent points, Bunji.

    [P.S :
    I think Labour and New Zealand has missed out on a good future PM in Cunliffe]

    • leftie 3.1


      “I think Labour and New Zealand has missed out on a good future PM in Cunliffe”

      Totally agree. I tell you, I am heartbroken over David Cunliffe stepping aside, just shattered.

      • Chooky Shark Smile 3.1.1

        People will leave Labour in droves unless Mahuta is elected leader …which i doubt

        Time for a break away real Left Labour Party…maybe Cunliffe can lead that and Mahuta …..and join forces with Mana/Int

        ( and leave caucus alpha wannabe males like Shearer and Robertson to fight it out over the dead dog carcass)

        • phillip ure

          re cunliffe..?

          ..nah..!..we can all see the footprints from his feet of clay..

          ..he has settled back into the party..and is waiting for his ministerial role/job..

          ..if he doesn’t get it..he will bail..

          ..cunliffes’ running away from the fight..

          ..shows/ed that when push came to shove..

          ..he really has no ‘fight’ in him..

        • “People will leave Labour in droves unless Mahuta is elected leader”

          No. No, they won’t. If there is an overwhelming desire for Mahuta to become leader at a grass root level (which I doubt), then she’ll be elected because the members are 40% of the vote.

          And if she’s not elected, then people won’t leave en masse because it turns out that people didn’t vote overwhelmingly for her during the primary.

          • Chooky Shark Smile

            well since Cunliffe has been strategically forced to resign from the leadership race by caucus manuoverings the Labour Party has gone down in the polls and the Greens have gone up….to almost level pegging with Labour

            ….this will continue if the Labour caucus continues doing what it is doing and radical change is not made to represent the interests and choice of flaxroots Labour membership and voters eg Mahuta as leader

            and btw…I dont care if the Greens are the winners!…imo they deserve to overtake Labour which has been hopelessly compromised by careerists and infiltrated by the right wing

            • red blooded

              So, when Labour drops drastically in the polls under Cunliffe’s leadership it’s nothing personal, but when it dips after he declares he doesn’t want to lead again it’s because people are so devoted to him..? Does not compute.

              • Chooky Shark Smile

                a Review has yet to be done as to why Labour lost ( very convenient that) …and what is your evidence that it was due to Cunliffe?…there is a lot of evidence that points elsewhere

                • Look again – I didn’t say that the loss WAS because of Cunliffe. What I did do was point out the inconsistency of arguing that any dip now is because the nation is disappointed that Cunliffe won’t be the ongoing leader while at the same time saying that we need a review before we can say why the vote dropped so much under his leadership. Either the leader affects the polling or he/she doesn’t. You can’t just claim the numbers that suit your argument and ignore the larger picture.

                  (Scenario 1 – Labour vote drops – “Of course it’s nothing to do with our leader, Mr Cunliffe!”

                  Scenario 2 – Labour vote drops – “It must be because people are devoted to Mr Cunliffe and disappointed that he has recently resigned as leader!”)

                  • politikiwi

                    Mmmmmm not necessarily mutually exclusive, red blooded. It’s possible that Labour’s vote was on the way down when Cunliffe took over and it would’ve happened no matter who was leader. Then there’s a possibility that some people stuck with Labour purely because of Cunliffe, and they have now lost interest as well.

                    You have a point, though.

                  • Chooky Shark Smile

                    scenario 1 – Labour vote drops because of:
                    i) concerted and vicious attack on Cunliffe by right wing media..
                    .ii) because Labour polices eg super age and CGT are not appealing to general public ( Cunliffe not responsible for this..Parker and caucus are)
                    iii) other considerations eg fear mongering about terrorist attacks in Australia and beatup by NZ msm the day before the Election iv) divided Left coalition whereby Labour undercut other potential supporter parties in crucial electorates and vice versa ( eg Labour attitude to Mana/Int in TTT, Maori Party ruled out in coalition before Election and Greens ruled out as partner before the Election)

                    scenario 2. -Labour vote drops further when Cunliffe is outmanuovred into resigning for leadership vote by a caucus which is right wing

                    • the main reason (i think)..was the crap policies offered..

                      ..ones that came nowhere near the rhetoric cunliffe was using when labour were at 35-37&

                      ..and i’ve said it can almost track labours slump with/by the times parker came out promising workers they wd be working longer/older..

             add those two together..and you have yr slump-reasons..

                      ..the rightwing and parker made sure cunliffe had no real policies to appeal to the missing million..

                    • Let’s note that both of your scenarios assume that the majority of NZers are looking for a left wing leader. While I wish this were true, at present it’s pretty hard to find evidence to support this assumption!

                      Plus, “…and because Labour polices eg super age and CGT are not appealing to general public ( Cunliffe not responsible for this..Parker and caucus are)”. REALLY? This is a very convenient spin. It ignores:
                      1) That these policies were developed when Cunliffe was in charge of the Finance portfolio and included in the 2011 election manifesto and campaign,
                      2) That the leader has (or should have) a big influence on what the party and caucus endorse,
                      3) That if this is not the case then they shouldn’t be leader, and
                      4) That these are not bad policies, in and of themselves. I think we put too much on the table, all at once (these were 2nd or 3rd term policies) and that they were too abstract for central planks of an election campaign. I know some people here disagree and (now) don’t like these policies, but let’s remember that popular leaders can win with unpopular policies. Most NZers didn’t want to sell assets, but the majority voted for the party who said they were going to do so in 2011.

                      Again, I’m not saying that Cunliffe lost the election by himself, but we can’t ignore the result and pretend that he is has done a great job as leader. Perhaps if the caucus were solidly behind him he could continue to build his skills and turn things around over time, as Clark did. We can’t ignore the fact that they are not behind him, though, and there has to be a reason for this. Just saying “they are right wing” isn’t good enough – in fact, it’s rubbish. These people devote themselves to working for the Labour Party. If they were right wing, there’d be plenty of other options that would allow them more power and job satisfaction. Besides, there will always be shades of opinion within a political party – it would be sad and worrying if there weren’t. The leader needs to navigate and manage these issues and to create unity around shared principals.

                      David Cunliffe performed well in some ways and poorly in others. He’s stood aside. It’s time to move on. The party needs to unite around whoever takes on the leadership next.

                    • Chooky Shark Smile

                      pu …i think you are correct …and it was a mix of reasons …and unfortunately Cunliffe did not live up to his promise…however it was almost impossible given the attacks on him from within and without…most people would have withered or given up…he tried compromise and negotiation but to no avail

                      …from within he had caucus attacks and leaks and undermining and from without he had a vicious and relentless right wing spin and msm attack at every level

                    • Chooky Shark Smile

                      red blooded…”Perhaps if the caucus were solidly behind him he could continue to build his skills and turn things around over time..”

                      your arguments are circular and spurious …Cunliffe never had caucus behind him or his Left agenda …so what you propose was and is an impossibility ….put the blame where it belongs…

              • leftie

                @Red blooded.
                Tracey42.2 14 October 2014 at 1:25 pm
                Labour support in last 8 polls BEFORE Shearer stood down
                Labour support in first 8 polls AFTER Shearer stood down
                Labour Monthly Average support for Last 4 Months of Shearer Leadership
                MAY 33%……..JUNE 32%……..JULY 31%……..AUGUST 32%
                Labour Monthly Average support for First 4 Months of Cunliffe Leadership
                SEPTEMBER 35%……..OCTOBER 35%……..NOVEMBER 33%……..DECEMBER 35%

                <a href="

                • And Labour’s support in the poll of polls (i.e., the election)…? You can’t ignore the outcome. Frankly, who gives a bugger about polls, if people don’t actually follow through and VOTE the way they say they will?

                  Yes, Labour went up in the polls just after the leadership contest. Great. Yee-ha! The actual result on the night was a much lowered vote for Labour – the worst for decades.

                  Accept it : you might be a devoted Cunliffe fan, but you are in a minority.

                  Hey – I voted for the guy (both as leader and by voting Labour on election day), and I thought he handled some parts of the campaign well, but that doesn’t mean that he’s beyond criticism and, in these circumstances, it doesn’t mean that he should stay on.

                  • leftie

                    @Red blooded.

                    And the effects of baseless orchestrated smear campaigns emanating from the PM’s office, and the ongoing large scale character assassination by mainstream media, coupled with a sabotaging self interested faction within Labour’s caucus undermining David Cunliffe at every turn, are contributing factors that cannot be ignored either.

                    • NZSage

                      Where is the “like” button.

                    • Hey, that’s politics. Let’s not pretend that people on the left never gossip about or insult and try to humiliate and undermine politicians on the right. A political leader has to withstand these issues and bring people towards them, rather than keeping a small group of devoted followers but alienating the wider population.

                      The fact remains that the opinion polls above were very carefully selected and gave a distorted view of Cunliffe’s leadership vs Shearer’s.

                      BTW, this is not an endorsement of Shearer – it’s simply an attempt to ask people to open up their eyes and think about these matters more dispassionately. We have to select yet another leader, and we have to try to make sure that we select one who can unify rather than divide and who can withstand the inevitable criticisms and attacks.

                    • leftie

                      @Red Blooded.

                      Youre being very selective, you have completely rejected the main contributing causes to the slide in the polls. You also completely ignored the the forces who are behind Labour’s disunity. Robertson’s quest to be leader at all costs is one of them, and who were not prepared to unify under the leader the members, the affiliates and some in caucus elected.

                      Cunliffe has shown without doubt, that he withstood it alright. Never seen anyone withstand the vicious and ferocious assaults dished out by the media and the national party on a daily basis like Cunliffe has endured, and still he came out fighting in his calm, confident and resolute way.

                      How long do you think shallow John key and his inflated ego, (or anyone else for that matter), would have lasted if he had of been on the receiving end by the pitbull media tearing him apart daily like they have done and continue to do David Cunliffe? key would have been reduced to a snivelling heap in 2 mins flat.

                    • leftie

                      @Red blooded.

