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Some leadership thoughts

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, September 9th, 2013 - 125 comments
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Four of the six labour affiliates have now come out in favour of David Cunliffe. Between them they represent a little under nine percent of the total vote.

There has also been a second proper poll showing substantial support for Cunliffe both from the public, and from Labour supporters – however it must be noted that, at 500, the sample sizes of this poll was quite small – especially once it divides down to Labour supporters (at a guess that would be a sample size of around 200).

The caucus vote is more opaque. I’ve heard conflicting stories about numbers, but from what I’ve picked up around the traps it’s most likely MP’s votes are currently split about 50/50.

At the moment it looks very likely it’ll be Cunliffe, but it’s very hard to get a clear read on any of the voting blocks (although it just got easier to gauge the affiliate vote). The good news is there’s only another week to wait to know for sure.

One thing that is certain is that this democratic process has energised the party and put it on a campaign footing as we head into election year.

125 comments on “Some leadership thoughts ”

  1. Te Reo Putake 1

    My maths suggest Cunliffe will still fall short of an outright win at the first ballot. Despite the endorsement, which doesn’t bind union members to vote DC, the affiliate vote will be split 3 ways. Robertson has significant support in caucus and in the affiliates, less so amongst the membership. Jones has picked up solid support from unionists and the membership over the last ten days and DC has a big lead with the members.

    This is how I reckon it currently looks:

    Caucus’s 40% is 19% GR, 12% DC, 9% SJ

    Member’s 40% is 18% DC, 12% SJ, 10% GR

    Affilliate’s 20% is 7% GR, 7% DC, 6% SJ

    That’s DC with 37%, GR 36%, SJ 27%.

    Jones’s star has risen dramatically with conservative union members, which suggests to me they will rate Roberstson 3rd. Therefore, his votes from that sector will help Cunliffe. I suspect Jones will be the 2nd vote of the majority of the members. However, the GR majority in caucus will probably put Cunliffe 3rd (ABC!), so that will probably be where the win is decided. Every MP that Cunliffe can swing now is going to be vital.

    • Flashing Light 1.1

      Affilliate’s 20% is 8% GR, 7% DC, 7% SJ

      That adds up to 22%.

      Also, what on earth do you base these quite specific numbers on? For SJ to have “9%” of caucus support, he’d have to have 7-ish MPs supporting him. Who are they?

      • Te Reo Putake 1.1.1

        Cheers, FL, I spotted that miscount and edited it before seeing your comment. Caucus votes for Jones would be himself, O’Connor, Cosgrove, Robertson, Tirikatene and, according top the right, David Shearer.

        • Anne

          He might have a favourite but Shearer said he was abstaining?

          • Te Reo Putake

            Not sure if he’s actually confirmed that, Anne, but I did hear the rumour. Kiwiblog are convinced he’s voting Jones.

            • Pasupial

              If “Kiwiblog are convinced” then it must be so.


              • Te Reo Putake

                No, far from it, and stop hitting youself, you’ll put an eye out. But the poll results come from equally right wing sources, and we’re all happy to believe that DC has nearly half the popular vote, aren’t we?

                • Pasupial

                  I’d believe the polls before I’d believe your unsubstantiated rumour-mongering; and I don’t have much faith in the polls. But we’ll see in a week.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    What unsubstantiated rumour mongering, Pasupial? I haven’t indulged in any and I struggle to see which of my comments could be so badly misconstrued as to be thought by you to fall into that category.

            • Anne

              From memory he made it clear he would be abstaining form the leadership vote at the time he announced his resignation. Of course Shearer may have changed his mind, but Farrar will ‘convince’ himself of anything if he thinks its going to suit his political persuasion.

        • Lanthanide

          Isn’t Shearer abstaining?

          Also that’s still only 6, not 7, and only 5 if Shearer does abstain.

          • Te Reo Putake

            6 MP’s is 7%, 7 is 8%, 8 is 9%. Roughly. I’ve listed the MP’s who are endorsing Jones, plus Shearer, and I’ve assumed at least one more may be swayed by his form in the last week, Lanthanide.

        • Flashing Light

          That’s only 6 x 1.18% = 7% … not 9%.

          So given how specific you’re being with your predictions, you might forgive us if we cock an eyebrow when your own numbers don’t actually stack up.

    • IrishBill 1.2

      Hmm. I’m not sure about the affiliate vote there TRP. I’d pick that the four unions that have recommended Cunliffe will deliver around 6-7% of their 8.7% to him which would mean the SFWU and EPMU vote would need to be almost totally Robertson and Jones for your numbers to work out.