                      Even though he is out, David Cunliffe is still very much regarded as a threat to the status quo.

      • Hami Shearlie 3.1.2

        I feel exactly the same Leftie!

        • red blooded

          Sorry, Lefty, but that’s rubbish. Shearer was humiliated and attacked ruthlessly. Hey, Clark was humiliated and attacked ruthlessly (looks, voice, speculations about marriage and sexuality, misogynistic bullshit, choice to be a childless woman, silly things like signing a painting for a school raffle…). Both had factions working against them in the party as well as media sharks circling and vicious personal attacks from opposing parties. That’s life in politics – especially when you step up as leader of the opposition and especially when things aren’t going well. I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is.

          • leftie

            @Red blooded

            Both Shearer and Clark were not attacked as badly as David Cunliffe.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Shearer was humiliated and attacked ruthlessly.

            Not by the right wing MSM he wasn’t. And you can’t say that the Captain Mumblefuck moniker used outside the MSM didn’t have a basis in fact.

  4. Blue 4

    It gives the lie to to all those guttersnipes who rave on about DC having an indestructable ego and just being out for the leadership all the time.

    I’d be sad to see him leave Parliament but I’d understand. He and his family have been through so much and for what? To be stabbed in the back by his own colleagues at every turn.

    I wish him well whatever he decides.

    • Weepus beard 4.1

      True that.

      It’s the makey-uppy stuff about Cunliffe from the media and National’s dirty politics running through their veins which is the lie.

    • leftie 4.2


      Very true. Infact David Cunliffe in his dignity, in his most honourable strength of character, in his selflessness in putting the party first, has shown them up for the nasty, hateful and petty shitstirring liars that they are.

  5. Ms X 5

    I wish him well, as has been said, he and his family have endured what nobody should have to go through. So much for team work and principles. I’ve been deeply saddened by Labour’s behaviour following the election and to be honest, I’m not sure I want to continue with them much longer. If experience and integrity count for nothing, then what is the point? One might as well join National. I would have expected commiserations and support for a leader who had tried and failed, after such a short period of time as leader, but no. Good luck to DC and I hope he goes well if he does go.

    • Annie 5.1

      Ms X, I get where you are coming from, but PLEASE don’t leave. I believe the membership has to bring the caucus back in line, and we have to build the party at flax roots level. It has been the caucus behaviour post election that has been so disappointing. And they don’t own the party, all the members do.

      What’s at stake is too important to let a few egos stop the left rebuilding so we can stop National winning in 2017.

  6. ankerawshark 6

    I am still in the denial stage of the grief process……………..bring back Cunliffe, bring back Cunliffe.

  7. Clemgeopin 7

    I wish he had stayed, won and culled the destructive destabilisers in the caucus, worked hard in the next three years to change the fortune of Labour and become the next PM. A great loss to the party and the country.

    It is still not too late for the disunited small minded caucus to get together once again now, cancel the leadership vote and collectively endorse Cunliffe as their preferred leader to take Labour into victory in three years time after making necessary organisational, personnel, strategic and policy changes.

    Unlikely for this to happen I know, as they seem not to have the humility, decency or sense to do such a wise and courageous move.

    • “Unlikely for this to happen I know, as they seem not to have the humility, decency or sense to do such a wise and courageous move.”

      You might want to add “idiocy” to your list of emotive adjectives. It’s clear that they did not work as an effective unit under Cunliffe’s leadership. Team-building is a crucial leadership skill, one that the next leader will need to have in spades.

      BTW, they CAN”T cancel the leadership vote – Cunliffe has resigned.

      • Clemgeopin 7.1.1

        {“BTW, they CAN”T cancel the leadership vote – Cunliffe has resigned”}

        Yes, I know, but it is still possible (though not probable) for the four candidates to get together with the majority of the caucus members and acknowledge that Cunliffe did not have sufficient time as leader to turn things around and that putting such pressure on him within 24 hours of the election to demand his resignation, electing a new whip etc was unfair, callous and wrong, especially after Cunliffe had worked so hard for the victory. So, in acknowledge of all this, they could ask Cunliffe to take back the resignation, cancel the leadership election and go forward in complete unity and loyalty to try and win in 2017, once again under Cunliffe.

        Impossible? Nothing within reason is, if there is a will to correct an error and do the right thing.

      • Andrea 7.1.2

        Those in the ‘team’ don’t want to be led. Far too many want to grab the mike and state their piece – and they don’t practice ‘for the greater good’, Not even in the shower with the door closed.

        Give National its due here: they can put together a ‘tight team’ – even if the quality is low. Even if the ball is round, they can work out what the game is and get down to it (with a few fluffs and oopses a la Bill English).

        The progressives have lost the sentence, let alone the plot.

        And I’m not so sure that counting the Greens as ‘left’ will be true for much longer.

  8. Olwyn 8

    If Cunliffe had stood, I would have voted for him to continue, but I can understand his withdrawing, given the treatment to which he has been subjected. I am waiting now to see whether anything worthwhile emerges from the leadership contest and the review before I make up my mind as to whether or not I can stick with the Labour Party. But at the moment I could not be more disenchanted with them.

  9. lprent 9

    Mind you, it does rely on our Labour MPs upping their caucus discipline.

    That useless pack of strategically incompetent time servers?

    I’m afraid that we just need to look at the selection and *deselection* processes.

  10. Blackadder 10

    I remember Kevin Rudd making a similar undertaking never to stand again. Look where that ended up.

    • fisiani 10.1

      Good point Blackadder. Does anyone seriously think that Paddy Gower and the rest of the media actually believe that The Cunliffe who has dreamed of being PM since childhood will NEVER want to lead Labour. I will only believe that if he resigns from Parliament.
      The current leadership campaign is simply about who will be in charge of arranging the deckchairs.
      For Labour to ever be in government again they need to poll 40% plus.
      The only way to do this is to appeal to middle New Zealand who currently are drawn to John Key and National.
      The model for this transformation exists in history from the changes brought about by Tony Blair in the UK to the British Labour Party.
      New Labour has to be National Lite. Attractive to middle NZ , not scary. The transitional leader appointed next month till the next defeat in 2017 will need to be replaced by either David Shearer , Stuart Nash or Kelvin Davis, Jacinda Ardern or Chris Hipkins who are the only members with the ability to capture the middle.. I do realise that my endorsement of these 5 is probably the kiss of death. A new entrant in 2017 could never lead so it has to be one of the current crop.One of these 5 as leader means Labour could win in 2020. Cunliffe could be Finance Minister.

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1

        David Shearer , Stuart Nash or Kelvin Davis, Jacinda Ardern or Chris Hipkins who are the only members with the ability to capture the middle.. I do realise that my endorsement of these 5 is probably the kiss of death.

        I fucking hope so.

      • RedLogix 10.1.2

        Tony Blair in the UK to the British Labour Party

        Kiss of death? How about “ripping beating heart out of chest” as a metaphor.

        Or more accurately the “Two indistinguishable conservative parties vying for power” model of politics?

      • Chris 10.1.3

        Labour and the left generally needs to appeal to “middle NZ” with traditional Labour values based on inclusiveness, participation and compassion. One of the main problems with Labour currently is that (regardless of the many reasons) they haven’t got the guts to do this.

        • Clemgeopin

          Labour and the left generally needs to appeal to “middle NZ” with traditional Labour values based on inclusiveness, participation and compassion

          I agree. A large bulk of the middle NZ (a large chunk of voters) are generally fair, conscientious and can easily be supporters of Labour and it is important to hold their vote. That can be achieved with careful framing of economic and social justice policies. It would however be foolish and wrong to appease only the middle at the expense of other constituencies. It is impossible to achieve power if we alienate the middle or the workers or the poor or the small business owners or the Maori and the Pacific Islanders or the environmentalists( most people are) or the youth. Labour can be a party for all of them. Not too hard at all if we do things smartly and with integrity. I believe Cunliffe would have been able to achieve that.

      • joe90 10.1.4

        Tony Blair in the UK to the British Labour Party.

        The late Iain Banks put it so well –

        Squeeze practically any Tory, any Blairite, and any Lib Dem of the Orange Book persuasion, and it’s the same poisonous Thatcherite pus that comes oozing out of all of them.

      • Chris 10.1.5

        “The transitional leader appointed next month till the next defeat in 2017 will need to be replaced by either David Shearer , Stuart Nash or Kelvin Davis, Jacinda Ardern or Chris Hipkins who are the only members with the ability to capture the middle.. I do realise that my endorsement of these 5 is probably the kiss of death. A new entrant in 2017 could never lead so it has to be one of the current crop.One of these 5 as leader means Labour could win in 2020.”

        Total, complete and utter shit. You really don’t have a fucking clue.

        • fisiani

          Really??? Made a fortune on ipredict picking Labour losers. Yet again I am absolutely correct about the solution for Labour if they want to win in 2020. Not following my advice delays a Labour Government till John Key resigns after six terms.

      • KJT 10.1.6

        We can rely on fizzer for some comic relief, as always.

    • JimJam 10.2

      Yes look where he ended up it was a disaster.

  11. logie97 11

    Good luck David.
    Unfortunately, you picked up a poisoned chalice.
    The Party at large could see that Shearer was not the answer but he should have remained as the leader. He would have been like a lamb to the slaughter during the election campaign. He would be the one carrying the can for a disastrous election result and you could have then stood for the leadership, had three years to turn things around and lead the Labour Party to a coalition government in 2017.

    • AmaKiwi 11.1

      @ logie97

      As a matter of tactics, I understand your point. But this week’s venomous attack was just a public display of Shearer’s years of hatred.

      Can you believe at one time Cunliffe mentored Chris Hipkins. Hipkins showed his gratitude by publicly damning Cunliffe as a liar.

      These are public examples. What went on behind the scenes with the ABC gang will not be known until someone writes the book.

      One cannot sit back casually while one’s character is being assassinated by concealed snipers. You fight back or you walk away.