      • Te Reo Putake 1.2.1

        Well, IB, I have attended a few meetings in the last week where I’ve seen the surge in support for Jones, so I’m reasonably confident that he will be at least as good as I’m picking. I get the feeling that Cunliffe has not convinced unionists, at least south of the Bombays. Robertson has a head start with unionists in the rest of the country, which is why I think he and Cunliffe may be level pegging at the moment.

        • Peter

          Not from what I saw in Dunedin yesterday. Unions are firmly behind Cunliffe plus a bit of Jones.

        • IrishBill

          Even if that’s the case I’m struggling to see your rationale. Do you think the four recommending affiliates will deliver less than 6%-7% for Cunliffe or do you think there will be near nil vote for him from the EPMU and the Servos?

          • Te Reo Putake

            Yes, I do think the pro Cunliffe unions will deliver less than 6-7% of their 8.7% to him. The endorsement is important, but doesn’t make it a done deal.

            • IrishBill

              So 5%? Because if they do that still means the EPMU and the SFWU will only give him a fifth of their votes for your prediction to work.

              • Te Reo Putake

                I’m picking the 4 will still vote in a 3 way split, IB, with the endorsement enough to give DC the largest block, but not a majority.

            • Colonial Viper

              Maybe not in the first round. But including second preferences, 6-7% is very do-able.

  2. Pasupial 2

    “…it’s most likely MP’s votes are currently split about 50/50.”

    Way to completely write off Jones! I’m not a fan myself, but you’d think he’d have 5% of caucus (between himself and Rino Tirakatene at least in the first round).

    Cunliffe quote from Dunedin meeting (via ODT):

    ”Labour has underestimated John Key. I won’t. I have his number and he knows it.”

    Whether that’s true remains to be seen, however it does have admirable cut-through. Robertson’s waffle vs Key deceit would be like throwing a lamb into a mincing engine.

    • karol 2.1

      Yes. In his interviews, I’ve noticed Robertson is too wordy and lacks zap. Comes across more as a solid backroom strategist, and/or policy person.

      He’s very good in longer speeches in the House. But that’s not what will be required in an election campaign and after with the media in the role of filtering stuff to the public.

      • phillip ure 2.1.1

        what is also relevant vis a vis who would be best against key..

        ..is that the occaisons have been few and far between when robertson has shone in a combative-role in questiontimes..

        ..even tony ryall was easily batting him away..f.f.s..!

        ..robertson will make a good minister..

        ..but there are more reasons than you can point a stick at to show that robertson is not the man for this particular moment in time..

        ..i don’t know how cunnliffe will turn out..

        ..and it remains to be seen if his turn from rogernomics to the roots of the labour party/’socialism-lite’ is for real…but i remain optimistic for now..

        (..but then i was also one who was sucked in by ‘hopey’/changey’..he who is now called barack obush..so optimisim clearly has its’ limits’..eh..?..)

        ..and robertson may well be ‘more left’ than cunnliffe..(.as some claim..)..but if so he has long kept that light well hidden under his bushel..(in both speech and actions..)

        ..but these hopes/concerns are all side issues for now..

        ..what matters is who can beat key..

        ..and going back to those observations from doing commentaries on questiontime for so long..

        ..that person is cunnliffe..

        ..cunnliffe is the only one in labour who key/national are afraid of..(and with good reason..i hafta say that just from a selfish point of view i will be happy to see cunnliffe leading labour..’cos those questiontimes will suddenly become both more interesting to comment on..and more relevant to our political process..

        ..with cunnliffe as leader i see the next election campaign one of the longest in nz history..

        ..starting when/if cunnliffe gets the nod..

        ..and questiontime will become a major area of combat/of cunnliffe dismantling keys’ (jaw-dropping to watch/see unanswered) serial-bullshit..

        ..holding key and this govt/ideology that has so damaged new zealand..to account..

        ..and ensuring the seeing off of both..

        ..only cunnliffe has the skills to do that…

        ..any other choice as leader will leave most of us just hoping the flow/flood of labour votes to green/mana will enable a centre-left grouping to limp over that line..

        ..whereas..as one whose voting arc/record has been lab>grn>mana..

        ..i don’t buy into that ‘let labour soak up the centre/centre-right vote..and grns/mana will get the rest’-argument..

        ..we will not see the needed changes/repairs with a still ideologically-confused labour..

        ..we need pretty much everyone to be marching in the same direction..

        ..and yes..of course aim to take votes from national..

        ..but there is one thing jones has been banging on about where he is correct..

        ..that what is most important for labour/the advance of progressive ideas/ideals..

        ..is for lab/grns/mana connect with the apathetic/non-voters..those the centre-left have ignored for so long..

        *(it’s just that jones self-deludes by thinking they are all clutching dog-eared issues of penthouse..)

        ..and a group..who so far..i have seen none of that lab/grns/mana trio successful at that task..of successfully connecting with those 800,000+ potential votes..

        ..(i continue to be amazed at how harawira/mana are failing to lift their popular vote..?

        ..surely by now..they realise that whatever they have been doing up until now..isn’t working..

        ..his message is not getting out there..pakeha are not seeing mana as a voting option..whereas surely part of harawiras’ plan must be to spread that message – see support for mana spread amongst pakeha/all of nz..that is not happening..and time is running short..)..

        ..and i want all of those three parties doing well..

        ..as this is how we will get the mandate we need..

        ..and meanwhile back at labour..cunnliffe..(if he is not speaking with a forked-tongue)..

        ..is the best bet to get us there..

        ..phillip ure..

        • Greywarbler

          I wonder if Harawira is ‘shoring’ himself up in his electorate then wanting to reach out to further Maori, and hoping to pick up swathes from the Maori Party. He has John Minto with him doesn’t he? So they will have a strategy, and perhaps that has included waiting for Labour to sort itself out and then they’ll decide on strategy, allying themselves with whoever, C&S etc.

        • Murray Olsen

          I also hope Mana becomes more widely supported. I think one of the reasons they haven’t so far is that in their zeal to be democratic, they have given too many lunatics a voice. They really need to distance themselves from people who think that writing their names in capitals makes them immune to arrest, for example.

          I think Minto’s mayoral election campaign will see their numbers go up. At least, I hope so.

          • weka

            “They really need to distance themselves from people who think that writing their names in capitals makes them immune to arrest, for example.”

            who is that?

            • Murray Olsen

              It’s some rubbish about natural rights and birth certificates that has a life on the internet, particularly Facebook. Some of the adherents love posting on Mana pages.

              • weka

                I’ve looked at Mana’s FB page just now and I still have no idea what you are talking about. You do realise that some people consider Mana the political party to be cranks. Maybe they should distance themselves from themselves.

                • Murray Olsen

                  I am not one of the people who consider Mana to be cranks. Maybe they’ve cleaned their pages up since I last looked. I hope so.
                  At one stage there were many anti-Zionist anti-Rothschild people posting stuff about the Rothschilds being some sort on non-genuine Jews who were running the world via the Illuminati. There were others proclaiming that Maori were backward cannibals who had enslaved and eaten the original Celtic inhabitants of Aotearoa. They got onto Green pages too. I am not the only person who noticed it and was extremely worried about it.

    • Eddie 2.2

      I should have been more clear. The second preference of MP’s who vote Jones is their most important vote and it’s that final result I’m thinking of when I say 50/50.

    • AmaKiwi 2.3

      Cunliffe knows Key is one of the shrewdest politicians in a long time. Cunliffe has watched him like a hawk for years.

      • Tracey 2.3.1

        I am not so sure Key is shrew but those sitting behind him are. It seems to me he usually needs 24 hours before commenting on anything significant, and I suspect that is how long it takes to learn up the spin he is fed…. this is a weakness that somehow Labour need to find a way to exploit.

        When caught ont he hop Key says stupid things.

        • Colonial Viper

          When Key is on the ball, he improvises like a master. Thing is, Keys “can’t be fucked” factor, which has always been around to some degree, has been growing much stronger.

          • Tracey

            Agree with your second comment but am not as sure his improvising is quite as spontaneous as you credit him. Either way he want lose just cos Labour changes leader.

        • karol

          Nice typo – 🙂

          I am not so sure Key is shrew

    • Tracey 2.4

      he cans till have his number without being leader but it will require him to be part of a team

      • Colonial Viper 2.4.1

        Sure. But the question is far more relevant and important the: Grant, if Grant loses the leadership election.

        • Tracey

          well, he is very publicly saying he will support so if he loses and recants by conduct… he may never get a chance to be PM

          • Colonial Viper

            And did Grant really do his best to support the Robertson/Shearer leadership combo? That’s why a lot of people still have questions.

            • Tracey

              People might forgive him his duplicity once, but twice? Mps will indeed wonder when the knife will be turned on them.

  3. AmaKiwi 3

    Caucus members announcing now for Robertson:

    At the last Labour Annual Conference (Auckland) the biggest cheers were for a delegate who shouted: “We are going to take back control of this party!”

    What some of the thicker MPs did not understand is that THEY were the enemy, NOT National. After the the Nov. 2011 Cunliffe/Shearer leadership debates CAUCUS overturned the preference of the people.