  12. SPC 12

    No one needs a crystal ball to predict that the media will be full of talk for the next 3 years about dumping the new leader for Shearer. Shearer can stop this by doing what he asked of Cunliffe, leave – or stop talking about Labour in public. But he won’t. So this begs the question, has it been an ABC issue at all, but rather the right wing of caucus seeking to obtain/retain control of the party. With the right wing of caucus and party in bed with the media?

    • AmaKiwi 12.1

      @ SPC, I beg to differ.

      IMO Shearer has committed political suicide. I cannot imagine any leader going near him with a barge pole, even Robertson. He’s toxic and cannot be trusted.

      • SPC 12.1.1

        He is still all over the media promoting a more right wing Labour Party and the media want what he wants. This will go on another 3 years.

        His strength is offering Labour a leader who the media will support (this means to power is supposed to convince Labour to accept right wing drift), the media likes the idea of a Key lite replacement for the government.

      • Roztoz 12.1.2

        I agree with you AmaKiwi.

        SPC: the Right can never will under these leadership rules. Never. That’s why you saw Shearer come out against the rules his tutelage shepherded in.

        Shearer and Cunliffe should go. We need to move on from this black spot in the movement’s history. It is shameful.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          the rules his tutelage shepherded in

          That is false.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Why should Cunliffe go? He’s one of the best performers in caucus. Although Cunliffe going would make the careerists and right wing in caucus look relatively better through lack of comparison, I suppose.

        • leftie


          David Cunliffe should stay, it’s troublemaker David Shearer who is the one who should go.

      • Tracey 12.1.3

        perhaps shearer was being slater for parker or robertson

        • Colonial Rawshark

          This is extremely likely – Shearer spoke out through 5-6 different media events (constituting a deliberate media campaign) and he looked and sounded arrogantly bullet proof throughout. That is, he spoke as if he knew that he had cover to do so within caucus, and that there would be no retribution for his outlandish breach of protocol as a recent Leader putting the knife into the more recent past Leader.

          So, in the two track model, Shearer was the Slater track. Who is the one running on the Good-news Guy track, I wonder.

          • Chooky Shark Smile

            there is something very fishy about Shearer’s behaviour i agree….who are his puppet masters?

            …the only way out of this death throes impasse in the Labour Party is to transmute into a new Labour Party ….with a new name incorporating ‘Labour’ and taking all the flaxroots membership with it …as well as Mana/Int support

            …people like Cunliffe and Mahuta should be invited to lead it

            • Rodel

              Chooky SS
              Jim Anderton could organize that- I’d be a founding member.

              • Chooky Shark Smile

                Laila Harre would be good too…and Sandra Lee ….and they would bring on board all of Mana/int

                ( i know some of this has been tried before and mistakes were made and personality politics were involved ….but imo there is a need/imperative for it to be tried again…there is a very large NZ flaxroots Left Labour vote out there which has not been tapped )

            • ankerawshark

              100000+ Chooky Shark Smile

            • Jones

              Who are Shearer’s puppet masters? I suspect the same puppeteers as those behind John Key.

          • Tracey

            well parker got a chance to create an image by grabbing temp leadership but robertson is the one who has said nothing about cunliffe so my money is there.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              That’s the direction the bread crumbs lead me too. But I wanted to see if anyone else thought that, so kept my comment generic…thanks, Tracey.

    • I doubt it. They’ll just play up the “disorganised” meme, which won’t be too far from the truth. They’ve seen off left Labour for at least another six years.

      • SPC 12.2.1

        It’s not disorganisation.

        But a weakness. The right wing is a minority within the wider party and also in caucus (they simply built the ABC team as a unified front in caucus against the more left wing party to do what they could no do alone) but they have great ambition (fostered by support from outside the party).

        Expect Shearer as critical commentator of the party to be used as a resource by the media. The ambition from the right of the party to win their way would mean that voices like Pagani and Quin will amplify the message.

        • Not a PS Shark Sashimi

          True SPC: and what should Labour activists do to fight it? I’ve my ideas. I see you have called yourself a Green in previous posts.

          (btw. Do you believe Parker is there to help Robertson get second preferences or has he grown a pair and is runing on his own two legs?)

          • SPC

            Brash doubled the National vote to 41% in 2005 by uniting the right behind him.

            Labour and Greens can do the equivalent by forming a common policy platform prior to the 2017 election. Part of the problem now is that there is uncertainty as to the relative polling numbers and so all of this is left to post election talks. The uncertainty of outcome that entails is used by political opponents of Labour to scare off centrist voters.

            Such talks with the Greens around a common platform diminish the relevance of the rightists within Labour. They get marginalised by this process.

            • JimJam

              It also diminishes the relevance of the Greens if you are going to have a common policy platform why have two different parties?

              • SPC

                Because only by being an independent party is one a participant in the process. For example if the Greens do not obtain the sort of common policy platform they can support they can walk away.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              I like the strategy.

              The left activists in Labour will continue to push in their own way. If the opportunity arises to support an approach like you outlined, I am sure that many of us will pull together and help make it happen.

    • leftie 12.3

      I sent an email to the president and the general secretary regarding David Shearer’s disgraceful behaviour. Tim has accepted it as a formal complaint. Would be good if others did the same. Shearer needs to be put on notice.

      Drama queen David Shearer is a blatant liar and a hypocrite, and had a cheek trying to force David Cunliffe out of parliament when he himself stuck around after Robertson had him rolled.
      Shearer et al have given the rest of us the finger, by actively undermining the democratically elected leadership of David Cunliffe since last year.
      If anyone needs to leave parliament, lets start with the most vindictive David Shearer, who is more suited to the National party. He is certainly not the person I thought he was.

      • Cave Johnson 12.3.1

        When the NZLP constitution was changed to allow members more say in electing a parliamentary leader, there should have been a commensurate change in the way cabinet was selected. i.e. the current approach is that caucus elects a deputy and the cabinet. This sets up the situation where caucus can create a lot of conflict by fighting the party’s choice for leader.
        This could happen under the old rules also, but only in extraordinary circumstances e.g. when Lange sacked Douglas in ’88, who was promptly reinstated by caucus. Perhaps this is another sign that the parliamentary leader needs to be given more power.
        In National, I believe the parliamentary leader has that power – to choose the deputy and the cabinet, which encourages the caucus members with any ambition and self-discipline to get in behind the leader, and if they don’t he can sack them from cabinet.
        I don’t recall how GPANZ process deals with the same issue (there is clearly no deputy election by caucus) but I suspect it simply hasn’t come up, being a small caucus always outside of government, but maybe it’s an issue that could come up in future.

        • Clemgeopin

          Excellent points.

          The present rules for electing the leader with votes from the members, caucus and the affiliates is very good.

          The way the leader can be rolled or forced to resign solely by 50% the caucus with a ‘no confidence’ vote needs to be changed. I am not sure what the change should be. It is ridiculous and unfair that the leader who is chosen by a large electoral collage mandate can be simply rolled by a small caucus group of half the caucus. Perhaps not less than a 75% (3/4th), or 67% (2/3), of caucus vote requirement may be a solution to stop unnecessary instability, injustice and skulduggery.

          Also, the elected leader should have complete independence to choose the deputy and the cabinet (or shadow cabinet) without the caucus interfering in that process.

          These issues need to be considered and rules changed in the next Labour conference.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            I suggest:

            The Leader shall have the sole discretion to select their Deputy, and their Finance spokesperson (Finance Minister).

            And in power, to veto any Cabinet appointment.

            That’s a lot of power right there. It would probably have to be balanced out by making the Leader more accountable to NZ Council and the general membership.

          • Keir

            I think you’ll find that in some cases, only 40% of caucus is needed to roll the leader. It’s a particularly daft rule, I agree.

      • ankerawshark 12.3.2

        Leftie, happy to do this. If you have any links to media appearances that would be great.

        i will trawl through the STandard to find them otherwise. I have been thinking of the formal complaint idea, and I think someone put in a link.

        I did email a complaint to Moira, but have yet to hear back.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          Ahh, Shearer’s stunning appearances in his latest media series.

          If only he had been as articulate, visible and destructive when he was leader against National!

          Wasted and ill-spent talent.

          Here is one, the first one in the six-part knife-twisting, on Saturday morning last week, on TV3:

        • leftie


          So pleased you are laying a formal complaint against Shearer, send it to Tim Barnett, the General secretary. Thanks Ankerawshark.

        • red blooded

          I think we all wish Shearer would step back and reflect on the damage that his comments could be doing. Having said that, I can understand why he is feeling so angry. He was attacked and undermined for months by people within the party as well as by the media and opposing parties. He became more and more inarticulate the more he was criticised for every mis-spoken word. People on this site said some outrageous things about him. While it’s not admirable, it’s also not surprising that he is now having his say.

          People who think he is being disloyal should consider how much loyalty was shown to him when he was leader. Building that sense of connection and loyalty will be one of the major challenges facing whoever takes up the mantle next.

          • leftie

            @red blooded.

            So Shearer actively undermining the democratic elected leadership of David Cunliffe for the past year, and breaching rules agreed to by caucus after the election is acceptable is it?

            I would call David Shearer extremely disloyal and a saboteur, but he is not acting alone is he?

            Dont know about you, but I have never seen any leader withstand the most vicious, most malicious ongoing onslaught on a daily basis by media and a sabotaging self interested faction within the Labour caucus like David Cunliffe has endured. And yet every day he still came out fighting for the party and the people in a dignified, calm, confident and resolute way.
            David Cunliffe showed an immeasurable strength of character that I have never seen in anyone else.

            Shearer is an sniveling whining arse, and he needs his butt kicked out of the party.

            • Clemgeopin

              [“And yet every day he still came out fighting for the party and the people in a dignified, calm, confident and resolute way.
              David Cunliffe showed an measuring strength of character that I have never seen in anyone else.’]

              Absolutely! No easy to do under the circumstances, but no doubt that Cunliffe showed immense mana and dignity.