    MPs announcing for Robertson now, in the face of overwhelming popular support for Cunliffe, are signing their political death certificates. “We are going to take back this party!”

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Hearing you loud and clear.

    • Te Reo Putake 3.2

      The MP’s are not the enemy. You, however, may be.

      • Tracey 3.2.1

        As a former Labour supporter I can say that for me the MPs have been the enemy. This is their chance to change that.

        • karol

          +1 Tracey. Now more than ever we need MPs that work for the people. If they don’t they are the enemy.

        • Chooky

          +1 AmaKiwi….and I also was once a Labour voter….Cunliffe should be very careful in the team he chooses to support him and the new government…the best people for the job!….a lean mean machine….

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.2

        Funny thing TRP, that’s the exact same sentiment that Curran and the other ABCs held towards me as a member, as well as many other members who voted for the 40% confidence threshold.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Wasn’t referring to you, CV and I certainly don’t think of you that way. But if the 3 candidates can embrace unity for the sake of the party, I think maybe we mere members can drop the loser language of ‘enemy’.

          • Pasupial


            Your member may be shaped liked a mere, but I don’t think you can be speaking for many.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Well, it is a mighty weapon of love, he says, possibly channelling Shane Jones 😉

          • Matthew Whitehead

            Anyone who stands in the way of the party members’ right to choose their leader democratically is certainly acting against the values and interests of the Labour party and Labour movement. Whether you object to the word “enemy” is mere semantics.

            What’s important is that any unification that happens in the party is around its constituency, and that Labour goes into the campaign being Labour. They’ll never win trying to pretend they’re National, but with actual jobs.

        • Rogue Trooper

          Could this Curran chick be responsible for a more mismatched portfolio?

        • Don't worry. Be happy.

          Basically, Curran’s the sandwich missing from her own picnic. Dumb as and armed with a vote that could destroy any hope of defeating this cruel and corrupt Key Government. All Curran seems to need is the economic security that comes with a life long tenure of a ‘safe’ Labour seat, some large airbrushed portraits of herself prominently placed around for skiting purposes and (as was rumoured) steely control of members who are silly enough to blog on Red Alert. By stubbornly supporting leaders incapable of winning against Key, Curran and Clark have seemingly placed them selves in a shameful position: self preservation/advancement ahead of consience, self interest before the poor.

          • Neoleftie

            Dunedin south is not safe, Clare lost the party vote to a carpet bagger from up north, from what I hear the national local bag woman in Dunedin south has been fundraising for months now..

    • Sanctuary 3.3

      Really though the problem has been that particularly baby boomer phenomena of desperately hanging on past your use by date.

      If Mallard, King and Goff had accepted their time at the top was coming to an end and it was time retire gracefully into consultancy, mayoraltys, and board appointments then none of this would have been necessary.

    • Saarbo 3.4

      “What some of the thicker MPs did not understand is that THEY were the enemy, NOT National.”

      Yes, I think you are right there AmaKiwi,but also some of these MP’s also understand this very well, they just don’t give a flying f%$# about the members. This democratic process is a huge change for them, particularly the 1984 vintage inside and outside of parliament.

  4. Shazzer 4

    I doubt that if cunliffe had been elected in 2011 we would now have these changes to how the leader is elected. That was a direct response to members feeling done over by caucus (and none of the shearer, Robertson, Hopkins etc team backed it). I hope mps are capable of putting party first this time.

  5. Comrade Coba 5

    Once Cunliffe is announced as Leader and makes a ‘few’ victory speeches, I think it would be wise for Labour to go to ground for a little while. Remerge with impact from the leader on issues of importance. Followed by heavy hitters from the newly tweaked front bench. What I don’t want to see or hear from is the old guard hogging the limelight. Certainly not too much from sideline commentator Nash, however Mike Williams used tactically is fine.    

    • Rogue Trooper 5.1

      yes, I’m unsettled by Nash

      • Hami Shearlie 5.1.1

        Me too re Nash – I’ve heard rumours that Nash feels that David Cunliffe didn’t give him all the praise he deserved when Nash was working alongside DC. With the Nash name, maybe Nash thinks that overegged praise and deference is warranted – Anyone hear any more about this? I haven’t seen anything? I hope that Nash gets back in and will work hard for the party under David Cunliffe’s leadership , he was a good orator in Parliament, but the pettiness must stop now!!

  6. gobsmacked 6

    Member’s 40% is 18% DC, 12% SJ, 10% GR

    Affilliate’s 20% is 7% GR, 7% DC, 6% SJ

    Both of those predictions are too low for Cunliffe’s numbers, TRP. I’m quite certain of that.