            • red blooded

              Perhaps I should say it again, as I did in the FIRST SENTENCE of my comment:

              “I think we all wish Shearer would step back and reflect on the damage that his comments could be doing.”

              Now, how about we all calm down?

              David Shearer is not a “snivelling whining arse”. He was very badly treated during his time as leader; by the media, the bloggers of the right, many of the commenters and some of the bloggers here, and by factions within the caucus and wider party. He did his best, but couldn’t get control of the narrative, realised that he didn’t have all of the skills required of a political leader and that he was harming the party, and stood down. He then served under David Cunliffe as Foreign Affairs spokesperson (a role better suited to his background and talents). He has shot his mouth off too much since the election, but did not do so beforehand. The party president and new leader (once decided) may well decide to discipline him, but that doesn’t mean he should be thrown out of the party. He’s a talented guy with considerable expertise and a commitment to core Labour principals.

              Similarly, David Cunliffe has faced some considerable obstacles and attacks during his time as leader. He’s a talented guy with a commitment to core Labour principals. (Note – this doesn’t mean that he and Shearer see things exactly the same way. Newsflash – politics attracts opinionated people and even those who share broad values won’t always agree.) Cunliffe did his best, but couldn’t control the narrative and under his leadership Labour lost support and had a drubbing in the election. He (presumably) has realised that he doesn’t have all of the skills required of a political leader and has stood down. It’s time for some commenters here to realise the same thing and to let the party move on.

              • Hanswurst

                He then served under David Cunliffe as Foreign Affairs spokesperson (a role better suited to his background and talents).

                Well, he pretended to, anyway. One of the most prominent examples of thie “serving” was to allow at least one interview to be dominated by speculation that he might run for the leadership again. In my book that makes him either clueless or treacherous. His behaviour since the election lends weight to the latter. For comparison, look no further than Cunliffe — right now.

              • Murray Rawshark

                Foreign affairs spokesman? I love his theory that armed peace keeping should be privatised. That sounds like core Blackwater principles more than core Labour ones.

          • ankerawshark

            REd Blooded. When Goff stood down and there were three candidates, then two DS and DC, I supported DC. Then DS won the leadership, so I thought, o.k. heres a guy with an impressive back ground and I kind of talked myself into liking him in a genuine way. Then I went to an AGM for the local branch, which Shearer was speaking in. I was stunned at how inarticulate he was. He completely lacked charisma and at the end made a comment like “I just want to win”. It was for want of a better term, highly unattractive and came across as being about him wanting to win for himself.

            I was really wanting DS to be the one. But the more I saw him, the more I cringed. And I started to wonder why he put himself forward for the leadership. He lacked experience in parliament and had been out of the country for a long time. Most of us know ourselves well enough to know what we are and aren’t suited to doing and where our talents lie. Clearly DS is insightless about this or was so wanting to be PM that he didn’t ask himself so pretty important questions.

            DS never, ever got the hard time from the media the DC did. No comparrsion.

    • Olwyn 12.4

      I think you are spot on in your analysis, SPC.

      • SPC 12.4.1

        This post on kiwiblog, by a former member of the party who supported Rogernomics, is typical of the support that centrists within the caucus and party (who hold to the bi-partisanship of neo-liberal reform) have in the wider community – and they do not vote Labour, they vote National (and have done since Clark established her leadership over the 1996 attempt to remove her).

        • felix

          To summarise the desired outcome of the writer:

          A 20%-ish centre-right party formed from the right of Labour and NZ First that could work with National (but probably not with the left.)

          A sub-10% Green Party with no social or economic concerns.

          And the rest of the left segregated into a small party with no partners and no hope of ever forming a government.

          Yeah I can see how that’s a right-wing wet dream.

          • SPC

            And this also has a lot of support within the media.

            And where it is the Labour caucus MP’s that take control of the party and merge with NZ First, and the party membership are expelled to be the residue of left wing involvement in politics.

          • RedLogixFormes

            Actually felix – that’s analysis from kiwi in america is pretty good. Much how I see the current state of the left, with the alternatives looking unlikely.

            It is indeed a right-wingers wet dream.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              But you are saying less of a fantasy variety, and more of an actual real life possibility variety.

              The analysis was quite fair and insightful, I thought. Labour are in significant trouble.

  13. ankerawshark 13

    I am completely disheartened by Labour now and virtually have lost hope and interest in the new candidates. Parker, Shearer, Nash, …………..woeful…………………it’s hard to have any respect for them. I know the solution is to vote for the Greens, but I am not there yet. Labour has been in my blood.

    The only bright spot is that DC and his family can hopefully start to enjoy life. There’s a saying I like and I think it applies to DC………….he can move on with his life, but they are stuck with themselves forever.

    • Rodel 13.1

      My thoughts exactly-I’ll wait & see though.
      Cunliffe might come back- depends on demand. Never say never.

  14. Bunji Sherman was a victorious Union general who praticed ‘total war’ and did not run from the battlefield.

    Cunliffe should not have run. He should have taken the fight to the membership to test the bullshit that he was dividing the Party. That is a slap in the face for democracy.

    Pulling out of future leadership races because Shearer and Trevitt tell him to is capitulating to the neoliberals in the party and another slap in the face for party democracy.

    Fortunately Nanaia Mahuta has stepped into the fray.

    May she prove to be the Union General who wages total class war on the beltway carpetbaggers.

  15. Labour needs someone to unify the party, not conduct purges for ideological purity.
    They need community and respect, not public displays of petulance.

    Any policy programme is just a pipe dream until the Labour caucus can work together.
    DC’s withdrawal is a step in this direction. God help the party to find a way forward from here.

  16. AmaKiwi 16

    @ Dave Brown (14)

    General William Tecumseh Sherman stayed the course because he had one minor advantage over David Cunliffe: a subordinate who disobeyed him could be shot.

  17. Roztoz 17

    David Cunliffe is and has always been his own worst enemy. He made mistakes that other leaders have also not been forgiven for.

    If his ambition to be PM is dead, he should go. That was what he thought his destiny was. He’ll be happy at nothing else.

    For the record, I think Shearer and Goff should also go. Goff for time served, and Shearer because he contains as much bitterness and stifled ambition as Cunliffe. They’re as toxic, self-centred and deluded as each other. Neither of them had the combination of determination, likability and good political judgement. Both were doomed to fail. Both should go.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 17.1

      That was what he thought his destiny was. He’ll be happy at nothing else.

      This is Gran’s world view. Fits to a t.

      • Colonial Rawshark 17.1.1

        Yep. Grant Robertson has been angling for the top job since 2008, and no signal no matter how clear from the membership or from the union affiliates, will tell him otherwise.

        At least Cunliffe had the overwhelming support of the membership and the affiliates. Levels of broad support that Robertson and Parker could only glare at from a distance, in fact.

        Grant barely had any such support. It was proven that he couldn’t count last year. Has he learnt to count this year? Time will tell.

        • RedLogix


          Labour is finished as far as I’m concerned. Just a matter of time before the Greens start polling higher.

          You might find this interesting. (One of my relatives on the panel 🙂

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Cheers for passing this on, will check it out in full tomorrow (uh, today).

            Labour is finished as far as I’m concerned. Just a matter of time before the Greens start polling higher.

            I appreciate the sentiment and certainly sympathise with it, but the Greens have their own severe set of issues to deal with too.

            • Chooky Shark Smile

              @CR…”but the Greens have their own severe set of issues to deal with too”
              …I would be interested to hear what you think they are in full

          • leftie


            David Cunliffe is too good for Labour, I am disgusting at the appalling way Cunliffe has been treated. And until Labour rids itself of the members of the right wing and self interested faction that continues to hold Labour back, then I will not bother to renew my membership and my vote will be going elsewhere.

            • Dex

              Too good for labour? you must be kidding me. If anything the inverse was true.

              He didn’t complain of the toxic environment when rolling and undermining Shearer, he reveled in it. And it’s only when it turned against him to such an extent that reality finally overcame his colossal ego did he withdraw.

              The hypocrisy of it is the most galling aspect of people painting him to be some sort of martyr.

              • karol

                What is the evidence that Cunliffe was involved in “rolling and undermining Shearer” ?

                Never saw any of that myself.

                • Bill

                  You mean that you didn’t consider Paddy Gower’s repeated, baseless assertions as being fairly compelling evidence?

                  Maybe you don’t have a TV and so are woefully out of touch?

                  Hmm. Don’t bother pointing to the ‘finger and toe counting’ Maryan Street behind the curtain. What the hell you doing looking behind the curtain anyway? Draw them and get back to your computer screen immediately!

                  • karol

                    Heh. I have a TV and was never convinced by Gower’s assertions.

                    I’m back here behind my “darkened computer screen”.

                    • Roztoz

                      Karol, Cunliffe’s supporters definitely did. I don’t know what role he had. I like him as a person, but you can’t tell me he didn’t encourage or coordinate them.

                      I was there in Conference 2012. His caucus backers were licking their lips at the prospect of a Feb vote. And he played the Judas.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Why should Grant Robertson and his supporters been the only one licking their lips at the prospect of a democratic leadership vote in February?

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Street was the veteran MP who chose to front up on behalf of the up and coming careerists, in order to push Shearer over the cliff.

                    NB these careerists are donkey deep in the plotting with the old guard, but it is understood that they need to keep their hands looking clean of blood, from the public’s (and membership’s) point of view, if they are to keep their career aspirashuns intact.

                • Rodel

                  Dex-We’d agree with you if you were correct-unfortunately for you you’re not. Opinions and rhetoric are not evidence.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Dex – sorry mate many of us were actually there at Conference and saw how baseless the allegations made by the ABCs were. Indeed, we saw that the ABCs – using front man Hipkins with Robertson in the shadows – organise the proactive media hit on Cunliffe. And they were even willing to do that at the cost of the good and positivity the party had built up at Conference 2012.

                What fascinates me is why the ABCs remain so fearful of David Cunliffe that they feel the need to keep putting wooden stakes through his politically lifeless body?

                • Bill

                  They are driving stakes into him because they understand that when ‘your man is down’ you make damned sure he can never get back up again. This is something Cunliffe absolutely failed to comprehend when he assumed the leader’s position – offering them a hand of conciliation instead of a boot pressed to the throat.

                  I said as such at the time.

                  And sadly, Cunliffe demonstrated he still hadn’t learned that 101 lesson when he announced he’d be happy to have Robertson as deputy before he withdrew from this leadership contest.

                  • Tracey

                    wow @ a weakness of cunliffe was to be conciliatory to his challengers and try to move on in unity!!!

              • Draco T Bastard

                Wow, you’ve really bought the BS that the MSM and National have made up to undermine DC haven’t you?

              • leftie

                @Dex. David Cunliffe didn’t roll Shearer.

                • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                  Yeah, how could Cunliffe been able to do that?
                  Whoever spearheaded the removal of Shearer had the numbers to do that and got others to confront Shearer. So far, only one of them has been named in the media. If Roztoz wants to continue to make an issue about this, then the truth should be revealed.

                  Roztoz is propogating falsehood. How about the other two, who tagged along with Street, declare their names? Even better, how about the one was behind them come clean in public now?

                  • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                    Even better, how about the one who was behind them come clean in public now?

      • leftie 17.1.2


        You are completely wrong.

    • seeker 17.2

      Roztoz @ 1.17am regarding David Cunlliffe… you are wrong.

      • RedLogix 17.2.1

        Yes – flat wrong at every level.

        But it’s what most people have been told to believe. It’s not going to change.

        • KJT

          If Labour continue letting the National parties propaganda arm, the media, helped by a few people who are long past their use by date, decide the leadership, rather than the members, then they are stuffed.

    • Clemgeopin 17.3

      Shearer because he contains as much bitterness as Cunliffe.

      Can you give us examples of Cunliffe’s statements to show his ‘bitterness’ that you claim?

      • Colonial Rawshark 17.3.1

        A lesser man than Cunliffe would have stooped low by now to exact political revenge against the small minded ones in caucus. Perhaps it would have been better for himself – and the Labour Party – had he done so after he took the leadership late 2013.

    • greywarbler 17.4

      @ Roztoz 17
      Likeability determination and political ability.
      Cunliffe had all these, but I think was prevented from being himself by poor advice and policy and extreme critiquing from caucus. He would have been better to have burbled away in his own pleasant and thoughtful way, saying what he wanted and impressing people with his personality as John Key has done. But better than yek, Cunliffe would have had more good qualities, and that would have shown up in high contrast.

      lprent’s comment on those game players behind him in caucus resonates – ‘That useless pack of strategically incompetent time servers?’

      • karol 17.4.1

        “yek”! heh.

      • red blooded 17.4.2

        “Likeability determination and political ability.
        Cunliffe had all these… He would have been better to have burbled away in his own pleasant and thoughtful way, saying what he wanted and impressing people with his personality”

        So, maybe not so much political ability, then? Cunliffe made his own decisions. If they had proven successful, you wouldn’t be shuffling the limelight onto advisors. Why do it now, because they weren’t successful?

        • greywarshark

          @ red blooded
          You are very sure of everything. Without candidate experience or with? The situation is fluid at each election, but particularly fraught at this one. Perhaps it wasn’t the candidate that made the difference, probably more he expertise of the plotters and planners and strategists. Unseen but not unnoticed. How free is the candidate to develop their own natural leadership?

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Cunliffe had the wrong advisors and staff onboard. Full stop. He takes the rap for that part of the equation.

    • ankerawshark 17.5


      It is possible that DC has an “ambition” of public service. He was a MP for years, before he tried for the leadership. He was the obvious and the best candidate after Goff and possibly before.

      He had the experience as a very successful Cabinet Minister, was a great debater, background in Business and Mfat. There was no other candidate as good as him.

      But those hopeless B………..ds brought in the useless Shearer………………..

      Even if they hated DC guts, they should have made him leader after Goff.

  18. Rawmadness Natshark 18

    I wouldn’t scoff to much at redlogix, Labour are indeed in a bad way. He makes a valid point if you don’t take him literally. But if we look at the gist of what he said alarm bells should ring.

    Labours very public factions are tearing the party apart. It’s also making labour unelectable.

    What we do about it is the 64 million dollar question. We can carry on, but obviously there’s 4 people wanting to be leader, who would have known their was so many pretenders to the throne plotting their rise.

    Like most organizations that fill with deadwood, A good clean out is required and frankly DC was the man to do it.

    If it isn’t sorted and proper unity displayed the greens will start polling higher. He’s right. Don’t ask rank and file it’s the public who cast their votes and no fence sitter is and as proven at election time, will they tick for a party with so little unity.

    • RedLogix 18.1

      Yes – it was late at night when I wrote that. You are correct, literally Labour is not going to disappear anytime soon. But it is finished as an electoral force.

      None of the current crop of potential leaders will get them out of the 20-30% polling range. If any one leader was to prove me wrong and start showing any signs of promise – the others would immediately pull him/her under again.

      Nor is there any obvious way for Labour to break out of this cycle in the near future. Loyal LEC’s are going to keep ensuring the same people stay in place. I’ve said this before – the purpose of the Labour Party since Rogermomics has been to prevent any genuinely left-wing government from ever reaching power. A hostile media will ensure this ill-disciplined, divided house gets maximum oxygen, and ensures it sticks in the voters minds.

      The rump left that remains has zero access to funding, or ability to organise. The only viable party remaining being of course the Greens who seem trapped in the under 20% ghetto.

      John Key will be the longest serving PM in New Zealand’s history. Five or six terms are no longer out of the question.

      • BM 18.1.1

        I’d agree with the last line.

        Have you ever seen John Keys face book page?, the man is phenomenally good with people.

        It’s very hard to dislike John Key.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          You’re sorta stupido mate, Key is very easy to dislike and most NZers have now seen right through his facade.

          Labour is going to gift National a 4th term however.

          • BM

            See all those people smiling and taking pictures, they’re the ones that elect governments.

            You need to broaden your horizons beyond the political extremists, they’re giving you a distorted view of reality.

            • Draco T Bastard

              National are the political extremists.

            • Tracey

              do they stop photos that dont like key being posted?

              have you ever heard of a thing called propaganda?

              • BM

                You reckon it’s all smoke and mirrors.

                • Tracey

                  its been a planned strategy since 2005 to make him a likeable chump or everyman to the public while lying using oothers to take his opponents out by any means. of course its smoke and mirrors… this is a business bm and they are treating it like one. ethics are gone. standards are set by the law and even then rorted…

                  that you think parachuting key in was not part of a well thought out and funded strategy is foolish.

                  you like key… as you are meant to and accordingly excuse and forgive behaviour that would embarrass and mortify you from your children.propaganda is not just a tool of evil regimes…

        • b waghorn

          In the same way it was hard to dislike Tony Soprano

        • halfcrown

          That is the problem BM. The general public have been dumbed down so much, general elections are now like Beauty Contests (let the best looking glib talking shit win) National never hardly spoke about their policies (hidden agenda’s) and the media concentrated on trivia like the the quoted out of context “man” issue
          No robust debate on policies for people to look pass the superficial facade

          Personally Key to me is a east end of London spiv, who the old dears love, unaware that he is shafting them but with a bit of charm will allow him to continue.

          • halfcrown

            I have just noticed my appalling grammar. The last sentence should read

            “Key to me is a east end of London spiv, who the old dears love, unaware that he is shafting them but with a bit of charm will allow him to continue.”

        • Lanthanide

          You think Key manages his own Facebook page or writes anything on it…?

        • Draco T Bastard


          You don’t seriously think Key actually runs that page himself do you? It’s probably contracted out to Crosby/Textor.

          • Tracey

            I think we need a series on propaganda cos some like BM have a hole in their education…

        • Murray Rawshark

          Are you suggesting FJK runs his own Facebook page? It might look good, but that’s because any dissent is blocked and we are probably paying a professional PR company to run the thing.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.1.2

        The rump left that remains has zero access to funding, or ability to organise.

        Only because we seem unwilling to accept that we need to have a mass party which has a weekly/monthly fee. Do that and we will have the funding to match National.

  19. les 19

    Cunnliffe had his chance and came up short.It is a fact the public did not take to him.If he still had leadership aspirations ,his decaration would imply he intends to move on.John Howard managed to turn his public acceptance quotient around but it was probably more by good timing and economic boom times than by force of personality.The question is ,just how deep are the factions,how much resolve is there for unity?The leadership race suggests they are irrepairable and the decline of Labour could well be terminal.

    • Colonial Rawshark 19.1

      “Cunliffe had his chance and came up short”

      That’s a ridiculous statement. It’s a statement which ignores the fact that Parker was Deputy and just a culpable for the massive loss. It’s a statement which ignores Grant Robertson ducking and diving the last two losing elections and his hopeless party vote performance. It’s a statement which ignores the fact that DC only had 4 months in the job, then it was election year, and Key had called an early election.

      In fact, it’s a fucking meaningless statement that you made “had his chance and came up short.” You can only believe that if you decided for some reason that Cunliffe as a batsman only deserved 2 balls an over instead of 6.

      • les 19.1.1

        wrong!Leaders lead,passing the blame to everyone and anyone else is not leadership.Whether you like it or not he fucked up…’I’m sorry for being a man’,didn’t know the CGT details,.People did not like him,did not vote for him.period.

        • Bill

          People did not like him,did not vote for him.

          Did you have a ‘David Cunliffe’ option on your voting paper? Mine said ‘Labour’.

      • leftie 19.1.2

        +1000 Colonial Rawshark.

    • ankerawshark 19.2

      I wonder what would be happening now, if the caucus had of stayed tight and backed and showed loyalty to Cunliffe after the election, and were doing a tidy in house review of why we didn’t win.