    I guess there’s not much point debating predictions (without a time machine to provide evidence), but I’ll be happy to revisit this thread in a week’s time!


    • Te Reo Putake 6.1

      As the joke goes: “I don’t make predictions, and I never will!”.

      I used the media polling for the members’ percentages, so if its wrong, I’ll blame them. If correct, I’ll happily take the credit!

      The affiliates percentages are based on what I know from my links to the various unions involved. The way it breaks down, from what I’ve seen and heard, is that DC is not getting significant support outside the main centres (he may be seen as a rich Aucklander and we’ve got enough trouble with the rich Aucklander currently running the joint).

      Robertson has support from the paid leadership of some of the unions, but that doesn’t translate to support at the voting level of lay leadership. His numbers have fallen.

      Jones has picked up high levels of support amongst conservative unionists, particularly after the TV program on him. He’s seen as a cross between David Lange and Billy T James. But he offers nothing to union members, policy wise.

      As I said right at the top, I don’t believe DC will win on the first ballot. Jones will be eliminated because his caucus vote is too low. I think his voter’s 2nd preferences will go to Cunliffe and that will mean an easy win for DC on the second count.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Meanwhile, Clare Curran’s desperation is showing … she decides to indulge in a little casual smearing:

    Anti-Robertson = homophobe = Camp Cunliffe. Classy, Clare.

    A little reminder: Curran was a Shearer devotee, even when Shearer was telling radio listeners that there was a place for homophobes in the Labour Party. Forgotten that, Clare?

    • karol 7.1

      Thanks. Replied.

    • Anne 7.2

      I don’t understand this twitter thing, but following gobsmacked’s link…

      I love the way Clare Curran calls Mike Williams a party staffer. He was only the party president for nearly ten years – and he hasn’t been a party staffer since he stepped down in 2009.

      • karol 7.2.1

        It’s now one of the headlines on 3 News. Nice one Clare! Who is politicking using Robertson’s sexuality?

        • geoff

          Yeah she’s an idiot but we already knew that. Not doing herself any favours if DC wins but I would hope he’d have the good sense to keep her well away from cabinet anyway.

        • QoT

          I love her follow-up:

          Because it’s not divisive disunity if you just metaphorically drop a shit on the middle of the table then walk away from it.

          • karol

            Heh. So we won’t get an apology from her then. But it does look like someone told her to zip it sweetie.

    • Hami Shearlie 7.3

      What a ghastly person Clare Curran is!!! She must be absolutely desperate right about now – If DC becomes leader, guess who will be deselected from her seat!! From what I hear, she’s not exactly “popular” with her electorate!!

  8. karen 8

    Somebody should ask Clare about her relationship with Brendan Horan

    • karol 8.1

      I wouldn’t sink to her level. She’s showing signs of desperation with this attempt to smear Cunliffe.

      • gobsmacked 8.1.1

        Karol + 1

        Smears shouldn’t be countered with innuendo.

        • Tigger

          NZ is totally ready for a gay PM. Unfortunately Robertson isn’t ready to be PM or even leader of Labour.

      • Sanctuary 8.1.2

        Got it in one. Her attack means the old guard and the ABC faction has seen the numbers, and they’ve tilted decisively against them. The other thing is this attack has Mallard’s fingerprints all over it – it is his MO, and Curran has been stupid enough to allow herself to be the sacrifical kamikaze attacker.

        • Alanz

          That is nonsense from Clare. Her allegation is not credible and she is losing even more credibility.

          The first thing any Labour leader should do for South Dunedin, particularly Grant for the town in which he grew up, to ensure Labour’s party votes do not fall even further next year is to replace her.

        • finbar

          Yes they will be concerned, and a devious bunch they are, would not put it past them to go for Jones, as they use their powerful caucus vote.Still the old A.B.C.club and damn the consequences and insult to the Party members.

  9. Dan1 9

    I must say I have been disappointed at the politicking at the meetings by caucus members. It is clear that has happened around the country. I have an idea that is has backfired in that the membership can make up its own mind. No-one from caucus has ever stated what they have had against Cunliffe.

    In that vacuum the membership has made up its own mind, and Cunliffe would appear to be surging to victory on Sunday.

    I have already indicated I think we are on the threshold of something special. The unhappy caucus members need to get in behind and help get rid of this appalling government.

    • Hami Shearlie 9.1

      OR, they should leave immediately and not let the door hit them on the way out!

      • Anne 9.1.1

        +1 Hami Shearlie.