      Bet we wouldn’t be polling at 22!

    • KJT 19.3

      The media didn’t take to him.

    • Tracey 19.4

      do you think mallard misspoke by accident about the moa

    • Clemgeopin 19.5

      Cunnliffe had his chance and came up short. It is a fact the public did not take to him

      You are completely wrong in pinning the election loss solely on Cunliffe.

      There were many factors for the defeat. It is dishonest and unjust to put the responsibility on Cunliffe alone.

      There were several reasons for Labour’s poor show. Here are some in my opinion:

      (1) Labour did not get enough publicity for its excellent policies and the voting public were not fully conversant with those. How many of the following policies did you know and do you think got enough coverage?

      (2) Controversial policies such as the CGT (excluding the family home) and Retirement age increase incrementally over time (as it is said to become unsustainable) were poorly explained, misrepresented by many commentators and the media which scared many voters away.

      (3) The green policies (anti mining, anti deep sea drilling, higher income taxes, carbon tax etc) are perceived by some as extremist and may have scared people away from voting Labour knowing that Greens would be needed in the coalition and influence such policies.

      (4) Key is extremely popular and the economy was projected as doing well (forgetting the huge debt accumulated by the government). National has a very strong propaganda spin machine as well as the dirty politics brigade distorting the public perception against Cunliffe and the Labour party. The supposed caucus disloyalty and the rumoured surreptitious leaking of internal matters to outside media did no favours to the party.

      (5) The majority of voters in the middle of the bell curve are earning very well for the last two decades (irrespective of which party is in power) and it is hard for Labour and the left parties to attract them due to the power of the wallet and narrow personal selfish interests of people. Even though there is a large population with very low incomes, hardship and poverty, most of this group are not sufficiently aware of their political power to change things for the better for all nor do they vote in sufficient numbers.

      (6) Of course Cunliffe made some mistakes, (who doesn’t?) most of which were really of a minor nature but blown out of proportion by his political enemies and our media which is often biased or indulges in low calibre of journalism. Yet, national and Key have indulged in much more serious stuff in their policies and behaviour but are rarely put into the same scrutiny.

      (7) In the crucial period of the last few weeks before the election, the news was completely dominated by other issues (most of which were serious) starving Labour and other left parties of the much needed political oxygen of publicity for their policies.

      (8) In my opinion, Labour should not have shunned IMP nor Hone in TTT. If Kelvin had lost, it would have been an unfortunate collateral damage for the greater good or he should have been given a higher place on the list to ensure his success if that was paramount. Also, Labour should have made electoral strategic arrangements with the Greens, IMP and even NZF in certain crucial or marginal seats. This is MMP and we need to be smarter in winning seats to form the government. That did not happen, Labour got a poor result and all of us and the country is burdened by National and their RW pro wealthy agenda with the help of ACT and Dunne.

      (9) A couple of days before the election, a major news was the arrests in Australia of supposed terrorists. In my opinion, this issue had a major bearing in increasing National’s vote because it either directly or subconsciously made it easier for people to vote National thinking that Key’s terror laws and the snooping laws are good things.

      (10) Cunliffe had a very short time to change things around. It does take a long time for an opposition leader to get known and get popular. That was the case with Key, Clark and even Kirk who all needed much more than eleven months as party leaders to change perceptions and increase support. Cunliffe worked extremely hard during his eleven months and especially during the election campaign. It is easy to criticise after the fact and unfairly hold the leader solely responsible.

      • red blooded 19.5.1

        Can we please stop saying that the GCT and retirement age policies were somehow imposed on Cunliffe? For starters, he was the Finance spokesperson when they were developed for the 2008 election. Then he was the leader when they were run again this time.

        The whole party endorsed these policies, including Cunliffe.

        I don’t think anyone is saying that he was solely to blame for the result. There were big issues that were clearly outside of his control and that damaged the campaign. There were also moments of poor judgement (“Sorry for being a man”) and poor tactical decisions (the vague “Vote Positive”), along with obvious issues to do with team building and management. Of course it is simplistic to say that Labour lost because of Cunliffe (just as it would have been to say that a win was entirely because of him, had that been the result). The issue of the decline in vote and poor judgement straight after the election do have to be factored in, though.

        The party has to be bigger than the leader. Let’s move on and start looking at rebuilding.

        • Clemgeopin

          The whole party endorsed these policies, including Cunliffe

          I did not say that these two policies were imposed on Cunliffe nor did I say they were not approved by the party! Don’t know why you assumed that. What I said was that they were not clearly explained to the voters (by Cunliffe, Parker, other candidates and the media).

          Cunliffe was very unfairly forced/made to resign as if it was his fault alone. If not, the caucus would not have behaved in the abysmal way they did towards him and force him out. P.S : What did the vengeful caucus have against the previous whips who they unceremoniously rolled even before Cunliffe resigned? What dirty unjust deeds transpire for over seven hours of their caucus meeting? I think we have some self serving bad caucus members.

          • Keir

            Cunliffe wasn’t forced to resign. He quit on election night!

            • leftie


              No he didn’t, Cunliffe didn’t quit on election night.

              • Keir

                Yes, he did. He announced his intention to resign and contest the leadership election. (Actually he wanted caucus to roll him so he didn’t have to say “I’m resigning”, which was very weird.)

                At which point it was entirely proper for other people to put their hands up and say “I’d like to contest this election you have triggered”.

                • leftie

                  No, he didnt. That wasn’t on election night.

                  And you will have to look at the behaviour of Shearer and Robertson that started that ball rolling, that saw David Cunliffe later step down to seek a new mandate.

                  David Cunliffe was indeed forced out.

                  Don’t know if you know this, but Helen Clark lost an election and didn’t stand down.

                  In 2002 National suffered an even worse defeat of just 20.93%. Bill English did not step down. In fact he contested the leadership a year later and was back stabbed by John key in favour of Don Brash.

                • SPC

                  He did not quit on election night. He indicated he would seek to stay on as leader. He initially refused to resign seeking to force caucus to vote no confidence and force a party wide leadership contest if they wanted a change. Then when he did resign he said he would contest for the leadership. Then he withdrew and backed Little.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Cunliffe wasn’t forced to resign. He quit on election night!

              Dude, check your facts! FFS if you cannot get these important basics right your credibility is over.

          • red blooded

            My comment about the CGT policy was a response to a line of argument that has been popping up all over the place, both in this discussion line and others. For example:
            “Chooky Shark Smile …
            18 October 2014 at 2:27 pm
            scenario 1 – Labour vote drops because of:
            i) concerted and vicious attack on Cunliffe by right wing media..
            .ii) because Labour polices eg super age and CGT are not appealing to general public ( Cunliffe not responsible for this..Parker and caucus are)”

            Your comment was just part of a line of criticism that seemed to distance Cunliffe from the policy.The leader has a strong voice when deciding the campaign; Cunliffe took a strong part in designing this (essentially fair) policy and in presenting it (twice – once as Finance spokesperson and once as leader).

        • Clemgeopin

          There were also moments of poor judgement (“Sorry for being a man”)

          Red blooded, watch and listen to what the wise youth leaders are saying about this Cunliffe comment. Very refreshing, astute and heartening.

  20. Dont worry. Be happy 20

    At BM….”it’s very hard to dislike John Key”.

    What? Compared with Ebola say?

  21. lurgee 21

    A minor point, but while Sherman’s statement, “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected,” was definitive, but Cunliffe’s “I have no intention of ever being leader again,” isn’t anywhere near as certain. Intentions can change.

    “Indeed, I had no intention, in 2014. But following the dreadful collapse in 2017, people have told me only I can unite the party. While I don’t want to take up this load again, I can’t ignore the many voices calling for me to stand once again …”

    • les 21.1

      Not a minor point…the point…the old ‘intentions’ escape clause!

      • Colonial Rawshark 21.1.1

        Why do you think the ABCs have still been in the media putting more knives and stakes into Cunliffe’s politically lifeless body. Even as persona non grata they fear him. Pathetic.

    • ankerawshark 21.2

      That would be fantastic. Never say never.

  22. Bill 22

    Not so sure that I agree with the doom and gloom on display here. Yes, Cunliffe was ‘done over’, but with (probably) Little as leader, the Labour Party’s left rises.

    Unlike Cunliffe, I don’t expect Little will follow the disastrous tactic of accommodation that Cunliffe tried. So, the ABCs get marginalised and moved on and Robertson’s games get ended ended right there.

    Meanwhile, Cunliffe takes on Finance.

    It’s not so bad. Cunliffe gets to play a major role in a Labour Party that tacks left, and that’s essentially what he and party members/affiliates have wanted all along. The fly in the ointment (Robertson), as the saga draws to a close, is simply going to get lost in the mix.

    • halfcrown 22.1

      Good analysis Bill, lets hope you are right. Otherwise I will not be voting Labour again.

    • RedLogix 22.2

      I don’t expect Little will follow the disastrous tactic of accommodation that Cunliffe tried.

      Maybe. And therein lies the crunch – it’s not one or two individuals we are talking about, it’s a large chunk of the caucus who have very loyal LEC’s backing them. Very, very hard to ‘non-accommodate’.

      National would have gotten rid of it’s patently boofhead MP’s ages ago – Labour seems stuck with them.

      • Bill 22.2.1

        I agree that lick-spittle LECs are a major problem. What the fck is it with people and incumbent representatives of authority?

    • Tracey 22.3

      I get your point. but isnt the overall message that a cabal that leaks and undermines will succeed over the process. … doesnt bode well for the future?

  23. i am not so charitable about cunliffe throwing in the towel…

    ..he got there because a lot of party members fought to get him there..

    ..that he caved..and had not the testicular-fortitude to stand and fight..

    ..has both dismayed many of them..

    ..and is really a slap in the face for them…

    ..(and all for a ‘senior’-role should little win..?..that is what it looks like from out here..

    ..just another self-serving politician..looking after ‘self’..) is a sad footnote for both him and labour..

    ..especially as the battle wasn’t really about him.. was for the life/soul of the labour party..

    ..and cunliffe throwing in the towel..

    ..just handed victory for the right to squabble over.. my mind he comes out of this with no fucken glory..

    ..just the opposite..

    • Colonial Rawshark 23.1

      With more than 50% of a belligerent caucus up hard against him, having proved that they would never accept his leadership – under any conditions for no apparent reason other than their own careerism – Cunliffe decided that he would walk.

      The man is tough, and he’s certainly not perfect, but he’s not going to martyr himself and his family for these useless short sighted buggers.

      • The Al1en 23.1.1

        “i am not so charitable about cunliffe throwing in the towel…”
        “he caved..and had not the testicular-fortitude to stand and fight..”
        “ my mind he comes out of this with no fucken glory..”


        “these useless short sighted bloggers.”

        It’s all in the free fixed it for you.

      • phillip ure 23.1.2

        @ colonial..

        ..him being re-elected wd mean they wd be forced to accept his leadership..

        ..and then they cd be retired/etc..

        ..wasn’t that the point of the whole battle..?

        ..who/what ideology controls the labour party..

        ..cunliffe was the proxy-leader for the progressive-cause..

        ..and he failed to even try…’s really as simple as that..

        • Tracey

          why would they accept him this time??

          • phillip ure

            a renewed/strengthened mandate..?

   you are defending him caving..

            ..w.t.f. was the point of putting him there/fighting for him to be the first place..?

            ..i mean..i am not one in labour who did that..

            ..they are the ones currently feeling betrayed/sold-out..

            ..(plus the progressive movement at large..)

            ..labour party membership will plunge..

            ..and their polling will move into the high teens..

   matter who wins this race to the bottom..

            ..(oh..!..and the greens will continue as the de-facto opposition party in parliament..

            ..that change-over has already happened..

            ..most of labour spent last term sitting there doing stunned-mullet impersonations..)

            ..the polling just has to follow that reality..

            .and it will..

            • Tracey

              unlike you I dont believe they would accept a mandate from union and membership. why would their motives or liking change? thats all I was asking… the rest is you answering stuff I never asked so you can repeat yourself…

              a renewed mandate would be enough post election to shut the abcs up… is what you are saying?

              my problem with that reasoning is if hewon didnt win caucus but mship and unions wldnt it be deja vu all over again

              • so you are happy he resigned..?

                ..once again..just what is yr feck’in point..?

                ..and no..i don’t wish to have an interminable point/counter-point conversation with you..

                ..and..’..deja vu all over again..’ a tautology..

                ..u r a lawyer..u shd know better..

                • Tracey

                  enjoy your echo chamber

                • The Al1en

                  “..and no..i don’t wish to have an interminable point/counter-point conversation with you..”

                  Because you can’t debate point to point without invective because you don’t have awareness outside of your own minimalist thought bubble.

      • leftie 23.1.3

        +1000 Colonial Rawshark. Spot on.

  24. Aerobubble 24

    Cunliffe failed. The reality of his capitulation speech spoke directly to his inability as a politician. He has no antenna. Worse. His strategy was wrong, now in heinsight, he should have removed uncertainity immediately, over everything from cgt to green ministry positions. His inability to pro actively adapt to circumstances astonishing.

  25. This is a serious question: Can anyone tell me the actual activities you believe the ABC’s participated in, to undermine Cunliffe’s election campaign. There are references to some kind of stab in the back of him, but no details. Did they stop him from adopting policies you think would have been popular? Stop him from running ads / giving speeches / etc that may have won votes? Briefed against him to media in a way that led to adverse media coverage? Discouraged people in their electorates from giving their party vote to Labour? Would be interested in specifics of this to inform political commentary.

    • Colonial Rawshark 25.1

      Hooton – they just fucked the guy over, starting from election night even before the last provisional counts were in. Now either you believe in spontaneous combustion, or they had been gearing up for this. I think the latter, and probably starting about Oct 2013.

      This is of course not to excuse Cunliffe’s own weaknesses over the last year: including choosing the wrong people as senior staff, not handling the relationship with some MP colleagues correctly, and not building a wider constituency within the party itself.

      All of the above are fixable however and the man was on a steep learning curve.

      Now, whoever gets in as Leader is going to have to start from a lower performance basis, going to have to re-weather the National Party Dirty Politics machine from scratch, and if its not Robertson as the winner, better keep their ceramic plates in.

    • Bill 25.2


      …being the sound of toxic or damaging leaks Matthew.

      Is that enough to be going on with?

      • But I don’t recall any. Give me a few examples (one is not evidence of a campaign).

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Dude, you realise that convincing you isn’t important. Especially when you have better behind the scenes info about what has been going on in the Labour caucus than most of us.

          • Blue

            Matthew asking for evidence of Cunliffe being undermined, Grant Robertson denying that the ABCs exist – it’s all part of the same machinations.

            Anyone with half a brain who follows politics knows full well that a small but strong knot in the caucus hate DC’s guts and they did everything they could to shaft him.

            But the whitewashing has already begun, with all the MPs scrubbing the blood off their hands and saying ‘not me!’. Now that DC has been knifed, everyone is scrambling to pin 100% of the blame on him.

            History is written by the winners, and they’re all busy spinning it right now. Which is where Matthew comes in.

        • ankerawshark

          Mathew there was of course the holiday leak. That is one.

          There was after the Dong Liu letter Duncan Garner reporting, “well they are not going to roll him, its too near the election, but”………..
          Garner was the journo that prior to DC leadership the ABC did leak to. Either that or Garner was writing complete fantasy. Take your pick.

          After the Dong Liu letter Parker was interviewed and his comment’s implied and I don’t have the quote, that DC had made an error.

          As I commented above, if they had of stood behind DC immediately after the election, and endorsed his leadership, we would not be polling at 22 and would have had a chance at 2017.

          BTw I credit you with starting the ball rolling after Cunliffe was elected leader on a campaign to totally discredit an extremely intelligent man who had an outstandingly good track record as a highly competent minister.

          He would have done a great job leading NZ.

          Shame on you Matthew.

          • Tracey

            matthew forgotten his screeching of “liar” on rnz… so in his mind it never happened… the irony of that outburst isnt lost on those who have watched key… collins… bennett lie with impugnity with no such screeching from matthew and no suggestion it makes them unfit to govern.

          • leftie


        • leftie

          Lol Who are you trying to kid Hooton?

    • RedBaronCV 25.3

      insisted on policy that ran counter to Cunliffes speeches. And may it wasn’t what they did but what they didn’t do.

      • phillip ure 25.3.1

        “..insisted on policy that ran counter to Cunliffes speeches..”

        ..that was the main reason for the plunge in the polls..(together with the stick of making workers work longer/older..)

        ..and that cunliffe was sent out with an empty policy-satchel.. down to parker..and those other rightwing ratbags..

        ..and yes..the media group-think manifestation against cunliffe..

        ..was eagerly fed by those same rightwing rat-bags..

        • Matthew Hooton

          A true leader declares policy they want and the party falls into line (e.g., Key’s speech the day after becoming leader included a big change in attitude on Maori issues – see )

          • Lanthanide

            And if the party doesn’t fall into line, is that the fault of the leader, or the party?

            • Disraeli Gladstone

              Unless, the party is dysfunctional, it’s the fault of the leader. Because the leader needs to be able to have:

              A: The self-awareness to know where his party is; and
              B: The power to convince and lead his party into adopting a new stance on policy.

              For example, the inverse of David Cunliffe is Tony Blair. He had a left-wing party, a vocal left-wing party that Kinnock and Smith had only massaged down a bit. He knew where the party was, how far he could push and where were the no-go areas. He also had the power to convince and took the party with him.

              It’s probably not for the best that it happened, but you can’t deny that Blair was a skilled political operator.

              Cunliffe had the exact opposite. He tried to take a more centre party left. He had no self-awareness. He didn’t have the power to convince.

              Now, if you don’t agree with that the conclusion is the Labour Party is dysfunctional. And if that’s the case, what the fuck are we all doing talking about them.

              Just vote Green.

              • Lanthanide

                “And if that’s the case, what the fuck are we all doing talking about them.”

                Obviously we’re talking about how dysfunctional the party is that the MPs can’t get behind the leader.

              • Murray Rawshark

                Tony Blair really was the inverse case. As a BFF of Murdoch, he had the media on side. We already had that sort of rubbish with Labour, during the Douglas government. That’s what left them so dysfunctional. I only talk about it out of intellectual curiosity and because my preferred parties still need a decent Labour vote.

            • Tracey

              a true leader doesn’t regard ethics as a joke… the law as a joke and the truth as an idling distraction.

          • Cave Johnson

            MH, do you appreciate that the parliamentary leaders of National and Labour operate under entirely different rules and constraints i.e. Key has huge power over his caucus, the Labour leader has almost none. Key can punish whoever does not follow. Cunliffe could not.
            I do think that higher income tax, CGT, and Super at 67, was two changes too many. Cunliffe led with the first – good idea, CGT should have been a discussion topic not policy – not sure whose idea it was, and it looks to me like 67 was pretty much rammed through by Parker as a book balancer without proper consideration for alternatives.
            btw, Which Key speech was that – the link takes me to a page with many speeches. What is the change of attitude to Maori issues?

            • SPC

              Workers would have been confused.

              Those on the MW 14.25 were going to get $16 in 2015 and then $18 before the next election.

              But workers who were already on $18 or more were not in on any gain but facing not just compulsory Kiwi Saver but variable rates – potentially as high as 10% of pay as part of a new method to combat inflation. The uncertainty as to what rate their compulsory Kiwi Saver would have been was no way to encourage them to vote Labour.

              • Lanthanide

                “potentially as high as 10% of pay as part of a new method to combat inflation. The uncertainty as to what rate their compulsory Kiwi Saver would have been was no way to encourage them to vote Labour.”