        The unhappy with Cunliffe caucus members think this leadership contest is all about them. They have been under this misapprehension for years. I hope they’ve got a big shock coming, and will learn they are in fact our servants and not the other way around.

        Btw, this claim by the ABCers that Cunliffe is a nasty fake (I paraphrase) is just a pack of lies. I doubt (I hope) too many will be fooled by that line of attack.

        • Tigger

          What politicking? Didn’t fall across any at the Otahuhu meeting.

          • karol

            Kimakaze Clare Curran – tweeting about Robertson’s sexuality being used by Cunliffe against Robertson – now it’s on 3 News.

            • Colonial Viper

              You. Have. To. Be. Fucking. Kidding.

              • The Al1en

                This Curran woman doesn’t seem very smart, does she?
                First she publicly backs the wrong horse in a one horse race, then makes an issue out of Grant’s sexuality when she’s dishing dirt and pointing the finger at someone else.

                She must have realised that she’s on a loser and is doing the passive/aggressive attack ABC are noted for, whilst she still can.

                GR shouldn’t be the Labour leader because he’s shit and backed DS, well up until he back stabbed him (no pun intended). Most people know this to be fact and accept it.
                Curran should face censure for her muckraking – Maybe in a couple of weeks, after deselection, she can keep Chris Buttkiss company down at the bottom of the party list. 😉

                • Tim

                  I once had a discussion with CC on public service broadcasting prior to the demise of TVNZ7. I couldn’t work out whether she was spectacularly fick, or whether she just thought it was beneath her to talk to a mere plebian member of the public/uni. Now I now it was the former.

                • Rogue Trooper

                  thought you had deserted us

            • Sanctuary

              Curran effectively signed her own political death warrant tonight – there is no way she can be re-selected now for Labour as either a list or constituency MP should (as it seems likely) Cunliffe win. I doubt she has worked that out, she seems spectacularly stupid. Still, Curran has form for being vindictive and politically inept with internal party issues, so this story shouldn’t surprise.

              You have to see Curran’s tweet for what it is – an utterly bankrupt the last throw of the dice by an underwhelming performer grown used to lack of accountability for that lack of performance and who is panicking at the prospect of having to get off her arse and find a job in the real world.

              • Colonial Viper

                You have to see Curran’s tweet for what it is – an utterly bankrupt the last throw of the dice by an underwhelming performer grown used to lack of accountability for that lack of performance and who is panicking at the prospect of having to get off her arse and find a job in the real world.

                Fuck mate you should write for a living.

              • Murray Olsen

                The only things I get from this is confirmation that, for ABC, competence and beating Key is not an issue, and confirmation that Paddy Gower is the most hideous thing I’ve ever seen on tv. Once Cunliffe wins, she has to go. Mallard, Hipkins, and Goff can all leave with her.

            • lprent

              You have to be kidding me.

              Apart from the odd journalist asking it as an obvious question and the usual dipshits on the right, Clare Curran must be the first fool inside to seriously raise it.

              She really is rather stupid. I’ll have to look at what was said and in what context. However I suspect that there reasonable grounds for laying a complaint in front of the council for *her* bringing the NZLP in disrepute by outright lying about another party member.It probably won’t suceed, but she really is too frigging toxic to have around the caucus. She screws up the NZLP’s PRway too often.

              May as well make that plain prior to selection.

              • karol

                3 news referred to Jennie Michie on TV responding to a question about wheterh Robertson’s sexuality will influence some voters if he was PM, she said it was possible, but it is not an issue for her. Curran, or someone, called that a dog whistle. Will look for a link.

                Link added.

                  • karol

                    Yep. Sorry that Jenny Michie got dragged into it.

                    Of course, it began with the journos stirring it up a week or so ago, but that had already died down and the MSM were focusing more on other issues.

                    Mind you, if Cunliffe survives everything thrown at him by the ABCs and becomes leader, Team Key probably won’t seem that formidable.

                  • Anne

                    I’m sure I recollect Jenny Michie’s comment was in answer to a question whether she believed Grant’s sexuality would be a factor in his bid. She answered honestly and openly. She was not concerned about his sexuality, but she admitted some in the Labour Party might be. We know there is a segment of Pacifica who have concerns so she was only telling it like it is.

                    As for Mike Williams. I’ve not heard him on the subject but there’s every chance he’s been asked the same question and given a similar answer. She twittered earlier today calling him a party staffer when he hasn’t been on the staff for nearly 5 years. And she’s wrong about him anyway. He told Kathryn Ryan on Radio NZ this morning that he hasn’t made up his mind who to vote for yet.

                    With a bit of luck Mike will lay a complaint about her.