                Labour said they were going to get 9% contribution rate, split 50/50 between employer and employee, so you’d be paying 4.5% of your wage in KS. Of course there’s that loophole that National opened up that allows employers to force their employees to pay their part of it too, but I assume they would close that as part of their new regime.

                The variable rate that had been suggested, it didn’t sound like it would ever be a difference of more than +/- 1% on the final contribution rate of 4.5%.

                Of course, Labour didn’t explain this well and I’d be hard pressed to get you sources for this.

          • SPC

            Key just played good cop to Brash as bad cop. Just as he does on the super age.

            Threaten the continuance of the Maori seats, then have Key as saviour of the Maori Party’s continuance and thus use their seats to help National remain in government. Just as they use the votes of the aging who want to get super at 65

            The National MP’s realised how sneaky that was/is. And that it was to their advantage as to remaining the party in government.

          • ankerawshark

            MH @

            A true leader would have sacked Judith Collins are the Oravida saga and the DP information and not do it at the 11th hour because he thought the SST’s was going to spill the beans on her.

          • RedBaronCV

            “true leader declares the policy ..and the party falls into line”. You are making a joke aren’t you?
            That is a perfect description of a dictator surrounded by his grovelling cronies – the sort who receive 97% vote in any election that is mistakely held. Kim Il Jong or whoever it is at the moment.

            Or is Nact completely undemocratic ?

          • RedBaronCV

            Just as a matter of interest Matty were you avoiding the grocery shopping or the lawnmowing?
            “Gotta do something on the computor…”

          • KJT

            That is called a “Dictator”, Matthew.

            A Freudian slip?

          • Draco T Bastard

            That’s what we call dictatorship. We generally have revolutions to get rid of them as they’re usually full of corrupt arseholes that increase poverty while lining their own pockets and the pockets of their supporters. Pretty much what we’re seeing from National in fact with Dirty Politics, undermining of public servants and using their position in government for their own personal benefit.

            In a democratic system the ideas and policies come from the membership and the caucus looks at ways to implement those policies.

      • Keir 25.3.2

        This never happened – there was no push from the Leader’s Office for more left wing policy. Quite the opposite if anything – on several issues (the TPPA, abortion law reform) they pushed to water policy down.

    • Ad 25.4

      For the serious answer, you need to do the homework, and go and ask Gower, Vance, Armstrong, etc where and when they got their stories from?

      Who did the great set-ups for example on the Liu story?

      Who did the setups on the funding trust?

      Who would have had access to such stories?

      Who would have knowledge of the most damaging timing to release them?

      Everyone in the msm acts from sources, and you know that.
      It’s your business to know that.

      Go off and do your own homework.

    • Tracey 25.5

      this is a serious question. can you tell us what knowledge you have of incidents involving any abc in undermining cunliffe?

    • Puddleglum 25.6

      Hi Matthew,

      Well, there was the complaint about the three days in Queenstown and the insinuation/comment in that complaint that he was ‘lazy’ while others were supposedly working so hard (the latter strangely not in evidence in party votes electorate by electorate); leaks that he was ‘taking the party too far left’; Jurassic Park suggestions; Davis’ claim he was being hog-tied by the leadership; sparse use of Cunliffe billboards in certain electorates; Shane Jones’ comments – prior to resigning parliament – about the Greens (Implying the current Labour leadership had it wrong); constant references by journalists to the fact that Labour MPs were doing the minimum possible to avoid claims they were undermining him but, in effect, doing just that (ask some of your journalist friends about their reporting on that and the type of source they were using for those comments) …

      The alternative explanation is that no such undermining was happening but media journalists (and commentators) simply manufactured it all out of thin air in a blatant attempt to, themselves, undermine Cunliffe.

      It’s one or the other because a lot of people (ordinary people) came to believe during Cunliffe’s leadership that senior members of his caucus disliked him intensely and were actively opposing him and upset with where he was taking the party.

      How else could ordinary New Zealanders come to that conclusion? Or don’t you believe that they did?

      As you will know, much of this undermining is, for obvious reasons, done just below the radar to allow for (not so) plausible deniability. Nevertheless, it is just close enough to the surface to allow journalists to feed off the disunity and ‘Cunliffe is hated by his caucus’ memes.

      If you’re looking for evidence that stands up in court or that would pass scientific peer review then you might be being a bit naive and also be in the wrong game.

    • Saarbo 25.7

      @Matthew Hooten
      The attack leaked to Stuff when DC tried to take a 3 day break in the school holiday’s was a massive blow…leaked by Cosgrove I believe? This stayed in the media at a critical time in the campaign.

      Also Shearer attacked Cunliffe at a Labour public meeting that I attended…who knows how many other public meetings he did the same, we have some serious ethical issues in the Labour caucus that will only be fixed by a clean out.

    • Brendon Harre 25.8

      Mathew I am no Labour or ABC expert but I drive through Waimakiriri electorate every work day. Cunliffe had gifted $100 million to Cosgrove in extra transport spending (extra spending above what National had committed). This extra spending came in the form of restarting passenger rail for Christchurch, critically addressing the northern motorway bottleneck. This issue prior to the announcement was one of the most commented on subjects in The Press.

      After the announcement Cosgrove gave no press releases, put up no signs and made no personal campaigns -such as standing out in all weathers on congested routes announcing Labour will fix this problem.

      Maybe the problem is what ABCs didn’t do, not what they did?

      I for one am sick of the Labour caucus playing palace games while decent kiwis struggle unnecessarily.

  26. RedBaronCV 26

    I can understand and I wish him happy times with his family but it feels a little like an Al Gore moment ( something that should happen hasn’t) and the whole country will be the poorer for it.

    The loss is mine , my children’s, my grandchildren’s

    • @ redbaron..

      “ feels a little like an Al Gore moment (..”

      ..+ 1..

      ..a comparison i hadn’t thought of yet..but a valid one..

      ..who will be our ‘bush’ in labour..?

      • RedBaronCV 26.1.1

        I think John Key is Bush. Both men seen as affable but look at the mess Bush left behind, key in his arrogance is doing exactly the same.

    • leftie 26.2


      +1000 Spot on, very nicely put.

  27. Ad 27

    Very sweet thought Bunji, but the caucus, the msm media and commentariat, and the wider public, has shown that they cannot cope with a public selection process. Every contest appears as disunity.

    Nor is there any hope that this caucus will stop seething. We have seen it for three years, getting worse not better. All MPs figure out who is voting for whom, and those loyalty fault lines will be there forever.

    It will take at least five years to settle internally, at which time Greens and Labour will remain on even polling.

    • Colonial Rawshark 27.1

      At this stage I think that your prediction is the most likely outcome – unless Robertson becomes leader. Then I would expect a more cohesive Labour caucus, one which talks the red talk but deftly walks the light blue line.

      But leading to the same polling result you described, nonetheless.

    • KJT 27.2

      The Greens have been doing just that for years.

      Party wide democratic selection of leaders.

      • Ad 27.2.1

        If you are saying that the msm and Labour caucus hold Labour leaders to a different standard that the Greens, then I agree.

        • KJT

          To me it shows a disgusting contempt for democracy and the judgement of ordinary people.

          The same contempt that National has.

          The idea that they are our “managers” not our “representatives” seems to be rife amongst our Parliament on both sides.
          The idea that they can do whatever they like once in power.

          Everyone in the Greens picks the polices and leaders so we, all Green members, own the parties success, or failure.

          The rest of our politicians seem to have joined the management cult.

  28. Ad 28

    Try Baba Yaga Cunliffe.

    That’s what the senior MPs will do to his name with the new ones and the prospects.

  29. Jan 29

    Dont be so naive Matthew – we attend meetings, we have heard our MPs badmouthing Cunliffe for some years now, some of the more indiscreet of them anyhow. But we are not all gullible and some of us wondered at this, so decided to find out for ourselves at regional and annual conferences. Thus we found that the ABCs were alive and kicking, trying to undermine a man who was truly trying to help Labour re-establish itself, we researched, we talked to the man himself – did you never wonder why the rank and file mmbers were, and still are, so supportive of him and so devastated by his deciion ? Or are we just written of as “members” those know-nothing dummies ?

    • ankerawshark 29.1

      You are right Jan. I got an email back from an MP who I emailed shortly after the election re caucus not talking to the media and the tone was blaming DC.

      I got back this well David threw it out to re-elect a new leader on election night and now we are in this mess……………………………………….

      Very blamming. Not taking responsibility for the MP who were going to the media (shearer). It was all about David C

    • RedLogix 29.2

      Thank you Jan for confirming much of how I read the situation from a distance.

      It wasn’t just that DC is educated, articulate and capable – but that he also knew what he stood for.

      His abilities merely aroused the usual anti-intellectual boofhead meaness so prevalent in our society – his values however showed many of them up as the small people they are and that could not be tolerated.

      • SHG 29.2.1

        he also knew what he stood for

        David Cunliffe always stood for whatever he thought the people in front of him at that very moment wanted him to stand for.

    • Tracey 29.3

      matthew is not used to a party where the members have any genuine power or say in the party. he is used to a board deciding everything or where candidates with enough money to buy members/delegates to vote for them.

      democracy is a novel concept.

  30. Clean_power 30

    Only time will tell us about the sincerity of DC’s intentions. We should remember that politicians always find a way or motive to return, even when it is ill-advised to do so, e.g., Kevin Rudd.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 30.1

      How about you go tell a few people in caucus so that someone can be chosen to plant that line in the media for first thing tomorrow morning?

  31. Chooky Shark Smile 31

    I would be very interested to hear what Winston Peters has to say about the Labour Party

    Calling Winston…… ( Over Roger )

  32. not so much shermanesque..

    ..more marc anthony –

    – who ‘ famously fled the battle of Actium’…

  33. Murray Rawshark 33

    Does anyone know how many of the predicted miracles Matt McCarten managed to perform? The last thing I remember is the exultation about his getting the job working for Cunliffe, especially from Bumbler Bradbury. After that, nothing……..

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

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