                    • hush minx

                      I think anyone who’s seen Jenny Michie in action will know that trying to paint her into a ‘dog whistling’ corner is a waste of breath. She’s worked with party people up and down the country and I am sure she would not rate anyone who tried such underhanded techniques. She said what she thought, saying it wasn’t a problem for her but it might be for others – and it before Cunliffe was even a candidate!

                      Labour has bigger problems – like which ABCers are damaging LAbour from within: http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Robertson-vs-Cunliffe/tabid/674/articleID/37760/Default.aspx

                    • lprent []

                      Yeah exactly. Jennie Michie simply wouldn’t be bothered saying that in that way. I can’t even imagine Mike Williams saying that even at his most tactical.

                      Both might say something if they got asked it – and the answer would say that it really wasn’t a particular problem. Just an issue for a few people. In other words exactly what Grant Robertson said himself on Morning Report today..

                      I think that Clare Curran is just making crap up in the manner that she tried to frame it.

                      She isn’t the brightest or most competent MP, and this looks like her trying to dogwhistle incompetently.

                      FFS: Looking at the tweets I see that she accused *Georgina Beyer* of saying the same thing. I wonder why that didn’t make it into Gowers report?

                      Because he’d look even more of dickhead than he already does?

                    • Clement Pinto

                      I read the following impressive comment that I agree with from a poster on the Radio Live site. Here it is:

                      • 3 hours ago

                      ‘Having participated in many leadership contests in Canadian political parties, which are decided by one member/ one vote, I think this idea that a leader needs 50% of the caucus support is silly. I’ve seen leaders with my less support than that within their caucus, but because the Party has spoken, everyone gets in behind the new leader and prepares for the real fight, winning an election. Caucus members here in all parties are too full of themselves, they are only the rented suits put forward by the party to represent the party’s platform and vision. Without the party membership they are nothing, and they should stop acting as if they are royalty and get on with the job we and the voters picked them to do!’

                  • lurgee

                    I assume it relates to this exchange on The Nation immediately after Shearer resigned:

                    Rachel: Okay, Grant Robertson Jennie says that he wants to be judged on his ability, not his sexuality. How do you think the socially conservatives might view Grant Robertson you know in the year 2013?

                    Jennie: That’s right, I think it’s not a big a deal as it used to be. You know we now have gay marriage, and it actually went through without that much of a fuss, and the sky hasn’t fallen. Having said that I think we’d be naïve to imagine that there would be no resistance to a gay Prime Minister at this point. I think some people might have a problem with it, but I certainly wouldn’t.

                    Which is innocuous enough.

                    What I am *slightly* concerned about is that she is identified in the Gower piece as a ‘campaign member’ for David Cunliffe. What does this mean, precisely? If she does have any official standing in the Cunliffe campaign, when did it start. I am asking as, since Shearer resigned, Jenny Michie has written two puff pieces about Cunliffe and does not directly state any affiliation with the Cunliffe campaign in them, which seems a bit off to me.

                    As an aside, I notice claims elsewhere that Jenny Michie and Eddie (who started this thread) are one and the same. Can this be confirmed or denied? It is compounding the issue.

                    IrishBill: Repeating misguided rightwing speculation about authors’ identities will quickly piss off moderators here.

                    • lurgee

                      Bugger, I notice I may have committed some sort of thought crime by implying the identity of a poster. I’m out of edit time so if necessary please amend above to something like “I notice claims elsewhere that Jenny Michie may operate under more than one identity on The Standard”.

                      ** Feels the Ban Hammer whistling towards him **

                      IRISH BILL – realised that after posting. I think there is an issue if an author with official status in any of the campaigns is posting endorsements without acknowledging his or her status, whether or not it is under one or more identities.

                    • IrishBill

                      I thought it was quite clear in Jenny’s last post that she was writing about working on Cunliffe’s campaign but I’ve added a clarifying note at the end of the post. As I understand it, that’s the only one she’s written while on the campaign team.

              • Peter

                Yep. We’ve put up with her little antics and Twitbook and Facer (is that right?) late night hissy fits locally in Dunedin for a long time, and now it hits the nationwide time, with a spectacular own goal.

                This is also the lady who ended the public service career of committed conservationist Hugh Logan.

                And yes, we need to be looking for alternative candidates in Dunedin South.

        • JK

          What claim by the ABCs – Anne – re Cunliffe a fake. Where have you seen this ?

          • Anne

            It was a link to Radio Live/Duncan Garner. He was talking about the ABCers and their hatred of Cunliffe. I’m sure it was on the TS but I did have a look at TDB this afternoon too. Will look for it shortly. Maybe someone will post the link sooner.

              • JK

                Thanks Anne. That’s a very disturbing article by Garner – disturbing that he’s picking up so much hatred about Cunliffe from a few MPs who’ve had more than long enough in Parliament (we can guess who). They all need to be …….. (whatever punishment suits !)

                Of course it does follow on from other stuff I’ve previously heard : that those same MPs (the ABCs) don’t want to win the 2014 election – for reasons of their own – hence their choices of incompetent people to be leader.

                • Hami Shearlie

                  Well Mallard did say that the workload in opposition was halved, didn’t he?? Imagine the workload if DC was leader and made them all pull their finger out and SLOG!!

        • Hami Shearlie

          Agreed. My cousin and her husband know him very well, they’re very smart and astute people – If DC was a nasty fake, they would have spotted that by now. It sure stinks of jealousy, pure and simple!

  10. geoff 10

    Surely we can find a better person for Dunedin South than Clare Curran.

    Anyone who has worked with her knows what a complete fucking disaster zone she is.

    • GregJ 10.1

      Unfortunately (or perhaps sometimes fortunately) de-selecting a sitting electorate MP is very difficult (although Curran managed it herself against Benson-Pope) – the whole apparatus is set up to support them and inevitably that means the structure tends to align with the MP concerned once they have been elected. They would really have to p&ss off the local members to face de-selection (and usually at the cost of having the said candidate stand as an independent and risking spoiling the vote for the new candidate – the party vote usually isn’t affected).

    • idlegus 10.2

      someone please! i live in south dunedin & have never seen her (only at the goff speech in south d & more recently at the shearer speech a few weeks ago), she pretty invisible round these parts & id be surprised if many ppl round here know wtf she is. im a mana supporter but usually give labour my electorate vote, even though i cannot stand curran!

    • Neoleftie 10.3

      Actually Geoff there are several suitable, one especially very suitable. Union, female, solid party, well spoken, strong willed and great organiser.
      Well have to see how things pan out, Clare is on the left of the party.

      • Don't worry. Be happy. 10.3.1

        If you’re thinking of the same person I am then I will add that this woman is also very smart, humane, good-humoured, experienced, no one’s fool, independently minded and someone who has faced down some pretty large difficulties in life. She would make a wonderful MP for South Dunedin. Dump Curran and open your eyes South Dunedin LEC!

  11. gobsmacked 11

    So here’s what happened:

    1) Clare Curran decided to tweet (link above) that Cunliffe supporters were targeting Grant’s sexuality. She called it a “dog whistle”.

    2) Not surprisingly, this was picked up and became Patrick Gower’s line on 3 News tonight. Now we all know Gower will wallow in any old muck, but he didn’t conjure this out of thin air. Clare Curran – a Labour MP – gave him the free hit, he took it. Which is presumably what she intended.

    3) Curran later did the old passive/aggressive thing …. tweeted that she wouldn’t say any more, because it would hurt the Labour leadership contest (as if she hadn’t done that herself already). Gee, thanks for being so noble, Clare.

    4) In her campaign against homophobia and bigotry, Clare Curran has criticised David Cunliffe’s supporters (with obvious guilt by association for Cunliffe himself). But there’s another candidate, the one who sings “rainbow” songs at the hustings, the one who keeps reminding us how red-blooded and hetero hot he is, the regular BBQ bloke, so totally not gay.

    But Shane Jones is not the target of Curran’s concern-trolling. Only Cunliffe is. Why?

    We all know why.

  12. Don't worry. Be happy. 12

    Wonder what her fellow Robertson supporter, David Clark, makes of this nasty little piece of work by Curran. Anything goes to get your man elected David Clark? Or maybe a realization that ‘by their works ye shall know them’ and a Road to Damascus change of heart…..?

  13. Delia 13

    There is no way I will vote for someone based on their sexuality. I will vote for whoever can get rid of the Key govt. Now Grant is a nice guy, but it is not him, it is Cunliffe. I am shocked at the unprofessional twittings of some politicians. David Cunliffe should get stuck into that kind of thing when he is Leader.

  14. lurgee 14

    Camp Cunliffe loyalist Jenny Michie was sacked for an answering a question about whether Mr Robertson’s sexuality could be an issue, two days before Mr Cunliffe announced he’d be standing.

    “It would be naive to imagine no resistance to a gay prime minister – some people might have a problem,” Ms Michie told The Nation.

    But she says she doesn’t have a problem with Mr Robertson.

    “I made a decision on balance that in order to protect the perception and the party, the right thing to do was to ask Jenny to stand aside,” says Mr Cunliffe.


    Good Lord.

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